Communization, counter-revolution & the Yellow Vests

Some exchanges published in the comment section of Des Nouvelles du Front, a French-language website which serves as a clearinghouse for texts of interest to the communization current. The comments are lifted from here. Translated by our collaborator in France, Otto Mattick; edited by us at Ediciones inéditos in Los Angeles, CA.

Agitations at the Chilean Ports

The following is a dispatch from Chilean comrades, Comunidad de Lucha. A text which is definitely is intended to reach the port workers at Valparaíso and around Chile, but which we felt could be of use for those of outside of the heated struggle in that country as circulation struggles keep spreading around the world.

Port workers at Valparaíso [Chile] have been on strike for over a month, in direct conflict with the TPS company1 over demands pertaining to work shifts, job security and wage increases. Faced with the TPS’s refusal to respond to any demands, the means of struggle have radicalized and state repression has also become increasingly harsh, leading to the violent eviction of the city’s stevedores union.

Macron and French racism as social relationship

A short FB post from “Le blog de João” subtitled, “Reflections from an Afro-descendant on colonialism, gender, neo-liberalism and social movements. It is a response to the racist-nationalist dog whistles in Macron’s recent speech. Their website can be found here. This has been translated for us by our resolute collaborator, Otto Mattick (we just made the graphic & edited a bit really).

References to “secularism”, “national identity” or “immigration” by Macron are not a mere “diversion” to from the supposed “real problems” put on the table by the #giletsjaunes movement.

Moral Economy, Power and the Yellow Vests

The following is our translation of an intriguing text by Samuel Hayat, a French political scientist, published on Dec. 5th 2018. It offers a thought-provoking analysis of the moral economy of the Yellow Vests movement which should also provoke conversations about other social/radical movements and their attachment to normative moral claims about the economy or the present world we are forced to live in.

It’s difficult not to be swept up by the movement in progress. The whole thing is disconcerting, including for those who make a profession of researching and teaching political science: its actors, its modes of action, its demands. Some of our best established beliefs have been called into question, notably those related to the conditions and bliss of social movements. Hence the necessity, or at the very least the desire, to put out it in the open some reflections stemming from the open comparison between what we see in this movement and the knowledge base relating to other subjects. Besides the research of the movement in progress, let us hope that the indirect light born of the comparison with other fields offers up something different on what has taken place.

The Vests Are Always Yellower On The Other Side — An Italian Dispatch Editorial

The following is a rousing editorial from Italian comrades at Common Ware translated by a friend of the project, Asmodeus.

The insurgency of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) has obtained an important contingent victory, bending the government to its will and forcing it to retract the increase in gasoline and excise taxes. This result was not obtained through representative channels, but rather through weeks of clashes with the police, barricades, blockages of circulation, and the destruction of many different objects that don’t necessarily have anything coherent in common, just as there isn’t anything coherent about the composition of the mobilized participants.

Dec. 1st – Pushing the Disorder Further & Response by Alerta Comunista (Greece)

What follows is a translation of a blog post by Carbure. It is a collaboration between ourselves & Otto Mattick. The original text was published on Dec. 3rd, 2018.

Saturday December 1st, the Gilets Jaunes movement had ceased to belong and be the movement of lower-class White France which it was at the beginning. Given the predictable refusal of the State to satisfy the smallest demand (as evidenced by the refusal or inability of the “spokepersons” of the movement to meet the Prime Minister), also given the derisory aspect which any demand takes on in light of our intolerable existence, and thanks to the convergence in an urban setting of ALL rage, the revolutionary content of the current period beings to appear under the crust of discourses and ideologies, and this content is disorder. The question is now where will what has started end or how far what has started here will be able to create disorder. Already those who made up the origin of the movement serve as a rear guard of what they have started, making appeals to reason and demanding a return to republican order within the pages of Le Journal du Dimanche. They were the incarnation of the start of the movement and their reluctance demonstrates enough what this movement is no longer. They would be satisfied with a moratorium on raising fuel prices, on raising the price on anything or organizing a referendum on the energy transition, right when an emerging movement wants to take whatever is in its path and can no longer crystallize itself around any discourse or demand; save for the repetition of “Resign Macron” as a sort of mantra calling on nothingness and the disappearance of all that this world represents. “Resign Macron” is at once the political limit of this movement and also a call for the end of all politics.

A Historical Awakening: Gilets Jaunes mov’t dispatch from the island of La Réunion

The following is a translation of a text retrieved from Lundi Matin, published on Nov. 26th 2018. It is a dispatch from the French territory of La Réunion: an island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It was translated by Otto Mattick and edited by Ediciones inéditos.

The Yellow Vests movement on Reunion Island

The trigger of an historic awakening

You have probably already read it somewhere: “Reunion Island is all fire and blood”, “riots”, “outbreaks of violence in Reunion Island”. Since the beginning of the movement, on 17 November 2018, and for nine days now, Reunion Island has experienced a social revolt on a scale never known before. A curfew was introduced on November 20, and lifted this Sunday, following a respite. A new week of blockades is expected both on the roads and at strategic points, such as the East Port, the prefecture or Gillot airport.

The confused media and politicians are trying to demonize the movement with provoking phrases, some rumors of anti-white racism follow by the usual discourse aimed at separating the “nice Yellow Vests” from the “bad young casseurs1. However, the reality is much more complex than the Reunionese and [French] metropolitan media suggest.

“The proletariat of Brazil was defeated by democracy, not dictatorship.”

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.

Cuadernos de Negación – Against the Valorization of Life – Part I

We have decided to undertake the task of translation the whole of CUARDERNOS DE NEGACIÓN 11th 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..