Chapter 7 discusses Nietzsche, anti-Semitism and elitism as well as The Peróns fascism and populism. The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
Chapter 7 discusses Nietzsche, anti-Semitism and elitism as well as The Peróns fascism and populism. The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
Historically, the revolutionary process in the West has centered on violently destroying a certain order and then re-founding a new order based on that prior violence. From the revolutionary terror of the French Revolution, and the writing of the American constitution in the wake of revolutionary war, to the authoritarian nightmare of the Soviet Union, to contemporary demands in Chile for a constitutional assembly, it seems impossible for revolutions to escape the logic of sovereignty, constituency, and security. How do we escape what Agamben calls the vicious spiral of terrorism and the State? Seeking a way out of the traps of modernity, some theorists and revolutionary movements have proposed an idea of destituent power: a revolutionary process that breaks the law not in order to found a new law, but to do away with the logic of law altogether.
Now (2017) is the phantom chapter to the Invisible Committee’s previous book, To Our Friends: a new critique from the anonymous collective that establishes their opposition to the world of capital and its law of labor, addresses current anti-terrorist rhetoric and the ferocious repression that comes with it, and clarifies the end of social democracy and the growing rumors of the need for a coming “civil war.”
For seven days during the winter of 2016, radicals, revolutionaries and ne’er-do-wells – inspired by the then unfolding revolt at Standing Rock – built a blockade encampment on the train tracks in downtown Olympia, Washington (Nisqually and Squaxin Land), in order to stop a train full of essential fracking supplies from reaching the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. One year later the blockade reemerged and for another twelve days during the winter of 2017, participants took a stand against the industrial machinations of death.
This compilation of writing comes from the second year of the blockade and was intended to be record of sorts, of a special time and place affectionately referred to by its participants as the Olympia Commune. In the Olympia Communard’s own words:
“It is simply the perspective of some future possible world, glancing back at the collapse of this world and searching for those elements of redemption hidden therein”.
In the words of the introduction to this pamphlet, “One would think that a political doctrine and system that was propagated by the bourgeoisie in their rise to power, that is promoted world-wide by the Western ruling class, and that has only existed in its so-called ‘pure’ form on the backs of slaves, would at least be suspect in the eyes of those who oppose the present social order. But such is not the case.” Indeed, it remains lost on many would-be radicals that contemporary democracy is only the form of government dominance which is best suited to industrial discipline, its late capitalist successors, and all the therapeutic measures that they necessitate. A substantial difference posited between even the most “direct” forms of democracy and a living, breathing anarchy? Inquire within.
Today it has been 10 years since Alexandros Grigoropoulos was killed and since Greece rose up in the 2008 insurrection. We offer this zine now, so that we may better consider what the Greek revolt means to us today. This zine collects writings by A.G. Schwarz. The writings are among the best of the insurrectionary writings that came out in the early 2010s in the United States, with essays covering “The Logic of Not Demanding”, the Greek insurrection in 2008 and lessons that can be learned from it, and discussions of various attempts to try insurrectionary approaches in the United States. The essays are very thought provoking and offer a wealth of valuable insights, especially for those who have been inspired by the courage of anarchists in Greece. Order a hard copy of the zine here from Sprout Distro.
“The concept of the White Ally is bankrupt. One cannot be an ally to a category of people. To speak the words “I am a White Ally to people of color” is to commit an act of double speak, to internalize non-sense. There is no singular black voice that can be listened to, no authentic community leadership which to follow. There are only many different people with different ideas, life experiences and perspectives. To think otherwise, to think that all black people share a common opinion is extremely problematic, one might even say racist. One can be an ally to individuals though there are other words in the English language which describe this relationship with more grace: friend, lover, partner and sometimes cellmate or co-defendant.”
With the sub-title “The Seattle WTO Protests: A memoir and analysis, with an eye to the future,” N30 is an excellent overview by Crimethinc of the 1999 protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO). For better or worst, the Seattle WTO was one of the pivotal moments in recent anarchist history in the U.S. The zine combines an exciting personal account of the protests with a somewhat more academic—but nevertheless interesting—analysis of the protest from the RAND Corporation. It ends with a afterward written 7 years later by crimethInc. Very long and very detailed!
“The last light of the sun came down through the broken windows, all pretty and shit, catching on that big jagged shard of glass and then pouring out into the room over my bed. Over Marcellus. He snored in that way he always did, endearing and soft.
I hurried to dress in the last of the daylight, but once I was done, I lingered. I paced, I ran my fingers through my beard, I watched the twilit horizon and counted the silhouette bones of the buildings Portland calls its skyline.
Anything but go to work.”
This text was written in August of 2011 shortly after police shot and killed a black man named Mark Duggan in North London. In the days that followed tensions between police and disaffected youth exploded into wide spread rioting and looting, Many on the left condemned the rioters. The text that follows continues to be relevant because the police will continue to kill people of color , people will continue to respond and the left will continue to condemn them for it. We hope this audio production of this pamphlet will contribute to this tension until the police are no more.
“… buried beneath the attack on the ‘crass materialism’ of the looting is a nastier worm, that of distance and sheen, that supports critique and dissent precisely to the degree it remains irrelevant and immaterial, that it is to be seen and heard and not ever felt.”
Chapter three of this multipart series discusses Spain before the war; the rise of the fascist; anarchist resistance; the betrayal of the revolution and its consequences.
The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
Helen Graham tells us of post-war Spain:
“The defeated cast no reflection. No public space was theirs. …The Republican dead could never be publicly mourned. The defeated were obliged to be complicit in this denial. Women concealed the violent deaths of husbands and fathers from their children in order to protect them physically and psychologically. In villages all over Spain, many kept secret lists of the dead. Sisters mentally mapped the location of their murdered brothers, but never spoke of these things. The silent knowledge of unquiet graves necessarily produced a devastating schism between public and private memory in Spain. It was a schism that would outlive even the Franco regime itself”
I write here in solidarity with these unquiet dead.
A Surrounding for Us to Live Within came out of the Italian anarchist scene in 2003, is signed by “a friend of Ludd,” and sets out to “bring to light some relationships between the progressive loss of individual and social autonomy, environmental devastation and the sharpening of repression.” This very brief and unexpectedly gorgeous, succinct, and intelligent text starts off from one child’s definition of the environment and touches on everything from the mass hermitude of contemporary city-dwellers to the artful mixing of the pleasures of solitude with the pleasures of meeting, from meditations on the interplay between forest and village to a critique of representation, from the domination of technology to the war in Iraq, nuclear waste, the COP9 summit, the solidarity with Marco Camenisch, globalization, the state’s ecology, the wildcat strike of Milanese streetcar drivers, the struggle against prisons, the Luddite uprising, utopianism, the oil economy.
“In the notes that follow, we will try to bring to light some relationships between the progressive loss of individual and social autonomy, environmental devastation and the sharpening of repression. Not in order to update the endless catalogue of horrors and complaints, but rather in order to reflect on some possibilities. Just this once, we will start from a “for” and not an “against”. What is a “surrounding for us to live within”? I would say a place in which the pleasure of solitude and the pleasure of meeting are artfully intertwined, whereas we know from experience that industrial society destroys both.”
Musical Interludes – This Other Place by Saltland
Coming out of the context of the debates within Occupy Wall Street as it spread across the United States, The Illegitimacy of Violence, the Violence of Legitimacy is an essay by Crimethinc that explores questions of “legitimacy” in social movements. What does it mean to be “legitimate”? What does it mean to be “illegitimate”? How are these terms related to the discourse around violence and non-violence? In exploring the topic, they conclude that the quest for “legitimacy” strengthens the state and weakens resistance movements.
“It’s important to have strategic debates: shifting away from the discourse of nonviolence doesn’t mean we have to endorse every single broken window as a good idea.. But it only obstructs these debates when dogmatists insist that all who do not share their goals and assumptions—not to say their class interests!—have no strategic sense. It’s also not strategic to focus on delegitimizing each other’s efforts rather than coordinating to act together where we overlap. That’s the point of affirming a diversity of tactics: to build a movement that has space for all of us, yet leaves no space for domination and silencing—a “people power” that can both expand and intensify.”
Chapter two of this multipart series discusses the rise of fascism in 1910s Italy, the historical and class factors that contributed to its rise, and its associated mythologies. It also describes the challenging and complex history of the Italian adventure in Fiume and the relationship of Marinetti’s Futurism to fascism.
The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future.
Women have always been healers, and medicine has always been an arena of struggle between female practitioners and male professionals. This audio zine explores two important phases in the male takeover of health care: the suppression of witches in medieval Europe and the rise of the male medical profession in the United States. The authors conclude that despite efforts to exclude them, the resurgence of women as healers should be a long-range goal of the women’s movement.
Originally published in 1973, this text offers a good brief analysis of the history of patriarchy as it relates to the medical establishment. However, it has some blind spots around Eurocentrism and intersectionality.
Musical Interludes – Stevie Nicks – Gate and Garden
This is the first installment of a book-length piece, The Unquiet Dead. The full text is available at unquietdead.tumblr.com; we will be posting recordings of other chapters in the future. The introduction includes an explanation of the project and reflections on history, myth, and essentialism.
“…We organized against white supremacy, which exists in non-fascist formations but is closely linked to fascism… and we knew that the U.S. police continue to be an armed, powerful, racist organization with links to explicitly fascist groups. Still, in many ways, we slept.
Alas, there is no haven to flee to; we cannot escape our doom, whether it comes from without or within, without facing it down. At present, this country is threatened by ISIS, a religious-fascist state force; rightwing populists use ISIS to justify their fascist rhetoric; the police continue to murder black people with little consequence; and elements of fascist mythology sometimes even manifest within radical communities.”
Musical Interludes – Over and Over by The Syndicate
“Some have debated whether we should view the groundswell of support for Donald Trump through the lens of white supremacy or fascism, but we can also understand it through the framework of nativism, the doctrine of prioritizing the interests of the native-born over those of immigrants. Nativism has a long and ugly history in the United States, in which the ascendency of Donald Trump and his supporters is just the latest chapter. Here… we study nativism from its origins to the current day, tracing the common threads that connect all the ways the rich have preyed on the fears and prejudices of the exploited to turn them against those worse off than themselves.”
Musical Interludes: Indigo Girls – Shame on You
*This zine contains discussion of sexual assault*
“Undoing Sex” is a critique of sex-positivity that both draws upon and completely transcends second-wave feminist critiques. The essay explores the metaphysical quandaries faced by the “not-man” in their engagement with and survival of sex. Centering sex negativity in a transgender, queer experience of how the image of sexual pleasure and health is produced, marketed, and consumed by people of all genders, the text brings Marx, Foucault, Afropessimism, and other currently useful theories to bear upon the sexual impasse many (all?) of us face. It offers no prescriptive conclusions, but rather to speaks an array of inadequate coping strategies. We recommend it for all those who choose to have sex, for all those who choose to not have sex, and for those who feel that “choice” is not an adequate word.
Musical interludes – La Roux – In For The Kill
We must avoid falling into this trap, and so must always keep in mind that the celibate body is no purer, no more feminist, no less exploited. Just as a refusal to eat meat makes no change to the material basis of industrial agriculture, our refusals to fuck, much as our desires to fuck in different ways, don’t crack the material base of patriarchy. They may engender a better quality of life or more agency for individuals or communities, but these liberal models of “resistance” offer nothing in the way of a total break. This is the impasse faced by radical feminism: gestures proliferate but they only ever point towards the abolition of gender, glancing so close but never reaching the moment of Truth.
“…I think we all need to fiercely reject the Ally as a primary identity of
struggle. You cannot give solidarity if you are not struggling first
and foremost for your own reasons. To be only or primarily an ally is to
be a parasite on others’ struggles, with no hope greater than to be a
benign parasite; it is to refuse to acknowledge our interests and place
in the world out of a dogmatic insistence on identifying ourselves with
the system we are supposed to be fighting. Being aware of relative
oppression and privilege is vital, but emphasizing those differences
over the fact that all of us have common enemies and all of us have
reasons to destroy the entire system is deliberately missing
opportunities to make ourselves stronger in this fight.”
Lines in Sand is a collection by various unnamed authors with an intro by Peter Gelderloos that looks
critically at identity politics and anti-oppression politics. All of
them are very thought provoking and well worth reading. These aren’t
knee-jerk criticisms, but rather are thoughtful explorations of the
problematic aspects of identity and anti-oppression politics and
“…tokenization and paternalism are on any list of “fucked up” behaviors in
an anti-oppression practice, thus the practice protects itself from
open complicity with the very problems it creates. Human agency is a
fundamental component of freedom, perhaps the most important one;
therefore if someone is denied agency in their own struggle because the
most legit thing they can do is be an ally to someone else’s struggle,
it is inevitable that they will exercise their agency in the course of
supporting a struggle they view as someone else’s. To do so, they will
either look for any oppressed person who supports a form of struggle
they feel inclined towards, and use them as a legitimating façade, or
they will try to participate fully and affect the course of a broader
campaign or coalition in which they are pretending to be mere allies. In
other words, by presenting privilege as a good thing, anti-oppression
politics creates privileged people who have nothing to fight for and
inevitably tokenize or paternalize those whose struggles are deemed
This zine explores the topic of affinity and informal organization. The author(s) argue that informal organizations based on affinity are the ideal ways of acting as anarchist because they overcome the limits of qualitative projects and organizations that exist as ends in and of themselves. Incorporated into the text are criticisms of formal organizations and discussions of what exactly affinity means.
[Translated from Salto, subversion & anarchy, issue #2, november 2012 (Brussels).]
“We believe that anarchists have the most amount of freedom and autonomy of movement to intervene in social conflictivity if they organize themselves in small groups based on affinity, rather than in huge formations or in quantitative organizational forms. Of course, it is desirable and often necessary that these small groups are able to come to an understanding between each other.”
Musical Interludes: I Only Wish This For You by Saltland
“…this article aims to critically engage with the dominant ideas and practices of anti-oppression politics. We define anti-oppression politics as a related group of analyses and practices that seeks to address inequalities that materially, psychologically, and socially exist in society through education and personal transformation. While there is value in some aspects of anti-oppression politics, they are not without severe limitations. Anti-oppression politics obfuscates the structural operations of power and promotes a liberal project of inclusion that is necessarily at odds with the struggle to build a collective force capable of fundamentally transforming society. It is our contention that anti-oppression furthers a politics of inclusion as a poor substitute for a politics of revolution. The dominant practices of anti-oppression further an approach to struggle whose logical conclusion is the absorption of those deemed oppressed into the dominant order, but not to the eradication and transformation of the institutional foundations of oppression.”
This essay tells a story of the two sides of May Day: the red and the green. From Maypoles to the Haymarket martyrs, listen to this AudioZine and get excited for an awesome May Day.
“The repression had begun with the burning of women and it continued in the 16th century when America was “discovered,” the slave trade was begun, and nation-states and capitalism were formed. In 1550 an Act of Parliament demanded that Maypoles be destroyed, and it outlawed games. In 1644 the Puritans in England abolished May Day altogether.”
Check out our other May Day hype piece Witch’s Child!
Are fascism and democracy two sides of the same statist coin? What can the history of fascism tell us about our current moment? How can opposition to fascism end up strengthening liberal capitalist democracy?
“The question is not: who has the guns? but rather: what do the people with the guns do? 10,000 or 100,000 proletarians armed to the teeth are nothing if they place their trust in anything beside their own power to change the world. Otherwise, the next day, the next month or the next year, the power whose authority they recognize will take away the guns which they failed to use against it.”
This is a reconceived version of “Fascism and Anti-Fascism“(PDF), which Dauvé wrote (under the pen name Jean Barrot) as a preface to a selection of articles on the Spanish Revolution in the French communist journal Bilan (published in 1979). In this text, Dauvé draws on the experiences of the revolutionary movements in Russia, Germany, and Spain to criticize anti-fascism and democracy, and to draw general conclusions for communists today.
Another version of this text appeared in Endnotes #1 (2008) and corrects some typographical errors and improves layout, but has no substantive alterations.
Musical interludes: No Police by Doja Cat
“Insurrectionary anarchism is not an ideological solution to social problems, nor a commodity on the capitalist market of ideologies and opinions. Rather it is an on-going practice aimed at putting an end to the domination of the state and the continuance of capitalism, which requires analysis and discussion to advance. Historically, most anarchists, except those who believed that society would evolve to the point that it would leave the state behind, have believed that some sort of insurrectionary activity would be necessary to radically transform society. Most simply, this means that the state has to be knocked out of existence by the exploited and excluded, thus anarchists must attack: waiting for the state to disappear is defeat.”
Musical interludes New Noise by Refused
For another formatting of this zine click here
“Maybe you missed this, but you’re not in a dialogue. Your views are beside the point. Argue all you want—your adversaries are glad to see you waste your breath. Better yet if you protest: they’d rather you carry a sign than do anything. They’ll keep you talking as long as they can, just to tire you out—to buy time.
They intend to force their agenda on you. That’s what all the guns are for, what the police and drones and surveillance cameras are for, what the FBI and CIA and NSA are for, what all those laws and courts and executive orders are for. It’s what their church is for, what those racist memes are for, what online harassment and bullying are for. It’s what gay bashings and church burnings are for.”
Musical Interludes: The sound of Richard Spencer getting punched by an anonymous hero, Kersed by Ceremony, Legacy by Trial, Enough is Enough by Chumbawamba, TimeBomb by Chumbawaba, Police State by Dead Prez, Antifascista by ZSK
Anarchist organization, the Islamic State, the crisis, and outer space.
“To have any possibility of destroying this prison society and averting
the horrible destiny that is unfolding around us, it is indispensable:
to stop conceiving of our weakness in terms of dissemination; to abandon
the practice of recruitment and the delirium of mass organization that
it represents; and to energetically criticize those currents that make
use of marketing and populism. But much more than attacking our errors,
we have to mark out other paths to follow, with actions more than with
To start with, it cannot be a single path. No one practice is capable of
including all the activities necessary for a revolution. We must think
of revolt as an ecosystem. If we try to be the only species, we kill the
Music – Don’t Mind Me – Nosaj Thing
Right now, the FBI is keeping an eye on what websites you browse, on what your neighbors are saying in chat rooms. Right now, folks are sitting in prison for talking about Illegal acts. Right now, the military is restructuring for domestic deployment. Right now, a million people are plotting the overthrow of the United States government, and these people may one day become your best friends and greatest allies.
We want to explain why.
Musical Interludes: Nirvana – Something In The Way, Imagine Dragons – Who We Are, Nirvana – Lounge Act, Rage Against The Machine – Bomb Track, Xiu Xiu – I Luv The Valley Oh!, Crystal Castles – Doe Deer, Bikini Kill – Double Dare Ya
In this short essay bell hooks offers a quick introduction to patriarchy and particularly the way it affects men. She draws on examples from her own life and from other writers. This essay comes from an older feminist perspective that has not taken into account the experiences or existence of trans, intersex, or genderqueer people; however we believe it still offers a useful understanding of patriarchy.
“Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence. When my older brother and I were born with a year separating us in age, patriarchy determined how we would each be regarded by our parents. Both our parents believed in patriarchy; they had been taught patriarchal thinking through religion.
At church they had learned that God created man to rule the world and everything in it and that it was the work of women to help men perform these tasks, to obey, and to always assume a subordinate role in relation to a powerful man. They were taught that God was male. These teachings were reinforced in every institution they encountered– schools, courthouses, clubs, sports arenas, as well as churches. Embracing patriarchal thinking, like everyone else around them, they taught it to their children because it seemed like a “natural” way to organize life.”
Click Here for a Chapterized Version
Os Cangaceiros was a group of delinquents caught up in the spirit of the French insurrection of 1968 who refused to let that spirit die. With nothing but contempt for the self-sacrificial ideology practiced by “specialists in armed struggle”, this uncontrollable band of social rebels wreaked havoc on the French state—attacking infrastructures of oppression, supporting popular revolts, stealing and releasing secret blueprints for high-tech prisons, raiding the offices of corporate collaborators, and creating their lives in complete opposition to the world based on work. This volume, translated by Wolfi Landstreicher and originally published by Eberhardt Press, is the first substantial collection of the writings of Os Cangaceiros in English.
“Have you recovered from your wounds, architect? Have you guessed why it happened? Shamelessly, without a single scruple, inch-by-inch, you have designed the cells in which even the handicapped will be locked up. Inside the walls that you design, people who are worth much more than you are will be beaten regularly. It was about time that you had a taste of what thousands of prisoners will have to suffer to a much greater degree. Of course, architect, your corporation is no less infamous. Seeing the habitations you construct for normal city dwellers, one can recognize your competence for locking up delinquents. It is easy to pass from the towers of the 13th district to the prison cell. Pig, seeing your snout up close, we were able to observe on your weary face how much you busy yourself with your projects. Earlier you built walls; now you keep close to them.”
– Os Cangaceiros
Musical Interludes: “Trop de temps” – Le Gale
Click here for an updated zine version
The following was originally written for Scalawag, a magazine of southern culture and politics, with the aim of contributing to ongoing discussions of where the institution of police comes from and how it might be destroyed. While many have a general awareness that American policing has its origins in slave patrols, we found some of the specifics of how and when that transition occurred to be illuminating and worthy of looking at in greater detail.
“These are just some of the questions attending to the history of slavery and policing, as those forces continue to haunt both normal, daily life as well as the increasingly common moments where that normality is ruptured in some way. But slavery doesn’t just hover in the background like a spectre from another century; it actively tells us who we are and where our loyalties lie, it distinguishes the dead from the living, it holds the keys to prison cells and patrols our streets.”
Radio Edit – MP3
“If we strive to create a material force within the social landscape; an autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movement that builds counter-power and new forms of life, then we must take stock of the other emerging forces in the current terrain. We have to think about how we can fight—and win, against the growing rise of the autonomous far-right, especially after Trump’s presidential run ends. For after Trump returns to being a real estate billionaire baron full-time, the cadres that gathered their forces during his campaign will take further shape autonomously, as backlash will surely build against Hilary, assuming that she takes the Presidency. At the same time, as we take a position in this ‘three-way fight,’ we must make sure that our resistance to the far-right is also linked to our struggle against the state and capital; attacking white supremacy as a neo-colonial system and not simply a fight against white nationalist formations on the fringes.”
“For those that worked with Sanders’ campaign, we state plainly that nothing they have done has gotten us closer to this goal. With Sanders’ defeat now official in the eyes of many, the Democrats are now in a position to finally harness all the grassroots mobilization that the Bernie campaign has developed, and push people in the millions to pull the level for Clinton. ‘Anybody but Trump!,’ will be the new rallying cry, as millions will choose to either drag their feet or tow the party line. In this way, Sanders will have served his biggest role: playing revolutionary for the most counter-revolutionary party in history.”
Musical Interludes: YG & Nipsey Hussle – FDT (Fuck Donald Trump), Savage Fam – Rezizt, Rihanna – Take a Bow, AntLoc (from Savage Fam) – Hand of Vengeance, Sindicato Latino –“20 de abril” Fuck nazis, Tinashe – All Hands on Deck, Yung Joc – Its Going Down
Radio Edit – MP3
Illyria Street Commune is a play originally written and performed in 1979 in Detroit. It follows the inhabitants of a house over the years as it goes from isolated tenants to anarchist commune then devolves into in fighting and recuperation. Be sure to check out Revolutionary Purity Showdown another take on collective living and conflict, as well as the interview with Robby and Sylvie. (Musical interludes: Chopin – Spring Waltz)
*Sorry for background noise and quality problems our recording set up is not great for recording multiple voices and some of the intended content of the play is lost without a visual component. That being said it was a blast to record and we hope that you enjoy it! For the full effect of the play gather together a bunch of people and put on a live performance of it. and if you feel so inspired videotape it and send it to us and we can link to it here 😉
This play was originally written by Richard Ades and performed in Detroit in 1979, in part, as a response to Illyria Street Commune, a play released that year by Fredy Perlman. Revolutionary Purity Showdown is a game show where contestants compete “By throwing critiques, insults, and otherwise maligning the character of [their] two fellow contestants.” “the show which says there’s no point in having a line if you don’t have the best line, and there’s no point in being right on, if you aren’t right on top.”
Judged by Emma Goldman, Harpo Marx and Leon Szolgocz this play is makes fun of an all to real dynamic in radical scenes. Be sure to check out the interview with Robby and Sylvie for more context. Theme song from “Password Plus”
*it should be noted that the character of Harpo Marx is almost entirely absent from this recording (only present in the honking horn) his character as you might imagine is all about physical comedy. So for the full effect of this play gather together you and 7 of your friends and put on your own performance of the revolutionary purity showdown.
You could even take a video we can post it on this site 🙂
We sat down with Robby and Sylvie in their home in Seattle to get some of the context for the two plays we were planning on recording. The interview turned into a nearly 2 and a half hour conversation where we discussed Rojava, The 5th Estate, 1968, burnout, and the last 30+ years of anarchy in the United States and much more. It was such a pleasure to hear their stories and perspectives. Though we recorded it almost a year ago we are exited to share it with you now and hope that you find it as interesting as it was for us. The interview is intended to provide some context for Illyria Street Commune by Fredy Perlman and Revolutionary Purity Showdown by Richard Ades which are both well worth a listen.
“Even if it was true that anyone could grow up to be President, that wouldn’t help the millions who inevitably don’t, who must still live in the shadow of that power. This imbalance is intrinsic to the structure of representative democracy, at the local level as much as at the top. The professional politicians of a town council discuss municipal affairs and pass ordinances all day without consulting the citizens of the town, who have to be at work; when one of those ordinances displeases citizens, they have to use what little leisure time they have to contest it, and then they’re back at work again the next time the town council meets. In theory, the citizens could elect a different town council from the available pool of politicians and would-be politicians, but the interests of politicians as a class always remain essentially at odds with their own—besides, voting fraud, gerrymandering, and inane party loyalty usually prevent them from going that far. Even in the unlikely scenario that a whole new government was elected consisting of firebrands intent on undoing the imbalance of power between politicians and citizens, they would inevitably perpetuate it simply by accepting roles in the system—for the political apparatus itself is the foundation of that imbalance. To succeed in their objective, they would have to dissolve the government and join the rest of the populace in restructuring society from the roots up.”
Musical into/outro – Hail To the Chief
Prisoners from across the United States have released this call to
action for a nationally coordinated prisoner work stoppage against
prison slavery to take place on September 9th, 2016.
“Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to
America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize
these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the
American prison system cannot ignore or withstand. We hope to end prison
slavery by making it impossible, by refusing to be slaves any longer.
To achieve this goal, we need support from people on the outside. A
prison is an easy-lockdown environment, a place of control and
confinement where repression is built into every stone wall and chain
link, every gesture and routine. When we stand up to these authorities,
they come down on us, and the only protection we have is solidarity from
Music: The Stand by The Coup
For further updates:
19:19 – Society Against The State – by Pierre Clastres – MP3 – Text – Archive – Torrent – YouTube
Can there be a society that is not divided into oppressors and oppressed, or that refuses coercive state apparatuses? In this landmark text in anthropology and political science, Pierre Clastres offers examples of South American Indigenous groups that, though without hierarchical leadership, were both affluent and complex. In so doing, he refutes the usual negative definition of tribal society and poses its order as a radical critique of our own Western state of power.
This audio zine is the last chapter of a full length book by the same name. Some of the ideas and terminology in this excerpt are quite dated and show an arrogance typical of western anthropology. This text is one of the first to argue, against the progressivist world view, that people living in hunter gatherer societies actually choose their lives and are not “underdeveloped” as modern society would label them.
Pierre Clastres (1934-1977) was a French anthropologist and ethnologist who in the wake of the events of May ’68, helped overturn anthropological orthodoxy in the 1970s.
“The state will not merely wither away, thus anarchists must attack, for waiting is defeat.”
This short zine provides a brief introduction to insurrectionary anarchism. In a clear and concise manner it articulates the basic concepts of insurrectionary anarchism including, the necessity of attack, self-activity, uncontrollability, permanent conflictuality, and informal organization. The text originally appeared in 2001 in the now defunct anarchist publication “Killing King Abacus.” Despite its age, it is one of the clearest pieces on insurrectionary anarchy and largely avoids the cumbersome rhetoric and writing style that characterized many of the later attempts at explaining insurrectionary anarchism.
A new translation of a previously censored and unavailable text by Jean Genet. “The Criminal Child” is a critical engagement with the French youth prisons, a reflection on Genet’s formative years within them, a document of hostility towards society and its benevolent reformers, and (as argued by the anonymous afterword) an initiatory magical system. *Music by CocoRosie*
“‘The Criminal Child’ has, until now, never appeared in its entirety in the English language. Such a remarkable oversight—remarkable because it concerns a writer as significant as Jean Genet—would be reason enough for us to render a translation and bring it to print. But, in reading it, reasons far beyond the bibliophilic impulse reveal them- selves and insist on the urgency, timeliness and import of this text.
Though never read on air, Genet intended ‘L’enfant criminel’ as a radio address. Fernand Pouey, the director of dramatic and literary broadcasts for French radio, solicited Genet to speak on his radio program, “Carte blanche”, in 1948 as a bit of commentary on proposed reforms to France’s youth prisons. (Around the same time Pouey also commissioned Antonin Artaud to broadcast ‘Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu’—both pieces were censored by the powers that be.) A small edition of Genet’s text was published the next year and was then all but forgotten.”
“Just as I am guarded by a prison door, so my heart guards your memory.”
-from the afterword
52:15 – On The Poverty of Student Life: considered in its economic, political, psychological, sexual, and particularly intellectual aspects, and a modest proposal for its remedy – by students and members of the Situationist International – MP3 – Text – Print – Archive – Torrent – YouTube
First published in 1966 at the University of Strasbourg by students of the university and members of the Internationale Situationniste. Attacking the subservience of university students and the strategies of student radicals, it caused significant uproar, led to the dissemination of Situationist ideas, and precipitated the events of May 1968 in France.
A few students elected to the student union printed 10,000 copies with university funds. The copies were distributed at the official ceremony marking the beginning of the academic year. The student union was promptly closed by court order, and the students responsible were expelled. The pamphlet was described by a local newspaper shortly after its release as, “the first concrete manifestation of a revolt aiming quite openly at the destruction of society.”
For a Chaptarized Version Click Here
“friends, lets communize an idea: friendship as a form of life. When its use is common we can communicate,conversations occur and perhaps, if this pleases us, we will find each other; we will become powerful. If we succeed, all of this will become evident. The evident is what is held in common,or what sets apart. It is here that we begin:”
For more zines like this check out Friendship as a Form of Life website.
“I call upon you to investigate your nature as I have been compelled to confront mine. I challenge you to risk abjection and flourish as well as have I. Heed my words, and you may well discover the seams and sutures in yourself.”
Click here for a chapterized version
To read – Forward, Lies the Movement Told Me and Afterward – Phoenix – The Bricks We Throw at Police – Why I Support The Santa Cruz Rioters – ¡Riot, Sí Se Puede! – In Defense of the Revolutionary Politics and Actions of Occupy Oakland – You Are Not Durutti But We Are Uncontrollable – Beyond The Bus
In a period of global unrest that topples governments and calls into question the capitalist system, no one has been more demonized by both the State and the official Left than the anarchists and their use of the ‘black bloc.’ Yet, from the streets of Egypt to the plazas of Brazil, the tactic is growing in popularity. From behind the balaclava, Doug Gilbert discusses riots and revolt from the teargas filled streets of Oakland, California during the Occupy movement to Phoenix, Arizona facing down Neo-Nazi skinheads. Discussing violence, social change, and organization at length, Gilbert examines why many young people are turning away from the organizations which have historically sold-out the working class—and starting a riot of their own.
“When things do pop off, there will always be groups and individuals ready with a wet blanket to put out the fires before they spread. The State will always have one hand ready to smash and the other open to dialogue. There will always be those on the side-lines screaming “violence!” as a way of distraction. As we go through these events from the Student Movement, Occupy, and anti-fascist actions, hopefully we can learn from both ideological and practical clashes and prepare for the battles yet to arrive.”
Click Here for a chapterized version.
“Life cannot simply be something to cling to. This thought skims through everyone at least once. We have a possibility that makes us freer than the gods: we can quit. This is an idea to be savoured to the end. Nothing and no one is obliging us to live. Not even death. For that reason our life is a tabula rasa, a slate on which nothing has been written, so contains all the words possible.”
*1 Materialism of Joy * 2 The Practice of Joy before Death – Bataille * 3 One’s Life on the Line – Bonanno *4 Paradoxes of Sovereignty – Tiqqun *5 Class Hatred – Dupont *6 Bartleby – Agamben *7 The Simplest of Pleasures – Foucault *8 Eternity Through the Stars – Blanqui
*9 To the Aspiring Suicides…
As the Paris Commune of 1871 fought desperately against its own suppression, much of the city was set ablaze.
Conservative journalists, desperate for a scapegoat, invented the pétroleuses—torch-wielding women desperate to burn everything. In this text, fairy-tale critic Wren Awry ties the pétroleuses into a long line of mythologized fire-wielding devil-women—women like Baba Yaga, the youngest sister in the Grimms’ “Fitcher’s Bird,” and the women burned during the great witch hunts of early Modern Europe—as a source of revolutionary inspiration.
“Furies glide through the rich quarters […] and fling their little vials of petrol, their devil’s matches, their burning rags.”
In activist circles and elsewhere, it has become commonplace to speak of self-care, taking for granted that the meaning of this expression is self-evident. But “self” and “care” are not static or monolithic; nor is “health.” How has this discourse been colonized by capitalist values? How could we expand our notion of care to encompass a transformative practice?
“The best way to sell people on a normative program is to frame it in terms of health. Who doesn’t want to be healthy? But like “self” and “care,” health is not one thing. In itself, health is not intrinsically good—it’s simply the condition that enables a system to continue to function. You can speak about the health of an economy, or the health of an ecosystem: these often have an inverse relationship.”
Zine Artwork by Corina Dross
Originally published 1969 – What sustains Capitalism? Our acceptance of everyday activities. The text offers a clear introduction to basic Marxist concepts like commodity fetishism, and surplus value; it also traces the transformation of human activity into capital.
“An anarchist is someone who rejects the domination of one person or class of people over another. Anarchism is a very broad umbrella term for a group of political philosophies that are based on the idea that we can live as anarchists. We anarchists want a world without nations, governments, capitalism, racism, sexism, homophobia… without any of the numerous, intersecting systems of domination the world bears the weight of today.”
40:30 – We Are All Very Anxious: Six Theses on Anxiety and Why It is Effectively Preventing Militancy, and One Possible Strategy for Overcoming It.
With an Afterword by Crimethinc – By Institute for Precarious Consciousness – MP3 – PDF – Text – Torrent – Archive – YouTube
“What could actually counter anxiety? Do we have to beat security guards, insurance policies, religious communities, and antidepressants at their own game, somehow making people feel safe in a hostile and hazardous world? Trying to allay anxiety as a separate project from abolishing the conditions that create it is surely doomed. Should we accept the worst-case scenario as a foregone conclusion and hurry forth to meet it, transforming our anxiety into a weapon? If anxiety is the omnipresent guardian of the prevailing order, it presents the perfect point of departure for resistance—but this does not answer how those already immobilized by it could perform such alchemy. Perhaps, in the course of taking on the ruling order, we could create something together that inspires confidence, grounding ourselves in a shared sense of reality that no market or military could take from us.”
Recorded by Birds Of Fire