An appeal in favor of the principle of a nonviolent revolutionary movement based on means-and-ends reasoning, with references to Marx and Luxemburg.
For a Nonviolent Revolution – Démocratie Communiste (Luxemburgiste)
“An end which requires unjustified means is no justifiable end” (Karl Marx).1
The dominant ideology defines numerous methods of action employed by the democratic workers movement as “violent” that are actually legitimate, such as strike picketing, occupations of workplaces…. We have witnessed (and suffered) examples of this criminalization on the part of the bourgeoisie, its governments and its communications media in every one of the General Strikes that have recently taken place in Spain, where trade union picketing is maliciously compared to the underworld operations of the mafia. And also in the occupations of the enterprises abandoned by their owners after the recent crisis in Argentina. These enterprises, occupied and managed by the workers themselves, have become the main targets of the bourgeois reactionaries and their government because they reveal the real possibilities of socialization.
None of these practices are violent forms of struggle. In reality, violence arises from the side of the capitalist organization of labor, which compels the wage workers, when they cannot bear it any longer, to act in defense of their own basic rights.
These methods of action are spontaneous forms of struggle, just like the general strike and organization by way of democratic and sovereign general assemblies. They are therefore the bases of a revolution carried out by the social class that is subjected to the system of wage labor.
In addition, a real democratic revolution will take place in people’s consciousness, as well as in the conquest of power from the base. What we must fight and abolish is the capitalist system that causes human beings to become each other’s competitors and enemies.
The revolution for which we work is the revolution carried out by equal and freely associated human beings. This revolution, which leads to socialism/communism, is contrary (by virtue of its goals and its means) to the ideology of the ruling class. That ideology, however (which does not hesitate to justify the violence of the ruling class, and of imperialism in particular), is found not only among the social layers of the exploiters but also among those whom they exploit. The democratic revolution will have to unmask the mystifying ideologies that serve to obscure reality, especially the reality of the terrible violence of wage slavery.
The socialist-communist revolution, a radical process of transformation of human society carried out by human society itself, is at the same time the achievement of democracy and equality, and the elimination of exploitation, dictatorship and violence. It is the transition, by way of the conscious revolution and the revolution in consciousness, from the capitalist era to the era of reunited humanity.
In 1918, ten days after she was released from prison, Rosa Luxemburg assigned the German Revolution the immediate objective of the abolition of the death penalty (in an article published in the Spartacus League’s daily newspaper, Die Rote Fahne, on November 18, 1918). One month later, in the program of the Spartacus League, she wrote: “The proletarian revolution requires no terror for its aims; it hates and despises killing.”2
The democratic revolution is a coherent process: the abolition of exploitation cannot be carried out by employing exploitation, and the abolition of violence cannot be achieved by the use of violence.
Démocratie Communiste (Luxemburgiste)
Translated in December 2013 from the Spanish text available online at: http://democom.perso.neuf.fr/revolucionnoviolenta.htm