For a Europe of Confederative Territorial Autonomies

The Agire nella Crisi paper towards the #25M demonstration

6 / 3 / 2017

Rome, Porta San Paolo - h. 14.00 [Italian version]

It's not difficult to see why people mistrust Europe nowadays. We don't even need to remind the crisis anymore. The whole set of international treaties which has shaped the EU founding project brought to the renouncement of the democratic pattern as the key of the political construction of Europe.

The integration project began 60 years ago. Anyway, with the Maastricht Treaty it was definitely confirmed that the EU would be managed by technical authorities. Namely, the Commission and the ECB. The European Union is actually an institution grounded upon the crisis of democracy du to the interests of neoliberal oligarchies. In a context like that, we can state that these are hard times for citizens to have a Europeanist soul and to help each other to solve out problems.

The well-known Ventotene Manifesto, cited by the European leaders, was written by antifascist people during the exile. But there it remained. In this actual Europe there's nothing left that recalls a federation able to guarantee basic rights of all people beyond nationalistic boundaries. There is only financial arrogance and sovereign debt's dictatorship from which nobody can get away. It's only austerity violence: privatization of commons, dissolution of welfare state and labor rights, the imposition of a neocolonialist perspective made by Northern Europe on Southern Europe, the impossibility to share an efficient and useful policy to welcome migrants.

Within the European Union, on one side we can find the formal adoption of the crisis of democracy, on the other the old boogeyman of nationalism. All around the EU right-wing, fascist and identitarian political movements are having important political victories and they are growing on a daily basis. Anyways, patriotic-socialists and other left-wing nationalistic tendencies are blowing on the Continent too, looking at the Bolivian experiences of Southern America. From our point of view we stand clear: we definitely don't want to hear about nations anymore, regardless the political tendency. 

On the 25 of March we are going to be in Rome against the neoliberal European institutions and the right-wing racist meeting. But it's not enough to physically be there. We have to point out some stances.

Firstly: the European institution crisis must be deepened. We don't care about the operations of new left-wing parties whose goal is “to reform” European institutions and “make them more democratic”.

Secondly: we really think that it's politically wrong to use the nation-state refrain and even protectionism in order to attack the neoliberal system. We do not stand with those who see in the figure of Donald Trump a jab to the “financial power” and to NATO: try to explain that to migrants, Afro-American people, women, the LGBTQ community and native American tribes of Standing Rock! Furthermore, we have nothing to share with the bloody dictator of Assad, who has been defined by many as a “socialist”, and with Vladimir Putin, seen as the old soviet leader. 

The exit form the Eurozone does not represent a solution. We do not love the German-led coin, but we think that money is an institution and it reflects the values of the society that created it. The values that we push forward have nothing to do with nation-state coins as well as with a continental-state frame.“Should I stay in Eurozone, or should I go?” is a false problem. What we must follow is the dream of a different society and, therefore, of a different coin; we don't want to follow the nostalgia of the old national coin.

We don't reject the International and European dimension as a strategical space for the overturn of relationships of power. 

Of course, subjectivation processes in Europe are not the easiest ones. As far as now, there is not a European General Intellect so aware of its potential autonomy that it can be waken up by slogan keywords in order to engender a rupture within the most advanced point of capitalistic production. At the same time, we think that the category of people is controversial. It makes individual what is multiple; it pushes us to look for the possibility of change in those impulses that, on the contrary, hide class differences, light up the war among poor and represent the natural habitat where xenophobia and racism gain seats. In spite of this, we still stand for the European space as a strategical dimension for the action of movements and the change processes.

The Europe we want is not so easy to reach; yet, it becomes concrete within the struggle against the Europe that exists now: the one of austerity, of the destruction of environment, of anti-migrants walls, of the political and economic diktats. Starting from this frame we must put forward not the denial of the European space, but the needs and desires of those who live inside it. That is the perspective that we need to be able to assume. For it's the ground zero the contradictions and possible rifts within the European governance come from, though those events can be different from each other and incoherent. 

For instance, the people who violated national and European laws in 2016 to struggle for migrants' freedom and dignity are an example of the potential chance we are talking about. Moreover, the attempt of different European cities to rebel against the EU and national governments' diktats represents a contrast both to nationalism and the governance of austerity. These experiences aren't just recalling the historical heritage of municipalism, but they are grounded upon a reconstitution of social bonds. We can see that especially in Southern Europe, for example in Naples and in Barcelona, where we could watch at the demonstrations called to welcome migrants.

Our image of Europe springs out from this source: the social force that moves and grows in our local territories. The Europe that we want is first of all against governance and nation-states: it is a Europe composed of different, interconnected, local territories. 

The Democratic Confederalism of Rojava, despite the differences with the EZLN experience, shares with it the image of a fascinating tangible utopia. Like the Europe we desire, both Rojava and EZLN are built upon a federation of districts ruling through self-government democracies, in opposition to the concept of State.

Our idea of Europe has to be written yet. It concerns a European space that goes beyond the contradiction between metropolis – globally related to each other - and local towns. For us, doing the “donkey work” means to break the imaginary that counterposes Naples to Gorino and Venice to Veneto, that is, large European centers Vs. the conservatory countryside towns around it. The countryside conservatory towns are, as far as now, the filed of political intervention for neofundamentalism, that's to say reactionary populisms.

In addition to all of that, local struggles have showed their capacity to unite radicalism and social bonds. Although local struggles are heterogeneous, their common denominator is to be moved by self-government tensions and to struggle against the same devices of neoliberal subjectivation. In fact, capitalistic patterns of governance combine the public State with the private interest all over Europe, thus interpreting its geography as a map for capitalistic profits and rents that distinguishes between an A-level Europe and a B-level one. We need to create a federation of all those struggles that stand against the destruction, the theft of social resources, the rental expropriation and capitalist valorisation. This kind of struggles puts at stake the issue of democratic decision and its alienation forced by the European governance. Their claims are addressed to local, national and European institutions. Even if it's hard for these struggles to accomplish their tasks, they confirm the awareness about the importance of the Continental space for blocking the tools of the exploitation. Local territories, as well as nations, are consistent with strong populist tensions; and yet, they are the dimensions in which it is possible to find the alternatives to the reactionary impulses.

We are outlining a Continental space where cities and rebel territories can relate to each other to compose a device combining the infrastructural power of the former ones with the richness of struggle of the latter ones. A federation of territorial autonomies, of their struggles, is to us the only way to leave behind the exhausted ideas on Europe and, consequently, to build up a new one that millions of people can acknowledge. 

On the 25th of March the people responsible for the European catastrophe will gather to celebrate the beginning of the integration process marked by Roma Treaties. A European Constitution, grounded upon democratic basis, universal rights and welfare, has never existed: the EU holds up just on financial agreements, free circulation of commodities, the interests of transnational capitals and national ones. 

On the 25th of March we will be in Rome to state that we don't want a Europe made of treaties because our Europe refers to local territories, universal rights, freedom, deep redistribution of wealth and power. Our Europe tears down borders because we don't want to be neither inside this Europe or outside it, but we'd rather be on the wrecks of its walls. 


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