7. The Global Perspective

Submitted by libcom on July 28, 2005

Against Domestication 7.

The Global Perspective

The struggle against domestication has to be understood at the global level where important forces are also beginning to emerge. The a priori universal rationality of capitalism can be demystified only when we begin to seriously question the unilinear scheme of human evolution and also the notion that the capitalist mode of production has been progressive for all countries.

Those particular countries which according to the prophets of growth and the "economic miracle" are underdeveloped or on the road to development are really countries where the capitalist mode of production has failed to establish itself. In Asia, South America, and Africa there are millions of people who have not yet fully succumbed to the despotism of capital. Their resistance is usually negative in the sense that they are unable to pose for themselves another community. It is therefore essential to maintain a world wide network of human debate which only the communist revolution can transform into a movement for the establishing of a new community. Moreover, during the revolutionary explosion this network or pole will have a determining influence in the work of destroying capital.

In those countries labelled as underdeveloped, the youth have risen up (in Ceylon, in Madagascar in 1972, and less strongly in Senegal, Tunisia, Zaire etc. . . ), and expressed in different ways the same need and necessity that is felt in the West. For over ten years the insurrection of youth has demonstrated that its fundamental characteristic is that of anti-domestication. Without wanting to prophesy any certain outcome, it is important to try to discern in this some kind of perspective. In May '68 we again took up Bordiga's forecast about a revival of the revolutionary movement around 1968, and revolution for the period 1975-1980. This is a "prediction" we remain attached to. Recent political/social and economic events confirm it, and the same conclusion is being arrived at by various writers. The capitalist mode of production finds itself in a crisis which is shaking it from its highest to its lowest levels. It is not a 1929-style crisis, though certain aspects of that crisis can reappear; rather it is a crisis of profound transformation. Capital must restructure itself in order to be able to slow down the destructive consequences of its global process of production. The whole debate about growth shows very clearly that this concern is real. The experts think they can simply draw attention to the movement of capital and proclaim that there must be slackening off, a slowing down. But capital in its turn can only break free from people's opposition by perfecting its domination over them at an ever higher level. It is a domination which extends to the horizon of our lives, but young people are rising up against it in a vast movement, and a growing number of older people are beginning to understand and support them.

The revolutionary resurgence is evident everywhere except in one enormous country, the USSR, which could quite easily end up playing an inhibiting role, putting a strong brake on the revolution (in which case our previous forecast would be consigned to the limbo of pious wish fulfilment). But events in Czechoslovakia and Poland and the constant strengthening of despotism in the Soviet republic are an indication (though a negative one) that subversion, of which we hear only faint echoes, is by no means absent there. Repression in the USSR needs to be more violent in order to prevent insurrection generalizing. On the other hand, the process of destalinization is taking on the same role (taking into account considerable historical differences) as the revolt of the nobles in 1825, which made way for the revolt of the intelligentsia and subsequently gave strength to the whole populist movement. This idea leads us to think that there exists at the present moment subversion sufficient to go well beyond the democratic opposition expressed by the dissident academician Sakharov. Certain other historical constants must be kept in mind : for example, generalized revolutionary action appeared in its most radical form in France and Russia, while actually having its origins in other countries. The French revolution subsequently spread the bourgeois revolution throughout Europe. The Russian revolution generalized a double revolution -- proletarian and bourgeois -- which resulted in the final triumph of the capitalist revolution. The student revolt did not originate in France yet it was there that the revolt was felt most sharply; it was capable of shaking capitalist society, and the consequences of it are still being felt. There can be no revolutionary upheaval in the USSR while the consequences of 1917 -- the wave of anti-colonial revolutions -- are still to be played out. The most important of these has been the case of China, and now that the Chinese revolution has come to the end of its cycle, we will see in the USSR the beginning of a new revolutionary cycle.

The important historic shift between the French and the Russian revolutions is present also in the rise of the new revolutionary cycle. The despotism of capital today is more powerful than that which prevailed under the Czar, and there is also the fact that the holy alliance between the USSR and the USA has been shown to be more effective than the Anglo-Russian alliance of the nineteenth century. The outcome can be delayed but not halted : we can expect the "communitarian" dimension of revolution in the USSR to be clearer there than in the West, and that it will go forward with giant strides.