Reissue of Anarchist Tension
Death, the Anarchic and Ephemerality
Modernism and Static Worlds
For the purposes of avoiding boredom we will be ignoring the liberals, with their pithy calls for reform and their constant droning on about moderation, content to sit around in moral certainty while the world burns. Instead the focus here will be firmly placed on those that are more like us(anarchists), those that we sometimes call, although often with hesitation, our allies. We will focus on the dynamic that allows those who consider themselves revolutionaries to engage in pointless activism, and elements of that activism that can inform our understandings and critiques of the radical project as it currently stands.
The political space around us, bombards us with a constellation of ideas, concepts that form the foundations of the modernist political ethos and aesthetic. This constellation forms the political into a special, identifiable space, one filled with pageantry, from electoral rallies to the protest. The activity undertaken in this space is framed around a tireless dedication, which pushes activists to the point of burnout or, in extreme situations, death. Within this universe those who participate, who stand up to power in the very act of their speech, are glorified for their sacrifices. A sacrifice that in the end will shift the political winds and change the system.
The concepts and aesthetics can be seen in the standard imagery that appears on campaign fliers, from that of the candidate or figure head seemingly beloved by a large anonymous crowd, to the smoke filled streets that form the backdrop for those more militant. These are the images of activity motivated by symbolic moral outrage, reduced to spectacular displays and structured to serve symbolic goals. Within this world, politics is reduced to a space in which glorious heroes fight monstrous systems.
Reissue of At Daggers Drawn
Thoughts On The Republication of a Uniquely Impactful Text
‘How, under the present social order, do you reconcile the inhabitants’ desire to breathe with the interests of the bosses of the motor industry? Free circulation of individuals with the fears of the luxury boutique owners? Children’s play areas with the cement of the car parks, banks and shopping centres? The empty houses left in the hands of the speculators? The blocks of flats that look like army barracks, that look like schools, that look like hospitals, that look like asylums? To move one wall in this labyrinth of horrors would mean putting the whole scheme in question. The further we move away from a police-like view of the environment, the closer we get to clashing with the police’
Memories From A Long Time Ago
To begin to discuss the implications of this piece, or the impacts of its initial translation and publication within the US context we have to go back to a time that few who are currently active can remember. This was an era in which the only forms of politics which were available to many came in the form of competing grand narratives of existence, and in which the forms of action that one could find emergent were inherently tied to a discourse of “the system” and “the movement”. This was a time, around fifteen years ago, of grand movement activity, massive street marches, a sense of hope, but also a certain listlessness. At the same time that it seemed that the streets were ripping themselves open, that the edifice of American hegemony was imploding from within, the avenues of possible activity were strangely closed, limited, absent of a pathway forward, an analysis of how power functions or the ways that contestation could move beyond the doldrums of the normal activist routine.
Introduction to Journey Into Night
The world as we know it is populated by spectres, spirits that haunt and possess the very body of the world. These spectres, the concept of the nation, the idea of society and even the notion of the atomized individual, form not only the foundations of how we think about the world both present and future, but is also the basis of government force. We are possessed with imaginary formations that turn the very actualities of everyday life into nothing other than expressions of ideas.