Rolling Thunder 11 – CrimethInc

10/12/15
  • After the crest
    • If we presume the goal of any tactic is always to maintain the momentum of a particular movement, we will never be able to do more that react quixotically against the inexorable passing of time. Rather than struggling to stave off dissolution, we should act with an eye to the future.
    • As soon as tactical or ideological disagreement is understood as a conflict between distinct social bodies, the horizon begins to close. The moment of potential depends on the fluidity of the movement, the circulation of ideas outside their usual domains, the emergence of new social configurations, and the openness of individual participants to personal transformation. The entrenchment of fixed camps undermines all of these.
    • One year’s breakthroughs are the next year’s limitations
    • During the burgeoning stage of a movement, participants often become fixated on certain tactics. There is a tendency to try to repeat one’s most recent successes; in the long run, this can only produce conservatism and diminishing returns.
  • Occupy Oakland
    • At its core, Occupy was about occupying. In Oakland and everywhere, it was about producing a form of life defined by mutual aid, self-organization, and autonomous action. It was about defending spaces free from police, politicians, and bosses…
    • The strength of “the camp form” was its ability to care out material zones of political antagonism that were not organized around petitioning the authorities for concessions through symbolic demonstration but directly providing for our own daily needs through the repurposing and reclamation of urban space.
    • In the context of this contagious form of revolt spreading through the communal liberation of space, the movement’s rejection of the need to issue any specific demands to authorities made perfect sense. Occupy’s power came from the proliferation and reproduction of these oppositional zones, not from its political sway.
    • The camp was no more violent or miserable then the city of Oakland is on any given day. Yet the level of everyday misery, alienation, and abuse that makes up the mundane reality of capitalist society is truly staggering, especially when concentrated in a plot of grass in the middle of an impoverished city. When we liberate urban space in the 21st century America, we have no choice but to confront the devastation produced by centuries of capitalism, conquest, and domination.
    • But the questions still remain: what would it mean to actually take care of each other and to collectively sustain and nurture an unstoppable insurrectionary struggle? How can we dismantle and negate the oppressive power relationships and toxic interpersonal dynamics we care with us into liberated spaces? How can we make room for the myriad of revolts within the revolt that are necessary to upend all forms of domination?
    • Another wave of struggle and unrest will undoubtedly explode in our streets and plazas sooner or later. Our task in the meantime is to cultivate fierce and creative forms of cooperating, care for each other, and fighting together that can help us smash through the fundamental limits of contemporary revolt when the time is right. If we can make substantial strides beyond the obstacles, police attacks and jail sentences will be no match for the uncontrollable momentum of our collective force.
  • Critique of ally politics
    • Affinity is just what it sounds like – the idea that we can work most easily with people who share our goals, and that our work will be strongest when our relationships are based in trust, friendship, and love. Mutual aid is the idea that we all have a stake in one another’s liberation and that when we act from that interdependence, we can share with one another as equals.
    • This gets very complicated, very quickly, s soon as the aspiring ally starts navigating through the world and discovers that there is no singular mass of black people, latino folks, or “people of color” to take guidance from, and that people within a single identity not only disagree with each other, but often have directly conflicting desires and politics. This means that one cannot be a white ally (for example) as an identity; one can be an ally to specific people of color in specific situation, but not to people of color as a whole category.
    • This sense of guilt, coupled with the idea that the only ethical way to act is to take direction from others, can make one feel powerless.
  • How do we fight gentrification
    • Essentially, gentrification is the process of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer embodied in real estate.
  • That is why it is necessary to begin again each time, identify the enemy, the class enemy, the social enemy, power, and attack it, always with new means. It is something of the work of Sisyphus, and anarchists have this quality of Sisyphus, of always starting at the beginning again, because, like him, they never give up. And with this moral strength of theirs they are superior to the gods, just like Sisyphus.