The objective of the bourgeois state, the democratic state, is to keep the proletariat disorganised, denied as a class or, better still, contained and mobilised in the service of the bourgeoisie. What is essential to all democratic mechanisms is the destruction of the organic unity of the proletariat, its interests and its "organisation" into partial "interests" which correspond to the individual, the citizen (homo economicus), buyer and seller of commodities. Unions are vital organs of the bourgeois state which fulfil this function. In effect, they represent the "world of work" within Capital, that is to say the proletariat liquidated as a class, divided into sectors, negotiating (like any other individual in mercantile society) the selling price of their commodity - labour power - which, in turn, assures a "reasonable" rate of profit and guarantees social peace. In the face of this type of organisation, the proletariat struggles to organise itself outside and against the unions which, as obstacles to communist revolution, must be completely destroyed. This is why all ideologies which recommend reform of the unions, their reconquest or working within them (even if they say they are doing so to destroy them) sow the seeds of confusion. They keep proletarians, who intuitively sense the reactionary role of the unions, trapped in these organs of the state (which also happens to help improve their credibility). They serve reaction. The fact that, in numerous cases, we find real workers' organisations at the origins of these organisations merely confirms the capacity of the bourgeoisie to recuperate organisational forms created by the proletariat and to use them for its own ends.

The "trade union issue" is not a question of denomination, but rather of social practice. The real antagonism is not, as some would have us believe, between economic and political interests nor between immediate and historical interests, because the unions, as state apparatuses, do not even defend the "economic" and "immediate" interests of the workers (which, as we have already said, are inseparable from the revolutionary affirmation of the proletariat). The real antagonism is between workers' associationism, the organic reconstitution of the struggle, the interests of the proletariat and the apparatus of the democratic state for mercantile negotiations. This is the case, whatever they call themselves. In the same way, if the denomination "union" came to globally and solely refer to these state apparatuses (which would make it rather unlikely that real class associations would give themselves this name) other more radical denominations (workers' councils, soviets...) could also be used to hide state apparatuses outside and against which workers' associationism will also necessarily develop.


TH37 : These 37