BBC4 documentary about (duh) lefties, esp the 30,000 or so squatters in Lambeth in the mid to late 1970s. Took me rushing back to growing up in London (“Lambeth wreckers!”). But if you look at the timeframe, this was all happening at the same time as the emergence of autonomia in Italy: a nascent biopolitics? Struggles around living rather than wage demands or Keynesianism etc. It was amazing to see and hear so many people talking about how they wanted to live, and experimenting with different forms. Of course, altho squats were in heart of Brixton, squatters were overwhelmingly white and middle class (well, at least the ones interviewed were: an inevitable consequence of m/c people being easier to track down by profession). And it’s easy to laugh at the naivety of some of it, the ‘pick & mix’ approach to ‘issues’, and how in the end they failed to do this or that. But that misses the point: as they said, there was a feeling in the air that ‘this was it’, it was really happening. Revolution is a process of experimentation and fucking up, of struggling to ask more and more questions. They weren’t making demands; this was a visible process of people working out how to ‘live a life’. It was heartening to see people in their mid-60s being asked now if they still felt the same way about capitalism and replying ‘yes!’ It all reminded me of the old Casey quote about how all questions are redundant except ‘what sort of world do we want to live in?’

Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things.