Old habits die hard
At daggers drawn with "Inhabit"
You put your left foot in
You take your left foot out
You put your left foot in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That's what it's all about
In habit, daily routine thinks in place of us.
From work to ‘free time’, everything comes about within the continuity of survival.
We always have something to cling to. The most stupefying characteristic of today’s society is the ability for ‘comfort’ to exist a hair’s breadth from catastrophe. The mass is usually fond of the mediocre, the immobility of habit, the rigidity of prudence and afraid of the new, the radical, the unknown of insurrection. Old habits die hard.
In a website smeared in washed-out shades of nauseating orange which are the visual equivalent of an air raid siren coupled with the sound of retching, "Inhabit" prophesizes parochial dreams of bucolic vigor. As you scroll down, a demanding cadre sets about an interminable list of impossible tasks, the reader thus incurs in a great debt from the outset. Their 1-short-of-10 commandments begin with "Find each other". This is because they begin their journey as shepherds without a sheeple.
If it was just a matter of disagreeing with the order of steps, then one could propose an easy fix as simple as changing the order of their 9-step program. But each step merely serves to give a sense of urgency to the act of delaying becoming ungovernable. It’s the path to anarchy, by way of Zenon's paradox. Not content with delaying the immediate ninefold, they delay the delay by prefacing it with 5 headers we’ll deface as follows:
The beginning of the text
While de jure governments fail, the autonomous territories emplace a de facto government with a new sense that to be free, we must be bound to this society and its management of life. Enclaves of techno-feudalism are diligently tilled for their resources by its peons who are increasingly under the delusion that they’re getting the upper hand by putting in the work in all these crowdsourced and “free” schemes in which they themselves are the product. They fall into the gambit of counter-revolution with the option: to hell or utopia? Either answer satisfies them, so naturally they retroactively fashion a utopia out of the living hell they resign to endure. They embrace the banality of impoverishment and precarity and bolster it as a revolutionary alternative, or envision it as latent or emergent insurrection.
Time is a lesion
Here, as in many of the subsections, they present a mishmash of strained causal links between events and places far apart. A remanent of discredited progressivist narratives. They mention Twitter, which explains the speed and duration their attention spans. Attention deficit manifest in their incapacity to be present in the moment. Which leads to a fetishization of dwelling as a concept, but they eviscerate it by elementary Cartesian divisions of space and time.
“Time” is a lesion on your brain, a scar on your soul.
Perception is muddled by the teleology of time’s arrow.
If the concept of time inhabits your mind, you’ll suffer life mutilated as self-management.
You become hostage to future.
Nowhere but here
Lost in a topology of nihilism, their notions of truth and space prove to be Kantian and Euclidian.
They seek escape, running laps around a Mobius strip, ignoring the void in the middle. They go deeper into Klein bottle of their misconceptions.
“Space” is a gaping wound, bleeding the living world in the form of resources. “Inhabit” delineates a project of civilizing the remaining, re-emerging (due to catastrophes), or imagined pockets of "wilderness" in a contrived pseudo-periphery; "uninhabited land" ripe for the taking. So much "empty space" to carry out activities in your "free time".
Power breaks us irreversibly
They see society as a broken machine, running on the power of the people’s labor.
They spring from a habit of digital cybernetic politics and crave a low-tech analog cybernetic politics.
They think that the machine can be fixed, running on the power of people’s labor.
This plentiful renewable resource is a dirty fuel and highly unsustainable.
People farming for a new tomorrow. Time severed from place. There is not a new world to replace this one. Our Earth is dying from life extracted into power; biofuels and biopolitics. Power breaks us irreversibly. The seduction towards shared power is the death drive.
Nothing is missing
Everything is encumbered by sites of assembly and disassembly of new and old Leviathans.
Calls to inhabit the vacant husks of mega-machines, populating its fuel tanks, charging its energy cells.
Compulsive jittering actions to fill each void, instead of widening them. Quickly spackling over every crack that opens, snuffing out every flame that spontaneously ignites.
Nothing is missing. Let’s make room for it.
Without further delay, or rather to get to the crux of their delay, here are their 9 steps, and why they’re wrong:
Find Each Other
If we're already isolated, let's not ruin it.
To say we are the only rebels in a sea of submission is reassuring because it puts an end to the game in advance. We are simply saying that we do not know who our accomplices may be and that in the middle of a social tempest this becomes harder to discern.
Likewise, the choice of refusal doesn’t need to be taken only by people who were isolated beforehand, but also by people who were included in the community but choose a total break with their defined role. The issue is which principles, values and desires someone chooses to follow.
A rebel is one who wishes to be. Know yourselves – be infertile and let the earth be silent after ye.
Relations of affinity do not exist on the basis of ideology or quantity, but start off from reciprocal knowledge, from feeling and sharing projectual passions. But projectual affinity and autonomous individual action are dead letters if they cannot spread without being sacrificed in the name of some claimed higher necessity.
To place the burden of your own liberation on another is to oppress them with cruel fantasies stemming from your own submissiveness. Encounters may happen along the way, but:
How will you find fellow travelers if you delay the attack?
To begin by aspiring to build hubs is to begin with a demand for a concession: armistice.
Begging to be allowed the time to concentrate into camps. Don’t occupy strongholds.
The troops will always be able to take them or simply destroy them with their artillery.
Police will always be able to evict them with a series of raids. Instead of building encampments,
become proficient at the far ambush. Find places that are easy to strike from and leave easily.
While it’s viable for them to raid every hub, they cannot safeguard from all random attacks from a distance by unknown individuals.
In an age where wildfires and floods abruptly reshape the contours of the inhabitable, they place their bets on sticking to a place. In an age when the names of la ZAD, Rojava, and Exarchia are more often in the mouths of those who speak of their ongoing eviction, they place their bets on holding on to a shifting terrain. They’ll end up falling between the cracks of shifting terrain as tectonic plates snap into new configurations.
Their sequel of “Back to the Land” manifests itself as enclaves of prefiguration for the denizens of succumbed cities. We forget we are all living in a ghetto, even if we don’t pay rent and every day is a Sunday. If we are not capable of destroying this ghetto, the freedom to experiment will be a poor thing indeed. Housing estates and land availability are a consequence of the displacement and concentration of the population according to the needs of the economy and social control. Establishing hubs plays into this game, confusing subletting for sublevating.
Organizations that set themselves up as vanguard of the exploited must conceal the fact that domination is a social relation, not simply a general headquarters to be conquered in order to justify their role. An organization that bolsters the creation of hubs to centralize power is barefaced. The writers of “Inhabit” resolve this by setting loose some commandments and delegating the self-management of their franchises of power.
They speak of collective power; no power can support itself without the voluntary servitude of those it dominates. Power is a social relationship, a social hierarchical organization model, a way of life-management. Reformism acts on detail, quantitatively. It mobilizes vast numbers of people in order to change a few isolated aspects of power. “Inhabit” is the sugarcoating of decentralized D.I.Y. biopolitics.
Security, territory, population. They encourage the reader to target an area with the logic of occupation.
Building hubs is an act of bordering, delimiting a zone of exclusion. An intimate act of social cohesion producing productive subjectivities, set apart from external superfluous strangers. The opposite of rewilding; re-civilizing pockets of wildness.
There are those who sacrifice themselves through action and those who do so through passivity. Those who sacrifice themselves through armed struggle, and those who do so through plowshares. During Occupy, the inauspicious ideology of hubs transformed the need for coherence of the few into the gregariousness of the many. May arms finally turn themselves against the ideology of hubs!
They need skilled laborers to build their still workerist-but-no-longer-waged communism.
They call for reskilling for a functionalist insertion into the alternative labor pool of intentional communities. Their resilience keeps social peace by producing an alternative normality that coexists with the ongoing states of exception, crisis, and disaster recovery periods. The bare necessities for subsistence, plus the meager niceties and comforts of living in the wake of disaster, become the vague insinuations of the program for the coming insurrection.
Without wanting to revive the myth that the general strike is the unshackling of insurrection, it is clear enough that the interruption of all social activity is still decisive. Subversive action must tend towards the paralysis of normality, no matter what originally caused the clash. An institution of alternative normality that can withstand cyclic upheavals of mainstream normality is an active means of counter-insurgence. This is the domain NGOs, their wide deployment and heavy investment corresponds with the effectiveness of these measures to prevent revolt.
Share a Future
No future. Abandon this world of social obligations, the first among which is to save it. Let go.
They make a call for collective forms of care. In other words, to pick up the human mess that civilization has made of people. Take care of the old, take care of the children, in the interim, deny yourself of life, until you become a product of care once again. The externalized costs of the status quo are to be borne by the labor force of hubs. The overworked and malnourished emotional wrecks are to giddy-up and double-down on the work of repairing this world. The interminable work of being a perennial volunteer of ongoing disaster response.
They say the time of isolation is over, so come on over to be cogs for a different machine. From the assembly line, to the bucket brigade to put out fires, or to hand out packs of bottled water from trucks.
Surviving is already a full-time job, now they ask you work overtime as life-support for this system.
Bring the Fight
We slander those who stand for society!
The hands of our clock have stopped in the moment of attack.
Towards an informal disaggregation of anarchists that will
continuously attack authority and society.
Spontaneity, individuality and desires will kill organization.
The effectiveness of our strategy
will not be measured by the figures of participation.
Exploring possibilities of acting alone,
rebelling against stifling social cages.
Our joy is great whether we meet accomplices.
People are in the habit of asking and waiting for ready solutions
rather than seeking their own responses themselves.
Expand the Network
Everywhere they replicate current governmentality.
Hastily they seek to jump from finding each other, to hubs, to the network, because it’s all the same tired ploy to reach “critical mass”. When you haven’t even had the chance to get to know a unique individual and explore a few moments of life with them, you’re already neck deep in the anonymizing morass of a crowd. Hubs and networks seek to make legible the chaotic variables. Organic relating fitting into neat network diagrams easily analyzed with algorithms by computers.
Do not act en masse. Carry out solitary actions. Learn to attack and disappear quickly. The police attempt to crush a crowd of thousands with one single group of a hundred cops. It is easier to defeat a hundred men than one alone, especially if they strike suddenly and disappear mysteriously. The police and army will be powerless if everywhere is crawling by these small unseizable detachments. A single cell, a lone wolf. Instead of a network, we suggest the formation of small, versatile cells, which map the metropolis, make plans, choose the targets and attack.
Death to the world-builders!
In a forced crescendo, they hurry up to scale their network of hubs into a full-blown mass scale society.
Their proposal is ultimately the rustic version of FALC (Fully Automated Luxury Communism): Manual Labor Austere Communism. Crypto-communist pseudo-anarchists unironically stand for barracks communism. They resolve to bridge Bookchin’s unbridgeable chasm by turning lifestylism into a new platformism.
For its part, the State has every interest in reducing the revolutionary threat to a few bustling hubs in order to transform subversion into a clash between two armies: the institutions with their extractivism, agribusiness and just-in-time supply chains on the one hand, the invisible party with their chicken coops on the other. What power fears most is anonymous, generalized rebellion. The organization of autonomous subsistence—with a program and a monogram—specific to revolutionaries, can certainly have libertarian characteristics, just as the insurrection desired by many anarchists is undoubtedly also an ‘armed struggle’. But is that enough?
Amidst submerged cities, the seemingly floundering capitalists throw out buoys to those gasping to stay alive in the deadly seas of economic turmoil. How many anarchists would be among the first to reach out to grab one? What better than a bunch of D.I.Y. obsessed anti-authoritarians to self-manage disaster capitalism’s swindle of ‘fixing things’?
Make total destroy!
Redundant parallel replication of infrastructure constitutes an intensification of anthropocentric extraction and extinction of biodiversity. No longer just the centralized hubs of agribusiness and water treatment plants, but now any and all available plot of land, streams, and reservoir of ground water are to be instrumentalized as resources for human subsistence.
How do they intend to commandeer supply lines without oppressive hierarchies? Is it full automation, robot slaves to do your bidding? How do you seize power without governing? The page can bear all contradictions. How does one turn a phrase meaning “extreme poverty” into a command to appropriate the corpse of Leviathan? We find infrastructure is lacking something desired or needed.
Here they manifest an avocation for the management of techno-industrial systems, as if it would acquire a benign quality were it only run by enthusiastic doe eyed volunteers.
The exploited have nothing to self-manage but their own negation as such. That is the only way that their bosses, leaders and apologists in various guises will disappear along with them. In this ‘immense task of urgent demolition’ we must find joy, immediately. No ideology of dialogue and participation will ever be able to completely mask exclusion and internal colonies (as their hubs ultimately are). If they do not wish to deceive themselves and others, those struggling for the demolition of the present social edifice must face the fact that subversion is a game of wild, barbarous forces.
Begin and end here. This is step zero. This is the true path.
Everything that constitutes this step should happen now or it won’t happen.
And this is just a necessary, but not sufficient, minimal prerequisite for anarchy.
They say revolution is a line they trace on the present, yet their list consists of 9 steps which could each take lifetime to come to fruition, and none guarantee a revolution, in fact it’s highly unlikely.
Moreover, revolutions are not what we desire. An insurrection is not a more modest attempt at a revolution, but the delusion that revolutions are good, and that a fraction of one is still worthwhile. Whoever makes half a revolution digs their own grave. Whoever makes half an insurrection lies dead in a ditch. You can’t make sure that anyone will follow you, much less everyone.
So, make haste and attack at will! Wait for no one!
They leave NOW for the end
The time to attack is now.
There is nothing and no one to wait for.
To act now, with determined projectuality where our destructive tension is the defining factor in our lives, not something that is built upon by following a 9-step program, or a 5-year plan.
They conceptualized revolt as delayed indemnification from disaster-as-usual.
The present social organization is not just delaying, it is also preventing and corrupting any practice of freedom. The only way to learn what freedom is, is to experiment it. The schema of politics reappears as one starts flying in a straight line. To say what the enemy does not expect and be where they are not waiting for us; that is our predilected form of poetry.
An individual with a passion for social upheaval and a ‘personal’ vision of the class clash wants to do something immediately. If he or she analyses the transformation of capital and the State, it is in order to attack them, certainly not to be able to go to sleep with clearer ideas. Contrary to the writer, the soldier, or the farmer for whom these are professional affairs so have a mercantile identity, the subversive remains subversive even without pen, gun or egg laying chicken, so long as he possesses the weapon that contains all the others: his own resoluteness. These farmers of inhabitants seek to centralize activity, to put all eggs in one basket. By what mechanism other than metamorphosis via false homophones do they intend to turn coops in coups?
Reveling in messianic thought, like inverted Christs, they want us to sacrifice ourselves first by becoming the carpenters that will build the manger where we will languish with our friends in wait of the coming insurrection. We will not be confounded by this ancillary appelery. Then why waste time on this ornery tiqqunery?
Our arms aim at the center mass of the managers of power and their uniformed mercenaries,
our words seek to blow up the social relationships that give rise to power.
Because unless slaves, even when they revolt, deeply renounce the mindset of submission, they will
give way to renewed flexible projects of social control.
These pages are for the deranged, individuals not submerged in habit, regimented by protocol or banalized by identity, who refuse to be controlled, ‘facilitated’ or herded into numerically oriented deadlines. They want to encounter those who can still raise their voices and howl with joy in a subdued world!
Our aim is to disassemble the small and large representations of informal power!
Freedom has no prescription; it is conquered day by day, while you’re experiencing it!
Black anarchy will never be mass-friendly!
Instead of measuring our lives in flat-mates, hubs, acres, and eggs;
we chose to live without measure!