Wednesday, 24 August 2011

“If our expressions are to be heard then they must be silent”

This title comes in the form of abstract nonsense but nonsense that takes heed of ‘the dilemma’. The dilemma is how to break out of the all encompassing capitalist edifice. Such a task is the mission of the left. After being engaged on the peripheries and sometimes deeper levels of left wing Anarchist and Trotskyite sects of the London UK left I find myself at a double edged sword.

My radical left ambitions seem to be very different from the rest of the left or rather the organised left here in the UK, and doubtless to say most of the UK left.  The title of this article is my attempt at deciphering the disparity between myself and the UK left, the contours of this disagreement encapsulated by this ambiguous title will be depicted and revealed in this article. No doubt it will be of no interest to anyone but myself, although I write this in the hope of someone to completely rip apart my sentiment or ideally help me towards the realisation of what it is I have to say about what it really means to be a member of the Radical Left.  

I have been struggling to see how the UK left hope to achieve a revolution. Their focus, rhetoric and doctrine are embedded in 19th and 20th century text, philosophy, and crucially, tactics. It is the tactics which really concern me - as the sentiment of holding onto a Marxist, Trotskyite, Leninist, Luxembourg’s teaching is part and parcel of the constitutional edifice of the Left but - these teaching, especially today, are not sacred and should not be treated as such. What resides in the form of sacredness is the underlying message of these philosophers and revolutionaries, which is - Capitalism is a system that should be opposed and defeated and those opposing capitalism the Proletariat and slum dwellers, who constitute one of the largest proportion of densely populated civilisations around the world) the majority of the population, a section of the population who are suppressed or excluded by the ruling classes and the section of global society, need to rise up and take control of the reigns of history before the capitalist train, we are all riding, collides into oncoming traffic.

A collision is a very likely scenario in light of the current global constellations developing in the sphere of the International Relations of the 21st century, but it is the 21st century that is the crucial point here! WE live in the 21st century and to stick to Socialist tactics of the 19th and 20th century, which do not account for slums or ecological propensities, is in my view, the reason for the total failure of the left to engage and ignite with the revolutionary potential of a proletariat, that does not even realise its potentials or even that the proletariat is the proletariat!

Show me a contemporary Marxist arguing for a 21st century vision of what a left wing revolution would look like? For me, as it is clear if you were to read my blog roll would quickly discover that, although I have my disagreements and criticisms with Zizek, he is the only Marxist philosopher trying to challenge this dilemma that the left face. It is abundantly clear that he is the Anti-Christ of the left, an analogy I am sure he would relish, and this is a just analysis, but at least he is attempting to reconstruct the radical left in order to bring the left face to face with the realities that our old ways and theories, although relevant in many aspects, just do not cut it when it comes to our current epoch!

If the left is to engage with a Politically ignorant and quite frankly capitalist proletariat, a proletariat that is unaware of its existence, as seen in all those who see themselves as ‘Middle Class’ who are in fact the true definition of a working class Proletariat - “those out of joint in the social space, the part of no part lacking their proper place within it...What qualifies the proletariat... is ultimately a negative feature: all other classes are (potentially) capable of reaching the status of the ruling class, while the proletariat cannot achieve this without abolishing itself as a class (Zizek, 2008, pp 414) Owen Jones has recently written on how Middle Class sects of society, will, if the definition of what it means to be working class is defined to them, conceive themselves to be working class.

As for the lefts engagement and relations with, slum dwellers, the unemployed and the underclass is concerned this is a true lack of the left. The riots highlighted the lefts complete inability to engage with a disenfranchised, under-educated and lost sects of society, who hate the system which impoverishes them, most crucially, in the realms of education and health care, but yet still in some perverse way - perverse as their dream has been dictated to them by the system which rules over them and they follow like braying sheep to aspire toward imposed dreams that suppress them. This is well and truly a failure of the left. Not just to engage them but rather for there to not be radical left wing organisations which work outside the parameters of the state, within their own social space which challenges the sate through its very abstraction? Not in children charities funded by the state or shelters or even the farcical liberal construction of Corporate Social Responsibility, but actual bodies who work outside the parameters of the state organisations which can create its own new society behind the back of the overarching failed western neo-liberal edifice.  

Yes trade Unions are important, but it is blatantly clear that this form of social organisation is dwindling and that corporations will not adopt trade unions any time soon. Yes we can infiltrate the state as John Mcdonald and Jeremy Corbyn have done and try to work from within the structures laid out by the state which allow the left to oppose the state but such action is rare if existent at all, and when such opposition does arise the contours of such opposition are hijacked by the state or powerful individuals. Take the recent comments made by Warren Buffet one of the world’s richest men, he proposes that the rich should be taxed more, this is an idea long proposed by socialists and is a prime example of the revolutionary capacity of capitalism to monopolise policies and rhetoric or the left to serve its ever expanding control of all opposition to it, which is why the radical left need to work outside the parameters of a capitalist system that, at the moment, has the capacity and power to control and devour the left.  

Whilst there is no denying the fact that the left do more for the working class and those underrepresented and repressed sects of society, and humbly, do more than I am willing or able to do, due to my disagreement with the way the left functions in the UK, with its bitter, sectarian, clique infighting, and with its obsession over left wing sect disagreements over foreign policy which although valiant in sentiment, such action does more to disenfranchised the Left away from relation to those that it should be concerned with most, those whose thought and action they should be working in UNITY to convert, that being the Workers and unemployed here in the UK and across Europe. Take the Spanish uprising and subsequent direction of an attempted opposition to their government. They claim that a new movement should not be concerned with left or right wing politics but should be in some way apolitical. Such sentiment not only calls on the state to act in such a way ‘without’ ideology, a dangerous ambition, but also proposes that the only way to achieve this is to make demands to the government to reform. And this is the crucial point of their failure. The Spanish revolt should grab the reigns themselves take a radical left wing stance and create their own state from which to construct new socio-economic realities, outside the constructs of their state. This is what the left in the UK should attempt to do.       

This is why I make the statement that if our expressions are to be heard then they must be silent. We must cut off the balls of Capitalism so that they will not realise that capitalism has been overthrown they will just all of a sudden realise that their voices have gotten a bit higher. The only way to do this is to not work within or against the state but rather to operate outside the state. It is not for me on my own to lay out the contours of how such a task should be enacted upon, as this would not be left wing sentiment, but this is the task I believe that the left should be tarrying with, and this is the only way I believe that the left can hope to achieve emancipation and universalism? 

Whilst it is easy to critique capitalism it is much harder to look inside the left and reform it, in order to overthrow capitalism.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Articulation of the Riots

This article highlights the flash points and current affairs which have taken place in recent times here in the UK. It represents a perspective not likely to be articulated by popular media outlets. It is important to understand where we are today, in British society, as the combination of social action and rhetoric being enacted all over the UK will have severe ramifications on future events. To ignore the scenarios presented in this article will result in placid acceptance of the domination of a form of capitalism that will drive Europe further towards the right, and authoritarian domination, and leave the coming capitalist catastrophe on the tracks of a collision course with the future. A scenario which can be salvaged but as your cynicism suggests, may not be realised.

Under the guise of the UK riots, the scenario of a catastrophic failure of all the vestiges of western society is imminent. Seen in, the reduction of welfare, health care, any sort of equal schooling and in recent times, calls for oppressive measures to deal with a very troubled part of the population, the unemployed and the working class, these sectors of society particularly in London live side by side with a class which earns 300% more than their neighbours. Such a circumstance will and has caused great resentment and class antagonism of irreprehensible proportions.

The measures being taken to punish those involved in the riots have been disproportionate and quite frankly, a shambles, and has made clear who the law is here to serve. To make single mothers homeless as a result of their son being caught up in the fear, anxiety, and in-articulation of the riots is madness, do you expect them to re-enter society better people once they have been left to rot on the streets of London? They will in all likely hood resort to drugs and further crime as a result of this type of fascist policy. A mother who does not live in a council house will not be evicted and thus the law is not one for all and all for one, but a favouring of one class in society against another.      

It must be highlighted here that it is capitalism and class which is at the heart of the riots we have seen across the UK, not this moral degeneration that the government media and ill informed sects of society seem to espouse. For all those whose life is anything close to a class struggle recognises that the riots although spontaneous and home wrecking, miss directed, but they were very very political! Only a fool would fail to see that.

British society has tried to fob the causation of the riots on to some sort of moral degeneracy. In the most minimalistic sense this reigns true, but more poignantly it MUST be recognised that the causation of the riots has been caused by a socio-economic system which caters for the suppression of all those who rioted, and in doing so, further suppressed themselves, by way of ratcheting up the devices the government uses to suppress this section of society.    

If ever there was a better example of capitalist ideology it’s the way the government and the public have reacted to the riots... “it’s a sickness and a behavioural problem from the ‘lowest of the low’ in British society”. This is a stark example of the neo-liberal capitalist agenda – devolve all responsibility and push the blame onto everyone but those who have been endemically responsible for the riots, the ruling class, those who have exacerbated the class divide and are now suppressing all those who acted out in bouts of rage. The rioters acted out in large part due to their in-articulation to oppose the squalor the state has catered for them to live under and an inability to challenge the ever increasing authoritarian state that we are currently living under the transition of.

It is a daily occurrence of mine and those like me to feel alienated and suppressed by the current ruling system and to be unable to speak out and be listened to, our worst nightmare is coming true. That is to sit in a room full of people and when it is your turn to talk nothing comes out, you are unable to say anything, and your words fall on deaf ears. The frustration and sometime anger that this causes is difficult to put into words but it would be something similar to suffocating, or being claustrophobic and put into a clay mine. A surge of chemicals rush through your body leaving a weakness followed by emptiness, a space where life becomes truly pointless. The thoughts which embody your being are ignored and you become an empty vessel amongst a crowd of people baying for the blood of anyone who does not conform to a general consensus, devised to cause the very feeling that an eloquent speaker would deject until they can speak no longer.

To take the opportunity away from those who need to be heard the most is to trap a human animal in a cave and to let them starve. If that human animal has any passion and gustier then they will become distraught, scared, and angry, if the opportunity was to arise, a window to react to the suffocation expressed by those around them then it becomes your duty to respond. As was the case when the upholders of the law expressed in no uncertain terms that they were above the law when the police and the investigators of the police, the IPCC decided to lie to the community who had suffered the loss of a fellow, whom, it would seem, played too closely to the precipice of citizen and criminal. When that community responded in protest their actions fell on deaf ears. The dance on the periphery of such boundaries would seem to be an intrinsic part of the capitalist culture we live under.

We see this dance across all sects of society but the ones who’s dancing is cringe-worthy and pitiful are, yes it will be re-iterated here, the bankers who duped the world into believing they were full of cum and tenacity, whereas in reality they were limp and infertile. And the politicians who were seen to be the representatives of society as their position suggests, were diabolical examples of those who represent our society, dipping into the tax payers pockets in order to maintain, which has now become apparent, unsustainable lifestyles, greedy, corrupt, and, although the word is debatable ‘immoral lives’. Its rich coming from Cameron and Clegg that the destruction of property is a sick and ‘immoral’ act and something which should be punished with the full force of the law, in a manner which would seem fetishistic when Cameron speaks of such ‘righteous’ punishment. They both have track records of destroying property. Cameron as a member of a class elitist, bourgeois, club which spits in the face of every decent working human being, the bullingdon club and its ideology is a culture which needs to be abolished above all else, and Clegg who has a criminal record of setting fire to green houses when he was 16. Most people know what it’s like to dance along the precipice of legality and illegality with little exceptions, as law is a murky realm of rule, divide, and conquer.

When politicians speak to the communities affected by the riots, the residents of those communities have been alienated and disconnected with the rhetoric and actions taken and spoken by such politicians. And now when politicians show an interest it is too late, the vestiges of salvaging those who see the riots as a political act are too far removed from the double speak and ineffectuality of a political system which claims no ideology, a system which claims to deal mainly with economic fulfilment. Yet this very system seeps with a goal to keep all those who have not been fortunate to reap the dirty money flowing through the hands of all the ruling elite, the bourgeois. The workers and the unemployed are alienated from any meaningful political process.

The working class may only be subjects of the state and not citizens. The rights afforded to the wealthy, from quality health care to quality education, to privileged internships are worlds away from the lives of the people. This is for one reason only, due to the fact that the politicians are not in power to represent them; they are there to represent their own class and economic strata. The riots do nothing to legitimise the way the government structures society but the exact opposite. The riots were a capitalist failure and quite frankly a shambles. There is no alternative and it’s the fault of all those on the left for this! 

To have looted Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, and mass refusal to pay extortionate gas bills, boycotted elections and to storm parliament, laid siege to public schools and private health care, occupied banks and to reign the powers of a society which does not represent the mood and thoughts of the workers and unemployed sectors of society, the majority, although it wouldn’t seem that way, would have been more legitimate than burning down neighbours family homes.

But here the true catastrophe lies. Those who are being suppressed by the abhorrent system which rules over the UK are not just unaware that the rioters expressed a human-animalistic instinct that represents us, the workers and the unemployed, but that the inability of society to organise against the oppressive dynamic we feel is the failure of the left. Our failure is seen in the public’s response being directly in line with the government, the media and the ruling class. As the people do not see the alternative in a fragmented and disorganised left section of British society, it is our task to reclaim the void and to think again about how we need to organise the workers and unemployed, so if this anger and anxiety resurfaces again the goals of the left will be the dominant features of debate. For now sections of the Guardian and Owen Jones will remain our only voice in popular UK affairs. This must be changed so that next time the left is ready and capable of changing our propagandised, suppressed and alienated Britain. I remain pessimistic.      

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Rats, Criminals, Ferrell... Yeah! Well Fuck You, Let’s Riot!

So the kids of London from some of the most impoverished areas have been rioting the past three nights, they may continue to do so tonight or we might have seen the end of the rioting but it's doubtful.

Personally I wouldn’t go out smashing shops and looting goods from inside, and I am sure those reading this will be of the same thought but that probably where our agreements end.

When events such as rioting and looting occur we get pretentious characters jumping in the realms of the hegemonic hand of the Media who publish the sentiment that some people cannot get enough of. To paraphrase slightly...”look at those people how uncivilised, how can they do such a thing?” “Ferrell rats” “scum” and “blah blah bullshit”. Instead people should be looking to youtube, the Guardian, and blogs to find the pragmatic responses.

People espousing this patronising ill informed, un informed, contrived perception of the rioting would do well to sit down and have a good think about what circumstances that these kids have been living in to have brought them to act in a manner which is wrong, and harmful, not just for themselves but against all those whom their actions have affected. But this is the point! They don’t give a FUCK! Why?

Today the odds of one of the kids ever owning a house or having access to basic health care are slim to none. Those odds are reciprocated in my future prospects and I’ve had an over-exuberant education. So I don’t know what they must be thinking! Combine this with inadequate social housing; cramped living conditions in densely populated area common in London, surrounded by and involved in gang culture induce through fear. Some live in fear because they live in and around domestic abuse, drug abuse, and many will know of or know people who have been murdered. We all know the police murdered Mark Duggan and no one will be convicted but this is possibly the most horrific crime to have occurred in the past few days. Those who are supposed to uphold the law have violated the worst sanction of the Law and we all know that no one will be convicted! Fuck that! This scenario is more fucked up than kids on estates rioting. Fuck the IPCC!

Listen if you think that because you have never acted in the way these kids are doing and what they are doing is contemptuous and inexcusable, as Nick Clegg stated, then I would jester to you come live on an estate in and around deprivation, mass poverty and dire inequality. The other day I saw two women, Crack/Smack addicts, walking past my window, both completely out of it. One woman was heavily pregnant swaying all over with a can of strongbrew in one have and sucking furiously on a cigarette. What chance does her unborn baby have? To grow up as a young, very impressionable and in all likely hood scared child you may not grow up thinking that the violence we have seen this week is that strange.

Hale is a long way from this environment. If you have addictions you get rehab paid for, you ‘deserve’ a car at the age of 17, you get a student loan and invest it, holidays galore, and you struggle in school you get a tutor. You learn in school that plain and simple there is no excuse for looting and violence. Oh, your opinion is so culturally superior that one may call the rioters “Ferrel Rat” and ask “Where are the parents?”  Their parents have probably given up.

If the government has removed funding for youth centres, charities who deal with troubled children, removed what little support school children got by way of EMA, reduced housing benefits, as a parent I would be distraught that my child is out looting whilst also of the opinion there is nothing for them to do. No money to go on holiday, kids camp, cinema, their too young to go to clubs, no support from the government demonised by society... FUCK IT let riot! I wouldn’t join in but I don’t blame them one bit!

The people who have been living in and around the rioting are scared but then again the rioters themselves are petrified also, with little to no future prospects the rioting is - a Crying out for help and role models.

Arresting and criminalising them all is the most stupid policy you can adopt think outside the box for one fucking minute... don’t you think that arresting kids they will grow up even further entrenched by crime, increasing the odds of their kids doing the same. DO give them community work and ask them why they really feel the need to do what they did, and invest in solutions. 

People don’t commit crimes because they are criminals, no matter how paradoxical such sentiment is, they commit crime because they are forced into it through systemic social circumstances, eradicate these and then we will be some way towards solving the problem. Sweeping it under the carpet will give you a tumor.