G20 – Hamburg.
Blast the chain. Bring the harbor to a halt.
As long as there are masters and servants,
Our mission is not accomplished.
Hamburg, “Gate to the World” (“Tor zur Welt”). Quite appropriate, since on July 20th 2017, the 20 most important character masks of global capitalism and their entourage will meet in the city. At the summit the 20 strongest national economies will push forward the harnessing of the world for the global capitalist use. Two centuries of increasing global surplus value production and the aligned irresolvable contradictions with its grotesque distribution of wealth lead to a multileveled catastrophe already.
In this world the Hamburg Senate presents the city as open to the world and cosmopolitan, while at the same time thousands of people drown in the moat of fortress Europe. In the light of these facts and the experiences with alter globalization, the administration of the multiple crisis, and dissent and protest, re-enacting Seattle and Heiligendamm is not enough.
This time, we try a different approach. When the 20 chief pigs will enjoy the amazing harbor view, we will show them what happens if commodities within the harbor can not move – when they are stuck like a majority of the world populace which can not move freely.
Of Fortresses, Camps, and Redundant people
The capitalization of all parts of life progresses. At the same time, automation creates redundancies, and capital no longer needs the same amount of labour power. In a decent society, this would be good news. Less work for everyone! But under the diktat of capitalist profit maximization automation means an ever increasing exploitation of the remaining workforce. This is how capitalist societies manage to produce the grotesque problem of ‘not enough work for all’.
For the nation states competing violently on the world market this means: Sealing off to the outside world, and repression to the inside. Frontex combined with sanction based workfare regimes. Where there is no need for a reserve army, redundant people are fair game.
The German government announced to take over global ‘responsibility’, and in this context this becomes rather a threatening thought. The ‘fight against terror’ is the legitimation for war and intervention on the globe. Even if military force is not yet the decisive moment for the German success story, it is crucial for every state to have the means at hand. The German government just recently increased the military budget to underline it’s strength. The government thus shares the interest of the alt-right movement.
This growing right wing populists quickly became the version of a so called middle of society that had ditched of all what has been left over from morale.
The majority of the German populace agrees with handing over the (well paid) dirty work of ‘managing’ the refugee crisis to the Maghreb states, to Turkey, and attacks Erdoğan and Trump as monsters. The message: They are inhuman autocrats. Our Angela (Mutti) reigns with a human face. The German-European border regime is defended on a pseudo-rational basis: If everyone would stay, we could not afford it anymore – a position shared by all political parties, left, right, no matter. This is only logical in the sense that who wants to participate with state and capitalism, ‘must’ calculate the costs. On the domestic level, it is not poverty in general but the distribution of money to ‘strangers’ that is to be scandalized; and for our ‘petty evil’ fan club: The social democrats focus on the same pattern of decreasing welfare and increasing national isolation. Martin Schulz, the new candidate to go in the race to become German chancellor, and performing the role of the the advocate for the people of the streets, knows even best. He was responsible for the so called Agenda 2010 (including the Hartz 4 agenda) and in his role as EU president he was part of all Frontex deals.
Of humans and commodities
The capitalist regime of movement
In their core message to the G20 summit, the German government claims to be concerned about sustainable global delivery chains’ and wants to to ‘strengthen free and fair trade’. To succeed the valuation of value the free movement of commodities and human labour is crucial.
Hence the G20 group is not about the gruesome protection against refugees: A New Economic Partnership is on the agenda, with an obvious neo-colonial taste. From the 13-16th June, a’ Africa conference’ takes place in Berlin, showcasing that imperial dominance and exploitation these days are labeled Smart Governance. It becomes clear that the aim is precisely not to stop people from moving, but define people in terms of human labour and to control and steer their access to labour markets. Some people can cross the Mediterranean legally, and are to stay. Of course they need to have a passport and of course they need to possess the right skill set to become surplus adding human labour.
Under capitalism, movement for the global elite means a short business trip including a stay in the luxury hotels of Dubai, Paris, or Hongkong, but for the workers from Peru or México it means to slave away either as a cleaner in the same hotel – or in the free exploitation zones, the maquiladoras in their own country.
The differences are monstrous, and the hardship is unfairly distributed. But we all live in the same world of inhuman means-end rationality. Our aim is not to redistribute the hardship. We want to abolish global injustice.
Of Values and Subjugation
For the reigning export world champion Germany it is important to secure its distinct advantage of the location and to propagate the global free market against the Trump administration. Free trade is crucial to sell lots of cars in the US.
And at the same time of course national isolation and free trade agreements are no contradiction in itself. In real politics, both trends are intermingled, and this is done by the German government, the US, and Turkey the like. The polarization of both approaches signifies a crisis of representation that can no longer be connected to left or right political programs. Instead, increasing parts of the population start to articulate their disagreement with the ‘political establishment’ – and are in favour of capitalists an generals disguised as politicians to be the anti-elitist saver of the country. Or we see new parties rising, like the German AfD (Alternative for Germany) that promises their potential electorate a better statist dominance. Many citizens share at least one issue with the old and new elites: The show must go on.
Within this rather depressive scenario the German government manages rather successfully so far to keep alive the image of their open-minded victor mentality. Germany is export champion but also the second most wanted place for investment. It becomes clear – again- the ‘free West’ is first and foremost about free market access. The fairy tale of shared values legitimizes imperialist ‘humanitarian’ war and interventions but is animating to join the club. ‘Democracy’ is but one example, and the civil society gets involved wit G20 as well: Civic20 is the format, and mean members and oranisations of the civil society participate to administer the capitalist misery. Democracy: Everybody is heard, but in the end it all remains the same – and it’s getting worse. The church and unions can’t wait to work on “The dialogue forums will pick up on pertinent G20 issues, and will work with international partners to draw up recommendations for the German Presidency.” (link). The Man of Straw – spirit is alive and kicking and proves the devastating progress of the integration of the class society.
20 years of summit protest and bluster in front of the G20 venues only lead to incremental changes. Our hatred still does not know its limit. But rattling at the doors again? Comrades, we have another plan!
Let’s go Harbour:
This is the reason for our motto for this years G20 in Hamburg: Blast the chain of logistics! The global economy can be discussed at the heights of time using Logistics as a blueprint: The organization of the distribution of commodities is essential to realize surplus value. Within the capitalist order, logistics is to be improved again and again with the aim to allow for commodities to arrive the faster and the more precise at their destination. Just-in-time-production becomes just in time deliverance. Today, it is about the more and more precise alignement of manufacturing and distribution – with Amazon prime being but one example. Logistics are the factories of the 21 century: The focal point for the conflict between capital and labour. The global mass production of course takes place in factories, still logistics seems to be the appropriate target to fight the entirety of capitalist shit. Struggles on this terrain are manifold already. We are not alone with our plan to bring the harbor to a halt. Our top models are: The workers taking part at strike action against Amazon; the truck driver who last year blocked French raffinieries; Harbour activists from Occupy Oakland. They (and many more) showed us how vulnerable capitalism became with its cargo cult. Let’s do it alike! Even if we might not convince everybody that communism is a good thing. But we want to start and create options for antinational and anticapitalist actions to set an example for the Internationalist struggles to come.
Hamburg is a start and not an end in itself. Let’s make the machine of capitalist logistics stutter. To abolish private property, and to end the violent exploitation of people all around the world, we want to send a statement in showing the potential of blasting the global value chains. Without an end, there will be no re-load. G20 is a chance to show the potentials to the global mass media. We will take the powerful step to show the bureaucrats of desperation: State, Nation, Capitalism, Sexism and Racism belong to the ash heap of history. That’s our point of departure, and everything below this is nothing but the continuum of wrong doings.
See you at the Gate to the World, and join the pre-Demo Thursday 6th July, or the anti-capitalist block at the main demo the 8th July.
But more importantly, see you on Friday morning (7th July) for our mass action against the Logistics of Capital in the Harbour … and later in the Red Zone (of course)!
… ums Ganze!