Skip to main content

The Future Lies in the Struggle

“Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks”. This is Karl Marx, a century and a half ago, but since then the reality of a capitalism that has grown senile — in the late maturity of imperialist society — has imbued those words with a disconcerting and practical truth. Through globalisation, capital runs the markets at all latitudes, seeking out, from two billion wage-earners, the surplus value that keeps it alive. Moreover, in the old powers where capitalism was first born, before spreading to the whole world and feeding new aspirant powers - eager to redefine the partition, the whole scaffolding of the social system could not stand without a growing share of migrants in the labour force. Described by Lenin, the analyses of parasitic degeneration and the putrefaction of a capitalism in its imperialist phase, are science, like that of Marx, and not simple moralistic invective. In Europe, America, Japan, the demographic winter impresses upon us the tangible reality of stunted societies, increasingly aged, that can literally only survive by importing young people.

Vampiric in three senses, then: at home, in the export of capital and in the import of a labour force. Such a society clearly has no future, and in the uneasiness running through public opinion, in the resentments and the populist anger, a vague premonition is felt. In addition, the shadows of new grow ever taller, China above all, making the status quo of the world order unsustainable and thereby undermining the security of assets, safeguards and protections.

A future does exist, but not in capital: it exists in those two billion salaried workers who are its contradiction. There is no area in the world that does not show, concealed or in sudden explosions, the friction and collisions of the class antagonism. There is redemption in that struggle but that alone is not enough, under penalty of seeing our class instrumentalised, seized with fanaticism and ideologies or suffocated in repression, as is happening today in Chile, Lebanon, Algeria, Iraq, Iran and India. The struggle is only the first step; only a communist and an internationalist strategy open the way to the future.

The Future Lies in the Struggle. (2020, January). Internationalism, 12.