Rob whinges:

>Whilst I obviously tend to Simon's general point of view (although I'm
>closer to Hugh on the finance/'productive capital' question) - and I do
>find it strange to be considered 'pb' when we own nothing, 'parasites' when
>we ask nothing, 'offering blueprints' when that is precisely what we know
>we can not do, 'exploiting defeat' when it is all we hold dear that is
>being defeated, and 'patronising' for believing in the potency of
>democratic activism - I'd've thought we had better things to talk about.
>Like the democratic activism going on in and regarding Seattle.
>That consumate poll-watching politician par excellence, Clinton, is
>actually opting to walk the thin high wire on this one - and the attempts
>to ridicule the protesters are waning because this is too big, right across
>the spectrum - and that little distinction between what is human and what
>is market is pressing itself on people's attention around the world - and
>third-worlders are feeling sufficiently cocky to talk about power gaps in
>globalist paradise - and people are asking loudly how does the
>socio-economic system we have address the gaps it immanently produces - and
>our suits are coming to learn no-one is swallowing their tripe any more -
>and unionists, students, anarchists, greenies and Marxists are getting used
>to the feel of each others' shoulders again - and they're learning that the
>great democracy's answer to popular expression comes from the barrels of
>guns - but they're also tasting popular potency for the first time in a
>generation.  All this in the belly of the beast, too!
>Geez, that wouldabeen nice to talk about, eh?
>Obviously not.

What Rob is describing in Seattle is what Bob M and me have been describing
in Sweden, and what me and Bob and Dave have been going on about for years
now. It's called an upsurge, and we have been very explicit about it as
being an expression of a worldwide tendency (mind you Dave thought it was
all a bit exceptional in a "reactionary" period, but that was then, maybe),
perhaps clearest in relation to Albania, the Congo and the Oz wharfies'

So who's not talking about what?

I'll be putting up Marx's views on Free Trade and Protectionism from 1847
soon, again, for the umpteenth time, too, so we can all see that Free Trade
and Protectionism are not at all where it's at for the working class --
they're purely bourgeois concerns and always have been. We have other fish
to fry.

And I think it's weird that Rob "generally" agrees with Simon on
unspecified issues, while he agrees (tends to agree) with me on the
fundamental scientific issue of the character of the bourgeoisie and its
relation to the productive forces of society at the present time, surely
one of the most important matters in the class struggle -- like, know your
enemy...  I mean, it does sound as if Rob regards the imperialist
bourgeoisie as his enemy too, doesn't it?

Perhaps we should ask Rob to give us his definition of an enemy, him being
a sociologist and all, after a cold one on the porch of an evening has
subdued the fevered heat of yet another Oz summer's day...

As for the belly of the beast, consider this: imperialism as a beast has
contained vast and increasingly agitated amounts of gases (popular
frustration, resentment, protest and not infrequently rebellion) over the
past twenty-five years or more (let's say Nixon and Kissinger gave the
starting signal, and Reagan and Thatcher carried the ball for them). Its
repressive policies and austerity policies and
strangulation-of-the-poor-and-working-masses-at-home-and-abroad policies
have so compressed these internal gases that it is more like a
pressure-cooker or a power-station boiler now than any common-or-garden
dragon. When I mentioned the other day that Sweden is seething, this was in
the actual pressure cooker. Little bubbles under great pressure. Now most
of us know what happens if you suddenly release the pressure under such
conditions -- you get a bloody great explosion and learn just what
insupportable pressure there was in the containing vessel. And given that
this is the belly of the Great Satan, just imagine the stink...

Looks like some strong indications of an imminent release of pressure are
happening in Seattle. And, against the Jeremiahs who have been preaching
tranquillity and total imperialist control for ever and ever (Henwood shall
be nameless, as he is by no means alone in this, he's had the whole bloody
chorus of ex-Marxists and ex-revolutionaries and petty-bourgeois Doubting
Thomas's doo-wah-ing along behind him), it's obvious that there's a whole
broad spectrum of angry masses involved. Imperialism is being deserted by
its one remaining mass popular political base, the intermediate strata of
bureaucrats, educated jobsworths and petty-bourgeois at home in the
once-privileged heartlands.

Watch for superstructural contortions as the likes of Clinton and Blur try
to create the appearance of offering concessions to these enraged masses
without actually providing any substance. All the crap about the power of
spin, the medium being the message, surface rules, etc, will go oot the
windae like the oppressive arseholes thrown on to hard paving stones from a
great height in Prague in 1419 and 1618.

Cheers (and feeling better already)


PS Read about the Defenestrations in Prague in any good encyclopaedia or
history book. An easy starting point is the Britannica website at -- the whole encyclopaedia free on line!

It's not quite the decapitation of kings, Charles 1 or Louis XVI, but it's
not bad for a small people in a far-off land...

Oh and while you're at it, check out John Hus and the Taborites! If they
could do it then, we can do it now!

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