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Chronicles from the state of emergency No. 8 – Wall paper from #Trentino

Comrades from Trentino (Italian territory) published their eigth wall paper about the current state of emergency which is now being pasted in several cities.

Originally published by Il Rovescio. Translated by Enough 14.

You can read No. 1 here and No. 2 here, No. 3 here , No. 4 here , No. 5 here , No. 6 here and No. 7 here.

Original Wall paper Chronicles from the state of emergency No. 8 (Italian) as PDF file:

May 11, 2020

Over the hill

That’s where we are. Even economists who are anything but radical are beginning to hypothesize four ways out of the current situation: a slide towards barbarity; state capitalism; state socialism; a different society based on mutual aid. The online daily newspaper “Milano Finanza” titled, on May 6: Why the capitalist system is practically dead. The thesis – wrong, but indicative – supported by the head of an important investment fund is that a system in which companies cannot make profits without State intervention is no longer a capitalist system. But the main point was the conclusion: if certain changes will not be directed from above, others will be imposed from below. Who would have said that, even just a few months ago? The problem is that for the moment the initiative is almost entirely in the hands of states and technocrats, which brings us closer to one of the first three solutions and moves us away from the last one, the only one that can save both the survival of the ecosystem and the freedom of individuals.

To confirm

On May 6, Vito Crimi, vice-minister of the Interior and political head of the 5 Stars Movement [1], proposes to “allow” (too much grace!) those who receive basic income or Naspi [2] to go and work in agriculture to make up for the shortage of foreign labour “without losing the right to that income”. As if nothing had happened, the pentastellato [3] (but was preceded in this by the PD [4] president of Emilia Romagna Bonaccini: “Whoever receives the basic income can go to work there so he gives back some of what he takes”) say things as they are. It’s time to clean up the archaic nineteenth-century idea that the boss has to pay, and that a certain job corresponds to a relative salary, determined by the relationship of strength between boss and workers. From now on, work will be a concession (a compulsory concession, i.e. an imposition), as will income (increasingly miserable), which can be taken away by decision of the government – we have had a taste, these days, of what they can do with a simple decree – and above all that it will not be in any way commensurate with the work done, nor will it be the subject of negotiation and conflict. 600 euros a month to work 12 hours under the sun seems little to you? You lose your benefit. Would you like to negotiate an adequate wage? Next. Would you like a contract with hourly pay, overtime, sickness, vacation, leave, day off, contributions, possibility to strike? Crimi and Bonaccini don’t talk about it, other politicians won’t either, it’s probably museum stuff to them. A turning point to deal with the “crisis to come” (or is it already here?): the recipients of subsidies would be a labour reserve literally at no cost to the bosses, and without any additional cost for the state, since they are funds (but it would be better to say crumbs) already allocated and whose payment is already provided by law. A proposal symmetrical to the refusal to regularize migrant workers without papers, a labour force at very low cost for companies, at zero cost for the state. All the more reason to fight together, Italians and migrants, against a new kind of slavery, which has nothing urgent: given the profits they guarantee, there is no doubt that these conditions, once imposed, will become permanent and more and more widespread.

Consciously, or by force

The nexus of deteriorating living and working conditions and that of an increasingly artificial society are coming to the surface at the same time. We will hardly be able to stop this economy of misfortune without creating collective spaces in which we can organize ourselves against the growing misery and at the same time formulate an overall judgement on a system openly at war with the Planet and all its inhabitants. Resistance against the introduction of 5G will probably be one such occasion. Another battleground could become one of health issues. In order to find support in the rest of the population for their own battles, critical health workers will have to start to speak out not only against cuts and privatizations, but also against the structural causes (pollution and adulteration of food, for example) that provide more and more patients to the industry they work for. It is precisely such a judgment that is lacking – in that sector as in all the other ones – crushed under the weight of survival. Only spaces of direct communication and common struggles can ease that burden. On the other hand, if it does not happen through the conscious blockade of an increasingly demented production, it will be “under the yoke of repeated ecological disasters that people will have to learn to separate themselves from a world of illusions”.

Basic principles

While waiting – or replacing – the application for tracking contacts, the Italian Institute of Technology (whose director Roberto Cingolani is part of the task force set up by the government to plan the “return to normality” after the quarantine) has already developed and put on the market a digital bracelet that will sound if the “safety distance” is not respected and that will store contact data with any infected persons. The governor of Liguria wants to make it mandatory starting this autumn. In the meantime, the Ministry of Education plans to keep the “didactics on line” also for September (half of the students “in presence”, half connected to the internet). “There are never obstacles for those who have no principles”, was recently written. And what are these principles? What idea of freedom, of “human nature” and social relations as a counterpoint to the machination of ourselves and the world? The affirmation of certain values is perhaps the most imperious ethical and practical necessity of this historical phase. Around recalcitrant teachers, parents who will refuse to send their children to school, students who will not provide the “institutional email” necessary for “distance teaching”, it is essential that a network of support, reflection and resistance is created. Probably the elements of refusal are more widespread than we think, although dispersed and fearful.

A start

A first discussion on all these issues took place on Sunday, May 10th at the No Tav [5] grounds of Acquaviva e Resistente. For several hours, about fifty people from various locations in Trentino discussed how they had experienced these two months of confinement, sketching out ideas and proposals in view of other meetings to ensure that we do not return to normality.

Notes

[1] The Five Star Movement (Italian: Movimento 5 Stelle, M5S) is a political party in Italy. In the 2018 general election, the M5S became the largest individual party in the Italian Parliament and entered government. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Star_Movement

[2] NASPI is the name of an Unemployment benefits program in Italy. To be entitled to receive NASPI you must have been insured with the National Institute for Social Security (INPS) for at least 13 weeks during the 4 years prior to the onset of unemployment and at least 30 days of this work insurance must have been completed during the last 12 months prior to dismissal. https://www.a-kasser.dk/unemployment-insurance-in-europe/italy/

[3] The supporters of the 5 Star movement are called pentastellato.

[4] The Democratic Party (Italian: Partito DemocraticoPD) is a social-democratic political party in Italy. Since September 2019 the party has been part of the Conte II Cabinet, in a coalition with the Five Star Movement. The party also heads seven regional governments. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(Italy)

[5] No Tav is the term used to recognize a popular Italian grassroots movement, born in the early 90s. It includes a large number of people struggling against High-Speed-Railway projects in Italy, and recently inspired activists, associations and popular assemblies in foreign countries as well. https://www.infoaut.org/english/a-short-intro-to-the-no-tav-movement



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