Tuesday, December 22, 2009

leak//leak///leak - from ma 13

Introduction to forth coming Modesto Anarcho #13.

Everywhere. No matter if you are a worker in the fields. A student in the schools. Someone locked up. Facing deportation. A beating for who you choose to love. Forced to sell your time and energy to survive. Pay for a place to stay. Everywhere. We have a mandate for class war. If you want a reason you need only look at the amount of foreclosed homes on your street as the bankers that own them fill their gullets from a troff of bailout cash. Take a short break while picking fruit and vegetables and feel as the pesticides seep into your skin and you are paid slave wages. Watch as your tuition costs jump through the roof as your hand graps the brand new lay off notice from work. Glance up from the want adds as your daughter cries and you remember that your food stamps have again run out. In the background of it all, police sirens - the slamming of the prison doors. As if to say, "We'll always have a place for you here..."

As capitalism's noose tightens around us, we struggle and attempt to gasp for air. We watch out for our friends and co-workers as we steal from work and from stores. We ignore the notices of 'foreclosure' and stay inside our homes for as long as possible - without paying rent. We come out of our cars and houses and into the streets to confront the police when someone is getting harassed and threatened with jail time. As we attempt to breathe; as we fight for more and more room, we also find others like us who are doing the same. Suddenly, the divisions between us based on race, sexuality, geography, and gender - disappear. We come to understand that those faced with a similar set of conditions, shared experiences, and moreover, the same enemies, can come to constitute a body of people with the power to turn this whole thing inside out. The film is called "The Disaster of Our Everyday Lives," and we've been selling popcorn in the lobby of this theater for as long as we can remember. We are glad that you have come outside with us just long enough to share a cigarette and to talk about burning the building to the ground...

But, in the midst of our discussion, we are interrupted by those that declare that we need petitions not graffiti. Politicians to vote for, not riots. Union bosses, not strikes and occupations. They have plans to march on Sacramento, to 'speak truth to power.' How sad. Power already knows the truth; it simply doesn't care. Those that seek to channel our discontent back into politics, the city council, 'the proper channels,' only wish to better manage and organize the world of rich and poor. The point however, has always been to destroy it. We are for insurrection, not activism. We want revolution, not reform. We want power for ourselves, not a seat at the table of our enemies.

"But who is this Modesto Anarcho Crew?," some ask. "Thieves, terrorists, hooligans, and criminals!," others reply. What we are is almost uninteresting. For we are the same as so many of our class. People who work jobs that never pay enough. Those who try and get by, but never quite do, on unemployment and food stamps. People who are 'represented' in unions, yet always have no control or power in their workplace. Those who steal when they are hungry. Those who have gone to jail and hated it. Who despise the police. Who hate la migra. Who crossed out every swastika they saw in the bathroom and rolled their eyes during every meeting at work. We are not interesting. We are average. Ordinary. Everyday. What we do. Oh, what we do. Now that is the stuff that is interesting. This magazine is part of what we do. Our journal we unleash upon the world. For three years we have done this. For three years we have given this out for free and sent thousands of copies into prisons. We get fan mail. We receive threats from the police. We get respect on the street. We gain enemies. Such is life.

People are going on strike. Kids are taking over their schools. Neighborhoods are fighting the police. Our enemies gear up to confront us - and try and calm us down. For three years our project has been to document the struggles of working and poor people in our area. To talk shit on those among us who want peace with our enemies and give props to those who instead offer fire and rage. Three years of this; and we have only just begun. So dry your eyes over the state of the world. Someone has your back, more than you know. Someone else knows what's it like and is ready to get crazy.

"Who are we?" As the song goes: We are your friends. You'll never be alone again.


  1. Dang beautiful eloquent shit. That is 99% of my reaction.

    The other bit is this. You say "Suddenly, the divisions between us based on race, sexuality, geography, and gender - disappear." This is an old-school class struggle model, we all get together against the rich... aight but... how is it different to say everything boils down to class than to say it's all about race or it's all about gender, that other divisions and isms are just the product of the ism that I care about most (which is always the one that I'm most oppressed by)?

    Isn't totalfuckinghatred of patriarchy or that queerbasher or the racism of the police more fuel for the fire?

    Isn't this why we say social war not class war?

    And are there not false class divisions that divide non-owners against each other, working-poor against lumpen, blue-collar against white-collar, and middle-class against working-class?

  2. It's obviousily not "all about class," as you notice, the narratives offered are not all about 'work.' Although, I think one can place the various oppressions into a class context.

    Class decomposition happens when the class is broken up based upon things like race and gender. Class recomposition is the coming together of the class in struggle to abolish itself and class society. In doing so, it must confront the reactionary eleements not only in society but also within it that seek to divide it.

    How is hatred of pariarchy, homophobia, or white supremacy somehow removed from destroying class society?

    Class war, social war. Semantics. Since when is class not social?

    Middle class against working class? I would hope so - being that the middle class is the class of specialized social managers such as judges, politicians, etc.


  3. I guess I've never been able to nail down what MAC's definition of "middle class" is. The two positions you list, judges and politicians, aren't ones I commonly associate with the middle class.

  4. The middle class is the class of people who manage and direct the working class. Such as doctors, professors, lawyers, judges, business owners of 'small' businesses, many politicians (such as city council memebers), etc.


  5. and activists, yeah?
    I think your definition of middle class is pretty cool (altho, professors but not teachers? really?). but then we have to admit that that understanding of class is not widely held. That the vast majority of working-class people identify as middle class. And that the reason for the deployment of middle-class identity is class decomposition (that is what I meant when I said MC vs WC). In which case, coming together as workers would mean the differences based on (false) class identity disappearing along with race, gender, etc. And then abolishing itself and class society, hell yeah.

    Still, I find this analysis suspect. Why? Because people have a tendency to make one system (usually the one that oppresses them most) central to their analysis, and branches other forms off from there. I've seen it done with making race central, with making patriarchy central, with binary gender, with domestication of animals, and of course with class--everybody has some idea of "this is the central or root form of oppression."

    Hope that clarifies what I was saying.

    -the one who made the first comment

  6. You seem to equate class more with social position than say, income. For instance, by your definition, there could be a low-level worker in an office who makes a shitload of cash would be considered working class while a dirt poor immigrant family that owns a convenience store in an inner-city neighborhood would be bourgeois.

  7. These are all shades of grey, but yeah, I think class has more to do with agency and one's relationship to the means of production, than perhaps, just income.