Sunday, February 05, 2006

New Radicals
A good read; The New Anarchists by David Graeber.

"...I’d like to tease out some of the questions the direct-action networks raise about alienation, and its broader implications for political practice. For example: why is it that, even when there is next to no other constituency for revolutionary politics in a capitalist society, the one group most likely to be sympathetic to its project consists of artists, musicians, writers, and others involved in some form of non-alienated production? Surely there must be a link between the actual experience of first imagining things and then bringing them into being, individually or collectively, and the ability to envision social alternatives—particularly, the possibility of a society itself premised on less alienated forms of creativity? One might even suggest that revolutionary coalitions always tend to rely on a kind of alliance between a society’s least alienated and its most oppressed; actual revolutions, one could then say, have tended to happen when these two categories most broadly overlap.

This would, at least, help explain why it almost always seems to be peasants and craftsmen—or even more, newly proletarianized former peasants and craftsmen—who actually overthrow capitalist regimes; and not those inured to generations of wage labour. It would also help explain the extraordinary importance of indigenous people’s struggles in the new movement: such people tend to be simultaneously the very least alienated and most oppressed people on earth."

Which has echoes of Ward Churchill's assertions that the No.1 job for North American activists is not the liberation of Iraq, but the de-colonialisation of North America.

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