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Political Vandalism Targets ICE Agent in Philadelphia

Submission

Early this morning, the home and car of leading ICE/HSI agent Bryan McPherson at 2600 Cedar St. appears to have been targeted. His house was spray painted with the words “Resist ICE,” and more importantly, his vehicle was disabled and thousands of dollars in damage done. This act of political vandalism follows after the names and addresses of several ICE agents in PA were released on the Internet last summer. At the time of this writing it is unclear whether this is an isolated incident, or whether other officers have been targeted.

In 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported over 270,000 people. ICE officers separate children from their families; several have died in custody. Bryan McPherson is the Assistant Special Agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a division of ICE in Philadelphia. It is unclear whether or not he will be able to use his vehicle to report to work and deport more people.

Meet Bentley Hatchett II, aka Rosenkranz, writer for TFP Student Action & Foundation For A Christian Civilization

from Panic In The Discord

Although he doesn’t appear on Discord, perhaps due to using a different username, or altogether opting out of using service, Bentley Hatchett II AKA Rosenkranz was identified based on the participation in one of Identity Evropa’s Slack work spaces (as leaked by Unicorn Riot), where he used his real name in the description of his slack username. Bentley is an alumnus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas and is originally from Texas, where he resided in Austin. He is 24 years old.

taken from his facebook, archived at http://archive.is/3jmzz

Per his facebook page, Bentley Hatchett II is a part of Tradition, Family, Property Student Action, which is part of the Tradition, Family and Property network, which is one of the world’s largest anticommunist and anti-socialist networks worldwide. The organization’s national headquarters are in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania. Here is a screenshot from Bentley’s TFP profile.

his TFP profile is archived here: https://archive.fo/6Khli

TFP is already a suspected fascist organization that lightly hides under the veneer of religious freedom. It has been criticized for its homophobic rhetoric, its embrace of creationism, and its participation in climate change denial. You can read all about it on their Wikipedia page.

TFP Student Action’s activities include distributing fliers and other literature on the streets of universities, sponsoring speakers on campuses, hosting student conferences, and organizing protests and petitions, especially against the provision of information about abortion and the acceptance of LGBT students at Catholic universities. Its most recent campaign is against the 96 Catholic colleges and universities that allow LGBT student groups. Homophobia, transphobia white supremacy, and fascism are always linked. Perhaps this is why Bentley took it upon himself to join Identity Evropa, now known as American Identity Movement (AIM) after their communications were leaked, perhaps seeking to build coalitions between white supremacist organizations and ardently anticommunist organizations like TFP.

The headquarters of Tradition, Family, and Property is in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, which is the town where Bentley lives as well.

Bentley Hatchett’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bentley-hatchett-ii-522026142/

Bentley lists the Foundation For A Christian Civilization, a 501(c)3 organization. We researchers wonder how the IRS would feel if they knew the Foundation was employing known white nationalists with intentions of connecting transphobia, and homophobic to white supremacy. Keeping in mind that nonprofit status for hate groups is not allowed. Their GuideStar profile connects them directly to tfp.org

pulled from America Needs Fatima, American Tfp guidestar, archived here: http://archive.fo/PyKGJBack in Bentley’s hometown of Austin, it looks like Bentley’s dad, Bentley Gerald Hatchett I, has racked up quite the record of his own with multiple charges of unlawfully carrying a prohibited weapon, and even familial violence.

Full unredacted version here: http://archive.fo/o2ChC
You can find more information about Bentley on his blogspot blog, Contemporary Crusader. 

Panic! in the Discord Antifa created this article.
If you have tips, send them to: panicinthediscord@riseup.net or @discord__panic on twitter

Street Politics 101 at Anarchy Afternoons

from Facebook

This week we will watch films about the 2012 Quebec student strike on the anniversary of one of its largest (if not most successful) demonstrations.

Seven years ago, on March 22nd 2012, students in Quebec held one of the largest demonstrations in Canadian history. At the time, the organizers were hoping that sheer numbers in the street would give them leverage in the ongoing student strike. Many anarchists and other groups had already been taking a different tack, focusing on developing street tactics through continuous direct actions. After the massive demonstration failed to bring the student organizers to the negotiating table, the strikers seemed to en masse turn their attention to “economic disruptions.” Coming on the heels of a particularly volatile annual anti-police demonstration (held yearly in Montreal on March 15th), these economic disruptions took an explicitly confrontational form. The films chronicle the events that followed.

The main film we will be watching is Submedia’s Street Politics 101 (30 minutes). We will begin this film at 3pm

Clips from the film Insurgence will also be shown throughout the afternoon. This is a rare and powerful document of the period.

For more info on the Quebec student strike: https://crimethinc.com/2012/08/14/while-the-iron-is-hot-student-strike-social-revolt-in-quebec-spring-2012

[March 22nd from 3PM to 6PM at A-Space 4722 Baltimore Ave]

Liberation Project Calendar

from Facebook

We put together an event calendar!
http://tiny.cc/PhillyCalendar

To add your leftist, queer, weirdo events email us the name, date, time and event link (if there is one) at lp.calendar@mailfence.com
Feel free to share!

(image description: vintage cyanotype postcard from 1908 of a very adorable raccoon and a calendar)

No photo description available.

Justice for Kaleb!

from Go Fund Me

On March 6, 2019, Kaleb Belay was violently gunned down by a Philadelphia Police Officer in front of his West Philadelphia home. As a result of the the six bullets that riddled his body, Kaleb sustained catastrophic injuries to various portions of his body and vital internal organs.
His injuries include damage to his spleen, pancreas, left lung, right hand, his abdomen, and remains bedridden for the unforeseeable future.

Kaleb’s treating medical professionals have indicated that his prognosis and future care path remain grim and the road to recovery will be long and arduous. As Kaleb continues to fight for his life everyday, we are asking all of you to join our fight by donating any amount that will go a long way to save Kaleb and help his family.

Gentle; soft spoken; studious; confident yet very respectful – these are words unanimously used to describe our beloved friend Kaleb Belay.

Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Kaleb attended Cathedral High School and Unity College. In the early months of 2018, Kaleb received what most would characterize as an opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to travel to the United States to further his academic career at Temple University.

In August of 2018, Kaleb arrived in Philadelphia to start his studies at Temple University. At the same time Kaleb found an apartment in the diverse neighborhood of West Philly on 4900 block of Hazel Avenue. While in Philadelphia, Kaleb swiftly got acclimated to the diverse and eclectic nature of our city. He quickly forged a small number of interpersonal relationships with individuals within the Cedar Park community.

While in school, Kaleb began working at Booker’s Restaurant as a server. After a short period in this role, Kaleb was promoted to a function wherein he oversaw payroll for employees of the Restaurant. Throughout his time at Booker’s Restaurant, Kaleb was also a full time student at Temple University. He aspired to obtain a degree in the highly competitive field of Finance.

Since Kaleb came with a student Visa, he does not qualify for any government assistance. Thus we need your assistance to provide medical care and treatment as he make the long journey towards recovery.

Thank you and God bless all of you!

Justice for Kaleb Committee

[Donate Here]

The Immiseration of Labor: Capitalism, Poverty, and Inequality in Philadelphia

from Gathering Forces

 

“…the more alien wealth they [the workers] produce, and… the more the productivity of their labor increases, the more does their very function as means for the valorization of capital become precarious.”[1]

“…within the capitalist system all methods for raising the social productivity of labor are put into effect at the cost of the individual worker; …all means for the development of production undergo a dialectical inversion so that they become means of domination and exploitation of the producers…”[2]

The Theory of Immiseration

How are we to understand the contemporary economic situation of most people, who experience increasingly unstable conditions of employment and life?

This essay analyses the growth of poverty and income inequality within the context of a developed capitalist[3] economy, using Philadelphia as a case study. Some might think that this city is an extreme example; for many years now Philadelphia has ranked the poorest of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.[4] However, the basic thesis of this essay is that immiseration is not an exception but instead a normal outgrowth of the capitalist economy.

The concept of immiseration is usually associated with Karl Marx, who insisted that the nature of capitalist production resulted in the devaluation of labor, specifically the decline of wages relative to the total value created in the economy. For Marx, this meant that the proletariat class,[5] or working class, was fundamentally defined by precariousness, i.e. material instability, uncertainty, insecurity, and dependency. This theory stems from Marx’s analysis of the changing organic composition of capitalist production and the reduced demand for labor that emerges as technology develops and labor becomes more productive. With increasingly productive machines, less labor produces more commodities at a faster rate, leading to the gradual replacement of labor by machines. Marx observed that the realities of capitalist competition necessitated this tendency towards mechanization and rising productivity. If a factory in the South restructures production to raise its productivity—allowing it to sell more commodities, at a faster rate, and at a cheaper price, while employing less labor—while a rival factory in Philadelphia does not, then after a while the factory in the South will run the factory in Philadelphia out of business. In order to protect their market from more productive competitors, therefore, capitalists must reinvest part of their capital into increasing productivity, or perish in the long run.

As capitalists competed and became more productive, Marx noted that labor became more impoverished: “The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The unceasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious.”[6] In other words, increases in capitalist productivity were uneven in their effects—they benefited the capitalists, not the workers. As capitalism became more productive and labor produced more capital in a given amount of time, economic output increased; but at the same time, real wages stabilized and even declined, because the input of human labor stayed the same or declined relative to the output of capital.

This constellation of ideas would later be referred to by Marxists as “the immiseration thesis.” However, this term is somewhat misleading since throughout his life Marx developed several theses about the absolute and relative immiseration of labor under different phases of capitalist development. Nonetheless, Marx always theorized the devaluation of labor relative to the self-valorization of capital, and in this sense, he did posit a general theory of immiseration.

An Uneven Economy

Even accounting for periodic crises and recessions, it seems that the US economy is strong and growing, locally and nationally, from the standpoint of those who rule it— the capitalist class.[7] It is still the largest national economy in the world;[8] the world’s largest producer of petroleum and gas[9]; the world’s largest internal market for goods and services[10]; and the world’s largest trading power,[11] with roughly a third of this trade based in the export and import of international commodities, while domestic trade between regions in the US generates even more capital, accounting for roughly two-thirds of US trade.[12]

The majority of this trade is concentrated in the 10 largest metropolitan areas of the US. Those ten metro areas, ordered by largest total trade volume, are: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, and Boston. All the commodities that move throughout the nation, in freight trains, trucks, and shipping containers, flow through a vast transportation infrastructure made up of rail lines, roads, and ports that link these ten metropolitan areas in an extensive network of “trade corridors.” New York and Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Riverside, and San Francisco and San Jose are among the largest corridors within the national network.[13] These regional trading networks also provide access to distant markets that allows US capitalists to take part in global commodity chains. Still, the largest single part of capitalist value in the US comes from domestic trade.

Primarily as a result on their complementary industries in energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and mixed freight, New York and Philadelphia are the largest trading partners in the national interstate network,[14] making the New York-Philadelphia trade corridor the most valuable in the nation.[15] Because it serves as a crucial node in the national trade network, Philadelphia is home to the 7th largest metropolitan economy in the nation,[16] generating the 4th highest gross domestic product in the nation, and the 9th highest among the cities of the world.[17]

The Philadelphia metropolitan economy, which includes Camden, Chester, Norristown, and other peripheral cities and towns, continues to generate massive profits for those who own it. Still, for most people—who are not capitalists, but workers—wages are low, jobs are increasingly insecure, and poverty continues to grow.[18] Despite regional economic growth, poverty has increased more rapidly in Philadelphia than any other major city since the 1970s. However, this trend is not isolated to Philadelphia; poverty has steadily increased throughout the nation since the 1970s.[19]

In the same time period that people became poorer, the national economy continued to grow and wealth continued to concentrate in fewer hands than ever before. After two decades of relative stability following World War Two, US income inequality once again began to grow starting in the early 1970s and continued to grow despite rising business cycles in the 1980s and 1990s.[20] By 2013, the top 1 percent of households received about 20 percent of all pre-tax income, in contrast to about 10 percent from 1950 to 1980.[21] By 2017, the income of the top 20% of households in Philadelphia was up by 13% since 2007, while the income of the bottom 60% of households was below 2007 levels.[22]

While a strong national economy in the late 1990s helped drive down the number of people living in poverty for the first time in decades, this trend was short-lived. Not long after the 2000s began, the bursting of the dot-com bubble sent the nation into a recession, a regular occurrence in capitalism. Millions of people lost their jobs and incomes during the early 2000s, and poverty continued to grow even as the economy recovered by the mid 2000s. The onset of the Great Recession of 2008-2009 only accelerated this trend, and the number of people living in poverty grew even faster. Even with the end of the Great Recession, poverty continued to grow throughout the nation, and Philadelphia registered declines in typical worker wages during the first five years of the recovery. By 2010-2014, 14 million people in Philadelphia lived in neighborhoods with poverty rates of 40 percent or more—5 million more than before the Great Recession and more than twice as many as in 2000.[23]

Although poverty increased among white Americans in the post-Recession period, for black Americans and Latino Americans poverty rose even more sharply, locally and nationally.[24] In particular, black Philadelphians today continue to experience record high levels of poverty[25] and low teen employment.[26] This racial disparity is the result of a longstanding pattern in which white workers, allied with capitalists (who are almost entirely white), exclude black and brown workers from the better paying, more secure jobs.

The De-Industrialization of Labor

How do we explain this disconnect, between growing wealth at the top, and deepening poverty at the bottom?

It’s obvious in retrospect that the rise of poverty in Philadelphia and other former industrial centers is the result of a shift in the capitalist mode of production—from manufacturing industries to service industries, and from city to suburbs. During most the 19th century Philadelphia was a center of craft-based industrial production, well-known for its diverse array of small and medium-sized manufacturing industries—textiles, metal products, paper, glass, furniture, shoes, hardware, etc. By 1900, manufacturing workers made up about one-half of the city’s entire labor force.[27] However, manufacturing jobs began to decline in Philadelphia in the 1920s, and by the 1970s, the service industries came to eclipse manufacturing entirely. Rather than manufacturing, most people now work in the service industries—food service, retail, health service, and logistics sub-industries such as warehousing, transportation, and delivery services. This “de-industrialization” of the economy and workforce resulted in a loss of income for most workers.[28]

The de-industrialization of Philadelphia, and the corresponding rise in poverty throughout the region, began earlier than most other cities in the North American Rust-Belt, shortly after the economic upturn that came with World War One (1914-1918), which resulted in growing mechanization, automation, and standardization of production on a national and global scale. In contrast, Philadelphia’s manufacturing businesses for the most part continued employing the labor of highly skilled craftsmen who worked in small and medium-sized firms, known as “workshops,” which produced custom goods for niche markets. The “Workshop of the World,” as Philadelphia was still known in the 1920s, could not compete with mass industrial production, for mass marketed consumption, by means of the unskilled and disposable mass assembly line workers of the factories in Northern cities like Detroit, Chicago, and New York. The new system of mass industrial production signaled the end of the highly specialized manufacturing processes which characterized most of industrial Philadelphia before World War Two.[29]

With the national economic downturn of 1929, major sections of the city’s craft-manufacturing base began to collapse. By the 1930s, the only manufacturing businesses that remained in Philadelphia were the few that developed mass production methods—factories along the peripheries of the city in Manayunk, Germantown, Kensington, etc. These were the only manufacturing businesses in the city that could actually compete on a national level.

Eventually, the demand for manufacturing in Philadelphia would pick up as a result of the revival of the national economy during World War Two (1939-1945), when federally funded factories hired over 27,000 new workers.[30] The wartime economy opened new possibilities for black workers to join the industrial workforce; while only 15,000 African-Americans worked in manufacturing jobs in the city in 1940, their representation rose to 55,000 by 1943. Although this represented an increase in wages and jobs for black workers, more than half of these jobs were in unskilled positions that offered the lowest wages.[31]

Despite a boost in production during World War Two, Philadelphia’s manufacturing industries began a steep decline during the peacetime transition. Industrial capitalists continued to face the challenge of superior competition, and this time the competition was increasingly global. International trade grew in the decades after the war, as European and Japanese manufacturers began to compete with US manufacturers. In this context, most factories in Philadelphia either went out of business or left the city. By 1955, fewer than 1,000 workers were employed in the city’s formerly expansive textile industries.[32]

Black industrial workers hired during World War Two were particularly affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs. A big factor in this process was the seniority system embodied in most union contracts, which meant that when recession, closure, or layoffs happened, those with the least seniority were the first to go. Since black workers were usually the last hired, they were also usually the first fired.

By the early 1970s, when other major cities throughout the North and Midwest were beginning to experience de-industrialization, most of the manufacturing businesses in Philadelphia had already shut down or relocated to the suburbs, as well as to cities in the South and West of the country. The few industrial firms that remained in Philadelphia were those that invested heavily in automation and raised their standard of productivity.[33]

In the 1980s and 1990s the pattern of de-industrialization became international, as it began to hit most nations in Europe, as well as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Since the beginning of the 21th century, the Southern and Western cities of the US that once drew manufacturers from the older cities have also struggled with the loss of manufacturing jobs. After the economic crisis of 2008, the effects of de-industrialization only intensified on a global scale, especially in underdeveloped nations in the global South.[34]

In conclusion, the de-industrialization of Philadelphia, and the concomitant rise in poverty, was mostly the result of capitalist market competition. Industrial Philadelphia was mostly composed of craft-based manufacturers; these could not compete with highly mechanized and increasingly automated factories elsewhere. The manufacturers that kept up their profits in the face of competitors stayed in business by investing in technology that increased productivity. Some also relocated their businesses to cheaper, less regulated labor markets. In the process, these transformations led to the devaluation and displacement of labor.

Besides the pressures of market competition, another important factor influencing de-industrialization was the militant resistance of the workers who carried out mass strikes and secured higher wages, pensions, health benefits, and better working conditions during the 1930s and 1940s. With the help of the leadership of the major industrial unions (the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations), the capitalist class responded to the workers movement by shutting down or relocating their facilities to the non-unionized South and West in the 1950s. In this way, de-industrialization undermined the power of the unionized working class, and took back the wages and benefits that the capitalists conceded to the workers in previous decades of struggle.

The Growth of Inequality

As capitalism reorganized itself, the service industries came to supersede manufacturing as the primary source of working class employment. Today, the number of industrial jobs in Philadelphia represents only 5 percent of the total workforce of the city, while service jobs represent 40 percent of total employment, making the service industries the largest sector of the city’s workforce.[35] Even within the few manufacturing businesses that remain in the region, they employ increasingly fewer workers, and those they do employ are increasingly part-time, part-year and paid less.[36]

The social composition of the service industries is much more diverse than that of the manufacturing industries, which are highly unionized and still dominated by white men. Women make up over half of all service workers, while black workers form a higher than average concentration in lower-paying service jobs. While service jobs have grown by 56 percent since the 1970s, the overwhelming majority of these jobs are part-time, part-year, require few skills, pay low wages, and offer few to no benefits. At the same time, the number of high salary professional and managerial jobs has grown by 85 percent since the 1970s.[37] This means that de-industrialization has improved the earnings of those in the top-tier of the workforce, while most workers have seen their incomes shrink or stagnate since the 1970s.

Further exacerbating the livelihood of the urban proletariat, jobs have increasingly shifted towards the suburban peripheries of the city, after the pattern of large cities throughout the Northeast and Midwest. This transformation was facilitated by the massive construction of interstate highways in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. While low-income populations in the region concentrate in Philadelphia, Camden, and a number of older urban centers, most jobs are now in the suburbs, often in areas accessible only by automobile, and distant from housing that is affordable to these workers. If city residents do manage to find a job in the suburbs, their wages are effectively lowered because of substantial traveling expenses; if they decide to move to the suburbs, wages are effectively lowered because of higher rent.[38]

The decline of manufacturing jobs was particularly devastating for black workers, who concentrated in unskilled manufacturing jobs and in service jobs within the city, but were almost completely excluded from professional/managerial jobs and skilled trades. As a result of the loss of manufacturing jobs, coupled with the suburbanization of the rapidly expanding service industries, black workers have seen their incomes and jobs decline dramatically since the early 1970s. Although employment rates declined for both white and black men since the 1970s, the black decline was twice that of whites. Furthermore, while there was an increase of employment for white women in Philadelphia since the 1970s, the employment rate for black women hardly changed at all.[39] In this way, de-industrialization eroded the gains made by black workers in the industrial sector in the decades after World War Two.

The Immiseration of Labor

As I’ve shown, the transformation of the Philadelphia economy—from manufacturing to services, and from city to suburbs—has resulted in a deepening of poverty and inequality for most workers in this city. The question remains, why does capitalism develop itself in such a way that results in the immiseration of labor? This much is clear from the outset: nature does not produce, on the one hand, fewer and fewer rich people, and on the other hand, a growing army of workers who own nothing but their labor, which they must sell for an increasingly lower wage. The immiseration of labor results from the contradictions of what Marx called the “capitalist mode of production.”

In brief, Marx argued that capitalism was distinct from all other modes of production in its unique aim: the creation of capital. Whereas other modes of production might find their purpose in producing useful things to satisfy human needs (communal production), or in producing a surplus of luxuries to satisfy a class of nobles (feudalism), capitalism, in contrast, produces the abstraction known as capital. Capital is not produced for the private consumption of its owner, the capitalist. If this were the case the aim of capitalist production wouldn’t be the creation of capital but the consumption of things (or what Marx called “use-values”). Under capitalism, however, capital is not produced for use or consumption; capital functions as an end in itself—it is the starting and finishing point of production.[40]

Beginning with the industrial revolution in the late eighteenth century, capitalists made labor more productive by investing a greater part of capital into the instruments of production, introducing newer, more efficient, and more expensive machines. Such an accelerated development of the forces of production did not exist in any other mode of production before capitalism. Theoretically, this heightened level of productivity could raise people’s standard of life while reducing the amount of time that they have to labor for others. However, Marx was quick to point out that “[capitalist] production is only production for capital and not the reverse, i.e. the means of production are not simply means for a steadily expanding pattern of life for the society of the producers.”[41] Under capitalism, labor is only an instrument for the valorization of capital, i.e. capital accumulation, and nothing else. Instead of serving the needs of society as a whole, capitalist production serves the specific needs of capital accumulation, which requires the devaluing of labor in order for capital to expand. The immiseration of labor, therefore, is not an aberration, but a fundamental feature of the capitalist mode of production.[42] Thus, Marx concluded: “On the basis of capitalism, a system in which the worker does not employ the means of production, but the means of production employ the worker, the law by which a constantly increasing quantity of means of production may be set in motion by a progressively diminishing expenditure of human power, thanks to the advance in the productivity of social labor, undergoes a complete inversion, and is expressed thus: the higher the productivity of labor, the greater is the pressure of the workers on the means of employment, the more precarious therefore becomes the condition for their existence, namely the sale of their own labor-power for the increase of alien wealth, or in other words the self-valorization of capital.”[43] This is a fundamental contradiction of capitalist development: as capitalism becomes more productive, and the means of production become more extensive and technically more efficient, the labor that works up those means of production becomes increasingly devalued and unnecessary.

According to Marx, the drive to accumulate capital at the expense of labor is not based on greed or any other negative psychological trait on the part of the capitalist. If a capitalist does not accumulate capital, if profits are not continually transformed into a further increment of value, then that capitalist is unable to keep up with competitors and eventually goes out of business.[44] This is what Marx refers to as the coercive law of capitalist competition. Workers lose their jobs and their incomes not because of the ill will of particular capitalists, but because the sole aim of capitalism is the valorization of capital, which depends on the maximum extraction of value from labor. In the face of obstacles like market competition and (to a lesser degree) labor struggles, capitalists perpetuate the accumulation of capital by reducing jobs/wages/hours, mechanizing and automating production, and relocating to cheaper, less regulated labor markets.

Marx provided us with the analytical tools for thinking about this internal contradiction of capitalist development—the contradiction between the declining value of labor and rising surplus value, i.e. the basis of capital formation. As capitalist production becomes more productive, the working class can only become more precarious, since the increasing accumulation of capital requires an increasing devaluation of labor. This contradiction is inherent to capitalism—it arises independently of the level of class struggle, fluctuations in wages, state interventions in the economy, or economic crises. At the same time, the relative intensity of the immiseration of labor can rise or drop with the limits set by the accumulation process, depending on the degree of control that workers as a class exert over the economy and the state. At different times in history workers have asserted their interests over and against the drive for capital accumulation, and as a result, have been able to gain a larger share of the total value that their labor produces. Still, for Marx, even if wages and standards of living rise for a time, this does not end the immiseration of labor. That would require the end of capitalism.

Implications for the Future

The story of the immiseration of labor in Philadelphia is particular but not exceptional; it can serve as the basis for general observations on the dynamics of labor-capital relations within a developed capitalist economy. Capitalists in Philadelphia adapted to the challenges of market competition and labor struggle in much the same way that capitalists did in most mid to large-sized manufacturing centers—by shutting down, relocating, and/or automating production. Over time, the bulk of jobs in most US cities shifted to the services sector and to the suburbs. In every city that these changes took place the results where the same: the decline of wages and regular employment for the urban poor.

After having analyzed the antagonistic nature of capitalist production, we can see that the immiseration of labor is the natural result of capitalist development. Therefore, there is no prospect for a return to a so-called “golden-age” of capitalism characterized by moderate wages, benefits, and full-time employment. The easing of income inequality in the developed nations immediately after World War Two was an exception, not the rule, in the history of capitalism. Outside of this brief period in the 1950s and 1960s, capitalism has not delivered on its promise of upward class mobility for most workers, and this promise can only continue to fade as capitalism continues to develop.

Today, most people find themselves within the throes of a drawn-out process of immiseration that shows no signs of reversing itself. Incomes have declined since the 1970s to allow for a greater acceleration of capital formation and accumulation. Even as total economic output continues to increase, and even as the job market continues to grow, working class incomes continue to decline, since most jobs are now in the unskilled, unprotected, low-wage service industries. Under these circumstances, the instability that a developed capitalist system subjects the employment and working conditions of the workers becomes a normal state of affairs.[45] The production process reaches a point of no return, continually reproducing a permanently marginalized mass of low-paid laborers with no hope of a professional career.

Rather than functioning as a site for upward mobility and income growth, the late capitalist megalopolis increasingly functions as a warehouse for low-wage service workers. Over the past fifty years, these structural trends have steadily asserted themselves on global level, especially in the global South.[46] As Mike Davis painstakingly details in his devastating book, Planet of Slums, poverty and occupational marginality are especially prevalent in the cities of underdeveloped nations, where urban existence is increasingly disconnected from mass employment. With unprecedented barriers to large-scale emigration to developed nations, slum populations continue to grow at an unprecedented rate in the global South. For Mike Davis, this is the real crisis of world capitalism: the crisis of the reproduction of labor and the inability of capitalism to stabilize (yet alone improve) the livelihood of the proletariat.

The growing division of the workforce into 1) a small, privileged core of professionals and managers that can expect continuous, high-paying employment, and 2) a large periphery of precarious “floaters,” to which capitalists provide little more than a low wage, for as long or as short a time as capitalists require these workers—this division will only widen as capitalism continues to develop. To the extent that most workers have access to increasingly irregular employment and smaller wages, the trend toward racial and class inequalities will persist, globally and locally. Black workers will continue to be the “last hired, first fired.” White workers will continue to act as labor aristocracy, allying themselves with capitalists to monopolize the professional and managerial  jobs, while relegating workers of color—especially black workers—to the worst paying, least secure, lowest status jobs.

The housing market will continue to reflect the uneven distribution of income and jobs. The white workers who hold the managerial and professional jobs will continue to predominate in the suburbs, or in some comfortable, tree-lined areas of the city like Chestnut Hill, and in the gentrifying neighborhoods close to center city. In contrast, low-income workers will remain in the vast stretches of row houses in Philadelphia and Camden and in the older suburbs like Chester or Norristown.

The Struggle For a Classless Society

Capital seeks to gain their greatest return on its investment in labor and means of production. In pursuing this end, capital has reorganized the production process and with it the realities of working class existence. This raises strategic questions from the standpoint of class struggle: what forms of struggle are developing today that point to a different future? If industrial production created a particular conception of class struggle, what do the service industries mean for the future of class struggle? What does working class power look like in the context of a service economy?

These are complex questions that must be explored via further research of the class composition and dynamics of class struggle in specific regions. Unfortunately, this is beyond the scope of this essay, which at the most serves as the groundwork for such an investigation. Still, on a general level, this research makes this much clear: as long as capitalism continues as the dominant state of affairs, the contradiction between capital and labor can only become more pronounced. Therefore, it is not enough to reform capitalism or morally condemn capitalists—we must develop a plan to overthrow the structure of capitalism in its entirety.

Of course, the design and implementation of such a plan would take different forms depending on the conditions of working class existence in different regions. Nonetheless, at its core, this plan must entail the abolition of private property in the mode of production and the organization of a system of production that is no longer carried out with the goal of capital accumulation, but instead in a way that is systematically regulated by society—not the capitalists, not the market, not the state, but society as a whole. The members of such a society would have to reorganize the production process in such a way that frees their labor from the constraints of capital—an external, independent force standing above society.

However, given the contemporary circumstances of late capitalism, it is unclear whether workplace-centered struggle is the primary organizational form for building this social project. Even though capital continues to accumulate in industrial production, employment has shifted from the sphere of direct commodity production (agriculture, manufacturing) to the sphere of circulation (services). In such an economy, workplace struggles pose little to no threat to capitalism. Even if workers took over every McDonalds or Walmart, the economy would continue to operate in highly automated essential sectors like agriculture, construction, manufacturing, and logistics. If a proletarian revolution were to occur in such a context, the communization of production would not entail proletarian control of workplaces—as conceived by the traditional approach to labor struggle—so much as proletarian expropriation and elimination of workplaces, most of which are nonessential (i.e. most of the services industries) and serve no useful purpose outside of the context of capital accumulation.

The critical period in US mass industrial relations, which began about a century ago and saw a rapid growth in the power of industrial workers’ unions in the 1930s and 1940s, was followed by capitalist counter-organization and restructuring. By the early 1980s it was clear that the New Deal order of relatively strong labor unions was over in the US. Today, the material basis for workplace oriented struggles has fallen apart, shattered by capitalist automation, deindustrialization, and decentralization.

Despite these difficulties, there is still no logical argument for why a classless society is impossible. Even when such a society can only be achieved with difficulty and struggle—in light of rising poverty and racial inequality; in light of constant imperialist wars; in light of the ecological destruction brought about by capitalism—in light of all that, there are still good reasons to fight for a world beyond capitalism, where production is carried out by an association of free people who collectively regulate their own labor. To be victorious, however, we must build organizations that correspond to the present circumstances, instead of simply inheriting the idealized and ready-made organizational forms of the past.

Meet David Fanelli, Identity Evropa Fash In Pennsylvania

from Panic In The Discord

Going by the username V. Balboa on Discord, David Fanelli, born on 03/28/1988, is a prolific member and the designated leader of operations for Identity Evropa in the state of Pennsylvania.  He has over 1,700 messages on the Identity Evropa Discord server, and has been with Identity Evropa since their inception. Fanelli appears to be responsible for almost all of the IE stickers around Philly. According to his social media, Fanelli currently works for Boeing.

You can spot him very briefly in the following video in a blue t-shirt, on the side of other fascist groups, and standing right next to the Identity Evropa flag at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville:

David Fanelli at UTR
David Fanelli at UTR
David Fanelli at UTR

You can him hear yell “build the wall!” at about 22 seconds in, and he makes a few later appearances, as well. You’ll also be able to see David wearing the same glasses in these photos from “Unite the Right” and pictures on his Facebook.

The video has been archived offline, so even if David somehow gets it removed, it will still be available for viewing and re-posting.

David liked to post pictures of himself on Discord — before Identity Evropa was deplatformed from the service this weekend.

Here, you can see him sporting his IE apparel at a Trump rally:

Discord post from V. Balboa showing David Fanelli at a Trump rally (the orientation of the Discord post is sideways here).
David Fanelli doing the White Power symbol in an IE t-shirt.

Just to make the connection crystal clear, here’s his Facebook:

 

He put his antisemitism on display regularly in the Discord logs, sometimes using triple parenthesis in messages, like this post:

He admits his, and Identity Evropa’s, political intentions are to build a white ethno-state:

David liked to post pictures of his dog on Discord. He also posts those on Facebook:

V. Balboa Discord post of Fanelli’s cute pooch. Doxxed by his dog!

You can also see here that David posted a picture of a book he’s reading on Discord. He also posted it on his *very public* Facebook, which he has since taken down. But don’t worry, we have an archive.

David’s books on Discord
AAAAAND David’s books on Facebook. Matchy-matchy.

Fanelli is invested in infiltrating local GOP offices nationwide, but especially in Pennsylvania. As you can see from his archived Facebook friends list, he has many friends that are local pundits and politicians in the GOP in Pennsylvania.

You can see his full archived friends list here: http://archive.is/j50Hq

You can view Fanelli’s archived profile here: http://archive.is/nOnuP 

Fanelli posted this photo on Facebook on October 25, 2018, captioned “GOP dinner party.” After doing some sleuthing, it looks like he was rubbing shoulders with the GOP at the Center City GOP Pre-Election Party with Sen. Scott Wagner on October 25 in Philadelphia.

Fanelli at GOP dinner party in Center City, Philadelphia
Info/details about the GOP dinner party
Info about the GOP gathering Fanelli attended.

According to a database searches and confirmation from local antifascists, Fanelli lives in Upper Chichester, Pennsylvania at 1997 Mill Road, and works for Boeing according to his archived Facebook account. He probably works at Ridley Park Boeing. Here’s their number: (610) 591-2121

David Fanelli AKA V. Balboa – PA

Age:30, 3/28/88

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/david.fanelli.71066 (http://archive.is/nOnuP)

Friends list: http://archive.is/j50Hq

Employment: Boeing

Activism with IE:
-Signed up for Leading Our People Forward 2019
-Says he will attend the American Rensaissance conference

Charlottesville connections:
Attended Charlottesville

On The Recent Events In West Philly

Submission

It’s well known that West Philly is rapidly gentrifying. Developers and more moneyed renters and buyers continue to successfully take more space from poor and working-class Black people. In this process, one of the few negative consequences these newcomers might experience is getting robbed in the neighborhood. In January, the number of robberies in the heart of gentrifying West Philly shot up, in the area between 41st and 49th streets (from east to west) and between Ludlow and Cedar avenues (from north to south). At least eight robberies were reported during that month, according to a University City District (UCD) report. Four homes on Hazel and Larchwood avenues between 49th and 51st streets were also burglarized during this time.

In response, a few of the more unapologetic gentrifiers not only reported the incidents to the police, but also attended a “community meeting” hosted by the police. Following the meeting, the Philly police announced that they would have an increased police presence in the area, including foot patrols specifically in the area between 48th-52nd streets. Sure enough, residents have noticed a lot more cop cars as well as cops on foot in the area since.

On Wednesday, March 6, this increased cop presence and paranoia culminated in the cops shooting a young Black man who live near 49th and Hazel — exactly where gentrifiers had been complaining about burglaries and robberies taking place. Claiming that they had been called to the scene in response to a “stabbing incident” (no stabbing victim was found at the scene) and that he was holding a knife outside a house on the street, the cops shot 25 year old graduate student Kaleb Belay six times (three in the chest). As of this writing he is stable condition at Penn Presbyterian Hospital.

It’s never worth it to call the police over some lost property — and we personally won’t call them to deal with any of our problems. The high 40 and low 50 streets are undergoing intense gentrification. Know that the police’s role is to attract more gentrifiers and push people originally from the neighborhood out. That’s what happened when University of Pennsylvania cleared out an entire neighborhood (what was once called the Black Bottom) of West Philly in order to move the school there decades ago — that’s why UCD security roam the neighborhood.

The police are just looking for an excuse to roll in and further the dispossession and extermination of Black people from the neighborhood. Don’t give them one!

The night after the police shooting, a group of 20-30 people marched down Baltimore Ave with a banner reading “Fuck the Police.” At least two new buildings on the ave between 50th and 48th streets, all with gentrifying new architecture, had windows broken, and one had “Fuck Cops” written on it. The Mariposa Co-Op, which has been a beacon of gentrification in the neighborhood for a long time (known for calling the police on panhandlers), had red paint thrown at one of its surveillance cameras. Anti-police tags and stickers were put up. After the police arrived, things calmed and the march went to the hospital where Kaleb is recovering before dispersing. Throughout the march many passersby and drivers shouted “Yeah, fuck the police!” and other words of encouragement. There were no arrests.

As is usual, the police and media are trying to confuse and bury the story. Initially police reported responding to a call of a man with a weapon, then they said it was a stabbing, although no stabbing victim was found. News media have not been prioritizing the story, instead continuing to publish other stories that justify the further policing of West Philly.

The Eritrean and Ethiopian networks in Philadelphia have come together to support Kaleb. Fundraising efforts have begun to help with costs associated with surviving being shot by the police. A vigil has been organized, and other support meetings have already taken place.

The police and gentrification work together to displace, imprison, and eliminate black and brown people. Each reinforces the other. Gentrifiers encourage the police to do their job, and the police create a welcoming environment for gentrifiers. It’s not surprising that gentrifiers are inviting the police into the neighborhood through the rhetoric of crime and safety (being racist is passe). Despite what either group says, their goals align. It should come as no surprise that Kaleb was shot by the police after neighbors reached out to the police to be more present in the area.

It makes sense to us that people are attacking construction and new buildings in the wake of a gentrification-enabled shooting. Fuck the police! Fuck gentrification!

Identity Evropa’s Neo-Nazi Organizing Plans Revealed In New Leaks

from Unicorn Riot

[Philly Anti-Cap note: This post only contains information relevant to Identity Evropa in or near Philadelphia. To read the rest of the article visit Unicorn Riot’s website linked above.]

The New Jersey chapter of IE seems to have been meeting at the restaurant Moran’s in Hoboken, and Philadelphia metro area chapter has been gathering at the Sproul Lanes bowling alley in Springfield, PA.

According to the Slack chat, members of Identity Evropa’s Philadelphia chapter met with Billy Ciancaglini, the GOP candidate in Philly’s 2020 Mayor race, on March 4, 2019.  Reached for comment about his alleged meeting with Identity Evropa, Ciancaglini told Unicorn Riot, “Go away. You are sad and pathetic. Get a life.”

A Slack chat in which an Identity Evropa member describes meeting with Philadelphia GOP Mayor candidate Billy Ciancaglini

Vaughn 17 Defendants Moved Out Of State In Spite Of Exoneration

from It’s Going Down

The State of Delaware retaliated against defendants in the Vaughn uprising trial last week, by moving them out of state to Pennsylvania.

Kevin Berry, Abednego Baynes, Obadiah Miller, Johnny Bramble, Dwayne Staats, and Jarreau Ayers were all transferred to solitary confinement at SCI Camp Hill, a maximum security facility. They joined Deric Forney, who was transferred weeks earlier in January. Berry, Baynes, and Forney have all been fully acquitted on all charges.

“It’s unusual to move prisoners with short terms left in their sentence out of state,” said Fariha Huriya, an organizer working closely with Vaughn 17 prisoners. “They’re being held in solitary confinement, with no showers, no access to commissary, and limited phone calls. It’s the same inhumane conditions that they faced at James T. Vaughn.”

“The State’s vindictiveness will cost them,” said Betty Rothstein, who also organizes with the prisoners. “The Vaughn 17 have resisted these charges, and will continue to resist and expose the corruption of the DOC and abuse on prisoners.”

There are nine defendants who are still awaiting trial. New trial dates for groups 3 and 4 are scheduled for May 6th, 2019, and October 21st, 2019.