May 20, 2024

The following text is translated from the Cuadernillo del Nuevo Militante (New Militant’s Booklet) of the Collectives of Communist Youth (Colectivos de Jóvenes Comunistas, CJC). The CJC is the youth organization of the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE). The reproduced text below includes portions of sections or entire sections of sections IV through VIII with their original footnotes.

IV. OUR CONCEPTION OF THE WORLD: MARXISM AND ITS THREE INTEGRAL PARTS

Marxism draws primarily from three theoretical sources: German philosophy, English political economy, and utopian socialism and communism. However, we must avoid compartmentalizing Marxism into separate “departments.” When studying it, especially as beginners, we tend to divide it into parts: philosophy, political economy, theory of revolution, etc. Yet, this “fragmentation,” which serves primarily as a pedagogical tool, should never be interpreted as Marxism being a mere sum of isolated parts.

Far from that, those philosophical, theoretical, and political proposals were reflections of a historical social practice that Marxism synthesizes into a comprehensive and scientific worldview. That is why Marxists speak of our understanding of the world as a “cosmovision,” as reality cannot be reduced to disconnected and independent fragments. In other words, the economy cannot be solely explained by economics, and the political evolution of societies does not depend solely on politicians and their actions or political ideas, etc.

Marxists argue that each dimension of material reality can only be understood in relation to the other dimensions of reality. Reality forms an organic and inseparable totality where different “spheres” are moments of its movement and interconnectedness. For example, the political transformations of societies are determined by the underlying economic relationships.

As an example of the latter, we can say that we will not properly understand capitalist society if we believe that its economic and political relations are natural and have always been there. On the contrary, we are correct in conceiving it as a specific socio-economic formation that not only has not existed throughout history but has also not remained constant in its characteristics throughout its lifespan. Marx and Engels made a significant contribution in this regard by incorporating the historical element into the study of human societies.

From German philosophy to dialectical materialism 

As we were saying, the first integral part consists of the philosophy of Marxism. Philosophy is a collection of systems of ideas that, throughout the different phases of social development, have sought to provide answers to the various problems that have arisen for humanity. The relationship between thought and being is the fundamental problem of philosophy, and the answer to this question, depending on whether priority is given to matter or thought, has given rise to two historical lines of thought: materialism and idealism.

The philosophy of Marxism, dialectical materialism, draws from the philosophy of the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly from G. Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel [1] and Ludwig Feuerbach [2]. In an initial approximation, we can say that Marx takes from Hegel the dialectical system or method, and from Feuerbach (among others) he takes materialism. It is worth noting that these were by no means the only political and philosophical influences or references, although they are among the most significant ones. These authors are used particularly, in addition to their importance, for pedagogical purposes, to illustrate more easily the currents that immediately preceded Marxism and the progress it represents in relation to them.

Lenin states that dialectics is the doctrine of development in its most complete, profound, and free form, the doctrine regarding the relativity of human knowledge. In other words, it is that philosophical system or method which, far from emphasizing the immobility of matter or ideas, understands that the only eternal thing is the movement of matter itself. Along with this, as Engels said, dialectics understands that material reality, far from being a collection of finished, fixed, and isolated objects and phenomena, is a set of processes. That is, dialectics places emphasis on the interactions and feedback between elements of material reality and the ongoing development derived from these interactions and internal processes, based on “contradictions.” Therefore, the dialectical method, in a very concise form, can be understood as the method that recognizes everything is in perpetual motion and change, that matter and phenomena exist in interconnectedness, and that they transform based on processes of contradiction, that is, unity and struggle. Thus, dialectics states that reality has three fundamental traits: movement, interconnection, and contradiction. Returning to what we said at the beginning of this section, Marxists insist that our understanding of the world is a “cosmovision” precisely because we pay attention to the dialectical nature of reality itself: everything is in constant change and interconnectedness.

On the other hand, materialism establishes that matter is what ultimately determines ideas, not the other way around. Moving away from the abstract realm and applying it to the study of societies, this means that “social being” determines our “consciousness.” In other words, the material relations among human beings (how we produce, who produces, who appropriates what is produced, etc.) are what determine our social organization and politics. In the realm of the social, the material-idea relationship materializes in the organic connection between the “infrastructure” (or productive base) and the “superstructure” (institutions, ideology, culture, etc.). The latter expresses and is defined according to the contours and relations of the former.

Economic relations throughout history explain everything from the family to the State, including political struggles, revolutions, ideological conflicts, and more. However, this does not mean that the political context, cultural traditions, customs, and even individualities do not influence our societies and their evolution. They have an active role; a limited and conditioned role, but still active. For example, although the essence of societies and the changes that occur within them depend on economic relations, a specific political context can sometimes hinder economic progress or explain why certain aspects of a country’s economy face more obstacles and institutional barriers compared to other countries. Marxists give primacy to material factors over ideals in explaining the world, but we do not advocate for one-directional or mechanical explanations. It is a dialectical relationship: mutual influence, even if one side holds greater weight in the equation.

Engels presents dialectical materialism in a relatively accessible manner in his works “Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy” and “Anti-Dühring.” For a more detailed and profound exposition of the fundamental concepts and theses of dialectical materialism, it is recommended to read “Dialectics of Nature,” also written by Engels.

From English political economy to Marxist political economy

The application of dialectical materialism to the study of human societies and their history results in what we call “historical materialism.” Within it, and as we mentioned before, political economy is the fundamental piece. Marx dedicated his great and principal work, “Capital,” to the study of the economic system of capitalist society. He built upon the work of two English economists, Adam Smith and David Ricardo [3], taking their elaborations on labor and value, continuing their theories, but also pushing them to their ultimate consequences and, thereby, surpassing the formulations of both authors. 

This led to the theory of “labor value,” which is of paramount importance in Marxist political economy. What Marx primarily discovered was that where bourgeois economists saw relationships between objects (commodity exchange), there were, in truth, relationships between people. By way of example, while for a bourgeois economist buying bread is merely an exchange of commodities, for Marx, this exchange encompasses a whole series of social relations of production and exchange, such as those that arise between the bakery owner and the workers, or the relations between the bakery owner and the nearby office worker who comes to buy bread, or the relationship between the office worker and the owner of the company where they work.

In capitalist society, the wage laborer sells their labor power to the owner of land, factory, company, etc., in exchange for a wage. That is, they sell their labor power to what is called the owner of the “means of production”: the bourgeois/capitalist. Part of their working day corresponds to the cost of their subsistence and that of their family (what is called the “reproduction of labor power” and corresponds to their “salary”), but during the rest of the day, they work for free, creating profits for the capitalist.

This portion of the value generated by the worker, which is not reimbursed in the form of a salary and is unjustly appropriated by the bourgeois/capitalist, is what is called “surplus value” and constitutes the basis of capitalist exploitation. The theory of surplus value is the cornerstone of Marx’s work.

Capitalist society, therefore, is divided into social classes. Two of them are fundamental: the proletariat and the capitalists. The working class and the bourgeoisie, respectively. The latter live at the expense of exploiting (that is, extracting surplus value from) the former: their existence is a constant struggle of opposition, where the livelihood of some depends on the misery of others. The bourgeoisie cannot exist without exploiting the proletarians, and in turn, the proletarians can only improve their living conditions at the expense of reducing the profits of the capitalists [4]. That is, increasing wages decreases surplus value, and vice versa. The interests of proletarians and bourgeoisie cannot be satisfied simultaneously; that is why we speak of classes with antagonistic interests. This class struggle, irresolvable within capitalist economic relations, is its driving force. But it is not only the driving force in capitalism.

The study of history and its different socioeconomic formations leads Marx to the fundamental and essential conclusion that the motor of the history of human societies until now has been the class struggle. This conclusion is based on a meticulous study of the transformations in the social structure throughout history. In this simplified framework, each stage of human development, referred to as a “mode of production,” is characterized by specific “relations of production” that are dominant at each moment. It is important to note that these relations can coexist, but some of them are dominant, determining whether a particular mode of production is being discussed. For example, in the slave mode of production, slavery was the dominant economic relationship, but other types of relationships, such as certain forms of servitude or state exploitation of natural resources (usually water resources), also existed. The development of each mode of production and its transformation into another mode of production (e.g., the transition from feudalism to capitalism) is the result of class contradictions related to dominant economic relations, contradictions that are inherent to that mode of production. Communists understand that there have been four main modes of production in history: primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, and capitalism.

As mentioned earlier, the capitalist mode of production entails the division of society into two antagonistic classes: the proletariat/working class and the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie controls the means of production (machines, factories, land, etc.), while the proletariat has no choice but to sell their labor power to the bourgeoisie in exchange for a wage.

Throughout the development of capitalism, the process of transforming the vast majority of the population into proletarians (known as the process of proletarianization) accelerates, while wealth becomes concentrated in fewer hands. We can summarize this process as follows: while production becomes increasingly social and less individualized, the appropriation of the benefits of this production becomes more private and is controlled by fewer individuals. This contradiction, which constitutes the main contradiction of capitalism, is known as the capital-labor contradiction.

This process groups proletarians in an increasingly larger proportion and leads to more sectors of the population having the objective interest to replace the system with one in which, temporarily, they become the ruling class and ultimately, in fact, eliminate the division of classes in society. The development of capitalism broadens the objective interest in socialism-communism.

However, there is a difference between objective interest and conscious, subjective perception of that interest. Much of our struggle as communists focuses on this difference. The struggle for socialism-communism is not the result of instinct, nor is it the spontaneous outcome of social life. Scientific communism, as a worldview, is the result of studying human societies in general and the capitalist mode of production in particular. It is the expression of the scientifically grounded real movement, which, in order to become an organized and revolutionary movement for the overcoming of bourgeois society, requires the planned action of the conscious actor in the historical process represented by the Communist Party.

We will delve deeper into this in the following points; what we can indicate here is that the revolutionary essence of historical materialism lies in this understanding. By comprehending the laws of historical development, such as the contradictions between classes and their effects on transitions between modes of production, we can employ these laws for the revolutionary transformation of reality.

From utopian communism and socialism to scientific communism

The last major source from which Marxism draws is utopian socialism, particularly French socialism or communism. Lenin states that as soon as the feudal regime was overthrown and capitalist society emerged, it became evident that it constituted a new system of exploitation of the workers. In response, various socialist doctrines began to proliferate. However, this early socialism was fundamentally utopian. It failed to explain the nature of wage exploitation and consequently did not offer real solutions to it. Two prominent figures of this socialism were Saint-Simon and Fourier [5].

The development of capitalist society and social conflicts definitively revealed that, as mentioned earlier, the driving force of history was the class struggle. It is in this context, along with the advancements in scientific knowledge, that Marx and Engels were able to make a breakthrough and for the first time analyze the laws that govern the history of human societies, emphasizing material relations and giving rise to a scientific doctrine that offered real and grounded solutions: scientific communism. Communists thus propose a social model that, based on the study of historical development and capitalist relations of production, not only seeks to overcome capitalist exploitation through the socialization of the means of production and worker power but also to abolish all class divisions.

V. WHAT IS CAPITALISM AND WHY DO WE FIGHT TO OVERTHROW IT?

As mentioned before, the entirety of society, its political phenomena and processes, the systems of ideas that emerge, etc., cannot be understood in isolation from the study of the overall social relations of production and exchange, that is, its mode of production.

Each mode of production, as we have already indicated, has had a concrete-historical existence, including capitalism. The historical character of capitalism means that it, as a socio-economic system, emerges at a certain moment in the development of humanity, and that, at a given stage of its development, conditions are generated that make its overcoming possible. It is the working class, the revolutionary class, that, in Marx’s words, “holds the future in its hands” [6], that is historically called upon to lead the revolutionary process.

At this point, we will explain the capitalist mode of production and the historical reasons why communists advocate for revolution.

Fundamental characteristics of capitalism 

We will begin by briefly and succinctly presenting the fundamental characteristics of capitalism and the social relations that underpin it:

I. Capitalism is the socio-economic system that historically succeeds feudalism. We say historically because it is not necessary for a human group to go through all stages, as through certain processes and events, a human group can experience a rapid development that allows it to transition from one mode to another without passing through an intermediate mode that other societies have gone through. For example, when being conquered by another people whose productive system has different relations of production.

II. The ownership of the means of production is generally in private hands, specifically the bourgeoisie. In some cases, it is also in the hands of the state, which manages production in the manner of a private capitalist enterprise.

III. On the basis of private ownership of the means of production, the two main classes of the capitalist system are generated: the bourgeoisie, which is the social class that owns the means of production, and the working class. The situation of dispossession of the working class, which only has its labor power and knowledge to work, obliges them to sell their labor power to the bourgeoisie in exchange for a wage.

IV. The wealth of society is created as a result of the labor of the working class. However, the appropriation of the fruits of that labor is private. It is appropriated by the bourgeoisie, not by the whole of society.

V. Due to the development of productive forces, the production process becomes increasingly complex, incentivizing the division of labor. This means that, unlike in other productive systems where the producer performed multiple functions in the production process, in capitalism, this process is fragmented, and each worker carries out increasingly specific and concrete tasks. This process is referred to as specialization or hyper-specialization. The growing division of labor implies that the nature of production becomes increasingly social, as it requires the participation of several workers, often separated by thousands of kilometers, in the production and distribution of the same object.

VI. Capitalist production is anarchic: there is no centralized planning, and it is not organized for the satisfaction of the needs of society as a whole. On the contrary, production takes place in a context of competition among different companies whose objective is to outperform their rivals and maximize their profits. However, despite the existence of this struggle among capitalists, which is also expressed politically, we can speak of a general interest of the ruling class in maintaining its power.

VII. The tendency toward the concentration and centralization of capital in fewer hands generates and drives monopolies, causing them to dominate the economic and social life. Small-scale production is progressively marginalized and its existence threatened. This leads to intermediate sectors, such as the petite bourgeoisie (small business owners) or self-employed workers, being unable to compete with large monopolies and gradually, albeit not linearly or absolutely, pushed into the ranks of the working class.

VIII. Periodically, as a result of the internal contradictions of capitalism, economic crises of overproduction arise, destroying part of the productive forces and accelerating the concentration and centralization of capital. It is during these crises that the proletarianization of the petite bourgeoisie and other sectors intensifies, as well as the widespread deterioration of living and working conditions for the working class. We will discuss the emergence of these crises later on.

IX. The monopolistic phase of capitalism, in which the tendencies toward capital concentration are expressed to the highest degree, is referred to as imperialism. Imperialism is the contemporary phase of capitalist development in which monopolies and finance capital become dominant, and as a result, the contradictions of this socio-economic system are expressed in their most acute form. Imperialism is capitalism in decay: the ultimate expression of the conditions that make a new society possible; the factual conclusion that the task we as communists must undertake is the socialist revolution. To fully understand these statements, we recommend reading Lenin’s work “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.”

Why is it necessary to do away with the capitalist system?

Our political project calls for the destruction of capitalism through revolution, but, as we mentioned before, not out of caprice or because we are dissatisfied with certain aspects of its functioning and organization. We do so because, as a whole, capitalism is a socio-economic system that is incapable of fully meeting the needs of society as a whole, but only those of a minority, as it is based on the exploitation of one social class by another. The real foundation of capitalism, wage exploitation, inherently limits the progress of humanity. Today, the conditions (technical and human conditions enabled by the level of development of productive forces) exist for the full satisfaction of the needs of the entire population, and yet hunger, lack of resources, preventable diseases, illiteracy, ignorance, and violence continue to define the lives of billions of people worldwide. The productive forces cannot be developed to their full potential due to the limitations imposed on them by the basis and objective of all economic activity under capitalism: the pursuit of profits. This system also threatens the preservation of the natural environment, endangering the integrity of the planet we live on and from which we obtain the resources to survive as a species. Its cyclical crises destroy part of the generated wealth, slowing down social development in its entirety.

However, we cannot understand this as a result of the capricious attitude of evil capitalists or bad managers. The problem is not the players but the rules of the game, as we can see with the issue of crises, which, far from being the result of “mismanagement,” are intrinsic to capitalism itself. The anarchy of production and the competitiveness that we have already mentioned generate cyclical crises due to overproduction and the declining profitability of productive activity. This is what we call the “tendency of the rate of profit to fall.” As this is a complex topic, let us outline the process:

I. The capitalist operates in an environment characterized by competition with other capitalists. To gain an advantage over competitors, they invest their money in technological improvements that allow them to produce at a lower cost and, therefore, be more competitive in the market and earn greater profits. This behavior is a constant across all capitalist sectors.

II. The value of commodities is determined by the socially necessary amount of human labor invested in their production. By “socially necessary,” we mean the average time required, taking into account standardized production techniques within that sector, to produce a particular commodity. This is what we refer to as the “labor theory of value.”

III. In seeking to maximize their profit, capitalists invest in technological improvements (in “constant capital”) while reducing their investment in labor power (in workers to whom they pay wages). This always leads to a decrease in the proportion of labor power (“variable capital”). While only that capitalist has that technology, they have a competitive advantage that increases their profit because the market price remains the same, but the production cost has decreased for them. However, this improvement is soon standardized in the rest of the market. Eventually, the socially necessary labor time to produce that commodity decreases because all capitalists now know how to produce it at a lower cost. As a result, the value of that commodity decreases, and the market price tends to adjust to this new value through competition and supply and demand, leading to a decrease in profit for all capitalists.

Due to this decrease in the rate of profit and the reduced benefits generated by productive activity for the owners of the means of production, capitalists seek ways to increase their profits and remain competitive in the market. One of the most recurring solutions to overcome the tendency of the rate of profit to fall is to invest in speculative assets [7] or debt.

IV. The decrease in the rate of profit leads us to another concept necessary to understand crises: overproduction. One of the characteristics of capitalism is the anarchy in production and the absence of centralized economic planning, as we mentioned before. All companies organize their production with the aim of making profits (as it is an essential requirement for their survival), and there is no state plan whose purpose is to ensure the satisfaction of the needs of the entire population. If we add to this the speculation and bubbles mentioned earlier, we find that sometimes production exceeds the real capacity of the market to absorb the produced goods.

The market cannot absorb all production; in other words, more is produced than can be consumed, which leads to the ruin of many companies and accelerates the symptoms of the crisis. Unemployment rates increase, companies cannot repay their loans, states collect fewer taxes, and the purchasing and investment capacity of states, companies, and individuals decreases overall.

This decrease in the purchasing power of goods results in a need to destroy productive forces (layoffs of workers and closure of production facilities). This is the great absurdity of capitalism: it is a mode of production that, to this day, would allow human beings to produce enough to satisfy the basic needs of the entire world population without problems. However, due to the social relations of production that shape it, billions of people worldwide live in extreme poverty while a few accumulate astronomical wealth.

All these factors we have mentioned are dynamics that are in the DNA of capitalism. They are economic tendencies that are inseparably linked to this system and cannot be detached from it or made to disappear. Different management models of capitalism may minimize or postpone their effects, but they cannot avoid them in any case. We cannot prevent capitalist exploitation or its laws by “well-intentioned” management of capitalism. What we can do, however, is to break free from capitalist social relations and build a new mode of production, a new society: socialism-communism.

Social democratic and reformist parties claim to intend to neutralize the dynamics of capitalism so that it does not go against the interests of the working majority. However, their actions will always be fruitless because these symptoms cannot be eliminated without eliminating the disease, without eliminating the dynamics of capital, without eliminating the foundations of the system itself. Those who govern within capitalism are “condemned” to do so within its boundaries of possibility, according to the fluctuations of capital. The exploitation of workers under capitalism is not a management problem or a conspiracy; it is the very basis of capitalism’s existence. It is not a flaw or a temporary characteristic but an essential feature.

To better understand the laws that govern the functioning of capitalism, we recommend starting with reading Marx’s works such as “Wage-Labor and Capital” and “Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy.”

VI. WHAT IS COMMUNISM AND WHY DO WE FIGHT FOR IT? 

By fostering the tendency towards the socialization of productive labor, as well as concentrating and centralizing capital in fewer hands, capitalism creates an increasing number of subjects (proletarians) with an objective interest in overthrowing the existing system of property and the political system that defends and manages it. The tendency towards the socialization of production is evident in our country [Spain], as seen, for example, with the massive entry of female labor starting in the 1970s, as well as the constant proletarianization experienced by the petite bourgeoisie. Furthermore, the concentration and centralization of capital are also evident in practically every sector of the Spanish economy. While before the 2008 crisis there were dozens of banks with some relevance, now there are only four banks that control the majority of assets: Santander, BBVA, Caixabank-Bankia, and Banco Sabadell.

Considering the above, the proletariat, increasingly numerous, has an objective interest in ensuring that all the social product it produces is used for the benefit of the proletariat as a whole, and not for the benefit of the bourgeoisie, who appropriate the wealth derived from the labor of others. We refer to this economic-political system, where the produced wealth is placed at the service and benefit of the producers themselves, as socialism-communism.

Communism implies the socialization of the means of production, the associated power of the producers (planned control and management of production and general social life), the abolition of the state, the extinction of national differences, the abolition of wage labor and money as a means of payment and circulation, and ultimately, the realization of our ultimate principle: “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs.”

The Marxist theory of the State

Before we continue, let us pause to define the Marxist understanding of the State. For us, the State is not a neutral entity situated above society. It is not detached from social classes or their struggle. Instead, it is an apparatus of domination. Its function is not to safeguard the interests of all “citizens,” but rather to ensure, as a political apparatus, the domination of the ruling class. Thus, through the generation of political-ideological consensus or direct repression (the army and the police being its fundamental arms), it guarantees the continuity of the status quo.

It is evident to everyone that within current societies there is an administrative apparatus, dependent on the State, that fulfills everyday functions, which may appear innocent at least on the surface. However, neither this nor the role of the State in certain historical moments of capitalism in some countries under social democratic management should mislead us. Its ultimate function has always been and will always be to guarantee the class domination of the bourgeoisie. Universally speaking, every State is an apparatus of domination of one class over another. When social conflicts arise, we witness how its nature becomes evident through repression against the working class and anyone challenging the existing domination. In fact, Marx and Engels explain its origin as the “product and manifestation of the irreconcilable character of class contradictions.” A State has not always existed in all societies. It “arises in a particular place, at a particular time, and to a particular degree when class contradictions objectively cannot be reconciled.” [8] It is in this sense that communists speak of a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie: every State is a dictatorship for one class and democracy for another; the capitalist State is democracy for the bourgeoisie and dictatorship against the proletariat.

Recognizing this nature of the State and the class dictatorship it exercises can easily lead to some interpretative errors. The most common one is to view the bourgeoisie as a completely homogeneous social class with unified interests and full consciousness. This consideration can lead to erroneous theories in which a small group of people conspiratorially determines the world order. This is absurd. On the contrary, just like within any social class, there are factions and internal struggles. There is an objective interest common to the entire bourgeoisie, yes, but at the same time, there is a constant fight over the “slice of the pie.” In this situation, the bourgeois State ensures the domination of the entire bourgeoisie or, more accurately, the proper functioning of the bourgeois society, managing to ensure the long-term continuity of the social order. This implies that sometimes it favors certain factions of the bourgeoisie, other times it favors others, and it may even impose paths that, at first glance, do not specifically benefit any of them but guarantee the overall capitalist domination. We must understand the formula that the State is an apparatus of domination of one class over another in terms of the dialectical nature of reality, without oversimplifying the complexity of the real world or falling into mechanistic interpretations that lack analytical value. We must also understand that the bourgeois State, although powerful, is not omniscient and omnipotent. It can “fail” in its tasks or be compromised by political volatility in certain moments.

In this same vein, communists speak of the dictatorship of the proletariat. After the revolution, the workers abolish the bourgeois State and, at the same time, build the proletarian State. The function of this new State is analogous: class domination. However, in this case, the domination is that of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie; democracy for the workers and dictatorship for the bourgeoisie. The proletarian State ensures the implementation of the necessary measures for the revolutionary transition to communism, which also means facing the reaction of the bourgeoisie, which will fight to regain its power at all costs, whether it be the national bourgeoisie or the international bourgeoisie. When it fulfills these objectives, that is, when the communist society, without social classes, is built, the proletarian State loses its function. If there are no social classes, there is no class domination to exercise. This is how the material conditions for the existence of the proletarian State extinguish, and with it, the State itself must also cease to exist. After the disappearance of all States, which can only happen through the transformation of material conditions and not through voluntary abolition alone, only what Marx called the “administration of things” remains, encompassing all decision-making, planning, management, execution, etc., in the daily life of society. This administration is no longer in the hands of an elite separated from the people but is exercised by the entire population. The administrative institutions become mere working corporations.

The construction of the socialist-communist society: lower and higher phases

Having clarified the above, the question then arises: how do we reach that communist society? We will address this question in a schematic and introductory manner. It is useful to differentiate between the first phase of communism, which we call socialism, and the second phase, which we properly call communism. The first phase, socialism, is the result of the proletariat seizing political power and implementing the socialization of the means of production. The government of the working class is referred to, as we have already mentioned, as the dictatorship of the proletariat. Even though real democracy is expanded to all sectors of the working class, living and working conditions are improved, and socially produced wealth is placed in collective service rather than private profit, there will still be elements of the previous capitalist society that need to be eliminated. This is the role of the proletarian State, as we mentioned before. From the previous society, several elements potentially capable of subverting the new socialist order will remain. These include the persistence of commodity production, the existence of counterrevolutionary elements or external imperialist elements to the socialist State, improper ideas of the new communist morality such as sexism, racism, elitism, or individualism, which will still have a significant influence on society as they are inherited from previous modes of production and their overcoming will not be achieved overnight… The existence of these elements hinders progress towards a communist society and even threatens the continuity of socialism, which is why, as we mentioned before, the maintenance of a State by the proletariat is necessary. As an example of this issue, it is worth mentioning that no socialist country has reached communist society, as counterrevolutionary elements that remained within them have prevailed.

Therefore, the formula socialism-communism makes sense. The two stages are clearly distinguished, and the first is a stage of revolutionary transition. Socialist revolution is not merely the seizure of power and the establishment of the proletarian State, but rather the entire period of destroying the relationships of the old society and constructing new relationships. The revolution, which is based on the construction of new power (the development of the revolutionary organization of the workers in the Party and around it) and begins with the seizure of political power, ends when socialism ends, that is, when communism is achieved. Socialism is thus the stage in which, with the proletarian State at the forefront, capitalist relationships persist in decline while new communist relationships develop in struggle with the previous ones.

To discuss the differentiation between socialism and communism, the characteristics of communist society, as well as the nature of the State, it is highly recommended to read “The State and Revolution” by Lenin.

VII. THE THEORY OF REVOLUTION AND THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY

As we have discussed in previous points, communists understand that a series of conditions must be met in order to carry out the socialist revolution. We classify these conditions into two main groups: “objective conditions” and “subjective conditions.” The first group refers to conditions that are relatively beyond our control and relatively independent of our actions, resulting from the internal logic of capitalist society’s development. The second group, on the other hand, refers to the conditions that communists must generate through our intervention, such as the level of organization of the working class, the types of organizations we establish, the creation of revolutionary power organs, the definition and adoption of a revolutionary political program with its corresponding strategy and tactics [9], and so on.

As we mentioned, both types of conditions need to be sufficiently developed in order to carry out the socialist revolution. While capitalism may exhibit a certain fragility in certain contexts, without a revolutionary movement prepared to seize the moment, the revolution will not spontaneously and anarchically occur. Similarly, even if there is a well-prepared and willing revolutionary movement, it will hardly be able to overthrow the bourgeois order if there is no opening to exploit. The historical experience of the proletariat has repeatedly confirmed the validity of this thesis, which we accept. However, we must avoid understanding it in a mechanical and absolute way. Objective conditions and subjective conditions are correlated and mutually reinforcing to some degree, far from being two separate variables that develop completely isolated from each other.

Having said that, let us now examine some fundamental and general notions of these different conditions. It is best to begin by explaining how we understand “consciousness” and its relationship to the socialist revolution. Communists affirm that human consciousness is the result of social being. In other words, our perception of the world around us, our political ideas, what we consider “natural,” and even what we believe is possible or not, depend on our life context and socialization, particularly our position in the realm of production. Within capitalist society, the “normal” and spontaneous form of consciousness is located within the margins of bourgeois ideology. If we pause to reflect on this, it makes a lot of sense: it is coherent for any social system to tend to reproduce itself. The bourgeois relations of production are reflected in human consciousness in the form of bourgeois thought.

There are, of course, important differences in thinking within a given society. The best example is the left-right spectrum within bourgeois politics or the categories of “progressivism” and “conservatism.” These variations express the position of different layers or social classes. However, and here is the key point, none of these differences step outside the capitalist ideological spectrum. Spontaneously and instinctively, there is no revolutionary consciousness; instead, bourgeois consciousness is reproduced in different variations. Based on this paradigm, how is revolutionary consciousness conceived, and what is the role of communists? Communism, as the revolutionary ideology of the proletariat, is introduced “from the outside,” meaning it goes beyond the immediate and fetishized thinking that arises and is reproduced based on our position in the social division of labor. This means that communism does not automatically derive, without mediations, from the immediate interaction, as the working class, with capitalist society.

As Marx said, “Humanity always sets itself only such tasks as it can solve.” [10] This implies that communism is the result of the development of social activity, the development of productive forces to a point where all human needs can be satisfied and collectively and planned managed, as well as the emergence of the revolutionary class capable of making this possible: the proletariat. However, as we mentioned earlier, its formation as a worldview is the result of scientific study of the evolution of human societies, particularly capitalist society.

In that sense, communism is the result of scientific study made possible by the development of the real movement. It is based on the material conditions that make its emergence as a revolutionary ideology possible. Those same material conditions that underpin its existence are the conditions that make it possible for it to become a revolutionary mass ideology. However, the particularity of capitalist social relations prevents communism from becoming the hegemonic ideology spontaneously, automatically, without the conscious element’s action.

By “conditions of possibility,” we refer to what Lenin defined as the “embryo of consciousness.” The objective position of the proletariat within the relations of production and, consequently, within society as a whole places it in a permanent conflict of interests with capital. The contradictions of capitalism and the antagonism of interests between the two main classes of modern society manifest themselves in countless conflicts and ongoing class struggles in various spheres of social reality, albeit in their immediate, alienated, and fragmented expression. The response to violence and phenomena still comes from a particular position in the social division of labor, from bourgeois conceptions and frameworks of action. This is how we should understand that revolutionary consciousness is introduced “from the outside.” Economism subordinates political tasks to the state of spontaneous movement, expecting it to automatically transform into consciousness. Theoretical leftism, on the other hand, starts from an idealistic separation between social reality and consciousness, failing to understand the dialectical unity between the two, not comprehending that it is within the manifestations of class struggle where the germ that can develop into consciousness lies, understanding the entirety of determinations of social reality and the necessary revolutionary overcoming.

In this logic, we can conclude that spontaneous consciousness is an embryo, or can be an embryo, of what is conscious, but spontaneity has clear limits that can only be overcome through scientific and comprehensive understanding of social reality. The germ of spontaneity only becomes true fruit through the efforts of communists, who are conscious and organized sectors of the class.

Therefore, communists have the role of raising consciousness among our comrades in the working class. We must introduce scientific understanding, merge it with the masses, taking advantage of any conflict within the capitalist system to denounce its class nature and exploitative nature, to provide a general context for every small partial struggle, to explain the interrelation of each form of violence and its common genesis in the mode of production, to move from specific conflicts to political conflicts between social classes, and to demonstrate the necessity of overcoming the capitalist system and the possibility of communism. In each small battle of the working class in the day-to-day of capitalism, communists must strive to have more and more comrades from our class join the revolutionary ranks, understanding and embracing the revolutionary program of communism through their own practical experience. Ultimately, we must convey that small immediate struggles to wrest improvements from capitalists must give way to organized and conscious revolutionary struggle against the capitalist system as a whole.

This transition from spontaneity to consciousness through the intervention of communists and the introduction of the revolutionary program is what we mean when we talk about elevating economic-immediate struggle, instinctive struggle even from bourgeois coordinates, to political-revolutionary struggle, the organized expression of the fusion of scientific communism with the masses. This is the fundamental key to the role of communists within capitalism. The question has a much deeper and richer development, but for now, this general notion is sufficient. Now, we must ask ourselves, what political tool do communists use to carry out this task? Let’s discuss the theory of the vanguard and the “new type” party.

The organizational and political formula adopted by communists is that of the communist party, which corresponds to that of a new type of party. This means that it is a completely different type of party from the bourgeois parties we know within capitalism. This communist party is a conscious actor within the historical process, whose task is to prepare the revolution and direct the revolutionary transition process. In light of what was said earlier: the Party is the concentrated and structured consciousness of the class for action.

The Party consists of the most advanced elements of the class, the most conscious and dedicated individuals who carry out the task of merging scientific communism with the masses. Far from the model of members in bourgeois parties, where individuals join freely and without the real need to engage in work, the Communist Party is a party of militant cadres. Its members have a high level of political-ideological knowledge as well as commitment and discipline: each of them has a role, actively works to make the Party grow, and aspires to become a leader of the masses. Their interests are not different from those of the rest of the class; they are precisely the historical and conscious interests of the working class as a whole. Communists are not a separate and isolated force from the working class that will make the revolution in its place. We not only differentiate ourselves from social democratic and bourgeois mass parties but also from the “Blanquists.” The term “Blanquism” comes from the French communist revolutionary Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805-1881), who advocated the thesis that revolutionaries should consider a coup d’état led by a small revolutionary elite to seize power and exercise it dictatorially for the benefit of the majority. His idea was to impose the revolutionary program from above, unilaterally. This thesis is completely foreign to scientific communism and the Leninist concept of the vanguard.


The Party’s task is not to adapt to the political-ideological level of the backward elements of the working class but to elevate the class to the level of the communist vanguard. Therefore, initially, the Party encompasses only a fraction of the working class within its ranks. However, it aspires to exert great influence and leadership over broad sectors of the working class and the popular masses. Its boundaries only expand as the proletarian hegemony grows among the broad masses. This implies that only when the dictatorship of the proletariat deprives the bourgeoisie of its means of action and guarantees revolutionary ideological dominance can the Party encompass the entirety or the vast majority of the working class. The need for a political party of the proletariat will only disappear when social classes disappear because until then, it will be necessary to guarantee the organizational combativeness and consciousness of the proletariat.

To fulfill this role of introducing revolutionary consciousness, communists act as “popular tribunes” in their spaces of life and work and wherever there are movements, structures, and mass struggles. Acting as tribunes implies what was mentioned earlier: presenting the overall picture of capitalist violence, its interrelation and mutual genesis in the mode of production, the perspective of revolutionary overcoming, and the political orientation of the moment based on practical experience in class struggle. Therefore, the Party does not renounce any platform, space, or organization that allows it to maintain and improve its contact with the working class.

These militants, these tribunes, do not act in isolation and anarchy but according to a collectively planned strategy. It is a plan for seizing political power that includes various mediations and phases according to the requirements defined by the laws of revolution, the moments of class struggle, and the specific needs that arise in the process. The Party is the structure that guarantees the establishment of that plan and its unified implementation across various points of a state or nation, providing a consistent orientation for the working class because division and lack of coordination make it impossible to confront the bourgeois state.

The task of raising consciousness is not merely theoretical; it is an exercise in political and organizational education toward seizing power. The subjective factor developed by the Party is objectified and expressed in a network of organizational forms, associations, and combat movements, solidarity actions, cultural expression and dissemination, and ideological elaboration, all aligned under the revolutionary program and interconnected. These forms are already an expression of a new worldview and will serve as the foundation for the future socialist-communist society. This conception of creating working-class power through planned action opposes both rightism and reformism, which expect the spontaneous outbreak of revolution or peaceful socialism to be achieved through bourgeois power organs, as well as leftism [11] (left-opportunism), which rejects patient and sustained organizing of the working class and popular masses out of sectarianism.

This revolutionary movement will constantly produce various forms of struggle, confrontation, and positional disputes with capital, but already aligned with the Party’s plan for seizing power, serving as its compass and reference. This will entail countless forms of repression and coercion by the bourgeois state. Therefore, the Communist Party must be prepared to fight under all conditions, combining legal action and clandestine action and organizing accordingly.

The ultimate goal will be to be able to seize bourgeois power to impose the new revolutionary power, which will involve open conflict, revolutionary civil war. This will not be a war exclusively limited to the proletariat and the bourgeoisie but will also involve other social strata, taking sides on one side or the other. This is why the idea of a “social alliance” is important, the process through which, through the Party’s action, the revolutionary proletariat is able to forge alliances and connections with other popular strata or oppressed factions, impoverished and with interests contrary to the power of monopolies (self-employed workers, small traders, and peasants, semi proletarians, etc.), with the Party serving as the ideological leader, the directing and hegemonic force to decisively involve them in the revolutionary struggle or at least adopt a neutral position. Therefore, to guarantee this hegemony, among the various forms of organization within the social alliance, the nucleus of combativeness, the epicenter of the embryo of the new revolutionary power, must be located in the workplaces, where the antagonistic class to the bourgeoisie is objectively and homogeneously structured.

Finally, we need to discuss the difference between a “revolutionary situation” and a “revolutionary crisis.” The position of the groups in power relies on their ability to generate consensus, which ensures their continued governance. But what happens if, due to various circumstances, they can no longer govern as they have been?

If the hegemonic order is disrupted at one or several points, whether due to an economic crisis or the political failure of the ruling class in a specific objective (such as in a war), these events can destabilize the ruling class. This can create a situation in which their domination can be so challenged that the overthrow of the established order becomes possible. This opens up the possibility of a “revolutionary situation.” A revolutionary situation is the set of objective and necessary conditions for the overthrow of the established order to become possible. These conditions involve difficulties for the government to exercise its power and a significant increase in the discontent and indignation of the masses. This can be caused by an exceptional impoverishment of living conditions or by stagnation in improving the lives of the dominant class, among other similar scenarios. It is important to note that these conditions, which we referred to as “objective conditions” at the beginning, are not desirable per se; they are contexts, situations that favor, enhance, and provide the foundation for the Party’s action to definitively seize bourgeois power. This leads us to the preparation of subjective conditions.

In the face of a “revolutionary situation,” a “revolutionary crisis” is the effective exploitation by the revolutionary movement of that situation, challenging and ultimately overthrowing the bourgeoisie in revolutionary civil war using the political army mentioned earlier, in order to establish the new proletarian power and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Therefore, communists must never cease preparing the subjective conditions, to be ready for objective circumstances and also to force the arrival of such conditions. The theses of the 1st Congress of the PCTE state the following: “It is not possible to predict the moment or the form in which a revolutionary situation may arise. What is decisive is the preparation of the subjective factor and the correlation of forces that allows the transformation of that revolutionary situation into a revolutionary crisis, converting the social alliance of the working class with oppressed popular sectors into a workers’ and popular front that, under revolutionary conditions, guides the revolutionary struggle toward seizing power.” From this, it follows that communists must be very careful and meticulous when analyzing our social and historical context, in order to accurately identify the vulnerabilities of bourgeois power and our real strengths as a revolutionary project.

For a more in-depth study of the theory of revolution and the vanguard party, we recommend reading Lenin’s work “What Is to Be Done?”.

VIII. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PARTY AND THE COMMUNIST YOUTH

Once the theory of revolution has been presented, we need to focus and explain the specific organizational form that communists adopt: what kind of organization are the Party and the Communist Youth [12], and how do they relate to each other? How do they organize themselves in order to carry out the revolution?

As we have seen, in order to achieve our goals, communists establish the new type of party defined by Lenin, a type of party that derives its principles and, consequently, its organizational formula from the needs to organize the revolution: maximum unity in ideology and organization, collective leadership, intimate connection and fusion with the masses, and the ability to fight under all conditions, etc. To ensure all this, the optimal organizational method, demonstrated through the accumulated experience of the revolutionary labor movement and communist parties throughout history, is democratic centralism.

Democratic Centralism: Centralism, Democracy, and Functionality

Democratic centralism constitutes the fusion of centralism and democracy. Centralism implies that the Party is constructed as a whole from the political center; that is, it is not an aggregation or coordination of structures at different levels, but a single system that acts homogeneously, with lower-level bodies being subordinate to higher-level ones. Democracy means that higher-level bodies and the agreements governing their activities are always collectively elected.

Let us examine this more concretely: the political line for a given period is determined by the congress, in which the entire network of grassroots organizations of the Party is represented through elected delegates. From the congress, not only do documents emerge that govern the political work of the entire organization, but also a central leadership that guides and ensures the implementation of the collective congress agreements between congresses.

Democratic centralism is not the conflicting conjunction of two concepts that repel each other; far from it, it is the fusion of two realities that can only be fully developed for the preparation of the revolution if they are conceived as a unity.

Centralism is established on the basis of the collective and democratic nature of the revolutionary project, where all leadership is elected through a democratic process; but at the same time, these leadership bodies ensure that all organizations and members implement the agreements established through the democratic process. From other organizational models, such as horizontal or assembly-based structures, communists are sometimes accused of lacking democracy due to the existence of a “hierarchical” structure or a lack of internal debate. However, as we have seen, this is false. Centralism is a way to guarantee democracy, and democracy is the basis on which centrality is established. The goal is the subordination of the minority to the majority, the guarantee of collective governance, and maximum unity.

Let’s continue examining this in practice: the leadership, elected to ensure the fulfillment of congress (or conference) agreements, develop documents and guidelines throughout their mandate that specify, develop, and implement the political lines established at the congress. These are applied by lower-level bodies to their specific realities, thus ensuring unity of action and greater effectiveness within mass environments. However, the leadership is also obliged to demonstrate and guarantee the degree of compliance with congress agreements through regular accountability for the work performed. Accountability reinforces the legitimacy of centralism and democratic trust: higher-level bodies periodically inform lower-level bodies about the work carried out, decisions made, changes in the composition of the body, etc. Accountability entails a process of criticism and self-criticism, which we will address later. As Álvaro Cunhal said, “accountability is an expression of the awareness that each person’s activity is an integral and inseparable part of everyone’s activity.” [13]

Democratic centralism establishes channels of communication both top-down and bottom-up. On the one hand, the guidelines from higher-level bodies serve to direct and guide the work of lower-level bodies, while the information or reflections that lower-level bodies convey to higher-level bodies about the work performed, as well as the particularities of the realities in which they operate, help the latter to develop sound general policies.

Similarly, internal debate is encouraged, but always within the essential framework of Marxism-Leninism, first and foremost, and within the framework of congress agreements, second. This means that collectively adopted positions take precedence over individual opinions or positions. During periods of open internal debate, all discussions are allowed and encouraged as long as they are conducted from a standpoint of scientific communism and camaraderie. This collective debate strengthens our ideological position and politically and theoretically arms the Party.

This leads us to two points: first, in the Party, all debates and agreements are collective, and no organization can act autonomously, disregarding the collective mandate. The liberalism and “democratization” of other organizational models lead to situations where disagreements from a minority can collide or impede debates and the implementation of agreements. This brings us to the second point: the Party is a combat organization, not a debating club; its debates and deliberations aim to elevate and develop theory in order to have a more accurate impact on revolutionary practice, in the preparation and achievement of the revolution. That is why communists conduct internal debates, and once a majority position is agreed upon, we act in unison externally. Otherwise, as we constantly see in other political projects, there is room for “factions” or individualistic projects of people who do not adhere to the majority’s agreements. Such functioning would hinder collective and unified action, resulting in corrosive actions and attitudes for the struggle against the class enemy.

Lastly, as we can see from the previous example, the Party has a system designed for fulfilling its role as a revolutionary party. This means that the Party adopts an internal method that grants it the necessary flexibility to adapt to the situation of class struggle at any given moment; it’s what we mentioned earlier about fighting in all conditions. Depending on the context, the boundaries of democracy may expand or centralization may be reinforced. For instance, a prolonged congress debate lasting for months, which allows for maximum collective discussion, is different from participating in a picket where a responsible individual may be required to make a unilateral decision (which will be accounted for later). Likewise, the Party’s actions differ in a period of certain formal freedoms compared to a period of clandestinity. The Party’s structure has the capacity to adapt to the demands imposed by class struggle in order to continually fulfill its tasks.

In this regard, it is important to note that the Party’s hierarchical structure is also based on a progressive concretization of territorial and sectoral intervention realities, extending to the grassroots organizations where the direct unity between the Party and the masses crystallizes. The Party’s method is also designed to be more effective in its intervention and organization of the working-class and popular masses.

All of the above serves to illustrate the foundations and meaning of our organizational form and to refute the criticisms generally received from other ideological currents. Democratic centralism is a mechanism that guarantees the struggle against capitalism and, at the same time, a way of relating and acting that is superior, reflecting a new way of understanding life that will become an intuition of the masses as proletarian power arrives. In the following points, we will examine all of this in much greater detail and concretize it within the particular reality of contemporary class struggle in Spain.

The Principles of Democratic Centralism

I. Principle of unity: The entire organization functions as a unified fist to strike our class enemy. The diversity of opinions transforms into unity of action after internal discussions conclude. Therefore, every comrade, upon assuming militant commitment, accepts the responsibility to always and in all areas defend the Party’s position, regardless of personal agreement. The collective position surpasses individual opinions. There is no division between public and private spheres; the communist becomes a tool for transmitting the Party’s political position and values, representing them wherever they go.

II. Principle of collective leadership: Militants as a whole are responsible, through their active participation, for the organization’s development. Each militant participates in a grassroots organization and may participate in other bodies or working groups as deemed appropriate. A militant cannot be passive; they must be informed and educated about the organization’s functioning and actions, actively participating in the bodies to which they belong and always seeking improvement and contribution to the organization’s evolution. Analyses, conclusions, and decisions should, as much as possible, result from collective elaboration, and the bodies should always be open to the participation and contributions of militants.

III. Principle of criticism and self-criticism: We must make a constant effort to analyze the decisions taken and their consequences, as well as the work carried out by militants, leaders, and bodies. It is crucial to understand the nature and purpose of criticism and self-criticism. Criticism is not a punishment or condemnation of the comrade who made a mistake, and self-criticism is not about humiliation or penance when one is at fault. The communist organization seeks to identify errors, find the reasons that led to incorrect actions, and avoid repeating them in the future. Criticism and self-criticism, being constructive and surpassing in nature, should never be taken rhetorically without internalizing and reflecting on the errors and proposed improvements. Otherwise, they lose their usefulness and become mere formalities.

IV. Principle of conscious discipline: Discipline within the Party and among militants is a fundamental value for fulfilling work objectives. It entails completing tasks in a timely manner, adhering to directives, and acting diligently. Militants bear the responsibility of fulfilling their tasks as they always form part of collective work plans. Individual compliance ensures the organization’s smooth functioning, and vice versa. However, this discipline is not of a military nature based on blind obedience to higher bodies and comrades who are part of them. On the contrary, it is a conscious discipline that requires understanding the tasks and their underlying reasons.

V. Every militant is an active member of the Communist Youth and, as such, assumes a set of rights and obligations. They must understand and put into practice the principles listed above and be part of a grassroots organization within the Communist Youth. This entails attending meetings, engaging in practical work, acquiring theoretical knowledge, and paying a monthly fee that contributes to the organization’s financial support.

[1] German idealist and dialectical philosopher. Marx and Engels drew from Hegel’s dialectic its “rational core,” discarding the idealist outer layer and developing the dialectic to give it a contemporary scientific form.

[2] German philosopher and materialist. His materialism influenced Marx and Engels during the period of their philosophical formation. Departing from Hegelian idealism and “restoring materialism to its rightful place on the throne” (Lenin), he was, however, unable to fully integrate the valid aspects of dialectics, resulting in a metaphysical materialism.

[3] English political economy laid the foundations for the theory of labor value, but it was not able to understand capitalism as a historically determined economic-social system and therefore could not fully analyze the laws and foundations of capitalist exploitation. They saw the capitalist system as a natural and eternal social order.

[4] However, despite what has been said, there is a crucial distinction that establishes an essential difference and from which we draw a valuable lesson: while the bourgeoisie and their living conditions cannot exist without the exploitation they impose on the working class, the working class can exist without the bourgeoisie. In fact, this is precisely its historical task: to free itself from the yoke of capitalist exploitation and, in doing so, lay the foundation for the emancipation of humanity as a whole. By ending its own exploitation, it puts an end to the exploitation of the entire population.

[5] Both Saint-Simon and Fourier were two utopian socialist thinkers born in the late 18th century. Utopian socialism revealed and criticized the contradictions and violence of capitalism as a new social order, opposing it with the idea of socialism as a more advanced system. However, due to their historical limitations, they failed to grasp the essence of wage slavery under capitalism, the laws that govern the development of capitalism, and the significance of the proletariat as the revolutionary subject.

[6] Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, 1848.

[7] Speculative values are stocks, real estate, foreign exchange markets, etc., or more recently, cryptocurrencies. They are assets or commodities whose prices fluctuate regularly in the market due primarily to supply, demand, and market strategies employed by speculative companies. On the other hand, companies invest in debt, which involves assuming the costs of a loan that an entity or a state has taken on. The objective is to be reimbursed the amount of the debt plus a profit percentage. Investing in this type of speculative economy eventually leads to bubbles, which burst, causing prices to plummet and making it impossible to earn profits, resulting in severe economic crises. We witnessed this in the so-called “housing bubble” that burst in 2008, which was one of the indicators of the onset of the financial crisis.

[8] These are words from Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State) cited by Lenin in his work “The State and Revolution.”

[9] It is important to explain the difference that communists establish between “strategy” and “tactics.” Strategy refers to the characterization of the stage of the revolution, the ultimate objectives implied by this characterization, and the main tasks relevant to achieving those objectives. For example, the CJC (Communist Youth Union) and the PCTE (Spanish Communist Party) establish that there are no intermediate stages between capitalism and socialism in Spain. Therefore, we are currently living in the period of proletarian revolution, which implies that we must decisively intervene among the masses to build the social alliance under proletarian hegemony. The strategy generally remains unchanged during the given stage. On the other hand, tactics deal with specific moments of class struggle, the forms of proletarian struggle, changes in those forms, and their combination, among other factors. Starting from a given stage of the revolution, tactics can change multiple times in response to fluctuations, political circumstances, the rise or decline of the revolution, and so on. Tactics establish the relevant political mediations according to the specific moment and level of development in order to advance along the strategic line. Tactics and strategy cannot be dissociated. If tactics do not align with a strategic axis and objective, they will end up following the spontaneous movement. If the strategy does not express itself tactically according to specific moments and places, it will not find the means to rally the broad masses towards its realization. The proper combination of both is the science of directing the class struggle of the proletariat.

[10] Prologue to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, Karl Marx, 1859

[11]  Leftism is a form of opportunism defined by petty-bourgeois radicalism. It is characterized, among other things, by a failure to understand the dialectical connection between spontaneity and consciousness, democratic centralism, the mass character of the socialist revolution, and its implications. Lenin defined it as the “infantile disorder” in communism.

[12] In the following lines, whenever we mention “Party,” it also includes the “Communist Youth,” as we are defining the internal organizational form that the Communist Youth adopts from the party model defined by Lenin.

[13] Un Partido con paredes de cristal, Álvaro Cunhal, 1986.