A piece written shortly before the London riots, made far more relevant by them, and now with a small post-riot introduction.
2011 London Riots Introduction
In this essay written after the LA Riots of 1992, Jaime Semprun expresses a pessimistic view of the new "barbarians", the uncivilized youth who according to him have been economically marginalized by capitalism but also socially integrated by the spectacle of power and violence, and compares their social dislocation and nihilism with Hannah Arendt's characterization of the preconditions for the mass psychology of totalitarianism ("isolation and the absence of normal social relations").
Waiting for the Barbarians – Jaime Semprun
Popular media coverage often lays the blame for youth problems at the feet of parents. New report shows that contrary to received opinion, parents actually take greater interest in what their kids are up to now and monitor their activities more.
You know what it's like, you turn on a radio phone-in show or watch some soapbox commentator on TV talk about the rise of 'anti-social crime' or 'youths misbehaving' and you don't have to listen longer than two minutes before someone embarks on a hysterical rant with 'you gotta ask, where are the parents?' and starts whinging about the 'DeCl1Ne oF f@mILee VaLeWs!1!!!1!'.
Otto Rühle briefly looks at the focus on self-activity of various proletarian youth groups during the post-WWI revolutionary period in Germany.
Proletarian youth challenged the principle of authority for the first time in June 1919 when a number of young workers abandoned Free Socialist Youth in order not to oppose from within an authoritarian organization (which was an appendage of the parties) but to adopt a new position of their own.
The following collection of articles on Oaxacan radical movements between January and September 2008 was translated from a number of different sources and posted to libcom's forums. They provide a number of useful insights into the situation in the volatile Mexican region.
In 2006 the Mexican state of Oaxaca was embroiled in a conflict that lasted more than seven months and resulted in at least eighteen deaths and the temporary occupation of the capital city of Oaxaca by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO).
The minutes of a meeting of the organisationalist/class struggle tendency within the London Anarchist Youth group attempting to resuscitate the group, along a tighter class struggle perspective, during the decline of the Anarchist Youth Network.
Though those present no longer agree with all of the meetings conclusions, they are reproduced here for reference.
London Anarchist Youth
Minutes of meeting: 26.02.04
Present: 10 people
Feedback on history and perceived failures of the previous incarnation of LAY
Aims of LAY decided:
The shack dwellers of Civic Road near Parkwood, Cape Town, are angered that youth from the shacks are being subjected to repeated police harassment and arrests by the Grassy Park SAPS.
The Civic Road residents have joined the Zille Rain Heights residents in opposing the city council’s bid to forcibly remove them to Happy Valley, 40 kms away.