We receive and publish the editorial of the number 4 of the magazine BEZMOTIVNY, “We sabotage the war – triggering the International”, dedicated to the Ukrainian crisis.
Originally published by Dark Nights.
WE SABOTAGE THE WAR – TRIGGERING THE INTERNATIONAL
By the time readers hold these lines in their hands, the crisis in Ukraine may have reached paroxysm and unleashed in its dramatic precipitation. Or it may not. Some passages may have been overtaken or disproved by facts, or still awaiting verification. We are not concerned about a possible outdatedness of what we are writing, since these words can only be outdated. Faced with the war, anarchism has always maintained the same position that was Bakunin since the time of the Franco-Prussian conflict and the Commune. It is therefore appropriate to start from the obvious.
Our internationalism translates into an absolutely simple sentiment: the exploited, in Russia as in the United States, in the Ukraine as in Italy, are our sisters and brothers, their blood is our blood; the industrialists and the bosses of finance, the generals and the official lords, all governments, are our eternal enemies. Being moved by feelings of eternal hatred and love, our passions cannot but shy away from current events, from their opportunism, from a paracular evaluation of the conditions and propaganda of the moment.
And yet, in order to prevent these lofty sentiments from turning into abstract and harmless intentions, good for clearing one’s conscience and, in the end, for finding, by a slightly more tortuous, but for this very reason even more hypocritical, way, one’s own accommodation, a settlement in an opportunistic position, another must be added to these intentions: the only practice compatible with the internationalist discourse is the one that sets as its main enemy one’s own government, one’s own state, one’s own imperialist bloc.
Let us therefore shun any frontist temptation, rejecting both the positions of those who in the name of pluralism and human rights are tempted to close ranks under the liberal Western banner, and those who in the name of anti-Americanism and nostalgic Sovietism are tempted by pro-Russian partisanship.
As always, the price of war is paid by the proletariat, and for months now we have been paying it, in advance, with the increase in utility bills, fuel prices and, as a cascade, with the inflationary dynamic that is affecting all goods. A process that is intertwined with the speculative dynamic set in motion by the economic recovery following the crisis caused by the pandemic. This is the price of speculation, it is the price of Putin’s reprisals, it is the price of Biden’s adventurism, it is the price of Draghi’s servility. These gentlemen are our hungers, none of them is our friend.
Assuming that the current crisis does not end in a nuclear holocaust (a very unlikely hypothesis, but not impossible), in the “best” hypothesis, at our “privileged” latitudes, the price we will pay with the war in Ukraine will be that of an impoverishment unimaginable until a few years ago in the European bamboo we were used to: the current increases in fuel and energy, and with them of all goods, could represent a hint not even comparable with what we will have to deal with. The same energy continuity, with the conditions of comfort taken for granted by people in this region of the planet for half a century, might not be guaranteed, all the more so in a condition in which the energy that exists must be used for the superior purposes of the war industry.
Perhaps the greatest lesson, generally overlooked, of the pandemic event was in the demise of the so-called “consumer society”. In those days in the spring of 2020 with supermarkets partially closed, with entire products forbidden to be sold, an unprecedented phenomenon occurred for those, like the writer, who have always lived in a society where consumerism was almost a religion. The government wanted to send a message that clearly had nothing to do with public health: a message of moral austerity. It is a difficult time, and citizens must understand this even through a Lenten sacrifice. On the other hand, even then they were telling us “we are at war”, anticipating the new sacrifices to come.
One year later, the president of Confindustria has proposed a very interesting analysis. Speaking at the national assembly of the employers’ organization on September 23, more lucid than many entrepreneurs who invoke the dystopian “return to the old world”, Carlo Bonomi made it clear that “it will be a long time, unfortunately, before the domestic demand for consumption can once again become a powerful driver of growth”. Big business knows well that in this historical period it is not on domestic consumption that growth must be based. More recently, on February 12, the director of the Bank of Italy, Ignazio Visco, declared that it is absolutely necessary to avoid a price-wage spiral: “you can’t beat inflation by increasing wages”, if prices rise, the exploited must be impoverished, otherwise where is the catch? These people know that, war or no war, proletarianization is the key to the social phenomena of the coming years.
Returning to the war, then, what seems most likely, discarding the most dramatic hypothesis of a real nuclear escalation between the powers (which, however, we must repeat, is not to be excluded), is that the price that the exploited of this part of the planet will pay will be a further turn of the screw in an austeritarian and authoritarian sense. All this happens while, like a viper, lurks the poisonous hypothesis of nuclear power, panacea for every ailment of our industry. A siren, the nuclear one, not at all to be underestimated: especially if things get really bad with Russia permanently closing the taps of methane (or the U.S. forcing Europe to give it up), in the face of military and industrial needs and the same discomforts on the population now obsessed in the face of the compulsion to repeat the reactionary dream of “going back to the life of before” (let’s imagine how powerful this pressure will be if people find themselves without electricity and gas), here is that the nuclearist hypothesis will become even irresistible.
An element, on the contrary, of countertendency with respect to what has happened in the last few years is the return of “politics” on the uncontested dominion of technology of which the Ukrainian facts speak to us. The war in Ukraine for once does not seem to be an economic war, but a war of political and military domination. The methane issue itself is not the phenomenon, but a consequent phenomenon, a reprisal in the choices of the political-military risiko. Provoked by a constant and aggressive expansion to the east of NATO, Russia’s reaction aims not so much at the conquest of deposits and resources, but is motivated by the military pretension of not having to put up with the presence of American military bases on its border, as well as by an ideological pride and nostalgia for the good old imperial times. Energy resources are, if anything, a club with which to threaten each other.
Leaving therefore to the Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian anarchists the chronicle and analysis of what happens on their side of the front, of their battles against the authoritarianism of their respective governments, against which they fight at the price of arrests, torture and death, with that internationalist spirit for which the main enemy is for me always embodied by my government and its allies, we would like to briefly dwell on what happens on “our” side of the war front.
Biden’s victory represented a clear acceleration of militaristic dangers. Trump’s geopolitical bet was based on the possibility, if not of an alliance, at least of maintaining good relations with Putin in an anti-Chinese key. In this sense, the fearsome Trump ended up becoming the first U.S. president in many decades not to open new war fronts. Incredible, in this sense, the political blunder taken almost unanimously by the North American far left. When a historical militant communist, feminist and black woman like Angela Davis launches her endorsement for Biden and Harris, this does not only indicate the individual betrayal of a bureaucrat of the movement, but a collective lurch of an entire political area (demonstrated for example by the fact that Davis was not kicked out of the militant contexts). It is not only a betrayal of the anarchist rejection of the election (from communist politicians one expects this and more), but it is just wrong the specific analysis, as Biden and Harris for world peace were clearly the “greater evil”.
One of the mistakes that is blamed on Biden even by a part of the mainstream left (in this sense we have recently read pieces in the manifesto and on Fanpage) is that of “giving” Russia to China. By aggressively squeezing Putin’s regime, the North Americans are pushing it to ally with Xi’s. The alliance of the second military power in the world with the country that represents the first technological power and – for a few more years – the second economic power, can really become the detonating effect for a global military catastrophe. Faced with the possibility that Russian weapons begin to mount Chinese technology, some Pentagon executioners could seriously jump to the idea that a preventive nuclear attack could be a better hypothesis than the possibility of long years of military integration of their most fearful adversaries.
Coming to Italy, which has always been in the vanguard of experimentation with new political regimes, it seems that the government of National Unity will resist and will be confirmed in the medium term as the figure of political intrigue of the beautiful country, perhaps to be emulated in other European nations in case of a worsening of the crisis. National Unity is a concept that must be well understood. This form of government may resemble, but differs essentially from the classic technical government supported by the unanimity of political forces. National Unity is an eminently political government, a government of political and social fronts: in this sense the trade union also adheres to National Unity as it works for the most complete collaboration and internal pacification; in this same sense the technicians also adhere to it, as Technology is today a socio-political power. In a word, the government of National Unity is a government of war.
As internationalists who have been condemned or privileged – it depends on one’s point of view – to live at these latitudes, the task imposed on us is that of sabotaging, derailing, and destroying by all means National Unity and the deadly climate of social peace that it generates. This is the appointment of the coming months that we absolutely cannot miss. In other words, National Unity prepares for internal peace between classes and external war between nations. Our internationalism has always shouted the opposite: no war between peoples and no peace between classes. With Galleani we repeat that we are against war and against peace, but for the social revolution.
However, internationalism is still only a sentiment. Although corrected by the principle that my government is my main enemy, internationalism, like every feeling, contains something ineffable. The courageous step we should take is to move from internationalism to the International. That is, to reason and spread concretely an informal, but real, historical conspiracy of revolutionaries all over the world. An “organization,” however much this term scares us and draws the eyes of repression. But what are the alternatives? Hunger, war and death. The organization of associated human life based on hierarchy and profit has now demonstrated that it cannot govern the complexity it has generated and is dragging us all towards catastrophe – sanitary, ecological and military. Only a world revolution can save us. Let’s get to work.