I’m Not Charlie
Go Piss Up a Rope
Parisians woke up this morning, and through them the whole world, with a macabre scent of gunpowder in their nostrils. Some religious fanatics, they’re not the first and they won’t be the last, opened fire during the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s weekly meeting. A dozen dead and several wounded, the majority of whom are journalists and caricaturists well known and accustomed to mass-media, as well as a couple of cops who, in contrast to others, receive payment for getting shot at. Aside from perhaps a few old war wolves, the first reaction to this event was empathy in the face of the terror of these attacks. Indeed this assassination, the deadliest since those of the fascists on the Strassburg-Paris train on June 18th 1961 during Algerian War, only triggers horror given the unfettered determination of the attacker. Horror, also considering the religious infamy which more than ever before prevents a large part of humanity from thinking about the world around them. For us anarchists and revolutionaries, add to that the everlasting horror of continual national unity. That national unity they serve us whenever the states need proletarian cannon fodder. Because it’s always the same ones who are required to sacrifice themselves on the paths to glory for interests that are not his own, whether nation, “peace” or republic, while the decision makers twiddle their thumbs beneath the gold ornaments of their palaces.
They already played the same game with us in 1914, when they admonished us to unify against the “Boche” [derogatory term for Germans], or a few years ago during the “Merah Affair” and today it’s the same again. Bosses and workers, prisoners and guards, cops and “delinquents”, rich and poor, all united hand in hand for national mourning. Today, there’s no more class, no barriers between the people, but also no barricades, though a hundred thousand people from all of France (and even elsewhere) march on the streets. But who actually benefits from this? Certainly not the pariahs, who inhabit the streets of Paris and the world. Suddenly state terrorism, the republican and democratic terrorism, the terrorism of cash shed their crocodile tears and act as if they were the good ones, as the Jihadists serve them the opportunity on a silver platter, which takes on the proportion of the universe up until the point where today only Marshal Pètain is missing in the uppermost point of the organigram. Yet the point today is no longer to win back Alsace-Lorraine, the point is to “defend the values of laïcité and freedom of expression”. All in all, only shit for us: we, who want to destroy all religions and refuse the freedom of expression to all those who wear a tie, a cassock, or any other kind of uniform or title of nobility.
Everybody plays on their heartstrings, every party, every organization, of every possible and imaginable tendency, libertarian included, spews out the predigested discourse of the “barbarians” which assail our “peaceful coexistence”.
But what is a barbarian?
Let’s consider the term for a moment. From the greek bárbaros (“stranger”), the ancient Greeks used the word for those populations that were not a part of their civilization, as defined by the Hellenistic language and religion. The barbarian is thus the other, those that don’t eat the same soup, or simply those that don’t eat at the same table. Montaigne said “Each man calls barbarism whatever is not his own custom.” As we’ve already said elsewhere, we know not barbarians, only individuals who survive in the midst of this morbid civilization. We know of no outside, we know outsiders, yes, but they could not be any more inside than they already are.
The “barbarians” of today are far from being outside of civilization, even though advocates of this assertion may feel reassured in thinking so. Just like the famous “Affair of the Gang of Barbarians” back in 2006, they are a pure product of civilization. They know its codes, use its tools, and are not so far apart from those that pillory them hypocritically. Because it essentially makes little difference whether the killers wear a green or black uniform, whether they shout “long live democracy” or “Allahu akbar”, whether they carry tricolor or jihadist flags, whether they’re sanctioned by public opinion or not, whether their massacres are legal or illegal, whether they massacre us to bring us enlightenment or obscurity. Committing their macabre atrocities, they all condescend to the same level, from the moment they deny the individual the ability to realize itself how it wishes.
Terrorism is not a barbarian praxis, rather a highly civilized one. Was not democracy born from the Reign of Terror? For this reason, terror must be fought just as the civilization which begot it and needs it, from the “septembriseurs” of 1792 to the exterminating prison penalties or Daesh of today. Who are these pigs with ties who send off their armies to attack the populations of central Africa, Afghanistan or elsewhere, who give us lessons of pacifism when twelve people are murdered in Paris? They are exactly the same ones that appear on television at the moment to shed some cheap tears in order to win (or not to lose) a few miserable percentage points in their equally miserable opinion polls.
Today, we are no more Charlie than we were yesterday, and death doesn’t transform our opponents or enemies of yesterday into our friends of today. We abandon our relationship to the world of hyenas and vultures. It is not our custom to cry on the graves of the (even vaguely alternative or libretarian) journalists or cops, for we’ve long since recognized the media and the police as the two essential weapons of this civilizing terrorism: by manufacturing consent on the one hand, and by repression and imprisonment on the other. That is why we refuse to cry wolf with other wolves, or even with sheep.
Those predators who exhort us to cry in unison with them today, to declare “Je suis Charlie”, are the same predators in suits responsible for the emergence of terrible groups and movements such as al-Quaeda or Daesh, former allies of western democracies against the previous perils before they took a central place on the podium of the geo-strategic perils of today. In their courts, their police stations, their prisons, these same scumbags kill, incarcerate, mutilate and sequestrate all those that don’t follow the path imposed upon them with truncheon blows and education. The same civilized beings that let people croak every day at their borders for trying to escape the misery and wars that they themselves and their enemies of the day- Salafistas or consorts- created.
We have absolutely no desire to let these same exact scumbags civilize and eradicate us any further, still less to stand shoulder to shoulder with them. Because it is against them that we want to stand shoulder to shoulder, against all those that regard us under different religious, political, communitarian, interclassist, civilizing and nationalist pretexts as pawns to be placed for sacrifice on an absurd and squalid chessboard.
It is appropriate, today as well as yesterday, to remember the words of Rudolf Rocker, when he says that “national states are only political churches ; the alleged national consciousness was not born in man but instilled in him. It is a religious concept, one is a German, a Frenchman, an Italian, just as one is a Catholic, a Protestant, or a Jew.”
However, the point is not to diminish the danger these fools of Allah represent, those lovers of self-submission and moral masochism. And although we are completely overwhelmed by their ability to recruit anywhere, to blast here and there into kingdom come, we will have to ask ourselves questions relating to these matters in order to get out of that incomprehension. In this case, we certainly shouldn’t acquiesce to every siren that only wants to divide us further, that would like to stigmatize an entire population because of an infinitesimally small fraction of Muslims, only in order to achieve the supposed ‘clash of civilizations’ they so fervently dream of, which in fact is a civil war whose consequences for all of us are not entirely known to them.
And what should we say about that member of the cleaning staff, who was riddled with bullets, executed in cold blood, without having asked for anything? Who concerns themselves with him? He probably had no twitter account, no entry ticket to the modern spectacle, no name, no face, no pal that can go on tv and bawl for him. He was not Charlie. He was only a collateral damage of a god crazy few shooting amok. He is exactly like so many right now, exactly like the millions of collateral victims of states all over the world. Our thoughts go out to him tonight.
Something is certain, there’s no choice to be made between the plague and cholera, between any god with his slaughtered, crucifying, or massacring prophet and any shit state with its murderous cops and soldiers. We still refuse the demand to choose between different forms of slavery and subjugation. The choice we will make will come only from ourselves, that is the choice of freedom.
In this hopeless age, as opposed to the alleged “national unity”, civil war, the jihads of the fanatics and the “clean wars” of the states, we must put the social war at the fore again, until the stage burns.
7th of January, 2015