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<nettime> a to-do list
Alex Foti on Wed, 8 Oct 2008 23:18:27 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> a to-do list

dear sisters and brothers,

call it the big slump, the great recession, the new depression: a
major capitalist crisis is among us, and nettime saw it ahead of imf
and goldman economists.

last week's debate seemed to focus on two possible ways to go about
the new historical situation:

 i) let's finally secede from the mad and corrupt world of capitalism
and build the new society from scratch, a place were solidarity and
sharing are in and inequality and exploitation (of women, peoples,
nature) are out; let's call it the steampunk solution.
ii) the great recession is a once-in-a-century opportunity to build
radical political and social organizations/federations/coalitions that
can impose redistribution (and thus economic sustainability) and push
for the redesign of basic social structures toward ecological
compatibility; let's call it the commonist solution.

Actually I don't think the two strategies are mutually exclusive. For
instance, a massive increase of public spending that goes toward
financing alternative, sustainable communities, as well as
environmental remediation public works are likely to be progressive
ways out of the recession, while a new postcapitalist culture won't be
able to thrive if there aren't enough spaces and hoods that experiment
with new ways of collective living and explore new dimensions of
social conflict.

Here's an (unorganized) list of statements that I submit to the
discussion; in my wet dreams, it should spring european radicals into
common action now that capitalism is in crisis and neoliberalism has
been finally defeated:

-- we all oppose capitalism here so let's refrain from
cross-excommunications, although postcapitalism is not a goal fixed in
time but a process that evolves according to changing historical
circumstances (i.e. acting in the late 90s is not the same as acting
in late 00s);

-- the eu is engulfed by the great recession and is reverting to
national sovereignties to solve the credit crisis: one more blow at
the already vacillating political legitimacy of council and
commission; but in the present sociopolitical climate a rightist,
authoritarian and xenophobic, even outright fascist outcome is more
likely than a leftist outcome (reformist and/or revolutionary don't
matter here) in europe

-- in fact, the elites are in disarray: they don't know how they sank
into shit so fast and don't know the way out; and even if the free
market suddenly has no longer any appeal for the media or the
population at large, the central bank's rabid monetarism has yet to be
demolished; wages and social spending won't be able to recoup their
due until frankfurt's fundamentalism is defeated in open battle

-- the recession is going to deepen and this will provoke escalating
labor conflict (e.g. belgium's general strike this week, which
paralyzed the whole economy), but the precarious generation must build
its own organization or be left out from the redesign of economic

-- 2G, as second-generation immigrant youth (first-generation
europeans) are called in italy, will be at the forefront in the social
conflict vis-a-vis securitarian and cryptofascist powers

-- today islamophobia is the functional equivalent of antisemitism in
interwar europe: it's the faultline between right and left in europe;
in recessive conditions, which will fan the flames of xenophobia, only
a transeuropean revolutionary social organization can bridge the gulf
between immigrant and native workers, service and creative labor,
between rebellious 2G youth and dissident white youth

-- politically, it's high time that we build a european federation of
autonomous/anarchist/antiracist/queer metropolitan zones and movements
sharing common symbols, tactics, strategies. A hanseatic league of
social centers, if you will. The circle and the jagged arrow (aka the
Blitz) is probably the most universal symbol of european
insubordination. For all my quest for a new radical iconology, let's
adopt the inherited one as common signature of our struggles:
live it! squat it! fight it! block it!

ciao for now,


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