Filed under: war-machine | Tags: austerity, caussers, event, France, IEF, infinite strike, la greve infinie, presence, strike, truth, wrecking, zine
From the IEF blog:
“The Institute for Experimental Freedom’s European appendages and friends are proud to release an English translation of “La Grève Infinie” (Infinite Strike). This text was written on Oct 27th 2010 from within the events transpiring throughout the French strikes and blockades. It has appeared throughout France, and is available in at nantes.indymedia.org/article/22087 and http://juralibertaire.over-blog.com/article-la-greve-infinie-59845046.html.
Although the US is not France, we can’t help but find a certain resonance with the strike, with the determinacy of struggle. We welcome the return of causseur, of the vandal, of course! We delight in the fine fractures that link our deep sense of despair with the its negation—the secret solidarity between our weakness our others strength. And so, as a means of reverberating the call, the IEF offers this text to those of us who are everywhere homeless, and everywhere foreign.
Within the text—which is just overheard within the event—we see a clear proposition. The elementary strategy of “shutting it all down.” Blockade the oil refineries, extend all self-reductions beyond ourselves, block the ports, defeat the police, shut down the nuclear reactors. Realize all strikes as a position.
Practice makes perfect.”
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: bosses, Enemies, enmity, IEF, instead of an introduction, Institute for Experimental Freedom, non-ideological, police, rapists
From the IEF Blog:
“The Institute for Experimental Freedom is proud to announce the release of “Enemies We Know.” This project was originally intended to be a 4-part poster series, and will be released in this medium as well. However, after careful consideration and reflection, these short texts are currently being released as an easily reproducible pamphlet—designed with high contrast black and whites, easy readability, and succinct critical messaging. This pamphlet serves the purpose of an “instead of an introduction,” and because it is not designed to spread ideology, it focuses on clarifying who and what are our enemies, rather than what is our program. The three known enemies that are the subjects of this pamphlet are “Police,” “Bosses,” and “Rapists.” Each is examined from their functional role within the environment they serve and exposed as an amorphous set of practices rather than a substance. Our intention is not to merely name the enemy—who doesn’t know know the name of that occupying force in blue? Rather, our intention is to elaborate an analysis of what function each realizes, and how they can be disarmed, undermined and neutralized. In a world of such confusion, it’s nice to know certain truths.
If you don’t like the “IEF” brand and contact on the back or you wish to add your own, use Adobe Acrobat or another PDF editing program to digitally edit it (for Acrobat: tools, advanced editing, touch up object tool), or simply white it out during production. Even though, it would be more satisfying to leave anonymous letters to potential comrades, we concluded its more beneficial at this time—a time without clear escape routes—to direct a reader toward some signal that they are not alone.
After considering the social and political environment you occupy, leave this pamphlet anonymously at potential points of encounter (the cliché and historical points: cafés, bookshops, colleges, record stores, and bars).
Enemies We Know
With love; in struggle,
The Institute for Experimental Freedom”
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchist man, comrade, dictatorship, IEF, imagination, liam sionnach, post-feminism
“After a few dozen email conversations, grammatical and content edits by our beloved friends, and the addition of critical annotations, the Institute for Experimental Freedom is proud to announce the release of The Dictatorship of Postfeminist Imagination.”
from the preface:
This text is a sort of meta-critique of anarchist practices of feminism. It was provoked from this editor, generally, because of a certain absence of critical feminist theory within a milieu which adopts the assumptions and imperatives of identity politics. It was provoked specifically, because of the intelligence which the text “Is the Anarchist Man our Comrade?” and “Why She Doesn’t Give a Fuck About Your Insurrection?” honed in on—of which many of us already know: the affects produced by our practices of consent, accountability, community and identity are weak. Moreover, because the forms, which mimic legal practices, that are taken up to combat internal gendered and sexualized oppression are empty of a consciousness of their historical development. Although this text is responding to particular texts and particular utterances which followed, as a sort of ethical practice, this text refuses the limitation of the milieu that speaks to itself in a particular jargon. By revealing the discourse that is taking place and staking a claim in it, this text intends to overflow its sad boundaries.
The text has multiple voices, contradictions; seams which exist as a threshold between this idea and the next. It always does. It is assembled merely as a temporary space which these bodies who are attached to worlds and their meanings communicate. Although it comes from an editing process which seeks to weave an amalgamation of intelligences and sensibilities into—at the very least—the raw intellectual materials to reveal a political position, this text is also only one such rudimentary position in a long history of feminist theoretical development. And although the voices which are put to use by this assemblage may very well scoff at certain feminist writers, it would be foolish not to examine this history.
The writers, or worlds, which inhabit this text are both infantile and full of a decade of scars. We’ve been experimenting with our lives, our bodes, spaces, and temporalities, and we’ve met similar and unique pitfalls. The theory we write is an extension of the theory we inhabit. We start from the horror that we are all potential perpetrators, because we are not sure we have developed the spoken language, or gestural vocabulary to articulate our experiences, and because we can’t count past one in four—or was it one in ten? We love power, we even sometimes love to authorize, but we’re terrified by the means which we must encounter our power. Because we know it’s often at the expense of others.
Hating the irreversible time of daily miseries
and their repetition,
-Liam Sionnach | IEF | 2010
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: anarchy, biopolitics, bloggin, communism, death, historical materialism, IEF, redemption, the end of history, the proletariat, walter benjamin
From the IEF blog:
“Theres a man goin’ round taking names and he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won’t be treated all the same.”
The fold of our history is either death or redemption. The history of the vanquished and the history of preemptive alienating and policing apparatuses yearn to conclude. We all have a door and a rotting carpet; a family and a dynasty of fuck ups; advanced social dissolution from worlds and senses to answer for. They say men make history, but not in conditions of their choosing. If it is our sensuous activity within a world, a praxis, which generates a world, then by what means do we confront the millions of potentialities which are taken from history? Those souls who are irrevocably lost, or worse yet, rendered bare life through processes of subjectivation, are prepared to be judged, not by history, but by the police. Each death is a tragedy because in “each” there is a shame of separation. The private life only becomes public in death. But this public death is itself a technique of exposure, which links the family and society to the church, to the school, to the prison. The tragedy which the living are constantly exposed to is not merely their own telos but capitalism’s continuous merciless holiday. In this society, no one dies. Everyone is murdered.
What is pathetic in death is not the loss of a container of memories and affects or the fleeting away of another productive member of the family, of society, but the loss of the capacity to speak. Death acts like a nightmare on the living. Conjuring images of “once upon a time,” the living attempt to answer for the horror of a brisk wind which extinguishes light in one subtle swoop. But the sad conclusive cough of a body judged guilty of living in capitalism is repeated and shared. Each voice is rendered mute. Each potentiality perfectly aware of what strangles it daily. The tears of the living for the dead, while representing a real sadness, never conjoin to form the flood which will redeem the past. Instead, the mouth opens, limbs shake with anxiety; our small, light-colored hairs stand up searching for a warmth which is not in this world. And in the end, what could be communicated—the single gesture of communicability itself—is once again lost, irretrievable, amidst blinking lights and the flow of commodities which live so much longer than any of us.
What is redemption in such circumstances? Is it forgiving our trespasses, and forgiving those who trespass against us? By what means do we admit a presence which annuls memories, scars, blood?
My family is connected through Facebook. The eulogy for my grandmother stumbled on her truth. She took on a predictable position of women married to husbands in the twentieth century. She mothered many children and formed the foundation to a family whose care was held by a second-generation Italian pater. She, and all the other shes of the family, suffered only the absence of en-courage-ment. It is not surprising: they all left. My grandmother quietly lived as if she had been redeemed, doing the books to my grandfathers photography business, never once elaborating her own passions for paint on canvas. The eulogy concluded, as my grandmother often would, that if anyone felt despondent, the eulogist would happily go shopping with them. The analogy to government orders following the events of September eleventh to go shopping is not lost on me. There were some really good sales at Macy’s
On the other side of the family, between drinks, and with far too many teenage mothers, I learned cousin Ian had been sentenced in ‘Oh-four. My absence from Facebook excluded me from hearing this bullshit earlier. Was it three-strikes you’re out? Did he have guns too? How long is a life-sentence? The silence of social death touches even the Midwestern Irish working class. My other cousin, who used hockey like how the black body uses football or basketball, or how southern whites use the military, received a terrible back injury and was sentenced to a fancy new oxycodone addiction. Again, if only I had Facebook… One of my sisters still clings to the myth that we’re different because we didn’t grow up in these fucked up conditions, but she conveniently forgot about all the suicides and boredom; the drive-by’s and the addictions, even the empty refrigerators, which painfully illustrate our miserable upbringing. We all ran too, and we ran for a reason.
The fold of this history is uncertain. On the one hand, everything about today, and even yesterday, just points toward the production of death. Enduring high school, when anarchy was merely a secret which Propagandhi attempted to whisper to me through power chords; or when struggle was just some band that that dude from the Locust was in, Columbine seemed perfectly reasonable. We sketched pictures of it all the time. We searched our history books, attempting to discover any time when the underdog wreaked its vengeance. We had no voice then, no words to call our own, and no world which affected us. We had only the conditions of all of that dissolving. In that time, many of us were quite literally unwanted children; and judging by the fields we set on fire, the plots to blow up schools, the churches we vandalized, and unfortunately, the animals which we tortured, we were capable of some fucked up shit. The youth of today are even worse.
On the other hand, maybe we can once more be affected by “Death to death!” Which is not to say, “peace.” But more specifically, our time, capitalist time, is a time of living-dead. Techniques of government expose life’s limits to itself and generate bare life. No one knows sovereignty better than the life which is judged not worth living by the police or the life which is let to live by its manager. And because of Biopower and the Spectacle, it’s increasingly difficult to separate any of these figures. Redemption in this world is not repaying a debt, atoning for guilt which we owe society. Capitalism is guilt. We owe them nothing. Redemption is giving them just that.
Walter Benjamin writes: “For we have been expected upon this earth. For it has been given us to know, just like every generation before us, a weak messianic power, on which the past has a claim. This claim is not to be settled lightly.” The day after my grandmother died, I set off for New York to do a panel about the messianic analogy within the proletariat. The day before my grandmother’s funeral, I spoke of becoming sensitive to the imperceptible civil war which has taken place as class struggle and now takes place as social war. In the conditions of social war, this civil war can be felt as a war between normality and its cracks. The proletariat within this civil war is a force who is contingent on history but whose possibility lies outside of it. The proletariat cancels and fulfills history through its own self-negation. At one time, in the conditions of industrialization, classical politics, and a strategically positioned portion of the oppressed, the proletariat took form in the messianic-gesture, what Benjamin called the “divine violence” of the general strike. The proletariat, who was contingent on “a class of civil society but not of civil society,” was expressed as the industrial working class using their own labor-power—what produced value—to negate value and class society itself: redemption.
Benjamin continues, “nothing that has ever happened should be regarded as lost for history. Only a redeemed humankind receives the fullness of its past. Which is to say, only for a redeemed humankind has its past become citable in all moments. Each moment it has lived becomes a citation a l’ordre du jour [order of the day]—and that day is Judgement Day.”
“The hairs on your arm will stand up. At the terror in each sip and in each sup. For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter’s ground. When the man comes around.
Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singin’. Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum. Voices callin’, voices cryin’. Some are born an’ some are dyin’. It’s Alpha’s and Omega’s Kingdom come…
Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still. Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still. Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still.”
The insurrection which comes is not generated from the desire for a better world: there is none. It is not even the accomplishment of democracy. It is the nightmare of the past holding the future hostage, and publicly killing and feasting on it on youtube, over and over again. In our conditions, that of an absolute social war, insurrection and its total extension is the rhythm we must collectively write and impose on capitalist society. Through these experiments and repeated gestures we develop a new sentimental intelligence and different sensuous praxis which no longer accepts our shameful conditions. We impose different collectivities beyond family, nation, and society exactly at the point of their negation. We find we are not alone, exactly at the point we lose our selves. We share exactly at the point when we begin to seize. When each funeral loses what was attempting to kept it a private affair—when newspapers are terrified to write a single obituary because the will of the dead keeps leaving ruin in its wake—then we will begin to know what redemption entail.
-Liam Sionnach | IEF | Jan ’10
Filed under: update | Tags: anarchy, balaclavas, banana, bathtub, book, IEF, insurrection, orgy, pink, politics, politics is not a banana, whatever, zine
(Finally an official release after it’s been out for months.)
The Institute for Experimental Freedom (IEF) is proud to release the little book: Politics is not a Banana: The Journal of Vulgar Discourse, What are you Doing After the Orgy or Insurrection or Whatever?
From the introduction:
“The insurrection has not transformed our rotting teeth into pure indestructible diamond grills. The orgy only spreads our combined STDs, unless we cover our filthy used bodies in saran wrap—which is pretty cool. Whatever; we made more than $6.50 plus tips but then blew it all on wine, cigarettes, rope, and ceiling hooks. The insurrection gives us this opportunity though, to forget, to practice, and even to run up on some doctor and force his medicalizing ass to nurse our irrevocable rot; to re-imagine our relationships with our stupid dying bodies. It makes us become attentive to the force of our little deaths and the inexhaustible desire we can embody.”
So, if you have access to a Kinkos printer from behind the counter this is how it goes:
Print each page front/back, cut at the crop line. Should be 4.25×7 in. You’ll have to use the black tape as the binding. If you want to print it as an enormous zine, you’ll have to reimpose it using acrobat or one of those online shits. Good luck with your bootlegs. Make it look good; make us proud. Charge no more than $5, you’ll have better luck cut-throating us that way.
The book is very nice and pretty and the burnt bookmobile will always have many copies (at least until the printing runs out), but for all who can’t afford it or just don’t want to pay for it, it’s available now as a zine as well.