Onorato Damen 1943
First Published: Prometeo, 1943;
Source: Internationalist Communist Tendency;
Transcribed: by R.K Sabatino.
It is no accident that today we communists, the unwavering supporters and defenders of the Russian Revolution, of its ideas and of its first actions, have to defend ourselves from the accusation of now being against this great historic experience. This accusation is thrown at us by those who were the Revolution’s most open and ferocious enemies during the period when the bourgeois liberal and social democratic coalition tried to strangle it either militarily with mercenary banditry or through starvation; and sought to isolate it from the capitalist world behind a barbed wire fence of defamation and conspiracy.
Such a complete change of mind, and of political sympathy, towards Russia is much less surprising than may be imagined. In the light of Marxism it is easily understandable. Today this sympathy and solidarity runs from the Church to the captains of industry, from the Socialists to the magnates of high finance.
We are not amongst these; and the workers who have defended, and still defend Russia as the first great experiment of their class, have to finally understand the reason why we communists do not hesitate to state our opposition to the Russia of Stalin while, at the same time, we proclaim ourselves faithful fighters for the Russia of Lenin.
For us the revolutionary events were not insignificant trifles and we adhere completely to the ideas of October through our absolute dedication to the cause of the Russian Revolution, the beginning of the international revolution. For more than twenty years most of us have given everything to its cause: financial interests, family affections, freedom, often ending up in prison, internment or concentration camps. And so it is that the thankless, but necessary and inescapable task of not remaining silent on the truth about Russia therefore falls to us. We have learned in the school of Marxism to struggle openly and firmly against myths, against any kind of ‘taboo’, and for the most concrete truths of the class struggle.
And before we set out our ideas we would like those workers who have held on to their critical capacities, and whose class instincts have not been contaminated, to consider the real reasons which lie behind the profound and sudden solidarity of so many bourgeois reactionaries with the Russia of today, and from which we can define its true nature. For ourselves, we want to clarify here some aspects of this vexed problem and we are sure we shall all reach the same conclusions.
The Russia which we love and defend is that Russia which for years had to operate clandestinely in the shadow of the present ‘Bolshevik’ Party and which in the prisons, in the deportations throughout the Russian wastes preserved intact its faith in the principles of October and which is waiting for the time when it will be able to unite its revolutionary re-awakening with that of the international proletariat. This is the Russia of our anti-bourgeois struggle, the Russia of our unchanging revolutionary passion.