Breaking the Waves Interview

INTERVIEW

 

A radio interview on feminism, anarchism and building a movement

Romina Akemi of Black Rose/Rosa Negra is interviewed by “Free Flow” on KCHUNG Radio broadcasting from Chinatown, Los Angeles discussing “Breaking the Waves: Challenging the Liberal Tendency within Anarchist Feminism” written by Romina and Bree Busk for the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS).

The interview covers many of the topics of the article and beyond: experiences of what a working class feminism would look like in practice, discussing the uses and destructiveness of call out culture, the cult of the individual that exists in the US and how this effects our movements, the idea of making revolutionary politics relevant to every day people, the relationship and practice of feminism within anarchism and discussion on the recent election and victory of Trump.

“What’s causing a lot of people anxiety is the anxiety of not knowing what exactly will be in play [under a Trump presidency] and how this will pan out economically or with social rights. I think this is the point where we can decide, an important juncture, are we going to organize to defend the little stuff that we have now against attack – or can we use it, can this be a political opening to create an offensive?”

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Marxism & Class Struggle

“We need to be reminded why Marxism ascribes a determinative primacy to class struggle. It is not because class is the only form of oppression or even the most frequent, consistent, or violent source of social conflict, but rather because its terrain is the social organization of production which creates the material conditions of existence itself. The first principle of historical materialism is not class or class struggle, but the organization of material life and social reproduction. Class enters the picture when access to the conditions of existence and to the means of appropriation are organized in class ways, that is, when some people are systematically compelled by differential access to the means of production or appropriation to transfer surplus labour to others.”

History or Technological Determinism? by Ellen Meiksins Wood

Imperialism

The problem in the tendency to ascribe “imperialist” status only to the few most powerful nation states is that it applies a national frame of reference to a global, and crucially, class based phenomenon.

To quote Marx in the manifesto, chapter one:

The modern state is merely the executive committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.

The whole bourgeoisie – because the bourgeoisie is an international class. Borders are for us, not them. They go where they like, they get educated wherever they like, they invest wherever they like, they employ people wherever they want, they own land and property wherever they damn well choose. There is no self contained capital, the containment is just for the people who generate it with their labour. The fact of bourgeois internationalism is more true now than it has ever been – yes there are wars between nations and individual fractions of the bourgeois class may root for one side or another, but as any capitalist will tell you – competition is good for capitalism… from a global, class based perspective the international bourgeoisie win every war and the working class lose them all. Capitalism is a totality, and the imperialism which defines this epoch of capitalism is also a totality. Imbuing imperialism with a specific nationality and looking at it from the perspective of individual “national” capitals instead of global capital is a mystification which obscures it’s nature as a global social formation borne out of the capitalist mode of production, a mode of production which has been international in scope from its earliest stages of development.

Luxemburg and Lenin

In reality Rosa Luxemburg’s relationship with Vladimir Lenin as a person was comradely, she considered them both to be on the same side, and she respected him. Her most critical text, The Russian Revolution, is also full of praise for Bolshevism…She wrote Lenin a short but good natured letter while she was writing it…  but her harshest criticisms were sustained and implacable, particularly with respect to the national question and the authoritarian, anti-democratic nature of Bolshevik policy. She didn’t take it back, and I doubt her opinions would have softened given the way her dire warnings in that text all came true.