The people this summon is addressed to do not need to be provided with an overview of the origins of the current economic crisis. Nor do they expect any solution to it from the implementation of Keynesian recipes or the return to the idyllic times of “friendly” capitalism. Suffice it to say that we write to those who know that the problem is capitalism and the solution lies in the construction of socialism.
However, if the economic context does not require further clarification, we do consider it necessary to render an account of the political context, which is what encourages us to set to work.
In Europe, the outbreak of the latest crisis has done with the remnants of the so-called Welfare State, which begun to be demolished in the 70's. In the Southern European countries the fall has had a greater impact due to development levels lower than those in the North. The vanishing of the illusion of being (or becoming) 'middle class', and our children having better prospects than our own, has provoked the dislocation -as well as the 'indignation'- of broad swaths of society that have become unable to find a political meaning or direction to gear their future.
That these people might become fully aware of their actual position in the social structure, and thus of their belonging to the working class, was a risk that the system was ready to tackle straightaway. In some countries the irruption of a 'technocracy' was enough to serve the purpose, though not so in other countries with a stronger tradition of struggles and more recent episodes of resistance. Here, new political actors were entrusted to sheepdog the dislocated people towards more controllable folds. That is how in both Greece and Spain populist and 'citizenist' political parties emerged that relinquish ideology, deny class structure, and claim that capitalism should be good enough if subjected to some adjustments, thus making 'democracy' a fetishistic solution in itself.
It is high time to unmask the myth of a non-patrimonial, nor business owner, middle class that believes not to be part of the working class just because their incomes enabled them to enjoy consumption levels higher than those of the average waged worker during the years of economic growth. This fallacy has been torn to pieces once the capitalist crisis has dwindled their living standards as a result of losing jobs, social benefits and labour rights. However, regardless of the stubbornness of the facts, it is more necessary than ever that we wage an ideological battle in order to explain what the nature of capital-labour relationship really is about.
This fight has so far been rather ideologically weak and politically reformist. The institutionalized leftist organizations have for decades been stuck in the role of denouncing the policies of those in government, proposing themselves as management alternatives of timid reforms to soften the conditions of overexploitation, and promising to get out of the economic crisis applying progressive measures, without trespassing the legal boundaries of the political and economic system though. The revolutionary communist parties, some of which have a long trajectory, have neither managed to bring together our class and successfully confront capital. They do count on some indispensable committed militants, but have not been able to expand their ranks and gather the forces that the current situation demands.
In this context, when we, Marxists, should have become a key reference in the aspirations and reliance of the dispossessed, our position is very weak: we do not have a coordinated response, our voice is not heard loud enough in the streets, and we even lack the unity of action required to overcome this situation. In a few years time, paradoxically when it is most required, Marxism runs the risk of being left out of the vital experience of the new generations.
We are convinced that there are currently a large amount of people of a communist identity who have quit the organizations they do not identify with any more without relinquishing their convictions, notwithstanding. They are Marxists who refuse to keep on participating in projects which they foresee useless; ex-militants who have both training and critical sense enough to feel uncomfortable in assemblies where everything is constantly starting from scratch and any attempt to build up a minimum organization and a strategy to multiply forces is systematically dismissed.
We believe that, together, we are much more than we imagine. This is the reason why we are encouraged to write this call. We are confident in the commitment of those among us who refuse to accept as horizon the falsehood of a 'capitalism with a human face', refuted by the experience of everyday life, and work for a society emancipated from class oppression. We also rely on our sense of responsibility to continue the fight. Our unity is essential to mobilize workers in search of an alternative to capitalism.
We summon all those people, groups and organizations who know well that the way out to this critical situation does not rest on smoothing the edges of capitalism, but on doing away with it; that is to say, on the struggle for a society freed from exploitation. We think it is necessary to create a collective tool that should allow us both unity of action and a debate on the basic principles of Marxism, understood in the broader sense so as to incorporate the contributions of Leninism as well as other currents that have enriched the theory of praxis.
We are not for boastful discourses. We are convinced of the responsibility that we all, men and women, are facing. We propose taking a first step: the creation of a common meeting space where all communists, whether politically organized or not, could feel comfortable. This is an undertaking that demands a good deal of generosity, open mind and attitude, as well as a shared will to pull down the walls, often erected by ourselves, that seem to separate us. We must let Marxism breathe as a living and transforming theory in order to set a more solid and fertile ground for debate, reflection and practice, completely free of those secret codes withheld by the selected few. The space we propose to build up is one where the new realities may be analyze among comrades, one in which theory may serve as a useful tool to the struggle in its various forms, and unity of action realized as a means to achieve success. In sum, a space that, since its birth, sees itself partaking of the international struggle against capitalism.