“...we risk to come to the worst through unclear paths,
but because at the moment all the roads are precluded to us,
it is up to us to find a way out starting from here,
refusing at every occasion and
on all levels to give in”
Some decades ago, during the riots erupted in Brixton, England, some comrades found themselves in the eye of the storm. The riots were happening right outside of their house. What else could they have done but to go onto the streets and join the revolts? It is what they in fact tried to do, without succeeding. The rioters, in fact, kicked them out.
Anarchists? Who are they? What do they want? They are not one of us, they don't speak our language, they don't have the same colour skin, they don't have our same clothes, they don't have our same codes of behaviour. In front of the exploding of wild and reckless riots, it is not enough to be an anarchist to be in the first row.
A few weeks ago, on the occasion of a demonstration of factory workers in front of the Parliament of a European city, some comrades deemed it a good idea to visit the place. The demonstration was happening exactly in their city. What else could they have done if not being on the street and joining the demonstrators? It's what they attempted to do, without succeeding. The demonstrators, in fact, kicked them out.
Anarchists? Who are they? What do they want? They are not one of us, they don't speak the same language, they don't have our same problems, they don't have our overalls, they don't have our same code of behaviour. In front of an explosion of social protests, it is not enough to be an anarchist to be in the front row.
Because their anger, the one of anarchists, does not come from being excluded from a world that they don't recognize and despise, it is not caused by the failure to be provided with a possible integration in a society or by their sudden exclusion from the economy. It is not fueled by a overflowing of bile or a rumbling stomach over some unsatisfied collective needs. To push them into motion is a heart beat towards singular desires. And the desires of anarchists do not have a place in this world, which constitutes under all aspects their total negation. This is what pushes them to subversion, to insurrection, to revolution.
Let's not kid ourselves here. We are not in Spain '36, there are not tens of thousands of comrades willing to fight, neither millions of people to count on to build the new world. Anyways, did all that material force succeed in its intent of liberation?
It is really few of us left who believe that life could and should do without power, that the State is not at all the only auspicious horizon, so it seems to us completely futile to think to be able to “keep up” with our enemy. Instead of trying to recruit here and there the numerical force indispensable to match theirs, it is better to try to discover what are our possibilities – studying them, knowing them, experimenting them – with the goal of blocking, slowing down, damaging, sabotaging the plans of domination. Especially now, when domination is going through one of its phases of mutation which forces it to, somewhat, lower its immune systems. For example, our quantitative exiguity ill-advises us to give a show of strength, but allows us at least to move with a certain agility. And, without consoling ourselves with triumphant predictions, the interconnection of all structures of power makes the effect of domination at least concrete, even if just on a reduced scale. Now, since the only possibility of intervention in social disorders that we can imagine is of being front row-centre, on the side of rebels and protesters, united under the same slogan, it will be hard to avoid being kicked out (failure of spontaneous participation) or to fall into politics (necessity of a programmed participation). In our view it is necessary to resist the sirens of recognition, if not political, also social. We are not generals searching for soldiers, neither shepherds searching for sheep. We don't need pats on the back or smiles from the people. We don't have to be accepted, since we neither want to convert nor guide anyone. We want individuals to unleash themselves because – as, in a far away past, an anarchist prince once privately confided –“without disorder, revolution is impossible”. So, we don't necessarily need to be in the front row, because we don't have the need to become (better) known, and neither have anything to prove. Being in the front row can happen, since the prejudiced refusal to join others makes little sense, but it shouldn't be our priority.
To create disorder. To Spread disorder. To make the disorder last. These are our immediate objectives. The chorus of all the organizers of the masses is that a prolonged disorder is what prepares and justifies the return to power. According to them the disorder should last as little as possible and it is necessary to immediately set up measures that are able to satisfy the needs of everyone. If not a return to the past becomes inevitable. We don't agree. We think instead that a momentary disorder is tolerable, sometimes even auspicious, for power. Because it allows an outlet that can ease the pressure. The millenarian habit of kneeling down is not lost within a few days or weeks. And we are wary of anyone who not only wants to organize himself, but also others as well. However, a prolonged disorder can eradicate from individuals the habit of authority. And anyways, who says that sooner or later order should become necessary and auspicious? If the colour of freedom is black, then its place can quite likely look like a jungle, rather than a city square or a laboratory. And even though the square and the lab are more communal and safe places, we need to decide to want to enter that jungle. The disorders that will come, in whichever shape they take, give us one certainty: in the midst of the clash it will be a lot easier to disappear. Those who enforce order will deploy in defense of certain buildings, leaving other ones wide open. The general attention will be focused on a few points, neglecting others. Many streets of a city will be paralyzed. What is inside and beside those buildings they protect that would delay eventual rescue forces? What are those structures, near and far from the metropolis, that permit its alienated functioning? And where do they branch off? How to block, with random means and without the need of a constant presence, which is therefore immobilizing, the streets and the access ways? How to enlarge and deepen the distress, instead of resolving it? All these questions, that for years have seemed like a peculiar pass-time of a few comrades, will become – this is the hope – increasingly present practices. It regards some questions that could involve also others, like the furious, excluded by democracy, and the indignant, excluded by democracy. The first are deaf to our words, but could respect and even reproduce our actions. The seconds could partially listen to our discussions and maybe even pay attention to our acts.
How to make ourselves untraceable, giving appointment to the anger of both without descending into pedagogisms and opportunisms? How can we shorten the distances that at first can be nothing but conspicuous? Is it worth it or is it just a waste of time and energy? Among so many unsatisfied, can there be unexpected accomplices to be met, for those who don't fall into the temptation of considering them allies to coax or to merely tolerating them in sight of profitable business? If then the situation would become white-hot, further questions will rise. The course of all insurrections and of many riots shows some similar traits. There is an explosion that suspends the daily routine, normality. For a period of time, more or less long, the impossible is within reach. The State backs down, retreats, almost disappears.
The movement, overtaken by enthusiasm, tends to leave intact the structures of domination, considered practically neutralized, to finally taste the joys of new relations. After the flood, the beginning of the first problems, the State returns to make a clean sweep. Aware of this, also thanks to some “History” lessons, can we imagine what to do? Can we, for instance, resist the enthusiasm and concentrate on that brief fraction of time when the State leaves the field? There, that is the moment when to play it “all in”. The moment when we have to be able to carry through irreparable acts that will no longer allow a return to the past. What are these acts? How can they be realized? Against which targets? The past certainly offers some inspiration, but in itself certainly does not constitute a model.
During the Paris Commune, for example, an irreparable act was the execution of the archbishop. After that act, no deals, do treaties were ever again even thinkable. Either the State disappeared or the Commune disappeared. This is certainly one of the principal problems to confront, as is well know by greek comrades, who are questioning since some time how to go further, when during the last few years practically everything was set on fire. The State is under siege by demonstrators, it is delegitimized, yet it still governs. The economy has lost a considerable number of banks and credibility, yet it still rules. The movement has given incredible feats of strength, yet it is not gaining ground. There is that something more missing...
It is not a matter of using the wisdom of the hereafter to find new answers to old questions. These are expired, decomposed, swept away by the loss of language and by the erosion of meaning. This is why it is important to ask ourselves new questions and begin exploring them.