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5 years

2022-09-27 | Emancipation
5 years

The first step

On a day like today, five years ago we published our first article in this blog. It was a time of turmoil and danger. At the most tense moment of the Spanish political crisis, with an independence referendum called for only four days later with the opposition of the state and a general strike for October 3 scheduled, it seemed as though everything was heading towards a "Slovenian exit" with the workers being used as cannon fodder in an armed conflict between the Spanish bourgeoisie and the Catalan petty bourgeoisie and in which inevitably other imperialist powers would pour fuel on the fire.

And while the debates at work revealed stupefaction and rage at the threat, the Internet and, of course, the media, was creating two camps and thus making invisible the only one that had something to offer.

In the midst of the debate on the Internet about the referendum of "self-determination", we were struck by the fact that there were almost no voices raising a true internationalist perspective: the chauvinism of the pro was answered almost exclusively by the chauvinism of the anti, a nationalism crudely painted red by another that felt no shame in quoting the great monsters of the counter-revolution.

As a result, those who individually raised the class banner of intransigent internationalism, had nothing to stand on and no one to argue with to strengthen their arguments.

It is to them that this blog is directed.

Publishing that first post was quite an adventurous step forward for a small group of co-workers and friends who were simply studying the bases of Marxist critique and sharing their materials online.

But we were not alone. The blog immediately helped us get in contact with comrades of different ages and jobs in different regions and countries who in one way or another had been converging around intransigent internationalist positions and who shared the reference to the Spanish Revolution of '36 and its most outstanding political cupellation, whose last expressions were still active at that time, the FOR.

Then came an intense period of study, discussion and historical reappropriation that would end with the founding of Emancipation in the Congress of Llerena in June 2019. And from there, the modest, intense and patient work of promoting organization in our work environments, neighborhoods and at all levels... without abandoning the task of discussion, reflection and publication.

Along the way, comrades in new countries have joined us, a sister youth organization has appeared, and although we have not been able to hold a new international congress yet -and therefore formally accept new members among the collaborators and friends who joined us during this time-, all of us who participated in the first one, and two or so years later, continue to contribute and discuss every day.

What have we learned since then?

About the evolution of capitalism

Portada Spiegel

  1. From the Catalan independence five years ago to the electoral triumph of Meloni yesterday passing through the Chilean protests and revolts, the protagonism of this five-year period has been taken by the petty bourgeoisie which has impregnated it with its political impotence: it fed a whole string of political crises that made the ruling classes uncomfortable without being able either to pose a real alternative to the global crisis of Humanity or to impose anything beyond the cosmetic. In some cases, in fact, they became the instruments of rival imperialisms to stir up discord in the house of their competitors. At the end of the day, the whole project of this class, ranging from the ultra farmers to ecologism, transversal feminism and identitarianism boil down to the same thing: that is, to keep the workers fenced in under one discourse or another under the umbrella of a spectral and contradictory category, the people, more or less sectorialized to eke out revenue that keep their very different sectors afloat. Revenue that can only come out of the increased exploitation of the workers.

  2. And the fact is that these five years have also been years of transformation for a capital subjected to a perennial crisis that needed new ways to extract more value from labor. That is to say, the famous change of productive model imposed by Sanchismo in Spain, bringing with it amazing things, and which in France, Italy and practically the whole world is now rushing to impose between inflation and a new attack on pensions towards a new wave of impoverishment and precarization of the living and working conditions of our class.

  3. The crisis and above all the realization of its permanent character has since then fueled inter-imperialist conflicts to the point where we are today, with the war in Ukraine precipitating the formation of blocs and the end of the international division of labor established in the 1990s. All preceded and accompanied by trade and technological wars which are but the first whiff of the destruction of productive capacities already underway... and its anti-human consequences.

  4. Because if anything has become clear during these five years, it is that the contradiction between capitalist growth and human development, in all fields, from health to food, from environmental destruction to art and urbanism, translates more and more clearly into an open antagonism between capitalism and human life. We saw it with the management of the Covid pandemic and it is brutally evident also in the permanent and global drive towards war.

    About our class

Soviet in Iran

Assembly of strike and neighborhood committees in Iran

In this increasingly dramatic framework, which in the end is summed up in the main contradiction of the system -between bourgeoisie and working class, between the development of barbarism and socialism, our class has made attempts to assert itself.

  1. We had barely been publishing for three months when the mass strike in Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan broke out, which less than a year later would resurge giving rise even to germinal soviets. In 2019 it was the wildcat strikes in the Mexican maquilas. From then until the wave of wildcat strikes now underway and passing through mobilizations as important as those in Tunisia in 2020 or those in Kazakhstan this same year, and especially the mobilizations in Libya that stopped the imperialist war underway, it has become clear that our class has sufficient forces and fighting capacity throughout the world to be able to emerge as a political subject with its own program and to therefore overcome the system and its horrors.
  2. But it has also become clear, unfortunately, that in most of the world, from Argentina to France and with great force in Spain, the union playbook continues to be effective in preventing the extension of struggles in the vast majority of cases and in practically all cases, aborting the capacity for self-organization and the learning required for them to advance to a new level.
  3. It is not a mere question of combativeness. More eagerness, if possible, will not lead to more triumphs, in the same way that hitting harder does not improve the accuracy of the hammer's swings. Nor is there an indispensable need for a messianic organization that magically transforms the correlation of forces or boosts class consciousness by its mere existence. In reality it comes down to something as simple as having established previously a class fabric, with spaces in which to overcome the atomization aggravated by precarization and to nourish a class reflection.
  4. That is why our efforts, especially after the second organizational conference, in the summer of 2020, have been focused on building the foundations for broader and more concrete forms of organization as well as the form of organization necessary for propaganda. Although, as this blog itself demonstrates in part, here too we have not wanted to and cannot sacrifice too much effort. The technological development, the extension of the Internet, allows us to enter workplaces in the pockets of thousands of comrades who, like you, read us regularly. And to do so in times and at rhythms that in other times would have been unthinkable for a small organization like ours.

About focal points and the messages of the blog

Robot harvesters

AI-controlled drones autonomously harvesting the crop

The experience of five years of interaction with those of you who read us has given us the opportunity to correct and improve many of our choices, while at the same time strengthening us in certain areas, from content to style.

  1. We try to keep up to date and be part of the discussions that actually take place in the workplace and in everyday encounters. Many of them are obviously false discussions imposed by the opinion industry. But in all of them we try, sometimes successfully, to put them in the general context and class perspective that give them real meaning and significance.

  2. From the very first day we created sections to control and correct the tendency to forget about world current affairs in order to dive into the soothing waters of theory and critique of ideology. But also to remind us that technology, science and its ideological drifts, and on another level cultural products, are part of current affairs and we must be in it.

  3. But above all there are two wagers of which we believe we can be proud. Firstly, to introduce with its own space questions of communist morality and its antagonism with capitalist morality, fundamental in an era like ours in which the unbridled steamroller that capitalism has become feeds on atomization and loneliness to commodify human relations and crush lives.

  4. And secondly, but no less important and closely related, to talk openly about the future that defines and shapes us: the possible and necessary society of abundance and all the large and small things we can know about it by asking ourselves questions such as....

And now?

During the last few months we have been working hard. First to improve the robustness and capacity of the blog itself, changing the entire infrastructure underneath, both physically and programmatically. But at the same time to gain even more hours and capacity to lay our organizational efforts in new areas and places.

So now, as always, it's time to keep going and keep growing and learning. Militant work pays for itself, it is liberating and enriching. But when we do it well (which is why we undertake it every day) it transcends us. By contributing to the concrete but universal human needs of our class, it serves so that our species can have the future that capitalism denies it. It is always too little, but it is not little at all.

And you too can be part of it. Write us an email or chat with us on Telegram and let's start working together.