Amadeo Bordiga

From Academic Kids

Amadeo Bordiga (1889 - 1970) was a prominent Italian socialist.

Active opposing the Italian colonial war in Libya, Bordiga was active in the Italian Socialist Party founding the Karl Marx Circle in 1912. He rejected a pedagogical approach to political work and developed a theory of the party whereby it constituted a non-immediate from of organisation which included some people not sociologically working class. He was profoundly opposed to representative democracy which he associated with bourgeois electoralism declaring:

“Thus if there is a complete negation of the theory of democratic action it is to be found in socialism.” Il Socialista, 1914

Therefore he opposed the parliamentary fraction of the Socialist Party members of parliament being autonomous from control by the party. In common with most socialists in the Latin countries he campaigned against freemasonry as a firm advocate of secularism.

Following the Russian Revolution of October 1917 he rallied to the Communist movement and formed the Communist Abstentionist fraction within the Socialist Party. Abstentionist in that it opposed participation in bourgeois elections and it was this fraction that would, with the addition of the former L'Ordine nuovo grouping in Turin around Gramsci, that formed the backbone of the Communist Party of Italy (PCd'I) founded at Livorno in January 1921. This was after a long internal struggle in the Italian Socialist party which had voted as early as 1919 to affiliate to the Third International but had refused to purge its reformist wing. In the course of this struggle Bordiga had attended the 2nd Congress in 1920 where he added 2 conditions to the 19 conditions of membership proposed by Lenin.

Nevertheless he was attacked by Lenin in “Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder”. He became leader of the PCd'I until his arrest in 1921. After successfully defending himself at his trial, he nevertheless refused to rejoin the Executive Committee and in 1924 he refused to be named as the Vice President of the party. He attended his last meeting of the Executive Committee of the Communist International in 1926, the same year in which he told Joseph Stalin face-to-face that he had betrayed the revolution - he was the last person to do such a thing and keep his life. In 1930 he was expelled from the PCd'I for taking the defence of Leon Trotsky.

With his expulsion from the PCd'I Bordiga left political activity until 1944. Indeed he was to refuse to comment on political affairs even when asked by trusted friends. However many of his former supporters in the PCd'I went into exile and founded a political current, often refered to as Italian Left Communism. Bordiga would again work with many of these comrades following the end of World War two.

After 1944 he first returned to political activity in the naples based Fraction of Socialists and Communists. But when this grouping was dissolved into the International Communist Party he refused to become a member. However he did contribute to its press, primarily Battaglia Comunista and Prometeo, anonymously in keeping with his conviction that revolutionary work was collective in nature and his opposition to any cult of the individual.

When the ICP split into two in 1954 he took the side of the grouping that retained the name and published Il Programma Comunista. Only some time later however did he formally become a member of what was known as the ICP(PC). On the theoretical plane in these years Bordiga developed an understanding of the Soviet Union as a capitalist society. In addition to which he continued to view himself as a Leninist and was pro-Lenin while he was a constant critic of Stalinism.

External links

it:Amadeo Bordiga nl:Amedeo Bordiga pt:Amadeo Bordiga


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