An anti-gentrification strategy which counters the “good local business” to the “bad, ‘gentrifier’ business,” and thus does not question capitalism itself, is a strategy which may garner popular support, but it is one which is ultimately shallow & reformist in nature. It confuses the symptoms of gentrification for the causes. If we take gentrification as an opportunity to truly interrogate what housing means under capitalism for proletarians, we would see that this society will always have us living as close to the edge as possible.
Why for anarchy and not for anarchism? This may seem like a small point to split hairs over but it is a point which is important to us. It is important because we are interested in a vital anarchist (anti-state communist) milieu. For us anarchism points to the notion that there could be a special set of practices (forms) which can be found out to be complentary for a free life for all. We feel this is foolish and assumes human life could ever take on a singular form. Life should take on the form necessary for its free reproduction, unlike its current state which only serves those who rule/control us.
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-work is 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-work arose as a part of the broader anti-capitalist movement, with its own post-left anarchist and anti-state communist variations. Link to .pdf below.
Here is a flyer for the event:
Any questions? Hit us up: email@example.com
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.
But what does this mean?
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.
So like back in 2016 I wrote a text about anti-work and Chicanxs/Mexicans and I’d like to share this excerpt since talking about 90s ditch parties is now in vogue though they are often spoken of apolitically. Here I attempted to bring it into the realm of antiwork/refusal of labor, or maybe it could even be thought of as a kind of destituent power as the The Invisible Committee like to talk about. Trying to get the fuck out of this world & have a good time, instead of trying to save it.