honest ale (albeit
weak and overpriced), not the prim decency of temperance, which provided the soundest bulwark against both the cultural and military threat
of the German warmachine.
The pub and the people
Many underlying demographic shifts were also accelerated by the
Second World War, the most significant of which was the popularisation
of the pub among young women. Mass-Observation had already observed
that a significant number of pub goers in the late 1930s were female,
however the majority of these were women aged
). Superman? Superfly!
The gangsta, therefore, has an uncanny proximity to supercapitalism. He
assembles with his AK-47 and his production arsenal of beat box, samplers and
sequencers, a mini-supercapitalist warmachine. Like war itself, he becomes
capitalism’s excess-essence, or rather its x-essence where, as with Malcolm X,
the ‘X’ marks the unnameable inheritance of African lineage overwritten by
slavery. ‘X’ marks the essential point of impossible African-American authenticity that resides imaginarily in the remnants of the civil-rights movement
. Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Flora Sandes and Maria Botchkareva’s Russian Battalion of Death also retain enduring appeal precisely because they transgressed conventional codes of behaviour and notions of women’s ‘appropriate’ role in war by not simply waiting patiently for the return of their husbands and sons, keeping the home fires burning. This interest in war women is heightened when it becomes common knowledge that young women, trained in unarmed combat and silent killing techniques, were infiltrated behind enemy lines to wage war against the might of the Nazi war
’s commitment and sacrifice
is still celebrated, but its power to change history is not exaggerated.
In the eyes of the late EP Thompson, human agency is no match for
states and their warmachines.
The style of Beyond the Frontier also marks the distance its author
had travelled by the late 1970s. Thompson’s contribution to There
is a Spirit in Europe is almost rhapsodic, a hymn to heroic sacrifice
and a glorious future; the author of Beyond the Frontier is restrained,
preferring irony to rhapsody, and suspicious of generalising too far
from the historical details he has laid
Expurgating bodies, commodities and ideas, 1800–1870s
and personal belongings from contagious diseases, passengers were also expected to purify themselves through moral expurgation. Such had always been the case, since time immemorial, with cross-border rituals.
1 G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, ‘Treaties on nomadology – the warmachine’, in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizoprenia (London; New York: Continuum Publishing, 2004).
2 D. Palermo, ‘Introduzione, “Epidemie, Sanita” e controllo dei Confini’, Storia Urbana , 147, Anno XXXVIII (April–June, 2015), 5–8 ; l’Epidemia dei Messina del 1743
moral sentiments and prejudices, so that ‘troops . . . slaughter
thousands without a vestige of remorse’ (p. 333). Role-playing
Images of war
leads to moral evasion. In his new identity as ‘soldier’ the individual ceases to be bound by the duties that apply to ‘ordinary men’.
Furthermore, the collective nature of war, whereby the individual
operates as a tiny cog in the great war-machine, erodes the sense
of moral responsibility: ‘When such deeds are committed, there
are so many instigators, participants, and abettors that no single
the first decade of the twenty-first
century, averaging 12.9 per cent annual growth (AirportWatch, 2009b:
5). What is more, alongside the inexorable expansion of commercial
aviation, there has also been a steady and considerable growth of
military aviation. In important respects, commercial and military
aviation have always been joined at the hip. Major spurs to technological innovation were brought about by the needs of warmachines,
while many commercial airports began their lives as military runways.
The aerospace industry remains a critical part of aviation in
the Market and the masses.
The rough beast is amongst us now. We are assimilated and possessed by
it. World War III is a post-national, which is to say it is a pre-modern, war.
The warmachines of a global plutocracy, banks and hedge funds, are laying
siege to democratic, republican and federal states: debauching currencies by
junking sovereign bonds; raising interest rates; cutting off cash flows; forcing
austerity measures that make democratic legitimation of government increasingly impossible; forcing states to empty their mundus and to sell off public
(1911), Hervé in his newspaper
La Guerre Sociale had issued an appeal as late as July 1914 for mass demonstrations against the war (Fainsod, 1935: 21; Bowman, 1911: 6). The Frenchman
had even possibly influenced the Belgian Hendrik de Man’s (see below) advocacy of a revolutionary response to the outbreak of conflict and of the use
of military and general strikes as spokes in the wheels of the warmachine
(Dodge, 1966: 16). According to Hervé, no nation was worthy of defence,
and therefore standing armies could not be justified. Foreign control imposed
International Socialist Tendency, which
is made up of affiliates from thirty different countries (see www.swp.org.uk/links/
017-058 PoliticsBetrayal Part 1.indd 54
‘Turn on, tune in, drop out’ … drop back in
mouthpiece, Christopher. In the ten years prior to his death from oesophageal
cancer in 2011, Hitchens erased most of his radical reputation. Witness the
extraordinary juxtaposition of the radical opponent of the might of the US
warmachine being waged on Vietnam with the twenty-first-century Hitchens