Solidarity Weekend for Prisoners of Social War
Saturday October 29 and Sunday October 30
Solidarity Weekend for Prisoners of Social War
[From a leaflet distributed in the summer of 2016 against the Labour Laws in France]
Because we are against a system that exploits everyone.
Because the managers of this world transform living things everywhere into merchandise.
Because this society offers us no other choices than being put to work, a few crumbs for survival, or incarceration, for the undesireable or recalcitrant.
Because work means selling your time, your energy, your body, and your mind to bosses, leaders, and machines.
Because capitalism and the state try to control every aspect of our lives and take away ever more of our autonomy, including our dreams of something profoundly different.
Because this system of endless production leaves no space outside of itself, where we could each freely decide on our own activities.
Because the state only grants us rights at the price of our freedom: this same state sicks its guard dogs on us in the street, creates and militarizes borders, and wages war in every corner of the world.
Because restructuring (also known as “crises”) means an intensification of misery, social cannibalism, and further techniques and technologies of control.
For all these reasons and for many more besides, we aren’t just against work, but also against world that it sustains and that offers us nothing beyond it.
If we don’t want to just adjust the length of our chains but to truly destroy them, no dialogue or negotiation with power is possible. We need then to push this struggle beyond the limits imposed by those who want to see the struggle smothered in the confines of the existing world (which includes politicians and managers of all sorts).
Instead of always following agendas set by others, we need to ask ourselves how to expand the revolt while deciding for ourselves what we want to oppose, while imagining a thousand and one ways of overturning this world, while associating freely and organizing ourselves without leaders or hierarchy, while taking initiative individually and collectively with direct action. In this way, it becomes possible to confront the powerful who seek to impose their law on us, to do away once and for all the endless war they wage against us with their authority, money, and cops.
They offer big media spectacles of social engagement to reduce revolt to a simple matter of democratic indignation and to bring it back into the realm of politics and representation. But conversely, by directly attacking what allows this system to work, and to make us work, opens up possibilities creates the space needed to develop other ways of relating.
Blockades and sabotage aren’t just buzzwords, but rather real practices offering us a path out of the routine of exploitation and the logic of consumption, including the spectacle of opposition. For as long as the metro transports human cattle, as long as electrical lines power factories of death and laboratories of control, as long as money continues to circulate, as long as screens broadcast propaganda, as long as cables and antennas maintain our dependency, as long as the arteries of the city impose their rhythm on our bodies and minds, as long as…
And so let’s destroy the daily grind!
A call to break with the electoral circus
(Translated from an anonymous leaflet distributed in the September 15th 2016 demo in Paris. All brackets are translators notes)
There has been much water under the bridge since the Socialist Party (Parti Socialiste, PS — party of French president Hollande) backed down from holding their summer congress in Nantes after a simple call to crash it. This came at the end of four months during which the movement against the “Work!” law (reform to the labour code) managed to dictate the terms and timeline of the debate. Four months during which the many attempts at concealing the real political questions of our present moment by launching the presidential campaign, with it’s clever catch phrases and insignificant revelations, were utterly rejected. It took the summer, the dead-time of the vacation season, and a few terrorist attacks to allow the elites to climb back into the saddle. The effect was immediate: public discourse immediately took a nose dive into the most crass nonsense, to such a degree that Marine Le Pen (leader of the far-right Front National) stepped in to moderate and the Prime Minister set off philosophizing about the burkini. We turned our backs for a moment and politicians of all stripes set up their little electoral and rhetorical machines, their pathetic personal ambitions, their desperate ideological mantras — each in their place, each with their own angle, taking aim at each other and setting each other traps that they end up caught in themselves. This whole spectacle wouldn’t deserve our attention if it didn’t have such real effects on our relationships and mental health, if it wasn’t able to suck all the air out of the room. We’re left with an even more intolerable atmosphere than what we had before the movement against the “Work!” law. Read the rest of this entry »