Weekly Update: 17 July

"The Storming of the Bastille", by Jean-Pierre Houël. Public Domain.

“I know what you mean by this magic of capitalism, but I also think we can deconstruct it, and do our own counter-magic. When the will is collectivized and activized, or made into actions, then it is central to working-class struggle from early centuries to the present. We are taught in our civilization that is a matter of the individual will, it’s always a kind of individual bootstrapping.

 

But to the social historian who examines human actions that have effects on one another and on the world, the will is a social creation. I think most kids see this right away, if not in school then certainly in sports. Their own will, their own desires, are fortified, nurtured and strengthened by those of others. So walking down the street is one thing, marching down the street is another. Doing it with 10 people is one thing, doing it with 500 people is another. The excitement, the joy, the emotions, and the will is collective when it becomes powerful, and then it produces events that are totally unthought of.

 

Who could have possibly imagined that a wall 90 feet high, in parts 30 feet thick, surrounded by a moat deep enough to drown in, who would have thought that such an edifice which had remained for centuries could be brought down in the space of less than 24 hours. That’s what we’re celebrating on the 14th of July, 1789. This edifice of tyranny, this edifice of repression, this action of people who are rewilding it has provided inspiration for every urban revolution that has ever taken place, and it provides us inspiration now that the carceral archipelago, the huge military prison complex of the USA, can be brought down in a twinkling. These are the miracles of history, but it’s just as accurate to say these are peoples’ magic.”
–Peter Linebaugh

Incredibly, just a few hours after the above interview (to be published soon as a podcast episode) was conducted on Thursday, news emerged that a recently divorced father of three with a history of mental illness, financial difficulties, and “no particular interest in religion” drove a truck and shot guns into a crowd in Nice, killing more than 80, as people had taken to the streets to celebrate Bastille Day.

Then, word emerged from Turkey about the attempted coup d’etat, which now appears to have failed. Even so, nearly 300 people are dead, nearly 1500 people have been injured, and many thousands of judges & military personnel have been taken into custody. It is a complex situation, where many people in Turkey took to the streets to resist the military coup, despite their misgivings about the Erdogan administration. Many are nervous about how the response to the coup attempt will consolidate their power and result in increased government repression.

In the US, fresh off a week with violence in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, and Dallas, Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump chose his running mate, both of which have resulted in much consternation and hang-wringing among each party’s faithful. Both parties seem to be in full-on crisis mode; each are now forced to contend with the least-popular candidates in history, creating deep division within both parties.

In short, the time is ripe for revolution. May the right people in the right numbers come together enough to unify their collective will to the greater good.

Coming This Week

After this eventful week,  another series of great articles are headed your way here at Gods&Radicals. Early in the week we will have the latest installment of Things with Feathers by Fjothr Lokakvan, along with How “Gods Before Politics” Perpetuates Privilege by occasional G&R writer John Halstead. Mid-week will give us Privilege Decoded by Sable Aradia, and Part 4 of Rhyd Wildermuth’s series on Liberal Democracy, The Resurgence of the Fascist Right. Then, the week will end with Adrift, a poem from Hunter Hall, and What Is Pagan Anarchism? from C.S. Thompson.

Links

  • On Collisions, and the Footsteps of Heresy And Fate
    by Alley Valkyrie
    “In tracing Walter Benjamin’s final hours, in gaining that perspective as we followed his final path and in our mirrored experiences during that journey, I feel as though I somehow collided into his spirit directly and to this day the resonance of that collision is not only lingering but ever strengthening. In following the footsteps of and paying tribute to a prophet whose heresies tragically collided with fate, what came forth was a new level of understanding, connection, and Work.”
  • Andrew Korybko analysis of Turkish coup attempt
    “it’s very likely that Turkey will accelerate its multipolar pivot and finally embrace its Eurasian destiny, though not without forthcoming American-improvised Hybrid War challenges – a renewed Kurdish insurgency, left-wing terrorism, a Color Revolution, Daesh attacks, maritime proxy hostility via Greece, engineered provocations with Turkey’s other neighbors, a civil war, and/or another feeble coup attempt — in order to throw the progressively Islamifying and Muslim Brotherhood-inspired state into such chaos that it becomes impossible for its new multipolar partners to make any substantial use of its territory in their joint quest to dismantle the unipolar world order.”
  • Jill Stein Just Promised To Pardon Snowden, Appoint Him To Cabinet If Elected
    “[Snowden] has done an incredible service to our country at great cost to himself for having to live away from his family, his friends, his job, his network, to basically live as an expatriate…. I would say not only bring Snowden back, but bring him into my administration as a member of the Cabinet,” Stein continued, “because we need people who are part of our national security administration who are really, very patriotic. If we’re really going to protect our American security, we also have to protect our Constitutional rights, and that includes our right to privacy.”
  • Unity and the Police
    “Racial terror means the repressive state apparatus means racial terror. You can’t love the apparatus on those terms. Instead, you endure or rebel, in each case expressing, arguably, aspects of the necropolitical order in which killing or sacrifice seem the only paths of resistance. While simultaneous with that is the exhortation to whites: belong through love, this is your unity. Behind the police. They stormtroop for you. Learn to love that.”