Title: The Impossible Consensus
Author: Anonymous
Date: Autumn 2019
Source: Reproduced in The Local Kids, Issue 5
Notes: First appeared in Journey Towards The Abyss; Scattered Reflections On The Technoworld (Hourriya, internationalist anarchist pamphlets #4)

When discussing the possibilities of struggle against new technologies, we quickly get to a difficult point where a number of comrades take a step back. “But will we encounter other people to struggle with us?” Maybe this is a false question. Because if we don’t fight the new technologies, how could we still succeed in encountering other people, or worse, how could we still succeed in struggling? Given the evolution of the world and its spaces that are closing themselves more and more with every new technological application (yes, the flaws will always be there, but can we always let the struggle be confined to the existing flaws?) it is not at all possible to assume that the way we struggle today will still be possible tomorrow.

And moreover, we cannot demand from every aspect of revolutionary struggle that it must be able to count on a certain consensus. Besides, it is only when we start to struggle that we can discover if others are ready as well. To start making propaganda against technology in competition with the state seems to be pointless. In order to struggle against technology, one must abandon the quest for consensus. There is no other way. Even if we decide to participate in a precise conflict such as, for example, a struggle against a new high tension line, this does not necessarily mean that we hope to obtain consensus about the sabotage of already existing lines. Do we therefore have to restrict ourselves to do only that which could get the acceptance of a certain number of the exploited?

Will there be people to applaud the saboteurs who plunge their neighbourhood into the dark, who stop the trains they are taking everyday to go to work, who deprive them of their telecommunication? Maybe, and so the better, but we cannot base our project, our acting on such a hope. In the best case we can wish that the situation, in which the decision to sabotage the infrastructures has been taken, can help other rebels to see more clearly. In his time Caracremada certainly did not base his action on the search for consensus, however few explanations were necessary to make his actions understood, because it was clear who was the enemy. Who is the enemy can only become clear to those who develop an understanding of the world, of their situation as oppressed. Anarchist and revolutionary propaganda, but especially the experiences of shared and insurrectionist struggle with other exploited people, can contribute to this. But in the end, there are a lot of factors at play which are not in our hands. Not in ours, not in the ones of power. The analysis of these factors could certainly help us to better orientate minority action.

In a certain way, to gain consciousness, as it is awkwardly called, is a violent process. We separate ourselves from something we have known, we have maybe cherished, we burn some bridges. It is not rare that these gains of conscience intervene because of external factors which make us “open our eyes”. The clash produced by a look at the real world can provoke a reaction of no longer willing to look, but it can also push towards a more important understanding of what is surrounding us. In this last case, the provoked reflections and emotions will be added to our conscience. A short circuit in the dependence on technology, an abrupt disconnection, an obscurity which puts an end to the continual chatter of the devices, why could this not generate such a clash?