A doorway, empty.
The door? Rusting in a corner.
“Security pretty tight then, eh?” a voice- young, arrogant.
“Well, its not like we’re gonna be moving in. Look at the place, it’s like a fucking prison” another voice, weary.
“A post-apocalyptic prison. Like where all the police have been rounded up by an angry mob and been shot” The third voice, with a certain disturbing edge to it.
Nothing more was said. They got to work.
Four hours later. Somewhere else.
“Man, I’m knackered. I need a fucking spliff, a glass of water and my fuckin’ blanket” – arrogant.
“Whoah, someone’s got to stay up, remember?” The weary voice again, much wearier in reality than the first voice, whatever it might have said.
“You’ve been fucking lunching out all day and now you’re gonna fuck off” – edgy.
“Biatch, I ain’t gonna take this shit much longer, I;m gonna collapse. I’m just doing this as a fucking favour to you anyway”
“I can’t believe your egotism. You call yourself a revolutionary?”
“Oh shut up you guys. There’s people sleeping upstairs. I’ll just stay up then if it’ll shut you both up. I need to collect my thoughts.” Ratcheting up the weariness levels yet again.
“You ok man?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I never sleep that much these days. Just go ahead, see you at breakfast”
The next night. A punk gig in a squat.
Scores of young people taking illegal substances, with hair and clothes each deliberately distinctive, blurring into an intense mess of black and dark colour.
“Alright geezer?” a mad grin from a bouncing, studded giant.
Attractive and intimidating girls everywhere. Girls who look like they’d be really interesting to talk to. Who look like you could develop a years-long obsession with. Are they making eye contact because they like you or because they want you to stop looking at them?
“What you been up to?” A legitimate inquiry from an old acquaintance, not seen in months.
Images of smashing glass, blurred roads.
The smell of blood and sound of sirens.
Waves of rage, fear and melancholy.
The numbing terror of injustice triumphant.
“Nothing much, just you know, chilling” lies, falseness. Who is left who you can be honest with? False friendships feel false. All warmth temporary.
“Oh yeah, what you think about this new government eh?”
Mumbling something about how they’re all the same.
Do you even realise what you’re asking me? Do you realise what I’ve done?
“Yeah, but this lot are a right bunch of bastards. That’s why they’re tryin’ to kill em. Too bad the fucking idiots shot a worker instead. What nightmare. Now we got the media blaming it on violent anarchists. Can you believe that? As if we would do something like that”
A burning desire to escape.
“Yeah” A weak voice. But how weak? Noticeably so?
“Just need a piss, good to see you”
As if we would do something like that.
“We”. The people? The movement? The scene? Our friends?
“Diversity of tactics”. What a joke. A phrase to make you sound enlightened in front of liberals and pacifists when you’re trying to smash something and they’re trying to stop you.
But we don’t condone terrorism.
“WE are not terrorists, THEY are terrorists” Who has not said this?
Those others who use the same language as us, of revolution and insurrection, they are terrorists. But they are not our comrades, we condemn them.
OUR comrades, well, they do… cultural work. Civil disobedience, non-violent direct action. Perfectly legitimate.
Of course, if a revolution started, we would join in. Of course, we idolise the warriors of the past, we would love to be like them. But not literally. Not here, not now.
Not in the real world.
So who to go to for comradeship?
When those who do not wish to be condemned will still condemn?
Maybe they would not, if they knew who they were condemning.
But comrades have been excommunicated before, on less evidence.
The informal processes of judgement by gossip, justice by individual initiative.
Sometimes so terrifying that you longed for the old men in their stupid wigs. At least they took the time to think.
Of course, that wasn’t an option in this case.
An old follower of Marx and Lenin, a real stickler.
Lecturing the room of youngsters who’d long since grown used to his rhetoric.
No-one any longer saw him as a threat. He’d had his heyday thirty years ago when he’d single handedly managed to convince some striking workers to ignore the anarchists and put their faith in the union bureaucrats, after which the city-wide labour movement had gone into inexorable decline.
But that was long ago. The anger at him had past and the new generation loved to hear his unique perspective on events
“Counter-revolutionary! I cannot stress this enough! These people are enemies of the working class!! They have spilt proletarian blood in pursuit of an infantile notion of being able to skip ahead to the revolutionary event from a position of low class strength! Only the careful development of the revolutionary party and it’s gradual dominance over the workers movement is the way forward! Let us denounce these deviationists!”
Class enemy. Traitor. First against the wall when the revolution comes.
Do people really still think like this?
No-one’s telling him to shut up.
But then… murder is murder.
An opinion poll in a tabloid newspaper. Glimpsed over someone’s shoulder in a café.
“85% of YOU believe capital punishment should be brought back for Treason”.
Treason. Plot. Gunpowder.
Heads on spikes, bodies hanging from scaffolds.
“Police chiefs shock claim: This was not the work of Muslim terrorists”
“16 subjects released, 4 still held for further questioning”
20 people arrested, because of us.
Because of the colour of their skin, and the scaremongering generalisations made about their religious heritage.
And those supposedly fighting the same fight as them, against racism and imperialism, using them as scapegoats just the same as the fascists.
And it didn’t even work!
When have we actually reached out the hand of friendship to such people as these?
We denounce them as backwards, sexist, as terrorists.
Just like our enemies do.
When someone feels the burden of oppression, of injustice, weigh down on them until their mind burns with a pain that only bloodlust can relieve, who can they go to for friendship?
How anonymous can you ever be?
Anonymous enough to admit to murder without fear?
“I think the three of us need to talk” Trembling.
“Why? Are we in danger?” a voice never more serious than now.
“No, just… I have to get this off my chest”
“Shhh. Shut up. We arnt discussing anything, least of all here. That’s what we fucking agreed”
“Yeah, fucking hell man. You’re psycho”.
Psycho???? What the fuck do you expect?
No wonder they giggle when the word is used.
They think it’s a relic of the past, as if modern life is synonymous when individualised atomic alienation. Like fucking liberals.
In the struggle to defeat the bourgeoisie, the spectacle of representative democracy must be ruptured in the face of the masses in order for class consciousness to flourish.
The people’s natural sense of justice at the death of tyrants will be reawakened when they realise that their supposed democratic representatives are actually upholding the tyranny of capitalist oppression.
The death of a representative will spark the inquiring minds of the proletariat into seeking the cause of the hatred that led to the murder. This train of inquiry will lead to the discovery of the exploitative reality, and its mass rejection.
In this case, the assassination was a failure, with the unexpected death of an innocent worker. This led to a contrary effect to that intended: the revolutionaries were seen as enemies rather than allies of the people.
The theory still holds, though the new conditions mean it will not be feasible to put it into practice again for some time.
The death of the worker is unfortunate from a tactical point of view, but in itself must be considered a natural consequence of the class war, which after all, was started by the enemy. Out-moded religious ideas of absolute morality play no part in revolutionary struggle.
So why do I feel like this?
This newspaper is almost one hundred pages long.
Almost thirty of them are about me. About how they are coming to get me.
About how all right-thinking people should want me dead. About how by the very fact of my actions all those who share my political opinions should be considered suspicious and dangerous.
About how the Minister is taking it all in his stride, somehow twisting the event into rhetorical reasons to support his policies.
No analysis of these policies. No speculation as to the true intentions behind them. No warning of the irreparable harm they will inflict on the working population both here and in the war zones, thousands of miles away.
No reminders of the history of pain, exploitation and death that this very man played so recent a role in. No insight into the social reality of today, a reality shaped by the past efforts of men like him to ensure the security of capitalist expansion at the expense of all other considerations.
No mention of the thousands who died today of hunger, war and curable disease.
Of course not. It’s a newspaper.
The face of the dead worker, inches away.
Not dead? How did he find me? Fuck! Escape!
“Don’t worry, I’m on your side” A wink.
Waves of relief.
“They faked your death for the papers?” Hopeful…
“Of course!” a hearty chuckle. “boy, we really spooked em, eh?”
“Oi! You’re talking in your sleep! I need to be up early, pack it in!”
A dream. Typical.
I remember when I used to dream of utopia.
At least, I’m sure I must have done once.
Or else what is all of this about?
The door? Rusting in a corner.
The gun? Hidden under rubble.
“Victim of the welfare reform”
A sign hung round the neck.
A neck specked with blood.
A limp finger wrapped around a trigger.
A head spilling it’s contents on the road.
A road leading up to a government building.
A few dozen journalists. Three police forces.
A punk gig in a squat. A funeral theme. “RIP Johnny” on a banner hanging from the ceiling.
“What a fucking idiot. Sad really. Still, he opened a lot of people’s eyes to what’s been happening. I guess that’s what he wanted” A studded giant, without a grin.
“A true martyr to the cause” Edgy.
“I’m just glad the heats off us now for killin that old bloke” arrogant.