Although it is important to confront bourgeois and petite bourgeois theories we must not overlook certain theories that emerged in the framework of the counterrevolution, that had their peak in the decade of the 90’s, that were the sustain for alter-globalization and expression in the World Social Forum.
We are dealing with positions spurred in Europe by groups associated to social democracy and in Latin America by a post socialist left. An exit to the ideological crisis of the revolutionary forces is sought from a supposed left vision, with the following approaches: assuming the theses of the bourgeoisie over the substitution of the working class as historic subject they vindicate the so called emerging subjects: indigenous, women, ecologist, and sexual minorities. Evidently to adjust to such notions the political party of the working class, the vanguard organization is no longer needs and its place –according to them- is taken by the social movements, by horizontality, by NGO’s. In their logic struggle for the overthrowing of capitalism, for power is not only unnecessary, but also reprehensible. In common with other theories openly bourgeois they have two elements: denial of the role of the working class and attack against the class party, the Communist Party and other struggle instruments as trade unions and other class associative forms.
It is necessary to stop in an idea that reinforces ideological eclecticism and that allows that anti working class positions be nested. “Creative” intellectuals that calling themselves Marxists have accused Marxism of eurocentralism and put the accent on the so called specificities, above generalities.
They point out that the working class seen as a growing force by Marx was something specific of England at the end of the XIX century and that it is not applicable to Latin America, least in the XXI century. They over dimension poverty as a creating factor for subjective conditions, “povertism” is their flag.
They call for a mixture of Marxism with other political ideas and disqualify class party as an obsolete instrument. Deep under is a vision in which generality is subordinate to particularity, to specificity, to the “originality”; the case being the accent put on “Latin American specificity” that gives place to utopist, mystic proposals, that turn, for giving an example, the indigenous question and the struggle for natural resources into a matter of “magical thought”, of connection to ancestral forces.
Social movements, derivations and limits. Petite bourgeoisie takes the lead.
These theories that revise the role of the working class gathered strength with the triumph of counterrevolution in the Soviet Union and the socialist field. Counterrevolution, the loss of state-power by the working class, forced a general withdrawal of the working class in the whole world and in many cases to temporal disorganization or complete liquidation of its vanguard organizations. . It has to be said, however, that there were Communist Parties and sections of the working class which resisted and struggled, which created difficulties for an even greater advancement in the plans of large capital. For example, the WFTU and other anti-imperialist fronts regrouped thanks to the communist’s action
Following the general tendency of capitalism to centralization and concentration, monopolies passed to occupy with full force the new markets opened by the layers of petite bourgeoisie, specially the market of informatics technology, of self-service sales, certain sectors of agricultural production, of food preparation, etc. Naturally the petite bourgeoisie felt threatened, it politically radicalized itself and mobilized. Although from a social point of view it started a process of proletarization, ideologically it wrapped itself with the aforementioned positions
On the one hand we observe an increase in the anticommunist campaigns, the disorganization of large sections of workers, the liquidation of the vanguard parties, all of which creates difficulties for the positions of the working class. On the other hand we find the massive diffusing of the theoretical elaborations which promote confusion, a redoubling in the activism of the middle strata, etc., in short the strengthening of petite bourgeois positions. The result of the confluence of these factors led in many countries to the hegemony of petite bourgeoisie in the direction of social and popular movements in the immediate period after counterrevolution.
When abandoning scientific positions, the critic and attack against capitalism was dealt as a matter of will, for example, it was propose to transform it through changes in the sphere of consume or in the sphere of circulation. The scientific conception of class struggle was abandoned in favor a struggle against globalization, etc.
Petite bourgeoisie, at the lead of the popular movement, has no revolutionary objectives, it does not see in the economical situation that acts as a spring for its mobilization revolutionary possibilities, it rather pleads for a step back in history to a previous state of things.
True unhappy masses were rallied by these leaderships that failed, however, to link the economic and social aspects with the political aspect, with the question of power taking.
Petite bourgeoisie is a layer of population whose fortune, life and death, depend in many cases of their individual efforts, of a tiny aspect of the world that does not take them to consider social reality as a whole. In the organizing level the matter is not to conform powerful organizations that can overthrow their enemy, but of a movement with loose, weak and informal bonds among its members, big organizations are “monsters” that “choke personality”. In the discourse lever they are not ruled by orientations based on the movement laws of the social-economic capitalist formation, but on fashions such as alter-globalization, counter-globalization, post capitalism, the “indignant”, etc.
To this we have to add an overestimation of the technical aspects of political problems. The thesis of the 2.0 revolution, for example, that takes as decisive the technology used in the means of communication. What matters is not the organized nucleus that emits the messages, that decides the slogan, nor the class in which it seeks to influence, what determines the success of an action is the use per se of the mobile phone messages, twitter, facebook, etc. The tools turn to fetishes.
An evaluation of the success or failure of such politics was not done, the movement was everything. To set out anything that questioned this consensus received as an answer the isolation of the general movement.
It is not a surprise that the struggles led by the petite bourgeoisie during this period were scarce and of limited reach. . It is the actual put into practice and failure of the “emerging subjects” theories.
Even the most serious of the struggles of this period could not triumph without the concurrence of the decisive social force, the working class. Because of their lack of interest or capacity to organize and rally the working class, the most serious of the struggles of this period tried to violently destabilize the circulation of commodities, to impede the realization of capital cycle through converging maneuvers. Being attacked at various fronts, bourgeois State could always count on snatching back the initiative as long as its industrial army, the proletariat, continued to produce surplus value. It has been a common image to see in any part of the world the militarized police launching tear gasses to disperse the popular masses from the neuralgic centers of the communication and transport channels.
Petite bourgeoisie results a highly unsteady and volatile layer. Disappointed by a defeat it would retire to the field of fantasy or indifference. To the period of mobilization would follow a dramatic reflux.
When the masses attend to the calls of these activist they see themselves seized by spontaneism. Popular masses are immensely creative, and this creativity is not inhibited but rather propelled when given clear and precise orientations, which is precisely what this leadership does not do. A limitation is presented in the discourse as a virtue of the movement, of horizontality, etc.
Petite bourgeoisie as a leadership of the popular struggles in the period has failed, which does not mean that it does not persist, driven by the declining of its living conditions, trying to rally the peoples under its own flags. Monopolies could in the absolute majority of the cases realize it objectives.
The people of Mexico count with painful examples of these limits and these derivations. The continuance and put in practice of these positions have led to hundreds of groups and numerous organizations that vindicate themselves as revolutionaries to the worshiping of spontaneity. Hey do not trace as an objective the introduction of theory to the movement, they do not arise the question of organizing working class by production centers nor organizing from there the counteroffensive, etc. They cannot offer popular movements the alliance with the working class, the change of the correlation of forces for the overthrow, etc., in fact they can offer little more than cheerleading action. Example of how the Mexican State has crushed popular movement as dissociated from working class movement is the APPO (Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca).
If these positions subsist in our country it is because the alternative has been shown in a deficient manner. The Communist Party assumes its responsibility and doubles its insistence in the ideological front. There must be accompaniment of the movements that oppose capital, monopoly and imperialism, but there must not be ideological concessions. Only with strength in theory and persistence in working for the rise of the working class – Trade Union movement in Mexico can we offer a beneficial alliance for the people and a way out of the crisis that will point to the overthrow.
Fortunately we assist at the regrouping of the working class and its parties, process that however has to be looked after for its possible reversibility