Anna Galkina, Untitled, 2014. Collage courtesy of the artist

How the Town of Pomigliano Had Its Own Anarchic Carnival


The People’s Carnival that took place in the town of Pomigliano (Southern Italy) in 1977 was an exemplary moment in the history of the Italian Left. Combining folk music, art performance and a radical language, thousands automobile workers and their families gathered up against austerity. The event was depicted in a documentary that I screened (in an edited version) during the event New Politics of Autonomy, at Bluestockings Bookstore, New York, on October 27, 2013, together with Ben Morea (founder of the Black Mask group). This is an excerpt from the talk.

The “Dialogue”
 

I've been working in this factory
For nigh on fifteen years

All this time I watched my woman

Drowning in a pool of tears
And I've seen a lot of good folks die

That had a lot of bills to pay

I'd give the shirt right off my back

If I had the guts to say
Take This Job And Shove It

David Allan Coe – Take This Job And Shove It (1977)
 
At the end of the 1970s, Italy was going through a traumatic yet extremely creative phase of its history. Those were the heydays of the Autonomia movement: radical extra-parliamentary groups (composed by students, unionists, workers, unemployed) were fiercely confronting the austerity politics imposed by the bigot, mafia ridden Christian-Democrats (DC) with the complicity of the Communist Party (PCI). While society was increasingly subjected to militarization, corruption was rampant; the decaying political establishment was more arrogant than ever. The party founded by Antonio Gramsci was seen as a Stalinist oppressor by the movement, the big unions as its partners in crime. Not a single day passed without a major demonstration or a few Molotov bombs thrown at the police.

Catholicism As Radical Atheism

 
Steering clear of absolutist atheism
 
Both in my latest book and in my recent writing, I have been working around the possibility of a strategy of radical atheism. Developing the seminal work of the German philosopher Max Stirner[1], I defined radical atheism as a process of individual disentanglement from the web of injunctions and demands laid all around us by normative abstractions. I defined as ‘normative abstraction’ that particular position which abstract constructs typically occupy as soon as they cease to be docile tools in our hands and rear their head to the point of shaping, defining, and ultimately controlling our lives. Particularly, I focused on the most recent occupiers of this position, such as the burgeoning religions of work, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and so on.
 
My radically atheist attack against normative abstractions, however, was for the great part dissimilar from traditional atheism. While traditional atheism locates its critique on an ontological or epistemological level, deriding the belief in God on the grounds of its ‘falseness’ or non-demonstrability, my proposal for radical atheism disregarded such issues entirely. My project was – and it still is – concerned exclusively with ethics, that is, with the individual’s quest for the ‘good life’.
 

Con Tsipras contra el absolutismo financiero

Alexis Tsipras representa la resistencia de la sociedad griega contra la agresión financiera, y para mí este es suficiente motivo para apoyar públicamente y votar su candidatura  a las elecciones europeas. ¿Cuál es el objetivo de esta candidatura? Si en las elecciones solamente conseguimos un pronunciamiento de la minoría senil y tardo-gauchista (de la cual formo parte) a favor del único joven europeo que no es moralmente corrupto ni intelectualmente conformista, no será un gran resultado.

Es por eso que asumiendo el empeño en construir las condiciones culturales y políticas para una afirmación de esta candidatura, debemos pensar sobre los escenarios que puede abrir una campaña a favor de Tsipras, a la hora de una recomposición cultural y social.

   No tengo ninguna confianza en la democracia representativa. Es evidente la corrupción de las instituciones democráticas ante el capital financiero. Por otra parte, la Unión Europea es constitutivamente una autocracia financiera, desde el momento en que las decisiones del Banco Central Europeo se toman al margen del Parlamento. Entonces, ¿por qué movilizarse, por qué votar?

La sociedad europea está deprimida, desintegrada, irascible. La campaña a favor de Tsipras debe abrir la posibilidad de un proceso unitario de solidaridad y de revuelta, de insolvencia y de independencia de la vida cotidiana de la dictadura financiera o no servirá de nada.

Catastrophic Socialization, Apocalyptic Capitalism and the Struggles (Version 1.0)

The world is already apocalyptic. Just not all at the same time.
To be overcome: the notion of apocalypse as evental, the ground-clearing revelatory trauma that immediately founds a new nomos of the earth. In its place combined and uneven apocalypse.
--Evan Calder Williams[1]
 
I am not referring here to the microapocalypse of death: everybody dies, and even if everybody dies at the same time (I mean everybody), what is the problem? The earth becomes a cleared tape and why the angels grieve?
--George Caffentzis[2]
 
There is no need to fear or hope, but only to look for new weapons.
--Gilles Deleuze[3]
 
1. Catastrophic Events Articulating Apocalyptic Process
 
Due to the magnitude of calamity, there have been many discourses seeking to make sense of the Fukushima disaster and its aftermath: on the worsening dread of the crippled reactors; on radiation spread via distribution of irradiated food products and imposition of disaster debris by the central government; on the renewal of pro-nuclear, re-armament and market-centrist policies of the present Liberal Democratic Party administration; and finally, various types of voluntary actions of the people beginning from radiation monitoring of food and environment to information exchanges via internet to legal battles to street actions.
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