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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

PCm Italy–on the national question of Catalonia

Catalonia - Some notes and instruments for a revolutionary and class position, to guide international action and solidarity. -PCm Italy.

In order to correctly contextualise the question of Catalonia, we can not see in any way only the aspirations of a large part of the Catalan masses for independence or the peculiar characteristics that can make Catalonia a nation.
This, however necessary, would not explain why here and now this contradiction has reached a fundamental point, because it has worsened until the Spanish State is put in the dilemma between a new Franco dictatorship in Catalonia with a kind of military occupation, or national independence led by a fraction of the Catalan national bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie.
Marx and Engels taught us that we must go beyond this, we have to identify the link between the development of the bourgeoisie in Spain and Catalonia and the economic and social conditions that are the foundation of the current acute shock.
Therefore, it is impossible to adequately frame the problem without considering the economic and global crisis, the inter-imperialist contradictions and the role of the Spanish State, within the scenario of a Europe under the German leadership, apart from other factors.
A first point that must be taken into account is that the aspiration to establish oneself as a nation and affirm the factor of the nation is first and foremost a necessity of the bourgeoisie, particularly in situations within the imperialist countries. It is the bourgeoisie that strives to develop economically, obstacles and barriers progressively, and demands a territorial unity to bind the working masses and the progressive movement in their car.
In the case of Catalonia, the problem is not the feudal waste, but the government of the Spanish State contains in itself a "feudal" fraction, that is, the monarchy and the post-Francoism, which, although it is not feudalism in the strict sense, it plays a role of obstacle and brake for the development of the Catalan bourgeoisie.
Another element, which is always common in national affairs and in Spain in particular, is the weight of the organization of the Church, which in Spain is the Vatican, the Roman Curia which, as it had firmly united with Franco, now firmly takes party by the Spanish monarchy and the Spanish State, and therefore interacts, feeds the aspiration of independence of Catalonia.
Another necessary element for the analysis of the contradiction in Catalonia is, as Marx and Engels taught us, the profound study of the link between the national problem and the development of the workers' movement.

Here our point of reference can only be that of France in 1848; that is, in Catalonia we do not see an imperialist domination over an oppressed people of the third world, but a situation in which Catalonia is a capitalist country, not completed in terms of an existing autonomous nation. The necessary entry of the working class into this dispute requires that it appear in the field as an autonomous force in struggle for political power.
The need for the proletariat to enter the field of the current struggle in Catalonia is within a precise definition and a concrete limitation, based on what Marx and Engels stated in the   Manifesto:  "The workers have no homeland.  We can not take away what they do not have.  As the proletariat must first acquire political supremacy, it must rise to be the ruling class of the nation, it must become a nation, until it reaches as far as to become itself national, although not in the bourgeois sense of the word.  "
Therefore, it is evident that the proletariat in Catalonia is interested in a Catalan nation as a terrain for the seizure of political power; and in this sense, even in the current clash, his way of being in favor of the independence of Catalonia is radically different from that of the bourgeoisie.
Also in Catalonia, the proletariat must be aware that a Catalonia in the hands of the bourgeoisie is not its country, it would be the homeland of the bourgeoisie and the strata of the petty and middle bourgeoisie allied, and therefore also in such Catalonia, as well In this struggle for independence, the working class must lead its struggle on the union and economic fronts, as on all fronts, to overthrow the current ruling class.
Even within the struggle for the independence of Catalonia, the working class is internationalist and points to a society in which the economy is organized on a global scale and where not only the exploitation of one nation by another disappears but the antagonism of nations as such, because this exploitation and antagonism are always characteristic of the capitalist and imperialist economies.
The working class approaches the national question as a class that fights for political power, assuming all the problems of national life and, in the case of Catalonia, the issue of independence. But this is not a separate struggle, but an integral part of the more general struggle to seize political power and the emancipation of the proletariat. (See Marx in Italy / Austria, letter to Laube, May 1848, cited in "Marxism, the national and colonial question," Stalin)

The working class - as Marx and Engels taught us - takes part in national struggles, as in the case of Catalonia, not only as a social issue but as a matter of democracy. In fact, the referendum and the right to declare the independence of Catalonia are democratic questions, supported by a fraction of the bourgeoisie itself.
It is clear - as Marx and Engels showed us - that the position of the communists and the working class can not be the same as that of the false communists, who ignore or even oppose the national question of Catalonia, taking socialist arguments the side of the Spanish State. The struggle of the working class is best developed in a situation in which there is no oppression of one nation over another, also, in the concrete case, of an imperialist country.
But, the working class also participates for another important reason. The participation of the working class as an autonomous force in the struggle in Catalonia profoundly changes the terms of the problem, highlighting the contradiction between the class interests of the Catalan bourgeoisie and the interests of the masses. That because, always, also in the current Catalonia, the bourgeoisie subordinates, and will subordinate even more, the interests of the nation to its own interest.
It is important to mention the quotation of Marx and Engels of 1849 in Neue Rheinische Zeitung (cited in Marxism, the national and colonial question, Stalin), where they point out that in the Italian dispute, Italian independence could be lost not so much by the military power of Austria but rather because of the cowardice of the Piedmontese monarchy. We can compare it with the attitude of the current President Puigdemont in Catalonia.
This is also important in order to understand the core of the point of view of Marx and Engels, who did not limit himself to defending class action as an autonomous force, but also calls to draw conclusions from the conflict  "The mass insurrection, revolutionary war , guerrillas everywhere are the only means by which few people can win a larger group, and with which a weaker army can cope with a stronger and better organized army. "

If the proletariat as an autonomous class enters the battlefield and takes this as the means to face the struggle in Catalonia, it is likely that the bourgeois fraction that currently heads the movement  "instead of allying with the masses, will prefer to negotiate peace with his worst enemy . "
Marx and Engels teach us that in the current context of the struggle in Catalonia, the participation of workers is of great importance, even if they are not fully aware and even if they were small groups. Why is this important? Because it can be the opportunity to open the way and prepare the ground for the struggle for proletarian power in Catalonia, for a socialist Catalonia.
In essence, in a developed capitalist society, and Catalonia is, even in the face of national oppression by the Spanish State, workers have no country. However, in such struggle they participate and take sides on the national side of Catalonia, to advance the struggle for the liberation of the working class, which excludes any oppression and exploitation of one nation by another. This position is different from bourgeois nationalism, which aims to continue oppressing the working class and the masses in a national context. This participation of the working class goes against the positions that, in relation to Catalonia, consider the national question as alien to the working class.
Once again, taking into account the situation in Catalonia, the need arises for communists who want to lead the working class as an autonomous force to decisively confront opportunism of the right and of the "left".
The first defend the cause of the Spanish State, arriving at the conclusion that the Spanish State is the true framework of the class struggle, which naturally leads them not to take advantage of the Catalan crisis to intensify the class struggle in the Spanish State.
The latter distance the working class from the liberation struggle in Catalonia, leaving the field free for the bourgeoisie and contributing to maintain this national struggle in the field of inter-bourgeois contradictions.
Both deviations, in fact, break the unity of the working class, which, just in the situation of the Catalan crisis, would have the opportunity to get a good solid foundation in the Spanish State and in Catalonia, which will then allow the achievement of the objectives of power proletarian and socialism.
At the same time, it is absolutely necessary in the current struggle for the national independence of Catalonia not to allow any place for a position that considers Catalonia to be something different from a developed capitalist country. This would give rise to a vision of Catalonia as a proletarian nation because it is oppressed,  which is always a characteristic of the bourgeoisie and its reactionary wing.
Therefore, the struggle of the Communists against those who prevent the working class from participating in this dispute is decisive, both in the Spanish State and in Catalonia, particularly against those who paint themselves as leftists and / or communists.

Lenin teaches us that if the Communists today abandon the immediate and decisive struggle for the democratic question of the independence of Catalonia, they will play the game of the bourgeoisie, both in the Spanish State and in Catalonia itself. In the Spanish state, because they weaken the progressive struggle for the independence of Catalonia, which without the role and participation of the working class can not win; in Catalonia, because they leave the bourgeoisie free to tie the masses in their car. On the contrary, the role and participation of the working class will allow to formulate and implement the claim of the independence of Catalonia in a revolutionary and non-reformist way, and open the way, we repeat, to a socialist Catalonia.
For this reason, even in the face of the current exacerbation of the contradiction between the Spanish State, led by the government of Rajoy, supported in various ways by the other parliamentary parties in Spain, and the Catalan government of Puigdemont, we must not be fooled by the slogans of the bourgeoisies; these tend sooner or later to establish or line up behind other imperialist powers to achieve their goals.

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