Portuguese communist paper Revolução is now out!

As of the start of January, the first issue of Revolução is now out! This is the paper of Colectivo Marxista, the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) in Portugal. The paper Revolução will become an important tool for spreading communist ideas in Portugal.

A newspaper in 2024?

At a time when most left-wing organisations have abandoned paper publications, we, the communists of the IMT, believe that a physical newspaper is still necessary for the dissemination of our ideas. Social networks and websites are very useful things, and we use them actively, but they cannot replace a newspaper.

Firstly, online activity is useful for reaching readers who are already convinced and well informed. It addresses those who are already on the lookout for revolutionary ideas. Meanwhile, a newspaper is a great weapon for intervening more actively, and we will take it to demonstrations, picket lines and working-class neighbourhoods across the country, engaging with a much broader audience than we could otherwise, including many who are far removed from the left’s social networks.

By its very nature, a single issue of a newspaper can summarise our point of view in a more synthetic way than a website: it contains our analysis of the situation in Portugal and internationally, comments on the main struggles in the country, and includes theoretical and historical materials that set out our basic ideas.

Secondly, social networks are far from free and democratic outlets: they are owned by big capitalists like Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg, who apply censorship (sometimes subtly through algorithms, and other times less subtly) against ideas that threaten their interests.

Censorship is not a far-fetched concern: we have been recently subjected to it even in the most ‘advanced’ capitalist democracies. Our Canadian comrades, for instance, were blocked on Facebook after the federal government passed a law to defend the big media monopolies. We can’t depend on Musk or Zuckerberg to spread our ideas. A paper therefore becomes a necessary tool to circumvent attempts to silence us.

Thirdly, as Lenin once said, the newspaper is not only a collective agitator, but also a ‘collective organiser’, much like the scaffolding of a building under construction. Around the newspaper, the organisation is built, its content is discussed, tasks are distributed, articles are drafted and corrected, and, above all, we are pushed to take to the streets with the paper in hand to present and defend our ideas. It is, in short, a lever for the construction of a Bolshevik organisation.

The first Revolução

In its 16 pages, Revolução is a treasure trove of communist ideas. This first issue tackles a range of issues that we hope will be of great interest to left-wing militants, the youth, and class-conscious workers.

On the eve of new elections after the recent fall of the Socialist Party government, the editorial deals with the electoral perspectives. It explains the left’s current difficulties, with the right on the rise in opinion polls. This situation emerges after almost seven years of an informal alliance between the ruling socialists, and the Communist Party and Left Bloc, followed by over a year of socialist majority government.

In power, the reformist left dashed the expectations of the working class in the context of a deep capitalist crisis, which has dramatically undercut the basis for reformism. However, a revolutionary campaign by the Communist Party and the Left Bloc, should they take stock of their past mistakes, could transform the situation and halt the growth of the right and extreme right.

In the international pages, we denounce Israel’s genocidal war against the Palestinian people, and explain how the wishful thinking of bourgeois diplomacy – for ending settlements, creating two states, the Oslo agreements, UN resolutions, etc. – are fantasies that the racist and reactionary Israeli state will never accept.

The article calls for an intifada until victory, i.e. a massive uprising of the Palestinians and the other peoples of the region, which would shake the Zionist state and divide Israeli society along class lines. This perspective is no utopia, but part of Palestine's own revolutionary tradition, especially during the First Intifada of 1987-1993, and is further confirmed by the example of the Arab Spring.

The main theoretical article is devoted to Lenin on the centenary of his death. This piece uses the biography of this great revolutionary as a window onto his main ideas on the revolutionary party, on imperialism, on Marxist philosophy, on the nature of the Russian Revolution, and his fight against Stalin immediately prior to his death, etc. His life is linked to the very history of the Russian revolutionary movement, which the article delves into.

We also have an article devoted to the protests against climate change in Portugal, in which we look at the movement’s tactics and raise the need for mass struggle, linking the defence of the planet to a programme of social transformation.

Another serious problem, to which two articles are devoted, is the housing crisis in Portugal. One analyses the problem from a Marxist perspective and presents our revolutionary solution: the expropriation of the capitalists and the distribution of housing according to social needs and not to profit. The other denounces the threat of evictions at Sirigaita, an important social centre in Lisbon that is in danger of becoming the next victim of the speculators.

Finally, we briefly discuss the main news from our organisation, the IMT, summing up our main initiatives in recent months: the Pan-American Marxist school in Mexico and the French-speaking school in Geneva. In short, for just €1, you can get hold of a true arsenal of revolutionary ideas. Contact us to get your copy. Buy, discuss and spread Revolução, and help build the communist movement in Portugal!

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