The Invisible Committee Returns with "Fuck Off Google"

  • Posted on: 4 January 2015
  • By: worker

From Chaos Computer Club

Full text

Cybernetics, Anti-Terrorism, and the ongoing case against the Tarnac 10

“There will be people who resist adopting and using technology, people who want nothing to do with virtual profiles, online data systems or smart phones. Yet a government might suspect that people who opt out completely have something to hide and thus are more likely to break laws, and as a counterterrorism measure, that government will build the kind of ‘hidden people’ registry we described earlier. If you don’t have any registered social-networking profiles or mobile subscriptions, and on-line references to you are unusually hard to find, you might be considered a candidate for such a registry. You might also be subjected to a strict set of new regulations that includes rigorous airport screening or even travel restrictions.”

The figure of the hacker contrasts point by point with the figure of the engineer, whatever the artistic, police-directed, or entrepreneurial efforts to neutralize him may be. Where the engineer would capture everything that functions in such a manner that everything functions better, in order to place it in the service of the system, the hacker asks himself “How does that work?” in order to find its flaws, but also to invent other uses, to experiment. Experimenting then means exploring what such and such a technique implies ethically. The hacker pulls techniques out of the technological system in order to free them. If we are slaves of technology, this is precisely because there is a whole ensemble of artifacts of our everyday existence that we take to be specifically “technical” and that we will always regard simply as black boxes of which we are the innocent users. The use of computers to attack the CIA attests rather clearly that cybernetics is no more the science of computers than astronomy is the science of telescopes. Understanding how any of the devices that surround us brings an immediate increase in power, giving us a purchase on what will then no longer appear as an environment, but as a world arranged in a certain way and one that we can shape. This is the hacker’s perspective on the world.

These past few years, the hacker milieu has gained some sophistication politically, managing to identify friends and enemies more clearly. Several substantial obstacles stand in the way of its becoming-revolutionary, however. In 1986, “Doctor Crash” wrote: “Whether you know it or not, if you are a hacker you are a revolutionary. Don’t worry, you’re on the right side.” It’s not certain that this sort of innocence is still possible. In the hacker milieu there‘s an originary illusion according to which “freedom of information,” “freedom of the Internet,” or “freedom of the individual” can be set against those who are bent on controlling them. This is a serious misunderstanding. Freedom and surveillance, freedom and the panoptical belong to the same paradigm of government.

Historically, the endless expansion of control procedures is the corollary of a form of power that is realized through the freedom of individuals. Liberal government is not one that is exercised directly on the bodies of its subjects or that expects a filial obedience from them. It’s a background power, which prefers to manage space and rule over interests rather than bodies. A power that oversees, monitors, and acts minimally, intervening only where the framework is threatened, against that which goes too far. Only free subjects, taken en masse, are governed. Individual freedom is not something that can be brandished against the government, for it is the very mechanism on which government depends, the one it regulates as closely as possible in order to obtain, from the amalgamation of all these freedoms, the anticipated mass effect. Ordo ab chao.

Government is that order which one obeys “like one eats when hungry and covers oneself when cold,” that servitude which I coproduce at the same time that I pursue my happiness, that I exercise my “freedom of expression.” “Market freedom requires an active and extremely vigilant politics,” explained one of the founders of neoliberalism. For the individual, monitored freedom is the only kind there is. This is what libertarians, in their infantilism, will never understand, and it’s this incomprehension that makes the libertarian idiocy attractive to some hackers. A genuinely free being is not even said to be free. It simply is, it exists, deploys its powers according to its being. We say of an animal that it is en liberté, “roaming free,” only when it lives in an environment that’s already completely controlled, fenced, civilized: in the park with human rules, where one indulges in a safari. “Friend” and “free” in English, and “Freund” and “frei” in German come from the same Indo-European root, which conveys the idea of a shared power that increases. Being free and having ties was one and the same thing. I am free because I have ties, because I am linked to a reality greater than me. In ancient Rome, the children of citizens were liberi : through them, it was Rome that was growing. Which goes to show how ridiculous and what a scam the individual freedom of “I do what I feel like doing” is. If they truly want to fight the government, the hackers have to give up this fetish. The cause of individual freedom is what prevents them from forming strong groups capable of laying down a real strategy, beyond a series of attacks; it’s also what explains their inability to form ties beyond themselves, their incapacity for becoming a historical force. A member of Telecomix alerts his colleagues in these terms: “What is certain is that the territory you’re living in is defended by persons you would do well to meet. Because they’re changing the world and they won’t wait for you.”

Another obstacle for the hacker movement, as every new meeting of the Chaos Computer Club demonstrates, is in managing to draw a front line in its own ranks between those working for a better government, or even the government, and those working for its destitution. The time has come for taking sides. It’s this basic question that eludes Julian Assange when he says: “We high-tech workers are a class and it’s time we recognize ourselves as such.” France has recently exploited the defect to the point of opening a university for molding “ethical hackers.” Under DCRI supervision, it will train people to fight against the real hackers, those who haven’t abandoned the hacker ethic.

These two problems merged in a case affecting us. After so many attacks that so many of us applauded, Anonymous/LulzSec hackers found themselves, like Jeremy Hammond, nearly alone facing repression upon getting arrested. On Christmas day, 2011, LulzSec defaced the site of Strafor, a “private intelligence” multinational. By way of a homepage, there was now the scrolling text of The Coming Insurrection in English, and $700,000 was transferred from the accounts of Stratfor customers to a set of charitable associations – a Christmas present. And we weren’t able to do anything, either before or after their arrest. Of course, it’s safer to operate alone or in a small group – which obviously won’t protect you from infiltrators – when one goes after such targets, but it’s catastrophic for attacks that are so political, and so clearly within the purview of global action by our party, to be reduced by the police to some private crime, punishable by decades of prison or used as a handle for pressuring this or that “Internet pirate” to turn into a government agent.



inb4 this article gets no comments because everyone is too busy arguing over veganism.


But srsly, this is really next level... I gotta re-read that and try to compute. I'm not sure if the CI commies meddling with the anarcho-hacker community is the best news I've read in weeks.

Just a reminder... the Tarnac case was only about a prominent member of their group being caught with saltpeter by the French police who, in a way you know all too well, uses the terror scare to magically turn matches into pipebombs.

Antisec promoting their text through this awesome exploit seem to only be the result of their writings being poorly translated and spread in the US as some new "anarchist insurgent" theory.

So it's like... CCC aren't that incompatible with the Imaginary Party, but the latter really is just the Party (in Canada their disciples have had ties with the RCP), though they really look like a crowd of blurry liberals with a lot of openings to be mind-raped by this commie intelligentsia.

And remember... O'Brien lives!

wait so you're saying that if the coming insurrection hadn't been translated into english, antisec WOULDN'T have translated it themselves and posted it on the stratfor site?
i find this hard to believe.

but your comment is otherwise pretty hard to comprehend. o'brien? ccc? keating?

Ok ok I took my pills now... I was not implying that Antisec did the translation. Who the fuck cares who did it, beyond the cops?

CCC is the "Chaos Communication Congress", when it's not the "Chaos Computer Club". By extent, it's the crowd of hackers and cryptoanarchists attending this conference.

The Keating thing was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the long, useless cascades of completely irrelevant comments directed at Keating on this site, or any other not so important subjects.

That O'Brien thing is just a warning about the nebulous character of the Imaginary Party in relation to how O'Brien in 1984 first presents himself as a revolutionary from an invisible organization that seeks to subvert the Party, while revealing itself to be that very same Party.

"Disciples"? What the fuck are you talking about?

>“There will be people who resist adopting and using technology, people who want nothing to do with virtual profiles, online data systems or smart phones.

generalizing maoists

didnt read

Thanks for posting this worker.

PS: Don't feed the trolls.

Well it IS a good find, for the better of worse.

Though to me, a long-winded article from "Sri Lanka Guardian" about Cuba is also a form of trolling.

"This is what libertarians, in their infantilism, will never understand, and it’s this incomprehension that makes the libertarian idiocy attractive to some hackers."

Man, in just one sentence, they use the same slur on anarchists that Lenin did (these are Europeans, so when they say "libertarians" they don't mean anarcho-capitalists), and then call some of the people they're trying to persuade idiots. In fine form, as usual.

Also, in reference to the "friends/free" etymology, I'd looked that up and considered using it as a reference, too, but it turns out there's some sketchy stuff back there about the distinction between slaves and free people... i.e., the slaves couldn't possibly be your friends. This is one of the many problems with the Heideggerian argument from etymology... not only does it imply that some essential truth awaits us in the distant past (just like primitivism), it also can lead to endorsing things we really wouldn't otherwise.

But at the bottom here, what we see is the Invisible Committee continuing to be bizarro Crimethinc, trying to perform the same strategic operation (compelling hackers to "choose sides") that the recent Crimethinc article about Snowden did, decrying the exact same Julian Assange quote from last year's CCC that the Snowden article did...the Assange quote itself being a misunderstanding of Crimethinc's "deserting the digital utopia" piece, and Crimethinc's "god only knows what devils we are" text being the other one that Hammond apparently pasted into some of the websites he's accused of hacking. This explains the primitivism link... both CI and IC (see what I did there) come from an era when their thinking was inflected by primitivism, and they're both struggling to catch up to the digital.

Well it's true this text is almost plagiating Crimethinc's "Deserting the Digital Utopia", with the improvement if substantiating the claims with a more detailed historical and sociological narrative (instead of mostly paraphrasing it as in DDU) behind the very same ideas. They really attempted doing "our" better version of "them anarchist's" text, and it's very under-the-belt as a punch, especially given how they recycle the whole Google opposition in the Bay as well.

Though there is a clear distinction between "libertarian" (the radical left sense) and "anarchist", and it transpires everywhere in NA these days (the liberal anarchoids living their revolution through identity politics-driven communes in rented flats Vs those few who care stepping it up outside), but somehow I'm not sure the IC knows or even care about it, as yeah, they're definitely communists who don't really like anyone that acts beyond the scope of their vast "communization" sect, and that shows clearly in the text.

This text seems to be largely an update of the Cybernetic Hypothesis, written by Tiqqun in the early 2000s. I don't think it's accurate to call it a plagiarism of DDU.

I think this text is from 2004, no? It's also much more sophisticated than the CrimethInc essay you're referring to, and making larger claims... just a similar topic

actually, my bad - it seems like it's actually a new text

It makes sense to assume by libertarian" they mean anarchist (as opposed to US libtertarian etc.), except earlier in the sentence they contextualize it by talking about individual freedom. This, along with the fact that it seems theyre addressing the individualistic and (us style) libertarian streak among many of the hacker world, says to me the kind of "libertarian" theyre criticizing and deriding here is someone very different from the anarchist, the anti state communist, etc. This is just my reading of it; probably the only way to clear it up would be to see the original text in french. but it seems to be a critique of both individualistic and market oriented concepts of freedom, which is unfortunately necessary among the more technologically inclined.

It's true that these days hackers tend to be the pro-capitalist type of libertarians at least as often as they tend towards anarchism.

But the Invisible Committee has gone on record repeatedly criticizing anarchists, specifically, under the name of anarchism. They think it's liberal individualism or whatever. From my perspective, they are communists who want to avoid the conversation about freedom altogether, which is why they take such pains in this text to reduce all freedom to the freedom that is compatible with the marketplace.

That's a really limited first-world view, considering how many folks experience the maintenance and defense of the market as a ceaseless, often physical attack. But I guess we shouldn't expect anything different from the citizens of one of the world's last functioning social democracies! Their analysis here offers no insight into why Ferguson would erupt... the fact is that policing is not just panoptic and effortless, it also brutal and invasive and ugly, and anticipating a capitalist world without prisons and "police brutality" means taking at face value the capitalist pipe dream that their system can continue without constant exertions of coercive force. Say "cybernetics" a million times, but we have never seen a capitalism without constant exertions of coercive force, and we never will. It's first-world myopia to think everywhere is going to look more and more like France, or San Francisco, or Hamburg. It's more likely to look more and more like St. Louis, or Kiev, or Kobane.

I dunno. On one hand, the TCI people seem to think that humanity is governed by *ideas*, by paradigms themselves: ['Officially, we continue to be governed by the old dualistic Western paradigm where there is the subject and the world'>>> but it seems that now some new governing paradigm is taking over, like a new geist possessing humanity.] On the other hand, they emphasize 'getting organized as a material force' behind your ideas. So it's not, exactly, that they think there's no such thing as force, or that ideas can govern without it>>> though indeed, they can give the impression that they start from what's in the books and work backwards to what's in the world. A strange tack for those who believe that the intensity of experience is what will eclipse and defeat the virtual>>> speaking of bizarro crimethINC!

The irony here is that all they have to offer are ideas, even as they race behind hackers, trying to tell them what they would have to do if they *really* want to become 'a historical force.' There's something farcical in this, like Plato trying to attach himself to some regent. We have to read their words about Jeremy Hammond in that light. From the sidelines, they are suggesting that he wasn't communistic enough, wasn't part of a proper organization with a longterm strategy. Perhaps, like Negri with the Red Brigades, they would like to offer their guidance to these poor benighted hackers?

The crimethINC article about whistleblowing was inviting the hackers to recognize the existence of the rest of humanity, which seems like a different maneuver to me, though still condescending. Ah well.

I don't think it was condescencing. Hackers often have this culture seeing themselves as an hermetic elite -which they truly are in a way- so it's just addressing some of those geeks in respect to their character. Since the Anonymous movement there was this new trend of hackers thinking outwards.

Successful troll is successful.

the party is an actual historical force, not a bunch of academics speculating about some world off in the distance. we were in gezi park and we were in hong kong, we were in ferguson and we are in kobane.

the party is made up of plenty of hackers. they are not "racing behind them," but with them, of them. hence the relevance of their mention at all.

"The party" is an imaginary historical construct, superimposed onto the chaos of reality (mostly without reference to the perspectives of the people who are drafted into its ranks by a few rhetoricians). Or do you think ideas are real and reality is just their shadow?

"The party" is also a weird nostalgic thing where a few French people, who never got to be part of the 20th century communist bloc, try to reanimate the corpse of a previous generation's anachronistic fantasy. Ask some Eastern European comrades how they feel about "communism" or being part of "the party."

Finally, "the party" is a pseudo-subversive provocation by people who think they are detourning the legacy of Bolshevism or whatever, but actually haven't fallen that far from the tree of the rest of the communist tradition. There's not that much worth preserving in that tradition, and revalorizing the word "party" opens the door for all sorts of authoritarians to come back in style. Celebrate Blanqui if you like, but his thing failed in 1839 and 1848 (because he thought of power as something located in the state house, not diffuse), and his disciples headed up the fucking police department of the Paris Commune in 1871. The authoritarian turn was coded into communism even before Marx.

Fair, but communism got kind of cool with Malatesta and even Kropotkin for a minite. Does that count? It's an argument for not leaving out the black part of the red & black, but not necessarily ditching the red.

Oh come on... Malatesta and Kropotkin were just libertarian leftists. You appear to be mentally stuck with an old, decrepit unitarian paradigm of being forced to associate with the very first people who'd wanna eradicate anarchists in the first place (even before the fascists), where actually their 21st century approach is not to kill but to vampirize them, especially their tactics, rhetoric, imagery and insurgent desires. That's exactly what the (canadian) RCP did over the past years.

A very fine response sir-ma'am! Their imaginary "party" is nothing short of a cult, just as their forced imposition of the "party" upon the acts of resistance and revolt and hacking of countless people who don't give a fuck about the said "party" only demonstrates the will of authoritarians to enforce their schemes upon a crowd they don't know anything about. It's a very statist pattern.

I somehow don't see the relationship between it and Kobane and St-Louis. Care elaborating?

It's shitty, violent, and racialized not sparkly, yuppie, and racialized?

in all three of those places, power has been brutal and direct, not just cybernetic...?

Which is the central problem with the cybernetic hypothesis... that the cybernetic State is only that of a fully-pacified organic fascist order where even moments of discord are digested components of the social actualization.

Not that it's THAT remote from the situation in the Western rich countries, though.

I dunno, Western "rich" countries have more and more poor people in them. Even the richest in Europe (like Sweden) are developing new fascist movements--which is to say, groups that want more brutality, more open violence in the service of the prevailing order, not more peace and integration. France has a new burgeoning far-right movement, which the Invisible Committee folks have said nothing about. I think they're fighting the last war and have yet to catch up to the messy, ugly, open conflict of the 21st century. In short, they're mistaking the "utopian" promises of Google executives for the actual reality, a grave error.

Ok, while there are definitely developing new fascist movements, it's not a great idea to equate all "groups that want more brutality, more open violence in the service of the prevailing order" with fascism.

Here's why: it lets all the conservatives/liberals/socialists/whatever off the hook. I think the anti-fascist threewayfight perspective ( has a lot to offer. Fascism isn't simply "the state taking off its gloves," but is a separate autonomous force which takes control of the state away from the capitalists, with qualitatively different goals than socialists (and of course anarchists are trying to "destroy" the state, not take control of it).

Heidegger's stance on technicity (the mode of being characteristic of "the age of technology") reads to me like he's well aware of the situation, even anticipating some of the scarier parts of it - "ordering for ordering's sake" seems right in line with the Deleuzian dividual whose existence is databases - and not at all "struggling to catch up with" the digital age. I'm interested in seeing evidence of primitivism in Heidegger and in the invisible committee.

Since you've used primitivism to link Crimethinc and the Inivsble Committee and I'm initiating a question as to whether that primitivism is real, I'll offer an alternative link: both parties have noted the need to reach out to other [potential] insurgents who aren't self-identified anarchists or communists or whatever, not by askign them to convert and become part of a milieu (I'm being harsh but that's often what becoming an anarchist means) but reaching them where they're at, with the skills they've had, on the basis of actions they've already taken. This seems to me to be the most important, appreciable, and strategic aspect of both gestures. Their method of critique, as others have already pointed out, differs.

What makes you so interested in this Nazi ideologue and how relevant he is to you for anarchist theory? Did you ever read anything from Oswald Spengler, who was both lesser pretentious and hierarchical in his writing style while completely tearing apart the robe of everything related to the ideals of progress and the deluded nationalism in the West?

Heidegger's most important (and really in the grand scheme of things ONLY important work) comes before his fascism. There is nothing about Being and Time that is fascist, that argument has mostly been abandoned. The Question Concerning Technology is after his fascist period, but I don't see it as a fascist text. Maybe you would if you read it. Also I don't know if you're being facetious but Spengler is infinitely more reactionary. Also I doubt you've read Spengler because his most influential book as far as I know has never been translated in it's entirety into english.

on Heidegger are correct.
he was prescient regarding technology's always
already Hegemonic position of Signifying authority over all manner of humanistic empirical strivings for a more
caring( Sorge) alternative of be-ing -in- the- world.

"Decline of the West"? I got it on my hard drive and it seems pretty complete, all in English.

Every sentence you wrote beyond that is so dead wrong as well. Spengler's diatribe against Rosenberg made him into nearly an iconoclast, by attacking the schizophrenic mythology behind his ideology. I really don't see where he was more reactionary. The guy did oppose the Nazis all through the '20s, and that sure wasn't because they weren't enough repressive, racist or despotic for his tastes.

When was Heidegger's post-fascist period? He never made any apologies for his support to the Nazi regime, and he was clearly antisemitic and fascistic years after WW2.

This is so full of wrong. And that doesn't

...answer my first question. Being what's so relevant with Heidegger's writings form an anarchist perspective. Even if you were right about the guy, that he wasn't a Nazi for all his life, he was a patriarchic abuser of female students, an antisemite, and a pseudo-philosopher with an elitist writing style aimed only at a few post-graduate circles.

Do you really think he'd be taking the side of Ferguson rioters today? Obviously not. He'd be rather giving his strategic support to the DHS for repressing the support coming from the academic milieus.

Spengler's writings on race and the state are totally reactionary. Read it however you want. Adorno on Spengler is pretty interesting. I'm not saying you shouldn't read Spengler, in fact I think it might be interesting if you did, I'm saying that if we're having a pissing contest over who is more reactionary, the person who thinks Hitler isn't adequate for the task at hand but agrees with most of the task is pretty reactionary.

I am not making an argument about Heidegger's character. He was a bad man. So was Nietzsche. So was Marx. As far as I can tell (since we have less of a cult around him) so was Bakunin (who attempted to translate Kapital into russian, despite having the important political disagreement that comes to define our entire tendency). That doesn't really have anything to do with their work. Marx had atrocious politics. His critical theory is still incredibly useful (and really at the end of the day that's what matters to me, I'm not a marxist, I don't need to hold him up as a prophet).

Heidegger's writing is so thoroughly aestheticized that the idea he would be giving "strategic support to the DHS" is pretty laughable.

I think if you read some of Heidegger's "easier" work you might get something out of it. His language can be difficult, and that has to do with a number of factors including the difficulty of translation from the german, and the fact that he is attempting to talk about things that in his view no one has talked about before. Do you like Nietzsche? He does the same thing, the difference is Nietzsche is way more poetic and polemical.

I am an anarchist. I reject capital and the state in all forms. This includes liberal democracies.

Also since I assume you're the same person, if you'd like to share that Spengler pdf with a link I would appreciate it. I've only seen the abridged version in english.

Intellectuals are fascinating beyond the partisan scheme.

All of them.

But Heidegger's criticism of technicity is irrelevant here. It's like responding to a discussion about the future development at Apple with a reference to Sex Pistols "No future". We open a wrong level of discusssions.

What people like Adorno despised about Heidegger was his sound, his jargon, his faking of importance.

Ironically Adorno is subject to it himself.

Rosenberg does not really fit here. He constructed something new and fresh. A new beast.

Not the OP, here's my 2 cents. Anarcho-Primitivist thought is clearly influenced by Heidegger, Green Anarchy regularly printed Heidegger essays. His ideas about the what the World is and his critiques of technologies essence, along with Ellul's, are a big piece of the AP puzzle. The other thing to remember is that most APs didn't start as anarchists; They started as some type of marxists. JZ was a marxist, FP was an anarcho-communist, Jacques Camatte was a left-communist. It's not that the invisible committee is primitivist per se, it's that they emerge from a milieu that has already constructed something called AP, so their readings of the things that precede it (left-communism, Heideggarean phenomenology) are at least partially mediated by it.

Clearly? Schopenhauer was the first behind primitivism. I don't see where heidegger was influential to any sort of anarchism, primitivist or not. WHy not Ayn Rand being the biggest American thinker of libertarian municipalism as well?

Do you have any fucking idea of who you're talking about? The guy fully supported Europe's biggest industrial war machine! And as far as I know he never repented for it.

see above. Primitivism and anarcho-primitivism are not the same thing. Obviously. They're also separated by a huge gulf in time. I just told you that there are anarchists who have reprinted work by heidegger in anarchist publications. Or are these people not really anarchists in your view?

You're right. Heidegger was a nazi. He was probably at least a little fascist till he died, he was certainly an antisemite and a jerkoff. I bet you don't listen to Wagner either.

Wow Tarnac, back to the breeding ground of infantile communism with its laying chickens, red wine and honest peasant labor! Only in France!

Seriously, what do people think about the invisible committee making a point of dissing anarchists, refusing to talk about any kind of liberty except the free market brand, and then calling for more disciplined organization? Is the honeymoon over between anarchists and communists?

I've never really taken them very seriously as any kind of political movement as such but have always enjoyed their style of writing and a few of their ideas are interesting. I think their critique of organized political activist movements in The Coming Insurrection was spot on for example, but overall I would not put them on any kind of pedestal / hang off every word they write. Having said that though I hope they continue writing because their stuff generally makes for an interesting read.

They metamorphosed into Monsieur DuPont, with a nihilist-communist intersection influenced by Novatore and the avant-garde individualist anarchist movement.

Sound like some of the biggest assholes on the planet. Do they also spend their days intellectually masturbation a couch with liberal academic groupies licking their asses as they wait for the next proletarian movement to rise up to they can bitch on everyone else for being less "radical" than they are?

Good State agents, they are.

3/10 troll, thinking is productive, thus your poverty.

yes, dominating others with your thoughts is productive. It allows for exerting power over others, especially over women (no matter their feminist pretense) so they bring you all kinds of love and other goodies.

Though that's not nihilist-communism, or even less individualism, it's just plain old capitalism.

The individualist does things on his own before having others wipe his ass, he-she can't be a communal parasite.

I still stand by the aesthetics of genderless wet underwear! No fuck off philistine peasant minded prude!

fuck productive, fuck poverty.

Totally incorrect

Could you provide some quotes as to what exactly they say? Not a big fan of IC, but I probably hate most of the people who comment here more than I hate them, so kind of curious to know what they have to say.

not sure if you are addressing me, the person who mentioned their words on organized political activism in 'The Coming Insurrection'? but if you are, then it's probably easier just to read the thing yourself -

here is a couple of quotes from it anyways:

"It’s useless to get involved in this or that citizens’ group, in this or that dead-end of the far left, or in the latest “community effort.” Every organization that claims to contest the present order mimics the form, mores and language of miniature states. Thus far, every impulse to “do politics differently” has only contributed to the indefinite spread of the state’s tentacles."

"Expect nothing from organizations.

Beware of all existing social milieus,

and above all, don’t become one.

It’s not uncommon, in the course of a significant breaking of the social bond, to cross paths with organizations – political, labor, humanitarian, community associations, etc. Among their members, one may even find individuals who are sincere – if a little desperate – who are enthusiastic – if a little conniving. Organizations are attractive due to their apparent consistency – they have a history, a head office, a name, resources, a leader, a strategy and a discourse. They are nonetheless empty structures, which, in spite of their grand origins, can never be filled. In all their affairs, at every level, these organizations are concerned above all with their own survival as organizations, and little else. Their repeated betrayals have often alienated the commitment of their own rank and file. And this is why you can, on occasion, run into worthy beings within them. But the promise of the encounter can only be realized outside the organization and, unavoidably, at odds with it.

Far more dreadful are social milieus, with their supple texture, their gossip, and their informal hierarchies. Flee all milieus. Each and every milieu is orientated towards the neutralization of some truth. Literary circles exist to smother the clarity of writing. Anarchist milieus to blunt the directness of direct action. Scientific milieus to withhold the implications of their research from the majority of people today. Sport milieus to contain in their gyms the various forms of life they should create. Particularly to be avoided are the cultural and activist circles. They are the old people’s homes where all revolutionary desires traditionally go to die. The task of cultural circles is to spot nascent intensities and to explain away the sense of whatever it is you’re doing, while the task of activist circles is to sap your energy for doing it. Activist milieus spread their diffuse web throughout the French territory, and are encountered on the path of every revolutionary development. They offer nothing but the story of their many defeats and the bitterness these have produced. Their exhaustion has made them incapable of seizing the possibilities of the present. Besides, to nurture their wretched passivity they talk far too much and this makes them unreliable when it comes to the police. Just as it’s useless to expect anything from them, it’s stupid to be disappointed by their sclerosis. It’s best to just abandon this dead weight.

All milieus are counter-revolutionary because they are only concerned with the preservation of their sad comfort."

reading those quotes again now, they don't seem quite the revelation that they seemed to me a few years ago, but anyways.

"reading those quotes again now, they don't seem quite the revelation that they seemed to me a few years ago, but anyways."

Just shows how compromise dulls the senses hmm?

no just shows how the painstakingly obvious is not such a revelation after all :-)

Oh, other anon here - I wasn't addressing you when I asked for quotes, I was responding to the poster before you who said "Seriously, what do people think about the invisible committee making a point of dissing anarchists, refusing to talk about any kind of liberty except the free market brand, and then calling for more disciplined organization?"
Like, if the kind of critique you quote is what people mean when they complain about IC dissing anarchists, then that hardly amounts to the damning proof that IC are evil authoritarians that other posters here have been hinting at. On the other hand, that critique is both a) not particularly original, it's pretty basic for anyone who's familiar with situ/post-situ shit, and b) voluntaristic as fuck - like, boo hoo hoo social scenes aren't totally revolutionary, outside revolutionary moments of rupture people are still gonna do social interactions, and those interactions won't be revolutionary, no shit.

So because they stated something publicly against anarchism, the anarchyists of this site who once loved their work and ultra hyped it, have stuff to say against them now! Not because their texts are bombastic, flowery, needlessly vague, but don't say anything of import, thus ultimately useless. When "Coming Insurrectionism" was hyped by the useless anarchist milieu, that is when I decided to step out and stop associating my identity with anarchism. I realized that it did not provide realistic or useful analysis, it just made you guys feel cult and together, by having something in common that the rest of society couldn't possibly use or want.

It reminds of how works like David Graeber's "Debt the First 5000 Years" are also maligned by many anarchyists just because of his relationship to the anarchyist milieu, when it is actually a useful work that does the best good job of demolishing Adam's Smiths house of cards, from an anthropological perspective! You guys have to stop and ask yourselves, do you want to be informed or fanboys.

The Coming Insurrection is a best seller distributed in mainstream bookstores all over the country. Definitely not a subculturally motivated distribution method. If you don't like the Situationist inspired prose at the beginning, just read the end part of the book. It's pretty clear and full of very practical recommendations. I am recommending this to you because I assume you haven't read it for several years and that when you did you were merely reacting to the shifting cultural trends of an American anarchist niche.

I was surprised to learn you were sort of right when I looked it up on Amazon and it had over 120 reviews, I knew something had to be up, so I searched and found the explanation. Apparently it had to do with Glenn Beck mentioning it:

Glenn Beck kept mentioning the book too, continually spiking its sales:

This excerpt from the NY Times piece I cited above illustrates what the book is largely about:
“Revolutionary movements do not spread by contamination but by resonance”
Perhaps poetic, but so vague as to be ultimately useless. The book is just a collection of such direction-less sentences that impress English speak milieu scenesters with a vaunted French style, but with nothing to hold it up against the wind.

The Invisible Committee proves that if you wanna acheive anarchist celebrity, anonymity is your best tool.

True, but for the worst part, IC wasn't exactly the right group to achieve anarchist celebrity, because they aren't really anarchists. But nevertheless they're an example for inspiration.

Glenn Beck and that French state probe, investigation or whatever of the Tarnac 9 made them celebrities it seems. For the Glenn Beck part see:

If that didn't happen I don't think their seminal text that doesn't stand up from the rest of disposable, forgettable communist or anarchist pulp texts, would be remembered much now in 2015.

"Do they also spend their days intellectually masturbation a couch with liberal academic groupies licking their asses as they wait for the next proletarian movement to rise up to they can bitch on everyone else for being less "radical" than they are?"

So, you were at the Station 40 event in San Francisco's Mission District a few years back, huh.

And moderated by Caitlin Manning, formerly of the magazine 'Processed World.' An individual who cannot brook differences of opinion of any kind.

I forgave her years ago. As you should, too.

-- Bob Black (pig ffffucker and wool sweater)

No, sorry, I unfortunately (or not) didn't went to SF, yet. I'm too insecure about those big liberal cities with so little or no spots where to squat decently.

I was referring to the elite "radical" caste from a well-known pseudo-anarchist space in Montreal, one that is long gone (the Rhizome) and one that's still theoretically open (Deferle). Though since anarchy seems to be catatonic (or dead?) in this city, it doesn't matter too much for Bay Area anarchs.

I feel similarly about CI as I do about Marx: really insightful analysis and commentary on the world around us, laughably stupid suggestions for what to do about it. If you ideologues want to just skim through it and find reasons to take offense, you're throwing out the baby with the bath water. Which is not a shame considering so many @s are utterly clueless in both their analysis and attempts at action. Start by learning to think for yourself instead of just being totally partisan about everything, mmmkay? Anarchists shouldnt have any sacred cows, most of all anarchism. Anyone who compares CI to Maoism because they use the term 'party' is seriously misunderstanding one or both sides of the comparison.

*not a shame. Subtract not. It is definitely a shame. Shame, shame, shame.

There will be people who resist adopting and using technology

Yes, because they are too busy with weekly backgammon and feeding the pidgeons in the park. Surely these are the new protagonists.

Backgammon? Contract bridge. C'mon, keep with it.

Much of what The Invisible Committee have to say is insightful and useful, but they are completely in thrall to a very French pomposity which finds them endlessly proclaiming Le Grand Statement, when in point of fact a little understatement is often a more effective way to communicate. See Orwell's essay for a good example of effective political communication.

Yeah … not to mention how quickly you completely isolate yourself if you take their rhetoric too seriously. This website's dominant strain of nihilism is similar in that many of the critiques are valid but you'll easily take it too far and become such a bitter, spiteful misanthrope that you never try to do anything with anyone ever again.

Are there really so many nihilists running around france that they can have big gatherings that completely exclude anyone who even might be a bit of a leftist? I fucking doubt it.

ha, well, the controversy about the Tarnac arrestees defense approach was that it was full of leftists. I mean, one of the controversies. Now, I personally understand why you would need solidarity from folks of a wide range of perspectives if you were in trouble. It's just not to classy to front like you are totally against and apart from leftists and then reintegrate when you're in trouble.

Do people facing terrorism charges often take your advice on how to seem classy?

Like I said, I don't blame them for what they did. It was just a problem for them, because it caused a huge drama and splits in their scene in France. So maybe it's something we could learn from. Fronting real hard is almost never beneficial, even if you're just fronting about how much cooler you are than everyone else.

In France just like in Greece there is a culture of openly and violently debating any issue or proposal no matter its ideological background, to a point where the Left stops mattering too much. Really, most North Americans wouldn't stand to their assemblies, that often are heated, explosive quarrels, but often end up being very productive.

Explanation: France has never known the Victorian liberal hypocrisy - aside than within its rich establishment perhaps. When Victorian culture has spread through the English world and the Commonwealth, da revolutions was happening in France.

That is just Greek culture. Not as many Greeks believe that not losing your cool like N. Europeans or those in English speaking nations when debating, talking or arguing is a sign of strength, but rather a sign that you are apathetic and don't care about an issue. Greeks are also far more expressive in how they gesticulate their arms and fingers when they speak.

normalist porcupine

The Tarnac people use fancy analysis and shmancy words to essentially justify boring antiglobalization humanist crap. Read the analysis of that kid getting shot and the way they responded to the media for proof. Talk about pandering.

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