Between the era of autocratic feudal power and that of the dictatorship of the proletariat, it experienced no real political rule of the bourgeoisie organized in a stable state belonging to it alone. It applied itself to real men, formed in specific historical relations, with specific feelings, outlooks, fragmentary conceptions of the world, etc. See the articles by Bordiga in PW. Not just any old party though, but the party of the proletarian class, the communist party, linked as though by an unbroken thread to the ultimate goals in the future. Once it had broken the first attempts by the proletariat and the peasantry to rise up against the State, the strengthened Italian bourgeoisie was able to adopt the external methods of democracy to impede the progress of the working-class movement.

Moscow had for a long time adopted a passive stance towards events in Germany, perhaps because of the lack of consistency and homogeneity of the KPD, but suddenly, in July , the International decided to sound the alarm about the fascist peril and express its conviction whether well-founded or not is another issue that a pre-revolutionary cycle was about to start up. It gives the toiling masses of the South a position analogous to that of a colonial population. I as the International Communist Party. The theses we are contesting would be correct if the programme and directives of a communist party derived from no other source than free discussion and competition between ideas, and the C. Words, as well as slanderous statements, and especially watchwords and slogans, have their own peculiar destiny. First of all, the conflict between the intellectual bourgeoisie and the industrialists was resolved:

But the problem is changed ltons the class that has appeared in the modern historical epoch, the proletariat, and for the political organizations – party and state – which must arise from it.

Gramsci versus Eurocommunism

He defended Marxist orthodoxydrawing on material from living History, and with his formidable exegeses on the work of the founders of scientific socialism, he dissected the corroborating evidence, provided by History in support of our common doctrine, down to the very last detail.

For Marx and Lenin, the definition of the party as the party of the working class does not have a crudely statistical or constitutional meaning: However, everything is done to ensure that precisely such an eventuality arises, and in one or two of the regional States, isolated in the great ocean of Germany whose central power is completely in the hands of the bourgeoisie and the more or less regular troops of Bavaria, eternal reserve of the German counter-revolution the party policy is to chain itself to the cart of a social-democracy with a proven record of betrayal.

The first period in the life of the Italian State was that of its greatest weakness.

What followed was only a dance of death around its coffin. In the relations between the different organs of the communist movement a two-faced politics frequently gains the upper hand, and a subordination of theoretical rationale to fortuitous motives, and a system of treaties and pacts between persons which fails to faithfully convey the relations between the parties and the masses, has led to bitter disappointments. What followed is well known: We have an grwmsci of the wrong method in the artificial solutions applied to the plight of the German party after the opportunist crisis inwhen whilst these artifices failed to eliminate fractionism they at the same time hindered the spontaneous determination within the ranks of the highly advanced German proletariat of the correct classist and revolutionary response to the degeneration of the party.


As the year progressed, the Russian opposition would find out what a terrible situation had been brewing for some time. Physical violence and police persecution are utilized systematically, above all in the countryside, to strike terror and preserve a thhesis of emergency. The first sign that the “star” of the counter-revolution was rising – N.

With hindsight it is clear that the delay in the formation of the revolutionary Party for which the other groups were responsible made the subsequent proletarian retreat inevitable.

Gramsci versus Eurocommunism – International Socialism

If not destroyed at the time, they remain today buried somewhere in the Moscow or ex-Italian Communist Party archives. By not making firm decisions, the Enlarged Executive endorsed the theses of the leadership of the KPD that it should become a pole of attraction for the proletarianized petty-bourgeois masses by nurturing their dreams of national redemption.

The greatest weakness of the State in this period consisted in the fact that outside it, the Vatican grouped around itself a reactionary and anti-State bloc made up of the landowners and the great mass of backward peasants, controlled and led by the rich landlords and priests.

Rather than the formula being restricted to the sense of conquest of the broadest strata of the proletariat, its meaning would be extended to include the conquest of “the people”, understood in a generic and imprecise sense, in general.

gramsci lyons thesis

The only freedom for the proletariat lies in its dictatorship. And soon the mixture of Sorelianism and Idealism a la Benedetto Croce, advocated by the Ordine Nuovo current, would also be given the green light.

gramsci lyons thesis

Evidence for this increasingly widespread corruption of principles is not in short supply and can be summed up briefly as follows: Suddenly in July the International, for a long time indifferent to developments in the German situation – perhaps due to its awareness that the KPD lacked any cohesiveness and homogeneity – became alarmed by the fascist grsmsci, and also stated its conviction perhaps well-founded that a pre-revolutionary cycle was about to begin.

In such situations, to attempt to be a mass party at any price, to be a majority party, to attempt with all one’s strength to have a predominant political influence, can only lead to renunciation communist principles and methods in favour of social-democratic petty-bourgeois politics.

But it would be just as easy for the latter to respond that, thesjs errors apart, they had in fact been abiding by Comintern directives, themselves conforming to the resolutions of the 4th Congress.

The establishment of the industrial-agrarian dictatorship posed the problem of revolution in its real terms, determining its historical conditions. It cannot even be established that in general the most advantageous conditions for fertile work by the communist party are realized by certain kinds of bourgeois regime e.


gramsci lyons thesis

The reaction from Moscow was by now almost predictable. Not only must any aggression be prevented and pressure brought to bear on the bourgeois states as regards their relations with Russia, but it is especially necessary that the Russian party be assisted by its sister parties in resolving its problems. The reflux of the revolution in the West and the opportunist theorisations concocted to explain it would spawn the monstrosity of “socialism in one country”.

The Lyons Theses, Amadeo Bordiga

The working class and its party cannot do without intellectuals, nor can they ignore the problem of grouping around themselves and giving a lead to all those elements who, in one way or another, are driven to rebel against capitalism.

But rather than contrasting the vile decentralisation of the “national ways” to the necessity of centralisation, we demanded a transposition onto the international scale of our vision of ” organic centralism”. It was held that, since the unions were the best point of contact with the masses, each communist party should struggle for trade-union unity and therefore not create its own unions through scissions from unions led by the yellows, nevertheless on the International level the Bureau of the Amsterdam International was to be considered and treated not as an organisation of the proletarian masses, but as a counter-revolutionary political organ of the League of Nations.

It is the expression of a profound pessimism concerning the revolutionary capacities of the working class.

The lyon theses (1926)

The 4th congress of the International lay at the point of lgons between a year of bitter defeats and another extremely tormented year during which the glorious Russian party was shaken by a serious international crisis that could only have been overcome by the steely firmness of a Lenin the Letters to the Congress in demonstrate that the great revolutionary, without hesitation or remorse, would have administered a vigorous thrashing if he had been able to take his place at the head of the central committeebut also a year that witnessed a revival hramsci class struggles in Germany, Bulgaria and Estonia and the first sparks of a conflagration in the East.

What we deny is thezis that we can reduce the party’s collective effort and work to define its own tactical rules, and demand of it a pure and simple obedience to a man, htesis committee or to a single party of the International and its traditional leading apparatus. We have to admit that every differentiation of opinion not reducible to cases of conscience, or personal defeatism, may develop a useful function in the resolution of our problems and protect the party, and the proletariat in general, from grave dangers.

All our experience shows us that whenever the proletariat gets enthusiastic about the vicissitudes of bourgeois politics, opportunism triumphs.