Anathema: Volume 5 Issue 1

  • Posted on: 17 April 2019
  • By: thecollective

From Anathema

Volume 5 Issue 1 (PDF for reading 8.5 x 11)
Volume 5 Issue 1 (PDF for printing 11 x 17)
In this issue:

  • Manifest Gentrification
  • Update on the Shooting of Kaleb Belay
  • What Went Down
  • Save on Septa and Get a Free Pizza!
  • Hearing the Calls
  • Dockless Scoots and Bikes
  • Campus Organizing
  • Assessing Risk
  • Ongoing Infrastructure Scars Across the Land
  • Whither the Insurrection?
  • Identity and Power
  • The Revolution Will be Messy
  • International Solidarity
  • Super Happy Fun
  • We Can Fight Gentrification
  • Revolutionary Letter


This reader (
is briefly reviewed in that issue of Anathema.

That reader could serve as a handy source to produce a more thorough critique (or praise, or ridicule) of the insurrectional tendencies. There are concepts that have been inherited from them, that are now commonly used, that have changed considerably in their meaning. There's much ambiguity and muddled thinking when using them.

Their slogans or bullet-point recipes can be compared and criticized alongside others:

From the cover of "INSURRECTIONAL ANARCHISM: a reader":

"Insurrectional anarchism emerges as a
perspective within the class struggle. This
perspective can be expressed in three key

(i) Permanent conflictuality: the struggle should never turn into mediation, bargaining or compromise;
(ii) Autonomy and self-activity: the struggle should be carried out without representatives and ‘specialists’;
(iii) Organization as attack: the organization should be used as a tool in the attack against state and capital, and not treated as a goal in and of itself.

What this means, in its most essential and concrete way, is this: to seize and keep the

The Cinema Committee's abridged version 3 step slogan version of Inhabit's 9 step program.
They summarize these steps as a proposal to form communes:


(Source: A video embedded in this article [ in this timestamp [])

Inhabit's 9 step program:


(Source: Picture of index of the book embedded here [, which can be read here []. In IGD they claim "Not a blueprint, and far from a call to drop out or remove ourselves from the world around us, Inhabit, pushes for a re-articulation of the revolutionary anti-capitalist and anti-state project at a time when the world is changing so fast, and so rapidly." Yet on their website, the index appears under the heading of "Instructions".)

These may also be compared with the numbered lists presented in "Art of Nothing" (Attentat, p. 6: which are too many to be copy/pasted in this short comment, yet by itself it's a shorter read than the two previous texts cited above).

I look forward to any discussion that may (or may not) ensue.

the review in anathema is excellent. but the communization current's general co-option and rewriting of insurrectionary anarchy is laughable at best. including the post above this one.

these communization-ites could not stand as anarchists, they’ve proven to be incompetent as marxists, they'll prove to be incompetent as insurrectionary communists.

anarchy no longer has anything to do with them.

I did not attempt re-write and co-opt insurrectionary anarchy from a communization current's perspective in my previous post. You may still find it laughable at best.

I agree with the sentiments you expressed. I'm looking for fleshed-out arguments and discussion.

It's not clear to some why these positions might be antithetical to each other. I've seen this in comments on this site and in a few calls to podcasts.

Furthermore, the specifics of each position are understood differently by different people. This is not "a problem", but something to be specified so that what people say is not a vague nothing.

your good-faith reply has caught me off-guard. will consider a less venomous response so that i can better help you with your forthcoming essay on insurrectionary black anarchy vs communization.

until then.

These respective positions could be named "insurrectional", the pop tiqqunist-I.C./commune-ist position which i'll name "occupational" finding the word's various meanings to appropriate to describe their activities, and "nihilist".
(Other lists from other positions may be found, i've seen them around, but i'll focus on these first.)

The insurrectional goal is to create and spread "insurrection".

The occupational goal is to create and spread "communes"; by occupying land, buildings, infrastructure, etc. and by occupying themselves with different activities and tasks that make possible the subsistence of the commune.

The nihilist's "goals are not strategic in orientation" they're "a balancing act between living and despising life (as life is circumscribed by unacceptable conditions and defined by a lack of social power). [...This] art has five factors: amorality, timing, the ground, agency, and method and discipline." Each of these are then defined in "Art of Nothing".

How are "insurrection" and "communes" defined?
What are the assumptions in each of the three positions?
What are the best-case scenarios and worst-case scenarios (and anything in between, in order of likelihood) for each position?
How would these three positions, as projects interact in the real world, if at all?
How are they compatible or mutually exclusive to each other?

Though the spontaneity and the initiative that’s conveyed in the insurrectional tendency’s principles (strategy, assumption, hypothesis, assertion?) is similar to what is embraced in the nihilist approach, there are some differences.

Without the nihilist qualifier, the insurrectional approach does not necessarily preclude war-like strategy or war logic. It’s curious some of the insu tendency’s precedents were anti-war efforts.

Either way, the insurrectional approach seems to always be geared towards an ultimate goal. Be it immersed in “class struggle”, eco-defense, anti-war, etc., it seeks to attack to “escalate conflict” to a level of “insurrection”.

It may also take the assumption that can look like: attacks-> unrest-> riot-> insurection -> insurrections -> revolution (meaning overthrow of state and capitalism from an area). Achieving this end goal would be their best-case scenario.

They may also take the assumption that there is a sort of contagious quality in attacks, and that these will “spread”
if carried out, as long as they’re visible and easy to replicate. So though not and organization, or mediated, it still requires numbers of people and attacks to approximate their best-case scenario.

This would be contrary to a strictly nihilist approach, which ostensibly would not have ultimate goals. The attacks carried out by a nihilist, if at all, are not part of a larger campaign, but it could be for any number of things: necessity, reflex, fun, humor, hatred, convenience, a mistake, a slip up, curiosity, an experiment, revenge, etc. all very personal.

Unless I misunderstood, best-case scenario for a nihilist is living a life they do not regret.

I don’t know if stoicism and cool detachment in the face of worst-case scenarios is intrinsic in nihilism, or just comorbid, or if it’s the complete opposite. I’m that clueless in this regard.

I read it on my phone.
I wasn’t paying much attention then.
It was orange.
If I remember correctly, it said to reduce, reuse, recycle, and plant trees but poetically.
Then something about a mailing list, and about mentioning people, together, in groups, in amounts.

It’s like the normie wing of la zad, or the lefty wing of back to the land movements. They got a picture of an amazon thing burning in their instagram, so I guess they’re also for setting things ablaze.

So that’s one similarity among the three: may occassionaly light fires.

This distinguishes it from a certain type of vegan anarchism.

i enjoy your articulation, here:

"Unless I misunderstood, best-case scenario for a nihilist is living a life they do not regret."

however, consider that the nihilist is always already without regret. choice, [missed] opportunity, time, self—the essences of regret—are all recognized as meaningless fictions of an accidental consciousness clinging desperately to a world of delusion that the nihilist has already annihilated.

i expand more on this, my articulation of the anarchist-nihilist abyss in my forthcoming project but if you send $6.66 USD to $_rfa.nihilist.abyss, i will have an e-galley sent out when "time" allows.

now everybody sing:

non, rien de rien
non, je ne regrette rien

the song, for those who want to sing along;

in my case, i’m unrepentant (meaning i don’t think i should apollogize to anybody, punish myself for it, or justify myself) for my inaction, yet i regret it.

risk aversion, lack of impulse and initiative makes for an uninteresting life. maybe it’s just fear of misding out, or “the grass is always greener”. but i’ve never desired something so passionately as to serve as propulsion to throw myself over it.

More garbage. A 9 step program? The "Cinema Committee"? Why does anyone who calls themselves an "anarchist" take this shit seriously?

"Inhabit" pamphlets make good toilet paper.

Leave it to hipster academics to turn anarchy into a rigid political program.

at first i was going to call it a recipe instead of a program in that comment. then i realized their ridiculousness would come through despite a more serious presentation.

they don’t make good toilet paper.

said paper is ideal for: paper airplanes, origami, other arts&crafts, folding into a thing to shimmy under the leg of an uneven table...

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