Public Comment

New: Police can't solve revolution

Thomas Lord
Thursday April 27, 2017 - 10:57:00 AM

It occurs to me that in the end, the police can not dispel this series of clashes. Indeed, the police are the very fulcrum used to lift these events into broader social significance. 

Police are seemingly in a double-bind. On the one hand they are bound to "public safety". On the other to "free speech". 

Those categories, though, overlook the obvious central concern of policing: property. 

The police's primary concerns in these events all revolve around property: public or private, this jurisdiction or that. 

Whatever their well-meaning intent, the laws they are now given the impossible task of upholding all center around who may associate and speak WHERE and WHEN. It is about the use of the ground. This may be made even more obvious by considering the twists of jurisdiction lines between UCPD and BPD, and the looming threat of other forms of police from higher (enclosing) jurisdictions (the county, state, or federal government). 

Freedom of speech, so called, in the bourgeois state (sorry, I know that's a trigger word for some) is entirely contingent on bourgeois property: property considered from the perspective of the capitalist; property rights as the hierarchical assignment of administrative rights over the potential productive uses of -- in this case -- land and buildings. 

So there is a circle of contradictions: the state can not impose prior restraint on assembly or speech which contradicts in this case the needs of public safety; the policing of public safety in this case contradicts the limits of the property rights of the trustees of public property. 

I think it only underscores the whole thing that Coulter was said to be coming here to talk about "immigration" and the white nationalists are on an ethnic purge trip. Both amount to the same thing: a fervent desire to eradicate the cultural cacophony of an open labor market, to push out the competition, and to establish (in their imagination at least) a prosperous volksreich uniting labor and capital in some utopian dream. 

The nazism, white nationalism, ult-right or whatever you prefer to call it is nothing less than a logical extension of Berkeley's own liberal capitalism. Look in the mirror, Berkeley. The two sides in that equation -- liberalism and the ult-right differ only in small degrees on such questions as the details of border controls and cultural policing aimed at the smooth functioning of capital. It never occurs to either side that there may very well be -- indeed history suggests there is not -- any solution to that problem. Whether it is whites-only or "intersectional", the volksreich is an oxymoron. 

We live in an era when on the one hand capital simply has no use for anywhere near the supply of labor power; and on the other hand in which the global imperative, or at least that in the more or less developed world, is that one must sell their labor power or die. 

Without the struggle for supremacy within the already oppressed labor market, this fight wouldn't exist. It's no accident that this fight started in the depths of the Great Depression, and now returns in the wake of the crisis of 2008. 

Looking at results and trends in France, and Europe more broadly: I think this may be the new normal, pending revolution.