By now, it is a matter of fact. The world is on the verge of being transformed into a single enormous supermarket. From San Francisco to Calcutta, from Rio de Janeiro to Moscow, we will all get in line to consume the same identical products of unnatural, gaudy appearance. That which forms an authentic wealth to safeguard for many—autonomy and difference—could be swept away forever by the imposition of an economic policy and the consequent social system. When we are presented with a single possibility while every alternative is kept from us by force, we cannot speak of freedom of choice in the face of an offer, but only of coerced obedience. The continuing production of our days on earth (with all their pleasures, tastes and hues), when a single model of life to which we are to conform is imposed on it, is the totalitarian abyss that many see opening before them.

Briefly, NEOLIBERALISM is the name given to the particular economic policy that the Masters of the earth are applying. GLOBALIZATION is the name given to the process of homogenizing unification that it entails. Over the past several months, hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets against neoliberalism and globalization. On the occasion of meetings between the political and economic leaders of the most powerful states (in Seattle, Davos, Washington D.C., Melbourne, Prague, Gothenburg,…), protest demonstrations have been organized that have claimed the attention of the entire mass media. The next occasion is to be in Genoa at the end of July, corresponding to the G8 summit. But if, two years ago, this protest movement could close its eyes to certain contradictions within it so as to avoid putting a brake on the initial momentum, it seems to us that reflection on its significance is becoming increasingly urgent and admits no delay.

Neoliberalism supports a kind of capitalism without frontiers. The most powerful multinationals (mostly US capital) thus succeed in imposing their interests even when these go against the "national good" of the little states. Intolerable, right? But what are the opponents of neoliberalism fighting against? Logically, the most extreme would have to answer "against capitalism", while the less extreme would have to say, "against capitalism without frontiers". The former, as enemies of a world based on profit—no matter who benefits from it or within what border the exploitation occurs—the latter as enemies of a world based on the profit (of the ruling class) of the richest countries at the expense of the profit (of the ruling class) of the power countries. But whoever merely protests against the limitless global expansion of capitalism, against its lack of respect for borders, in substance shows themselves to be in favor of a form of local capitalism, even if ideal controlled from the bottom. Therefore, within the movement against neoliberalism and globalization two spirits live together, which for linguistic convenience we have differentiated as the "more extreme"—who want the elimination of capitalism and declare themselves against all governments and their representatives from whom they have nothing to demand—and the "less extreme"—who support or at least end up accepting the necessity of capitalism with a human face, limited and regulated by a democratic government, and whose intention is to explain their reasons to the current rulers. Not a small difference. But then, how and why did they come to find a point of agreement? For convenience, above all. Alliances draw together to gain strength. But it would be foolish to believe that in an alliance the sides in play are all situated on the same level. There is always a stronger side and a weaker side. And naturally, it is the stronger side that dictates the conditions of an alliance, decrees its slogans, determines its movements, derives the greatest advantage from it and—if it is sufficiently able—causes the potential disadvantages to fall on the weaker side. The only thing left to the weaker side, if it wants to do anything, is to conform itself. So then, the alliance of the two spirits present in the movement is determined by the choice of a common enemy: neoliberalism. In the face of the great power of the opposing side, it is said, differences must be set aside for now: "First we stop globalization, then we will see what to do." The condition posed would even be understandable if it were mutually respected. But how do things really stand? Do both the components of this Sacred Alliance stand to benefit from it equally? Are the existing differences expressed in the same manner and do they hold the same possibilities?

What then is the declared enemy of the anti-globalization movement, capitalism as such or neoliberalism? And when we are present there at the summits of the superpowers convinced that we are "putting pressure" on the Masters of the Earth to which side’s needs is it responding? At the various anti-globalization demonstrations, violent clashes with the forces of order have occurred. This is what has forced the mass media to pay more attention to the disputes. Here is the usefulness of the alliance—some of the more extreme will say. In the final analysis, if it hadn’t been for the thousands of other, less extreme, demonstrators whose mere presence served to hinder the maneuvers of the police, these clashes wouldn’t had such a favorable outcome for the demonstrators. But the less extreme are also satisfied that there have been clashes. In the final analysis, if the "extremist menace" that needed to be averted had not been there on display, the Masters of the Earth would have had no reason to listen to them. As to those demonstrators who use clashes with the police in order to gain recognition from the earth’s Masters as go-betweens, it is clear that though they speak out of both sides of their mouth ("we are not violent, but we clash with the police", "we give advice to government officials and sit on municipal councils but we are antagonists"), they belong by right an by deed to the less extreme objectors to neoliberalism since their objectives are the same and they only distinguish themselves from the latter through the means they use to pursue these objectives. Now battling the police is not the primary objective of the more extreme, while being heard by the earth’s Masters is the primary objective of the less extreme. Paradoxically, who has the most reason to exult in the disorders that have happened up to now? In other words, to whom is this strange anti-neoliberalist coalition benefiting the most, the more extreme like the Black Bloc or the less extreme like the Monde Diplomatique?

Let’s digress for a moment. It is not at all strange that the mass media has rebaptized the movement with the name "the people of Seattle". It is as difficult to find a gram of intelligence in the head of a journalist as to find water in the desert. But we don’t understand why this idiotic description is repeated by a large part of the movement itself. It is useless, the American dream even enchants its would-be opponents, those who on the one hand announce their refusal to live "like Americans" and on the other hand accept protesting "like Americans". So if the friends of neoliberalism look to Washington, D.C., its enemies look to Seattle. It matters little, after all its only a matter of miles, as long as all eyes are turned to the USA. In spite of the much praised Autonomy.

Autonomy would like every one to be more or less free to choose what, when, how, where and with whom to act. The "people of Seattle", on the other hand, like all People, is afflicted with a political defect. Within it are aspiring mayors, aldermen, councilors, even up to parliamentary whip. Of course, we are referring to those who intend to be elected as legitimate representatives of the "people of Seattle" in order to be invited by the earth’s Masters to sit with them at the next negotiating table, after having sat at the police chief’s table. At bottom this is all more than understandable. Less understandable is that the others adapt themselves to this ignoble game and allow themselves to be treated as citizens who are requested not to disturb the public peace. For months we have witnessed a painful spectacle. The Masters of the earth meet in the most varied corners of the world to formalize decisions made elsewhere. Their opponents follow them like puppies in search of attention: they stand on two paws, bark, growl, at times even nip at the edge of the pants of those who rule them.

Now it is quite clear. Though there is nothing to say to the true citizens of "the people of Seattle, we would like to address some observations to the others—to those without fatherland, to the deserter from all citizenship. At Gothenburg, the police fired, wounding a demonstrator who was throwing a rock. The Italian government has already made it known that it is interested in listening to the less violent opponents, provided that the more stubborn are left out of the dialogue. This can only mean one thing: having achieved their first goal—the much sought after institutional recognition—the less extreme opponents will quickly cease to be interested in continuing to march along side the more extreme who were useful up to now, having at first contributed to keeping the tension that created such excellent publicity high, but who will only be an encumbrance to them from now on. As soon as they are admitted into the presence of the earth’s Masters, what use will it be to them to continue using certain means? And at that point, what will happen? Those who have participated in this movement stirred by a hatred for capitalism have fought against its guard dogs, smashing shop windows and destroying machines, determined to destroy this world from top to bottom. But who chose the place and time from which to launch this attack? The earth’s Masters chose it. They chose the battlefield, they chose the method of conflict. Up to now, most of the opposition has behaved as the police expected. Now this game is coming to an end. The police are quick and even given permission to shoot in the back. As petty politicians, the leaders in overalls, whether white or red, have every interest in centralizing the movement of opposition to neoliberalism. As subversives, we have interest in expanding rather than "globalizing" the movement of struggle against capitalism. The police are waiting for us in Genoa at the end of July in order to beat us, photograph us, film us, arrest us and maybe shoot us. And instead we could be anywhere at any time. The shop-shutters of McDonald’s and the banks of Genoa will be armored during the days of the summit. The multinationals, the supermarkets and the banks of the rest of the world will be at our disposal at any time. And this would only be the beginning since as soon as we leave off following the due dates that others set for us, we will finally be able to choose when, where, how and who to strike.

If we decide for ourselves, we will be unpredictable. We will lose allies, but we will find comrades along the way.

a few nobodies neither want to represent or be represented by anyone

Contributions Toward the Resumption of Hostilities

On the G8 summit at Genoa, everything has been said and more.

Accustomed as we are to the deliberate media confusionism, nothing any longer surprises us; not even when it is written in black and white, coming from "authoritative sources", that Osama bin Laden has enlisted armies of European nazi skins to kill the American president during the G8 meeting; or that there is a threat hanging over Genoa of aircraft under remote control by terrorists that are ready to indiscriminately bombard the city with cans of AIDS-tainted blood; or even that the CIA is preparing stink-bombs capable of rousing guilt feelings in demonstrators and so on.

It would be enough to make one laugh if one were not weeping.

Of course, immediately afterwards, one hears that the G8 meeting will be animated by exactly the same preoccupations as the protestors (but how?!), that the latter are doing a referendum to see if Italians are agreeable to seeing their "engagements" with the police, and that, though determined to block the G8, they are also determined in demanding that the state finance and host them in Genoa in order to do so (?!).

Brazen lies beside horrendous truths, true and false together in an exhibition of the incredible, in an asphyxiating confusionism interested in sanctioning the surrender of any critical good sense menace in the face of the delirium in which we are. Reality must be increasingly incomprehensible in order to support a survival that is more unbearable every day.

The obsessive chattering over the G8 event, and particularly over the so-called "galaxy" of protesters, confirms the triumph of the REVERSAL of reality and representation: it creates a situation in which demonstrators are to conform themselves to their media image, constructing their roles, behaviors and identities on the basis of its dictates.

In this way, the spectacle invades the movement of contestation to the consequences of production with its mechanisms and its ideology of fictitious "participation", removing the possibility of a serious critique and of real conflict. Such invasions, however, come to be quite well accepted by that portion of the protesters candidly convinced of being able to use the journalists (rather than being used by them) in order to swell their ranks, slavering after the consensus that a great media success would inevitably give them. Here it is, then, the so-called "hard wing" of the Social Forum (the dreadful Tute Bianche) inflicting a disgraceful pseudo-advertising campaign (to the sound of referendums, feigned conflicts, interviews and services of every sort) upon the already tormented summer TV spectators, a campaign directed at enrapturing the consensus of the citizen-consumer. In this way, it only acts to sanctify the role of passive spectator before a world that is distant and managed by others. But isn’t this really the alienation on which current power relationships are based? Isn’t this what any force interested in overturning the premises of power would have to fight on the field?

"Protesters" of what then? What does this "anti-globalization movement" place into question?

Certainly not the grey banality of spectacular democracy, that rather, due to a lack of arguments, precisely needs any sham opposition that contributes to artificially maintaining a credibility that has been damaged by the global outbreak of catastrophes and suffering.

Nor, so much the less, is the necessity of the market economy placed into question. Rather it finds a mouthful of oxygen in seeing its (potential) opponents fighting for capitalism "with a human face" rather than for its abolition.

The bourgeois ideology of progress, the illusion of planetary well-being that is the fruit of the abundance of commodities and is guaranteed by technological and scientific rationalism, has now shown its true self: its results, its disasters, are before everyone’s eyes – in our bodies, on our plates… There is certainly no need to list them (if a need is felt for something today, it is certainly not more information, or counter-information as it may be).

With every innovative function exhausted, nothing remains but the despotic reproduction and administration of a social organization that, despite everything, must go forward.

The triumphalism that accompanied the spectacle of mercantile abundance at its dawn is finished, and all that is left is a world that is going to the dogs on all fronts, with a caste of functionaries to govern its agony. They don’t tell us that we are in the best of all possible worlds anymore – because that would be ridiculous – but simply that no one else is now capable of running such a battered planet. After having destroyed every form of community and sterilized all human relationships, after having expropriated all of our awareness and know-how, after having transformed us into appendages of an infernal and incomprehensible technological apparatus that are incapable of interacting with nature, our own bodies and other individuals of our species, they tell us that all that remains to us at this point is to trust our fate and the fate of the planet to technology (that is, to Capital) to resolve an emergency that we can neither understand nor, much less, confront. This is what is meant by the affirmation the "history is finished", which therefore means nothing more than that we must bow our heads and obey,… otherwise, the truncheon falls.

The signs of crisis accumulate to the point that the spectacle itself is not able to avoid speaking of its own ruin.

From the moment of its triumph, Capital has been able to convert the problems of management into which it fell – originating in crises, in resistance, in contradiction – into points of strength for a further affirmation of its class power. Today, in the face of the impossibility of hiding the gravity of a planetary disaster (ecological, epidemic, of life) that has no precedent, Capital finds the ultimate justification for its domination in the harmfulness that it has itself produced.

Really, the spreading "anxiety", provoked by the prospects of a future governed in a blatantly authoritarian manner through the dictates of a global economy, is taken in tow by Capital and its supporters who, dressed in the costumes of ecologists and humanitarians, promote themselves as the only ones holding the means for confronting the impending catastrophe.

Time and time again, the general crisis of existence is passed off as crises of particular sectors, disconnected from the totality of industrial production and its basic contradictions. The unavoidable consequences of a mode of production that is structurally polluting, poisonous and productive of imbalances are made to pass for temporary incidents caused by poor management that therefore demand corrective interventions by the state. It is needles to say that, since such "adjustments" are themselves the harbingers of new harm, they will render further technological-bureaucratic "remedies" necessary in their turn…and this becomes a business called "reconstruction", "regulation", "conversion", "reclamation". Not being able to produce anything good, capitalism reproduces by living off its trash (the material as well as the ideological trash) and involving everyone in sharing its disastrous responsibility (various assemblies, catalytic converters, voluntary work, etc.).

This is the only way that Capital manages to put off the inevitable resolution of the conflict of classes, postponing the collapse of an obsolete and suicidal social organization and causing the entire human species to sink with it.

In such a scenario, where all human relations, social activities, the times and spaces of life are oppressively contaminated by separation and isolation, any opposition that is not moved by a hostility against the industrial way of life that is openly irreconcilable will only be a contribution to Capital keeping it up to date. The supposed autonomy of a civil society that would control the choices of power, guarantee a greater democracy and impose rules, controls and precautions, is the ultimate ideological lie formulated to democratically legitimate an ever greater artificialization of life. In the demands for fair and jointly responsible trade, for global rights and citizenship rights, for sustainable development, for a redistribution of market-based "wealth", the absence of autonomy is revealed. And this constitutes the most serious limit of a movement that, even in its most violent manifestations, doesn’t go beyond reproaching the state and Capital for not being democratic enough and for paying too little attention to human needs.

But, no matter how infested with "reformist" and "progressive" ideology, the movement of contestation that is going on opens the possibility of a renewal of revolutionary "discourse", because the "questions" posed, as opposed – for now – to the answers given, are objectively universal.

The contradiction inherent to capitalist society is always the same one, still unresolved, of the alienation of human beings from their production. This is the first real harm that presupposes and determines all the rest. It makes no sense to denounce the individual harms produced by capital if one does not denounce their historical cause: the separation of human beings from their creative activity and therefore from their world and their kind. Democracy is the principle state form of this separation, and its supposed neutrality, the idea that it is an inescapable system potentially useable by citizens is a mystification already denounced a century and a half ago by Marx and by the revolutionary critique. A movement that seriously wants to face the concept of changing life can do no less than affirm its extraneousness and hostility in the face of democracy and of every "progressive" ideology with intransigence, reconnecting itself at the same time to the proletarian project of overcoming class society and to the luddite and anti-industrial traditions.

In order to set out again on the unexplored path of the free, conscious and collective control of technical means and organizational forms that confirm the end of prehistory and the dawn of a community of master without slaves.

Porfido – Torino, July 2001


A specter returns to roam through Europe. After endless years of a social peace composed of exploitation, alienation, misery and suffering, the rage of the oppressed returns at last to the streets to serve the death sentence to a social organization incompatible with humankind and the planet. On July 20 and 21, in Genoa, the contestation against the G8 has suddenly led to a practical critique of capitalism and the state for tens of thousands of demonstrators. The stubborn and generalized conflicts with the forces of order, the devastation and the burning of so many banks and of a few commissioner’s offices, the attack on the prison of Marassi, the looting of supermarkets, spontaneous explosions of conflict never soothed.

The determination with which the insurgents of Genoa confronted the police forces, going beyond the narrow limits of civil disobedience and democratic protest, unmasked in actions the directed illusions with which the political rackets have sought to disengage all possible radicality and autonomy. The claim that what was a moment of mass resistance was a degeneration provoked by a few "professionals" of disorder who came from who knows where and were infiltrated or actually directed by the cops seems ridiculous and disgusting. The rebellion of Genoa made the political maneuvers of all those who tried to use them appear ridiculous. This is why they compete with the police in slandering it and calling for repression.

As always, in the face of the radicalization of the conflict and the breaking of consensus, the ruling class and its state react in the only possible way: with violence. The murder of Carlo Giuliani, the butchery and torture perpetrated in Genoa are yet a further demonstration of how useless it is to take the trouble of demanding rights and democratic guarantees that the state calmly gets rid of as soon as they are no longer sufficient for guaranteeing order and disguising class exploitation. The game gets harsh… The democratic and reformist illusions collapse miserably. The insurgents of the will to live don’t mourn for them.

Capitalist society only knows how to produce misery, isolation, ecological disaster, epidemics, war, hunger, suffering. BUT A NEW WORLD IS TAKING SHAPE ON THE ASHES OF THE ECONOMY.


The historical moment is serious; the social war paws the ground and the class enemy pursues. Let’s avoid the snares of hierarchy, bureaucratization and the specialization of roles, but without abandoning ourselves to the irrelevance of a concept of rebellion without strategy. Because the revolutionary perspective must know how to overcome the cage of spectacular rot imposed by power, in order to impose widespread conflict everywhere in daily life where reification smothers life. And more than ever before, this conflict needs to undertake voyages of autonomous organization and of the reappropriation of the historical awareness that has been denied to us, in a war without quarter against separation and authority.


Revolutionary committee of public health

[The next article is taken from "Teppa" – subversive Newspaper – #2 – Trieste, August 2001]


In the end, we still fall, a bit stupidly every time.

And yet we know them well, these annoying vultures. By now, we should no longer nurture even the least bit of hope in finding courage, dignity, coherence, the capacity to put themselves on the line in their words or actions. In short, they are not comrades; our dreams are much too distant from their aims. But even less are they worthy adversaries, people who have clearly chosen which side to take, without dreary games with which to try to win over anyone who is still capable of feeling emotion, of getting angry, of looking without so many ideological filters at the horrendous and omnivorous reality that surrounds us all. When such an individual finds the force of the desire to do something in her/himself, in the search for comrades, perhaps s/he runs into them, into the Tute Bianche, into the social centers of the Northeast [of Italy – translator], into the Ya Basta association, into Leoncavallo, into any other of the myriads of protean monograms with which these people try to disguise themselves and to ensnare agreement.

But not us, we, who no matter what, still love to describe ourselves as anarchists – and tremble when journalists take the liberty of making distinctions in this as well, debating over who really is who is not one – we don’t consider ourselves so naïve, and we look with detachment at the "people of Seattle", which gets so much exposure that it seems to us to be the mechanism of a struggle and a method (that still has interested and even roused enthusiasm in us) that offers the flank so widely to instrumental manipulation, to repressive attack, but especially to media banalization and the most dreary spectacularization, and therefore to its substantial surrender to the inoffensive game of parties. We have chosen not to be part of that "people", the journalistic christening of which merely nauseates us; we refuse to make ourselves fit into the mold of any group or sub-group, even running the risk – and not just because of this choice, for goodness sake – of enclosing ourselves in a fortress, the ideologically pure connotations of which might be capable of preserving us not only from sullying our hands and consciences too much, but also from our own frustrations and lacks. We declared ourselves to be outside under the pretext of being inside of something else, much more meaningful and important, something of our own. Unfortunately, this is not always so. However, we declared ourselves outside of that context on the assumption, which we continue to hold well grounded, that it was much too narrow there. This assumption is strengthened by some experiences that have involved us directly, that disappointed us.

And yet here we are, surprised once again. For two very different reasons, which have aroused very different reactions in us, though both still surprise us.

First of all, the comrades in Genoa, their vitality, their capacities, even their numbers. To be clear, and in consideration of the fact that we also know of these events primarily through the journalistic filter, we are referring to the so-called black bloc. We are amazed, at bottom, that comrades could find such ample space for action in a context that we knew was dominated by the double control exercised on the territory, by the police on the one hand and by the forces of organized opposition on the other, both our enemies (and in the case of the "anti-globalizers", we refer to those "responsible", to the promoters, the various "general headquarters", the functions of order, certainly not to the individual demonstrators, among whom we believe there were many, dressed in their preferred color whatever that may have been, who did not necessarily consider themselves to be represented by those who were the self-proclaimed leaders of the good spirit of the protest and thence in the right – having to cleanse the procession of unwelcome presences.)

But fortunately, anarchists are often bad prophets.

We are amazed and immediately loved these comrades, even if perplexity still persists within us, the distance not so much from the method, but rather from the various interests, the perspectives that diverge, but that in any case don’t keep us from considering them our comrades. The thing that no one says is that in Genoa class conflict manifested itself, that it expressed itself in this form as well: the attack of the exploited against the structures of capital and against the cops who defend it. All the embodiments of exploitation disgust us in earnest, not symbolically, not democratically. The social war is not our invention.

The second reason for our surprise: the reactions of the tute bianche. It is useless to widen the discussion, that the Genoa Social Forum in its totality expressing itself as it did is absolutely a consequence of its very nature and reason for being. In reality – and this is why we are surprised at our surprise – even that which these whitewashers of our house, or of a bit more in there, have said and done is perfectly fitting with what they are. And we have learned to recognize this quite well over the years, from times when they didn’t use certain disguises, but others that fooled even us, when, due to our naivety and superficiality, we managed to conceive of them as distant comrades in struggle. We were diverted by a language that we heard, undoubtedly – I repeat – due to our stupidity, as less offensive than what, to our surprise, it would become. Its calls for autonomy and class struggle perhaps appeared ironic to us, even though we had not understood that the direction of that irony was diametrically opposed to what we would have hoped. Now the jokes have become clearer, their political capacities have been refined (still at a level of extreme cultural impoverishment, but we should not forget that the entire political scenario has suffered a fierce intellectual abasement, along with all society that plods along in its magnificent informational ignorance), their names have appeared unequivocally flanking those of the class enemies. And yet, even in all this, an oppositional component plays a role, hauled out as an artifice at the most opportune moments, or instead held back, as a provocation by a neo-vanguard outside prime time, or a residue of adrenaline rising again as when – youth, at bottom, when all of us feel a bit like anarchists… – they played at conflicts with the police, a practice that still continues to rouse a certain sympathy. Of course, we recall that in those days they didn’t use harnesses and the turtle formations (but did they really do this or was it just a folkloric invention of journalists? We ask it here again) and amenities of this kind, but the agreements with the political police were already a recurring and noted practice in the streets.

Now, why are we surprised when their spokespeople disassociate themselves from the violence of the black bloc at first, in order to later recant and express rage for the repression that shot someone to death?

Why not believe that they would take advantage of this situation? A comrade is dead, killed by a carabiniere. A comrade put his life at risk, while the vultures wretchedly begged the repression not to strike their procession of honest and correct disobedients, but that it be applied elsewhere, to those who don’t respect the rules. As soon as this happened, hypocritical and convenient indignation, expressing the shortest memory in the world, explodes flaming from the eyes of the corpulent leader of the white-washers when he gets wind of the occasion that a martyr, who was still and enemy until the moment in which the murderous bullet struck him (wouldn’t it have been sufficient to arrest and beat him democratically in the barracks?), was offered to them.

But the only thing truly surprising remains our surprise in the face of all this. Is it necessary to remind ourselves of the other occasions in which we have had means for knowing them in their deepest essence? When they have beaten us, "mistaking" us for fascists; when they have led us to believe that they possessed the determination to go beyond the threshold that makes them welcome to vice-mayors – senators – councilors – civil society? When they have willingly been responsible for police attacks against their own comrades (it is acknowledged that they call each other this) in order to gain a hearing from the minister of the interior? When they have announced or supported extremely reactionary demonstrations calling for severity on the part of state justice (against the very wicked fascists, racists, bullies, leaguists, criminals of the national unity, of course – rabble to put it kindly)? When they are candidates in elections? When they are allied to the allies of Haider? What more is necessary to open our eyes?


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