Boletìn La Oveja Negra: Coronavirus and social issue

We find ourselves in a state of exception although it is within capitalist normality. State reason knows not of exceptions but of rules. It is not the end of the world. And it is not necessary to suspend reflection or action due to force majeure.

Capitalism is an everyday catastrophe. However, it only presents as a serious problem that which it seeks to solve immediately. What has already naturalized as being inevitable becomes part of its normality. Hence, all proposals that do not aim to fight capitalism only aim to manage its catastrophe.

Among the accepted facts of this society is the “statistic “ that 8,500 children in the world die every day from malnutrition as estimated by UNICEF, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. It is written quickly, four digits… but it is an unspeakable horror. Isn’t this enough to fall into desperation? To consider this society dysfunctional? Doesn’t that mean that everything must be changed? Doesn’t it finally make evident what kind of world we live in? Or perhaps a pandemic must arrive to the cities where those of us who have the voice and the means to act and complain about this live?

Clearly, and unfortunately, for a long time now, these deaths from hunger are not an exception. Those figures seem even more abstract because of the distance, geographical and of all other types, that we have with the African continent, the undisputed centre of global hunger. There, capitalism exploits not only through wages, as it usually does here, but particularly through semi–slave labour, while at the same time dispossessing and destroying in a brutal way.

The pandemic first began to affect countries that are important centers of capitalist production: China, Italy, Spain, and the United States, threatening to paralyze the production and circulation of commodities in its global spread, and to cause the collapse of the health system.

It is precisely because it has reached such regions, with a productive population that has access to medical and hospital systems, that it became so alarming. However, most of us are outside of that circuit, and barely linked to formal jobs.

It is worth remembering that capitalist society is the society of wage labour and domestic work which is not directly paid, as well as slave labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo or in northern Argentina. There is not a good side and a bad side, they are necessary aspects for the functioning of capitalist normality.

On the other hand, we should ask ourselves: how it is possible, with such a stop in productive economic activity, for the banks to keep getting richer? In the absence of a vaccine for COVID–19, the United States Federal Reserve, for example, injected billions of dollars to calm markets and prevent the pandemic from threatening growth. The United States has lowered its annual interest rates to 0%.

Today capitalism is sustained on the basis of the continuous production of fictitious capital, of debts and through all kinds of financial injections that allow it to continue. The bourgeoisie is beginning to be aware of this fiction, and therefore this dominant widespread fear is nothing more than the fear which the dominant class has.

To return to our most tangible and macabre global reality, we make it clear, if need be, that we are not belittling this pandemic that scourges us. One situation does not remove or obscure the other, even worse, they reinforce each other. There is no such thing as the “privilege” of having coronavirus in Italy as opposed to the possibility of dying of hunger in Burundi. But we do see that some dead are worth more than others, which should not be overlooked when analysing a problem that is supposed to be global.

As we write these words, the pandemic is beginning to prey upon India. There, compulsory confinement will have its own characteristics since it is the second most populated country in the world, and because according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) at least 90% of the labour force in India works in the informal sector.

The coronavirus pandemic, the panic that has taken hold of the population and its corresponding quarantine are a living experience shared by millions of people. The Chuang collective, in their article Social contagion. Microbiological Class War in China, points out that “quarantine is like a strike hollowed of its communal features but nonetheless capable of delivering a deep shock to both psyche and economy. This fact alone makes it worthy of reflection”. With this special issue of La Oveja Negra we want to contribute to the necessary reflection on the situation we are going through.

 
6th of April, 2020. Rosario, Argentina.
 
CORONAVIRUS AND SOCIAL ISSUE
• The virus is capitalism?
• Faith in Science
• The State’s reaction
• State of isolation
• Public health and workforce
• “We are at war”
• Coronavirus did not cause the economic crisis
• Work, work, work!
• A return to normalcy?
• Box/ No need for a conspiracy
• Box/ There are no “posh people”, there are social classes
• Box/ «Let’s face it, the lifestyle we used to know is never going to return»
• New title: Social Contagion. Microbiological class war in China (Chuang)
 
http://boletinlaovejanegra.blogspot.com/2020/04/coronavirus-and-social-issue.html

Transfer of Gabriel Pombo Da Silva Portugal – Spain

Our comrade was handed over to the Spanish State this morning (May 13th, 2020) and is currently in the prison in Badajoz (Extremadura region). He is well and strong as ever. Surely he will have to stay 14 days in compulsory quarantine and then, we think, be transferred to another prison. So more information will follow.

Although there is no guarantee that the post office will work regularly, it is obvious that a virus will not be responsible for the fact that he may not receive letters from his loved ones and comrades in solidarity. It would be better to send registered letters (also considering some recent problems in the prison of the Oporto Judicial Police where only by documenting the registered mail Gabriel was able to receive the correspondence).

This is the current address:

Gabriel Pombo Da Silva
Carretera de Olivenza, km 7.3
06001 Badajoz — España

Freedom for Gabriel!
Freedom for everyone!
Long live anarchy!

We also report the bank account opened in support of the comrade:

Accountholder: Elisa Di Bernardo
Bank: Bankinter
Iban: ES06-0128-0180-3601-0009-8696
Bic/Swift code: BKBKESMMXXX

Below is a link where you can listen to a recording of the comrade Elisa about Gabriel’s situation: https://www.ivoox.com/monografico-pombo-da-silva-n-xxiv-segunda-epoca-audios-mp3_rf_50693190_1.html

Empty places

Dear Friends,   

I’ve been inspired by letters circulated recently by Ill Will Editions, which have offered a helpful window for thinking through the current global pandemic. Reading them, it struck me that several have circled around something like a disjunction or asymmetry between two distinct yet overlapping lines of thought: on one hand, there is the understandable fear that the forms of social control presently implemented will be sustained beyond the pandemic (not unlike they were after 9-11), a concern that directs our attention to state power; on the other hand, there is the disruptive force of the virus itself, like a  non-human agency conducting itself across us, and operating beneath and beyond the waves of governmental and economic measures by means of which the elites in the political class scramble to maintain an increasingly tenuous veneer control and authority. Orion addressed the latter in his letter when he described the virus as a power that has “constructed its own temporality, which immobilizes everything,” a power “capable of extending beyond what the insurrections proved incapable of doing, and actually shutting down the economy.” Two types of agency, two asymmetrical lines of force—how are we to parse their peculiar overlap in this moment, those of us who have never been friends of their ‘normal time’? 

I write to you now from Chile, a place that has been in a state of unrest since October of last year. As it happens, the pandemic’s arrival within the context of an unfolding insurrection provides a moment to  reflect on the modalities of crisis politics and control in the current moment.

Our situation might appear quite the same as anywhere else these days: the Chilean government followed the example of governments around the globe, declaring a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In point of fact, this most recent state of exception is the third that the government has declared in the past decade, since it follows not only the uprising this past October, but also the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. In each of these cases, the maintenance of public order was handed over to the military, which did not hesitate to implement nightly curfews and military checkpoints  restricting and surveying movement. 

Have we shifted from one form of upheaval to another? If so, the relevant distinction would not be between normal and exceptional states, between the rule of law and emergency measures, but rather, in this shift, who is in control over the territory, and how are we inhabiting it? Under what conditions can this question no longer be answered? If it is possible to assess continuity and divergence in our present moment in Chile, one can do so only by looking at the experience of, and contestation over, collectively inhabited territory.  I’d like to share with you a few examples of such experiences, through several portraits of everyday life that capture the myriad of ways people and institutions have responded to the COVID pandemic amidst contestations over territory. 

Variable enforcement 

On March 15th, 2019, in a televised, national press conference, the Chilean Board of Medicine (colegio de médicos) criticized the current Ministry of Health for improperly implementing its protocols. Since the government was failing to control the outbreak that started in Santiago, they asked everyone in the city to begin a full 14-day quarantine: no work, no school, no leaving the house. Many in the city followed this quarantine—bars and nightclubs owners closed their businesses in the name of social responsibility, and mall employees staged walk-outs and went on strike until the city closed the shopping malls.

It wasn’t until March 20th that the Chilean government finally implemented quarantine measures in Santiago, including full quarantine in territories with high rates of COVID-19, such as the rich neighborhoods of Santiago and the city’s downtown. Those who live inside the quarantine zone must now fill out a form on the police department’s website and download a “temporary pass” before leaving their house. On the form, we must select an option from the list of permitted reasons to travel from our homes, and declare where we are going. We can request a 4 hour pass 2 times a week for basic necessities, a 12-hour pass to go to a doctor’s appointment, and a 30-minute pass to walk their dog. Essential workers can request a salvoconducto, a permit to travel during military curfew or cross military checkpoint. At the beginning of the quarantine, police stations had lines around the block, with people waiting to apply for a salvoconducto.

Along the border of Santiago’s quarantine zones, only a dozen or so military checkpoints exist. We quickly realized we could walk past the handful of guards stationed there. Furthermore, city buses appear to be affected by these quarantine measures. In effect, those who opt to remain at home in the quarantine zone often do so because they are complying with the medical board’s recommendation, rather than the official quarantine measures.

Meanwhile, the official quarantine measures have not been extended to the combative poblaciónes, home to the greatest number of participants in the October 2019 Chilean uprising.  These neighborhoods at the periphery of the city were formed by massive squatter movements in the 1950s and 60s, when residents collaborated to build houses, defend each other from eviction, and negotiate with the government for city infrastructure, schools, and clinics. If you’ve seen videos of riots during the March 29th Day of Combative Youth (Dia del Joven Combatiente), the footage is more than likely from these neighborhoods. 

Back in October, the rebellious tendencies of the poblaciones were no longer confined to those specific areas but proliferated all over, as people circulated in the downtown, metro, supermarkets, pharmacies, and shopping malls. The attacks weren’t against the police and metro—the two obvious symbols of state power—but also targeted the formal economy itself. 

This year, despite the military curfews and fear of the pandemic, the poblaciónes celebrated the day of combative youth by taking the streets and confronting the police. Unlike in central Santiago, public space continues to be open in the poblaciónes. Although there are fewer protests and social life has diminished, the pandemic has not yet fully interrupted life in these areas. Initially, protestors who congregated in Plaza de la Dignidad feared that the government would use its official quarantine measures as an attempt to regain social control after months of Chile’s social uprising. In the end, no heavy effort was made to enforce quarantine measures in those spaces where they would anyway be contested: the boundaries of the quarantine zones and the rebellious territories of the poblaciónes

Control of public space

With the new norms of quarantine and social distance, the pandemic has interrupted the shared experiences of protests in the streets and neighborhood events in the plazas. Since October, upheaval has structured our everyday life where we live, rendering our neighborhood projects both possible and necessary. Neighbors formed assemblies in response to the upheaval of the massive street demonstrations. Through assemblies, we hoped to meet each other, and sustain the forces in the streets and life in the neighborhood. People used assemblies to organize and publicize new neighborhood events such as community kitchens, flea markets, children’s theater, and open-air concerts. Meeting in parks, our assemblies would be constantly interrupted by the life of the neighborhood: street dogs greeting us and playing in the middle of the circle, people asking for cigarettes, sitting with us and ranting, and old insurgents saying we should stop talking and start lighting barricades. 

The pandemic has radically interrupted this everyday life. Now, the neighborhood assembly is online. Assemblies, mutual aid, and online workshops are coordinated and announced in their corresponding Whatsapp groups. Uninvited neighbors can no longer drop in spontaneously. My capacity to write in a café was enabled by the possibility that I would be interrupted by an old friend walking in with someone new to meet, or that protesters would spill into the café from Plaza Dignidad to evade the spray of the guanaco (the police’s water cannon tank), interruptions that conferred sense of structure and situated meaning on my work. Could it be that all activity becomes meaningful only when conducted in the public? In any case, we were wrong to have ever looked upon the possibility of interruption as a nuisance or distraction. In fact, the more entangled they were with the lives of others who inhabit our world, the more meaningful our activities became. The quarantine signifies the interruption of this shared sensibility and with it, made all the other interruptions that followed from it impossible as well.

Who imposes restriction of movement?

And yet, things are still happening in Chile: in other regions, residents have continued participating in the uprising by blockading the industries that destroy their territories. In Patagonia, for instance, several towns have been engaged in a decades-long conflict with the players in the salmon industry. By dumping antibiotics, feed, and waste, salmon farms have decimated the waterways on which local fishermen rely, while industrial freight trucks ravage the narrow country roads that connect towns to one another.

When things kicked off back in October, the breadth and depth of the upheaval became apparent to us only after learning that, while Santiago was burning, rural communities were also erecting barricades on country roads and interrupting Chile’s major industries. These same towns blockaded the roads that brought workers and supplies to the Salmon farms. In those days, to get a reading of the situation within one’s city, it sufficed to walk down the street, and yet it was comparatively difficult to gather news of the protests elsewhere in the country. Despite this difficulty, “Free Chiloe” (Chiloe Libre) graffiti proliferated on buildings throughout Santiago. 

When the COVID outbreak began to spread outside Santiago, residents on the Patagonian island of Chiloe blocked ferries carrying salmon industry workers. Eventually, the government restricted transportation to the Island to prevent the spread of Coronavirus; yet, when a ferry arrived bringing additional police forces to enforce the quarantine, Chiloe residents attempted to block that ferry, too. 

A determinate ambiguity

In his recent reflection on Agamben and the legacy of the Chilean state of exception, Gerard Munoz offers some insight into why the state’s emergency measures ultimately failed to take any effective hold during the October uprising:

The Chilean debate is in a better position to arrive at a mature understanding of the state of exception, not as an abstract formula, but as something latent within democracies. The dispensation of Western politics into security and exceptionality is not a conceptual horizon of what politics could be; it is what the ontology of the political represents once the internal limits of liberal principles crumble to pieces (and with it, any separation between consumers and citizens, state and market, jurisprudence and real subsumption).

In order to function, the deployment of a state of emergency relies on the liberal distinction between market and state, citizen and delinquent. The Chilean government appealed to the “security of the state”, but the uprising had already disproven the liberal principles of the post dictatorship Chile, and to such an extent that a reversal of course had for a time become strictly unthinkable

In the months following the social explosion, we could not have conceived any event that could bring any swift conclusion to the life of the streets. There was no amount of heavy-handed police repression that could have convinced us of a self-evident need for law and order; no over-hyped constitutional assembly or impending financial crisis could convince us that there was a real, external force that would interrupt the social explosion.  

And yet, here we are: the pandemic has brought an abrupt halt to the uprising in ways we had thought to be impossible. From the first week of the COVID outbreak, Plaza de la Dignidad has been quiet. There has been no lootings, even despite the lack of supplies. Conflicts with the police remain confined to the poblaciones

To what does it owe this power? The pandemic interrupted the uprising because to many , it appeared as an external force. If it possesses a power that no governmental ordinance can rival, this is because its presence tends to shatter the various separations on which the administration of this world depends because it doesn’t recognize the gap between state and market, consumer and citizen, jurisprudence and subsumption. As a result, we know longer know if we are taking care of ourselves in resistance to the state, despite the state, or in subordination to the state. As the pandemic moves through this world, it interrupts the positive contact with which this world is based.  In the absence of such contact, we are left with scrambled claims of obedience and contestation, resistance and self-assertion. 

This is not the place to recall the extent to which the fictive ideals of liberal democracy depended on the growth of a fracture between interior and exterior realms of experience: public reason and private obedience, faith and confession, moral conscience and political right, etc. Where once there appeared a world, full and filthy with attachments, heresies, and allegiances, only a subject—a self-possessed and autonomous citizen—would be left to remain. Was this not the project of modern economic governance? 

Not only has the experience of space been re-liberalizing, but also the forms of care have followed suit. As the insurrection recedes, and with it, the bustling and rich horizon of shared attention and concern, the forms of care that now replace it already bear the stain within them of that absence to the world that defined the modern liberal subject. While we, like everyone with a conscience, are moved to care for others more vulnerable than us in this moment, we must not confuse the notions of care wrapped up within practices social distancing with the practices we developed together before the pandemic, and which are only possible by fully inhabiting a shared territory. We are told this crisis threatens the vulnerable, the infirm, the elderly; that, in taking care of ourselves, we are taking care of others; that our role, as participants in a ‘shared world’, is to reduce the spread through social distancing and isolation. Yet, to be deprived of social life and the use of public space, is to be deprived of those very experiences that confer meaning on concepts such as care, support, and community action. After all, to experience a common world is to participate in the activities that make it not merely possible, but real; only through combination and encounter can our singular capacities reveal to us all that outstrips them, all that can only belong to anyone, to everyone. In quarantine, we risk being denied the conditions that make possible an awareness that we inhabit a shared world.  

-Emilio, Santiago de Chile, April 24th, 2020

https://illwilleditions.com/quarantine-letter-6-empty-plazas/

Mexico – Solidarity against jails

Solidarity greetings against prisons and detention centers,
from a banner drop in the border crossing of so called
“tijuana, mx”. solidarity with prisoners who have protested with hunger
strikes in the otay mesa detention center. solidarity with all the
prisoners and rebels of the recent revolt in chile.

<<< desde/from Otay Mesa a Valaparíso, Chile

LIBERTAD
LIBERATION

FREE THEM ALL
LIBERTAD A LXS PRESXS >>>

Toulouse (France) – Tunnel effect (May 9, 2020)

«The tunnel effect is a natural reaction, linked to stress and due to the focus of the gaze on a precise point, as if you were looking through a telephoto lens».

On the night between 8 and 9 May [2020], on a branch of the Caisse d’Epargne bank, the words «Macronavirus, when the end?» were written on the wall and the windows were smashed.

The authors do not stop describing the government’s provocative and insulting attitude and its mediocre management of the health crisis and the economic crisis that is to come; as an explanation, which they would like to absolutely-explain, they put forward the tunnel effect. For them, the exit from the tunnel was, that night there, the attack of the Caisse d’Epargne. This extreme reaction would therefore be due to a context of extreme stress.

And on the way back they would even say «I was pleased», which suggests a second wave.

squirrel

[Note: The squirrel is the mascot of the Caisse d’Epargne bank].

[Responsibility claim in French published in attaque.noblogs.org].

(it-en-fr) Tolosa, Francia: Effetto tunnel (09/05/2020)

Italy: «Ritrovo» repressive operation. Seven anarchists arrested

During the night of May 13, 2020, seven anarchists were arrested between Bologna, Milan and Tuscany, five others were required to reside in the municipality of residence and the anarchist documentation space Il Tribolo in Bologna was searched. The repressive operation, called «Ritrovo», was coordinated by the public prosecutor Stefano Dambruoso and the Carabinieri of the ROS (Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale), who carried out the arrests and searches jointly with the provincial command of the Carabinieri of Bologna.

The seven arrested are charged with article 270bis of the penal code (subversive association with the purpose of terrorism or subversion of the democratic order), the other charges relate to articles 414 (incitement to commit a crime), 639 (defacement and soiling) and 635 (damage). One person is accused of article 423 (fire) for the incendiary attack of December 16, 2018, against some telecommunications antennas located in San Donato in Bologna and intended for the transmission of national and local television networks. On the site was left the writing «Turn off the antennas, awaken consciences. Solidarity with the anarchists detained and under surveillance».

The repressive forces affirm that the arrested anarchists are accused of having created a subversive-terrorist association having «the objective of affirming and spreading the anarchic-insurrectionalist ideology, as well as instigating, with the diffusion of propaganda material, the commission of acts of violence against the institutions». Furthermore, the public prosecutor’s office of Bologna, with the help of the regime’s media, underlined that the precautionary measures assume a «strategic preventive value aimed at avoiding that in any further moments of social tension, arising from the particular emergency situation [linked to the coronavirus epidemic], other moments of more general anti-State struggle campaign can take place».

These are the current addresses of the arrested comrades:

Giuseppe Caprioli
C. R. di Alessandria “San Michele”
strada statale per Casale 50/A, Italy
15121 Alessandria

Stefania Carolei
C. C. di Vigevano
via Gravellona 240, Italy
27029 Vigevano (PV)

Duccio Cenni
C. C. di Ferrara
via Arginone 327, Italy
44122 Ferrara

Leonardo Neri
C. R. di Alessandria “San Michele”
strada statale per Casale 50/A, Italy
15121 Alessandria

Guido Paoletti
C. C. di Ferrara
via Arginone 327, Italy
44122 Ferrara

Elena Riva
C. C. di Piacenza
strada delle Novate 65, Italy
29122 Piacenza

Nicole Savoia
C. C. di Piacenza
strada delle Novate 65, Italy
29122 Piacenza

Pandemic War diaries – First of May Edition

“The disaster is that there really is absolutely no left… There’s just emptiness… There’s nothing, nothing at all.”

Nanni Balestrini

Berlin. Let’s start with what is the only thing that makes any sense at all, because everything beyond, all the fizzled out affects, all the powerless rage, grief, all the overwhelming fear dissolves as if in an experimental arrangement in the complete agony of isolation and separation, as if it had not existed. So let us start with the hope, which is said elsewhere, that a person can survive a month without food, a week without drinking, but not four seconds without them. So let’s talk about hope.

Submitted to Enough 14. Written by Sebastian Lotzer. Translated by Enough 14.

Let’s talk about the cops that were hanging around everywhere, eyeballing us and talking to us as if we were little children to remind us of distance regulations that they themselves didn’t give a shit about. Let’s talk about the contempt that was directed at them. So let’s talk about that wonderful evening at the beginning of May, that hour when the evening sun shining on Oranienstraße giving it a very special light. Let us talk about the air that was so wonderfully fresh, let us talk about all that seemed possible for a few moments.

Let’s talk about the fact that we were able to listen to our own words, because not every corner was booming with basses, dull party mobs were blowing their brains out, let’s talk about the fact that there were more banners to be seen than there have been for many years. Let’s talk about the fact that we were able to establish a balance of power in which our opponent refrained from chasing us apart. Let us talk about the fact that there were thousands of us, let us talk about the fact that it was the first time since we had been imprisoned and deprived of our rights. Let’s talk about how every beginning has a magic within it.

Let’s talk about the fact that we were less than our opponents, but we can still be smarter and more victorious. Let’s talk about how this day really means something to us, something that seemed lost in all those years when we were like a flock of sheep, self-proclaimed leaders and trotting behind their trucks. Let’s talk about the fact that we didn’t have to listen to all those stupid speeches, the eternally same phrases. Let’s talk about how we could have made history. Let’s talk about how we missed that opportunity. Let’s talk about why this happened.

“Keep moving forward in difficult terrain”

The Art of War – Sun Tzu

No marching up, no fixed formation, no form that can be controlled, no crowd that can be contained. No direction that is predetermined, being able to turn at any time, creating moments of surprise. This is how we started, this is how it could have continued. You could feel the insecurity of the cops, their difficulties to adapt to our tactics in the early stages. Then the hesitation began, the waiting, instructions were given in the background, blindly followed. Our first mistake. Our opponent now knew where to expect us, where to meet us. Relocated his troops, blocked roads, began to disperse and chase us. We could now have started to block them, construction sites could have found their way onto the road, we could have scattered in different directions, made opposite movements. But we are just rushing from one predetermined point to the next. Satisfied with being there at all, instead of confidently appropriating parts of the terrain. Still, the situation was not lost.

At Kottbusser bridge sudden dynamics, the cops could only pant behind. At Wassertorplatz the van of the operation command (it stands there every year) without protection, one or two bottles, then the leaders of our opponents could already breathe again. From now on it became more difficult for us with every crossroad. From the provision rooms riot squads flooded the neighborhood, the cops from the PMS got new courage, put on their vests and simply walked along the edge with three of them. Another cop car, with only the driver inside, stood crosswise, was flowed around, not a scratch was to be seen afterwards. Now our opponent realized that we were limiting ourselves, that we had only come to be here at all. The rest is quickly told and well known. Everything flowed to the already sealed off Mariannenplatz, there again static, powerlessness, beatings and arrests. A few stones and paint bags in the Manteuffel and then we had our familiar First of May back. Every further offensive option was history.

“The greatest vulnerability is ignorance”

The Art of War – Sun Tzu

There is no doubt that we are living in difficult times. We live in times of increased risk, but also of increased opportunity. Everything is fragile and permeable, any narrative could be a thing of the past tomorrow. We are imprisoned and disenfranchised, the elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill, the homeless, the refugees, the women who are beaten at home, the low-class family, now five of them sitting every evening in their too-small flat, are even worse off. Beyond our world of prosperity, hundreds of millions of people are losing their livelihoods. Since the first days of the worldwide lockdowns there has been resistance because for many it is about everything. In Africa, in South America they are plundering supermarkets, in many places the streets and squares are reviving in spite of the real health risks with people who are willing to fight, because further waiting is unbearable if you have nothing to eat and only look into the abyss of poverty. In Lebanon the banks are burning day after day and the whole world is watching carefully.

A large part of the left has given in to the blackmail of the elites, does not question the narrative of the absence of alternatives. As if we needed someone to tell us what we have to do to protect ourselves and our neighbours, friends, the people around us. We act out of love for people, which is what distinguishes us from our mortal enemies, who suddenly pretend to care for the old and weak, who otherwise let them vegetate and die. If we were in Kreuzberg on May 1st, “to practice democratic protest” (Statement 1st May Alliance), then we were there for nothing. It’s not about protesting, it’s also not about “making ourselves heard in the coming distribution struggles” (Taz), a large part of the left got lost in this dead end street a long time ago.

Many people in the world looked closely at Kreuzberg on the first of May. For the first time in many years. The actions in SO 36 were among the first mass actions in Europe since the declaration of the state of emergency on almost the entire continent. For many, a day that would have ended with a (temporary) loss of control of the Empire would have been a sign of encouragement. In recent weeks there have been many calls from Italy, Spain, France, to fight their way out of the state of shock, to familiarise themselves with the new terrain on which we now are forced to move. We will have to learn to breathe, to walk, to talk, to love each other again. Too many things have broken among people in the last few weeks. Will be broken in the coming months. It is to be feared that in the coming weeks we will not be as numerous again as on the first of May. That we will meet a well-positioned opponent.

“I have already tried to describe the form of despotism that we can expect and from which we must tirelessly protect ourselves”

Giorgio Agamben

If the resistance in Europe against the new regime that is about to unfold is not to be limited to the revolts of the abandoned youth in France, Belgium, …, we will no longer be able to afford tactical errors such as those made on the First of May, because this already prevents any option to a strategic search for a movement in this country. There is a fundamental need for a world beyond fear and regulation. This was also demonstrated by the strong participation in the anti-authoritarian demonstration on May 1st in Athens, in which around 5,000 people took part despite a curfew in force until May 4th. The emergency regime believes itself to be at the height of its power, apparently so unresistingly it has been able to prevail. But that is precisely where its fragility is to be found, because it has nothing to offer but a prolonged desolation that is only fed by the promise of care and paternalism. On the streets we write history. Dystopia or freedom.

Pandemic War diaries – First of May Edition

The self-abolition of the proletariat as the end of the capitalist world (or why the current revolt doesn’t transform into revolution)

“Exploitation, which is necessary to sustain the economy, has in the
generalized installation of capital, managed historically to overcome
the attacks of the proletariat, since they have never put its central
components into question” […]

If it were but merely a question of explaining the facts in a very
pedagogical way, the day after tomorrow the old world would be left in
the dust, but this is not so, the exploited feel comfortable in their
chains because they are entrapped in the mercantile social relations
that hide their exploitation under the veil of democratic reconciliation
or of nihilistic resignation, two poles of the same ideological center.”

–Anarquia & Communismo n.11

Santiago, Chile Winter 2018

“Yet at the same time, the proletariat only exists when it becomes
conscious of its condition and struggles for its liberation, that is,
its self-abolition, by attacking the social relations and institutions
that keep it dominated and through the affirmation of its truly human
interests, neither defined nor mediated by mercantile necessities”

-Ya No Hay Vuelta Atrás (Now There’s No Turning Back) n.2

Santiago, Chile February 2020

The fundamental contradiction of the current proletarian revolt

The revolt is breaking out all over the world, but all over the world
the revolution is missing. Why? What follows is a tentative but forceful
response.

The current-day reason is that this society of classes is coming out of
a historical counterrevolutionary period (since approximately the
1980’s) and entering a historical period of ascension and
intensification of the worldwide proletarian struggle against worldwide
Capital-State (2008-2013 and 2019-202?). Which, at the same time,
recently is starting to alter the correlation of forces and the
conditions for a possible revolutionary situation, in view of the fact
that the proletarian revolt has caused the bourgeoisie and their
governments to tremble, but it still hasn’t defeated them nor sent them
to the dustbin of history. As the comrades of Grupo Barbaria say, this
is a “hinge period” which must be seen not as a photograph but as a film
that contains flows (revolts), and ebbs (returns to normalcy), new flows
and a open finale. A historical period which transits between the
counterrevolution and a possible revolutionary situation at a global
level; for which, nevertheless, there is still a long way to go.

The structural reason, or the one in the backdrop, is that the
proletariat is still not a revolutionary class, despite the fact that
today the capitalist crisis is more widespread and serious than ever
before, and that the current global wave of revolts of the exploited and
oppressed is a embryo and a milestone heading forward towards the global
revolt, or at least its necessity and possibility. With a greater or
lesser grade of organizational autonomy and of street violence, the
proletarian class today is fighting against the capitalist order almost
everywhere, but this is not sufficient: in the end, the proletariat is
revolutionary or it is nothing, and it’s only revolutionary when it
struggles, not for “a life that is just and dignified” as the working
class, but to cease to be it. Yes, the proletariat is only revolutionary
when it struggles to cease being the proletariat, that is, when it
fights for its self-abolition. Of this there are certain symptoms and
elements in some current struggles (e.g. struggles not for more work and
more State but for another life, although they appear to be “suicidal”
struggles) but still there’s a long way to go, because in their majority
the proletarians continue to reproduce themselves as the class of labor
and, therefore, as the class of Capital, and they continue to negotiate
with the State about their demands in that reproduction. At the moment,
then, the working class flows and ebbs between being an exploited class
and being a revolutionary class. This is the fundamental contradiction,
still unresolved, of the proletarian revolt today and, therefore, the
principal reason for which it doesn’t transform into social revolution.

At the same time this happens because, in this era of real and total
subsumption (integration and subordination) of work and life into
Capital, Capital and the proletariat reciprocally imply each other – as
the comrades of Endnotes say-, they mutually reproduce “24/7”, sometimes
they identify with each other and other times they are in direct
confrontation. A class relation in which, of course, the proletarian
social pole is that which suffers all this human alienation as an
exploited and oppressed class, and therefore once and awhile it rebels
against such a condition. To which the Capital-State responds with
repression and, above all, with co-opting and recuperation of the
proletarian struggles into its logics, mechanisms, institutions,
ideologies and discourses. Because if it doesn’t do so, it would
seriously compromise its own existence. Like so then, from the point of
view of the revolutionary and dialectical materialist, in the current
historical cycle of class struggle the abolition of Capital necessarily
implies the abolition of the proletariat and vice-versa.

Indeed, because in the end it’s not a matter of taking pride in being a
proletarian and fighting for a “proletarian society”, and even less for
a “proletarian State”. Alienation can’t be destroyed through alienated
means, that’s to say with the arms of the system itself (as it is
believed by the partisans of the “transition period”, meaning the
so-called “socialism” of State capitalism, whatever the “path” may be),
since that is “giving more power to Power”. On the contrary, it’s a
matter of assuming the fact of being a proletarian as a condition that
is socially and historically imposed, as the modern slavery from which
one must liberate themself collectively and radically. It’s a matter of
ceasing to be an exploited and oppressed class once and for all,
eliminating the conditions that make the existence of social classes
possible. Given that the proletariat condenses all forms of exploitation
and oppression within itself, at the same time as all forms of
resistance and of radical alternative, Capital, the State and all forms
of exploitation and oppression would be abolished (sex/gender, “race”,
nationality, etc.) This is the social revolution. And without a doubt
this will not be a magical occurrence that happens over night in a pure
and perfect manner, but a historical and contradictory process which
nevertheless will have this consistent foundation or will not be.

Yet at the moment that is not what’s happening because, in spite of
being in revolt in many countries, the proletariat in their majority
continue to struggle to reproduce their “life” as the working class and
not to put an end to their slavery, waged and citizenized. (I say in
their majority, because there also exist proletarian minorities that
agitate against work, the class society and the State, but that
unfortunately don’t have a greater social impact.)

And they don’t do it just because of ideological alienation or “lack of
class consciousness”, but because of the material necessity of survival:
selling their labor force in the current precarious conditions and at
whatever price in order to be able to cover their basic needs, trying to
valorize their commodity-labor power in the work market as much formal
as informal (or in the market of goods and services, in the case of
self-management and barter), to struggle to subsume their life even more
to Capital, reproduce and bear its social relations and its forms of
living. The capitalist class relationship is in crisis, but it remains
standing. The working class today is more precarious and miserable than
ever before, but it continues to be a working class.

If indeed Capital can no longer maintain so much surplus or excess
population which its own historical development has produced all over
the world, but rather it gets rid of them by means of wars, pandemics,
famines, etc., just as it also tends to generate new class conflicts,
principally on part of the workers against the increase in exploitation
and the pauperization or the so-called “austerity measures” taken as
much by the left and the right; at the same time, the capitalist
counterrevolution has still not been defeated by the proletariat on the
socioeconomic and everyday terrain, and therefore, not on the political
and organizational terrain, despite the ideological illusions that the
different leftists create in this respect.

For example currently in Chile, a country in which, on one hand, despite
the community soup kitchens and other practices of solidarity between
proletarians, the revolt doesn’t provide a livelihood, or not for a long
awhile. The majority of the people have to work (formally and
informally) in order to eat, pay the rent, education, health care, basic
services, telephone and internet, etc.; that’s to say, they must
reproduce the capitalist relationships of production, circulation and
consumption.

and on the other hand, in spite of the existence of the autonomous
territorial assemblies, their major demand is the “constituent
assembly”; meaning that, instead of taking power over their own life in
order to change it radically and in every aspect, the majority of our
class would again delegate it to the bourgeois-democratic State. But
above all, because in their majority the proletarians continue
reproducing the capitalist relationships of alienation, oppression,
exploitation, competition and atomization amongst themselves, including
in the the assemblies, the barricades and the territorial recuperations.
And although the revolt in Chile is the most advanced at an
international level at the moment, it is not therefore “the revolution
to commence” as the comrades of the blog “Vamos Hacia la Vida” say, but
rather it is a revolt that is being defeated by its own limits and
obstacles, regardless of the organizational autonomy and the street
violence which still manifests in it. As the comrades of the Círculo de
Comunistas Esotéricos say, “The revolution has been postponed, but the
larval possibility of assuming it has been implanted. It’s necessary to
continue nourishing its possibilities as one waters a plant, as one
suckles an infant, as bonds of affection are built: constantly, daily.
The battle in these moments has been lost, but only partially. There are
inroads that are necessary to maintain. Just as there are setbacks that
need to be evaluated” And as another comrade from there, of the blog
“Antiforma” says, paraphrasing Vaneigem: “those that speak of revolution
and class struggle without referring to the destruction of the social
and biopsychic fabric that could sustain a decisive change, speak with a
corpse in their mouth.” Nevertheless, whatever happens in the next
months in this country (especially , after the plebiscite which was
announced for April 2020 but temporarily suspended due to the
coronavirus), it will be a milestone in the transition – or not – of a
possibly revolutionary historical period on a global level, which
without a doubt leaves revolutionaries everywhere with multiple and
valuable lessons.

For such reasons the thing is that, in this era and all over the world,
the proletariat oscillates between being a class which is exploited and
oppressed by Capital-State and being a class that is revolutionary or
self-abolishing. It fluctuates between the one and the other, with or
without consciousness of what it is doing and what it can do. This is –
and it’s worth reiterating – the fundamental ambiguity, paradox or
contradiction of the current day proletarian revolt that is still
unresolved , and therefore, the principal reason for which it doesn’t
transform into a social revolution.

Indeed, the revolt is not a revolution. The intermittent re-emergence of
the worldwide proletariat, and its autonomous and violent actions
against the forces of repression (of which spectacle and illusion are
also made, e.g. the romanticizing of “the front line”), are not a
revolution. But “the socialist transition State” and “rank-and-file
workers’ self management” aren’t revolution either (they never were).
The key to the social revolution is the self-abolition of the
proletariat, which goes hand-in-hand with the abolition of value,
because these are the roots or the foundations of capitalism, understood
as the social dictatorship of value valorizing itself at the cost of a
proletarianized humanity and of nature.

The self-alienation and self-destruction of the proletariat as a class
of Capital

On the contrary, when they don’t fight against the capitalist conditions
and class relationships, when they don’t fight in an autonomous and
conscious way to produce the conditions and the weapons (practical and
theoretical) of their own liberation, the proletariat is a class of
Capital and for Capital, because it is Capital that produces and
reproduces it daily and in every sense, as much objectively or
materially as subjectively and spiritually. Not only producing and
reproducing economic value and surplus value, but also cultural value
and surplus value, ideological and psychological – that is, producing
and reproducing human alienation in all its levels and forms, upon the
basis of the the fundamental and transversal alienation of the
capitalist society: commodity fetishism, meaning the objectification,
commodification and monetary valorization of human relations -. Not only
by means of wage slavery and voluntary servitude – that is, being a
citizenry disciplined by work/consumption and fragmented into thousands
of particular identities-; but, above all, when the proletarians don’t
recognize or assume themselves and among themselves to be as such, when
they disregard and isolate themselves and neither act in solidarity nor
mutual aid, when they compete, cheat, snitch, defraud, exploit,
dominate, violate in every possible form and even kill each other (in
all of these, without a doubt the women, children, homosexuals, blacks
and indigenous bear the brunt of it).

In summary, the problem is the reproduction of capitalist social
relations and of power in everyday life, principally within the
proletariat itself, not only because of how the proletarian men and
women relate with the exploiting and ruling class, but because of how
they relate amongst the oppressed themselves in order to reproduce
themselves as such, being, as they are, the majority of the society. And
the thing is that, throughout majority of historical time (there are
exceptions: revolts and revolutions) and in every part of the world, the
proletariat has passed it by self-alienating and self-destructing as
humanity to the benefit of Capital (of commodity fetishism, of value, of
the money-god for which they work) and of all the forms of
exploitation/oppression that are subsumed within its mode of social
production reproduction (patriarchy, racism, nationalism, etc.) instead
of directing all the subversive aspect of their misery, rage, and
violence against it; and above all, instead of fighting to reappropriate
their own lives and live them in real freedom and community.

Now, as Marx said, a society doesn’t ever disappear before all of its
productive forces and forms of living (and of dying) are developed, or
before the material conditions for new and superior social relations
there already exist at its bosom. Therefore, the bourgeois society will
not disappear until the proletariat neither can nor want to live under
the capitalist mode of production and of living, and therefore begin to
produce for themselves, by need and by desire, anarchic and communist
social relations and forms of living, which can only be developed freely
and fully by means of the social revolution, in the heat of the class
antagonism and the reproduction of daily life. It is there, in the real
and practical social struggles where the proletarians do this, where the
seed of revolution, of communism and anarchy, can be found.

As Endnotes and other comrades like Kurz explain well, the revolutions
of the 19th and 20th centuries, despite their elements and tendencies of
a communist and anarchic character (e.g. rejection of work and of the
State, of mercantile exchange and of democracy) didn’t dynamite the
roots and fundamental categories of capitalism, but rather they
developed, modernized and spread them throughout the world from the
opposition, not only through the counterrevolutionary (re)action of the
worldwide bourgeoisie, but also thanks to the worker-union, peasant and
popular movement and its leftist vanguards that took bourgeois state
power or, in the absence of that, managed to make the state concede
economic, political and social reforms in terms of welfare, development
and nationalism. It’s needless to say here, but anyway just in case,
what existed in Russia, China, Yugoslavia, Cuba, etc. was not communism
but State capitalism with other administrators and other headings. For
their part, the anarchist and autonomist experiences of self-management
(from Barcelona in 1936 to Chiapas and Rojava today in the 21st century)
didn’t manage to break away from and overcome the social and impersonal
dictatorship of value, money, the commodity and work, and that’s to say
capitalism, either.

In short, all the past revolutions failed to realize the fundamental
objective of the communist revolution: the abolition of class society,
beginning with the proletariat itself, which is the principal producer
and product of capitalist social relations.

Today we know that, despite such revolutionary elements and tendencies,
it wasn’t due to causes pertaining to the ideological-political –
meaning program and party – and military – meaning arms and the use of
violence – but rather quite precisely material and historical causes –
namely: a transition from formal subsumption to the real subsumption of
work into Capital, a surge and crisis of the workers’ movement as
opposition to/developer of capitalism, new cycles of
crisis/restructuring and of class struggles -, which determined that
communism would not be realized in past eras and that it really hadn’t
been possible yet until today or from now on to realize it. And this is
not “to justify the leninist and stagist theory of statist and
capitalist development of productive forces”, as a comrade of the ICG
says. It’s “applying historical materialism to historical materialism
itself”, as Korsch said; in this case, the historical materialist
conception of communist revolution. Furthermore in the communizing
perspective leninism is also openly criticized as a counterrevolutionary
force, and communism is understood as a real global-historical movement
that, due to the causes that have been mentioned, still has not been
able to transform into a new society.

Then, how could it be possible- even inevitable – that the current
historical and international cycle of capitalist crisis/restructuring
and of class struggle could be pushing the proletariat towards the
worldwide communist revolution, in the same time that it is pushing
towards extinction? Because the technological progress of the
multinational companies, with the aim of competing and obtaining more
profits and power, has turned them in their majority into a superfluous
or excess population (surplus proletariat) which becomes more and more
difficult to guarantee under this system, not only the production of
commodities and of surplus value, but the reproduction of their very
life in every aspect. The contradiction of capital, sooner or later
fatal, is that it almost completely devalues its principal source of
value and of wealth: the collective labor force, the working class. The
fact that today there exists so much technology (as to reduce human
labor to the necessary minimum) and so many foods (as much to feed more
than the existing world population), but at the same time there is
neither as much work, nor money, nor stability, nor housing, nor
uncontaminated environment, nor health, nor anything, for the majority
of the population, creates malaise and social protest. In which the
proletariat, which is so precaritized today, has fought not only for
work and for another kind of government, or not only for more money,
more things and better services, but also against the State-Capital,
with or without consciousness that it had done so. Producing communities
of struggle and of life not mediated by competition, money or authority,
that’s to say where new social relations are experimented with that
subvert the capitalist social relations – another world inside of and
against the bowels of this world -, but that last only as long as such
struggles last… like everything in these “liquid” and “diffused” times.

It’s no coincidence then, that this era of crisis and social revolts be,
at the same time, the era of the labor reserve army or of the workers
who are unemployed, underemployed and impoverished, composed in a
considerable percentage by youth with higher education, internet access
and “social networks”, and with experience in massive rebellions and
even in insurrections and “communes”. But up until there and no more,
because the revolt is not the revolution. Capitalism remains standing.
And this, at the same time, is because the proletariat is the living
contradiction which today fluctuates between
self-alienation/self-destruction and self-emancipation/self-abolition
through its revolts and returns to normality.

The revolution is the positive resolution of this movement in
contradiction: the revolution is the radical
self-suppression/self-overcoming of the proletariat and, therefore, of
Capital, not because of ideology but because of concrete vital
necessity, that is to say when the proletariat feels and assumes in
social practice the necessity to produce communism and anarchy in order
to live, no more and no less, Meanwhile, capitalism, with the plasticity
which has always characterized it, will continue to dialectically
recycle the assaults of the proletariat to its own favor. And its
leftist organizations will continue reproducing Capital and the State,
although they think and say the opposite (see below).

All of this – and not “the lack of a party” nor “the lack of a program”
– is what materially and historically explains why the proletariat,
despite being the social majority numerically, has still not destroyed
once and for all this system of alienation, exploitation, misery and
death which is ruled over by the bourgeoisie, who are numerically the
social minority. This is the response to the question that many
proletarians have made sometimes or often, above all in this era of real
and total subsumption of humanity into Capital.

Indeed, the problem is not only the “perverse” bourgeoisie and the
“damned” capitalist system, but that, through subsumption, the
proletariat itself IS the capitalist system: let’s be realist and
honest, our class is not, nor must it be seen as “victim”, “saint”, nor
“heroine”, in this history: the majority of the time and all over the
place it keeps on self-alienating and self-destructing as humanity,
reproducing the capitalist relationships of exploitation and oppression.
But also, as an exploited and oppressed class, the proletariat has been
and can be the revolutionary class, not necessarily but potentially,
depending on what it does or doesn’t do in the class struggle to negate
and suppress its own current condition, to transform the capitalist
social relations into communist social relations.

Because it’s humanly comprehensible and assertable that our class
becomes fed-up and attacks such a subhuman condition of being an
exploitable and disposable commodity-thing. Because, dialectically
speaking, within its self-alienation pulsates the possibility of its
self-abolition, given that the de-alienation runs the same route as the
alienation (from the economic alienation to the religious and
ideological alienation). Its self-abolition, then, necessarily implies
its self-liberation (“the emancipation of the workers will be the task
of the workers themselves” or it will not happen), and its
self-liberation necessarily implies its radical self-critique as a
class. Because the self-critique allows it to learn the lessons of its
defeats for present and future battles; that’s to say, because
self-critique is the key to self-liberation, just as the “revolution
within the revolution” is the key to the revolution. and above all
because, as Camatte said “currently, either the proletariat prefigures
the communist society and realizes the [revolutionary] theory, or it
continues to be what society already is.”

This includes and implicates principally its organizations, parties,
movements, collectives, groupuscules, sects or “rackets” of the left
(marxist-leninist and postmodern) and of the ultra-left (radical
communists and anarchists), because these also reproduce the capitalist
relations, logics, dynamics, practices and behaviors. Principally, by
means of their multiform political and ego competition to be the
self-proclaimed vanguard that takes power over the State “when the
historical moment arrives”, for some, or that self-manages Capital “from
below and to the left” for “everyone” in daily life, for “others”. It’s
all the same, because all these different leftist organizations are, due
to their practices and their relations, just another gear in this
generalized mercantile society of atomization, competition, spectacle
and ideology (ideology understood as the deformed consciousness of the
reality that, as such a real factor, at the same time exerts a real
deforming action, in the words of Debord). Products and agents of the
ideological-political and identitarian market, these leftist
organizations are the caricaturesque and miserable spectacle of the
struggle for revolution… ad nauseam. They are capitalism with an
“anticapitalist” appearance.

Above all in moments of post-revolt or of a return to normalcy, like for
example the leftist organizations in Ecuador after the revolt of October
2019 (in which we participated spontaneously as thousands of
proletarians “without a party”), or like what happened also in Brazil
after the revolt of June 2013… and in general all over the world, before
and after the current wave of revolts.

Still so, the problem is not only the reformist or left-wing of Capital
and its multiple divisions and competitions. The problem isn’t per se
the ideology or the organizations either. The problem is how the
proletariat itself and its proletarian minorities reproduce capitalism
in daily life, in practice, despite how their ideology and discourse say
the opposite.

The self-abolition of the proletariat as the key to the communist
revolution and communism as a real and contradictory movement

Nevertheless, the only way to combat, destroy and really overcome all
this shit is the autonomous and revolutionary struggle of
proletarianized humanity, including its radical minorities. As well as
the everyday and anonymous forms of resistance and solidarity between
the oppressed or the nobodies “without a party”. Indeed, it is in the
dialectic contradiction itself where the possibility of revolution can
be found, understood as a negation and overcoming of the negation. This
contradiction really exists and it IS the proletariat: an exploited
class and a revolutionary class. Because the same vital energy that
reproduces this system of death can be used to combat it, destroy it and
overcome it. Starting by questioning, revolutionizing, and abolishing
itself and by extension all other social classes, towards the aim of
reappropriating human life itself, in the heat of, and only in the heat
of, the class struggle. Assuming in practice that the struggle against
Capital necessarily implies the struggle against its class condition
itself. That might sound “suicidal” but, on the contrary, it’s
liberating from the chains of wage slavery and of all oppression and
alienation. Because, as the comrade Federico Corriente says, “today
there’s no other horizon than that of the catastrophic reproduction of
Capital and the inevitable and uncertain leap “into the void” that is
paramount for putting an end to it, that will happen through the assault
of the proletariat against the contradictions of its own reproduction.”

In fact, the only power which must be of interest to proletarians –
because they possess it, at least potentially – is the power to
self-eliminate as such and to so eliminate the capitalist and statist
class relationship. As the comrades of Les Amis du Potlach said, “the
revolution will be proletarian for those that realize it and
anti-proletarian through its content” That is what the historical and
revolutionary materialist dialectic really consists of, no more and no
less: in assuming that the proletariat and the class struggle are a
fundamental or substantial part of Capital, with the aim of struggling
to cease be so and thus – and only thus – to render the classes and such
a “systematic dialectic” itself abolished. This, and not anything else,
is the proletarian revolution, the communist revolution. Obviously
assuming it and doing it (the concrete) is a million times more
complicated than understanding it and saying it (the abstract). And in
spite of the current proletarian revolts, there is still a long way to
go towards that, for the reasons expressed in the first part of this
work.

In the sense that it’s still necessary to pass through many more crisis,
struggles, insurrections, civil wars, pandemics, tragedies,
counterrevolutions and defeats so that the proletariat finally manages –
or not- to assume that human and historical necessity for the
revolution, to become conscious of their revolutionary power, to act as
a revolutionary subject and to make the social revolution, the key of
which – and it’s worth insisting upon – is the self-abolition of the
proletariat (the bourgeoisie will no longer have someone to exploit and
oppress), which is intrinsic to the abolition of value (human relations
will return to being human, since they will no longer be mediated by
commodity-things or by money), and the transformation of the capitalist
and authoritarian social relations into communistic and anarchic ones in
every aspect. Not because of any ideology or politics, but because it
will be a material question of life or death, in account of the current
capitalist catastrophe which, in the future, will be increasingly worse.
All of this, in increasingly more accelerated and violent times.

Yes: abolishing the proletariat in order to abolish capitalism must be –
and really has always been – the objective and the principal measure of
the communist or communizing

revolution, in practice and, therefore, in the theory and revolutionary
strategy.

And meanwhile? And meanwhile, as it has been said: the autonomous and
revolutionary struggle of proletarianized humanity, class antagonism and
solidarity as much within counterrevolutionary everyday life (or in the
non-revolutionary class struggle) as in the revolts and insurrections
(or in the revolutionary class struggle), and above all the creation and
development of new social relations and forms of life that break with
and overcome the capitalist relations. Because it’s not only a matter of
reappropriating and having clear the historical and invariant program of
the communist revolution, and of fighting to impose such a program upon
the class enemy by means of revolutionary power. It’s not just a matter
of fighting for and making the revolution, it’s a matter of BEING the
revolution. As the comrades of the Invisible Committee had said well,
“the question is not only the struggle for communism, but the communism
that is experienced in the revolution itself.” Therefore, the only
“meanwhile” or the only “transition” to communism is communism itself,
understood as a real and historical social movement that fights to
destroy the capitalist society in order to transform into a new society
without classes or States.

Indeed, because communism is not the utopia or the ideal to implant in
an uncertain and indefinitely postponed future ad infinitum. As Marx
said “communism is the real movement that abolishes the current state of
things”, the premises of which can only be realized on the
global-historical plane. It is the real movement of the proletariat
tired of being so that destroys and overcomes the capitalist world, not
because of ideology but because of material necessity and for freedom
(freedom understood as consciousness acting out of necessity. Certainly,
as Marx also said, a mass communist consciousness can only be produced
through participation in a revolution or mass transformation of the
material and spiritual conditions of existence.):

This movement has reemerged in the last decade and is once again “a
spectre that haunts the world” and which frightens the worldwide
bourgeoisie. Communism is “a corpse that doesn’t cease to be born” it is
a real, living movement, that threatens the basis of the capitalist
system itself, but which still hasn’t killed and buried it, due to its
own limits and internal contradictions (see below).

But communism is not an ensemble of measures that are applied after the
taking of power, as the leninists believe. It’s a movement that already
exists, but not as a mode of production (there can’t be a communist
island within capitalist society, as the self-managerialists believe),
but as a tendency towards the community and the solidarity that can’t be
realized in this society, the key of which lies precisely in the
practices of solidarity and of community among proletarians while they
struggle for their own lives against the capitalist system until being
able to abolish it and overcome it, knowing or not what they are doing.
Above all in situations of crisis and of extreme necessity:”In extrema
necessitate, omnia sunt communia”: “in extreme necessity, everything is
for everyone”.

Communism is not an ideal or a program to realize; it already exists,
not as an established society, but as a seed, a task, an effort and a
tension for preparing the new society. As Dauvé says “communism is the
movement that tends towards abolishing the conditions of existence
determined by wage labor, and it effectively abolishes them through
revolution.”

Metaphorically speaking, communism is the fetus and the revolution is
the birth of the new world. This is communization.

When it is real, the revolutionary movement is not pure and perfect but
impure, imperfect, limited and contradictory. Hence, what really makes
it revolutionary is assuming, sustaining and tensing that internal
contradiction in order to eradicate and overcome it; concretely,
eradicate and overcome the reproduction of the capitalist social
relations at its heart along with the rest of the society. In other
words, the revolutionary movement or the real community of struggle of
the proletariat is the living contradiction and, at the same time, the
conscious, voluntary and impassioned “tension” (in the sense that
comrade Bonanno gives it) to eliminate and overcome this imposed
contradiction; that is, by creating revolutionary situations, relations
and subjectivities – communitarian and libertarian – that manage to
confront, strike, debilitate, crack, destroy and overcome capitalism in
the concrete life of concrete individuals, so much that it constitutes
another form of being and living in this world.

One step forward in this real and anonymous proletarian movement is
worth more than a dozen programs and “rackets” or groupuscles of the
left and ultra-left.

Only then does the real community of struggle prefigure or anticipate
the real human community. Only then exists the coherence between
revolutionary ends and means (one of the lessons of the historical
anarchist movement). And that is to make and to be the revolution
understood as communization.

None of this is either pure or perfect, but it is impure, imperfect,
limited, contradictory, as it was said: there exists a tension, rupture
and leap or change more or less permanent – or rather intermittent –
within it, as a real and living movement. In effect, the real
anticapitalist movement is the one in which the deeds subvert and
overcome the capitalist conditions of existence and its own internal
contradictions determined by such conditions. Where direct action, the
abolition of private property, solidarity, gratuity, horizontality in
the taking of decisions that affect everyone’s lives, are facts and not
only words and ideas. I’m thinking of Exarchia (Greece) and the Mapuche
territories (Araucanía), just to mention a few current and concrete
examples. There exist the seeds and the tendencies of communism and
revolution today.

So, a period of communization instead of a “period of transition”. This
means that communization will not occur overnight, nor through the
existence of a mass class consciousness (incarnated and directed by “the
party”) nor through the existence of many “self-managed communes”
(capitalism with an assembleary and self-managed appearance), but by
means of a process or a contradictory and historical-concrete cycle of
capitalist crisis/restructuring and of real and international class
struggle that, at the same time, is a result, critical balance and
surpassing synthesis of all the past cycles of struggle (since the birth
of capitalism up until then).

Concretely, the current historical cycle, in which the proletariat, at
the same time that it is totally subsumed to Capital, resumes its class
struggle against it and, therefore, against their own condition as an
exploited and oppressed class, in order to so reappropriate their own
lives. Which is inseparable, lastly, from the struggle to communize all
the conditions and material and immaterial means of existence.

In effect “the communist production of communism”, as the comrades of
Théorie Communiste say, can only be realized at the heart of the real
class struggles and, more specifically, at the heart of the autonomous
struggles of and within the proletariat itself in order to out a stop to
the catastrophic capitalist progress in course and therefore defend
nothing more and nothing less than Life, by material and concrete
necessity, and also because of the acting and emergent consciousness of
such a necessity. Tensing, breaking and overcoming its own limits as a
class of and for Capital. Questioning, negating and overcoming their own
condition as a social class determined and divided by work and money.
Resisting, advancing and leaping from their defensive self-organization
towards their positive self-abolition as such. Taking immediate
communist measures to this effect.

Immediate communist measures? Yes, because the current
historical-material conditions, these being the high level of capitalist
progress and of catastrophe in every aspect of social life, as well as
the existing communist practices in some current proletarian struggles,
not only make it possible but urgent to take immediate communist
measures. Furthermore, as Jappe says, this is the only revolutionary or
“radical realism” that is possible today, while all kinds of reformism
of the “period of socialist transition” type not only were, are, and
will be counterrevolutionary by being capitalist and statist, but also
because it’s objectively impossible in this era. In effect, given that
the current crisis of Capital is the crisis of labor, of value and of
the class relationship, the revolution not only must consist of
abolishing private property, meaning expropriating from the bourgeoisie
by force and communizing the means of production and the consumer goods:
it must consist – and in reality it always has consisted- in abolishing
wage labor, the division of labor, money, mercantile exchange, value,
businesses; and, in turn, in generalizing the minimal necessary labor,
the gratuity of things and the collective and individual making of
decisions, in order to so abolish all the social classes and all forms
of state power over the real community of freely associated individuals
that must be formed in order to produce and reproduce their own lives
according to their real human needs. As a banner recently unfurled on a
balcony of an italian city says: “Work less. Everyone work. Produce
what’s necessary. Redistribute everything.” All of this, in concrete
local territories and with real international ties. Also, inseparable
from that, are those communist measures that eliminate all forms of
segmentation, privilege and oppression based upon sex/gender, “race” and
nationality. And if it’s possible to speak and write about all that,
it’s because there exist practices in some current anti-system revolts
and movements that already prefigure or anticipate them as real seeds
and tendencies.

A current and concrete example of an immediate communist measure; the
looting of supermarkets in the south of Italy, one of the countries most
afflicted by the “coronavirus crisis”, which was done by proletarians
who are already in precarious situations and now desperate, given that,
as they themselves say, “the problem is immediate, the children have to
eat.” Why is it an immediate communist measure? Because, despite it not
directly affecting the sphere of production (as on the other hand the
recent wildcat strikes in the same country have indeed done), it
eliminates by the deed the sacrosanct private property, the commodity,
wage labor and money, and satisfies the common and basic needs of the
proletarians and their families. The spontaneous, autonomous and
anonymous networks of solidarity and mutual aid among proletarians,
which have been created in these precise moments everywhere, are also a
concrete communist practice. How can these kinds of measures be
sustained over time an space? That’s another subject. On the other hand,
it’s also possible to consider as an immediate communist measure the
call for a “universal rent strike” (to not pay rent and to occupy empty
homes for people that are homeless) from many countries of the world
(Spain, France, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Argentina, Chile,
Ecuador, etc.).

On the other hand, the other possible meanwhile is that the proletariat
in their majority continue working (including police and military work,
and that of “telework”), buying, consuming, contaminating, voting,
studying, facebooking, tweeting, watching netflix, eating “junk food”,
going out to party, listening to reggaetón and getting drunk on the
weekends, drugging themselves to the veins, going to the bordello, to
the stadium, to the concert and the tavern… or to the church, and being
nationalist, xenophobic, macho and violent (including fascist) towards
other proletarians but not towards the bourgeois and their uniformed
guard-dogs; or looking for work and dying of hunger, from depression or
of cancer; or going delinquent to later rot in jail; or going “crazy” to
later rot in the asylum; or falling into social paranoia, consumerism
and individualism in the supermarkets and everywhere else, when there
are pandemic situations (e.g. coronavirus), health emergency, austerity
measures and massive disinformation/idiocy; or – what seems to be the
opposite but is not – joining up to be militants in the ranks of their
left/ultra-left organizations, believing that they are “fighting for the
revolution” and “being coherent” by that, when in reality they are only
participating in capitalist political competition between proletarians,
a competition that only differs in the form and level of violence from
other non-political forms of fratricidal war (gangs, mafias, etc.) at
the same time that such political sects have a similarity to religious
sects in their dogmatic way of seeing the world and by treating their
peers like sheep and soldiers for their war against “the enemy” and for
“the cause”.

To sum it up, the other possible meanwhile is alienated survival and, in
the long-term, suicide; that’s to say, that the proletariat continue
self-alienating and self-destructing in a million ways to the point of
becoming extinct as humanity, not before devastating the planet,
clearly, under the yoke of the capitalist Leviathan (businesses and
States).

Communism or extinction

Therefore, the current and inexorable dilemma for humanity is: communism
or extinction, revolution or death. But the revolution doesn’t only take
place at exceptional moments in history. The revolution itself is an
eruptive and decisive exception in the history of the class struggle and
the capitalist social normality. But it’s not a fate or destiny but a
possibility. It’s not inevitable but rather it’s contingent: it can as
much as can’t happen. It depends on what the proletariat does or doesn’t
do in respect. Because capitalism will not die by itself or peacefully.

The revolution is not an occurrence which happens overnight, instilling
paradise on Earth either, but rather it’s a historical process,
concrete, contradictory and even chaotic, that contains flows and ebbs,
advances and retreats, ruptures and leaps, times of stagancy and new
leaps. It’s a process of social transformation of a radical and total
character which has always been, and above all at these heights of
history, necessary and urgent, because it’s the only way that
proletarianized humanity – which is the majority of humanity – can cease
to self-alienate and self-destruct as humans, and at the same time to
cease to destroy non-human nature.

Yes: communization is the only revolutionary exit from the crisis of
capitalism or, which is the same thing, the only radical solution for
the civilizatorian crisis, because it’s the only way to guarantee the
reproduction of Life, or as Flores Magón would say, for its
“regeneration” or reinvention.

It’s necessary to produce, then, that exception or historical eruption
that is the revolution, no more and no less than for vital necessity. It
must be gestated and born. Communism is the fetus and the revolution is
the birth of the new world. But, as it has already been said, this
depends on what the proletariat does or doesn’t do in order to transform
the current social conditions and their own life, their own collective
being and the ecosystem.

In the case that our class doesn’t fight for the total revolution until
the end, the counterrevolution will continue to reign and the capitalist
or dystopian catastrophe in course (systematic economic crisis,
cutting-edge technology/”artificial intelligence”, massive unemployment
and poverty, devastation of nature/ecological crisis, pandemics, wars,
suicides, etc.) will finally end up making us as a species extinct.
Perhaps there are only a few generations left before that. And the
countdown increasingly accelerates.

Therefore, the current worldwide capitalist crisis and the current
worldwide wave of proletarian revolts constitute possibly the last
historical chance to finally start the irrevocable process of the global
communist revolution, of the abolition or the overcoming of the society
of classes and fetishes… or to perish.

Exaggerated? Apocalyptic? We’re already living in the capitalist
apocalypse that is the the current crisis of civilization! The dystopian
future is now! Our historical cycle of crisis and struggles will
possibly be the cycle of 2019-2049…

Communism or extinction!

The self-abolition of the proletariat is the end of the capitalist
world!

Proletarians of the world: Let’s self-organize in order to cease to be
proletarians!

A proletarian fed-up with being one
Quito, Ecuador
February-April, 2020

A revolutionary “pessimistic” postscript in times of coronavirus

“The outbreak of the new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19), which has
wrought havoc in China since the end of last year, has surged over
borders and impacted the rest of the world, and with it, the imminent
economic crisis has but further advanced. The world economy is in
full-on crisis, the administrators of power are pending on immense
financial relief, the bourgeoisie are beginning to close factories and
lay off employees using the lucky pretext of the “quarantine” as excuse.
The disaster is immanent. Nevertheless, it’s important to know that the
monetary losses don’t signify the fall of the capitalist system.
Capitalism will seek at every moment to restructure itself on the basis
of austerity measures imposed on proletarians in order to palliate all
the catastrophic consequences that it will bring along with it. And this
is due to the fact that the “blows” that capitalism has been dealt due
to these phenomena are simply losses in its rate of profit, but those
losses don’t at all change its structure or its essence, meaning the
social relations that allow it to remain standing: the commodity, value,
the market, exploitation and wage labor. In fact, it’s in these
structures that capitalism most reaffirms its necessities: sacrificing
millions of human beings to the favor of economic interests, making the
polarization between classes sharpen and revealing more forcefully in
what position the dominant class is to be found, who will use all the
efforts in their reach in order to preserve this state of things.

[…]

The ever-more contradictions heightened contradictions of this mode of
production (crisis, war, pandemics, environmental destruction,
pauperization, militarization), which exasperate our conditions of
survival, won’t clear the way either mechanically or messianically for
the end of capitalism. Or better said, such conditions, although they
will be fundamental, won’t suffice. Because for capitalism to reach its
end, it’s imperative for there to be a social force, antagonistic and
revolutionary that manages to direct the destructive and subversive
character towards something completely different from what we know and
experience now.

If we want it or not, we can’t let a question as important as the
revolution to drift aimlessly, to leave it to luck. It’s necessary to
experience the resolution of this problem on the basis of the
organization of tasks that can go on to present themselves, that’s to
say, the grouping for the appropriation and defense of the most
immediate necessities (not paying debts, rent, or taxes), but also, the
rupture from all the dreams and mirages that carry us to manage the save
miseries behind another facade.

[…]

It’s not necessary to wait for the dystopia or the hollywoodesque scenes
of apocalypse, because these are already materially manifesting in
different parts of the globe, and in fact they greatly surpass any
attempt at representation by cinematic fiction.

The current pandemic of COVID-19 is one more stage in the degradation to
which this society of commodity production brings us.

A stage before which it is reaffirmed that the true future only hangs
from two strings:

Communist revolution or to perish in the twilight!”

Contra la Contra n.3
Collapse of the capitalist system? A few notes on current events.
Mexico City
March 2020

The self-abolition of the proletariat as the end of the capitalist world (Proletarios Revolucionarios)

Toulouse (France) – One less cell phone tower

To make it simple: this new level of control pissed us off even more and made us want to act. To do nothing, in our eyes, was tantamount to accepting it.

As usual, if control works so well, it is also because the citizens meekly accept it, well installed in their virtual bubble, to continue to have fun and telework. But it is more than ever the umbilical cord that binds them to this pathetic life.

That’s why we set fire to a mobile phone relay station, on the night between the 5th and 6th of May, in Toulouse, on the east side of the Pont de l’Embouchure. It was easier than we thought.

You can see that we are not the only people boiling with anger and we are happy about it. Total hostility against civilization and the piles of shit that make it up.

 

(it-en-fr) Tolosa, Francia: Un ripetitore in meno (06/05/2020)