No one can have any doubts left concerning the truly fascist nature of modern democracy as before the eyes of the world thousands of State mercenaries continue their job of mass slaughter in the interests of dominion and profit.
The project of massacre in course in Iraq involves the lives of hundreds of thousands of defenceless men women children. It has destroyed the infratructure of a whole country, and created the conditions for civil war. It has led to huge demonstrations more or less everywhere in the world, showing the vast reaches of dissent concerning this unconcealed act of State terrorism. Millions of people came out into the streets to demonstrate, walking for miles carrying flags and banners, beating drums, shouting slogans. The organisers, greens, ecologists, pacifists, trades unionists, social forums, laid on buses and routes were mapped out in advance in collaboration with the forces of order. At the end of the day they came home to see confirmation of their efforts on the TV screen. Tired, but with the euphoria of quantity taken to epic proportions, they could say, Yes, today we really did something against the War. We have shown our solidarity to the people of Iraq. Now we must get back to work tomorrow and wait…
And if it were all one grotesque farce? If instead of ‘stopping the War’ these demonstrations, in spite of the sincerity of the participants, actually foster the great illusion that we are living in a society where we have a say in the running of our lives, and that those who rule take account of what we desire? If they have become an integral part of the spectacle of war? Dissent is an essential part of participatory democracy. It excites comedians like Bush and Blair, stimulates their rhetoric, gives them an interlocutor. To come out in vast numbers merely to say No to the war reassures the warlords. The illusion of quantity ‘…surely if enough of us say ‘no’ our elected leaders will take heed…’ keeps people from acting. It keeps everything visible, under control.
These demonstrations start from two macroscopic errors: they see the war as one circumscribed event, and believe that through numbers they can put pressure on the decision-making centres to make them change their minds, thus contributing to fostering myths such as ‘peace’ and ‘free speech’ under capital.
The illusion of ‘free speech’ is the first obstacle that must be overcome if we are to clear the field for action. The words of the enemy are inserted within the whole framework of social, political and economic relations: political parties, media, work, school, government etc, backed by the ultimate threat of police army and prison. When Bush utters monosyllabic diatribes against ‘terrorism’ and the need to attack Iraq, this is not one side of a discussion in a pub or over the dinner table. Behind his words exists a whole arsenal of ‘men’ and weapons ready to go into action wherever the order is given. Against this, the slaves of democracy have the right to say ‘no’. They can sign petitions and hand them into parliament. They can put up posters, hand out leaflets. But only so far as the are words are an end in themselves, empty words (e.g. ‘Stop the War’, ‘Give Peace a Chance’) which by their very nature block the road to action.
Here we should clarify that when we say ‘action’ we mean propulsive deeds that transform reality, not symbolic gestures which, although they sometimes cause damage to the instruments of the enemy, do so within a media-orientated context by a activist minority separate from the exploited. The destructive element is defused and recuperated by the logic of specialisation and the tactical choices of a political, not a social, entity. Real attack on the other hand can take many forms, including the seemingly ‘peaceful’ ones of leaflets, posters and graffiti, when these contain a social and economic analysis of the question and indications of possible action.
The military attack on Iraq, although in itself a specific event, cannot be seen as something separate from the war capital wages every moment of the day in a thousand guises. This is not a maximalist statement aimed at making the problem so vast that we can't act on the specific aspects of this reality. On the contrary. The closer we examine this state of global war, the easier it becomes to identify the enemy in concrete economic and military structures that are tangible and attackable, and to refuse the mediated discourse of the politicians. If our words have meaning in terms of attack, they must be instruments of theory and analysis necessary to opening the road to this destructive perspective within the logic of rebellion and generalised insurrection.
When we said ‘Burn the base of death’ on our banners against the British base in Cyprus that the uniformed killers left from, we meant just that: let’s go now, men women and children, to occupy and destroy the base. When we hand out leaflets analysing the role of a military base, we must also examine the effects that it has on the lives of the local people, bringing the question into a concrete, tangible dimension concerning their own lives. We know that even specific, gross attacks on the exploited such as ‘war’ by capital depend on a whole flux of relations working to perfection, and that these relations are always vulnerable and open to modification. Even a small action, if it is well chosen, not just the expression of frustration and powerlessness, can upset the delicate balance of these relations that depend on mystification, obedience and, when there is discontent, formal dissent. Such attacks cannot wait for the consensus of thousands of people, but the means used must be simple and easily copied to open the way for the attack to spread horizontally in the dimension of rebellion and insurrection.
It can begin any time, anywhere, by small groups of comrades based on affinity. It is the multiplicity of the attacks, their simple nature and possible spreading that makes them a real force, immediately putting the struggle in a social dimension and taking it away from the concept of quantity or symbolic gestures. Groups in one country, or in many countries, can coordinate their actions and give them resonance. No wave of a magic wand can take the place of the work that needs to be done by each one of us starting from now to give ourselves the instruments we need for this attack. Against specific moments of ‘war’ declared by the State we must undertake the relentless – theoretical, analytical and practical – task of destruction of this society of death and, through a joyous awakening of egos, extend the creation of the new world without delay.
AGAINST WAR, AGAINST PEACE, FOR THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION