lunes, 1 de octubre de 2012

From 25S to 26S: The Bond Spread as Life Insurance

[This is a translation of a text posted last night by John Brown, on the new round of mobilisations in Spain, this time directed at the Spanish parliament. Translation courtesy of RMc. Many thanks. Published in Irish Left Review

26S. Second day of mobilisation after 25S. Today people gathered once again at Neptuno, as close as possible to Congress. There were no police baton charges. A number of infiltrators were neutralised effectively. People are still partially cutting off the flow of cars, cutting off the flow of commodities. They are also protesting against austerity and even more against the regime that imposes it, which is increasingly identified with its own immediate past: Francoism. This is something more than 15M, a 15M that has embarked on the path of deposing the regime, of the definitive erosion of its legitimacy. The first response from the regime has typically Hobbesian: first of all, it insists on its representative legitimacy (the Parliament as the Seat of Popular Sovereignty), but it quickly returns to the mythic origin of representation, presenting itself as the Great Protector of the population…confronted with itself. The Spanish government tried yesterday to renew the Mafia deal of ‘obedience in exchange for protection’ which, according to Hobbes, sums up the pact on which sovereignty is based. It did so by blatantly spreading chaos, violence, and even panic through the streets of Madrid, amid scenes that would not be out of place in those films in which extraterrestrials clad in exoskeletons try to rule the earth and indiscriminately attack the earthlings who flee in fear. It matters little whether yesterday’s violence resulted from police infiltrators or the margins of the movement: the tension had already been prepared with the barriers, the 1500 androids and the threats and insults from the different caverns across all the right-wing, including El País and the PSOE.

(Photo via Periódico Diagonal)

Despite all this, the degree of dignity and outrage among the population could be gauged yesterday in the peaceful –or rather energetic- resistance to highly unwarranted baton charges. The terror that the Spanish regime has generated in its subjects since the 18th of July 1936 is quickly dissipating. For more than a year, through the growing outrage at the widespread pillage suffered by the majority of the population, the outrage, the hate produced, according to Spinoza, by evil done to one’s peer, is proving stronger than fear. This also corresponds to the fact that the new post-Fordist forms of labour are less receptive to terror. To terrorise a cognitive, communicative, affective and social worker such as today’s worker is to openly destroy productive forces, to destroy a fixed capital that today is inseparable from living labour. That is why the threat of a coup d’état is not credible. Not even a systematic cut in internet communications is possible. A coup d’état was a disciplinary solution that was useful for the Fordist bourgeoisie; under post-Fordism we no longer see coups d’etat, but rather progressively more paranoid attempts at control and surveillance of the population. Maintaining communications flows and networks of co-operation, but monitoring them very closely. The shape of freedom must be kept intact in order for the new figure of the worker to produce.

(Photo via Periódico Diagonal)

Today, the 26th of September, people have come out onto the streets once again. Asserting that they are not afraid. As if their intuition told them that terror no longer works as a method of government. Already this morning we could see how the bond spread of the Spanish State had gone up more than 30 points. Resistance makes the bond spread go up. The bond spread indicates the way the financial markets are highly sensitive to the repressive destruction of the productivity of the new forms of labour. The impoverishment to which neoliberal neo-Francoism is subjecting the Spanish population is reflected in that spread, as is resistance to the rulers. There is resistance to the rulers when they are unable to establish with workers, with the population as a whole, a shared convention about the appropriation and sharing of value. Finance capital does not desire for populations to be reduced to ruin: it says so when this happens. It prefers, by far, to exploit its wealth. As with every form of power, the domination of finance capital is a relation, which entails a constant mediation and negotiation by the rulers with the population. The transaction entailed by private indebtedness and financial rent stopped working when the crisis broke. For this very reason, the rulers seek to impose exploitation through force, but, as we can see, this does not work either, since it produces ruin and poverty. Opening up in front of us is the material base of a new period marked by a new material constitution and a new political form.

The bond spread is today the life insurance policy of the population in revolt. The regime founded atop mass graves never had any scruples about killing during demonstrations that were aimed against it. It did so with particular brutality in the 1970s when it imposed its new avatar, the young democracy, through fear, blood and the capitulation of the mainstream left. However, from 15M until now there have been no deaths. For those who lived through the 70s it is surprising –pleasantly so- to see. This is not the result of higher moral standards, or a greater degree of civilisation on the part of this criminal regime, but rather, as pointed out before, of the fear that unrest should be reflected in the bond spread or in the rating from credit rating agencies. Today we are not afraid, because we can no longer be governed with fear. The productive multitude –Durutti knew this but today it is clearer than ever for us- is what makes the world, without it there can be no wealth, nor that mystified form of wealth that is capital. Every power is faced with a resistance, since it is a relation: capital too.

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