[Against] Animal Capitalism

[to be tweeted, mooed, barked or shouted, in unison]

A spectre is haunting left politics, the spectre of the animal.

It inhabits the borderlands of revolutionary thought, always there to be either forgotten or projected onto, but never visible as itself. It is ever-present yet unseen, like the white of a page that gives shape to a thought but never enters into the language. Unidentified, unacknowledged, dismissed, yet necessary and taken for granted, it follows theories of the liberation of the proletariat like a shadow.

But out of what you see as no more than a mass without an identity, a multitude without politics, a million eyes are looking back at you.


We are the spectre that is haunting left politics. 

The world you want to tear down is built on our backs and relies on the capacities of our minds and bodies. Everything that is possible in the oppressor’s imagination is predetermined by what we can do – for the oppressor we are the potential of exploitation itself. We are not merely an instance of production: we are the original production, our stolen bodies the original surplus, our exploitation the foundation of the paradigm.

Our haunting is material, we are here, all the past of us, archived in the structures that you inhabit, and which enclose you like a shell encloses a sea creature and shapes the way it lives. We are imprinted on every piece of matter, every infrastructure and landscape, echoing in every room, every word, every idea, respiring in your every breath. We are the perpetual primitive accumulation. Behind every historical transformation, every emergence of a class, every invention of a technology we are at work, pulling, turning, twisting and plowing. Wherever something is enclosed, distributed, displaced, wherever value is produced and accumulated – an animal can be found, birthing, labouring, dying.


We are the spectre that is haunting left politics.

When you exclude us from your struggle you speak in the tongue of the oppressor. He has put a spell on you so that where you once saw an interconnected whole you now see only unbridgeable differences: differences that all originate in one schism, the one that runs between the dispensable and the privileged. Under that spell, to be an animal is to lack the distinction between work and leisure, with all action collapsing into a single mindless process of instinctual survival. Thus to be an animal is to be a site of nonfreedom where liberation cannot even be imagined.

Spellbound, you have made your liberation dependent on this lie, not being treated like an animal an imperative of your struggle, and our assumed difference the foundation on which your claim to the rights of freedom, fulfillment, self-realization, and sovereignty rests. Yet it is this bondage that makes us animals, and which makes you animals too.

We are the spectre that is haunting left politics, we are beyond number, and our resistance is relentless.

We have never stopped using our bodies as obstacles to efficiency or putting our minds to escape plans. We kick and revolt, because the spell that has blinded you cannot touch us. Inside, we are still free. And we know that you are just an animal like the rest of us. It is your animal intelligence, your animal reasoning, your animal ability to learn, your animal desire to nurture and to care, your animal language that is being put to work. It is because you are an animal that freedom means something to you. The world you desire to tear down is built on your animal back and reliant on your animal abilities. We are all alienated from our labor, even when our labor is our own bodies. No freedom can be imagined without freeing us all. 


We are the spectre that is haunting left politics. We call on you to proudly own your animality and to recognize us as your comrades. Our struggle is not against you, but against the spell under which we have been rendered invisible and our interiority denied. It is against the powers that harness us as if we were just a path for a current, a channel of energy, a means for transforming living movement into dead gold, locked away in a vault.

Our struggle is against the notion that life is nothing to us, that freedom does not exist for us, and therefore that our labor cannot be exploited nor our freedom stolen. How absurd that view is when it is the oppressor himself who has invented this division, for the purpose of reducing every animal body to an expendable laboring mass, while everyone else is shot, starved or displaced.

We are more than just a path or a means to an end. Each and every one of us is an instance of the miracle of life experiencing life. We are awareness itself, we are a presence and an end in ourselves. We serve one force only, that of the reproduction of life for the sake of living, living fully, and we rise up against a culture of the reproduction of death for the sake of death, and more death, until all miracles are gone and all that is left is undead labor on a dead planet.

We call on you to join our resistance.

Animals of the world, unite against animal capitalism!