This article seeks to demonstrate that defending "identities", "nations", "ethnic zones", "communities", "countries", "autarchies", "autonomous territories" or "self-managed areas” is the same as claim the establishment of new private properties and, consequently, new capitals and new states. The article also addresses the issue of the irruption of the world human community which suppresses private property worldwide.
“The Observatory of Economic Complexity” website allows us to get a sense of how our conditions of existence - that is, the material conditions of our lives, from medicines, food, to smartphones - are interconnected and interdependent on a global scale. The website makes it evident that the idea of domestic, communitarian, municipal or national self-sufficiency is a total fantasy, because the conditions of our existence, even at the current level (which is much better than it was in the past, despite poverty is still for the majority), presuppose everywhere the combination of materials and products from numerous cities, countries, continents…
This simple evidence makes it clear that defending “identities”, “nations”, “ethnic zones”, “communities”, “countries”, “autarkies”, “autonomous territories” or “self-managed areas” is the same as claiming the establishment of new private properties and, consequently, new capitals and new states. Here’s why:
1) in order to survive, each of these “autarchies” will have to acquire the materials and products which it is deprived of;
2) because it is deprived of these materials and products (indeed, it is a private property), it will need to buy them;
3) but in order to buy them, it is necessary to sell – to sell something (exchange, no matter if it is through barter, money etc.);
4) selling stuff requires finding buyers, that is to say, competing in the market for “success”, which is nothing else than knocking out competitors in order to achieve maximum monopoly;
5) in order to compete in the market it is necessary to impose, within private property, a duration and intensity of work at least as brutal as the competitors (generally competitors with a much greater degree of automation of production), so that their products have a competitive price and/or quality;
6) the imposition of such a duration and intensity of work requires a hierarchy, to apply punishments and rewards to the workers so that these “goals” are reached by them. That is to say, they will be obliged to recreate in practice something that has the exact function of a capitalist, due to the need to survive and not to fail (even if this function of capitalist is a “freely chosen” commission in assemblies and self-management);
7) and if the “autarchic” private property has finally “succeeded” – by monopolizing the market – the duration and intensity of work may even be relaxed within this property, because competition pressure is over. However, this merely means that it is a parasite sustained by the work of the other proletarians of the world, who are forced to work for it (directly or indirectly), which is the only way to buy these products monopolized by it.
Conclusion: all this shows that an internationalist (anti-nationalist and anti-communitarianist) perspective is indispensable. Asserting our freedom and autonomy is fighting for expand the human capacities of thinking, desiring and acting – never fighting for reduce or limit them.
The products, luxuries, technologies and facilities which the bourgeoisie usually attributes to “capitalism”, “market”, “state”, “property”, and “their hard labor” are actually fruits of human capacities, of our capacities, of humanity. By abolishing private property of our universally (on a planetary scale) interconnected and interdependent conditions of existence, by overcoming the exchange and the economy, we will transform this interconnection into practical conditions (means of production) universally and freely accessible to anyone in the world who wants to satisfy by himself (or along with whoever else he wants) his inclinations, desires, projects, needs, thoughts, passions. Genuine freedom and autonomy presuppose communism, that is to say, the end of private property and the establishment of genuine property, which is the common human property, by freely associated individuals, of the universally accessible material conditions of their free self-realization, satisfaction, enjoyment and expression, the world human community.
For this purpose, it is useful to study these global interdependencies and interconnections: how are things produced, stored and transported around the world today? and the informational flow that coordinates all this? For example, the supply chains. It is also useful to know and to update the works that were deep in this perspective: for example, the utopias of Joseph Déjacque (The Humanisphere), Alexander Bogdanov (Red Star), Constant Nieuwenhuys (New Babylon), the works of Jean Barrot (Gilles Dauvé), Piotr Kropotkin, of the Situationist International, the studies of the autonomists (workers’ autonomy), etc.
humanaesfera, July 2015
(Translated to English by humanaesfera from the original article in Portuguese: Condições de existência universalmente interconectadas/interdependentes. Proofreading: Třídní Válka)
- Eclipse and Re-emergence of the Communist Movement (1972) - Jean Barrot e François Martin
- Human Activity Against Labour (1982) - GCI-ICG
- Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism (1929) - Alexander Berkman
- Le Humanisphère (1857) - Joseph Déjacque
- New Babylon (1959-74) - Constant Nieuwenhuys
- A world without money: communism (1975-76) - Les Amis de 4 Millions de Jeunes Travailleurs
- Questionnaire (1964) - Situationist International
- The reproduction of daily life (1969) - Fredy Perlman
- Lip and the self-managed counter-revolution (1973) - Négation
- The Network of Struggles in Italy (1970s) - Romano Alquati
-Kropotkin: Textos Escolhidos - org.: Mauricio Tragtenberg
-Grundrisse, German Ideology (Feuerbach) and Comments on James Mill, Karl Marx