Entries from January 2017
It’s a tale from another century – when most people who situated themselves on the radical left also felt they were part of a world civil war. It was a war between good and evil, the oppressed vs. the oppressors, the proletariat vs. the capitalists, the countries of the periphery vs. the centre. Support for anti-colonial struggles and for the Vietcong as well as the various Latin American guerillas was based on a wide consensus, and was in many cases the starting point of individual and collective politicisations. This consensus seemed to override the knowledge and assessments of the crimes of Stalin and Mao, and many other ‘details’. Apparently the way towards socialism was not a straight road, it could be a zig-zag at times. The more the Western proletariat seemed uninterested in revolution, and the Eastern Bloc seemed a bureaucratic aberration, the more the national liberation movements in the ‘backwards’ countries became the global hope of Western middle class ‘revolutionaries’.
The root of this idea goes back to the Conference of Baku in 1920 and the second congress of the Communist International in the same year.
This is when Lenin revised the Marxist slogan ‘Workers of all countries unite!’ and changed it to: ‘Workers and oppressed peoples and nations of the world, unite!’
This slogan significantly changed the direction of the ‘official’ communist movement. Workers are members of a class and at the same time individual human beings. In oppressed peoples and nations the individuals are absent.
In point 11 of his Preliminary Draft of Theses on the National and Colonial Questions, Lenin proclaimed that Communist parties in ‘backward states and nations, in which feudal or patriarchal and patriarchal-peasant relations predominate (…) must assist the bourgeois-democratic liberation movement’. But at least he recognised some of the dangers, and stressed ‘the need for struggle against the clergy and other influential reactionary and medieval elements’ as well as the ‘need to combat the Pan-Islamic and similar trends which strive to combine the liberation movement against European and American imperialism with an attempt to strengthen the positions of the khans, landowners, mullahs, etc.’
This advice was heeded less and less as the Soviet Union degenerated – and in fact even less so by those who accused the SU of ‘social imperialism’ and supported a Maoist alternative to the Russian line, supporting shameless nationalist dictatorships with a ‘communist’ cloak in Albania, Kampuchea or North Korea. [Read more →]
“If you go back to the birth of nations, if you come down to our own day, if you examine peoples in all possible conditions from the state of barbarism to the most advanced civilisation, you always find war. From this primary cause … the effusion of blood has never ceased in this world.”
Joseph de Maistre (1797)
Civilisation is measured by its roads; uneven development is revealed by its potholes. The Romans ruled the extent of their imperium along their via; the Victorians penetrated with protractors and railroads; lately, the BBC has devoted an entire chauvinistic TV series (‘Top Gear’) to ridiculing the absence of ‘proper’ roads outside the Western comfort zone.
Rwanda’s roads could never be straight, for every inch of this African emerald is set across a vertiginous mountain range. But its winding roads are perfect. Too perfect. They are fastidiously-tarmacked, governed, regulated spaces with delineated sidewalks, freshly-painted lines, rationalised roundabouts, 12-hour street lighting, advance-warning filter systems, traffic lights which work – and which are obeyed. This is not only in the capital, Kigali: all the way south in the border town of Gisenyi, one can gaze smugly from its smooth Paradise into the shambolic warzone of eastern Congo; at the other end of the country, a European visitor to the northern town of Nyagatare could be forgiven for thinking they were in Liechtenstein.
To make matters even more disconcertingly ‘un-African’, Rwandan drivers always follow traffic regulations, even when no-one is looking.
My first visit to Rwanda is in 2008. It’s only 10pm and Kigali is already dead. I’m with Karlsson, a foul-mouthed Swedish academic, and we are looking for somewhere to have another beer. He’s researching the controversial topic of media freedom and I am keen to hear of his findings. We’ve had the uneasy feeling all day that people have been eavesdropping on us. To anyone listening in, our conversation must sound bizarre. You cannot meaningfully discuss Rwandan politics without mentioning their ethnic factions, the Hutu and the Tutsi, yet the regime has literally outlawed the use of the terms ‘Hutu’ and ‘Tutsi’, unless you use them in a close approximation of the following phrase: “… the Hutu genocide against the Tutsi.” So in the spirit of naughty schoolboys we spend the whole day talking politics by substituting the ethnicities with the terms ‘Hookers’ and ‘Trannies’ (as in transvestites). “Some claim there were actually more Hookers killed by the Trannies in reprisals…” or “the Trannies are simply burying the issue and the Hookers are going to boil over one day soon, you’ll see…” 1
In this prematurely deceased night we sit down and relax in the absence of flitting eyes. We are probably being paranoid to think we were shadowed the whole day, but we’d be well-advised in that attitude. Karlsson would simply be the latest foreign researcher or journalist to have his visa revoked. The Rwandan authorities are justified in their vigilance. Only 5 years earlier Rwanda had been one of the most feared protagonists in the Second Congo War (9 combatant nations and nearly 6 million deaths) and only 14 years earlier Hutu Power had conducted a genocide in Rwanda itself (800,000 deaths).
Karlsson staggers off in search of a demarcated urination spot and I enter a kiosk bar, the only place open as far as the eye can see. There is a middle-aged man drinking at the counter. He stares fixedly at me as I try and order beer and cigarettes. The kiosk is brightly-lit by ghastly neon. High up on the wall is the ubiquitous framed image of President Paul Kagame, sitting up straight, his narrow neck-tied frame topped by bespectacled, beady eyes. “Hey you! Do you know who that man is?” the sodden customer addresses me breezily. “Yes”, I smirk, attempting some levity, “he’s the main man, the numero uno – the big cheese!” There is a brief silence as the drinker contemplates me; his lips are now snarled with contempt. “This man” he hisses, grabbing my sleeve and jabbing his finger towards the icon, “is our saviour. He is a God to us.” The barman abruptly finishes the transaction and President Kagame watches from the wall as I leave his kiosk. [Read more →]
Here is the annual Best of 2016 Chart documenting many of the tracks and releases of 2016 played out frequently by Datacide contributors!
Best of 2016 Chart
Gonçalo F. Cardoso, Ruben Pater: A Study into 21st Century Drone Acoustics (Discrepant 24)
CoH: Music Vol. (Editions Mego 222)
Radionics Radio: An Album of Musical Radionic Thought-Frequencies (Sub Rosa 423)
KK Null: Machine in the Ghost (Dry Lungs 007/Hirntrust Grind Media 41)
6.R.M.E.: ANRSE (Hintrust Grind Media 42)
N-rgle: Makété Kudasay (bandcamp self release)
Headland: FKOFd026 (FatKidOnFire 026)
Silver Waves: Ep3 (Portal Editions/ Howling Owl Records)
Ryuji Takeuchi: Outbound To Inner Self (Inner Surface Music)
Annihilation Operator: Bludgeon (Raketenbasis Haberlandstraße)
Ossia: Control (Berceuse Heroique)
Zombieflesheater: Bloodsport Soundclash EP (Kritik Am Leben 02)
Adjust: Titan Remixes (Low Res LOW027)
Messias: Omnivoid (Cathartic Noize Experience X-008)
Dr. Walker vs. Omsk Information vs. St.Tétik (Subsonic 003)
Alex Buess & Daniel Buess: Skin Craft: RIND & NOL (Praxis 55)
D.A.S. D.A.: Features Vol 4 (Repitch004)
Atomhead: Timeblind (AcreD23)
Umwelt: Days of Dissent (Boidae 001)
Cindytalk: The Labyrinth of the Straight Line (Editions Mego 219)
Crotaphytus: Acanthosaura (Further Records 014)
Ontal: Ontal 2 (Ontal Series 02)
Honzo: Melancholia EP (Arboretum 003)
Scalameriya: Kepslok (Perc Trax Limited 008)
Martyn Hare: (Emetic XXVII)
SØS Gunver Ryberg: AFTRYK (Contort 006)
Blackmass Plastics: Under the Radar (Ugly Funk 009)
Oake: Monad XXIV (Stroboscopic Artefacts 024)
Disheveled: Mechasimulacria (Thac0 AC7)
Dimentia: Broadcast Frequency (bandcamp self release)
Perc + Randomer: Igneous (Perc Trax 072)
Impulse Controls: Devour (Instruments of Discipline 008)
Domenico Crisci: The Violinist (Summa Cum Laude 001)
A001: Nyctophobia EP (MORD031)
Wah Wah: No Borders (Kool Killer 001)
As always in the first days of the new year we publish a list of the most read – or at least most clicked – articles on datacide (online) during the previous year:
1. Keith Robinson Desert Storm 06/08/68-18/09/16 Obituary by Marc Hekate, which will appear in print in the upcoming Datacide Sixteen. This got a huge spike after being shared many times on social media.
2. You’re Too Young to Remember the Eighties – Dancing in a Different Time by DJ Controlled Weirdness. This nice and now classic piece on the 80′s dance underground in London is from Datacide Ten, published in 2008 and was the most read article for the previous three years! And in 2014 it also has become the most read piece on this site, overtaking the Coil Interview from 1986, which was still the third most read piece in 2016:
3. COIL – Interview from 1986 plus Introduction. Classic interview with John Balance – originally published in the Zine “turn to crime” (Vision 2). Vision was of course the predecessor of Praxis/Datacide. Reprinted in Datacide Nine (2006/2014)
4. What the Fuck? – Operation Spanner by Jo Burzynska – always in this chart since 2011, this is the oldest Datacide article here – from Datacide Two, 1997, now reprinted in our book EVERYTHING ELSE IS EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS.
5. Anti-Semitism from Beyond the Grave – Muslimgauze’s Jihad by Christoph Fringeli. Getting read more and more – and predictably STILL getting the usual flak from fanboys and apologists… Originally from Datacide Nine (2006/2014)
6. Dope Smuggling, LSD Manufacture, Organised Crime & the Law in 1960s London by Stewart Home from Datacide Eleven, based on his talk at the 2008 datacide conference in Berlin, and in each top 10 since then… Originally published in Datacide Eleven (2011).
7. François Genoud – The life of a Swiss banker and fascist anti-Imperialist by CF, originally published in Datacide Ten. Up from number 20 last year.
8. The most read article from Datacide Fourteen in 2015 is John Eden’s account of the Hackney police’s “community relations”: “They Hate Us, We Hate Them” – Resisting Police Corruption and Violence in Hackney in the 1980s and 1990s. Last year’s number 8 is getting a growing readership.
8. From Subculture to Hegemony: Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial by Christoph Fringeli from Datacide Eleven (2011). This was the most read article in 2011, number 5 in 2012, number 3 in 2013 and 5 in 2014 as well as this year.
9. The Brain of Ulrike Meinhof by CF is another text with a a steady readership, both previous years at number 8, in 2014 it dropped out of the “top 10” only to re-appear again this year. Originally from Datacide Nine.
10. Godard – The Child of Marx & Coca-Cola Howard Slater’s excellent article on Godard’s Masculin/Feminin from Datacide Eight is finding a new readership.
11. Wreckers of Civilisation: The Story of COUM Transmissions & Throbbing Gristle by Simon Ford (Book Review by Stewart Home from Datacide Six).
12. Revolt of the Ravers – The Movement against the Criminal Justice Act in Britain 1993-95 by Neil Transponine about the struggles against the Criminal Justice Bill and subsequent 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act from Datacide Thirteen.
13. Spiral Tribe interview with Mark Harrison from issue Thirteen by Neil Transpontine, also from issue 13. Essential for those interested in the history of the 23 tribe and free party culture! Last year’s number 12.
14. Last Survivors or First Mutants? – Notes on Surplus Population by Howard Slater – from Datacide 14.
15. Shaking The Foundations: Reggae soundsystem meets ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown – one of the articles that appeared in Datacide (this one in issue Eleven, 2011) dealing with the reggae soundsystem culture and its history, by John Eden.
16. Fluxus and DIY Concerts by new Datacide contributor Guoda Diržyte from datacide 14.
17. Also by John Eden is this interview: The Dog’s Bollocks – Vagina Dentata Organ and The Valls Brothers which gives great insight into some of the more interesting industrial culture.
18. For the second time in this list is a short article about the text “Der Waldgang” by the writer Ernst Jünger, originally published as an appendix to “From Subculture to Hegemony” (see number 8 in this list) in Datacide Eleven.
19. Datacide 15 News: Neo-Nazis, the National Socialist Underground and the State – a news update on the Neo-Nazi terrorist group Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund (NSU) and its connection to the German state security agency Verfassungsschutz from Datacide Fifteen.
20. Just Say Non: Nazism, Narcissism and Boyd Rice – originally published on the blog whomakesthenazis.com and reprinted in our Almanac for Noise & Politics 2015 – and finally re-blogged here.
As a year ago we post a top 20 list rather than just a top 10 as in previous years. Hopefully it will be encouraging to dig deeper into the wealth of articles on the site – nearly 500 are up now and more will follow soon!