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Make Capitalism History

Make Capitalism History

Broaden the Mobilisation Against the G8 Summit
Call to Action by the Interventionist Left

June 2007. A never ending procession of demonstrators from all over the world, protesting against the summit of the G8 states, snakes through the streets of Rostock.

Tens of thousands greet the heads of government as soon as they arrive on the airport's runway and blockade the opulent conference location of Heiligendamm. Over and over again the smooth conduct of the meeting is threatened, as the summit's logistical support is disrupted by creative actions. In the public's eye are not the statements of the powerful, but the multiplicity of protests and resistance.

'Delegitimise the G8' is no longer a mere demand, it is what is actually happening on the streets, at the fences, in the debates in the camps and the countersummit – it is what is globally being recognised as the result of a series of preparatory Rostock Action Conferences.

For over a year, social movements, trade unions, campaigns of engaged Christians, different Non-Governmental Organisations, alterglobalists, the parties of the parliamentary and the networks of the radical left had prepared for this. Their common stance, their political will not to be separated in spite of their differences, rendered both the media's disinformation and the police's repression useless.
Our chance to make Rostock into such an event is based on the protests in Seattle, Prague, Genoa and Florence. This possibility is also a practical result of the debates in Social Fora, of the alterglobalist and radical left in Germany, in Europe, and around the world. In it, that which has been fought out in countless local struggles, here and everywhere on the planet is coming together. If we use this opportunity, it will take us far beyond Heiligendamm and Rostock, far beyond every anti-G8 campaign.

The delegitimation of the G8 is only one step in the emergence of a global movement against neoliberal, globalised capitalist domination. The Interventionist Left sees itself as part of this emergence. We come from different generations and different milieus of the undogmatic radical left, are active in antifascist organisations, in different social movements and political campaigns, work individually – yet in a coordinated manner – in trade unions, social associations and alternative projects. We met in the emergence of anti-neoliberal and alterglobalist struggles.

For a radical intervention in social realities

For the last few years, wherever the G8, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the coordinating bodies of NATO and the EU have met, the new resistance movement's caravan is already there, ready for a determined fight against the world's neoliberal managers. For while these meetings claim to be the legitimate representation of the "civilised world" they are organising the continuation of a destructive process in which – one example – every second someone in the world dies of malnutrition.

They talk of freedom, peace and justice, of democracy and the boundless competition of the market as the necessary preconditions for happiness and prosperity for all. All the while the global army of the "superfluous" keeps growing, with every new social cutback the need for militarily securing the free flow of commodities and profits grows stronger, war becomes a global domestic policy, human rights are suspended in the name of human rights and torture once again becomes acceptable.

However, it is only our job to delegitimate the G8 because they have managed to acquire legitimacy in spite of all this. When the G8 promise to create and secure world order, they win approval, amongst other reasons, because millions around the world are in fact threatened by insecurity. When the G8 free up market based competition and the division of labour for happiness and prosperity from all its fetters, again they win approval because the competition for survival is an everyday reality for millions everywhere and has often been the strategy to secure one's own – however measly – existence.

Reinventing the left

If we want to challenge, subvert, and ultimately destroy the legitimacy of the G8, then we have to find other answers to the global insecurity of survival, other answers to the everyday compulsion to compete. Answers different not only from those of neoliberal discourse, but also from those of the historic left and the historic social movements. For the chain of "humanitarian interventions" and the confusion, disorientation and the not infrequently openly reactionary character of resistance against the imperial(ist) war prove beyond a doubt that international solidarity – the be all and end all of every emancipatory initiative – can today no longer simply be understood as the unity of the left in the North with the insurgents in the South.

At the same time, "local" resistance against everyday exploitation and exclusion can no longer be grounded only in the identity, fundamental to the workers' movement, of a "universal class position" of exploitation. Neither is the appeal to the differential experience of patriarchal or racist domination that guided the New Social Movements sufficient. Such appeals are at the very least rendered impossible by the fundamental uncertainty of daily survival and the individualising fragmentation of social connections.

Of course, this is not because today there is no exploitation based on class, or patriarchal and racist domination. Rather, this is the case because the exploited classes have been dissolved into a highly differentiated hierarchy of precarisation – and "difference" and "subjectivity" have become discursive weapons in the arsenal of the neoliberal commando. Class is determined by class struggle. It is the task of the left to identify the existing conditions for a potential collective emergence, and to articulate them as a political project. To want to delegitimate capital's domination, neoliberalism, and therefore the G8, under current conditions thus primarily and ultimately implies at the same time to reinvent the left and the social movements.

Movement of Movements

The mobilisation against the G8 summit in Heiligendamm can draw on experiences that were gained in Seattle, Genoa and Florence, but also Caracas , La Paz, and most recently in Oaxaca. These experiences are the foundation of initiatives that resist systematic disenfranchisement through the globalisation of social, cultural, economic and political rights as global civil rights, beginning with the crucial rights to freedom of movement and freedom to remain.

These initiatives in turn link to the resistances against the military fortification of the metropolises and the imperal(ist) war of world order, as well as with those against the daily intensification of exploitation and labour regimes. Everywhere these struggles cross paths, the claim is made – of course not without contradictions and sometimes tortuous conflicts – that life is not for sale, a claim that becomes materially concrete for example in an unconditional basic income for all, but which more generally challenges the increasing becoming-capitalist of life and the compulsion to wage labour.

The claim that life is not for sale entails the demand for a reversal of the material and resource flows from North to South, that in a first step require the unconditional cancellation of all the debts of the global South and reparation payments for colonial and imperialist exploitation. The radicalisation, extension and development of all these initiatives ultimately has to and will pose the "old" questions of power and property once more, they will pose themselves as world-historical questions and thus return to our present the question of a break with the system of private property coded along lines of class, gender, race, and imperial(ist) power.

For the world is still nothing more than that which the history of social struggles will make of it. Liberated life can only be experienced within the horizon of the overcoming of all relations of domination.

The common

We can only grasp this opportunity in common, and as our common opportunity. We take this "we" to go beyond the groups and projects within the network of the Interventionist Left. "We" also doesn't just refer to the different milieus of the extraparliamentary and parliamentary left. "We" refers to that which, since Seattle, has been called the "movement of movements". "We" refers to a global constellation of emancipatory politics that extends beyond the left, as well as the older and newer social movements. There is an international potential to resist the domination of capital, together. This possibility and necessity to organise for resistance and in this invent what is common will today become different and more than that which used to be called "coalition" or "block". Neither is there today an industrial proletariat that – in the conception of the workers' parties – was the only class that could effectively fight capital, nor are the movements "antechamber" or "mass process" of a left that would be their vanguard; neither do the movements in their multiplicity and spontaneity replace that, which differentiates itself from them as the "left", nor do the quarrels between different ways of being left disappear. Still, this process aims neither at some ultimate unity, nor a final split. For a coming left the communication of initiatives and struggles will not be means to an end beyond itself, but a means that is itself an end for the construction of the collective, the common. However, this will only be possible through the practically tested play of diversity, in the showing of solidarity and open constellation of ones differences and in the decisive intervention in the relations of society, that is, of domination.

Before the summit, after the summit

A global alternative to the global governance of capital, patriarchy and racism is a matter of a common, that is, internally multiple and diverse counterpower in movement. To intervene into such a movement from the radical left is not a question of rhetoric, but of the practical connection of struggles with the aim of radicalising them. We believe that within the mobilisation against the G8 summit, activists from the protests against welfare cutbacks, the environmental and peace movements, the left trade unions and human rights groups, of self-organised migrants and alterglobalist networks, as well as the different currents of the left should all begin communicating about this. This is what our intervention is about, as an intervention whose tendency it is to blast open the system and which therefore is a radical left one. The extent to which this will succeed depends first of all on the relations of solidarity amongst participants to one another, on the transparency of debate, the reliability of agreements, and the mutual acceptance of and respect for different forms of action and expression.

But, and this is no contradiction, it also depends on that which is at its origin: the rejection of the G8, of neoliberalism, of the global rule of capital in a mass refusal and rebellion in the streets of Rostock and in front of the fences in Heiligendamm that is communicated globally. That is why we will take part in all the demonstrations, days of action and counter activities. That is why we want to turn the arrival of the eight heads of state and government into their disaster. That is why we are involved with Block G8, in which many groups from different traditions of protest and resistance have come together to effectively blockade the meeting of the G8 with thousands of people, in a show of solidarity and an action of a common: Ya Basta! Enough is Enough! That is why we are calling for the creation, in all cities and regions, of local coalitions and networks across political milieus, that can connect the local conflicts to the global struggles: the everyday of a different globalisation, of the other world that already shines through in our struggles. Join the winning side!