Original title: Förord

Preface

Although this ninth issue of Riff-raff comes out almost five years since the previous one, we continue where we left off the last time. A lot has definitely happened here in Sweden and in the world, but nothing which has given us any reason to change our course. Despite the deep crisis (which we cannot avoid talking about), the relation between the classes is fundamentally the same as when it was recast at the end of the last restructuring around 19751995. We see, for example, a continued development of the global division of labour and of job “flexibility”; the wage increases continue to lag behind the rate of inflation. The management by capital in the form of layoffs and “austerity” has encountered resistance in many places, in France, Greece and Spain for instance, but it has not led to any resurrection of the workers’ movement. Proletarians today struggle against the immediate deterioration of their living conditions, but they have no interest in taking over and self-managing their own exploitation.1) They struggle to exist but can at the same time not remain who they are.

In the following pages a possible exit of this impasse is discussed: revolution, communisation.

The term 'communisation' has frequently appeared in texts that Riff-raff has published over the years. It has, however, mostly been used in passing and in fairly sweeping terms. With this issue we put the concept at the centre: we are going to discuss what communisation is and what it is not, as well as the wider consequences of adopting the communisation perspective.

The issue is divided into four parts. In the first one we discuss communisation as a revolutionary perspective today, as well as the origins of the concept. The second part is devoted to Marcel and the journal Dissident and their particular view of communisation. In the third part we try to get a grip on history and examine more closely the revolutionary movements of the past. The fourth and last part consists of a text which examines capital’s restructuring in detail – a number of transformations which together laid the foundation of a new relation between the classes and thus of a new revolutionary perspective.

Most of the texts can be ready in any order and there is no particular reason to read the issue from front to back. However, they are all pieces in the puzzle of a comprehensive understanding and often they refer to one-another. Many of them are also comments on texts that lay outside of the issue.

The contributions by the editors come from Peter Åström and Per Henriksson. Xavier Girrard is a comrade from North America who sent us our text a long time ago. The remaining contributions are from our comrades in Théorie Communiste.

Riff-raff is a voice in Sweden, but we are at the same time a part of a larger network which tries to develop the theory of communisation. We are today in very close contact with Endnotes in the United Kingdom, Théorie Communiste in France and Blaumachen in Greece, as well as a number of individuals. Beside the publications of each of these groups, we are involved in a common project: an international review for communisation. This review is to be called Sic and its first issue is prepared for publication at the time of writing.

March 2011
1) A new wave of factory occupations swept over France in 20092010. The workers realised that the most effective method was to hold the boss captive and to await a higher offer of economic compensation. See Jeanne Neton and Peter Åström, “How one can still put forward demands when no demands can be satisfied”, in the coming review Sic.