Proletarians of all countries, unite!
Imperialism in Crisis: The Growing Torrent of Repudiation and the Crisis in Parliamentarism
2022 Italian General Election
“… the historical main tendency is the fusion of the People’s War led by the Party, with that great torrent represented by the millions of non registered, non voting and those blank or null vote casters; this is the torrent, which the Party is helping to structure as part of the sea of masses which necessarily will sweep away the old order of exploitation and oppression.”
– The Communist Party of Peru, “Elections, no! People’s war, Yes!”, 1990
Elections is the method to renew the government administration of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, i.e. renew its mediators. Like Marx aptly pointed out: “Every few years the oppressed are authorized to decide which members of the oppressor class will represent and crush them in parliament!” The bourgeois parties are instruments in the service of maintaining the established order, its preservation and evolution.
With imperialism, nations changed from being principally political entities to becoming principally economic entities. This change of substance brought about a crisis in the political state.
Imperialism is the highest and final stage of capitalism also has its sub-stages, and today it is in an advanced stage of decomposition and in its general and final crisis in which it will be swept away. The World Proletarian Revolution is in the stage of Strategic Offensive. This is characteristically expressed in the tendency of those below refusing to live as before and those above being unable to rule as before.
On September 25th, general elections were held in Italy, an electoral farce characteristically expressive of the epoch we are in. It is taking place in the context of the cyclical crisis and of the general and final crisis of imperialism, which is in advanced stage of decomposition – and with it the deepening crisis in parliamentarism. The election was a so-called snap election, held after the failure and impasse of the previous government headed by Mario Draghi, and the subsequent dissolution of parliament. Emerging as the farcical “victor” with the claim of so-called majority is the “Brothers of Italy” party headed by Giorgia Meloni, with 26% of the votes, which amounts to a mere 15.8% of the total population eligible to vote.
The outcome of the election is in accordance with the general tendency of vote dispersal and indefiniteness. More important, however, the results shows the highest rate of absenteeism in the history of the Republic of Italy, with 36.1% abstaining from voting. Together with the null or blank votes of 4,45%, this amounts to a staggering 40,57%. That means, 24.77% more abstained from voting or submitted null or blank votes, than voted for the “victorious party”. This clearly illustrates the farcical and demagogic character of this so-called “victory” of the “majority” vote, and the bourgeois so-called “representative democracy”.
Selected Statistics From the 25 September 2022 Chamber of Deputies election results
|Percentage of the total population eligible to vote (46,021,956)
|Brothers of Italy (FdI)
|15.86 The “centre-right” coaliton received 26.72 in total.
|7,302,517 The “centre-right” coaliton received 12,300,244 in total.
|Democratic Party – IDP (PD–IDP)
|11.63 The “centre-left” coalition received 15.94 in total.
|5,356,180 The “centre-left” coalition received 7,337,975 in total.
|Five Star Movement (M5S)
|Invalid / blank / unassigned votes
|Total abstainers and blank or null vote casters
It reaffirms the lack of legitimacy of the Italian imperialist state and its bourgeois government in the eyes of the masses, and it shows the rejection, indifference or repudiation of the masses towards the farcical elections and the bourgeois state. It is symptomatic of the crisis in parliamentarism which is manifesting on a global scale. The crisis in parliamentarism in the case of Italy is seen clearly in the series of events leading up to the September 25th general elections, in a period marked by the impotency from hung parliaments, indefiniteness, dispersion and factional struggle, as well as appointments and dismissals of cabinets as well as leaders within various parties.
In the 2018 general election resulted in a hung parliament, that is, no party was able to acquire a so-called clear majority. Only after protracted negotiations was it possible to establish a new government, headed by Guiseppe Conte. However, this new majority could not hold up against the tendency of struggle and dispersion. A leap in the internal contradiction of the new government occurred, and on August 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the Lega Nord party announced a motion of no confidence against Conte.
Prime Minister Conte resigned his post to Sergio Mattarella and Mattarella initiated consultations with the parliamentary groups. The outcome of the consultations was indefinite, and so a second round was initiated, which resulted in Conte receiving once more the task of forming a new cabinet. The new cabinet was announced on September 4th 2019.
In January 2021, the party Italia Viva withdrew support for Conte’s government, which instigated a government crisis, in which Conte was unable to acquire a clear majority in the senate. After negations to form a third cabinet headed by Conte failed, Mario Draghi, former president of the European Central Bank, was appointed Prime Minister on February 13th. He formed a cabinet consisting of various independent technocrats and politicians from the various parties, with Brothers of Italy being the only major party in the opposition.
The tendency of dispersion and internal struggle would continue and develop, eventually leading in the “Five Star Movement” party withdrawing support for the government on July 14th of this year. Prime Minister Draghi resigned, president Mattarella dissolved the parliament, and the snap election of September 25th was called for.
Meloni and Brothers of Italy are accused by some of being fascist. Whether or not this is an accurate characterization can only be assessed through a general analysis of the positions, proposals and programmes of the Brothers of Italy, but that is beyond the scope of this article. We see however clearly the tendency of reactionarization; of corporatisation and the consequent negation of parliamentarism – so characteristic of the advanced stage of decomposition of imperialism. This paves in perspective in the direction of fascism.
We maintain that we must not place all the weight in the statistics, in quantity, although they reflect something from the quality. But, not all. The principal aspect is the quality, in the impotency and contention of the bourgeois governments in their role, in the crises, in the deepest and broadest masses, the class, refusing to live as before, in rebelling, in rejecting or repudiating the electoral farce and the bourgeois state.
The parties and coalitions in the bourgeois governments represent various factions and sectors within the bourgeoisie, and in the case of Italy, the imperialist (i.e. monopoly, big) bourgeoisie. Particularly in this period we are in, this comes to expression in a worsening state of collusion and struggle, increased struggle between and inside the parties, that is, struggle over which methods to employ in for the preservation and evolution of the old order. Their days are numbered. They are trembling. With imperialism, they are on a sinking ship, and with this pressure, the internal contradictions among them is expressed in this sharpening internal struggle. The inter-factional contradictions in the big bourgeoisie over the ultimately futile methods for the preservation and evolution of the old order is becoming increasingly more unreconciliatory.
With this crisis in parliamentarism, the state becomes weaker in its foundations, and will have to rely more and more on its armed and repressive forces, and thus it becomes clearer to the people that the armed forces are the backbone of the state, and that every state sustains, defends and develops itself by the use of violence, in the face of which the people need revolutionary violence.
In synthesis, we see that the reactionaries have to develop their electoral processes, which for them represent more problems, including worsening collusion and struggle among them over methods of preserving and developing the old order. This causes the decrepit parliamentary system to rot even more. The old state loses legitimacy among the masses. The foundations of the old state is weakened and through this process it is forced to rely and sustain itself more and more on its armed forces, on blunt repressive force, exposing clearer its character and demarcating itself from the people. The answer to the violence of the reaction to sustain, develop and defend the old order is and will be met by its developing opposite, the revolutionary violence of the people to overthrow the old order.
The rotten nature of imperialism, the decrepit bourgeois parliament and its farcical elections call for the boycott of the elections, it calls for People’s War. Juxtapose this with “The position of Proletarian Communists on the political elections underway in Italy”:
“Abstention is not the answer. It is an objective necessity within the concrete analysis of the concrete situation of these elections, but what is needed is participation, organisation, the passage from a passive position to an active one, both general and capillary, even individual, if we look at the state of consciousness and practice of the proletariat and the broad masses in the reality of our country.
The most exploited sectors are passive, the factories are still generally passive, certainly with hotbeds burning in their ranks that must be sustained and nourished, but this passivity has only one alternative, which is activity and not mere electoral abstentionism.”
We have our eyes, we have our senses. Still, there are those who refuse to see. History will march past them as they are left on the garbage heap of history. The storm is coming. The wind is howling in the tower.
“Brothers of Italy” has previously pushed for a ban on “apologia for communism”. The reactionaries claim communism is impossible and obsolete, and they declared it dead long ago. Why are they then calling for intensified repression against those deemed communist? We are advancing toward our objectively necessary and historically defined goal. We are living in the Strategic Offensive of the World Proletarian Revolution, in a new period of revolutions, in which imperialism and reaction will be swept away from the face of the earth. Make no question about it, the spectre is haunting them now more than ever. Like our great founder Marx declared already with our Manifesto of 1848: “Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries unite!”