Conspiracy of Cells of Fire
In Cold Blood
Concerning Gatherings, the Referendum and Complicit Democracy
It is sometimes useful to keep a distance from events before you talk about them. Anticipation and the frozen time of captivity in prison accelerate, nevertheless, the cool-headed distance from events. A self-possessed distance gives you the opportunity to observe details which are usually ignored and bulldozed by the warm blood conditions’ momentum of intensity. So, as they often say, “the devil is hidden in the details”…
I. The rise before the fall (or, this is the Balkans, you can’t fool around…)
The last few weeks in Greece are the concentrated time of many years of international economic crisis. This period in Greece the engine of history is revving, creating a new reality of slavery. The economy’s chains are strangling, once again, life in an even more suffocating way. Our whole existence is crashed under the weight of economy’s numbers, memorandums, taxes, banks, market and rules of the financial game…
However, as it has already been written, economy is not just numbers placed in a neat row; it’s the result of the hierarchical social relations reflected in the language of money’s numbers.
Let us, therefore, go a bit back in time. Because Greece, before it became the centre of the global capitalist engine’s crisis and the testing ground for the economic crash tests, had experienced its own economic miracle.
Since 1980 and onwards, the Greek society and economy have been transforming. The political change in power via the entrance of social democracy and the social state, brings with it the “gifts” of economic growth and petty property promises, promises of business career and easy money. In these conditions, the petty bourgeoisie class and its dreams are developed. The Greek society seeks its own success model by imitating the ways of the “developed” European countries.
The fall of the Eastern bloc, in the beginning of the 90s, and the collapse of the communist regimes trigger an uncharted field of social changes. Greece, being the only capitalist county in the Balkans, becomes the Promised Land for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who cross the borders to enjoy the “paradise” of freedom. The borders, however, separating Heaven from Hell are often indiscernible.
For the local bosses the immigrants from the Balkans and the countries of the former Eastern block is cheap labor, bodies forced to work exhaustively in slavery conditions. For a part of the Greek society, not only in cities, but in rural areas as well, immigrants are undervalued workforce used in heavy jobs, a workforce to be exploited, insulted and used to feed the uplift of the national psychological dope. As an old slogan would say: “Greece became the U.S. of the Balkans”. The Greek capital grows big and the petty bourgeoisie puts on airs as it enjoys the Greek miracle of economic growth being reflected in the second car’s purchase, the purchase of a new cottage and wealth show off… Now, the petty bourgeoisie are not content only with the purchase and possession of objects, now humans consume humans.
Meanwhile, the European vision of the EEC boosts the European prestige of modern Greek society. The cosmopolitan charm of “being Europeans” dazzles and hides the true potential of the European economic empire which aims to create (at first) terms of transnational economic dependence and enslavement of people. During the first years of the European Economic Community’s model, money flows in abundance as do the promises for future development. Subsidies, appendages, programs of economic support dazzle the Greek society in the same way as the conquistadores’ mirrors dazzled the natives. The exchange is total economic dependence from the central directorate of the European Union, for control over the national economy. Therefore, the tradition model of national economic tyranny of the local bosses meets modern internationalized economic despotism. In every case, the world keeps spinning around economic axes which, regardless of administration (national or international ruler) enchain our existence.
All this is the outline of a world that has replaced life with smooth circulation of money and consumer products. “We must learn always to put logic before emotion”; that’s the Cyprian’s minister of Economics statement, during the recent European meetings regarding the economic crisis in Greece. It’d require several pages with labyrinthine notes, economic definitions, percentages and lots of numbers to analyze and describe the modern economic model.
The only relation we can share with the terminology of economics, however, as anarchists, is absolutely hostile. Besides, we have said before that economy is not numbers and statistical tables; it is a social relationship. It is a cannibalistic relation, in which bosses’ smiles and happiness are built upon the plunder and exploitation of their vassals. The economic engine is fed with tons of underpaid sweat, blood from labor accidents, bows of disciplined workers and also the happy ignorance of the wage slaves who transform into customers and lock themselves in their cages.
Today, after the fading of the economic felicity’s dream, Greece is experiencing the nightmare of economic cannibalism. It’s not only the financial scandals of corporations, bribing, nor the politicians’ arrogance of corruption; it’s the economic system’s pathogenesis itself. The capitalist economy (the same applies to every economic system), in order to survive, produces its own exclusions, its own defective gears, its own “useful superfluous ones”…
Greece is the defective gear of the economic engine. The fall of the “US of the Balkans” is, as every fall, violent and sudden.
A Greek society’s part that had got used to easy and fast wealth lives now the debris of its dreams. Financial crisis, fiscal bloodletting, rows in soup kitchens and suicides contribute to the social genocide of our days. A genocide that is both physical and moral, based on authority’s decisions but also on the silent acceptance and accomplice smiles of a society’s part which felt like a king during the Greek advancement’s years.
So, Greece becomes now the central theater scene of the international capitalist economic crisis’ challenge. The recent years in Greece an economic experiment is taking place, an experiment in which behind the collapse of stock indexes, lies the collapse of humans. The experiment is not whether the market’s number will stand, but is rather challenging humans’ endurance. Money, besides, does not create profit on itself, what does is human exploitation. The engine of economy is firstly fed with the shutter of humans and then gives birth to the circulation of money. The question, therefore, is not about the survival or reform of economy, but about whether we choose to live as humans or slaves…
II. The anarchist milieu’s numbness and the convenient readings of history
Talking about today, where some people see the economic crisis, we, as anarchists, can see an opportunity. An opportunity to derail the train of history. An opportunity to cause a crack on the economy-centred ideological armor of authority. The economic crisis triggered by capitalism to its mechanism create a short circuit within the system which we can use to our benefit and expand the rupture with the existent. The dilemma is specific; we either increase the possibilities for a violent and armed destabilization of the system or we get lost in the assimilation, following alternative reformist paths of hopes’ assignment and reforming oppositional speech… The answer will be judged by history and each one shall confront himself and his dignity…
In Greece, the arrival of the government of the left carries with it illusions and visions of social justice for an eager consuming public, anxious to consume hope. Many forget that the most drastic way to free yourself is firstly to get rid of your self-appointed saviors and “liberators”…
Among the public of hope consumers there is a part of the anarchist milieu. Some anarchists, out of naivety and weakness, believe that the “progressive left” authority will create the opportunities for radicalization within the system, while other opportunists present themselves as the most “consistent” of the milieu, transform into communists and assume the role of ultra left opposition, within the boundaries of legality and symbolic activism.
In a few words, the prevalence of the left government triggers more numbness to the anarchist milieu than the conservative part of authority.
In order, however, to be consistent with history, the anarchist milieu’s numbness does not start in Greece with the arrival of the left authority.
Already from September of 2009, when the repressive anti-terrorist operation against the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire begins, a part of the milieu starts ideologizing its fear and takes distance of insurrectionary practices. Especially from 2012 and onwards there are the first signs of the tendency of communization within the anarchist circles, which presents itself as an expression of anarchy’s political maturation.
In fact, today, many of the newly-minted communists have taken liberties with this practice, denouncing the hit n’ run attacks anarchist practice as being a behavior of political immaturity and harebrained puberty which triggers repression towards the anarchist movement. It is no coincidence that, inside open assemblies, place was found for mentalities which directly reprobate and also threaten all those who swerve from the “central position” of the movement and promote insurrectionary practices here and now to be expressed…
There are surely weaknesses and misfires in the vortex of insurrectionary events. This, however, brings forward the bet of their outgrowing through the evolution of self-organization and our dangerousness in the fight against authority and must not trigger attempts to impose communist articles of association that set the allowable boundaries of the movement. Besides, the “immaturity of the eternal adolescence of the anarchists” is much better that the premature aging and conservativisation of neo-communists.
And that’s how we reach the present. Obviously, history never waits for anyone. The same time that the anarchist milieu is trapping itself in the deep dark of its introversion and petty politics, the capitalist machine’s using Greece as its testing ground. The economic strangulation the European Union’s empire is unleashing triggers social polarization and reactions. The existence of the left government thickens the fog of confusion, as it’s still commercializing the hope of social change. Large pro-governmental gatherings are organized in which a diversity of people and beliefs participates, from governmental voters, syndicalists and indignant people, patriots to the far left and anarchists. On the contrary, a conservative front of pro-EUs is formed with central slogan: “We stay in Europe”. A front patronized by the advocates of the bourgeoisie, supported by the media owners, expressed by the journalists and formed by rightists, conservative voters, frightened viewers, careerists and social media caricatures. A confused field of contradictions dominates in both cases. However, a part (mainly the neo-communists) of the anarchist milieu tries to make a different reading of reality. Whether caused of inability of having political perception, or by political expediency, this part uses a rhetoric not corresponding to the facts. Some of them dig up from the chest of memory terms and characterizations from World War 2 and Greek civil war… They try to make absurd historical comparisons between the past and the present, in dissimilar situations.
In addition, they are the same who try to create a bridge of political connection between the events in Ukraine and Meydan square and the gatherings in Syntagma square.
So, according to them, the conservative petty bourgeoisie, the white lipped voters of “Potami” and the viewers nationals of “We stay in Europe” are the descendants of Greek paramilitary collaborators of Nazis during the WW2 and the Greek depiction of the paramilitary Ukrainian organization of Right Sector…
We’re talking about the same crowd that applauded, as main lecturers of its gatherings, tv celebrities, intellectuals addicted to television appearances and obsolete former Olympic champions. We’re talking about the same crowd of 8-10.000 that, in the context of democratic pluralism, co-existed with the counter-gathering of 200 communists organized against it which was taking place a few meters away from it and was contend to yell and throw two cups of coffee. By using the rhetoric of comparisons, anyone can understand what would have happened if those 8-10.000 truly were the Greek depiction of the Right Sector and met the 200 (neo)communists.
If this is not, therefore, inability of political assessment, then the usage of intensively emotionally charged political terms and respective comparisons (events of the civil war, events in Ukraine) is not only petty politics but also disrespect and desecration these events’ fallen ones’ memory.
Even though the practice of “if reality disagrees with us, so much the worse for reality”, this kind of tricks and opportunism triggers aversion.
At the same time, another part of anarcho-(neo)communists attempts a superficial and naïve reading of the pro-EU gatherings of Syntagma. It makes references to “fathering of the bourgeoisie” in Syntagme square, to “Kolonaki habitués” and “Ekali ladies”. It tries, in this way, to sew for itself the costume of “the poor people’s” defendant and attempts to intervene in the pro-EUs gathering. However, the owners of wealth and Kolonaki and Ekali’s aristocracy would never gather in the roads and squares. They utilize other kinds of mechanisms to protect their interests (media, armed mercenaries). They would never get their hands dirty, even mixing with the crowd of their submissive supporters. We,ve said it before; the majority of the Europeanists of Syntagma is flesh from the flesh of the petty bourgeoisie, the conservative socially low classes and the media careerists and caricatures… They may, therefore, not be the modern “Mpourantades” nor the paramilitaries of the Right Sector, they may, however, react with the violence of the mob when 30 people try to provocatively intervene in their gathering, which counts 8.000… The results are known, as the groups responsible for the intervention were treated with hostility, some of them were beaten by the violence of a stupid mob and, in the end, arrested by the cops. Of course, the problem is not the operational “defeat”, but the misfire of that perception itself, which expected to meet the cosmopolitan gathering of Ekali’s aristocracy and actually faced the mob of the submissive ones.
Our proposal regarding these events is clear.
The first choice is to turn your back to this circus of contradictions and organize your own autonomous political structures, aiming to knock down the polarization based on pseudo-dilemmas and reconstruct it on the basis of true rupture, between freedom and submission, dignity and enslavement, anarchist insurrection and social death.
The other choice is to get involved in the archipelago of contradictions, maintaining, however, sharp your political characteristics, dissolving the contradictions through clear, aggressive acts in order to divert polarization into rupture. In this choice, there is no room for pacifist counter-gatherings against the calls of the right opposition, which in the context of democratic pluralism can be assimilated and be seen as “pro-governmental presences of sympathy and support”. There is no room either for symbolic interventions that seek 15 minutes of publicity and remain exposed to the aggressiveness of the conservative mob. You reject the noisy, harmless symbolism and attack first, aiming specifically the main representatives and exponents of the conservative spectrum of authority. Armed assaults, arsons, sabotages, beatings against the media, journalists, and politicians, accompanied by clear anarchist speech exacerbate the atmosphere and due to their illegal and violent context, cannot become assimilated by the leftish rhetoric of the (pseudo)reformist authority.
Unfortunately, apart from a few exceptions, there has been deafening inaction on behalf of the anarchists. Some of them became followers of the leftist pattern of authority and some others were sunk in silence and safe criticism… An opportunity was lost.
III. Anarchist amnesia and the downers of the political realism
And like this, we get to the ritual of the referendum. A repulsive propaganda by the journalists preceded the referendum, in favor of the European Union Empire, which, as it proved, produced the opposite results. The exaggerations used and the provocative stance of the lackeys of the lie, irritated the last reflects of a part of society and lead them to deny, even temporarily, the propaganda of fear. The result of the referendum, through the triumphant victory of “NO”, hurts the prestige of the European Union and its loyal followers. At the same time, though, the referendum makes the frustration much thicker. On the one hand, through voting “NO”, the delegation of hope to the left government – which has now, though, proved to be coward, timid and unwilling to play the role of the “people’s savior”, since, in fact, it cringes to the dynasty of the European oligarchy and signs a new treaty of enslavement (the 3rd memorandum) – is being renewed. On the other hand, the anarchist milieu is being shorted by itself. A part of it, pointing to the reason of political realism and anarchy’s coming of age, openly spreads propaganda about the participation to the referendum, in favor of “NO”… Another part of it, more consistent to classic anarchism, stays clear and calls for conscious abstention…
The landslide victory of “NO” injects, at first, enthusiasm into the anarchists that voted, who exult and daydream about the massive social awakening. But anyone who falls asleep hoping, may soon wake up from nightmares. The latest developments (the voting of the third draft law without social tensions, except for the attacks of the black bloc of the confrontational part of the anarchist milieu) makes their cries for “class fightback” sound like an echo in the void.
The prevalence of “NO” after the referendum is definitely annoying for the technocratic power, perturbs the conservative oligarchy and disorganizes the force of the propaganda of media. At the same time, though, the procedure of the referendum ratifies the reason of the delegation of our lives to wannabe “saviors”.
We feel that there’s a need to spell again, from the very beginning, the anarchist alphabet, in order to sort out the confusion of our days.
Vote, whatever that is, takes the power of the choice to take our lives into our own hands back and it decals it onto the hands of the prospective managers of “salvation”, of “hope”, of a “better tomorrow”…
The participation in any electoral process is an act of surrender, a motion of resignation, a pledge of hope to some away from us, who are going to make decisions for us.
It seems that the crowd is in need of idols, of saviors, of leaders… But while the voter seeks to cheer, to fanaticize, to feel secure within the herd of the henchmen, they move more and more away from their liberation. It looks like the faithful Christian who’s praying to his God. During the orisons, there’s no answer back and the ritual needs the congregants on their knees… Hope for a better tomorrow, for a “fairer” power, enslaves people, poisons them with promises and keeps them anchored in the stillness of inaction and eternal expectation.
There’s no freedom in the world, except for the one we create with our own hands.
The anarchists who publicly backed the participation to the referendum, have actually recognized their weakness to believe in the dream of anarchy. The rhetoric of political realism, which distorts and poisons the elusive and the transcendent of anarchy, comes as a result of personal capitulations and compromises of a part of anarchists, who reach adulthood and ideologize their defeat, as they forget to dream of the impossible. Far from fake excuses and cheap tactics, the vote of anarchists is a result of the common weakness to create an organized conflictual anarchist movement, which will promote the attack here and now. Especially today, in Greece, anarchists talk more about how they would wish to live, than actually live…
The part of anarchists who refused to take part in the show of the referendum stands, for sure, more consistent towards the anarchist history. Enough of them, however, seem to worry about the possibility their abstention banishes them to the fringe of the political developments. It is truth that the anarchist milieu of today has nothing to do with the fringe of the anarchist subculture of the 80s. This is, on the one hand, propulsive when talking about the qualitative improvement of the practical theory and the development of the anarchist urban guerrilla warfare. On the other hand, however, it is sad, when we watch the dream of anarchy draw back in the name of the pathetic compromise with the political realism.
A big part of the anarchist milieu wishes to be self-promoted as an official political player and sweats of his anxiety to present convincing and rational proposals of salvation of the world. It is indicative that most of the anarchist texts released, calling for abstention of the referendum, were pervaded by an economic perspective. Suggestions to overcome the economic crisis, for debt relief, for the reconstruction of production, for the currency… Financial antidotes and terminologies that one would be shopping of the ideological shelves of the left, are now marketed under anarchist labels.
The trap of the political realism wishes for us to forget about the anarchist dream and be captivated in wooden words, putting our lives in a schedule and numbered steps of development and “progress”.
This way, the “grown up” anarchists expect that the neat now anarchist thoughts, that offer an organized program of the future life, will become more accepted by society. This is partially true, as the crowd is fond of grabbing onto turnkey solutions, pre-planned salvation proposals and secure guarantees. The herd of the mass always bleats to its shepherd… “Tell us where we’re going …”, “show us the way”, “lead us”…
But no sheep ever saved itself with bleating….
Life doesn’t offer guarantees; there only are its challenges waiting for you to compete them…
It’s not necessary to follow on the heels of the mechanics of power to suggest our own “revolutionary” solutions.
The anarchist counter-proposal of political realism unwittingly takes part in a dialogue that power has set the conditions. So, instead of trying to invert the financial terms and put forward revolutionary solutions of a radical model of management of economy and production, let’s permanently put an end to this “dialogue”, working on a plan of total dismantling and destruction of economy.
Besides, every suggestion of the followers of political realism are doomed to fail.
On the one hand, the crowd of hope consumers will appreciate their social αντιθεσμίσεις (social clinics, collective cuisines gratuitous bazaars, etc.) that alleviate their poverty a little, in critical, however, moments of decision, will always choose to trust their professional saviors, parties and politicians… And this is not because we predict the future but because the reason of political realism and the social ……., instead of connecting to the anarchist dream and its armed actualization, work as a balm and a palliative to the “weak” people. They won’t tremble it, won’t blow up the attitude, they only relieve and flatter it, considering it “forever robbed”.
This is why, the “forever robbed” people is still acting like a mob and has confidence in medical professionals and not alternative therapies.
On the other hand, almost every suggestion of political realism seem to ignore the international dimension of the anarchist perspective. They (the representatives of political realism) are working on alternative economic programs (socialization of production without intermediaries, free transport), as if they are going to be applied in a “free” zone, within the authoritarian empire.
It is a fact that any liberating attempt is confined in the geographical boundaries of a country is doomed to accept the attack by the international alliance of power.
Every insurrectionary venture, every anarchist conspiracy includes an international diffusion character, wishing to spread like a virus which is going to affect all aspects of power. The ethnocentric character binds our thinking and keeps it pinned in a quaint opposition level that advertises its own solution of “national salvation”. Combined with the reason of political realism, submission is solely described as a narrowly physical condition, limited to the economic sphere.
But anarchy is not the rectification of a “fair” economical management; instead, it is a total way of life that blows up the idols of all forms of submission and longs for a more free and clear look…
IV. Chaotic variable – a plan with no safety net
People are more used to ask, waiting for fixed solutions, instead of looking for the answers inside themselves.
In the radical ideology market, the most popular are the ones that mollify the masses, offering them a melodic lullaby of convenient truths. Fixed world salvation recipes, in which the “good” triumphs over the “evil”… Usually, in most ideologies, everyone is waiting for the magic moment when the people will join the rebels, will advance upon the royal palace of power and will put an end to the dynasty of injustice, building the earthly paradise of social justice…
Life, however, is not a seamless narration. Things often happen as a result of many possibilities meeting together. The fable of the hard done by people that revolt, that hit back at the wealthy ones and redress justice and equality evermore, may encourage some but it won’t be a threat for power.
We seek to deepen our mind, free it from the convenient truths, test it in more factious paths, daring to look inside ourselves, in order to bury next to the open graves of our despots – who we’re going to murder – the authoritarian remnants of our own self, as well…
We want to make ourselves clear…
We have no suggestion to make to the consumers seeking hope. We have no answers to questions which are looking for guarantees. We neither know the future, nor can we describe it in an appealing way advertisers do to sell their products.
We know, for sure, that we want to blow up the modern way of life, smashing hit. There’s no need to know what’s happening tomorrow, to destroy a today that makes you bleed.
An unwholesome today which is financially strangling us and makes as kneel before the bank, the multinational companies, the masters and the wealth empire blackmails.
A present when the western civilized world turns whole countries into mass graves (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc).
A system that crushes us on a daily basis, controls our thoughts and our desires through screens, turns us into addicted users of the massive digital technology, teaches us how to be happy slaves, tames us so as to admire our masters and want to be like them, trains us to hate what’s different, lets us consider ourselves free because we can vote and consume, destroys nature, convincing us this is the civilization progress and we, like cheerful Sisyphus are still carrying our slavery stone and think this is life.
We’re living in an era we hate and we know that life is a battle sequence and not an accounting equation searching accountants in order to provide the solution.
We are not professional politicians to promise the social cure. Freedom has no prescription; it is conquered day by day, while you’re experiencing it. That’s when you find paths that you might haven’t thought till today.
We know that for many, all these sound irresponsible and subtractive poetic transcendence, that do not get any response in real life. Let’s remember, though, that today was born by the monsters of logic and the science labs. So, let everyone consider where the rigmarole is, in cold logic or the dreamy excess…
Anyway, we must accept something… Black anarchy will never be mass-friendly. We chose measuring our lives in feelings and colors, not in years. The path is difficult for everyone who has learned to live the cynical way of the realistic compromises. We already thousands of unanswered questions on how we see tomorrow… It is a fact that we don’t know how a free tomorrow is going to be. This is why it is going to be free. Because it is going to be full of possibilities, questions and doubts. Besides, anyone looking for safe answers, soon will they seek for the security of expertise and power’s ministry. We keep the answers…
Of course, we’re not interested in getting lost inside transcendental musings and burn out in existential quests, without daring to do the impossible.
This is why we need to organize a plan. The anarchist urban guerrilla warfare is able to transfer anarchy from the dusty book pages and the abstract theory, to action, to the creation of subversive events. This is our own bra des fer with history.
Today, power’s empire is shocked by its financial stalemates, its inside rivalries, the war zones in the Arab territory…We don’t want to lead the system’s instability to a salvation program, as the left promise. The social nostrums are dead. We want, instead, to butt into the contradictions of the social archipelagos and turn into a chaotic variable. A factor of system destabilization, with unpredictable aspects. We want, through our action, armed attacks, executions, bombs, fires, sabotages to spread the disorder and short the system. Gun fires, explosion fragments, Molotov bombs which brighten the sky target, not only to blow the enemy, but also perturb the quiet sleep of the society certainties. There is today a silent agreement that the world does not change, that everything is in vain… The organizing of the black anarchy block seeks to break this agreement. The destabilization we can achieve through guerrilla attacks and the total anarchist action, creates security holes to the system. In these holes, negations against this world can be born. The while the system needs to set its switches back on, after an attack, produces moments of unstuck time, when one can think free from blinkers and see that what has not happened is what we haven’t longed for enough.
On the basis of organization, we suggest the formation of small, versatile cells of direct action, which map the metropolis, make plans, choose the targets and attack.
The communication of the attacks through proclamations, works as a call for action for everyone interested and, at the same time, as an invitation for the other cells to join a wider coordination of attacks. FAI (Informal Anarchist Federation) is based on this model of organization, exactly. Neither leaders, nor central committees, neither eternal waiting for masses’ alarm, nor anticipation of favorable circumstances. We take life in our own hands.
We know that some will wonder “what are you going to earn with these all?”, “how are you going to convince the masses revolt?”…
The best answer was given about a century ago, by Renzo Novatore…
You are waiting for the revolution! Very well!
My own began a long time ago!
When you are ready — God, what an endless wait! — it won’t nauseate me to go along the road a while with you!
But when you stop, I will continue on my mad and triumphant march toward the great and sublime conquest of Nothing!
Conspiracy of Cells of Fire – FAI/IRF,