Arrigo Cervetto's Class Struggles and the Revolutionary Party (1964)
Without a Revolutionary Theory, There Can Be no Revolutionary Movement
Capital’s Scientific Methodology
The Skeleton and Body of Marxist Analysis
From Capital to the Leninist Party
The Party, the Science's Point of Arrival
The Political Description of Social Relations
The Materialist Formation of Political Consciousness
Poetical Consciousness Brought From the Outside
The Science Circulated and Recognized Through Action
The Revolutionary Strategy in the Economic Process
Political Analysis as Social Analysis
The Science of die Revolution
Lenin affirmed that without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement. His statement seems simple, but, in reality, it is anything but that since the revolutionary theory is more complex than it may seem to a formal reading of Lenin's political texts. Leninist theory is, precisely, the outcome of a profound scientific analysis of social reality. And, at the same time, it is a class instrument for acting in a historically determined society's economic structures and political superstructures. If we study the Leninist concept of the party, we immediately find ourselves faced with revolutionary theory as Marxist science. That is, we are faced with the issue of the scientific foundations of political action. In other words, it is not possible to understand the Leninist concept of the party unless one understands the entire scientific analysis of the economic structure that constitutes - in Marx and Lenin - its base. Removed from its scientific platform, the Leninist concept of the party would appear to be a monument - perhaps even a gigantic one - to political will. It would be a monument to the theory of power, to the theory of organization, but it would be a monument without a pedestal.
This explains why formal acceptance of some Leninist theses still does not represent the assimilation of the revolutionary theory. That is, it does not represent assimilation of the general scientific concept that is Leninism's foundation.
Consequently, the Leninist concept of the party is the result of a Marxist economic analysis and without applying this latter, we cannot reach - even on an organizational level - the former. Even Lenin's life story as a Marxist illustrates this dialectical path. Hence, the problem to face the entire issue of how to assimilate the revolutionary theory.
On the other hand, facing this problem means being fully aware of the unique ways in which, throughout its history, the Italian working class has related to Marxist theory.
There is an important point that can provide an index for the level of Marxist theory's assimilation and - consequently, if the science-strategy-party equation is correct - for the level of the revolutionary party's maturity. This point is the fact that there are no studies on the history and development of Italian capitalism as scientific applications of Capital to the Italian economy that can rival Lenin's Development of Capitalism in Russia.
It is extremely important to note how Italian Marxism lacks theoretical research that corresponds to the investigation already begun by Lenin in 1894 with What the Friends of the People Are. The aim of this study was to show that materialism is "the only scientific method to explain history".
We may say that there has been no shortage of attempts to vulgarize Capital. In many ways, these attempts are used but they have always lacked an effort to define "the basic idea of Capital" (Lenin). That is: "In what, exactly, does the concept of socio-economic formation consist? And how can and must the development of this formation be regarded as a natural historical process?" (Lenin).
Having raised these issues with Lenin represented a formidable advantage for Russian Marxism in building the revolutionary party. To simplify, we may say that the solution to these problems would bring Lenin to define the concept of "socio-economic formation" as the definition of the general concept of science.
Starting with this, it was finally possible to solve the issue of the party as a problem of the relationship between economic analysis and political action by using the only Marxist "scientific method". Perhaps our interpretation may seem stretched, but it will seem less so if we follow Lenin's own foundations.
For Lenin, "Marx's basic idea" was that "the development of the socio-economic formations is a natural historical process". How did Marx arrive at this crucial idea?
In the first place: "He did this by singling out the economic sphere from the various spheres of social life, by singling out production relations from all social relations as being basic, primary, determining all other relations."
In the second place: "Materialism provided an absolutely objective criterion by singling out production relations as society's structure and by making it possible to apply the general scientific criterion of recurrence to these relations. The subjectivists, indeed, denied this principle's applicability to sociology... The analysis of material social relations (i.e. the relations that take shape without passing through man's consciousness: when exchanging products men enter into production relations without even realizing that these are social production relations) - the analysis of material social relations at once made it possible to observe recurrence and regularity and to generalize the systems of the various countries in the single fundamental concept: social formation. This generalization alone made it possible to proceed from the description of social phenomena (and from their evaluation in terms of an ideal) to their strictly scientific analysis, which isolates, let us say by way of example, that which distinguishes one capitalist country from another and investigates that which is common to all of them."
Lastly, in the third place: "This hypothesis, for the first time, made a scientific sociology possible. Only the reduction of social relations to production relations and of the latter to the level of the productive forces, provided a firm basis for the conception that the development of social formations is a natural historical process. And, obviously, without such a view there can be no social science."
In this masterful exposition, Lenin identified all of Marx's scientific methodology. Instead of attempting one of the many vulgarizations of Capital, faithful in form but incapable of capturing its essence, he extracted the scientific principles of determinate abstraction and of recurrence.
It was this scientific methodology that enabled Lenin to undertake his study of The Development of Capitalism in Russia. In this work, he extensively developed the concept of socio-economic formation by fully confirming the affirmation that it is possible to identify what all capitalist countries have in common ("to observe recurrence and regularity and to generate the systems of the various countries in the single fundamental concept: social formation"). This concept was confirmed because the author "clothed the skeleton of Capital in flesh and blood" from the Russian reality.
In What the Friends of the People Are Lenin wrote:
"Such is the skeleton of Capital. The whole point, however, is that Marx did not content himself with this skeleton, that he did not confine himself to "economic theory" in the ordinary sense of the term, that, while explaining the structure and development of the given formation of society exclusively through production relations, he nevertheless everywhere and incessantly scrutinized the superstructure corresponding to these production relations and clothed the skeleton in flesh and blood.
The reason Capital has enjoyed such tremendous success is that this book by a "German economist" showed the whole capitalist social formation to the reader as a living thing, with its everyday aspects, with the actual social manifestation of the class antagonism inherent in production relations; with the bourgeois political superstructure that protects the rule of the capitalist class; with the bourgeois ideas of liberty, equality, and so forth; with the bourgeois family relationships.
It will now be clear that the comparison with Darwin is perfectly accurate: Capital is nothing but "certain closely interconnected generalizing ideas crowning a veritable Mont Blanc of factual material"."
Is it necessary to add that Lenin also did not limit himself to explaining the structure of Russian capitalism using only the production relations? That he constantly investigated the superstructures that corresponded to these relations? That he Ali studied and described all aspects of Russian capitalist society and all of its actual social manifestations of the classes' antagonism? That he was able to add other mountains of factual material to Marxism's Mont Blanc? Lenin says it himself by citing Plekhanov who wrote: "I repeat that the most consistent Marxists may disagree in the appraisal of the present Russian situation. Our doctrine is the first attempt to apply this scientific theory to the analysis of very complicated and entangled social relations." And Lenin commented: "It seems difficult to speak more clearly: the Marxists unreservedly borrow from Marx's theory only its invaluable methods, without which an elucidation of social relations is impossible, and, consequently, they see the criterion of their judgement of these relations not in abstract schemes and suchlike nonsense at all, but in its fidelity and conformity to reality."
As far as we are concerned, it seems hard to more clearly define scientific faithfulness to Marxism, that is, not faithfulness to an abstract scheme but to methods that are theoretically correct because they make it possible to become aware of realty in its "very complicated and entangled" social relations.
Lenin explains that in the end, the abstraction of "production relations" (singled out from all social relations) makes it possible to become aware of all the actual social manifestations of the classes' antagonism inherent in the production relations themselves; it makes it possible to reconstruct capitalist society "as a living thing". That is, this abstraction makes it possible to reconstruct all social relations in all of their forms and movement. Facing the Mont Blanc of social relations' everyday factual material in another way means being buried by it. And facing it means facing it in action, in the classes' action, in the working class and party's action.
In fact, what scientific meaning would "the invaluable methods" have, if, beside elucidation, analysis, and sociological reconstruction, they did not also make action possible? Indeed, these methods provide the opportunity for the first time in history, to "elucidate social relations". Consequently, what meaning would they have if they were not themselves, the tool for intervening in social life as a whole? We will say more: the "invaluable methods", as a tool for analyzing social relations, are action. They are the party. The party is the only historical form of being for Capital’s science. And this is not so much the case because the party is the propagandist of Capital’s "generalizing ideas" as it is because the party clothes its "skeleton" in the "flesh and blood" of factual material from the reality in which it operates. Through the abstraction of What the Friends of the People Are, we reach the concreteness of What Is to Be Done? From the concept of "socio-economic formation" that identifies the scientific method for elucidating social relations and that describes the law of motion that regulates the general connection between production relations and social relations, we reach this concept's application to the life of all social relations, and, consequently, also to the political forms of these relations.
The Leninist concept of the party, in the light of Lenin’s foregoing development, finally appears to us, on the one hand, as the solution to the basic problems raised by Capital, and, on the other, as the most consistent expression of Capital’s science. It would be extremely important to see to what extent the study and relevant solution of typical and specific problems (the market issue, etc., etc.) of The Development of Capitalism in Russia allowed Lenin to reconstruct "the whole capitalist social formation" in What Is to Be Done? within the "actual social manifestation of the class antagonism" and the "political superstructure."
However, what one may note immediately is that Lenin's conclusion is the perfect demonstration that as far as Marxism, the science, is concerned, economy and politics can't be separated either as a subject of analysis or as a reconstruction as scientific knowledge and therefore action - of the actual social reality. For this reason, Lenin reached, on the one hand, the same conclusion that Marx had reached with his study of the class struggles in France and Germany, and, on the other, made a fundamental contribution to this study that takes all into consideration of the material accumulated over the course of the class struggles during the development of capitalism in new areas (Russia).
Lenin provided us with an analysis on all economic and political levels that is both confirmation and development of Marx's conclusions. It confirms them because he demonstrates that only by assimilating and using Marx's scientific method (the abstraction of production relations) is it possible to produce a strictly scientific analysis of social phenomena. And it develops them because by applying this method Lenin validates the "theory's correctness and conformity to [Russian] reality." Lenin follows Capital’s entire logical pathway to reach the party; that is, he reaches the conclusion that seems voluntaristic to many and which, instead, is the most determinate element in all of Marxist science.
If we cannot understand Marxism's entire process of elaboration and action, we cannot see that the party is already in Marx, that it is somehow "typical" of Marxism. That is, the party is what we may define as an "abstraction," considering the whole socio-economic formation's level of development through its structures and superstructures in a given historical period. While the Leninist concept of the party is the confirmation, the recognition of its "recurrence" on the testing ground of class struggles, and the scientific continuity.
A similar erroneous view, however, is held by those who only see the continuity and typical character of the Marxist concept of the party. These people only see a formal "invariance" and don't recognize, on the contrary, that continuity, invariance, and the typical character of the Marxist concept of the party subsist in Lenin because they are criteria to evaluate the theory's correctness and conformity to reality.
Within this scientific continuity - which has nothing of the empirical and essentially metaphysical practice of tradition-innovation - the Leninist concept of the party takes on all of its "particular" features. This occurs precisely because it contains all of the "typical" traits of the Marxist concept of the party, and it has them not because they are proclaimed as an act of faith in an unchanged tradition, but rather because they were taken as a method or "scientific hypothesis". Indeed, Lenin used this term properly. For him, this is a tool to be used to understand reality and to do so by "isolating that which distinguishes one capitalist country from another and investigating that which is common to all of them".
In their analysis of Russian reality the Populists used a subjective and idealistic method through which they only noticed the social phenomena that distinguished it from other countries. As a result, they were unable to identify the determining factors (the production relations) that the Russian reality had in common with all other countries. By reversing this method, Lenin re-established the validity of a method that would make it possible - even in Russia - to objectively recognize what social relations and phenomena inherent in the predominant production relations were and would become. This would also make it possible to achieve an objective, and no longer just subjective, understanding of all the political phenomena that constitute the superstructural mechanism of movement behind all social relations. Lenin not only contributed this, but he also re-established the validity of a method that makes it possible to study through a given social reality's typical trait - and through this alone - all of its particular features, of its particularity.
And thus, "particularity", "particular forms", and "national variations", that is, all of those aspects that only the foolish superficial metaphysical opportunist can call "new", lose their arbitrary nature as subjective notions. They become scientific ideas that only Marxism can substantiate, develop, and concretely define in a general analysis.
Hence, the Leninist concept of the party develops not as a simplistic application of Marxism, not as a simple political translation of Marxist "economic theory", but rather as an essential point of arrival of a science that is Marxist because Marxism expanded its object from nature to society. Thus, the party as the science's point of arrival. Why? One could answer that the party, in its Leninist conception, is the highest point of the theoretical consciousness of society's natural historical process. One could reply that it is the conscious part of the entire process and that, as such, it is historically the first "organized consciousness" of the human race.
But this would still be vague. We must better illustrate the demonstration by referring to an issue that Marx raised in Capital and that allows us to see how Lenin deals with it in the "political" field.
"The scientific analysis of the capitalist mode of production," Marx says, "demonstrates that the distribution relations are essentially coincident with the production relations. They are their opposite side, so that both share the same historically transitory character... Wages suppose wage labor, profit supposes capital. These forms of distribution therefore suppose production conditions with determinate social characters, and determinate social relations between the agents of production. A given distribution relation, then, is only the expression of a historically determined production relation... "
According to Marx, this is an objective law that regulates all the social relations in the capitalist society so that distribution relations correspond to production relations, invalidating this law means not comprehending the capitalist production process itself, extended reproduction, accumulation.
This law is clearly at the basis of all of Lenin's Marxist development, and it is this law that allows him to reconstruct the process of extended reproduction and capitalist accumulation in the Russian economy. It allows him to understand how "determinate forms of distribution" within that economy were the expression of a "historically determined production relation" in that phase of Russian history.
Obviously, in Marx's presentation, the law pronounced at that level of abstraction concerned a coincidence of the production relation (wage labor-capital) with the distribution relation (wage-profit). But, as Lenin explained, Marx showed all the "actual social manifestations of the classes' antagonism inherent in production relations". That is, he showed all the social manifestations of distribution relations.
Marx, and Lenin by following his main road, show us all the social manifestations of capitalist accumulation, of the appropriation of value, of production of surplus-value, and of the surplus-value's subdivision into industrial profit, commercial profit, interest, and rent.
The relations of production-relations of distribution coincidence shows us the lifecycle of the capitalist social formation in its class struggles, in the political and ideological aspects that these struggles take on as a reflection of the historically determined production relations and the distribution relations inherent in them. It shows us all these relations in a single, complex process of movement that combines "economy" and "politics" in a contradictory reality. Scientific knowledge of this reality is the objective premise for the Marxist-Leninist concept of the party.
In What Is to Be Done?, Lenin addresses the issue of the production relations-distribution relations coincidence. He faces it as a "political" and "social" description of this coincidence. In Capital’s abstraction, the production relations only seemed to explain the economy. Likewise the abstraction of social and political relations in What Is to Be Done? only seems to explain politics. In reality, it should now be clear that the former also explained politics while the latter included an explanation of the economy. This, because both explain and reconstruct the entire movement of social reality.
We can see how Lenin translates Marx's "economic" thesis into "political" language not only to demonstrate that Marxist scientific language can be translated, but, above all, to solve some problems that Marx's science had raised. Lenin writes against the spontaneists:
"The consciousness of the masses of the workers cannot be genuine class consciousness unless the workers learn to observe every other social class and all the manifestations of the intellectual, ethical and political life of these classes from concrete, and above all, from topical, political facts and events. It cannot be genuine unless they learn to apply materialist analysis and the materialist estimate of all aspects of all classes, strata, and population groups' life and activity in practice.
Those who focus the working class' attention, observation, and consciousness on itself alone or even primarily on itself are not Social-Democrats because, the working class, to realize itself, must not only have a theoretical - or rather, it would be more true to say - not so much a theoretical as a practical understanding, of the relationships between all of modern society's various classes. And this understanding must be acquired through the experience of political life. That is why the idea preached by our economists, that the economic struggle is the most widely applicable means of drawing the masses into the political movement, is so extremely harmful and reactionary in practice.
To become a Social-Democrat [revolutionary], a worker must have a clear image in mind of the landlord's economic nature and social and political features, as well as of the priest, of the high State official, and of the peasant, student, and tramp. The worker must know their strong and weak points; he must understand all of the catchwords and sophisms by which each class and stratum camouflages its selfish strivings and its true "nature". The worker must understand what interests certain institutions and laws reflect and how they reflect them. This "clear image" cannot come from books. It comes from living pictures and exposures...
These political exposures related to all issues of social life are the necessary and basic condition for training the masses in revolutionary activity."
In this debate with the "economists," we find an important example of how the scientific principle of abstraction is fully expressed in the Leninist conception of political activity while, at the same time, it contains a political application of "action" that is just as important and that corresponds perfectly to the concept of socio-economic formation. With the experience of political life, by applying in practice the materialist analysis and estimate to all classes' activities and life, the working class must obtain a "clear image" of the entire society. No book can provide such an image because it is activity itself (the matter), and not the book (the abstraction of the matter, the concept), that comprises the "living picture."
The working class can become aware of itself in particular through practical-political awareness of the interrelations between all of society’s classes, it must have a clear image of the economic characteristics and of the political and social figures that make up these classes and social strata. Only through this clear awareness can the working class recognize its own economic, political, and social character in its relationship with the other classes and social strata. Through this recognition, it can distinctly and scientifically reconstruct the "living picture" of the entire society in all of its economic, social and political manifestations. That is, the working class can act as the conscious-scientific factor in a real movement within a natural historical process.
Consciousness is awareness of action, of the reality in which one acts, of the way of acting itself. The whole of this consciousness-action is the party and its strategy. Having reached awareness of all the classes' interrelations with all of their traits and manifestations; having reached awareness of the objective possibility to distinguish and demystify the "ideological form" in these manifestations from the "economic substance," the working class can scientifically establish its own conduct, its own strategy. And this is, in actuality, nothing other than the establishment of a "conscious relation" within the whole of unconscious, determinate "interrelations" that exist between all classes and between any single class and the working class itself. It can establish this, considering all the relations in their movement and with ail of the foreseeable changes that will modify them.
It is only too apparent that the working class cannot know itself, much less its strategy or the coordinated movement of all of its actions and struggles, if it only sees its relationship with industrial capital. Lenin tells us that the working class cannot even be aware of this "immediate" relationship. That is, since the wage labor-capital production relation is the abstraction that makes awareness of all social relations possible and, consequently, also of the relationship between industrial capitalists and workers, the working class does not even become truly aware of this specific social relationship of its own. The working class halts at the simply personalized spontaneity of labor-power commodity without even reaching awareness of being a commodity; this occurs because it is unaware of the entire process of formation of the labor-power commodity's market - which would enable awareness of the social relations between the classes that contribute to form that market - and, consequently, it cannot even exactly know this market in either its "abstract" (market, labor-power commodity, etc.) form or in its "living picture".
Through the problem of class "consciousness", therefore, we reach one of the "abstractions" in Capital and The Development of Capitalism in Russia. More importantly, in this way, we reach this through "politics". Lenin explains that the working class cannot find "a clear image" of the entire social and political process represented in any book. It may only find this in its conscious political activity, that is, in its experience. This would seem to contradict the central thesis of his concept of the party, yet it does not because the working class becomes conscious through its social and political experience, but it only gains precise awareness of this through the science that the party can give it.
The party is the scientific "skeleton" that the class, by taking it on, can cloth in the "flesh and blood" of the experience-awareness of its political activity. Indeed, in What Is to Be Done? we find again all of the scientific logic Lenin had identified in Capital. What use would the "skeleton" have if not to be clothed in the factual material from social life? If the working class were to operate within the factual material of social life without the scientific possibility of reconstructing all of its connections, it would not even be able to specifically place its own experience. On the other hand, if the science did not contain the possibility of verifying its hypotheses, the possibility of finding recurrence, regularity, and the possibility of generalizing facts and phenomena, it (the science, the party, the "consciousness brought from the outside") would no longer be a science but rather a pseudo science, a metaphysic.
In Lenin's view, the outside consciousness-awareness-experience relationship, the party-class relationship, is a fundamental aspect of that scientific principle.
For example, it is an unquestionable and well-known fact that Marx was able, within the mountain of factual material (particularly in the English experience), to recognize the recurrence of phenomena that derived from the scientific hypothesis of capital's extended reproduction and to confirm the regularity of a group of facts, so that it was possible for him to develop a series of scientific generalizations and objective laws that we may categorize under the term "accumulation". Within this entire process of capitalist accumulation, the classes and social strata lived economically, socially, politically, and had a series of interrelations; they developed struggles that changed these relations; they had a practical experience, and the awareness of this was expressed in a variety of "ideologies" that, one way or another, mystified reality and real experience.
This certainly did not prevent capitalist accumulation just as it did not prevent its great critic from analyzing it, investigating it, demonstrating it. The class's lack of consciousness did indeed prevent the party's development, but Marx did not need the class's conscious experience to verify the recurrence of the social phenomena that he described.
However, if an objective process can be recognized and described scientifically - and this holds the key to the Marxist concept of the party - the spread of scientific awareness to part of this process, to the working class, lies within the development of the science itself, it lies within the development of the party - and this is the essence of the Leninist development of the Marxist conception. But, if the development itself of the science lies within its circulation, the kind of circulation will typify its essence. Consequently, it must be a "materialist" kind of circulation and not "Enlightenment-like" or "idealistic". It is precisely this "materialist" character that distinguishes the science that Marxism applies to society.
This gives rise to the circulation of the science to recognize - within a class's activities - the recurrence of the objective laws that the science describes. In a letter to Sorge, Engels clearly establishes how the development of consciousness in the working class is a "materialist" kind of process when he writes that the party (the science, the "materialist" and not "Enlightenment-like" spreader) must move "within every general movement of the real working class, accept its starting points as such, and gradually lead it to the theoretical level, while pointing out how every mistake made, every defeat suffered, is a necessary consequence of theoretical mistakes in the original program".
Circulation of the science, bringing "consciousness from the outside" to the working class cannot, therefore, be reduced to "ideological preaching". Nor can it be reduced to the "preaching of scientific abstractions" because they only have cognitive value in as far as they reproduce the whole reality.
In a remarkable way, Lenin details this material process of consciousness development in the historical stage in which the development of consciousness itself becomes a typical offshoot of its spread. Thus, it is able to become materially active, or, as we would say more conventionally, politically active: "Class political consciousness can be brought to the workers only from without, that is, only outside of the economic struggle, outside of the sphere of relations between workers and employers. The only sphere that can provide this consciousness is the sphere of relationships between all the various classes and strata, and the State and the government - the sphere of the interrelations between all the various classes."
Lenin's formula is crucial because it implicitly excludes both the idealist conception of the practice as well as the empirical one. Class consciousness is not something superimposed, but neither is it a self-creation as, in essence, the empirical conceptions maintain. In reality, these are nothing more than voluntaristic and opportunistic rejections of the science; they are demonstrations of the belief - both conscious and unconscious - that it is not possible to be aware of the object of reality; they are demonstrations of an implicit admission that knowledge is impossible because it can only be attained by acting. In contrasting the process in which class consciousness develops reproduces, on a political level, the abstraction-concreteness process that we observed in theory, in Capital. Where can the class attain its consciousness? Only in the sphere of the interrelations between all the various classes and the State, in political relations. It is only in its political consciousness, then, that the class can attain its theoretical consciousness, the scientific consciousness that will allow it to attain knowledge of the "production relations" abstraction. Only within their complex life does the simple form of these relations exist.
There is no other way for class consciousness to come about because within the economic struggle, the working class is only aware of the "workers and employers" social relationship. It is only aware of one aspect of the whole economic picture, and this aspect has been distorted and mystified. We quoted one of Lenin's passages that is important because it says that the worker must clearly represent for himself the economic nature and the political and social features of the landlord, the priest, the high State official, the peasant, student, and tramp. Yet, he does not mention the capitalist. But what can clearly represent for the worker the economic nature and the political and social features of the capitalist if not the knowledge - which is ultimately political of all the other social actors and their relationships?
The scientific principles, the "generalizing ideas", must be materialistically brought to the class (and herein lies the party's first propagandizing function), but they cannot be known except through action, in the "flesh and blood" of the class within the entire social body.
Abstraction explains the formation of surplus-value and capitalist accumulation. Nonetheless, it is the process of subdividing the surplus-value that explains how this accumulation occurs historically. This takes place throughout society "with the priest and the State official", "with the landlord and the peasant".
This process of capitalist development involves all the classes and all of their relationships "economically, socially, politically". Therefore, from among many examples, the peasant disintegration is both a result of and a factor in the development of the capitalist market and the labor-power market. The degree of its extension and intensity will give the market and capitalist accumulation a certain level while the political struggle that accompanies this process will have an impact on the various degrees and levels.
The working class itself is the outcome of this whole process; it is a result of all the class struggles that accompany the process, it is involved in it, and it comprises all of that political experience which can be transformed into consciousness when it has learned from the party "to apply in practice the materialist analysis and estimate to all classes' activities and life". That is, all the political forms - and there is no alternative - in which the process of capitalist accumulation is present and manifest in practical life.
Consequently, the working class' political consciousness becomes the form of spread of the science's development. Within its struggle and that of all the classes, the working class attains knowledge of the objective laws, of the production relations and the inherent distribution relations, that regulate all struggles, including its own.
The working class' conscious struggle, however, obviously does not change the laws' objectiveness. Rather, it constitutes a factor for intervention in the historical process in which these laws act. As Lenin pointed out in practice, the substance and forms of this intervention constitute the class' strategy, and its elaboration, application, and development require the appropriate organizational tools.
At this point, an extremely important matter arises that is shared by the problems brought up by capitalist economic development and by the strategy and political struggle's development. Can awareness of economic development, political consciousness, as a factor for political intervention in social relations "quantitatively" interfere with distribution relations? Can it interfere in the determination of capitalist accumulation from a quantitative point of view? Doesn't the party become a factor in this determination?
We could answer in general that all social relations, all class struggles historically determine the quantitative aspect of the production relations.
The mechanism of the laws that regulate capitalist production is a complex of objective interdependencies that are determined and that determine it.
For many reasons, we can't analyze this mechanism here. Let it suffice to repeat that class struggles are the social demonstration of these objective laws; they are an essential factor in these laws; they are the movement itself of the structure since there are no production relations that are not social relations. Therefore, the production relations won't be, in this perspective, anything other than the abstraction of the class struggles, and their quantitative aspects will be determined by these struggles. Marxism does not introduce class struggle to the capitalist process for the simple reason that they already exist within it. Marxism introduces political consciousness to this process, it introduces the awareness that this process can't be "modified" but rather "destroyed" with the violence of a class, that is, with an organized political will.
By now it is clear that the political analysis of social relations, the materialist analysis of these relations, is, in practice, the analysis of production relations, that is, the political analysis of these relations; or, more precisely, the science of a violent intervention strategy within the production relations themselves. In other words, with the Leninist concept of the party as a strategy, we have now historically reached the solution to the infinite economic problems that capitalist socio-economic formation raises, leaves unsolved, and worsens. Politics is the only solution to this problem precisely because, as Marxism showed, the economy has no "economic" solutions. The party resolves these unsolved economic problems "politically", and it only solves them not when it wants to, but when their solution historically appears as politically feasible, just as the spread of awareness of this solution, that is the party, appears politically feasible.
If there is a correspondence between the problems raised "economically" by capitalism and the ones raised "politically" by the classes' struggle, if there is a correspondence of degree, extension, vastness, and acuteness, nonetheless there is an ever-increasing need "to apply in practice the materialist analysis and estimate to all classes' activities and life" and to unmask the economic "substance" of the "ideological sophism". That is, there is a growing need for specific knowledge of the "correspondence" between the economy and politics. Without the party, this correspondence cannot be specifically and politically known, and the course of the classes' struggles is solved "politically" by capitalism.
Discovering all the forms and degrees of this correspondence by analyzing the largest quantity of factual material from social and political life - constant and regular phenomena that can be generalized as "typical" - is a scientific task.
Marx has already provided the general principle of correspondence. Lenin develops it, applies the science to politics, describes the general laws in the forms in which they operate at a certain stage in the development of capitalist socio-economic formation and on the political level of the classes' struggles. In this elaboration Marx is again confirmed and developed. With Lenin we reach what we may define, with Lenin himself, as an objective or scientific sociology of politics.
What bourgeois ideology defined as a "political science", was nothing more than a positivist and subjective sociology that generalized political phenomena and subjectively built some laws of politics without having scientifically determined - using materialist analysis - their relationship with the economic structure's objective laws.
Leninist "political" science, which has its "generalizing ideas" in Marx's Capital, The Eighteenth Brumaire, The Civil War in France, etc., is a "form" of Marxist science. Once again we repeat here that, in this case as well, we only use the terms "politics" and "economy" as illustrations, since there is no Marxist economic science that is an end in itself. Rather, there is a scientific principle of abstraction of production relations that determine the superstructure, such as politics.
The Leninist concept of the party is, indeed, the science that analyzes, describes, and defines in what forms, with what traits, with what manifestations "what is determined" behaves, moves, acts, reacts, survives, or explodes during the imperialist stage of the capitalist socio-economic formation. And, as a science, the party analyzes, describes, and defines its own behavior and action, its strategy. It can do this because from Marxism's "generalizing ideas" it has drawn its scientific platform and the object of the circulation of Marxism within the working class. It has drawn them as a scientific principle to be verified in the "materialist" development of the proletarian political consciousness.
Having become objectively a true "collective consciousness", the party can accumulate knowledge of a "Mont Blanc of concrete and political facts" that capitalism's contradictions, the classes' ever more acute struggles, the ever expanding manifestations of social antagonisms, and increasingly apparent demonstration of the State's complete subordination to capitalism raise before the working class' political experience. Within this heap of concrete political facts, the party constitutes the scientific laboratory in which the principles of abstraction and recurrence of social phenomena, as well as of social and political struggles can be verified. The tremendous amount of precious experience is accumulated on both domestic and international levels which makes it possible to specifically identify constant and regular phenomena that appear in every kind of connection between the production and social relations, in all class and political struggles.
The outcome is the precise definition of a few "laws" that we could call "objective laws of the superstructure". Lenin's work abounds with his contribution to a more detailed description of the "objective laws," to a more minute analysis of the "internal articulation", to a more concrete awareness of the "determination."
His whole work is an inexhaustible mine of descriptions, analyses, knowledge, experience, and definition of the classes' struggles, of political struggles, of the "objective laws" of the political superstructure. It is a mine that already has its own organization within it, something that has yet to be discovered in many of its veins.
With his concept of the party, Lenin applied the scientific method to define all the forms that regulate the structure, superstructure relationship; all of the "typical" aspects, and all of the "particular" ones that characterize this relationship in its historical movement, in its ascending stage as well as in its stage of convulsion and disintegration.
The party's strategy, the working class' strategy had politically matured into a science of action resulting from the possibility of the socialist revolution. At that point, the science had become in practice what it had always been theoretically: the science of the revolution.