Sunday, June 13, 2010

Where Have All the Radicals Gone?

A Dutch paper recently posted an article, investigating the whereabouts of anti globalist radicals. They seem to be missing. One wouldn't have thought it since the violence at the September G20 meeting in Boston and the Leftist media having the gall to compare it to the Tea Party.

The Left is fuming and frothing at the mouth that their convenient crisis is passing by without anarcho-communism, or at least world socialism having been declared at the UN. Left, right and center countries are voting in rightist governments and the Left has failed to associate the opponents with the economic downturn.

In The Netherlands the Senate last week adopted a revolutionary Bill which actually reaffirms the right to property. Traditionally the non existent "right to housing" was deemed more important than basic property rights. And so an entire industry has sprung up to avert squatting. Buildings that were taken over became strongholds of the counter capitalist movement and could only be liberated by laying them under siege.

Since the banking crisis broke in 2008 the movement has tried to call a convention on at least two occasions. They invited all the usual suspects, but returns were meager, to say the least. Of willingness to take action there was none. One is not to count the World Social Forum of the new Leftist mainstay, Brazil which in 2009 in Belem, was attended by some 113.000 radicals for social justice. A spokesperson for the squatter group has the following interesting analysis of the situation.

The resistance has become "happy", practical, and not as much Leftist as "green" and "sustainable". Since in his view that encompasses "just about everybody" radicalism has become mainstream. "Look at the NGOs", he says pointing to Fair Food and Globalicious. They think the Left vs Right dichotomy is outdated.  They have no problem working within the capitalist system.

The intelligence agency confirms the only ones radicalizing at this point are animal rights activists, the "delete-the-borders" brigades and the weapons-are-evil crowd. Neither has radicalism moved to the Internet. Students have started ... studying. The shrinking welfare state compels them to concentrate on their careers. Anarchist bookshops have largely disappeared.

A German squatter agrees: there are a few small networks, and there's Indymedia, but most have been absorbed by the system. Radical activists are more visible in France and Germany, and radicalism certainly isn't dead. It has been written off before after the fall of communism in 1989, but it bounced back ten years ago. He's hoping the anti squatting Bill will trigger a response shaking them out of hibernation.

Which is bearing out my hypothesis to the contrary. Radicals haven't become less Left or less radical at all. They've become part of the mainstream where they're infecting entire swathes of society with memes of greenism, sustainability and socially responsible entrepreneurship. Radicals haven't disappeared! They're simply everywhere!


- "Mayday, May Day, They're Deleting the Borders"
- "The Ugly Face of the New Global Paradigm"


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