Amadeo Bordiga

Gramsci: Between Marxism and Idealism

This edition of Revolutionary Perspectives goes to press at the same time as our English translation of Onorato Damen’s book Gramsci between Marxism and Idealism published after his death in 1979 (see leftcom.org or footnote 8 for how to purchase). By way of a taster we present an obituary which we translated from Prometeo.

The original content of the communist program is the obliteration of the individual as an economic subject, rights-holder, and agent of human history (Part II)

Día de Muertos in Janitzio (credit: México Destinos)

The second part of Amadeo Bordiga’s exposition of the features of communist society and of the revolutionary party that, in his estimation, is the only entity able to bring it into being. Critique of democracy, and of the “immediatist” conceptions of those who would like to see the party replaced by different forms of organization, is here tightly interlinked with a vision of society which will know nothing of classes or exchange and which will spatially and temporally integrate the entire human species into the Social Man, who will not even have any use for “freedom” in the conventional sense of the word.

"Vae victis", Germany!

A 1960 article by Amadeo Bordiga on the role which Germany played in the two world wars and which the author expected it to play in a future communist revolution, translated into English for the first time. The translation does not imply endorsement; the article is reproduced here for reference and to illustrate Bordiga’s uneasy internationalism, which was characterized by a firm rejection of support for either the US or the USSR, but also by a dismissive, if not sympathetic attitude toward Nazi Germany.

The original content of the communist program is the obliteration of the individual as an economic subject, rights-holder, and agent of human history (Part I)

Mikhail Okhitovich's disurbanist public home (credit: Fosco Lucarelli, Socks)

In this text, whose French translation appeared in Camatte’s book Bordiga et la Passion du Communisme and which is translated into English for the first time here, Amadeo Bordiga lays out a concrete vision of communist society as reconstructed from Marx’s fragmentary writings on the subject. Communist production, while following “a common and rational plan”, will as a joyful act constitute “its own reward”. However, to attain such a state of affairs, a revolutionary “dictatorship over consumption” will first be necessary according to Bordiga.

The revolutionary program of communist society eliminates all forms of ownership of land, the instruments of production and the products of labor - Partito Comunista Internazionale

In this 1957 text drafted for the Partito Comunista Internazionale, Amadeo Bordiga, with his usual acerbic wit, restates some of the “invariant” principles of Marxism, denounces the idea that communism means collective or individual “property” or “ownership”—terms he subjects to historical analysis as transitory juridical forms—argues in favor of social usufruct as the concept most adequate for the future classless society, ridicules the “metaphysical and idealist” error of the “immediatists” who hold that “socialism is a struggle for the individual liberation of the worker” and, just to rub it in, condemns drinkers and smokers as “usufructuary traitors” against the health of the species.

Bordiga and the passion for communism – Jacques Camatte

Jacques Camatte’s 1972 essay on Amadeo Bordiga, discussing the Italian Marxist’s notorious “invariance”, his “hermeneutics” of “the precise connection between the proletariat and theory”, his “prophetic vision” of the communist future, his identification of the party with the class, his disdain for the cult of personality, his “anti-gradualism”, the impact of the publication of the Grundrisse and the Economic Manuscripts of 1844 on his thought, his precocious environmentalism, his anti-individualism, and his failure to recognize the significance of May ’68, pointing out that despite all his contradictions and limitations “his works are full of starting points for new research”.

Commentary on the Manuscripts of 1844 - Amadeo Bordiga

Bordiga’s 1959 commentary on Marx’s 1844 Paris Manuscripts.

Dialogue with Stalin - Amadeo Bordiga

Dialogue with Stalin, Amadeo Bordiga, 1952

In the 1950s, the International Communist Party undertook a world-historic task: unravelling the Russian enigma. Through a series of articles they attempted to grapple with the nature of the Russian revolution. We present to you for the first time Bordiga’s “Dialogue with Stalin”. A one way conversation with Stalin and his “Economic Problems of the USSR”. Through a careful textual analysis, reference to Marx and Engels and the Marxist method, Bordiga systematically reveals what is left unsaid but implied, by the admissions of the Stalinist bureaucracy: That capitalism had triumphed over the revolution.

Collection of the translated writings of Amadeo Bordiga

This is a collection of, to my knowledge, all the translated writings of Amadeo Bordiga. Spanning from 1912 to 1965, this collection features every topic from the nature of the USSR, the role of the communist party, and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Loren Goldner - Amadeo Bordiga, the Agrarian Question, and the International Revolutionary Movement

Loren Goldner's introduction to Amadeo Bordiga's critique of Soviet Industrialization and capitalism, and how it differs from his contemporaries such as Trotskyism.