Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

http://www.kosmoprolet.org/node/70

Translation of the editorial of Kosmoprolet #3

All over the world, events are keeping up with the pace of a crisis, the end of which was just recently cheerfully proclaimed by people who thought ludicrous amounts of sovereign debt to be the recipe for an economic miracle. By racking up debt to their ears, governments worldwide were able to contain the so-called financial crisis; but then, the rating agencies presented them a bill that they promptly passed on to wage workers. The whole maneuver did not lead to recovery but to an even more menacing state budget crisis, the handling of which through uncompromising austerity measures has aroused anger. Resistance is mounting. We are at the threshold of a social crisis. Those who feel the effects of the governments’ austerity programs in their everyday life are starting to realize ever more clearly that these are not temporarily painful, yet necessary sacrifices. They are becoming aware of the fact that the drastic cuts will not only last for years or even decades, but that their own future is becoming ever bleaker. We are probably at the start of a new era: Ever since society was brought back down to the earth of cold hard economic facts, the culturalist carnival of differences has come to an end. Society’s colorful superstructure has scaled off to reveal, in Orthodox Marxist terms, the drab, universal base. And the crisis has achieved what activists striving to link struggles have been incapable of for decades: millions have taken to the streets simultaneously with the same purpose. All they’re left with is an ever more precarious survival under the reigning conditions. For them, it’s all or nothing.

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It's the mode of production, stupid!

Pdf of illustrated pamphlet for printing here (select “print on both sides” and “flip up pages”). Illustrated pdf for on-screen reading here.

The “99% Movement” has adopted the term “occupy” from the anti-capitalist tradition, in which people have occupied workplaces, neighborhoods, school buildings, etc., as moves toward taking control over the “means of production” in order to make things and share them, “from each according to ability, to each according to need,” without the mediation of money. However, starting with the original Adbusters call, an influential current within the movement has suppressed this history, treating “occupation” as a temporary and symbolic means of petitioning the government to crack down on “corporate greed” and “corruption.” As anti-capitalists, we oppose such reformism not because we’re attached to some “radical” identity, and certainly not out of nostalgia for the old “socialist” movements (whether of Stalinist or social democratic varieties – both ended up producing only different forms of capitalism). It is simply that the reformist agenda has failed repeatedly. (Anti-capitalist movements, on the other hand, from the Paris Commune of 1871 to the present, have only been defeated, or undermined by confusion; prior to defeat, they have shown some promising beginnings.) Reformism has failed because any meaningful pro-worker regulations eventually become fetters to capital’s health, so it becomes necessary to dismantle them – to “save the economy” (i.e. capitalism). That’s what we’re experiencing now, and a return to more regulation, more taxing of the rich to fund social services, etc., is something capital cannot afford without first restoring the rate of profit, which (if possible) would require more of the same: rising unemployment, falling wages, cuts to public goods and services, and the acceleration of energy wars and environmental devastation, bringing us ever closer to catastrophe. So reformism is “utopian”; the only “realistic” way out of this mess is the path we have yet to forge.

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Occupy to End Capitalism

Posted: October 21, 2011 by globaloccupation in 2011, October, pamphlet, seattle, usa
Tags: , , , , ,

http://blackorchidcollective.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/occupy-to-end-capitalism/

What are some people saying is causing the crisis faced by the 99%?
Overpopulation: are there too many people on the planet?
Corporate greed: do bank managers and corporate
executives just need to be more generous or responsible?
China: is the problem that Chinese workers took “our”
jobs or that China owns too much US debt?
Lack of jobs creation: do we need another stimulus
package?
Regressive taxes: would taxing the rich get rid of our
problems?
A weak Democratic Party: does Obama just need a
stronger backbone?
These are all easy answers, and none of them really explain our problem…

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http://antistatestl.wordpress.com/texts/are-we-an-occupation-or-just-a-gathering/

Wall Street Protestors, Occupying Till Whenever– NYT headline

The “Occupy Wall St.” model has done what many have tried and failed, it has pushed past the apathy and created a venue for possibility. In cities and towns across the country people are finding one another in situations few ever dared to venture into before. Meetings are being held, food shared and ideas discussed. But as one participant put it – “The fuzzy ultra-left ideal about forging new kinds of relationships through struggle and finding each other and such cant just be about meeting in space and time, otherwise we could start a bowling league and be done with it. What the gatherings themselves lack is a coherent substance, a sense of self-understanding. Towards this end, we raise the following questions.

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