Category Archives: agonism

Kristian Williams: ‘“Full Spectrum Resistance”: a field manual for insurgencies’

“Aric McBay’s massive, two-volume, handbook for political action, covers the fundamentals of social change, offering advice on organization, strategy, tactics, security, communication (internal and external), and so on — all illustrated with historical case studies.”

Assembling a revolutionary movement

My reflections on Robert Kramer’s movie Ice (1970)

10 June 2020

Jérôme Baschet interviewed: “History is no longer on our side”

‘What I call “liberated spaces” [espaces liberés] should not be construed as protected islands, where we live out a charming life in the midst of the surrounding disaster, but as spaces for combat. “Free space” implies that we must free ourselves from something, from what oppresses us or causes us to slowly die; it implies that there is a struggle. In reality, these spaces are not entirely liberated, but only in the process of being so: they are not free of what oppresses and attacks them, nor consequently of the need to fight against them. At the same time as they are building from now on a different, clean reality, escaping as much as possible the norms of the economic world, they also have an intrinsically antagonistic dimension.’

Raoul Vaneigem: “Everything Starts Here and Now”

Peaceful insurrection is demilitarized guerilla war. It must have the self-organization of autonomous communes as its basis and goal. Our most powerful enemy isn’t so much the authority of the master as the resignation of the slaves.”

Chris Horner: “Hannah Arendt And The Lost Treasure Of The American Revolution”

“The public space of freedom was not preserved by either of the two revolutions mainly discussed in On Revolution, and we should include their failure alongside that of the Bolsheviks when we read Arendt’s appreciation of the fact that Rosa Luxemburg ‘was far more afraid of a deformed revolution than an unsuccessful one’”.

Etienne Balibar: “‘Gilets jaunes’: the meaning of the confrontation”

“That is how democracy is invented and perhaps, at the end of the day, how a regime can change. It is not a long road from the roundabout to the town hall, via the public square, which does not mean it is easy to travel. Demonstrations, popular assemblies, municipal counter-power, États Généraux or their modern equivalent, such is perhaps the squaring of the circle; it must be resolved on a daily basis and over the coming weeks, probably quite quickly, so that a political idea that everyone now needs can emerge from a revolt that no one had expected.”

Paris-Luttes.info: “The gilets jaunes: What violence?”

“The political act, as opposed to voting, is when people invite themselves in and break into an institutional game determined by power.  This is perhaps anarchism: to reject the rules of the game, to expect nothing from power, to give up the idea that the power will grant anything, to grant oneself.  Strikes, blockages, wild demonstrations.”

Temps Critiques: “The envy of the French Revolution of the Yellow Vests”

“Spontaneously, the reference to the French Revolution constituted for the Yellow Vests the only historical reference, because only it carries the collective memory of a social and political upheaval with which they can identify.”

Samuel Hayat: “The Gilets Jaunes and the Democratic Question”

“A new emancipatory politics, which remains to be invented, should be based on making the ensemble of relations of domination visible, without hierarchy and by remaining open and responsive to new antagonisms which will inevitably come to light. As it is, the Gilets Jaunes movement, anchored in a citizenist conception of politics, does not seem to be taking this path toward the visibilization of these antagonisms, even as it opens up new democratic possibilities. A renewal of an emancipatory politics must therefore think both with and against this movement, for democracy and against oligarchy, but also for the expression of conflict and against consensus – whether it be technocratic or citizenist.”

CrimethInc.: “Between the Reaction and the Referendum”

“Several questions remain. How can we make sure that the ways we participate in the yellow vest movement and others like it won’t be simply perceived as an “apolitical” expression of anger, giving nationalists a platform to take credit for our efforts? When we act to create a crisis, how do we prevent far right parties from capitalizing on it by promising a return to normal? How do we confront legalist and reactionary ideas within the movement? How should we prepare for the next round, in which we will either face a stronger repressive and authoritarian state or a massive nationalist and reactionary wave? But also—how can we reinforce our connections with everyone else in the streets and traffic circles?”