insurrectionalism

So for my undergrad thesis, I’ve been reading up on cyberculture, the internet and cybernetics in general, and I stumbled upon critics who somehow believe that the internet opens up a way for new communities, new democracies, etc. 

But I’ve been thinking: since when does “openness” by itself bring people together, realistically? Just like a bar, it brings people together in the sense that they share a common immiseration. That is good enough for drunks, but not for life, not for something better than this world. 

The emergence of the alt-right is evidence enough that the internet by itself has little to no impact on making us better people, or opening our minds, whatever that means anymore (I’m not sure that it ever meant anything). In fact, since when does the possibility of talking to more people make anyone more open-minded? As if close-mindedness, ignorance, bigotry and racism were the symptoms of “anti-social behavior” (using the classic stalinist terminology), of not wanting to participate in the dull ritualism of modern urban life. Or as if participation in the community, or partaking of civic behavior, or being part of any of these modern abstract collectivities made the individual into a tolerant, educated, open-minded, friendly person. We’ve seen how mass politics destroys the individual, how it subsumes him into the glass house of “community” and all its fascistic overtones, how mass participation is one of the chief carriages of all the brutalities that have followed it: the gulag, the extermination camp, secret police coming up in the quiet of the night, cracking skulls. 

This is one the chief illusions of modernity, and a cornerstone in liberal thought that reaches back to Locke’s contractualism: that closed-off, fortressed individuals could come together out of the blue and create some kind of shared life out of a mathematical, contractual combination of their desires and dreams (which is, in some mutation, the basis for stifled multicultural “tolerance”), that simple participation in the sustaining of the mass sacrifices that hold up the temples of surplus-value entails friendliness, that voting is the same thing as coming together and talking, that going on-line and writing “I’m against this!”, or critiquing this, or sharing petitions against that is somehow a viable substitute for fighting with friends and strangers against a common existence, that simply living close to one another,  materially but not spiritually, or sharing the belief in equality and rights, or living under the boot of police but never fighting back because we all belong to the same Nation, or City, or Socialist State, entailed something akin to living together, of weaving existences together to the point that the individuals enmeshed in them could not conceive of themselves as separable.

Punk=Anarchism
Goth=Leninism
Folk=Wobblies
Naruto soundtrack=Fully Automated Luxury Communism
Folk-Punk=Post-Left Anarchism
New Wave=Left Communism
Vaporwave=nondenominational leftism
Hip-hop=Ultraleftism
Pop=Posada
Indie-pop=Social Democracy
Alternative=Hoxha
Video game scores=Juche
Blues=Insurrectionism
Dubstep=Illegalism
Country=Nihilist Communism
Outlaw Country=Egoism
Trap=Post-Scarcity Anarchism
Baroque=Democratic Confederalism
Swing=Radical Democracy
Electro-Swing=Syndicalism
Witchhouse=Marxism
Noise=Maoism
Metal=Autonomism
Pop-Punk=Liberalism
Jazz=Situationism
Halloween Music=Mutualism
Post-Punk=Market Socialism

We as anarchists need to start getting organized. Like, a lot of us are involved in various disparate groups (FNB, antifa, a local housing collective, a clinic or safe injection site, a DIY space, Black Rose, the IWW, maybe a left-wing gun club), but I feel like at this point we really need to coalesce into a more cohesive group. We need to federate under one name, even as our groups maintain their autonomy and new ones spring up, if we’re going to present an effective force for anarchism.

Like, the anarchists in Spain were all CNT-FAI, the anarchists in Ukraine were all Black Army, the anarchists in Chiapas were all EZLN, and the anarchists in Rojava are all YPG. We (western anarchists) need to be organizing similarly.

What your Leftist Ideology Says About You
  • Anarcho-Communism: You either have really great politics or absolutely terrible politics. You have at least two copies of the Conquest of Bread in every room, and at least three copies are in Faux-Leather.
  • Anarcho-Syndicalism: You cry every night about Catalonia. You probably blame Trotsky, Stalin (or both!) for the fall.
  • Marxist-Leninist: You keep hitting on this girl at a bar by telling her about your Lord and Savior, Deng Xiaoping.
  • Marxist-Leninist-Maoist: You're the girl that the ML is hitting on. You also really hate Mao.
  • Hoxhaism: You really love Stalin but are super conflicted on Hoxha's theories on Soviet Social-Imperialism.
  • Primitivism: You don't understand what's wrong with eugenics. You play Fallout daily in preparation for the fall of civilization. (You're also a reactionary that for some reason is welcomed in Left-Wing circles.)
  • Insurrectionism: You think Occupy Wall Street almost brought us to full communism. You also have a watch on either hand, frantically checking it in the hopes that it is finally Time For The Spontaneous Insurrection.
  • Posaidism: You're looking forward to the extinction of the human race.
  • Trotskyism: Your mother no longer answers her phone when you call, she really doesn't want to buy your papers.
  • American Industrial Unionism: You think that your ideology is relevant even though America has been a post-industrial society since the 1970's.
  • Third Worldist: No one understands you. You're basically the emo of Leftism.
  • Post-Leftism: You vape. We get it.
  • De Leonist: You're either a first day commie kid and/or you're probably racist.
  • Democratic Socialist: There's a .03% chance you're actually a socialist. You probably love George Orwell and are probably (willfully) ignorant of the fact that he snitched on several of his comrades.
  • Marxist: You're most likely an academic or a scholar.
  • Marxian: You're Edwad.

Why we are insurrectionalist anarchists:

Because we are struggling along with the excluded to alleviate and ultimately abolish the conditions of exploitation imposed by the included.

Because we consider it possible to contribute to the development of struggles that are appearing spontaneously everywhere, turning them into mass insurrections, that is to say, actual revolutions.

Because we want to destroy the capitalist order of the world which, thanks to computer science restructuring, has become technologically useful to no one but the managers of class domination.

Because we are for the immediate, destructive attack against the structures, individuals and organisations of Capital and the State.

Because we constructively criticise all those who are in situations of compromise with power in their belief that the revolutionary struggle is impossible at the present time.

Because rather than wait, we have decided to proceed to action, even if the time is not ripe.

Because we want to put an end to this state of affairs right away, rather than wait until conditions make its transformation possible.

These are the reasons why we are anarchists, revolutionaries and insurrectionalists.

—  Alfredo M. Bonanno, The Insurrectional Project
“I Am What I Am” This is marketing’s latest offering to the world, the final stage in the development of advertising, far beyond all the exhortations to be different, to be oneself and drink Pepsi. Decades of concepts in order to get where we are, to arrive at pure tautology. I = I. He’s running on a treadmill in front of the mirror in his gym. She’s coming back from work, behind the wheel of her Smart car. Will they Meet?
—  from The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Committee

The great French anarchist, Albert Libertad. Founder of the most important individualist/illegalist paper, l'Anarchie. Libertad lost the use of his legs at an early age and thereafter used his crutches as weapons against the cops in street fights. He insisted he was an anarchist, not a libertarian & was an apostle of free love. Libertad started the Causeries Populaires, open-air discussions on anarchist topics. He was killed in a brawl in 1908. He explicitly regarded anarchism as a fusion of individualist & communist currents, and believed there was no contradiction between individual revolt and social revolution. In some ways, this makes him a precursor of contemporary insurrectionism.

Insurrectionism is the only way out of the death machine that is digital age capitalism no offense but like the writings on the wall, often literally

Like I’m not against insurrection or insurrectionism. When it’s people and workers en masse smashing windows then all’s well, but when it’s just the black bloc smashing windows then something’s going wrong. You need a mass basis for insurrection or it makes it so, so easy for the state to justify and implement repressive measures. 

That, of course, does not mean we all have to be united under some single central structure, necessarily. The Irish republicans had the IRA for their illegal, military operations, and Sinn Fein for their political, electoral campaigns for years. We can operate similarly and I suggest that we do.

What I propose is that we essentially federate our autonomous groups under one name to coordinate activity between us; even if our broad coalition has members, even member orgs, that partake in less-legal action, the group as a whole doesn’t have to claim responsibility.

Revolution and insurrection must not be looked upon as synonymous. The former consists in an overturning of conditions, of the established condition or status, the State or society, and is accordingly a political or social act; the latter has indeed for its unavoidable consequence a transformation of circumstances, yet does not start from it but from men’s discontent with themselves, is not an armed rising, but a rising of individuals, a getting up, without regard to the arrangements that spring from it. The Revolution aimed at new arrangements; insurrection leads us no longer to let ourselves be arranged, but to arrange ourselves, and sets no glittering hopes on “institutions.” It is not a fight against the established, since, if it prospers, the established collapses of itself; it is only a working forth of me out of the established. If I leave the established, it is dead and passes into decay. Now, as my object is not the overthrow of an established order but my elevation above it, my purpose and deed are not a political or social but (as directed toward myself and my ownness alone) an egoistic purpose and deed
—  Max Stirner, The Ego and Its Own pg. 420-421

-Noël

anonymous asked:

Is vandalism a part of anarchism? Why poeple always judge anarchists because of their protest style?

Anarchism is a philosophy that does not contain a violent root in itself. It is like a neutral canvas which are grafted on various interpretations. Vandalism however has never been part of anarchist thought.
Besides even if anarchists are generally opposed to violence for its own sake, let us not forget that the anarchist doctrine fights for the overthrow of the state and the capitalist system of domination.
Anyway as Max Stirner stated in his pamphlet “The Ego and Its Own”: “Revolution and insurrection must not be looked upon as synonymous. The former consists in an overturning of conditions, of the established condition or status, the State or society, and is accordingly a political or social act; the latter has indeed for its unavoidable consequence a transformation of circumstances, yet does not start from it but from men’s discontent with themselves, is not an armed rising, but a rising of individuals, a getting up, without regard to the arrangements that spring from it.”

There have historically been a number of interpretations of the anarchist doctrine that differ for the different opinions that arises on the use of violence.
In particular, next to Pacifist Anarchism, derived from the civil disobedience of Thoreau and from Christian Anarchism, there is another current which is way more controversial: insurrectionary anarchism.
Insurrectionary anarchism is known mainly thanks to the theories of Alfredo M. Bonanno, anyway other influent insurgent anarchists are Jules Bonnot, Luigi Galleani, Severino Di Giovanni.
Their individualist anarchist vision emphasizes the immediate revolt rather than the future social revolution.

Along with other anarchist currents such as anarcho-syndicalism and anarcho-communism, anarcho-insurrectionalism also gives substance to the necessity of direct action (creating favorable conditions using immediately available means clustering such as strikes, boycotts, workplace occupations, sit -ins, or sabotage, and less oppositional methods: such as establishing radical social centers) and the propaganda of the deed (the idea that “act may, in a few days, make more propaganda than thousands of pamphlets”).
But respect to the other currents, insurrectionary anarchists take into consideration another resource: the insurrection itself.
Under the auspices of insurrectionalism, the branch of informal anarchism based on “armed joy” and, above all, on the “affinity groups” (ie the practice on temporary aggregation of individuals and / or affinity groups, who gather at certain protests with time-bound targets which differ from group to group), is known historically for example by the RAF (Red Army Faction).

A special mention at this point goes to the black bloc, an affinity group of individuals, that come together during some sort of protest, demonstration, or event involving class struggle, anti-capitalism, or anti-globalization, and wear all black. Black clothing and masks are used to make the bloc appear to be one large mass, to promote ‘solidarity, to create a clear revolutionary presence, and to avoid being also identified by authorities.
Even if usually it is associated with anarchism, we must say that it is not only an anarchist prerogative, but rather a strategy shared by various revolutionary groups of the extreme left (such as the autonomists).
Furthermore we must also address the infiltration of the police which often make implausible the escalation of violence that occurs and indeed works more to put discredit on the true motivations of the event.

Although the ideas of insurrectionary anarchists are not often shared by many anarchists who believe that it compromised the whole movement, insurrectionary anarchism can’t be seen only as a negative phenomenon.
It is primarily a phenomenon of social resistance (Kropotkin read the anarchist violence as a response to the harassment of the exploited class).
Furthermore some anarchists have distinguished themselves historically for guerrilla actions that attempted to overthrow tyrannical regimes, one example is that of the attempted murder of Mussolini by Michele Schirru (then sentenced to death).

The fact that the media emphasize only the most violent protest is simple to understand: instead of attempting a deeper analysis of the complex and varied anarchist movement, they try to reduce everything to fools who want to smash everything for no reason (when instead insurrectionary anarchists or black bloc have always transcendent motivations as the class struggle or the boycott of multinationals).
Anarchism stands for the self-determination of individuals, so, while maintaining our opinion, we cannot fully judge what others anarchists do.
We must not forget, however, as the pacifist civil disobedience is another method of anarchist protest used equally, which is perhaps more fruitful.

Finally you can’t hide the fact that the first massive use of violence is that of the state which uses the police, the secret services and the army for the purposes of repression and control.
Moreover we have to keep in mind that the media are in the hands of the capitalists, and it is imperative to implement strategies to avoid falling into their traps.
Anarchists must be distinguished by their ideas, and while continuing the resistance against the class violence, we must emerge first of all for those.

further reading:

http://eng.anarchopedia.org/Propaganda_of_the_deed

http://eng.anarchopedia.org/direct_action

http://ita.anarchopedia.org/J.2_Cos%E2%80%99_%C3%A8_l'azione_diretta%3F

http://eng.anarchopedia.org/Nonviolent_direct_action

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrectionary_anarchism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3APropaganda_of_the_deed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_action

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army_Faction