Voices of exile in the Situationist International

The NOT BORED! journal collective continues to generously share with us their tireless work of translating situationist and situationist inspired texts, for which we are grateful. On this occasion, it is a historical essay by Maurice Fréchuret convering the contribution of “exiles” to the practical-theoretical work of the Situationists.

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Geopolitics for 2024

The ratification of the Treaty of Münster, part of the Peace of Westphalia (1648) that ended the Thirty Years’ War

We share a critical essay by Peter Gelderloos on the on the probabilities of state power or revolution (07/02/2024).

Skip the first section if you want to go straight to the conflicts and changes I think we should be paying attention to. And please keep in mind, analyzing geopolitics requires analyzing the actions of major states and capitalists from the perspective of their own interests, which is a pretty gross headspace to get into. I’m going to make this caveat once to avoid clogging up the whole essay: “good for the US” and “good for investors” means bad for life, bad for the planet.

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Angela Davis: We deposit our dreams in Palestine

Photograph by Choupas Cyrille

In an exercise of “telescoping”, Angela Davis helps us to see and understand the connections between the Palestinian struggle for self-determination against Israeli settler-colonialism, the more general struggle against persistent and historically rooted forms of racist colonialism and racial capitalism and the struggle – a permanent struggle for – an “abolitionist democracy”, a “democracy” freed from the violence of hierarchy and authoritarianism, what we are tempted to call, hesitatingly (and it is not her expression), an “anarchic democracy”.

We share three documents: an interview with Angela Davis by Frank Barat on the current Israeli genocidal violence in Gaza and the Westbank; an interview with Gaye Theresa Johnson and Alex Lubin, for the collection Futures of Black Radicalism; a lecture by Angela Davis in Barcelona, 2017, at the invitation of the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, entitled “Revolution Today”.

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For Gaza: Ghassan Kanafani in the voice of John Berger

In an address to the inaugural Palestine Festival of Literature (2008) John Berger gave a moving reading of Palestinian writer, Ghassan Kanafani’s “Letter from Gaza”. Kanafani was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad in 1972.

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Raoul Vaneigem: Abolish Predation Become Human Again

Bonheur de Vivre, Henri Matisse, 1906

The NOT BORED! journal collective has once again generously shared with us their tireless work of translating situationist and situationist inspired texts, for which we are grateful. On this occasion, it is a very recent piece (January 2024) by Vaneigem, which is soon to be published by Fayard as a multi-language pamphlet (French, Italian, German and English).

A call for the global creation of collectivities that struggle for a free and authentic human life

Raoul Vaneigem[1]

We have made Mankind the shame of humanity.

From the most ancient times to the present day, no society has attained the degree of ignominy and abjection reached by an agro-mercantile civilization that, for two thousand years, has passed for Civilization par excellence.

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Sri Lanka: When the peasants rebelled

The human pyramid. Riding the waves of revolution, protesters climb scaffolding at Galle Face, Colombo. Photograph by Senani Dehigolla

With the French farmer’s protest in the background, the lundi matin collective has drawn out comparisons with the Sri Lankan, largely peasant uprising – “The Country to Colombo!” -, known as Aragalaya, “the struggle”, of 2022 against the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

In this effort, they recently video recorded an interview (in English) with a Sri Lankan activist involved in the uprising. The interview, simultaneously eloquent and penetrating, is a brilliant and moving testimonial of rebellion. If it is clichéd to say that there is much to learn from her words, then let the cliché stand.

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France and the farmer’s uprising: Conflicts of worlds

… when just as we came to the top of a rising ground, down a long glade of the wood on my right I caught sight of a stately building whose outline was familiar to me, and I cried out, “Westminster Abbey!”

“Yes,” said Dick, “Westminster Abbey—what there is left of it.”

“Why, what have you done with it?” quoth I in terror.

“What have we done with it?” said he; “nothing much, save clean it.  But you know the whole outside was spoiled centuries ago: as to the inside, that remains in its beauty after the great clearance, which took place over a hundred years ago, of the beastly monuments to fools and knaves, which once blocked it up, as great-grandfather says.”

We went on a little further, and I looked to the right again, and said, in rather a doubtful tone of voice, “Why, there are the Houses of Parliament!  Do you still use them?”

He burst out laughing, and was some time before he could control himself; then he clapped me on the back and said:

“I take you, neighbour; you may well wonder at our keeping them standing, and I know something about that, and my old kinsman has given me books to read about the strange game that they played there.  Use them!  Well, yes, they are used for a sort of subsidiary market, and a storage place for manure, and they are handy for that, being on the waterside.  I believe it was intended to pull them down quite at the beginning of our days; but there was, I am told, a queer antiquarian society, which had done some service in past times, and which straightway set up its pipe against their destruction, as it has done with many other buildings, which most people looked upon as worthless, and public nuisances; and it was so energetic, and had such good reasons to give, that it generally gained its point; and I must say that when all is said I am glad of it: because you know at the worst these silly old buildings serve as a kind of foil to the beautiful ones which we build now.

William Morris, News from Nowhere 

In an effort to decrypt and understand the framer’s uprising in France, we share two texts below (in translation): A reading of events by the Groupe Révolutionnaire Charlatan and the last part of a position statement from Les soulèvements de la terre.

We have also provided links to further, suggested reading.

The left, progress and the peasant

“Partisans in the metropolis: touch grass!”

Groupe Révolutionnaire Charlatan (lundimatin #413, 29/01/2023)

In recent days [in France], we have seen [police] prefectures covered in dung and set on fire, mutual insurance companies set on fire, “foreign” trucks turned over by tractors and their food distributed to the Restos du Cœur or burned on the road, and there are calls to to surround Paris, others to rename the Élysée “Le Lisier” [“The Dung House”], and a government particularly keen not to add fuel to the fire. A pre-cooked and media narrative coordinated both by political representatives and by representatives of the FNSEA [Fédération nationale des syndicats d’exploitants agricoles] , pushes us to understand this movement from their sole point of view, that is to say their interests: the agri-industry has set out on a conflict with the State to recover a little money and put pressure against ecological regulations which are cutting into their profit margins and all of this mixed with a brown, reactionary and conservative background. Good. The Groupe Révolutionnaire Charlatan [the Charlatan Revolutionary Group] has sent us this text which intends to take up the question from a completely different axiom: trying to understand the revolt from its historical and ethical coordinates.

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Breaking Borders: Report On Anarchist Organizing In Solidarity With Migrants In Chicago

A critical report, reflection, and analysis on anarchist organizing in Chicago, IL in solidarity with migrants, largely from Venezuela. (From It’s Going Down, 24/01/2024)

A deepening economic crisis resulting from U.S. sanctions, colonial extractivism, and inter-imperial disputes has been fueling forced migration north from Venezuela. Since August 2022, governors of US border states, especially Texas, have spent lavishly on corralling and shipping migrants seeking asylum to northern Democratic-party strongholds, a program explicitly targeted at gaining leverage in the spectacle of two party politics. More than 26,100 migrants, the vast majority from Venezuela, have been shipped to Chicago since 2022. As of January 2024, over 600 migrant busses have arrived in Chicago as well as several chartered planes. Busses continue to arrive every day and more recently the drivers have began dropping people outside of the designated intake location and even outside of the city altogether, leaving people in random parking lots with no information, no winter clothes, no food and no water.

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Adónde está la libertad/Where is freedom

Fragments of a film: Los delincuentes (2023), by Rodrigo Moreno of Argentina

As for what I think about freedom, I think it’s in the movie. The idea of living to work implies a modern form of slavery. This is what Morán says: when two people meet in the city, the first thing they ask each other is “and what do you do for work?” Work is placed almost above any bond. So it seems to me that what is lost there is the individual exercise of freedom, of having leisure time, so that your time is not formatted in a factory like in Modern Times, making nuts.

Interview with Rodrigo Moreno, director of Los delincuetes, by Andrés Brandariz (Caligari: Revista de Cine)

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Alberto Toscano: Notes on late fascism

Philip Guston, “The Studio”, from the Klansmen series , 1969

This is the “last” of a short series of essays (with earlier pieces by Gerard Granel and Simone Weil) exploring dimensions of fascism, as the latter seemingly closes in about us.

We share below an essay by Albert Toscano, a sort of preliminary essay to the his now more elaborate and recent book, Late Fascism: Race, Capitalism and the Politics of Crisis (2023).

In the depth and range of its analysis, we venture to state that it is a fundamental body of work on contemporary forms of fascism.

For a two part interview with Toscano on his recent book, for Protean Magazine, click here and here.

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