The tired and abandoned phrase “the local is global” has never been more true in the city of Seattle. While residents of this techno-metropolis face their own unique problems, the consequences of their local actions resonate outward across the globe with increasingly destructive power. As some friends wrote in 2001, “the liquid crstal screen of the computer, internet navigation, the tele-visual or the play-station universes—these are infinitely more familiar to us than the streets of our neighborhood, populated at night by the moonlight of the streetlamps and the metal gates of closed stores. It is not the global which opposes the local, it is the virtual.” In the gentrified hellscape of Seattle, the local is being obliterated by the virtual forces congregating around Amazon. What happens here is a warning for every other city threatened by the global capitalist leviathans.
This issue is exclusively dedicated to the problem of Amazon and its implications across the planet. The observations recorded in our newspaper offer a glimpse into the day-to-day functioning of this mammoth corporation inside the fulfillment center and the corporate workplace. Seattle has been visibly sterilized over the past decade and a new population imported from across the globe to drive up rents and consume luxury items. This restructuring has altered the city on a local level, but it is also a model for what is being exported globally. As we have documented in our recent issue, fissures and tears are beginning to emerge inside Amazon itself among both blue and white collar workers. The internal divisions in its corporate structure have produced oceans of resentment that are now beginning to burst their yellow pipes.
Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump are two sides of the same coin, with the only meaningful difference residing atop their skulls. While vain and insecure Trump covers his pale scalp with a blonde wig, Bezos revels in the smoothness of his emboldened male ego. Both of these men effectively dictate the fates of millions with their whimsical or profit-driven schemes, just as they both find the current levels of poverty, despair, alienation, and ruin to be an acceptable reality for the majority of the population. These toxic men represent the rulers that need to be overthrown if there is to be any future for ourselves or the planet. While the oceans fill with plastic and the air chokes with carbon, neither Trump nor Bezos seem concerned with the health of the earth. One wants to destroy it entirely, while the other just wants to flee in his spaceship.
Luckily, resistance against Amazon is brewing in our shiny locale! Waves of propaganda can be seen across town and anger against the corporation is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Amazon is so large that challenging its reign at this point is to challenge capitalism itself. Perhaps all this rage will erupt on May Day, as it should, for there are many around the globe who hate Amazon and its headquarters in South Lake Union. As our friends wrote sixteen years ago, “Space is political and space is alive because space is populated, populated with our bodies which transform it by the simple fact that it contains them. And this is why it is monitored, and this is why it is closed.” No matter how you spin it, we live in these cities of capital and can effect their smooth-functioning at any moment. The only lacking ingredient is organization, passion, and intention.
We hope you enjoy the latest issue. Strength to our friends at La ZAD struggling to defend their liberated territory from capitalism. Cheers to our comrades in Berlin and Atlanta putting up a fight against the tech-giants. All power to the communes!
Link to new issue here