November 2, 2023
From Internationalism

Our comrade Miguel has died. He was born in 1944 and from a very young age he rebelled against capitalism, this society of barbarism and exploitation. He understood the need to fight for a new society, but at the same time he had many doubts about what was happening in the USSR, presented as the “Socialist Fatherland”, and its supposed “communism”. At that time other “alternatives” were also fashionable. One of them was Tito’s Yugoslavia, a “non-aligned” country[1] that presented itself as “self-managed socialism”. He emigrated there, studied and worked there, and soon realised that there was nothing socialist about it, that it was just another of the many variants of state capitalism. From this disappointing experience was born his conviction that none of the “Meccas of socialism” (Russia, Yugoslavia, Albania, China, Cuba etc.) were communism nor were they “in transition towards it”, they were all capitalist states where exploitation reigned with the same force as in the officially capitalist countries.

Back in Spain he worked in a very important company, Standard Eléctrica. He was a conscious and combative worker, who actively participated in the many strikes that shook Spain at that time, as part of the historical revival of the proletariat whose most advanced expression was the great strike of May 68 in France. This was the period (1972-76) when the Franco dictatorship was unable to cope with the huge wave of struggles and the bourgeoisie was considering the famous “transition”, moving from Franco’s dictatorship to the democratic dictatorship. The capitalist state discarded Francoism and its national Catholicism as useless junk and surrounded itself with democratic weaponry to better confront the working class: “workers” unions, elections, “liberties” …

Soon the comrade came to a second conviction: the unions, both the old vertical union of Francoism and the “workers unions” (CCOO, UGT et al) were organs of the bourgeois state, unconditional servants of capital, ready to sabotage strikes, divide workers, divert them into dead ends. A member of the UGT, he finally tore up his membership card after intervening in an assembly.

That period also provided him with another conclusive experience: as a member of one of the numerous Trotskyist groups (the Communist League) he suffered leftism first hand, the sort that was responsible, with its radical workerist language, for recuperating militants who have broken with the CP or with the trade unions and are looking for an authentic proletarian internationalist alternative. They criticised the USSR, only to defend it as a “degenerated workers state”; they claimed to be “against imperialist war”, but supported the war in Vietnam and other imperialist wars in the name of “national liberation”; they criticised the unions, but demanded participation in them to “win them for the class”; they criticised elections, but called for a vote to “get a PC-PSOE workers government”; they spoke of “democracy in the organisation”, but this was a nest of vipers where the different gangs fought to the death for its control, resorting to manoeuvres, slander and all imaginable nastiness.

Neither the nightmare of Yugoslavian “self-managing socialism”, nor trade union sabotage, nor the trap of leftism, kept the comrade from the search for truly communist positions. In this search he contacted the ICC and undertook a series of very exhaustive discussions, drawing lessons from all the experiences he had been through, finally deciding to join in 1980.

Since then he has been a militant faithful to the cause of the proletariat, who always reflected and intervened in meetings trying to contribute to the collective clarification of our positions. He always made himself available for the activities of the organisation. Forced for work reasons to move to new cities, his first concern was to maintain his militant activity at all levels, both discussion and analysis, as well as intervention in struggles, the distribution of the press etc.

He was above all very active in the struggles of the class, participating as a worker in numerous struggles (Telefonica, Standard), also in struggles such as Delphi, SEAT, in meetings of the unemployed etc. He did not hesitate to intervene in workers assemblies, confronting union manoeuvres, proposing measures to strengthen the assembly and to seek the extension of the struggle to break its isolation. In the same way, he went to meetings where there might be discussions of interest for revolutionary clarification where he did not hesitate to intervene in a clear and courageous way defending the positions of the ICC.

He also made a great contribution to the distribution of the press. He regularly put our publications in bookstores, libraries, tirelessly looking for new outlets. At demonstrations, assemblies, rallies, etc., he was the first to sell the ICC press with enthusiasm and an exemplary persistence.

He was always available for the activities of the organisation and enthusiastically collected revolutionary books and other publications, and on all subjects of interest in the revolutionary struggle of the working class. The archive that he built up is a treasury for the transmission of the traditions and positions of communist organisations.

He remained a militant until the end. Suffering from a painful illness, he asked all the comrades who visited him what the discussions had been, he asked us to read him the international texts of the organisation, he listened avidly to everything we read to him. He was, quite simply, A COMMUNIST MILITANT OF THE PROLETARIAT. We write these lines with much sadness, but we do it determined and encouraged by his militancy, ready to continue fighting and to win young people who, nowadays, will be confronted with the traps he had to overcome and will be looking for the answers he found and that motivated his whole life.

ICC 27-9-23


[1] At that time there was a so-called “non-aligned movement”, made up of countries that claimed to be outside the two imperialist blocs that dominated the world: those of the USA and USSR. One of the prime movers was Tito, the Yugoslav president, who was one of the stars of the famous Bandung conference of 1955.