American Autumn

Brigades!

Unemployed youth of Europe, look around! What do you have to lose?
Unemployed youth of Europe, look around! What do you have to lose?

John Kolesidis / Reuters

Audio version read by George Atherton – Right-click to download

In 1936, the whole of Europe was confronted by one, extremely threatening enemy: totalitarian fascism.

Many countries were already lost, and more were destined to succumb. Italy had already been under the fascist heel for more than a decade, Portugal for exactly ten years, Germany had been conquered by the Nazis just three years before and countries like Britain were heavily flirting with the possibility of shifting towards similar types of regimes.

In that year, general Francisco Franco launched his attack against the Spanish Republic, quickly gaining the support of Italy and Germany and threatening to impose fascism on yet another European country. Although European civil society was facing the same enemy on numerous fronts, the choice of Spain as the ultimate battlefield became immediately apparent. Having identified one specific battle as the heart of a broader struggle, thousands of anti-fascist militants, who were powerless in their own countries, joined forces and traveled to Spain. On the wave of the Communist International, they named their joint effort the International Brigades.

The example of the Spanish Civil War is a reminder that, in certain historical moments, it is necessary to identify one shared battlefield, in which radical forces from all countries converge. Where could today’s anti-austerity, anti-capitalist, anti-totalitarian International Brigades focus their forces?

Some might say Greece, the first EU country to officially join the New Third World. Already equipped with hundreds of anarchist groups, countless social movements and organizations, Greece is certainly a good candidate for the place where all our struggles could converge. Others might say Italy, where a corrupt, plutocratic government is finally crumbling under the weight of the economic crisis, while student and migrant riots are growing by the day. Italy too has a strong, historic tradition of resistance struggle, together with a widespread anarchist culture, especially in the southern regions.

To this list, I would like to add the United Kingdom: the laboratory for tomorrow’s post-crisis Europe. The UK is a pacified, normalized, First-World country and I suggest we focus our energies here because if the totalitarian capitalist project succeeds in Britain, the rest of Europe will have a “functioning” model to follow. A defeat in the UK would be an extremely dangerous step towards a general defeat across the whole continent. For this reason, I believe that just like Spain in the 1930s, the United Kingdom should become the destination for the New International Brigades.

How can we imagine International Brigades to function today? I believe that rather than armed conflict, the practice of struggle today is that of “prefigurative politics,” in the sense of an immediate implementation of models of life that are already utopian. Partly because of the Schengen Agreement for free circulation within the EU and the availability of cheap transport, it is now possible to imagine internal migrations on a scale that were once inconceivable. Any young, unemployed person in any European country could quickly and cheaply move to the UK for an indefinite period of time. We could flood the UK with masses of radicals with little to lose and “a world to win.”

Considering that youth unemployment rates in most European countries are around 20%, the numbers we are talking about are truly astonishing. Once in the UK, this wave of political migrants – aka New International Brigades – could gather around countless local projects in every area of the country from the suburbs of London to Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton. Social centers would spring up in most cities and of a strong network of cooperation would be laid across the whole island. Furthermore, the encounter of like-minded activists for an extended period of time – well over the short-termed experiences of anti-summit contestations – would spark new strategies of struggle and life, the mixing of concepts, practices and solutions and the creation of a truly grassroots alternative to the current structures of economic and social life.

Unemployed youth of Europe, look around! What do you have to lose? A miserable life? Frustration? Powerlessness? Submission? We, the people of the United Kingdom, migrants and subjects of the Crown, need your help today! Come in the thousands and flood this land! Let us, together, experience liberated lives. We shall take them by surprise!

As Sun Tzu once said, “appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.”

Federico Campagna was born in the Italian Alps and is currently pursuing an MA in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University. A version of this tactical blast was originally published at th-rough.eu

140 comments on the article “Brigades!”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 140

Page 3 of 14

Anonymous

No that is not real democracy, that is Socialism. Real democracy is the freedom to make the most of what you can of yourself and however you can do it, and no limit on how much you can make of yourself. Real democracy does not restrict what a person can do or say, and unfortunately means you simpleminded, college-uneducated morons have the right to protest. Real democracy does not "share" the wealth as you say - that's socialism, that's marxism, that's fascism once it's enforced. WAKE UP! Turn away from your corrupt university professors teaching this garbage.

Go back home, go to work, go to school or whatever and learn. Most of you aren't even old enough to understand or realize that those who are teaching and instructing you in your perverse ways. Better yet, spend a period of service in the military or Peace Corp to see what REALLY happens in the REAL world.

Anonymous

No that is not real democracy, that is Socialism. Real democracy is the freedom to make the most of what you can of yourself and however you can do it, and no limit on how much you can make of yourself. Real democracy does not restrict what a person can do or say, and unfortunately means you simpleminded, college-uneducated morons have the right to protest. Real democracy does not "share" the wealth as you say - that's socialism, that's marxism, that's fascism once it's enforced. WAKE UP! Turn away from your corrupt university professors teaching this garbage.

Go back home, go to work, go to school or whatever and learn. Most of you aren't even old enough to understand or realize that those who are teaching and instructing you in your perverse ways. Better yet, spend a period of service in the military or Peace Corp to see what REALLY happens in the REAL world.

Anonymous

democrasy: 1 person 1 wote

kapitalism: 1 dollar 1 vote

something doesn't fit.

feel free to think about it.

Anonymous

democrasy: 1 person 1 wote

kapitalism: 1 dollar 1 vote

something doesn't fit.

feel free to think about it.

Anonymous

I do agree to some extent that the game is rigged, Personally if capitalism moved away from corporations and back to a small business model, I think we'd be way better off. Dont think thats doable, though.... the corporate cat is out of the bag.

Anonymous

I do agree to some extent that the game is rigged, Personally if capitalism moved away from corporations and back to a small business model, I think we'd be way better off. Dont think thats doable, though.... the corporate cat is out of the bag.

Anonymous

It's not about it being impossible to achieve something. Is it possible for everyone? Was the competition reasonably fair?

Stalin was a power hungry leader finding new ways to extend state power. Hitler was Hitler. Stop grouping socialism with a strictly statist perspective.

There is more power in cooperation and collective activity than without. There is more power with equal power relations among equally powerful people.

Large divisionary and inefficent bureaucracies which funnel money to the top are the result of USA "capitalism". Many of these bureaucracies are owned by the state and never cease expansion. The IRS creating an increasingly complex tax code while increasing examinations and audits is one result, the FBI creating a neverending war on drugs to justify its own endless expansion is another. We have civil forefiture laws. The state can and does reposess property legally on a regular basis, the basis is often what the government determines to be socially harmful behavior. In essence this is the power to redirect assets they labeled as "misappropriated". Companies like GE operate on subsidies and pay no taxes even though they are profitable without doing so.

Even part of Steve Jobs success relied on a military devopment, as PC's would not be ubiquitious without the DOD inventing ARPA net. Besides that Apple would have been dead long ago if it hadn't been for contracts with the dept of education in the 90s that implemented them in almost every school. So how rich would he really be without government funded projects?

The ideals of the founders are dead my friend, in fact all ideals are. In order for this more productive society, the leaders have decided certain things actions must be taken on behalf of society. Society is now a systematic process not an ideal so give up your dillusions. Do the 1 in 5 American children below the poverty line not deserve an equal opportunity and investment? Where is our middle class? The rich have diverted the system into a glorified gambeling ring where they get blown 24-7. Sure Steve Jobs made it huge by revolutionalizing the gui on computers, but who invented the algorithmic high frequency trading that has lead to record swings in the market and contributed to our crashing economy? They're todays self made men and no doubt richer than he was. Point being there is more to be made off economic instability than stability, thus some form of social contract must be implemented to ensure that actual productive creativity be rewarded rather than subversion.

Anonymous

It's not about it being impossible to achieve something. Is it possible for everyone? Was the competition reasonably fair?

Stalin was a power hungry leader finding new ways to extend state power. Hitler was Hitler. Stop grouping socialism with a strictly statist perspective.

There is more power in cooperation and collective activity than without. There is more power with equal power relations among equally powerful people.

Large divisionary and inefficent bureaucracies which funnel money to the top are the result of USA "capitalism". Many of these bureaucracies are owned by the state and never cease expansion. The IRS creating an increasingly complex tax code while increasing examinations and audits is one result, the FBI creating a neverending war on drugs to justify its own endless expansion is another. We have civil forefiture laws. The state can and does reposess property legally on a regular basis, the basis is often what the government determines to be socially harmful behavior. In essence this is the power to redirect assets they labeled as "misappropriated". Companies like GE operate on subsidies and pay no taxes even though they are profitable without doing so.

Even part of Steve Jobs success relied on a military devopment, as PC's would not be ubiquitious without the DOD inventing ARPA net. Besides that Apple would have been dead long ago if it hadn't been for contracts with the dept of education in the 90s that implemented them in almost every school. So how rich would he really be without government funded projects?

The ideals of the founders are dead my friend, in fact all ideals are. In order for this more productive society, the leaders have decided certain things actions must be taken on behalf of society. Society is now a systematic process not an ideal so give up your dillusions. Do the 1 in 5 American children below the poverty line not deserve an equal opportunity and investment? Where is our middle class? The rich have diverted the system into a glorified gambeling ring where they get blown 24-7. Sure Steve Jobs made it huge by revolutionalizing the gui on computers, but who invented the algorithmic high frequency trading that has lead to record swings in the market and contributed to our crashing economy? They're todays self made men and no doubt richer than he was. Point being there is more to be made off economic instability than stability, thus some form of social contract must be implemented to ensure that actual productive creativity be rewarded rather than subversion.

Anonymous

Steve Jobs? The guy who make the products it sells to the price of gold in plants that look like prisons, Foxconn in China for example? Great achievement, you are right!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3YFGixp9Jw
http://vimeo.com/17558439

Anonymous

Steve Jobs? The guy who make the products it sells to the price of gold in plants that look like prisons, Foxconn in China for example? Great achievement, you are right!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3YFGixp9Jw
http://vimeo.com/17558439

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