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(en) The Swedish (council/communist - autonomist-marxist) Communist journal, riff-raff, has got a new website and a new URL - Editorial #3-4, winter-spring 2003

From dr.woooo <dr.woooo@nomasters.org>
Date Fri, 26 Sep 2003 13:29:15 +0200 (CEST)

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http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

We have tried and will continue to try to translate
our texts into English. So far we have only managed to
translate a few texts and the titles.
In the coming issue (probably released within three
weeks) we publish Swedish translations of the troploin
texts Whither the world and To work or not to work,
and also a translation of the Wildcat text War against
the oil proletariat together with a discussion on war,
proletariat and oil rent.

the riff-raff collective

#3-4, winter-spring 2003
This time we have the pleasure to present a really stuffed issue, dominated by
two themes: class composition and the new world order.

Riff-Raff opens up with a text written by the German group Kolinko, thoroughly
giving an account of the concept class composition. The core of the concept is
that there exists a close relation between the form of the production and the
struggle, that type of production and position within the process of production
determines the forms and the possibilities of struggle. Properly used the
concept can be a powerful dialectic tool for a comprehension of the dynamics of
capital and the class struggle.

In the text a distinction is made between »technical» class composition
and »political». The technical composition indicates how capital form and
divide the work force through work division, technology etc, while political
composition indicates how the workers overcomes the division and use the means
of production as a starting point for struggle. In this way capital shapes the
conditions for the struggle and form the working class, while the struggle in
turn overcomes the limits and restructure capital.

In the text Kolinko analyse different aspects of class composition, which
influence methods and perspective in the struggle, as the workers’ relations to
each other, the work and the commodities. Kolinko also discusses the
interesting question of what is needed for the struggle to circulate and lead
to a position of power against capital. Contrary to those who just want to
follow the spontaneity of the struggle, Kolinko is of the opinion that we must
seek points of strategic importance for the future. One example they put
forward is sectors that are in the centre of the development, where the global
character of the production is evident, as well as the link between the state
and capital.

After Kolinko’s analytic account of the concept follows two articles that
connects to the theme from concrete experiences of struggle. In »Work
organization and workers’ autonomy» Johan Forsberg gives an account of his
experiences from the struggle in a warehouse. In the article it appears that
just the transport-sector could be such a strategic point Kolinko talks about.
Transports have become a key-sector in the just-in-time-capitalism of lean
production, and sets the pace of the whole society-machinery. When it comes to
technical composition new global gigant corporations have emerged, where all
kinds of transport-workers, warehouse- and terminal-workers, postal-workers and
workers in call-centers are brought together. When it comes to political
composition this yet implies new possibilities, as traditional national and
professional borders are crossed and different categories of workers get in
touch with each other.

But class composition can also be studied from the particular workplace and
Forsberg shows how the struggle in the warehouse was about the company
introducing new production-lines to attack the workers’ unity, control and
autonomy. He also gives a detailed report of methods of struggle and recommend
what is called »faceless resistance» – methods that directly hit against the
employer without forewarning, are easy to apply and often leads to immediate
result. Besides this the article gives an account of the history of the hidden
resistance as well as of militant inquiry. In addition a questionnaire is
appended for those who want to document experiences in their workplace and a
lot of recommended literature is given.

In the third article Marcel makes the faceless resistance visible such it was
expressed in a small hamburger-bar. One point in the article is that class
struggle can be something fun – to escape from work and use the worktime to
one´s own amusement. Because the restaurant was small the owner himself worked
and was one that worked hardest. This did not lead to an increased loyalty with
the company, but rather to an increased consciousness. The struggle was not
foremost directed against the boss, but rather against work as such. Marcel
shows that it is not determining if a company is big or small, private, state-
owned or cooperative, because all companies are subordinate to the same
economic laws. Capitalism rules the capitalist, not the other way around. With
hamburgers as example the article also gives an account of the antagonism
between use-value and exchange-value.

In the fourth article, a bit besides the themes of the issue, Loren Goldner
discusses the significance of the agrarian question, folowing Amadeo Bordiga’s
ideas. In the preface Goldner writes that the existence of the U.S.S.R.
effectively contained the anti-capitalist currents that existed before the
revolution, as the Dutch and German council-communists and the Spanish
anarchists. The Italian communist Bordiga was, according to Goldner, one of the
most important theoreticians among these revolutionary currents, but today one
of the least known.

In the article Goldner arguments, following Bordiga, that the agrarian
revolution is central for a comprehension of capitalism as well as the U.S.S.R.
and social democracy. The roundabout way over the state both these tendencies
have taken was simply a substitute for the bourgeoisie revolution and
contributed to push capitalism into it´s intensive phase. On the other hand the
tendencies had nothing to do with communism. What is at stake today according
to Goldner is to free marxism from this burden to be able to renew the
revolutionary perspective and consider the real movement towards communism.

At the time of writing this editorial the preparations for a war against Iraq
are in full progress and already when printing and distribution are done the
next bloody human victim in »the war against terrorism» can be a fact.
Therefore Riff-Raff this time is concluded with two articles considering »the
new world order» and the situation in the Middle East.

An introducing article discusses the causes and the function of wars under
capitalism and the significance of oil as lubricant in the global accumulation.
Among other things the war in Afghanistan is taken up, which must be seen from
the perspective of the country’s importance as a transport-route, not least for
oil, and its strategic significance in the Central-Asian region, with its
oilfields. But the war also functioned as a primitive accumulation, through
crushing Afghanistan’s agrarian and nomadic economy, and forcing urbanization
and proletarization. The background to today’s political Islam is also
discussed in the article.

Then follows a longer article »Behind the twenty-first century Intifada»,
translated from the british journal Aufheben. The article shows the strength in
adopting a dialectic perspective of class struggle. Too often Israelites and
Palestinians are considered as two homogeneous groups standing against each
other. In the article the region´s history instead is delineated through a dual
perspective of class struggle, where the Jewish and Arab workers’ struggle
respectively propel the development, while they at the same time stand in a
complex relation to each other. All in the frame-work of the capitalistic world
market, the strategic vicinity of the oilfields and the US domination in the

On one hand Aufheben gives an account of how the Jewish workers’ struggle
resulted in different forms of class compromises, provided that the
Palestinians were subordinate on the labour market and that settlements have
been established in the occupied territories. On the other hand an account is
given of how the PLO have tried to neutralize all Palestinian workers’ struggle
through directing it exclusively against Israel. In this way Jewish and Arab
workers are put against each other and the class solidarity between them, the
only thing that could resolve the conflict, is today more distant than ever.
With the peace process the Israeli capital wants to economically integrate
Israel in the region and break up the agreement with the Jewish workers. The
Intifada have made this impossible, which have lead to today’s crisis for
Israel, while at the same time the terror against the Palestinians have been

>From this issue on we do not consider ourselves as Folkmakt´s theoretical
organ. Behind this there is no ideologically motivated split. The reason is
instead that we see it as an unnecessary boundary to be attached to any
specific organization, though are aim is to be a forum for everyone who is
interested in workers’ autonomous struggle. This also means that we have
broaden the editorial collective, which now consists of persons with different
organizational and theoretical experiences.

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