Kosovo and the absurdity of borders.

posted 2011.10.09, under blog

Kosovo has been in the news recently because of attempts by ethnic Serbs in the north of that area objecting to being ruled by people they don’t recognize as legitimate. You’d think that they’d have the support of the same sort of people who supported the independence of Kosovo from Serbia because the ethnic Albanians objected to being ruled etc.

The whole affair demonstrates again the absurdity of borders. One group of people think wouldn’t it be great to not have to be ruled by those folk. And declare an area independent. They get the help of some foreign military. But not all the people in the area want to be independent. And they are a clearly defined group, in a clearly defined area.

You’d think in the current state system, that the logical solution would be to let those Serbs join Serbia. Self-determination and all that. But it seems this idea is only used when the people who want to “self-determine” their future are liked by the folks with the biggest militaries (in this case NATO). NATO don’t like Serbs, so those Serbs who don’t want to be part of an independent Kosovo are out of luck.

Really, the best solution would be for the working classes of both Serbia and Kosovo (and everywhere else) to join hands and shoot their rulers. Seriously, who needs ’em?

London riots

posted 2011.08.17, under blog

There were some riots in England recently. Two articles that I particularly want to point out are:

Choice quotes include:

So there should be no shock that people living lives of poverty and violence have at last gone to war. It should be no shock that people are looting plasma screen TVs that will pay for a couple of months’ rent and leaving books they can’t sell on the shelves. For many, this is the only form of economic redistribution they will see in the coming years as they continue a fruitless search for jobs.

The Solidarity Federation is based in resistance through workplace struggle. We are not involved in the looting and unlike the knee-jerk right or even the sympathetic-but-condemnatory commentators from the left, we will not condemn or condone those we don’t know for taking back some of the wealth they have been denied all their lives.

But as revolutionaries, we cannot condone attacks on working people, on the innocent. Burning out shops with homes above them, people’s transport to work, muggings and the like are an attack on our own and should be resisted as strongly as any other measure from government “austerity” politics, to price-gouging landlords, to bosses intent on stealing our labour. Tonight and for as long as it takes, people should band together to defend themselves when such violence threatens homes and communities.

In Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell provided a useful gneral [sic] starting point for how anarchists view riots, writing I have no particular love for the idealised “worker” as he appears in the bourgeois Communist’s mind, but when I see an actual flesh-and-blood worker in conflict with his natural enemy, the policeman, I do not have to ask myself which side I am on. What happened in London and spread elsewhere was not some idealised glorious proletarian uprising, but the very real explosion of anger that occurs when years of poverty, police repression, and racism finally reach bursting point.

And, quoted everywhere:

a young man in Tottenham was asked if rioting really achieved anything:

“Yes,” said the young man. “You wouldn’t be talking to me now if we didn’t riot, would you?”

“Two months ago we marched to Scotland Yard, more than 2,000 of us, all blacks, and it was peaceful and calm and you know what? Not a word in the press. Last night a bit of rioting and looting and look around you.”

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  • RICK: Hey! I've just had a revolutionary idea!
    MIKE: What?
    RICK: Let's raise a People's Army and seize control of the State!