Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to Socialism or regression into Barbarism.
- Rosa Luxemburg, "Junius Pamphlet" 1916

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The fires spread.

London is in flames.

The latest spasm of civil collapse was precipitated by police violence; while the details remain confused, as they usually are when police kill people and then stuggle to control the PR nightmare, there is no doubt that Mark Duggan, a resident of the Tottenham neighborhood in London, was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop last Thursday. A community vigil and request for information the next evening was met with yawning indifference by police officials, who suddenly began to pay attention when a pair of police vehicles were torched.

Widespread portions of London proceeded to become warzones over the weekend.

While this particular clash in the world class war was precipitated by the death of a single individual (they frequently are), the violence in London, like the financial collapse in Greece or the Arab Spring, is a symptom of the global systemic collapse this blog devotes so much energy to noting and discussing. Like a violent weather event, we can debate the proximal causes of each of these convulsions, but the underlying pattern is clear: when people are desparate, hungry, and disenfranchised, they storm the fucking bastille. Imperial governments everywhere are being squeezed by the double-whammy of out-of-control financial manipulations and increasing shortages of energy and raw materials. I heard on NPR two days ago that Israel was recently racked by street protests motivated, not by anger over relocation of settlers from the West Bank, nor Iran's hopelessly wandering nuclear program, but by the outrageously high cost of living. Common folks everywhere are feeling the pressure.

Given the the US government just gutted pretty much any chance of aid for the millions of people struggling in this country when they passed the draconian debt ceiling bill, I don't think it will be long before those of us who are voiceless here will find a way to be heard.

"'You wouldn't be talking to me now if we didn't riot, would you?'"

1 comment:

  1. You are right. The great unraveling is indeed underway. Global, systemic collapse. Not decades in the future but now. All of us will increasingly be called upon to make choices in light of this reality.

    I spend a depressing amount of time talking to people in my life who still don't get the enormity of what's happening, or the moral imperative it creates. Which is to side with the have-nots rather than the haves.

    Reading your stuff always reminds me that there are people in my daily existence who get it.

    2012 is going to be very interesting, what with economic disintegration proceeding apace, the first impacts of the Obama austerity program being felt in everyday life, and the Republican nominating process giving voice to the most xenophobic and hateful elements in American life. Undoubtedly there will be weather and climate related disruptions as well. And maybe Israel will finally bomb Iran.

    We will not be bored.