Barricade Collective - Presentation

Barricade Collective - Presentation

A short text presenting Barricade Collective, a communist group from Hungary. More materials on the group's website:

About us

In Hungary the seed of an authentic communist movement based not on Bolshevik traditions and influence was formed after the Kádár-epoch, in the early 90's. For its formation the Hungarian „workers' movementary soil” needed to be fertilized especially by the Western European communist movement. This fertilization meant that the movement being in formation and already being in contact with militants living in the West was inspired by the more lively activity of the Western and South American communist movements. We started to follow those real communist (anarcho-communist) traditions of which fraternal movement had been active here last time in Admiral Horthy's proletarian-killer Hungary and which had been persecuted both by the white terrorist cadres and the Stalinsts while this movement has never ceased to exist in the West.

A few militants' commitment wouldn't have been enough for the movement to raise its head permanently in this region after the collapse of Bolshevism. For this it was necessary by all means the transition from the Bolshevism (Marxism-Leninism) hallmarked by Kádár to the capitalist regime, to the economical-political praxis of the dictatorship of bourgeois democracy, to the modern capitalist society. The small but active communist tendency could come into existence in consequence of only this. Altogether the movement with its infrastructure, internationalist contacts, possibilities to distribute its publications reached that level which enabled it to exist permanently by this time.

We published a programmatical manifesto under the name of „The Gravediggers of Capitalism – Class Struggle Alliance” (the name was „bombastic” but its content was mediocre) in the second issue of the journal „Anarcho-Communist Action” in 1994. The text reflected the conservatism, theological idealism, dogmatism and slogan-radicalism of today's „pseudo-radical communist” movement to a great extent. We published several texts written by Otto Rühle, Jean Barrot, the Platformists and other militants with our commentaries so communist/council communist/anarcho-communist documents were brought to light again (this time in Hungarian) under the aegis of the „Barricade Pamphlets”. We published also two issues of the already mentioned journal „Anarcho-Communist Action” which expressed most clearly what we have criticised in a few words above. Afterwards a new journal called „Fencebreakers” was brought out (today its issues can be read also as the documents of a rupture within the movement) which was much better and more radical publication than the „Anarcho-Communist Action” which had ceased to exist after the second issue (in retrospect we can be glad of this). The fact that the „publications of the group” were often brought out such way that some activists did not even know about them or they did not take part in their preparation shows the organizational level and shallowness of the movementary activities of that time. At the same time the publication of the „Barricade Pamphlets” continued and in the meantime the name „Barricade Collective” was written on them without that any splits would have taken place on the level of principles or on organizational questions. We started to function in a really radical way by „looking at the mirror”, criticising also ourselves and this way we managed to develop both in theory and in praxis. We broke with those persons for whom the leftist subculture and their abject bourgeois carrer had always been more important than the creative establishment of the real proletarian movement.

As we have said the pamphlets had been published before the formation of the Barricade Collective which was joined and also left by different activists. Nevertheless the group was able to develop in quality and to maintain its functioning actively, productively as a real communist organisation. We tried to retrieve the lack of that workers' movementary and communist theoretical and propaganda literature which had been published in the more developed regions decades ago (at this time writing much more elaborated commentaries to the texts than before). This may be strange for comrades living in Western countries because they already had or have all these materials. We published certain works of Gorter, Pannekoek, Pfemfert, Perlman, Camatte etc. with our commentaries in the past years and writings analysing the history of proletarian revolutions were brought out by us. However our activities are more complex, deeper and more lively than just writing texts or publishing brochures. Our goal is clear: to develop the movement of the communist party and the proletariat critically meanwhile attacking also our own movement on historical materialist bases since this movement is such atomized, divided, torn into thousands of pieces and often conservative like the working class from which it was formed. For us our group is not an aim in itself, we consider it as one cell of the world-wide communist party, as the manifestation of the communist movement here and now. Defending the communist programme implicates that we reject all kinds of class collaboration (parliamentarism, trade unionism, popular fronts together with the entire reformism of which the former phenomena are just different forms). We aim at radicalizing and centralizing the class struggles taking place throughout the world in internationalist unity with all the communists.

Our radical class struggle antecedents are The Tale of the Poor Man of Nippur… the movement led by Spartacus, the Adamites as well as Thomas Müntzer and his fellows’ revolution… our antecedents are the joy of life, the humour and the playfullness: hommage á Rabelais… our friends are Thyl Ulenspiegel and his fellow Lamme… our antecedents are Babeuf and the Enragés. Our predecessor is the communist revolutionary tradition which can not exist on the level of traditions only… Blanqui, the communists in the First International, Karl Marx and Engels… Raoul Rigault and his comrades at the time of the Commune of Paris. Our fellow is William Morriss and so on… the red sun is blazing. Our antecedents are the communists expelled from the Third International, the KAPD, Pannekoek, Gorter, Rühle, the comrades taking part in the revolution in Mexico: Flores Magón and his fellows, the Platformists attempting to rupture with „individual anarchism”… Our antecedents are the revolutionary defetists during WW2, the Situationists and Enragés of 1968, altogether the communists of proletarian revolutions, our antidemocratic fellows. And why? Since the „revolution is not only the object of the passion of our epoch, but also that of millions of human beings, starting with our ancient ancestors who rebelled against the movement of exchange value which they saw as a fatality, passing through Marx and Bordiga who, in their dimension as prophets, witnessed this inextinguishable passion to found a new community, a human community. […] All the revolutions of the species are revolutions which try to go beyond the present moment, beyond what is permitted by the development of productive forces (Bordiga). This reach beyond the possible is what constitutes the continuity among the human generations, just as the perspective of communism conceived as the destruction of classes, exchange, and value constitutes the continuity among the varied revolutionaries; this is what, following Marx, we call the historical party.”[1] (J. Camatte)

If the communist movement, the dialectics of theory and praxis are just traditions to be followed then these are dead. We are comrades full of life whose tasks are to inspire the proletarian movement, to take active part in our struggles and not to apply only but – on the basis that „also educator has to be educated” – to deepen the praxis of historical materialism creatively by attacking and criticising all the existing. Meanwhile we have to live, to live not to renounce and not to vegetate! Ascetics shall be eaten by the dogs of the valley of tears! For us communism is not a green island, it is not an alternative, nor it is a kind of strategy for survival but the destruction of capitalism in its totality! Communism or death! And it is not a self-sacrificing slogan but the only important historical question of present times. We are militants of the communist party so we are antidemocratic and anti-Bolshevik for whom the dictatorship of the proletariat is not an instrument for taking power and wielding it but the communist weapon for the abolition of class society. Our aspiration is not destructive only, our red directives are the dialectics of communism: „we destroy to build and we build in order that we could win”! It is clear for us that our enemy is not only capitalism in general but all the things which the dirty society of wage labour and the former class societies had established. We face a passive, self-restricting working class which alienates itself more and more, we face the world of false cosciousness and we face such an ideological-practical-organizational workers' movementary heritage (social democracy, Bolshevism, trade unions, federalism, workerism, workers' self-management, popular front, politics for making alliances etc.) which took or takes active part now in maintaining the capitalist system or the Bolshevik regime. The communists formed a tiny minority yesterday and they are such today, too. There is an atomized working class integrating itself to the the capitalist „universe” and we face a bourgeois power which wants to deprive us of everything maintaining our producing and consuming selves only. The communist programme is given on the level of declaration but this is not enough. We have to actually analyse, to live creatively and to organize the struggle. We have to smash capitalism by developing the unity of practice and theory of communism.

While we as communists have been arguing patiently capitalism is devouring the future, breaking our connections, making the planet a fetishist madhouse. Trees are perishing, fields are becoming deserts, water is contaminated vomit, food is dirty industrial waste, cats start barking, dogs start mousing, while you become a hero of a negative utopia searching for an atom bunker and the child is looking for shelter under the Christmas-tree... We try to organize, we sabotage, we struggle but the question is arising continuously: How could the worker closed into the egoist existence of citizenship, the Islam fundamentalist, the Christian insect, the nationalist beast, the trade unionist toiler (who work by day and are recharged by night like mobile phones since they have to be ready for use next day) become class militants? When and how will the alienated social existence become the existence of a proletarian class militant? (And we did not even mention the question of the pauperized „skeletons” and thousands of other problems.) We can state on the abstract level, in theory that the exploited will be revolutionized by their own social existence, by its billions of dialectical movements. There is no doubt that this movement is in progress and so is the decomposition of capitalism but its main direction is counter-revolutionary at the present time. We can cry only this: communism or death! Now we are writhing towards death: unhousing, despoilment, deprivation. Our social life is the following: we are exploited, decapitated, alienated from each other (and the working class is not just passive object of all these but it accepts becoming the victim of the crusade of capital by behaving as a mass of law-abiding citizens). Meanwhile the structure of society is in decomposition but the events have to be (or should be) controlled by us. How and in what way? The present forms of cosciousness of the working class – from which the subject of the revolution, the proletariat has been emerging – are counter-revolutionary or only a small part of the working class is revolutionary but in this case that part is not just working class anymore... The working class is not more than its name and it often does not even accept this denomination! So far we communists had been defeated not once but many thousands of times. The question is that how we could turn the defeats into victory! Our activity has to cry this „how” into the world beyond dreams, fables and utopia! It’s the task of the communists, the self-organizing proletariat to set, to show and to go along this course of movement, the direction of communism consistently. Communism is not an illusory vision about classless society but the praxis of the life of the full, world-wide human community that is to say the communist totality of mankind’s creative, communal existence tending to itself. But enough of the formulas! Let’s come the praxis, the praxis of communists in order that we could experience the classless, world-wide community free from exploitation, value, labour, nations, states and families: communism!

Long live the dictatorship of the proletariat! Long live the communist party!



Spring, 2012

[1] Albeit we reject Bordiga's Leninism and his absurd, baseless accusations made against the consistently anti-Bolshevik communist tendencies there is no doubt that the spirit of his activity and his writings (which helped in maintaining the continuity of the communist critique concerning the capitalist mode of production at many points) is the „passion of communism”. In this sense he actually goes together with Marx and the other communist revolutionaries.

Posted By

Barricade Collective
Jun 15 2013 07:48


Attached files