Self-management, like any order word, can be combined with anything: from Lapassade to de Gaulle, from the CFDT [French Democratic Confederation of Labor] to anarchists. To speak of self-management itself, without any context, is a myth. It becomes a type of moral principle, the commitment that the self of a group or company will be managed from and by itself. The effectiveness of this order word depends on its self-seduction. Determining the corresponding institutional object in each situation is a criterion that should allow clarification of this question.
We are almost tempted to call this and our next post – two short essays by Félix Guattari written in the wake of May 68 in france – “lessons for anarchists”. However we do not pretend to teach anyone, for we are not and do not belong to any ideological groupuscule. Consider then these two pieces as pebbles thrown to disturb the stillness of an overly placid pond.
What is the communist hypothesis? In its generic sense, given in its canonic Manifesto, ‘communist’ means, first, that the logic of class—the fundamental subordination of labour to a dominant class, the arrangement that has persisted since Antiquity—is not inevitable; it can be overcome. The communist hypothesis is that a different collective organization is practicable, one that will eliminate the inequality of wealth and even the division of labour. The private appropriation of massive fortunes and their transmission by inheritance will disappear. The existence of a coercive state, separate from civil society, will no longer appear a necessity: a long process of reorganization based on a free association of producers will see it withering away.
The existence of a militarised organisation, the single Party, able to seize power and then exercise it alone, is by no means the guarantee that the principles of communism which I have just mentioned will indeed organise the real. We have to reinvent politics: there has to be an entirely new dialectic between mass or movement democracy, our organisations and the state. In what form? We do not know, for there are periods of doubt, moments in history when the question of what means are necessary remains obscure. Before we rush to address the question of the means, we have to begin by re-establishing the legitimacy of the problem, the relevance of the hypothesis.
Alain Badiou: “I hold firm to the communist hypothesis”…Laurent Joffrin: “Which no one wants anymore.” (Verso Books Blog 20/12/2017)
We have criticised Alain Badiou in the past, but regardless of our differences, he is a writer from which we have always learned. It is in this spirit that we share the following piece by Badiou entitled Thirteen theses and some comments on politics today (Verso Books Blog 24/01/2023).
The current conjuncture demands rigorous analysis if we are to understand the political moment and develop a strategy to respond to it. Alain Badiou undertakes this task, offering thirteen theses on global politics today and suggesting an organizing strategy for the Left given those conditions.
…This is a transmission from a future that will not happen. From a people who do not exist…
Rethinking the Apocalypse: An Indigenous Anti-Futurist Manifesto
“The end is near. Or has it come and gone before?”
Why can we imagine the ending of the world, yet not the ending of colonialism?
We live the future of a past that is not our own. It is a history of utopian fantasies and apocalyptic idealization. It is a pathogenic global social order of imagined futures, built upon genocide, enslavement, ecocide, and total ruination.
Since 2013, the anarchist Alfredo Cospito has been imprisoned for shooting Roberto Adinolfi in the leg, CEO of Ansaldo Nucleare, the main Italian nuclear company. The action had been claimed by the Informal Anarchist Federation. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, subject to detention conditions equivalent to those of high-security units, he was then sentenced again for his involvement in 2006 in the planting of two parcel bombs which caused no casualties. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for “aggravated massacre” and placed under the “41-bis” detention regime, considered by all observers to a regime of torture. Since October 20, 2022, Mr. Cospito has been on a hunger strike against this special regime considered a slow death sentence. Dozens of rallies and support actions are currently taking place around the world so that Italian justice does not let him die within its walls.
On January 18, 2023 a multi-agency task force moved to clear out an ongoing tree-sit protest in Atlanta, Georgia. In the opening minutes of this operation, Georgia State Troopers shot and killed a tree sitter.
The tree sitter, Manuel Paez Teran, also known as Tortuguita or Tort, was a participant in an ongoing occupation of the Atlanta (Weelanuee) Forest. The objective of the forest occupation is to prevent the construction of ‘Cop City’, a state-of-the-art, 381-acre police urban warfare training facility. The as yet unbuilt facility has so far drawn $90 million dollars in funding from a combination of tax dollars and corporate sponsorship.
The Defense of Lützerath: A Photoessay and Poster Documenting Ecological Destruction and Resistance
Over the past week, police have taken brutal steps to suppress ecological movements in Europe and the United States. In Germany, police evicted and destroyed the long-occupied village of Lützerath in a massive operation in order to expand an ecologically devastating open pit coal mine. Today, in Atlanta, Georgia, police murdered a person in the course of their efforts to evict and destroy the Weelaunee Forest.
Those who stood up to the police in Lützerath are fighting for a future for all human beings and living things. Whatever immediate justifications capitalist profiteers may offer for seeking to extract and burn more coal, keeping the earth inhabitable is more important.
Likewise, we are deeply moved by the courage of those who continue to defend the forest in Atlanta, even after police have demonstrated that they will commit murder to evict it. If our species is able to survive the ecological catastrophe that industrial capitalism is bringing about, it will chiefly be due to the courage of such brave and selfless individuals.
In the following photoessay, a witness of the events in Lützerath documents the clashes that unfolded between police and climate activists.
We have also prepared a poster identifying the responsibility of the authorities for the ongoing catastrophes inflicted by industrially driven climate change.
I have an interest to declare. The government of my country, Hungary, is–along with the Bavarian provincial government (provincial in more senses than one)–the strongest foreign supporter of Jörg Haider’s Austria. The right-wing cabinet in Budapest, besides other misdeeds, is attempting to suppress parliamentary governance, penalizing local authorities of a different political hue than itself, and busily creating and imposing a novel state ideology, with the help of a number of lumpen intellectuals of the extreme right, including some overt neo-Nazis. It is in cahoots with an openly and viciously anti-Semitic fascistic party that is, alas, represented in parliament. People working for the prime minister’s office are engaging in more or less cautious Holocaust revisionism. The government-controlled state television gives vent to raw anti-Gypsy racism. The fans of the most popular soccer club in the country, whose chairman is a cabinet minister and a party leader, are chanting in unison about the train that is bound to leave any moment for Auschwitz.
On the ground floor of the Central European University in Budapest you can visit an exhibition concerning the years of turmoil a decade or so ago. There you can watch a video recorded illegally in 1988, and you can see the current Hungarian prime minister defending and protecting me with his own body from the truncheons of communist riot police. Ten years later, this same person appointed a communist police general as his home secretary, the second or third most important person in the cabinet. Political conflicts between former friends and allies are usually acrimonious. This is no exception. I am an active participant in an incipient anti-fascist movement in Hungary, a speaker at rallies and demonstrations. Our opponents–in personal terms–are too close for comfort. Thus, I cannot consider myself a neutral observer.
The phenomenon that I shall call post-fascism is not unique to Central Europe. Far from it. To be sure, Germany, Austria, and Hungary are important, for historical reasons obvious to all; familiar phrases repeated here have different echoes. I recently saw that the old brick factory in Budapest’s third district is being demolished; I am told that they will build a gated community of suburban villas in its place. The brick factory is where the Budapest Jews waited their turn to be transported to the concentration camps. You could as well build holiday cottages in Treblinka. Our vigilance in this part of the world is perhaps more needed than anywhere else, since innocence, in historical terms, cannot be presumed.1 Still, post-fascism is a cluster of policies, practices, routines, and ideologies that can be observed everywhere in the contemporary world; that have little or nothing to do, except in Central Europe, with the legacy of Nazism; that are not totalitarian; that are not at all revolutionary; and that are not based on violent mass movements and irrationalist, voluntaristic philosophies, nor are they toying, even in jest, with anti-capitalism.
Why call this cluster of phenomena fascism, however post-?