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economic justice | political theory

Elaboration on Security, Austerity & Generalized Insurrection

In times of crisis, economic restructuring and political readjustment via austerity has an important relationship to both the content and form of policing and security mechanisms ... The end of austerity will come with the end of capital. This will necessitate a total social confrontation coupled with the complete undoing of capitalist relations. The antagonisms, confrontations and alliances to make this possible exist everywhere. Their coalescence will be insurrection generalized.
Full article here:
 http://surfcityrevolt.blogspot.com/2011/05/elaboration-on-security-and-austerity.html

Amidst the storm of the economic crisis, the state subsidies for the survival of the surplus workforce disappear and the result is the proliferation of informal labour and poverty. Proletarians have no other option but to work (mostly informally) in order to survive and at the same time, as a result of the crisis, they find it impossible to find a job or have an income that would cover the cost of the reproduction of their labor power. Proletarians demand their survival, so they demand the lowering of food prices, wage increases and jobs. Their demands desperately request from capitalists to save capitalism itself.

When demanding stable employment and "decent" wages, proletarians in fact say to capitalists: "you need us, without us there is no extraction of surplus value, there is no capital". Capital on the other hand responds that it cannot afford the survival of the proletariat, and makes it clear that a (significant) part of the latter is useless (in terms of value) and, most important, that the desired recovery does not include any re-integration of this over-abundant part of the proletariat; it follows that these proletarians structurally form a surplus population.

Historically, then, the wage demand is produced as both necessary and (structurally, not cyclically) a dead-end. The uprising of this surplus, and thus without future, proletariat is confronted with the clearest, the most cruel form of capitalist domination, the police. It is precisely the fact that the exit from the crisis, from the capitalist point of view, does not include this surplus proletarian population which makes the police the general form of current capitalism.

As the contradictions of capitalism continue to develop more and more of the population becomes excluded. This exclusion comes primarily in the form of unemployment and mass worker subsumption into precarious labor. For capitalism as an economic system to reproduce it's own relations in times of crisis it must restructure its self politically and economically. Considering capitalist social relations are predicated upon the inequality of the wage relation, property and class domination the structural consequences of crises are inherently acts of class war. These acts of war are attacks by capital upon marginalized and excluded populations, the employed and unemployed alike. The political and economic form of these crisis induced restructurings are privatization and austerity.

The most abstract definition of a crisis for the capitalist mode of production is that its reproduction is being threatened, that is to say the continued reproduction of the antagonist classes. It is on the concrete level, however, that we can see the crisis develop before our eyes: banks and companies that are threatened with bankruptcy and workers that are losing their jobs, are evicted from their homes or that are subjected to wage cuts, reduced pensions, poorer health care and so on.

The only mercy that the capitalist class can offer the proletarians of a country in crisis is some form of installment plan (a mortgage on future exploitation), or that they let the proletarians of another country pay a part of the bill.

Capital and the state apparatus necessitate policing and security mechanisms to enforce and reproduce their own social relations at all times. With the onslaught of crisis and austerity these mechanisms take on both new content and form. Even though policing is publicly funded, it has a special and reciprocal relationship to capital accumulation and surplus extraction. Austerity and crisis increase policing operations against excluded and subversive populations while simultaneously privatizing many functions of policing itself.

It is important to remember that along with the readjustment and diffusion of policing, crisis also produces other newly constituted political forces. There is now an emergent and organized reactionary populist neo-fascism in both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary forms. These forces must be resisted. As history has taught us capitalism and fascism go hand in hand, and there is no reason why the crisis cannot lead to new forms of fascism gaining power and popularity.

Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles people are relentlessly struggling against the onslaught of crisis and austerity. In The Middle East, Spain, Greece, England, Italy and across the world people continue to collectively confront austerity. These confrontations have forced the police to physically defend restructuring in the streets with the barrel of a gun. Resistance has put pressure on capital but unfortunately to actually undo the realities of austerity and crisis would take something more.

The end of austerity will come with the end of capital. This will necessitate a total social confrontation coupled with the complete undoing of capitalist relations. The antagonisms, confrontations and alliances to make this possible exist everywhere. Their coalescence will be insurrection generalized.