so far so good…?

man falling

The title is a reference to the quote in the movie La Haine (1995) : “Heard about the guy who fell off a skyscraper? On his way down past each floor, he kept saying to reassure himself: “So far so good…So far so good…”. How you fall doesn’t matter. It’s how you land!”. (Tn.)

 August 2016

Translated by me from  the French version here. Followed by a pertinent comment from the Anarchist News version.

 

“10 years ago, in the same kind of meeting as today, if you’d said « white » [1], people would have broken the furniture. Today, thanks to the Indigenous of the Republic, thanks to Houria [2] one can say « the whites ».” – Eric Hazan [3]

 

Unfortunately we are still unable to prove wrong what Eric Hazan has said above. He is the publisher, classified as extreme left, of the latest explicitly anti-semitic pamphlet by Houria Bouteldja “Whites, Jews and us”, whose enormously repulsive character has not caused as many reactions as it would deserve. The categories and vocabulary of the ideology of racialisation, which for some time has been taken up in political organizations and milieus that range from the extreme left to the libertarians, are now becoming the norm and are establishing their hegemony. This vocabulary is being imposed insidiously, without being either discussed or argued. Moreover, many people are unable to politically support these untenable positions, except through affirming tautological assertions and false evidence. A semantic shift is already, for the most part, being operated : the terms “race”, “white”, “non-white”, “racialized,” “racialization”, “decolonial” have overnight become analytical categories considered relevant, necessary, and are even promoted as tools with a perspective for emancipation, whereas we see this as a catastrophic failure.

We live in an epoch of generalized crisis conducive to confusion, which thrives in counter-revolutionary currents, currents which are threatening or even murderous like the red-fascists, such as racist shopkeepers like [Alain] Soral and Dieudonné [M’bala M’bala] or variants of political Islam. So some find nothing better to do than to resurrect race theory by rehabilitating cultural, social and religious attributes in line with the ethno-differentialism of the Nouvelle Droite [4]. The turnaround has gone to the point that the mere questioning of the ideology of racialisation has become impossible, both in public meetings and on the websites of activist circles, who operate a real censorship in these places. All this thrives and takes hold particularly by using the blackmail of guilt through which the proponents of this ideology manipulate the situation. Ironically, today, to refuse the terms of “Race” or “Islamophobia [5]” gets you exposed to the infamous accusation of racism, aimed at stifling any possibility of debate, of critique or of refusal. Some anarchists manage to outlaw the slogan “neither God nor master” under the pretext of “Islamophobia” and some Marxists believe that to be antiracist it is vital to add “race” to class. In fact the term “race”, which was until recently the preserve of the far right, finds itself today added to all sauces. Promoting identities and cultural or religious communitarianism have never had any other function than the maintenance of social peace.

The task of a break around these issues must be clarified and worked at thoughtfully. There´s good reason to believe that, in the current situation, racialisation ideology can only lead to the war of all against all. This political offensive is fraught with consequences for everybody, and from a revolutionary point of view it’s a point of rupture. Where will we be if, after a bit of time, it should prove victorious ? Sooner or later we will have to choose sides and the sooner the better.

Summer 2016,
Assembly of mixed revolutionaries, non-mixed in class

tuttovabene@riseup.net
https://tuttovabene.noblogs.org

We call for this text to be circulated as widely as necessary, and it can be used to stimulate discussion, debate and confrontation.

Footnotes

[1In France, up until a few years ago, any discourse containing the word “race” or any assumption about people based on the color of their skin would have been deemed as racist, extreme right politics. A certain part of the extreme left has embraced all the concepts related to “race”, originating from American Universities. Organised non-mixed „racial“ groups are now a common thing. (Tn.)

[2Houria Bouteldja is the leader of the PIR (Indigenous of the Republic Party) who is constantly in the media and the writer of the anti-semitic pamphlet “Whites, Jews and us”. She declares herself against mixed marriages and against “state philo-semitism”, a supposedly republican state ideology dominated by or pushed for by Jews. (Tn.)

[3Eric Hazan is a famous French editor who advocates alliances with the police during social struggles. Close to the “Invisible Committee”, he is now a fierce defender of “racialisation” and of Houria Bouteldja whose book “Whites, Jews and us” he edited. (Tn.)

[4The “New Right” is a school of thought following Alain de Benoist and the GRECE (Research and Study Group on European Civilization). Nouvelle Droite arguments can be found in the rhetoric of many major radical right and far-right parties in Europe such as the National Front in France, the Freedom Party in Austria and Vlaams Belang in Flanders (Belgium). (Tn.)

[5A term that was recently exhumed by religious leaders to defend their religion, with the trick of being able to assimilate any critics of Islam as a religion to racism. Affirming atheism is presumed to be a racist threat to people who are defined as Muslim, people who are of many colours and types. This term is now proliferating amongst a certain part of the extreme left, even marxists or anarchists. (Tn.)

A pertinent comment from here:

It’s the inevitable result of the rise of multi-culturalism within capitalism.

Where capitalism once used racism to keep people from uniting against it, it now uses multi-culturalism to harvest the most productivity out of its human resources, disregarding old distinctions of otherness it once used to control populations because it can no longer afford to disregard any potential productivity increases.

It just turned the dynamic of otherness on its head —  when we should all be trying to destroy it instead.

 

2 Responses to so far so good…?
  1. On October 28th 2016 a discussion about this text and the tendency it critiques was held in Marseille in a bookshop-come-library used for a very eclectic set of debates etc., meetings ranging from Leninist to everything to the left of them.

    Just before the discussion was to take place about 25 “racialisers” came in, threw 60 or so copies of a small leaflet and chanted in unison “Our race exists,” “This debate will not take place”, “No you do not refer to history”, ” We do not care about your opinion, “” Watch your privileges, “” We’re staying, we exist”, “Negationist “. This was repeated non-stop, clearly rehearsed, for over 5 minutes. Those wanting to discuss waited patiently, slightly bemused by the show until the almost inevitable fight broke out. The first to be hit amongst those who’d come to discuss this text was, ironically, an Arab guy; the racialisers also sprayed 2 women, in the eyes and mouth, with pepper spray and tear gas, chairs were thrown, texts chucked over and torn, and – again ironically – a guy who was on crutches because of being hit by a cop grenade in a demo against racist fascists had a table thrown onto his foot. As they left they smashed a window and continued fighting outside until they were forced to disperse.

    An interesting discussion followed after the place had been cleared up as much as possible, the window having been blocked with cardboard.

    Many of them had clearly been manipulated into thinking that the organisers of the meeting denied the existence of racism, and clearly were so into their gang mentality that they were utterly opposed to the slightest reason – a totally fascistic-Stalinist mentality indicative of the intensified insanity of our times, and completely unprecedented within this milieu.

    The leaflet they distributed attributed all sorts of positions that those who’d initiated the discussion have never held. Here is a rough translation:

    “ANTI-RACIALISERS STAY and PROTECT YOUR HOME!

    Anti-racialisers – you will never be able to speak, we will never listen to you because:

    Capitalism is based on looting, slavery and colonialism.
    “The abolition of slavery” and “decolonisation” haven’t at all demolished structural racism and its repercussions.
    The privileges of western imperialist countries exist at an international level.
    We refuse your reactionary eurocentric vision of the class struggle.
    Just pop out of your comfortable intimate scene to see the reality in the streets of Marseille.
    We refuse your chasing after the oppressed and your inability to recognise your privileges as little white middle class leftists.
    We won’t waste our time with negationists.
    We will sabotage all your initiatives.

    We demand our self-determination, our emancipation, our liberation by ourselves and for ourselves. We have no need for your approval as to the terms we use to define who we are, what we are, and for what we are struggling.

    To sum up – we shit on you, you gang of racist reactionary negationist neo-colonials…Finally you’re going to have to recognise: You are only the arm, armed with your keyboards, of the secular republic that we spew upon”

  2. Coolyman says:

    In terms of skin tone, race has it’s basis in class due to the fact that the first working class (in Mesopotamia) were “black” because they toiled under the burning sun whilst the appropriating class grew “white” intentionally as a means of separating themselves from their social inferiors and by happenstance because they avoided the sunlight because they avoided toil in the fields.

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