2023 in Chile: 50 Years of the Military Coup

From the CrimethInc. collective (07/03/2024).


Neoliberal Consolidation after the Revolt of 2019

In 2019, an uprising broke out in Chile, wresting control of the streets from police and politicians. Eventually, the authorities managed to redirect this momentum into an effort to replace the constitution, itself a relic of the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The attempt to ratify a constitution more aligned with the values of the demonstrators failed, however, illustrating the risks of channeling grassroots movements into seeking change through institutional means.

As a result, a resurgent right wing has regained the initiative in Chile, while the left politicians who came to power have subordinated themselves to the market and the police. To this day, Chile is governed according to the constitution that was introduced as a consequence of the military coup. In the following account, members of the Anarchist Assembly of Biobío trace this story through the end of the year 2023, chronicling the consequences of the cooptation of the uprising of 2019.

Perhaps the moral of this story is that, rather than simply attempting to reform the ruling institutions, the participants in movements for liberation must understand themselves as the ones who must directly implement the changes they desire.

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The Politics of Women’s Blues

Bessie Smith

We share two texts on women’s blues as a radical questioning of sex, gender and race in the racist and hetero-patriarchal social relations of the United States. In the first, which provides the title to our post, Hazel V. Carby considers the sexual politics of women’s blues and focuses on black women as cultural producers and performers in the 1920s. This is followed by the first chapter of Angela Y. Davis’ brilliant work, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (1998).

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For March 8th: Judith Butler on Gender

Judith Butler in Barcelona’s Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (2018). Gender and sexuality for teenagers: Discussion with Miquel Missé and 300 students

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For March 8: Gender is a Weapon

Benjamin Clemens, Immolate, 1912

Gender is a Weapon: Coercion, domination and self-determination

Sally Darity

(From The Anarchist Library)

I was on the bus recently, and a guy about my age got on the bus and sat across from me. He and some others were looking out of the bus windows at some men in red dresses. We didn’t know why they were wearing dresses, but the guy across from me said, “That’s scary.” Another guy said, “Whatever, as long as they don’t come on the bus.” I wanted to say “what’s so scary about men in dresses?” But worrying that I might look enough like a dyke to him to get shit for it, and worrying that the effort and fear involved with confronting someone might make me cry, I didn’t say anything. I just wondered. What makes a guy in a dress so scary? And what about homophobia, transphobia, or whatever you want to call it without knowing why that guy was wearing a dress, causes men to bond by shit talking about it? There are many ways in which we are taught what our appropriate gender is, and when someone feels threatened by a gender identity or expression, we can guess that there lies the key to our struggle.

Gender is used against us, but we can also use it to free each other and ourselves. If we start undermining the rules and constraints of gender, we can more successfully fight patriarchy and domination. By writing this, I hope to plant seeds of gender rebellion, solidarity, and gender freedom.

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For March 8: Ruth Kinna – Anarchism and Feminism

(Published version in Nathan Jun (ed.) Brill’s Companion to Anarchism and Philosophy. Thanks to Raffaella Bianchi, Kathy Ferguson and Bice Maiguashca for enormously helpful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.)

Introduction

The conjunction of anarchism and feminism can be understood in multiple ways and in anarchist movement politics the intended meaning is neither fixed nor always specified. Anarchist feminists might be anarchists sympathetic to feminism or feminists for whom anarchism is a necessary corollary of their politics. They might equally regard anarchism as a vehicle for feminism or reject feminism as antithetical to anarchism, a commitment to the “first women’s bank in New York, and a lot of things within the system.”[1]Some anarchist feminists argue that anarchist feminism is only one of a multitude of anarchisms with adjectives. Unusually, however, the prefix takes a number of different forms—anarcho-feminist, anarcha-feminist, anarchafeminist. Questions of meaning are further complicated by the association of anarchist feminism with other descriptors. The introduction on the anarchalibrary site argues that the “emphasis is on gender,” adding that anarcha-feminism “is not a sect of anarchism like anarcho-syndicalism of anarcho-primitivism, for an anarchafeminist can have affinity with these and other sects.”[2]

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For March 8: Emma Goldman

What is There in Anarchy for Women?

Emma Goldman

(Published on St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 24, 1897)

“What does anarchy hold out to me—a woman?”

“More to woman than to anyone else—everything which she has not—freedom and equality.”

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The Ecological Crisis and the Rise of Post-Fascism

Cig Harvey, Orange Tarp, 2020

From Ill Will, an essay authored by the Antithesi collective (18/02/2024) …


Other languages: Türkçe, Español

The ecological crisis profoundly impacts the material conditions of social reproduction, extending beyond “natural disasters” to encompass a deepening of the contradictions inherent in capitalism. This crisis does not only manifest itself in events like floods, droughts, and pandemics, it also plays a direct role in fueling conflicts, social unrest, and mass displacement. In what follows, we attempt to lay out a comprehensive argument for the connection between the ecological crisis and the rise of what we call the post-fascistcurrent, a political and ideological tendency that is rising all over the world. Post-fascism is the political form of the conversion of widespread mass indignation at the conditions of social existence into nationalism, racism, and ethno-cultural conflict without in the least challenging the mainstream forms of authoritarian liberalism. Instead, it serves as a complement to these forms, acting as a lever to normalize policies once considered extreme and unacceptable, while at the same time creating a false adversary that legitimizes them.

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For Edward Bond (1934-2024)

SAGA

I asked the man at the crossroads why are you waiting
He said I have no shoes on my feet
My stomach is empty
My dwelling is repossessed
A man In a nice suit with heraldic cufflinks stole my wallet
And my coat is on fire
But I do not want to be an alarmist

Edward Bond (from Edward Bond Dramatist)


Tragedy discovers truth. Great tragedy is the cry of “Eureka!” uttered in pain.

Our leaders have no self-knowledge and so we will suffer for them. When society is torn by a conflict it does not understand it turns to violence to resolve it. This is the situation of western democracy.

Democracy is not just freedom of thought. It is freedom of imagination. That cannot be created by law. Yet without it there is no freedom of thought. We have hardly begun to understand this. The imagination dramatises the world. In the past it was controlled by religion and “high” art. They repressed it at the cost of a little freedom. But in our changing, insecure world it must be controlled in new ways. Consumer democracy would be impossible without TV and the other media. They constantly agitate and bewilder the imagination, brutalising everything.

When the Greeks created the first western democracy they also created western drama. Democracy and theatre always go together. When one is corrupt the other is corrupt. The imperative of Greek drama was: know yourself. Ours is: do not! TV, press, pop culture – all exist to make money, not to seek truth. They serve the culture of death by creating a sham life.

Drama deals with society and the individual. It enters the hidden places of the self, and the imagination has to respond. Like pierced skin, it becomes whole again or dies.

Edward Bond, The Guardian, [28/06/1995] 06/03/2024


For Edward Bond, for the urgency of his art and for his conception of theatrical tragedy and comedy as instruments of understanding.


FOUR LITTLE ESSAYS ON DRAMA

by Edward Bond

HOPE Its asked of a new play “Where is the hope?” The question misunderstands drama. You are in a room. The curtains are drawn. You do not ask “Where is the sky? – its gone.” The sky is always there. You have a lottery ticket. You hope it will win. But do you hope that the number on the ticket will change so that it will win? The playwright must point to reality – to the number on the ticket. The hope is the audience.

DRAMA Drama is the text of democracy. When the Greek audience looked at the stage they saw themselves: “you saw you.” Later Rome took over. The soldiers looked at you. Later the church took over. It said the great creative fictions of Greek drama were real, were vulgar facts. Zeus was fiction, God Almighty was a vulgar fact. Oedipus was fiction who killed his father, Christ was a vulgar fact and God his Father killed him. And so on through the Greek dramatic cannon and Christian scripture. God looked at you and the Inquisition looked over his shoulder. Then science took over. The scientist looked at you. You were a specimen. Now commerce takes over: TV and film. The eyes on the screen cannot look at you – they are blind. So you are blind when you look at them. (It’s a bit difficult. It’s a mutation. Think about it. The eyes are the organ of sight. They cannot be touched, heard, smelt, tasted. Film is fiction in a particular way: film is the wink of the blind.) The modern stage is parasitic on the blindness of the screens. When it looks at the audience the blind are winking at each other. The stage has never before been so corrupt. There must be a new drama. In it the audience will look at the stage and see itself. It will be revolutionary because it will be democratic.

POLITICAL DRAMA A recent article claimed “political theatre brings subjects into public and popular debate.” The things people write in newspapers! The opposite is true. Theatre takes subjects that are already in public, popular debate. Its plays are not political. They are current affairs. We have no political theatre. Yet politics is the core of drama. Drama deals with the relation between self and society. How each creates the other. It is how we create our humanness. Political drama must look at the profoundest human paradoxes. Greek drama did this for us. All Western culture and religion are founded on this inheritance. It is our patrimony. We have exhausted it. Our theatre – our culture and politics – are dead. Post-mortem not post-modern. If we do not create a new drama we will be destroyed. Evolution will wipe us out. The times have never been so serious. It is a species crisis.

PURITY The Royal Court staged my second play half my lifetime ago. I was attacked as the ultimate degenerate vicious debased playwright. Last year the Royal Court told me my moral purity prevented me from making contact with an audience. My first play (also staged at the Royal Court) had a rural setting. There was a murder. The murderer was the good man. The complexities of humanness. Last year the Royal Court staged another play with a rural setting. In it there was a good man. He was corrupt (and a danger to his child) but he had a heart of gold. Mr Really-Nasty came along. He didn’t murder Mr Good but badly beat him up. The play was written with panache. It combined News of the World morality with Mills and Boon sentimentality. What has changed? Let us now be serious and for a start change everything.

(September 2010, revised September 2011)

Edward Bond (from Edward Bond Dramatist)

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Yazan Alloujami: Gaza-on-the-Rhine, a history lesson

From lundimatin, #418, 04/03/2024


To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it ‘the way it really was’ (Ranke). It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger. Historical materialism wishes to retain that image of the past which unexpectedly appears to man singled out by history at a moment of danger. The danger affects both the content of the tradition and its receivers. The same threat hangs over both: that of becoming a tool of the ruling classes. In every era the attempt must be made anew to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it.

Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History (Thesis VI)


Among the various and varied things that can keep a historian up at night, I would name two: Walter Benjamin’s On the Concept of History, and Gaza.

The first is not so much the context of its writing, in itself sufficiently disturbing – Benjamin wrote it shortly before his suicide in 1940 on the Franco-Spanish border at the approach of the Vichyists –, as the radicality of its postulate: History, says the German Marxist philosopher, does not allow itself to be grasped in linear and positivist narrations of events, but only when an image emerges from the past in a moment of danger to come to the aid of the present, merging with it and revealing its truth. This enigmatic “dialectical image”, as he calls it, had long guided my research on contemporary Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian artists haunted by all kinds of images of the modern past, and many of whom – like me – are exiled in Europe. It was while going to see two of them in Germany during the summer of 2022 that I caught, it is fair to say, a dialectical image in my face.

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From the Ukrainian Solidarity Collectives

After two years of mobilisation, a summary review of the work of the Ukrainian Solidarity Collectives

(From lundimatin, #418, 04/03/2024)

In line with the series of interviews that we carried out in the summer of 2023 with anarchist and communist activists who joined the Ukrainian front [click here and here], we are publishing this week a video (with English language subtitles) that summarises the work over these last two years of the Ukrainian Solidarity Collectives.

From within Ukraine, the collective organises material solidarity with the revolutionary fighters and tries fiercely, in the confusion of analyses and the fog of war, to continue its work of logistical support and political clarification.

The military question is not the only one. The Solidarity Collectives is also active within civil society and in cooperation with unions at a time when, in the name of the war effort, neo-liberalism is trying to slowly and thoroughly crush workers’ rights in Ukraine.


For more information about the Ukrainian Solidarity Collectives and to support their efforts, see their website here.

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