Amadeo Bordiga was one of the greatest figures of the Third, or Communist, International. His formidable body of writings remains energizing, instructive, and often surprisingly topical today.
The Science and Passion of Communism presents the battles of this brilliant Italian communist in the revolutionary cycle of the post-WWI period, through his writings against reformism and war, for Soviet power and internationalism, and against fascism, on one side, and Stalinism and the degeneration of the International, on the other.
Equally important was his sharp critique of triumphant U.S. capitalism in the post-WWII period, and his original re-presentation of the Marxist critique of political economy, which includes the capital-nature and capital-species relationships, as well as a programme of social transformations for the revolution to come.
Introduction: Yesterday’s Battles and Today’s World
PART I: THE ITALIAN LEFT IN THE GREAT REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE (1912–26)
1 Against the War
Against the War as Long as It Lasts
From the Old to the New Anti-militarism
We Take Our Stand
The ‘Fait Accompli’
Nothing to Correct
2 On Elections
The Electionist Illusion
The Electoral Trap
Revolutionary Preparation or Electoral Preparation
3 On Soviets
The System of Communist Representation
Is This the Time to Form ‘Soviets’?
Take the Factories or Take Power?
4 On Strategy and Tactics
The May 1920 Theses – Abstentionist Communist Fraction of the Italian Socialist Party
The Tactics of the Communist International – Fourth Congress (1922)
Theses on the Tactics of the Communist Party of Italy (Rome Theses – 1922)
5 On Fascism, Against Fascism
Report to the Fourth Congress of the C.I. (1922)
Report to the Fifth Congress of the C.I. (1924)
6 The Lyons Theses
Draft Theses for the Third Congress of the Communist Party of Italy (Lyons, 1926)
7 Against Stalin and ‘Socialism in One Country’
The Trotsky Question
Bordiga at the Sixth Enlarged ECCI (February 1926)
Letter to Karl Korsch
PART II: THE STRUGGLE FOR THE REBIRTH OF REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNISM (1945–65)
Section I: Russia and Revolution in Marxist Theory
1 Lessons of Counter-revolutions
2 Forty Years of Organically Analysing Russian Events within the Dramatic Context of the Social and Historical Course of the World
Section II: The Critique of Triumphant Capitalism
1 Property and Financial Capital
2 Welfare Economics
3 The Law of Hunger
4 Murder of the Dead
5 Inflation of the State
6 The United States of America (1947–57)
Attack on Europe
The USA’s European Policy
Korea and the World
Democratic ‘Points’ and Imperial Programmes
‘Old’ and ‘New’ Imperialism
You cannot stop, only the proletarian revolution can stop you, destroying your power
Appendix: With the Academic Seal of Approval the American Economy becomes ‘People’s Capitalism’
Section III: On the ‘Gigantic Movement of Emancipation’ of the Coloured Peoples
1 The Factors of Race and Nation in Marxist Theory (1953)
3 The Multiple Revolutions
4 ‘Racial’ Pressure of the Peasantry, Class Pressure of the Coloured Peoples
Appendix: ‘Negro’ Rage Shook the Rotten Pillars of Bourgeois and Democratic ‘Civilisation’ (1965)
Section IV: On the Revolutionary Prospects of Communism
1 The Revolutionary Programme of Communist Society
2 Who’s Afraid of Automation?
3 The Immediate Revolutionary Programme in the Capitalist West
Section V: On the Party
1 Considerations on the Party’s Organic Activity When the General Situation is Historically Unfavourable (1965)
Annotated Bibliography of Bordiga’s Writings
Annotated Bibliography on Bordiga in Italian
"Pietro Basso has done a great service to the socialist movement by making available this wide-ranging selection of Amadeo Bordiga's work, together with an extensive introduction covering all periods of his activity. Little known to English readers, Bordiga's role as founder and early leader of the Communist Party of Italy, and an independent voice in the Communist International, can now be properly studied and appreciated."
—Marcello Musto, Professor of Sociology at York University, author of The Last Years of Karl Marx: An Intellectual Biography
"Amadeo Bordiga, a key founder of the Italian Communist Party, is the least known of the major European revolutionaries from before and after World War I. After he was sidelined by Stalin and Togliatti, he continued to write major theoretical works into the 1960s. This anthology will help to correct the near-anonymity that enveloped him after the mid-1920s. He was a revolutionary and theoretician on the level of Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg."
—Loren Goldner, author of Revolution, Defeat and Theoretical Underdevelopment: Russia, Turkey, Spain, Bolivia
"The fine translations by Giacomo Donis and Patrick Camiller allow non-Italian speakers fresh insight into what Basso charmingly calls the "goldmine" of Bordiga's vast array of research."