[thingist] The Re-uptake of Labor

sebastian at rolux.org sebastian at rolux.org
Tue Jun 2 12:39:52 UTC 2020

totally unfinished business (the translation) but what isn't ;)


The Re-uptake of Labor


Filmed on 10 June 1968 at the entrance to the Wonder factory (light bulbs). We
see a single woman, in a large gathering of men, the moment which, after the
strike of a thousand events in May '68, everyone is supposed to go back to work.

The voices of reason, embodied by the male functionaries of uprising, remind
the woman of the small concessions they have been offered, also the possible
concessions with regard to an indefinite future, the potentiality that lies in
the events of the strike itself, and so they ask for adjournment and await a
concession from her in return.

But she doesn't want to. She doesn't want to go back. Her "emotionality" in the
face of what she is so bad at "mediating" with "reason": that this situation
here, the ordered return to the dirt of the factory, is about her life, which
in the moment of the interruption of everday sameness had opened itself up to
her, in a completely different projection, towards completely different forms
of production, maybe even the opposite, an end to permanent production - that
makes the men around here visibly uncomfortable. And that's how hands end up on

There also appears a man, the figure of The Young Man, who is ready to face the
camera discursively, which means properly. This doesn't disturb the sequence,
in the film she will now disappear among the talking heads and bodies, he keeps
playing on the predefined territory. More men follow who will always be right,
also in their life after the film, but they will never find justice, and then
they'll be wondering why the one they keep talking at, whenever they are in the
right, always reacts so "hysterically". Even though hysterical, that's only and
exactly what they are themselves, as they exploit every possible situation to
perform forms of speech (almost always ideological and almost never spoken from
experience) that, without consideration for losses, maximize their own profit.

Of course, May 3 2020 is not just literally about the return to the factory.
Because the factories of the 21st century, the logistics centers for example,
are still hives of activity. On May 3, 2020, what she doesn't want, what she
doesn't want to return to, is the fabrication of life. The return to a
fabricated life that is not only unsustainable and irresilient, but also
mendacious and violent and boring and false, unbearable not just a vision of
the future, but unbearable now, in every moment. The ecological crisis of
capitalism is merely the sum of billions of individual ecological crises, of
individual lives that have become too abstract and careless and miserable and
uncontinuable: a global desaster that is bearing your name. That has been going
on forever, and that will continue with certrainty, while we're busy figuring
out who is at fault, and carry out wellness therapy against corona in social
separation, without a practical critique of separation.

And in the case of the Germans, who are already celebrating themselves as
Weltmeister of Coronabewältigung(1), May 3, 2020 is all about cautiously
ramping up export production again, to make sure the virus doesn't cause a true
catastrophe. That means car production, and everyone will be ordered to drive
to Rimini for holidays, just like in the 1950s. And in this respect, the
reprise du travail is not only about the labor of life and its reproduction -
in the kitchen, by the stove, in bed and on zoom - but also about the
fabrication of death and destruction. The Germans owe a large portion of their
their prosperity to the production of a machine that kills over three and a
half thousand people every day, nearly one and a half million per year, and
these are people whose sudden but still often miserable deaths are already
priced into German prosperity, including the five thousand Euros of free money
for freelancers, by which the Berlin Senate puruses its clientele policy that
promotes: "Keep it up!" and "Carry on as if nothing happened."

And she'd rather not. She prefers not to(2). And that(3) remains our house(4),
and finally throw the cars out of Kreuzberg, and if that doesn't work out then
throw out the Greens and the Left and the Social Democrats.(5)


(1) World champions of "coping with corona", derived from the noun
"Vergangenheitsbewältigung", "coping with the past", which is the term Germans
use when they celebrate their victory over the holocaust, the fact that they've
managed to cope with it. The verb "bewältigen" means "to successfully deal
with" a workload, or "to overcome" a difficult task, but clearly there is
"Gewalt" ("walten" means to govern) and "überwältigen" in it, to overpower a
victim in the moment of arrest or assault.

(2) Melville, Bartleby (the last consensus concept persona of the radical left,
or at least of Diedrich Diederichsen and friends, which includes piratecinema)

(3) The end is a quote from one of the most famous Ton Steine Scherben tracks,
"Rauch-Haus-Song"(6), about the occupation of Bethanien and the cops on
Mariannenplatz: "This is our house! Throw Schmidt und Press und Mosch out of
Kreuzberg, finally!" Schmidt and Press and Mosch were representatives of the
real estate mafia who at the time were constructing the NKZ (Neues Kreuzberger
Zentrum) at Kottbusser Tor, which was finished in December 1972. Lead singer
Rio Reiser would later pursue a solo career, see "Junimond".

(4) "That remains our house" refers to the "House Bartleby", the name of the
allegedly former leftist association that in 2020 initiated the nazi demos at
Volksbühne. The "House Bartleby" is where the Tocotronic-Left(7) - who we have
to thank for the lie of the "Querfront"(8) on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz(9), and who
always just wanted "to be part of a youth movement"(10), no matter for or
against what, or if at 17 or as pensioneers - has, hoping for hard times, holed
itself up.

(5) "Then she's alone with CDU and AfD?" - "No, they have to be kicked out
firse. Alone with the Bergpartei(11) and KPD/RZ(12) hopefully." - "Hmm...
aren't they all infiltrated by Die Partei(13)?" - "The party that put up
K.I.Z.(14) as Kreuzberg candidates?" - "Yes, those with Sexism Against the
Right(15)." - "Hmm..."

(6) "The double album Keine Macht für Niemand ('No power for no-one') was
released in 1972 by rock band Ton Steine Scherben. The track "Rauch-Haus-Song"
describes the scenes when the police attempted to evict the squatted
Georg-von-Rauch-Haus in December 1971. Members of the band were involved in the
squat and were present when the police attacked. A derelict nurses' dormitory,
part of the former Bethanien hospital, had been occupied in early 1971. It was
one of the first buildings to be squatted in Berlin. The squatters had renamed
the building Georg-von-Rauch-Haus after Georg von Rauch, a leftist who was shot
dead by the police on 5 December 1971. The police action was unsuccessful and
the Georg-von-Rauch-Haus remains in existence almost fifty years later. Within
the German squatter movement, the "Rauch-Haus-Song" became an anthem, with the
refrain 'Das ist unser Haus' (This is our house) being shouted out as a motto."

(7) The founding pamphlet of "House Bartleby" prominently refers to the German
band "Tocotronic" - which piratecinema strongly dislikes - as a witness for
lazyness as a political strategy. Singer Dirk von Lowtzow attained nationwide
semi-prominence and is, among other things, a Texte zur Kunst regular.

via: https://thegermanissue.com/texts/the_re-uptake_of_labor.html

german version: https://piratecinema.org/screenings/20200503

video: https://piratecinema.org/videos/reprise.mkv

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