Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (4)

The fourth chapter of Tomás Ibáñez’s essay, Anarchism is movement directly engages the debate over the significance of “postanarchism”.  Neither tempted by a blind adherence to this current of thought, nor categorically dismissive, Ibáñez attempts to navigate between these extremes, always attentive to the complex relations between theory and practice that have always animated anarchism.

(The first – along with the preamble –, second and third chapters, of Ibáñez’s essay, have been published earlier).

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Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (3)

Engaging directly with the contemporary resurgence and renewal of anarchism, Tomás Ibáñez, in the third chapter of Anarchism is movement, endeavours in part to conceptualise what he calls the “constitutively changeable” nature of the movement. 

Binding together thought and action, anarchism develops within mutually sustaining relations between practice guided by and creative of ideas, and ideas generative of and resulting from practice.  And to the extent that anarchism in turn develops within a historical context, this same relationship between thought and action is paralleled at the broader level of the movement’s relationship with any particular historical moment: anarchism is made possible (as thought and practice) by the context from which it emerges, while that context is changed by anarchism. 

In other words, the anarchist movement’s capacity to surge up anew depends on its renewal and its renewal depends on its capacity to produce the conditions of its resurgence.  And it is in this immanent to and fro between idea and practice, and between both and historical setting, that rebellious subjectivities are forged.  Should these ties be severed, then anarchism and anarchists will only be found in libraries and museums.

(The first – along with the preamble – and second chapters, of Ibáñez’s essay, have been published earlier).

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Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (2)

Tomás Ibáñez, not without hesitation and only as a heuristic, employs the term “neoanarchism” to refer to the resurgence and changing nature of the movement in the wake of May 1968, France.  But these changes have not been without their critics, so that in what follows, the second chapter of Ibáñez’s essay, Anarchism is movement, he endeavours to both explain and defend what he considers to be the virtues of our new anarchism.

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Anarchism is movement: Tomás Ibáñez (1)

With this post, we begin the publication of an english language translation of Tomás Ibáñez essay, “Anarchism is movement: Anarchism, neoanarchism and postanarchism” (2014).  Among our motives for undertaking the exercise, there is first the desire to share with english speakers the work of anarchist writers and militants from the spanish speaking world and, secondly, in this instance (and by no means the first time), to share the work of Tomás Ibáñez, with whom we have great affinity.

The life of Tomás Ibáñez is marked by anarchism from his childhood: son of the Spanish libertarian exile in France, he participated, in the 1960s, in the also exiled Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL), in the same country. In 1968, he joined the March 22 Movement, participating actively in the May events of that year, until his arrest in June, and subsequent forced “internal exile” outside Paris. In 1973 he returned to Spain and participated in the attempts to rebuild the CNT. Activist, journalist, essayist, academic, Ibáñez’s voice within anarchism remains among the most creative.

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The politics of ecstasy: From Eukariot

The eukariot counter-propaganda cell has released a second issue of reflections-interventions.  If we share the essays that follow, it is exclusively because of how much we share with them …

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The time of revolution: Reflections with Uri Gordon

In a richly argued essay, Uri Gordon critically evaluates the notion of “prefigurative politics”, an expression that has become popular with social movements, including anarchist groups, eager to maintain the ethical unity between means and ends.  What has gone unnoticed however is what lies beneath this notion, as part of its animating past, namely, a linear conception of history in which the future (as the end, the eschaton) radiates back on its past, thereby offering reassurance for the present, for actions in the present reflective of the idealised future.

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Love and revolution

… hunger and continual necessity are the greatest enemies of love.

Cervantes, Don Quixote


An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets and Silence


Love… is a quest for truth… truth in relation to something quite precise: what kind of world does one see when one experiences it from the point of view of two and not one? What is the world like when it is experienced, developed and lived from the point of view of difference and not identity? That is what I believe love to be.

Alain Badiou, In Praise of Love


Love is a permanent emergency state.

Slavoj Zizek, On Love as a Political Category


If we are averse to speaking of “civilisation”, the reflection that follows is an impassioned defence of the impossibility of revolution without love.  To share, as we share …

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Stonewall: Re-Politicising Pride

(Apocryphal poem by Paul B. Preciado)

In front of the heterosexual machine
It rises, fierce, the ANAL MACHINE

The non-hierarchical connection of the organs
The redistribution of pleasure
And anal collectivisation
That is already going to happen.

Historically the anus
Has been contained
As an abject organ,
Never clean enough,
Never silent enough.

It is not, nor can it be, politically correct.
The anus does not produce, or rather,
It only produces rubbish.

You can not expect from this organ
Neither surplus value, nor profit
Neither sperm, nor ovum.
Come out of the hole.
Nor sexual reproduction.
The great anal factory
only produces shit.
From this point of flight
Capital escapes
To return to earth as humus
And fecal fertilizer

If the strategies of capital production
Want to repossess
The machine of anal pleasure,
They will to be willing
To be transformed into shit.

(Poema apócrifo de Paul B. Preciado)

Frente a la máquina heterosexual
Se alza, fiera, la MÁQUINA ANAL

La conexión no jerárquica de los órganos
La redistribución del placer
Y la colectivización anal
Que ya se va a acontecer.

Históricamente el ano
Ha sido contenido
Como órgano abyecto,
Nunca suficientemente limpio,
Jamás lo bastante silencioso.

No es, ni puede ser, políticamente correcto.
El ano no produce, o más bien,
Sólo basura produce.

No se puede esperar de este órgano
Ni plusvalía ni beneficio
Ni esperma, ni óvulo
Salen del orificio.
Ni reproducción sexual.
Si sólo mierda produce
La gran fábrica anal.

Por este punto de fuga
Escapa el Capital
Que regresa a la tierra en humus
Y en fertilizante fecal

Si las estrategias de producción de capital
Quisiéranse repropiar
De la máquina de placer anal,
Tendrían que estar dispuestas
A ser transformadas en mierda.

ORGIE – Organización Grupal de Investigaciones Escénicas / Lobo Suelto!


The month of June marks the annual high tide of LGBT visibility, with Pride marches organised in many cities throughout the world, in memory of the New York Stonewall Riots of June, 1969, and of the many struggles, past and present, for LGBT liberation.  That such demonstrations remain the object of State prohibition and violence in many places, that LGBT people are still persecuted, arrested, killed, erased legally, testifies to the threat that LGBT movements continue to be for numerous regimes of social control.

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Communal living, making community: David Thoreau Wieck

The role of principle in anarchist thought and action, as I understand it, is to liberate the positive ethical life of human beings. Thus the principle of power-negation is rather a constitutive principle of the desired society than a rule for life within that society. Put more correctly: an authentic relationship between persons, as understood by anarchists, presupposes the absence of power of some over others, but ‘absence of power’ says nothing positive about the content of that relationship, and that content will be the creation of those persons.

… nothing secures an anarchist society, whether of large extent or of commune-size or consisting of two persons, except continuous realization of the human potential for free engagement and disagreement, always in recognition of the personhood of the other.

David Thoreau Wieck


This post brings to a close a dialogue with a friend of autonomies.  The dialogue has been imaginary and virtual, for she has not had the occasion to respond on this forum.  It began with an article from the Crimethinc Collective, entitled the “Anarchist Critique of the State” and ends (momentarily, as always) with the essay that follows below by David Thoreau Wieck, “The Negativity of Anarchism” (1975). Our hope is that it has not been without value, for our friend, and for all of those who may follow autonomies.

Beyond this perhaps overly personal justification, the series of posts oppose “community” to the “state” as the the ideal of autonomy; an opposition that lies at the very heart of the anarchist understanding of human freedom.

(We borrow the title of this post from an essay by John A. Schumacher, dedicated to David Thoreau Wieck.  Wieck was among other things writer for and editor of the New York based anarchist newspaper Resistance in the 1950s.  The essay that we share below retains all of its lucidity and relevance).

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What does the Left plan to do if “the people” don’t want a revolution?

A reflection on revolution: from Gods and Radicals (14/06/2018), an essay by Dr. Bones …

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