Kevin Keating, Small Efforts To Contribute To Working Class Resistance In Today's United States

Small Efforts To Contribute To Working Class Resistance In Today's United States Kevin Keating Since the early 1990's, actions in the San Francisco Bay Area around mass transit, described here, the initial impetus behind this, efforts to disseminate this among US military personnel, and the anti-gentrification Mission Yuppie Eradication Project have been part of an ongoing effort to establish a new kind of anti-state/anti-market, autonomous class struggle praxis among mainstream working people in the contemporary United States. 1. These efforts take place "on the terrain of everyday life" of the wage-earning class, where we confront what market relations do to our lives, and where the market system's antagonism to human needs gives rise to the possibility of an organized, conscious, mass collective response. These efforts have not been directed towards the left-liberal protest ghetto, or toward academic, anarchist or self-styled Marxist subcultures. 2. Mass collective class struggle includes the fight against the boss in the workplace, but is not limited to the workplace. 3. The methods used to help create a new politics of working class resistance to capital and it's political apparatus have to be qualitatively different from the politics of the left. In all its statist, populist and directly democratic flavors the left is simply the left-wing of capital. 4. Authentic enemies of capitalism in the 21st century cannot use strategies, tactics or communication methods used by pro-wage labor leftists in the 20th century. 5. The armed forces are themselves vulnerable to social forces at work in the larger society that spawns them. Revolt in civilian society bleeds through the apparent hermetic separation of the military from mainstream civilian life into the ranks of enlisted people. The relationship between officers and enlisted people mirrors the relationship between bosses and employees, and similar dynamics of class conflict emerge in the military and civilian versions of the workplace. 6. With the virtual disappearance of the conventional left, and the accelerating decline of the United States as a world power, the way is now open for the creation of a new type of autonomous working class oppositional praxis. We can borrow from the best insights of authentic revolutionary working class tendencies in the past. We can use these insights as a point of departure, but not as an end-point. Anarcho-syndicalism and council communism were both useful in their day. That day has passed. Everything has to be recreated fom scratch. Efforts like the ones around mass transit described in the articles above have a much greater future subversive potential than the Mission District anti-gentrification efforts of the late 1990's. They have the potential to directly involve a larger number of working people over an entire urban area, and under the right circumstances these actions can also have a "bleed-through" effect, spreading resistance in other areas of contemporary life. What's being examined here is mostly a method of communication. These methods can be a template for similar anti-state/anti-capitalist proletarian actions elsewhere, including but not limited to fights around housing, social space and against austerity measures targeting employees and passengers of mass transit systems. Kevin Keating San Francisco January 2011