Travels of Prometheus
About the Social War in Greece and the end of one here and one there
THE MIRROR OF SOCIAL PEACE begins to crack. The expiry date of the welfare state in Europe seems to be over and one after the other, the national political classes acknowledge it. While in some countries the legal basis for this shift have already been raised in parliament in relative peace, the war in Greece took an unexpected width. Although this conflictual could be placed in the continuity of social movements against the dismantling of the welfare state that we are used, it tends to take a significantly different character. An agreement with the state in the logic of the old social pact seems increasingly unlikely, because there is more economic foundations, political and social for that. We are therefore facing a new situation. Accustomed to conduct struggles to break the social peace and consensus, we could soon be facing a new form of management which tends to create a climate of war. It is therefore all the more necessary to develop new perspectives, we venture to formulate some new hypothesis for social war.
Other horizons …
Risking too mimic the reality, but in order to draw some analytical clues to the incision more precisely in this reality, one could say that since the late 70s, a profound restructuring of the economy – but not only – began. A considerable part of the industrial complex in Europe was dismantled and distributed with the transformation of the manufacturing process and relocation. The class relations that went in were seriously disrupted and fragmented. According to his logic ever deeper penetration of the good in all aspects of life, capital has continued to explore “new” markets, particularly related to new technologies and strongly connoted by the appearance of “services”.
Restructuring befallen the end of the Second World War and after phases of dictatorship have played for years on a welfare state that can accompany the reorganization of capitalism and to manage tensions. However, since the 80s, the so-called “social gains” have been widely attacked, and during their 90 years of deconstruction and fragmentation have accelerated at a pace determined by the international context and local power relations. The flexible labor market, the dismantling of social welfare as the pension system, liberalization and privatization of sectors such as energy, communications and transport have meant so much challenged what many saw as certainties.
The “financial crisis” of last year, is in fact not a crisis, but a consequence of the new restructuring. Beyond the vast sums provisionally identified by a number of State for the “rescue” of a few banks have mainly sales of businesses and industries as “public” to be continued. However, states remain massive deficit and have already exhausted some of the revenue that can replenish their coffers. They must therefore continue to carve out. The current situation in Greece gives us a foretaste of what awaits us in other countries.
The austerity plans that are already in place in England as in Spain, Italy, Greece or in many other European countries are diametrically opposed to what has been for decades the One of the paradigms of the “social state”: the increase in consumption on the domestic market. On the one hand, the Greek state has reduced access to consumption (cuts in wages and pensions) and the other, it increases drastically the direct or indirect taxes to recover more money. The stated objective is no longer the “inclusion of the poor, it is assumed that a proportion of the population exposed to poverty must submit to an enhanced exploitation and estimate them happy. For years, this direction has been taken in the European immigration policy. Faced with growing immigration, the so-called Fortress Europe manages the human, still shots and regularization reinforcement of the capacity of expulsion, but in close connection with contracts of employment more precarious. The existence of a sub-layer of the population is clearly accepted and appreciated by the market needs.
Some conflicts of recent years have already shown signs (Argentina in 2001 and Bangladesh in particular in 2006) an exacerbation of the economic war. What is happening in Greece confirms it in Europe. Although always darkest times ahead, certainly given the current weakness of social criticism and revolutionary, we have the intuition that for us too could announce new times, times which create opportunities lost sight – and next step of reasoning “worse is better”. It is true that the surprise is a rather pleasant feeling, but we should make every effort not to experience the challenges of today commentators helpless, lost in the passivity rule that tries to make us swallow.
In the land of Prometheus
We must go back far enough in history to find a time and place where the revolutionary movement – more largely anti-authoritarian – has been able to approach the development and the social struggle as is the case today Greece. It’s the preliminary result of years of cross-pollination between the Greek anarchist movement in all its diversity, and some social combativeness. The Greek anarchists were often found side by side with the oppressed who would rise, while being able to conduct struggles when everybody looked the other side. In this, our enemies are aware, at least as much as us. Not only Greece was the first country in the euro area have to take drastic measures against the exploited, not only has it been and remains a base for military operations to include the Balkan countries, along with a door Europe to immigration from the East, but it is also a country facing social tensions and a fierce revolutionary activity.
Now that the institutional left is in power in Greece, it can hardly play the same role as a recycler and brake the social struggle. This map, it has already played at his election on a “progressive agenda” following the explosion of revolt in December 2008. The margin of the Greek political class has reduced considerably and in case of extension and escalation of the conflict two ways – historically conventional-alternatives: either the hard right, meeting the requirements of national and international capital and whether pressing a latent patriotism, succeeded in restoring order to the technical assistance from a government and an iron fist, is looming on the horizon the possibility of an insurgency. There is much at stake
During almost the whole of 2009, Greece has been rocked by a long series of strikes, blockades, demonstrations and attacks against the power structures. Faced with rising speculation in government debt (note that most of the Greek debt is in the hands of the banks ‘Greek’) and exploding budget deficit, beginning of 2010 the Socialist government passed in fifth gear also causing an acceleration of protests. It is no exaggeration to speak of a “climate of war, both economically and socially and politically. From early 2009 until now, the government has decided to ax in wages and pensions (with discounts ranging from 10-30%), increased direct and indirect taxes, restructured education and virtually abolished the health. To maintain the structures of the state, the Greek political and economic elite must quickly turn Greece into a breeding operation, a spearhead in the euro area. The Greek state has openly declared war on the lower classes and his “concern for the people” clearly takes the form of patriotism and the staging of a “revolutionary terrorism that threatens society.”
The situation is rather critical for existing institutions in Greece and there is a European state had long felt his neck again in the hot breath of a p
ossible uprising. But do not go too fast. Despite skirmishes significant but circumscribed (at the demonstration in Athens on May 5, the GSEE trade union leader could not say two words before being chased by hundreds of protesters), a large part of the protest with the directions of Social Democratic Union, the Stalinist party KKE and left few structures such as MEAP, especially because they are still the basis of a few formal initiatives such as general strikes. Despite many practical experiences of self-organization in the street (during the protests, occupations and riots), the protests still neglect the necessary confirmation of their autonomy. Combined with a rather brutal police repression and terror the media, the danger exists of being dragged into a war of attrition. Without claiming that the general strike (as opposed to “action days” of 24) would be the harbinger of an insurrectionary moment, it is probably necessary to cripple economic activity and the movement of goods. For this, it should push towards decentralization initiatives, or, in other words, to self-organization assumed the fight. To wrest the initiative from the unions and create a space that resists calls to order and is fertile for the seeds of self-organization. One possibility seems to be moving towards a more decentralized and diffused to the paralysis of economic infrastructure (communications, energy, transport …). This issue is not that revolutionary minority as some might believe, rather it is a practical proposal which is aimed at everyone who eats a lot of experience and in which creativity and dissemination outweigh Economist on any design or militaristic.
The insurgency is not the work of revolutionaries and anarchists alone. It is social not only in the sense that it involves a considerable part of the exploited, but because it upsets the existing social roles in destroying the structures that support them. Just as it does not exploited to put an end to exploitation, but structures and men who make the operation possible, it can not be pinned down in a defense of “people” or “exploited” whose resignation or consent, are ultimately the forces that drive the machine.
The assumption that insurgency appears to be emerging in Greece, actually follows a different logic than the paradigm of the urban guerrilla. The State’s interest in times of rising social conflict as to portray the conflict as a single combat as a duel between two “factions” (in this case, the state against the followers of the urban guerrilla with the population bystander). Of course, it is quite capable of using the anarchist movement as a whole for this purpose and to be swallowed in a great show, but it does not seem very smart to facilitate his task by applying ourselves – more or less explicitly – hierarchies of the various forms of attack against the structures of the State and Capital. The insurgency does not need pre-guards or protectors, it asks nothing other than that, the enemy of all fetishes, the determination to blow through the subversion of society. Even now, even if the insurgency is still hypothetical, the issue of arms must be put in the perspective of arming everyone, the spread of offensive weapons, not by repressing the fact to armed any group, faction or acronym.
The Greek government began to insist on a rapid militarization of the conflict and he hoped that the anarchists take the initiative. The government is intensifying repression and terror against the specific and the anarchist movement, he asked that it continue to be dead, he will torment now in front of everyone, he does not hesitate to push increasing militarization of such a neighborhood as Exarchia, it will use openly fascist squads and parastatals. The state does not only isolate the anarchists of the social struggle, to break their dynamics but also to lead them into a spiral where the law of retaliation with retaliation and certainly true courage on the part of the anarchists, but whose the price could be the decline of subversion in ample strata of society. The state knowingly uses the media in a purely cons-insurgency trying to spread terror, terrorize the population (with the specter of “hordes of immigrants pouring into Greece,” “anarchist terrorists,” “robbers bloodthirsty, …). The state continues longer buying social peace and reconciliation, but still more openly declaring war on all those who struggle. It is difficult not to fall into the trap of not being caught in the nets of a military conflict that would probably be the one to kill any project subversion. Do we understand, because the current request to speak clearly: this is not a plea to lower the weapon, not a discourse that posits that “insurgent violence frightens the proletariat and must therefore limit” . Instead, it is precisely the time for everyone, each working to provide the weapons he or she wants to use, share as much as possible the need to attack with all those who refuse to bow the altars of the Nation and Economy, to give the attack the place it should always be handled: an act of willful destruction of an enemy structure, not a vehicle for self-promotion. Subversion eroded as companions speak after shot.
One here and one there
Now opportunities in Greece long put in the closet trying to invade existing with all their violence, are forcing companions outside Greece, questions that do not tolerate delivery. Not only because what is at stake in Greece will probably have an impact on all anarchists and revolutionaries in Europe and elsewhere, but mainly because the possibility of contamination is becoming increasingly conceivable. We do not want to resurrect a kind of domino theory, but it seems clear that given the increasingly close and nesting deep economic structures and state on the old continent (the European Union project is one of its formal structures), it would be blind as to integrate the frontiers of territories where we live, national states where we have our struggles, as horizons impassable. The day before the issue of internationalism is needed today and requires new responses.
These are largely the same issues that came knocking at the doors of companions in December 2008, only the stakes are now even more demanding. While traveling in Greece worth certainly worthwhile to exchange and share experiences, we prefer to ask how we can go further in our contexts express international solidarity, how do we do that goes beyond a pat encouraging and generous in the back of our fellow Greeks who lost so much today, but especially to win.
Consider that, given the extension of the Social War in Greece, all the struggles and acts of rebellion take a heavier weight. Not because they exercise a manner or another direct pressure on the Greek institutions, but precisely because they feared may be carriers of contamination. Partly objectively and in part it striving, it is possible to entangle the different struggles “local” with the Social War in Greece, and vice versa, because it is the logical consequence of a social bond, a similarity of the Greek situation which, as suggested by our intuition, could happen tomorrow in “our” countries. Although it is clear that the subversive forces are much lower in many countries as Greece and they face some consensus on the reaction (such as Italy, where racism and political management taking totalitarian manners through the horrible Consent of large sections of the population). There appears the need to go beyond solidarity and actually build relationships between the different struggles. Every fight is being conducted, may have a significance that goes beyond, and we must work hard in this direction. The logic of here and one there could finally be completed, as in our outlook.
Although economic restructuring seems to make a general instability of the field accumulation, another instability is possible that benefits not domination. We need to think seriously consider. Would it
be impossible to arrive at some analysis and assumptions that bind the local context with what will probably affect the entire euro zone, and thus to develop a capability to assess ongoing struggles in terms of potentially destabilizing effects? This challenge seems in any case worth to be noted, to reinforce where a battle won in this war could exceed its social diluted first concrete result as trying to develop our business in light of their relation to the activities a few hundred miles away. Trying to go on these roads could help us develop hypotheses insurgency, to avoid being caught by surprise too, to discover opportunities to grow discontent and rage towards these emancipatory perspective, towards a social war against any form of exploitation and authority.
One hypothesis insurgency requires not only analysis and activities. It remains a dead letter or a shot in the water if she can not communicate her why. In these times, it can no longer rely on single utterance of a few concepts that are vague, even when they are discussed, such as liberation. The concepts rendered communicated through social struggle no longer exist. We must dare to ask how to revive a dream, not like a mirage, not a myth, but as intentions alive. The revolutionary contribution to the social struggle should not be limited to suggestions destructive to incite rebellion. His character becomes more tangible when insurgent she managed not only to identify the enemy and to implement a negativity which certainly gives courage to all the fanatics and those who would break the chains of resignation, but when it is able to keep alive, to communicate why it is fighting. In this sense, two decades of idealization of revolutionary ideas have caused much damage. We are orphans of ideas that seem to have lost their pensabilité. We must force their way out of the corner where we were forced to stop and make an apology pathetic. The conflict which could take up a character quite different from what we have known before, and it offers us real opportunities to experiment and break the ideological encirclement. The contradiction of subversion lies in the tension between reality and approach the break dance, communicate what is considered impossible.
Rather than a sketch of the exact situation we find ourselves, these words are intended as an invitation, one might say a call to open our heads and look straight into the eyes of challenges.
Much could be played, and the only certainty we have is that in the coming times, inertia will have consequences even heavier.
Some friends of Prometheus
original text in french here : http://nantes.indymedia.org/article/20859