During Israel’s brutal eleven-day assault on Gaza – itself only an escalation of its daily devastation of Palestinian life – I turned to the writings of the Palestinian novelist and militant Ghassan Kanafani.
The following is an excerpt from Rodrigo Nunes’ new book, Neither Vertical Nor Horizontal: A Theory of Political Organisation, out now with Verso. Part balance sheet of the struggles of the last decade, part diagnosis of the left’s traumas and melancholias in the last forty years, part attempt to develop a theory of organization that avoids sterile oppositions between ‘horizontalism’… Read more →
Over the course of fifty days, Amazon mobilized dozens of consultants and influencers, created websites, sent dozens of anti-union messages to every employee on Twitter and WhatsApp, and called a hundred meetings with mandatory participation during working hours. On the other hand, the union avoided mobilizing its members with public protest actions and did not organize moments of active solidarity with other Amazon centers and other unions.
Andreas Malm develops a method designed to abolish ambivalence: herein lies the clarity of his work. His approach may best be described as kaleidoscopic: it orders the heterogeneous shards of history through the mirrors of his theory of history, while a singular eyepiece provides focus, and the basis for a unified political perspective. But this method only avoids ambivalence in theory. When it comes to practice, ambivalences reappear – but in the blindspot of theory. Reviews of Malm’s individual works may miss these blindspots and ambivalences, but once we read them side by side, we can begin to understand that they are structural to his work.
Any specific struggle over environmental noxiousness is meaningful only if it is connected to a wider battle against the noxiousness of the capitalist organization of work.
In this perspective, the gray zones of labor, inside and outside capitalist enterprises, can be understood as zones of production of a divided subjectivity, a schizophrenic subjectivity. For me, it is not so much a question of identifying a subject as of understanding the processes of desubjectification: that is, the individual and collective processes that allow us to dispose of subjectivity as it is produced.
Along the lines of a continuously regenerated creative power, Rosa Luxemburg practiced the incessant coming-and-going from self-to-self, the back-and-forth of actions, polemics, and thoughts: in order to begin again.
The following is therefore meant to be a practical, albeit imperfect and incomplete, account for anyone considering starting a fund like ours. It is also meant to offer some insight into how a strike fund, especially where you would not usually find one, (as with a wildcat strike or other organization of workers not represented by a union with deep pockets) can shape the form and capacity of labor actions.
The November 28 demonstration, by its numerical strength, its offensive character, its spirit of revolt and collective solidarity, was a demonstration of force reflecting a generalized social hostility not only against the #LoiSécuritéGlobale but also against the authoritarian tilt of the government, against state racism, against Macron and his world.
Those other neighbourhood committees did some very dramatic and dashing things, things that nobody did before. Committees in places like al-Rahad broke down the zakat stores, took out grain, and redistributed it. They challenged power at the immediate level, where it impacts on people’s lives.