Monday, March 30, 2009

what is to be said?

For the last six months I've paid almost $400 a month to live in a room in a house in Modesto, which is a former foreclosed home near the airport district. I like the neighborhood; I grew up in a house about a mile away in a similar neighborhood and also worked at the bowling alley a block away from the house for about two years. The block I live on isn't super special, just a general average working class neighborhood in Modesto.

Anyway, trouble has been brewing in paradise for quite some time now. I moved into the house because after I broke up with my partner and had to move into my parents place for about two months, they started trying to sell their house. A friend from high school and one of her close friends were at the time trying to get a place and asked me if I wanted to come on board. Not my friend from high school, but the other person, we'll call her, supapieceoshit, got her mommy to buy a house for her, and have us pay the mortgage. Anyway, moved in. The landlords don't know their eyes from their assholes. They took about three months to really get the house finished, lay all the tile, finish the bathroom. We didn't have a bathroom for about a month. I had to sleep in my room with three other people and two dogs; which over the period of a month not only took a shit on my bed but also threw up in my room.

It seems that supapieceoshit had some debts to pay with a couple who had recently been foreclosed on, and let them move in. These people got on my nerves because they couldn't function unless that were fully and completely blown and also had extremely loud fights at 5:30 in the morning. Anyway, around the start of the new year, they left.

Supapieceoshit put in whiteboards on my door and my friend from high schools door; this remained our primary form of communication. It quickly became clear that I in fact had two landlords. One was supapieceofshit, and that other was supapieceoshit's mom. Fantastic.

Just to give you an example of supapieceoshit's supapieceoshitness, once I parked in the driveway next to another car. Supapieceofshit came home and parked right behind me; blocking my exit from the driveway. She proceeded to tell me that she always had to have a space in the driveway and basically I could go fuck myself for daring to take "her" spot. It was very clear that in this house, mommy's daughter got what she wanted and the rest of us could eat shit. My friend from high school, who was best friends with supapieceofshit, wanted to keep social peace at all costs, and would scold me for sticking up for myself. Why did I have to make things difficult and create tension? Maybe because I have a spine and don't like to be treated like a fucking dog.

Things reached a head when supapieceofshit threatened to throw away all my food if any of it turned out to have been dumpster dived, (this was told to me after she ate my butter and I told her where I got it). I then made some comment about perhaps my "mommy would buy me a house..." blah blah blah. She got pissed.

One of the things that authoritarians in authoritarian systems hate is when you pin point it's logic, and say how dumb it is. Anyway, after that, supapieceofshit asked her mom to kick me out and yesterday night I got a 30 day notice. I find it funny that she gets angry when I make fun of her for having her mother buy her a house, but used her mom to get rid of me because "we don't get along."

The final straw for me was when I discovered that supapieceoshit was growing some plants in what was supposed to be the office room - let's just say that weren't pretty flowers or tomatoes. I got angry because I didn't want to pay for the lights and heating lamps, and supapieceoshit told me not to go into that room anymore or talk about it. I wasn't even supposed to know what was going on in there. Later, the door became locked and in a sense I was paying not only for the electricity of keeping the plants alive, but also for a room that I didn't have access to.

So yeah, we "don't get along." We don't get along because I stick up for myself as much as possible. I've still put up with a lot of shit when I shouldn't have, but I did so because I knew that supapieceofshit could have me thrown out because she is in effect, the live in landlord. Anyway, fuck them. I'm glad to be gone. I'm moving in with a friend and fellow anarchist and will soon be getting a new house that is only $500 a month! It has a large barn/garage that we will use to host events in Modesto and we plan on setting up an info/show space. So keep posted for MAC details.

But, before I get kick out of this piece of shit, you know that I have to do something bad ass right? Fuck yeah you do. That's why for my birthday I had a par-tay in the foe-closure crisis capital, aka my backyard. Here what went down. So, I put out the word to party for my birthday, and then told everyone to meet me in the foreclosed house behind mine. There was a bench out there with some stuff set up that would allow for the precious holding of beer and snacks. Anyway, there was power outside, (which means it was still on in the house), music on, Natty Ice was flowing. The neighbors were cursing at each other so I asked them if we were being too loud, and they were totally cool with it and even later sent their kids over to hang out with us (perhaps a bad decision but we gave them no beer), and some other locals showed up. My friend made a joke when I went over to talk to the neighbors that this was going to be the defining moment to if anarchism was going to work or not. When I came back with the news he threw up his hands and said, "I knew it. That's working class solidarity right there." Something like that. Anyway, the dude across the street that came over was cool, but at one point, he let it slip something about 'protecting the future for white children' or something. Oh hell no. My friend, let us call him, Emillio, launched into perhaps one of the most impassioned and angry, nearly violence inducing rants against racism and calling for class war that I've probably ever heard. One line that stuck out in my head was, "Fuck the race war, what about the class war? You think the rich people on the city council give a fuck about you because you're white? What about the police who look down on you and would love to bust your head in because you're a poor white? Wake the fuck up." Pretty bad ass. Even if that guy only remembers half of white Emillio said, that fact that he had to sit through that, (knowing that the wrong move would have resulted in him getting fucked up), hopefully he'll remember that there's regular people out there who consider rich people, not other working people, the enemy, and also that working class latinos (at least in the case of Emillio) think that himself and poor whites have more in common that rich people in general. A powerful statement. Anyway, so the squat party was a success, got people together, I got pretty fucked up, and we managed to hold the space without any sort of police interference. If we can get away with this in certain neighborhoods, what else can we start to do?

So, in the next couple days I'll be moving my shit. As for supapieceoshit, being that she lives with three dogs in her room, it smells like old rotting cheese in there, there's so much dog hair in her room that the vacuum won't even work, and she seems like someone who is pretty pissy most of the time, I honestly just hope her life continues to be as shitty as it seems to be. That, and she eats glass. Adios mutha fuckas.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NYC

"I've become sort of a bookfair groupie..."
Barry Pateman

FUCK IT! I'll be there. NYC. Coming in couple days before and staying for a bit. Let's bust some mad chills and shit.

Hit me up.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vengeance Rains Down



Don't I look like Alec Baldwin in this picture? Hmm...maybe.

I'm back. All I've got to show for it is some chapped lips, a head cold, some embarrassing stories, the tail end of a depression, and a fair amount of petty cash. But, overall it was a good - and interesting time. There wasn't anything inside the bookfair that happened that was super crazy. Someone from Green Anarchy didn't get into a fight with one of the organizers. The organizers didn't confront the Santa Cruz people. AK Press didn't have a huge banner that was a review from Green Anarchy. Etc.

Having said that, I think that the bookfair has reached a new level of poverty for itself. There seems to be less and less tables out there every year that appear to actually be anarchist projects, and beyond that, projects that have anything to do with actually action or revolt. There are tables about sex books, tables with lots of books about general leftist stuff, and tables with patches. There are few tables for groups that are actually engaging in projects and doing things (although there are a few exceptions: Bound Together, AK Press, Little Black Cart, IWW, Fire to the Prisons, and so on...)

Anyway. So, I went to this thing. I tabled, I socialized, I also spoke. Couple things I want to touch on:

First off, as I'm sure many of you out there will hear or read, people from Modesto Anarcho Crew dumped a bucket of water on the RCP's table. This was about 30 minutes after they were kicked out of the bookfair and asked to leave by organizers. They were given about 5 minutes to leave and they did not. They then had their stuff physically picked up and moved for them. The RCP was not asked to come to the event, and did not respect the wishes of the organizers to leave the space. They then set up there stuff on the outside of the bookfair. Let us be clear. They were there to recruit for their political party - we are not apart of the same movement in the least, even if we do find ourselves in the streets with them on occasion.

Yes, people from MAC did dump a bucket of water on their table later in the day. No, it wasn't me. Yes, of course, I support the action fully. You can read something that someone from MAC put up on indybay here. The RCP has responded with a statement denouncing those who "attacked" them, and has the online signatures up of those who are against the action of MAC and those who kicked out the RCP. While I'm never surprised of people acting in this manner, I think some of the comments online (at indybay for sure, but more surprisingly from infoshop.org) are really embarrassing.

People are saying we are "macho" for doing this. I fail to see how macho it is to pour water on someone's shit, funny and silly maybe, but not macho. Anyway, I could go on forever, but here's something that I posted on infoshop that I think says it all for me:

I feel the need to comment on this because I am a member of Modesto Anarcho Crew, but also am someone who watched giddly as my comrades pored a bucket of water on the RCP's table from inside the bookfair's walls (meaning, I didn't participate in the action of soiling thier table directly).

Anyway, couple points. I fail to see how this is macho chest thumping. People pored water on a table, get over it. It was funny and silly and it got them to leave. As Lawarence also pointed out, this whole RCP kick out thing was started when some of the 'older men' straight up picked up the RCP's shit and threw it out of the bookfair. Kudos to them. We didn't do anything violent, unless you think destroying the property of a Stalinist-Maoist Party is sad and it's wrong to rain on their day. What's next, people getting pissed if we put a whoopee cushion under a Green Party members butt? And as other people pointed out, we're not all a group of white guys. We are made up of women and men who range from white, latino, to native american. Don't put us in your boxes because they're not going to fit.

We don't see this as a 'sectretarian' action, because we are not in a sect of the same movement as the RCP. They are the left wing of capital and a (murderous) state in waiting.

I also fail to see how calling ourself a crew is alienating to other people. Realistically at this point, many of us have not interest in trying to justify our actions to a movement that continues to disapoint and alienate us from it. Our homes become foreclosed on and you fix bikes. We lose hours and jobs and you try and get us to read zines about steampunk. We try and articulate our ideas and break out of activism and are called out for 'alienating' people. We take action and are scolded.

It seems that the unwanted children of capital just can't win under anarchism's rules. That's fine, we play by our own.

"the left has labeled us hooligans - we intend to be much worse."


Anyway, yeah. I'm really to the point where I couldn't give a fuck about what 95% of the anarchists out there in the US have to say, what they do, or what they care about.

Next up, Modesto Anarcho was reviewed in Anarchy magazine for being "embarrassing," and "incoherant," which is kind of like Slingshot calling your magazine "insurrectionary" or "militant." Hahaha. Then they get mad that we don't send them stuff to review! Actually we did send them a copy of every issue for a while, but they only just now reviewed it. I'm not mad that they gave us a bad review, I'm more bummed that Aragorn! seemed to drop the ball on his critique of the magazine. The review was really short and I didn't get much out of it. I may also be blowing my own horn here, but I think MA has been an important publication for a while now, and I think you can't dismiss it that quickly. But, then again, they just did.

My thing is NOT in the new Rolling Thunder! Boo! I understand though, and crack Crimethinc agents have assurred me that my thing might come out through their blog, so peep that.

So anyway, in the midst of this, I was also getting ready to speak in front of a crowd. I spoke in the Cafe area, not the main stage area, which some people were saying. I was given 30 minutes, but for some reason only talked for about 12 minutes before someone with a five minute note card came in and told me to shut up. Anyway, not matter. After that we came out for a discussion and that was going kind of good, until the RCP came up and started harassing people with MAC for dumping shit on them. That kind of killed the discussion, but...what are you going to do?

So, hopefully soon the next issue of vengeance will be up. Be sure to check back here soon and often.

Lastily, the audio for my talk is right here.

Also, if you want a copy of Vengeance #2, write to:

Modesto Anarcho
PO Box 3027
Modesto, CA 95353

Friday, March 13, 2009

We'll Always Have Paris '68

So of course on a day that I could work and take off to do yard work at my parents house to help them out, I get like 8 calls for work. I passed up a history class today to take it easy and get ready for the bookfair - fuck me. It just proves how much I hate work when about an extra hour of sleep is worth more than a days pay. Anyway...

Hope to meet a lot of new faces and friends this weekend in SF - and see old ones.

I tried in vain all yesterday to upload the new Vengeance, but just as well. I had a quote from the movie 'Sweeny Todd' in the new issue, and I spelled it 'Tweeny Todd.' I already changed it, but thanks to my friend who pointed it out.

Anyway, V2 now exists only on copy form. I have a little over one hundred copies. 7 pages long.

Anyway - Vengeance 2, unleashed upon the world.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Autonomia Book

Anyone read this?

http://www.generation-online.org/t/ppp.htm

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MAC Tin TIn PDF Up Now

http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2009/03/04/breakingfree.pdf

Introduction to Vengeance #2


Where the proles, where the proles, where the proles at? You better rep that if you gonna front that.


"The mode of production that existed one hundred years ago still exists today, and this mode of production - capitalism - is still defined by the exploitation of labor to produce surplus value. The accumulation of capital is still the order of the day. The proletariat are still the contradiction."
- xDonx, Total Destruction

"The proletariat cannot create its own new form of power except by becoming the class of consciousness. The growth of productive forces will not in itself guarantee the emergence of such a power — not even indirectly by way of the increasing dispossession which that growth entails. Nor can a Jacobin-style seizure of the state be a means to this end. The proletariat cannot make use of any ideology designed to disguise its partial goals as general goals, because the proletariat cannot preserve any partial reality that is truly its own."
Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle

Another day another dollar they say? Yeah fucking right. That's what it feels like I'm making, one fucking dollar. I think I've become a commuter, fuck this shit. I wake up at 6:30 nearly every morning and if I've taken a shower the night before I lay there for probably too long and by about 6:50 I'm in my car hurtling down the street towards the freeway. I'm then stuck in the car for the next 40 minutes, and depending if I I get stuck behind farm equipment or some slow fucker, I'm usually late to work by about 5-10 minutes. This is my life, and it's ending second by second. I usually go to sleep at 12 midnight or about 1 AM, usually because I'm hanging out with friends at my house, working on various projects, drinking, or watching a movie. I also try and spend time with my friend who is dating one of my room mates and sense he works nights, he usually wakes up when I'm getting off work. The times in between our sleep and work patterns are some of the few times that we get to see each other. In the late hours of the night, we attempt to steal moments from Capital. Like it or not, our lives, how we live them, the time that we have to sleep, be awake, and do what we need to do is all structured around work. Even if we are unemployed, living off of dumpstered bagels and riding a train in the middle of Nebraska somewhere, we are still subject to the dictates of Capital and its force upon society. We work in warehouses, classrooms, and retail stores. We exist to move, to transport, sell, and reproduce the commodity based society. We often just think of ourselves as simply having shitty lives and jobs. We often pretend that a few more years at junior college will really make things somehow swing in our favor. We often just call ourselves "people," but history has called us by another name: proletarians. We are the agent of chaos in the house of cards which is this class society - for we are the contradiction within it.

The sweeping force of proletarianization across the earth is all powerful and grows daily. Indeed, Capital must expand and grow if it is to continue - as long as it exists, a geniune human community is impossible. No one from the indigenous peoples of Papua New Guinea who face the imposition of mines and industrial development on their lands to people like my parents who work in somewhat secure white collar unionized jobs can escape the increasing push of both the physical and emotional poverty that is class society. And the new crsis of Capital is rising. As the ranks of the homeless swell. The ranks of those in poverty swell. The ranks of those displaced and driven from their homes swell. The ranks of the dead swell...The civilization of Capital seeks to encompass all; to expand the desert from here to everywhere. The global Left has shown itself to be nothing but the 'loyal opposition' to Capital; meaning that it is loyal to Capital itself. The Left offers us nothing but more of the same - not even just a kinder gentler capitalism anymore, but a better, more structured, more 'green' and better organized one. The tune that everyone is now playing is that of, "Things are bad all over." It seems as if everyone now is impacted by the recession in the United States. I find it hard to not find someone who has not been laid off, lost work, been foreclosed on, had family deported or attacked by ICE pigs, or seen their standard of living decrease, or at least know someone who has. Everywhere the desert is growing. Everywhere we are all gasphing for water. That reality is as clear as my bank account, the carcenigens in your breast milk, and the pesticides poising everything from the slaves in the fields to you as you eat the food that they picked.

How's that for a fucking uplifting opener? First off, I want to say that the feedback that I got from Vengeance #1 was great. Even most of the critique that it received was largely a lot better than I thought it was going to be, and most people had mostly intelligent things to say in regards to the points that I was bringing up. I think the best part of the feedback, and the project in general, was the amount of people that wrote to me and said that what I was writing were things that they had always thought but were afraid to say before or had never had the chance to articulate. I think the fact that there can now be a move from the "I" to "we" is great. What Vengeance has shown is that there is a body of people within anarchism who are working class, have working class experiences, and want to articulate a working class anarchist resistance. Furthermore, Vengeance has shown that there are many who are fed up with the middle class ideological push of activism and liberalism that passes as anarchism in the United States and hunger for something more. Remember comrade, we, the proles within the revolutionary movement have let them take this shit over. We can blame the 60's, the hippies, or punk rock (actually the break with the working class goes back to WW II, but fuck it), but we cannot escape the reality that the proletarian movement as a conscious body of physical force against class society (and thus against itself as a class) has lain dormant for far to long and that the revolutionary movement has become a playground for the middle class. If we're pissed and not doing anything about it then we should shut the fuck up and go about attending the next shitty workshop or sit through another fucking stupid conversation about 'Steampunk' or something dumb. Where once there was bank robberies and general strikes, daily newspapers and running gun battles, now there is only constant bickering about boring things like veganism and endless seminars on bike repair. If this pisses you off you should do something about it. What are you waiting for? This is my intervention, what is yours?

The goal of this publication is still the same - to draw blood, to fuck shit up, to piss people off, and to build revolutionary proletarian culture. Already I'm hearing feedback from people who are starting to put some of these ideas into action and this excites me. It excites me because this is something real and tangible on the street, as I do not desire in any way to construct a new politics of identity around being 'working class,' nor do I wish to start seeing breakout meetings at gatherings and conferences where we get together and complain about people with trust funds and how we have to go to work or some shit. That comment also isn't a knock at workshops against white supremacy or people who talk about sexism during meetings - this is just me stating what I want to come out of this project. I want to see things that build our power and make us feel good while doing it. I'm interested in meeting others and actualizing our ideas through action. This to a certain degree is already starting, as publications like Antioch Arrow (East Bay CA) and The Rebel (Pacific Northwest) have also taken many of these concepts as their own and run with them. If feedback and response to this publication continues, I will continue to run with this project. Class society and sadly the United States anarchist movement itself gives me too much ammo that I can not help but load this gun and aim it at this fucking world. So for those picking this up for the first time, please, get in contact with me if this zine moves you - or if you want to talk about these ideas in greater detail - even if you disagree with them. I can be contacted at crudo_vengeance@hushmail.com or at myspace.com/crudomod (yes yes - kill yourself). I can also be contacted via snail mail at: Modesto Anarcho, PO Box 3027, Modesto, CA 95353. You can also check out my blog at wewillhaveourvengeance.blogspot.com. This desire for contact is not simply for face value or just something you put at the start of every zine - I would really like to talk to anyone who is moved by these ideas or anything that I have to say.

I do not wish to become a talking head, propose the start of an organization or some form of network (not that I'm opposed to such things), or become some sort of leader. Above all I wish to find people - to make connections with others; to create and build real friendships. I want to continue to turn this "I" into "we." We have shown that our experiences are important and shared by others; now it is time to turn that misery of our daily lives into action, into rage, into vengeance. Not only on this world, but on this movement that claims so boldy that it will free us.

Get Your Vengeance On



So if you're following this blog, you know that I promised that Vengeance #2 is on the way, and it is. I will have copies of the new issue as well as issue number one (although it's the version that's not online and has lots of funny mistakes - but wot the fok), at the SF bookfair. Anyway. I started putting the new issue together last night - I've been working on the text for about two months. I'm cutting most of the poems since no ones seems to care about those and most of them are too dark and violent to print anyway. But whatever.

Most of the essays are just a continuation of the article "make the total destroy on middle class anarchism," and respond to some of the critics of the last issue. I also will go into some ideas for crew based activities. There will also be some poetry and lots of quotes from various authors and homies, so...maybe I quoted you, check it out. I'll be posted up essays as often as I can on here, so be sure to check back. They will be somewhat unedited, so if there's a typo or two - deal with it.

In other personal egomaniacal propaganda, I think you can still pick up copies of Vengeance #1 at the SubRosa infoshop, a place I was at last week and saw that Vengeance is now being sold for $3 and is a staff pick. Check out this fine establishment and get a copy of the magazine as well as the new Modesto Anarcho. They also carry a wonderful selection of indigenous resistance publications and magazines like Rolling Thunder and 325. You can also pick up a copy at Bound Together in SF, I believe. I'm still on for the bookfair, speaking that is. I'm interested in perhaps moving the conversation outside since I don't think 20 minutes will be long enough to really have an in depth talk. Everyone should also totally come by the Modesto Anarcho table. We perhaps will be the only table with copies of Invisible Committee texts such as the Call and the Coming Insurrection as well as other bad ass shit.

New Stuff Out Now! Secret crudo Passage!

So, Crimethinc has published a new Rolling Thunder. If you haven't picked this up yet, it looks amazing. Lots of full color photos, nice design, etc. This issue will have reports on the Oakland riots, Greece, and the RNC/DNC stuff. I'll be excited to see what he Crimethinc folks will have in store for us this time. View more info about it here. While I won't give many details, I will have a small contribution to this issue of Rolling Thunder. You'll have to read through the "Tales from the RNC" at the end of the magazine and see if you can find the one that I wrote. Here's a hint, it takes place above the ground...

Also, much respect for the homies out of Antioch CA. Like Modesto where I reside, Antioch has been hit hard by foreclosure, poverty, and the recession. They publish and excellent magazine there, are working on a variety of projects, and are putting on the Far East Bay Anarchist Conference this weekend. Should be excellent, plus I'm speaking. So show up if you live in the area, bring your distro, and come out if you're interested in serious community/class based insurrectionary street level action. Info on the conference here and the new AA here.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

On the Current Crisis (Print this Shit!)

This text was written in a relatively short period of time in an effort to spark awareness and discussion of the current global situation, its pitfalls and possibilities, from a perspective which rejects domination and exploitation in all forms, which wants to put an end to all of the divisions imposed by class, nation, gender and so on in modern society. It is an analysis offered as a tool for use by anyone interested in radical change, not as a report on the facts of current global trends and unrest.

Download from news.infoshop.org or anarchistnews.org

Foreword: Class, conflict and crisis

It’s hard to know where to begin this story, as it concerns stituations exploding right now around the world, as well as thousands of years of class struggle, cycles of conflict and accumulation which make up so much of what we know as history. Hard times in the economy of the rich means political attacks on the common people. It is a moment where social and technological “progress” could provide the means to extract more profit by separating us from our survival in new ways. But it is also a moment when counter-attack against the ruling class could bring about total social change—a revolution in which all the existing system’s defenders like institutions, cops, commodities and money will be swept off the field.
[Man! The crisis sounds fucking awesome!]

This spring: as prices rise and wages drop, food riots and guerrilla attacks occur around the globe. Into the fall, “mass incidents” among the uprooted in China’s sprawling manufacturing zones, and millions due to be turned out of their homes in the U.S. and Europe. In Greece, widespread rebellion among students, youth, and immigrants causes the police to run out of tear gas within weeks. In Iceland, protestors smash the windows of the world’s oldest parliament, and the government resigns. This past month has seen burning barricades and blockaded border crossings in northern Mexico. More and more people have been attacking the governments and economies that rule them, from the Yellow Sea to the Caribbean, the Baltic to San Francisco Bay. What is going on? Why are people acting like this? What do they want? Is is the same thing you want?

Throughout the world, these and other events are being linked to the so-called “credit crisis” everyone is talking about. It’s obvious that something massive is shuddering through the globalized capitalist world we now inhabit—a growing storm which could be the sign of its coming end. So, how we respond depends on what we want to see left in its wake. A revitalized empire of capitalist nation-states? A more socialistic Pepsi system to replace capitalism’s Coke? Or something else entirely? Considering these and other questions, we will seek the roots of the crisis in the foundation of the modern system.

Capital, productivity and money have ruled for so long, most of us can’t imagine living another way—or even the possibility of living another way. But this failure of imagination does not correspond to a lack in reality. For example, food doesn’t come from the supermarket, it comes from the earth. If we planted gardens in every lawn and golf course, if we looted every supermarket and military base, we could feed ourselves. There are a million other ways we could live, but the elite have a different plan for the world.

So it is a question, then, of what has been inserted between us and our ability to provide for ourselves. This separation from power over the conditions of our existence is what creates class—not simply a lack of material possessions. People who have been dispossessed are forced to sell their labor or face state discipline: Marx and others have called this class the proletariat. Anarchists have spoken of the exploited and excluded; in the 18th century we were called the hewers of wood and drawers of water. We fill the prisons, service industries, welfare rolls, militaries and slums. We live by hourly wages, welfare, crime, or some combination. Whatever you want to call us, the defining quality of our existence is not simply that we don’t have enough things, but that we have little or no control over our lives: we are controlled by social power structures. As long as this has been the case, we have fought against this condition.

There are some who would replace capitalism with what they call a “higher” form of social organization. But we don’t need to replace capitalism or the class system, any more than we need to replace a brain tumor. The only common element of our class identity is our exploitation and lack of control; so we are united only in our negative project of destroying the economy which requires our exploitation, and the states and other hierarchal structures which enforce it. We fight to do away with class—then we will live as we see fit.
1. Into the present

“We are in Civil War: with the fascists, the bankers, the state, the media wishing to see an obedient society. There are no excuses, yet they once again try to use conspiracy theories to calm spirits down. The rage that had accumulated had to be expressed and should not, by any means, end. Throughout the world we are making headlines; it was about time that people rise up everywhere. The generation of the poor, the unemployed, the partially employed, the homeless, the migrants, the youth, is the generation that will smash every display window and will wake up the obedient citizens from their sleep of the ephemeral American dream. Don’t watch the news, consciousness is born in the streets.” —Association of employees of the suburb of Agios Dimitrios in Athens

Some people managed to replace the tumor of capitalism with a Marxist tumor; however, most of these have reverted to capitalism, since capitalism run by state bureaucrats is only a slightly less efficient version of capitalism run by businessmen. With the collapse of the Eastern Bloc starting as maybe the most potent reminder, for about a decade the main source of social conflict was recognized as that between people and power, owners and owned, workers and work. The economic restructuring that took place in the wake of this capitalist triumph pushed more and more people around the world deeper into dependence on the central systems of capitalist economic organization, the fluctuating markets. Working class solidarity and power has been largely broken up by the progress of technology and social engineering, as well as the mass displacement of people all around the world leaving their pillaged native lands in search of employment—refugees of the mindless, typhoon-like violence of economics. It has been argued that the main characteristic of the modern working class is now its precariousness: some have suggested the name precariat.

But capital, too, is precarious. It needs us to keep working and following the rules, and to this end it spends heavily on police, prisons, surveillance systems and so on to keep us in line. Capital requires the continual circulation of commodities, so a prolonged disruption could be very bad for the economy.

About 7½ years ago, this phase of capitalist restructuring—which had provoked resistance throughout the world, particularly the West and the Global South—came to an end and was replaced by a more forceful, nationalistic, warmongering period around the world—the “War on Terror” of the global bourgeoisie. But the war machines, not surprisingly, have become bogged down, and so has the economy that depended on them. A number of risky investments went very badly, and now the responsible ruling class is escaping with massive hand outs drawn from public funds. We are getting stuck with the bill, in the form of social spending cuts, rising unemployment, and in many parts of the world, shortages of basic necessities such as food and fuel. This “crisis,” which is really just more business as usual, has also given momentum to a new cycle of resistance and repression, this time on a truly global scale. We are supposed to keep busy fighting each other for the crumbs from the master’s table. But we are also capable of flipping the whole damn table over.
2. Response from below

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. bourgeois has selected a head of state with a knack for reassuring them that everything is going to be fine. (Expect to see many more silver-tongued liberals in high places soon, particularly Iceland and perhaps France and Greece.)

But everything is not going to be fine. Social unrest has reappeared again in the metropolis of capital. Across southern and eastern Europe, in Iceland, southern China and even the Bay Area of California, a force of widespread negativity appears that hungers not for “replacements” or reforms, but the destruction of all barriers to the power of our class. In North America and Europe, revolutionaries have stepped up campaigns of sabotage targeting the property of banks and governments. Every attempt is made to explain away the riots as economic discontent (as if they expressed a desire for a “healthier” capitalist economy), or sometimes as outrage over police abuses (as if cops could be anything but guardians of the state and economy) or for the “rights” of immigrants (again, more important is the “right” of states to banish or imprison people from the “wrong” places). The sabotages are simply ignored for the most part, or explained, along with the rioting, as pointless, meaningless, irrational violence. But what do they really express, these interruptions of society’s gleaming, mass-produced, right-angled facades?

As Os Cangaceiros (rebels against the French prison system expansion of the 1980s) observed, “Hooliganism is an immediate expression of dissatisfaction.” If there is misery to be found in work, and the world that forces us to work, there is joy in destroying it. These interruptions communicate nothing beyond themselves: bodies manifesting their desires in violence against the most sacred foundations of our social order, property and the rule of law. Consider how often cars are flipped, smashed, or set alight, showing up in so many news photos like temporary monuments of revolt, the only monuments the working class has or will ever erect for itself. The omnipresence of the car in modern society, its domination of space, its stinking exhaust, its vacuum-like effect on wallets: one of the great democratic, technological wonders of the modern age seems to be nothing but a magnet for proletarian fury.

Rioting and sabotage have been proletarian weapons since time immemorial: ways in which our desires acquire force, and our class, power. But what will it take to carry the destructive project through to its conclusion? We wouldn’t say, as a Marxist might, that the “crisis” provides us with a free ticket to revolution. Such crises are periodic; obviously, the material conditions become much worse for most of us. But, it also is a moment when the onslaught of development and progress lets up. People becoming critical of the structures which got us into this mess may desire to become powerful and go on the offensive. This is what we are seeing right now. Those who desire existence beyond control and beyond class are not interested in a “healthier” capitalism, or for that matter, progress with its encroaching enclosures or democracy with its endless dialogues. We want our lives for our own, and we are tired of waiting.
3. Who’s gonna pay?

“In a future revolutionary period, the most subtle and most dangerous defenders of capitalism will not be the people shouting pro-capitalist and pro-statist slogans, but those who have understood the possible point of total rupture. Far from eulogizing TV commercials and social submission, they will propose to change life ... but to that end, call for building a true democratic power first. If they succeed in dominating the situation, the creation of this new political form will use up people’s energy, fritter away radical aspirations and, with the means becoming the end, will once again turn revolution into an ideology.” —Gilles DauvĂ©

So, this is not just a complaint about our material conditions—it is a response to the elite’s attempts to make us deal with the consequences of the crisis they created, which has now become an opportunity for them to escape with the profits while we face a shortage of even the crumbs falling from their table. It is a response to finding ourselves at their mercy. It is a refusal to sit still and submit to the worsening of our conditions by obeying their dominance over our existence. And it could be our opportunity to dramatically transform the organization of human social life—a time to rise up, to take what we need, and to bring new ways of living into being (or to breathe new life into ways that predate 10,000 years of insititutional authority, if you prefer).

Of course we want better conditions, and no doubt, some of us would be contented by that. But for those of us who want to move beyond hierarchy, class, the supremacy of material survival and all the dependence that requires—making us subject to continual processes of crisis and destruction—we must move beyond this interpretation which is so useful to those who would be the new bosses. This demands casting direct action, no matter how dramatic, into a new direction, a new strategy which is focused on liberation from our conditions of class and control, and makes no compromises on this. Make no mistake, there is no shortage of bosses-in-waiting, and they are watching unfolding events very carefully—watching, getting involved, and trying to grab the reins by creating “counter-institutions” and political parties, harnessing the force of our revolt in order to propel themselves to power by striking a new deal between the productive forces and the exploited multitude, renewing the false peace of a society at war with itself.

After all, there are things we lack, but all we lack are not just things: class is, once again, a matter of power or access to the means of our own existence. So freedom is not our degree of “protection” granted us by the state from its own power, just as well-being is not simply the amount of welfare or jobs granted us for the sake of the system’s stability. This quality, this difference, must color all we think and do. It must define our condition of seeking to reclaim control of our own conditions. And it must be the starting point for any attacks we launch on the elite. We must simply take whatever we need in order to survive and fight. We cannot “fix” the economy even if we wanted to: tipping the balance will mean making the ruling class pay. It will be the end of paying for progress with our lives, our hours, our blood.
4. Our bailout

“Fuck welfare, we say reparations.”
—Dead Prez

In the past the elite have regained social control in such situations through buying off those willing and able to compromise with some greater material security, and suppressing those who won’t. This may or may not be possible today. We can direct our efforts towards making it less possible. To the typhoon of capital, we can only oppose the typhoon of insurrection. There is no precise roadmap to the unmappable freedom of a post-proletarianized future: we can only gamble and experiment. But we can look at past “crises” and their effects, and their relation to class conflict. Of course, a thorough historical overview is as beyond the scope and intent of this text as a thorough detailing of present day struggles, but suffice to say that in many cases, contracting economies have provoked rebellion from proletarian masses with few ways out. These are the days that frighten the bosses and cops: when the workforce—the exploited class—is backed into a corner, like any animal, it’s most dangerous.

The depressions of 1837 (caused by real estate speculation, much like this one) and 1857 sparked food riots in New York, Philadelphia and other cities. In the depression of 1873, 20,000 unemployed workers—many of them anarchists—marched under banners demanding “Bread or Blood!” in Chicago, winning greatly expanded welfare payments in the city. However, the public at large continued to suffer during the “Long Depression” 1873-97, a period which “coincided” with capitalist accumulation through new technologies like the internal combustion engine, the assembly line, electrification and the telegraph (the “Second Industrial Revolution”).

The Stock Market Crash of 1929 and ensuing Great Depression came at the end of a decade of intense mechanization and urbanization in the U.S.—that is to say, the building up of a precarious labor force in the cities. Vast numbers of people were impoverished, and responded directly. Throughout the country, the unemployed began to carry out mass looting and organized raids to provide food for themselves, their families and communities. In March 1929, two months after the crash, over a thousand people waiting in line for bread from the Salvation Army in New York City attacked and looted passing trucks delivering bread to a hotel. Across the country massive demonstrations began to occur in almost every city, some under banners reading “Fight—Don’t Starve!” Many of these gatherings turned into battles with the police, as the rich feared they were losing their grip on “public” space to hungry, angry, leaderless mobs. Bread or Blood is a threat, not a question. How do we gain leverage? We carry out our threats—or at least enough of them to make the bosses fear the power of our class; to remind them they are outnumbered and cowardly. And as the second banner slogan suggests, we can use public action to communicate and find solidarity with our peers, rather than to communciate political messages to politicians. We could create situations in which to act as a social force on behalf of our own well-being—and against all management and all political relations.

More recently, the piquetero movement of the Argentine economic collapse of 2001 saw extensive use of blockades of major roadways, bridges, large stores and government buildings. Like always, the demands are for better material conditions, because we need them but not because that’s all we care about. The formation of an insurgent sociability must be also part of our reason for fighting. Like the U.S. unemployed movement of the 1930s, the piqueteros have tended towards informal and autonomous organization. Many anarchists have favored this kind of organizing to carry out attacks on the class enemy, and to defend our class: loosely structured, held together more by the periodic demonstrations than by regular and formal affiliations; they gather momentum from direct action victories which yield money or food or a halt to evictions. We lose momentum not simply when we are jailed, but when we compromise with the logic of order, of pacification and of “Parties” that represent us. Our politics is that of direct action.

Another way we can impact the situation is by attacking key elements of the social machinery which the elite need to control us, and without which their control will fall apart that much faster. As mentioned, the modern global economy requires continuous circulation of comodities, and continuous sources of energy. Its arteries are the communication and transportation networks and also the electrical grid and its sources. This infrastructure is widespread and not easily defended. In oil-producing regions of the global south, like Iraq, Colombia and Nigeria, attacks on oil infrastructure are common. In Canada, First Peoples and their allies have a tradition of highway and rail blockades in their resistance to colonization; in Europe, anarchists have a tradition of fighting against rail systems, and in the UK to road construction. The U.S. has a long and under-reported history of attacks on the electrical grid. Little is known of intentional destruction of fiber optic cables, although they are fragile, often buried close to the surface and form the backbone of major telecommunications capacities.

The elite will also attempt to find new sources of capital, no doubt through new technologies like biotech and nanotech which offer them control of life and matter to an unprecedented degree. Technologies of social control will also continue to extend their scale and scope, like GPS, RFID and surveillance linked to sophisticated analytical “data-mining” software (pattern recognition, identity resolution, voice recognition and other biometrics). This social control will also enhance the regime of borders and prisons: capital only moves freely as we are fenced in. It is up to us to find the weak spots in these barriers. Resistance to these confinements will enable the formation of links of solidarity against our common foes.

And this is, really, the point. The end of the present miserable situation and the birth of freedom is not to be found in the sum total or quantity of destructive acts, but in the quality of new social relationships. These will be able to come into being in the absence of dominating structures, and more particularly, in the process of destroying them.

We should also take note of where capital, both financial and political, is still expanding: prisons and security, certainly, also “green” technologies and businesses. The ecological movement itself has been recycled by capitalism, whose “eco-friendliness” so popular these days is simply a way of trying to fit its insatiable appetite for “resources” to the reality of our finite earth, and to mobilize us once again for reasons of mere survival when it is the relations between human beings which have got us into this horrible ecological mess in the first place. We should not be appeased in the slightest by all the appeals they make to sustainability, since it is profit and power they want to sustain, not ecosystems, and in any event, not our freedom. If we really do want the world to live we are better off destroying the system that’s killing it than filling its needs as buyers of energy-saving lightbulbs and eco-conscious voters.
5. Swarm and destroy

When they elite talk about rioting and public disorders, they talk of “mob mentality,” of a gathering of people becoming charged and descending into “mindless,” animalistic behavior. According to theories of “crowd psychology,” others may be drawn into this vortex of craziness and lose their identities and ethics as well. And yet, some of us feel more ourselves than ever while in struggle alongside our community. Consider the intricately coordinated flocking and swarming behaviors of birds, bugs and fish: it actually indicates a great degree of awareness of oneself and those around. The leaderless (literally an-archic) behavior of swarms shows the possibility of spontaneously coordinated self-organization. And it is obviously true that many people may want and feel drawn to join into making such a break from business as usual. The question is, if police don’t stop it, what does a riot become?

The instability of capital, the tension towards freedom and resistance within all relations of control, means that revolution is always immanent—that is, its possibility is always close at hand, even if it is not literally imminent, or about to happen. We don’t know what will happen, of course. Here we disagree with marxism and with all models of an evolutionary progress which will eventually end misery, oppression, etc. The only progress we see unfolding is the grinding to dust of human beings, the earth and all its inhabitants between the gears of capital and technology. This is a process our revolution will conclude only by interruption, or in other words, insurrection: a total, violent and qualitative break with existing society and history, in which the suppressed desires of individuals can flow forth and destroy the structures within which we are caged.

This process could be seen at work in the Oscar Grant riots in Oakland, where a gathering of people to protest a police murder wound up unleashing a much broader current of rage, against stores, cars, and ruling class-imposed order in the city itself, followed by a full week of nights of social conflict both open and clandestine. Or in Greece, where much better-established self-organized anti-authoritarian communities went on the offensive during a similar moment of outrage, and in its wake, many thousands of youth and “ordinary people” not only participated in street fighting but began to take control of their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods. Oaxaca in ’06 would be another recent example. The point is that society is like a piece of fabric with a tear in it, and if someone pulls on either side of the tear, the whole thing could be torn apart.

In order for the self-organized attack to spread in this way, we should keep in mind not just the quantitative affect of our tactics but their quality of being reproducible. Is it something a lot of people could do without dedicating their existence to militancy? If so, why shouldn’t they? As tears appear in the fabric of class society, what can we do to make them bigger? It is urgent to be able to communicate about the attacks happening from both sides—the moves and counter-moves of social war.
Onward: Setting fire to the future

“Revolutionary conditions will not fall out of the sky on to our laps, we have to reach up and rip them from the sky or live a life of perpetual misery. Flesh and blood people, who love and hate, who eat, sleep and shit, can create social revolution because we are capable of far more than is obligated to us in this world suffocated by exploitation.”­ —an anonymous participant in the recent unrest in Greece

We understand that not only do we not need these structures, we need to get rid of them—that the supermarket is not feeding us but starving us, of not just food but freedom and happiness. And then we might burn and loot it. Revolt is not abstract, it is intimately specific: authority affects our lives, and our wills assert themselves against it. This conflict within all hierarchal social relations is known increasingly to anarchists as social war. It is the tension present within all class societies to upset the precarious balance of power, and knock the elite from their pedestals. This includes not just class but race, gender, nationality, sexuality, and all the other categories they have invented as walls to keep us within.

The revolt of the precarious against the conditions which enforce our precarity must not stop at anything short of their complete destruction. The “peace” of obedience to managers, bosses, leaders and “business as usual” has only ever, can and will only ever spell continued misery for us and our struggles. So our business is not to compromise.

The destruction of existing systems and structures is necessary for free individuals and communities to flourish. This freedom may come to be felt most clearly through the process of destructive social revolution itself. Projects which seek to escape capital and authority, to create community outside of it, like community gardens, squats, off-the-grid/back-to-the-land projects, etc, are useful to the extent that they contribute to supporting revolt. In other words, infoshops may have a lot to contribute to insurrections, but opening an infoshop doesn’t, by itself, bring the insurrection closer. Positive projects are necessary but incomplete as a revolutionary strategy.

There is a famous anarchist quote about “building the new world in the shell of the old.” Many have used this line to advertise projects such as co-operative businesses as effective tactics in themselves, without attacking the existing world. In fact, in this case the word “shell” means something more like “ruins.” (Similarly, the observation of the French Situationists that “revolt is therapeutic” has been often misinterpreted as “therapy is revolutionary.”)

The destructive project is not only messy, difficult and dangerous, but it is not an end in itself. Both during and after, we still have our lives to lead, but the point is living them as self-determined individuals—not as a class. This is where the usefulness of our analysis, of any words we may transmit towards you in an attempt to affect your thoughts and behavior and to inspire the expression of your desires, your longings for freedom, joy and meaning, reaches its limit. Our greatest hope is the end of our relevance and role as anarchist revolutionaries, through the end of our existence as a class and of collective identities defined by relations of authority. We look for paths toward this in whatever situation. We hope you will take this to heart, and share it with the world through whatever means you can. Remember we are everywhere. Our rebellion does not begin in this or that place for this or that reason; it is a transmission appearing on different frequencies, as necessary and continual as our breath.

Solidarity to all ungovernables, and fire to this world.

March 2009