To the Presidium and the delegates of the V Congress of the Party of Labor of Austria (PdA)
The Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Front (Italy), on behalf of the members of our Party, warmly and fraternally greet the Presidium and the delegates of the V Congress of the Party of Labor of Austria (PdA).
The slogan of your congress – “Clarity and unity strengthen the Party” – appropriately summarizes the spirit and the ways in which the new challenges posed to the communists by recent developments must be faced.
The COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to revealing all the inadequacy of the capitalist countries’ health systems and bourgeois governments in coping with the health emergency, was used by the bourgeoisie to justify both a crisis, which began well before the spread of the virus, caused by the irreconcilable contradictions of the capitalist mode of production, and the restructuring measures that capital intends to carry out in order to deal with them. Bourgeois governments have faced the health emergency mainly in a bureaucratic-administrative way through the application of QR codes, ineffective to combat the spread of the virus, and confused and often contradictory provisions and information. Furthermore, the ambiguity of government communication has favored the spread, even among workers, of obscurantist and anti-scientific positions and the strongly dividing confrontation of two fronts of opinion regarding the vaccine. The polarization of the discussion for or against the vaccine has served to distract attention from the unsolved real problems. A mandatory and mass vaccination campaign has not been launched, relying only on monitoring tools (the “green pass” and tests replacing the vaccine, which in turn have become a source of enrichment for private healthcare), rather than on the prevention tool (the vaccine). Patents on vaccines have not been expropriated, what could have avoided shortages in the supply of doses and could have insured accessibility to the vaccine for less developed countries also. The public health system, which in normal situations already presented a serious shortage of beds and staff, has not been improved with the consequence of making it almost impossible to provide care services to patients suffering from other pathologies. Public transport, where crowding creates opportunities for contagion, has not been enhanced. The long-standing problems of the education sector, where the chronic shortage of teaching staff and adequate spaces transforms “corral-classes” into dangerous virus incubators, have not been resolved. Safety in workplaces, where owners often do not report infections in order not to stop production, has not been insured.
The reason why all this has not been done is that the resources of the Next Generation EU fund, divided between the various countries and allocated through the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, are almost entirely used to finance capitalist restructuring and military spending, that are, by the way, in close connection with each other. In Italy, for example, only 8% out of the 195 billion euros of the Fund will go to health and education (public and private). Moreover, these sums must be repaid with interest and will ultimately charged to general taxation. Once again workers have to pay for the capitalists’ profits to keep on growing.
Productive changeovers, provided for in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans and financed with public money, are nothing, but the transfer of over-accumulated capital from less profitable sectors, not necessarily obsolete, to those ones that today produce greater profits. The negative impact for workers is both quantitative, in terms of a net decrease in employment, and qualitative, in terms of worsening of the bargaining agreements’ conditions, which become increasingly insecure, flexible and fixed-term, of low and discontinuous wage levels, of lengthening of working time and working life, of intensification of the pace of work and exploitation, with serious consequences also for the safety and health of workers. The increase in employment in some EU countries, whether measured just in terms of working units or hours worked, hides an increase in precariousness that brings about deep changes in the structure of the labor market and a gradual emptying of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement as a common protection tool for each category and class unification. In addition, the EU laws and jurisprudence are increasingly damaging workers and oriented towards the limitation of their political and labor union rights, starting from the right to strike up to the right of association in class unions not subdued to capitalists and their state.
The correct perception of the ongoing capitalist restructuring processes is still too low and the workers’ resistance too weak, sporadic and fragmented. The hotbeds of the class struggle, which are slowly growing especially in relation to corporate crisis situations, do not have till now the mass character, continuity and organization that they should have. Furthermore, the most advanced and combative workers who promote them undergo increasing police repression and judicial and administrative persecution by the bourgeois state at a time when the political and labor union vanguards of the proletariat are not enough equipped to respond to this attack.
Therefore, it is really necessary that the communist and workers’ parties make things clear. Internally, it is necessary to study with great attention the new developments of the situation, by applying the scientific categories of Marxism-Leninism and fostering a widespread and frank discussion on the response we must give to what is going on. Only through an extensive and widespread internal debate it is possible to come to a synthesis that is shared by the whole body of the party, can be expressed in a clear political line and insure the necessary unity of action of the party. Externally, it is necessary to spread our analysis and our proposals with more tenacity and enthusiasm among the working class, in order to reconstruct our roots within it and restore the attractiveness of the communist prospect. We must equip ourselves in order to carry out the leading function in the class struggle that communists must have, in order to clarify and develop in the proletariat the understanding of reality, the awareness of its own role and of the need for revolutionary change.
Our Party too is making an effort of elaboration and organization to make itself able to fight as effectively as possible in the current conditions. This is an ambitious goal that is not easy to achieve in the current situation. However, we are confident that your congress will also contribute to the advancement of both of our Parties towards this goal. Expressing our will to strengthen the exchange of information and the ties between our two Parties, including joint initiatives of struggle, we wish you, dear comrades, a fruitful course of your congress’ works and new successes in our common struggle for the cause of the working class and the socialist revolution.
LONG LIVE SOCIALISM-COMMUNISM!
PROLETARIANS ALL OVER THE WORLD, UNITE!
Rome, January 7, 2022.
COMMUNIST FRONT (ITALY)
The Political Bureau of the Central Committee