you're reading...

when the cherry trees are blooming


Why the Manolada incident is not unique.

Everyone knows the above ” truth ” but none ( of us ) is experiencing it’s true extent and intensity . Behind the fuzzy realm of the market , there is the production …. there is the core, this core is without spectacle, and with plentiful ugliness .

Away from the centre of urban cities, where commodities are moving in a spectacular form , beautified and clean, in beautiful packaging and alluring with pleasant and courteous employees offering them to us, there is that place due to the fetishized traffic of commodities , is never visible to the ” consumer “. Surely every worker is a consumer, experiencing exploitation in the field of labor , and to a certain extent he can imagine  similar cases as his own. But the social mediation of the commodity and the division of labor caused by the every necessary conditions of capital valorisation, they embody into a commodity labors although qualitatively identical (they are all “abstract labor “) as “work” are so different to each other, and distant between them, that is unlikely that the worker of an industry who buys strawberries will ever see or speak to the Pakistani worker in Manolada who gathered them from the field. This is a contradiction which we all experience as we all submit to the movement of commodities – both as workers who produce them and as consumers who consume them.

Therefore even if there are many cracks to this “spectacle” by an anti-ideology , class struggle , or simply consciousness, because of the money/commodity form and the general perception of the world that it creates, the truth is, that as ” politicized ” someone may be, he doesn’t know what is going on in the sphere of production of what he consumes, or he knows but he does not ” experiencing ” (what ever this mean about experience , emotion , understanding , thinking etc ) . If  capitalism managed something is the separation of work from life(in form of labor), the production of sub divisions and categories within labor, in quantitative, qualitative level , public and private , etc. After this short theoretical introduction, here we go : how much blood on them have the strawberries or cherries that we consume ?

If someone searches the web for the village ” Archangel” in Pella will find rich material and a great history , a Vlach village with enough population that still speaks the vlach language , rich festivals to honour the ” local product ” cherries . All smiling Joined photos, everything is well. When someone visits the village at summer sees something  way different. The streets are a ” beehive ” with hundreds of people literally on every street , discussing drinking coffee etc. On your way you can not hear a word in greek , but greek have not been replaced by ” Vlach ” but by Albanian and Makedonian . The street is full of hundreds of men Albanian and Macedonian cherry  workers, obviously impoverished who live massively in huge warehouses in the village at the ground floors of the houses of the ” locals ” ( Vlach-speaking Greeks as they call themselves ) many times, in garages or tents that  are modified for this purpose. In there, they sleep on camp beds , with no access to basic sanitation , and with personal space only their bed . Fed by local employers in shops belonging to the same locals they work for, and after the sundown, after work they ” come out ” to entertain themselvs at local cafes . The workers are disciplined and hard-working . They are also sexually disciplined .They do not dare to lay eyes on local women but if they see a woman who is not from around there, then their looks are something more than ” prying “. How are defused sexually all these workers to go tomorrow with the light, back on the cherry fields ? i bet the local have taken care of this too … All this with the ” local men ” in the role of loose merchant coordinator/manager and their women in the role of supplementary manpower to do the easy job leftovers (and of course all the housework , this invisible reproduction for Capital).

But someone will ask : whay do you say all this, and the theory and the facts about ” Archangel ” ? You did not know that this is how things were done ? Do you have any Suggestions? Or you fell from the clouds like all the “respectable citizens” after the incident in Manolada ? – No nothing like that . I knew and similar cases in the area of Serres with Bulgarian immigrants and generally i know about what does it mean-in everyday life terms- the capitalist mode of production and circulation of commodities , what it entails many times next to our door . But the shock remains (and is evident in the text) , as we have become accustomed to the spectacle and its darkness ,and even if we are” politiced” the anger(when you actually see the exploitation) raises the blood to the head. But what gave the impetus for the text was not all that , but the suspicion – and sad confirmation – that since these mediations have nothing to do with ” just” miles but mediated and mediating social relations due to commodity production and circulation , then these producers may also be able to act as” landlords ” in a particular place and time ( in the village ) and are able to adopt the appropriate strategy for their goods to another place and time . These producers have participated in the project ” without intermediaries[1] ” at least once in Thessaloniki and several times in their county . Let everyone think who  interpetent the “without intermediaries” as kinematic / revolutionary project – without any criticism of the value and the commodity and how social relations are organized around the needs of Capital -,They should think what they exactly do by supporting them. If Archangel is not an isolated incident but the very model of who social relation are organized by the capital valorization , let’s think what it takes(what it means for the conditions under their workers work) for all these mass – producers to produce their products in a price that can be sold. And beyond that, can a small, ” philanthropist ” decent ” collectivist ” producer compete with them in the long run? ….

There, there behind the fuzzy sphere of the market, the production …

The mediation we want to stop is not intermediaries …. If you do not want uneven development of productive forces and competition, and therefore to have undervalued lives , it would be good to abolish (for a start) what is counting them …money. And lеts support class struggle for start

[1] Social-political movement in Greece, which blames the “intermediaries” and the product distribution companies for high prices and the austerity. They organize big events in squares in different cities in which producers give their products directly to costumers in lower prices. The movement was a success in the beginning. After that many scandals like the above arose and people saw that this producers were exploitating their workers. The problem is that this movements they don’t have any class perspective, but they promote the relation “producer, costumer”. The problem also is that many anarchist sadly they supported this movement because they thought it was a mass movement. The anarchist who supported this movement called this “alternative solidarity economy”.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: