Daily Archives: June 28, 2013

From Sweden to Turkey: The uneven dynamics of the era of riots


Short text about the current dynamics of what we have called “the era of riots”. It was written before the events in Brazil. These events include the 4th of the dynamics in the “era of riots” and ask the question of the stage of the crisis we are in (Brazil and Turkey were the IMF miracles). But of course the analysis of this correlation is not elaborated in this text.


The social explosion in Turkey makes it imperative to examine more closely what is happening, what is being produced, what the new limits produced in the period we call the era of riots are and how these limits will be overcome. The combination of the events in Sweden and Turkey, their temporal encounter, confirms the existence of two dynamics of class struggle, which develop each with its own relative autonomy. We cannot overlook the fact that the anticipated encounter between these practices is not likely to be harmonious and that it will raise the issue of how two historically produced “subjects”, which in their current activity have no common horizon, relate to each other. The issue, however, from the perspective of the revolution, is how, on the basis of this anticipated encounter, the necessary overcoming of these subjects is produced, how their struggle is transformed into taking communist measures against capital, i.e. into a questioning of all social roles that constitute society, into communisation.


There is also a third dynamic: the revindicative movements for the wage that take place mainly in the periphery, which has been incorporated into an internationalised accumulation by historical neoliberalism, namely in China and Southeast Asia. The encounter of this dynamic with the other two is not evident yet. There is also a fourth dynamic which concerns the development of the contradictions in Latin American countries, which have managed to integrate resistance to neoliberalism into the state (Chile is a notable exception; the movement of the socially constructed category of “the youth” falls more under the dynamics of the riots). This fourth dynamic is currently even more independent, although it may become specifically relevant to us in Greece in the future. Below we discuss the first two of these four dynamics.


On the one hand we have the riots of the “excluded”; on the other, from 2011 on, there has been a succession of riots whose most important element, in terms of composition, is that the so-called “middle strata” are involved, and their “democratic” discourse is constitutive for the movements produced. The riots of the excluded appear in countries which are high in the capitalist hierarchy. On the other hand, the riots that are dominated by the democratic horizon, which is politically constitutive for the middle strata and formative for the movements of the “squares”, take place mainly in countries in the second zone and the so called “emerging economies”. The fact that a country which does not belong in these zones, Spain, is part of this grouping suggests that the crisis affirms the undermining of this stratification, which had already taken place over the course of this cycle of accumulation (from the crisis of the 70s up to about 2008). These dynamics have not yet come into play in the very core (USA-Germany). The Occupy Wall Street movement, although it gave its name to the second dynamic, only marginally fits in it: it was an activists’ movement (Blockupy in Germany was of the same sort), not a mass movement, such as the movements in Spain, Greece, or the “Arab Spring” and the current movement in Turkey.

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