Italy: SCR National Congress – towards the Revolutionary Communist Party!

From 12 to 14 April, Marina di Massa was flooded with the revolutionary enthusiasm of hundreds of militant communists, gathered for the National Congress of Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione (SCR), the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). This congress marked a historic turning point in the struggle for communism in Italy. During the discussion, the comrades of SCR decided to launch a campaign to build a Revolutionary Communist Party in Italy, which will officially be founded in the autumn and will form an integral part of the Revolutionary Communist International.

[Originally published in Italian at]

For months, through the campaign, ‘Are you a communist? Then get organised’, we have witnessed first-hand the growth of the ideas of communism among a layer of young students and workers, many of whom have already joined us in the struggle. The crisis of capitalism, and the war and the genocide against the Palestinian people, are pushing a new generation of militant revolutionary communists into struggle. The Revolutionary Communist Party will be their party.

The National Congress was held on the back of an extraordinary growth in the forces of our organisation, which has just passed its historic peak of 550 members, spread across 35 branches. Yet, after listening to the accounts that comrades gave at the Congress, it is clear that these numbers will increase exponentially in the coming period.

For weeks, congress documents were discussed in all branches, in the best tradition of Leninist democratic centralism. 23 local congresses were held, from Trentino to Sicily, which elected 97 delegates and sent a total of 200 comrades to the National Congress. Many of these comrades have only been members for a few months or for a few years at most. This is no accident. Since October last year, 140 new comrades have joined our ranks, with an average age of 21-22, and we aim to reach 700 members by the end of the year. In the face of these developments, it is difficult to refrain from exclaiming: “The communists are back!”

There were more than 90 political contributions at the Congress which, for reasons of space, we cannot reproduce here, but which showed the enormous political growth and enthusiasm of our organisation.

A world of crises, wars and revolutions

The Congress opened on Friday with a discussion on world perspectives, introduced by comrade Fred Weston of the IMT International Secretariat. As Fred explained, one cannot understand the situation in individual countries outside of the context of the world situation: capitalism is a world system. And it is clear that capitalism is in the midst of a historic crisis.

The reality is that the capitalist system has never recovered from the 2008 crisis and today we are witnessing the “breakdown of all previous economic, political, social and military equilibria”, as Alessandro Giardiello noted during the debate.

The world around us appears to be plunging into a chaos of wars and civil wars. In Gaza, we are witnessing a dramatic situation. The Israeli army has killed more than 33,000 people and the Gaza Strip has been turned into an unlivable desert. But, as Fred explained, the genocide in Gaza and the war in Ukraine are only part of the horror produced by the crisis of capitalism. There are 59 countries at war worldwide, and 108 million people have been forced to leave their homes to escape wars, civil wars, famine and environmental disasters.

The contradictions of the system are piling up at every level. The contractions of the world market are driving the various imperialist countries to line up in rival blocs and engage in a clash for a new imperialist partitioning of the globe. This can only create further chaos and instability and tragically affect the living conditions of the working class across the globe.

The parasitic and irrational nature of the capitalist system is also manifested in the monstrous growth of debt, which has reached 350 percent of global GDP. Today, the issue of debt is becoming increasingly central to the class struggle: the bourgeoisie seeks to shift the burden of public debt onto the working class, through public spending cuts, austerity and privatisation, which have provoked and will provoke mass struggles and revolutionary processes.

Fred recalled that in the first phase of the crisis that erupted in 2008, the working class was caught off guard and took refuge in the illusion that they could return to pre-crisis living conditions. This provided a mass base for the rise of reformist parties like Syriza and Podemos in Europe, and political figures like Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in the British Labour Party. But these reformist politicians, thrust into the limelight by the mobilisation of the masses, retreated before even giving battle, regularly capitulating in the face of pressure from the bourgeoisie.

Finding no expression on the political terrain, the struggle of the masses thus spilled over onto the economic front, as witnessed by the waves of strikes that swept across the US, Britain, Germany, France, etc.

At the same time, however, the betrayal of the reformists has produced a process of political clarification involving a whole new generation of young students and workers who have consciously set out in search of a revolutionary alternative to the present system. All this paves the way for an unprecedented growth of the ideas of communism worldwide.

Prospects for the class struggle in Italy

On Saturday, the discussion turned to the situation in Italy. In his introduction to the discussion, Franco Bavila explained that the processes of struggle we have seen in other countries anticipate what we will see in Italy in the coming period.

In recent decades, we have witnessed a dramatic decline in Italian capitalism. Faced with the continuous worsening of the living conditions of the masses, the Italian political system has become extremely unstable and is subject to enormous electoral fluctuations. Leaders and political forces quickly rise to prominence and just as quickly disappear.

In this context, Meloni’s electoral victory can only be explained by the discredit into which all other parties have sunk after implementing the policies of the bourgeoisie in the Draghi government. But this is a reactionary, homophobic and racist government, completely aligned with the demands of big capital and American imperialism.

As a matter of fact, Meloni is already losing support: the crisis of Italian capitalism does not give the government the margins to make concessions to the working class, and this is preparing the way for major social struggles. Moreover, the government’s countless reactionary provocations and repression are pushing young people and workers to become aware of the reality of the system.

Numerous interventions during the debate showed how explosive the social situation is. Mario Iavazzi, a member of the ‘Days of March’ opposition in the CGIL trade union confederation, explained the role played by economic struggles in the development of class consciousness. The renewal of national contracts in the last period did not even remotely lead to a recovery of the purchasing power that was lost with inflation, in a context where 9.1 percent of working families live in extreme poverty.

Mario also explained that healthcare in particular is a time bomb. In Italy, 47 percent of people have difficulty accessing medical care and workers are often forced into debt in order to get treatment. The disastrous situation in healthcare also strongly affects workers in the sector itself. In a geriatric institute in Milan, faced with the inertia of the unions, some female workers took the initiative to create a self-organised committee of workers to fight exploitation and the degradation of working conditions.

Just two days before the Congress, yet another work-related massacre, caused by an explosion in a power plant in the province of Bologna, killed seven workers in a horrific manner, only two months after the collapse of a construction site in Florence had killed five workers. These massacres, caused by extremely precarious and exploitative conditions, are creating a climate of insubordination in the working class. Nico Maman recounted the angry and combative response of the workers the day after the power plant explosion during the strike that had previously been called by the unions in Bologna.

Other comrades explained that the genocide of the Palestinian people, in which the Meloni government is complicit, is causing a very rapid process of radicalisation among young people.

Claudia Caiazzo from Modena explained that it is not only Marxists who are noticing the radicalisation of young people. In schools, headmasters and teachers are fuelling a climate of repression and authoritarianism. But repression often only provokes an opposite reaction.

At the Barozzi high school in Modena, a student was suspended for 12 days for criticising the disastrous conditions of his school in an interview with the local press. This provoked the anger of the students, who mobilised and managed to have this disgusting and arbitrary measure revoked. Claudia concluded by explaining that these repressive attacks on students, as well as Education Minister Valditara’s rhetoric that “students should study and should not engage in politics”, are leading more and more students to become aware of the oppressive nature of the capitalist system and to turn to the ideas of communism.

Concluding the debate, Franco explained how the crisis of capitalism and escalating social tensions are leading the ruling class to show its most reactionary face and reveal its parasitic nature. The state ‘shows its teeth’, as we have seen, with the wielding of truncheons in the squares, preparing for future clashes. All this is adding up to an explosive mix, portending large mass movements, and the turn of tens and hundreds of thousands of people in the direction of the political programme of proletarian revolution.

Towards the Revolutionary Communist Party

Sunday, the last session of the Congress, was dedicated to taking stock of our political activity over the past year and the launch of the Revolutionary Communist Party. As Alessio Marconi noted in his lead off, this discussion was “the necessary consequence of the three-day Congress”. For Marxists, in fact, “theory, perspectives and political action are inseparable from each other” and it is “through action that we put our theory to the test”.

During the debate, dozens of comrades spoke, enthusiastically explaining the extraordinary advances of our work in all fields. Reports from numerous areas described how our comrades conduct their daily work with growing confidence and conviction in communist ideas and methods. We have founded new sections, such as in Poggio Mirteto (Rieti) and Salerno, we have formed new branches, such as in Parma and Bologna, and in all areas we have succeeded in developing our work where we were previously not present, consolidating our activity in schools, universities and factories.

But these developments were only possible to the extent that our organisation was able to connect to the most advanced sectors among the youth and workers, offering them a coherently revolutionary political perspective. This has already allowed us to lead some struggles at the local level. As Francesco Favalli, from Crema, explained, revolutionary communists never stop instilling confidence in the possibility of fighting and winning, and this allows us to connect with the most conscious and combative sectors.

World School banner

In Milan, our student comrades led an internal march in a school, after outrage erupted over the femicide of Giulia Cecchettin, triggering protests among students. Our work among high school students has also been very successful in Bologna, where we have set up a new group of students since the beginning of this year, and in Varese, where we have students in 7 different schools and have sold 150 copies of our paper, Rivoluzione, in front of schools and on the streets in a single month.

But it was our internationalist and revolutionary stance in solidarity with the Palestinian people that allowed us to make a quantum leap in our ability to connect with young people and advanced workers and gain their trust. Antonio Maccariello, a worker at Bonfiglioli in Bologna, explained how we managed to become a point of reference for a group of workers at the company, who had been disgusted by the CGIL’s official position on the Palestinian issue, by organising a factory bloc with them at the march for Palestine on 24 February in Milan, despite the opposition of FIOM (the metalworkers’ union), which wanted to prevent us from taking to the streets with union flags.

Then, when the company tried to impose redundancy notices, justifying it with the interruption of supplies due to the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, the political work carried out previously in the factory allowed us to meet the clash with the company head on, explaining that the workers have no intention of paying for the consequences of the imperialist wars of the ruling class.

Even at Ups, in Milan, workers mobilised in solidarity with Palestine, coming into conflict with the union. Antonio Forlano explained how, faced with FILT-CGIL’s (the transport union) desire to prevent its members from taking to the streets with union flags, the workers replied: “We are going to the streets and with the CGIL flags. You don’t want to come? Well, we are the CGIL!” These examples show how communists can already play an active role in the class struggle, orienting themselves to the working class and, as Claudio Bellotti suggested, “merging” with its most advanced strata.

At the end of the three days, packed with discussions and revolutionary enthusiasm, the reports on our activities provided the best confirmation of the correctness of our ideas and methods, and gave a tangible foretaste of what the Revolutionary Communist Party in Italy will be. But the launch of the Revolutionary Communist Party cannot be just a name change for us, but must become a political campaign of agitation and propaganda to reach all young students and workers who identify themselves with the ideas of communism and who are looking for a party within which to organise and fight.

In his conclusion to the debate, Alessio explained that the launch of the Revolutionary Communist Party closes a historical cycle. Decades of betrayals and capitulations, first by Togliatti and Berlinguer’s Communist Party and then by Rifondazione Comunista and the PD (Democratic Party), have squandered a revolutionary tradition built through the blood and toil of the working class in this country.

But today, after years of patient work and the accumulation of a heritage of ideas and members, “we are preparing for a reconstruction of the forces of communism, starting with a generation that approaches it in a genuine manner”. “We have a historical objective,” Alessio concluded, “to bring down the capitalist system, an irrational system. Its collapse and replacement with communism is a historical necessity”.

The conditions for world revolution are ripe. But for communism to triumph, it is necessary to build a strong Revolutionary Communist Party that can lead the working class to seize power, to end the capitalist nightmare and abolish, once and for all, class society and the exploitation of man over man.

Join us in the fight for communism!

Long live Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione!

Long live the Revolutionary Communist Party!

Long live the Revolutionary Communist International!

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