Here is our attempt to explain what anti-politics means to us and how we link it to communization and ultimately to communism.
Anti-politics: action and theory that posits itself against the sphere of politics (and therefore also political-economy). Politics being the sphere of power, alienation, mediation and domination. In this way anti-politics questions & attacks the mediation & coercion found in democracy; the centrality & domination of the economy (whether capitalist or not) in our lives, patriarchy & its deadly logic; settler-colonialism & its persistence; questions whether the breadth of human desires could ever constitute a unitary & enumerated positive program and opens itself up to the possibility of affinities of shared antagonism with those who do not explicitly express themselves politically but nonetheless attack that which anti-politics is set against (i.e. rioters).
This is an essay first written in 2015 and published in 2016 for a now-defunct project. Here is an revised version by the original author who now works on this project (which we had shared previously in zine format).
In Los Angeles to be against Capital typically presents itself in a pro-work/worker position. The problem is never work itself, the nature of work or that work is waged but instead what is desired is extending a sphere of work that is unionized and bolstered with higher wages. Take for instance the CLEAN Carwash campaign, where carwash workers (whom are mostly immigrant men) have been unionized under the representation of United Steelworkers Local 675. Though this move one is that brings much needed betterment of working conditions and wages for these workers, what is ultimately not brought up is that the work of a car wash workers can and has already been automated. But the fading labor movement seems to be no longer concerned with the overthrow of capitalism nor the abolition of work. That dream is a dream that has been lost along with the labor movement itself.
The following is analysis from a Chilean comrade. While we don't agree with the final statements, we feel the analysis in this is rather illuminating for this moment. After our English translation follows the original Spanish.
The far-right has never ascended to political power to then destroy the working-class and halt its revolution. Each time the far-right has come to power it is because the working-class has already been destroyed. By whom? By democracy. By progressivism. By the Left.
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.
We are happy to share the audio recorded by Marco Amador at the Contra Aztlán event which took place at La Conxa in Boyle Heights, a space run by Las Ovas on Sept 5th, 2018. The discussion here was frank, open and at times confrontational. Things were said that we did not agree with, but others in the group would interject and point out how so-and-so could be in the wrong, or mistaken. The participants spanned generations and different identities; would switch from English to Spanglish to Spanish; came from different political positions; but we all shared a desire to interrogate what is, not only, Chicano Nationalism but what is Chicanx identity in relation to other oppressed identities. We may help facilitate another event on this same topic in the coming weeks, so if you have any reactions to this audio please keep an eye out for a future event. If you cannot make it you can always send us your responses as a comment on here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have decided to undertake the task of translation the whole of CUARDERNOS DE NEGACIÓN11th issue (May 2018), entitled “Contra la valorización de la vida” (tr. Against the valorization of life). Here we present the first part of our translation. What follows is their work. All footnotes are from CUADERNOS unless otherwise noted. We feel this issue functions as a great way to introduce value-form theory to those adverse to critiques using Marxian categories since CUADERNOS do not use them to merely prop up notions of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or better management of production, or arguments for a transitional stage to communism: instead they show themselves to be clearly for the wholesale abolition of capitalism along with the features which weigh on those of us who are proletarians: work, our basic needs converted into commodities, wage-labor, general impoverishment, alienation and the general abstraction of daily life. A pdf of the text re-formatted into the design of the original can be found here..
As part of our event on September 5th, 2018 at 7PM at the radical autonomous space, La Conxa, an anarchist comrade shares with us her essay on Chicanismo & Chicano Nationalism which offers a necessary feminist critique of these two related ideas. She can be found on twitter at https://twitter.com/xicanarquista and you can help support her & her work by contributing at https://cash.me/$Carlavazquez.