For an anarchic International (an approximate manifesto)

The pandemic of covid and its variations, that as of today directly caused more than 6 millions deaths in the world, and indirectly caused more than 15 millions, is for the most part a consequence of the environmental devastation caused by capitalist exploitation of the whole living [1] [2] [3], and of the material and cultural misery it determines and pursues.

The onset of new pandemics and their increasing frequency were foreseen by many scientists (see the previous links). Nonetheless, even in the richest countries, the pandemic stroke after a long period during which nothing was done by those who could do the most to reduce the risk that those predictions foresaw; instead, they weakened further the public health systems (the italian one, for example, had undergone massive cuts during the previous ten years, which were made by institutional right, center, left parties to almost identical extents: see [1] and [2]).

The anti-covid vaccines which are currently disposable in the richest countries do work: they are statistically very effective in preserving people who accept to get vaccinated from getting ill, although they provide a rather brief cover. But, despite the fact their development was financed to a great extent by rich states with money from tax payers, these same states in developed countries buy them at a price per dose that is up to 24 times its cost of production, while the states where the large majority of the people of the world lives can’t afford to buy them and the bosses of pharmaceutical multinationals producing them don’t remise, not even temporarily, to the related patents, and don’t publish the know-how that’s necessary to build the machines to produce them, nor are they disposable to help in building these machines and to train the people who could use them within less rich and poor countries.

This way, the covid and variants pandemic will never be defeated, and other, new pandemics will happen more and more frequently.

In italy, for example, huge cuts and privatizations, made in almost equal measure by right and center and left institutional parties, have regarded almost all the public services, comprising the statal school, and we have lost, at the hands of the same right and center and left institutional parties, the most part of the labour rights we conquered at the cost of so much blood, while working and living conditions are getting more and more precarious.

The climate crisis is already everywhere and is getting increasingly damaging (global average temperature is rising, with the consequent melting of ice; sea levels rising is accelerating; drought is increasing; meteorological variability is getting worse and worse, with extreme phenomena getting more and more harmful and destructive).

Greenhouse effect is by far the main cause of the current climate crisis, and it is caused, to by far the greatest extent, by greenhouse gas emissions, coming for their 25% from the combustion of fossil fuels for electricity and heat production (84% of energy in the world is produced from fossil fuels; in Europe it’s 71%), for their 24% from agriculture and farming, for their 21% from industry, and for their 14% from transports [see here], while until today, in spite of IPCC reports getting increasingly alarming, nothing even vaguely meaningful has been done, again, by those who could do the most, to reduce these emissions and to develop and implement sustainable alternatives; instead, they continued doing quite the opposite (see here for a very recent example).

Industrial capitalism, whose “original accumulation” is founded on slave colonialism and the biggest genocides in history, never stopped, within its very civilized borders, suppressing with direct and-or imprisonment violence not only any attempt to overthrow it, but also any peaceful request for better working and living conditions, nor has it ever stopped making wars outside its very civilized borders, nor arming and financing, in poor and less poor countries, dictators and “lords of war” willing to provide slavery-level super-exploited “labour force” in exchange.

This permanent global crisis state that capitalism causes unavoidably triggers periodical crisis within its very civilized borders too, and when these internal crisis reach too high levels, the most rich capitalists solve every problem they have with world wars, in which they’re almost the only ones who save themselves and in which they get even richer, while among the common people millions die (60 millions deaths in the second world war).

That’s how today we have an ongoing war between Ukraine, that is supported with huge supplies of war gear by NATO countries (and mostly by the USA, which are the first responsible for so many other very humanitarian wars, like those in Afghanistan, Iraq, Grenada, Panama, Vietnam, etc.) and Russia, a capitalist nation whose government doesn’t accord to the people it rules not even those crumbs of civil liberties and rights the governments of western false democracies accord to the people they rule. And, besides those crumbs of civil liberties and rights, there are no other big differences between Russia, that formally remains a “democracy”, and the “democracies” of countries being parts of NATO (which never stopped its military expansion towards the east of europe): in both cases the governors are always and only those who have lots of money, due to their lineage and-or to the economical support they get from right-wing or liberal lobbies of all sectors of the capitalist industry, which also divide among themselves the ownership of the most powerful, influential and widespread media, and pay troops of commentators and “bots” programmers to post fake news and propaganda for one or the other party and one or the other “strongman” or “strongwoman” on social networks, thus convincing many persons who will express those same ideas founded on ignorance and falsehoods, and spread the latter, and almost always end up supporting or militating for movements which are reactionary, supremacist, sovereignist, nazi, fascist, racist, homophobic, sexophobic, ableist, etc., etc.

All of this can be summed up this way: institutional politics serve the interests of capitalism at the damage of the whole living.

Capitalism itself, on a human, individual level, is the prevalence that a single inborn trait can take in the human psyche, up to monopolize it: the intraspecific competitiveness that is bound to other negative (as well as painful or unhappy) traits of the human, like lack of empathy, possessiveness, envy, jealousy, rage, aggressiveness and the desire to accumulate power to decide on the life of others. But this competitive trait, that is kind of a curse on our species, can at least be kept to its inborn levels, mainly by harmless catharsis (like in competitive games) and by creative sublimation (like in arts).

Gaming and arts, since many decades yet, have been increasingly mutually binding in the videogames production industry, that for many years has been the largest entertainment industry.

The big amount of time so many persons spend immersed in fiction, be it “classical” or interactive – because so often work leaves no energies to do anything else, and often also to shelter and abstract from a difficult reality, living, by identification, stories which most of the times are consolatory tales about heroic rescues of fictional worlds and characters – is one of the main reasons, along with the increasing repression, why we move less in practical actions against capitalism and in construction of alternatives to it.

At the same time i think that even the fiction industry, particularly the interactive fiction one, if it truly was, software and hardware, in the hands of everybody, would give everyone the possibility, that some of us already can enjoy today (though often excessively and anachronistically), to sublimate and release in a harmless way our competitiveness: to sublimate it in creativity, by building fictional worlds and story canvases, and to release it, even at the same time, by playing inside these same fictional worlds and their story canvases, in harmless competitions “against the computer” or among individuals and-or teams, or even, for those who are less competitive, in simple creation and frequentation of their own or others’ imaginative worlds.

And i believe this possibility, if combined with a truly universal access to the “classic” forms of artistic expression like music, literature, figurative art, photography, etc., and to “classic” playful activities, competitive or not, like sports and intellectual games, and if immersed into a pedagogy of the distinction between reality and fiction, strongly privileging, on the reality level, cooperation, dialogue and solidarity, could be one of the cornerstones of a world that, on the reality level, could become much less competitive, much more supportive and cooperative, and truly democratic and communistic, that is anarchic.

In a well-known piece of his Notes from underground, Dostoevsky made its protagonist say so: «Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element»; but i do believe that in fact man would do this way mostly because of his innate competitiveness: because without a challenge, more or less epic, sooner or later he will get bored, and boredom, that is lack or absence of emotions, when it gets too much can become one of the worst evil. But if the epic challenges and competitions were accessible, for some hours in a day, within fictional, “fantastic” realities (which will get more and more immersive in any case), and if these realities were truly accessible to everybody, for creation and fruition, in a cultural and social context like the one i described in the previous paragraph, this possibility would also contribute in turning the possibly excessive boredom of a much less conflictual world into creativity, sublimation and catharsis.

Back to the reality of these difficult times and of this global crisis we are living, that is the height of the crisis that capitalism is constitutively since it was born, i think it is necessary to work on every level and organize to do a new, anarchic International, and in particular, in the light of thoughts and actions by Malatesta and many others, to take the sites of material production in the whole world, because it is even more necessary today than it was when we already tried to do so (in italy, for example, at the height of the Red biennium), mostly due to the ecological and war emergencies which we are facing.

This means taking all the weapons factory to shut the production down, all the polluting power plants to switch them off, and then all the rest of the main material production places, in order to manage them through the consensus method in the social and political context of many interconnected little communities, which could be the districts or neighborhoods in cities and big towns, and elsewhere the small villages and the hamlets themselves. This way we could convert those facilities to the production of necessary and useful goods, starting soon with anti-covid vaccines for everyone in the world and with little wind, hydroelectric, thermal solar facilities to be distributed and networked on rooftops, in the deserts, on the little streams, and then continuing with the production of robots doing useful jobs, of necessary or useful appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and of the electronic hardware that will be needed to grant any human being living on the planet the right to have at least a portable phone-computer-console device, while the internet would be easily turned into a much more truly distributed network of very interconnected mesh networks, each corresponding to a community, through which all knowledge would be shared and accessible to anyone, since any patents system would be abolished. We could then develop all these things, and new and useful or funny ones, much more rapidly, for an increasingly wide liberation from repetitive and heavy jobs, for secure and truly free and equal communications and gaming and artistic expression, with no more aberrations like planned obsolescence or industrial secrets.

Since time dedicated to work would be much reduced, and even for this reason we would all be far less stressed, i think it would be smooth enough for each community to take collective decisions and define collective rules regarding its public life in the context of periodic (maybe once every 42 days?), public assemblies based on the consensus method, i.e. assemblies that would last at most a couple of hours (or maybe 42 minutes?) and, should consensus not be reached within that time period, would continue on the next day, and so on.

Any member of the community (which could be anyone having lived there for some 42 days) could participate to assemblies, and i think (but it’s not that important) that at least during an initial phase (may be some 42 months) it could be better if assemblies were held only in written form, by using a simple forum software that would also give the possibility to anyone in the world to read what’s happening or happened during any assemblies in any other community (it would be really good if we all learned to read, write and speak Esperanto, but until then, i think we’d better write in english, or translate the texts to english after the assemblies, just because it’s the most widespread language); so i also think that only during a subsequent phase we could participate to the assemblies in mixed modalities, in presence and in “remote presence”, by audio-video, all recorded.

In the context of the community assembly, each community would first define their own rules of living together, and then, from time to time, refine and fine-tune and adapt them to environmental and social changes, and would also take the decisions about what, how much, how to produce in the collective material production places.

Nobody would be forced to participate to assemblies, but at their ending those who did not participate should inform themselves about possible changes in the rules, and should try as much as possible, like everybody else, to follow them; and when one’s desires or wills entered into contradiction with any rule of coexistence, one should wait for the next assembly to talk about these issues in its context; and when one’s desires or wills entered into contradiction with needs, wills or desires of others, one could decide whether to talk about it privately with those involved, or to wait and discuss collectively about the issue in the context of the subsequent assembly.

Those who transgressed the rules of their own community or who imposed their wills or their desires to anyone else would give everybody, obviously comprising their possible particular victims, the right to call an extraordinary assembly to be held on the same evening or the subsequent day’s morning, to which the offending ones would be made to participate, if necessary with force (that is, if necessary, by chasing them and dragging them to the assembly by 4 or 5 or some 42 persons at most: nothing more), and should thus confront the whole collectivity and, particularly, the possible specific victims of their imposition; but they would never be punished in any other way.

It would not be a “perfect world”, it would not be totally devoid, on the reality level, of competitiveness, rivalries, jealousies, envies, etc., but i believe that the violence levels it would produce would not exceed verbal disputes and perhaps also brawls and even fistfights, maybe especially during the assemblies; but surely there would be no more wars, no more exploitation of man on man, no more prisons nor parliaments nor senates  nor governments nor any of the roles that currently give some the privilege to exploit the others and to decide on their life through fear, extortion, violence, lies and omissions about what can be known, and presumption of truth about what nobody knows yet.

If a certain community produced or extracted or gathered something missing or lacking in another, the assembly of the latter could contact the first one, assuming it was the nearest one or, at least, some 42 kilometers farther than the nearest one, to request a joint assembly. Then, the first community would have some 42 hours to set a date and time for the joint assembly, that should be held within some 42 days since the moment of the request, and after the joint assembly it would not be possible for the latter community to request another to the first, for some other 42 days. Any member of the two communities could participate in the joint assembly, to decide about the exchanges or, in cases of emergency, to obtain as a gift, maybe asking, but often it’s not needed, either.

Exchanges, at least during a first phase, that may last for some 42 months, could also, perhaps, be made by using a global cryptocurrency, if one will ever become, before the International, truly secure and peer-to-peer and sustainable on an ecological level (if this was the case, during the International it would also be possible to convert all the money in the world to this cryptocurrency, to equally split it among all the human inhabitants of the planet), because maybe we would not succeed in making a direct jump to a barter and gift economy, after so many years during which we used money; or, maybe, yes: i don’t have a very clear idea in this regard, and in any case i think this first phase should anyway tend towards barter and gift economy, in order to emancipate ourselves from the always very dangerous level of abstraction that money itself represent with respect to the real goods and services.

I want to finally emphasize that if we were many to soon get out and take the weapons factories and the polluting power plants in order to put an end to wars and save ourselves and many other species of this planet from extinction or decimation by bombs, radiations, famine, illnesses, heat, ecological catastrophes and so on, and to then take all the rest of the industrial facilities to keep the necessary and useful production going and to convert any damaging facilities to something harmless and-or useful and-or funny, i think we could avoid bleeding further, and even making others bleed.

One note: this manifesto, like the title says, is considerably approximate, and deliberately so (that’s why, for example, i used the 42 number throughout it), and obviously very open to discussions and modifications, should anyone like to, although i don’t think i’ll personally change my mind about that which for me is its central point: the necessity to take the means of material production into everybody’s hands.

Another note: i’d rather avoid heading too much towards a chaotic proliferation of many forms of struggle, because chaos is positive only within a gradient [1] [2] and i think in the circumstances we’re facing in this period it would be better if we didn’t make it prevail too much on order, intending it here as a minimum of unitariness and organization; otherwise, i think, our attempt to “assault the sky”, by unraveling in too many particular interests and forms of struggle, which often enter into competition and-or party game, would then run the risk of cooling down to sole or too much predominant entropy, thus obtaining nothing, or little more.

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