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Queer Ultra-Violence: Bash Back! Anthology Talk

This event is taking place at the CCC (732 E Clarke St.) at 7pm Thursday June 14th. It is free.

Queer Ultra Violence: Bash Back! Anthology published by Ardent Press this February, is an analytical anthology that chronicles the (non)organization and militant queer tendency known as Bash Back! Although short lived, Bash Back! had an astonishing impact on both radical and queer organizing in the United States. Bash Back! took on gay assimilation, anti-queer violence, the queer radical establishment, and capitalism with a queer struggle that rejected traditional identity politics. The anthology compiles essays, interviews, and communiqués to document the new queer tendency spawned by the Bash Back! years.

As capitalism and the state are thrown into deeper and deeper crisis, queers and all others historically excluded from both formal economies and from the safety net of the nuclear family, will bear the brunt of the age of austerity. Reflecting critically on the past several years of radical queer action and imagination, the editors of Bash Back! Queer Ultraviolence will attempt to navigate queer space and potential in a world torn by crisis. Through this talk, Eanelli and Baroque will present a series of proposals for action and survival, taking as their starting point the position of queer autonomy and queer revolt against the State and Capital. This lecture will theorize queer gangs, self-defense networks, occupations, communes and a praxis of vengeance.

http://www.ardentpress.org/bashback



New (mostly insurrectionary) Translation Collective
08/17/2010, 12:06 PM
Filed under: war-machine | Tags: , , ,

“Over the past months a new translation collective has started based in Berlin. So far there are many texts translated into a fair few languages. The focus so far has been “insurrectionary” texts but not exclusively. If anyone is interested in translating texts or laying out texts into an imposed pdf format (hint hint) get in touch.”

http://translationcollective.wordpress.com/



January flier and Schedule for the winter anarchist discussion series

January – Italian Insurrectionary

Jan. 3rdAgainst Domestication

Jan. 10thArmed Struggle in Italy and Armed Joy

Jan. 17thMore, Much More

Jan. 24thThe Undesirables

Jan. 31st - The Insurrectional Project

What is now described as insurrectionary anarchism largely developed as a response to an intense period of autonomous class conflict and clandestine armed struggle against the state and capitalism in the 1960s and 70s, and their subsequent repression and failures.  This produced a questioning and rethinking of forms of organization, forms of struggle, etc, and also a theoretical and lived pratice of insurrectionary means.



Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down (regarding recent strategy of the Greek state)

Just before the anniversary of the Greek riots….  There’s a mountain of anticipation building to see what will happen.  Already at least three major universities that were instrumental as bases of conflict have been occupied ahead of an announced closure by the administrations, there have been autonomous night time attacks throughout the country and calls for open assemblies to discussion the course of events.

During the last two months, the strategy of counterinsurgency developed by the Greek state since December has passed to a new phase of totalization. If we speak of counterinsurgency and not of repression it is because the former in contrast to the latter is not so much a military type intervention, as an integrated political and social technology producing consent, fear and defeatism. It aims not at the immediate annihilation of the insurgents, but at the removal of their living space: the conceptual, affective and cultural plane of the insurgency. This is a preventive strategy whose object is the wealth of possibilities that sprouted out of the insurrectionary event. It is a low intensity warfare, a politico-psychological warfare, in the sense that its goal is the corrosion of the political, social and psychological consistency of the insurgency. The basic principle of counterinsurgency is, on the one hand, to “win hearts and minds”, and, on the other hand, “not to take the fish out of the sea, but to dry the sea where the insurgents swim like fish”. And it does this by “separating and uniting”. Separating the insurgents from their possibilities, separating the insurgents from their political and social affinities, separating the insurgents from each other. And at the same time uniting social discontent with the call of reform, by representing the insurgency as a cause of backwardness, and uniting the forces of repression with wide segments of the population, by presenting the former in as both humane, pro-people and effective.

I.

A first orientation of the counterinsurgency is the separation of the uncontrollable segment of the insurgents from the advantageous ground of their action. A process that spreads from Exarcheia, the university asylum and the axis of Patision avenue, till the area around Omonoia square and the axis of Acharnon avenue1. Exarcheia are perceived as a hypertopical metropolitan centre where the uncontrollable segments of youth gather – the anarchists and the leftists and all those who if not producing violent attacks are surely not annoyed by them. And it is precisely on that terrain -of sympathy or toleration- that the apparatus of counterinsurgency is mobilized. An initial three-day police occupation of the area in October demonstrated the military superiority of the state, carrying with it the assurance that it is but a slice of the force that can be activated. Ever since, the smallest incident ignites a totally unbalanced invasion, whose main scope is not the arrest of the perpetrators but a kind of mass and collective revenge on whoever might be moving in the area at the time. This is a strategy of psychological warfare aiming at the dissolution of toleration/sympathy, putting in motion processes of  (self)containment on the bases of a reversed calculation of the relation between incident and its consequences. For it is certain that an “internal” discontent is much more likely to minimize if not stop the often attacks in the wider area than the fear of repression.

At the same time, the dominant discourse on the university asylum is moving from a reading of it as a base of attacks, to its characterization as a space of anomie in itself that has to be reconquered by the state and the academic community. In other words, the university asylum is being constructed as a ground that has to be reoccupied in its entirety, uninterruptedly and continuously – not as an institution that produces isolated phenomena that need to be contained. The problem thus is placed with endurance not the moment, with the permanent situation and not with specific states of exception.

The psychological operations on Exarcheia and the university asylum2 were preceded by a cleansing operation of the wider metropolitan centre, articulated in terms of population management on the miserable but also massified immigrants. The criminalization of their gatherings and the biopolitical problematization of their co-habitation in hygienic terms (as in the case of the Efeteio squat3) initially removed the most uncontrollable subject of the insurgency from the spatial center of political and economic procedures. Then, it tried to subjectivate, under a social-democratic umbrella, its partial segments, through the political assimilation of immigrants via the promise of legalizing their children, giving them the right to vote in local elections, allowing them to build a mosque in Athens and even asking for their assistance in police departments4. This is a method of counterinsurgency par excellence centered on the dissolution of the ground that gives birth to the terms of collectivization, and on the imaginary re-unification of the segmented subject within the contours of democratic-statist recuperation.

II.

On a second level, the counterinsurgency is trying to separate the general discontent from the insurgency as a dynamic and as a possibility, and to unite it with reform. The invention of an aim for the insurgents, and its unification with a systemic restructuring, leaves the insurgents without an object and renders any further action on their part out of place and pointless in the eyes of others. The imposition of dominant answers to questions posed by power itself in the first place is already half the work of the counterinsurgency. Part of this strategy is, for example, the meeting of the minister of education with a group of pupils. The dominant interpretation saw the explosion of violence as a result of a lack of democracy in schools and proposed to solve this problem with a “new social contract” between the pupils, the teachers and the ministry. The same spirit emanates the initiative by the ministry of public order to create “bureaus of confronting incidents of arbitrariness”5. A central tactic of every strategy of counterinsurgency, this enclosure of wide-spread discontent, which has been diagnosed by the state as a cause of December, is under the direction of social-democracy; a technology of power that not only promises the pacification of social and economic antitheses, but portrays the insurgency as cause of backwardness, as the source of delaying the exit from the tunnel.

A basic role in this injunction to peace and normality is relegated to the institutional left, the heart and mind of which has been with the state several decades now. Through the erection of a moralistic problematization of revolutionary violence, the left is taking up its role -social reproduction- by condemning “violence wherever it might be coming from” as a basic catalyst of an imaginary backwardness towards authoritarianism. Every violence, says the left, is in essence “a violence for violence”, a “hooded right-wing” that must be isolated either with condemnations or even with marches like the one sponsored by POSDEP (the union of academics)6. This tactic of equal distance from the extremes was expressed by the state in the simultaneous warrant against the three wanted anarchists and the perpetrators of the attack against K. Kouneva7. This injunction to give oneself up to the value system of the state, not as a system of subjection to law and order but as a system of dialogue, negotiation and compromise, is separating widespread social discontent from what it can really do, and subjectivates it as a series of demands of inclusion to the bog of the Capital-relation.

Counterinsurgency is ideally a war with not a single real battle. A war of isolation, of drying out, of cutting away, which wins by mobilizing the most conservative instincts of society while recuperating social discontent and protest in a context of pacification and reform.

III.

Finally, the counterinsurgency campaign is aiming to corrode the internal consistency and unity of the insurgency, promoting a series of separations that start with the fragmentation of the insurgents into categories (social, political, psychoanalytic etc.) and finish with separating them from their very lived experience.

On the one hand, the insurgent are injucted to abandon the fluidity of December that destabilized all identities and to return to their post: the pupil must become a pupil, the anarchist an anarchist, the immigrant an immigrant, the junkie a junkie etc. The gates of the different worlds that met on the streets of December and acted together in the common negative work of destruction proving in practice that the phenomenally impossible subversion of social categories is feasible must forever close.

On the other hand, a central tactic on this scheme is the moralistic narrative of the ministry of public order regarding “children and instructors”, “hooligans and politicos”, “rioters and ideologists”. An essential part of this tactic is the injunction of a segment of the insurgents to separate itself or to bring the rest back to reason, based on some moral code approved by the state; on a “fair play” that guarantees the inclusion of social/class antagonism in a curve of normality surveyed and controlled not by the bureau of protecting the polity, but by the insurgents themselves. This self-disciplining of the insurgents against any deterritorialization of their practice, this asceticism of patience and hope, has been a pivotal technology of subjectivation of the most successful apparatus of normalization of the last century: the left.

At the same time, the criminalization of certain choices and practices is a classic tactic of depoliticization, rendering their agents easy pray to repression. Yet a necessary condition for this is their isolation from a wider political-social milieu with which they are linked. This recipe was tested with success during the summer of 2002 via the lobotomy plan of social memory which enjoyed the complete cooperation of the left8. The secret and not-so-secret warrants for “terrorist activity” today9 aim at the enclosure of a wider uncontrollable and radical population. They aim, on the one hand, to force everyone into a self-examination in order to discover any causes for his or her possible incrimination, and on the other hand, to cause quietism and relief to those who feel there is no way they can be linked since they belong to an unofficially recognized political factor, the one of  “ideologues” or “serious people”. The ministry is thus creating a morbid atmosphere of confession, suspicion, fear and even indifference: “Am I perhaps suspected?” “With what evidence could they arrest me?” “Might I be involved in someway or with someone in a manner unknown to me that can get me in trouble?”. Or else: “There is no way they are referring to us, the bell is tolling for those who have no principles”, etc. This mass, and at the same time molecular, paranoia, as a product par excellence of a secret police governmentality, has as its aim to separate the subject from his/her very lived experience, from her/his being-in-the-world: to force it to think like the state, in other words just like those piles of corpses, the zombie army of patriots, the organic matter of the Party of Order, think and speak – to bring about the sacrifice of the possibility of the now of insurrectionary becoming to the certainty of the completion/ payment of the debt towards the eternal being of the state.

4 December 2009                    flesh machine// ego te provoco// comrades



Winter Anarchist Discussion Schedule (small flier)

(This is a bit of a copy of the flier Liam made for the Social Justice or Social War event, but was made just to screw around with design)



Willful Disobedience

Ardent press is compiling texts from various issues of the influential insurrectionary anarchist journal Willful Disobedience edited by Wolfi Landstreicher which is to be published as a book.  Wolfi’s writing has been very foundational for the development of insurrectionary ideas and practice within the US, by either introducing texts by Italians (who had been writing and thinking through these ideas since the 70s) and others that he translated through the Venomous Butterfly project or with his own personal egoist influenced writings which offered critique as a massive unshackling from the chains of  vapid anti-corporatism and activist practices (among other things) that were dominant and a holdover from the anti-globalization era.

We’ll be ordering and getting them in as soon as their available.

Here’s the introduction from the first volume:

“Willful Disobedience is intended to express ideas that are part of my life projectuality. It is an explicitly anarchic project in the sense that it opposes to every form of authority with the self-­determination of individuals who refuse all domination; it is insurrectionary in its recognition that authority must be attacked and destroyed as an essential part of the project of creating our lives for ourselves based upon our desires. That means that this project is not a forum for democratic dialogue in which all ideas are equal and therefore equally vapid … The understanding of anarchic insurgence underlying this project is as follows:

Within the present social context our lives as individuals have been made alien to us, because society creates interactions and activities for us which are not based on the singularity of our unconstrained dreams and desires, but only serve the continuing reproduction of society by channeling the energy of desire into that reproduction through a variety of institutions and systems which integrate to form civilized society: the state, capital, work, technology, religion, education, ideology, law … Opposition to this begins when we as individuals rise up in willful disobedience and recognize the necessity of attacking and destroying all institutions of domination, not as a cause, but for ourselves, because we want to create our own games…”

http://www.omnipresence.mahost.org/wd-v1.htm




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