‘Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.’
Article 14.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It seems fair enough to deduce from this formulation that the denial of this right to freedom from persecution would constitute a human rights violation. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights formulates some essentials of Western democratic self-understanding. It is not surprising that a country like Saudi Arabia refused to sign it in 1948, stating that the Declaration contravenes Sharia Law. Certainly the right wing populist mass movements led by Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, HC Strache or Frauke Petry are not defenders of Sharia Law, but in many ways these movements are the other side of the same coin of the ultra-reactionary movements in the Middle East.
These movements in the West go beyond lobbying their own governments to suspend human rights to keep out those who are trying to flee the carnage caused, in many cases, by Islamic fundamentalists. In the US, Trump has been vocal in advocating even worse torture than is already being used by the current administration as well as the killing of whole families. In Germany, politicians from the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) have stated that ‘if necessary’ refugees, including children, should be prevented from entering the country with lethal force. Despite this, Trump is currently the frontrunner of the Republican candidates in the US presidential race, and the AfD enjoys ratings and election success in Germany outdoing any party to the right of the Christian Democrats since the beginning of the Federal Republic.
We’re witnessing a dramatic brutalisation – at least in the rhetoric – of Western politics.
What is interesting is that these movements manage to present themselves as anti-establishment, when in fact they are in each and every case merely examples of the ‘alliance of the elite and the mob’, and thus share many marks of classic fascism. Just like the Nazis, they claim that the press and media are controlled by a shadowy establishment, while using the same media to create a relative hegemony in the discourse of many political and social issues.
At the same time these right-wing movements are products of the capitalist crisis, a crisis that is on the way to escalating into the rule of nationalist rackets with egomaniacal leaders and reactionary agendas. The ground for this to occur requires the ruling classes’ dismantling of the liberal Enlightenment essentials that found their expression in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Torture and assassinations are already used, ‘rights’ are being revoked more easily than they are being granted.
Politics is all about choosing between impossible alternatives.
A new anti-politics should strive to overcome these false choices, with a program of universal abolition: of capital, money, state, and nation.
The question in what way countercultures – and a publication like datacide – can be instrumental in helping to overthrow this unacceptable state of affairs should be an issue of discussion between activists, writers, critics and readers.
This issue of datacide appeared with a few months delay – while we have been able to maintain a yearly schedule since 2011, this issue, due in October 2015 only went to print in May 2016. This doesn’t mean we haven’t been active. In fact last October we published our first two books.
With the first book, titled Everything Else Is Even More Ridiculous, we realised a project that had been on our minds for several years: the first ten issues of datacide, which originally appeared from 1997-2008, reprinted in one volume. This offers a unique insight into the countercultures associated with experimental electronic music and underground parties and the overlapping fields of radical politics. In 364 pages you find the complete content of our first “decade of noise & politics”.
In addition to this big volume we also published a first Almanac for Noise & Politics 2015 in a handy A6 pocket book size. This contains some highlights from previous issues as well as previously unprinted or unpublished material (as well as a catalogue) and is overall designed to serve as a good introduction to the world of datacide and Praxis, the record label associated with this magazine.
By the time of posting this the new Almanac for Noise & Politics 2016 has also come back from the printers.
For the next months there are several book projects in the pipeline (watch this space for more information soon) and we are planning to release Datacide Sixteen in October.
We have many other projects and would like to remind our readers that datacide is a totally independent project which is not aligned with any organisations or businesses. We therefore depend on the fundraising through our readership. Please consider taking out a subscription or make a donation.