‘No, we do not want to catch up with anyone. What we want to do is to go forward all the time, night and day, in the company of Man, in the company of all men. The caravan should not be stretched out, for in that case each line will hardly see those who precede it; and men who no longer recognize each other meet less and less together, and talk to each other less and less.’
Frantz Fanon, The wretched of the earth
In the night of 21st April 2016, all the windows of La Discordia were smashed with a sledgehammer. Next to them was written one word: ‘racist’.
This is the third time our premises have received this kind of night visit.
Yet again they picked on La Discordia because it publicly expressed a revolutionary non-negotiable refusal of the political blackmail of religion and racialism, which has been weighing on the extreme left since the massacres of 2015 in Paris. It is a question of forbidding a discourse, arrogating oneself the power of deciding who can speak and what they must say. As a whole it is about mafia power games to impose political hegemony over a movement in decline, with the usual moral weapons of guilt and resentment. And while everybody has more or less expressed their support in the face of the two previous ‘attacks’, it is solidarity that we are calling for today. Visible public solidarity where each can put something of themselves rather than all tag along behind the same flag, as our present enemies are doing. So we are not asking anyone to line up behind La Discordia or its particular anarchist perspectives, but rather to widen the question, express the fact that this refusal doesn’t just belong to a few but to all revolutionaries, that it is fundamental to all emancipatory thought.
Why these attacks? Because La Discordia is one of the few places of the movement where anti-religious and coherent antiracist positions (i.e. against any idea of ‘race’, even if it comes from the left) are expressed and discussed publicly without condescension to those who have made condescension their total relation to politics, the new demagogues. The great participation in the debates dealing with these questions, as well as the many discussions with comrades who are more or less close, suggest that there is a widespread perception that something pernicious is taking root in the French ‘radical’ milieu. There can be found defenders of religion and faith, there can be seen forms of separation on biological and genetic criteria that nobody has chosen… Things that dictionaries plainly call segregation. However, one also sees more and more comrades who are aware of these dangers and take a stance. Sadly very few of these positions are exposed publicly. This allows some enlightened upstarts, who believe they are the avant garde of some pseudo-subversive identity current, to think, how strange, that La Discordia is alone in criticizing the idea of ‘race’ and rejecting religion. In a word: they pick on us also due to the silence of too many others on these subjects.
Why is this happening right now, while we are all concentrated on other things, on what’s going on in the streets (and not only)? [referring to the social movement against the ‘Job Act’] Evidently it’s because for those who hold the idea of ‘race’ and love of religion, these are more important than the conflict against the State and Capital. Yet again, no other sign of attack was to be seen in the neighbourhood that night, neither banks or churches or premises of political parties, only an anarchist library.
As we have already pointed out, it is because of the weakness in the balance of power that revolutionaries find themselves attacking the enemy with means such as those used against La Discordia.
For no one can win in a direct confrontation with the State (unless they become a State or a would-be State themselves). To use ‘asymmetric’ practices against an anarchist library that functions in an autonomous way is really the most idiotic and cowardly behaviour. We bear in mind that even when revolutionaries don’t agree, take different roads, they either explain themselves and/or criticize one another, they don’t put shit in the mail box anonymously.
But in the present decomposition of the ‘radical’ movements nothing surprises any more. The people who make La Discordia live are also in the social struggles, meetings, collective experiences and they have never concealed their ideas, quite the opposite. No opposition to them has ever been expressed. Not a written word, no accusation, not even an insult with a face and a body to take responsibility.
This serious accusation of racism, which has found expression on the walls for the third time and through anonymous comments in the virtual world for a while, has been never taken in real life by any individual, group or collective, either verbally or in the written word. The brutality exercised against our premises, therefore, is nothing more than the sign of weakness and obvious cowardice and total lack of ability of articulation.
Yet honesty is the shortest distance between two individuals.
But how can you defend the idea of race or god before antiauthoritarians, autonomi, communists, anarchists who for centuries have been busy freeing themselves and the world from these yokes? Or in the face of any other current of thought based on criticism of god, the State and imaginary identities? From Marx and Bakunin to Malatesta or Fanon.
For this kind of two-legged political disorder it’s a question of eradicating a revolutionary heritage they don’t know, which disturbs them deeply and which they wrongly associate with the so-called ‘white race’ (which they would belong to in great numbers, if it really existed). So in order to oppose this heritage they need to mobilize political Islamism, communitarian and identitary associations that survive thanks to State aid, the supply chains of university careers and other forms of bourgeois and/or conservative reaction. For them it’s a question of refusing tout-court all that which, closely or remotely, resembles a universalist hypothesis which questions identities in prefabricated little kits behind which we should eliminate any singularity and otherness.
Even if this means organizing themselves along with the partisans of the defunct ‘Manif pour tous’ [a Catholic ultraconservative extreme-right movement, which opposed the legislation in favour of gay marriage between 2012 and 2013]. Collective responsibility is the favourite weapon for the extreme right and racists, but you need to be already interested in their ‘ideas’ in order to realize this. Because identity and particularistic logics only lead to division among the exploited.
We don’t doubt the sincerity of these cretins who claim they are ‘antiracist’, nor do we doubt the sincerity of their false enemies who try to reach the same objective with the same words, methods, concepts and aspirations: division, breaking up solidarity among the exploited, which they do their best to contain, distinguish, divide and fit within narrow physical and mental frontiers, so that the exploited can never meet one another, or so that they are kept apart by them. Always in the interest of power.
Changing some key-words we can easily see that the discourses and values of Capital’s extreme left, which is only trying to grab a few crumbs, are the same as the extreme right, built up on the same lack of emancipatory imaginary, they all aim, especially through religion, at ethno-differentialism, homophobia and virilism, at normative and prescriptive regimentation of identity and community. It is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra who advised: ‘If you want to take life easy, always stay with the herd. Forget yourself in the herd!’
Smashing the windows of an anarchist library like a child smashes a Rubik cube that they can’t solve because of lack of constancy, intelligence and maturity, and in the case in question we might add slight mental deficiency, is certainly the most glorious deed of the year, they didn’t even bother to claim it, therefore explain it, articulate it, take political responsibility for it.
They prefer to sweep the bottom of the refuse bins. The idiots of the alternative village have ‘struck’ once again. Their cowardice equals only their chronic impotence in developing even the minimal serious analysis with which to oppose the internationalist revolutionary perspectives they are afraid of, as they agitate themselves noisily. The cowardice of not being able to defend one’s ideas to faces that can answer, rather than windows, which will cost some poor people who have always put the struggle before survival hundreds of euros . Was this the aim? To attack an anarchist project financially? Was it to suck hundreds of euros from unemployed people or people who rely on RSA [a sort of State ‘income support’], people who are already the target of repression? Our common enemies must be glad of your efforts, and you confirm the fact that, sometimes, our enemies’ enemies are also our enemies (in fact, what do revolutionaries have in common with pro-religious who think that humanity is divided into ‘races’?)
As revolutionaries we don’t think that violence is a weapon to be used instead of critique and words, but one that accompanies them skilfully, with a clear idea of who the enemies are and what kind of social relations they defend. Individuals who identify their enemies in this way and, in the fullness of a social movement that doesn’t stop beginning, while many comrades are passing before judges, think that it is urgent to furiously attack La Discordia’s windows are absolute enemies of intelligence, to say the least. Attack mustn’t be used to fill up the theoretical emptiness of some hooligans who only know the reptilian functioning of their own brain.
And now that the little king is bare, everybody can appreciate the racialist and pro-religion spectacle in all its arrogance, the politics of the sledgehammer to conceal weakness and the already extinguished life of this identity fashion, temporary and in decline. It’s time we reflected on the presence of such identity fashion in our movement, what has made it possible and how? To those who, deconstructed among the deconstructed, strive to reiterate ‘check your privileges’, we say ‘check your responsibilities’. Likewise, for those who talked in the ‘social media’ about smashing our faces, attacking La Discordia with Molotovs and other virtual bragging, there is a work in progress to make them pay dearly and give words all the consequences that so far have passed through reassuring screens.
Obviously the safety of the people who in ever greater numbers come to the talks and initiatives of La Discordia will be guaranteed. Any material and physical support is welcome, and we want to thank all the comrades, anarchist or not, who have already offered their support in different forms (always appreciated), from Paris to the four corners of the world, starting with our neighbours. But what we are calling for now is above all solidarity in theoretical analysis, the crux of the matter. The revolutionary project that we and many others carry forward needs clear and strong stances, uncomfortable at times, of rupture, and often in the minority.
May each one, therefore, in the way they see appropriate, attack the ideas of race and god wherever they are; to quote Joseph Déjaque, ‘with arms and heart, sword and pen, dagger and gun, irony and curse, theft, poisoning and arson..’. Remember, an attack against revolutionaries because they are such is an attack against all revolutionaries.
As far as we are concerned we are not of those who surrender.
No god, no master, no race, no prophet.
You don’t make the counterrevolution by smashing windows.
[Translated from Italian by Act For Freedom Now]