On The Ide of October: Onto the Rough Seas

Today, as we gather here together, around this city, around this state, around this nation, and around this good Earth, we, the workers, the engineers, the scholars and doctors, we, the 99%, the masses, we stand together with more power and phenomena than any other time in history. Before any other being knows this, we must first understand this. Perhaps, for the first time in all of human history has there been a general strike as profound and pertinent as this one, where the wretched of the Earth have at last united as one and spoken, WE WILL NOT TAKE IT ANYMORE. We will no longer stand and merely spectate as our society falls into the proverbial dark ages. We will no longer sit back and watch as progress is bent and we degenerate into a state of neo-feudalism. We will no longer stand back in fear and obey as the oligarchs draw out their foolish grins and poison our minds with the opium of the masses, whether that be drugs, money, or any other ruiner of minds. For the first time in all of human history are we beginning to see the rise of a true working persons’ consciousness. For the first time in human history are we beginning to see the formations of a global working persons’ revolution. To these means, we will demand justice, of the economical, social, cultural, political, and psychological like none other demonstration in human history.

We have already seen what outstanding power we weld as a mass. It is possible to say, we have, in many ways, surprised even ourselves at our ability to organize and hold steady, even as so many of us have been harassed, arrested, and hurt by the enforcers of the state. This occupation is not some random action of a sporadic collective. No, we, the masses, the hard working citizens of the nation and the world have been cornered, for far too long and we do not deserve such treatment. Ergo, we say no. There is no need to put us against the wall for the wall is about to be broken very soon. There is no need to seek explanations for this crisis. We are the crisis. We did not wish to be the crisis. But you, you crooked men and women who pillaged and plundered from the common man, what had you expected as consequence other than a social upheaval. But sometimes for there to be justice, the song of crisis must flow through the atmosphere. Perhaps, it is only through crisis that we see the true nature of our own souls and the oversoul, and from it, the phoenix of change can spread it’s wings.

In the echoes of those not yet born, they will one day say, remember, remember, the ides of October. But for now, we must not become indolent and idle in our works and thoughts, for this is only the beginning of a major battle, of a war that has been raging on since the dawn of civilization. A war between the few who have primitively accumulated and the masses who have continued to starve. And for the first time in human history, we, the masses are beginning to see the light of victory. The tides are beginning to change. But the tides gravitate towards those who plunder and destroy for they hold a great wealth of power. But this is not natural. It is artificial and unreal. It is secured by bombs and bullets. But bombs and bullets can only penetrate so far into the soul and oversoul of humanity. What we must understand is that we, the masses, hold greater power than any plutocrat. Though as individuals, we may fear and tremble of those in power, together, we must realize we are not alone. We must understand that the sword of solidarity can cut through even the thickest twine of despair. We must understand we have nothing to lose but our chains. That we have a world to win.

There is much to learn from the past. While not propagated much by our rather ignorant and nationalistic media, the 10th of October this year marked the hundredth anniversary of the victorious struggle the people of China took to overthrow the careless and corrupt dynastic rule. The millions of peasants who rose up to challenge the dynastic rule – a power that was said to be ordained by the heavens – were scoffed as nothing more than a public nuisance. But little did the empress of China know, within the period of the next ten years, the power that had lasted for thousands of years would come tumbling down and the people of China would take power. There is much to learn if we listen to the ghost of struggles past. They are there to guide. They are there to help us. But, it is us who must reign the spears of social peace and economic justice, and who must carry on go forward.

We are often told by the powers that be that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. But just take a look around you. Time to wake up. We realize we do not live in the best of possible worlds – far from it. In fact, it is more than safe to say we exist in the worst of all possible worlds. And if that may be the case, there is infinite room for improvement of the human condition. And while the powers that be, the media lords, the senators and congressmen, CEOs and our so called leaders have simply rambled on about the greatness, comfort, and excess of our world, we, the 99% have taken a course of concrete action: a peaceful course of occupations that instill fear into those who still hold onto the belief that we are living in the best of all possible worlds. We have not just spoken, but acted to change our world to the path of our will. As a great intellectual once spoke, we have interpreted the world in many ways, but the true point is to change it. Could it be possible that we are that change?

Our occupation around the globe is one that not only challenges the confounds of power determined space and time, but one that seeks to exceed the limits of our current modes of thought. We are seeking to change things that no other human civilization dared to change. We are seeking new ways of living. We are seeking to form and continually reform a new zeitgeist – one that will make us, humans, do great things our ancestors could not have dared to imagine. But, it is also here, at the end of the so called first stage of our global occupation that we stand at the crossroads. Our declarations have been spoken. Our will has been put out onto the bare streets. It is fact that we will continue to march on, regardless of the circumstance. Even if our leaders dare to declare a war tomorrow, we will not falter. We will stand together. Hear this, citizens of the globe. We, the workers. We the scholars of the world, we have no statehood to hold our allegiances too. We have no motherland to tell our stories too. No one is there to comfort us and hold us up when we fall to the ground time and time again. We knocked and the door to true democracy remained shut. The promise of a fair and equal house is at the foundations of democracy. Given our circumstances, we become cynical – we ask: Could it be possible that that house of democracy had never truly existed? Could it be true that freedom is nothing more than a tale told by the powerful? No, we will refuse to believe such lies. We refuse to believe that freedom is a myth. For the first time in history, we steadfastly declare and hold self evident our freedoms too, and our freedoms from. As long as our occupations stand, the powers-that-be will continue to shake whilst under the guise of dismissal. As long as our occupations stand, we have a hold steady onto a freedom that rightly belongs to all of us, not a just a fraction of a percentage. But the beauteous – and perhaps most horrendous – thing about freedom is that we are free to choose. As we understand presently, our occupations now hold more autonomy that even the initial so labeled agitators would have imagined a few weeks ago. But this is both wonderful as it is frightening. Will we continue with unseen creativity and imagination, or will we regress into a state of physical violence? Will we proceed in peace and progress, or will we recede into aggression and poisoning economism. Will we reinvent the wheel of pain and suffering and repeat the power structures we sought to extinguish? Or will we make something different, something we have never seen before? We are free to choose.

The powers that be have a right to be in fear and trembling. For far too long have they spoken of their entitlement to happiness, all the while stealing from the common person to fuel their profits and parties. They take the wealth from the working person to feed into the continual redevelopment and benefit of their own class – a fraction that does no true work. Let them know this then, that they are also entitled to their crisis. They are also entitled to their suffering. Let them shiver in fright as they encounter our peaceful but unshakable occupations. They call us mobs and “being used” to enforce the culture of fear that which they know so well to do. The reality is far different. We tell them this – we have achieved a level of international class consciousness at a level like never before, whether they are ready or not. We will not stop. We can only go forward. We are a new force they have never seen. Our radical and global embrace for the common person brings us closer together, physically and spiritually, in an aura of unity that will strengthen the weak and bring light where there is darkness. Beauty can not be restricted to the confounds of a social system, We are beautiful. We seek to make a social system unseen before, to make a new model of equality and freedom. So, when they ask to speak to the leaders of our occupations let them know this: There are no leaders here. We are all leaders here.

Dire times call for dire actions. But still, there are those who ask us, why are you here? How long do you plan on staying here? When will you be satisfied? If the blatant facts of global social and economic injustice do not stand as clearly as they do, then let us answer with this. We can never be satisfied so long as we are robbed of our prosperity. We can never be satisfied as long as we are broken of our dignity. We can never be satisfied so long as we are stripped of our identities. We can never be satisfied as long as we must fear for our privacy and our personal securities. We will remain here until those that created the crisis are put to justice. We will remain here until America and her sister so called democracies can be held to their words. We will remain here until corporations be stripped to their true form. We will remain here until a greater level of transparency is put forth in our government. We will remain here until our rights are upheld and protected. We will remain here until those that need to be fed are fed, and those who need a bed too sleep in will be able to attain one with ease as the American, the democratic dream so promises each and everyone of us. We are here because we are here. We are here because we unwaveringly believe in the American dream. We are here because we believe we are the chosen ones who will turn Democratic dream into a reality once and for all. We are here because we believe that while the forces of globalization are teleological, we can alter it so that peace and prosperity can be more equally dispersed, not only because it is a scientific thing to do, but because it is the ethical and moral thing to do. We are here because America has destroyed the prospects of fair and equal access to education. We are here because America has broken the promise to provide decent health care to all its citizens. We are here because we refuse to tow party lines. We are here because we no longer want to be the pawns of profit. We are here because we no longer will passively participate as chess pieces for a war that has nothing to do with us. We will no longer be played as the gambling chips for the capitalists’ game of austerity. Let it sound from mountaintop to mountaintop, that in our current time and space, there is no true war but class war. Some of us have endured time in cramped jail cells. Some of us have been led on by false promises and cruel means of physical and psychological exploitation. Some of us have fought for ten years in a war we still have no true idea why we are in. There are some that say our fate is brought upon us by God, that we can only accept our fate. To that let us say this, blame the gods for the weather. Blame the gods for bad harvest. Curse the gods for sickness. But condemn our governments which still place profit over all – in spite of mass starvation, mass inequality, mass pain and mass suffering. We are here in good faith. Perhaps the best of faith. We are here because the leaders who we put our faith into have returned the bargain with the baddest of faith. To every moment of our suffering, there is a cost. This time, the debt is on them. We have no one reason to occupy. We have an infinite reason to occupy. We owe nothing. We request nothing. We demand everything.

So to the old and young, and those of foreign tongue, are you ready to fight? Really? Ready?

Are we ready to take back what is rightfully our? Our material things? Our voice and air waves? Our self hoods? Our freedoms and equalities? Truly ready?

Are we ready to end the cycle of colossal injustices that leaves us in social, economic, cultural, and spiritual desperation? Truly ready? To separate not just the church and the state, but the corporate and the state?

Are we ready to join hands and link arms with our fellow commoners from the ends of the Earth and commit to marching the long road towards righteousness, peace, and freedom? To keep on keeping on when our legs feel like stone and our eyes become dreary, teary, or dry? Really ready?

Are we ready to cast away all our fears and disagreements, of the constructions of skin color, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, and unite as one to fight the forces of oppression?

Are we really ready to earnestly dive into deep discussion regarding our current state of affairs as human beings, to seek freedom with utmost wisdom, to debate about the human condition?

Are we ready to seriously sit down and acquire about social theory and credibly critique our social system? To break the -ists and -isms? To break the cycles of exploitation? To transcend space and time?

Are we ready to take peaceful but forceful action to break and remake a system and redefine the possibilities of social organization? To make a society that will change from each according to their wealth to each according to their needs. To challenge the shackles of suffering and break the bonds of pain.

Are we ready to make sure this movement continues for as long as it must, to make our marks in time, to redefine the lines and ultimately wipe away the lines of establishment?

Ready or not, we must continue our marches and our occupations until permanent change occurs, not just in our nation and for now, but in every nation for the worker’s struggle is the same across borderlines and color lines for eternity. We can not allow our urgency to break down and become entangled with the web of gradualism. Because ready or not, the powers that be do not care about our hopes and our fears. Because ready or not, the powers that be want this movement dead. Because ready or not, the powers that be will come in and try to tear us apart. More than anything else the powers that be want our movement to fade with history, to waste away with time. But we can not allow that to happen. We are too big to fail. For if we break, they will win their stronghold of oppression. We must go forward, break boundaries, and seek new ways of cohabitation. We must listen, watch, and care for each other. We must sing to those who have not heard and show to those who have not yet seen. And as our movement grows, we must watch out for wolves in sheep clothing. We must be on guard for those who will incite hatred, violence, and division within our sacred connection of unity. We must be wary of the counterrevolutionaries who will inevitably rise to our force.

What has this movement done? It has instilled faith into the middle class across the nations. It has shown that the dream of universal prosperity and dignity still rings from village, to townships, to cities around the world. It has shown that the promise of freedom and equality is not dead, and that we as a mass have a voice and can act together to alter even the strongest of fate. Prophecies be damned! The magnificent militancy that has immersed the global middle class must not lead us to the distrust and resentment of all of those who weld conventional political, economical, and social power. For they too are one of us, human, all too human. They too realize that their own very destinies are inexplicably entangled with our destinies. They too realize that their freedoms are tied with our freedoms. That their equalities weigh no less or greater than our call to equality. At this point in time, we no longer walk alone. We must realize this, embrace this, and empower all the workers of the world. We must not break, for there is no one there to bail us out. We must keep the torch of liberty safe from harm as one day we must pass it from our generation to the next, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. We must continually question ourselves, our neighbors, and our leaders what freedom means, for none is more hopelessly enslaved that those who falsely believe they are free. We must not only use our freedom of speech, but utilize our freedom of thought. We must persist when the going gets tough as the struggle will soon become. Like a ship sailing into the rough seas, we must be ready to endure any and all hardships, for our revolution is only beginning.

The 99 Theory

open source file: The 99 Theory – Translated by Il Nhoj

original translation: TCM1848 – by Xram Lrak

 

The 99% – The Theme and Theory –

(Copyleft) Translated By Il Nhoj. Original Work by Xram Lrak

 

A ghost is haunting the Earth — the ghost of The 99%. All the powers of the world have entered into a holy alliance to stop and destroy this ghost: Pope and Presidents, IMF and WTO, Tea Party and the Department of Homeland Security.

Who has had the power to truly decry the 99%’s voices and occupations? Where are the opponents who fear of The 99%?
Two things result from this fact:

I. The 99% is already acknowledged by all the world powers to be itself a power.

II. It is high time that the 99% should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Ghost of The 99% with a manifesto of the party itself.

To this end, The 99% of various nationalities have assembled in Wall Street and around the globe and are sketching a working manifesto, to be published in every language known to human beings.

 

Part I: The 1% and The 99%

The history of human civilization(2) is the history of The 99% and it’s ongoing struggle with the 1%

Free men and slaves, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, bankers(3) and rank-and-file workers, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, the 1% and the 99% stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.

The modern monetary society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, and new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

Our epoch, the epoch of the 1%, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other —the 1% and the 99%.

From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the 1% were developed.

The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising 1%. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.

The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle class; division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop.

Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturer no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern 1%.

Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the 1%  developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.

We see, therefore, how the modern 1% is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.

Each step in the development of the 1% was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the medieval commune(4): here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany); there taxable “third estate” of the monarchy (as in France); afterwards, in the period of manufacturing proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, cornerstone of the great monarchies in general, the 1% has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole 1%.

The 1%, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.

The 1%, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The 1% has stripped of its halo every occupation previously honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage workers.

The 1% has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.

The 1% has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.

The 1% cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the monetary epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the 1% over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.

The 1% has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.

The 1%, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the monetary mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become monetary themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

The 1% has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of monetary, the East on the West.

The 1% keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff.

The 1%, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground — what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?

We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the 1% built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.

Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the monetary class.

A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern monetary society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the monetary and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire monetary society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of monetary property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of monetary society, endanger the existence of monetary property. The conditions of monetary society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the 1% get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

The weapons with which the 1% felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the 1% itself.

But not only has the 1% forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the 99%.

In proportion as the 1%, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the 99%, the modern working class, developed — a class of workerss, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These workerss, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.

Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labour, the work of the 99% has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of machinery, etc.

Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of workerss, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the monetary class, and of the monetary State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual monetary manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.

The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.

No sooner is the exploitation of the workers by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the 1%, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.

The lower strata of the middle class — the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants — all these sink gradually into the 99%, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus the 99% is recruited from all classes of the population.

The 99% goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle with the 1%. At first the contest is carried on by individual workerss, then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the operative of one trade, in one locality, against the individual monetary who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the monetary conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages.

At this stage, the workerss still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the 1%, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole 99% in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the 99% do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial monetary, the petty monetary. Thus, the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the 1%; every victory so obtained is a victory for the 1%.

But with the development of industry, the 99% not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the 99% are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the monetary, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual monetary take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon, the workers begin to form combinations (Trades’ Unions) against the monetary; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest breaks out into riots.

Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry, and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern 99%, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.

This organisation of the 99% into a class, and, consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the 1% itself. Thus, the ten-hours’ bill in England was carried.

Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further, in many ways, the course of development of the 99%. The 1% finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the 1% itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all time with the 1% of foreign countries. In all these battles, it sees itself compelled to appeal to the 99%, to ask for help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. The 1% itself, therefore, supplies the 99% with its own elements of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the 99% with weapons for fighting the 1%.

Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling class are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the 99%, or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the 99% with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress.

Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the progress of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the 1%, so now a portion of the 1% goes over to the 99%, and in particular, a portion of the monetary ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole.

Of all the classes that stand face to face with the 1% today, the 99% alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the 99% is its special and essential product.

The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the 1%, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in view of their impending transfer into the 99%; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the 99%.

The “dangerous class”, [the 99%] the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a 99% revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.

In the condition of the 99%, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The 99% is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the monetary family relations; modern industry labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many monetary prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many monetary interests.

All the preceding classes that got the upper hand sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The 99% cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property.

All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The 99% movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority. The 99%, the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air.

Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the 99% with the 1% is at first a national struggle. The 99% of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own 1%.

In depicting the most general phases of the development of the 99%, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the 1% lays the foundation for the sway of the 99%.

Previously, every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty monetary, under the yoke of the feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a monetary. The modern workers, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the 1% is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this 1%, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.

The essential conditions for the existence and for the sway of the monetary class is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the workerss. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the 1%, replaces the isolation of the workerss, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Technology, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the 1% produces and appropriates products. What the 1% therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the 99% are equally inevitable.

Part II: The 99% and The True Revolutionary Thinker

In what relation do the Revolutionary Thinkers stand to the The 99% as a whole?

The Revolutionary Thinkers do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.

They have no interests separate and apart from those of the 99% as a whole.

They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould The 99% movement.

The Revolutionary Thinkers are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of The 99% of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire 99%, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the The 1% has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.

The Revolutionary Thinkers, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the 99% the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of The 99% movement.

The immediate aim of the Revolutionary Thinkers is the same as that of all other worker’s parties: formation of the 99% into a class, overthrow of the 1%’s supremacy, conquest of political power by the 99%.

The theoretical conclusions of the Revolutionary Thinkers are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.

They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of True Revolutionaries.

All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.

The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of 1%’s property.

The distinguishing feature of True Revolutionaries is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of 1%’s property. But modern 1%’s private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

In this sense, the theory of the Revolutionary Thinkers may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

We Revolutionary Thinkers have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.

Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the 1%’s form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.

Or do you mean the modern 1%’s private property?

But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism.

To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion.

Capital is therefore not only personal; it is a social power.

When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class character.

Let us now take wage-labour.

The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it.

In 1%’s society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the labourer.

In 1%’s society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past. In 1%’s society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.

And the abolition of this state of things is called by the 1%’s, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of 1%’s individuality, 1%’s independence, and 1%’s freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.

By freedom is meant, under the present 1%’s conditions of production, free trade, free selling and buying.

But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talk about free selling and buying, and all the other “brave words” of our 1%’s about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with restricted selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling, of the 1%’s conditions of production, and of the The 1% itself.

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.

From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into 1%’s property, into capital, from that moment, you say, individuality vanishes.

You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the 1%’s, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.

True Revolutionaries deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriations.

It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property, all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.

According to this, 1%’s society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.

All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the 1%’s, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture.

That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine.

But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of 1%’s property, the standard of your 1%’s notions of freedom, culture, law, &c. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your 1%’s production and 1%’s property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.

The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property – historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production – this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own 1%’s form of property.

Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Revolutionary Thinkers.

On what foundation is the present family, the 1%’s family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the The 1%. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the The 99%, and in public prostitution.

The 1%’s family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.

Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.

But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, &c.? The Revolutionary Thinkers have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

The 1%’s clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the The 99% are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.

But you Revolutionary Thinkers would introduce community of women, screams the The 1% in chorus.

The 1%’s sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.

He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our 1%’s at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Revolutionary Thinkers. The Revolutionary Thinkers have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.

Our 1%’s, not content with having wives and daughters of their The 99% at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.

1%’s marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Revolutionary Thinkers might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

The Revolutionary Thinkers are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.

The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the 99% must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the 1%’s sense of the word.

National differences and antagonism between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the The 1%, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto.

The supremacy of the 99% will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the 99%.

In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another will also be put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.

The charges against True Revolutionaries made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.

Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.

When people speak of the ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express that fact that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary The 1%. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.

“Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.”

“There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But True Revolutionaries abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.

But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms.

The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.

But let us have done with the 1%’s objections to True Revolutionaries.

We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the 99% to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.

The 99% will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the The 1%, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the 99% organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.

Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of 1%’s production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.

These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.

Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable for the time being:

1.    End Corporate Personhood – Constitutional Amendment

2.    Financial Transactions Tax – Congressional Approval

3.    The Buffet Rule – Congressional Approval

4.    Campaign Contributions Reform (caps on donation and spending)

5.    Investigate and Prosecute Wall Street Exacutives responsible for 2008 Financial Collapse

6.    Close the Revolving Door Between Regulatory Agencies and Big Business

7.    Limit the Influence of Lobbyists

8.    Restore Glass-Steagall (investment banking regulations)

9.    Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the 99% during its contest with the The 1% is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.

In place of the old 1%’s society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

Part III: The Ultimatum of the 99%

1.     The 99% will not simply be a reformist force. It has potential to be the purest revolutionary force of all humanity.

2.     We, the 99%, are on the eve of changing the world in unprecedented ways.  Our descendants will one day make the myth that we were the enders to pain and suffering, if they can remember what pain and suffering is.

3.     We, the 99% support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order that enslaves and dehumanizes us.

The 99% will no longer hide their views and aims. We will openly declare that our ends can be attained and only by the peaceful and forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the 1%  tremble at a revolution of the 99%.  We, the 99% have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win.

 

LONG LIVE THE 99%

 

 

 

explosions in the sky – look up

March 2-5, 2011 – UC Berkeley, CA

The sporadic explosions of activism at UC Berkeley (as well as other CA campuses and other campuses around the US) in the past few days can be described best as consciously  genuine and definitively valid breaches towards a system that has far proved its futility as a university. Though it has been in the collective consciousness and spoken regard of recent Berkeley zeitgeist that there remains no persisting and solemn sentiment regarding the negative changes of the university from the students and staff, in the seven hours that Wheeler was steadily held as a place of pure embodiment of collective spirit, we all heard and saw that there is still a voice and a will for change. There exists a silent majority – and as it is now blatantly apparent, they are simply waiting for opportune moments to express their voices. And they did. So what? What point does that prove? A whole lot as it turn out.

The movement is very much alive. In fact, it has been alive all along. It was just the case that many of us had somehow forgotten. However, this should not come as too surprising. It is easy to forget that there exists a collective will for change, when the structure numbs the mind as the structure so regularly and easily does in the rather Orwellian setting such as the UC. The paradox here is actually quite humorous. The actual development of knowledge at a university such as the UC and its spiritual counterparts is more or less a vicarious statement. The university today remains less so an industry of knowledge as much as it thrives as an industry that fuels the supergiant neo-liberal economy which pervades into every available space it possibly can to maintain exploitation. This supergiant is struggling to stay alive. It fears for the decimation of its very existence. It is on the razor edge of its ultimate teleological demise. It is like the feral animal that has become tangled by vegetation, violently wielding its limbs to break the vines that has wrapped around its neck, but only to pull tighter and tighter until it asphyxiates and dies. The metaphor was clearly embodied by the two recent Wheeler occupations. The system so fears of questioning and evenhandedness that it viciously lashes out. The university prepared batons, biological warfare, and steel barricades against a peaceful crowd of demonstrators. They university needed to concoct yet another artificial reason for the student body to vouch for the dissolution of the protest – that the raw praxis is a health concern, echoing the Burawoy’s lecture on Foucault’s medical discipline. The display of the university’s bad faith here is appalling. The demands of the occupiers were more than concise and straightforward; they were laughingly undemanding relative to size, resources, and abilities of the UC system and the administrators’ wallets:

  1. That all student conduct charges against participants in previous demonstrators be dropped.
  2. That they be given a meeting with Berkeley’s chancellor.
  3. That two students, and one union worker, elected by a general assembly are added to the university’s “Operational Excellence” committee.
  4. That they themselves face no criminal or student conduct charges.

A decisive moment occurred at the end of March, the third. We won. Yes it is a puny victory, but a victory nonetheless. It is a measly crack in a reinforced dam – but in a structure rather anxiously aware of impending demise. What does this mean for the rest of us? It means that we need no longer hold back and wait for spares of change to occur. While it may be forever indeterminable whether we are completely free and away from determinism in this universe, this small much is relatively concrete and clear: that the movement towards affordable public and possibly even free education is feasibly within our means. And yes, our fears are legitimate, but understand that our fears are continually shared by a collective whole. Where our ship of solidarity may go is uncertain in the stormy white-capped seas of social and economic confusion. Who knows where we will arrive after the storm? Wherever and whenever the solutions may arise in the near future, it is vital now that we maintain an open and dynamic dialogue within student and staff activists and between the administration. And as we have now seen, it might just be the case that the dialogues will emerge from places such as the fourth floor balcony of lecture halls…

Best vibes and good hopes to the folks in Wisconsin. Wisconsin folks, if you are reading this, please write back your communique!

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