The Science and Passion of Communism

Selected Writings of Amadeo Bordiga (1912–1965)


The Science and Passion of Communism presents the battles of the brilliant Italian communist Amadeo Bordiga in the revolutionary cycle of the post-WWI period, through his writings against reformism and war, for Soviet power and internationalism, and then against fascism, on one side, 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 Marxist critique of political economy, which includes the capital-nature and capital-species relationships, and the programme of social transformations for the revolution to come.

Without any form of canonization, we can say that Bordiga’s huge workshop is a veritable goldmine, and anyone who decides to enter it will not be disappointed. He will guide you through a series of instructive, energizing and often highly topical excursions into the near and distant past, into the present that he largely foresaw, and into the future that he sketched with devouring passion.

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Amadeo Bordiga was one of the greatest figures of the Third International. A socialist militant from the age of 21, he became the undisputed leader of the Communist Party of Italy before being imprisoned by the Mussolini regime. After a long hiatus, he resumed his political and theoretical work in 1944, producing many significant writings in the years up to his death in 1970.
Pietro Basso has been Associate Professor of Sociology at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. His works include Modern Times, Ancient Hours (Verso, 2003), Le racisme européen (Syllepse, 2016), and Le grandi questioni sociali del nostro tempo (Edizioni Ca' Foscari, 2018, co-edited with Giuliana Chiaretti).
Interview by David Broder with Pietro Basso on Jacobin about “the burying of Bordiga’s name, his ecological vision of communism, and how he challenged Joseph Stalin to his face” [Click here]

“[The book] is the first English-langauge selection of Bordiga’s writings to cover both the chronological spread and thematic diversity of his interventions. 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… For many decades, even the results of this research have had a tiny readership… [but] when you do get your hands on a copy, you will be in doubt that Bordiga is a wrongly overlooked thinker.” - David Broder, in: Weekly Worker [Full review]
List of Figures

Introduction: Yesterday’s Battles and Today’s World

Part 1 The Italian Left in the Great Revolutionary Struggle (1912–26)

1 Against the War

2 On Elections

3 On Soviets

4 On Strategy and Tactics

5 On Fascism, against Fascism

6 The Lyons Theses

7 Against Stalin and ‘Socialism in One Country’

Part 2 The Struggle for the Rebirth of Revolutionary Communism (1945–65)

Section 1 Russia and Revolution in Marxist Theory

8 Lessons of Counter-revolutions

9 Forty Years of Organically Analysing Russian Events within the Dramatic Context of the Social and Historical Course of the World

Section 2 The Critique of Triumphant Capitalism

10 Property and Financial Capital

11 Welfare Economics

12 The Law of Hunger

13 Murder of the Dead

14 Inflation of the State

15 The United States of America (1947–57)

Section 3 On the ‘Gigantic Movement of Emancipation’ of the Coloured Peoples

16 The Factors of Race and Nation in Marxist Theory (1953)

17 East

18 The Multiple Revolutions

19 ‘Racial’ Pressure of the Peasantry, Class Pressure of the Coloured Peoples

Section 4 On the Revolutionary Prospects of Communism

20 The Revolutionary Programme of Communist Society

21 Who’s Afraid of Automation?

22 The Immediate Revolutionary Programme in the Capitalist West

Section 5 On the Party

23 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


All interested in the history of worker and Communist movement, and anyone concerned with the critique of Stalinism and of the triumphant U.S. capitalism, and looking forward to a new form of society.
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