We will be victorious!

acorn 2019b May 31 2020

Another political fault line has been opened up by the rapidly spiralling events of 2020.

As we wrote yesterday, the Covid scare has found us sharing the anti-authoritarian analysis of people beyond the usual anarchic spheres, while many supposed comrades are bizarrely supportive of the official state narrative.

However, the current street uprisings across the USA, sparked by the murder of George Floyd, have revealed a peculiar limit to some people’s opposition to the nascent global police state.

Unlike us, they have not found hope in the sight of thousands upon thousands of people of all races reclaiming the streets of dozens of cities, overturning police cars, setting on fire the buildings used to oppress them.

US6

They apparently don’t think that it is reasonable, or helpful, to come together and physically resist the state and its hired thugs!

In taking this stance, they reveal that they have understood nothing about the system which has controlled and exploited us for so long, and which is now dropping its liberal mask to reveal its true totalitarian nature.

They have not grasped that its so-called “democracy” is fake, that the “reforms” it sometimes offers us are illusory, that the avenues it provides for us to try and change things are all time-wasting dead-ends.

Most of all, they have failed to see that the whole of the system’s control of us is built on violence.

US5

As this article explains: “The capitalist state was created by violence, is maintained by violence and is always prepared to resort to all the forms of violence at its disposal to resist challenges to its power.

“The ‘law’ itself, that foundation of its control over the population, is the flag of convenience under which this violence is carried out.

“Physically attacking someone is violence, even if you happen to be dressed up in some fancy clothes provided by the state.

“Physically confining someone in a locked space, with the constant use and threat of force, is also violence, even if you put on a stupid wig to announce what you are going to do to them.

“Bombing someone is violence, as is shooting them, torturing them, spraying them with chemicals.

“Wearing down someone’s resistance, forcing them to follow your rules, to live the way you tell them to, by means of a permanent, lifelong threat of violence if they step out of line is also, needless to say, violence”.

US9

We cannot hope to win our freedom by obediently playing by the rules the system has written to protect itself from us.

We have to break through the barriers it has built to keep us in our place, not least the psychological ones.

One of these barriers is the idea that it is “wrong” to resist state oppression, that “the law” must be respected.

This deeply conditioned response even leads some to assume that breaking the law to fight the system must necessarily be some kind of cunning trap into which we must diligently refuse to fall!

The biggest barrier of all is the notion, implanted in our minds virtually from birth, that we can never defeat the system.

US2Resistance is futile, they tell us. There is no alternative, another world is completely impossible. There is nothing you can do about this. Stay home, shut up, submit.

But this is a complete lie! If it was true, why would they invest so much effort into policing us, surveilling us, imprisoning us, constantly devising new laws and techniques to chain us?

It is because the tiny ultrarich elite, who run the system for their own selfish benefit, are very aware that they are hopelessly unnumbered. They are scared of us!

They know full well that if ever we broke through the barriers of fear and disempowerment with which they surround us, if ever we overcame the divisions with which they separate us, we would be able to bring their capitalist prison-world crashing down.

We are many, they are few. We will be victorious!

 

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Uniting against the dictatorship!

acorn 2019b May 30 2020

Early on in the Covid crisis we noticed that something very strange was happening in the world of anarchism.

In our April 3 article ‘Anarchists and the Coronavirus‘, we warned: “Because they accept at face value the narrative around coronavirus being pumped out by the corporate media, too many anarchists end up reinforcing and amplifying the fearmongering message”.

Since then we have featured several articles addressing this issue (see here, here and here).

We have not yet conducted a second in-depth analysis of anarchist reactions to the health scare and the lockdown because, frankly, the material is too depressing to read!

Freedom-1950
This is what anarchism is supposed to be about

But the UK anarchist scene’s response to what has been happening has surely reached rock bottom with the inane comment piece published by Freedom paper of London on May 27.

This article, by an academic called Jonathan Bigger, says that although “we” have until recently been “ideologically opposed to government”, the pandemic “is helping us see things in a different light”.

Unbelievable! In other words, the personnel of the UK’s best-known anarchist institution have apparently given up on anarchism!

It gets worse. While all across the country, people are waking up to the totalitarian horror of what is being imposed on them under the pretext of the virus, it seems that for Freedom’s writer the house-arrest fascist lockdown is not the issue at all.

freedombannerThe problem for him, as for any good state-worshipping control freak, is “the damage of incompetent government”.

And he claims, with evident pride: “It was anarchists who led the way in terms of wanting a lockdown and being prepared for it”.

Freedom have recent form for this sort of stupidity. Well before the start of the Covid crisis, on January 6, they roundly castigated and “muted” us on Twitter.

The Freedom representative (on this occasion “zb”) was not at all interested in our perfectly polite recommendation that they dip into our online climate capitalists library to find out more about the green capitalism scam.

Instead they tweeted: “Sorry but I have very little time for conspiracy theorists, and you have proven time after time that you are one. Will give you a mute now, can’t see why I should bother any further”.

Freedom 1910In addition to the climate capitalist issue, there had been a brief and polite exchange about the lack of anarchist voices condemning US imperialist aggression against Iran.

It seemed incredible a few months ago that Freedom might object to us opposing capitalism and imperialism, but now these “anarchists” are also calling for a strong and competent state!

In all seriousness, Freedom should not only drop any pretence at being anarchist, but in order to avoid confusion, should also very quickly change its name to something more appropriate.

The abject failure of so much of the anarchist movement to stand up to actual real-life fascism, after all those years of anti-fascist politicking, has been traumatic for many of us who feel part of the tradition.

Because of the dearth of anarchist voices condemning dictatorship and defending freedom, we have been forced to spread the net wider than usual in a desperate search for common sense.

We have come to  greatly appreciate the video news bulletins put out by UK Column, for example, and the articles written by Peter Hitchens.

There is a growing sense that a realignment is taking place, in which the pro-lockdown anarcho-authoritarians are very much on the other side of the barricades to us.

anti-authorityAs OffGuardian tweeted: “The #CoronavirusLockdown has thrown into sharp relief that left vs right is no longer the dynamic. The only fight that really matters now is authoritarians vs anti-authoritarians”.

A welcome contribution to this debate has now come from our anarchist comrades at The South Essex Heckler.

In their May 29 article ‘The emerging political divide‘, they address the way that so many anarchists have apparently been duped by the state’s “psychological warfare, also known more colloquially as psyops”.

They add: “What is also going on is what seems to be a profound reformulation of political and social divides.

“The labels left and right are starting to become less relevant. What is starting to emerge in the ongoing confusion and chaos is a divide between those of us who value personal and collective autonomy at the grassroots on the one hand and on the other, those who look to the state to provide ‘solutions’ to problems, regardless of how totalitarian those ‘solutions’ may turn out to be.

“As old political definitions and divides become redundant while new ones emerge, we’ll find ourselves with some strange bedfellows. Some may end up as firm allies, some may eventually end up as opponents or enemies.

“The point is that we have to remain open minded and flexible during this ever evolving and often confusing situation. We’re not always going to get it right and yes, if we get through this, in a few years time we may well look back and ask ourselves why the heck did we align ourselves with these particular people?!

“To come to some kind of conclusion, given that our personal and collective autonomy is on the line, it’s better to remain open minded and willing to experiment with new alliances.

“A rigid adherence to a particular line, a refusal to countenance new alliances and condemnation of those of us who are open minded and willing to experiment will inadvertently usher in a techno totalitarian future”.

essex resistance poster
Artwork from The South Essex Heckler

The issue of how far any of us can be open to “new alliances” is obviously a thorny one.

For instance, most anarchists have no problem in siding with oppressed sectors of the population who rise up against authority, whether in the USA, France or anywhere else.

Any reluctance is likely to be from these rebels themselves, suspicious of outside activists parachuting opportunistically into their struggles with little knowledge of the long-term problems they have been facing.

But there is an enormous taboo in anarchist circles about being seen to be anything less than violently hostile to anyone who could possibly be imagined to have anything to do with “the right”.

This issue has already been confronted in France, when anarchists and leftists found themselves on the same Gilets Jaunes protests as flag-waving patriots.

There was a mixture of reactions, ranging from physical fights to a mutual adaptation of political positions in the interests of a common front.

GJ en colere

What seems to have emerged is a kind of “populist” anti-system consensus, which rejects Macron and his neoliberal world, detests the brutal police sent to attack their revolt, distrusts corporate media, despises the smug upper classes and strongly champions social justice, protection of the environment and participative democracy.

It is also worth noting that the Gilets Jaunes remain very popular among working-class French people, despite the non-stop venom that has been spat at them by the Establishment and its media since November 2018.

Could this sort of grassroots anti-authoritarian alliance emerge in the UK, in the face of the massive and unprecedented threat to our lives we are currently facing?

Can anarchist ideals provide the vital spirit to energise a massive uprising against the would-be techno-dictatorship?

In a topsy-turvey world where puffed-up self-professed anarchists turn out to be nothing of the sort, could it be that the actual anarchists out there are only now about to discover that this is what they really are?

virus of freedom2

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Money, lies and power

blogfree2

by Paul Cudenec

We all know that money is what makes this commercial world go round.

The cult of money has swept away the traditional ethical codes of humankind and become the sole indicator of “value”.

If something makes money, it is good. If it doesn’t, it is useless. If someone accumulates money, by whatever means, they are “successful”. If they don’t, they are a “failure”.

But we also all know that money is not real. It consists of nothing more than pieces of paper, or electronic figures, which are universally agreed to represent something.

For most of us, money is the whip that keeps us in line. Because we need it in order to survive, we are forced to spend the best decades of our lives working for money.

Most work does not directly give us what we need or want. It is merely a means to another means, a way of earning money so we can buy various goods and services.

The vast majority of people use money to pay for food and drink, shelter, clothing, leisure activities and whatever little luxuries are affordable in the part of the world in which they live.

What about the really “successful” people, though, the people who have accumulated unimaginably vast amounts of money, at the expense of the rest of us? What does money do for them?

It provides them with their lavish lifestyles of course – all their mansions and private jets and designer clothes and furniture and cars and plastic surgery. Money can buy people too, whether to work for their interests, massage their egos or satisfy their sexual desires.

But most of all, and most worryingly for the rest of us, it brings them power.

Lies are another important part of their domination.

There is the lie that they “deserve” their wealth because they are somehow better than the rest of us – a total inversion of the truth since the obsessive pursuit of money speaks only of ruthless and sociopathic greed.

There is the lie that all of this is somehow normal, that it is right and proper that a tiny elite are sitting smugly at the top of a pyramid of global exploitation which sees those at the bottom condemned to lives of abject misery.

And there is the lie that this world of theirs is “democratic”, that we have the freedom to collectively determine the way we live.

Anyone who is the slightest bit awake will have noticed that today this last lie is looking hollower than ever.

With the totalitarian measures being introduced on the back of the Covid panic, it looks as if the ruling class have decided to finally ditch the pretence of “liberal democracy” and its illusion of freedom.

As Frank Zappa warned: “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater”.

I am beginning to wonder if money will be the next illusion that is ditched by the ruling class.

This is not going to happen quite yet, of course. The Covid crisis promises to be a bonanza for the richest of the rich, who will be greedily hoovering up all the wealth previously in the hands of small-scale businesses and individuals, as well as ramping up their relentless robbery of the working classes.

Not only will the ultrarich benefit from “emergency” spending by the world’s governments, but their banking branch will be happily harvesting the interest on the debts run up to pay for it all.

And of course there is all the Fourth Industrial Revolution technology in which they have invested, which will now be forced on us under the pretext of public health, and the planned monetisation of everything alive through the so-called “New Deal for Nature“.

But, as we have seen, money is just a means to an end. It is the key to the door of power and, after a few more years of what we are seeing now, the ultrarich and their vitaphobic death-cult will have all the power that they crave.

This would no longer have to be gained by buying anything, whether resources, land, infrastructure, institutions or people, because the elite would already own them.

All they would have to do is to maintain that power, by using all the totalitarian techniques of surveillance and control that are currently being rolled out at such an alarming speed.

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four merits regular re-reading and every time I do so, my eyes are opened to a new level of this extraordinarily prophetic warning.

During the torture session towards the end of the book, O’Brien asks Winston Smith why he thinks the Big Brother regime wants power.

George Orwell

Smith starts by telling O’Brien the lie he thinks his torturer wants to hear, that the Party is ruling people for their own good because “you believe that human beings are not fit to govern themselves”.

He receives a hefty electric shock for this mistake and O’Brien puts him straight, explaining: “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power”.

He adds: “We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end… The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”.

For centuries now, the ruling class have been stealing everything from us. They have thrown us off our land, destroyed our communities and our cultures, deprived us of our precious days of living by forcing us to work for their fake money just to survive. They have stolen our very sense of who we are, our connection to nature, to each other, to our own bodies.

And now, in 2020, they are trying to take this a step further. Just look at everything happening on the back of the Covid hysteria!

People are being forced to wear masks, symbolising their silent submission to authority, are told they now have to be bound in electronic chains and be injected with whatever toxic substances our rulers see fit.

We are not allowed to go outside unless Big Brother says so, not allowed to socialise with our friends, not allowed to ask any questions or express any dissent.

We are being stripped of our dignity, our freedom, our privacy, our autonomy, of everything that makes us human.

This is psychotic megalomania, deliberate humiliation, sadistic mistreatment amounting to torture, carried out on a global scale. We are being whipped and beaten and pissed upon, while our ruling class prison guards laugh in our faces.

And why? Because the ultrarich have utter contempt for us and want to lock us permanently down into a condition of cowed slavery.

That, for them, is the ultimate power-trip, the ultimate confirmation that they are “successful” and “superior” to us. The object of power is power. The object of domination is domination.

They have obviously calculated that they can get away with this, that their wealth, power and lies are now so all-conquering, and the majority of humankind so supine, gutless and malleable, that they will simply be able to trample all over us, for ever.

It is up to us to prove them wrong.

 

The Acorn: resistance update

acorn 2019bResistance update

The fight-back against the totalitarian Corona Coup continues to build in Europe – and so, inevitably, does the repression used against it.

The bravest politician on the continent has to be Italian MP Sara Cunial.

She told the parliament in Rome on May 14: “The real goal of this is total control, absolute domination of human beings, transformed into guinea pigs and slaves.

“We, with the people, will multiply the fires of resistance in such a way as you won’t be able to repress us all”.

The biggest protests have been in Germany. On Saturday May 16 people took to the streets in cities including Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Bremen, Nuremberg and Munich.

The most impressive wave of revolt against what is being called the Corona-Diktatur (“Corona dictatorship”) has come in Stuttgart. The 50 people who turned out on the first weekend of protests have turned into thousands.

This time the authorities limited attendance to 5,000 people with thousands more in surrounding streets.

Two newly-formed campaign groups are involved: Querdenken (“anticonformist”) and Widerstand 2020 (“Resistance 2020”).

One of those present, Ahmed Aydin, aged 27, told the media: “People are starting to understand that this virus is being used to deprive us of our basic rights”.

He said the time had come to “enter into resistance” in order to “save what’s left of democracy”.

Günter Klein, a protester in his 60s, said he was particularly outraged by the mask issue.

“Only slaves mask their faces, not free men. We are slipping into dictatorship, even fascism. It’s good that all these diverse people here are awake to this”.

Stuttgart May 16

In Munich, one protester, Gerion, told a reporter that the restrictions “serve an agenda that has nothing to do with health”.

Germans have experience of resisting totalitarianism, whether of the right or “left” variety. A report from AFP explains: “Slogans like ‘We are the people’ or ‘Freedom! Freedom!’ refer back to the demonstrations that preceded the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989”.

StandUpX protest Hyde Park
Hyde Park, London, on May 16 2020

In the UK, hundreds gathered in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday May 16 to protest against the lockdown.

The message was clear from the placards and banners: “Freedom over fear”. “No to the new abnormal”. “This is not about a virus, it is about control”. “I am a free man, I am not a number”.

Protesters chanted “freedom!” in defiance of the Met Police’s zero tolerance of dissent. “No more lies! Enough of the lies!” shouted one woman protester.

StandupX protest

Another “Stand Up X” protest has been called for Clapham Common, London, on Saturday May 23, from 12 noon.

StandUPX May 23

The French authorities banned a number of Gilets Jaunes demonstrations planned for Saturday May 16, but courageous freedom-lovers still took to the streets.

Police attacked protesters and bystanders in Lyons and there were arrests in Paris.

In Montpellier, hundreds of protesters turned out and blocked tram lines. A woman was taken to hospital after falling victim to a police baton.

One placard quoted George Orwell to the effect that dictatorship thrives on ignorance. Another declared: “We were here yesterday, we are here today, we will be here tomorrow, until victory. We won’t give up! We will win back all our rights!”

At St Nazaire on the Atlantic coast of France, police used “insane” levels of repression against 200 people who had gathered to oppose totalitarianism.

16maisaint_n

The state violence meted out in France is nothing new and continues the brutality used by the Macron regime to try and crush the Gilets Jaunes uprising.

Also familiar is the gross distortion of the protesters’ political position by the corporate media.

The ruling elite went to great lengths to discredit the Gilets Jaunes, initially depicting them as far-right and even “anti-semitic”.

Use of phoney “fascist” smears has long been part of the lies deployed by the neoliberal system to obscure its own totalitarian nature and to disallow its opponents’ point of view.

This gaslighting approach, which inverses reality and presents victims as oppressors and defenders of freedom as fascists, is explored in some depth in this article on the organic radicals site.

angela merkel
Angela Merket is said to be concerned about conspiracy theorists

An additional level to this form of repression is the use of state-manipulated pseudo gangs to physically attack dissidents in a politically-disguised manner.

This already seems to be happening in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be “worried” by the protests uniting “ultraleft activists”; “conspiracy theorists” and elements of the right.

And here she is joined by elements of what can only be viewed as the fake left. Some of these groups are reported to have taken to the streets to oppose anti-lockdown protests and they specifically condemn “conspiracy theories“.

One website attacking the pro-freedom rebels evidently realises it is impossible to claim they are all far right, so instead bandies around terms like “hippies” and “liberals”.

bill-gates2
Bill Gates

But it then adds that “the wild mixture of ‘corona rebels’ is united above all by the anti-Semitic notion that a certain group, cosmopolitan and globally networked (WHO, science, etc.), is controlling and targeting the worldwide pandemic”.

So here we have it yet again! The familiar device of condemning analysis and criticism of a global capitalist elite as automatically “anti-semitic”, even when there is no mention of ethnicity and when the most commonly identified culprit, Bill Gates, is not Jewish.

Similar smears are also being rolled out in the UK, where the spectre of “anti-semitism” played a key role in keeping Jeremy Corbyn out of Dowining Street.

This time the victims include his brother Piers Corbyn, who has been a vocal campaigner against the nightmare police state being imposed in 2020.

Piers Corbyn May 16
Piers Corbyn was arrested at the May 16 protest

Piers Corbyn tweeted that The Sunday Times had lied about the London protest on May 16. “We had 300 not 50. Their photo shows their lies”.

He added: “It wasn’t a Freedom Movement demo. That was a pathetic hoax to brand us Far Right. We’re StandUpX”.

As we have already complained, too many “anarchists” in the UK have taken a pro-system stance over the Corona Coup and have been hysterical in condemning those who challenge official narratives.

Their dumbed-down binary thinking sees them easily tricked into automatically rejecting anything tainted with supposedly “right-wing” associations, even when this leads them into supporting the system they supposedly oppose.

Can we expect to see this sleight of hand being used to persuade left activists to mobilise against anti-lockdown protesters?

In the 1930s it was fascist militia who were used by the state to physically attack movements which challenged the capitalist system. Will the fake left be used to play the same role in the 2020s?

GJ streets2

In France, the Gilets Jaunes movement rose above the “far right” smears because of the vast numbers of left-wing radicals who joined its ranks and, sometimes, physically expelled fascists from protests.

It is crucial that anarchists, and other comrades on the left, are not fooled by our rulers’ lies and smears.

We must neither cede to the state nor cede dangerous long-term political ground to the far right, by stupidly standing aside and letting them be seen to lead popular resistance to the clampdown.

If our ideas and our principles mean anything at all, we need to quickly step forward to the front line of this historical struggle against tyranny.

For freedom!

black-star

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