When these neglected social classes became conscious of the swindle of which, one more time, they were the victim, joining the Communist Party appeared to them as the only solution. If nationalist ideas were truly only the bait that the reactionaries use to attract imbeciles, if the national feeling is only a passing intoxication, that serves the cold selfish calculators well, then, should it not, by self-love, forever refuse to fall into the trap of the nationalist movement? It is not idiotic to continue to consider “internationalism” as something disconcerting?
However, there is not any doubt that these social classes feel stateless besides the Communist Party. Given the particular character of the party, how could it be anything else?
Certainly, the proletariat of large industrial cities is equally a product of the bourgeois world. The bourgeoisie cut the link between the workers and nature, the means of production, the security of ownership. It obliged it to see its only signification in the fact of being sold into the “workforce,” and to be used as such. It inculcated in him that he was nothing outside of economic processes and that his entire existence is ruled by economic conjunctures. If, bit by bit, the worker only knows how to think in economic terms, he has been made amenable to bourgeois society itself. It was not Marx that drove it there. Basically, Marx had only explained the laws that regulate the capitalist economy and engraves them in the minds of the worker, no longer permitting his understanding to be blurred by it. Marx, with a very scientific rigor, demonstrated that the profound forces, that move bourgeois society, are exclusively derived from the economic order and that his conception of the world is entirely based on a manner of thinking in economic and calculable terms. He encouraged the workers to appropriate, with a calm mind, the same forces, and the same conceptions. The source of materialist thought is found in bourgeois society. Marxism is the cynical revelation of the deepest secret of the bourgeoisie. It is a ruthless exploration of the bourgeois conscience. And it hinders this society, not because it is in opposition with it, but because it sees through it. The bourgeois that injures the worker, because he only thinks of his salary and his contract, is unconscious and ignorant or then a terrible hypocrite. The difference between the bourgeois and the proletarian is simple to understand: one is a beneficiary of bourgeois society and the other must pay all the costs.
Until 1918, the “Marxist” opposition had only been a struggle on the interior of the capitalist system. Following the adage “live and let live,” we searched for a compromise permitting the assurance of profit for the bourgeoisie and to prevent the proletariat from losing all its hope. Social democracy and unions fulfilled their function by preventing the pressure of the proletariat from exceeding the limits after which a social explosion would be inevitable. In this sense, they were safety valves of bourgeois society.
The proletariat was at this point, a product of bourgeois society that had finally become the discoverer of the true tendencies of this society. It concretely represented where it should have lead. Just because it had a shadow, the most somber impulses, the veiled consequences, the profound hidden instinct, the most secret law of this society intensified in it. Its uprooted existence symbolized, anticipated, all the misery of the final state of bourgeois society: its lack of bonds with nature, its obtuse materialism, its soulless rationalism, its Western nature, its pacifism, its Pan-European comedy, its national consumption. The social democratic proletariat that made an abstraction of all treason, is close to reconciling itself with France, it is only a revelation precipitating the most secret intentions of bourgeois society. The “Marxist” workers already pronounces today what his boss would tomorrow.
Social democracy is as much a part of bourgeois society as the National Socialists. It also “saves”, but it works on another level. As Hitler catches those unfaithful to the bourgeois, the social democrat tries to bridle the men marked by hot iron, burdened by the blows of fate, these men whose blood and sweat was used to construct bourgeois society.
When in 1918, bourgeois society found itself embarrassed and could no longer afford the necessary money to appease the proletariat, a great part of the German workers escaped from the domesticating power of social democracy. All the hopes of the proletariat were annihilated, that wanted to follow it in its loss. Its reserves of human and national substance were broken between the walls of large cities. From the instant where it had lost the bases of its existence, social resentment only remained, in the will to beat back and implement a last defense. The senseless anger of its will of destruction pushed it until the absolute negation of bourgeois society. Its insurrection was bogged down in the socioeconomic domain, unable to acquire a force of political strike. Thus it expiated the sin of having been the product of this society. Because no way lead the economy of a true politics. A politics that orients itself principally by the function of economic criteria always remained an “amateur, dilettante politics” and forcefully suffers setbacks.
Behind the intense thirst for destruction, is the impotent dream of a society of the future, and not the firm determination to create the state of the future. Even if, by reason of the links of causality, the blow to bourgeois society was as forceful as the blow of Versailles, the effect had not been calculated from the point of view of a true politics.
It was the role of the Communist Party to assemble the proletarian masses whose hopes had been annihilated. Evidently, the cadre that it offered and its ruling atmosphere was poorly suited for these peasants, intellectuals, soldiers, employees, and workers not yet definitively proletarian. By reason of the social conditions of their existence, these classes do not have the same social bitterness. They still have bases that are something other than “social resentment” and they can transform themselves in political impulses. Even if that seems paradoxical, the communist worker is a product of bourgeois society – far more than these “non proletarians.” Bourgeois society created and formed the worker, even though it bullied him. Thus the other social classes, even when they felt integrated into bourgeois society, always guarded their particularity outside and beyond bourgeois influences. Thus it is in the increase of extreme existential misery, they then saw bigger things, more complex then those represented by bourgeois society. So they felt very quickly that in the Communist Party, they would not have their place. Visibly this same feeling lives in the worker, at present a member of the Communist Party, but who, despite his proletarian destiny, still guards the remainder of his national and human substance. Even though he shares the hostility towards the bourgeoisie, he is all the same plagued by an anxiety saying that he is, somehow, a bad employee.