A Barbaric Contribution
When we try to read the reality that surrounds us we realize that we are assisting to profound transformations when we look at the management of economic and political power. Such changes are also reflected on a social level. It is necessary to confront ourselves with the current transformations and to take them into consideration in relation to our analysis and perspective of attack.
Capital is not in crisis, but the financial choices of the states ‘simply’ have created some difficulties in the traditional management of the market and have produced, in general, a worsening of conditions in the life of consumer-citizens. The contradictions that capital has developed have contributed to possible moments of conflict in some zones, more or less brutal and of longer or shorter time span, between the structures and guardians of power and those pockets of population that have had enough with being excluded from the comforts promised by the fake well-being of the society of consumption.
Looking at this situation it is natural to ask ourselves what to do. Being “here and now” is in fact at the basis of our desire of violent rupture with all systems of values, with capital and its many variations.
Within such reflections and within the definition of perspectives that can guide us through uncertain and unexplored paths of revolt we believe it necessary to avoid looking at reality through easy enthusiasms that risk leading us to see insurrections at every street corner, accomplices in every protester, revolutionary subjects in all exploited. At the same time we believe it is equally dangerous to remain anchored in a kind of realist pessimism that risks paralysing us faced with the current time, of transforming us into permanently awaiting, trapped in a deterministic logic.
What we believe to be fundamental is to place ourselves in a perspective of lucid observation that could allow us to grasp the current transformations, identifying the aspects which are vulnerable to our enemy, to better aim towards how and what to attack.
In the mental and material condition that is dominated by the urgency of being there (and not of being), as a definition of our own role within a diffused conflictuality, we risk losing sight of the central point: the necessity of starting from ourselves, from our own anarchist ideas and perspectives. Then, during a moment of a spontaneous revolt, the problem of anarchists is not that of seeking a role among other roles, of finding a way to be accepted by the others, to be agreeable or to hide our own real desires, to just make alliances. It would be a lot more useful to choose conditions of attack that hinder a return to normality; experimenting in the actions that belong to us, finding targets that spontaneity alone is not able to find. Any insurrectionary hypothesis is unpredictable and independent from us, but as anarchists, in a perspective of permanent conflictuality and of defining insurrectionary projects we can certainly give a fundamental contribution to what is going on.
The problems that we should confront ourselves with are not so much how to relate to the possibilities of revolt in the streets, of territorial and/or specific struggles that could become radical and widespread, but more how to continue to act and attack, in both a practical and theoretical dimension, in the light of the current transformations within society and the mechanisms of domination.
Analysing the practices and the paths of struggle in relation to the objective is the fundamental step of a discussion aimed towards individuating the limits and the perspectives of the theory and the practice of social subversion. To be able to better touch on the different questions and proposals that we intend to put forward on this occasion, we would like to bring certain points to the attention of comrades.
We believe it is urgent to confront the question of the ways of communication among comrades. The problem can be faced distinguishing two aspects: that of the ways with which we decide to communicate and that of the value that we give to the tools that each time we choose to use. Specifically, we are referring to the use of the internet and the way we relate to it. Our own use of these tools – even within limits – is a fact, however this is certainly not a factor from which we can consider them useful in the case of an insurrection or a fundamental tool in the definition of our perspective, or more, something which we can dispose of as we please.
The systems of virtual communication have caused enormous developments within the society we live in over the last twenty years and permeate every day more the reality and the relations between people. We cannot ignore that such systems have slowly entered our lives, inevitably conditioning also our way of relating with others, with what surrounds us and with the mediums of communication themselves. All of this happened in spite of our awareness that virtual irreality is functional to power and is one of its forces.
Over the last decade the traditional methods through which our ideas circulated, such as newspapers, brochures, flyers, poster and books have been severely reduced and the spreading of ideas has been almost entirely delegated to the virtual universe. More than ever it is indispensable to return and dust off the old forms of encounter and communication between comrades and experiment with new ones, ones that are only ours and not of the enemy. Meeting each other and taking the time to do so. Something that is more and more difficult given the daily rhythm imposed by modern life, rhythms that more or less consciously we have made our own.
It often happens to hear someone referring to the possibility of using computerized tools in certain situations. However finding ourselves in practice face to face with the daily use of the internet – particularly through the exchange of information and ideas – has shown us how much virtual reality has been able to condition in a negative way the current way of building relations. The idea of a good use of the virtual reality in a revolutionary perspective does not convince us. In fact we think that taking into consideration such a possibility would entail choosing paths that give no guarantee, given that they are functional to capital and the management of power. On the contrary, computerization and technological development have to become potential targets of attack.
The machine of capital is fed by structures of power (bureaucracies and institutions), by mechanisms of repression and control (prisons, courthouses, military and police forces, surveillance systems), by work, by consensus, by production. Radical critique and the perspective of attack have to therefore develop on many levels, both through theory and through practice. Specifically the system of production and consumption is what binds and chains individuals to capital and all its variations. The creation of false needs determines submission, more or less conscious, to the exploitation of work, to the logics of economic colonialism. The production of energy, industrial complexes and more or less displaced factories, the distribution of merchandise are at the basis of the functioning of this world.
And it is precisely in this direction that we need to act without waiting for this wall of commodification, which is seeping into every pore of our existences, to collapse on top of us, while we are busy scratching away on the surface and not at its foundation, burying any future possibility of attack. Acquiring, exchanging and spreading information, practical and theoretical, in regards to the place and the use of tools and knowledge is one of the aspects that we believe is indispensable to discuss and develop.
We can ask ourselves questions about how to act and how to attack, but it is equally important to ask ourselves against what to act and which targets to take into consideration, aiming towards taking the initiative rather than locking ourselves up in a logic of retaliation. What surrounds us is swarming with places through which capital proliferates. Places that were born or were transformed over the last decades. We can, briefly, give an example, with which it is easy to highlight some changes we are referring to. Let’s consider the difference there is between paper archives and databases. In the past, burning the documentation of a registry office, of a workplace, of a large industrial complex could be considered a concrete destructive action. Today not. Information and archives are preserved in databases, in minuscule electronic devices, and run along thousands of kilometres of cables and wires. Is it not perhaps necessary to take this into account? Is it not perhaps obvious that the changes of the enemy have been radical and cannot be ignored, and therefore it is necessary to get to know them better and deeper?
On this occasion we do not want to make a list of what could possibly be considered targets of attack, we prefer leaving these matters to the imagination of the research and the creativity of one’s own definition of perspectives of revolt.
Another point that we are interested in briefly discussing is the international dimension that we believe an insurrectionary perspective should assume or return to. Occasions such as this one allow us to meet, discuss, confront ourselves with other comrades from different places, and need to constitute a starting point to the deepening of future relationships. However the possibility to make these bonds on an individual basis or among realities from different places should not be the end, but a starting point and an aspect within the internationalist dimension that we aspire to. Having relations with comrades who live elsewhere is not enough, it is necessary that each one of us knows how to project ourselves in a perspective of observation and action that goes beyond territorial boundaries.
To explain ourselves better, let’s take as an example what happened in Greece over the last years. The insurrection of December, the thousands of attacks spread over its entire territory, the repeating conflicts with the police forces as well as various symbols and structures of power, the looting of supermarkets and many other actions that have warmed our hearts and fired our souls. Fires, though, that rarely spilled over our souls to assume a concrete dimension.
Reasons can be different one from another. Lack of contacts? A reality too far removed from our own? Internal conditions hard to decipher? Sporadic news that often is exclusively linked to sources of the regime? Of course these are reasons that probably weighed in. But first among all, the most determining one, was that we were not and are not prepared and therefore incapable of seizing the moment. Being able to take beyond the Greek borders a permanent conflictuality and targeted attacks, being able to understand the contradictions that capital is developing a bit everywhere, being able to counter-attack having at our disposal tools developed beforehand, could have made the difference. It is also through reflecting on this missed occasion, of which we could mention many more, that we can understand how much it is necessary to have the capacity to see beyond the few things that are in our short range of view and to be ready, to be prepared.
In the urgency of wanting to be there, in the excitement of participation in the possibility of spreading opposition we run the risk of losing ourselves between the provocations of capital and the trajectory of paths that don’t belong to us. We don’t have a world to save, nor consciences to conquest, nor a message to spread. Even though creativity as part of the unpredictable is quite fundamental, the perspectives and the objectives should not be pulled out of a magic hat. We cannot debase ourselves in an obsessive search for roles, numbers and head-counts. It is nonetheless important to explore new paths of attack, explore new means, tools and techniques in relation not only to objectives, but also tacking into consideration contexts and available forces.
Infinite possibilities of intervention exist in a critical and destructive path against the reality that surrounds us, and in such a path we find it important to extend and diversify the practices of conflict attempting to make them, time after time, reproducible.
Palermo, 31 October.