Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Basque bourgeoisie and imperialisms (translation of article by Iñaki GdSV)

I translate here a very interesting analysis by Iñaki Gil de San Vicente, one of the best minds of the Basque Country and possibly all Europe, originally published in Spanish language at Borroka garaia da! (it's time of struggle!)

Basque bourgeoisie and imperialisms

It's always necessary to dive into the roots of reality, otherwise we end up wandering in clouds, forgetting or ignoring that the great Basque bourgeoisie, the one that commands, has been and is a key piece of the State of Spain,  and is determined to remain in that position; that her sister, the bourgeoisie, never dared to confront the elder sister, folding to her and supporting her in the decisive moments; and that the younger sister, the small bourgeoisie, be it new or old, has always been broken in pieces, oscillating fearfully with the exception of very small fractions of her. By not stepping down to the contradictions we even end up forgetting the evident: that capitalism does exist as an objective, structuring, reality in which we survive rather than live by force and that it is even embedded in our own heads. It is so deeply embedded that every day we use more and more its own language and concepts. What is the bourgeoisie? Almost nobody seems to know anymore, it's felt, it's suspected, but a key concept like this one, which implies to know what is the working people, the working class, etc., is like vanished from the language of the independentist left, excepted maybe some texts that nobody reads.

However the bourgeoisie does exist, as does exist also imperialism. In the Southern Basque Country, the bourgeoisie has its own state: the Spanish one, and it also has the petty governments lent by the Kingdom of Spain. But the future of these and other tools of power and national class oppression does not depend anymore only on the will of the dominant classes within the State but every day more on the inter-imperialist quarrels, on one side, and the decisions of Eurogermany, on the other. The Basque-Spanish bourgeoisie knows that well, much better than [Western Basque regional president] Urkullu when he begs the support of Spanish bourgeoisie, partly represented by [Spanish political leaders] Rajoy and Rubalcaba. Now it uses Urkullu as it did before with [former regional presidents] López, Ibarretxe, Ardanza, Garaikoetxea... For the social class that owns the productive forces and our mortgages and debts, people are just numbers in their mean profit rate, and, for this reason, for her are actually more important the current decisions of the USA and Japan, which try to unload the weight of the crisis on the euro, getting smoke from the state machine of minting dollars and yens, for example, than all the prizes about a supposed peace.

Right now, the growing inter-imperialist non-antagonistic centrifuge tensions are being countered by the centripetal forces of Western imperialism, lead better or worse by the USA. The Free Trade Treatises being negotiated with the EU and Japan; the demand to the UE to increase its contribution to NATO along with the support to Japanese weapon escalation; the systematic obstacle to any reform of the UN, IMF, World Bank, etc., in order to abort any bourgeois democratization of these fundamental imperialist institutons; the sharpening of the underground war against the so-called BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China); the internal protectionism versus Chinese technology; the advance of the military siege to Russia and China; the political-military soft coups and the impulse to hardcore pustchist terrorism all around the World; the maneuvers to manipulate the price of gold, of energy, of food and medicines; the pressures to impose the capitalist law on private patents, especially in the bio-economy; the systematic hoarding of edible water; the theoretical and practical war against human rights and the rebirth or patriarchal-bourgeois terror and of Christian fundamentalism, hidden by the manipulation against Islam; the reactivated fear of communism; the reinforcement of the right to loot, plunder and violations inherent to the false right of humanitarian intervention; these and other praxes show the imperialist counter-offensive at global scale, led by the USA with support of the EU and other powers.

The fundamental goal of this offensive is no other than to attempt to open a new long phase of expanded accumulation of capital, a long phase of sustained growth of the mean profit rate at the hands of Western imperialism firstly, and secondly of the imperialisms and subimperialisms that accept the hegemony of the high-tech industrial-financial North American capital. Another goal as important as the previous one, insert in the same logic, is to stop the global rise of subimperialisms and, if possible, force them down in the world hierarchy. One of the strategic battles in this economic war is that of financial supremacy, that of unity of the financial system under Anglosaxon control to direct in its benefit the tendencies towards the disarticulation of the global financial system. And, to be brief, another even more important goal than the financial one is the Western monopolistic control of a new techno-scientific industrial revolution that multiplies exponentially its work productivity, securing energy resources and military supremacy. The military-industrial complex has already welded itself to the financial capital and knows that techno-science does not only depend on private capital but above everything else on state planning strategy in order to expand constant capital in everything related to R&D&I.

The bourgeoisie established in the Basque Country wants and needs to join to this imperialism as much as they can. They want for conviction and class essence, and they need it for class survival. It can negotiate punctually with China or Russia, or even with Venezuela or Cuba, because money is money, in any of these or other business it needs of the Spanish and French states, of the EU, of the Western stock markets and of the armored fist of NATO, which is the ultimate material reason of the invisible hand of markets. The bourgeoisie established in the Basque Country is aware of the multiple crises that sap the Spanish state (industrial and techno-scientific collapse, weakening of its bourgeois national unity, cancerous corruption, descent in the imperialist hierarchy and relative and absolute impoverishment), the same that it knows of the reports on the monarchic rot, the collapse of the political caste, the rising trend of reactionary and racist populisms, the importance of narco-capitalism, of the prostitution industry, of the underground economy and of tax evasion. Nothing of all this is unknown to them but it accepts it all because it knows that it is the only trampoline that can impel them to new business, especially to not lose what they already have, and because, in spite of all, that rotten state is its own co-production, it is an instrument that it has helped to create and adapt to each new need.

It is this structural context which explains us why the bourgeoisie does not want to open any peace process, because they only need their own peace: that of so-called "normalized" economic and national class exploitation. The bourgeoisie established in the Basque Country needs its own peace because it is economically more efficient to grant them a share in the realization of profit and to enjoy a material and symbolic space of their own in which to hold part of their expanded accumulation. The symbolic space acquires every day more relevance in current capitalism, based on growingly complex work, what demands a space of qualification of the docile, alienated and submissive workforce, and bourgeois symbolism is decisive for this. For this very reason, it is a peace fundamentally linked to the permanence within the Spanish state in our [Basque] nation. And for reason of raw unity dialectics and struggle of the opposites, it is this context which gives meaning to the sixth Basque general strike on May 30th, as yet another shape of the struggle of our people against the national class exploitation it suffers, a strike that will demonstrate that the emancipating forces in our "worker nation", to use a phrase of Marx, are growing.

A selection of articles by Iñaki Gil de San Vicente is available at La Haine. His e-book Cooperativismo Obrero (Worker Cooperativism) can be downloaded at Quedelibros. All materials in Spanish language.

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