It is impossible to define a new politics without an analysis of capital, on the one hand, and, on the other, without a practice of struggle and a practice for utilizing counterpower (Lazzarato 2015, 25).
On a recent trip to Melbourne I attended a meeting billed as an ‘anarcho/autonomo/commie’ met up and discussion. It was all and all a pretty terrible experience. I left the meeting feeling depressed, confused and wretched. Of course this is not remarkable. Life in general, and especially in late-capitalism, can be a pretty dispiriting affair. In a discussion with Mark after the meeting he pointed out that it was also an ‘illuminating’ experience. I think this is true. My hope here is to attempt to express what was illuminating about this meeting, and I believe it may be of interest or use to a wider group of people than those who endured the unpleasantness itself. Here I wish to touch on why some meetings are terrible, the difficulties of communicating in the absence of a shared political language, two important bifurcations in anticapitalist thought (over how the relationship between revolutionaries and the rest of the class is imagined, and over the way that we understand the dynamics of race, class and struggle in Australia) and finally the role of ‘theory’ and the persona of the ‘theorist’ in all this.