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Richard Mellor / US rate of profit update
« Last post by Richard Mellor on November 21, 2017, 06:04:42 PM »
US rate of profit update

by Michael Roberts

The latest data for net fixed assets in the US have been  released, enabling me to update the calculations for the US rate of  profit a la Marx up to 2016.

Last year, I did the calculations with the help of Anders Axelsson from Sweden, who not only replicated the results to ensure their accuracy (and found  mistakes!), but also produced a manual for carrying out the  calculations that anybody could use.

As I did last year and in previous years, I have also updated the  rate of profit using the method of calculation by Andrew Kliman (AK)  that he first carried out in his book, The failure of capitalist production AK measures the US rate of profit based on corporate sector profits  only and using the BEA?s historic cost of net fixed assets as the  denominator.

I also calculate the US rate of profit with a slight variation from  AK?s approach, in that I depreciate gross profits by current  depreciation rather than historic depreciation as AK does, but I still  use historic costs for net fixed assets.  The theoretical and  methodological reasons for doing this can be found here and in the  appendix in my book, The Long Depression, on measuring the rate of profit.

The results of the AK calculation and my revised version are  obviously much the same as last year ? namely that AK?s measure of the  rate of profit falls persistently from the late 1970s to a trough in  2001 and then recovers during the credit-fuelled, ?fictitious capital  period? up to 2006.  The 2006 peak in the rate is higher than the 1997  one.   My revised version of AK?s measure shows a stabilisation of the  profit rate at the end of the 1980s, after which profitability does not  really rise much (although there are various peaks up to 2006).  What  the new data for 2016 do reveal, however, is that profitability (on both  measures) has remained below the peak of 2006 (i.e. for the last ten  years) and has fallen for the last two.  And, of course, the long-term  secular decline in the US rate is confirmed on both measures, some  25-30% below the 1960s.

But readers of my blog and other papers know that I prefer to measure the rate of profit a la Marx by looking at total surplus value in an economy against total  productive capital employed; so as close as possible to Marx?s original  formula of s/c+v.  So I have a ?whole economy? measure based on total  national income (less depreciation) for surplus value; net fixed assets  for constant capital; and employee compensation for variable capital.   Most Marxist measures exclude a measure of variable capital on the  grounds that it is not a stock of invested capital but circulating  capital that cannot be measured from available data.  I don?t agree and G  Carchedi and I have an unpublished work on this point.   Indeed, even inventories (the stock of unfinished and intermediate  goods) could be added as circulating capital to the denominator for the  rate of profit, but I have not done so here as the results are little  different.

Updating the results from 1946 to 2016 on my ?whole economy? measure  shows more or less the same result as last year, as you might expect.  I  measure the rate in both historic and current cost terms.  This shows  that the overall US rate of profit has four phases: the post-war golden  age of high profitability peaking in 1965; then the profitability crisis  of the 1970s, troughing in the slump of 1980-2; then the neoliberal  period of recovery or at least stabilisation in profitability, peaking  more or less in 1997; then the current period of volatility and eventual  decline.  Actually, the historic cost measure shows no recovery in the  rate of profit during the neoliberal period.  The current cost measure  always shows much greater upward or downward movement.  On this measure,  the post-war trough was in 1982 while on the historic cost measure, it  is 2009 at the bottom of the Great Recession.

What is new about the 2016 update is that the US rate of profit fell  in 2016, after a fall in 2015.  So the rate of profit has fallen in the  last two successive years and is now 6-10% below the peak of 2006.
One of the compelling results of the data is that they show that each  economic recession in the US has been preceded by a fall in the rate of  profit and then by a recovery in the rate after the slump.  This is  what you would expect cyclically from Marx?s law of profitability.

In a recent paper, G Carchedi identified three indicators for when crises occur: when the change in profitability; employment; and new value are all negative at the same time.  Whenever that happened (12 times since  1946), it coincided with a crisis or slump in production in the US.   This is Carchedi?s graph.

My updated measure for the US rate of profit to 2016 confirms the  first indicator is operating.  The graph above shows that in the last  two years there has been a 5%-plus fall.  However, new value growth is  slowing but not yet negative; and employment growth continues.  So on  the basis of these three (Carchedi) indicators, a new recession in the  US economy is not imminent.  Also the mass of profit or surplus value  rose (if only slightly) in 2016, and so again does not provide  confirmation of an imminent slump.

What the updated data do confirm is my guess last year that 2016  would show a fall in the US rate of profit ? and by all the measures  mentioned. And, of course, Marx?s law of profitability over the long  term is again confirmed.  There has been a secular decline in US  profitability, down by 28% since 1946 and 15-20% since 1965; and by  6-10% since the peak of 2006.  So the recovery of the US economy since  2009 at the end of the Great Recession has not restored profitability to  its previous level.

Also, the driver of falling profitability has been the secular rise  in the organic composition of capital, which has risen nearly 20% since  1965 while the main ?counteracting factor?, the rate of surplus value,  has fallen 4%.  Indeed, even though the rate of surplus value has risen  5% since 1997, the rate of profit has fallen 5% because the organic  composition of capital has risen over 12%.

Has the US rate of profit slowed further in 2017?  We can use  quarterly data from the US Federal Reserve on the non-financial  corporate sector to get a rough idea.  The Fed data suggest that the  rate of profit in the first half of 2017 was flat at best.

So, if the rate of profit is a good indicator of an upcoming slump in  capitalism, then the jury is out on the likelihood of slump in 2018.   However, the rate of profit is still down from its peaks of 1997 and  2006 and now appears to be flat lining at best.
Source: US rate of profit update
AlterNet / Sexism Antidote: Democrats Should Commit to an All-Woman Ticket in 2020
« Last post by AlterNet on November 21, 2017, 06:04:40 PM »
Sexism Antidote: Democrats Should Commit to an All-Woman Ticket in 2020


For all the right reasons, Bernie, Joe, Cory and the rest should step aside.


The Democratic Party should embrace an all-female ticket and a platform centered around health care, income equality, diplomacy, humility and human rights?right now.

Should the best man win? That is not the right question. Are there women in the Democratic Party who can do a better job than Donald Trump? That?s the right question.  

Gillibrand and Oprah, Warren and Harris, hell, Michelle and Hillary, I don?t give a damn. There are 100 women? scratch that, there are 1,000 women... scratch that, there are a million women who could do a better job than Trump and the Republicans in running this country. Let?s pick two.  

Let?s break the glass ceiling and banish the louts once and for all.

Because It?s Time

Ninety-nine years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes?and not a minute more! 

Women secured the right to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. Women shouldn?t have to wait another day, no less another four to eight years to run the show. 

Lindy West, writing in the New York Times about Louis C.K., said, ?The solution isn?t more solemn acknowledgments from powerful male comedians. We have those. The solution is putting people in positions of power who are not male, not straight, not cisgender, not white. This is not taking something away unfairly?it is restoring opportunity that has been historically withheld.? Simply swap out ?comedians? and insert ?politicians,? and you get where I?m coming from. 

Bill Cosby was so extreme in drugging his victims, it was almost possible to see him as the exception?a sex-crime equivalent of mass murder. The college rape scandals were, well, in college. Harvey Weinstein is different. The frenzy began because Weinstein was a powerful media icon exposed by the world's most famous movie stars. For the movie business, where film production, festivals, markets and openings take place around the world, with the hotel often a temporary office, the ?casting couch? seemed baked-in. But these accusations set off a chain reaction because they were workplace-related and because the sheer number of women coming forward made it crystal clear?a predator at work with a 40-year career, is a predator who can do a world of damage to women for 40 years. 

In some perverse way, our groper-in-chief Donald Trump helped to fuel the personal bravery and outrage. This year's Hugh Hefner post-mortems also set the stage. One group, mostly men, wanted to celebrate his liberal politics, while many women were simply appalled. Here was your classic sleazy guy, rotating young women with ample breasts in and out of his bedroom until his dying day at 91?and being applauded. Trophy-wife behavior may have finally become a legacy disqualifier. Roy Moore and underage girls, Kevin Spacey and underage boys, Louis C.K. and aspiring female comedians, the outrage and our understanding of the scope of the problem growing every day. The genie is not going back in the bottle.

Because It?s Winning

The Vox headline read, ?Women defied conventional wisdom to win in droves in Tuesday's election.? Of the 15 seats held by Republican white males in Virginia, nine were won by women, one of them a transgender woman. Women now hold 28 seats in the Virginia legislature, the largest percentage in Virginia history. Across the country there were firsts for women holding elective office. 

According to Axios, ?More women are running for office at every elective level.? "More than 15,000 women have contacted She Should Run" and "more than 19,000 have contacted Emily?s List." The Women?s March is believed to be the largest single-day march in U.S. history. With a groundswell of this magnitude, don?t we want women at the top of the ticket, too? 

When the Washington Post exit poll asked, ?Which one of these five issues mattered most in determining how you voted for governor today?? by an overwhelming percentage, 39 percent respondents chose health care. Gun policy at 17 percent, taxes at 15 percent, immigration at 12 percent and abortion at 8 percent lagged far behind. 

Donald Trump?s mano-mano gamesmanship with North Korea has also given the average American fits, and according to Gallup, his approval rating for handling North Korea is at an all-time low. Only a third of Americans think he can do the job. Diplomacy has never looked so good. 

Women saved the Affordable Care Act with senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine casting two of the three deciding no votes. And women will defeat Donald Trump.

An all-woman ticket will bind the platform and energize the base. I can hear the candidates now. Health care is not a women?s issue, it's America?s issue. Inequality in wages and the workplace are not women?s issues, they are America?s issues. Human rights is not a women?s issue, it?s humanity's issue. Diplomacy is not a woman?s issue, it is the path to peace.

Tip of the Iceberg

Al Franken will not be the last story, not even close. There will be more politicians exposed for inappropriate sexual behavior. Each new revelation will make it just a little bit easier for the next woman, and in some instances, next man, to stand up and speak out. The revelations feed on each other to propel the next truth. 

We may still be three years out, but the bar will rise and scrutiny of male candidates going forward will intensify. The ground has shifted. What once may have been considered ?funny? is no longer acceptable behavior. The party can simply avoid the risk of a last-minute photo undermining a winnable 2020 election. There is no harm in men agreeing to step aside and clear a path. 

Bernie supporters will certainly argue he drives the conversation, is the strongest messenger and deserves a second shot. But there is a greater good, and an even more powerful message to be sent. Bernie can continue to keep the party honest and chair the key Senate committees needed to carry out the agenda.

After the pussy-grab tapes, I was certain Hillary would win in 2016. And I told anyone who would listen, when women enter the voting booth, they will vote for Hillary. Yet 51 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump. I was dead wrong.

There was the added sting for women of Hillary losing to that guy. Trump is the living definition of the word lout?an uncouth and aggressive man. But times can change, and lucky for us, Americans usually go in the opposite direction when picking their next president. Democrats can offer America the anti-lout, anti-bully, anti-predator ticket: two women who finally, after 100 years, break the glass ceiling and send the world a strong message about our values as a country and the role of women in our society. 


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Source: Sexism Antidote: Democrats Should Commit to an All-Woman Ticket in 2020
Inter Press Service - Labour / The World is Losing the Battle Against Child Labour
« Last post by Inter Press Service on November 21, 2017, 06:04:39 PM »
The World is Losing the Battle Against Child Labour

The IV Global Conference on the Sustained Eradication of Child Labour,  which drew nearly 2000 delegates from 190 countries to the Argentine capital, left many declarations of good intentions but nothing to celebrate. Child labour is declining far too slowly, in the midst of unprecedented growth in migration and forced displacement that aggravate the situation, […]

The post The World is Losing the Battle Against Child Labour appeared first on Inter Press Service.

Source: The World is Losing the Battle Against Child Labour
Anarchist News dot Org / How do We turn Olympia Stand into the Olympia Commune?
« Last post by on November 21, 2017, 06:04:38 PM »
How do We turn Olympia Stand into the Olympia Commune?

via itsgoingdown, original source here

This editorial from Puget Sound Anarchist, a counter-information site in the Pacific Northwest, writes about the ongoing anti-fracking blockade of #OlympiaStand, and how it could manifest into a growing epicenter of autonomous power.

Photo from @DemandUtopia

It is worthwhile to consider the desired goals of the blockade, in order to give some clarity and direction to our activity at the camp. Is the goal to stop fracking and military equipment from moving through the port? Is the goal to clog an artery of a global regime of resource extraction and exploitation? Is the goal to create an autonomous power base, to enable us to seize control over our own lives and communities? For those interested in truly stopping the world that needs fracking, the answer is: all of the above and more. And as the Earth is being murdered in the name of profit, nothing short of a fundamental transformation in how society is organized is worthy of being taken seriously.

And so how do we grow the blockade into a model for how we want to live, how we want to treat each other, and how we want society to be organized? To a large extent this work has already begun in the camp. In order to build our collective power to resist the exploitation and ecocide of this world, we have to build the alternatives to sustain us. This is why the blockade has largely been recognized to have taken on the form and function of a commune. It is the natural structure that arises from a zone of collective care, which departs from the laws and logic of capitalism and the state. If the commune is the form that our transformative social organizations take, then we should ask ourselves in earnest: how do we expand the commune?

The question of sustaining and expanding the commune inevitably leads us to the issue of dealing with those who would crush this project before it begins.

How should we interact with the police?

Dialog with the police is not desirable or possible. The police have institutional power and we do not. Within the structure of this relationship, there is an inherent threat of violence that maintains this power imbalance. To put it bluntly, it is state violence that keeps us powerless. When the police come to ?talk? with us, it is always with the end goal of neutralizing our resistance, with deadly violence if necessary. There can be no dialog when one party is pointing guns at the other. What is actually taking place when conversation is opened with the police is the beginning of our surrender.

If a fundamentally different world is what we desire, then we need a world free of the violent enforcers of the current social order. If we want the power to make the decisions which effect our lives, then we must confront state power. We must defeat the power of the police, to realize our desires for an autonomous and egalitarian world. To be against fracking necessarily means to be against the police. To believe that another world is possible is to believe that the police can be defeated.

With the question of establishing roles for police liaisons there lies a tension. The core of this tension seems to be whether we want specialized roles of potential de-escalation, or generalized roles of potential escalation. Of course there will likely not be consensus reached on this issue and so perhaps a better question is, how do we develop the nuance and collective intelligence capable of performing both of these roles in a decentralized and complementary manner?

These are only some of many questions that we will have to answer together but starting this dialog is worth the effort. We are attempting to build a new world.

Let?s care for each other! Let?s grow the commune! Let?s abolish the police!


Source: How do We turn Olympia Stand into the Olympia Commune?
Anarchist News dot Org / Start of the "Scripta Manent" Trial 16/11/2017 ? Italy
« Last post by on November 21, 2017, 06:04:38 PM »
Start of the "Scripta Manent" Trial 16/11/2017 ? Italy

via act  for freedom now!, original source in Italian here


To the Court of Turin

Today, as well as for all the future hearings of this trial that sees me accused along with my brothers, sisters, but above all anarchist comrades, I will not give you the satisfaction of seeing my face in a courtroom of this tribunal.

I have never gone to the courtrooms where my funeral was being prepared in the past and I will not do so now!

I am anarchist, individualist, anti-authoritarian and above all I am for the insurrection, which has as one of its primary goals that of destroying places of death like this one and the prisons.

I will not be part of the spectacle set up by a judge who, suffering from hunger cramps, has put himself the payroll of a State that I do not recognize, being a citizen of the world in flight from its borders; I will not be there to listen to his delusions nor wait for the end to hear someone judge me ?guilty or innocent.?

For any authoritarian State I will always be ?guilty? because in the society I want there will be no room for you, your buildings and your institutions.

I have no desire to hear the history of anarchism by a servant of the State who has the aim of emphasizing the existence of ?good? and ?bad?, just because his democracy demands it.

Today he is asking for us to be condemned, tomorrow when his salary goes down he will ask for those he considers the ?good? ones to be condemned.

But the truth is one: no anarchist can ever be ?good? for an authoritarian State.

Otherwise, I have to think that in the years wasted for your fucking degree in law you never learned the meaning of the terms you use.

In a world where the morality of its inhabitants is formed on the one hand by religions and on the other by the ?information? jackals in the pay of the judiciary, the police and the barracks, I found it opportune to carve out a space in the web for ?counterinformation?.

I did so fully aware that I was using your means.

RadioAzione, of which I am the sole founder and curator, threw in your face what you never wanted to hear.

It was your intention to democratically leave the space alone to use it as bait and catch the fish but I sat in that space and overturned your ?nice? tables back at you.

If the RadioAzione site really annoyed you, you could have issued one of your ?nice? censorships but you didn?t; perhaps because someone needed to write pages and pages of court records to earn themselves their bread and butter for a few years?

Or because for six years you?ve been there listening to or reading my thoughts through a fucking key-logger that you?ve even given a name to, ?Agent Elena?, who with her inflated bills has fed some other servant of the State?

But that?s another story ? your cunning tricks don?t interest me?

To conclude, because I have already given you too much space for my liking:

I claim RadioAzione as a project that is mine, and mine alone.

A project in which, since it began until I decided to close it, I have always published my personal and individual ?reflections?, or those of other comrades in the world that I felt affinity with.

I made all this readable through the site and listenable through the radio; by that I?m not saying that I did things ?in the light of day? but because I was aware that, in addition to the comrades, you were also there listening and reading, and when you couldn?t take any more of it, you even got to the point of sabotaging my phone line by cutting the cables.

It is not these little games of the frustrated that annoy me but your miserable existence!

Over the years, you have tried in every way to stop me: jail, carpet controls under house arrest, threats, secret services, infiltration, etc ?

I?m still here! Not a step back!

Unlike you, I have given meaning and purpose to my existence: the total destruction of the State!

I believe that the Anarchist Black Cross project is a valid one carried out by comrades with whom I feel affinity, and I did not have any problem about organizing the presentation of their newspaper in Naples, and even less in collaborating by translating or updating the site for a while.

It won?t be the useless scarecrow of this trial to silence me, to convince me not to give Solidarity, Complicity and economic support to my comrades, brothers and sisters, who today you are depriving me of having alongside me because they are kidnapped in your lagers and in those around the world.

It won?t be the threat of your lager to make me step back one millimetre or erase the conviction that is growing in me more and more year after year, to be your total enemy, that of your fetid opulent existence and of the whole of the State ? Capital!

For anarchy, for insurrection

Gioacchino Somma


Source: Start of the "Scripta Manent" Trial 16/11/2017 ? Italy
Anarchist News dot Org / The russian revolution of 1917: Carlos Taibo
« Last post by on November 21, 2017, 06:04:38 PM »
The russian revolution of 1917: Carlos Taibo

via autonomies

We close our series ? without for a moment suggesting that this is the last word ? on the russian revolution of 1917 with an interview with Carlos Taibo, author of the recent work, in spanish, Anarquismo y revolución en Rusia (1917-1921).  Though the interview focuses on Taibo?s concern with calling attention to the role of anarchists and libertarians in the events of the russian revolution, it takes us beyond the past; the revolution remains a lens through which to think through our political present.

Originally published in Contexto y acción, we present the essay below in translation.

?Paradoxically, the Bolsheviks put an end to the Russian Revolution?

Fermín Grodira, 25th of Octuber of 2017

On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, numerous books have been published analysing the event from the the perspective of the Bolsheviks ? criticising or praising them -, but few focus on the defenders of the ?third revolution?: the anarchists.  Carlos Taibo, professor of political science at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and libertarian intellectual does in Anarquismo y revolución en Rusia(1917-1921), and he does so far from the usual manichaeisms with which this historical period is dealt with, but without occluding his ?manifest sympathy for the causes brandished by the Russian libertarians?.

Rosa Luxemburg defined the Russian Revolution as the ?mightiest event? of the First World War.  What is the significance of the Russian Revolution in your opinion?

It was a truncated revolution that promised more than it gave. If we judge it in terms of the initial event in which an alternative and inspiring model was generated, in my understanding, it was a failure.  By contrast, if we judge it in terms of grand strategic traditions, it gave light to a regime that marked indelibly the history of the 20th century and which in some cases brought forth beneficial elements.

The book bears a great deal on the negative aspects of the Russian Revolution, and not so much on the high points.

The book aims to analyse the fours years between 1917 and 1921, somber years marked by war, and my interest focuses on studying the confrontation between the libertarian and Bolshevik worlds. The heart of the work I believe justifies a less than warm reading of what the Bolsheviks did in those years.

The russian Revolution itself refutes one of Marx?s theses, in carrying off a Revolution in a backward agrarian country and not in an industrialised and proletarian one. How does orthodox marxism address this matter?

Marx?s work is vast. There are those who distinguish between a young Marx, a mature Marx and a late Marx.  The mature Marx maintained that a socialist Revolution is only imaginable in a country that had reached a certain capitalist development and in which there exists a proletariat as a more or less well-established class.  It is evident that russia was not that country and Marx would have probably been a little horrified in 1917 with the ways that many Bolshevik leaders made use of his theorisations.  Perhaps the figure of the late Marx is however of greater interest, for he gives greater attention to the singular condition of russian society and the existence of collective structures like the rural communes, from a very different perspective from that embraced by the Bolsheviks.

The world proletarian revolution was another failed prediction, in this case of the Bolsheviks. Could the Russian Revolution have unfolded differently if the Spartacist Revolution had triumphed?

If the Sparticists had been able to realise their project in Germany, one of the principal centres of international capitalism, it is legitimate to conclude that it would have affected the general revolutionary dynamic of these years and that it would have imposed a different direction on what was happening in the nascent Soviet Union. To say anything more would be an exercise in political fiction.

?All power to the soviets? and ?All power to the proletariat and the peasants? were the slogans of the Bolsheviks before the Russian Revolution. What did this translate into after they came to power?

Into a manifest forgetfulness of these slogans. In my book, I pay attention to Lenin?s April Theses, which on the basis of a legitimate reading of events, reflect a libertarian inflection of his position, born of an awareness that the soviets exhibited an incipient capacity of transformation and that, as a consequence, it was necessary to support them.  When the Bolsheviks took power, they manifestly forgot this position. Their politics, in a very obvious way, sought to cancel the autonomous capacity of the soviets and of the factory committees, with the important addition of inventing a proletariat which did not exist and of attributing to itself the representation of this proletariat at a time when the peasantry was demonised, suggesting thereby that the latter held strictly reactionary positions, something that again was a distortion of reality.

Returning to Rosa Luxemburg, she thought that the ?October uprising?  meant ?not only the actual salvation of the Russian Revolution; it was also the salvation of the honor of international socialism?. By contrast, the conservative historian Richard Pipes is of the opinion that the October Revolution was a coup d?etat. What is your opinion with regard to this? 

It is a very complex matter. To simply state that it was a coup d?etat is to ignore that behind it was a clear current of social revolution. It also has to be asked if in Russia at the time there was a State as such. I believe, anyway, that the Bolsheviks, carried by the legitimate desire to save the revolution, paradoxically put an end to it to the extent that they cancelled the grass roots dimension of the social revolution, tied initially to the soviets and the factory committees, and generated a fundamentally political process, hierarchical and hyper-centralised that more obviously recalls a coup d?etat than a genuine social revolution.

In fact, the elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly give to the Socialist-Revolutionary Party the absolute majority and the Bolsheviks dissolve it.

In effect.  When it is said that specific measures taken by the Bolsheviks were justified by the dramatic scenario that was the civil war and the invasion of the country by foreign armies, it is forgotten that the earlier world-view of the Bolsheviks already prefigured these measures in the form of a political project marked by an extreme centralisation.

What were the principal differences in the approaches of the Bolsheviks and the anarchists?

It is not an easy question to answer because there were distinct currents within the anarchist world. Yet having said this, I believe that the first difference is that the anarchists wagered on the preservation of the autonomous capacity of the soviets and the factory committees to decide. Furthermore, they defended a plural society, very different from that derived from the annihilation of the other parties by the Bolsheviks. They also rejected the militarisation of the economy, the parallel gestation of a bureaucracy and the emergence of a conventional army.  And lastly, they repudiated a repressive order tied to the rise of the Cheka.

What was the situation of the anarchists before and after the Russian revolution?

Beginning with the February revolution, there was a flourishing of anarchist groups, in the city as well as in the countryside.  It is not easy to measure objectively their dimension, but the anarchists were clearly present. Many anarchists joined the October revolution at a moment when it was not very clear that this revolution would be exclusively Bolshevik, and they did so because they believed that this revolution would permit the removal of Kerensky?s provisional government and open the way for an open opposition to the foundations of capitalism. The majority of libertarians however immediately understood that the Bolshevik project pointed to horizons very different from those that they defended. After December 1917, an ever more acute confrontation developed between anarchists and Bolsheviks, although it is true that a part of the libertarian movement integrated the Bolshevik power apparatus, the so-called, and following a confusing manifesto, anarcho-Bolsheviks.

In The State and Revolution and the April Theses, Lenin advocated an abolition of the State in stages, but once in power, the actions that followed were quite different. Was it a way of gaining the support of the anarchists?

I believe that it was more the confirmation that there was something very interesting in the soviets and the factory committees, and that the Bolsheviks should not remain to the side as these structures expanded. I try on various occasions in the book to distinguish anarchists and libertarians. The anarchists were people who demonstrated an ideological and doctrinal adherence to a specific worldview, while the libertarians were people who, without such attachment, revealed in their daily practice a project of self-management and direct democracy.  And in the Russia and Ukraine of these years, there were many libertarians, while far fewer anarchists.

What role did the anarchists play in the Kronstadt rebellion and the Makhnovshchina, and what aims did they seek?

There were few anarchists in the Kronstadt rebellion, though many libertarians and many people who in fact recuperated the slogan that proclaimed ?all power to the Soviets and none to the parties?. The Kronstadt rebellion produced a very powerful shock in Bolshevik power, as the insurgents employed their own slogans of October 1917. Although the presence of anarchists was stronger in the Makhnovshchina ? the figure who gives the movement its name, Nestor Makhno, was a well known anarchist -, I believe that the majority of the peasants who gave life to this movement were strictly speaking more libertarians than anarchists.  In the Makhnovshchina, there were people with other ideological worldviews, like Revolutionary Socialism, Menshivism, or even Bolshevism. Anyway, the Makhnovshchina saw itself weighed down because it had to always deal with a military confrontation, with the white armies and then with the Bolsheviks, as a consequence of which its task of constructing a self-managed society, though evident in intention, was not particular solid in reality.

In your book, you address the military aspects of Makhno?s revolution, but the society that they constructed or proposed remains unclear.

As far as I know, when the Makhnovists occupied a village, they limited themselves to calling an assembly of the inhabitants and left to their free will the determination of what they wanted to do. There was no principle that served as the basis for imposing structures.  They would say: ?We believe that you should free yourselves, but the way to do so is for you yourselves to decide?.  There was no shortage of initiatives or experiments in self-management. What did happen was that they were trapped by the military dynamic and, also, by the oblivion bestowed by history on the defeated.

You are also the author of Historia de la Unión Soviética: De la revolución bolchevique a Gorbachov. Do you think that real socialism was ever actually reached, at any moment, in the USSR?

If I accept the very rhetoric of the soviet system, the society that it outlined was a society in transition to socialism.  It did not even affirm that it was a socialist society.  Even less a communist society.  I prefer to speak of unreal socialism. I believe that unfortunately the systems of the soviet type were not able to leave behind the historical and social universe of capitalism, even though that was undoubtedly their intention. They succumbed to the logic of salaried labour, commodities, hierarchy and the idolatry of the development of productive forces. And they ended up reproducing many of the terms of the system that on paper they wanted to contest.

Was this due more to external circumstances, such as the civil war and the interventions of foreign powers or to issues proper to Bolshevism?

I believe that the two factors were important. If we were to forget that from the very beginning, the experiment of the Soviet Union was marked by a foreign aggression, we would be leaving aside one very important element to assess why this system took on an authoritarian character and an irrational hierarchy. Yet I earlier referred to the fact that if we were only to consider this first perspective, we would be forgetting the very organic conception of the Bolsheviks, born of a reading of Marx, a Jacobin in many ways, that also led directly to an insalubrious horizon. We cannot forget any of these dimensions.

Do you consider that Leninism was a prelude to Stalinism?

I believe that it was. In a certain sense, Lenin?s last writings point to a recognition of this, not because their author was able to foresee what Stalinism was, but because they glean a self-criticism with regards to measures taken before 1924. Trotsky?s case is more striking. Once he was obliged to abandon the Soviet Union, Trotsky assumed a hypercritical position with respect to Stalin?s rules of power, obviously forgetting what he himself had done when he enjoyed a very notable executive capacity.  Trotsky was the most responsible for the militarisation of work and the creation of conventional armed forces, with which then it can be said, I believe, without in any way diverging from the truth, that he played a fundamental role in the foundation of the power of the bureaucracy that he would later criticise.

Trotsky was also involved in the repression of Kronstadt and of the Makhnovshchina.

In effect. And I emphasise that he never said ?we made a mistake?, as a consequence of which Lenin?s responsibility, as that of Trotsky?s, for the subsequent drift of the soviet system appears to me evident. This is not to deny that history is obviously very complex. I am not saying that what fed Lenin and Trotsky had inevitably to lead to Stalin, but without them, Stalin would be difficult to explain.

Your book is dedicated to the anarchists and much is said also of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, while little space is given over to the Socialist Revolutionaries or the SRs.  Who were they and what became of them?

One of the main strands that runs through the book is that linked to Russian populism, the movement of the Narodniks. This movement appeared in the decade of 1870 and had very diverse expressions, some of a clearly libertarian character, others more associated with traditional politics.  It was fundamentally a movement of agrarian socialism that defended a Russian path different from Western capitalism and which in many cases was premonitory in terms of an awareness of the problems of women and the environment. Even though according to one view, it died in the very decade of 1870, other readings defend that, with different modulations, it persisted through time until after the Bolshevik revolution in the form of the Socialist Revolutionary Party.  This last saw the light in the beginning of the 20th century, and latter gave birth to two distinct organisations: one on the right and another on the left. The right-wing one was in power with the provisional government in 1917 and the left-wing one collaborated incipiently in the initial moments of the October Revolution to then immediately distance itself from the Bolshevik movement and become the object of a crude repression.

Why are these other so important movements in the russia of 1917 not known?

Because history is always written by the victor. And in 1917, the victors were the Bolsheviks and in 1991, when the Soviet Union disappeared, the role was assumed by liberal discourse which invades us from all sides. In between remained the remnants of other movements to which we pay no attention. I could also speak of the Mensheviks. If you go into a bookshop and ask for a work on these last, the book seller will be confused. And yet they played a fundamental role during these years.   An explicit knowledge of the political forces that were then very relevant is lacking, of which two major exemples were the Mensheviks and the Socialist Revolutionaries. I don?t add the anarchists because they benefit from the ongoing existence of anarchist movements.

What remains in Russia today of the revolutions of 1917?

The scenario remains very confusing, given that it seems inevitable that any political force or person who wants to intervene in the political debate sees itself obliged to define itself in relation to the events of 1917. This happens particularly with president Putin himself, along with an extremely confusing response, each time Putin tries to gather together disparate elements of the reigning order.  The figure most admired by Putin is Peter Stolypin, prime minister of the Tsar. The traces of the movements, such as those I studied in the book, are in any case, in contemporary Russia, limited. Even though there is a historiographical interest and works continue to be published on these movements, let us not forget that the trace is much less than that which ties Spain to the libertarian world, and this for two reasons: the libertarian movement was much more significant numerically than the Russian and the Russian revolution is more distant in time. But still, I have the impression that in Russia there persists to some degree, even though marginal, this original libertarian perspective that had it that in the political culture of the country the institution of the State was not particularly appreciated, that by contrast, a certain admiration showed itself for peasant rebellions and a space was opened for a defense of the rural commune, which in many of its dimensions had a libertarian character.

The State criticised by Bakunin and Kropotkin has little to do with the contemporary State. What validity does anarchism have today?

The libertarian perspective, as with any other, has to be adapted to new scenarios. You are right to say that the State is a different institution to the extent that, even though it still has a good many of its features of a century and a half ago, it has added other elements. This forces us to consider that many of the forms of alienation and exploitation that we know of do not pass through, or don?t necessarily pass through, the institution of the State. Yet I believe that once the corresponding corrections are made, the libertarian perspective continues to be very useful to analyse the intricacies of our societies. In this sense, I predict a revival of libertarian ideas and, above all, practices that already appear to be perceptible in the contemporary world.  Even though the movements definable ideologically and by doctrine as anarchist are today weak, the corresponding ideas today have a visible presence in many important spheres, such as those linked to ecology, feminism or pacifism.

One of these movements with a certain libertarian essence, according to some, was 15M, but then came Podemos, a highly hierarchised political party. What remains of 15M?

I think that more things remain than what appears, as I believe that we lack sufficient perspective to evaluate the legacy, in terms of ideological imaginary, of 15M. It is true that if we use the phenomenon of Podemos as the thermometre, then the balance is devastating. Podemos is a conventional political force, integrated in the institutions, increasingly hierarchical, tributary of the dried up social-democratic project and little conscious of what threatens to befall us with the risk of a general collapse of the system that we bear. It is the very opposite of a libertarian perspective. And, nevertheless, if what is happening in many neighbourhoods and villages is analysed, a trace of 15M is discovered that probably translates into a seed that will end up germinating again. We also give far too much attention to the conventional political system and we forget what happens in a periphery that, always with the collapse of the system on the horizon, can provoke surprises.

Is the anarchist label very burdensome?

I have an ambivalent position with respect to this.  I have little fondness for those anarchists who arrogantly display their condition, as if they were superior beings and I therefore seek to avoid the term.  Yet I also  don?t feel comfortable with the permanent demonisation which so much of the media give themselves over to, continuing to think of anarchists as bomb carriers and who throw them haphazardly against the first person to come along.  Generally, I am not very fond of labels.  I prefer to judge a person by their conduct.  There are people who never call themselves anarchists to whom I feel very close and there are anarchists with whom I feel no proximity.

You addressed the environmental question in books such as Colapso: Capitalismo terminal, transición ecosocial, ecofascismo and you defend degrowth in others such as ¿Por qué el decrecimiento? Un ensayo sobre la antesala del colapso. Why is it that despite the environmental disasters of which we are victims, that degrowth is not part of the political discourse?

The everyday discourse of political parties is aberrantly short term.  It is obsessively marked by the goal of maximising votes in the next elections.  This translates into all discussions addressing the medium and long term, which is what is most important, being permanently discarded. Three years ago, the manifesto Última llamada [Last Call] was signed by many of the main actors of the Spanish left. I think that its principal virtue was to make manifest the enormous contradictions of these people, who are capable of signing a manifesto that takes into account the immediacy of the risk of the collapse of the system, while in their daily lives and in their political organisations, they manifestly forget these types of problems and they do so proudly and obscenely. A Podemos leader could affirm that ?degrowth gets you no votes?. Of course, if one outlines their program with an exclusive concern to garner votes, then the best that one could do is join the Popular Party, which appears as the political party that gathers the most votes.

It is political fiction, but what do you believe will be the future of our society with respect to environmental questions and the possibility of a systemic collapse?

I am not in a position to affirm conclusively that a general collapse of the system will take place.  I limit myself to indicating that this collapse is very likely.  Among those who research these matters, it is affirmed that the risk of the collapse of the system spreads out over a period that extends from 2020 to 2050, and this on the basis of a prognosis that I believe is serious.  It fascinates me that this discussion has no echo in a society such as ours. Things being what they are, there are not many motives to be optimistic with respect to the future. The collapse will predictably translate into a general collapse of all institutions, something which does not have to be negative, and of all of the relations sheltered by an extraordinarily delicate economic situation. All of this is a scenario for which we are little prepared.  For many years, I understood degrowth as a tool that offered ways to confront the risk of collapse. I no longer say this. Degrowth arrives too late, it seems to me.  And if its conceptual tools have any purpose, it will be for the moment after the collapse, and not to avoid it.

To conclude, a question that I always wanted to ask you. You publish between three and five books a year. How do you do it?

I write a great deal, probably too much, but I can explain.  It is very rare to find in the media an article by me.  Why?  Ten years ago, I wrote for four newspapers: El País, La Vanguardia, El Periódico de Catalunya and El Correo.  I wrote for these four newspapers because it meant nothing to them and they didn?t care whether I wrote for the competition.  I was sacked from these four papers and today I write nowhere.  I dedicate the greater part of my time to writing books.  I am always working on one.  And, on a different level, among these three or four books that I have published over these last years, some are re-editions, something which allows one to construct a less surprising scenario.


Source: The russian revolution of 1917: Carlos Taibo
AlterNet / How Do We Keep an Impulsive Trump From Launching Nuclear War?
« Last post by AlterNet on November 21, 2017, 06:01:33 AM »
How Do We Keep an Impulsive Trump From Launching Nuclear War?


Washington wakes up to a terrifying problem.

How do you keep an impulsive and ignorant president, a man who has been described by his own Secretary of State as a "f**king moron," from launching a nuclear war?

That terrifying question, often asked worriedly, privately or rhetorically over the last months, is echoing ever more loudly this week after President Trump insulted another inexperienced authoritarian nuclear commander, North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Trump described Kim as "short and fat," and the 33-year-old dictator responded by sentencing Trump to death. The nightmare of nuclear-armed boys in the playground of geopolitics has come to life. 

The U.S. nuclear command and control system, established in 1946, was designed to keep nuclear decisions out of the hands of war-mongering generals and put them in the hand of elected civilians leaders. As a result, a juvenile president has the authority to unleash thousands of nuclear weapons within minutes. There are some 4,000 nuclear warheads under Trump's control.

Earlier this week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the command and control of nuclear weapons for the first time in 41 years.

?We are concerned that the president is so unstable, so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests,? said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn).

Sen. Bob Corker (R.-Tenn.), chairman of the committee, acknowledged that senators, including Democrats and Trump?s fellow Republicans, have raised questions about Trump?s authority to wage war, use nuclear weapons and enter into or end international agreements. Last month Corker worried aloud that Trump might be putting the United States "on the path to World War III."

William Perry, Secretary of Defense in the Clinton administration, who said he was "terrified" by trends in nuclear proliferation before Trump took office, says the American people cannot count on Trump?s advisers from restraining him in a crisis.

Perry says he knows and speaks with James Mattis, Trump?s defense secretary, and he thinks Mattis understands the nuclear threat well. But as Perry told Politico this week, he also doesn?t think Mattis would necessarily be able to do anything if Trump decided to go ahead with a strike.

?The order can go directly from the president to the Strategic Air Command. The defense secretary is not necessarily in that loop. So, in a five- or six- or seven-minute kind of decision, the secretary of defense probably never hears about it until it?s too late. If there is time, and if he does consult the secretary, it?s advisory, just that,? Perry explained. ?Whether [the president] goes with it or doesn?t go with it?[the secretary] doesn?t have the authority to stop it.?

Retired Gen. Robert Kehler, commander of U.S. Strategic Command from 2011-'13, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he would have refused to carry out a nuclear first strike on presidential orders if he believed it did not meet the requirements of proportionality and necessity under the law of armed conflict. ?I would have said, I?m not ready to proceed,? Kehler said.

After the hearing, Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) told the Guardian, "I don?t have confidence that a military chain of command would reject an order by the president to launch nuclear weapons in a preventative nuclear war situation.?


Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) have a solution: legislation to bar the president from launching a first nuclear strike without a declaration of war by Congress. The president would, of course, still have the power to retaliate if America was attacked, but the bill could help restrain a trigger-happy president.

?I do not see a legislative solution today,? Corker said, after the hearing, "but that doesn?t mean that over the course of the next several months one might develop.?

The obstacles to meaningful action to restrain a madman are many. The first is Trump?s egomania. Perhaps in deference to Trump?s thin-skinned personality, Corker took care to say his hearing was not about Trump.

?This is not specific to anybody,? Corker felt obliged to say, lest the president take the issue personally.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the same thing last month when she called for legislation to bar the president from using nuclear weapons unless the United States is attacked first.

?It has nothing to do with him,? she said. ?It has to do with the presidency?any president who is there.?

A second problem is that, over the last 75 years, Congress has ceded its constitutional power to declare war to the Executive Branch. The last time Congress approved a declaration of war was 1942 when the United States was moving against Nazi-controlled Romania.

There was no declaration of war for Korean, Vietnam, the 1991 Gulf War, or the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Once Congress cedes a power to the president, it is hard to take it back. The best hope is that Congress is becoming scared enough to act. The willingness of Corker, a senior Republican, to at least contemplate legislation to control Trump at some point, is a welcome sign of progress, however slight.

?I put this in the category of urgent," Pelosi said. ?We each take an oath to protect and defend. If Congress doesn?t act, we might wake up to a mushroom cloud and the nightmare of 'It?s too late.'"

Source: How Do We Keep an Impulsive Trump From Launching Nuclear War?
AlterNet / Cable News Attention Deficit Disorder Is Harming America and Preventing Progressive Change
« Last post by AlterNet on November 20, 2017, 06:00:42 PM »
Cable News Attention Deficit Disorder Is Harming America and Preventing Progressive Change

We need MSNBC to step up, admit the disease and lead the way to a cure.


The NRA, climate destroyers and other corporate actors harming our culture and society rely on the myopic, single-issue nature of cable news to promote their agendas and maintain the status-quo. It doesn?t have to be this way.

The evening news broadcasts report on the stockmarket every day. Local news programs report on weather and sports every day. It is imperative cable news channels develop formats and allocate time to report on climate change, gun violence and other critical issues, every single day, or those who keep their foot on the gas will prevail. 

These formats do not need to consume an inordinate amount of on-air time. Cable news programmers could learn from the short, informative, often-silent news videos reaching mobile-first news-consuming millennials. They watch over a billion videos a month by Attn and Now This alone. Vice News Tonight often manages to report on a wider range of world news within a single 30-minute daily program than cable news channels cover in 24 hours. 

Bump stocks? A distant memory. Mental health and gun violence? So yesterday. The struggles in Puerto Rico? Fuhgeddaboudit.   

The weekly Big Four?Meet the Press on NBC, Face the Nation on CBS, This Week on ABC, and Fox News Sunday on Fox, as well as the other Sunday morning programs?set the tone and are reflective of the stories covered in repetitive fashion all week by MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. While watched by a little over 10 million Americans at broadcast, repeats, clips and soundbites from these programs recycle through Facebook, Google News, YouTube and thousands of other news sites all week.  

On the November 12 Sunday morning shows, Roy Moore, Republican senatorial candidate in Alabama, featured sexual scandal and the political horse race. Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey and other revelations by prominent media figures combined to make sexual harassment the number-one story of the week. And rightfully so. The 2017 election results and their implications for 2018, President Trump's Asia trip and to a lesser extent the Republican tax plan and the latest Russia revelations rounded out the Sunday coverage. The problem is what cable news did not cover, and the corresponding absence of congressional action. 

When 26 people were gunned down in a Texas church on November 5, the largest mass shooting in Texas history, the story received blanket cable news coverage. Gaps were exposed in the national gun database system and the defense department?s crime reporting process. The need for more mental health services was broached once again. Weeks earlier, the Las Vegas shooting exposed bump stocks and their ability to enhance legal guns to become repetitive killing machines. 

26 people perished November 5, but more have died due to gun violence since. The 26 are covered 24/7 for a few days, and the next 30 receive zero national coverage. According to FiveThirtyEight there are approximately 33,000 gun deaths a year, and over 12,000 homicides. With warlike figures and a lack of legal action, gun violence warrants daily reminders as part of regular cable news programming. 

According to Health and Human Services, the United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. It was only a few weeks ago, to great fanfare, that President Trump, Chris Christie and Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric D. Harman declared the epidemic a ?nationwide public health emergency.? What happened? We haven?t heard much on cable news since, but ?91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (that includes heroin and prescription drugs," according to the CDC.     

Unfortunately, MSNBC is equally culpable, and progressives need to press Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O?Donnell, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid and the rest of the news reporting team to reduce the single-issue, often blanket coverage and find solutions. The time spent on Roy Moore, hurricanes and other hot-button stories are simply not, as John Oliver would say, ?proportionate? news reporting. Blanket coverage consistently drowns out issues that need continuous daily reporting. If you watched the Sunday shows this week, you wouldn?t even know there was a worldwide climate conference going on in Bonn right now. 

There are some basic fixes MSNBC could try. In times of war, it is common for news programs to report war deaths every day. Why not begin to do the same for gun and opioid deaths in America at the end of one or more of their weekly daily programs? Maybe one program reports opioid deaths and legislative progress each day, and another gun deaths. It would be a good start.

Instead of each MSNBC show cycling through the same stories, maybe each program could reserve a small portion of their shows, even five minutes a day, to broaden their reporting scope and consistently track a major issue. Chris Hayes could do five minutes each night on climate change, Lawrence O?Donnell on income inequality and so on. Something relevant happens every single day somewhere in the world on each of these big-ticket issues, and the shift of focus would be refreshing.

According to the National Institute of Health, ?Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.? I couldn?t think of a more perfect description of cable news if I tried. There is an ?ongoing pattern of inattention? to the biggest issues of our time. It is interfering with America ?functioning? and cable news program ?development??but benefiting the NRA and the swamp creatures.  

It is too easy to blame the fleeting attention span of the American public. Cable news organizations can do better. Rachel, Lawrence, Joy, Chris and Chris?lead the way.


Related Stories

Source: Cable News Attention Deficit Disorder Is Harming America and Preventing Progressive Change
Anarchist News dot Org / Anews Podcast ? episode 38
« Last post by on November 20, 2017, 06:00:40 PM »
Anews Podcast ? episode 38

Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 38 for November 17. This  podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.

Editorial: Mass Shootings are on the Rise

TOTW ? Public Relations

Question of the Week: What do you think of worker-owned businesses?

this podcast

This podcast is the effort of many people. This week this podcast was

* sound edited by Linn O?Mable

* editorial by chisel

* written by jackie

* narrated by chisel and a friend

* Thanks to Aragorn! and rydra for their help with the topic of the week

* Contact us at

To learn more

Introduction to anarchism:

Books and other anarchist material:

News and up to the minute commentary:


Source: Anews Podcast ? episode 38
Italy: Declaration of Anarchists Claudia and Stefano facing Trial as a result of Operation ?Scripta Manent?

From Act for Freedom now!

We find ourselves facing you in order to be judged. Guilty or innocent? But what are we accused of? In the thousands of pages produced by the prosecutor, over twenty years? history of anarchist struggle in Italy are covered and not only, specific facts are mentioned to back up suppositions and conjecture, but in fact what do you want to convince yourselves of with all that mountain of paper? You want to convince yourselves that we are anarchists. That we don?t passively accept the system that governs us, the inevitability of man?s domination over man and nature. They are asking you to condemn the love that unites the human beings who share the unstoppable desire for freedom bound by their common contempt for authority. If that?s why we are here let?s put an end to this farce before it begins. We are guilty.

We are guilty of being aware that the democratic regime is nothing other than the ruthless supremacy of the strongest over the weakest, which supports itself by spreading particles of power to satisfy the ego of human beings educated to seek privilege, and by flattening individual attitudes, seeking protection in the consensus of the masses.

We are guilty of not accepting these conditions, of not wanting to participate in the distribution of those driblets of power, of not wanting to live on the blood and the sweat of those who suffer a less favourable condition than our own. This does not mean that we stay stuck in a corner devoted to sacrifice to live alongside the weakest; we live for ourselves, to fully satisfy our needs without waiting or asking permission, struggling against everything that prevents us. We are not dreaming of a revolution, but we continue to fuel the revolt against all constraint, surpassing our limits and those that are imposed on us.

A few days ago our son was studying something called ?civic education?, repeating aloud the principles of the constitution that guarantee freedom of speech and expression, and so on. Even though we consciously threw him into the belly of the beast by confronting him with public education, relying on his intelligence and the critical thinking that he acquire, I could not help butting in to explain to him that this is a lie, that laws are dictated by those who conceive them to maintain their own power and that it is not true that everyone can express their own opinion, because [when they do] it obstructs them, they are crushed, as is happening to his mother and father.

For this reason, in order not to perpetuate this lie, we will continue to struggle heads held high so that future generations may have a different vision of reality and won?t remain hostage to biased truth.

We have decided to read this document to face you with your responsibility in defending the hypocrisy of the constitution upon which you have sworn. We want you to see the monster?s hand stroking your head like faithful little dogs each time you look in the mirror. We don?t want to give you the chance to hide behind the rotten corrupt principle of justice that elevates you as inquisitors.

The fact that our comrades are being denied the right to physically attend the courtroom, that the principle of participation in the defence, which the law that supports the democratic lie guarantees, is thus cancelled, is yet another demonstration of how partisan the use of legality is. Especially for this reason, we will no longer take part in this farce, deserting the hearings and entrusting technical defence to lawyers aiming to bring out as far as possible the contradictions that support this system, without justifying our being and without claiming any crumbs of democracy.

So we decided [not] to fight closed within the limits of your law. Outside these boundaries it is always we who decide how and when to fight.

The good PM Sparagna, champion of the struggle against the mafias or dog that bites the master?s hand that tosses him a piece of bread, thought he could deal with anarchists as he does with the mafiosi, without realizing that what distinguishes us is something that goes far beyond his miserable conception of existence and solidarity. In a cowardly way he might even try to use the experience of each one of us to look for flaws into which to creep, but he will never succeed.

Honour and boundless love to our sisters and brothers hostages of the state.

Paladins of justice: what is ours will never be yours, not even after years of spying on and studying our lives.

Guilty of loving without conditions

Guilty of hating with full cognition



Translated by Act for freedom now!


Source: Italy: Declaration of Anarchists Claudia and Stefano facing Trial as a result of Operation ?Scripta Manent?
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