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For An Anti-authoritarian Insurrectionalist International

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Proposal For a Debate

This proposal for a debate for an Anti-authoritarian Insurrectionalist International was first published in the Sardinian anarchist paper ÔÇťAnarkiviu". Oriented towards in the Mediterranean region it is the fruit of various anti-authoritarian realities active in this region, particularly in Greece and southern Italy. We are printing it here to participate in this debate and to contribute to the diffusion of this perspective of an informal, insurrectionalist character which must be of interest to anti-authoritarians everywhere.

The reasons for choosing a particular geographical region

There are many ways to look at the Mediterranean: a sea rich in peoples, traditions, culture and history but also in uninterrupted wars and massacres.

At a time when this geographical area is involved in political games worse perhaps than ever before, it is important to reflect on the social, economic and political conditions that are intermingling and interacting, producing situations of extreme tension but also opening up a vast field of intervention to all revolutionaries. We are sure that this area that belongs to the old world will live through another historic moment in ~e clash between opposing classes, but in a different and more ferocious way. Acquiring strength and consistency impossible to perceive at the present time, it will certainly not respect the rigid divisions we had got used to through a social doctrine now worn out by time and bad historical experience.

The opposition between the Soviet and American superpowers came to such an abrupt and in some ways unexpected end that we have not been able to focus clearly on the new kinds of problems that are emerging as a result. In the first place the disappearance of the alibi of the global war that was to, and could have, turned the planet into something akin to the end of civilisation and reduced life to that of the caves which man once emerged from with such difficulty. The fact that the conflict was actually more theoretical than practical did not make much difference as it contributed to reducing much real opposition, in particular class opposition, which could have fanned subversive winds of revolutionary renewal everywhere, especially in the advanced capitalist countries. Even when things moved in the direction of a spreading of specific revolutionary nuclei, a reductive dimension destined to lose in the inevitable military confrontation that would have followed, there was always one absolute restraint, that of not upsetting the balance of power too much and finding oneself on the brink of atomic war as had happened at the time of the Cuba crisis. In borrowing party doctrines that had little to do with liberation, the metropolitan revolutionary movements put forward the in some ways quite platonic idea of importing the hotbeds of proletarian resistance typical of the Third World, into the metropoli of Europe. But they also failed to discard an articulate argument concerning the limitations and dangers of subverting the institutions of the main industrial States of advanced capitalism.This was one of the worst restraints ever made on the many attempts that might have gone a different way and drawn great masses of people into prospects of real liberation.

Recent events in Eastern Europe have come about and are still doing so in a dramatic crescendo, but they are failing to show how peoples bearing the consequences of just as dictatorial arid repressive regimes as ever will be able to alleviate their suffering. Because that is what it is. Power factions are trying to replace those now out of date at both ideological and practical levels and are using tiny means whatsoever to do so. In the first place a badly expressed nationalist principle to push peoples against each other in civil wars that are capable of producing nothing but death and desolation.

Unfortunately civil war is an obligatory road which must be passed in any historical moment of profound, radical transformation. It is not civil war in itself that frightens or worries us, but the way it is being used to reach objectives desired by power where people are being instrumentalised and unspeakable sacrifices arc being asked of them yet again in order to satisfy power factions fighting between themselves.

We would say civil war is a physiological condition of the social revolution, a kind of child illness that any society in course of formation must pass through. It is a necessary evil, a supreme upheaval within a country which has let loose in order to radically, if not finally, resolve the social discontent that has accumulated over decades. But that is civil war where there is a clash of opposing real interests: those of the dominant class, assisted by its traditions of subservient forces; and the dominated one, strong in its creative capacity and courage. Quite different is the spectacle of civil war facing us now, exactly in the centre of the Mediterranean region in the territories of what was Yugoslavia, where real interests are undoubtedly clashing but which are being suffocated almost everywhere with inconsistent ideological blankets or are being controlled for political or military reasons by groups who have no intention of abandoning their conditions of privilege and domination.

Here the imperialism of the richer countries, in the first place American managerial imperialism, is trying to control the situation by striking any possible liberatory attempts by peoples that could take a different turning and create a hotbed of social demands and revolutionary potential in the middle of Europe. There can be no doubt that new conditions of exploitation will occur in these territories where poverty and economic backwardness are at levels unthinkable in the albeit fictional ease of the self-defined opulence of the West. And this goes not only for ex-Yugoslavia but for all the countries that once belonged to the Soviet empire and have now been given a somewhat stable autonomy or State independence. The whole network of these countries is now being supplied by a precarious economy. In the first place Russia, which requires western and Japanese investments and wants to take off using models that have come to an ignominious end in the capitalist experience. An anything but rose-coloured future, therefore, which could be seen as positive only by those who have lived a life of hardship in the name of a supposed ideal of proletarian revolution. But elementary needs, survival itself, are pressing and combative peoples such as the Albanians, the Croats, the Serbs, Slovaks Bosnian Muslims, would not now be left with nothing had they not become caught up in the great equivocation of a struggle between different ethnic groups and religions. Hence the interest of managerial imperialism in feeding wars of religion and nationalistic contrasts aimed at controlling the more difficult areas, particularly in the Mediterranean region.

So, the Mediterranean as site of a further development of conflicts of a seemingly nationalistic nature but which are really based on problems of a social, economic, and only in minimal part ethnic kind. And conflict worsening the present tensions, intensifying migratory flows, and producing more unthinkable economic and social hardship will develop in this Mediterranean area over the next few years.

It is in this theatre of social clash already in act in some areas, but which could soon become generalised, that anarchists and libertarians who are against any kind of struggle for power or interest in domination and exploitation, should contact each other in order to better co-ordinate resistance against the hegemonic projects in course, and organise the best ways for moving to an attack on these power centres, aimed at guaranteeing acceptable conditions of life, development and progress for everyone.

The condition of the traditional left
Simply ridiculous. The conservative offensive has seen the world Left move backwards almost to the point of disappearing. The number of socialist parties in the Socialist international has grown following recent new memberships, but the real strength of this organisation is absolutely nil. In most cases, leaving aside the "socialist" models in the Middle East because they are incomprehensible to westerners, the aforementioned socialist parties are participating in power, and they are the forces controlling the passage from the old order to the new. The social State is disappearing completely, whereas one of a new kind, run by information technology is rising up which is far more dangerous than the old Reaganism or Thatcherism.

This crisis cannot be explained simply by the collapse of the USSR. That would be too facile. Moreover the left, especially the European left, has never, at least in recent times, had a unity of intent and has always flirted with the more advanced technocratic capitalism. The crisis is therefore more a crisis of ideals than a real one. With the fall of the alibi of Soviet State communism, these parties and their men have been exposed in their task of guaranteeing, directly or indirectly, the smooth functioning of the mechanisms of exploitation and the extraction of the proceeds of capitalism. With this crisis the great idealistic aspirations of the struggles of the traditional left which allowed a vision of equality, the end of exploitation, the liberation of man and the formation of a society where individuals and peoples could live without killing or being killed have disappeared, along with all their contradictions and tactical and strategic mistakes.

In fact the idea of class struggle in the traditional sense, i.e. as interpretation of movements within a strictly economic division of social phenomena, is quite out of date. All political organisations who still insist on dwelling on such mechanistic explanations are destined to extinction, handicapped as they are by their narrow reformist objectives and incapacity to understand that the traditional social fabric no longer exists. The objectives of the mass movements of today are not strictly class ones, that is to say they do not see society divided into classes as their main point of reference. They are presenting themselves -only at superficial level because the substance of things has not changed, although even this is of some importance - as having a wide social unrest, as though power's attack against the weakest part in the class clash really took account of reality as a whole. This has made two elements that seemed to have been long forgotten re-emerge from the mist, which could become the cause of a new and more interesting conflict. On the one hand the individual with his rights, cultural identity and need for liberation against every kind of oppression. On the other, the irrational preoccupation that takes hold of all of us and makes us react in an often absurd way in the face of anything that is different and that justly claims to have its own rights. The reflourishing of racism can be explained in this way.

ln this new field of struggle where people are mobilising not only in defence of the planet, against world famine and against economic imperialism, but also for struggles based on nationalist sentiments that are being threateningly used by power elites, the role of the traditional left has finally sadly, faded.

In many ways the model of trade union resistance and the generally corporate model of the past have been swallowed up by the mechanisms of uniformity inherent in information technology capitalism. Post industrial technology has finally gained the upper hand, and, wiping out the ideological talk, it has reduced the role of the left wing organisations, the more or less classic socialist parties, to a new, simplified and sullen one: that of supporting and guaranteeing exploitation and domination.

(There is more to this text on the website it is to long to be posted)


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