“We won’t pay for your crisis.” Once this phrase raced around the world. But now we should say: “We will pay for nothing.” For we ourselves are the crisis and catastrophe.
The Lehman Shock, the Greek crisis, the Fukushima nuclear disaster (…) – who will take charge of the outcomes of these catastrophes? The only thing that is certain is that in each calamity we have become more and more indebted to the IMF or global financial capital. Inasmuch as not only our homes and schools but also all institutions both public and private are relying on bank loans, all of our labor is directly channeled into the payment of debts.
Let’s recall the difficulties the workers at La Hague Nuclear Reprocessing Plant in France first confronted. Nuclear plants cannot be stopped! They are not simply facilities for power generation, but a completion of the capitalist apparatus that makes strikes impossible. This has been revealed emphatically after four reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant exploded. Amidst massive fallout of radioactive substances, social integration is forced by the imposition of labor as leverage. It is not by accident that economic and industrial ‘reconstruction’ from the earthquake and participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership are brought up by the ruling power of both Japan and the US at the same time. While being exposed to radiation, the people continue to work in order to pay back their debts. The global financial institution called IMF is disseminating debts as radioactive substances are being disseminated. This hell for us is paradise realized for capitalism.
Innumerable occupation movements across the world — in Zuccotti Park and Koenji, for instance — have revealed the fact that our societies themselves have been fully soaked in debt and radiation. Is there a way to save the totality called society? Isn’t it society itself that needs to be decomposed? The concept of society was positivistically coined in 19th century Europe, along with the representative system, in order to control and oppress the inundating population. During the experience of occupation, we have observed how all sorts of state violence have been exercised under the name of society. Since 3/11, the social space in Japan has been physically made into a receptacle for radiation expansion. In this condition what we can conjure is not another better society, but innumerable ways in which the totality of the world offers us space for living.
It is no longer possible to construct a new collective totality. Amidst expanding debts and radiation we should rather create unexpected connections and disconnections within all existing collectivities and by so doing, live a totality world by way of a Totality Strike. All contracts will be cancelled. It is not thanks to certain social reforms that we will be ultimately released from the yoke of loans and rents. It is our task to recover the totality world by rejecting payments of debt and rent. As the Japanese anarchist Sakae Osugi once said, in the coming strike we will be thieves. In this catastrophe, we will become animals (or bare lives) precisely like the rebel novelist Ango Sakaguchi did. Meanwhile those who are continuously obsessed with the ideas of society will suddenly find out that they are themselves a menace for the totality world. Is the earth, after having been wounded and contaminated to this extent, still our dear old home? Or can we expect that these loads of debt and fallout will disappear one day? In any event, the only way for us to proceed to the totality world is by becoming thieves and animals, by our Totality Strike.
3/11 marked a definite discontinuity. First came the unprecedented natural disaster, then the reactors exploded, and since then, massive amounts of radiation have been released into the land, rivers and the ocean. Hereby all the meanings and intentions handed down from the past have lost their ground. In the wake of 3/11 the state and society have begun to collapse and history has been severed.
Neoliberalism is a movement that takes risks as collateral and continues to accelerate that process. The explosions at Fukushima Daiichi took place as the limit of the movement, but at the same time it is evident to everyone’s eyes that the society cannot take charge of the risks derivative of the accident. In consequence capital can no longer insure Tokyo Electric Company. What does this mean? Insurance and integration are the grounds for the establishment of a society. The end of insurance is equal to the end of social collectivity, and that taking responsibility through insurance has become impossible is equal to that the law has lost its executive basis. These situations are pointing to the end of the state – it is such process that has been miserably revealed in front of the world.
Then, who should take charge of the catastrophe? It is all of us. The catastrophe has been divided among us and is shared by all of us. Thus we are the catastrophe. If so, our only possible response to 3/11 would be to realize a catastrophe from our side. The catastrophe from our side means to pronounce the state and society at their end – that is the Totality Strike. However, neither the state nor society would just die out; rather, they seek to negate the on-going catastrophe, precisely, by sharing it with the entire society. For instance, contaminated rubble as the embodiment of catastrophe has been distributed across the Japan. The state and society have been transferring the wreck of destruction and the debt of the past colonial dominations to the people. They have been manipulating to divide the anti-nuke public opinion. All of these are forms of civil war waged by the state and society.
In the catastrophe and civil war, post-3/11 Japan shares its part of the impetus for the global general strike or the insurrection.