A film to share, a cinematographic intervention to spread …
A film to share, a cinematographic intervention to spread …
Carnival is a pageant without footlights and without a division into performers and spectators. In carnival everyone is an active participant, everyone communes in the carnival act… The laws, prohibitions, and restrictions that determine the structure and order of ordinary, that is noncarnival, life are suspended during carnival: what is suspended first is hierarchical structure and all the forms of terror, reverence, piety, and etiquette connected with it… or any other form of inequality among people.
Carnival is past millennia’s way of sensing the world as one great communal performance. This sense of the world, liberating one from fear, bringing the world maximally close to a person and bringing one person maximally close to another (everything is drawn into the zone of free familiar contact), with its joy at change and its joyful relativity, is opposed to that one-sided and gloomy official seriousness which is dogmatic and hostile to evolution and change, which seeks to absolutize a given condition of existence or a given social order. From precisely that sort of seriousness did the carnival sense of the world liberate man.
Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics
L’histoire moderne ne peut être libérée, et ses acquisitions innombrables librement utilisées, que par les forces qu’elle refoule : les travailleurs sans pouvoir sur les conditions, le sens et le produit de leurs activités. Comme le prolétariat était déjà, au XIXº siècle , l’héritier de la philosophie, il est en plus devenu l’héritier de l’art moderne et de la première critique consciente de la vie quotidienne. Il ne peut se supprimer sans réaliser, en même temps, l’art et la philosophie. Transformer le monde et changer la vie sont pour lui une seule et même chose, les mots d’ordre inséparables qui accompagneront sa suppression en tant que classe, la dissolution de la société présente en tant que règne de la nécessité, et l’accession enfin possible au règne de la liberté. La critique radicale et la reconstruction libre de toutes les conduites et valeurs imposées par la réalité aliénée sont son programme maximum, et la créativité libérée dans la construction de tous les moments et événements de la vie est la seule poésie qu’il pourra reconnaître, la poésie faite par tous, le commencement de la fête révolutionnaire. Les révolutions prolétariennes seront des fêtes ou ne seront pas, car la vie qu’elles annoncent sera elle-même créée sous le signe de la fête. Le jeu est la rationalité ultime de cette fête, vivre sans temps mort et jouir sans entraves sont les seules règles qu’il pourra reconnaître.
The liberation of modern history, and the free use of its hoarded acquisition, can come only from the forces it represses: the workers without power over their conditions, the meaning or the product of their activities. In the nineteenth century the proletariat was already the inheritor of philosophy; now it inherits modern art and the first conscious critique of everyday life. It cannot suppress itself without realising, at the same, art and philosophy. To transform the world and to change the structure of life are one and the same thing for the proletariat – they are the passwords to its destruction as a class, its dissolution of the present reign of necessity, and its accession to the realm of liberty. As its maximum program it has the radical critique and free reconstruction of all the values and patterns of behavior imposed by an alienated reality. The only poetry it can acknowledge is the creativity released in the making of history, the free invention of each moment and each event: poésie faite par tous–the beginning of the revolutionary celebration. For proletarian revolt is a festival or it is nothing, because the life that it announces will itself be crfeated under the sign of festival. The game is the ultimate rationality of this festival, to live without a dead time and to enjoy without limits are the only rules that it recognises.
Situationist International, On The Poverty of Student Life
If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.
Is it possible to imagine revolution as a carnival? Those who suffer from the spirit of seriousness would dismiss the idea categorically. And yet, what is, or what was, carnival if not the inversion of all hierarchy and social roles? Ephemeral yes, but all revolution, until institutionalised is transitory. The question then is if the spirit and practice of carnival can be made institutional, and if so, in what form? The question remains open, but until then, what revolution there is without transgression is not …
From the Crimethinc collective, we share the following text, Flashback to June 18, 1999: The Carnival against Capital: A Retrospective, Video, and Comic …
(Paula Rego, Angel)
In memory of the Stonewall Inn insurrection of 1969, in memory of all of those women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans and intersex, queers and men who have been admonished, disciplined, tortured and killed for “deviant” forms of pleasure and relations, and still are so; in memory of the Stonewall riot as an event of our time, as something that we must continue to live and radicalise …
It is not enough to identify ourselves only as enemies of the state and the status quo. We are not the only ones who oppose this system. When you are involved in revolutionary or mass movements, even if you have your own strategy, you can be sure that you are also part of someone else’s. Our opposition to all hierarchy and forms of domination should be clear in everything we say and do. Otherwise, we risk reinforcing reactionary and authoritarian opposition without being aware of it.
In addition to participating in existing social movements, anarchists must also build the material basis of a new way of life. Autonomous spaces, squats, cooperative networks, and self-managed workplaces, events, lectures and mutual-aid networks are being built to meet this need to come together and organize outside of protests and other street actions. These initiatives are important as steps towards the change we want and as spaces where we can share skills, experiences, and resources—to build, make, and steal what we need to live rather than just asking governments and employers to surrender to our demands.
Many of these collectives and physical spaces emerged as a result of the anti-globalization movement. Those who are still resisting today can feel the interest of new generations after the recent waves of mobilization. These spaces are still very scarce, but they transmit a rich experience. It is no coincidence that the regions and communities that have a great anarchist tradition are also the ones with more autonomous spaces and social centers.
Fighting alone, individualistically, as we were taught by bourgeois liberal ideology, we will not be able to achieve a real confrontation with the existing order, or to inspire others to desert it. We need to find ourselves, organize ourselves, collectivize and communize tools to fight and nourish our vital needs.
Many of the justifications we make for our struggles are premised on bourgeois morality and statist reasoning, suggesting that we should “constitute” a new order based on the same current logic of legitimacy. This narrative of constituent power refers to abstract values similar to divine right or the sovereignty of a constitution. Anyone who claims to defend these values is claiming the legitimacy to rule over others, like a priest whose revealed word connects mere mortal bodies to divine truth. This old equation, in which “the will of god” or “the constitution” is replaced by the “will” of the people, always serves to justify the authority of those who come to power by promising to free us from the tyranny of the previous system. We do not need a universal justification for our self-determination. Privileging any one perspective as possessing legitimacy and representing the will of the people generates sovereignty and supremacy. If we want a world in which many worlds can coexist, we must not depend on a narrative that purports to offer the same legitimacy to all human groups while demanding a false union or uniformity.
We share below a reflection on social movements in Brazil, focusing on the period since 2013 and anarchist participation in them. Originally published in english by the Crimethinc collective, it is we believe, one of the most detailed and relevant contributions to the understanding of what is happening in that country, but more perhaps, how (and why) anarchists there and elsewhere can actively participate in such movements, even when they do not explicitly embracing anarchist ideology.
The class struggle cuts not just through the spaces of salaried labour; it divides agencies across all of the different spheres of social reproduction. Without the latter, the former would cease to exists.
We have tried over the years to chronicle the class struggles of everyday life, with a particular concern with okupations, whether of social centres, housing, industrial spaces, land, and so on. No struggle here has primacy over any other, and the front lines are often to be found in the most intimate of places, including in oneself.
We share below a brief account of a struggle, one more, around an occupied social centre and the State’s violent response to the creation of spaces of autonomy.
We share an essay by Rhyd Wildermuth from the collective Gods and Radicals, a reflection on Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the COP 21/Paris Climate Accords …
We formerly shared the excellent series of essays from the Crimethinc collective critically evaluating the notion of “democracy”. That the debate is not closed for anarchists is evident from the simple fact that it continues (e.g., Robert Graham‘s very recent essay on the subject). More profoundly, the relation between anarchism and democracy has been definitive of anarchism as such, with different anarchisms gaining body in their relation with democracy.
Below, we post a modest reflection on the matter, largely inspired by a brief essay by Giorgio Agamben, entitled “Introductory Note on the Concept of Democracy”, published in the english language volume, Democracy: In What State? (Columbia University Press, New York, 2011). To further help situate the discussion, Agamben’s essay follows.
… they wanted to reinvent everything, each day; to make themselves masters and possessors of their own lives.
If to constituent power corresponds revolutions, uprisings and new consititutions, that is, a violence that lays down and constitutes new law, for destituent power, it is fitting to think of completely different strategies, of which the definition is the task of the coming politics.
Giorgio Agamben, The Use of Bodies
To destitute the government, is to make ourselves ungovernable.
comité invisible, Maintenant
What follows is a second exercise in the sharing of ideas, of visions (for the first, click here). The most recent essay by the invisible committee, Now, continues a reflection-intervention that began with The Coming Insurrection and To Our Friends, and offers a powerful critique of contemporary politics, along with a defense of “autonomy”. What is proposed here then is again a partial summary and a critical commentary of the idea of politics expressed in the essay. (Our first
It also may be taken as a ongoing commentary on our recent posts dedicated to Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Jacques Rancière. The work of Guy Debord and Giorgio Agamben also resonate throughout this reflection.
The manner by which social relations are produced and reproduced spatially under capitalism has never been spatially egalitarian. The planetary of labour, commodity production, distribution and consumption, have always presupposed uneven patterns of development across spaces and geographies, both locally and across the globe. Politically, this inequality has been and continues to be expressed in multiple forms of oppression: slavery, colonialism-imperialism, nationalism, ethnocentrism, racism, sexism, and so on. If the expansion of capitalism has rested upon the extension and intensification of commodity production, with their its freedom of movement, the creation and sustaining of the conditions for the same (primitive accumulation: land appropriations, enforced imposition of salaried labour, destruction and/or appropriations of the many commons, hierarchical sex-gender and race categorisations, etc.) and the extraction of profit, by contrast, have always demanded the restriction and control of movements of people and their hierarchical organisation in increasingly global economies and politics.
The immediate costs and benefits of these social relations are thus not equally shared. In like manner, and perhaps less commonly observed, are the unequal distribution of costs that are typically not calculated monetarily, what economists “objectively” or “bloodlessly” call “externalities”.
From Robert Graham’s Anarchist Weblog …
Brazil is back in the news as people there begin again to mobilize against corrupt politicians (for a detailed analysis of the corruption itself, see this article from the Guardian newspaper). It’s been four years since the “Free Pass Movement” that began as a protest against transit fare increases and turned into a movement for free access to a variety of public services. Since then the most corrupt of the Brazilian politicians forced the impeachment of the President, Dilma Rousseff, replacing her with someone even more corrupt, Michel Temer. On May 24, 2017, Temer issued a decree for the military enforcement of “law and order.” In the piece below by Coordenação Anarquista Brasileira (Brazilian Anarchist Coordination, CAB), the CAB calls for the intensification of the popular movements for political power through directly democratic organizations (translation from anarkismo.net).