From the Concrete to the Abstract - A Call for Mobilization to Take Concrete Action by ARNA
We are writing this text as part of our mobilization work to Take Concrete Action, a mass action on Gotland on the 25-27th of August 2022. It is partly an intervention in the climate movement and partly an analysis and mobilization text for radicals. If you are part of a radical group that shares our perspectives and actions, please contact your closest ARNA group if you would like to collaborate.
Our world is literally on fire as the capitalist-made climate disaster accelerates at breakneck speed. All that is left for those who believe in this system is depression as none of their attempts at curtailing climate change is working. It is evident now that we need to not just modify capitalism, but destroy it, not just to save ourselves but to save the world we are part of.
Many of us have grown up in the concrete highrises of the Nordic welfare states with their alienation and ugliness imprinted in our lives. Capitalism is not a faraway force for us or some distant evil, it is right here, right in our lives, it is concrete. Climate change is concrete. And for any anticapitalist breaking concrete comes natural.
Capitalism can sometimes feel abstract, but in this case it is literally the opposite. Capitalism needs concrete to build its world of racism, sexism, climate disaster and war. It requires building blocks in order to produce more every day, to make higher profits ceaselessly, no matter the cost for humans, the planet, animals or future generations.
The politicians who claim that they are fighting for a better world are either incompetent or liars. As the world comes ever closer to disaster, their successes are slim to none. Madness, it is said, is to try the same thing over and over and hope for different results. Hoping for politicians or the state to intervene to solve the climate crisis is not just dangerously naive but utterly mad. In the case of Cementa on Gotland even the sparse climate protection laws that exist in Sweden have been given special dispensation to be ignored by the government itself, to the detriment of the entire planet.
An anti-capitalist perspective is then also an anti-statist perspective, a perspective beyond states and nations. It is a concrete perspective, that we cannot be relying on the good will of politicians or parliaments. These institutions are built to keep capitalism safe, and on Gotland like every other action, you will see the police there to make sure that business can continue as usual. Every time we go out to try to save our world and ourselves we face the state. It couldn't be otherwise. This is what the state is.
Politics then start in our opposition to business as usual, to create a better world we all can live in. Our perspective is not one of mere survival, but also of creating a society without classes and without nations, borders, the state. Today in the face of imminent climate crisis which is made so painfully concrete in the case of Cementa on Gotland, this perspective is not a vague dream but a concrete necessity.
Intervene in the Climate Movement
Through the last few years we have seen the development of a huge movement of primarily young people, but also entirely new groups in society, who have taken to the streets in mass action for the environment. It has been a sad fact that we have often been suspicious or neglectful of these movements. While not perfect we can also see how these movements have now matured into more anticapitalist perspectives.
It is within the issue of the climate that huge groups of people are taking to the streets, and we must be there. We must intervene in the climate movement not just opportunistically like strange, small groups of leftists do to gain converts to the church of whatever -ism they worship, but to jointly develop perspectives and means of action. Like every movement, there are different currents in the climate movement, with some friends, some allies and some opponents of our politics. As always, our task is to develop a clear anticapitalist critique and practice.
We must also make this intervention to learn ourselves - some of the means of action and tactics in the new climate movement are much more advanced than ours. We have our positions and our structures, but we are also capable of growing, changing, adapting to new challenges and new possibilities, and the climate movement offers us all of these.
Act Together - Struggle Together
We are going to Gotland to take part in the mass action Take Concrete Action because we want to face the climate disaster and avert it. Through mobilizing large groups of people, we believe that we can not only impact society with critique, but also materially inhibit production. We have done several mass actions before and our experience is that when we get together in this way we build new alliances and structures, create networks and facilitate movement. We push things forward in a way that we are unable to do with other means.
We are also in mass action capable of leveraging a political critique and intervention. Too often we can end up insular in our own spaces. While the local is important, and we work ceaselessly in it every day across the North, we must also move beyond the local to create internationalist movements against state and capital in order to challenge these.
Together we are also strong, we break out of our isolation, we organize with hundreds or thousands of others and create something new together. Through this we gain experience, build trust, become inspired and learn. While the radicals of decades past might have had the strike that functioned as a school to teach
new militants who the enemy was, how to act together and how to win together, now we are deprived by this in the precarious so-called "service economy". Instead, our only place of mass learning takes place in mass actions in the street. Studying is good, but it is nothing without concrete experience.
This is why we will go to Gotland. Join us and take concrete anti-capitalist and anti-statist action.