A response to the texts...
A response to the texts "a swallow doesn´t make a summer" by one of us, and "A tale of two victories?" by Tadzio Mueller and Kriss Sol
Both letters are more than precious critical assessments of radical's actions. I agree with the observation of Tadzio Mueller and Kriss Sol that radicals are sometimes a little too self-congratulatory, self-referential, and surprisingly 'un-radical'. What one could learn from antig8 in Rostock? It seems that anti-globalistic idea is loosing its ground, its antagonistic (Tadzio Mueller and Kriss Sol) and radical potentiality. Instead, new vision may be forming which is anti-systemic. The problem has been excellently resented by Tadzio Mueller and Kriss Sol - the antagonism of capital (labour) is disintegrating. It seems that a new structure of social conflict is being formed which calls for different strategy of revolt. It seems a little bit too passionate trying to produce and reproduce dialectics with the means of beating policemen and burning cars of total anonymous.Street fighting is not a therapy for those who are hurt by the system. If so, than why not using the same tactics when not anonymous in the group of people, but individualised at home, at the university, on job. Street fighting is important also when it exists as a threat, possibility. This has been proved again in Rostock. Also, antig8 demo may have indicated that g8 (or imf-wb meetings, wto meetings, nato) as such, symbols of elites, are actually inappropriate focus for the radical action. Anti-globalistic strategy is very tricky. For anti-globalists, the problem is somewhere out there. Anti-globalists wants to save the world, others. But the problem is really here - how to organise and interact between different movements to strengthen collective action?
The capitalists also want to improve the world. But they also do it for their profit - they globalise and grow stronger collectively and individually. AntiG8 demos seem only to impose itself costs and extract energy from the movement out and dissipates it. The day after, a headache is felt and a little bit of frustration is also here. How to protest and achieve immediate and long-term goals simultaneously? Otherwise we have already lost the game, only that we don't know this jet.
Globalisation is only one of manifestations of the root problem. Anti-capitalistic, anti-globalist, anti-elitist, anti-nationalistic, etc these are all different faces of opposition to one and the same - total control imposed by the system and regimes that results in further limiting life opportunities that are available for people. It seems to me that the core of the problem is not in the capitalism itself even less in globalisation of capital alone but in non-democratic nature of ruling.
But the problem is not that the system is not working properly and we need to correct or direct and improve it. I think better not! System is working perfectly - it became independent and self sustaining administrative robot programmed for fighting against people and defend the elites and rule of power. System learned excellently how to take over issues that radical groups have been advocating for decades (climate change, poverty in Africa, indebtedness of poor countries). But we can see that such take-overs have always resulted in continued marginalisation of anti-systemic groups. It is obvious that this tactics (criticising the regime and demanding changes) is working perfectly well against the radicals. What has been achieved by firing president of the world bank - does anybody trust the world bank any more now?
It would be my suggestion for further discussion that the main focus of anti-systemic movement would be administration of power (democracy), not (primarily) the administration of wealth (capitalism, globalism). The reason for such order of things is that democracy is more fundamental for the organisation of our societies than capitalism. Capitalism and globalisation can be put under control (and are actually controlled by the elites) but one can never democratically control tyranny.
Two anti-systemic strategies are basic: negrian multitude which subverst the system from within and autonomist option who operate from the outside of the systems of domination. Their tactics differ very much and consent can not be really expected about the question which of the two is more effective. It actually does not matter until both pursue the same anti-systemic goal. However, post Rostock evaluation indicates that negrian tactics produces increasingly frustrating conditions for the whole anti-systemic movement: it demands enormous input (organisational, bringing masses together) and produces rather unclear impact either on g8 or anti-systemic actions in the future. I really do not try to convince multitude to change their approach, but only to recognise the strategy, that claim that they fights the system from the outside of it, from autonomous zones. System can never become non-system so it retains only one possibility to make compromises (when forced to) - this is to retreat. It means that every concession increases actual anti-systemic sphere.
Of course, the question remains - how to administer the power? Autonomist would try to reverse the question: how to administer anti-power that would be capable of resisting power! How to organise fruitful collective and individual life that is not controlled by the system's domination? This is why autonomists and radicals need permanent autonomous zones as locations that is 'not in the system'. Zones should operate as an independent units in a national state but simultaneously also as independent units in a european network of autonomous zones. This dual character of autonomous zones could be fruitfully developed into a political strategy of European autonomists (eutopia). With the regime's recognition of permanent autonomous zones, the social conflict transforms. Autonomist refuses to accept social marginalisation and wants to consistute own center of commonality. Elites and zones are between each other recognised as two parallel and potentially legitime regimes of administration of power relation. This would be not a relationship between centre (elite) and periphery (excluded) but relationship between two co-existing but also radically opposite centers of power. This enables authonomist to remain radical.
bojan.radej [at] siol.net