Dead Prez in Melbourne

So um, Dead Prez came to Melbourne. I saw them perform at The Espy on Monday night, and I saw M-1 speak at another event at Trades Hall on Tuesday night. I was in a shit mood on Monday, and almost didn’t make it to the show; I did, but, being tired, I left after watching maybe half-an-hour of their performance on the promise of a lift home. Oddly enough, the feelings I had while watching Dead Prez were reinforced when M-1 spoke the following evening, although my mind at first turned to more personal matters than, say, society — and spectacle. Anyway, a video of M-1’s speech will apparently be thrown up on the ah, Internets at some stage soon, so until then, some remarks on one of its themes — internationalism — by someone more erudite on the subject than I am at the present moment:

“Those who make revolutions half way only dig their own graves.” A revolutionary movement cannot attain some local victory and then expect to peacefully coexist with the system until it’s ready to try for a little more. All existing powers will put aside their differences in order to destroy any truly radical popular movement before it spreads. If they can’t crush it militarily, they’ll strangle it economically (national economies are now so globally interdependent that no country would be immune from such pressure). The only way to defend a revolution is to extend it, both qualitatively and geographically. The only guarantee against internal reaction is the most radical liberation of every aspect of life. The only guarantee against external intervention is the most rapid internationalization of the struggle.

The most profound expression of internationalist solidarity is, of course, to make a parallel revolution in one’s own country (1848, 1917-1920, 1968). Short of this, the most urgent task is at least to prevent counterrevolutionary intervention from one’s own country, as when British workers pressured their government not to support the slave states during the American Civil War (even though this meant greater unemployment due to lack of cotton imports); or when Western workers struck and mutinied against their governments’ attempts to support the reactionary forces during the civil war following the Russian revolution; or when people in Europe and America opposed their countries’ repression of anticolonial revolts.

Unfortunately, even such minimal defensive efforts are few and far between. Positive internationalist support is even more difficult. As long as the rulers remain in control of the most powerful countries, direct personal reinforcement is complicated and limited. Arms and other supplies may be intercepted. Even communications sometimes don’t get through until it’s too late.

One thing that does get through is an announcement that one group is relinquishing its power or claims over another. The 1936 fascist revolt in Spain, for example, had one of its main bases in Spanish Morocco. Many of Franco’s troops were Moroccan and the antifascist forces could have exploited this fact by declaring Morocco independent, thereby encouraging a revolt at Franco’s rear and dividing his forces. The probable spread of such a revolt to other Arab countries would at the same time have diverted Mussolini’s forces, which were supporting Franco, to defend Italy’s North African possessions. But the leaders of the Spanish Popular Front government rejected this idea for fear that such an encouragement of anticolonialism would alarm France and England, from whom they were hoping for aid. Needless to say this aid never came anyway.

Similarly, if, before the Khomeiniists had been able to consolidate their power, the insurgent Iranians in 1979 had supported total autonomy for the Kurds, Baluchis and Azerbaijans, this would have won them as firm allies of the most radical Iranian tendencies and might have spread the revolution to the adjacent countries where overlapping portions of those peoples live, while simultaneously undermining the Khomeiniist reactionaries in Iran.

Encouraging others’ autonomy does not imply supporting any organization or regime that might take advantage of it. It’s simply a matter of leaving the Moroccans, the Kurds, or whomever to work out their own affairs. The hope is that the example of an antihierarchical revolution in one country will inspire others to contest their own hierarchies.

It’s our only hope, but not an entirely unrealistic one. The contagion of a genuinely liberated movement should never be underestimated.

For all the rock stars preachers and other politicians there are people in our own backyard who have the vision to create the kind of of peace whose time has come theory into praxis bold as love.

Moar later, on Dead Prez, M-1, Robbie Thorpe, and ah, other stuff…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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2 Responses to Dead Prez in Melbourne

  1. Fascist Troll says:

    Hooray! This is my last comment!

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