ARMED COMPETITIVENESS – The Working Class gets Called up to Fight Itself: Notes on a Recruitment Crisis

Who can afford to live inside the law?

War among the poor (or ‘war of the poor against the poor’, ‘civil/internecine war of the poor’, etc.) is:

– An exaggerated and reductive name (too bloody and too simple) for a real phenomenon. Intra-class competition is often violent, sometimes lethal, endlessly rhetorical and always managed from above. The proprietors’ 500-year Plan.

– An oxymoron, if opposing bodies of ‘the poor’ are supposed to be autonomous belligerent subjects rather than someone else’s cannon fodder. An essential feature of ‘war’ is ignored. Has any group of ‘the poor’ ever fought an organized campaign of destruction exclusively against other poor people except under the influence of generals or senior managers?1 Of course the poor have fought autonomously many times, but the enemy was always an army sent out by some department of ‘the rich’.

For anyone trying to show that violent competition between proletarians amounts to ‘war among the poor’, few social situations could offer less useful evidence than the urban riots2 in the US (2014-15), the UK (2011) or France (2005)3. No one disputes that some working-class people were badly hurt and a few killed by non-police violence during some of those events, or, for example, that most of the homes accidentally burned in London were rented by the poor, or that ‘working-class’ cars built the Paris barricades, etc. etc. The stories of Muslim ‘identity’ groups ‘taking over’ the fighting in France by force, ‘pushing out’ left activists and unaffiliated local proletarians, are also well known and much disputed. And there’s no more reason to disbelieve the many reports of ugly individual beatings/stabbings/robberies than there is to forget that these things happen every night in the cities concerned, or to pretend that they could serve any conceivable collective purpose of a riot. [Read more →]

10 Years J18 1999 – Carnival Against Capitalism

10 years after June 18

Photobucket

It’s worth pointing out that today it’s a decade ago that the international protests dubbed J18 against the G8 meeting in Cologne took place in many cities around the world.
I was in London at the time for the protest there, organised by Reclaim The Streets, which was a pivotal point in the development of a possible revolutionary movement in the UK. What seemed to be a peak and the start of something new would soon decline and be suppressed. [Read more →]

North Korean workers shut down factories

renovultion
DATE: APRIL 1st, 2009
TIME: 9:43 PM

MESSAGE: WE ARE A GROUP OF WORKERS AND SOLDIERS ASSEMBLED AT TWO FACTORIES OF THE PYONGYANG GENERAL DOMESTIC FOWL CORPORATION STOP OUR COMMON CAUSE IS THE IMMINENT LAUNCH OF A TAEPEDONG MISSILE BY THE DPRK MILITARY JUNTA IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY INTERNAL REPRESSION WITHIN THE COUNTRY AND ‘VOLUNTARY SPEED-UPS’ ENFORCED IN INDUSTRIAL FACTORIES STOP WE HAVE SOME COPIES OF CAPITAL BY KARL MARX HERE AND BASICALLY WE ARE LIVING WORSE THAN BARBARIC 19TH CENTURY ENGLAND STOP NOT COOL WE ARE NO LONGER CONVINCED STOP

NOW WE ARE BEING REQUESTED TO MOBILIZE FOR AN INTER-IMPERIALIST BLOODBATH BETWEEN THE DPRK MILITARY JAPAN AND THE UNITED STATES STOP WE WILL NOT TAKE PART STOP WE HAVE SEEN THROUGH THE THUGGISH LIES OF OUR OWN GOVERNMENT AND WE ARE TIRED OF CHANTING FOR FOOD RATIONS STOP NO MORE BEGGING STOP WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES REFER TO AS CULTS WE NOW RECOGNIZE AS OUR OWN SOCIETY STOP ALTHOUGH WE HAVE LIMITED ACCESS TO HISTORIES OF OTHER COUNTRIES WE RECOGNIZE OUR STRUGGLE NOT ONLY IN THE GLOBAL DISCONTENT OF WAGED WORKERS AND MILITARY DEFECTION BUT MORE DIRECTLY IN THE STRUGGLE OF REASON THAT ARISES IN DISAGREEMENT AND THE CLASH OF IDEAS STOP ALTHOUGH THEY CONTAIN BOTH THE TENDENCY TOWARDS REASON AND FUNDAMENTALIST BARBARISM THE BOURGEOIS DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES AT LEAST PRESERVE THE POTENTIAL FOR REVOLUTION BECAUSE THEY PROMISE THEIR CITIZENS HAPPINESS BUT DO NOT DELIVER STOP

THIS TENSION TENDS NOT TO EMERGE IN A SOCIETY BASED ON TOTALITARIANISM WHERE WORK IS THE CENTRAL RITUAL AND THE NOISE OF THE MACHINE IS ENOUGH TO DROWN EVERYTHING ELSE OUT STOP INSTEAD WE PUSH THE TENSION TO THE BREAKING POINT STOP WE MODEL OUR STRUGGLE UPON THE AMERICAN HERO JANET RENO WHO SO RESOLUTELY FOUGHT AGAINST A SIMILAR APOCALYPTIC FUNDAMENTALISM IN WACO TEXAS STOP WE WILL NOT COMMIT MASS SUICIDE FOR THE WORK REGIME STOP MS RENO WE WILL MAKE YOU PROUD OF US WE ARE IN CONTROL OF THE TANKS STOP SOCIALISM IS THE AGGREGATE REDUCTION OF WORKING TIME AND THE FREEING UP OF LEISURE TIME OR IT IS NOTHING STOP WE 600 ASSEMBLED MACHINE OPERATORS SOLDIERS AND HOUSEWIVES ANNOUNCE OUR DEFECTION FROM THE CULT SOCIETY STOP INSTEAD OF WAR ON ANOTHER NATION WE DECLARE WAR ON THE CULT PRINCIPLE AND THE SOCIETY IT PROTECTS STOP WE AWAIT WORD FROM JAPANESE AND AMERICAN WORKERS WHOSE STRUGGLES ARE NO DOUBT SIMILAR TO OUR OWN STOP ALSO SEND CHEEZBURGERS AND INTERNETS PLZ STOP

More Than Just a Night Out:

Rave as Confrontation –
Marching Against the CJB in 1994

I read a review of a club night recently in my local free paper, The Islington Tribune. To capture just what a great place this club is they wrote that it is “filled with the kind of happy campers you could imagine filled a field in the ‘90s – but less crusty – it specialises in delivering the kind of electro disco beats that send buttoned-up city types into an air-punching frenzy.”

The funny thing about the above sentence is that it perfectly captures the shift from rave as a force to be reckoned with (the crusties who actually LIVE in the field – Yuk!) to a pleasant night’s entertainment for ‘buttoned-up city types’. It is not misty-eyed nostalgia to recall that rave music – as a bottom up musical and social revolution – really did disturb the status quo for a bit back there. They even brought in laws to deal with this menace!
[Read more →]

Radical Intersections

The rise and repression of the free festival movement in the UK and some intersections with radical anti-politics.

This article is based on a series of talks held in Basel, Berlin, Graz and Rome in 2007, and has been revised for this issue of datacide.
It doesn’t attempt to present a definitive history, but follow some tracks of contamination and inspiration. Some readers will already be familiar with some of the described historical frames, others not at all. It was written in a way that should be accessible without prior knowledge in terms of the facts and factoids, but under the assumption of an understanding of the validity of counter cultures as possible antitheses to the capitalist culture industry.
It also leaves out many other strains that contributed to this antagonism, such as left communism, surrealism, lettrism, the situationists, communes, sexpol, anti-psychiatry, neoism etc, as it focusses on the festival.

“The festival is apt to end frantically in an orgy, a nocturnal debauch of sound and movement transformed into rhythm and dance by the crudest of instruments.” (Roger Caillois, 1938) [Read more →]

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