Bits from elsewhere

Mario Tronti, "Theses on Benjamin"

Interactivist -

Theses on Benjamin
Mario Tronti

1. The workers’ movement was not defeated by capital. The workers’ movement was defeated by democracy. These are the terms of the problem that the century puts before us. The fact, die Sache selbst, we must now think.

2. The workers’ movement balanced its accounts with capitalism. The grand historical confrontation of the 19th and 20th centuries. Alternating phases. Reciprocal instances of victory and defeat. But the workers’ labour power, an internal part of capital, could not exile itself. This is the obscure depth of the failure of revolution. Reasonable and crazy attempts to change the world, all fallen. The long march of reformism had no more success than the assault from the sky. But the workers changed capital. They forced it to change itself. Their defeat was never on the social plane. It was on political ground.

3. The 20th century is not the century of social democracy. It is the century of democracy. Moving through the era of the wars, democracy imposed its hegemony. It is democracy that won the class struggle. The authoritarian and totalitarian political solutions functioned in the end as the demonic instruments of a democratic providentialism. Democracy, like the monarchy of the past, is now absolute. More than the practices of totalitarian democracy there emerged a totalised idea of democracy. Paradoxically, this occurred contemporaneously with the dissolution of the concept of the ‘people,’ which was foreseen by the genius of Kelsen. After the defeat of Nazism and the failure of socialism, democracy rose up twice as the choice of value. Neither in the east nor in the west did the workers’ movement elaborate or experiment with its own idea of democracy. It did not cultivate or move through it as a field of conflict. The workers’ movement of the 20th century could be nothing but democratic. But the century of democracy killed it. This trauma lies, and acts obscurely, in the collective unconscious of the European left – in its militancy, leadership and culture.

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Soumaila Sacko: the murder of a migrant union activist in Italy

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On June 2 Soumaila Sacko, a migrant agricultural worker from Mali, was brutally murdered in San Calogero in Italy. He was shot in the head while gathering aluminium to rebuild the shantytown on the outskirts of San Ferdinando, where over four thousand seasonal workers live during harvest season, in overpopulated shack and tents, amidst garbage, plastic and rubber.

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Shut it Down! On The Recent AT&T Strikes

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What the AT&T strike wave means – and the next steps in developing a direct action workers movement in North America

But what will it take to win against this Death Star of a corporation? We need a direct action workers movement, directly controlled by its members, willing to spread the struggle beyond the shackles of labor law, and beyond the confines of the contract.

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Solidarity demo called after tenant assaulted at home by dodgy estate agents son

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Following the assault of a Brighton Solidarity Federation member by Youngs Estate Agents owner David Pay, the tenant at the centre of the dispute was assaulted in his own home by Pay's son, Oliver, who had forcefully entered the premises. In response to these attempts at intimidation, Brighton Solfed are organising a solidarity protest this Saturday.

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Angela Nagle's Plagiarise Any Nonsense

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As with many other members of the left-wing pundit class, Angela Nagle has been getting a lot more attention than she deserves. As a result, we recently stumbled upon some very questionable sourcing in Kill All Normies, which in one case was used as the basis of one of her central arguments in the book.

You could mock the alphabet soup of groups like the CPB, CPGB and CPGB-ML, but if you then added in the CPGB-ML Naglean-Brezhnevist split as an example of an actual group based on someone putting it in their twitter bio in 2017 for a week, no-one would take you seriously. Mike Harman

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