Terrain for an encounter: social anarchism and communisation

  • Posted on: 11 November 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://libcom.org/blog/terrain-encounter-social-anarchism-communisation-...

<p> The following was published as an introduction and a primer for an anarchist reading of the following text - <a href="http://riff-raff.se/texts/en/sic1-what-is-communisation" class="bb-url">'What is Communisation? - Leon de Mattis</a> - as a result it assumes a certain understanding of concepts within communisation theory (outlined in that text) as well as being a rather cursory presentation of the controversies therein. Nonetheless we reproduce it by itself as a useful starting point for further investigation and debate into the relationship between these revolutionary theories. </p>
<p> Communisation as a conception of the process of revolutionary transformation is intrinsically tied to the history of utopian thought. As a result it is possible to trace many communising sentiments as far back as the pre-modern, agrarian ideals of the Diggers, the writings of Thomas More, Babeuf, Robert Owen and many other early utopian socialists.</p></td><td><img title="aint got no z" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2010/redballoon.jpg"></td></tr><...
<p> However as a current of modern communism, and therefore those ideas born from the experience of the First International (anarchism and Marxism included), communisation is more specifically understood as a product of the so-called French “Ultra-Left” of the 1970s. Communisation, in this sense, developed as a criticism of the orthodox Marxist theory of socialist transition and the role of a “socialist” state, arguing instead that communism was not a “stage” to be reached after the revolution but the essential content of the revolution itself. This, understandably, was informed by the actual experience of “socialist” states – which were authoritarian, imperialist and bureaucratic - but also a concentration on Marx’s theory of the commodification of labour and the operation of the law of value as essential to understanding the persistence of capitalist organisational forms during even revolutionary upheavals and the key chain which the proletariat must break. Key writers within this tradition include <span style="font-style:italic">Theorie Communiste</span> (TC) and Gilles Dauvé.</p>
<p> While TC and Dauvé are continuing influences on contemporary communisation theory, collectives such as <span style="font-style:italic">SIC</span> present a far more eclectic understanding of the various theoretical influences that lead to the solidification of a “communisation current”. This has even warranted the inclusion of non-Marxist revolutionary traditions. Noys, for example, describes communisation as a “mixing-up of insurrectionist anarchism, the communist ultra-left, post-autonomists, anti-political currents” among others.</p>
<p> The inclusion of anarchism within this list should not come as a great surprise to any individual with a firm understanding of social anarchism. While differences still remain in terms of principle and general theoretical framework between anarchism and even libertarian traditions of Marxism, the essential content of communisation - the rejection of transition and reformism (often referred to as “programmatism”), attacking the law of value and communisation as revolutionary process – represent very common ground indeed. In fact these are many of the key principles that anarchists have historically held in opposition to Marxists in terms of the debates during and following the collapse of the International. Bakunin (1870), for example, was quick to criticise the supposedly progressive role that Marxists alleged early social democracy was playing on the workers’ movement, stating clearly that any who believed a “political revolution” (i.e. the formation of a “socialist” state) could proceed a social revolution were no more than advocates of “bourgeois socialism”.</p>
<p> Advocates of anarchist communism in particular had in the experience of its formation to consider exactly these issues in terms of the alternatives to the economic theories principally associated with anarchism – collectivism and co-operativism. Both of these, which argued for the continuation of some form of market mediation in a post-revolutionary society, made it necessary to consider the exact nature and content of the revolutionary process. It was Kropotkin (1892) who argued in opposition to the wages and accounting systems advocated by the collectivists of the dangers of the continuance of any of the existing systems of consumption or production, or partial conquests of the existing system and the need for a process of universal revolutionary expropriation –<br />
<div class="bb-quote">Quote:<br />
<blockquote class="bb-quote-body">“on the day we strike at private property, under any one of its forms, territorial or industrial, we shall be obliged to attack them all. The very success of the Revolution will demand it”</blockquote></div></p>

<p>. Communism (or communisation) had to be both a universal and immediate process transforming all aspects of humanity’s societal intersubjectivity and its relationship with its environment. To argue otherwise was to open the door for reaction and counter-revolutionary measures. To put it simply, as Cafiero (1880) did, “anarchy and communism are the two essential terms of the revolution” <a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref1_rt1d0py" title="//www.fdca.it/fdcaen/historical/vault/comorig.htm " href="#footnote1_rt1d0py">1</a>.</p>
<p> It would be unfair, however, to simply characterise communisation as a more general re-affirmation of social anarchist principles (which would open up the question of what stake we do in fact have in this debate). For one thing, as Noy points out, the central claims of communisation are also “sites of dispute” and in this sense it is better to talk of conceptions of communisation than an individual theory. This is particularly the case in respect to the distance between the voluntaristic “drop-out” (referred to as “desertion”) politics of <span style="font-style:italic">Tiqqun</span> (to be discussed further below) and the highly structuralist ideas of <span style="font-style:italic">Theorie Communiste</span> (with the British collective <span style="font-style:italic">Endnotes</span> somewhere in between). Picking apart these “disputes” give a much clearer idea of what is valuable in the communisation project for us, as social anarchists, as the essential questions that arise are of common concern – how does the immediacy (communism as a response to global capitalism) and immanence (communism as a relationship emerging from within capitalism) contained in our visions of political change translate into the theory and practice of revolutionaries?</p>
<p> Mixed into this debate is also an equally important question in terms of where these ideas have come from. While classical anarchists could state in a propagandistic sense that anarchist communism was both a desirable and possible alternative to capitalism it is also necessary to situate how and where a movement embodying these ideas can arise through the actions of the popular classes. Anarchists gave their varying answers to this in reference to the conditions of nineteenth and early twentieth century capitalism, and the problematics evidenced in these are illustrative, e.g. the question of mass participation vs. minority action, the use of political violence etc., but this also has to be an ongoing process. Immediacy and immanence has to translate from a more concrete analysis of capitalism and class as it exists now. As specifists we argue that this is a critical component of the political work of the specific anarchist organisation.</p>
<p> In respect to this, as the article outlines, communisation presents a compelling analysis of the changed nature of both capitalism and the proletariat in a globalised, post-Fordist world. This analysis often takes on a more or less historically determinant role dependant on which particular writer is presenting it; irrespective of this they are still essential readings for contemporary anti-capitalists. This is especially so in respect to the situation of a profound crisis for revolutionary ideas (particularly in the dislocation of working class identity and the collapse of material bases for “workers power”) that communisation has as its core, as well as its call to create new modes of thinking about contemporary struggles, things that both strongly resonate with our experience in <span style="font-style:italic">Collective Action</span>.</p>
<p><span style="font-weight:bold">Areas for debate – organisationalism, the subjective moment and historical determinism</span></p>
<p> Finally then, we introduce a number of areas for debate in which we see the potential for critical exchange within the context of the ideas that communisation puts forward.</p>
<p> While it must be stated clearly that we have multiple, strong criticisms of the “drop-out” politics advocated by <span style="font-style:italic">Tiqqun</span>, seeing them as flawed, partial and fundamentally removed from the experience and activities of the wider class, credit must be given to (a perhaps inconsistent) vision of communisation as translated into praxis. As Noy (2011) notes, there is a risk with alternate visions that what is essentially being outlined is the necessary content and scale of revolutionary transformation in respect to the current context with little account of the possible or concrete actions leading to this. As he explains,</p>
<div class="bb-quote">Quote:<br />
<blockquote class="bb-quote-body">"there is a risk that communisation becomes a valorization of only fleeting moments of revolt, of small chinks in which the light of revolution penetrates capitalist darkness; or that it become the promise of a total revolution that will achieve its aim in process, without any substantial account of how that might take place. This is not to call for a return to the ‘party’ form, or to rehash debates concerning Leninism (debates that might well be important), but rather to suggest that the difficulty in specifying agents of change can also flow into the difficulties in specifying the contents of change. Certainly, communisation was right to critique the formalism of the left, what TC calls its ‘programmatism’, that could only ever argue that once we had the correct form (Leninist party, workers’ councils, etc.) communism would unfold. What is as yet unclear is what forms of struggle will make ‘the poetry of the future’.” (Noy, 2011: 14-15 )</blockquote>
<p> In response to this <span style="font-style:italic">Endnotes</span> only re-affirms that communisation “does not take the form of a practical prescription”, but rather what is at stake is “<span style="font-weight:bold">what the revolution is</span>”. This is a criticism that may expose the limitations of a praxis which aims to create “communisation now”, but still leaves open the question of subjectivity and the potential tasks (if any) of revolutionaries.</p>
<p> Our response is to ask more critically: what are the conditions that make communisation a credible and sensible action for proletarians? What processes and interventions play a part in the translation of the tendencies towards communism that exist in many social movements (however minor) and their translation into practice? In response we look to our own tradition of organisationalist anarchism and the role of revolutionary minorities as catalysts within wider struggle. We see this as distinct from the formalist characteristics that <span style="font-style:italic">TC</span> ascribes to the traditional Left and anarcho-syndicalist movement. The problem with these conceptions was not necessarily that they put forward the idea of leadership as a component force within revolutionary struggle; rather it was that this took on a substitutionist role in displacing the proletariat as agent of revolutionary change.</p>
<p> Rather, we see the role of a “party for proletarian self-abolition” emerging <span style="font-weight:bold">within</span> the context of the autonomous movements of the class wherever they might appear, seeking to solidify that autonomy and propagating the practices of revolutionary expropriation and communisation as the only sensible response to the onslaught of global capitalism. Most importantly this is a movement that has to emerge within the context of the composition of the class itself and not something inserted by the ideas or organisation of revolutionary minorities. Although this is equally not to downplay the important role that both emergent and existing revolutionary minorities can play in that process of recomposition.</p>
<p> The content of our programme, the anarchist programme, does not seek to replicate the programmatism identified by TC -the reproduction of capitalist identities – principally that of workers – and integration into spheres of capitalist mediation. The anarchist programme is in line with the desire to see the formation of a new movement out of the crisis in programmatism by emphasising the content – social autonomy – over the means. To return to the work of Marx, any practical activity of class conscious workers has to insert itself (if it intends to be socially relevant) within the process of a class acting in itself to a class acting for itself. However, we identify social autonomy as a <span style="font-weight:bold">medium</span> of that struggle – concretised as class counter-power – not as a stated goal of the revolutionary process. Our role is to identify how that content relates to the existing struggles of the class, a process which aims to realise a true, consolidated program as realised <span style="font-weight:bold">within</span> and <span style="font-weight:bold">through</span> the ongoing experience of the class.</p>
<p> Whether we will indeed see such a “new movement” is completely open to question. We are, of course, while being at the same time hard-headed about the problems that face us, reluctant to entirely accept the negative prognosis of some within the communisation tradition. Capitalism may be a highly adaptive social system, but it is also, as present events make particularly clear, one consumed with crisis. In this context it is the content of communisation – of the call for the direct and immediate resolution of the injustice, humiliation and poverty daily inflicted on proletarians – that is perhaps most pertinent.</p>
<p>Bakunin, M. (1870) A Critique of the German Social Democratic Program.<span style="font-style:italic"> In</span>: Dolgoff, S. (Ed.) <span style="font-style:italic">Bakunin on anarchism</span>. Black Rose Books, 1971.</p>
<p>Cafiero, C. (1880) <span style="font-style:italic">Revolution</span>. Black Cat Press: Edmonton, 2012</p>
<p>Kropotkin, P. (1892) <span style="font-style:italic">Conquest of Bread</span>. Black Rose Books, 1990.</p>
<p>Noy, B. (2011) <span style="font-style:italic">Communisation and its Discontents: Contestation, Critique and Contemporary Struggles</span>. Minority Compositions: New York</p>
<ul class="footnotes">
<li class="footnote" id="footnote1_rt1d0py"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref1_rt1d0py">1.</a> For more on Cafiero's understanding of the communist nature of the anarchist revolution see: 'Dadà, A. (1992) 'Anarchist communist theory and strategy and the anti-organizational deviation: The communist origins of anarchism', Comunismo Libertario, Anno 6 n.32 April 1992 <a href="http://www.fdca.it/fdcaen/historical/vault/comorig.htm">http://www.fdca.... </li>



Yes, anarchism is the expression of avant-garde DaDáist communists who broke away from the traditional platform.

Communisation= The Immediate Process of Making Leftism Cool for Anarchists Again

Communisation= The Immediate Process of Making Marxism Cool for Anarchists Again

Nothing could be more discredited than communism.
So some lefties try to crawl back into relevance via "communisation."
"Nice" try but No thanks!

Communism is a dream that has never been realised, how could it be discredited?

What can be discredited is politico's and there opinions and projects. An organization reproduces the capitalist conditions from which it is determined. You have leaders and followers, writers and readers. Come join the circle and evolve inwardly and outwardly, get up and leave or sit in the middle. Stand around the outside and watch and listen.

If you understood this article, you'd realize that the advocates of communization theory (unlike Collective Action) are anti-organization, or at least against forming formal organization...But I suppose understanding shit has also been discredited.

Well, since they're all in formal writing groups that make "interventions" I'd say you're wrong on that.

Doing shit is also discredited. You see anarchism today is all about being bohemian before taking over dad's business, a never-ending circle jerk of in-group criticism. Has a lot to do with all the rich white kids.

I'd argue that Cuba comes about as close as it gets. They drove out the greedy colonialists, the corrupt union leaders, the mafia tapeworms, and the compliant puppet ruler. They've managed to survive despite decades of ridiculous measures by the US government to try and crush them into the ocean and make them an ego-symbol of "Don't even try and fuck with Capitalism." They've got nearly a 100% literacy rate (which puts the US to shame, btw, but then that's no accident either...the biggest enemy of Capitalist government is an educated populace). They've made amazing advances in medicine to the point where doctors from all over the world travel to Cuba to learn from what they're doing. And they're probably more creative and energetic than any country anywhere when it comes to organic gardening. (Can't be self-sufficient without good, healthy food!)

That's not to say that the Castro government has been perfect by any means - too many people in prison, of course, although the good news is, they've finally opened their borders and made it easier for people to leave who want to go. (Probably to Miami. To look up their long-lost, now American relatives. Waiting to read some of the drama around them reunion stories, but time will tell.)

Honestly, too, it's doubtful that a purely anarchist movement would have been able to pull off a successful revolution in the 1950s. Would have been done in by all manner of committee debate, philosophical clashes, and all manner of infighting over piddly shit, giving Batista's army way too many holes to tear open.

And when has the anarchist dream ever really been realized? "No rules, no power, no government" just leaves an obvious vacuum that just looks like a ripe opportunity to the forces of human ego and greed. The perfect society will never be realized, because society is made of people, and people just aren't perfect, nor ever in perfect agreement about pretty much anything.

Yeah Cuba is a real workers paradise. It is as close to communism as Sweden, minuse the, you know, democracy part. Fuck off you stupid ignorant leninist fuck.

About the article; im also confused by the ignoring the critique of organisation part?

poster was talking about the anarchist movement in Cuba before Castro. Read.

No he wasnt. Read.

And to the ignorant leninist fuck: fuck off dickhead.

I'm a Leninist fuck? Who knew?

You might practice sorting out description from advertisement.

And if "Fuck off, you stupid ignorant fucks" is the recruitment slogan for YOUR flawed utopian vision, you might want to work on that too.

Fuck off you stupid ignorant Leninist fuck in denial. There, happy now?

So...just by default, you hate everybody you've never met? Yeah, that should work well. Oh, and I was happy anyway. You, however, may want to consider the Ex-Lax thing.

Thats hilarious. You, a person who lack all basic understanding about society and history, are telling me my utopian vision is "flawed"? Hahahahahahaha

Im not interesting in recuriting you. Now go away you ignorant fuck.

Isn't there a mixture of state capilalism and free market capitalism in cuba?

oh you mean capitalism?

Oh, sure. That's unavoidable. Heh...where two or more of us are gathered together, sooner or later somebody's going to want to make a buck. (Or a peso, or a ruble...)

No its not. Go away you ahistorical fuck.

I agree totally with your summary! But armchair anarchists are dogmatic and purist shits, you will have no support from them.

Thanks, and oh hell, I wouldn't dream of coming here for support on just about anything. Too many moody-tudey kids.

Same is true for Naziism!
And which has been worse?

Cool. Call me up when whenever you do jack shit.

I'd call you up but you're probably drunk all the time and reading way too much stuff by, for, and about Karl Marx.

Stop trying to dig Marx's dead rotting corpse out of the ground.

“communisation was right to critique the formalism of the left, what TC calls its ‘programmatism’, that could only ever argue that once we had the correct form (Leninist party, workers’ councils, etc.) communism would unfold. What is as yet unclear is what forms of struggle will make ‘the poetry of the future’.”

this idea of ‘making poetry’ suggests that something is inverted in the thinking; i.e. poetry is often described, by poets, as something relational that speaks through us, that we express in language by way of familiar metaphors.

the ‘decolonization’ path to ‘anarchist-communism’ is based on ‘letting go’ of the unnatural values and practices of the capitalist-sovereigntist ‘programmatism’ and restoring natural values to their natural primacy over programmatist values.

this ‘path’ of ‘letting go’ will be obscured in one seeks a path based on a ‘program of actions’ that ostensibly lead towards ‘communism as a goal’; e.g.

“Our response is to ask more critically: what are the conditions that make communisation a credible and sensible action for proletarians? What processes and interventions play a part in the translation of the tendencies towards communism that exist in many social movements (however minor) and their translation into practice?”

as nietzsche and mach have pointed out, the worldview that we are now stuck in, assumes that what is happening must be made to happen or be deliberately determined, and this is the basis of capitalism and sovereigntism. at the core of this is the notion that ‘organizATION’ is something we must ‘make happen’, whereas, the physical reality is that we, ourselves, or dynamic forms within a continually transforming relational space. in other words, ‘things’ are not ‘things-in-themselves’ or ‘organizATIONS’ but ‘organizINGS’ within the continually transforming relational spatial-plenum.

thus, in ‘decolonizing’, the process of deliberately creating ‘organizATIONS’ to ‘make things happen the way we want them to’ IS THE PROBLEM.

science is only currently acknowledging that we have been in error in seeing things, e.g. ‘cells’, as ‘thing-in-themselves-organizATIONS’; i.e. stand-alone ‘organizATION is an abstraction and the physical reality is that ‘cells’ are continuously reforming ‘organizING’s within the continually transforming relational spatial-plenum, the world as an interdependent connectedness seen through modern physics.

the reduction of ‘organizINGs’ to ‘organizATIONs’ is where capitalism and sovereigntism and private property comes from. it comes from the notion that all will be ‘chaos’ unless we deliberate construct organizATION’

this capitalist-sovereigntist view is that ‘organizATION’ is ‘all genesis’ and ‘no epigenesis’; i.e. ‘organizATION’ is ‘all inside-outward asserting dynamic’ and ‘no outside-inward orchestrating dynamic’.

in nature, however, ‘genesis’ [inside-outward asserting influence] and ‘epigenesis’ [outside-inward orchestrating influence] are conjugate aspects of the one dynamic of transformation, as is plain to see in ‘cells’ in the atmosphere, and as quantum physics sees as ‘what a particle really is’; i.e. it is an ‘organizING’ or ‘resonance feature’ within a continually transforming energy-charged spatial-plenum [energy-field-flow].

the message as to how to get back to natural ways of ‘organizING’ is therefore to ‘let go of creating ‘organizATIONs’. in ‘decolonizing’, the use of ‘the circle’ in meetings is for this purpose. the circle supplies the ‘epigenesis’ together with ‘genesis’ so that what arises from it is continual ‘organizING’ rather than ‘organizATION’. in contrast, the meetings in capitalist-sovereigntist society are characterized by ‘politics’; i.e. by debating who has the best view of how things are working and what programs must be put in place to produce a desired state of affairs; i.e. what organizATION must be imposed on a collective, whether it is a business or a sovereign state. this is the ‘all genesis, no epigenesis’ approach that conceives of the organization as a ‘thing-in-itself’ and it is the thinking that underlies capitalism and sovereigntism. it is entirely ‘unrealistic’ in a physical sense. it is, in fact, ‘narcissism’ to conceive of ourselves and ‘organizINGs’ in general as stand-alone ‘organizATIONs’.

the challenge of cultivating the conditions that are fertile for the growth of ‘communism’ involve the transforming of our worldview, from the capitalist-sovereigntist ‘narcissist’ view of self as a ‘thing-in-itself’.

social relations spawned by narcissism which sees ‘organizINGs’ as thing-in-themselves ‘organizATIONs’ are TOXIC SOIL to the emergence of communism.

decolonizing initiatives which are making use of the ‘circle’ [putting epigenesis in conjugation with genesis] are locally rendering the ‘soil’ fertile for the emergence of ‘communist’ organizING’ but this is very ‘spotty’ in a global context.

and, of course, there must be immediate attention to inequities and disopportunization that pervades the current capitalist-sovereigntist dynamic. but this immediate attention, is like defending oneself against someone who is mentally disordered rather than defending against an ‘evil capitalist-sovereigntist’; i.e. this mental disorder is ‘narcissism’, the belief that we are ‘things-in-ourselves’, that have the God-like powers of genesis within us to create order and ‘organizATION’ in the world around us, rather than acknowledging that our ‘nation’ and our ‘business enterprise’ are effectors of ‘genesis’ that cannot be split apart from the receptors of ‘epigenesis’; i.e. that all ‘things’ are ‘organizINGs’ within a common, continually transforming relational space.

the bottom line is that there are two simultaneous challenges; (a) to render the soil of social relations non-toxic to ‘anarchist-communism’ by eroding the narcissist intellectual foundations of capitalist-sovereigntist colonialism, and (b) working to overcome the inequities and disopportunization of the narcissist practices of capitalist-sovereigntist colonialism.

For emile it's all about "worldview", "intellectual foundations" - except that it is not.
It is, far more basically, about social institutions, all of them. None of which show up
in his tinfoil hat ramblings.

and where do you suppose ‘social institutions’ come from, if not from ‘worldview’? do you think that the difference between the social institutions of those who view the world as ‘an interdependent connectedness’ and the social institutions of those who view the world as ‘an absolute space populated by independently-existing thing-in-themselves that act/interact in time’, do not owe any of their difference to their worldview difference?

how does the ‘social institution’ that values pure ‘genesis’ [‘development’] out of the context of the transformation of the relational space it is included in, come into ‘being’? when social values are equated purely to ‘genesis’ or ‘construction’ or ‘development’, there is implicit ‘denial’ in the ‘conjugate’ fact of the destruction of forest and clean air and water. in other words there is denial of ‘physical reality’ wherein ‘dynamics’ are ‘transformation’ in which ‘construction’ and ‘destruction’ are going on simultaneously.

western social institutions founded by attaching value one-sidedly to ‘development’ derive from a worldview in which space is NOT relational but is instead seen as an ‘absolute fixed, empty and infinite operating theatre’ populated by local, independently-existing ‘agencies’ [aka social institutions] that create ‘organizATION’; that purport to source the development of ‘order’ and ‘structure’ out of ‘disorder and chaos’.

western social institutions are founded on an anthropocentrist worldview, or a ‘humanist’ worldview that identifies as ‘chaotic’ and ‘disorganized’, all those natural processes that sustain the eco-sphere dynamic that includes man, but which ‘get in the way of’ re-ordering and reorganizing the world in human-centered terms.

as Frédéric Neyrat observes, ‘humanism is killing us’. the humanist view sets up new ‘organizATIONs’ in-themselves, new life-forms or ‘humanist social institutions’ that politics seeks to ‘preserve the life of’. this practice of ‘preserving the life of a new humanist social institution’ kills the life around it that it is emerging from. this is the definition of ‘cancer’ and it is why neyrat speaks of ‘immuno-politics’ where the protection of a ‘local organizATION’ attacks itself.

as neyrat observes in ‘Biopolitics of Catastrophe’, the anthropocentrist dynamic of the past four centuries, in extending human ‘organizATION’ into the space of others outside of itself, has in the process, been destroying its own space;

“In extending his living space in a manner that destroys the space of others, he destroys his own space. Not initially his inside space, his ‘self’, but his outside space, this real outside-of-self which nourishes his ‘inside-of-self’. The protection of this outside space now becomes the condition without which he is unable to pursue the growth of his own powers of being.”

In other words, ‘humanism’ is not only toxic to other species, it is toxic to humans.

this ‘immuno-politics’ dysfunction wherein a local socially institutionalized ‘organizATION’ focuses on ‘preserving its own life’ and 'gorging itself' derives from the western worldview, a view that fails to acknowledge the ‘interdependent connectedness’ of the relational space we live in, but instead believes in the ‘local, independent existence’ of ‘life-forms’, and proceeds to institutional this notion in the corporation and in the state, and attempts to preserve the ‘lives’ and 'fatten up' these institutions-as-things-in-themselves, leading to an immuno-politics dysfunction that toxifies the real physical ‘interdependent connectedness’ in which the notionally ‘independent’ life-form exists.

there is no reasonable basis for ‘disassociating’ the character of social institutions from ‘worldview’. einstein said that ‘nationalism is an infantile disease, it is the measles of the world’. neyrat has appropriately revised this to ‘organizATION-as-cancer’, wherein a local organizING within an innately interdependent connectedness sets itself up as a local, independently existing ‘organizATION’ and in seeking its own prosperity and preservation proceeds to consume and kill the larger suprasystem in which it is an ‘organizING’ rather than an ‘organizATION’.

the worldview that sees ‘life forms’ within the ecosphere as ‘independently existing’ and thus ‘organizATIONs’ as ‘independently existing', is the source of the social institutions of ‘the sovereign state’ and ‘the corporation’ that seek, like local cancers, to prosper and preserve themselves at the expense of the interdependent connectedness [continually transforming relational-space suprasystem] that is the physically real source of their ‘organizING’, an 'organizING' that is fundamentally 'spatial-relational', rather than an 'independently-existing thing-in-itself' [regardless of what its 'unilateral declarations of independence' and 'incorporation papers' claim].

the police-and-military backed, government-decreed' 'right' to create and sustain these cancers and protect them as they continue to 'feed' on the suprasystem [including the global proletariat] they are arising from, are social institutions born of the Western worldview of 'organizATIONs' as 'things-in-themselves'.

' Noys' is a hard one to Google. Anyone vouch for this ' Noys' character?

i have not been familiar with the work of benjamin noys, but his stuff is accessible on the web and he is talking about the problem in radical politics of perceiving 'life' as 'all genesis' [affirmation] and no 'epigenesis' as in 'the poverty of vitalism'; here's an excerpt;

“the problem of ‘life’ is everywhere the political problem. Developing from roots in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault during the 1960s and 1970s, the concern with life has been particularly focused in Italian post-autonomist formulations, but has also permeated more widely the contemporary theoretical moment. The neo-Nietzschean and neo-Spinozan coding of what I have called ‘affirmationism’, the turn to an initial affirmation coded as productive, inventive and constructive, is often propped on an affirmation of the exalted powers of life. On the one side we have a series of signifiers oriented by this excessive ‘life’: production, creativity, becoming, invention, affirmation, construction, the immeasurable, and the antonyms on the other side tell their own story: death, consumption, destruction, stasis, negation...And yet the hegemony of vitalism is attested to by the fact that even these antonyms are the sites for new vitalisms: the vitalisms of contagion, viral vitalisms, the exploit, undead vitalism, ‘dark vitalism’, etc. The hegemony of vitalism is such that is seems to absorb and delimit any putative ‘anti-vitalism’. Scott Lashremarks that: ‘[i]n vitalism life is not at all counterposed to death. Instead death is part of life. Our future is always inorganic matter. Death is seen as entropic, and part of a recombinant life process.’ He goes on to state that ‘[v]italism will sit well with the idea of death, the virus, etc.’ Nothing is so bad that it can’t serve life, and so the proliferation of life, theoretically and politically, seems to know no limit, penetrating everywhere without reserve, its fecundity giving the measure of its necessity”.

The Machean and Schroedingerian view of 'life', however, is not in the one-sided terms of affirmation as in a 'vitalist organizATION' but in terms of understanding 'organizING' as the continual coniunctio of 'creation' and 'destruction'; i.e. Mach's principle can be stated; "the organizing of dynamic figures is conditioning the organizing of dynamic ground at the same time as the organizing of dynamic ground is conditioning the organizing of dynamic figures'. this is the [gestalt-psychological/Machean] view of dynamics in terms of the continual transformation of relational space wherein the 'storm cell' is, at the same time, the dynamic ground of atmospheric flow it is included in, and that it is a co-transformer of. this is where nietzsche was also, at base, 'coming from' with his concept of 'evolution' as the conjugate relating of endosmosis [outside-inward orchestrating influence] and exosmosis [inside-outward asserting influence].

this is also the understanding of 'life' of the aboriginal tradition, as documented by f. david peat [cohort of david bohm] in 'blackfoot physics'.

all of which points towards understanding anarcho-communism as an organizING [a continually transformation relational-spatial dynamic, the continuing nexus of genesis and epigenesis] rather than as an organizATION based on some form of 'vitalism' that arises within the 'organizATION'.

And I thought Noam Chomsky was abstruse!

don't be obtuse.

reducing abstrusivity: if you want to read the works of philosophers and linguists, you have to skim through, over and across their ‘abstruseness’. they are trying to construct a view of something relational that transcends Aristotelian logic that is logically faultless and this requires a lot of [unnecessary for normal inquiry] pedantry. but chomsky does punctuate his pedantry by fairly lucid and easily assimilated viewpoints; e.g.

“Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it”.

one could equally say;

“Everybody’s worried about stopping ‘capitalism’. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it”.

what chomsky doesn't point out is that we have a mobius-strip geometry going on here; i.e. ‘we are the bus that we are passengers on’. so its more easily said than done; i.e. we can't just 'get off the bus' and climb on 'another bus', because there is just one bus and we have to find a way to morph it into a new bus.

if we want to ‘change out the system’, this is not straight-foward because, while we are skilled at intellectually conceptualizing the system, such as the current system of ‘capitalism’ and the desired system of, let’s say, ‘communism’, these conceptualizations are just ‘blueprints’ as seen from the outside looking in. so, how much are these blueprints worth? we don’t have the option of ‘constructing’ the new system like one constructs a factory and workers, we have to find a way to ‘become the new bus that we are passengers on’ [teasing out the 'praxis' that gives back the desired blueprint].

certainly, there has to be a shift in ‘beliefs’ and/or ‘values’ in order for this to happen. rejecting the actions of the current regime is one thing, but ‘reformation’ or ‘metamorphosis’ associated with ‘we are the bus we are passengers on’ is more than simple negation of the existing system.

so, what are the ‘new values’ that will ‘implement the new conceptual blueprint’, or is it a ‘new world view’ [or ‘old world view that needs to be dusted off and once again made the operative world view’]?

if we view society as an ‘organizATION’; i.e. as a collection of individuals [things-in-themselves] animated by common beliefs or common values, this takes us into the discussion on ‘vitalism’ aka ‘biopolitics’ which, in effect, portrays society as a life-form.

but there is another choice, the choice that orients to changing our ‘world-view’ which in turn changes our values and beliefs [in which case we don’t have to simply convince everyone that individuals within a collective should be caring and cooperating]. the needed worldview change has been proposed by Mach, Nietzsche, Poincaré, Bohm, Schroedinger and others; i.e. instead of seeing humans [and therefore understanding our ‘selves’] as local, independently-existing things-in-ourselves with our own locally originating, internal process driven and directed powers/behaviours, which implies that we live within a fixed and non-participating operating ‘space’, we instead understand ‘space’ to be an energy-charged plenum that is continually engendering dynamic forms or ‘organizINGs’, in which case we are to the continually transforming relational space we share inclusion in, as storm-cells are to the energy-charged relational space of the atmosphere.

the physical reality, according to Mach et al, ... is that we are NOT independent things-in-ourselves with our own locally originating internal process driven and directed behaviours; that is ‘abstraction’, ‘Fiktion’, ‘Maya’ (illusion). we are, instead, ‘organizINGs’ within a continually transforming relational spatial-plenum. this accords with the ‘old world view’ of our being ‘strands in the relational web-of-life’ and participants in a continuously unfolding interdependent connectedness.

the dynamics of our social collective are, in this worldview, governed by Mach’s principle; “the dynamics of the inhabitants are conditioning the dynamics of the habitat [relational space] at the same time as the dynamics of the habitat are conditioning the dynamics of the inhabitants’. this gives modern meaning to statements of aboriginal chiefs centuries ago; “Contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste”.

western civilization’s failure to take into account this ‘back-reflecting’ of ‘inhabitant-dynamics’ from the mediating medium of relational space ‘habitat-dynamics’ derives from our popular worldview which has us thinking of society as a collection of local, independently-existing things-in-ourselves whose dynamics are seen as deriving from our internal processes and manifesting in our collective actions/interactions [as if ‘space’ were not involved in the dynamics; i.e. as if space were an absolute, fixed empty and infinite (Euclidian space) operation theatre/container].

the point is that political blueprints; e.g. ‘capitalism’, ‘communism’ are intellectual devices based on 'what things-in-themselves-do' that do not address influences coming from choice of ‘worldview’. sure it is a fine idea to suppose that we can shift from the ayn randian concept of the individual as a local thing-in-itself whose behaviour animating values centre on maximizing his own selfish creative/productive powers and achievements, ... to the communist concept of the individual as a local thing-in-itself whose behaviour animating values centre on maximizing mutual aid, love, caring-for, and cooperating with.

the manifestation of ‘mutual aid, caring and cooperation’ in aboriginal communities did not ‘jumpstart’ from an intellectual agreement to adopt these values, it derived instead from a worldview, affirmed by modern physics, of ‘mitakuye oyasin’, we are all related, we are all organizINGs in a common relational space.

‘we are the bus we are passengers on’ is another way of evoking Mach’s principle which is capturing ‘physical reality’; e.g. the storm-cell is the flow it is a passenger in, and so it is in general for the biological cell and the organism. there is no such thing as an ‘independently-existing thing-in-itself’ as we commonly (mis)take ourselves to be in our popular western worldview.

summary: rhetoric that orients to how one moves from conceptual intellectual understanding as in political blueprints of ‘capitalism’ and ‘communism’ to operationalizing a social dynamic that ‘gives back’ the desired new blueprint, can get complicated because of the mobius strip geometry wherein the inside and outside are the same side [the dynamic figure and the dynamic ground are, in physical reality, the same thing and the notion of ‘two things’ arises in the observing intellect]. we then go on to formulate our intellectual blueprints in terms of ‘what dynamic figures do’, as if they were not inextricably included in a 'common dynamic ground' aka ‘a continually transforming relational space or ‘interdependent connectedness’.

decolonization is a work-in-progress that seeks to cut the fetters and restraints imposed by western civilization, to unleash a nature-animated social dynamic that ‘gives back’ or ‘reflects’ an ‘anarchistic-communistic’ blueprint, by ‘letting go’ of the reductionist worldview of ‘self’ as an independently-existing local agent/machine/organizATION, and allowing the traditional worldview of ‘self’ as an ‘organizING’ within a relational space to ‘resurface’. in this case, the new values do not have to be ‘imposed’ by intellectual indoctrination but spring forth spontaneously from the non-reductionist worldview. ‘decolonization’ is thus an operationalizing approach based on ‘eroding the reductionist intellectual foundations of colonialism’ that are fettering and restraining 'what comes naturally'.

the above was an attempt to reduce the abstruseness that non-Machean philosophizing, such as that of Chomsky, Noys et al, is hung up in.

They do NOT come from worldview. One thing Marx DID get right is the (obvious) point that consciousness in general
flows from institutions, not the other war around.
Get a clue. This is fundamental.

yes of course, fundamental to 'marxism'.

YES they do and Marx's failure to recognize what Stirner recognized led 120 meaningless years(leading to the post dialectic 1968)of hard Marxist ideology. His belief in base/surface level separation is a FOUNDATIONAL failure on his part. Ultimately all things come from belief pure and simple end of story.

more like terrain for a nap

To me the differentiation between "social anarchism" and individualist anarchism is pointless. I am a fan of Max Stirner and Emile Armand who prefers communization theories to the supposedly anarchist platformist theories. Individual revolt goes hand in hand direct group revolt so it clearly goes better with post-autonomist strategies (or as the individualist anarchist Hakim Bey Calls them "Temporary Autonomous Zones", "Periodical Autonomous Zones" and "Permanent Autonomous Zones") instead of with quasi leninist platformist groups or worse with marxist-leninism and marxist, social democrat or liberal parliamentarism. In the language of Stirner, much of what is called "communes" within communization theories could be seen as "unions of egoists" just as Kropotkin called them "mutual aid".

As the theorists of "egoist communism" put it:

"The actual negation of narrow egoism is a matter of transcendance (“aufhebung”), of the transition from a narrow to a qualitatively expanded form of egoism. The original self-expansion of egoism was identically the demise of the primitive community. But its further self-expansion will resolve itself into a community once again. It is only when greed itself at last (or rather, once again) beckons in the direction of community that that direction will be taken. Here the ancient Christian truth that no earthly force can withstand human greed rejoins us on our side of the barricades...We have no doubt that people are corruptible, but we know for ourselves that there are things more tempting, more seductive, than money, capital, and Power n1 — so much so that no genuinely greedy human being could possibly resist their allure — and it is upon this corruptibility of man that we found our hopes for revolution. Revolution is nothing other than the self-accelerating spread throughout society of this more profound corruption, of this deeper seduction. Currently, greed is always pursued and associated with isolation and privatism simply because everyone under the reign of capital is condemned to pursue greed in this narrow way. Greed doesn’t yet know its own potentiality.

We say once again: the present forms of greed lose out in the end because they turn out to be not greedy enough. "

For Ourselves
"The Right To Be Greedy: Theses On The Practical Necessity Of Demanding Everything"

But anyway. It seems to me hard to understand that proponents of communization theories seek an alliance only with those who within anarchism call themselves "social anarchists". It seems to me those who use that term "social anarchism" tend to favour anarcho-syndicalism and many of them platformist sects (since they call for "tactical unity", "theorectical unity"). From what i have understood within communization theories as proposed by Gilles Dauve and others, actually they tend to be highly critical of anarcho-syndicalism and ignore platformism at all while dealing with anarchist movements as a whole.

A good essay on the subject the separation between "Social" and "individualist" anarchisms_

"Bridging the Unbridgeable Chasm: On Bookchin's Critique of the Anarchist Tradition"
by John Clark

Since even some self labeled "individualist anarchists" joined both anarcho-syndicalist unions as well as synthesist federations it is clear individualism doesn´t have to be "asocial" or "anti-organization". But even for those individualists who don´t join organizations there has been a dialog between insurrectionist anarchisms and communization theories and so there can also be a dialog an an encounter between them in TAZs as Hakim Bey calls them as well as in riots, love affairs, sexual encounters, friendships, specific projects, economic cooperatives, etc.

Actually platformists read shit loads of communization theory, especially Dauve, Endnotes, etc.

well, trostkists also have shown up in Social Centres. My theory is that platformists and trostkists are more or less the same.

my theory is that you are an idiot, and can't comprehend a world where platformist have entire reading groups on this shit.

well, your hidden main inspiration, lenin, also wrote a whole book on left communists so it is not too shocking.

"The following was published as an introduction and a primer for an anarchist reading of the following text - 'What is Communisation? - Leon de Mattis - as a result it assumes a certain understanding of concepts within communisation theory (outlined in that text) as well as being a rather cursory presentation of the controversies therein. Nonetheless we reproduce it by itself as a useful starting point for further investigation and debate into the relationship between these revolutionary theories."

I haven't even gotten past the intro paragraph and I'm already confused. Is this an "introduction and a primer," or does it "[assume] a certain understanding of concepts within communisation theory (outlined in that text)"? I.e. should I already have read 'What is Communisation?' before reading this, or should I read this before reading 'What is Communisation?' or should I read something else entirely - 'What is "an introduction and a primer to 'What is Communisation?'"'?

this is not an introduction to communisation theory, nor a good place to start if you want to understand that. this is social anarchists trying to spell out their similarities to and differences from communization theory. as you can imagine, such an operation involves a good deal of distortion.

What the fuck does that even mean - social anarchist? I wouldsay that most of the insurrectionary anarchists who are also interested in antipolitics/communization/dauve, TC and the rest of them, wants communism. Just because they dont believe in the partyform of the platform, doesnt mean they are not anarcho-communists. Enough of this stupid division!

so, i really enjoyed CALL and the coming insurrection. what else should i read?

Am I wrong in reading a bit of determinism in Tiqqun, assuming for a second that such a construct is valid. What I guess I'm trying to say is that it seems we are always waiting for the moment of rupture to act, always in the business of creating that moment. Could it be that constant building inhibits such a rupture in the first place?

(My apologies if this is trod ground).

Read the article but to Emile as usual TLDR.

I have many problems with Communisation theory that maybe people can help me with.

1. Neo-trotskyish / Utopian sentiment of Gilles Duave that revolution will not happen in one country - the whole world will have revolution at the same time. Unless you mean this in an extremely prolonged sense then I think it is completely false and a-historical. Revolutions never happen that way. I mean, its possible that it might but it's quite a big deal to put all your eggs in one basket like that.

2. Reliance and lack of definition of the concept of the proletariat (a huge deal that nobody ever gets into - some reject the concept all-together which I like). Obviously one can offer many definitions but each has major implications for strategy.

3. I like communisation theory not so much for its rejection of transition and reformism as much as its suggestions for not doing it through the vehicle of the bourgeois state. But I think even local communes would have to acknowledge the necessity of transition.

4. How would you compare the T.C. with Gramsci's conclusions after supporting worker's councils in Italy against party organization? Is there any reply to this?

1. I'm not really sure where Dauve says that, but if so he's wrong. I don't think communization theory requires a concept of worldwide revolution. Indeed, communization is a highly local process. However, it survives by spreading...
2. Well, I don't know. Look around. Who engages in insurrections and uprisings? For the most part, people who don't own shit, and are dependent upon capital and the state to survive. Even people who don't work are dependent upon others who do, and are certainly dependent on markets and money. This is what the proletariat means -- those who access to the means of existence except through the wage/money. The proletariat is not the working class. Though TC and Dauve, demonstrate a certain residual workerism, this is pretty easy to get rid of.
3. There is a difference between temporal immediacy and categorial immediacy. Communization is without transition in the latter sense -- it means you don't achieve communism by building one thing first as an intermediate stage on the way to communism. It does not however believe that the process is instantaneous -- only that one aims at communism from the very first day of revolution, and refuses to accept those who say we have to do "x" first in order to have communism. Some common forms of x: go back to work, win the war, raise the productive forces, etc. Though I also have issues with Dauve, I think this quote is good:

"a revolution is only communist if it changes all social relationships
into communist relationships, and this can only be done if the process
starts in the very early days of the revolutionary upheaval. Money,
wage-labour, the enterprise as a separate unit and a value-accumulating
pole, work-time as cut off from the rest of our life, production for
value, private property, State agencies as mediators of social life and
conflicts, the separation between learning and doing, the quest for
maximum and fastest circulation of everything, all of these have to be
done away with, and not just be run by collectives or turned over to
public ownership: they have to be replaced by communal, moneyless,
profitless, Stateless, forms of life. The process will take time to be
completed, but it will start at the beginning of the revolution, which
will not create the preconditions of communism: it will create
4. TC really have nothing to do with Gramsci. I'm not sure what else one can say on this point.

I meant "those who have no access to the means of existence except through the wage/money"

Thanks for the reply. G.D. does say that, yes.. in 'Communisation' that revolution will spread over the world, though it takes decades or a few generations.

In regard to proles, everyone but hill people and a few indigenous folk are dependent on capitalism and the state to survive, even capitalists. Virtually everyone accesses their means of existence through wage and moeny. So you would expect venture capitalists and congressional aids to be out there in the streets in solidarity with Guatemallan bannana field hands and Chinese construction workers? IIRC G.D. even goes so far as to say big citiies are more proletarian (if your definition is those who make revolution) because thats where contradictions are manifested. But then I think one would have to argue the greatest contradictions are in third world cities compaired to places like Tokyo or Minsk. It all seems rather fuzy.

My point about gramsci is just the historical failure of the syndicalists movement in Europe.

But anyway thanks for the replies!`

Well, saying that something will spread across the world over the course of generations is entirely different than talking about an instantaneous worldwide revolution. I do believe that if communism were to establish a foothold in any part of the world, eventually it would spread to most of the world. If only because people would have no interest in staying in the places where authoritarian, or market-based relations still obtained.

You can't have communism in one country, I think the last century demonstrated that quite well. Every previous revolutionary wave has been international, and I think the world is now more interconnected than ever before. The revolts of 2011 and, for all its flaws, the Occupy movement were pretty international, and I think a communist revolution would a) have to emerge out of a much higher level of struggle, which'd be unlikely to emerge in one place only, and b) be far more inspiring than either Occupy or the Arab Spring in terms of its knock-on effects. So a global revolution seems way more plausible than the idea of a revolution in one country that somehow manages to avoid being militarily crushed while also avoiding recreating a state and military discipline, and also meets its own needs without having access to the rest of the world's resources and also without creating a state to impose work discipline. Dunno about your other points though.

There has to be a pretty widespread destabilization, you're right about that. And of course there will be a international extension of struggles-- there always have been. But that's different than a worldwide revolution, which is a pipe-dream. You don't need every single place to have processes of communization begin immediately. You just have to have enough destablization and collapse of economic/political/technological infrastructures that military intervention is blocked.

The revolution is not going to break out everywhere at once with the same level of intensity. In some places, it will be turned back. In some places, various authoritarian structures will emerge. Some places might be relatively quiet.. That's pretty clear. The question is: what are the forms of emergence of communization that would be successful.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.