Potential delinquents can rest assured that as long as they keep quiet they will in most cases be allowed to survive. Capitalism has become sufficiently concentrated and interlinked with the state to distribute ‘welfare’ to the poorest.
What we’re really demanding is not to survive but to live. We have nothing of our own. Our status comes from rebellion against the entrenched capitalist system.
We laugh at the use of the word democracy in western cultures. This is a false talisman. Only fifty per cent of a population bothers to vote, the majority of whom are bourgeois.
Their rule is described as ‘popular government’ or ‘democracy’. An élite skillfully uses propaganda and symbols to manufacture consent.
Capitalist countries have no ‘democracy in general’. All that exists is bourgeois democracy. The most democratic bourgeois society is no more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie.
Bourgeois democracy is a cover for brutal exploitation and oppression, a facade to conceal the dictatorship of the bourgeois ruling class.
The rabble are anger and rioting. We have a hatred of work and deep resentment towards the privileged.
We see ourselves as the exploited layer of society. We rebel against the ‘civility’ of bourgeois culture. We hate the social ideology that keeps us in our place.
What ARM demands is freedom from alienation. This means the total subversion of society. It’s increasingly evident that delinquents are forced to use insurrection as a means to the end.
Adapted by Ed Strong from The Situationist International Anthology (Revised and Expanded Edition, 2006). No copyright.
Capitalism divides and conquers by creating constant conflict. Since the world of the commodity is based on class conflict, the commodity itself is hierarchical.
The necessity for the commodity to be both universal and hierarchical leads to a global class system that privileges the bourgeoisie.
The commodity is constantly extending its domain and creating new forms of hierarchy. It may pit labor leader against worker or distinguish two car-owners with artificially different models.
This is the original flaw in commodity rationality, the sickness of bourgeois reason. One which has been inherited by the bureaucratic class, handed down by middle-management clones.
But the repulsive absurdity of certain hierarchies, and the fact that the entire commodity world is directed blindly and automatically to their protection, leads people to discover that every hierarchy is absurd.
The rational world produced by the Industrial Revolution has liberated individuals from their local and national limitations and linked them on a global scale.
But it irrationally separates them once again, in accordance with a hidden logic that finds its expression in commodified ideas and grotesque values.
Estranged from their own world, people are everywhere surrounded by strangers. The barbarians are no longer at the ends of the earth, they are among the general population.
They have become so by their forced participation in the worldwide system of hierarchical consumption.
The veneer of humanism that camouflages all this is inhuman, the negation of human activities and desires. It’s the humanism of the commodity, the solicitous care of the parasitical commodity for its human host.