Speech by Giovanni Scuderi on behalf of the Central Committee of the Italian Marxist-Leninist Party for the 40th Anniversary of Mao’s demise

Dear comrades, dear friends, it is indeed a beautiful thing to talk about Mao, the great teacher of the international proletariat who, through the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, as far back as 1967 opened our eyes about revisionism and reformism and pushed us in the great and epic mission to overthrow capitalism, achieve United, Red and Socialist Italy and lead the proletariat to seize political power.
It was a great joy for our eyes and hearts watching Mao alive in the video, produced by the Party’s Central Commission for Press and Propaganda led by Comrade Mino Pasca, which has just been screened in this bright red hall, where historic events of the PMLI were held, some mentioned by Comrade Monica Martenghi.
Such strong and deep is our bond to Mao that the Central Committee felt the need to pay homage to him, on 4 September, in his hometown—Shaoshan. This was made possible by Comrade Erne, who spoke just before me from this podium to report on his accomplished mission. We will never be able to thank him enough for this great service to the whole Party. Despite his grim financial situation, he even covered all the costs, in order not to burden to the Party’s scarce finances. Also on this respect, he is an example of what being with and of the Party, with Mao and the other Teachers, with the proletariat and socialism means.
Talking about Mao is necessary, essential, fundamental. It is like drinking fresh and uncontaminated water directly from the spring, cleansing our head from the slag of bourgeois culture. It is like having the compass of proletarian revolution in our hands. We must never grow tired of that. Not only during the commemorations organized every year by the Central Committee of the PMLI, strictly observing a decision taken immediately after Mao’s demise. We must talk about him in all the Party’s central, intermediate and grass-roots organizations every time we need to handle problems, especially the most twisted and complex ones.
My heartfelt thanks to the Central Committee, which allows me to hold the memorial speech every five years. This year I was given the task to discuss the topic “From Marx to Mao”. This is in order to clarify that Mao Thought has its roots deep into the thought of the other great teachers of the international proletariat Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. This is why we, as their loyal students, must take the opportunity of the 40th Anniversary of Mao’s demise to learn something more from their thought and their work, so rich in ideological and political lessons, absolutely necessary to do well and successfully the class struggle against capitalism, the bourgeois ruling class and their government, currently led by Renzi.
A long, uninterrupted red line goes from Marx to Mao on the theoretical, political, economical and organizational fields concerning the emancipation of the proletariat, the transformation of capitalist society, socialism, imperialism, national liberation wars. Of course, on this occasion we cannot deal with all of them, we will just emphasize those we need more today as to improve our revolutionary work and more thoroughly transform our world outlook.
When we will have an adequate number of Marxist-Leninist intellectuals on our side, as red specialists in the various fields of knowledge, we will be able to explain better, more extensively and more systematically to the masses, especially the proletariat and the youth, the great richness of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought.
As you know, Marx and Engels were the founders of scientific socialism, even though Engels, who thought of himself as having played the “second violin”, pointed out that Marx, who then was still alive, was “the man who first gave socialism, and then the whole workers’ movement of our day, a scientific foundation” [1]. Nevertheless, the perfect dialectic unity of thought that existed between them, beside a proverbial personal friendship, was a fact. This is shown also by the works they wrote together: “The Holy Family” (1844), “The German Ideology” (1845-1846), the “Manifesto of The Communist Party” (1848). They met for the first time in September 1844 in Paris, and from then on, over forty years, walked together “side by side” , as Engels said. Marx was 26, and Engels 24. They had already cleansed themselves, through different but parallel ways, of the influence of bourgeois ideology and religion, going from the Hegelian Left to Communism.
Marxism did not assert its influence over the workers’ movement all of a sudden and without a hard struggle against its slanderers and a number of Utopian Communist trends. At the beginning, the very term “Marxists” was used by Marx’s opponents, particularly by the anarchist ringleader Bakunin, who accused Marxists to be sectarian and authoritarian. Others took up the word “Marxists” improperly, since they were not really so, as it was the case of the revolutionary Marxist workers’ party in France. Marx was even led to proclaim: “All I know is that I am not a Marxist” [2]. It was up to Engels, although initially against the use of this term for fear of an excessive personalization of the Communist ideology, to legitimize it and have the First International adopt it. In a letter of 11 June 1889 to Laura Lafargue he exalted the event with the following words: “Now that we have been victorious, we have proved to the world that almost all Socialists in Europe are ‘Marxists’ (they will be made they gave us that name!) and they are left alone in the cold” [3].
For sure, Marxism, i.e. the thought of Marx and Engels, created a new culture—proletarian culture, opposite to bourgeois culture, i.e. liberalism. A new way of thinking, seeing and analyzing things and events, of interpreting world history, of understanding the relations between capital and labour as well as between classes, particularly the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, of considering capitalism and the State it expressed. Paramount was the discovery of surplus value, that is the part of the working day when workers give free labour to capitalists, the source of profit and wealth for the capitalist class, as well as of the exploitation of man by man.
Marxism did not fall from the sky but was born out of practice, of the struggle against idealism, religion and any idea above classes or arguing for class conciliation and cooperation, of the study of reality and what mankind had generated in terms of philosophy, economics, politics and science that far. Lenin clarified that Marxism “is the legitimate successor to the best that man produced in the nineteenth century, as represented by German philosophy, English political economy and French socialism” [4].
This is how Mao summed up Marxism: “Marx took part in the practice of the revolutionary movement and also created revolutionary theory. Beginning with the commodity, the simplest element of capitalism, he made a thorough study of the economic structure of capitalist society. Millions of people saw and handled commodities every day but were so used to them that they took no notice. Marx alone studied commodities scientifically. He carried out a tremendous work of research into their actual development and derived a thoroughly scientific theory from what existed universally. He studied nature, history and proletarian revolution and created dialectical materialism, historical materialism and the theory of proletarian revolution. Thus Marx became a most completely developed intellectual, representing the acme of human wisdom; he was fundamentally different from those who have only book-learning. Marx undertook detailed investigations and studies in the course of practical struggles, formed generalizations and then verified his conclusions by testing them in practical struggles” [5].
Lenin conscientiously studied the works of Marx’s and Engels’. He studied “The Capital” and other writings at 18, and translated the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” into Russian at 20. In addition, he gave a decisive contribution to explaining and propagating the thought of the founders of scientific socialism. Just think of “State and Revolution”, “Karl Marx”, “Friedrich Engels” and “Marxism or Revisionism”. Actually, no major work by Lenin fails to refer to Marx and Engels, that he considered his own teachers, the teachings of whom he creatively applied in accordance with Russia’ concrete situation.
In the wake of the struggle against Tsarism, feudalism, capitalism and non-Marxist trends in Russia, from populists to economicists, from Mensheviks to “legal Marxists”, including the world’s earliest revisionists, Bernstein and Kautsy; theorizing, organizing and leading the Great October Socialist Revolution; leading the first socialist country in history for seven years; and creating and leading the Third International, Lenin became the successor to Marx and Engels, developing their thought on all fields, including the essential field of the conception of the proletarian party.
Lenin, as Stalin said, “developed the doctrines of Marx and Engels in accordance with the new conditions of development, with the new phase of capitalism and with imperialism. This means that in developing further the doctrines of Marx in the new conditions of the class struggle Lenin contributed to Marxism something new as compared with what was created by Marx and Engels and with what they could create in the pre-imperialistic period of capitalism. Moreover, the contribution made by Lenin to Marxism is based wholly and entirely on the principles laid down by Marx and Engels. In that sense we speak of Leninism as Marxism of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolutions” [6].
Stalin, despite being forced into seminar from 16 to 20 years old because of his mother’s will, read Lenin’s first writings, in addition to “The Capital” and the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”. Since the very beginning of his Communist militancy he sided with Lenin, whom he personally met when he was 26. He actively backed him with important speeches and writings, in the struggle against Mensheviks, anarchists, economicists and populists. Lenin wanted him by his side to lead the October Revolution together, and nominated him to the post of General Secretary of the Party Central Committee in April 1922.
After Lenin’s death, Stalin saved the Party, the State and socialism from the assaults of the revisionists Bukharin, Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinovev and others who wanted to restore capitalism in the USSR. In the course of this struggle, which also echoed in the Third International and the Communist parties of other countries, Stalin systematized and developed Leninism for what concerns the party, socialist construction, the strategy and tactics of proletarian revolution, the struggle against revisionism, the national question, anti-imperialist alliances. Fundamental to this are his works “Principles of Leninism”, “Questions of Leninism”, “History of the Communist Party of the USSR (Bolshevik) – Short Course”, “Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR”. Grand and decisive was his activity during the Second World War against Nazism and Fascism.
We can rightly say that Stalin’s thought is an integral part of Leninism. Mao himself in 1942 said that “Marxism-Leninism is the theory created by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on the basis of practice, their general conclusion drawn from historical and revolutionary reality. . . Marxism-Leninism is the most correct, scientific and revolutionary truth, born out of and verified by objective reality” [7].
Marxism-Leninism was further developed by Mao Thought. Since the early age of 17, when he was a students leader, Mao strove to change the semi-feudal and semi-colonial face of China. At first, he did so in an idealistic way and on a bourgeois-democratic, reformist basis. In 1936, in the interview to the American journalist Edgar Snow, recalling his early experiences, he said: “At that time my ideas were a strange mix of democratic reformism, liberalism and utopian socialism. I had something like a vague passion for '19th century democracy', utopianism and old-type liberalism, and I was firmly anti-militarist and anti-imperialist” [8]. In 1957, at 64, recalling his pre-Marxist years, he explained how his worldview and his social practice were changed: “I used to have all sorts of non-Marxist ideas, and it was only later that I embraced Marxism. I learned a little Marxism from books and took the first steps in remoulding my ideology, but it was mainly through taking part in class struggle over the years that I came to be remoulded. And if I am to make further progress, I must continue to learn, otherwise I shall lag behind” [9].
It was the Russian Revolution that turned Mao’s life upside down, as he pointed out: “It was through the Russians that the Chinese found Marxism. Before the October Revolution, the Chinese were not only ignorant of Lenin and Stalin, they did not even know of Marx and Engels. The salvoes of the October Revolution brought us Marxism-Leninism. The October Revolution helped progressives in China, as throughout the world, to adopt the proletarian world outlook as the instrument for studying a nation's destiny and considering anew their own problems. Follow the path of the Russians -- that was their conclusion” [10]. This was also Mao’s own conclusion when, at 27, he discovered, read and embraced the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”, and immediately put it into practice mobilizing workers to politics. In 1921, the following year, he was among the twelve founders of the Communist Party of China. He fully prevailed within it in 1935, after a long and hard struggle against Right and “Left” revisionists, showing in practice the righteousness of his revolutionary political line, the correct path of the Chinese revolution.
Mao Thought first took shape during the First Revolutionary Civil War (1924-1927) and the Second Revolutionary Civil War (1927-1936). It was further developed during the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) and the Third Revolutionary Civil War (1945-1949), which ended with the foundation of the People’s Republic of China. It reached its apex in the next 27 years of socialist revolution and socialist construction in China, the last 10 years being marked by the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. An experience with a universal value, unprecedented in the history of socialism, whose 50th anniversary was celebrated on “Il Bolscevico” by the Central Committee of the PMLI.
Mao Thought encompasses all that was given by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, plus what Mao himself added to the common treasure of Marxism-Leninism on every front of the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and its revisionist lackeys. Essential is the thought generated from the struggle against revisionism inside China and within the international Communist movement, from the struggle against US imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism represented by Khrushchev and Brezhnev’s revisionist cliques that restored capitalism in the USSR.
Embracing and applying Mao Thought, in addition to the thought of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, even today separates genuine Communist parties from fake ones.
Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought will never cease to develop. It is a science, and, as a science, is bound to develop according to new knowledge, new experiences, new national and international events, innovations in class struggle and in the struggle for production. However, its developments have been mainly local so far. Class struggle has not produced a proletarian revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist experience with a universal value yet.
The PMLI, for example, has given humble contributions to Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought for what concerns the party, its electoral stand, trade unions, anti-imperialist struggle and anti-revisionist struggle, but they have no universal value, as they refer to the concrete situation of our country. They can be useful to other parties in a similar situation as ours, but not necessarily to any party. Quite similarly, experiences collected by foreign parties upholding Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought can be useful to our Party. We teach to and learn from each other at the same time. To this day, however, teachings with a universal character can be found only in Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, the only five great teachers of the international proletariat.
All of them are equally important to us, and we consider them all on the same level. The thought of each one of them is essential to change Italy and ourselves. Nonetheless, we have a very particular, specific and historical relation with Mao, as we said at the beginning of this speech.
Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought is fought not only by the bourgeoisie, imperialists, reactionaries and Fascists, but also by revisionists, i.e. its revisors dressed like Communists or even Marxist-Leninists. Old and modern revisionists of all countries have always tried to empty Marxism of its proletarian and revolutionary soul in order to turn it into a bourgeois reformist current and prevent the triumph of proletarian revolution and socialism.
Old revisionists were headed by Bernstein and later by Kautsky, but they were unsuccessful, because Lenin beat them black and blue, exposing them ideologically and politically. Of Bernstein, Lenin said: “Social-Democracy must change from a party of social revolution into a democratic party of social reforms. Bernstein has surrounded this political demand with a whole battery of well-attuned “new” arguments and reasonings. Denied was the possibility of putting socialism on a scientific basis and of demonstrating its necessity and inevitability from the point of view of the materialist conception of history. Denied was the fact of growing impoverishment, the process of proletarisation, and the intensification of capitalist contradictions; the very concept, “ultimate aim”, was declared to be unsound, and the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat was completely rejected. Denied was the antithesis in principle between liberalism and socialism. Denied was the theory of the class struggle, on the alleged grounds that it could not be applied to a strictly democratic society governed according to the will of the majority” [11].
About Kautsky, Lenin wrote: “Kautsky has in a most unparalleled manner distorted the concept dictatorship of the proletariat, and has turned Marx into a common liberal; that is, he himself has sunk to the level of a liberal who utters banal phrases about “pure democracy,” embellishing and glossing over the class content of bourgeois democracy, and shrinking, above all, from the use of revolutionary violence by the oppressed class. By so “interpreting” the concept “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat” as to expunge the revolutionary violence of the oppressed class against its oppressors, Kautsky has beaten the world record in the liberal distortion of Marx. The renegade Bernstein has proved to be a more puppy compared with the renegade Kautsky” [12].
After Lenin’s death, Trotsky, Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinovev and others stepped in, but they were readily stopped and defeated by Stalin, who refuted their false theorizations about socialist construction in the USSR and world revolution. It was up to Mao to face modern revisionists who came out after Stalin’s death. Internationally, they had Khrushchev’s clique and later Brezhnev’s clique at their core; in China, they were represented by Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping’s clique; in Italy, by Togliatti.
Both old and particularly modern revisionists alike do not tolerate the concept of the proletarian party, the dictatorship of the proletariat, proletarian revolution, dialectical and historical materialism, class struggle. Their policy was within the boundaries of bourgeois freedom, democracy and parliamentarism. Mao thus summed up the nature of revisionists: “It is revisionism to negate the basic principles of Marxism and to negate its universal truth. The revisionists deny the differences between socialism and capitalism, between the dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. What they advocate is in fact not the socialist line but the capitalist line” [13].
Mao played a fundamental role in exposing modern revisionists since when they took power in the USSR in 1956 through a coup d’état. In this regard, he said: “I would like to say a few words about the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. I think there are two ‘swords’: one is Lenin and the other Stalin. The sword of Stalin has now been discarded by the Russians. Gomulka and some people in Hungary have picked it up to stab at the Soviet Union and oppose so-called Stalinism. The Communist Parties of many European countries are also criticizing the Soviet Union, and their leader is Togliatti. The imperialists also use this sword to slay people with. Dulles, for instance, has brandished it for some time. This sword has not been lent out, it has been thrown out. We Chinese have not thrown it away. First, we protect Stalin, and, second, we at the same time criticize his mistakes, and we have written the article ‘On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat’. Unlike some people who have tried to defame and destroy Stalin, we are acting in accordance with objective reality. As for the sword of Lenin, hasn't it too been discarded to a certain extent by some Soviet leaders? In my view, it has been discarded to a considerable extent. Is the October Revolution still valid? Can it still serve as the example for all countries? Khrushchev’s report at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union says it is possible to seize state power by the parliamentary road, that is to say, it is no longer necessary for all countries to learn from the October Revolution. Once this gate is opened, by and large Leninism is thrown away” [14].
From then on, Mao fought unremittingly against Khrushchevite revisionists, who were also hiding inside the Communist Party of China. And when they started plotting to restore capitalism in China, he waged the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution right against them, exposing the “refined” phony Marxist-Leninist theories of Liu’s and Deng’s, on the one hand, and Lin Biao’s, on the other. What Mao said and wrote from 1956 to his death is extremely important in order to get a strong grasp of revisionism, to acquire a genuine proletarian world outlook, and to understand what really happened in the international Communist movement.
Mao also led the struggle against the revisionist leaders of the main Communist parties in the world, including Togliatti. Two historic editorials were written against him from late 1962 to early 1963, in order to completely reject the “parliamentary path to socialism”, so-called “structural reforms”, and Italy’s bourgeois Constitution. The first editorial, published on “The People’s Daily”, organ of the CPC Central Committee, was titled “The Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us”. The second one was published on “Red Flag”, the theoretical magazine of the CPC Central committee, with the title “More on the Differences Between Comrade Togliatti and Us”.
Many different forms of revisionism have appeared in Italy: first Turati revisionism, then Bordiga revisionism, and immediately thereafter Gramsci and Togliatti revisionism, then Berlinguer’s “Eurocommunism”, and finally the “refoundation of Communism” championed by Cossutta, Diliberto, Bertinotti, Vendola, Rizzo and Ferrero. All these forms of revisionism ended up generating the Democratic Party of the new Duce Renzi as well as the de-comunistization, de-ideologization and de-revolutionarization of the masses.
Currently, a new form of revisionism is the one expressed by the party of the quick-change swindler Marco Rizzo, who hides behind Marxism-Leninism while keeping Mao, his thought and his work out. This ushers a new stage of the struggle against revisionism, centered more on political struggle and political positions rather than ideological and theoretical issues. Because the above-said party, almost ubiquitous on bourgeois media, mainly on those belonging to Berlusconi’s Right-wing, has nothing to do with Marxism-Leninism.
“On the matter of world outlook,” as Mao pointed out, “there are basically only two schools in our time, the proletarian and the bourgeois. It is one or the other, either the proletarian or the bourgeois world outlook. The communist world outlook is the world outlook of the proletariat and of no other class” [15].
The foundations of the proletarian world outlook were laid by Marx and Engels, proving that matter is an objective reality, existing outside our conscience, and that nature, matter, is more important than the spirit; that it is matter that produces the spirit, and that it exists regardless of the spirt; that being comes first and thought comes second; that thought and conscience are products of human brain; that science gives us the possibility to know things through the experience; proving that all the hitherto history, except for pre-historical communism, is the history of class struggles between ruling classes and oppressed classes, exploiting classes and exploited classes, and that the bourgeois ruling class has already achieved its historic mission, so the proletariat must take its place to liberate itself and the entire mankind; proving that capitalist bourgeois society is characterized by the exploitation of man by man through surplus value.
Central is the following quotation of Marx’s: “In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production of material life conditions the general process of social, political and intellectual life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness. At a certain stage of development, the material productive forces of society come into conflict with the existing relations of production or – this merely expresses the same thing in legal terms – with the property relations within the framework of which they have operated hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an era of social revolution” [16].
The essence of the proletarian world outlook is represented by dialectical materialism and historical materialism. The first, which is the philosophical and theoretical foundation of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought, has discovered the laws regulating and governing the development of movement, nature, phenomena, things and the universe. The latter, which is the scientific and historical foundation of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought, thanks to dialectics, has discovered the laws regulating and governing the historical development of human society. Both are the opposite to idealism and metaphysics, which belong to the bourgeois world outlook.
Lenin with “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism”, Stalin with “Dialectical Materialism and Historical Materialism”, Mao with “On Practice”, “On Contradiction” and “Where Do Correct Ideas Come From”, developed the proletarian world outlook to the deepest.
All of us Marxist-Leninists, starting from the highest levels, have the revolutionary duty to acquire the proletarian world outlook in order to get rid completely and totally of bourgeois ideology, culture, moral, politics and social practice; to fully revolutionize our mentality, conscience, way of thinking, living and acting according to dialectical materialism and historical materialism, and banishing any form of idealism, metaphysics, revisionism and reformism; to give qualified revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist contributions to the building of the Party and the socialist transformation of Italy.
Marx and Engels taught Communists of all countries, clarifying the theoretical and practical reasons for it, that their goal is overthrowing capitalism and achieving socialism. Lenin, Stalin and Mao not only confirmed it, further developing that thesis according to the national and international reality of their time, but even put it into practice, making a clean sweep of capitalism and establishing socialism in their own countries, which are our two reference models.
Mao said in 1955: “Our aim is to exterminate capitalism, obliterate it from the face of the earth and make it a thing of the past. What emerges in history is bound to die out. Everything in the world is a historical phenomenon; as there is life, so there must be death. As a historical phenomenon, capitalism must also die out, and it has a very nice place to go to, that is, underground, there to ‘sleep’” [17].
Sincere Communists in Italy kept this goal in mind for a long time, especially during the Resistance and until the Great Revolts of 1968 and 1977. However, because of revisionism and not having correctly absorbed Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought, gradually socialism slipped out of their minds. This is also due to the fact that bourgeois and revisionist propaganda has gradually taken out of their language the very words of capitalism, socialism, imperialism. Now, though, together with the sharpening of contradictions generated by the economic and financial crisis of capitalism, which started in 2008 in the US before spreading throughout the whole word, including Italy, these words are circulating again and are debated, although they are not given a correct interpretation. In fact, that capitalism is not compatible with the interests and needs of the proletariat and the masses and must be destroyed as a consequence, and that socialism cannot be achieved without the proletarian revolution or remaining within the boundaries of the Constitution, is nowhere to be found in the general discourse. Usually taken as models are reformist social-democrats such as Jeremy Corbin, leader of Britain’s Labour Party, and Bernie Sanders, an unsuccessful candidate to the US Democratic Party primaries who has thereafter sided with Hilary Clinton; they criticize certain effects of capitalism, but they would never question its existence.
Axel Honneth, heir to the ill-famed revisionist School of Frankfurt, is one of the main theoreticians of the “need” for socialism today. But if we actually read his recent book “The Idea of Socialism”, we can understand that his is a classical social-democratic solution, if not a liberal one, as it aims at putting socialism together with freedom, democracy and fraternity above classes. Oddly enough, the historical role of the proletariat is left out this socialism, replaced by the role of citizens. The author, in fact, advocates that “it has long become misleading to consider socialism solely as an intellectual expression of the interests of industrial workers, or even as the loudspeaker of some constantly revolutionary proletariat. . . The sole and simple opposition between ‘workers’ and ‘capitalists’ is no longer a thing. We must also take into account, awarding them the same relevance and fighting capacity, the partners we love, the members of the family, and, on the political front, citizens”[18].
Also the Berlinguerite Enrico Rossi, governor of Tuscany and candidate to the post of national secretary of the Democratic Party, following the line of the above-said German author, has revived the word socialism, titling his new book – hot off the presses – “Socialist Revolution”. But his are only words, a fireworks display, when he says that we “must treasure Gramsci’s analysis on healthy capital and productive capital, that we find in his ‘Notebooks’ on Americanism, and I think this is the common ground between liberals and my idea of socialism”[19].
Socialism has nothing to do with this reformist junk. Socialism essentially means overthrowing the capitalist economic system and its state, institutional, judicial, cultural and moral super-structure, as well as overthrowing the bourgeois ruling class, to be replaced with a socialist economy, a proletarian super-structure and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
As we already stated on the 5th Anniversary of Mao’s demise, “Socialism in Italy also means abolishing the bourgeois Constitution and the adoption of a new socialist Constitution; suppressing the Armed Forces, the police and the financial police of the bourgeoisie and establishing the Red Army and the people’s army; suppressing the bourgeois judicial system and establishing a new judicial apparatus made up of and led by the people; suppressing bourgeois electoralism and parliamentarism and establishing a new electoral system based on the economical and productive unity (workshops, factories, agricultural enterprises, etc.), on the freedom and secrecy of vote, on the temporary exclusion from it of former exploiters and enemies of the people, and on the possibility to revoke elected officials in any moment, as well as establishing a system of people’s assemblies that hold executive power together with legislative power; replacing the old imperialist foreign policy and imperialist alliances NATO and EEC [the European Union was not born yet] with a socialist foreign policy based on proletarian internationalism, on the five principles of peaceful coexistence between countries with different social regimes, and on the alliance with Non-Aligned countries and Third World countries.
“Above all, socialism in Italy means giving all power to the working class, that must take the leading posts of the state from top to bottom, in the whole state machinery, resolutely and firmly using its proletarian dictatorship. Through its party, the working class must lead everything, from the government to individual institutions, from enterprises to banks, from mass media to cultural, educational and recreational centers. Nothing must dodge its control and its leadership, because only so workers can fully enjoy their right to work, to housing, to education, to social care, to recreation and to really live in freedom and democracy.”
The proletariat achieving socialism and seizing political power has always been the historical mission of Italian Marxist-Leninists, it has never left their brains. As early as 1967, when we started to lay down the conditions for the foundation of the PMLI, which took place ten years later. But we do not have the strength necessary to achieve this mission yet, because the proletariat is in a pre-Marxist state, completely unaware of its role as leading class or its revolutionary tasks. It lives, thinks, acts and fights as a class in itself and not as a class for itself, conscious of its own historical goal to get rid of capitalism, achieve socialism and seize political power, and aware that, without the leadership of its party, to which it has the duty to give all its intellectual and material strength, it will never be able to substantially improve its own living and working conditions under capitalism.
It is up to us Marxist-Leninists, persevering in our efforts and improving them, to convince the proletariat to awake to the awareness of being a class for itself and arm itself with Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought to fight against capitalism, capitalists, the bourgeois ruling class, their institutions and their government. It is no easy thing, given the few forces we have and our still limited possibilities, but it is what we have to do, keeping faith in the proletariat, and particularly in the new generations of workers. We must be faithful that, sooner or later, socialism will magnificently come back in fashion and that the proletariat will eventually embrace it.
The business, interests and objectives of Italian capitalism are currently run, protected and upheld by the Renzi government, which is burdening the proletariat, workers, the people’s masses and the youth with all sorts of hardships and problems of capitalism in order to drag the latter out of the crisis still gripping it.
Renzi does a lot of chitchat on TV, the Internet and newspapers, he exalts himself, behaves like a European and world statesman, but he has not been able to handle the problems of Southern Italy, unemployment, pensions, the issue of income-deprived early retirees, poverty, temporary jobs, the homeless, the youth, the students, the killing of women, taxes, tax evasion, corruption, hydrogeological instability, quake prevention, environment, mafia, immigration, hired hands in the countryside.
His neo-Fascist, liberalist, anti-union and blood and tears internal policy, as well as his nationalist, interventionist and neo-colonialist foreign policy, totally serve capitalism and the bourgeois ruling class.
He has concentrated all the power in the government and within his own hands, reducing the authority of parliament, and now he is trying to complete the establishment of the neo-Fascist regime through the counter-reformation of the Senate, thus fulfilling the plan pursued by the P2 masonry lodge, Fascists and Berlusconi. He must be stopped by voting NO at the referendum. This is a historic anti-Fascist battle that involves the whole people, including abstentionists, who in this case have the duty and the interest to go vote NO. Because, as the Central Committee of the PMLI said in its document on the referendum, “it represents a crucial turning point, as it concerns the final erasure of the 1948 Constitution and the remaining bourgeois-democratic freedoms, as well as the defence of rights and achievements attained by the workers and the people’s masses”.
Our Party must actively and untiringly take part in the battle for the referendum, uniting all the forces that can be united, joining the NO Committee promoted by the bourgeois “Left” while keeping our own arguments, that must be explained in the best dialectic way and with a spirit of unity. Until the referendum, we must focus entirely on this fundamental anti-Fascist battle.
Abroad, Renzi is following Mussolini’s footsteps. He wants to enlarge the political, economical and trade space of Italy and the influence of Italian imperialism in the Middle East and North Africa. This is why he has deployed considerable military forces in those areas, particularly in Iraq, and has joined the imperialist Holy Alliance that is waging war on the Islamic State, which fights against its control, as well as the control of Russian and Chinese imperialists.
Italy has yet to take direct part in those criminal strikes that hit even hospitals and civilian houses, carried out by the US, France, Britain and Russia in Libya and Iraq, only because Renzi thinks that, by keeping our military on the second front, the inevitable terrorist reprisals by the Islamic State can be avoided. Signs of future reprisals are already showing, however, and the innocent Italian people is going to pay for it.
Before this happens, once again we strongly demand that the Renzi government immediately pull Italy out of the war on the Islamic State and start negotiations with it.
An immense gulf divides the PMLI and the Islamic State in the spheres of ideology, culture, tactics and strategy, and we do not share all of its fighting methods, acts and goals, particularly terrorist attacks on innocent and blameless civilians. However, today this is a secondary contradiction if compared to the main contradiction of the struggle against imperialism, and therefore we cannot but support it, because it is the one belligerent which is right.
Of course, if and when the contradiction between us and the Islamic State will become the main contradiction, as a consequence of changes in the international situation, we will readily revise our position. For now, we cannot possibly side with imperialism, which is our common enemy.
With the “Jobs Act” and all the other counter-reforms of the “labour market”, as well as with the counter-reform of civil service and public school, Renzi has destroyed the bourgeois-democratic labour right and has introduced the Mussolini-type labour relations already brought into force in FIAT by Marchionne in the civil service as well.
Never in the past seven years had elapsed after the expiration of the civil service collective contract without it being renovated. We call on the CGIL, the CISL, the UIL [Italy’s main national trade unions, translator’s note] and the “rank-and-file unions” to jointly proclaim as soon as possible a general strike of eight hours with a national demonstration in Rome to demand the immediate renovation of collective contracts for the civil service, metalworkers, construction workers, textile industry workers, transportation workers and so on, to claim more jobs, an increase in salaries and low pensions, to defend the national collective contract, currently under attack by the government and Confindustria employers’ federation. They must not wait for the new state budget to be approved, as it is going to be in favour of industrialists and against workers and masses.
We are on the side of exploited and oppressed masses because their problems are our problems, because we are against any social injustice, because we stand for the abolition of classes.
While we convey our deep sorrow to the victims, dead or wounded, of the devastating earthquake that hit Central Italy, we strongly demand the government to start at once the reconstruction of cities that have been destroyed and to adequately compensate the survivors. At the same time, we warmly and thankfully applaud all the rescuers who have saved many human lives digging night and day with bare hands. A beautiful picture of the great heart of our beloved Italian people.
Renzi, on the contrary, is proving to be one of the worst rulers produced by the bourgeoisie, on the same plane as Mussolini, Scelba, Tambroni, Andreotti, Craxi, Prodi, D’Alema, Monti and Berlusconi. The expulsion of the National Association of Partisans from Democratic Party festivals in Florence and other cities because it is campaigning for the NO at the referendum, partisans not allowed to speak during the celebration for the liberation of Florence from Nazi-Fascism, the Mussolini-kind fertility campaign so seriously insulting for women, and the proposal to give the European Union an army of its own are all proofs of this. He must be ousted before he can do more damage.
Getting rid of the Renzi government is a necessity, but no one must bear the illusion that the conditions of the masses and the nature of society can be changed substantially as long as capitalism is in place. This would not be possible even if the Five-Star Movement was elected to the government, because it also is serving capitalism and the bourgeois ruling class. Otherwise, it would not be backed by important sectors of Italian and foreign finance and industry, also from the US and Israel.
What is going on in the Rome administration, led by the ambitious liar Virginia Raggi, with close ties with Right-wing elements, clearly shows that the Five-Star Movement is equally bourgeois and capitalist, albeit in a different cloak.
Terming themselves common citizens and not honourable members of parliament, as Five-Star Movement MPs, regional administrators and municipal administrators do, is a plain falsification, because they are also part of those bourgeois institutions oppressing the true common citizens. Their goal, as Raggi herself said when she presented her programme to the municipal council, is to “restore faith in the municipal administration. . . Rome, the capital city, along with its institutions and enterprises, must become again reliable interlocutors for everyone”.
For us Marxist-Leninists, central, regional and municipal bourgeois governments, regardless of how they call themselves and who leads them, must be fought and overthrown one after another until the conquest of socialism and political power by the proletariat.
In order to fight and defeat capitalism and its governments, a genuinely proletarian, revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist party is needed--strong, well-rooted and tied to the masses. Mao pointed out that “In the era of capitalism and imperialism, just such a revolutionary party as the Communist Party is needed. Without such a party it is simply impossible for the people to throw off enemy oppression” [20]. Dealing with the contradictions that existed within the Italian Socialist Party in 1920, Lenin wrote: “What is most essential now, in fact absolutely essential for the victory of the revolution in Italy, is that the Italian revolutionary proletariat should have a real vanguard in the shape of a truly Communist Party, one that is incapable of wavering and flinching at the decisive moment, a party that will concentrate within itself the utmost fervour, devotion to the revolution, energy and boundless courage and determination” [21].
Marx and Engels with the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” in 1848 laid the foundations for the party of the proletariat, Lenin mainly with “What Is to Be Done?” and Stalin with the above-said “Principles of Leninism” and “Questions of Leninism”, and Mao with “Rectify the Party’s Stile of Work”, “On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party” and “Combat Liberalism” all developed the proletarian concept of the party, particularly for what concerns its structure and composition, democratic centralism and he handling of inner contradictions.
We took inspiration from these works in order to establish the PMLI. Next year it is going to be its 40th Anniversary. We have walked a long way, entirely uphill, to build up the Party. But we have the energy to climb up the next even higher peaks, that require hard efforts and a more qualified commitment. Also because we have very few means and economic resources and we are covered by an overwhelming news blackout. Ours is the typical situation of pioneers breaking a new path among the incredulity and skepticism of watchers.
As Mao pointed out, “The political awakening of the people is not easy. It requires much earnest effort on our part to rid their minds of wrong ideas” [22]. This truth, that we can confirm daily, should not discourage us; on the contrary, it should spur us to keep on doing the earnest efforts to awaken the proletariat and the whole Italian people to the revolutionary struggle. We must keep to our historical mission; improve our work day after day, experience after experience, action after action, analysis after analysis, speech after speech, article after article, study after study; we must deal with the daily problems of the masses; we must apply the principle “Study, focus on priorities, take root; take root, focus on priorities, study”. All must be done according to the indications and measures of the 5th National Congress of the PMLI and the documents approved later by the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the Party. Aware that, as Mao, said, “From time immemorial, nothing progressive has ever been favourably received at first and everything progressive has invariably been the object of abuse. Marxism and the Communist Party have been abused from the very beginning. Even ten thousand years hence, things progressive will still be abused at the outset” [23].
In 1957 Mao pointed out: “He who is not afraid of death by a thousand cuts dares to unhorse the emperor - this is the indomitable spirit needed in our struggle to build socialism and communism”. Generally, PMLI members bear this revolutionary spirit and, except those who regret their Marxist-Leninist choice, resist against the sirens of the bourgeoisie inviting us directly or indirectly, even through partners and family members, to give up our Marxist-Leninist militancy and to step on the field of reformism and parliamentarism. Anyway, all of us, no one excluded, including the strongest and most determined among us, must strengthen our revolutionary spirit and Party militancy by repeated baths in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought and mass baths, striving to embody as much as possible Mao’s ten recommendations to Marxist-Leninist militants that were published and given the utmost importance on issue no. 27 of 2015 of “Il Bolscevico”. The first recommendation remarks that “A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist” [24].
New militants, since the very first day they join the Party, must be clearly explained these recommendations so that they may be fully aware of the ideological, political and organizational choice they have made, which necessarily leads to a radical turn in their lives. We must hold their hand during their whole period as candidate members, and leave it only after we are sure that they are able to stand on their own feet ideologically, politically and organizationally.
It is not given to anyone to be a Marxist-Leninist, but any member of the proletariat, the people and the youth masses can become one. We need the makings of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin e Mao, of communist martyrs of Italy and other countries, of the founders of the PMLI who are still loyal to the cause. The address by Stalin to the members of his party when he commemorated Lenin is valid for the members of our party as well. Let us keep in mind his words: “we Communists are people of a special mould. We are made of a special stuff. We are those who form the army of the great proletarian strategist, the army of Comrade Lenin. There is nothing higher than the honour of belonging to this army. There is nothing higher than the title of member of the Party whose founder and leader was Comrade Lenin. It is not given to everyone to be a member of such a party. It is the sons of the working class, the sons of want and struggle, the sons of incredible privation and heroic effort who before all should be members of such a party. That is why the Party of the Leninists, the Party of the Communists, is also called the Party of the working class” [25].
Our own experience proves that only those who truly want to change Italy and themselves, no matter the cost, are capable of facing and overcoming all the hardships and tests of class struggle, not to mention those of their own personal life, such as unemployment, loss of job, illness, oldness, family problems. This does not mean that moments of discouragement and pessimism are impossible, as it happens mostly to militants who are ideologically weaker and more sensitive to bourgeois and fake communist propaganda, as they evaluate the low growth in Party members, the triumph of socialism still far away in time, and the difficulties in getting the approval and support of the masses that already know us. But our militancy cannot and must not depend on these elements, despite their actual existence. Our revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist choice of life stands at the bottom of everything, and it must not be conditioned by the immediate results we hope to achieve. We must do anything in our power in total calm, believing that our work will be continued by our successors, both immediate and remote ones, that will carry on the revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist fire of the PMLI until victory.
The older among us have given and are still giving their all to the noble cause of socialism with the same revolutionary spirit of their first day of militancy, our hope is that young militants will do the same and will carry the PMLI even higher and even more forward. We have a strong confidence in them and we are entrusting them with the future of the PMLI. Let us work so that many more anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist girls and boys who want socialism may follow their example and join the PMLI as militants or sympathizers. We have a new world to achieve together. This is the most beautiful thing a true revolutionary can hope for.
At the moment, rather than worrying about when socialism will arrive, when class struggle will take a revolutionary turn, when the proletariat will side with us, we must focus on giving the PMLI a body as a Red Giant, making it take roots in and expanding throughout the cities and regions where we are present, so as to accumulate new strength to expand across the entire Italy. This must be our middle-term strategic goal. This is what the current class struggle and the current situation of our country demands. If we are not able to achieve this goal in middle term, we only must revamp it over and over, until we can reach it. Not everything depends on us, or on our abilities and commitment. In our hands we hold only half of the key to solve the problems, the other half is in the hands of class struggle, the proletariat and the new generations.
Square and streets are our ideal and natural environment of struggle, together with factories, countryside, schools and universities. Let us visit them as often as possible to spread the messages of the Party, to gather the demands, ideas, proposals and information of the masses, and to forge closer ties with them. The places where we work as a party must be known in depth and systematically studies, so as to enable us to come out with leaflets, documents, press statements and articles well expounded and based on concrete reality. This is what we did on the last municipal elections; in this case, the electoral programme and articles published by the “Mao” Cell of Milan were exemplary. When we speak and write, we must always bear in mind three things: best dialectics, arguments and research. Before we write a piece (document, article, leaflet, speech, press statement) on any topic, we must read the last piece written by the Party’s local chapters or central commission or by “Il Bolscevico”, and think whether it is right or wrong. If it is wrong, we need to correct it through the piece we are writing; if it is right, we must bring it up to date and see if it is possible to add anything else.
Our Party grows, strengthens, becomes wiser and more expert through the active ideological struggle between correct and incorrect ideas, views, proposals and initiatives. This dialectical process is absolutely natural because, as Mao noted, “Opposition and struggle between ideas of different kinds constantly occur within the Party; this is a reflection within the Party of contradictions between classes and between the new and the old in society” [26].
Contradictions among the people and antagonistic contradictions, so far, have been dealt correctly by the Party through criticism and self-criticism, in a frank, loyal and honest way and in a spirit for unity. We must do the same in the future as well. It is our strength.
When our views are not agreed upon, we must not take it personally, be overly dramatic or break ties with the Party. We must always wait for new events and facts to confirm our views. If every militant or active sympathizer broke their ties with the Party over any issue, even if important and relevant, eventually the PMLI would cease to exist. Who would benefit from that? The proletariat or the bourgeoisie, anti-imperialism or imperialism? Let us stay united and march together, helping one another to climb up the mountains waiting for us in the course of our political and organizational Long March.
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao left us a precious ideological, political and organizational legacy. Let us take advantage from it, all of us according to their possibilities and abilities, and to the post and the role given by the Party. Calmly and serenely, without anxiety, one step after another, learning from and teaching to one another, giving the best of us, holding high the banners of the great teachers of the international proletariat, of socialism, of anti-capitalism, of anti-imperialism, of anti-Fascism, of anti-racism, of proletarian internationalism, and of the PMLI.
When he was 17, in his German language essay as part of his school leaving examination, Marx wrote words that can still touch our mind and our heart. We only have to replace professional choice with Marxist-Leninist choice, and humanism and idealism with materialism. Here is what he said: “If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are sacrifices for the benefit of all; then we shall experience no petty, limited, selfish joy, but our happiness will belong to millions, our deeds will live on quietly but perpetually at work, and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people” [27].
Long live, long live, long live the great teachers of the international proletariat!
Take example from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao to change Italy and ourselves!
Eternal glory to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao!
With Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin e Mao against capitalism for socialism!
Let us oust the new Duce Renzi!
Forward, forward, forward with strength and faith to United, Red and Socialist Italy!
With the Teachers and the PMLI we shall win!
1 – Engels, “Karl Marx”, 1878, “Selected Works of Karl Marx”, Foreign Publishing House, Moscow.
2 – Engels, Letter to Paul Lafargue, 27 August 1890, “Works of Marx-Engels”, Italian ed.
3 – Engels, Letter to Laura Lafargue, 11 June 1889, “Works of Marx-Engels”, Italian ed.
4 – Lenin, “Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism”, 3 March 1931, “Collected Works”, Italian ed.
5 – Mao, “Rectify the Party’s Style of Work”, 1 February 1942, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. III.
6 – Stalin, “Interview With the First American Labor Delegation to Russia”, 9 September 1927, “Collected Works”, Italian ed.
7 – Mao, “Rectify the Party’s Style of Work”, 1 February 1942, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. 3.
8 – Mao, “Red Star Over China”, Italian ed., 1974.
9 – Mao, “On Correctly Handling Contradictions Among the People”, 27 February 1957, edited by the PMLI.
10 – Mao, “On People’s Democratic Dictatorship”, 30 July 1949, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. 4.
11 – Lenin, “What Is to Be Done”, Autumn 1901-February 1902, “Selected Works”, Italian ed.
12 – Lenin, “The Proletarian Revolution and The Renegade Kautsky”, October-November 1918, “Selected Works”, Italian ed.
13 – Mao, “Speech to the National Conference of the Communist Party of China On Propaganda Work”, 12 March 1957, “Selected Works”, Vol. 5, Italian ed.
14 – Mao, “Speech to the Second Plenary Session of the Eight Central Committee of the Communist Party of China”, 15 November 1956, “Selected Works”, Vol. 5, Italian ed.
15 - Mao, “Speech to the National Conference of the Communist Party of China On Propaganda Work”, 12 March 1957, “Selected Works”, Vol. 5, Italian ed.
16 – Marx, “Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy”, January 1859, “Works of Marx-Engels”, Italian ed.
17 – Mao, “A Debate On Agricultural Cooperation and The Current Class Struggle”, 11 October 1955, “Selected Works”, Vol. 5, Italian ed.
18 – Alex Honneth, “The Idea of Socialism”, Italian ed.
19 – Enrico Rossi, “Rivoluzione socialista”, Italian ed.
20 – Mao, “Rectify the Party’s Style of Work”, 1 February 1942, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. 3.
21 – Lenin, “On the Struggle of the Italian Socialist Party”, 4 November 1920, “Selected Works”, Italian ed.
22 – Mao, “The Situation and Our Policy After the Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan”, 13 August 1945, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. 4.
23 – Mao, “Talks at the Conference of Secretaries of Provincial, Municipal and Autonomous Region Party Committees”, 27 January 1957, “Selected Works”, Vol. 5, Italian ed.
24 – Mao, “Combat Liberalism”, 7 September 1937, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. 2.
25 – Stalin, “On the Death of Lenin. A Speech Delivered at the Second All-Union Congress of Soviets”, 26 January 1924, “Selected Works”, Italian ed.
26 – Mao, “On Contradiction”, August 1937, “Selected Works”, Peking Foreign Publishing House, Vol. 1.
27 – Marx, “Reflections of a Young Man on The Choice of a Profession”, 12 August 1835, “Works of Marx-Engels”, Italian ed.

16 settembre 2016