Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The West is Manufacturing Muslim Monsters. Who Should be Blamed for Muslim Terrorism? by ANDRE VLTCHEK






photos from Afghanistan in 70s, before CIA promoting Islam fundamentalists








 


A hundred years ago, it would have been unimaginable to have a pair of Muslim men enter a cafe or a public transportation vehicle, and then blow themselves up, killing dozens. Or to massacre the staff of a satirical magazine in Paris! Things like that were simply not done.

When you read the memoirs of Edward Said, or talk to old men and women in East Jerusalem, it becomes clear that the great part of Palestinian society used to be absolutely secular and moderate. It cared about life, culture, and even fashion, more than about religious dogmas.

The same could be said about many other Muslim societies, including those of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Indonesia. Old photos speak for themselves. That is why it is so important to study old images again and again, carefully.

Islam is not only a religion; it is also an enormous culture, one of the greatest on Earth, which has enriched our humanity with some of the paramount scientific and architectural achievements, and with countless discoveries in the field of medicine. Muslims have written stunning poetry, and composed beautiful music. But above all, they developed some of the earliest social structures in the world, including enormous public hospitals and the first universities on earth, like The University of al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco.

The idea of ‘social’ was natural to many Muslim politicians, and had the West not brutally interfered, by overthrowing left-wing governments and putting on the throne fascist allies of London, Washington and Paris; almost all Muslim countries, including Iran, Egypt and Indonesia, would now most likely be socialist, under a group of very moderate and mostly secular leaders.

***

In the past, countless Muslim leaders stood up against the Western control of the world, and enormous figures like the Indonesian President, Ahmet Sukarno, were close to Communist Parties and ideologies. Sukarno even forged a global anti-imperialist movement, the Non-Allied movement, which was clearly defined during the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, in 1955.

That was in striking contrast to the conservative, elites-oriented Christianity, which mostly felt at home with the fascist rulers and colonialists, with the kings, traders and big business oligarchs.

For the Empire, the existence and popularity of progressive, Marxist, Muslim rulers governing the Middle East or resource-rich Indonesia, was something clearly unacceptable. If they were to use the natural wealth to improve the lives of their people, what was to be left for the Empire and its corporations? It had to be stopped by all means. Islam had to be divided, and infiltrated with radicals and anti-Communist cadres, and by those who couldn’t care less about the welfare of their people.

***

Almost all radical movements in today’s Islam, anywhere in the world, are tied to Wahhabism, an ultra-conservative, reactionary sect of Islam, which is in control of the political life of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other staunch allies of the West in the Gulf.

To quote Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi:

“It is very clear from the historical record that without British help neither Wahhabism nor the House of Saud would be in existence today. Wahhabism is a British-inspired fundamentalist movement in Islam. Through its defense of the House of Saud, the US also supports Wahhabism directly and indirectly regardless of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Wahhabism is violent, right wing, ultra-conservative, rigid, extremist, reactionary, sexist, and intolerant…”

The West gave full support to the Wahhabis in the 1980s. They were employed, financed and armed, after the Soviet Union was dragged into Afghanistan and into a bitter war that lasted from 1979 to 1989. As a result of this war, the Soviet Union collapsed, exhausted both economically and psychologically.

The Mujahedeen, who were fighting the Soviets as well as the left-leaning government in Kabul, were encouraged and financed by the West and its allies. They came from all corners of the Muslim world, to fight a ‘Holy War’ against Communist infidels.

According to the US Department of State archives:

“Contingents of so-called Afghan Arabs and foreign fighters who wished to wage jihad against the atheist communists. Notable among them was a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden, whose Arab group eventually evolved into al-Qaeda.”

Muslim radical groups created and injected into various Muslim countries by the West included al-Qaeda, but also, more recently, ISIS (also known as ISIL). ISIS is an extremist army that was born in the ‘refugee camps’ on the Syrian/Turkish and Syrian/Jordanian borders, and which was financed by NATO and the West to fight the Syrian (secular) government of Bashar al-Assad.

Such radical implants have been serving several purposes. The West uses them as proxies in the wars it is fighting against its enemies – the countries that are still standing in the way to the Empire’s complete domination of the world. Then, somewhere down the road, after these extremist armies ‘get totally out of control’ (and they always will), they could serve as scarecrows and as justification for the ‘The War On Terror’, or, like after ISIS took Mosul, as an excuse for the re-engagement of Western troops in Iraq.

Stories about the radical Muslim groups have constantly been paraded on the front pages of newspapers and magazines, or shown on television monitors, reminding readers ‘how dangerous the world really is’, ‘how important Western engagement in it is’, and consequently, how important surveillance is, how indispensable security measures are, as well as tremendous ‘defense’ budgets and wars against countless rogue states.

***

From a peaceful and creative civilization, that used to lean towards socialism, the Muslim nations and Islam itself, found itself to be suddenly derailed, tricked, outmaneuvered, infiltrated by foreign religious and ideological implants, and transformed by the Western ideologues and propagandists into one ‘tremendous threat’; into the pinnacle and symbol of terrorism and intolerance.

The situation has been thoroughly grotesque, but nobody is really laughing – too many people have died as a result; too much has been destroyed!

Indonesia is one of the most striking historical examples of how such mechanisms of the destruction of progressive Muslim values, really functions:

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the US, Australia and the West in general, were increasingly ‘concerned’ about the progressive anti-imperialist and internationalist stand of President Sukarno, and about the increasing popularity of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). But they were even more anxious about the enlightened, socialist and moderate Indonesian brand of Islam, which was clearly allying itself with Communist ideals.

Christian anti-Communist ideologues and ‘planners’, including the notorious Jesuit Joop Beek, infiltrated Indonesia. They set up clandestine organizations there, from ideological to paramilitary ones, helping the West to plan the coup that in and after 1965 took between 1 and 3 million human lives.

Shaped in the West, the extremely effective anti-Communist and anti-intellectual propaganda spread by Joop Beek and his cohorts also helped to brainwash many members of large Muslim organizations, propelling them into joining the killing of Leftists, immediately after the coup. Little did they know that Islam, not only Communism, was chosen as the main target of the pro-Western, Christian ‘fifth column’ inside Indonesia, or more precisely, the target was the left-leaning, liberal Islam.

After the 1965 coup, the Western-sponsored fascist dictator, General Suharto, used Joop Beek as his main advisor. He also relied on Beek’s ‘students’, ideologically. Economically, the regime related itself with mainly Christian business tycoons, including Liem Bian Kie.

In the most populous Muslim nation on earth, Indonesia, Muslims were sidelined, their ‘unreliable’ political parties banned during the dictatorship, and both the politics (covertly) and economy (overtly) fell under the strict control of Christian, pro-Western minority. To this day, this minority has its complex and venomous net of anti-Communist warriors, closely-knit business cartels and mafias, media and ‘educational outlets’ including private religious schools, as well as corrupt religious preachers (many played a role in the 1965 massacres), and other collaborators with both the local and global regime.

Indonesian Islam has been reduced to a silent majority, mostly poor and without any significant influence. It only makes international headlines when its frustrated white-robed militants go trashing bars, or when its extremists, many related to the Mujahedeen and the Soviet-Afghan War, go blowing up nightclubs, hotels or restaurants in Bali and Jakarta.

Or do they even do that, really?

Former President of Indonesia and progressive Muslim cleric, Abdurrahman Wahid (forced out of office by the elites), once told me: “I know who blew up the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. It was not an attack by the Islamists; it was done by the Indonesian secret services, in order to justify their existence and budget, and to please the West.”

***

“I would argue that western imperialism has not so much forged an alliance with radical factions, as created them”, I was told, in London, by my friend, and leading progressive Muslim intellectual, Ziauddin Sardar.

And Mr. Sardar continued:

“We need to realize that colonialism did much more than simply damage Muslim nations and cultures. It played a major part in the suppression and eventual disappearance of knowledge and learning, thought and creativity, from Muslim cultures. Colonial encounter began by appropriating the knowledge and learning of Islam, which became the basis of the ‘European Renaissance’ and ‘the Enlightenment’ and ended by eradicating this knowledge and learning from both Muslim societies and from history itself. It did that both by physical elimination – destroying and closing down institutions of learning, banning certain types of indigenous knowledge, killing off local thinkers and scholars – and by rewriting History as the history of western civilization into which all minor histories of other civilization are subsumed.”

From the hopes of those post-WWII years, to the total gloom of the present days – what a long and terrible journey it has been!

The Muslim world is now injured, humiliated and confused, almost always on the defensive.

It is misunderstood by the outsiders, and often even by its own people who are frequently forced to rely on Western and Christian views of the world.

What used to make the culture of Islam so attractive – tolerance, learning, concern for the wellbeing of the people – has been amputated from the Muslim realm, destroyed from abroad. What was left was only religion.

Now most of the Muslim countries are ruled by despots, by the military or corrupt cliques. All of them closely linked with the West and its global regime and interests.

As they did in several great nations and Empires of South and Central America, as well as Africa, Western invaders and colonizers managed to totally annihilate great Muslim cultures.

What forcefully replaced them were greed, corruption and brutality.

It appears that everything that is based on different, non-Christian foundations is being reduced to dust by the Empire. Only the biggest and toughest cultures are still surviving.

Anytime a Muslim country tries to go back to its essence, to march its own, socialist or socially-oriented way – be it Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, or much more recently Iraq, Libya or Syria – it gets savagely tortured and destroyed.

The will of its people is unceremoniously broken, and democratically expressed choices overthrown.

For decades, Palestine has been denied freedom, as well as its basic human rights. Both Israel and the Empire spit at its right to self-determination. Palestinian people are locked in a ghetto, humiliated, and murdered. Religion is all that some of them have left.

The ‘Arab Spring’ was derailed and terminated almost everywhere, from Egypt to Bahrain, and the old regimes and military are back in power.

Like African people, Muslims are paying terrible price for being born in countries rich in natural resources. But they are also brutalized for having, together with China, the greatest civilization in history, one that outshone all the cultures of the West.

***

Christianity looted and brutalized the world. Islam, with its great Sultans such as Saladin, stood against invaders, defending the great cities of Aleppo and Damascus, Cairo and Jerusalem. But overall, it was more interested in building a great civilization, than in pillaging and wars.

Now hardly anyone in the West knows about Saladin or about the great scientific, artistic or social achievements of the Muslim world. But everybody is ‘well informed’ about ISIS. Of course they know ISIS only as an ‘Islamic extremist group’, not as one of the main Western tools used to destabilize the Middle East.

As ‘France is mourning’ the deaths of the journalists at the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo (undeniably a terrible crime!), all over Europe it is again Islam which is being depicted as brutal and militant, not the West with its post-Crusade, Christian fundamentalist doctrines that keeps overthrowing and slaughtering all moderate, secular and progressive governments and systems in the Muslim world, leaving Muslim people at the mercy of deranged fanatics.

***

In the last five decades, around 10 million Muslims have been murdered because their countries did not serve the Empire, or did not serve it full-heartedly, or just were in the way. The victims were Indonesians, Iraqis, Algerians, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Iranians, Yemenis, Syrians, Lebanese, Egyptians, and the citizens of Mali, Somalia, Bahrain and many other countries.

The West identified the most horrible monsters, threw billions of dollars at them, armed them, gave them advanced military training, and then let them loose.

The countries that are breeding terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, are some of the closest allies of the West, and have never been punished for exporting horror all over the Muslim world.

Great social Muslim movements like Hezbollah, which is presently engaged in mortal combat against the ISIS, but which also used to galvanize Lebanon during its fight against the Israeli invasion, are on the “terrorist lists” compiled by the West. It explains a lot, if anybody is willing to pay attention.

Seen from the Middle East, it appears that the West, just as during the crusades, is aiming at the absolute destruction of Muslim countries and the Muslim culture.

As for the Muslim religion, the Empire only accepts the sheepish brands – those that accept extreme capitalism and the dominant global position of the West. The only other tolerable type of Islam is that which is manufactured by the West itself, and by its allies in the Gulf – designated to fight against progress and social justice; the one that is devouring its own people.

 

*Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. The result is his latest book: “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. ‘Pluto’ published his discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western Terrorism. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. His feature documentary, “Rwanda Gambit” is about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/09/who-should-be-blamed-for-muslim-terrorism/





Monday, December 15, 2014

"The End of Money" by Daniel Pinchbeck























The current economic crisis may be another bump on capitalism’s always dizzying terrain, or it may signal epochal changes. The crisis of the financial markets has taken on gargantuan proportions.

 This spring saw the emergency sale of Bear Stearns, the fifth largest financial institution on Wall Street, to JP Morgan for a paltry sum by “Master of the Universe” standards, including its flashy corporate headquarters and thousands of employees. Even this sale only came about because the US Federal Reserve agreed to cover the risks of exposure to creditors, pushing the financial costs onto US taxpayers. Despite this bailout and other interventions in the supposed “free market,” the financial system is still reeling. Credit liquidity has disappeared, causing shockwaves in student loans and other areas.

With the increase in fuel prices and contracting supply of basic resources such as food and water, many commentators think far worse is still to come. Dmitry Orlov’s Reinventing Collapse (New Society Press) argues that the United States is headed for an imminent economic meltdown that will be as devastating as the fall of the USSR in the 1990s: “Try to form a picture in your mind: it is a superpower, it is huge, it is powerful, and it is going to come crashing down,” he writes. “You or me trying to do something about it would have the same effect as you or me wriggling our toes at a tsunami.”

“Life without money is unthinkable”

According to Orlov, an engineer and peak oil theorist, the causes of this crash include ideological gridlock, the entrenched corruption of our corporate state, the massive debt piled on by heedless US policies, and our utter dependence on a rapidly diminishing supply of fossil fuels. Predicting mass bankruptcy, hyperinflation, and resource shortages, Orlov recommends stockpiling items that can be bartered on the black market, such as razors, condoms, and liquor, strengthening local communities, and learning how to grow your own food. “For most people in the US, rich or poor, life without money is unthinkable,” he notes. “They may want to give this problem some thought, ahead of time.”

While the fire-sale of Bear Stearns was being arranged, I was at the Left Forum at Cooper Union in New York, an annual gathering of Leftist academics and organizers from around the world. The Left Forum featured over 100 panels on a range of subjects, from water privatization, CIA torture, to the leftward shift of South America, and many other topics. I had been invited to speak on a panel about indigenous cultures, consciousness, and social transformation – the only place at the Left Forum where social movements were even summarily discussed in relation to indigenous cultures who live “with” the earth, and not “on” it, as my fellow panelist, Tiokasin, a radio host at WBAI and a Lakota, put it, and non-ordinary states of awareness were given a nod.

During a panel on the “Decline of the Dollar,” I was struck by a comment from David Harvey – an eminence grise among Leftist academics, the esteemed author of Limits to Capital and other works – who noted that Wall Street bonuses in January amounted to an astounding $36 billion, despite the heedless actions of the traders and investment houses that caused the implosion of the financial markets. At the same time, due to the subprime mortgage meltdown, over a million people have already seen their homes foreclosed, with nearly two million more foreclosures coming in the near-future, leading to more than three million US citizens deprived of their largest and most central asset. What Harvey noted is that, if we ignore the “fetishized mystical language” of the financial elite, “The loss of assets of those three million people is where those $36 billion of bonuses came from.”

Apparently, another 8 million-plus homes-more than 10 percent of the homes owned in the US-are now valued at less than the outstanding mortgages owed. What this means is that many of those mortgage-holders may soon find it more sensible to walk away from their property – sending their keys back to the mortgage-issuers as “jingle mail” – rather than continue to cover their exorbitant debt. As a chain-reaction, this will increase the devaluation of US property.

At the same time, the next phase of the current economic crisis will extend to other forms of personal debt, such as credit cards. While the US and European Central Banks continue to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into the financial institutions that created this disaster through predatory lending practices, they have done little for the millions of poorer people facing insolvency.

As another Leftist economist noted on the same panel, one can only feel “a sense of awe” at the lack of real protest about what is taking place.

In 2006, I published my second book, 2012 : The Return of Quetzalcoatl, which studied the prophesies of indigenous people indicating we are in a time of massive transformation – the transition from the “Fourth World” to the “Fifth World” according to the Hopi. Based on my book, I often find myself looking over my shoulder, wondering if current events fit the prophetic timetable of the Mayan Calendar. Although the validity of Carl Johan Calleman’s scholarship has been called into question by John Major Jenkins and others, it is interesting that Calleman predicted the current year (November 2007 – November 2008) to be the year of Tezcatlipoca – sinister deity of black magic and the jaguar – marked by economic collapse, war, and other threats.

On the one hand, I found many reasons for taking “2012” seriously as a threshold of some type of tremendous transition in human culture and consciousness, based on my research, my own synchronicities as well as esoteric and intuitive experiences. On the other hand, studies of the current state of global society insist that massive and accelerating change is unavoidable in all areas of life. The future of humanity is imperiled if we do not transform our social practices and fundamental paradigm within the next years.

Such a hypothesis is reinforced by many recent developments, from the sudden disappearance of honeybees and Chinook salmon to the comment made by a famous financier to a friend, later recounted to me, that currency will have no value in a few years, and the only thing that will be worth anything will be land. One of the depressing aspects of the Left Forum, along with the average age of the audience being well above fifty, was the palpable ambience of failure and defeatism in the crowd. Certainly, the last thirty-five years have been a miserable period for radicals in the US, who have watched the oligarchy consolidate power, instituting elements of a police state, and holding tight control of the mass media.

Crucial ideas and possibilities can vanish completely for a time – even for an entire generation – before they return with a new force and impetus, to start a new turn on the spiral. This has been the case with shamanic exploration of non-ordinary consciousness, which has made a resurgence in recent years in a wiser and more mature form than in the 1960s. Similarly, it is possible that the moment has arrived when a populist radical movement could reconstitute itself, and this could happen at a rapid pace. Radical movements often burst forth when theorists, sociologists, and academics least expect it. They arise when masses of fed-up people begin to seek direct redress against a system that has exploited and enslaved them.

That our financial system is fixed to reward a miniscule subset of the global population, the “ruling elite” who control the financial sector, is a realization that could begin to permeate the mass consciousness. Social awareness can only increase as the destructive delusions of the dominant ideology become more obvious. With the intermeshed networks of contemporary life, a new realization could spread rapidly, along with techniques to confront a system that has failed to protect the poor and the planet. The incredible mismanagement of the earth’s precious resources – the squandering of oceans, forests, animals, and air – is an indictment against the current order and its leaders. The continuity of this system is a direct threat to future generations. Although it seems unstoppable and unassailable, this system is also quite frail, utterly dependent on petroleum, on the effectiveness of constant media indoctrination, and on increasingly complicated technologies.

While most mainstream commentators and even some of the critics at the Left Forum argue that the current implosion of the financial markets is one of the periodic crises of capitalism that eventually gets resolved through institutional measures and bailouts, it actually may be far more than that. This may be neither a crisis of “liquidity” nor even one of insolvency, but a crisis of money itself- in other words, a crisis of faith in the entire belief system of capitalism, which has functioned as a displacement of religion, with money substituting for the banished god. As Karl Marx noted in his 1844 Manuscripts, money is “the visible divinity” in a capitalist world:

“By possessing the property of buying everything, by possessing the property of appropriating all objects, money is thus the object of eminent possession. The universality of its property is the omnipotence of its being. It therefore functions as almighty being. Money is the pimp between man’s need and the object, between his life and his means of life. But that which mediates my life for me, also mediates the existence of other people for me. For me it is the other person.”

When I reread some of Marx last year, for the first time since school, I was startled to encounter the tremendous depth of spiritual insight in his work. The radical essence of his thought has been obscured by the course of history, and by the desire to deny, suppress, and evade it, ever since.

Marx saw that the revolutions of the 18th Century enshrined the rights of the bourgeois individual to compete against others, rather than realizing man as a “species-being” who can only attain freedom through his communion with other men: “None of these so-called rights of man goes beyond the egoistic man, beyond man as a member of civil society, as man separated from life in the community and withdrawn into himself, into his private interest and his private arbitrary will. They see, rather, the life of the species itself, society, as a frame external to individuals, as a limitation of their original independence,” he wrote in “The Jewish Question.” Freedom was defined negatively, creating a social reality in which each individual had to struggle against others to preserve and increase their private domain.

As David Korten, Bernard Letaier, and others have written recently, our basic financial system in itself creates artificial scarcity, and induces competition and sociopathic behavior patterns that lead inexorably to disregard of the environment and mistreatment of others. When a bank gives out a loan to someone, they are not creating the extra money that the individual has to make as interest accrues. When they examine that person’s credit, they are checking to see if that person has the capacity to compete effectively in the marketplace and come up with the accrued interest, which is imaginary capital at the outset. The individual then struggles against others to retrieve the money he owes. Similarly, publicly traded corporations must maximize profits to satisfy shareholders, and this forces an institutional disregard for environirierital safeguards and humane practices.

Over the last decade, the deregulation of the financial system “acted like psychotropic drugs on the minds of investors,” as one Left Forum panelist noted, unleashing increasingly rapacious and mindless greed. Pushed to its limit, the logic of the system reveals itself in transparent form. The subprime mortgage market offered loans to people with little or nothing in the way of assets or collateral that began at a low rate of interest and then ballooned to massive rates later. These predatory loans were then bundled together and sold as securities, given class “AAA” status by regulatory bodies that had little interest in compelling restraint. These securities based on corrupted loans were meshed with other types of assets and securities and sold up the financial pyramid. As in the classic pyramid scheme, when the debtors at the bottom start to default, the rotten edifice comes tumbling down.

At the same time, the crumbling of this scam is revealing deep levels of tulip-style mania in the banks and financial institutions, which had developed highly convoluted mechanisms for extracting profits by lending vast, and nonexistent, sums to each other for short-term periods. While commentators think that the amount of actual wealth that is going to disappear from the world economy is $1.5 – $2 trillion, the amount of imaginary capital traded in rapid fashion to amp up artificial profits was exponentially higher than this number. At a time when credit has evaporated, whoever gets caught holding the i.o.u.’s for these massive amounts faces instant insolvency.

It appears that unleashed greed incited by deregulation of the markets has led to a massive implosion of the financial apparatus that may not be fixable within the current system. This crisis may have its roots in the early 1970s, when the US took the dollar off the gold standard, and the untethered US dollar became the global reserve currency, forcing the developing world to adopt it for international transactions and debt repayment. The building of the World Trade Centers could be seen as symbolizing the shift of the focus of the US economy from productive industry to finance capitalism, as the parasitical system of speculation on derivatives and currencies became the central wealth-producing engine within the US. The lack of US productivity coupled with a virtualized currency with no real-world referent has led to the amassing of extraordinary debt, on an individual and societal level.

The crisis may actually have far deeper roots, going back to the basis of capitalism itself, an economic system that constantly requires new markets to penetrate and cannot sustain itself without continually extending its reach. In a fully globalized world, where there are no new markets to reach or new resources to exploit, capitalism may have reached its natural limit. It is also imprecise to call the current system “capitalist” in a classical sense, as it is actually one where massive subsidies protect vested interests, from agricultural lobbies to oil companies, and the ideal of a “free market” is a convenient fiction.

In a fully globalized world, the Neoliberal model can only perpetuate itself through the types of shock effects described by Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine, where destruction is encouraged and then seized upon as an opportunity to redevelop and recolonize areas already within empire. One of the panelists at the Left Forum described the mortgage meltdown as a “financial Katrina” that will allow wealthy speculators to take over urban neighborhoods where poor people have suffered mass defaults. The disastrous consequences of rampant privatization are increasingly obvious, as services become weaker, corruption increases, and prices rise.

End of the current economic paradigm

Considering the extent of delusional capital now underlying the financial system, it is possible that the current crisis could be pointing toward the end of the current economic paradigm. This could mean a real trans-valuation of our world. As Marx points out, the function of money was to transform all qualities to quantities that are ultimately equivalent. Money “is the true agent of separation as well as the true binding agent – the [universal] galvano-chemical power of society,” Marx writes in The 1844 Manuscripts. Money-as-mediator and ultimate arbiter seeks to reduce all qualities to quantities, but fails because it reduces everything to sameness, with the Midas touch of nihilism. Love and trust are basic values that elude the mediation of money.

In his great book The Gift, Lewis Hyde contrasts our modern market economy with the gift-based economies of tribal and indigenous cultures. He writes, “The desire to consume is a kind of lust. We long to have the world flow through us like air or food. We are thirsty and hungry for something that can only be carried inside bodies. But consumer goods merely bait this lust, they do not satisfy it. The consumer of commodities is invited to a meal without passion, a consumption that leads to neither satiation nor fire.” The gift, on the other hand, renews the communal bond, and requires reciprocity as well as trust. Hyde writes:

The gift moves toward the empty place. As it turns in its circle it turns toward him who has been empty-handed the longest, and if someone appears elsewhere whose need is greater it leaves its old channel and moves toward him. Our generosity may leave us empty, but our emptiness then pulls gently at the whole until the thing in motion returns to replenish us.”

If modern society reduces all value to a universal exchange of quantities, indigenous cultures were conscious of qualities that did not allow for perfect equivalences of exchange. Ultimately, it was the state of mind and heart of the giver that mattered, not the objectified value of an object.

The current economic crisis may be resolved – at least temporarily – by an international agreement between oligarchic forces that will lead to some bail outs and a renegotiation, and severe reduction, of American power in the world. Or it may be that the glue that has held together the international monetary order is coming undone, in which case a deeper process of transformation may take place.

If this is the case, then the social agreement that is money itself may be up for discussion, and the nature of value may change yet again. In other words, the current economic crisis may represent, not just a reordering of power and finance in the world, but a deeper expression of a crisis of value, and the opportunity to begin the pendulum swing back again, from an economy based on the meaningless exchange of nihilistic quantities to a different model of economy that would require alternative institutions and techniques to support the socially cohesive expression of values-based qualities.



First published: Fifth Estate, 2008
source: http://www.danielpinchbeck.net/writing/essays/

Sunday, December 7, 2014

6 December 2014, Solidarity with Nikos Romanos in Turkey






















Today, we were on streets for Alexis who was murdered by Greek State and for Nikos Romanos who  has been on  hunger strike for 26 days against the repression of the same state.

Today, we were on streets for our sisters and brothers who have been murdered while resisting in Greece, in Ferguson, in Mexico, in Kobanê.

Today, we were on streets for Berkin, Ali İsmail, Ethem, Arin, Kader, Suphi Nejat.

As  states kill our sisters and brothers all over the world; we, revolutionary anarchists were onthe streets with our anger against states, capitalists, companies and murderers. Despite of the fact that the police held up our way and attacked us with  plastic bullets, tear gas bombs and batons; they couldn't achieve to supress our anger. We resisted with our black flags while rising out our slogans.

This passion for freedom is getting bigger today; the anger for those  who have been murdered by state flare up our riot.

Revolutionary Anarchist Action 

salutes comrade Nikos Romanos' and his resistance.
Video of this action:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1565161617033056&set=vb.1480916092124276&type=2&theater

Statement that read after police attack:


Today, with all the range against powers that seizes lives, with the conviction to a free world, the black flags are waved all around the world. Against companies that exploit our labour to profit more; against states that murders many of us in the name of the borders they drew; against all powers that fill their pockets with our lives that they destroy, making us poorer and making the rich richer; rebellion is alive in the rage of anachism. The rage against bosses, companies, murderers and states, is propagating in full flood with the black flags. The sorrow of being neglected, dissapeared and murdered, is now turing into anger, and the street are burning with the rage all over.

Exactly 6 yers ago, in Exerchia neignourhood of Athens, murdered because he was an anarchist, at the age of 16, was Alexandros Grigoropulos. Murdered by a cop, with the bullet from his gun, because he transformed his anger into rebellion and went on the street, calling to account for the lives being seized, becuase he didn't obey the powers and he was resisting at all costs for freedom. On the day of December 6, 2008, The bullet that ran into Alexis's chest turned in the fire of revolt in the streets. Even though the murderers continued their attacks, the rage against the ones that silenced a heart that was beating for freedom, burned the streets into flames in Athens, in Thessaloniki, in Istanbul and everywhere.

Nikos Romanos, who was with Alexis the day he was murdered and who also had the same conviction for a free world, is now captivated because he is an anarchist. Romanos is captivated because he was not silent against injustice, because he didn't give up despite state oppresion, because with the same conviction of his murdered comrade, he kept on the struggle against all powers. The ones who think they can terminate this struggle by murdering Alexis, are now captivating Nikos hoping to stop another heart that is beating with the conviction for anarchism. Just like in 2008, the steets are filled with anger against the state that continue to attack Romanos with all its isolation, oppresion and torture. As Romanos continues his hunger strike since 10th of Novembre, other anarchist comrades in captive also start hunger strikes in solidarity; universities are occupied; and the same voice echoes in burning streets, in cells resisiting captive: "As long as we are alive and we breate, long live anarchy!"

The powers that murdered Alexis in 2008 and that captivate Nikos today think that they can silence the rage against injustice that is growing in every part of the world. They continue to captivate, attack and murder under this illusion.

In Mexico, 43 students resisting politics of the powers seizing their future, had disappeared by the hand of state; and their bodies are found in mass graves after many days. Just because they are black, the people targeted by fasist repression of the power, become the targets of bullets shot by the police; and the ones who resist being taken to custody are strangling and murdered by the police. Many of our brothers like Berkin, Ethem Ali, Ahmet who resisted for their lives, were murdered by the state police.  While the ones resisting in Kobanê to create a new life, like Arin, like Suphi Nejat, like Kader, are murdered by the gangs, military and soldiers of the state; the ones who are on the streets in every corner of the region embracing Kobanê resistance, like Hakan, like Mahsun, are the targeted by the murderer police of the same state...

Wherever the ones who call to account for injustice, who resist to win their lives, who struggle with their conviction of freedom are on the streets; there is the adress for oppression, torture and massacre. The oppressors who think that they can discourage the ones who don't obey them by captivating, kidnapping or murdering; a cry of freedom raised in one place is echoed from every direction. From the cells of Athens to Mexico, from the streets of Ferguson to Istanbul, to the free lands of Kobanê, the convision for a new world is propagating in full flood. Now, this passion for freedom is getting bigger; the rage for the murders is flaring up the fire of revolt in hearts.

This revolt is against the powers that seize our lives, that intend to destroy our freedom, that murder us. This revolt is against capitalism and the states. This revolt is against all kinds of captivity.

With this revolt for freedom in our hearts, anarchism is growing in every part of the world.

And our struggle is growing from one corner of the world to another, carried by the waves of the black flags.



Long live Revolution, long live anarchy!



Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF)

Lycee Aanrchist Action (LAF)

Anarchist Youth (AG)

Anarchist Women

MAKI

TAÇANKA

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Black Lives Matters! Ferguson is burning after grand jury decision of no-charges for police officer who killed Michael Brown LIVE REPORT












Ferguson, Missouri, erupts in violence after grand jury verdict not to charge Darren Wilson for shooting dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown - follow live updates







VOID NETWORK expresses solidarity for the uncompromised struggle of people all over Amerikkka against the police brutality and the totalitarian "justice" regime that offers to any policeman the right to kill people in the streets with "no-charges" for centuries now! This has to end NOW, the state can not shoot us anymore and no one cares...WE CARE!
DEATH TO THE TYRANNES! FIGHT FOR FREEDOM



13.30 It's now 7.30am in Ferguson.

• Darren Wilson, the policeman who was cleared last night of charges relating to the shooting of Michael Brown, has still not been seen.

• Police confirm that 61 people were arrested, 150 gunshots were fired, and a dozen buildings burnt.

• Following the verdict, at around 8pm in Missouri, protests were staged in New York, Chicago, California and Seattle.

13.02 An update on the arrests overnight.

St Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said there were 61 arrests in Ferguson overnight, many for burglary and trespassing.

Francis Slay, the mayor of St Louis, said there were 21 arrests in his city, where some protesters broke business windows.

(...)

11.28 Jon Belmar, St Louis County police chief, has just been speaking about the damage overnight.

He said that at least a dozen buildings were torched and that he counted about 150 gunshots during a night of looting, vandalism, arson and clashes between demonstrators and police that resulted in at least 29 arrests.

Flights over the area were restricted and police struggled to contain protesters who took to the streets of Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, smashing shop windows and torching cars and businesses despite President Barack Obama's calls for restraint.

Although no serious injuries were reported, Mr Belmar said the rioting on Monday night and early Tuesday morning was "much worse" than disturbances which erupted in the immediate aftermath of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson on Aug 9.




REPORT by , Ferguson for Telegraph.uk


 For a few brief moments, the crowd outside the Ferguson police headquarters fell silent.
The cries of “hands up, don’t shoot” were hushed as hundreds of demonstrators - many concealing their faces behind balaclavas and Guy Fawkes masks - strained to hear the news coming over the car radio.
They listened as the St Louis County prosecutor announced what to many was a foregone conclusion: the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, would not face criminal charges.

And then the crowd was silent no more.

The streets of Ferguson erupted in fury once again after a grand jury decided not to charge Officer Darren Wilson with any crime for the August shooting. 
 Demonstrators vented months of pent-up anger on the streets outside the police department where Mr Wilson once worked, looting and burning shops, setting fire to police cars and hurling bricks at the lines of riot police who challenged them.

In a grim replay of the violence that wracked this Missouri city over the summer, heavily-armed police responded to the sound of gunshots with tear gas and rolled through the streets in armoured vehicles.

Police reported hearing “heavy automatic gunfire” in Ferguson while fires broke out in neighbouring Dellwood and looting was reported in St Louis. A police officer in University City, a few miles south, was shot but it was unclear if the incident was related to the protests in Ferguson.

The clashes began shortly after 8pm, when Robert McCulloch, the St Louis County prosecuting attorney, announced that the 12 jurors - nine white and three black - had decided not to bring charges.

"They determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson," he said.
 Mr Brown’s parents immediately released a statement saying they were “profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequences of his actions”.

But Michael Brown Senior and Lesley McSpadden, who have taken their campaign for justice for their son as far as the United Nations in Geneva, also appealed for calm, asking the protesters to “channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change”.

Their plea was echoed by President Barack Obama, who made a late-night appearance at the White House to remind demonstrators that the US was “a nation built on the rule of law”.

But by the time Mr Obama appeared, the television networks were already splitting their screens between the White House briefing room and the violence on South Florissant Road in Ferguson.

Rioters began by smashing the windows of sandwich shops
directly next door to the police headquarters, ignoring the festive letters spelling out “Seasons Greetings” between two telephone poles.
But they moved quickly from breaking windows to setting fire to unprotected police cars. One young black man, who would not give his name, looked on approvingly as a squad car burned, the ammunition stored inside it crackling in the heat.
“These cops can go around and kill our people and absolutely nothing happens to them,” the young man said. “We can’t get justice in the courts so we need to take it for ourselves.”
Police had initially maintained a light presence, with only a handful of officers visible and none in riot gear.
But as the crowd’s anger mounted, a phalanx of police surged into view, carrying shields and batons and forming a line beneath the American flag outside their headquarters. 






 Soon a column of armoured vehicles began to roll north from the direction of the motorway. An oddly-nasal voice rang out over vehicle speakers and into the freezing night: “You must stop throwing projectiles at police. You are unlawfully assembled. You must disperse.”

When words proved insufficient the teargas followed. Canisters rattled at the feet of the demonstrators and painful smoke billowed out, filling throats and leaving eyes watering in pain.

The violence came in fits and starts and at times the demonstrators were happy to stand before the row of police shields and hurl abuse at the officers behind them.

The largely-black crowd saved their angriest taunts for the African-American police officers. “Traitors!” shouted one man as a black officer watch impassively from behind a visor. “If that was your son, you wouldn’t be standing there.”





Many of the young African-American men were equally disdainful of Mr Obama and his appeals for calm from hundreds of miles away.
“The President is not even one of us, I would say that to his face,” said a man who identified himself as “Faze”. He pointed to the fact Mr Obama’s father was a Kenyan immigrant, rather than the descendant of slaves. “He doesn't get it, he doesn’t know what’s happening here.”
Darren Wilson, the police officer whose bullets ripped through the facade of what some call “post-racial” America, has been in hiding since August and did not appear after being cleared by the grand jury.
His lawyers released a statement saying that “law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions. Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law.”

 Five hours after the grand jury announcement, a dozen buildings were reported to have been consumed by flame, along with a number of cars that were set alight.

But not all the demonstrators who appeared to protest the jury’s decision turned to violence. One large group remained outside the police station, banging drums and chanting: “This is what community looks like.”

At the corner of South Florissant Road and Suburban Avenue, Shala Jones stood holding her three year-old daughter, Lonnie.

“I’m here tonight because this is her future,” said Ms Jones, as she tucked a blanket closer around her child. “Young black children need to know they can be safe in America.” 





SOURCE: The Telegraph.uk

Sunday, November 2, 2014

African Anarchism, an introduction


















Welcome to African Anarchism! Void Network introduces a site that is intended to be a resource for anarchists and other anti-authoritarian revolutionary socialists in Africa, and for all those interested in the liberation of this most exploited continent. 

the site is:

Africa has endured centuries of suffering and deprivation in a world of plenty. Capitalism has indisputably failed to provide even a minimum standard of living to Africans. The authoritarian capitalists who called themselves "state socialists" have also proved to offer no answers to the problems of the continent.
In this context anarchism is not merely one solution, it is the only possible solution that can allow the African masses to fulfill their longings for a life free from misery and exploitation. In the last few years anarchist groups and individuals have started to emerge across the continent, although these are still small shoots, they are a beginning and once they spread anarchism should prove to be a very powerful force in Africa. The African masses have little to lose, once they throw off their mental chains, global capitalism will shudder under their mighty revolutionary force.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult for African workers to communicate to the outside world, since access to technology in Africa is extremely limited, so very often, the information contained in these pages provides more questions than answers. We are always looking for more information about anarchism in Africa, so if you can add anything to what we have here; news about movements, libertarian analysis or other interesting matter, please contact the site: http://www.struggle.ws/africa/

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Touching the heart: about the blackmail concerning 'the immigrants'




















During the last 10 years, a lot of comrades in different countries have participated in the struggle around the question of migration, whether it be about the struggle of paperless people to get regularized, the struggle around housing in poor neighbourhoods, the struggle against raids on the street and on the public transport or the struggle against the detention centres. Often these have led to a repetition of certain impasses or to powerlessness regarding possible interventions.

A recipe does not exist, but we do consider it necessary to break with some militant mechanisms which have too often made us struggle on an activist base lacking perspectives or agitate under the directions of authoritarian groups, with or without papers. These thoughts simply want to draw up the balance of struggle experiences and to work out some possible tracks for the development of a subversive projectuality around migration and its management, a projectuality which we can call ours.

Beyond the illusion of the ‘immigrant’

Having a closer look on the protagonists of a social conflict and subordinate them to more or less militant sociological analyses is a classical approach towards an attempt to understand the context of a social conflict and to intervene in it. Not only does this approach focus upon finding the answer to the mysterious question “who are they?” instead of examining ourselves about what we want, it is as well based upon some doctrines which disturb our critical reflection. Next to the usual leftist racketeers who are desperately looking for no matter what political subject which can bring them to the head of a resistance, a lot of sincere others are to be found alongside the paperless people. But since they consider the specific situation of the paperless as something exterior, they are mostly rather driven by an outrage instead of by a desire to struggle together with those who share a common (although not exactly the same) condition: exploitation, police control on the streets or on the public transport, housing in the outskirts or in the neighbourhoods which are being upgraded, illegal activities which are part of the survival techniques. Both of them often reproduce all of the divisions which are useful to the domination. Creating a new general image of the immigrant-victim-in-struggle equals the introduction of a sociological mystification which does not only hinder every common struggle but as well strengthens the states grip on all of us.

Libertarian or radical activists (who nonetheless have a certain intuition about what could be a possible common track) are fairly often not the last ones swallowing this pill in their need of collectivity or in the name of the autonomousness of the struggle, as if the struggle is put up by some sort of homogeneous block instead of by individuals, potential accomplices at least against a certain oppression. In relation to the paperless people all of the sudden the methods of struggle (self organisation, refusal of institutional mediation, direct action) became way more relative. The good Samaritan will always appear to explain, using some classical arguments out of the militant tirade, that breaking the windows of an air company which deports during a manifestation will bring the paperless ‘into danger’ (them who nonetheless face up to the police day by day); that the struggle against fascists (e.g. the members of the Turkish Grey Wolves), nationalists (e.g. certain refugees who came here after the disintegration of former Yugoslavia) or priests (e.g. the priest who ‘refuges’ the paperless in ‘his’ church to afterwards kick them out, the Christian associations which take up the vile task of the state like Cimade, Caritas International or the Red Cross) ends at the doorstep of the paperless collectives; that you can spit into the face of a French or Belgian ambassador but not into the face of a Malian one which comes mediating a struggle that threatens to radicalise (idem the leftist politicians who are generally considered unacceptable but being tolerated in the name of a false unity which is demanded by some chief of a paperless collective).

It is known to everybody that a struggle always departs from the existent and that the initial differences often differ a lot (e.g. the relation towards the trade unions in the major part of the struggles concerned with exploitation), but according to us it’s all about going beyond those in a subversive dynamic. We will certainly not succeed in this by accepting the variety of authoritarian straitjackets – the goal is already in the means you acquire. Moreover because this relativism doesn’t lead towards a confrontation in the struggle but to some sort of reverse colonialism which makes the immigrants once more into an object with a supposedly different-being (“they” would be like that). In that case the misery is not intended to scare off but to excuse all renouncement.

The “innocent immigrant”, the passive eternal victim which is being exploited, arrested, locked up and deported is one of the most prominent characters of this ideological narrowing down. As a reaction to the daily racist propaganda which aims at giving the immigrant the role of the social enemy who is the source of all evil (from unemployment to unsafety and terrorism), a lot of people de facto deny the immigrant all criminal capacity. They aim at presenting the immigrants as being servile, begging for their integration with hopes on a less detestable place in the society of the capital. In this way thousands of refugees are being transformed into sympathetic and therefore integratable victims: victims of war, of ‘natural’ catastrophes and misery, of human traffickers and rack-renters. But what is forgotten are the changes these tracks make to individuals: they create solidarity, resistance and struggle which allow some of them to break the passivity which was attributed to them.

Surprise and embarrassed silence rule the leftist camp and her democratic antiracism when these ‘innocents’ defend themselves by all means against the faith imposed on them (e.g. revolts in detention centres, confrontations during raids, wild strikes…). The revolts expressed in a collective way might still be understood by some as “those deeds of desperation”, but a prisoner putting his cell on fire all alone is called a “maniac” whose deed most certainly does not constitute as part of the “struggle”. Hunger strikers in a church are wanted, not the arsonists or escaped prisoners from the detention centres; the people who have been thrown out of the window of a police station or drowned are being understood, but not those who resist against the police during a raid; parents of children attending school get helped with pleasure, in contrast to the bachelor thieves. The revolt and the individuals who revolt do not fit into the sociological framework of the immigrant-victim that has been made up by the good conscience of the militant with the aid of the academic parasites of the state.

This mystification hinders a more precise understanding of migration and the migration streams. Clearly, migrations in the first place are a consequence of the daily economical terror of the capital and the political terror of local regimes and their bourgeoisie, all of which give profit to the rich countries. Nevertheless it would be incorrect to state that only the poor proletarians migrate to the rich countries as is sworn to by the thirdworldists in their construction of the immigrant-victim subject. The migrants who succeed in entering the gates of Europe clandestinely are not necessarily the poorest (since those are forced to internal migrations to the cities or to neighbouring countries according to the fluctuations of the market and her disasters) – be it even only because of the cost (financial and human) of such a travel or the social and cultural selection inside of the family of those who can afford taking such a step.

If we try to understand everything that forms and traverses every individual rather than setting down the difference and otherness in order to justify an exterior position of ‘support’, we can view a whole complexity including the class differences. At that point we can determine that the collectives of paperless do as well exist out of over certified graduates, failed politicians, local exploiters who managed their travelling money on the expense of others… who migrate to this side of the world because they want to take their enjoyable place inside of the capitalist democracy. Thus many groups of paperless are being dominated by those who were already powerful (be it on a social, political or symbolical level) or were striving for it. These class differences are seldomly taken into account by comrades engaged in a struggle together with paperless people, a struggle in which language becomes an unavoidable and invisible barrier assigning the immigrants coming from the richer classes of their country automatically to the role of spokesman and translator. Sharpening these class differences as we do everywhere is not simply a contribution which can be made by comrades but a necessary condition for real solidarity.

In order to understand these struggle dynamics, throwing some comfortable illusions into the garbage bin is necessary as well. Only a stubborn determinism can claim that a certain social condition necessarily implicates the revolt against it. This kind of reasoning used to offer the guarantee of a revolution, a guarantee that many have cherished for a long time while simultaneously degrading the perspective of the individual rebellion which generalizes into insurrection to the level of an adventure. The criticism made on a determinism that has shown its failure in the old workers movement is suitable as well for the proletarians which migrate to this side of the world. Many amongst them look at the West as some kind of oasis where you can live nicely as long as you’re prepared to make big efforts. Undergoing conditions of exploitation that resemble what they’ve been running away from, with bosses who as well play on the paternalistic snare of belonging to a so called common community; being chased; not having any or only a few perspectives on climbing higher on the social ladder and a daily racism which tries to canalize the dissatisfaction of the other exploited, all of this makes up a rude reality to confront. Contrasting the resignation which can sprout from this painful confrontation or the reflex of locking oneself up into the authoritarian communities which are based on for example religion or nationalism, we put forward the perspective not to link up with all paperless in a ‘categorical’ way but with those who refuse their role as exploited and by this way open as well the identification of the enemy. We don’t want the blaming between the capitalist universality and the particularities but a social war in which we can recognize each other beyond the question of papers and different degrees of exploitation, in a permanent struggle for a society free of masters and slaves. As in any struggle in fact, would it not be that the struggle around migration mostly ends by the weight of the affective feeling of guilt, the urgency to prevent a deportation and its possible consequences, and all of this mostly via a relation based on exteriority instead of on a shared revolt.

The impasse of the struggle for regularisation

In several European countries, a lot of ‘massive’ regularisations took place at the last turn of the century. Although the State follows her own logic, the struggling paperless were able to influence the criteria and rhythm of the regularisations. A comparison can be made to all “big social reforms”, some of which have been achieved through bloodshed while others were buy-outs to maintain the social peace or simply granted in function of capitals need to keep the working class grouped and to increase interior consumption. In those days debates about demands that suit the capitals movement in contrast to insurrectional try-outs were going on in the working class as well. A lot of revolutionaries only accepted these demands as a possibility towards permanent agitation while at the same time it was clearly put that the social question could not be solved inside of a capitalist framework.

In the time preceding to these regularisation waves the States were divided between two adversary logics: the growing stream of clandestine migration did on the one hand fit the economic need for flexible workers (as in the construction, catering industry, cleaning sector, agriculture) of countries with an ageing population, on the other hand did this partly denied (as in countries knowing a more recent migration as Spain and Italy) but especially in nature less controllable population disturb the drastic will to manage the public order. While this issue was quickly resolved – more specifically by a closer cooperation between the different authorities (through the exchange of services between the imams and police offices as well as through the distribution of tasks amongst the different foreign and autochthonous mobs, despite some previous bloody games which had to do with unavoidable concurrence) -, the issue of the need for workers was resolved by a tighter interdependence between migration streams and the labour market. It seems to be one of the ruling tendencies on a European level to aim at a more worked out migration management which is tuned up in real time to the needs of the exploitation. Next to the classic labour form of the migrants (work in black) stands the migration which links the permit to stay to a working contract which will become the rule overtime, fitting the reorganisation of the labour delicacy which extends to everybody.

The state has almost put an end to the political asylum, has tightened up the family reunion and the obtainment of citizenship by marriage, has abolished the permit to stay for a longer period (like the one of 10 years in France), while she’s on the other hand rejecting regularisation demands using an iron fist. The state directs itself towards what was called “chosen migration” by a certain president. We’re returning to the era in which the sergeant recruiters went to the villages and loaded trucks with the amount of migrants needed by their bosses. The modern formula simply asks a rationalisation of this recruitment on the borders, co managed by the state and the employers (2). The workers are absolutely not supposed to stay and settle down. At the same time different camps at the external borders of Europe are under construction by the state, camps for those who have not been chosen by the grace of the slave tradesmen.

Because all the others are there. All those standing in front of a closed gate and all those continuing to arrive. That’s what’s at stake for the change in the degree of the police rationalisation of the deportation system which continues multiplying its camps and organizes more and more massive deportations, national quotes and European charter flights for those who managed their way through the locks of the waiting zones and the racketeering of the human traffickers and other mobs. However nobody cherishes any real illusions: the number of migrants without papers will increase as long as the economic causes continue to exist no matter what deployment (as can be seen at the border between Mexico and the States where a wall of 1200 kilometres is under construction), which will have no consequences apart from the increase of the passage costs and the amount of dead. Only the multiplication of her deportations would enable the state to apply her laws concerning forced expulsion from the territory. But that is not the question, because these deployments do not primarily aim at deporting all paperless, but serve to terrorize the whole of the immigrated workers (the regularized as well as those chosen to have a permit to stay) so that their condition of exploitation which resembles the one they escaped can remain unaltered (internal delocalisation in a certain way) while pressure is put down on the whole of the exploitation conditions. The racist excuse moreover serves to deploy the arsenal of social control which touches everybody.

But let us neither forget about the changing character of migration itself. Industrial capitalism used workers as pawns on a game board following an easy logic: here we have too many workers and there we need them. And whenever the need was rather small, other aspects of this population politics were put into action. However, this specific form of migration control has changed as a result of the restructuring of the economic aspect and because of the consequences of industrial growth. You can notice that speaking of a point of departure as well as a point of arrival becomes more difficult. The points of department have been devastated by hunger, war and disasters while the destinations are changing all the time. In this way migration becomes an endless track consisting of different stages; it’s no longer a movement from point A to B. These new forms of migration are not only being defined by the needs of a constantly flexible and adjustable capital. Millions of people, uprooted by the devastation of the places where they were been born are swarming all over this world – ready to be put at work. And the deployments of this control are very visible: the humanitarian refugee camps, the camps at the borders, the slums and the favelas. The struggles for regularisation seem to pose rather few questions concerning this new fact. The situation in Belgium is a good example of the current impasses of the struggle for regularisation. The state acted simultaneously as a lion and a fox when the tension around the closed centres began to rise in 1998. As a lion she repressed the most rebellious parts of the movement (murder of Semira Adamu (3) who was resisting stiffly in the centres; house searches and arrest of comrades who were active in this struggle). As a fox she started negotiating about regularisations with the other part of the movement. Clearly, the demand for regularisation (besides the fact that it equals the demand for integration) does require certain credibility, a recognized mediator. The movement got hit in this way. Regularisation, which once used to be the answer of the state to the tension and agitation which challenged the whole of the migration politics (using slogans against all camps or for a free circulation), became the goal for most of the paperless groups. Instead of forcing the state to give a bonus by struggling, the collectives started a dialogue which was followed by negotiations which attracted a whole army of professional negotiators and juridical charlatans who would solve all problems. The dynamics were on the one hand broken by repression and on the other hand by the start of a bureaucratic dialogue. Neither the successive self-mutilations (as the hunger strikes outside of the camps), nor the most servile self-abasements were enough to win what in a certain way used to be an answer of the state on agitation. The first answer of the state was combined with a rationalisation of the closed centres and a stricter adjustment of the permits to stay in connection to the needs of the economy (the state herself gave different colours to the cards).

During the last years the current situation with its cycle of occupations/hunger strikes/deportations suffocated us during the last years in a struggle experience which offered only a few possibilities to go beyond and share a perspective: experiences of self organisation which do not accept neither politician nor religious or trade union leaders; direct actions which permit the development of a real power balance and the identification of the class enemy in all of her aspects. These observations lead us to feel the need and desire for developing a subversive projectuality departing from our bases, instead of running behind an enlargement (which seems to be more and more further away) based on the demand for regularisation. This projectuality could find her first anchors in the revolt which is factually shared amongst those who struggle for the destruction of the centres and those who (e.g. the rebels of Vincennes or Steenokkerzeel) put the critic of detention into deeds by putting their prison on fire.

Against the deportation machine

While facing these difficulties a debate that is still going on nowadays rises: the debate about solidarity. A lot of comrades continue defending the necessity –at whatever cost- of our presence inside of the paperless groups, until they retreat from any similar struggle, disgusted after so many blows. The justifications are diverse and most of the time a reflection of an activism or of comfortable recipes lacking imagination, lacking any real desire for subversion. And here as well: although the collective character of an action is no criterion for us, we do understand the need “to break the isolation” felt by some comrades. Nevertheless do we doubt if we can manage this by participating in endless meetings, being locked up with 30 people in a squat or an apartment block of paperless and leftists. We tend more towards the development of our own project and so to start from our own bases. As long as solidarity is understood as support to certain social categories, it will continue being an illusion. Even if it would entail some more radical methods, it will continuously be dragged along in a conflict with bases, methods and perspectives which are not ours at all. The only justification left is claiming that by taking part in these conflicts we can ‘radicalize’ the people because their social condition would necessarily lead them towards sharing our ideas. As long as this concept of ‘radicalisation’ is understood as a task of missionaries wanting others to swallow their ideas it will continue to be stuck in the impasse which we notice growing everywhere around. This ‘radicalisation’ however can as well be understood as openness of our dynamic towards others, enabling us to guarantee the autonomy of our own projectuality. In this way, ‘being together’ in a struggle and going forward on the level of perspectives as well as methods demands an existing basic affinity, a first rupture, a first desire that goes beyond the usual demands. In this way our demand for mutuality can become meaningful. There are a lot more tracks to explore than the continuation of the connection which only reason for existing is the maintenance of the fiction of the political subject that in the name of its statute as being the main victim, monopolizes the reason for the struggle and by this way the struggle itself. To put things clear we could say that solidarity is in need of a mutual recognition in deeds as well as in words. It is difficult to be solidary with a paperless “in struggle” who demands his regularisation and the one of his family without any interest whatsoever in the perspective of the destruction of the closed centres. Maybe we would still meet somewhere but this will be on a purely practical base: we don’t need to analyse the reasons nor perspectives which bring somebody to revolt in order to recognize ourselves, at least partly, in these deeds of attack which automatically turn against the responsibles of this misery. As counts for most of the intermediary struggles: there is only a very limited sense in participating to a factory conflict which departs from demands for wage and does not overcome the trade unionist framework, nor develops any sign of direct action. It is limited because there simply is no common base. New perspectives open up at the moment when these workers start sabotaging (even if they regard it as a means to pressure the bosses) or kick out their deputes (even if only because they feel betrayed).

So, instead of holding on to more and more slogans such as “solidarity with the immigrants / in struggle” (but which struggle?), we could develop a projectuality against the closed centres using methods and ideas which are ours and subversive in the sense that they question the foundations of this world (the exploitation and domination). This projectuality would be autonomous and strengthened by deeds of revolt contrasting the overall resignation, and strengthening these deeds in return. Again, recipes do not exist but today it is important to go beyond the impasses of a more or less humanist activism which hinders any radical autonomy in favour of an agitation which conceives the cadence of power or follows the logic of the only as legitimate conceived actors of the struggle, while it is actually the freedom of all which is at stake as for example in the case of the raids. As it is important to put forward perspectives which, beyond the partial goals developed in these intermediary struggles, are able to widen up the matter to a horizon which finally questions the whole of this world and its horror; meaning perspectives which are able to always put forward the matters of domination and exploitation. The diffuse attacks could make up the heart of this projectuality. Not only do they offer the advantage of exceeding the powerlessness felt while standing in front of the wall or barbed wire of a camp or while being confronted to a raid with a police deployment that can adjust itself and count on the passivity and fear of the passer-bys, but as well and especially do they offer us on the one hand the possibility to develop our own temporality and on the other hand to show everyone that the structures of the deportation machine which can be found on every corner of the street are vulnerable and at last they offer real action possibilities to everyone, regardless of the number they are.

/Some enthusiastic Internationalists

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