Advanced capitalism leads to a centralisation of ideological power, to the atomisation of the masses—with the crucial exception of workplace-based union organisation—and to a weakening of old political and cultural organisations. During the Congress a delegate would reveal that: It tried in vain to come to an agreement on this point with a part of the maximalists, even offering to renounce abstentionism as a precondition. And if, nevertheless, an internal crisis were to break out, the causes and the means to overcome it must be sought elsewhere, i. A restricted circle of officers, lacking the prestige of leaders old agrarian ruling classes, new industrial classes , had beneath it a bureaucratized caste of junior officers petty bourgeoisie , which was incapable of serving as a link with the mass of soldiers, undisciplined and abandoned to themselves.

The ruling classes, however, reacted to the danger which the Vatican continued to represent for the State by giving themselves a unitary organization with an anti-clerical programme, in the form of freemasonry. Because these effects can, on the contrary, arise from changes in the general situation or from the action of residual social-democratic traditions, in order to solve our problems, we must admit that any difference of opinion not reducible to cases of individual consciousness or defeatism may turn out to be useful in preserving the party and the proletariat in general from serious dangers. This is not true, either with respect to the period which precedes the winning of power, or with respect to the period which follows it. In the following paragraphs we will examine the various problems we now face to show how we should work out the various norms of communist action in the present stage of development of the revolutionary movement. In the first discussion, Trotsky’s considerations on internal party life and on its “new course” were undoubtedly correct, and his observations on the development of the state’s economic policy were on the whole correctly proletarian and revolutionary. Amidst generalised confusion, and with the entire general staff of the KPD in attendance, Moscow decided that preparations for the storming of power should be made immediately, and even a date was fixed. Very often, their articles were peppered with phrases such as the following:

Discipline to the original clear, trenchant program had been ruptured. The middle and poor peasants of the other parts of Italy too are taking on a revolutionary function, although in a slower fashion.

gramsci lyons thesis

We have paid dearly for the use of an ambiguous phrase ‘ we demand a “third class burial both for the tactic and for the very expression – workers’ government”.

When the Ist International ceased to exist, Marxism had already triumphed in the working-class movement. All quotations from the Lyons Theses are by myself from Tesi de Leone. More and more the means of mass communication provide a direct intermediary.

and Introduction to Theses of Lyon

But Gramsci never denies the determining role of the economy in political life. Internal democracy is also relative to the degree of political capacity possessed by the local bodies, and by the individual tuesis working in the localities. Still less lyoons he conceive of the middle-class intellectuals as an ally on the level of equality with the working class.


Theses on the Tactics of the Communist International — presented at the 4th congress of the Communist International.

On several occasions the International has changed its conception of relations between political and economic organizations on the world scale. Thence derives a heterogeneity and weakness of thwsis entire social structure, and of the State which is its expression. The great strikes and the occupation of the factories took place simultaneously with occupations of the land. The Rome Congress demonstrated the theoretical divergence between the Italian Left and the majority of the International.

Faced today with the grave problem of a weakening of the class unions and of the other immediate organs of the proletariat, the party will call for the defence of the traditional red unions and for the necessity of their rebirth.

The lyon theses (1926)

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

gramsci lyons thesis

While it advances its programme of immediate class demands, and concentrates its activity upon achieving the mobilization and unification of the working-class forces, the party — in order to facilitate the development of its own activity — may present immediate solutions to general political problems, and put forward these solutions among the masses still supporting counter-revolutionary parties and formations.

From the time of the Rome Congress onward, the party had no further opportunities to pronounce on the policies and actions of the leadership.

Benito Lyonss, the ex-leftwing revolutionary, must have enjoyed what was going on gra,sci the Communist Party the only genuine anti-fascist party — not because it was democratic gramxci because it was anti-capitalist seeing the pro-Stalinist, and therefore pro-Russian, wing leading an extremely violent battle, pulling no punches, to overpower and drive out the revolutionary current from the party once and for all.

This group aligned itself with communist directives very late in the day, and would always display residual errors linked to its origins.

Gramsci versus Eurocommunism

The International originally supported the admission of unions to the Communist International, then it formed a Red International Labour Union. Once again, the Left raised its lone voice, firmly but calmly shunning local and personal fripperies. In the following paragraphs we will examine the various problems we now face to show how we should work out the various norms of communist action in the present stage of development of the revolutionary movement.

All the particular struggles led by the party, and its activities on every front to mobilize and unite the forces of the working class, must come together and be synthesized in a political formula which can be easily understood by the masses, and which has the greatest possible agitational value for them.


Gramsci versus Eurocommunism – International Socialism

In the course of these two years, proletarian internationalism had tried, for the last time, to break the encirclement of “socialism in one country” in Moscow. At the same time, we need to disenchant the proletariat of the notion that there is anything to be gained from a change in bourgeois politics, or that any help will be forthcoming from the urban middle classes. Among the tactical errors this critique avoids is advocacy of splits in trade unions led by class traitors, on the pretext that communists must carry out political splits with opportunists.

In France there was support for the leftist Cartel llyons the recent municipal and canton elections the Clichy tactic.

gramsci lyons thesis

We have seen — and we now arrive at the third aspect of the debacle — that running in parallel with the tactical manoeuvres in fact anticipating them to a certain extentand in the continued false belief that it was possible to speed up the concentration of large proletarian forces around the Party, a process had got underway of gradually abandoning the rigorous organisational criteria which the Twenty-one Points had vindicated as the necessary premise for constituting the International on a sound and consistent basis.

Instead of the proletariat marching under the leadership of the party the marching would be left to the army, led by the Kaiserist generals retained in their posts by Ebert and Scheidemann. The elements of the question are as follows: However, because of the prevailing social conditions in that country, the Russian revolution did not provide the general historical model of tactics applicable to revolutions in other countries.

Herein lies a remarkable example of the method which, rather than having particular actions derive from principles, prefers to improvise various new theories to justify actions chosen because of their apparent ease of execution and their likelihood of producing quick results.

Lenin has also produced a fundamental clarification of the theory of the popular movements in colonial countries and in certain exceptionally backward countries.

Marxism, on the other hand, poses the question in the light of an objective, scientific conception of society and history. But this substitution might not have been so artificial if the Ordinovist group had not detached itself from and finally aligned itself against the group whose traditions, as we have shown, converged spontaneously with Bolshevism, thereby making a serious contribution based on the experience thessis the proletarian class, not on academic, library exercises inspired by bourgeois texts.