The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left

by Keith Preston

The Lumpenproletariat as Class Vanguard: Why Anarchists Must Attack the Left from the Left

The conflicts between myself and the mainstream leftist-anarchist movement are well-known. When I am asked about the source of this conflict by outsiders to the anarchist milieu, my usual response is that what they are observing is a continuation of the historic battle between the anarchists and the Marxists. Fundamental to this conflict is a contending view of the concepts of state and class. For Marxists, the principal target of revolutionary conflict is capital. However, for anarchists it is the state that is the primary enemy. This difference was acknowledged by Friedrich Engels. Continue reading

Central Bank’s Ideational Construction

This study examines the ideational construction of independent central banks, understanding them as ideologically constituted socio-economic variables that are not some form natural progression toward a neoliberal economy. The concept of central bank independence (CBI) receives legitimation through a number of discourses and academic conceptions, combining with particular distributional coalitions and interest groups that form an integrated epistemic community of policy production and governmental regulation. Such an epistemic community does not develop naturally, but is constructed through particular historical understandings of the economy and polity, that promote a general framework favourable for CBI to grow and hegemonically stabilise.

The study is linked here: Central Bank’s Ideational Construction Continue reading

Constructing the Household Economy

This study looks at the issues surrounding the organisation of home-based workers, and how through new ideational and ideological lenses home-based workers can construct a household political economy that rivals the dominant hegemonic positions of neoliberalism and its discourses of marketisation, privatisation and precariatisation.

The study is linked here: Constructing the Household Economy Continue reading

A Politics of Resistance

In the modern world, the existing structures of the state and capitalism are presented as the inevitable result of history and progress. A narrative is constructed which proffers one thing: there is no alternative (TINA). An unregulated “borderless global economy in which markets would no longer be locked into nation-states, but nation-states into markets”[1]. An environment of global governance and nominal deregulation which produces a discourse of economic statelessness, where the state is there only to facilitate exchange and production through a legal regime of private property rights. TINA acts as a universalisable narrative where “no one must be allowed to escape from ‘global competition’” and the processes of commodification and marketisation must go unhindered. “Globalized capitalism, so called free-markets and free trade were the best ways to build wealth, distribute services and grow a society’s economy”[2]. Thus a naturalness is given to the processes and structures of neoliberalism, suggesting they are processes inherent to human nature and the best means to achieve growth and economic stability. Continue reading

Violence Is What It Is

In the most basic terms, violence is what it is. A broad term that encapsulates everything from berating a friend to waging an industrial-scale war. It is a term defined by its own banality, for it always exists in the realms of power and the relations between people. Is it not violence when eternal damnation is promised for the sinner? Is it not violence when we threaten a friend or partner in an argument? Is it not violence when you smash a beer bottle over the head of the man who is flirting with your wife? The family feud and the modern war are both intimations of violence, the main difference being their degree of activity. Continue reading

The Irrelevance of This Election

This election has proved one thing, that radical change will never come through a duopolistic political system that sits on the steps of the state. The false paradigm of left and right may well be dead, but a new fallacious paradigm of social internationalism on the one hand, and paradoxical nationalism on the other, has been birthed. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn represent two faces of the state, both centralising in their tendencies and utopian in their belief in state power. Both fundamentally lie within the centralising axis of politics, and thus have little to say when it comes to revolutionising the concept of work in relation to automation, when it comes to governmental and tax reform, and when it comes to developing alternative production processes. Continue reading

Manifesto for Revolution (Abstract)

by Kuang Mantis

https://thisbookburnsitself.com/2017/05/31/manifesto-for-an-abstract-revolution-abstract/

Marxists, forgive me if you’ve heard this one before:

“What have we learned from revolution?”

This is always a hard question to answer because it forces us to lie. The real answer, occulted under layers of theory, dialectical analyses of the “conditions”, slavish adherence to the doctrinal and counter-doctrinal lenses of others is: nothing.  Continue reading

Foreign Policy and the Knowledge Problem

Many try to measure foreign policy by its stated humanitarian aims, seeing the variables of intervention as the best means for securing the livelihoods of particular subaltern populations. However such a view makes a massive assumption, that being the capability of states/militaries to aggregate the levels of on-the-ground social and cultural knowledge. This knowledge problem (generally identified with economic knowledge by Hayek) is not simply overcome by abstract reasoning that is related to things such as human rights or democracy. It can only be overcome by either a huge institutional and demographic shift amongst the effected populations (genocide, displacement, imposed borders, etc.) or by the integration of local populaces into mutualistic mechanisms of governance. Continue reading

Voting isn’t a Civic Duty

With the recent election here in the UK, we see the barrage of comments that regularly follow it. It entails saying something along the lines of “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”. A statement so stupid and banal that it doesn’t deserve the credit it is given. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t vote. Frankly I don’t care either way, and I’ll only vote if there is a candidate in my constituency worth voting for. But what frustrates me about this statement is the equivocation of voting with some kind of existential meaning, as if voting is the apotheosis of civic or political engagement. Continue reading

Corbyn Sits Firmly Within the Overton Window

While much is made of Jeremy Corbyn’s radical proposals, making him out to be a member of the far-left, the bulk of his policies fit well within the wider the capitalist framework of politico-economic understandings. His support for things like financial passporting, piecemeal nationalisation and some form of freedom of movement are policies well within the Overton window of accepted political opinion, despite the radical rhetoric that surrounds them. The idea that these things are somehow at odds with capitalism is frankly laughable, and usually presented by individuals who view the machinations of socialism or communism as purely connected to the state. Continue reading