The social revolution occurs when an intolerable conflict has developed within capitalist society
between producers and the relations of production, and there is a tendency to arrange these relations
This tendency comes up against the force with which the ruling class, interested in the preservation of
the existing relations, prevents them from being modified, a force represented by the armed defence
whose organisation and function are provided by the political institutions centralised in the bourgeois
It is necessary, in order for the revolution to carry out its economic developments, to overcome this
political system which centralises power, and the only means available to the oppressed class for this
is its organisation and unification into a class political party.
The historical aim of the communists is precisely the formation of this party and the struggle for the
revolutionary conquest of power.
It is a matter of freeing the latent forces that will provide for the formation, on the basis of the best
resources of productive technique, of the new economic system; forces today compressed by the
political scaffolding of the capitalist world.
The political work which therefore constitutes the raison d’être of the communist party has two
substantial characteristics: universality, inasmuch as it includes the largest number of proletarians, acts
in the name of the class and not for the interests of groups of workers limited to a profession or a
locality; and the maximum aim, inasmuch as it aims at a result which is not immediate and which
cannot be achieved piece by piece.
Certainly bourgeois society in its evolution offers other solutions to particular problems than the full
and final solution pursued by the communist party.
The very interest of the proletariat, inasmuch as it is contingent and limited to more or less vast groups,
finds in the bourgeois world the possibility of certain satisfactions.
The conquest of these solutions is not the business of the communists.
Other proletarian bodies, such as trade unions, cooperatives, etc., spontaneously assume this task.
In these limited conquests the communist party intervenes only in order to bring the attention of the
masses back to the maximum and general problem: “The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the
immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers” – says the Communist Manifesto.
After the revolutionary conquest of power, the latent productive economic forces, which were
pressing against the links of the capitalist chains, will be set free.
Even then, the preoccupation of the party will not be so much the work of economic construction to
which the marvellous sprouting of new organisms will bring a spontaneous contribution, – because this
constructive and innovative energy already existed, in the conflict between producers and forms of
production, which the political revolution will have enabled to develop – but it will still be the party’s
task to fight the political struggle against the defeated bourgeoisie but which will try to regain power,
and the struggle for the unification of the proletariat above selfish and corporate interests.
This second action will become more important in that period.
Today, the existence of the common bourgeois enemy centralised in the state, of the capitalist always
present in the company, constitutes the natural cement of proletarian solidarity which rises up against
the formidable organized solidarity of the bosses.
Tomorrow, when groups of workers in a company, in a locality, in a profession, will have been freed
by the force of proletarian power from the threat of the exploitative capitalist, before being pervaded
by the communist political conscience in its universality, local interests will be able to assume aspects
of greater gravity and arrogance.
Perhaps they seek here the reason for the Russian state of the soviets’ measure to dissolve the factory
committees, announced by the bourgeois press.
The most difficult problem of communist tactics has always been that of sticking to those
characteristics of purpose and generality mentioned above.
The tormenting effort to stick to the relentless Marxist dialectic of the revolutionary process has often
yielded to the deviations through which the action of the communists has been lost and diminished
into pretentious concrete achievements, in the overestimation of special activities or special institutes,
which came to constitute a more continuous catwalk of passage to communism than the fearful leap
into the abyss of revolution, the Marxist catastrophe from which the renewal of humanity was to break
Reformism, trade unionism, co-operativism have no other character. Today’s tendencies with which
certain maximalists, in the face of the difficulties of the overthrow of bourgeois power, seek a terrain
of achievement, of concretisation, of technicalisation of their activity, and also the initiatives that
overestimate the anticipated creation of organs of the future economy such as the factory committees,
fall into the same mistakes.
Maximalism [i.e. Bolshevism] will have its first victory with the conquest of all power by the proletariat.
First, it has nothing else to achieve but the increasingly vast, conscious and homogeneous organisation
of the proletarian class on the political ground.
Source: “Il Soviet”, February 29, 1920.