‘‘Go to the People: The Tasks of the Proletariat and the Anarchists to confront the neoliberal offensive’’
Thinking and Making Revolution:
The Third Congress of UNIPA in the context of class struggle in Brazil
The Third Congress of UNIPA, held in July 2007, aimed to establish a theoretical anarchist analysis of capitalist development in Brazil. To accomplish this task, it was necessary to simultaneously achieve a theoretical balance of anarchist thought, specifying the contents of its method and of its main theses about society.
The First Congress held in March 2003, the Second Congress in February-March 2004. In this period the organization was able to consolidate their proposal and create its small, but real space in the union and popular movement. The challenge of the Third Congress was to advance the theory and practice of the Brazilian revolution of an anarchist perspective.
The theme of the Third Congress is ‘‘Go to the People: The tasks of the proletarian and anarchists to confront the neoliberal offensive’’. The slogan ‘‘go to the people’’ was coined by Bakunin in the nineteenth century to describe the task of the Russian anarchists. They should devote themselves to political work among the peasant masses. Getting, even of ‘‘zero’’, a work of propagandize and organization that should have as goal the social revolution.
Accordingly, the watchword today also gain a fundamental historical significance. It is applied in the Brazilian context, the anarchist revolutionary political line. Go to the people, to the working class, to participate in their struggles, it is first and foremost duty of the revolutionary. Go to the people in the current context, marked by the neoliberal offensive (which is part of a process of transition to a new stage of development of world capitalism) means to participate in the class struggles of resistance against the state reforms and the restructuring of production.
This general policy only gains importance in light of the implementation of Bakuninism analysis of class relations in Brazil and worldwide. And this work of theoretical application, production of a sociology - in the sense that Bakunin argued – of the revolution, is an anarchist contribution to the process of formation of the proletariat as a class. ‘‘Think the revolution’’ is one of the dimensions of the revolutionary work.
So the first congress of UNIPA had indicated as a task the drafting of an anarchist theory of revolution in Brazil. And the Third Congress represents an important moment, as we present a theoretical synthesis of the development of Brazilian and global capitalism based in Bakuninists theses, thus ending the job step started in 2003. We claim first that it was possible to create a theory from Bakunin. We now present the broad outlines of this theory in specific theses.
The Third Congress represents both a point of arrival - to the process of theoretical production started in 2003 - and the starting point for a new phase. This phase where we expect to continue building a revolutionary Bakuninist sociology. Alongside national UNIPA construction and expansion of its mass fronts. It is a groundbreaking work in terms of Brazil and now poses more challenges.
The debate about the proletarian and socialist revolution in general and the Brazilian revolution in particular, is stagnating. It could not be otherwise since the proletarian and revolutionary movement itself is in crisis in Brazil and worldwide. In this sense, the formulation of an anarchist theory of revolution in Brazil is an essential task of reconstruction of anarchism and perhaps of proletarian movement.
Our main theoretical task is to oppose the ‘‘theory of the revolution by stages’’, communist and social democrat based, by the ‘‘theory of integral revolution’’ (economic, political and social), characteristic of anarchism. Bakunin in the 1860s showed that the theory of revolution by stages of the Social Democrats represented a project of a ‘‘bourgeois revolution’’ and therefore opened the field for the alliance with the bourgeoisie and abdication of the very idea of revolution in the name of ‘‘reforms’’. Thus, defined itself in reality the whole field of oppositions between Bakunin and Marx.
The refusal of the stagist theory requires the refusal of a ‘‘transitional phase’’ between class society and the classless society, marked by the role of the state and the ‘‘dictatorship of proletariat’’. The stagist theory of the revolution was bolstered in a general theory of society - historical materialism - which assumed the evolution and succession of modes of production in time, of which communism would be the most advanced stage. This theory, in its turn, was a pillar - the economy determination for all aspects of social life, ultimately. The economic determinism established fixed roles for the bourgeoisie and the ‘‘industrial proletariat’’.
The idea of ‘‘socialist revolution’’ was then linked to the development of
capitalism, which would be a product. For the socialist revolution could take
place would require ‘‘the development of the capitalist mode of production’’ to
some extent. This theoretical base allowed the defense of capitalist
development became a political banner of social democracy and communism abroad.
Bakunin criticized strongly that theory of history, questioned the ‘‘economic determinism’’, and consequently the theory of classes and the role of the state. This criticism was backed into a materialist, but a distinct materialism of Marx and Engels historical materialism (assuming economic determinism). At the same time, Bakunin elaborated a theory about the ‘‘statism’’, an analysis of the evolution of capitalism from the perspective of the state's development. And has adopted the theory of collective forces as the basis for economic critique of capitalism. Any revolution that does not solve the problem of exploitation of the collective forces of workers will be a bourgeois revolution, and therefore a counter-revolution.
Central point to the theoretical struggle in Brazil remains the same. The Brazilian revolution will be a confrontation between supporters of the theory of revolution by stages (which includes all of Marxism, Maoism, Trotskyism, Leninism, Stalinism) and theorists of integral revolution. At the same time, this fight is going through a struggle of sociological interpretations about the class structure and capitalist development in Brazil.
Brazilian capitalism presents a number of characteristics that shows its transition to a type of ultramonopolist capitalism (neoliberal and toyotist). The production restructuration and the State reforms lead to a change of class structure (due to the changing role of Brazil and Latin America in the international division of labor and imperialist system). This change implies a marginal quantitative growth of the proletariat (the workers were not integrated into the labor market or integrated into the lower sphere) and its role in changing the quality. This proletariat will be the ‘‘default type’’ in the various branches and sectors of capitalist production and circulation.
At the same time, the class structure is diversified and we see a rise on the primary sector exporting it occupies more and more importance in the Brazilian economy. It's the cornerstone of a new expansion of capitalism in agriculture that will worsen the existing contradictions.
The revolutionary politics must take into account changes the dynamics of capitalist development and class structure in Brazil. Any policy that ignores this will not give account of the tasks of the proletarian revolution. And those are just some of the theoretical issues that we face. Major social issues (Economic and Policy Issues, Agrarian Question, Urban Issues, etc.) will be exacerbated because of the neoliberal transition on the dependent development of Brazil.
Therefore, the arguments presented to our Third Congress (to be published soon) aim to be an initial step and a contribution, even if modest, for the theoretical work to interpretate this new reality and the construction of a new popular-revolutionary politcs.
The scientific and political thought of Bakunin was the central basis for structuring the theoretical work of analysis and critique of capitalism in the current conjuncture. The analysis and theories of other thinkers, too fundamental analysis, have been appropriated from the criteria established by the thought of Bakunin and always in agreement with his theses.
The resolutions were presented here from a deliberate set of theses produced by the organization: 1) a block devoted to characterizing the Bakuninist thought, 2) a second block that, based on this thinking, made objective analysis of world and Brazilian capitalist development process. The practical experience of political struggle (and the partial analysis produced in statements and texts) was also a fundamental element of the production.
This double movement of identification and characterization of anarchist-Bakuninist theory and analysis from such thinking to concrete situations, required a critical analysis of Communist-Marxist theory and its various interpretations. Required also the critique of economic theories ‘‘bourgeois’’ which still prevail in many respects. Theoretical work has imposed a movement definition of identity, differentiation of anarchist theory from other theories (liberal, communist, nationalist). Thus the theoretical work is also based on a theoretical struggle and contradiction in the confrontation of ideas among themselves and with the objective reality, which is the sole criterion for validation of theories.
We know that the theoretical work presented at the Third Congress of UNIPA represents an important step, but still only one step in a long march. The theoretical work and the fight must go hand in hand with political work, in a dialectical relationship with the class struggle. Think the revolution is a revolutionary dimension of doing. It is impossible to think of it without revolution. The analysis and resolutions are posted here then part of this process of intervention in the class struggle anarchist.
Anarchism is Fight! Bakunin Lives and will win!
União Popular Anarquista – firstname.lastname@example.org