Radical media, politics and culture.


hydrarchist writes:

This is a text prepared by the anarchist federation from Szczecin for the
anarcho-syndicalist conference in Essen at the end of this month.

Protests in Szczecin Shipyards and the Workers' Situation in Poland


Over the last few years the situation of Polish workers has gotten much
worse due to economic recession. As a result, wages have been cut and
workers are forced to work in worse and worse conditions. Workers are being
blackmailed; either they agree with the conditions dictated by the bosses or
they lose their jobs. Employers most often explain themselves by saying
that they have to adapt to free market conditions and so effiency, which
already is rather high, has to be increased. They'll also tell you that
there are many people ready to take your job.

The Economics of Global Empire

By Henry C K Liu, Asia Times

The productivity boom in the US was as much a mirage as the money that drove the apparent boom. There was no productivity boom in the US in the last two decades of the 20th century; there was an import boom. What's more, this boom was driven not by the spectacular growth of the American economy; it was driven by debt borrowed from the low-wage countries producing this wealth. Or, to put it a tad less technically, the economic boom that made possible the current US political hegemony was fueled by payments of tribute from vassal states kept perpetually at the level of subsistence poverty by their own addiction to exports. Call it the New Rome theory of US economic performance.

Full story is at Global Economy

hydrarchist writes"This is an edited version of comments
delivered by LBO editor Doug Henwood on his July 25, 2002,
radio show. The show is "Behind the News," Thursdays,
5-6 PM eastern U.S. time, on WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York, or on
the web.

Bill O'Reilly, host of the O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, one
of the funniest shows on TV (and not always intentionally so),
has a feature on every show called "The Most Ridiculous Item
of the Day." O'Reilly's politics are largely appalling, but
he's entertaining, and I'm going to steal this idea and begin
presenting a Most Ridiculous Item of the Week on this show. Here's
the premiere.

According to official capitalist ideology,
CEOs and other top execs deserve their enormous salaries because
they're big risk takers and because they contribute so much to
society. It's pretty well established that executive pay actually
bears little resemblance to performance - and here's an extreme
case. Neal Travis reports in today's New York Post (uh-oh,
that's my second citation in less than a minute of a Murdoch media
property - I assure you this is entirely accidental) Bob Pittman,
who's been squeezed out of a top job at the troubled media giant
AOL Time Warner, is going to leave with a $60 million-plus severance
deal. Now this is a company whose stock is off more than 80% over
the last two years - twice as much as the overall market, and
which is now under investigation by the SEC for accounting chicanery.
If you get $60 million for being part of a collossal failure,
what would the price tag be for success?

hydrarchist writes

Black Cats,White Cats,Wildcats: Auto Workers in Detroit

Marty Glaberman

EDITORS' NOTE: This article originally appeared in 1969 in SPEAK
OUT, a socialist periodical published in Detroit. We thought it would
be a good introduction to the article which follows, an account of the
League of Revolutionary Black Workers and its activity in a Detroit

Chrysler plant in the late 1960's and early 1970's. Detroit workers have been through many stages. From carriage production to car production to tank and plane production and back to car production. From prosperity to war to depression to war and back to prosperity and depression. From open shop to union shop; from democratic union to bureaucratic union.

hydrarchist writes : This article is aprt of a more general project being conducted by several groups in Europe on conditions in modern workplaces. You can find more info at Prol-Position, Hotlines and Kolinko.

Being a McWorker, a McDonald's report from Germany

What is McDonald's?

McDonald's is used by some people as a symbol of 'evil multi-national American imperialist culture'. But in reality it only has a different face from any other employer. Working for wages IS exploitation, be it in McDonald's or an organic bread shop. Although some say that working for McDs is especially bad in terms of supporting multi-nationals, almost all companies are tied into 'global economy' through production, supplies or sales. In contrast to this, working for McDonald's can lead to possibilities for the world wide workers struggle in a two ways:

1. Where I work, almost all the workers are immigrant workers, who live in isolated communities to a greater or lesser extent and sometimes have contact to their home countries. At McDonald's they meet each other, share experiences and stories of life in Germany, of life back home, of why they are here and the situations in their home countries. This multi-culti image that McDonald's likes to have in its adverts is perversely true, due to the limited opportunities for immigrants in the German labour market. So they are international in both senses, the company goes all over the world, and once there they bring together people who have had to move around the world themselves. Oh yeah - and then of course there is the international promotions such as Asia week!

hydrarchist submits:

Gruppe Krisis

Manifesto Against Labour

1. The rule of dead labour

A corpse rules society - the corpse of labour. All powers around the globe
formed an alliance to defend its rule: the Pope and the World Bank, Tony Blair
and Jörg Haider, trade unions and entrepreneurs, German ecologists and
French socialists. They don't know but one slogan: jobs, jobs, jobs!

Manifesto Against Labour

Gruppe Krisis


In its distress, the dying labour idol has become auto-cannibalistic. In search of remaining labour "food", capital breaks up the boundaries of national economy and globalises by means of nomadic cut-throat competition. Entire regions of the world are cut off from the global flows of capital and commodities. In an unprecedented wave of mergers and "hostile takeovers", global players get ready for the final battle of private entrepeneurship. The disorganised states and nations implode, their populations, driven mad by the struggle for survival, attack each other in ethnic gang wars.

The basic moral principle is the right of the person to his work. [...]
For me there is nothing more detestable than an idle life. None of us has
a right to that. Civilisation has no room for idlers.

Henry Ford

Capital itself is the moving contradiction, [in] that
it presses to reduce labour time to a minimum, while it posits labour time,
on the other side, as sole measure and source of wealth. [...] On the one
side, then, it calls to life all the powers of science and of nature, as
of social combination and of social intercourse, in order to make the creation
of wealth independent (relatively) of the labour time employed on it. On
the other side, it wants to use labour time as the measuring rod for the
giant social forces thereby created, and to confine them within the limits
required to maintain the already created value as value.

Karl Marx, Foundation of the Critique of Political Economy, 1857/8

12. The end of politics

Necessarily the crisis of labour entails the crisis of state and politics.
In principle, the modern state owes its career to the fact that the commodity
producing system is in need of an overarching authority guaranteeing the general
preconditions of competition, the general legal foundations, and the preconditions
for the valorisation process - inclusive of a repression apparatus in case human
material defaults the systemic imperatives and becomes insubordinate. Organising
the masses in the form of bourgeois democracy, the state had to increasingly
take on socio-economic functions in the 20th century. Its function is not limited
to the provision of social services but comprises public health, transportation,
communication and postal service, as well as infrastructures of all kind. The
latter state-run or state-supervised services are essential for the working
of the labour society, but cannot be organised as a private enterprise valorisation
process; "privatised" public services are most often nothing but state
consumption in disguise. The reason for that is that such infrastructure must
be available for the society as a whole on a permanent basis and cannot follow
the market cycles of supply and demand.

As the state is not a valorisation unit in its own and thus not able to transform
labour into money, it has to skim off money from the actual valorisation process
to finance its state functions. If the valorisation of value comes to a standstill,
the coffers of state empty. The state, purported to be the social sovereign,
proves to be completely dependent on the blindly raging, fetishised economy
specific to the labour society. The state may pass as many bills as it wants,
if the forces of production (the general powers of humanity) outgrow the system
of labour, positive law, constituted and applicable only in relation to the
subjects of labour, leads nowhere.

As a result of the ever-increasing mass unemployment, revenues from the taxation
of earned income drain away. The social security net rips as soon as the number
of "superfluous" people constitutes a critical mass that has to be
fed by the redistribution of monetary yields generated elsewhere in the capitalist
system. However, with the rapid concentration process of capital in crisis,
exceeding the boundaries of national economies, state revenues from the taxation
of corporate profits drain away as well. The compulsions thereby exerted by
transnational corporations on national economies, who are competing for foreign
investment, result in tax dumping, dismantling of the welfare state, and the
downgrading of environment protection standards. That is why the democratic
state mutates into a mere crisis administrator.

The more the state approaches financial emergency, the more it is reduced to
its repressive core. Infrastructures are cut down to proportions just meeting
the requirements of transnational capital. As it was once the case in the colonies,
social logistics are increasingly restricted to a few economic centres while
the rest of the territory becomes wasteland. Whatever can be privatised is privatised,
even if more and more people are excluded from the most essential supplies.

When the valorisation of value concentrates on only a few world market havens,
a comprehensive supply system to satisfy the needs of the population as a whole
does not matter any longer. Whether there is train service or postal service
available is only relevant in respect to trade, industry, and financial markets.
Education becomes the privilege of the globalisation winners. Intellectual,
artistic, and theoretical culture is weighed against the criterion of marketability
and fades away. A widening financing gap ruins public health service, giving
rise to a class system of medical care. Surreptitiously and gradually at the
beginning, eventually with callous candour, the law of social euthanasia is
promulgated: Because you are poor and superfluous, you will have to die early.

In the fields of medicine, education, culture, and general infrastructure,
knowledge, skill, techniques and methods along with the necessary equipment
are available in abundance. However, pursuant to the "subject to sufficient
funds"-clause - the latter objectifying the irrational law of the labour
society - any of those capacities and capabilities has to be kept under lock
and key, or has to be demobilised and scrapped. The same applies to the means
of production in farming and industry as soon as they turn out to be "unprofitable".
Apart from the repressive labour simulation imposed on people by means of forced
labour and low-wage regime along with the cutback of social security payments,
the democratic state that already transformed into an apartheid system has nothing
on offer for his ex-labour subjects. At a more advanced stage, the administration
as such will disintegrate. The state apparatus will degenerate into a corrupt
"kleptocracy", the armed forces into Mafia-structured war gangs, and
police forces into highwaymen.

No policy conceivable can stop this process or even reverse it. By its essence
politics is related to social organisation in the form of state. When the foundations
of the state-edifice crumble, politics and policies become baseless. Day after
day, the left-wing democratic formula of the "political shaping" (politische
Gestaltung) of living conditions makes a fool of itself more and more. Apart
from endless repression, the gradual elimination of civilisation, and support
for the "terror of economy", there is nothing left to "shape".
As the social end-in-itself specific to the labour society is an axiomatic presupposition
of Western democracy, there is no basis for political-democratic regulation
when labour is in crisis. The end of labour is the end of politics.

13. The casino-capitalist simulation of labour society

The predominant social awareness deceives itself systematically about the actual
state of the labour society: Collapsing regions are excommunicated ideologically,
labour market statistics are distorted unscrupulously, and forms of impoverishment
are simulated away by the media. Simulation is the central feature of crisis
capitalism anyway. This is also true for the economy itself.

If - at least in the countries at the heart of the Western world - it seems
that capital accumulation is possible without labour employed and that money
as a pure form is able to guarantee the further valorisation of value out of
itself, such appearance is owing to the simulation process going on at financial
markets. As a mirror image of labour simulation by means of coercive measures
imposed by the labour administration authorities, a simulation of capital valorisation
developed from the speculative uncoupling of the credit system and equity market
from the actual economy.

Present-time labour employed is replaced by the tapping of future-time labour
that will never be employed in reality - capital accumulation taking place in
some fictitious future II so to speak. Monetary capital that no longer can profitably
be reinvested in active assets, and is therefore unable to consume labour, has
increasingly to resort to financial markets.

Even the Fordistic boom of capital valorisation in the heydays of the so-called
"economic miracle" after World War II was not entirely self-sustaining.
As it was impossible to finance the basic preconditions of labour society otherwise,
the state turned to deficit spending to an unprecedented extent. The credit
volume raised exceeded revenue from taxation by far. This means that the state
pledged its future actual revenue as a collateral security. On the one hand,
this way an investment opportunity for "superfluous" moneyed capital
was created; it was lent to the state on interest. The state settled interest
payment by raising fresh credit, thereby funnelling back the borrowed money
into economic circulation.

On the other hand, this implies that social security expenditure and public
spending on infrastructure was financed by way of credit. Hence, in terms of
capitalist logic, an "artificial" demand was created which was not
covered by productive labour power expenditure. By tapping its own future, the
labour society prolonged the lifetime of the Fordistic boom beyond its actual

This simulative element, being in operation even in times of a seemingly intact
valorisation process, came up against limiting factors in line with the amount
of indebtedness of the state. "Public debt crisis" in the capitalist
centres as well as in Third World countries put an end to the stimulation of
economic growth by means of deficit spending and laid the foundation for the
triumphant advance of neo-liberal deregulation policies. According to the liberal
ideology, deregulation can only be effected in line with a sweeping reduction
of the public-sector share in national product In reality costs and expenses
arising from crisis management, whether it is government spending on the repression
apparatus or national expenditure for the maintenance of the simulation machinery,
do compensate cost saving from deregulation and the reduction of state functions.
In many states, the public-sector share even expanded as a result.

However, it was not possible to simulate the further accumulation of capital
by means of deficit spending any longer. Consequently, in the eighties of last
century, the additional creation of fictitious capital shifted to the equity
market. No longer dividend, the share in real profit, is a matter of concern;
rather it is stock price gains, the speculative increase in value of the legal
title up to an astronomical magnitude, which counts. The ratio of real economy
to speculative price movements turned upside down. The speculative price advance
no longer anticipates real economic expansion but conversely, the bull market
of fictitious net profit generation simulates a real accumulation that no longer

Clinically dead, the labour idol is kept breathing artificially by means of
a seemingly self-induced expansion of financial markets. Industrial corporations
show profits that don't come from operating income, i.e. the production and
sale of goods - a loss-making branch of business for a long time - but from
the "clever" speculation of their financial departments in stocks
and currency. The revenue items shown in the budgets of public authorities are
not yielded by taxation or public borrowing, but by the keen participation of
fiscal administrations in the financial gambling markets. Families and one-person
households whose real income from wages or salaries is dropping dramatically,
keep to their spending spree habit by using stocks and prospective price gains
as a collateral for consumer credits. Once again, a new form of artificial demand
is created resulting in production and revenue "built upon sandy ground".

The speculative process is a dilatory tactic to defer the global economic crisis.
As the fictitious increase in the value of legal titles is only the anticipation
of future labour employed (to an astronomical magnitude) that will never be
employed, the lid will be taken off the objectified swindle after a certain
time of incubation. The breakdown of the "emerging markets" in Asia,
Latin America, and Eastern Europe was just a first foretaste. It is only a question
of time until the financial markets of the capitalist centres in the US, the
EU (European Union) and Japan will collapse.

These interrelations are completely distorted by the fetish-awareness of the
labour society, inclusive of traditional left-wing and right-wing "critics
of capitalism". Fixated on the labour phantom, which was ennobled to be
the transhistorical and positive precondition of human existence, they systematically
confuse cause and effect. The speculative expansion of financial markets, which
is the cause for the temporary deferment of crisis, is then just the other way
around, detected to be the cause of the crisis. The "evil speculators",
they say more or less panic-stricken, will ruin the absolutely wonderful labour
society by gambling away "good" money of which they have more than
enough just for kicks, instead of bravely investing it in marvellous "jobs"
so that a labour maniac humanity may enjoy "full employment" self-indulgently.

It is beyond them that it is by no means speculation that brought investment
in real economy to a standstill, but that such investment became unprofitable
as a result of the 3rd industrial revolution. The speculative take off of share
prices is just a symptom of the inner dynamics. Even according to capitalist
logic, this money, seemingly circulating in ever-increasing loads, is not "good"
money any longer but rather "hot air" inflating the speculative bubble.
Any attempt to tap this bubble by means of whatsoever tax (Tobin-tax, etc.)
to divert money flows to the ostensibly "correct" and real social
treadmills will most probably bring about the sudden burst of the bubble.

Instead of realising that we all become inexorably unprofitable and therefore
the criterion of profitability itself, together with the immanent foundations
of labour society, should be attacked as being obsolete, one indulges in demonising
the "speculators". Right-wing extremists, left-wing "subversive
elements", worthy trade unionists, Keynesian nostalgics, social theologians,
TV hosts, and all the other apostles of "honest" labour unanimously
cultivate such a cheap concept of an enemy. Very few of them are aware of the
fact that it is only a small step from such reasoning to the re-mobilisation
of the anti-Semitic paranoia. To invoke the "creative power" of national-blooded
non-monetary capital to fight the "money-amassing" Jewish-international
monetary capital threatens to be the ultimate creed of the intellectually dissolute
left; as it has always been the creed of the racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-American
"job-creation-scheme" right.

As soon as labour in the direct form has ceased to be the great well-spring
of wealth, labour time ceases and must cease to be its measure, and hence
exchange value [must cease to be the measure] of use value. [...] With that,
production based on exchange value breaks down, and the direct, material
production process is stripped of the form of penury and antithesis.

Karl Marx, Foundation of the Critique of Political Economy, 1857/8

14. Labour can not be redefined

After centuries of domestication, the modern human being can not even imagine
a life without labour. As a social imperative, labour not only dominates the
sphere of the economy in the narrow sense, but also pervades social existence
as a whole, creeping into everyday life and deep under the skin of everybody.
"Free time", a prison term in its literal meaning, is spent to consume
commodities in order to increase (future) sales.

Beyond the internalised duty of commodity consumption as an end-in-itself and
even outside offices and factories, labour casts its shadow on the modern individual.
As soon as our contemporary rises from the TV chair and becomes active, every
action is transformed into an act similar to labour. The joggers replace the
time clock by the stopwatch, the treadmill celebrates its post-modern rebirth
in chrome-plated gyms, and holidaymakers burn up the kilometres as if they had
to emulate the year's work of a long-distance lorry driver. Even sexual intercourse
is orientated towards the standards of sexology and talk show boasting.

King Midas was quite aware of meeting his doom when anything he touched turned
into gold; his modern fellow sufferers, however, are far beyond this stage.
The demons for work (labour) even don't realise any longer that the particular
sensual quality of any activity fades away and becomes insignificant when adjusted
to the patterns of labour. On the contrary, our contemporaries quite generally
only ascribe meaning, validity and social significance to an activity if they
can square it with the indifference of the world of commodities. His labour's
subjects don't know what to make of a feeling like grief; the transformation
of grief into grieving-work, however, makes the emotional alien element a known
quantity one is able to gossip about with people of one's own kind. This way
dreaming turns into dreaming-work, to concern oneself with a beloved one turns
into relationship-work, and care for children into child raising work past caring.
Whenever the modern human being insists on the seriousness of his activities,
he pays homage to the idol by using the word "work" (labour).

The imperialism of labour then is reflected not only in colloquial language.
We are not only accustomed to using the term "work/labour" inflationary,
but also mix up two essentially different meanings of the word. "Labour"
no longer, as it would be correct, stands for the capitalist form of activity
carried out in the end-in-itself treadmills, but became a synonym for any goal-directed
human effort in general, thereby covering up its historical tracks.

This lack of conceptual clarity paves the way for the widespread "common-sense"
critique of labour society, which argues just the wrong way around by affirming
the imperialism of labour in a positivist way. As if labour would not control
life through and through, the labour society is accused of conceptualising "labour"
too narrowly by only validating marketable gainful employment as "true"
labour in disregard of morally decent do-it-yourself work or unpaid self-help
(housework, neighbourly help, etc.). An upgrading and broadening of the concept
labour shall eliminate the one-sided fixation along with the hierarchy involved.

Such thinking is not at all aimed at emancipation from the prevailing compulsions,
but is only semantic patchwork. The apparent crisis of the labour society shall
be resolved by manipulation of social awareness in elevating services, which
are extrinsic to the capitalist sphere of production and deemed to be inferior
so far, to the nobility of "true" labour. Yet the inferiority of these
services is not merely the result of a certain ideological view, but inherent
in the very fabric of the commodity-producing system and cannot be abolished
by means of a nice moral re-definition.

What can be regarded as "real" wealth has to be expressed in monetary
form in a society ruled by commodity production as an end-in-itself. The concept
of labour determined by this structure imperialistically rubs off onto any other
sphere, although only in a negative way in making clear that basically everything
is subjected to its rule. So the spheres extrinsic to commodity production necessarily
remain well within the shadow of the capitalist production sphere because they
don't square with economic administrative time logic even if - and strictly
when - their function is vital as it is the case with respect to "female
labour" in the spheres of "sweet" home, loving care, etc.

A moralising broadening of the labour concept instead of radical criticism
not only veils the social imperialism of the commodity producing economy, but
fits extremely well with the authoritarian crisis management. The call for the
full recognition of "housework" and other menial services carried
out in the so-called "3rd sector", raised since the 1970s of the last
century, was focused on social benefits at the beginning. The administration
in crisis, however, has turned the table and mobilises the moral impetus of
such a claim straight against financial hopes in making use of the infamous
"subsidiarity principle".

Singing the praise of "honorary posts" and "honorary citizen
activity" does not mean that citizens may poke about in the nearly empty
public coffers. Rather, it is meant to cover up the state's retreat from the
field of social services, to conceal the forced labour schemes that are already
under way, and to mask the mean attempt to shift the burden of crisis onto women.
The public institutions retire from social commitment, appealing kindly and
free of charge to "all of us" from now on to take "private"
initiative in fighting one's very own or other's misery and never demand financial
aid. This way the definition juggle with the still "sacred" concept
of labour, widely misunderstood as an emancipatory approach, clears the way
for the abolition of wages by retention of labour on the scorched earth of the
market economy. The steps taken by public institutions bear out that today social
emancipation cannot be achieved by means of a re-definition of labour, but only
by a conscious devaluation of the very concept.

Along with material prosperity, ordinary person-related services would
increase immaterial prosperity. The well-being of the customer will improve
if the "service provider" relieves him of cumbersome chores. At
the same time the well-being of the "service-provider" will improve
because the service rendered is likely to strengthen his self-esteem. The
rendering of an ordinary, person-related service is better for the psyche
[of the service provider] than the situation of being jobless. Report of
the "Commission on future social questions of the free states of Bavaria
and Saxony", 1997

[...]Properly thou hast no other knowledge but what thou
hast got by working: the rest is yet all a hypothesis.

Thomas Carlyle, Working and not Despairing, 1843

15. The crisis of opposing interests

However much the fundamental crisis of labour is repressed and made a taboo,
its influence on any social conflict is undeniable. The transition from a society
that was able to integrate the masses to a system of selection and apartheid
though did not lead to a new round of the old class struggle between capital
and labour. Rather the result was a categorical crisis of the opposing interests
as inherent in the system as such. Even in the period of prosperity after World
War II, the old emphasis of class struggle was on the wane. The reason for that
was not that the "preordained" revolutionary subject (i.e. the working
class) had been integrated into society by means of manipulative wheelings and
dealings and the bribes of a questionable prosperity. On the contrary, the emphasis
faded because the logical identity of capital and labour as functional categories
of a common social fetish form became evident on the stage of social development
reached in the times of Fordism. The desire to sell the commodity labour power
at best price, as immanent in the system, destroyed any transcendental perspective.

Up to the seventies of last century, the working class struggled for the participation
of ever larger sections of the population in the venomous fruits of the labour
society. Under the crisis conditions of the 3rd Industrial Revolution however,
even this impetus lost momentum. Only as long as the labour society expanded,
was it possible to stage the battle of opposing interests on a large scale.
When the common foundation falls into ruins, it becomes more or less impossible
to pursue the interests as inherent in the system by means of joint action.
De-solidarity becomes a general phenomenon. Wage workers desert trade unions,
senior executives desert employers' associations - everyone for himself, and
the capitalist system-god against everybody. Individualisation, so often invoked,
is nothing but another symptom of the crisis of labour society.

It is only on a micro-economic scale that interests may still be able to combine.
Inasmuch as it became somewhat of a privilege to organise one's very own life
in accordance with the principles of business administration, which, by the
way, makes a mockery of the idea of social emancipation, the representation
of the interests of the commodity labour power degenerated into tough lobbyism
of ever smaller sections of the society. Whoever is willing to accept the logic
of labour has to accept the logic of apartheid as well. The various trade unions
focus on ensuring that their ever smaller and very particular membership is
able to sell its skin at the cost of the members of other unions. Workers and
shop stewards no longer fight the executive management of their own company,
but the wage earners of competing enterprises and industrial locations, no matter
whether the rivals are based in the nearest neighbourhood or in the Far East.
Should the question arise who is going to get the kick when the next internal
company rationalisation becomes due, the colleagues next door turn into foes.

The uncompromising de-solidarity is not restricted to the internal conflicts
in companies or the rivalry between various trade unions. As all the functional
categories of the labour society in crisis fanatically insist on the logic immanent
in the system, that is, that the well-being of humans has to be a mere by-product
or side effect of capital valorisation, nowadays basically any conflict is governed
by the "St. Florian-principle". (German saying/prayer: "Holy
St. Florian, please spare my home. Instead of that you may set on fire the homes
in my neighbourhood". St. Florian is the patron saint of fire protection.)
All lobbyists know the rules and play the game. Any penny received by the clients
of a competing faction is a loss. Any cut in social security payments to the
detriment of others may improve one's own prospect of a further period of grace.
Thus the old-age pensioner becomes the natural adversary of all social security
contributors, the sick person turns into the enemy of health insurance policy
holders, and the hatred of "native citizens" is unleashed on immigrants.

This way the attempt to use opposing interests inherent in the system as a leverage
for social emancipation is irreversibly exhausted. The traditional left has
finally reached a dead end. A rebirth of radical critique of capitalism depends
on the categorical break with labour. Only if the new aim of social emancipation
is set beyond labour and its derivatives (value, commodity, money, state, law
as a social form, nation, democracy, etc.), a high level of solidarity becomes
possible for society as a whole. Resistance against the logic of lobbyism and
individualisation then could point beyond the present social formation, but
only if the prevailing categories are referred to in a non-positivist way.

Until now, the left shirks the categorical break with labour society. Systemic
constraints are played down to be mere ideology, the logic of the crises is
considered to be due to a political project of the "ruling class".
The categorical break is replaced by "social-democratic" and Keynesian
nostalgia. The left does not strive for a new concrete universality beyond abstract
labour and money form, but frantically holds on to the old form of abstract
universality which they deem to be the one and only basis for the battle of
opposing interests as intrinsic to the system. However, these attempts remain
abstract and cannot integrate any social mass movement simply because the left
dodges dealing with the preconditions and causes of the crisis of the labour

This is particularly true of the call for a guaranteed citizen's income. Instead
of combining concrete social action and resistance against certain measures
of the apartheid regime with a general programme against labour, this demand
produces a false universality of social critique, which remains abstract, intrinsic
to the system, and helpless in every respect. The motive force behind the cut-throat
competition described above cannot be neutralised that way. The full swing of
the global labour treadmill to the end of time is ignorantly presupposed; where
should the money to finance a state-guaranteed income come from, if not from
the smooth running of the valorisation machine? Whoever relies on such a "social
dividend" (even this term speaks volumes) has on the quiet to bank on a
winner position of his "own" country in the global free-market economy.
Only the winner of the free-market world war may be able to afford the feeding
of millions of capitalistically "superfluous" and penniless

polo writes "


Chiapas has hosted thousands of International activists - Peace-Campers, Human Rights delegates, Reality-tourists and solidarity activists. It has been a good training ground for anti-globalization activists, and an inspiration for organizing and strategic thinking. As the Irish Mexico Group completes its 6-year mission in the Zapatista community Diez de Abril, Ramor Ryan argues that it is time to renovate existing models of solidarity.

Unfortunately we had already published several historical articles on Mayday when this arrived, thus an apology for the delay. Below you can find writings from Marx, Luxemburg, Jackie Dana, the Spanish FAI and ..... Lenin! Enjoy.

HotSauce! writes....."another May Day is upon us and every year I like to review what lead up to this world wide holiday that still remains unacknowledged HERE, where the struggle began......

May Day IS OUR HOLIDAY.... the holiday of people everywhere who are fighting to
create a new world. It is a day to re-affirm our commitment to international
working class solidarity, but it is also a day to pay honor and tribute to
the revolutionary struggle of the people against all types of
oppression, a day when we should continue to stand firm in our opposition
to this unjust society, to its managers and their collaborators. .

Below are a few articles about May Day's origins and history.--TOPLAB

May Day: The REAL Labor Day

by Jackie Dana

"Workmen, let your watchword be: No compromise! Cowards to the rear! Men to
the front! The die is cast. The first of May, whose historic significance
will be understood and appreciated only in later years, has come." --Albert
Spies, May 1886

CELEBRATE  MOE!  A  Tribute  to  Moe  Foner

Apr  24, 2002

Town  Hall, NYC

Wednesday  April  24th  was  one  night  in  which  NYC's  Labor-Left  came  together  and  offered  no  sign  of  splits  or  tiring.  It  was  a  night  for  affirmation  and  honor  of  our  heritage  and  future...all  in  honor  of  Moe  Foner.


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