Communisation theory and the question of fascism

It is now more than five years since the start of the financial crisis with no sign of respite from austerity and increasing insecurity.  Neither the old left of unions and parties or the newer social movements of protest and direct action seem to be up to the task of offering a way forward. In the search for new road maps to navigate crisis and the possibilities of life beyond capitalism, the concept of ‘communisation’ has become an increasing focus of discussion.

The word itself has been around since the early days of the communist movement. The English utopian Goodwyn Barmby, credited with the being the first person to use the term communist in the English language, wrote a text as early as 1841 entitled ‘The Outlines of Communism, Associality and Communisation’.  He conceived of the four ages of humanity as being ‘ ‘Paradisation, Barbarization, Civilization and Communisation’, while his wife and collaborator Catherine Barmby anticipated current debates about gender with early feminist interventions arguing for communisation as a solution to women’s subordination (Goodwyn Barmby is discussed in Peter Linebaugh, ‘Meandering on the semantical-historical paths of communism and commons’, The Commoner, December 2010).

The Barmbys’ use of the term to describe the process of the creation of a communist society is not a million miles away from its current usage, but it has acquired a more specific set of meanings since the early 1970s when elements of the French ‘ultra-left’ began deploying it as a way of critiquing traditional conceptions of revolution. Communism has often been conceived of by both Marxists and anarchists as a future state of society to be achieved in the distant future long after the messy business of revolution has been sorted out.  For advocates of communisation on the other hand, capitalism can only be abolished by the immediate creation of different relations between people, such as the free distribution of goods and the creation of ‘communal, moneyless, profitless, Stateless, forms of life. The process will take time to be completed, but it will start at the beginning of the revolution, which will not create the preconditions of communism: it will create communism’ (Gilles Dauvé & Karl Nesic, ‘Communisation’, 2011).

Today this broad notion of communisation is used in various different ways, but arguably there are two main poles in current debates – albeit with many shades in between. [Read more →]

Neo-Nazi Terror and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Germany

Despite the fact that at least 140 people (AIB 89) were killed by Neo-Nazis in Germany since re-unification in 1990, officially there was no such thing as Nazi terrorism in the Federal Republic. Indeed, if one looks at the book “Extremismus in Deutschland” (Extremism in Germany), published by the Ministry of the Interior in 2004, one could conclude that there is no such thing as violence from the extreme right, let alone murder and terrorism.
The yearly report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) for 2010 categorically states that “in Germany no right wing terrorist structures can be detected” (Verfassungsschutzbericht 2010, p.57). The report describes far right violence as “predominantly spontaneous”, and claims it occurs mainly between right and left wing “extremists”.

This view in mainstream politics and media forcibly changed on November 4, 2011, when the dead bodies of Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos were found in a burning trailer in Eisenach, Thuringia. After a initially successful bank robbery by the suspects, police found their trailer and approached it, and then to avoid arrest, Böhnhardt apparently shot Mundlos, set the trailer on fire and then shot himself in the head. Meanwhile in Zwickau, the third of the terror trio, Beate Zschäpe (who had earlier taken part of the bank heist), was busy burning down their safehouse to destroy evidence. A few days later she gave herself up, and has since refused to make any statements.
The murder weapons used in a series of killings between 2000 and 2007 were found in the burned house along with other weapons.

The three right wing militants formed a cell called National Socialist Underground (NSU), and murdered nine men, who were small business owners (eight of Turkish and one of Greek origin), and one police woman in the course of those years. They were also responsible for a bombing in 2001 that severly wounded one woman, a nailbomb attack that wounded 22 people in Cologne in 2004, and for 14 bank robberies between 1999 and 2011.

The “Döner-killings” as they were called derogatorily in the press were heavily investigated by the police, but they did not follow any leads that suggested that the motives could have been racist and from a far right background. Instead the police assumed that the killers were from the migrant community, which often went along with the racist insinuation that the murdered men were somehow involved with criminal networks. This of course added insult to injury to the families and friends. Similarly in the case of the murdered policewoman, the suspicion was directed onto a “clan” of Roma that had parked near-by. The Bavarian police even opened a döner kebab shop in Nuremberg in the course of their “investigation”, while other police units went to consult two different fortune tellers who “contacted” victims and told the investigators completely bogus stories. So not only were the killings racist, the police operations to solve them were as well! [Read more →]

Datacide Twelve – Introduction

 

 

The precursor to datacide is the magazine titled Alien Underground, which appeared with two issues in 1994/95. In the first issue of Alien Underground, there is a manifesto-like text signed “praxis nov. 1994” titled “Nothing Essential Happens in the Absence of Noise”. It describes “Techno” as a subversive agent that shook up cultural production, whether corporate or independent. “The industry then got the fear (…) because the principle of its organisation > the top to bottom one way transmission > got short circuited, & there was no transmitter or receiver, only a mixer & rooms full of people + noise. (…) a zone populated by savages seeking forbidden pleasures in a wasteland (…) uncontrollable and incomprehensible for teacher, cops, parents, the industry & media.” The backlash was not long to follow: “Formula were created & market research employed, documentaries were made, and laws drafted. It all needed to be brought back into the world of the spectacle, made safe for mass consumption; faces appeared, and like in a demonstration of power, talentless DJ’s were made superstars.” What we saw as raw and subversive was “streamlined for mass-brainwashing & pacification” in the form of “Nazi-Trance and Audio-Valium”. Still there was optimism: “But techno is always mutating, (…) always moving into different directions, & the time is now that transformations are under way that will lead to new places, eruptions, excess… In a situation where most of the supposedly underground parties are playing the same shit as everywhere else, where sponsorship deals + big money have moved in, a new resistance is emerging slowly>>>”.

This was also the moment when TechNET appeared. [Read more →]

From Subculture to Hegemony: Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial

Neo-Folk and Martial Industrial are two sub-categories of Industrial Music, which developed in the 1980’s. Industrial as such was a direction that – parallel to Punk Rock – worked with the latest electronics in order to create an aesthetic of futuristic noise machines of the late 20th century and research extreme zones of contemporary society and history. Throbbing Gristle already thematized concentration camps, serial killers, Aleister Crowley etc by using cut-up techniques of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin and thus with strategies of liberation from brain washing. Similarly, Cabaret Voltaire were said to wage a “propaganda war against the propaganda war” (Industrial Culture Handbook). With SPK this was combined with a critique of Psychiatry and a presentation of extremes of the body and death. In the 80’s there were agitational and critical bands such as Test Dept., Nocturnal Emissions and Bourbonese Qualk which were often associated with the ever broadening spectrum of “Industrial”. However, with Laibach the critique of totalitarianism became more ambivalent. This ambivalence was at first seemingly shared by Death In June, the band that in many ways was at the origin of what is now considered Neo-Folk and Martial Industrial. [Read more →]

Metapolitical Strategies of the Nouvelle Droite

Please note that this short article should be read as an appendix to “From Subculture to Hegemony:
Transversal Strategies of the New Right in Neofolk and Martial Industrial”

Since the French „Nouvelle Droite“ is the provider of key ideas and strategies to the post-modern Right in other countries it is worth losing a few words about them. Its roots are in the early 60’s in a paper called „Europe Action“, which criticized the Nazis for their „romantic racism“, which they intended in replacing with a „scientific“ racism based on dubious research by South African geneticists and US- IQ researchers. After the defeat of the far right in the 1967 elections, „Europe Action“ morphed in ‘68 into the Study and Research Group for European Civilisation (Groupement de Recherches et d’Etudes pour la Civilisation Européenne, in short G.R.E.C.E.).

[Read more →]

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