In solidarity: March 8 – The call for a day without women’s work

It is often forgotten that the international March 8th women’s day began with striking female factory workers.  The strike, the withholding of women’s work, lies at its origins, and not the docile protests or celebrations of acquired “rights” that would later mark the occasion.

This year’s call for an international women’s strike on women’s day recalls earlier rebellions and repeats a more recent gesture.  The aim remains, at one level, protest: of giving voice and calling attention to the violence, exploitation and oppression of women.  More significantly, though, it is a gesture of withdrawal from an essentially patriarchal capitalist production and social reproduction; a potentially contagious gesture that resonates beyond simple appeals for recognition and protection by the State.

The danger is that the women’s strike, this year or in the future, limit itself to such appeals (however important they may be for some, at a specific time and place), subsequently falling into one more “dead”, predictable parade of political folklore.  If the institutions and relations of patriarchal power can be mitigated, pushed back, by such strikes, it is equally important to remember that it is these institutions and social relations that produce patriarchy and their underlying gendered “ways of life”.

A radical feminism must not only contest the oppression of women, but ultimately, the creation of women as the subservient sex-gender to male-capitalist domination.

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Imagining feral revolution in times of carnival

The principle of laughter and the carnival spirit on which the grotesque is based destroys this limited seriousness and all pretense of an extratemporal meaning and unconditional value of necessity. It frees human consciousness, thought, and imagination for new potentialities. For this reason, great changes, even in the field of science, are always preceded by a certain carnival consciousness that prepares the way.

Mikhail Bakhtin

Amidst of carnival celebrations, one may be forgiven the loss of memory of ancient celebrations in which the occasion was a moment for the exorcism of all authority: moral, religious, political, social … .  That carnival has for the most part been domesticated and commodified is testimony not only to the expansion of capital, but of the of fear of any expression of wild, Dionysian life.  Our festivities are often as dead as the merchandise that we consume and the lives that we lead.  We seem no longer to know what real fear is, and thus and thus we ignorant of real joy.  Our socially induced hunger for security strips us of the courage to live dangerously, even as we celebrate.

In a feeble effort to call forth, through text on a virtual platform, what was and what can still be the ecstasy of ritual transgression, we share below a selection of essays and texts by Feral Faun/Wolfi Landstreicher (the name of the author is ultimately unimportant) on revolution as the struggle to abolish power and liberate creative desire, the chaos that flows through all life.

It would be a mistake read this as an apology for the madness of a permanent carnival; it is instead an animal cry against the chains of society and for permanent possibility of destroying all that is created. 

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Fascism is the distilled poison of capitalism: Macerata, Italy

When a fascist feels that s/he is free to set upon others with impunity, to insult, to threaten, to maim and to kill those that are deemed a menace to the national-racial body, then anti-capitalists are already in a position of weakness.  The fascists sense their strength, perceive a change in the winds and tides of politics that make their appearance and action publicly presentable and defensible.  The anti-capitalists have lost ground, and must metamorphosise into “anti-fascists”, already a reaction to the rise of fascism; perhaps too late, or perhaps not.  But now battle lines must be drawn, violence called upon, with uncertain consequences if the battles to follow fail to uproot the plant of which fascism is but a fruit, which is capitalism itself.

On the 3rd of February, a young fascist by the name of Luca Traini went on a two hour drive-by shooting rampage in the central italian town of Macerata, wounding six africans.  Their crime was being migrants, “black africans”, foreigners, the “others” that so many italian politicians openly condemn and threaten to deport en masse, for fear that they destroy the italian nation.

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The State unveiled: Spain’s anarchist hunt comes to a temporary end

Spain’s Audiencia Nacional tribunal has closed the legal proceedings and State driven persecution of anarchists known as Operación Piñata.

(Wednesday, January 31st, 2018)

Once again, everything has ended in nothing.  Almost three years after the arrests of fifteen people under Operación Piñata (March 2015), the courts have stopped the legal process, after a request by defense lawyers to dismiss the investigation for lack of evidence against the accused.

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Crossing the borders of struggles: In solidarity, in memory, with the Mapuche and Santiago Maldonado

The enslavement to capitalism occurs in multiple spaces and times.  If commodity production and the submission to money homogenises and deterritorialises, the reproduction of capitalist social relations distributes human populations across differential, hierarchical and conflicting geographies and histories.

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On non-state power: Raúl Zibechi

Collective labor underpins the commons, and is the true material base that produces and reproduces living communities, based on relations of reciprocity and mutual help rather than the hierarchical and individualized relations at the core of state institutions. The community lives not because of common property, but because of collective labor that is creative, and is re-created and affirmed in everyday life. This collective work is the means through which the comuneros and comuneras make a community, expressed in social relations that differ from the hegemonic ones.

Raúl Zibechi

Collective labour, or what we would call mutual aid, is what gives life to non-hierarchical, self-managed social relations and to the practices and institutions that sustain them.  As to whether this is a counter-power to capitalism, a parallel or dual power, or an anti-power or an-archy is a question that the following essay by Raúl Zibechi (from roarmag 29/01/2018) does not directly address.  The value of the essay lies however in its summary description of examples of what he calls experiments in “non-state” power in south america and the implications of these for the understanding of anti-capitalist practices, practices of resistance, but also of creation.

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Killing the beast in its lair: Silvia Federici and the social reproduction of capitalism

Social reproduction is a relatively recent term. In the 1970s, we spoke of it in terms of domestic work, referring to all the activities that reproduce our daily life and at the same time, in a capitalist society, also reproduce labor-power. Later, we expanded the concept: we saw that procreation is part of the reproduction of life and that “reproduction” has two sides, in contradiction with each other. On the one hand it reproduces us as people, and on the other it reproduces us as exploitable workers. The question we posed is how to turn reproductive work into a reproduction of our struggle.

Silvia Federici

If we analyse capitalism from the perspective of both commodity production and social reproduction, the latter pushes us beyond the spaces of labour exploitation to consider all of the spaces in which the conditions of labour are themselves secured; not once and for all, but constantly.  For this, all nature must be reduced to exploitable resource, social and political hierarchies need to be established and policed, narcissistic and controlled subjectivities require moulding and ever larger spheres of human creative activity have to be subjected to the mediation of money.  Without any of these constituting social relations, capitalist commodity production/labour exploitation would not be possible.

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Collecting the egyptian revolution

Seven years after the beginning of the “egyptian revolution” of January 25, 2011, and against the silence, the Mosireen Collective inaugurates an online video archive of events …

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With and beyond anti-fascism (4): “ANTIFA”, a documentary film

We continue with our series of posts documenting and critically reflecting on anti-fascism …

The latest Global Uprisings documentary explores the broader meaning of the anti-fascist movement, taking the viewer to the scenes of street battles from Washington to Berkeley and Charlottesville. (Roarmag 23/01/2018)

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Sleep Now in the Fire: Rojava, Iran, and Tunisia

Events outrun our capacity to record, reflect upon and share.

Taking our cue from the It’s Going Down collective, we recall events in rojava, iran, and tunisia …

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