- Posted: 09 Şubat 2012
- Category: Languages
We are organizing our lives against the capitalist world order.
We live in times when the culture of consumerism that global capitalism imposes doesn’t leave us any other option but giving in. The capitalist hegemony reveals the fact that global companies have turned into cruel murderers that steal our lives. We are talking about a world order in which the madness provoked by capitalism causes human beings to become estranged from nature and reason to such an extent that killing animals is hardly a concern.
In such severe circumstances, adopting destructive practices to fight capitalism here and now involves reviving some old shared values. Such a model combines capitalist values with the destructive practices of everyday revolution (via direct participation).
The 26A collective produces, shares and enacts the vision of a new world today, here and now.
About the 26A Collective:
We, as the 26A collective, resist capitalism that alienates human beings by forcing them to take part in the economic and social exploitation through the spatial, practical and economic partnerships we create. In particular, 26A closes its doors to slavery and submission, supports the oppressed victimized by the economic exploitation and experiences a new model of solidarity. This model should be taken as the key to all anti-capitalist practices.
26A has two locations in Istanbul that are run by volunteers who adopt sharing and solidarity as the guiding principle. The needs of the locations, into which the products of global companies are not allowed, are met by collective production.
Café 26A is located in Taksim, the consumer’s mecca in Istanbul with its 6000 cafes and bars, and it has been run by nearly 30 volunteers for the past three years. The café serves food and drinks that are collectively prepared as an alternative to the products of global companies (coca cola, fanta, Nescafe, etc) without any concerns for profit. The network that is supported by international and local solidarity (coffee from Mexican zapatistas, tomato paste from antep, etc) is growing everyday. The café makes some extra money by selling these goods. Preserves prepared by volunteers can also be found on the shelves in the café. Occasionally, we organize feasts in order to prompt the culture of communion. 26A is also a social center where exhibitions, film screenings and public discussions are held. In addition to our own volunteers, other groups also regard the café as a meeting place.
26A Used Bookstore:
Another branch of the collective is the used bookstore in Kadikoy, Istanbul. The store sells books and magazines that have been gathered in two months at zero profit and it is also an experiment in the production and dissemination of knowledge. The store is run by 20 volunteers and is in solidarity with other bookstores and publication houses. 26A Bookstore circulates magazines reproduced by photocopy and also holds workshops and discussions in its garden.
The store, in which the collectively produced food is served, provides a quiet place for reading. We are growing the new world in our hearts, here and now, through share and solidarity. Through such spaces, 26A aims to dismantle the divide between “the everyday” and “the political” by organizing a total resistance against capitalist mode of living and relating.
Collective Volunteerism as opposed to the Hierarchical Division of Labor:
The 26A Collective does not distinguish between the servant and the customer and aims to show the efficacy of the principle of volunteerism in social organizations.
The Knowledge of Life is Essential
Capitalism points the power of knowledge as a lethal weapon at our lives. Through mechanisms of control, capitalism systematically tames and victimizes human beings by imposing strict rules. The alienated, lonely individual, under the illusion that she is happy, cannot escape the desperate order of slavery. Minds that have been uniformed by the educational system perpetuate the annihilation of creative perception and difference. As a result, knowledge becomes an ideological apparatus that serves the needs of power. The knowledge of life, however, is a journey that leads to the rediscovery of existence. This principle also provides a common ground for overcoming the disagreements among the volunteers of the 26A collective.
The 26A Collective is an expansionist, transformative and life-changing anti-capitalist cultural organization. In keeping with the demands of capitalism, human beings, nature and the lives of all organisms are commodified, branded and packaged. Today, everything is a commodity, everything is a product. We need to reject this view. These crazy times require an immediate action for an anti-capitalist mode of life. The 26A collective aims to enact a total anti-capitalist cultural organization. It will also provide an alternative experience of life in this country with its emphasis on expansion, transformation and change. In the anarchist Errico Maletesta’s words, “the oppressed masses who have never completely resigned themselves to oppression and poverty, and who today more than ever show themselves thirsting for justice, freedom and well-being, are beginning to understand that they will not be able to achieve their emancipation except by union and solidarity with all the oppressed, with the exploited everywhere in the world”.
Let the rage of the oppressed find its Life!
The 26A Collective of Communion and Solidarity