Poems and Short Stories

Cut System Up Commerce The

“Nothing you have ever sold me has ever really been worth my time, let alone my money.”

“So dramatic”

“Yeah. Drama is right, freak. What, you want me to just keep quiet in the corner, do you, like a church mouse… fuckin…”

“Look, calm down, it’s not even making sense”

“What isn’t?”

“All this bullshit that you’re talkin. You’re just angry is all. But when you calm down you’ll see it’s not me you’re angry at, it’s the system”

“Oh you fucker! Glib! Glib is what you are, what you’re being, you know? Talkin about the system like a bigshot revolutionary. Poser! This is personal, real shit, that you have done to me… not the system”

“I sell things, you buy things. You dig? If you weren’t happy you should have not paid. I have spent all your money now anyway. Food for the wife. She needs to eat you know. Me too. It’s not like I stole your life savings”

“But you admit you did steal from me?”

“No! I sold you it, same as a hundred others. Look around town. Everyone has it”

“Everyone must be as pissed off at you as me then”

“No, no they aren’t. They are grateful. It’s just cos you think you deserve some treatment like a king or big monkey or something.”

“What… big monkey? I don’t want to be a big monkey king or any thing. You think that, you’re racist, frankly, but let’s not even go there. But I am sure you didn’t sell this to all those people at that price”

“How could I not? What price could it be? I paid just 20, I only make 1 or 2 profit each time. I just live my life. Be happy”

“I am happy, normally. Believe me. People compliment me on it every Tuesday, regular. That’s when I’m on top form. But this week, I doubt it. All because of you”

“The system. I insist upon it. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Barcelona. Try and escape it as much as you want. Good luck, seriously. But I couldn’t. and I don’t see why you should either.”

“Yeah, life ain’t so bad if you’re smacked out of your head I guess. With your damn wife too. A beautiful set up, I’m sure”

“It is. Yes. So, if there’s nothing else?”

“Yeah whatever. I knew you’d never give me anything. Hasta Lluego.“

“You’ll see it’s not if you’re smacked out. A bigshot revolutionary Barcelona”

“Good luck, seriously fuckin… freak. What, monkey king or any thing. You think?”

“People compliment me on it every Tuesday, regular.”

“Profit each time I guess. With your damn wife too. A beautiful set up, I’m sure”

“Look, calm down, it’s not even making sense”

“Look around town. Glib is what you are, same as a hundred others.”

“We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for some treatment like you’re racist, frankly, I’m on top form.”

“What… big monkey? I don’t this week, I doubt it’s just cos you think. What price could it be? Try and escape quiet in the corner. Real shit, that you have done to me. 1 or 2,  you didn’t sell this to all those people?”

“Hasta Lluego”

“Oh you fucker! Glib! Glib is what you are, what you’re being, you know? Talkin about the system like a bigshot revolutionary. Poser! This is personal, real shit, that you have done to me… not the system”

“I sell things, you buy things. You dig? If you weren’t happy you should have not paid. I have spent all your money now anyway. Food for the wife. She needs to eat you know. Me too. It’s not like I stole your life savings”

“But you admit you did steal from me?”

“No! I sold you it, same as a hundred others. Look around town. Everyone has it”

“Everyone must be as pissed off at you as me then”

“No, no they aren’t. They are grateful. It’s just cos you think you deserve some treatment like a king or big monkey or something.”

“What… big monkey? I don’t want to be a big monkey king or any thing. You think that, you’re racist, frankly, but let’s not even go there. But I am sure you didn’t sell this to all those people at that price”

“How could I not? What price could it be? I paid just 20, I only make 1 or 2 profit each time. I just live my life. Be happy”

“I am happy, normally. Believe me. People compliment me on it every Tuesday, regular. That’s when I’m on top form. But this week, I doubt it. All because of you”

“The system. I insist upon it. We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Barcelona. Try and escape it as much as you want. Good luck, seriously. But I couldn’t. and I don’t see why you should either.”

“Yeah, life ain’t so bad if you’re smacked out of your head I guess. With your damn wife too. A beautiful set up, I’m sure”

“It is. Yes. So, if there’s nothing else?”

“Yeah whatever. I knew you’d never give me anything. Hasta Lluego.“

“Food for the wife have ever sold me has ever really could it be? I paid just 20, been worth my escape it as much in the corner you fucker!”

“Everyone must be as pissed”

“Yeah, life ain’t so bad”

“Drama is right, freak. What, there’s nothing else?”

“Making sense, believe me. People personal, real shit,”

“Bullshit that you’re just angry is all. But when you calm your damn wife?”

“Let alone my money But I couldn’t. I knew you’d never give the system. l sure you didn’t sell”

“Do you, like a church mouse insist upon it? All because of you?”

“I stole your life savings”

“Yeah whatever. Let’s not even go there”

“Nothing you have ever sold me has ever really been worth my time, let alone my money.”

“So dramatic”

“Yeah. Drama is right, freak. What, you want me to just keep quiet in the corner, do you, like a church mouse… fuckin…”

“Look, calm down, it’s not even making sense”

“What isn’t?”

“All this bullshit that you’re talkin. You’re just angry is all. But when you calm down you’ll see it’s not me you’re angry at, it’s the system”

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Paint a diagram using whole stones as impressionist pinpricks of colour and light.

Paint a diagram using whole stones as impressionist pinpricks of colour and light.

Paint it right on the street covering buildings in stone, creating patterns only visible to the gods.

Serve them right.

People in planes going to business meetings. Are there any deader?

Sitting next to people on holiday.

And people like me. Just there, nothing better to do.

But stare. Out the window. At the Straits of Gibraltar.

One day. I saw. Big Orcs. And mediaeval soldiers.

Building cities and fortifications. Miles high.

I saw the gaps in the trees. Fields wide. Fields and Fields. Of nothing

But now, because of you.

They will see….

Diagrams. Explaining everything.

When the conversation turns predictable and you feel like it’s not even worth saying anything

Or that it would be, but you just can’t face it.

Don’t you wish the diagrams would appear?

In your head, in your hand, via the pen, onto the wall?

But we are not talking about writing on walls

Not today.

We are talking about covering them up

From on high

And the Gods will wonder what we are doing

Until they see the diagrams

Which will explain everything

To the people in the sky.

Businessmen, businesswomen, business children. Custom Designed.

They should at least have it explained it to them. Do them that courtesy.

….and the State comes marching in

And the State comes marching in, sliding through the mists of the ruling class, sometimes annihilating rouge cells among them, but always intrinsically of them. The members of the class of power…

It washes over our heads sometimes sucking us up into itself, or like a whirlwind, depositing us, suddenly, in frightening new situations.

Like the clouds above us we do not always dwell on it, as we fight it’s gale, but keep our eyes focused straight ahead and struggle through it, rarely against it, for we find it hard to look at in the eye. The eye of the storm…

What do we see when we look straight ahead, not up and not down at the dying and suffering masses below?

Two worlds, superimposed on the same blank reality in which the braver ones among us try also to express themselves.

TWO WORLDS. Two Markets. One black and one… shiny? Too dirty to be called white

The criminal underworld is an essential part of the capitalist system. The chaos that exists there, made possible, given birth to by the fact it is made criminal. But the state that does so is of them.

THEM!

Capitalists. Thieves. Murderers. Liars. Depositing their profits in the same banks, living in the same neighbourhoods, going to the same meetings. The storm of the state it suits them fine, so long as they ain’t the ones getting rained on.

“We got a good little operation going out here. We got these guys running around in blue shirts all over the town, see, and they’re telling people they’re gonna lock em up, beat em up, make em sit and get judged and their life’s gonna be hell, just cos they got some of these substances here on em. And every once in a while they do it, just to remind em. And we keep on selling it to the kids, and the adults, and they keep on buying it. But because everyone’s so damn scared of the guys we’ve got with the blue shirts, we can charge whatever we fucking want for it. We got guys at the border to control how much of the stuff gets through, ya see? They wave on through the guys shipping it over to us, and they unleash hell on anyone else trying to ship it in. They got a slightly different shirt that they wear. And the beautiful thing about it is, we don’t have to pay any of these guys wages. We take money off the people to pay them for us, so we control the supply and the demand, and rake in the profit for no cost.”

Shut up about Legalise, Socialise the drug industry. Give the power to the people, the people who take drugs.

We’ll decide about supply and demand, We’ll decide what’s good for us: not the black market, not the other one. The Straight one. The one where drug company agents meet in private with politicians and decide what particular shit they can force down the throat of a mental patient somewhere is gonna make them the most money. This is a deal made between people of the same class. This is what gives the concept of a ruling class its coherency.

They don’t all talk the same, look the same, think the same. But they are in a position to make deals with one another, deals in which both sides manifest a form of power, power which has an interest directly contrary to our own.

They are alike in that they have power. This is all that qualifies them for membership in the class.

This is one of the reasons we must never let our organisations be structured in such a way as to give particular individuals or groups too much power, or they will simply be traitors in our own ranks, members of the enemy class masquerading as leaders of our class.

The working class has no leaders. No-one can speak for it, for we have billions of voices, billions of minds, billions of opinions about anything you name. A true “workers state” as in a single global structure which was truly of and controlled by the people, would have to be so decentralised and internally tolerant of such a diversity of modes of operating that it would be…

Why, it would be Anarchy.

Well we want Anarchy on Drugs. We want to go to war, on drugs, against capitalism, not fight a War On Drugs for capitalism.

We want to sit around doing our thing, sorting our own lives out, working together in a fun and chilled out way, and have our own fucking space to do it in. We want access to the fruits of the earth, for us to eat from and use to build stuff with, not have it all fenced off, cut down, blown up or stuffed full of sewage. And if we’re doing ok, the crops are doing well, we’re making a lot of useful stuff, and everyone’s got what they need or on the way to getting it, why the fuck shouldn’t we mix some chemicals together, or pluck some plants and fungus off the ground and see how it makes us feel? What the fuck us else is there to do?

But no, we gotta work “surplus” time, to make “surplus” value so the owners of the business can sit on their big fat surpluses. And that’s if we’re “free” workers. Slaves don’t even get the luxury of being lied to.

But we are all slaves to debt anyway, even if we don’t categorise ourselves as “bonded labourers”, who does?

DEBT.

They say we owe them all this money. I don’t remember borrowing anything like that off them. They call it “interest”. It’s in their interest to say we owe them more than we do? Well of course it is.

It’s in my interest not to pay them back. Not to kill myself working at some job I hate just to pay back money to people that already have more than enough, just from asserting their “interest”. Well it’s time for us to start asserting our interests, muthafukkas.

“We got another pretty good situation going out here, if you’re interested. We got these guys at the borders I was telling you about before, you know? They also stop people coming in and out and make sure they got a little piece of paper we made up, says if they can go in or not, you know? And we don’t give these out that easy to people you know? We make em run around in circles for it. So when they come anyway, which you know, we cant do anything about really, no matter how guys in blue we’ve got, they got to sneak themselves in right? And we keep making it harder and harder for them to sneak through by themselves, so they gotta pay somebody to get them through, see? So what we do is, we got some of our guys down there taking money to get people through, I mean, we know the damn holes in the fences better than anyone, cos we built the fuckin’ things, right? And we don’t just take their money to get em through, when we’ve got em on the other side we make em work for us, tell em they owe us interest and we’ll let em know when they’d paid it off. So it don’t matter so much what the damn minimum wage is, that we pretend to the white people that the boys in blue are gonna make sure they get. We got all the cheap labour we need, and a good chunk of its free too. So why don’t you write in that newspaper of yours, buddy, about how these foriegn guys we got working for us are scum and all the rest of the people should hate em, so they’ll be happy when we put up even more fences and pay em even less? We can make it worth your while, and you know we’re good for it.”

A deal made by members of the same class. People who move in the same circles. Powerful people make deals with other powerful people, and together they create a network of interests which constitutes a system. A class system. A system of a particular class, which exists because it’s members operate as parts in a particular system.

We must make deals with one another, networks, systems, of a particular class, of our own class. We must bring the working class into existence by creating our systems. Or bring it into a different existence, not as a class of workers for capitalists, but a class of workers for themselves.

But that is where the similarity must end. Our systems can not be based on direct exchange, like theirs. The deals that we make must be more meaningful than that. Unconditional cooperation, until proven guilty of betrayal of the class by acting in the interests of power. A harsh morality, but a beautiful one when put into place.

Vive l’communisme anarchiste!

Cos that’s what I’m talking about, people. Working together, here and now, with or without money. Giving our labour to one another, not selling it to the big enemies or the small ones, or when we do, working together again as we do so, to resist their tyranny in the workplace and make sure our wages our spent on making our lives better and our communities ability stronger, by which we mean more able to live free of the enemy. Worker’s co-ops, grassroots worker’s unions, community campaigns and communal community resources, all together, part of the same struggle, the struggle of our class. Without the struggle, what is the class?

Does it even exist if no-one is struggling in it’s interest? Or is it just an incoherent mass of flesh, more mist for the storm to suck up into itself, to consume in order to make thunder and lightning?

What do you want it to be?

Enough of this pseudo academic bullshit, UNLEASH THE BEAST

People often ask me “why do you write like you talk?”

And I say “why don’t you talk like you write?”

That’s a lie of course. I don’t say that to anyone, and no-one says it to me.

Is it prose? Is it Poetry? Is it polemic? Is it garbage?

I hope that it’s all four. Any polemic that is too well written is dangerous. Look at Hitler for fucks sake. He couldn’t even write, but still got millions of people to support the deaths of millions of others.

“It’s a rubbish story that doesn’t hang together in a normal narrative like a normal, decent person would write and it’s rubbish poetry that’s interrupted by factual assertions and longwinded digressions into academic gibberish, that itself is rubbish because it’s not referenced and the chains of argument are broken up by random conversational passages, anecdotes and weird pop culture references.”

That’s my pitch to the publishers. How’s it scan?

Thing is, I normally write song lyrics and not much else. In songs you can get away with writing how you talk, cos sometimes you sing a line just like you’re talking, not really singing at all. It depends what you’re trying to do.

“I come from down in the valley, where mister, when you’re young…”

Bruce Springsteen, calling the listener “mister” in the first line of “the river”, potentially alienating at least half his audience, but it makes you listen, if you’re a man, and I guess if you’re a woman too, just for the strangeness of it.

Then, you know, I went to university and everything, mister, and had to write essays, where I just wanted to scream “fuck them! They are a bunch of bastards! Why can’t we fucking get on with talking about how we’re gonna get rid of them??” but they don’t give you marks for that. Marx out of ten, that’s what it’s all about, and that’s the game I played, lot of my friends too:

“This essay is written from a Marxist perspective”. Makes you feel like you’re in soviet Russia, like you’re gonna get shot for not being orthodox enough. But if you master the lingo, you can rag on the system as much as you want. Or you can just criticise other people’s use of the lingo. Seems to be plenty of money in that, somehow.

Who the fuck is paying all these people? Academics throwing revolutionary terminology at each other stops them getting out into the field and finding out how struggle really works. CIA? FBI? Like they did with the Panthers, man, it all fits together…

The CIA are making sure Marxist and poststructuralist lecturers and researchers are employed at universities around the world in order to confuse the fuck out of the undergraduates most likely to take part in subversive activity and channel their revolutionary energies into pointless naval gazing in ivory towers.

I mean, do arms companies or drug companies profit from all this turgid post-marxist shit? Does anyone? Follow the money, people…

Maybe that’s really what it’s all about, Marx didn’t give self-consciousness to the workers, he gave it to the capitalists. “Oh so that’s what we’re doing. Exploiting workers, that’s where the money comes from. Ok, thanks Karl, we’ll get right on exploiting them even harder using your handy formulas.”

The point is, most people still don’t know what the words people like me use mean, so why should I even use them? I do, because they are in my head and they are part of my thoughts, but if I can put things another way, which people are more likely to be able to understand, then I will.

Or better yet, give people a sense of what these fucking words mean so they can do what other people who use those words mean too, and decide whether or not they agree, rather than let it all go over their heads.

So I come up with this weird mixture. And I read a lot of shit like Burroughs, Hunter s Thompson and Kerouac, other people influenced by them or doing similar stuff, and it makes me feel like this is acceptable behaviour, what I’m doing right now. Except they weren’t activists.

Am I even an activist anymore? Maybe not. The times when I was most active were the times I was espousing the philosophy “give up activism”, the name of a zine kicking around the Brighton scene.

Well, whatever, I’m someone with a “critical perspective” which has lead me to read lots of books and texts by others with “critical perspectives”, so that now I know a lot of words with which to criticise things I’m critical of.

Maybe I’m just a critic, of social-economic systems. “No, this one is bad, take it back or I’ll give you such a bad review no-one will ever eat here again”.

I really don’t think I can get away with calling this poetry. I don’t know how the fuck Kerouac did.

Ain’t got no beat to it, fool, any songwriter could tell you that. There’s rhythm in them there syllables. Or there ain’t, simple as that. Rhythm and rhyme. The two Rhys.

It’s just what comes out when you take away the part of yourself that stops you writing how you talk. Fuck a grammar. You get me? Microsoft word didn’t even pick up on that one.

And I don’t talk like this anyway, fool. Who do you think you’re reading?

Just a projection, a fantasy. I don’t exist, I am my minds projection of myself and your perception of that projection. I am somewhere else, something else. Maybe I don’t even exist (ooh, spooky) but I’m pretty sure I do really. So let’s stop being silly about this, shall we people?

This is Beast poetry. Poetry of Beasts, like in the film Where the Wild Things Are. Those are some laid back fuckin Beasts. They know the score, all right. Hip cats, and birds, and other weird things. Like the thing with the head of the bull? You Know?

Last time I took some kind of Trip I had an urge to see it, on my smartphone. People thought I had sold out, others were requesting “gay drum and bass”. It was confusing. But I survived. And this is my story. Uncivilised and even inhumane. Beast poems. Unleashed. BEAST!!!!!!!!!!

Thoughts on Guilt and Uselessness, 23 June 2012, Tangiers

When I was a young teenager, full of outrage at the injustices of the world while knowing very little about them, I remember asking my mother how journalists filming people in warzones or dying of hunger could live with themselves without doing something to help them.

Now I feel guilty of the same substitution of intellectual solidarity for real, practical, human solidarity.

My friends and I talk a lot about the virtues of “gonzo” journalism – the denial of objectivity , the embracing of the subjectivity of the writer, who must live what they are writing about, not merely observe as if they were outside the situation. Anyone who’s black bloc tactics to push through police lines have been foiled by lines of snap-happy photographers getting in the way will know that journalists are never truly outside of the situation.

We came here to Tangiers with this in mind, not just to collect information, but, crucially, to ‘see what happens’ in the sense of ‘see what situations we end up finding ourselves involved in’. As an affinity group of three close friends we should theoretically be able to react to events as they unfold, looking out for each other and gaging our respective comfort levels as we go.

Today we were told that 18 people died at the border with Melilla last night, and many more have been injured, taken to the border with Algeria and dumped there, including pregnant women. The man who told us was a Senegalese ‘mediator’ and translator working for a humanitarian association that provides services for migrants. We had miraculously found him on couchsurfing and he turned out to be the ideal contact to have made here, just at the time we were running out of money to keep paying for hotels, cheap as they are (about €2.50 per night). But because this has happened he has to go to Nador, on the Moroccan side of the border at Melilla for a demonstration that is happening there.

Everything we’ve been saying to ourselves and to others about why we are here would imply that we should be going too. The main reason we are not is money. It’s hundreds of kilometres away and apparently hotels there are more expensive. We don’t even have enough to get the boat back to Europe. So we’ve checked in to another cheap hotel here in Tangiers and are sitting or wandering about with nothing to do.

I have claimed many times that I am ‘not a tourist’ as if something tangible separates me from the people I see all over the place getting hassled by street hustlers and paying too much for everything. But I am doing the same, just as I was in Latin America when I also claimed to have some political purpose that meant I didn’t fit into the ‘tourist’ category. I’m just a poorer tourist, with no itinerary.

We have spoken of this trip a lot as the beginning of something, justifying our lack of direct action while here with the idea that we’re going to come back many times and organise various different actions, bring more white European activists with us. After all, we still know virtually nothing about the legal context for taking action here, or really what kind of action would be useful.

However, the future, as the song goes, is in the future, and for now I wonder what people make of us. A bunch of stupid privileged white kids who think they can save the world? Probably, and maybe they’re right, for all our self-deprecating remarks and talk of ‘the workers can only be liberated by themselves’ anarchism.

Do I daydream about utopian revolutionary solutions and unstoppable proletarian insurrections as a way to block out a truth I cannot accept? Do I imagine to myself that my small actions and gestures of solidarity are worth more than they really are in order to disguise from myself my true powerlessness. I am cynical enough to assume so, though my pride usually prevents me from admitting it to others.

I have done a good job convincing myself over recent months that my politics are not based merely on a patronising sense of ‘white guilt’ but instead on some kind of internationalist class-based solidarity. But when I was asked my our new Senegalese ‘comrade’ why we were here, the look in his eyes made the words I was saying seem hollow. I felt like I had failed some kind of test.

But this is besides the point. I feel I have enough strength to deal with such existential confusion, such guilt and such tiresome and constant misunderstandings of language and culture as I am bound to experience over the next few months or years, if indeed I do keep returning here under the banner of ‘No Borders’. The point is, I need money.

I would not be here if I did not have a mother rich enough to give me money to do so. Without her help I would not have even made it to the ZAD, the last place I went with the intention of doing ‘something political’, either. Busking, stealing, skipping, hitchhiking, and jumping trains have enables us to live successful lives as dropouts, and we have had a lot of fun, none of which I even come close to regretting.

But to be ‘Activists’ is different. The position of an ‘Activist’ is an inherently privileged one: it requires people to have both free time and disposable income.

Time in the world of dropout culture is never as free as it appears- even the simplest of tasks take hours, either waiting for drug-addled or otherwise twisted brains and energy levels to align, or simply because the ways we have found to do things for free simply take a lot longer that the ways people pay for.

As for disposable income, it’s a joke. Any money anyone has in a dropout community is almost immediately spent on communal resources, whether or not they want it to be. In Brighton I had to constantly beg slightly wealthier activists than myself for money to print flyers and such, for even small amounts seemed beyond my ability to raise.

Maybe I’m just too lazy and disorganised, maybe the musicians I busk and try and play gigs with just aren’t committed enough for my career to take off the tiny bit more it needs to for me to sustainably be an ‘activist’.

Or maybe I should just ‘give up activism’ and seek the good life instead. I have met a lot of apolitical dropouts, and many more whose politics consist mainly of just talking about it, and they seem the happiest people I can imagine being.

But my brain will not let me abandon the struggle.

A Doorway (fictional)

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.

Shit.

 

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.

A sub-heading:

“Police chiefs shock claim: This was not the work of Muslim terrorists”

Oh shit.

“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?

Terrorists Anonymous?

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?

Comrades? Hah!

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.

 

 

An analysis:

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!

“Wa!”

“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?”

Reality melts…

“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?

What indeed?

 

A doorway.

The door? Rusting in a corner.

The gun? Hidden under rubble.

Escape.

 

“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 symbol.

 

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.

“What?”