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Class War 10/2019: “Yellow vests”

Class War 10/2019: “Yellow vests”

“Here we are / Here we are”
“For the honor of the workers / And for a better world”

CW’s Note: It’s with a very huge delay that we finally post here our second bulletin focused on the struggles known as the “gilets jaunes” movement, bulletin we initially published in… November 2019. This material was ready in English much sooner but meanwhile the Covid-19 pandemic and the lock-down measures imposed by the capitalist State slowed down in the meantime our activities in process. We are nevertheless sure that the analysis and information contained in this bulletin are still valid and relevant for the further episodes of the class war waged by the revolutionary proletariat against its everlasting enemy, i.e. the bourgeoisie and the capitalist social relations… Have a good reading!

Four Seasons… The “yellow vest” movement has been going through four seasons now…

Although it is not in a position to impose a real, powerful and profound world social revolution (that should irrevocably and definitively sweep away all the foundations of the social relationship dominating and crushing humanity!), this movement is nevertheless managing to keep going and thus to complete the cycle of a year, just like our planet which finishes its circuit around the sun.

Six months ago, we finished the introduction of our previous bulletin, devoted to the same theme and its development, with these words:

Finally, although it might seem provocative, we affirm that all the media hype around the “yellow vest” movement can in no way make us forget this essential thing that there is no such thing as a “yellow vest” movement, that it has never existed and cannot exist. And this is for a simple, fundamental, unavoidable reason: because there is no “yellow vest” class or social project… Here and now, everywhere and always, it is proletariat against bourgeoisie, two social classes with resolutely antagonistic projects… Indeed, there are only two projects facing each other for the future of humanity: on the one hand, the historical process of abolishing capitalist social relations and its State, which are the cause of misery, war, exploitation, alienation, oppression and domination… On the other hand, the forces for the conservation of this nightmare…

Nevertheless, the movement that in itself “cannot exist”, if not as an expression and materialization of the age-old (and therefore always present!) confrontation between the class of those who possess and the class of the dispossessed, manages to last and to impose its presence, to withdraw temporarily like the low tide and then to return in force. Rather than talking about confusion and contradictions in the movement, it seems to us to be more important and more correct to insist once again on the essential determinations of this struggle. These determinations are neither “direct” or “participative democracy” and the “Citizens’ Initiative Referendum” or the “French people”, nor the national flag or the Marseillaise…

The fundamental determinations of this movement, its foundations and its DNA are the visceral refusal of impoverishment (we are always becoming “poorer”, even if “we have a job”!), the refusal of the increase in the exploitation rate and poverty. Behind the slogan of defending “purchasing power” there is another affirmed demand – “living power”. The “yellow vest” movement strongly (although never sufficiently and always partially!) poses the need for direct action, occupations, undeclared and therefore “wild” demonstrations, blockades of the economy, of the circulation of commodities (finished products, raw materials, labor power!), for the need to organize collectively against State repression, to refuse any type of representation and representatives, whether they come from the ranks of trade unions, political parties or even from the movement itself. In the heat of the struggle, there is also a strong and uncompromising critique of the media, of the bourgeois press as a mean for structuring of “public opinion”, which is nothing but a complex of dominant ideas and therefore a complex of ideas of the ruling class. These media are thus denounced for what they are: structures of power that reinforce existing power…

The “yellow vest” movement, whether it likes it or not, whether it is aware of it or not (and finally, at first, it doesn’t matter!), is, by its nature and practice (and far beyond flags!), fundamentally anti-democratic, despite the dross expressed here and there in various speeches, publications, slogans, demands, etc. It is anti-democratic in the true sense of the word, as the negation of democracy which is the foundation of the social dictatorship of capitalism. The movement openly displays its contempt for political conventions; its contempt and class hate for the media and their sacrosanct “freedom of expression”, i.e. the freedom to reproduce ad nauseam the dominant and consensual ideology of the “party of order”. It shows its contempt and class hate for “freedom of association and assembly”, for bourgeois freedom which once again allows “supporters of order” to gather in their inner circles, their economic, political, social and military summits to discuss and decide on the best way to manage and crush our subversive action, to make us talk, to silence us…

In short, the autumn of 2018 was for all of us (“yellow vests” or not!), an unexpected, surprising and invigorating emergence of a movement that put an end to all stereotypes contained in the great official encyclopedia of class struggle and its variations as learned by rote by the brave little students of the “revolution” of capitalist left and far left…

Something essential has therefore happened: an invention rather than a return, the emergence of an unexpected phenomenon that has never ceased to surprise us and which, finally, anchors us to the idea that the future of this unique movement is still largely open to the conjunction of the infinite possibilities that the multiple refusals of this world of spectacle commodity dispossession carry, here and elsewhere. [À contretemps]

Winter and the “Christmas holidays”, these dull jewels of cult of the family and the broad reproduction of the ideology of national reconciliation between classes, in short, this feast of excessive “consumption” (or its illusory spectacle!), were supposed to bring those unruly and turbulent “yellow vests” into line, at least in the dreams of all those who have something to win by conserving the filthy world as it exists today. However, this was not the case! Quite the opposite! And the start of the new year in January was striking…

The burgeoning spring witnessed thousands of confrontations blooming in the streets and posh districts, thousands of assaults on places of bourgeois power, thousands of lootings against their commodities, thousands of bravadoes against their elections, against the recuperation, pacification and channeling of our struggle…

Of course, more will be needed for the walls of arrogance and oppression to tremble, but there is a breach, clear as a yellow vest rebuilding his hut several times destroyed on his roundabout of misery. Because a yellow vest is stubborn like a mule that doesn’t want to move forward. To become a human community is precisely that: to become an active subject, to convince ourselves that we must collectively leave this world, seeking the means, to reconnect with the history of former revolts, to invent new forms of resistance and secession, to cultivate the plurality of our approaches, to forge our own solidarities. The rest is a matter of obstinacy, contagion, attraction, conviction. [À contretemps]

Summer was supposed to give a final blow to the mobilization on the pretext of sunbathing and beaches galore, especially since all the media under orders were week after week enjoying themselves to announce the “decline of the movement”, the number of demonstrators melting like snow in the sun of the holidays and idleness…

In September, the return to work after the summer holidays promised to be more turbulent than ever, with an upsurge in mobilization and calls for “convergence of struggles”: on the one hand, “Youth for Climate” and against “the end of the world” who would greatly need to assert a sharper criticism of the gangsters of the “climate-business”, and on the other hand, various sectors of the proletariat in struggle in France, in partial rupture with the impasse of the trade-union framework. But as the first anniversary of the “yellow vest” movement was approaching, the hope, strength, determination and potential of a genuine “convergence of struggles” came from all over the world, i.e. a convergence that that takes place directly on the international level and thus expresses its internationalist essence more strongly than ever. In the light of the struggles that have been exploding for months and intensifying in recent weeks all over the world, in the light of the struggles that continue to ignite our realities at the time of publication of this bulletin, some are already talking about a “new cycle of class struggle”…

About fifteen years ago, a big American bourgeois, Warren Buffett, drunk on insolence and contempt conferred by his dominant position as a capitalist predator, declared peremptorily but not without reason: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

We would not like to overly temper here Mr. Buffett’s unbridled optimism, because the capitalist class, their social structure which generates exploitation, misery and wars, and their world that goes with it, will of course still rage against humanity for some time. But we can say at least that if it is not the beginning of a new cycle of class struggle that is starting to develop before our eyes, heralding a horizon that will finally cease to be beyond reach, it definitely looks like it…

One after another, and sometimes simultaneously, very important sectors of the proletariat have taken to the streets by dozens and hundreds of thousands, even millions, of large cities in several countries on all continents, and continue to engulf their places of exploitation, oppression, alienation: Algeria, Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, Hong Kong, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Ecuador, Honduras, Bolivia, Chile, Iran, Colombia, etc. All these struggles are the essential result of the failure to satisfy the immediate as well as the human and historical needs of our class, and they have in common that they often persist and even become more radical once the local fraction of the world bourgeoisie feels obliged to concede a few crumbs in order to extinguish the social blaze.

From this visceral, passionate and healthy refusal of the “return to normality”, the return to boredom, banality, daily survival, the return to work that dulls, mutilates, withers our bodies and dries up our hearts, work that kills, return to suffering at work, suffering of work simply, and the lack of perspectives that are still credible in this world of predation, of extortion and blackmailing. This world that will continue to crack until it will collapse… From all this opens up the historical perspective, albeit still distant and embryonic, of social revolution, human emancipation, classless society, society of enjoyment, in short the perspective of communism. When our comrades say that a struggling movement is always the local expression of a global necessity, it takes all its resonance here…

In Iraq the proletariat continues to attack the citadels of our masters, against war, against militarization, against misery, against poisoned water and malnutrition, against the lack of perspectives, against “corruption”, against the politics of our enemies the bourgeoisie. Its struggle cost 400 lives (officially!) and nearly twenty thousand wounded since the beginning of October, not to mention arrests, disappearances, torture. But our class resists and makes its way through the pitfalls of horror, cowardice and filthiness of private property holders and their defenders: we occupy central and strategic places where we organize the structures of our community of struggle and life, we erect barricades, we threaten their fortified headquarters in the “Green Zone”, we attack and set fire to the rat dens of political parties and their militias armed to the teeth, we cut important communication axes and thus we block the vital flow of their commodities. And all this not only in Baghdad but all over the country. And slight cracks already begin to appear in the coherence, discipline and esprit de corps of State mercenaries: in Karbala, for example, police officers express their solidarity with the demonstrators; in Nineveh Shiite militiamen of the “Popular Mobilization Units” (al-Hashd al-Sha’abi) shout slogans in favor of the struggle…

In Lebanon, senior army officers refused to implement the government order to shoot on the crowd, because they were afraid that many soldiers torn by class contradictions would fraternize with demonstrators, their brothers and sisters in poverty, as it had happened previously, albeit in a very partial way. Unfortunately, too few testimonies, documents, leaflets and manifestos with clearly proletarian positions circulate in this region, and even fewer get to us. Nevertheless, among the hundreds of videos available on the Internet, let us highlight one where demonstrators who hold a roadblock in the middle of burning garbage cans and tires say: “No (political) parties or anything. We are one people united against the state. We want it to fall. Revolution!”…

In Chile, where the fear of the bourgeoisie is equal to the ongoing class confrontation, the army, which had never really disappeared from the scene, is back to the panoply of the capitalist State to restore the order of normality and “business as usual”. The methods of torture and terror of Pinochet’s time are once again applied to their full potential, as every time the proletariat raises its head and goes on the offensive. For more than a month now, they have been shooting at us with live ammunition to counter and thwart our movement of anti-capitalist direct action, they have been aiming at our eyes (just like in France!) to blind us, to silence us and terrorize us, but their propaganda and lies are becoming emptier and emptier. They rape our sisters-in-arms – active in the turmoil and joy of rebellion – in their infamous and sordid police stations to tear them to pieces, of course, but above all to destroy the bonds of solidarity we weave, to crush the fraternity and love that our class fully re-appropriates in the struggle and through the struggle…

At the approach of the first anniversary of the “yellow vest” movement, internationalist calls have been launched from France to dedicate it “to all popular uprisings in the world”, to “join forces” and “transform our living conditions”, to “act in common”, to “create and strengthen junctions between peoples in struggle”…

Important sectors of the proletariat in Iran have in a non-arranged but organic way spontaneously taken to the streets of more than one hundred cities, attacking banks and mosques, burning fuel depots, looting businesses, etc. It was following a brutal announcement of the withdrawal of subsidies on gasoline which would triple its price at the pump and which constitutes a direct and drastic attack against the living conditions of our class. The most radicalized sectors of the proletariat do not take to the streets empty-handed, but some are armed, exactly as the most radical proletarians in Chile, who have robbed armories to equip themselves for a more violent confrontation with the State… certainly and once again not enough considering the need to impose a reversal of the balance of power between the classes. Several officers and members of the repressive forces among the most hated by our class according to its experience of struggle in recent years (“Revolutionary Guards”, Basij militiamen, etc.) have been killed in the street or in ambushes. In France as in Iran, and everywhere on the surface of the capitalist nightmare definitely “everyone hates the police” and “the police hate everyone”…

As we can easily see in these few examples, if “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”, we are currently experiencing an acceleration of the process of social confrontation, a rising dynamic of exacerbating the conflictuality of class relations…

What tasks can we as revolutionaries give to ourselves? We are at the beginning of a new historical period in which it is very important that the processes learn by themselves. Our party, as a social force fighting for communism, lives and is already formed on the ground of these revolts. As revolutionary minorities we are part of the proletariat and of these struggles, we are not a party apart [separate and distinct], but we are those who, as Marx said, try to promote and deepen the determinations of the movement, and at the same time try to clarify theoretically our practice around the general objectives of the class. As we have said, the beginning of a new phase of class struggle, a long period of social revolution marked by the terminal crisis of capitalism, does not mean that communism is just around the corner. We are very far from a revolutionary situation: the ability of the proletariat to constitute itself as a class, as a party, is fundamental for this; the convergence between the material processes of the class struggle and the communist historical program that comes from those same struggles is essential. That is why the questions of theoretical and programmatic clarification are so important today. Our struggle does not stand alone in the barricades of the present, but also in the lessons that can be drawn from the barricades of the past.

The road is still long and yet there can be no turning back. We have to live the passion of the struggle but also the struggle for theoretical and programmatic clarity. [Barbaria Group]

In this bulletin on the “yellow vest” movement and the extension of the present struggles throughout the world, we publish here some documents from this movement that express the vitality of the age-old struggle of our class against the tyranny of value, against exploitation. Our goal is obviously not to analyze these events in order to merely understand them, but rather to transform them, to disrupt the historical everyday nature of our proletarians’ life of misery gripping us and strangling us, so that we should definitively eradicate the capitalist social relation from the surface of our planet. We don’t want to spend our time describing for page after page the horrors of this society of death and suffering. We obviously don’t want to lock ourselves into a passive and academic role. We are not interested in the biology of capital either, and we don’t have any intention to describe it in an objective way. On the contrary our purpose is to directly take part in its final destruction and to act in the movement of its necrology… And this means standing firmly in the heart of the events that have been taking place in front of our eyes, being a determined part of them as an active and decisive force…

# Class War – November 2019 #

Yellow Vests!? “Here We Are… Here We Are…”
Yellow Vests: Some Songs

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Guerre de Classe
Jul 2 2020 15:50

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