The Carnivalesque Rebellion Issue

Crack Capitalism

Is there a way out of the apparently unstoppable advance of capital?
Crack Capitalism
Pakistani flood victim Mohammed Nawaz hangs onto a moving
raft waiting to be rescued. (Paula Bronstein, Getty Images)

We are all in a room with four walls, a floor, a ceiling and no windows or door. The room is furnished and some of us are sitting comfortably, others most definitely are not. The walls are advancing inwards gradually, sometimes slower, sometimes faster, making us all more uncomfortable, advancing all the time, threatening to crush us all to death.

There are discussions within the room, but they are mostly about how to arrange the furniture. People do not seem to see the walls advancing. From time to time there are elections about how to place the furniture. These elections are not unimportant: They make some people more comfortable, others less so; they may even affect the speed at which the walls are moving, but they do nothing to stop their relentless advance.

As the walls grow closer, people react in different ways. Some refuse absolutely to see the advance of the walls, shutting themselves tightly into a world of Disney and defending with determination the chairs they are sitting on. Some see and denounce the movement of the walls, build a party with a radical program and look forward to a day in the future when there will be no walls. Others – and I among them – run to the walls and try desperately to find cracks, or faults beneath the surface, or to create cracks by banging on the walls. This looking for and creation of cracks is a practical-theoretical activity, a throwing ourselves against the walls and also a standing back to try and see cracks or faults in the surface. The two activities are complementary: Theory makes little sense unless it is understood as part of the desperate effort to find a way out, to create cracks that defy the apparently unstoppable advance of capital, of the walls that are pushing us to our destruction.


Is the advance of capital unstoppable? Can we create cracks? Leave your comments for what we (and everyone) could do during this November’s Carnivalesque Rebellion November 22–28.



John Holloway is the author of Change the World Without Taking Power, a book about the Zapatista movement. His most recent book is Crack Capitalism, Pluto Press.

78 comments on the article “Crack Capitalism”

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Canadian Tired

In other words: What would Ned Ludd do?....

What most in the room fail to see is that there is a big ON/OFF switch on one of the walls...it is quite visible for all to see..right under it, one can read in bold letters: ADVANCING WALL MECHANISM / DO NOT TOUCH..........

What does the switch stand for? - No,it's not McDonald's.....The answer is - and there is some beauty in the fact that there is pretty much one answer - : OIL. Oil is making the walls advance. ( by the way, if I keep writing on this forum from time to time, people will quickly realize that I'm a one trick pony: I basically think "oil" is the answer to everything..."What is the square root of 1364?" - Oil? ;) - The global oil complex must be targeted...to be sure: oil fields and platforms...I'm not talking about sending clowned-up carnivalesque rebellers infront of some Big Oil head office..That is not where things are at today.

The steps are pretty clear in my mind:

- Have a critical mass realize that there are actually walls;
- Have a critical mass realize the walls are advancing rapidly; -we have 1 and 2 I think...
- Have them see and truly understand there is a switch;
- Have them act upon that knowledge, as opposed to writing about it till the cows come...
extinct!

I think the key is to viscerally understand the nature of the bind we're in; once that is done, there is no turning back and one cannot spend too much time writing and blogging and texting and reading about: one puts wheels in motion.

Canadian Tired

In other words: What would Ned Ludd do?....

What most in the room fail to see is that there is a big ON/OFF switch on one of the walls...it is quite visible for all to see..right under it, one can read in bold letters: ADVANCING WALL MECHANISM / DO NOT TOUCH..........

What does the switch stand for? - No,it's not McDonald's.....The answer is - and there is some beauty in the fact that there is pretty much one answer - : OIL. Oil is making the walls advance. ( by the way, if I keep writing on this forum from time to time, people will quickly realize that I'm a one trick pony: I basically think "oil" is the answer to everything..."What is the square root of 1364?" - Oil? ;) - The global oil complex must be targeted...to be sure: oil fields and platforms...I'm not talking about sending clowned-up carnivalesque rebellers infront of some Big Oil head office..That is not where things are at today.

The steps are pretty clear in my mind:

- Have a critical mass realize that there are actually walls;
- Have a critical mass realize the walls are advancing rapidly; -we have 1 and 2 I think...
- Have them see and truly understand there is a switch;
- Have them act upon that knowledge, as opposed to writing about it till the cows come...
extinct!

I think the key is to viscerally understand the nature of the bind we're in; once that is done, there is no turning back and one cannot spend too much time writing and blogging and texting and reading about: one puts wheels in motion.

hamo_bu

Good luck feeding 6 billion people without Oil.

Problem with Oil, is that it is too good. In fact, it is stupid to simply burn oil for energy. Oil is needed for exotic materials (from plastic bag to artificial heart valve), for medicines, for fertilizer, etc.

Toyota Corolla gets 30 miles per gallon. Try pushing Toyota Corolla for 30 miles, and all of a sudden gas will seem very cheap.

hamo_bu

Good luck feeding 6 billion people without Oil.

Problem with Oil, is that it is too good. In fact, it is stupid to simply burn oil for energy. Oil is needed for exotic materials (from plastic bag to artificial heart valve), for medicines, for fertilizer, etc.

Toyota Corolla gets 30 miles per gallon. Try pushing Toyota Corolla for 30 miles, and all of a sudden gas will seem very cheap.

Canadian Tired

"Good luck feeding 6 billion people without oil" -Hamo_bu

Well, the thing is, we're not feeding 6 billion even today with plenty of oil on hand...Now, without oil - or much less of it anyways and MUCH more expensive - no amount of luck could prevent a population crash from roughly 6 billion now to around a billion come 2050. As I have said on another thread, Peak oil = peak food = peak people..it's as simple as that, barring the discovery in the shortest order of a new form of energy as versatile as oil - as far as I'm concerned, 1975 to 1985 was the last chance to a) find something revolutionary, and b) have the time to implement it with a sufficient amount of oil to do it. -
we're screwed. And oil is not the only problem we're facing, obviously.
It is high time more people connect the dots and draw the conclusions that impose themselves.

Canadian Tired

"Good luck feeding 6 billion people without oil" -Hamo_bu

Well, the thing is, we're not feeding 6 billion even today with plenty of oil on hand...Now, without oil - or much less of it anyways and MUCH more expensive - no amount of luck could prevent a population crash from roughly 6 billion now to around a billion come 2050. As I have said on another thread, Peak oil = peak food = peak people..it's as simple as that, barring the discovery in the shortest order of a new form of energy as versatile as oil - as far as I'm concerned, 1975 to 1985 was the last chance to a) find something revolutionary, and b) have the time to implement it with a sufficient amount of oil to do it. -
we're screwed. And oil is not the only problem we're facing, obviously.
It is high time more people connect the dots and draw the conclusions that impose themselves.

Anonymous

the answer is always to be found in history. find the bookshelves, dust off the Constitution and Bill of Rights and find that our problems today had answers to them hundreds of years ago...

Anonymous

the answer is always to be found in history. find the bookshelves, dust off the Constitution and Bill of Rights and find that our problems today had answers to them hundreds of years ago...

Anonymous

why cant the youth of today create as they see fit instead of relying on old bullshit written long ago by men long dead.

Anonymous

why cant the youth of today create as they see fit instead of relying on old bullshit written long ago by men long dead.

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