The Notre-Dame-des Landes ZAD: The multiplicity of movement against the unity of the state

On the 17th of May, 19 squadrons of military police (that is, between 1,500 and 1,700 police) entered the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes for a second operation of destruction and eviction.

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Reimagining revolution: Amador Fernández Savater

With the seeming proliferation and celebration of anniversaries of revolutions, “successful” or “failed”, we lose cite of the conceptual wealth and practical weight of the concept itself.  The Autonomies collective has endeavoured, however modestly, to reflect upon the history and the significance of the idea.  Yet, with every new rebellious event, and with every commemoration of past rebellions, the questions surge up again: what is revolution?  are there different kinds of revolutions?  can a revolution, for example, an anti-capitalist revolution, be defined theoretically and/or normatively?  or must we wait upon history, blindly, to tell what such occurrences are?

And what are we to make of “the revolutionary”, the disobedient subjectivity desirous of destroying the old, to create the new?  Is such a subjectivity possible, desirous, or a tyrant?

Without wishing to close the debate (indeed, it is impossible to do so), we share a reflection on the imaginary of revolution by Amador Fernández Savater.

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Fighting fascism in italy and beyond

From the CrimethInc Collective (10/05/2018) …

Italy: We Partisans – Resisting the Wave of Fascism, Spring 2018

In February and March, during the run-up to the elections, Italy experienced a period of intense conflict between fascists and anti-fascists analogous to the period in the United States that culminated with the struggle in Charlottesville in August 2017. In hopes of learning from how these conflicts are playing out in different parts of the world, we reached out to our comrades in Italy to learn about the history of fascism on the Italian peninsula, the current state of the autonomous movements resisting it, and the possibilities and obstacles ahead.

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An anarchist reading of the Nicaraguan rebellion

From the CrimethInc collective  (06/05/2018)…

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Vanishing points in working class culture: Miguel Amorós

As a complement to our last post “Revolution imagined outside history”, we share an essay by the anarchist militant-writer Miguel Amorós on the possibility of revolution after the “death of the working class”. Continue reading

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Revolution imagined outside history

Utopia of a Tired Man Borges story Illustration by Federico Abuyé

 

The chronicler, who recounts events without distinguishing between the great and small, thereby accounts for the truth, that nothing which has ever happened is to be given as lost to history. Indeed, the past would fully befall only a resurrected humanity. Said another way: only for a resurrected humanity would its past, in each of its moments, be citable. Each of its lived moments becomes a citation a l’ordre du jour [order of the day] – whose day is precisely that of the Last Judgment.

Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History

 

Untimely reflections on history, subjectivity and revolution …

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In a rebellious month of May, reflections on militant autonomy

Radical political militancy is never intellectually unarmed, for it always assumes some understanding of what it contests and of how it can or should be overcome.  It also carries with it some idea of what is to follow the detested social order.  But it is precisely because of the weight of these assumptions that militancy is dangerous even for the militant, for all may go terribly wrong at all three of these levels.  In other words, a non-reflective militancy is blind, and fatally so.

The essay we share below is not presented with the presumption that it holds all of the answers.  However the intensity with which it is written, and at a time of widespread political struggle in france, makes it an important contribution to a debate that will never be closed; and rightfully so.

Perhaps our greatest doubt touches paradoxically on the idea of militancy itself, for the reflection is haunted by the desire for power.  If anarchist rebellion/revolution aspires to the destruction of power, then it is not clear how a radical conquest of power, even if not the power of social hierarchies, avoids the pitfalls of reasserting power.  But we also share the essential idea that “multiplication of means of autonomy goes hand in hand with the multiplication of the possibilities of solidarity and action”, and that thus the former must be constructed, with determination and as often and in as many places as possible, if we are ever to move beyond the ends of capitalism.

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Peter Linebaugh: May Day from the “longue durée”

To read May Day historically is not only to take us back to the late 19th century working class struggles for a shorter workday, but also to see that this day was far more than a fight for better working conditions; that it always carried within it the seeds revolution and of an older form of life not yet radically alienated from “nature”.

We share below Peter Linebaugh’s essay on the long May Day, a day both painted in green and red.

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For May 68 as a permanent possibility, for a May 2018

Numerous calls have been made in france not to celebrate May 68, but to have it burn again in 2018.  These calls have in turn been circulated beyond france.

From lespaves.net, an invitation for a beautiful May in Paris …

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The winds of May 68 in France: the Larzac

An often forgotten or ignored dimension of May 68 were france’s peasant movements, which preceded 1968 and would continue after the student movement and general strike came to an end.

The Larzac protest and land occupation against government plans to expand a territory for military training were emblematic in this regard.  And as the LIP factory occupation quickly overflowed the walls of the factory, so too would Larzac echo throughout the country, redefining anti-capitalist action.

The latter could no longer be imagined as concentrated exclusively in industrial spaces, nor submissive to political parties and ideological preconceptions of what the revolutionary subject must be.  Larzac generated a movement of combative solidarity that violated older schemes of rebellion and revolution, and placed at the centre concerns for the land, ecology, peasant forms of life and self-management that resonate still, with indigenous and peasant movements, and the more recent ZADs.

We share two texts below, one a brief introduction to the Larzac movement, a reflection by Joseph Bové, a participant in the movement, and a film record of the events.  We close with a recent documentary-road trip through various ZADs in europe, contemporary and past, beginning and ending with Larzac.

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