The Science and Passion of Communism

Selected Writings of Amadeo Bordiga (1912–1965)


Editor: Pietro Basso
Amadeo Bordiga was one of the greatest figures of the Third International.

The Science and Passion of Communism presents the battles of this brilliant Italian communist 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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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).

Introduction: Yesterday’s Battles and Today’s World
Pietro Basso


1 Against the War
Against the War as Long as It Lasts
From the Old to the New Anti-militarism
We Take Our Stand
The ‘Fait Accompli’
Nothing to Correct

2 On Elections
Against Abstentionism
The Electionist Illusion
The Electoral Trap
Revolutionary Preparation or Electoral Preparation

3 On Soviets
The System of Communist Representation
Is This the Time to Form ‘Soviets’?
Take the Factories or Take Power?

4 On Strategy and Tactics
The May 1920 Theses – Abstentionist Communist Fraction of the Italian Socialist Party
The Tactics of the Communist International – Fourth Congress (1922)
Theses on the Tactics of the Communist Party of Italy (Rome Theses – 1922)

5 On Fascism, Against Fascism
Report to the Fourth Congress of the C.I. (1922)
Report to the Fifth Congress of the C.I. (1924)

6 The Lyons Theses
Draft Theses for the Third Congress of the Communist Party of Italy (Lyons, 1926)

7 Against Stalin and ‘Socialism in One Country’
The Trotsky Question
Bordiga at the Sixth Enlarged ECCI (February 1926)
Letter to Karl Korsch


Section I: Russia and Revolution in Marxist Theory

1 Lessons of Counter-revolutions

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

Section II: The Critique of Triumphant Capitalism

1 Property and Financial Capital

2 Welfare Economics

3 The Law of Hunger

4 Murder of the Dead

5 Inflation of the State

6 The United States of America (1947–57)
America Again!
Attack on Europe
The USA’s European Policy
Korea and the World
Democratic ‘Points’ and Imperial Programmes
‘Old’ and ‘New’ Imperialism
You cannot stop, only the proletarian revolution can stop you, destroying your power
Appendix: With the Academic Seal of Approval the American Economy becomes ‘People’s Capitalism’

Section III: On the ‘Gigantic Movement of Emancipation’ of the Coloured Peoples

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

2 East

3 The Multiple Revolutions

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

Appendix: ‘Negro’ Rage Shook the Rotten Pillars of Bourgeois and Democratic ‘Civilisation’ (1965)

Section IV: On the Revolutionary Prospects of Communism

1 The Revolutionary Programme of Communist Society

2 Who’s Afraid of Automation?

3 The Immediate Revolutionary Programme in the Capitalist West

Section V: On the Party

1 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.