Willful Disobedience Volume 2, number 11
Against the Logic of Submission: Neither Intellectualism Nor Stupidity
A Few Words: On dispossession and individual responsibility
Against the State, Against the War
Beyond the Law by Penelope Nin
Streamlined Production by Alfredo Bonanno
The Prosthesis of Control by Antonio Budini
Against the Logic of Submission: Neither Intellectualism Nor Stupidity
In the struggle against domination and exploitation, each individual needs to take up every tool that she can make her own, every weapon that he can use autonomously to attack this society and take back her life. Of course, which tools particular individuals can use in this way will vary depending on their circumstances, desires, capacities and aspirations, but considering the odds we face, it is ridiculous to refuse a weapon that can be used without compromising autonomy on the basis of ideological conceptions.
The rise of the civilization we live in with its institutions of domination is based on the division of labor, the process by which the activities necessary for living are transformed into specialized roles for the reproduction of society. Such specialization serves to undermine autonomy and reinforce authority because it takes certain tools — certain aspects of a complete individual — from the vast majority and places them in the hands of a few so-called experts.
One of the most fundamental specializations is that which created the role of the intellectual, the specialist in the use of intelligence. But the intellectual is not so much defined by intelligence as by education. In this era of industrial/high technological capitalism, the ruling class has little use for the full develop and exercise of intelligence. Rather it requires expertise, the separation of knowledge into narrow realms connected only by their submission to the logic of the ruling order — the logic of profit and power. Thus, the “intelligence” of the intellectual is a deformed, fragmented intelligence with almost no capability of making connections, understanding relationships or comprehending (let alone challenging) totalities.
The specialization that creates the intellectual is in fact part of the process of stupefaction that the ruling order imposes on those who are ruled. For the intellectual, knowledge is not the qualitative capacity to understand, analyze and reason about one’s own experience or to make use of the strivings of others to achieve such an understanding. The knowledge of intellectuals is completely disconnected from wisdom, which is considered a quaint anachronism. Rather, it is the capacity for remembering unconnected facts, bits of information, that has come to be seen as “knowledge”. Only such a degradation of the conception of intelligence could allow people to talk of the possibility of “artificial intelligence” in relation to those information storage and retrireview units that we call computers.
If we understand that intellectualism is the degradation of intelligence, then we can recognize that the struggle against intellectualism does not consist of the refusal of the capacities of the mind, but rather of the refusal of a deforming specialization. Historically, radical movements have given many examples of this struggle in practice. Renzo Novatore was the son of a peasant who only attended school for six months. Yet he studied the works of Nietzsche, Stirner, Marx, Hegel, ancient philosophers, historians and poets, all of the anarchists writers and those involved in the various newly arising art and literature movements of his time. He was an active participant in anarchist debates on theory and practice as well as debates in radical art movements. And he did all of this in the context of an intense, active insurrectional practice. In a similar vein, Bartolemeo Vanzetti, who started working as an apprentice in early adolescence often for long hours, describes in his brief autobiography how he would spend a good part of his nights reading philosophy, history, radical theory and so on, in order to grasp these tools that the ruling class would deny to him. It was this thirst to grasp the tools of the mind that brought him to his anarchist perspective. In the late 19th century in Florida, cigar-makers forced their bosses to hire readers to read to them as they worked. These readers read the works of Bakunin, Marx and other radical theorists to the workers who would then discuss what was read. And in the early 20th century, radical hoboes and their friends would set up “hobo colleges” where a wide variety of speakers would give talks on social questions, philosophy, revolutionary theory and practice, even science or history, and the hoboes would discuss the questions. In each of these instances, we see the refusal of the exploited to let the tools of intelligence to be taken away from them. And as I see it, this is precisely the nature of a real struggle against intellectualism. It is not a glorification of ignorance, but a defiant refusal to be dispossessed of one’s capacity to learn, think and understand.
The degradation of intelligence that creates intellectualism corresponds to a degradation of the capacity to reason which manifests in the development of rationalism. Rationalism is the ideology that claims that knowledge comes from reason alone. Thus, reason is separated from experience, from passion and so from life. The theoretical formulation of this separation can be traced all the way back to the philosophy of ancient Greece. Already, in this ancient commercial empire, the philosophers were proclaiming the necessity of subjugating desires and passions to a cold, dispassionate reason. Of course, this cold reason promoted moderation — in other words, the acceptance of what is.
Since that time (and probably far earlier since there were well-developed states and empires in Persia, China and India when Greece still consisted of warring city-states), rationalism has played a major role in enforcing domination. Since the rise of the capitalist social order, the process of rationalization has been spreading into all of society throughout the globe. It is therefore understandable that some anarchists would come to oppose rationality.
But that is a mere reaction. On closer examination, it becomes clear that the rationalization imposed by those in power is of a specific sort. It is the quantitative rationality of the economy, the rationality of identity and measurement, the rationality that simultaneously equates and atomizes all things and beings, recognizing no relationships except those of the market. And just as intellectualism is a deformation of intelligence, this quantitative rationality is a deformation of reason, because it is reason separated from life, a reason based on reification.
While those who rule impose this deformed rationality on social relationships, they promote irrationality among those they exploit. In the newspapers and tabloids, on television, in video and computer games, in the movies, ...throughout the mass media, we can see religion, superstition, belief in the unprovable and hope in or fear of the so-called supernatural being enforced and skepticism being treated as a cold and passionless refusal of wonder. It is to the benefit of the ruling order for those it exploits to be ignorant, with a limited and decreasing capacity to communicate with each other about anything of significance or to analyze their situation, the social relationships in which they find themselves and the events going on in the world. The process of stupefaction affects memory, language and the capacity to understand relationships between people, things and events on a deep level, and this process penetrates into those areas considered intellectual as well. The inability of post-modern theorists to comprehend any totality can easily be traed to this deformation of intelligence.
It is not enough to oppose the deformed rationality imposed by this society; we must also oppose the stupefaction and irrationality imposed by the ruling class on the rest of us. This struggle requires the reappropriation of our capacity to think, to reason, to analyze our circumstances and to communicate their complexities. It also requires that we integrate this capacity with the totality of our lives, our passions, our desires and our dreams.
The philosophers of ancient Greece lied. And the ideologues who produce the ideas that support domination and exploitation have continued to tell the same lie: that the opposite of intelligence is passion. This lie has played an essential role in the maintenance of domination. It has created a deformed intelligence that depends on quantitative, economic rationality, and it has diminished the capacity of most of the exploited and excluded to understand their condition and fight intelligently against it. But, in fact, the opposite of passion is not intelligence, but indifference, and the opposite of intelligence is not passion, but stupidity.
Because I sincerely want to end all domination and exploitation and to begin opening the possibilities for creating a world where there are neither exploited or exploiters, slaves or masters, I choose to grasp all of my intelligence passionately, using every mental weapon — along with the physical ones — to attack the present social order. I make no apologies for this, nor will I cater to those who out of laziness or ideological conception of the intellectual limits of the exploited classes refuse to use their intelligence. It is not just a revolutionary anarchist project that is at stake in this struggle; it is my completeness as an individual and the fullness of life that I desire.
A Few Words: On dispossession and individual responsibility
Due to the immensity of the current social order and the facelessness of the bureaucratic and technological systems through which it maintains its power, one can easily come to see it as inevitable, as a predetermined system of relationships in which we have no choice but to play our role. The aim of the state and the ruling class is total domination over all of existence, and here in the heart of this monster it can seem as though they have, indeed, achieved this aim. Aren’t we forced, day after day, to engage in activities and relationships not of our choosing?
This is what defines us as proletarians. We have been dispossessed of our capacity to determine the conditions of our own existence. But this dispossession is not an inevitable and predetermined historical development. Right now, at the fringes of the capitalist order, in places like Bougainville and West Papua, one can see how this dispossession takes place. Individuals with names and face, the institutions they establish in order to exercise their power and those who choose to obey them due to the extortion of survival act with violence to dispossess those who still have some freedom to create their lives on their own terms. And in the face of these violent intrusions, those who have not yet been proletarianized often take up arms against those who are trying to steal their lives from them. It is not an inevitable historical process that is — often literally — bulldozing their lives into the ground, but the force of arms of those in power. Real individuals are responsible for the social conditions that exist. Real individuals benefit from them and, thus, do everything in their power to expand them.
But it is not just the activities of those who rule that reproduce the current order of domination and exploitation, but also — and more essentially — the activity of those who obey them. Here, in the heart of the beast, our dispossession seems to be complete. Unlike West Papuans and the people of Bougainville, we have no social life of our own creating. Every choice we make is made under duress, the extortion of survival’s domination over life hanging over our heads like a sword. Nonetheless, obedience is a choice. The mutinous activities in the American military that played a major role in forcing US withdrawal from Vietnam is proof enough of this, as are the little acts of insubordination carried out everyday by the exploited to make their lives a little bit more bearable, a little bit more dignified. And it is in such acts that one begins to take responsibility for one’s life.
The social order of the state and capital leaves us very few options. One can understand when some, like Daniel Quinn, suggest that we “just walk away”, but against a system that requires expansion this is no solution. If the mountain people of West Papua have been forced to take up arms against the intrusion of the civilized order, we who live in its heart can’t pretend that we can simply run away. If we do not want to accept our exploitation and choose obedience with the occasional petty transgression, then we are forced to live outside the law, quite literally to try to steal our lives back as best we can against all odds.
Increasingly, a similar life is being forced upon more and more of people. The multitudes of tribal and peasant peoples being forced off the lands where they made their lives do not find jobs waiting for them in the cities to which they are forced to migrate. And even in the affluent nations of the North, many people find themselves falling out the bottom. The only place for these people is the realm of the illegal economy, the so-called “black market”. But this is still the market, these people are still exploited and here survival still reigns over life.
For anarchists and revolutionaries, the issue is not mere survival, but the reappropriation of life, the overturning of the conditions of existence that have been imposed on us. This project ultimately requires the active revolt of the multitudes of exploited and excluded people, as well as those on the margins resisting the efforts of capitalist institutions to steal their lives from them. But unless one has faith in some form of historical determinism or spontaneism, there is no sense in simply sitting back and waiting until “the time is ripe” and the multitudes rise.
Our activity creates the circumstances in which insurrection can flower; our refusal to obey, our insistence upon creating our lives as our own against all odds here and now and attacking the institutions of domination and exploitation as we confront them in our lives are the seeds of revolution. If revolution is the collective struggle for individual realization (and this seems to me to be the most consistently anarchist understanding of the term) and, thus, against proletarianization, then it develops with the solidarity that grows between individuals in revolt as they recognize their struggle in the struggles of others. For this reason, and for the joy it gives me here and now, I will not wait until the time is ripe, but will begin to take my life back here and now.
The State is Terrorist
The state kills, and we are told this is just, for the “peace of all”!
The state steals, and we are told that it is legal, and therefore just!
The state imposes the order of such slaughters and robberies, with laws, judges, cops who continue to terrorize those who suffer these slaughters and robberies. It is the law, and so it is just!
Anyone who escapes being slaughtered either submits to the will of the law or is arrested, locked up in a cell, tortured: weeks, months, years, decades, the rest of her life.
It is justice as materialized by the politicians who make the laws, the judges who establish to whom they do and don’t apply, the cops who impose the behavior established by those who command upon people by force of arms!
But who really commands?
All those who have the capability, which is to say the force, to compel others to obey.
But such force and capability are not just the cops, the weapons, the bombs... They are also the ideas, the conceptions of every man and woman about what “just” does or does not mean.
If the state robs and kills, it is a murderer.
If it terrorizes, it is a terrorist!
Those who believe and defend what the justice of the state requires are terrorist or terrorized.
But the state could not exist without the men and women that embody it and make it function; And such men and women are made of flesh and blood like everyone else. They live in houses that are more or less distant from ours; they eat like us and have interests and feelings like all of us.
It’s just that their interests coincide with “the interests of the state”.
So when the interests of the state, of justice, of laws are the interests of those who command, those who hold capital, those who are privileged in whatever manner and portray their own interests as “the interests of all”.
But what interests could those who command and those who are forced to obey, those who own everything and those who have nothing, those who slaughter and those who are slaughtered, masters and slaves, the robbers and the robbed have in common?
Nothing! They have nothing in common!
And then? And then what everyone does is in his or her own interests, without appealing to what’s fair, much less to justice.
Everyone lives the life they choose to live: there are those who live in subordination, exploitation, submission, material and spiritual poverty who want to remain there or hope that things will change on their own to create a better life; and there are those who rebel against the institutions and against those who try to impose their will on everyone else; there are those who overturn, who relate to a better idea.
Thus this is a world at war and the first to lose are the indifferent.
And the others?
The others win everything, because each of them has chosen to stake her existence in the way he desires: those on the side of power, of capital, of the state, of laws and of “justice”; or those on the side of the dignity of every person, who could freely dispose of themselves only in dignity.
Against the State, Against the War
The current war that the United States and its British allies are waging in Afghanistan requires a clear response from anarchists. Since we oppose the state, we also oppose militarism and the wars of the state. So we need to ask ourselves how we can oppose the current war in practice in a way that is consistent with our anarchist aims and principles. In developing our response we need to understand the nature of a specifically anarchist opposition to militarism and war and develop our practice on these terms.
Anarchist opposition to war cannot base itself on humanitarian moralism. Moral principles that are placed above the real lives of individuals as a means of judging their value are easily transformed into justifications for the economic and political interests of those in power. In recent years, humanitarian morality has supported a myriad of atrocities. If NATO’s humanitarian bombing of what’s left of the Yugoslav federation and its subsequent occupation of Kosovo did not make this adequately clear, the current policy of dropping bombs and food packets on an already war-devastated land, allegedly for the purpose of destroying a small group of terrorists should leave no question as to the vacuity of humanitarianism. When we try to use the same values against the state that it uses to justify its activities, we get caught in a war of words in which the state has the upper hand and will find such attempts turned against us, since as revolutionaries we do not value all lives equally. The lives of those who rule us and the armed lackeys that they hire to defend them mean nothing to us, since they are the ones who have sucked the joy and wonder out of life transforming it into nothing more than different levels of survival at a price.
In the same light, anarchists do not oppose war in the name of peace. The peace of the state is the continuation of institutional violence at a different level. When the peace movement calls the US to stop the bombing in Afghanistan and instead go through the World Court and its processes to carry out the so-called fight against terrorism, it is only calling the US to continue waging its war by other means. The aims of the American state are not brought into question, let alone the nature of the state. In fact, these other means are being used to wage the so-called “war at home”. In practice, turning to the law means turning to the cops, the courts, the various institutions of detention and all that goes along with them. Anyone who has been put through this system knows the violence inherent in the legal process. These institutions of the state’s peace are, in fact, weapons in the social war, unspoken threats against anyone who would rise up against their oppression as well as means of processing, storing and brutalizing the most oppressed. Furthermore, what distinguishes anarchism from other revolutionary perspectives is the primacy it gives to the freedom of every individual to create her own life as he sees fit. Thus, peace is not our top priority. The revolutionary destruction of the state and capitalism would put an end to institutional violence, but conflicts between individuals would still exist, and since the institutions of state violence are also the institutions of control, their destruction would mean that individuals would have to work out these conflicts for themselves in their own way — and that may include violence. In my opinion, this would not be a bad thing. The institutions through which social peace has been maintained are the same as those through which domination is maintained, and the point is to end all domination.
Anarchists oppose the wars of the state because these wars always enforce the power of the state and the interests of the ruling class. These interests include the obvious ones of economic and political hegemony in a particular region, but there are more subtle benefits to the state as well. By enforcing the use of a military methodology and mentality, war provides the state with the tools it needs not only for imposing its interests abroad, but also for suppressing class struggle and revolt at home. It also provides the state with a means for creating a sense of national unity that blinds the exploited and excluded to the real causes of their condition. In times of war, those at the bottom of the social order stand with their rulers against an alleged “common enemy” — but when one examines the corpses on the battlefield, none of the rulers are there. This is the nature of the unity produced by the wars between states; it is just another ploy in the social war the ruling class wages daily against those who they exploit.
So anarchist opposition to war is an aspect of the revolutionary project of destroying the state. The methods we use in our struggle against the current war need to reflect this clearly. This will distinguish us from pacifists and others who are demanding that those in power use “peaceful” means to carry out their agenda. For most anti-war activists the top priority is to “stop the war”. But when the war in Afghanistan ends, the social war through which the ruling class maintains its domination will continue, and so will the struggle of the exploited against their condition and the specific and conscious struggle of anarchists against the state, capital and all institutions of domination and exploitation. If we compromise our methods and principles in order to forge false unities to end the war, we are falling into the some trap as those who wear the flag because Bush and the media told them that our complex emotional reactions to the attacks of September 11 all come down to patriotism. So our methods of struggle need to reflect our insurrectional project. This means acting directly to destroy that which we oppose, organizing these actions autonomously, free of the agendas and platforms of any political or other formal group, refusing negotiation or compromise with those who rule us and making our attack unrelentingly. The United States was forced to withdraw its troops from Vietnam not because of the “non-violent” anti-war movement at home (as certain pacifist myth-makers have tried to claim), but because by the early 1970’s a majority of land and naval troops were in open and violent mutiny against their officers and the US military agenda. (For more information about this, check out “Harass the Brass” by Kevin Keating. It can be found in The Bad Days Will End, issues #4–5 (double issue, Winter-Spring 2001), Alternative Press Review, Volume 6, Number 2/ Summer 2001 or at the webpage: www.altpr.org.) The protests at home — particularly actions sabotaging the war effort — certainly encouraged the troops in mutiny, but the mutiny is what forced the US withdrawal.
But the current war is not the same as the one in Vietnam. Popular support is great and chances of mutiny are almost non-existent. But the basic lesson remains: the struggle against war does not succeed through demands or negotiations, but through the active refusal to fall into line and the active obstruction of the war effort. Certainly, one of the essential tasks of anarchist is to counter the myth of unity with clear exposures of the role of the American state in creating the terror networks it now condemns, thus making it clear that the interests of the ruling class are not our interests. But the project of counter-information needs to be combined with direct attacks against the war effort and the social order that stands behind it.
The Cost of Survival
Everything has a price, the measurement of its value as a quantity determined in terms of a general equivalent. Nothing has value in itself. All value is determined in relationship to the market — and this includes the value of our lives, of our selves. Our lives have been divided into units of measured time that we are compelled to sell in order to buy back our survival in the form of bits of the stolen lives of others that production has transformed into commodities for sale. This is economic reality.
This horrendous alienation has its basis in the intertwining of three of the most fundamental institutions of this society: property, commodity exchange and work. The integral relationship between these three creates the system through which the ruling class extracts the wealth that is necessary for maintaining their power. I am speaking here of the economy.
The social order of domination and exploitation has its origins in a fundamental social alienation, the origins of which are a matter for intriguing speculation, but the nature of which is quite clear. The vast multitudes of people have been robbed of their capacity to determine the conditions of their own existence, to create the lives and relationships they desire, so that the few at the top can accumulate power and wealth and turn the totality of social existence to their own benefit. In order for this to occur, people have to be robbed of the means by which they were able to fulfill their needs and their desires, their dreams and aspirations. This could only occur with the enclosing of certain areas and the hoarding of certain things so that they are no longer accessible to everyone. But such enclosures and hoards would be meaningless unless some one had the means to prevent them from being raided — a force to keep others from taking what they want without asking permission. Thus with such accumulation it becomes necessary to create an apparatus to protect it. Once established this system leaves the majority in a position of dependence on the few have carried out this appropriation of wealth and power. To access any of the accumulated wealth the multitudes are forced to exchange a major portion of the goods they produce. Thus, part of the activity they originally carried out for themselves must now be carried out for their rulers, simply in order to guarantee their survival. As the power of the few increases, they come to control more and more of the resources and the products of labor until finally the activity of the exploited is nothing but labor to create commodities in exchange for a wage which they then spend to buy back that commodity. Of course, the full development of this process is slow in part because it is met with resistance at every turn. There are still parts of the earth and parts of life that have not been enclosed by the state and the economy, but most of our existence has been stamped with a price tag, and its cost has been increasing geometrically for ten thousand years.
So the state and the economy arose together as aspects of the alienation described above. They constitute a two-headed monster imposing an impoverished existence upon us, in which our lives are transformed into a struggle for survival. This is as true in the affluent countries as in those which have been impoverished by capitalist expropriation. What defines life as mere survival is neither the dearth of goods available at a price nor the lack of the means to buy those goods. Rather when one is forced to sell ones life away, to give one’s energy to a project that is not of one’s choosing, but that serves to benefit another who tells one what to do, for a meager compensation that allows one to buy a few necessities and pleasures — this is merely surviving, no matter how many things one may be able to buy. Life is not an accumulation of things, it is a qualitative relationship to the world.
This coerced selling of one’s life, this wage-slavery, reduces life to a commodity, an existence divided into measured pieces which are sold for so much a piece. Of course to the worker, who has been blackmailed into selling her life in this way the wage will never seem to be enough. How could it be when what has really been lost is not so much the allotted units of time as the quality of life itself? In a world where lives are bought and sold in exchange for survival, where the beings and things that make up the natural world are simply goods for sale to be exploited in the production of other goods for sale, the value of things and the value of life becomes a number, a measurement, and that measurement is always in dollars or pesos or euros or yen — that is to say in money. But no amount of money and no amount of the goods money buys can compensate for the emptiness of such an existence for the fact that this sort of valuation can only exist by draining the quality, the energy, the wonder from life.
The struggle against the rule of the economy — which must go hand in hand with the struggle against the state — must begin with a refusal of this quantification of existence that can only occur when are lives are stolen away from us. It is the struggle to destroy the institutions of property, commodity exchange and work — not in order to make people dependent on new institutions in which the rule of survival takes a more charitable face, but so that we may all reappropriate our lives as our own and pursue our needs, desires, dreams and aspirations in al their immeasurable singularity.
And two. For the second time in the passing of a few days, a Roman priest ended up at the center of a little friendly attention. The parish priest of Settibagni, on the outskirts of Rome, was insulted and beaten by a youth who he had just scolded for spitting on the sanctuary.
Unbalanced — so the journalists wrote. The same adjective used to describe the man who attacked the first priest in Acilia, whose identity is now better known. He was not a Mafioso — as someone maliciously theorized in order to obtain unanimous condemnation — but merely a husband whose wife had recently left him who was enraged by the intrusion of the priest into his emotional life. And the priest was not the only one to provoke his ire. The carabinieri had also interfered and he had met them in this way: a fist in the face and two molotovs against one of their headquarters.
He, too, is unbalanced. There can be no doubt. After all, the priests and the carabinieri may not be good people, but why lose one’s temper with them in this way? And without a noble justification, a high ideal, which may be quite debatable, but is quite convenient to display like a flag. Or rather like a certified doctor capable of removing the shameful stain of caprice and madness.
Instead, nothing. Who knows what might have passed through his head? Who knows what the motive of those who spit on the sanctuary and beat the priests is? Indeed, who knows? Unbalanced, it is clear. Because it is unbalanced to try to resolve the conflicts that afflict one’s life by oneself, without resorting to mediators. It is even more unbalanced to identify those who build their power on affliction and conflict. Does not the justification of the role of priests and carabinieri — not to speak of their salary or their easy jobs — consist in their competence in providing solutions to the problems of others? And what can be said then of some one who, having identified those who stick their noses into the personal lives of others, directly moves to strike them? Unbalanced, no other word is needed.
And so it is. The balanced stand on the other side. Together with the priests, their faithful on patrol and in prayer, with the carabinieri.
And So We Continue
As anarchists, it would be useful for us to consider to what the extent events of September 11 have really changed things for us. There have certainly been some effects, and the media paints a drastic picture of the situation, but we hopefully know better than to buy into media folderol.
Since I revived Willful Disobedience at the beginning of January 2000, I have been writing about various repressive tactics of the state. One of the most significant in the area of propaganda and policing has been its increasing use of the word “terrorism” to describe certain types of direct action. This has gone hand-in-hand with attempts to label such actions as “hate crimes” and to claim that those who carry them out are members of a criminal organization. Such tactics not only serve the purpose of making those who carry out direct actions seem frightening to the public, but, more significantly, allow for drastically higher sentences for what would normally be minor misdemeanors, thus keeping potential rebels out of the way — if they are caught. “Anti-terrorist” police activities have been going on in the Northwest and other areas where sabotage and other forms of direct action are common for years. These activities involve surveillance, wiretapping, harassment, searches and so on. The attempt to quash any real rebellion before it spreads too far has led to one person being sentenced to 7 years in prison for throwing a rock at a cop during a riot and another being sentenced to 23 years for setting fire to three SUV’s in Oregon, not to mention other lengthy sentences. Then there were the shootings in Gothenburg and Genoa. The rulers of our current existence know that their power rests on violence, on perpetually assuming that we are their enemy and carrying on an unceasing social war through their armed guard-dogs, regardless of whether we are actually fighting back or not; when we show any signs of rebellion, of having a will of our own, they move to suppress it.
So in this light what have the events of September 11 actually done? First and foremost, we need to realize that they have made no qualitative changes in the methods and strategies of the state. Rather the current atmosphere of fear (reinforced by state and media propaganda) provides an opportunity for the federal government of the United States to put various policies into effect on a national level that have been experimented with on state levels for years. It can also take steps to legalize police practices it has already been using against us without regard for its own laws, increase specific types of surveillance and generally introduce more intense social control. The newly passed counter-terrorism law is certainly a draconian measure and will have significant effects on our struggle, but the change is one of the rapidity with which a process that has been going on for years is able to develop. The events of September 11 have simply allowed the government to carry this process out more quickly and openly than it could before by providing a climate in which it can gain general social approval for such repressive measures.
The attack of September 11 is itself simply an extension of the normal functioning of our current existence. It has been said before that capitalism is always survival on the brink of disaster. The reality of technological development that can never really quite be controlled guarantees that this situation will continue, and we will always be placed into the hands of experts who will find a solution to the latest catastrophe that itself inevitably creates the next one. What gives these attacks the appearance of being different is that they were so clearly carried out intentionally with the aim of causing deaths. But industrial and technological development is also carried out intentionally and it has been decades since it could be claimed that those pursuing this development are not aware of the damage and death it causes — without even considering how much technology is developed for the military with the explicit intention of causing death. And again, in this situation, the catastrophe is portrayed as something beyond us, requiring the intervention of experts — in this case, military, intelligence and police agencies. When one considers that the terror network that is most probably responsible for these attacks was largely a creation of the CIA, it doesn’t take much thought to realize that the usual cycle is in effect. The disaster of our current existence continues.
When the state shows its teeth, particularly in a time like the present one, when the state is instituting increased policing and social control with the approval of a populace that will repeat the lines they’ve heard about the necessity of such humiliating measures, it is easy for those who openly oppose the state and its policies to feel vulnerable. But if we recognize that what is happening is not a qualitative change, but simply an intensification of the normal functioning of the state, it should be clear that this is not a time for our revolutionary project to hide its head, but rather a time for it to intensify and become more focused and clear of its aims and possibilities. The only thing that has ever hindered any state from practically carrying out its repressive projects has been the uncompromising revolt of those who oppose it. If we consider that war is the normal functioning of the state, it should be clear that opposition to the war would most reasonably take the form of opposition to the state. And since the peace of the state is the ongoing social war of the ruling class against the rest of humanity and the natural world, it becomes clear that the pacifist agenda is useless against this war. It is nothing but a moral high ground from which to watch the capitalist demolition of the world — “Well at least my hands are clean,” they say as corpses pile up around them. The state, capital and the entire social order these powers create continue their project of domination, repression and perpetual disaster without a pause. We too must continue our project of total revolt aimed at the destruction of the state and of this entire stinking society, without respite and without compromise. Or accept survival on the edge of catastrophe forever.
Beyond the Law by Penelope Nin
To tell the truth, I don’t quite understand what is meant today by when people speak of “illegalism”. I thought this word was no longer in use, that it could not slip out of the history books of the anarchist movement any more, shut up forever with the equally ancient “propaganda by the deed”. When I have heard it talked about again in recent times in such shamelessly critical tones, I haven’t been able to hold back a sensation of astonishment. I begin to find this mania for dusting off old arguments in order to avoid dealing with new discussions intolerable, but there is so much of this.
One thing, however, seems clear to me. The illegalism that is spoken of (badly) today is not the concept that was debated with so much heart-felt animation by the anarchist movement at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time this term was used to indicate all those practices prohibited by law that were useful for resolving the economic problems of comrades: robbery, theft, smuggling, counterfeiting money and so on. It seems to me that today some anarchists, lacking anything concrete to discuss, are tending much too easily to claim that illegalism means a refined glorification for its own sake of every behavior forbidden by law, not only of those dictated by the requirements of survival. In short, illegalism would become a kind of theoretical framework for erecting illegality as a system, a life value.
Some people push it even further, to the point of censuring a no better defined “illegalism at all costs”, yearning for comrades who would violate the law even when they could do otherwise simply to savor the thrill of the forbidden or perhaps in order to satisfy some ideological dogma. But I ask, where have these comrades run across this illegalism at all costs, who has spoken of it? Who would be such a fool as to challenge the severity of the law when she could do otherwise? Obviously, nobody.
But there is probably another point on which it would be useful to reflect. Can an anarchist avoid challenging the law? Certainly in many circumstances this is possible. For example, at the moment I am writing for a paper that is published legally; does this perhaps make me a legalist anarchist? On the other hand, if I were to go this evening to put up clandestine flyers, would this make me an illegalist anarchist? But then, what would ever distinguish these two categories of anarchists?
The question of the relationship between an anarchist and the law cannot be settled in such a hasty and misleading way. As I see it, the actions of an anarchist cannot be conditioned by the law in either the positive or the negative. I mean that it cannot be either the reverential respect for the guiding standards of the time or the pleasure of transgression as an end in itself that drives her, but rather his ideas and dreams united to her individual inclinations. In other words, an anarchist can only be an alegalist, an individual who proposes to do what most pleases him beyond the law, without basing herself on what the penal code allows or forbids.
Of course, the law exists and one cannot pretend not to see it. I am quite aware that there is always a bludgeon ready to attend to our desires along the way toward their realization, but this threat should not influence our decision about the means to use to realize that which is dearest to our hearts. If I consider it important to publish a paper — a thing that is considered legal — I can easily attempt to follow the provisions of the law about the press in order to avoid useless annoyance, since this does not change the contents of what I intend to communicate at all.
But, on the other hand, if I consider it important to carry an action considered illegal — like the attack against the structures and people of power — I will not change my mind simply because someone waves the red flag of the risks I will face before my eyes. If I acted otherwise, the penal code would be advising me about what my conduct should be, greatly limiting my possibilities to act and thus to express myself.
But if it is an absurdity to describe an anarchist as “illegalist”, it would be ridiculous to attribute the quality of “legalist” to her. How could an anarchist, an individual who desires a world without authority, expect to be able to realize his dream without ever breaking the law, which is the most immediate statement of authority, that is to say, without transgressing those norms that have been deliberately established and written in order to defend the social order? Anyone who intends to radically transform this world would necessarily have to place herself sooner or later against the law that aims to conserve it.
Unless...Unless the desire to change that world that still smolders in the hearts of these anarchists is in some way subordinated to the worries about the risks they might face, about being persecuted by the police, about being brought under investigation, about losing the appreciation of friends and relations. Unless the absolute freedom that means so much to anarchists is considered a great and beautiful thing, but mainly in the realm of theory — manifesting itself in the inoffensive banter exchanged fork the armchairs after a suffocating day of work — because from the practical point of view the strength of domination offers no hope. Then it is advisable to make utopia into something concrete, with its feet upon the ground, uniting it with good sense, because revolution could never be considered legal under any penal code.
Enough of dreaming the impossible; let’s try to obtain the tolerable. Here it is, the invective against the myth of illegalism coming from certain anarchists takes on a precise meaning, that of justifying their self-interested predisposition to conform to the dictates of the law, setting aside every foolish, immoderate aspiration.
In the name of realism, of course.
Streamlined Production by Alfredo Bonanno
Among the various characteristics of the last several years, the failure of global automation in the factories (understood in strict sense) must be pointed out, a failure caused by the failure of the prospects and, if you will, the dreams of mass production.
The meeting between the telematic and traditional fixed production (harsh assembly lines later automated up to a certain point with the introduction of robots) has not developed toward a perfecting of the lines of automation. This is not due to problems of a technical nature, but due to problems of an economic nature and of the market. The threshold of saturation for technologies that can replace manual labor has not been exceeded; on the contrary there are always new possibilities opening in this direction. Rather, the strategies of mass production have been surpassed, and have thus come to have little importance for the economic model of maximum profit.
The flexibility that the telematic guaranteed and has steadily made possible in the phase of the rise of post-industrial transformation at a certain point caused such profound changes in the order of the market, and thus of the demand, as to render the opening that the telematic itself had made possible or rather put within reach useless. Thus, the flexibility and ease of production is moved from the sphere of the factory into the sphere of the market, causing a standstill in the telematic development of automation, and a reflourishing of new prospects for an extremely diversified demand that was unthinkable until a few years ago.
If one reads the shareholders’ reports of some of the great industries, it becomes clear that automation is only sustainable at increasing costs that quickly be come anti-economical. Only the prospect of social disorder of a great intensity could still drive the financially burdensome path of global automation.
For this reason, the reduction of the costs of production is now entrusted not only to the cost of labor, as has occurred in the past several years as a consequence of massive telematic replacement, but also to a rational management of so-called productive redundancy. In short, a ruthless analysis of waste, from whatever point of view, and, first of all, from the perspective of production times. In this way, by a variety of means, productive pressure is exercised once again on the producer in flesh and blood, dismantling the ideology of containment on the basis of which an easing of the conditions of suffering and exploitation that have always been characteristic of wage labor was credited to telematic technology.
The reduction of waste thus becomes the new aim of streamlined production, in its time based on the flexibility of labor already consolidated and the productive potentiality guaranteed by the telematic coupling as its starting point. And this reduction of waste falls entirely on the back of the producer. In fact, the mathematical analysis realized through complex systems already in widespread use in the major industries can easily solve the technical problems of contractors, which is to say, those relative to the combination of raw materials and machinery, in view of maintenance. But the solution to these problems would remain a marginal matter to production as a whole if the use of production time were not also placed under a regime of control.
Thus, the old taylorism comes back into fashion, though now it is filtered through the new psychological and computing technologies. The comprehensive flexibility of large industry is based on a sectoral flexibility of various components, as well as on the flexibility of the small manufacturers that peripherally support the productive unity of command. Work time is thus the basic unity for the new production; its control, without waste but also without stupidly repressive irritations, remains the indispensable connection between the old and new productive models.
These new forms of control have a pervasive nature. In other words, they tend to penetrate into the mentality of the individual producer, to create general psychological conditions so that little by little external control through a timetable of production is replaced by self-control and self-regulation of productive times and rhythms as a function of the choice of objectives, which is still determined by the bodies that manage productive unity. But these decisions might later be submitted to a democratic decision from below, asking the opinion of individuals employed in the various production units with the aim of implanting the process of self-management.
We are speaking of “suitable synchronism”, not realized once and for all, but dealt with time and again, for single productive periods or specific production campaigns and programs, with the aim of creating a convergence of interest of interests between workers and employers, a convergence to be realized not only on the technical terrain of production, but also on the indirect plane of solicitation of some claim to the demand, which is to say, on the plane of the market.
In fact, it is really in the market that two movements within the new productive flexibility are joined together. The old factory looked to itself as the center of the productive world and its structures as the stable element from which to start in order to conquer ever-expanding sections of consumption to satisfy. This would indirectly have to produce a worker-centered ideology, managed through guidance by a party of the sort called proletarian. The decline of this ideological-practical perspective could not be more evident today, not so much because of the collapse of real socialism, and all the direct and indirect consequences that followed from this and continue to grow out of it, but in reality, due to the productive changes which we are discussing. There is thus no longer a distinction between the rigidity of production and the chaotic and unpredictable flexibility of the market. Both these aspects are now brought back under the common denominator of variability and streamlining. The greater ability to penetrate into consumption, whether foreseeing and soliciting it or restraining it, allows the old chaos of the market to be transformed into an acceptable, if not entirely predictable, flexibility. At the same time, the old rigidity of the world of production has change into the new productive speed. These two movements are coming together in a new unifying dimension on which the economic and social domination of tomorrow will be built.
The Prosthesis of Control by Antonio Budini
After the movie theatres had record crowds during the projections of the movie, Robocop, years ago, for a short time one of the TV networks broadcast a series of shows in which the protagonist was the famous anti-crime character from the movie.
It all remains circumscribed in the sphere of the projections of science fiction. Fortunately, it is unthinkable, for us poor mortals, that the creation of a cybernetic police officer could happen. We turn off the TV and sleep peacefully, some a little worried, some comforted by the existence by the existence, however improbable, of a weapon of this kind.
The TV series goes on so that without even thinking about it , we find ourselves wrapped up in the adventures of this pile of scrap metal.
When a well-known daily newspaper communicates the realization of a cybernetic human, with an article accompanied by the photo of Robocop, we are no longer particularly disturbed, because that figure is so familiar to us since we have become so habituated to the televised hammering on the subject.
The project of the human-robot is called “Inter” (Intelligent neural interface), and is financed by the European Community of States with the collaboration of several German, Spanish and Swiss universities and research centers and the Arts Lab, which is the laboratory of robotics and high technology of the “Sant’ Anna” school of higher learning in Pisa.
The school in Pisa has the determining role in the project because, besides having received the assignment from the EEC to coordinate the project itself, it has developed a functioning “neural container”. Or rather, a miniaturized electronic device that connects the peripheral nervous system with external prostheses.
Paolo Dario, a professor from Livorno [Italy], teacher of mechatronics at numerous universities around the world and director of the Arts Lab explains that in the future they could devote themselves to cybernetic prostheses capable of being moved by cerebral impulses and having tactile sensations.
The professor also explains how all this comes to be: after having implanted a chip (like the ones used in computers) in a peripheral nerve of some guinea pigs and rabbits, the scientists noticed that the damaged nerve filaments regenerated and wedged themselves inside the myriad of holes that existed in the chip. Simply, a cybernetic organism was born: a mixture of muscular tissue and electronic circuits. Very soon it will be possible to register nervous signals and stimulate nervous fibers.
From science fiction to realization, passing through animal experimentation. The animal liberationists have done much to document the uselessness of testing new drugs on animals in laboratories, but how do they go about opposing this slaughter that has nothing to do with the pharmaceutical industry and, furthermore, is sold as a possibility for those who have suffered mutilations of their limbs?
Personally, I don’t believe that the experiments are limited to guinea pigs and rabbits, nor that they stop at chimpanzees. Research for documentation, like the reflection of every revolutionary, should not just be interested in the sector of the pharmaceutical industry, but should deal with the full spectrum.
At the Arts Lab in Pisa, artificial skin equipped with sensors capable of simulating tactile sensations, optimal for eventually covering the cybernetic prostheses, is in the phase of projection as well.
Another field to which the Arts Lab is applying itself is that of the construction of micro-crystals to implant in the cerebral cortex, with micro-cameras set in place capable of projecting images directly onto the cortex. This technology is also used to create sensors for the deaf. In this case, the micro-crystals are connected to microphones.
The justification for this research is obviously found in the humanitarian spirit that seems to hover around as their principle rule of action. The officially declared aim is that of alleviating people’s suffering, intervening in the irreversible damage that strikes their vital organs, even artificially reconstructing them, in short, furnishing new horizons to medicine. Essentially, this research opens prospects that were reserved until recently for the fantasies of novelists. The availability of increasingly sophistic, increasingly miniaturized electronic apparati makes hypothetical technologies of control possible that today we can’t even imagine.
All this research is currently based on the torture of animals, but limiting ourselves to freeing these animals may not be enough.
Action Against the War
From the moment George Bush gave his call for a “war against terrorism”, there have been those who recognized that, like all wars, this is simply another war to uphold state power and the current system of social relationships. While the usual pacifist whining that the state should carry out its current functions in a more humanitarian and less bloody manner has certainly been an aspect of the protests against the war, there are those of us who would rather express a revolutionary rejection of the war, of militarism and of the state. Unlike the pacifists, we have no interest in replacing the institutionalized violence of war with that of the courts, but rather seek to destroy this entire social order that is based on institutionalized violence.
Of course, there have been many demonstrations against the war starting even before the bombings began. Some, such as the one in Thessaloniki, Greece on October 16 have expressed explicitly revolutionary and anarchist sentiments, though most have been a far more eclectic mix with pacifist and humanitarian voices dominating. But other types of actions have taken place as well.
On October 11, a group of twenty people involved with “No war but class war” invaded and occupied an armed forces recruitment office in Brighton, England in protest against the war, making this statement:
“In declaring a ‘war against terrorism’ the ruling class has really declared a war on workers across the world. Workers and peasants in Afghanistan are being directly killed and starved by the military machines of our rulers. At ‘home’ the war is already being used as a cover for the economic crisis. Nationalism, racism and fear have the role of dividing working class people and undermining resistance to the sackings and cuts in social spending that have already begun. There is a giant propaganda effort for a false unity based on ‘the nation’ and a resulting increase in racist attacks. Draconian laws, whose definition of terrorism includes criminal damage to state property with the aim of seriously altering the political, economic or social structure, are being introduced across Europe. There is a need for us to resist all these attacks, to come together against all the divisions that capitalism imposes, on the basis of a class opposition to all nationalist and religious ideologies.”
In Bristol, England, anarchists graffitied the windows of an armed forces recruitment office with glass etching fluid, spattered it with paint bombs and glued the locks. A few weeks later, in the same city, some people attacked a McDonald’s, smashing almost all the windows, gluing locks and leaving messages against capitalism.
On October 13, in Pau, France, a group of people calling themselves the “Totally Anti-War Group” attacked a navy recruitment office with petrol bombs in protest against the war. Not surprisingly, due to the nature of this act, there were those ready to label the act as terrorism, and others ready to claim that it was an attempt by government agents to discredit the anti-war movement. But the target was precise and the timing shows a conscious intent to avoid injury to people — thus the methodology was not that of terrorism and state violence. Thus, it makes more sense to take critical discussion of this and other actions in a different direction useful to the development of an anti-authoritarian movement of direct action against the war.
In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, a small group of anarchists and others demonstrated in front of the US embassy, burning an American flag and attacking the embassy with cherry bombs. Five anarchists were arrested for “insulting a foreign nation.”
And on November 1, anarchists in Istanbul, Turkey demonstrated against the war in Afghanistan, capitalism and poverty. They broke the chains on the gate of Beyazit square, burned American flags and flags representing McDonalds. Police attacked the demonstration, arresting 58 people and injuring most of them. One person had to be hospitalized. The following statement appeared on a leaflet:
“NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!
ANARCHIST PLATFORM DECLARATION:
CAPITALISM KILLS IN WAR AND PEACE
The US attack on Afghanistan is a part of capitalism’s centuries long war against humanity. While the wars of capitalism kill humans and nature in every corner of the world, the peace of capitalism massacres by starvation, poverty, embargos, economic crisis and genetic engineering.
The war against Afghanistan is for the benefit of oil corporations, drug and arm traders. This is just global capitalism! And global capitalism is the system of exploiting humanity and nature for money and profit.
In order to change Turkey into the marketplace of capitalism under the control of IMF and World Bank, the Turkish government tries hard to sentence us to starvation, poverty and misery! The roles of the directives of IMF and the bombs on Afghanistan are the same: to destroy humanity and ecology for the profit of global capitalism! While thousands are bombed to death in war, everyday thirty/fourty thousand people are dying because of starvation under the peace of capitalism.
We condemn both the war and the peace of capitalism! The peace is the suppression of freedom, and justice screams of humanity which is in the clamps of domination and injustice! We refuse! We are not doomed to crisis and wars! Instead of capitalism’s money-profit-greed, we have to put our values of freedom, solidarity, and humanity forward.
As long as humanity is patient with the peace lies of capitalism and the puppets like Dervis (Economy Minister of Turkey appointed by WB), all we will gain is starvation, poverty, and misery!
WE HAVE DECIDED NOT TO LOSE!
MORE PATIENCE MORE POVERTY, MORE PATIENCE MORE MISERY!
IT’S ENOUGH, NO MORE SLAVERY!”
The actions — even those involving property damage — described above were basically symbolic rather than direct action. Nonetheless they do present a clear indication that the “unity” that Bush and the media desire is not there and that there are those who reject the false choices that those in power are offering. In addition they may encourage those in positions to more directly sabotage the war efforts to act.
“Armies” are the arms and at the same time the obedience of those who are disarmed. But is the obedience of the disarmed possible without the imposition of arms? Or is obedience itself the arm? Doesn’t the ballot symbolize the bayonet? Is controlling the newspapers and television different than controlling the arsenals? And yet, when one abandons work, the spectacle and the vote, one finds oneself indeed facing arms as such. There are no other arms to suppress those who would arm themselves against power.
Italian State Fictions
It is not surprising that after the G8 summit, the Italian authorities would crack down on anarchists. Those who have followed the Marini trial over the past several years are aware of the attempts of the Italian state to criminalize anarchists as “terrorists” and members of an “armed band”. Considering the timing of recent raids, it is likely that the US-proclaimed “war on terrorism” encouraged the Italian state to pursue its current witch-hunt.
But before the police raids, on September 16, in the early morning hours, two firebombs were thrown into the Pinelli (anarchist) Social Center in Genoa, gutting the center and destroying everything inside. This social center was the meeting place for many of the anarchists and anti-authoritarians who participated in the G8 protests. Later in the night, someone firebombed the memorial to Carlo Giuliani in Piazza Alimonda. These acts have been officially attributed to fascist groups, but involvement by the Italian secret services (who are not averse to hiring fascists to do their dirty work) is not unlikely.
Two days later, there were about a hundred raids against anarchists all over Italy. Sixty people were taken in for questioning. The raids were carried out under the orders of State Prosecutor, Stephano D’ Amburoso who is conducting an investigation against an alleged movement called “Solidarita Internazionale” (International Solidarity), which he claims is actively supporting prisoners’ resistance against the FIES control units in Spain as well as prisoners’ struggles in Greece. The prosecutor claims that the movement was involved in the bombings of the Church of Sant’ Abrogio (June 28, 2000), the Cathedral of Milan (December 18, 2000) and the Carabinieri (National Police) Station (October 26, 1999), all in Milan. The raids were carried out by combined branches of the Italian police. A few days later on September 24, in Florence, thirteen more homes and workplaces of anarchists were raided and searched, and photos, hard discs, flyers and other things were taken.
It seems that after Marini’s failure to create a convincing case for the existence of the ORAI (Revolutionary Anarchist Insurrectionalist Organization), D’Amburoso hopes to do better by transforming the phrase “International Solidarity” into an organized movement with “the aim of terrorism”. Undoubtedly, there have been posters, flyers and graffiti supporting prison struggles (and others as well) using these words. But in this case again, the “subversive organization” is clearly a fictional construction by the state. But it is not news that the state lies and deceives to maintain its power.
Set Fire to Documents
By now, one can no longer count the obligatory traveling papers that a large number of anarchists throughout Italy have been burdened with. This modern ostracism, on par with so many other democratic poisons, is a further enclosure with which to build the City of tomorrow, the City of the Good.
The police headquarters said, “move along”. The police headquarters has so many papers. As many as there are things and individuals to number, inspect, file, supervise, warn, punish. However, not everybody keeps their papers in order, not everybody wants to keep them. And for this reason there is one paper among them all called the “traveling paper”. Anyone who disturbs, anyone who does not fall into line, anyone who thinks out loud, is ejected, driven out, banished. Every authority is traveling paper for those who do not obey, for those who don’t submit when they say, “It’s the law.”
They have distanced us hoping to confine us in that mental police headquarters that is resignation.
Useless toil, we don’t even think of taking our place in line for a prohibition.
Traveling papers are traveling papers, and documents, ...documents burn.
The Global Laboratory
When attacks have been made against experiments involving genetically engineered plants, the researchers will sometimes cry that those taking such actions are preventing them from testing the possible environmental effects of these organisms. They argue, oh so reasonably, that only by testing these engineered organic machines can we know what effects they would have, and in a democracy such information is necessary so that the public can make wise choices. Of course, we are not to consider who pays these researchers. The corporate money may be once or twice removed when it is university research, but it is nonetheless the basis for these experiments.
But more significantly, the laboratory for these experiments is not an enclosed sterile room from which nothing can escape, but rather, open fields and tree farms — and therefore, the earth itself. It is already well known that genetically engineered material is carried in pollen and spreads outside the area of the experimental field. The incidents of this have become numerous. When one considers that what is being engineered into these organisms is often deadly to other life, this becomes truly frightening. Experiments with the creation of sterile plants (the only purpose of which is to guarantee seed monopolies to large corporations) have been going on for several years, and if Monsanto claims that they have ceased to be involved in creating this terminator technology, this does not guarantee that there has been no leakage into the environment yet.
But the use of the earth as a laboratory is nothing new. The whole history of industrial development is one vast experiment to see how far the rulers can go in their attempt to extract material wealth, what level of damage the earth can undergo before it — and we — can take no more. The result has been catastrophe after catastrophe, all placed in the hands of experts whose cures set the stage for the next catastrophe. Is the planet durable? Without a doubt, but is the “life” this experiment has forced upon us and upon it worth living? Most certainly not. But if we are to live differently, as something other than experimental subjects in the global laboratory, a complete transformation of existence is necessary. The destruction of the laboratory means the destruction of industrial society, capitalism, and every aspect of our current existence that upholds this deadly and disastrous experiment. As to the practical ways to go about this destruction, I’ll leave that to your imagination.
God Suffocates Us
God’s presence in our lives is suffocating. Removing all of our actions to a future fulfillment by accomplishing them in the realm of phantoms, it deprives the world in which we live of meaning, and therefore destroys life by modeling it on its own, which is to say, on the life of phantoms.
Why did human beings need to invent god? Because the uncertainty of the future rendered her vulnerable, thus he deludes himself that an “absolute certainty”, located beyond, in a place free from uncertainty, could make her strong. But the remedy has been revealed as the most harmful of misfortunes.
But god doesn’t only suffocate us as an idea, a projection of the need for security that the human being continually notices in her life. He also suffocates us through the particular caste that claims to represent him. The organization that uses god to govern the world is called the church. In reality it is not, as the etymology would suggest, the assembly of all, but only the mafia gang of a handful of lunatics who want to infect the world with their fear.
In this sense, God and the church are like two epidemics that have spread themselves throughout the world and of which we haven’t managed to rid ourselves. They have killed, continue to kill and will kill millions of people, and always in the name of life, justice, peace and many other similar concepts that only serve to hide their intentions of domination and death.