The horizon of events. Incendiary thoughts scattered over the last drops of fuel of capitalism (Italy)

The horizon of events. Incendiary thoughts scattered over the last drops of fuel of capitalism

Here the english translation of the article by Lunanera, “L’orizzonte degli eventi. Pensieri incendiari sparsi sulle ultime gocce di carburante del Capitalismo” (published in “Bollettino”, no. 7, Biblioteca dello Spazio Anarchico “Lunanera” and Archivio di Documentazione “Franco Di Gioia”, Cosenza, Italy, March 2022). The translation, made by “Act for freedom now!” (which we thank very much!), has been revised and corrected in some passages by some comrades and re-published online in “La Nemesi”.

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The horizon of events
Incendiary thoughts scattered over the last drops of fuel of Capitalism

If it is true that States and governments are ‘groping in the dark’ with regard to the pandemic, now of secondary importance compared to the new emergency priorities, on the other hand the bosses are showing great efficiency in safeguarding old privileges and no scruples in grabbing new ones. War and imperialism have become the new parameters of collective security in a matter of days.

On the one hand, the scientists of the pharmaceutical companies are revealing failure concerning the plan of action against the virus: the nanotechnological product, the new miracle commodity commonly referred to as the ‘vaccine’ is not so effective in realising expectations that it would stem the pandemic. On the other hand, the political world must declare that something good has been done and that institutional bodies are still necessary. They serve to say, for example, that ‘everything will be fine’.

The restructuring of capitalism broods fierce competition within it. There are an infinite number of new resources to be exploited, several to be put back on the market. As in a role-playing game, then, here is the new emergent scenario. New as a manner of speaking.

Every State is born out of oppression, and every government is in the business of guaranteeing accessibility, technology, facilities, personnel and compliant laws for those who exploit us. Every single element of this assembly line relies on precise perpetrators: agents, connivors, accomplices, beneficiaries.

In emergencies, these perpetrators coalesce around the government of national unity. Through this extended instrument of institutional authoritarianism, the enlisting of individuals in campaigns conducted in the name of the common interest takes place.

Be it wars, health emergencies, environmental emergencies, terrorist emergencies, political parties, movements, trade unions, all bodies that recognise themselves in the democratic State embrace one another in the name of the common good: the preservation of the capitalist social order and the elimination of any possible unforeseen contingency.

Today, a decisive shift within the world’s economic equilibrium is triggering sudden accelerations in the murderous violence of States, and ‘unforeseen’ has become anything that puts a spoke in the wheels of the technocrats’ façade of efficientism.

The ‘low-intensity war’ between Russia and Ukraine, which started in 2014, has quickly turned into a wider conflict.

Up until recently in the forefront against Covid-19, European governments are still pushing the authoritarian turn that began in recent months, with the same threatening tones. Launched in the warlike campaign against the Coronavirus, the prospects of cooptation involve enlistment in a real war this time. The exercises in obedience carried out during these two years of military management of the pandemic have built up language and behaviour suited to government demands from time to time.

Quick consensus and quick adaptation to economic and security needs before health needs is what institutional politics, official culture and journalistic propaganda have achieved so far. Of real, concrete, effective results with regard to the management of the so-called health emergency, now suddenly turned into a war emergency, we see none. Moreover, the bourgeois and reformist approach by some political forces regarding the development of struggles has gradually turned out to be a mere celebration of abstract principles ready to espouse any authoritarian assumptions. In parallel, as if to determine a projection of these principles in concrete terms there are the curfews, repression, massacres in prisons, dismissals, suspensions from work, advancing conditions of exploitation, the cost of living: in short, war declared by the exploiters on the exploited.

On the other hand, we highlight with joy the attacks that continue to be repeated against class enemies throughout the world; we hope they will multiply in a determined manner, especially in this phase of great difficulty for capitalism.

In spite of the repression by Statesmen, revolutionary actions have not stopped and have kept the flame alight that, today, could blaze in a disruptive manner.

This is what really frightens governments and bosses: at a time when the latter are amassing new wealth, impoverishing and expropriating workers and proletarians, not everyone has allowed themselves to be enlisted in the official ‘call to arms’. Some, in fact, have continued, through their writings and deeds, to make it clear who the enemies are, what their aims and interests are.

We have never believed in one single Leviathan that extorts our labour and degrades our lives. Politics has been relegated to providing a narrative framework for the events that unfold, reassuring one minute, threatening the next. This canvas fills scenes, engulfs attention, engages in debates interactively. With what effect on reality?

The events that affect our lives are the product of a well-defined historical process that has become complex and dominated by several conflicting interests. The planes on which these interests unfold are multiple, but the result, as far as we are concerned, is always the same.

The virus is a product of capitalist industry. It is a product of capitalism as a commodity assembled and conveyed by it to create demand and need. We take responsibility for this statement, without wishing to give it amplification over the feral perniciousness of capitalism itself. Otherwise? It matters little. Companies, States, governments have behaved as if this were the case. The set of institutional, scientific, economic organs that determined and facilitated all this is the same jumble of murderers that is supposed to lead us out of the pandemic.

Imperialism and wars are also an economic product of capitalism. Historically, the motivations behind them are the pursuit of welfare for their citizens, economic independence from resources, the desire to pacify a hostile territory due to an ‘authoritarian and uncivilised’ political leadership, to put an end to racial or gender discrimination or environmental devastation, to initiate the pacification of a territory. These are the objectives of all wars, all so-called surgical military actions, peace missions, bombing raids conducted over the last thirty years, and all heroic acts aimed at militarily safeguarding the common good.

However, to achieve concrete results in all the ‘civilisation battles’ that capitalism conducts, it is always useful to increase profits and reshape production. It is no coincidence that, despite the ‘emergencies’, the determination to safeguard economic profits has maintained a primary role in government agendas.

Just as it is customary to save State and private interests threatened abroad by enlisting contractors, in the same way we are trying to enlist individuals in a perennial military campaign aimed at ensuring the safe management of the ecological transition within each State. The adjective safe, however, takes on a different weight within each State. The internal fronts in wars are organised according to specific assumptions, calculated on the real potential of available resources, military and economic alliances on an international level. The outlet Italy sees in the logic of such interests is also to make use of the war industry of which it is a leader. Enlisting in war production and the economic development of everything that moves around it is therefore one of the ways out of the crisis induced by the pandemic. Here, then, is where our most determined responses in our struggle converge.

Moreover, every State assigns a role to its citizens during a war. We won’t stand here and tally the legal provisions, the control devices that in recent months have satisfied the demands of Confindustria under the pretext of virus prevention. In military strategies to account for war, in order to avoid unexpected internal repercussions high commands are used to implementing a certain type of narrative: firm, reassuring, only to deny the previous resolution at every step towards the abyss. In wars that have involved the economic interests of States and masters for centuries, the role reserved for the exploited has always been that of assuming behaviour in keeping with the common good.

But what is the interest of the exploited in wars, if not to sabotage the efficient death machine that grips them and attack the interests and tormentors that keep it going? To attack, therefore, the men and capital of the war machine within their own States.

The salvation being peddled to us at the end of the pandemic tunnel is the salvation of the capitalisms. Similarly, involvement in the military campaign against the new enemy represents the disciplining of workers, proletarians and exploited in the governing assembly line. The devices and propaganda used to orientate the behaviour of individuals are intended to keep the class dynamics within the ecological transition unchanged: on the one hand, those accumulating the new resources, and on the other, those who will have to pay dearly for them and, in order to do so, will have to be willing to accept new criteria of slavery. For now, the exploited are being asked to espouse national-statist and reactionary demands, to join, therefore, the new war campaign that the bosses and rulers need to conduct.

Fear of control and loss of freedom with respect to devices and decrees of law are fodder for debate among the proponents of the new-style democracies. We do not see a real social clash at all in the events that follow one another with exhausting diatribes centred on the defence of individual freedoms and the inseparability from the common good, but rather a patchwork of narratives that abstract eventualities, dimensions that are yet to come. What we are witnessing, despite ourselves, are not political analyses, philosophical speculations, categorisations of human thought, but bubbles that reproduce realities in perpetual narration. If we were to embrace, hypothetically, the resulting dialectical potential, we would see that both disputing factions would have certain data to use to their advantage. Since we are not cynical assertors of synthesis, we will limit ourselves to a more complex analysis of why this happens, while bringing out the simplicity of the solutions. What we are witnessing is not a retreat of democracy, a temporary or definitive crisis of the society of law. We could go on and on pointing out multiple facts that demonstrate the actual immanence of the fucked-up society we have lived in so far. In our opinion, however, to look into the depths of events, we need to shift our focus from the ‘spectacular clash’ between galaxies to the black hole that absorbs them. Political, economic, health narratives have taken place, for some time now, in a dimension that has been abstracted from reality due to the pervasiveness of techniques. Constantly updated government, scientific, and military logbooks have made a cold reading of the facts almost impossible. This also applies to the authors of such numbers, figures, statistics, etc. themselves. The dramatisation we have been witnessing for two years is always the same: prediction, slogan, weighing of the effect, acceptance, denial, more prediction, reformulation of the slogan. In all this, the class enemies do not follow the narratives and slogans, they look after the bottom line, i.e. the optimisation of the results that the integration of these techniques can provide them with: the so-called valorisation of the behaviour induced by digital devices and legal devices, which are now increasingly overlapping.

Emergency or exception are modulations that governments need to remain in vogue. If they constitute a limitation of the granted civil liberties, this remains an entirely ‘democratic’ observation, resulting from the perspective of those who believe in the drivel about the Constitution and so on and so forth. It is up to revolutionaries to carve out concrete operational spaces even under extremely difficult conditions; to optimally organise responses, both immediate and long-term, to the advance of misery, repression, reaction and reformism. In short, to help the class war speak a stronger language than the war between capitalisms.

Experiences accumulated over the years lead us to consider the fact that the evidence of an authoritarian turn of the State is as pernicious as its welfarism or reformism. Reaction, in all its evidence, is a fact. And it calls other facts into play. Revolutionary ‘facts’, specifically. The simplicity of the discourse is self-evident. At a time when the State is demonstrating its true essence by striking the lives of individuals, the attack on its structures, its men, its machines, is an instrument of liberation. Vindicating its practices, intensifying its propaganda in continuity with the revolutionary prisoners, increasing the fear of bosses and rulers, is reproducing possibilities for large-scale action at a time of strong social tension, attacking the economic and military credibility machine of States at the heart, putting back into play in a concrete way that active internationalism that we want to oppose to imperialist wars.

The horizon we are looking at, however, is not the one limited to our own backyard. When we talk about ‘the lives of individuals’, we mean hunger, misery, bad or absent cures, murderous management of energy sources, digitisation of existences, massacre of populations; we are talking about all that counterpart historically necessary to enable the economic developments of capitalism itself. Those who accumulate or increase wealth achieve these results because, somewhere else, someone else experiences poverty. This is the ultimate goal of the valorisation of behaviour: to present increased exploitation and slavery as a collective salvation.

Also evident is the attempt to ferry the probable exit from the pandemic narrative towards a renewed social consensus regarding new wars, new armaments and a return to nuclear power alongside so-called green energies.

We have always had some hesitation in using the name ‘Mega-machine’ to define the apparatus that conditions our lives. We feel that this term expropriates responsibility from individuals who pursue, instead, specific interests, and at the same time condones a kind of immobility in attacking its composition, which, though complex, is within our reach.

Despite the increase in digitalisation and computerisation, capitalisms still fight their ‘battles of civilisation’ with the same means as in the last century: imperialist wars, invasions, supplying weapons, experimenting with new warfare instruments, including ”bacteriological” ones, sanctions. Could it be that the military-technological apparatus cannot economically and strategically sustain an armed conflict of long duration using only computerised instruments? The same argument can be applied to domestic production in the various States. It cannot take place without the real exploitation of men and women.

The perfectioning of the human, to which the new capitalisms are tending, is based on an abstraction of life. Abstraction hypothesised and reformulated through biology and economics. But from the experience of such constructs, one can see that, in the end, it is possible to perfect behaviours, not real lives. After all, what do the new capitalisms, the new markets, the new wars, favour if not ‘virtuous behaviour’?

What governments are aiming for is a positive and immediate response of individuals and collectivities to the needs of the ever-changing corporate frenzy.

We do not believe, however, that economic planning produces its intended effects in full. Rapidity, to which these processes are subjected, also speeds up errors of judgement, with sudden changes of course and reshaping of arrangements. Thus, continuous and swift budgeting for failure is the certain feature that this new phase of capitalism brings with it.

This does not imply an automatic end to exploitation; on the contrary, it encourages the emergence of ever new forms of it.

We had already expressed our views on this in the documents “Tutto va estremamente bene” [“Everything is going extremely well”] and “Non li ucciderà il virus” [“The virus won’t kill them”] in March 2020.

The ever-changing economic and decision-making context must predict or influence the behaviour of individuals.

This is the war that lies ahead, no longer on the horizon but within our real lives. Asking ourselves what our organisational forms will be to turn it into a revolution would be a useful discussion to have. Concrete, strong, in our view inevitable. The optic of war entered the field from the first moment the pandemic was declared. Let it, therefore, become social war against the bosses, States and governments that declared it.

Since we consider our idea an ‘avenging’ weapon of oppression and not a moralistic assumption to be placed alongside the multiple values that constitute the dictates of exploitation, the dimensions towards which our struggles are directed do not change perspective and the horizon to which our eyes look is always that according to which it is necessary to ‘displease’ someone in order to build anarchy.

The ‘organisation’ of our anger and love needs to start putting aside some provisions, a baggage of experience built on both defeats and blows incurred.

Is it all so inevitable? No. A retreat at this stage would consolidate spirits, unite intentions, pacify disagreements. In short, it would create a new acceptable niche for anarchism, a new museum to boast about, a reserve of industrious and purposeful tranquillity. Is this what one is aiming for? A slice of the antagonist area has already recombined its dynamics by joyfully adhering to the new course of digital militancy, of the claim that generates a market. Some forms of struggle have long been re-proposing corporate models of behaviour and efficientism, drawing them directly from the world of work.

For example, the new world of work is based on diffused leadership.

“In this context, the creative person capable of generating contexts of exchange, innovation and change will become a leader. True, enterprise 4.0 may entail risks for employment, or even generate conflicts, but it should be read as a challenge to increase productivity and, at the same time, people and skills”.

In the zero issue of the anarchist newspaper ‘Vetriolo’ the following consideration was reported:

“The State, as a living organism is not self-sufficient, it has its own function and needs nourishment, and moral fulfilment. The State lives in symbiosis and sometimes in conflict with the more complex system whose armed defence it is charged with. Sometimes, one cannot quite distinguish between the State and Capital. Is an engineer in a public company a man of the State or of capitalism? A university professor, a technician at the Ministry of the Economy, a labour lawyer, are they men of State or bosses?”.

We believe that this analysis, at a distance of time, is still valid.

When the facts are put to the test we have seen over the past two years what the level of organisation of this complex machine that is the new living capital in symbiosis with the State is. To diffused leadership, to constant training and valorisation, however, mirrors itself the voracity of the bosses who, fearful of losing profits, unleash in all ways congenial to them, the repressive machine against the exploited and against those who react to the abuses generated by them.

In the book Tech Impact already mentioned in this paper, the General Manager of Fineco Bank SpA writes:

“technology has posed, poses and will always pose, major challenges to any productive sector. […] the other side of the coin of these challenges are the opportunities that present themselves and that we must be ready to seize, even at the cost of making decisions that, at first glance, may seem difficult”.

What does ‘tough decisions’ mean to the professional ranks of those widely enslaved to capitalism? Perhaps, forcing preventive behaviour by hook or by crook in the name of economically safeguarding profits and productivity? And who will pay the highest price for these ‘tough decisions’? Shall we make a guess? The creative leaders, those of so-called shared and cascading knowledge? The leaders of the civic and green protest? No! We the exploited will pay for them. Just as the miseries of war have always been paid for by the exploited. In this phase of the reorganisation of the forces of capital it is essential to understand (and be active in making people understand) the difference between the deadly value of new exploitation and the liberating value of the destructive attack on everything that produces it. This will be an essential foothold for throwing ourselves, without hesitation, into the unknown that awaits us.

Working towards this end will not be a ‘hard decision’ for us, but a survival instinct, a revolutionary practice called social war.

Let us wage war against the State, governments and the bosses.

Only then will all be well.

March 3, 2022

[Published in italian as: “L’orizzonte degli eventi. Pensieri incendiari sparsi sulle ultime gocce di carburante del Capitalismo”, in “Bollettino”, no. 7, Biblioteca dello Spazio Anarchico “Lunanera” and Archivio di Documentazione “Franco Di Gioia”, Cosenza, Italy, March 2022 | Also published online here: & | English translation originally published here: | Translation slightly corrected published by “La Nemesi”:]