Johnny “Guitar” Watson was a fascinating contradiction: a man dressed like an icon of fame and wealth whose lyrics depict the struggle of working people trying to make ends meet in an era of looming economic destitution. Though he dons a funky getup, Watson’s bleak expression of working life under economic and social oppression derives from the long blues tradition dating back to slavery and the Reconstruction era.
In this interview with Amador Fernández-Savater, Diego Sztulwark discusses the Argentinian and international context of Maldonado’s disappearance, as well as its broader political implications.
What the past year has shown is that these workers in the “gig economy” have become visible. They are finding new ways to resist, continuing to meet and organize, and this can not be hidden behind the digital platform forever.
After years of scorn — and a few years of prurient interest following positive coverage in Vice — the fate of juggalos has become an important political issue. The Juggalo March seems exceedingly well-timed for an era of increasing radicalization and renewed interest in protest.
The pivotal struggle which must be waged in the ranks of the working class is consequently the open, unreserved battle against entrenched racism. The white worker must become conscious of the threads which bind him to a James Johnson, Black auto worker, member of UAW, and a political prisoner presently facing charges for the killings of two foremen and a job setter. The merciless proliferation of the power of monopoly capital may ultimately push him inexorably down the very same path of desperation. No potential victim of the fascist terror should be without the knowledge that the greatest menace to racism and fascism is unity!
The question we need to answer as revolutionaries attuned to everyday resistance, mutual aid, and self-activity is this: how does everyday resistance express the desires of those who are exploited and oppressed, dominated and controlled by capitalism and the state?
Social change is not made by noble heroes, even if they find themselves in the right place at the right time to take the credit. It is made by the commoners—by those who remain nameless and faceless in the legends, and in the political ideologies of Mark Lilla and Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Ayeb’s focus is the struggles of direct producers who work in agriculture in a natural world beset by the dislocations and mounting disorders of agro-industrial capitalist farming. Through interviews, he assembles an anecdotal yet accurate account of Tunisia’s rural productive system, a collage of testimony and analysis.