As part of the Liberation School of Los Angeles summer 2018 set of classes we will be facilitating a study/discussion group on anti-work. We are sharing a guided reading list. We cut things into excerpts because the class will be soon, next week on July 12th. But links to whole texts are in the reading list.
Anti-workis a topic which has re-gained interest in the broader radical milieu though it is an idea that is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. With this class we hope to shed light on the historical and theoretical origins of anti-work. We will see how anti-workarose as a part of the broader anti-capitalist movement, with its own post-left anarchist and anti-state communist variations. Link to .pdf below.
[images are of an intercepted attempt to install polling booths. the contents of which were then burned.]
The following text was published in Spanish by Comuna P’urépecha yesterday. A Facebook page dedicated to disseminating the history, knowledge, political education and struggles of the P’urépecha people1 in what is known as the Mexican state of Michoacán. So-called México is set to have presidential elections on July 1st, 2018.
This essay was first published almost two years ago in August of 2016 by a friend of the project. We re-publish it here as we feel it is more timely than ever as the struggle grows against ICE, borders and, more generally, against this whole carceral society.
“Positioned increasingly as a ‘capital of capital’ in the Pacific Basin, Los Angeles has been surging toward the ranks of the three other capitals of global capital, New York, London, and Tokyo (its Pacific Rim cohort). […] Los Angeles broadcasts its self-imagery so widely that probably more people have seen this place – or at least fragments of it – than any other on the planet. As a result, the seers of Los Angeles have become countless, even more so as the progressive globalization of its urban political economy flows along similar channels, making Los Angeles perhaps the epitomizing world-city, une ville de venue monde.”
Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory1
Our Present Material Conditions in Los Angeles
“Los Angeles is barely treading water while the rest of the world is moving forward. We risk falling further behind in adapting to the realities of the 21st century and becoming a City in decline. […] Los Angeles is sinking into a future in which it no longer can provide the public services to which our people’s taxes entitle them and where the promises made to public employees about a decent and secure retirement simply cannot be kept. City revenues are in long-term stagnation and expenses are climbing. Year by year, our City – which once was a beacon of innovation and opportunity to the world – is becoming less livable”
What follows is an essay we first learned of via our friend El Chavo! His description is an apt introduction to this important essay. The only thing we’ve done is removed the gendered language of some of the essay. Though we may not agree with everything in this essay, we think it stands as a powerful counter-narrative that viewed the Chicano riots of 1970 as merely a police riot. This essay has been pivotal to our own anti-political understanding of the possibilities for revolt and life in Los Angeles:
The following is a hard to find text about the 1970 Chicano riots in East LA, supposedly written by Herbert Marcuse but really written by the Bay Area 1044 situ group of that time. I find these essays on riots quite illuminating in their attempt to understand these periods of intensity as opposed to the typical lefty line of denouncing all violence.. Unfortunately, these views are rare in LA (or the rest of the world for that matter) and most locals subscribe to the line touted by whatever ideology is currently in favor.
This text was originally published by Antagonismo, a Mexican anarchist project, on May 6th, 2018. What follows is our translation.
This text was distributed on May 1st, 2018 in Mexico City, at the end of the usual union procession, celebrating Worker’s Day.
No, we don’t love work;
We hate it.
It is not our liberation,
It condemns us!
It does not raise up or free us of vices;
It beats us down
And morally annihilates us
To such a degree
That is leaves us incapacitated. (1)
We’ve being getting creative this weekend with a series of comics/memes/etc. very Situationist-inspired and yet also locally inspired. We’ve posted these on social media like our Twitter account and our Instagram account. We’re sharing this creations here for the social media antagonistic. Enjoy + feel free to share.
Gentrification as the intensification of the psycho-geography of the real subsumption of everything to Capital. No place for cultural remanants outside its logic. The banalisation of all spaces, streamlining consumption. You don't live here, you just buy here.
Much has been written about gentrification, but simply put it is the name for the rise of property values (and then ipso facto rent prices), resulting in displacement and often cultural erasure of those who were displaced. As Stuart Hall said, “race is the modality in which class is lived” and so by this logic gentrification is also deeply racialized. But what is the cause of this rise is more contentious. Some point to art galleries/spaces; others to international & national real estate speculation looking for new markets to profit off of; some see it is as a natural process of re-vitalization of areas once thought of as blight (if life under Capital could be seen as natural); some see the incursion of the (white) hipster as the cause. Suffice to say the cause is complex and may include all of these.