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Algeria, yesterday and today

Algeria, yesterday and today
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The tragedy, which Algeria has endured now for more than decade and which has already caused the deaths of thousands of proletarians, resembles a silent film without sub-titles where the action occurs without explanation. Who is killing who, and why are they killing? This is the painful leitmotif which the mass media and intellectuals of all persuasions are regularly serving up to a public which has become passive spectators; dazed, terrorised even, when confronted with so many wars, massacres, and famines - served up in gluttonous profusion just as they are sitting down to dinner!

The Berlin wall came down in 1989, but the number of global conflicts - which have never ceased despite the so-called victory of democracy in 1945 - has seen a brutal upsurge. The conflict between the USA and the USSR, or if you like between democracy and Stalinism, is no longer sufficient to justify the «cold war» to proletarians who are today witnessing a huge increase in the number of 'hot wars', and who have been betrayed for years by their legally elected representatives.

As communists, we know the monster of capitalism has fallen victim to its own laws. The global economic crisis has driven it to the wall and is preparing the way for the resurrection of its traditional enemy the revolutionary proletariat; still harnessed at present to the yoke of counter-revolution. History is on the march, and our old mole of communism still isn't out of puff. Unfortunately, it's the bourgeoisie which has declared war first and is dealing out the heaviest blows; worsening proletarian standards of living throughout the world, spreading armed political conflicts and insidiously transforming the class war into conflicts which are ethnic, regionalist, racist, religious and tribal. And Algeria is just one example among many where this process is occurring.

The situation in Algeria today, at thirty years distance from the accomplishment of the national revolt, can be registered as one of the lessons of the counter-revolution which confirm the correctness of the theses of revolutionary marxism, from Marx-Engels up to our party. Lenin's thesis is entirely correct which asserts that small countries with a relatively sparse population, having achieved national independence in the arena of capitalism, have little chance of escaping from the domination of the main large imperialists and obtaining a real independence. Even more correct is the thesis which reasserts that the ruling class which puts itself at the head of the bourgeois revolution in the colonial countries is reactionary from the outset, and immediately conscious of the mortal menace presented by the proletariat and the poor peasantry.

The communist party in such countries therefore places in the foreground the defence of proletarian interests as its main duty even when participating in the struggle for national independence, and never ceases to defend its programmatic and organisational independence, as recommended clearly by the theses of the 2nd Congress in 1921. The communist parties of the metropolis for their part should assist the communists in the colonies to preserve their independence by maintaining an intransigent attitude towards their own imperialist bourgeoisie. They should support and also criticise when necessary the revolutionary movement in the colonies, and continually work towards unity between proletarians in the colonies and the colonising state.

The French Communist Party, in all its Stalinist splendour, along with the CGT cops, are very careful not to follow such a path, preferring instead to impose on proletarians the duty of defending the «democratic» movement in Algeria and France against fascism. Consequently the Marxist tendency in Algeria has been liquidated and the Algerian masses definitively betrayed by the Evian Agreement, in which the French bourgeoisie transferred to its Algerian counterparts the task of organising anti-proletarian manoeuvres.

In 1999, setting out from marxist texts and numerous articles from our press from the 50s to the 90s, the party aims to show how our predictions for Algeria in 1962 were regrettably confirmed.
The end result of this insurrection - abandoned to its own devices, sold out by the French Left yoked to the interests of its national bourgeoisie, and lacking support from a betrayed and disarmed proletariat - the result of the long heroic struggle of the Algerian people, is nothing other than an aborted bourgeois revolution. The revolution of a bourgeoisie which has obtained a political success, but is incapable of rising to the elementary social tasks deriving from it. (...) the Algerian bourgeoisie, associated or not with France, is incapable of taking in hand this upheaval, unfit to resolve even in the bourgeois way, the dreadful crisis in Algerian society; it is incapable of giving land to the millions of people uprooted from their villages, and just as incapable of providing salaried work. In Algeria, one sees those contradictions pushed to extremes which, in the era of imperialism, have shackled bourgeois revolutions from the start. (...) Can't you see the dreadful poverty which pushed the Algerians to fight? And this poverty is always there; the Algerian bourgeoisie won't be able to solve it and millions of people, uprooted and without work won't accept words as pay. They constitute a formidable explosive force against which the Algerian bourgeoisie is already deploying its forces of law and order. Let them tremble, and all the eulogisers of peace: there will be no social peace in independant Algeria!
The only advantage of independence is that the mortgage is paid off: although linked to France by treaties, the Algerian bourgeoisie will never again be able to head off social demands with an 'initial down payment' of national independence, and questions can be posed on their correct terrain; the terrain of class struggle. Pushed into struggle by miserable circumstances, the Algerian masses will sooner or later break through the unity of the nation and ignite the class struggle in the whole of Africa. The African proletariat will then find the meeting point with the international proletariat, and as a result, the solution to all the problems of the Third World. As long as the domination of the bourgeoisie lasts, populations under their sway, whatever the colour of their skin, will never be able to emerge from the social crisis into which the irruption of capitalism has hurled them. Only the international dictatorship of the proletariat, freed from all contradictions and imperatives of the capitalist economy, will achieve that
» («Programme Communiste», no. 19, June 1962, and «Programma Comunista» of May 1962).

This is what our party proclaimed in 1962, and which we, as internationalist communists, vigorously reassert in 1999 faced with massacres perpetrated against the Algerian masses by bourgeois terrorism.

Source: «Communist Left», No. 14, Autumn 2000

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