The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Spain:
What Perspective for the Working Class?

May 9, 2013

The following article was translated from long excerpts taken from two articles appearing the issues #151 and 152 of Lutte de Classe, the political journal of the comrades of Lutte Ouvrière, active in France.

For five years, Spain has been mired in an economic and financial crisis, with dramatic consequences for the working class and for the entire society. This crisis is tied to the general crisis that is gripping the capitalist system worldwide. However, in Spain, it has taken on a particular character linked to the excessive growth of the construction and real estate sectors over the course of the past decades. It is also defined by the dramatic increase of totally uncontrollable speculative activities in the wake of this “housing crisis.”

For a long time, the risk of a housing crisis loomed over Spain, with heavy consequences for the financial equilibrium of the banks and the state, although this risk was denied by the successive governments who were well aware of the situation nonetheless.

In the period from 1995 to 2005, the construction and housing industries entered into a kind of infernal spiral. For many years, the markets had stagnated. To offset the consequences of this stagnation, real estate companies and bankers raised housing prices, which went up by close to 91%. At the same time, the increase in unemployment was causing the incomes of the population to decline. In an attempt to increase their markets, the real estate companies and bankers offered mortgages lasting much longer – thirty, forty, or even fifty years. They asked for guarantees that were less and less strict. At the same time, however, they raised prices to offset the fall in demand. More homes remained unsold, causing a chain of bankruptcies and a dramatic rise in unemployment in the construction industry.

Shell companies bought up the unsold properties, interrupting their construction and using them to speculate. The real estate capitalists and the banks, which had consented so readily to long-term loans, shuffled around fictional capital in short-term operations and gambled with all of these funds on the stock market. The banks bailed out the bankrupt capitalist companies, then knocked at the government’s door in order to get bailed out themselves. The vicious circle that fed into the housing bubble and eventually caused it to burst had already begun.

In the period from 2005-2007, in an attempt to hold back the consequences of the housing market’s collapse, the largest building and public works firms (OHL, Acciona, Sacyr Vallehermoso, FCC) tried to use their financial power to control the energy companies. They set out to conquer the oil companies of Central America and Latin America. But after five years, most of these big firms were forced to recognize that this adventure had failed, although the banks covered the financial consequences.

In the midst of all this speculation, the housing bubble burst, resulting in unsold buildings, unpaid mortgages, and bankruptcies at every level. The banks bought up the toxic assets; they also bought the empty buildings. They agreed to new loans for the most powerful companies and let themselves be bailed out by the government, which itself called for help from higher European institutions.

For five years, the international economic crisis has been hammering Spain with full force. Four million jobs have been eliminated. The most recent official statistics report that there are 6,202,700 unemployed, or 27.16% of the working population. Three-and-a-half million workers have been jobless for at least one year, and two million for more than two years. The unemployment rate among young people has reached 57.22%. Close to two million households do not have access to an income linked to a job, since every member of the family is unemployed. 280,000 young Spaniards have left the country to look for work. The social disaster that this massive hemorrhage of jobs represents shows that the hundreds of millions of Euros spent on bailing out the banks and public funds have not helped to put the economy back on its feet and even less to protect the poorest parts of the population. The big Spanish and European companies have pillaged the economy and public services.

Faced with all of this, the laboring classes have reacted in various ways, with many demonstrations of different types and starting points. These mobilizations are a hope for the future.

From the Discredit of the Socialists in Power to the Rise of Contestation

In March 2008, the Socialist José Luis Zapatero began his second term as head of government, following the elections in which his party, the Socialist Party (PSOE), won 43.84% of the votes. Only some time before, he had been insisting that the housing crisis and its consequences were only a temporary slump. Harried by the right wing, by the bosses, and by the European authorities, he was nevertheless forced to recognize that the economic situation was worse that he had claimed and that it was time for sacrifices – sacrifices, that is, by workers and the rest of the poorer classes, who, he dared to say, had “lived beyond their means.” For their part, the bosses and the entire capitalist class demanded that the Socialist government take measures to restart the economy so as to guarantee their profits. To this end, they claimed that it was necessary to reduce the cost of labor – which is to say wages and benefits – as well as to make layoffs easier and cheaper.

Zapatero obeyed. While close to 20% of the active population was unemployed and 800,000 workers in the construction industry had lost their jobs, and while economic instability gripped a growing number of workers and young people, the government drew up a reform of the employment law for companies. It aimed to lower the cost of layoffs and make it easier to transition towards a temporary and part-time workforce. It was so strongly and openly anti-worker that Zapatero chose not to ask the opinion of his “social partners,” which is to say the big union federations, the Workers’ Commissions (CCOO), and the UGT (General Union of Workers).

This reform was presented as a way to favor permanent work contracts, under the pretext that the bosses will hire since the severance payments would not cost them much. In reality, it simply made the unemployment situation worse, since the bosses and the administrations knew that they had a free hand to switch to the contractual form most profitable to themselves. Another gift for the bosses: it became possible for employers to freely introduce more flexibility of hours and more geographic mobility, all with wages dropping lower and lower.

The attack was so serious and so visible that the two largest unions, the Workers’ Commissions and the UGT, which have played the game of collaborating with different governments – and particularly with Socialist governments – for 36 years, felt obligated to denounce the proposal and call for a day-long strike on September 29th, 2010.

It was the first general strike since Zapatero came to power in 2004. His response was to refuse any negotiation with the unions and he imposed his reform by decree. He limited himself to asking Parliament to validate a decree that all of the PSOE deputies voted for, which caused considerable dissatisfaction among left-wing voters.

While they were at it, the politicians decided on measures aimed at cutting the public sector’s expenses. The reduction in public workers’ wages and the privatization of certain government functions stirred up all the more anger since every week the media described new sacrifices needed to finance the bank bailouts. Add to this the press revelations of scandals that incriminated politicians linked to the two main parties – the PSOE on the left and the People’s Party (PP) on the right – not even to mention the royal family’s various escapades. The daylong general strike on September 29th, 2010 was widely followed, but workers who had hoped for a strong reaction from their union leadership were deceived. The speeches of the leaders – Cándido Mendez for the UGT and Fernandez Toxo for the Workers’ Commissions – were more or less limited to respectful demands that Zapatero’s government change its course. Nothing more.

This plea was in vain. The Socialist leaders did not change their course. The government in place continued its attacks on the population. It imposed new austerity measures, such as pushing the retirement age back to 67 years. This new attack brought the Socialist government a little more unpopularity still. The right-wing opposition, whose leader was Mariano Rajoy, leaned on this dissatisfaction. It hoped to reap the harvest of the PSOE’s discredit during the 2011 regional and municipal elections and above all during the general elections scheduled for March 2012. Indeed, everyone predicted that the PSOE would lose its majority, at the regional level as well as the national level.

15M: A Surprise Reaction from Young People that Shook Society

Given all the measures forced on the population and the cynicism of politicians whose policy consisted of sticking their hands in the pockets of the poor in order to distribute billions to the bankers and capitalists – all this helps to explain the size and extent of the demonstrations organized by the “15M” movement (for May 15th, 2011), sometimes referred to as the “movement of the Indignados.” The date was presented as a “worldwide day of the outraged” encompassing the various countries affected by the crisis. In Spain, it could well have been another simple day of demonstrations, as it was in other countries. Instead, it was the start of a spectacular reaction that lasted for several weeks, in several places for almost two or three months, with the occupation of symbolic places in the country’s big cities, in particular that of Puerta del Sol in Madrid.

The demonstrators’ actions were not limited to raising a cry of alarm or outrage. The actions grew up in the cities and in the neighborhoods. This struggle was imprecise, but it was also widespread. It denounced the injustices and the aberrations that the politicians and businessmen had imposed on the population. It denounced the unemployment, the forced evictions, the bankers, and the politicians who had brought Spain to the point of catastrophe.

The occupation of Puerta del Sol in Madrid set off the movement. However, the level of response to the call to action sent over the Internet by the movement’s originators was not due solely to the virtues of electronic communication. It came from disappointed hopes, in particular on the part of the young people who did not know what to do, neither with their energy, nor with their diplomas when they had any, nor with their future.

This was not the first movement of protest among Spanish youth.. Students also fought several years ago against a university reform called the Bologna Process that aimed to place the universities under the control of private interests and contributed towards an increase in unemployment and lack of job security. The existence of collectives, accustomed to discuss and circulate information and calls to action through the Internet, already played a role in this earlier movement. That was when the activist networks of the 15M movement, like Jovenes sin Futuro (Youth Without a Future), had been formed.

Moreover, ATTAC, an anti-globalization organization, had a notable presence in intellectual circles, as well as links to certain working-class neighborhoods. At the same time, there were movements to occupy empty houses and squatting operations in a certain number of cities. There was also the abstentionist No les votes (Do not elect them) or the movement around Democracia Real Ya! (Real Democracy Now!). These disparate groupings were hostile to any openly political approach, which they considered comparable to that of the politicians. They argued just as forcefully against the idea of organization – any display of the presence of a political party was rejected under the pretext that it would go against the idea of “direct democracy.”

At first, the movement took the form of acampadas – huge encampments set up in the city central squares to which the 15M movement called on the population to come and discuss. Second, it took the form of neighborhood assemblies. The organizers advanced general “apolitical” slogans about fighting back and refusing established forms, all while denouncing unemployment and the power of the banks. However, they rejected anything political, including the existence of a spokesperson or a program. For a period, the republican flag and the red flag were banned from assemblies and demonstrations, although they were eventually tolerated. Any reference to the notion of social class was also banished under the pretext that this would divide the movement – this included the idea of class struggle.

The idea of a party was also rejected, because a party functions “vertically, from the top down,” while, declared those who started the movement, democracy should function “horizontally,” with everyone, as a matter of principle, at the same level. At the heart of this jumble of positions, there was a theoretical haziness that had the force of law. However, the denunciation of the banks, established powers, corruption, evictions and unemployment found an echo that went well beyond only young people. The mobilization elicited a great deal of sympathy towards such a movement, one that rejected the social decline brought on by the policies carried out by the right and the left in power for close to forty years.

Little by little, the movement expanded. The “assemblies” that formed in neighborhoods and cities – even in small cities – became the meeting points for workers, the unemployed, and young people. These were places for discussion, where local actions were prepared and where one could discuss the causes and the blame for unemployment and the economic situation. Today, a number of these assemblies still exist, but only barely, or have disappeared completely. However, they created links of solidarity between individuals and between militants of various backgrounds – precious links that, two years later, still allow for collective reactions (against evictions of residents who do not have the means to pay their rent or bills, for example) and continue to serve as frameworks for discussion. These links still allow people to organize often-spectacular actions against the government’s policies.

Despite its mixed character and its contradictions, this movement has given momentum to the struggles that have developed while the political machinery churns on towards the usual electoral deadlines.

Regional and National Elections: The Defeat of the PSOE and the Offensive of the PP’s Conservatives

On May 22nd, 2011, only one week after the start of the 15M movement, parliamentary elections were held in almost all of the regions, which are called “autonomous communities” in Spain. Almost everywhere, these regional elections ended in a stinging defeat for the PSOE. Throughout the country, Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) scored ten percentage points higher than the PSOE, which had only recently been taken over by Alfredo Rubalcaba. Soon after this defeat, the PSOE leadership announced that general elections to Parliament scheduled for March 2012, which would determine the head of the government, would be held early on November 20th, 2011.

During the regional elections of May 2011, there was a considerable rise of nationalist parties – those branded as being on the right as well as those on the left. In Spain, the 17 major regions grouped under the term of “autonomous communities” each possess their own parliament and a relatively “autonomous” administration, attached to the central power by different links depending on the community, defined in a statute and periodically renegotiated. The two autonomous communities with the most financial privileges and independence from the central power are the Basque Country and Catalonia. For the other autonomous communities, many variations exist.

This arrangement was put in place during the period of transition following the death of Franco, in order to calm relations between the regionalist-nationalist parties and the nation-wide parties like the PSOE and the PP. Indeed, during Franco’s dictatorship, the regionalist and nationalist movements were violently repressed. This did not put a stop to the creation of parties on this basis in all of the major regions. The radicalism of certain parties was a response to the dictatorship’s violence – the dispute between Madrid and the Basque Country or Catalonia was heavy with consequences. This was why the political figures who put the institutions of the current regime of parliamentary monarchy in place negotiated over the functioning of the regional institutions with the political representatives of the moderate regionalist-nationalist parties, situated on the right as well as the left, on the condition that they commit to respecting order and legality.

This functioning led to the development of a large and ambitious class of local politicians, all in the service of the bourgeoisie of their respective regions. Even those among them who were farther to the left put forward objectives that were particular to their own autonomous community and rejected the notion of class struggle. Moreover, the role of these political parties is all the more important in that they participate in the general elections and maintain representation in the national parliament. In this sense, they participate – often in a crucial manner – in the formation of the majorities that comprise the central government and, by extension, its chief executive. Thus, in 2011, the rise of these regionalist-nationalist parties at the end of May aggravated the expected defeat of the PSOE in the general elections that were scheduled. The major victory of the PP was not due to any increase in its votes, but to losses by the PSOE. A large part of the latter’s electoral base chose to abstain or to turn towards other political tendencies farther to the left, including Izquierda Unida, linked to the Spanish Communist Party (PCE), which doubled its votes, and, with 6.9% of the total, got eleven deputies in place of the usual two. Another part of these votes went towards the nationalist or regionalist parties, which further confirmed their rise.

Rajoy’s People’s Party on the Offensive Against the Working Class and Poor

It was therefore the People’s Party, the conservative party, which won the elections of November 2011. The government formed by Rajoy also proposed to set the economy straight by imposing new austerity measures. However, the economy did not pick up, while the blows continued to rain on the working classes. In October 2011, the employers’ union (CEOE) had already laid out a labor reform intended to reduce the cost of layoffs, to worsen work conditions, with a recourse to “labor force adjustment plans” (EREs), a procedure that allows companies to change work contracts by cutting hours or imposing mobility, on the sole condition of claiming, for example, a decline in revenue for three consecutive months.

The public sector budgets were lowered even further. Wages were cut. A plan to cut education by three billion euros was announced, while ten billion euros were to be slashed from the healthcare budget. At every level, the bosses made their moves. Company executives demanded a cut in the contributions that they must pay directly to the state, as well as a reduction in the number of public workers. As for the autonomous communities, they passed a host of budget cuts in social services.

Public funds and European Union loans served to restructure the banking sector. Between 2008 and 2012, the state had pumped around 110 billion euros into the banks. In 2012, the European Union put a loan of 100 billion euros at the disposition of the Spanish state – the equivalent of 10% of the country’s GDP. These funds were to serve in part for the creation of a “bad bank” under state supervision, charged with buying up unsold apartments (or those whose occupants had been evicted) and “toxic” assets from the banks. All the while, Spanish capitalists continued to accumulate profits.

In 2011, the Spanish companies listed on the IBEX 35 (the main stock market index) gave out 33.7 billion euros in profits. The big firms in heavy industry (Inditex and Arcelor), energy (Iberdrola and Repsol), the banking sector (BSCH and BBVA), construction (ACS and FCC), exchange (El Corte Ingles), and telecommunications (Telefonica) came out at the top of the records. At the same time, according to the union of technicians at the Ministry of Finance, tax evasion at the big companies was as high as 42.7 billion Euros.

Mariano Rajoy had said that he wanted to be “audacious, effective, and quick.” He hastily concocted a new labor law reform, which was adopted by the government on February 11, 2012, two months after he came to power. The right-wing reform made the labor market even more flexible. It reduced severance pay and made job security less stable, under the fallacious pretext of favoring jobs for young people, among whom unemployment continued to climb ever higher.

The leaders of the PSOE played the part of a loyal opposition. They voted against the reform, but remained moderate in their criticism. As for the Workers’ Commissions and the UGT union, they organized for a timid fight now that the left was no longer in power. The unions called for a daylong general strike on March 29th. However, it had a moderate tone: “The strike is not an end in itself, but the means to force the government to sit down at the bargaining table,” declared Toxo, the leader of the Workers’ Commissions, regretting the lack of dialogue with the right-wing government. Despite all this, hundreds of thousands of public and private sector workers and unemployed participated in the strike and in its impressive demonstrations. Even if the workers had no illusions in the resolve of their union leaders, this strike on March 29th, 2012, was an opportunity to refuse the measures being put in place. This day of actions allowed for a limited resumption of struggles.

Strikes and Worker Mobilizations

The protest during the day of general strike did not confine itself to the government’s attacks. The aid given to the banks, with the goal of saving the financial system at the expense of the national or regional public funds, continued to grow. The laboring classes were asked to reduce their expenses even more. However, protests and struggles were organized locally. In certain neighborhoods where the banks demanded the eviction of families who could no longer pay their rent, their neighbors, acting with the help of certain associations, organized to prevent these evictions. Sometimes this resulted in the occupation of buildings, apartments, or offices left empty by the banks.

At a different level, a union active in the towns and agricultural villages of Andalusia, the Andalusian Workers’ Union (SAT, formed out of a peasant-worker union called the SOC) called for demonstrations. Rooted in the rural zones around Seville and Cadiz, the SAT presents itself as a workers’ union organized on a nationalist basis. The leadership consists of militants linked to Izquierda Unida who stand for the defense of the Andalusian working class. During the summer of 2012, the SAT organized expeditions to the largest supermarkets. Militants filled their shopping carts with products for which they did not pay, in order to distribute them to those who no longer had the means to feed their families. They also organized occupations of cultivable lands, left fallow because the owners or the administration set them aside for real estate speculation, or even for the army. One of the most well-known leaders of this movement, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, who represents Izquierda Unida in the parliament of the Andalusian autonomous community, had become famous several years before this for having built very affordable housing units in the town of which he was mayor, Marinaleda, all while denouncing the housing market scandal. Furthermore, this peasant union had also set up cooperatives that made staple products at prices accessible to the most impoverished.

The working class also had a number of different reactions. In May 2012, strikes broke out in certain industries with traditions of struggle, like in the shipyards of El Ferrol in Galicia, where a whole string of layoffs had been announced. A little later, in July, miners in Asturias went on strike. They refused to let the bosses move up the date when the mines would be closed, currently set for 2018. This decision would hasten the layoff of 8,000 miners and the loss of jobs for the approximately 20,000 workers employed by the companies that depend on the mines. The movement, organized by the unions, mobilized the region’s population. It brought on a huge wave of solidarity all across Spain during the summer of 2012. A “black march” that ended during the night of July 11th, 2012, in the heart of Madrid was warmly welcomed to cries of “Long live the class struggle!” The discussions over the date and conditions of the closure are still underway.

Over the course of the same summer, healthcare workers in several cities opposed the closings of several dozen care centers and threats of privatization. At the same time, several other sections of the working class reacted. Workers stood against the heads of regional or municipal institutions that had decided to cut jobs, while slashing wages by around 25% to 30%. At times, these leaders quite simply stopped paying wages for an undetermined period, because, they said, there was nothing left in the treasury. However, the workers were very conscious that these sacrifices followed from a general policy. Several of these struggles forced the local authorities to step back. But the attacks continued.

Confronted with this wave of unrest, the UGT and the Workers’ Commissions called for a new day of general strike on November 14th, 2012, as part of a larger European day of action. It was once again a success. From then on, groups of union activists and various associations and movements oriented themselves towards organizing demonstrations with the goal of prolonging this mobilization. In Madrid, for example, healthcare workers rallied, bringing along the entire staff, including doctors, surgeons, nurses, support staff, and cleaning and maintenance workers. Together, they demonstrated almost daily in the street near their workplace and addressed the patients and their families, explaining why the public hospitals must not be transferred to the private sector. This was the “white wave.” Afterwards, there followed a “green wave” of teachers’ demonstrations and a “black wave” of civil service workers in the streets.

In sum, these demonstrations showed that a considerable part of the youth and the working class refused to accept the policies of the central government, as well as those of the regional governments.

What Possibilities Exist for Revolutionary Communist Militants?

The economic crisis and its consequences for the working class and for young people, and the steps backward imposed on the whole society in the framework of austerity measures have inspired multiple reactions against the policy of the successive governments. These mobilizations are a hope for the future. However, even though workers, the unemployed and retirees are present in all of the demonstrations, the working class does not appear as an independent political force, defending its class interests. Up to the present, its interventions and actions remain within the framework laid out by the big national and regional parties and by the major union confederations, which have failed to live up to the workers’ hopes and have led their actions astray. They do not stray from the path laid out by the political tendencies that have appeared during the past three years – these informal movements that are certainly anti-establishment, but also hostile to revolutionary ideas and references to communism or the notion of social class, and therefore hostile to the class struggle.

This is the most important problem in the current situation. This situation can lead to something better for the working class and to a real change only if the only social class that produces all of society’s riches and assures its continued functioning through its own activity gives itself the means to intervene in the name of its class interests, with its own objectives, both material and political demands.

What is lacking in Spain’s current situation is a structured political force that incarnates the interests of the working class against all of the forces that, in one way or another, place themselves on the territory of the bourgeoisie. This implies combating not only the power of the right wing, but also the so-called socialists of the PSOE, with their allies linked to the Spanish Communist Party as well as to nationalist currents, be they even the most radical, because in reality they are hostile to the perspective of a revolutionary transformation of society. What is needed is to renew the tradition of the revolutionary workers’ movement of this country, which dared again and again to contend with the bourgeoisie in the war the bourgeoisie wages against anyone who threatens its domination. The Spanish workers’ movement has a rich tradition of struggle. In the past, it has produced generations of militant workers who knew how to defend their class interests despite dictatorial regimes (that of Primo de Rivera and then of Franco), civil war, and repression.

We will not discuss here the political problems that the Spanish working class had to confront in the 1930s, nor the reasons for the defeats it has had to undergo. However, the history of the workers’ movement of this country in the twentieth century is valuable today. The experience of the 1930s is important, because it shows that, from the point of view of the workers, no situation – even a revolutionary situation – evolves positively if the working class does not have a very high consciousness of the tasks with which it is confronted, a consciousness that requires a true revolutionary party.

The Spanish working class is obviously not mobilized today with the same intensity and the same consciousness as it was then. For those who consider themselves to be on the side of workers, it would be an error to hope that only the “dynamics” of the movement are enough to advance class-consciousness. Class consciousness requires that perspectives be raised that can be widely shared by those who are struggling. It’s necessary that the exploited have clear objectives put in front of them that they could obtain and that could form steps toward other objectives. And this requires the conscious intervention of militants and political parties who have made the revolutionary transformation of society their goal. It is necessary to understand why the revolutionary movement of 1936-1937 was crushed; why did the civil war end in Franco’s victory; why was his dictatorship able to transform itself into a parliamentary regime without conflict or social disruption, all the while preserving the relations of exploitation that profited the same bourgeoisie that had supported Franco for forty years.

It seems easier and easier to discuss with the milieu around the PCE, whose most important tendency is Izquierda Unida. The way in which the PCE was pushed aside by politicians, who arranged the transition while banking on the PSOE, is a chapter in the history of the past 40 years that is not over for those close to the PCE. Among them, there were militants who had paid dearly for their fight against the Franco dictatorship and their struggle to reconstruct a political trade-union movement in the working class. They have not forgotten how the politicians of the bourgeoisie succeeded in imposing a parliamentary monarchy, which, although it gave workers the right to vote and express themselves, provided above all the means to impose an economic dictatorship on them solely in the service of the capitalists.

Another telling example: a little more than ten years ago, a movement for the recovery of “historical memory” demanded that the truth be spoken about the numerous massacres of anti-Franco militants during the civil war or from the 1940s to the 1960s, during the worst years of Franco’s dictatorship. Those who started the movement demanded that certain tragic events be clarified, that mass graves be unearthed, and that those responsible be named. They rejected the law of silence that the military and the right-wing politicians had imposed, all with the agreement of socialist leaders who wished to continue silencing the past in the name of national “reconciliation.” Union activists and political militants linked to the PCE – from the republican tradition or even from the anarchist movement – fought on this front that had no precise political objective. But the movement revealed truths about the violence that took the lives of those who fought to change society. It elicited a feeling of pride among those who knew what it meant to have struggled on the side of the working class and to have refused up to the end to bow down. The actions of these associations may seem to the side of the main problems, but they mark a solidarity that contributes to the transmission of values and traditions that are decisive for the future.

This proletarian, revolutionary tradition – transmitted by generations of anarchist, communist, and union militants – represents an asset for the Spanish working class, provided that it understands the past and can explain the reasons for its defeats. It is possible to discuss how to rebuild a workers’ movement on the basis of revolutionary communist ideas. It is also possible to discuss with militants from the communist tradition who have felt betrayed since the transition. Likewise, it is also possible to discuss with militants who feel linked to the anarchist movement. This is because even if these anarchist militants are active today for the most part on a union basis through unions independent of the big federations and are mostly concentrated in a recently established federation called the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), many of them also feel that objectives at the political level are also needed.

Certainly, there is no revolutionary communist party today in Spain. At this level, everything must be rebuilt. However, there is a political tradition. There are militants who feel that today’s demonstrations, housing occupations and rallies can change nothing fundamental if they do not allow the working class to prepare itself for the inevitable contest of force with the bourgeoisie. The creation of a party on a revolutionary communist basis is indispensable, for the dynamism of a movement is not enough to lead to an automatic change. No “transformation” allows a spontaneous protest movement to evolve into the conscious struggle of a proletariat capable of attacking the bourgeoisie’s power. It would be the task of a truly communist party to explain why it is not enough to denounce the capitalists and the bankers or to demand that the debt not be paid, why it is in vain to cry after new elections and a new constitution. This party would point out the social and economic objectives that are those of the working class. It would discuss why it must give itself the means to expropriate the bourgeoisie. This is why a revolutionary communist party is necessary. It would help make possible that which today seems impossible: to fundamentally change society by reversing the domination of the bourgeoisie.