The protests of the “15M” and the revolutionary minorities

Puerta del Sol
Puerta del Sol

Translations of Spanish article available here

Submitted by Toms on June 10, 2011

The 15th of May, brings several strikes, puerta del sol of Madrid was taken by several thousands of protesters that shown themselves as tired of supporting the pawning of their life conditions. The police decided to intervene in order to expel them, which provoked a reaction in the whole country with tens and tens of thousands of proletariats going out to the streets. The squares of almost a hundred cities were taken and became the center of gravity for the protests.
The first we have to deduce is that we are facing a massive protest of the proletariat, who carries with it decades without expressing itself as a class in this region of the world, once again went out to protest against its life conditions, expressing itself collectively in structures – assemblies – outside of parties and unions. Obviously its heterogeneity and contradictions are tremendous, it cannot be in any other way due to way in which it erupted and because the same development of the proletariat carries decades of counter-revolution, destroying of structures and democratic submission. Above all one needs to have in mind that it’s the first serious appearance of the proletariat unconnected to parties and unions in these lands for a long time, and such a long time that was.
It needs to be clear that between the organizers, between the mottos, there is a lot of force for the social democracy, there is a lot of citizenship, a lot of reformism, a lot of reformism, a lot of managerialism in the squares, “revindications” that don’t answer the human needs. For the first time in a long time, without embargos, there is something fundamental: the protests have ruptured the morbid apathy and individualism, thus scaring the forces of capitalism due to their shining eruption. In spite of the ideologies that effectively dominate the protests being democratic, the impulse behind them is clearly that of class. Those who went out to the street went out because they can’t take the noose of capital any longer.
Despite these protests being part of the surge of struggles happening across the globe, despite these protests and the clashes in Maghreb, Middle East, Greece… being expressions from the same struggle to impose human needs against the whip of capital, the levels of the clashes are obviously different and what’s at stake are different aspects of the international struggle. In North Africa the proletariat has reached the point where they are forced to give it their all, to outline an insurrectionist attempt. In Spain the proletariat hasn’t reached that point and what is being planted immediately in the current protests is the return, after decades of counterrevolution, of the massive proletariat communitarism, of the structures for the proletariat struggle. The rupture of the alienation, the creation of combat structures and the organization of the fighting community are at stake. Because our class is articulating its strength and imposing its needs outside of the bourgeois apparatuses, it seeks to concretize the tools needed to defend its living conditions.
The streets are packed, in the protests one reads and argues on how to fight non-life and capital, it’s a route to collectively plan the struggle against what turns us into slaves. The proletariats see as necessary to fight and express, in an organized manner, its fill and its needs. Despite the majority not explicitly recognizing themselves as a class that is exploited, but they have implicitly assumed so in the protests by breaking all categories imposed by capital (unemployed, workers, students, immigrants, youth, old… have united in the streets). The route of spectator is broken and the attempt to reconstruct the revolutionary individual, in a completely initial stage and without recognition of what it is, is on the table.
That said, we need to insist that this reality irrupts with a tremendous force from the social democracies classical positions that for the neutralization of this process, for the channeling of the protests to the inside of the state. And under these conditions in the next few days the fundamental question will be vented: either consolidation of communitarism of the proletariat or bourgeois recuperation of the structures that are being created. In all camps, in all cores around which all momentum for the protests is centralized, are already giving elements that will mark and define the events immediately. They’re materializing the struggle (in the majority of cases in covert fashion) between proletariat and bourgeois management, between the transformations of those structures in parts of the state or their consolidation as structures to combat proletariat needs. A struggle obscured by the ideologies and formulations under which they are materialized. And there are places in which, unfortunately, that aren’t doing well and the channeling isn’t gaining ground.
The action of the revolutionary minorities is fundamental in this whole process. It’s fundamental to fight the positions of our enemies and to propel proletariat positions, to denounce positions that don’t seek more than a reshuffling of the cabinet in order to keep all intact, and to defend all that goes in defense of our own life conditions, we definitively have to fight against reformism and for proletariat rupture, in order to stop the bourgeois recuperation of the assemblies and their consolidation as structures of combat. Those who call themselves revolutionaries and just watch the unfolding of events, or those who denounce the protests due to the weak formal expressions being carried out, or those others who have participated in a critical manner without fighting against the ideologies and propelling our interests, are anything but revolutionaries. Because they are participating, in one way or the other, in the whole process of understanding the protest, in the destruction of the communitarist potential that is being outlined. The first are nothing more than living cadavers, spectators of a reality which they only observe and interpret, but without seeking to transform it. The second ones are bodies without perception of reality, since all they understand and comprehend is filtered by idealism and State, from there using the bourgeois commentators and analysts of the protest, they reduce it to is said on a couple of nefarious flags of those fighting, being incapable of seeing what all of this hides, being incapable of understanding that “it’s not what they say but what they do”. And the third are puppets devoid of life that neither propel the protests nor fight its weaknesses, they’re just there letting themselves be carried by whatever comes, watching without a blink as social democracy incorporates the protests, without, even worst, serving as labor for this incorporation.
From the beginning, what has characterized the revolutionaries is, firstly, it being the most decisive and combatant of the struggles, happening, against capitalism, despite its weaknesses. And secondly, being a center of concentration for the struggles against the weaknesses, ideologies and forces of the bourgeoisie. For that the revolutionary minorities need to be at the scene of the protests, we need to fight the weaknesses that exist – that we have! – we need to face the ideologies and forces of capital that seek to assimilate the movement, we need to push the struggle for the imposition of the human needs against the dictatorship of the economy. Our place is in assuming what we are: the force that generates the proletariat in its most decisive and combative manner.
For that we push all comrades, all revolutionary minorities to defend our class interests and to fight the bourgeois absorption of the protests. We also call for the fortification and extension of the contacts between us, for the creation of organized networks.
In the assemblies, commissions and organized cores of the protests we notice that the interests of the proletariat and those of the bourgeois are already clashing. We can quickly notice how the opposite views are being clearly manifested, unless we are looking at things through ideological filters.
On one side there are the bourgeois interests. The capital is personified mainly by the force it seeks to frame, consciously or not, the protests and its structures in the inside of the state. We can observe as there are sectors who seek to guide everything with simple changes of management in the parliament. Just like some comrades commented on a text and many other that we quickly received, while one is a bit in the assemblies or commissions and is dealing with the fundamental, of the class content of the protest, one sees how their whole guidelines are to try and make us believe that the main problem is reform on electoral laws, defending the separation of powers… They seek to channel all, even changes, in the ways of capitalist management. “They make us believe, that once the problem of representation of the parties is solved, all problems will be over, because that is the way we control our politicians”. As for the living conditions, the daily aspects, that destroy our lives, are completely in the background and it’s about making them forget their minimal demands. Petitions, prayers, letters, changes in the law… Some bourgeois factions even try to use the protests as electoral platforms. Izquierda Unida and all the minority parties are moving their strings. Even the PSOE, after its electoral failure, has decided to take charge of the recovery despite the paradoxes of the ruling party (the neighborhood associations, which in the majority are under its control, are one of its Trojan horses, including the delegations that the government is trying to wrap their tentacles around).
These forces and maneuvers materialize the main force of our enemy that if It imposes itself it will turn the protests and its structures in a new temporary fix for capital (keeping all as a citizen movement, making legal petitions to the State, asking for a referendum, turning everything to expressions from parties…): In the moment all of this articulates itself around three points trying to impose themselves: reforms on electoral law, political transparency… Despite all deployment on the part of the forces of capital (press, television, politicians…) for it to be the main, and only one, expression of the movement, they have yet to be able to, at least that we are aware off, impose it in a single assembly.
On the other side there are the proletariat interests. They are personified by the majority of those that took to the streets and are sick of the pawning of their life conditions. They seek to, no matter the formulation, express their needs with an organized force that their existent satiety finds organized forms to struggle. Its preoccupation is centered not in the capitalist management forms, but in the concrete aspects that affect them, in its life conditions (in the field of labor, social aid, health, pensions, living…). It’s the expression that seeks to impose human interests against the economy, and to seek to articulate and define a way to impose those interests over capital. And it seeks to do so knowing that parties and unions are worth nothing since it doesn’t consider them their representatives, but as an integral and inseparable part of the problem. It’s true that many plans are very poor, but behind them there are the necessities of a class, the impulse to impose human demands over those of capital, it’s about planning the struggle that will sooner or later end all existing conditions. It is also true that in some cases the plans are somewhat clearer (stopping evictions of those who can afford the payments; to seek mechanisms in order for the unemployed to have food and shelter, for which it has been proposed organizing expropriations of supermarkets and occupations of empty buildings; take the structures to work and education centers…) Here is our strength, the strength of our class, and if it imposes itself we will witness the return of massive proletariat cooperativism after so many years of alienation and individualism.
This fight between demands and needs that goes on in the assemblies and commissions, and sometimes seems intertwined, reflects the struggle between bourgeois-proletariat, economy-humanity, the struggle to transform the organizations that are developing in bourgeois organs into organs of the proletariat combat.
Our place in all of this is, as revolutionaries, in fighting with all our forces and possibilities for the decomposition of the class structures. It’s at stake the changing of the class correlations, the return of proletariat cooperativism with the force of the old days. Today we can see, despite the strength of social-democracy, that people can see that reality. There are class materials that before only existent in militant locales and that today are available to tens of thousands of proletariats who pick them up with confidence and vicinity, they discuss them, you see them express their rage with beautiful slogans. Days ago only small circles would discuss organizing outside of and against Unions; today tens of thousands plan it, discuss it and for the moment they’re already situated outside of them. Days ago only the revolutionary militancy demanded the fight against social peace and the struggle of classes; today its tens of thousands that see as necessary to go beyond the law and, despite the currently dominant nefarious pacifism, discuss the use of violence. Today the organized expression of the discontent accumulated by the proletariat for years, but that was only expressed individually, is brewing. And it is also at stake an influence on the world balance of classes, not only making so that the wave of struggles going on around the world to arrive here, but that the structures that today are trying to concretize to emerge with strength in that wave.

In a few days the protests will begin to define themselves: or bourgeois channeling or proletariat rupture. Our job is to fight for the second to gain traction against the first. If such happens it needs to be clear that this is never positive and that the attempt of channeling will always be present. And if capital imposes itself, if we suffer another defeat and all is absorbed by our enemy, we need to draw strength and direction for the next struggles, we need to consolidate the structures and bonds we created between comrades, we need to transform the defeat in force for the next push. Because above all we need to be conscious that it has done nothing but begin, that this is only the prelude of what is to come, both here and around the world.

Join the struggle for revolutionary rupture!

See you in the streets!