Miguel Amorós

When the barbarians invade the periphery: the commercialization and destruction of the Catalonian Pyrenees – Miguel Amorós

A 2018 diatribe against tourism, as an industry that is wrecking the natural environment and the social fabric of rural areas, and particularly as it has capitalized on the recent craze for “adventure sports”, which manifest the “primordial capitalist mentality”, “the taste for competition, for overcoming obstacles, for demonstrating endurance, for the cult of hard work, for risk-taking, for exhibitionism”, echoing Günther Anders’ reflections on this new kind of leisure that is exploited for profit and becomes just another variety of “work” for people who are plagued by neuroses generated in the claustrophobic cities and are incapable of the tranquil repose that our ancestors valued.

Anatomy of a scandal – Miguel Amorós

An account of the “Strasbourg Scandal” of 1966—widely recognized as a precursor to the greater scandal of May 1968—its background, its protagonists, the takeover of the local student union and the origins of the pamphlet, “The Poverty of Student Life…”, the role played by the members of the Situationist International in the affair, particularly Debord and Mustapha Khayati, the humiliating exclusion of the “Garnaultins” in January 1967, and the SI’s subsequent descent into an even more rigid and unapproachable sectarian existence until its dissolution in 1972.

The whole world is like a nowhere land called Alicante – Miguel Amorós

A brief, and idiosyncratic, social and economic history of the medium-sized Valencian city of Alicante since the Spanish Civil War, denouncing the negative impact of chaotic development, venal and corrupt politicians, unbridled consumerism, the role played by the automobile in social atomization, the destruction of old working class neighborhoods, real estate speculation, the cynical exploitation of local cultural traditions, the noxious effects of an economy based on tourism, the ruin of traditional agriculture, and the proliferation of hideous skyscrapers in a nauseating panorama of trivialization and degradation that is typical of so many other cities all over the world.

The pitfalls of the social economy – Miguel Amorós

The text of a 2017 presentation examining the significance of the “third sector” or “social economy”, the non-profit community development and assistance sector, its origins as a replacement for faltering government aid programs for excluded sectors of the population, its diversification and increasing economic impact on job creation, service provision and housing, its association with the “civil society” movement, its avoidance of conflict with state and private power and its reliance on parliamentary procedures and negotiations, its ideological smokescreens, and the rise of the “new commons” ideology as a delusional strategy for non-confrontational withdrawal from the system.

The veins of Latin America are more open than ever – Miguel Amorós

The text of a 2017 presentation on the key role of extractive industries in contemporary world capitalism, their effect on the “territory” and its inhabitants, the left-wing parties’ support for export-oriented capitalist development that devastates the rural areas of their countries in exchange for funds to finance social programs, the importance of the “new middle classes” in serving as mediators for the rule of multinational corporations in Latin America, the fraud of “civil society” movements and their promotion of “sustainable development”, and the crucial role of peasant and indigenous movements in complementing urban struggles for “self-governed life in common”.

Vanishing points in working class culture – Miguel Amorós

Notes for a 2015 presentation of a book about the “Incontrolados” and The Friends of Durruti, discussing the “cultural genocide of the proletariat” inflicted by capitalist development and its “eternal present”, the suppression of historical memory, the rise of consumer society and mass culture, and the need for a “non-doctrinaire re-appropriation of the past” in order to build a new culture of resistance.

The period of decline – Miguel Amorós

Notes for a presentation delivered in September 2017 at the Gijon Anarchist Book Fair on the social, psychological and moral aspects of the modern crisis of capitalism, and the proliferation of nihilism, mental illness and generalized irrationality, based on the works of Jaime Semprun, particularly his book, L'abîme se repeuple [The Abyss Repopulates Itself], first published in 1997.

Rock for beginners – Miguel Amorós

A condensed social and political history of rock music, from its historical roots in Afro-American rhythm and blues, to its appropriation by white artists during the 50s, its commercialization during the late 50s, its rebirth as a dissident cultural phenomenon during the 60s, its relation to youth counterculture, folk music and political dissent during the Vietnam War era, the role played by the big festivals and drugs, its decline as a creative movement during the early 70s as it was totally commercialized and turned into a commodity serving the escapist and conformist imperatives of the dominant system, and its final eclipse by monotonous “dance music” and vapid “entertainment”.

The Catalonian affair – Miguel Amorós

A December 2017 post-mortem on the Catalonian independence movement, its origins in the ruling classes of Catalonia, its social base among the middle classes, its goals, its tactical mistakes, its manipulation of the mass psychology of political and media catharsis, and most importantly, its tragic attraction for the pathetic remnants of the anarchist movement of the region, who flocked to the movement with the intention of furthering their identity and social issues, but only demonstrated their bankruptcy and decomposition with respect to their forebears who knew that nationalism was an enemy and fought it tooth and nail.

At the cutting edge of the French Disease – Miguel Amorós

A scathing critique of postmodernist philosophy (the “French disease”), discussing its academic origins after the defeat of the working class in the post-1968 period, its nefarious role as a policeman of culture and theory for capitalism (“a philosophy of legitimation”), its ideological mirror image of “the nihilism of the market economy”, its promotion of identity politics as a corollary of its obscurantist obsession with “difference”, its disastrous influence on the anarchist milieu, and its inevitable downfall because “the will to liberation in common is stronger than the narcissistic desire for individual success” and “ten minutes of pathetic virtual fame”.