When I translated and published the pamphlet "Individuality and the anarchist group", signed by one of the CCF cells, Guerilla Urbana Cell, I added in a note that I didn’t do it because I agree with the content, but to make public how much this project, in my opinion, has turned away from its original form of tension to propose (or re-propose) an anarchist individualism which, in some ways, can be found in the pages of a different insurrectionist theory, but in this case approaching or even in some points leading to formal ideas, that is the formal organization.
Similar proposals (informal platform, structured and specific organization) have already been criticized, both in the writing of comrade Alfredo Cospito addressed to the Greek comrades and in the text of some comrades who made up the CARI-PGG, and recently in the last reflection, about the mentioned text, by the comrade of RadioAzione.
This following is just a collection of random thoughts which crossed my mind when I was translating the text, random pieces that do not compose a figurative mosaic, but a personal abstract image open to interpretation, because I do not possess the truth to be transmitted, certainly not to be commodify.
This pamphlet discusses various issues and many of them, from my point of view, erode the concept of individualism itself (both on theoretical and practical level). And those (at least, the authors of the text) who embraced the idea of F.A.I., propagating the nihilistic version of anarchy, are now proposing to distort it, trying to redirect it in forms (structures) that are more appropriate, I dare say , to “communist insurrectionalism” than an anarchist one, perhaps more similar to the groups like 17N; trying to structuring the informal anarchy in platforms, fixed organizations, clusters, groups, sub-groups, test-groups etc. The text is an attempt to launch a proposal completely antithetical to F.A.I., but keeping the same adjective “informal”. Not because someone holds the “copyright” onto it, but because it eclipses everything informal and individualistic in this project. From my personal experience, if I think that a project does not meet my needs, I will be free create another one, without trying to convince others to adapt to my needs. In contrary, it would mean, for me, play politics.
I don’t want with these words, for the sake of anarchy, impose my ideas to someone. I just think it might be better for one who plans such a structured and fixed organization to give it, perhaps, more appropriate name. “Informal”, in document of F.A.I. in Italian language (”Open letter to the anarchist and anti-authoritarian movement”): “Furthermore, whoever takes part into the informal organization is a militant only when preparing and carrying out an action. The organization, therefore, does not affect the entire life and projects of the comrades (...) “. Then, if in some other language this concept has different meanings there were maybe some misunderstanding.
In this pamphlet individualism is corroded on several points, just to name a few, criticizing even the robberies done by anarchists for purely personal purposes, and not for the great cause. How selfish these anarchists are, those who satisfy their egos realizing their desires, simultaneously satisfying their material needs that the system imposes on us, and imprinting an attack on banking institution, that is capital.
Why are some anarchists focused only on the robbery, but not on the direct action too, the authors ask. But, I ask myself, is not the armed (anarchist) robbery also a form of direct action? Are we sliped into a debate about trivial issues such as the question: is it more radical send a letter bomb or make a robbery? Then the authors continue saying that comrades prefer robbery because the police is not so interested in investigation of it as in other types of actions. I do not know, maybe that’s the way it works in the territory of the authors (or maybe because this comment is addressed to someone particulary, but then I do not understand why to speak in general)... Personally, for me, it seems that the authors maybe do not take into account what a comrade risks in a armed robbery (I do not speak only from the legal point of view)... I’m not saying this because I possess a ranking list of direct action forms, maybe those who written the text (at least that’s the impression it leaves).
They say, “We are not satisfied with a general “label” [...] neither are we “Some anarchists” [...] whatever some people choose to put as a signature in their actions instead”. After the bigots of anonymity now appears the fundamentalism of fixed signature, of permanent specific membership. So much for the Stirner’s individualism and his “nothing.”
If someone decide to carry out an anonymous action or an action without a specific name, or even repetitive, I don’t think that she/he makes this choice due to some feeling of fear. With or without a signature, every anarchist who choose the direct action is armed with the same courage. And if someone do it in anonymity or signing, that is according to her/his ideas, beliefs and even circumstances (I hope). I think there should not be (as well as in nothing else) universal rules. To express such opinion is (I think) unfair to all those anarchists who expose themselves to the risks of direct action, anonymous or not, because if they had been haunted by doubts/fears they would have definitely not accomplished it. Those who need spectacle, to create a role, a long-lasting name in history, an image, identification, who are so “bold” and “brave”, they can even leave on the place name-surname-address, make a selfie and post it on some counter-information site, where you can find videos/pictures of, for example, clashes, made by the participants themselves. W porn-riot!
For me, all ideas are just tools, as the values, therefore even the words we use are mere appearances created by the human mind. In this context anarchy is just a label, just like any other. However, since we use these tools, the words, for communication I chose anarchy to describe my ideas, not my role. It could be every other word, but in this predetermined language the word “anarchy” is a predetermined word to express ideas and specific actions. This obviously does not mean I consider every anarchist my comrade or I identify myself with every anarchist action. My idea of anarchy is only mine, however it can be in affinity with others.
I did not choose anarchy because there were other anarchists around me (in fact, there were just no one), nor because I have read books and I identified myself with them. In anarchist and nihilist ideas I just found affinities. Today after so many years, anarchy for me, even if it is just a word is not a mere “label,” but the result of my ideas, positions, experiences, thoughts towards society, the system, the whole world . I could call it “xyz”, but I think it would not change much. I do not follow the “comrades” and the “sacred” texts of anarchism, I do not believe in revolutions and in the “great Cause” and I don’t want save anyone and anything (neither men nor animals nor nature). It is an attempt for personal liberation. I think this whole planet is actually insignificant, futile, as well as the human life. In my conception of my world the notions of “insignificant” and “significant” are interlaced. On the one hand I look at life and everything around me as something very insignificant compared to what we call Universe, whatever it is, nothing or life. But on the other hand my life is the most significant thing I possess, in its insignificance, and it is my cause (“I’ve set my cause on nothing”). A contradiction?
Because if I do not use my mind, my eyes, my experience to give the meaning to my life and its context, I will drown in determinism, in the abstract values of an ideology, built with the eyes of others. I do not feel the need to persuade someone into something, but at the same time I do not want to be persuaded. I just like to say what I think. I’m not interested in revolutionary curriculum vitae or to be/remain an important name in the anarchist milieu, it is just another kind of role. I do not feel weak because I’m not part of a group, because I’m alone. Sometimes I feel the loneliness, of course (but who does not feel it, if she/he is honest with herself?), but certainly the group would neither eliminate it nor would give me the strength to deal with life. If in the group (as usually happens) I have to hush part of me, if I have to agree with things that do not reflect me, I will feel even more alone, more weak because I will lose myself.
I think anarchy is something unique, individual, otherwise there is a danger that it could become an ideology to follow. Anarchy, as the other words in a world full of words, may be everything and may be nothing. It is individual.
Assert that a cell composed of two-three individuals (not members, because from my point of view “member” is one who belongs to something) or just of one is less worthless of e.g. ten people, in my opinion could say it only a person used to think in the form of group, actually of cell like a fixed structure over time, identifying herself with the group, instead of conceive the cell as an affinity encounter which tends, in that moment, towards the same goal, and after reaching it the cell dissolves itself to intertwine with other individuals in affinity or maybe with the same ones, without deterministic preconceptions. Since each individual has maintained its identity as a person and not as the concept.
I am not speaking about fixed deadlines (perhaps those who speak in these terms can not get out from the “fixed” frames) but neither about long-lasting solutions. I’m speaking about individual experiments, the ever-changing conditions and circumstances, to approach them informally, also to grasp better their nuances. It’s not about relations created for occasion at the table for the realization of a project (of any kind). The one who conceives the relations differently, in my opinion, she/he speaks from a point of view of political organization, and not from the standpoint of a free and spontaneous meetings between affinity comrades. I think we as anarchists are not looking for proselytes and recruits who should undergo an ordeal before become members of some kind of secret society (very nineteenth century, I must say), but in a world of normed space we are building free and spontaneous relationships, because spew out from free and affinity minds which then flow into equally free projects (not idolized).
Few concrete examples, I do not think that poor Lucheni needed the type of proposed structure to stab the monarch, or to not go that far, the “Nucleus Olga” to shoot Adinolfi.
But since the concept of “political prisoner” has become usual in anarchist milieu (in despite of attempts to open a discussion about this issue) it is not odd that from this amalgam emerge politics, or vice-versa. I wonder how can an anarchist feel comfortable in a concept (political) that she/he shares with communists? Maybe because the previous one is more concerned with politics than with destruction of moral/political concepts that are inculcated in us. I understand very well how difficult is to identify these concepts and to get rid of them, but if we drag them around as a legacy, what does it move us to act against the system which re-produces them? If someone wants to answer me “for the mere pleasure of attack”, I can only repeat I am not interested in action itself, but in its driving force, which creates the action. I do not think the anarchists possess the exclusive use of this pleasure. Indeed, why is the concept of “political prisoner” a privilege attributed to anarchists and communists only? Why not extend it to Islamists, fascists, nazis etc.? They are also persecuted and detained for their ideas. Why should I support a slogan “Freedom for all political prisoners” and not for all detainees in general? Maybe because some anarchist share some affinities with the communists? Who is interested in politics, for sure. As the saying goes, “Pares cum paribus...”
Based on my experience, and on the historical-political also, there is not a gap between fascism and communism. At least from an anarcho-nihilist perspective.
Someone will say I am trying to compare anarchists with fascists (it would not be the first time). What can I expect now, that the crowd of devoted to some group or ideology stone me in public square (or rather web site), that “crucify” me on the circle “A” because I have profaned the Sacred? To be excommunicated from the “Movement”? The fact is that I don’t give a fuck about this, I am not part of any group, of any movement.
What I want to say (who can or want to understand) is that I do not appreciate a person according to the roles that society/system labeled her (as a bar-code) to reproduce the dynamics useful for its reproducing, e.g. Islamist, terrorist, immigrants (the latter so dear to anarchist social services, as long as they come from Africa or Asia, as if on the European continent there are no borders, and within the EU as well, but some anarchists notice them only when they can identify themselves with the role of civilized westerner who helps the “noble savage”, preferably brownie). Even anarchists can not avoid this, with their duties to anarchy. If we have to begin our liberation with destroying idols (as is often repeated) then in this “twilight of the idols” should be included (sorry) even anarchy and consequently the anarchists themselves and actions, worshipped as deity in some cases, which lead us only to re-create the same patterns that we say to fight, and then reproduce them (who due to difficulty of understanding, someone to be part of the herd) in our milieu, without even realize how much we are impregnated with them. Get rid of them to create an own individual anarchy, not that one of the “best” anarchists , “experts” and similar, repeating others gestures and experiences, remaining alienated from ourselves in a world already alienated.
I appreciate a person not by the adjective but by her efforts to “liberate” the mind, emptying it from the meanings which various sectors of society/system impress in us, in order to materialize them, contributing to their conservation. It is pointless repeat the slogan “we have to destroy the prison inside us” if we think is sufficient to hate tangible institutions of system, and then express (therefore think) ourselves in the same, or similar, institutionalized language which leads us to embody it in our relationships.
I always thought that with anarchy is expressed the highest point of individual liberation (not only from the outside), mental, and as such a liberated mind can destroy both the imposed meanings and the emanations of these meanings, creating, trying starting from nothing (or from what is closest to it according to our ability), own values and experiences.
However, some people prefer to move along the well-trodden paths without the risk of stumble into chaos or fall into the abyss of nothing, grasp at the anarchist moral security in order to give a role to own life, as the sacred or secular religion teaches.