In this article we focus on what stands between the logic of capital and the way the struggles ended. We analyze, that is, the very process of conflict, in order to understand its composition and its dynamics of subjectivation, to understand the genealogy of the present and the various possibilities which acted in it, and to think about wealth, limits, and unresolved problems.
In the debates of the contemporary left, interventions often start with a variation on a particular theme: “Socialists think that…” Sometimes it is, “Marxists believe that…” Sometimes, “Socialists understand that…” Whatever the wording, the point is the same.
At the height of the Reagan era, 1,000 mainly Mexicana workers waged a successful 18-month strike against Watsonville Canning and Frozen Food, the town’s oldest and largest plant. In the face of the most difficult odds imaginable, they foiled a company effort to decertify their union, forced the plant owner to sell his business to avoid bankruptcy, and then won a contract from the new owner after a five-day wildcat.
The most basic and costly error of the New Communist Movement was a failure to historically situate their political analysis and adapt their strategies to unforeseen developments.
Just after publishing his first book, Discrete Series (1934), the American modernist George Oppen abandoned poetry and joined the Communist Party
Pianist, composer, poet, philosopher Cecil Taylor turned sound outside in, gathering influences far and wide, reassembling them into the ever-changing grammars that defined his career and inspired others.
Elbaum wrote Revolution in the Air in 2001 to reclaim the lessons of the new communist movement for contemporary militants who, like their early sixties’ predecessors, became activists when the radical left was fragmented and weak. How relevant is this history and the lessons he draws for us now, in this new period of left upsurge?
This text is a theoretical intervention, which has been prompted by questions and discussions surrounding my book. It is an interweaving of meditations on the narration of history, ideology, and the question of liberation – themes that used to belong to one fabric, but which have been torn apart in most contemporary discourses on identity.
Those in search of theory to inform their political practice will find value in Newton’s treatment of the problems of race, nationalism, and internationalism, his speculations on the future of surplus populations and questions of class composition, and the role of information technology in future possibilities for struggle.
The logic of the thesis of intercommunalism is: imperialism leads to “reactionary intercommunalism” to “revolutionary intercommunalism” to pure communism and anarchy. Each of the concepts is in need of definition and redefinition.