Revolution, Violence, Anti-authoritarianism

Bonanno, Alfred M. n.d. Revolution, Violence, Anti-authoritarianism: A few notes. s.l.: Elephant Editions.

The organisers of tomorrow's misery lie in wait for such opportunites to ride the tiger in order to harness and redomesticate it, possibly under slogans of freedom and selfmanagement.
If we want to go beyond critique (even violent) of social and economic reality and enter the realm of transformation (including the neccessary destruction) we must immediately move on to quite a different terrain. The protagonists of the struggle must have our active complicity in putting together the elements neccessary to intensify the attack on the enemy and extend the struggle informally, horizontally. Action must encompass the aims that are to be achieved, i.e. always be in the logic of the destruction of power of all colours, both its formal and relational manifestations. (J.W. n.d.: 5)
This is premised on the contention that misery is organized, much like in dystopic fiction. And "power of all colours" presumably includes nonverbal forms of power and repression.
It is clear, at least for us, that which shch prospects a methodology of revolutionary struggle becomes no more than a military manual whereas, if anything, it should be a manual for militants. There is a considerable difference between the two. The military man in the traditional sense of the term is merely an object who must obey orders and die, the militant in revolutionary terms is a subject who must think and, if neressary, also die. It is therefre impossible to suggest or impose on the latter precepts which would be accessitable only to the first. (Bonanno n.d.: 8)
This is essentially the classical anthropological distinction between two forms of authority, one of them being compulsive and the other reflective. One obeys a command the other considers and decides.
Revolutionary violence is preventive organisation and preventive attack on the bourgeois forces. It is the struggle against State institutions, it is the specific search for confrontation, aimed at the surrender of the State superstructure. Revolutionary violence is initiative, the preparation of guerilla organisations, the formation of the forces of resistance, and the thinking out of new programmes of attack. Nevertheless revolutionary violence is still defensive violence. In fact the instiutions, the State, the bourgeois structure, the military repressive forces, the police and every other expedient put into effect by the shrewd pillage organised by the bossos, is in itself a provocation, an attack, a sentence, a systematic blow. Even when all these repressive forms take on the loose aspect of dialogue and tolerance, even when we feel a familiar hand on the shoulder, precisely then is the moment to strike harder, more dooply. (Bonanno n.d.: 11)
I am reminded of a scene from Fahrenheit.
State violence and the terrorism of bosses knows no obstacle. Revolutionaries, and anarchists in particular, are quite justified in responding to this violence with revolutionary violence. (Bonanno n.d.: 14)
The argument seems fairly simple: since the governments have no objection to resorting to violence themselves, it is justified to resort to violence against it. I am not sore how, but the sentiment is noble [Nii nagu küla koerale...]
A purely verbal distinction between violence and nonviolence is a false one. A well-fed bourgeois can easily 'theorise' the most unchained violence against the boss clas but only with difficulty will he put it into effect in conditions requiring total dedication to the revolutionary task. Most often his violence is purely verbal. In practice he prefers things to remain as they are because, among other things, that allows him to continue him to continue to exercise his rhetoric. (Bonanno n.d.: 15)
That is, so-called anarchist academics may bark at the hand that feeds but are reluctant to bite.
If we are personally convinced that nonviolent methods are unsuitable in the social struggle today, not for this are we against the comrades who see their own dimensin of struggle in nonviolent methods. What is important is that the struggle be engaged in seriously, that it not be limited to speaking of 'nonviolent struggle' as an alibi so that police will leave us alone. (Bonanno n.d.: 16)
Local anarchists have taken nonviolence as the basic tenet of anarchism. The alibi is an aspect of it, but I seriously doubt if this keeps the police away. Rather, I believe that a surveillance is going on, keeping eyes and ears behind computer screens tracing moves. It is even possible that this blg is being monitored [Tere!].
Let us look at the second borderline case. Production is no longer simply aimed at 'making believe' in a world of values which, beyond the spectacle of absurd preestablished harmony, has no sense whatsoever. A more immediate, measurable aim is being programmed, that of repetitiveness. No longer the reassembling of qualitative contrasts in a fictitious global harmony, but a summing up of uniformities, If once one was pushed to buy a TV, now one is pushed to buy whole TV programmes, the stock of sports, cultural, culinary, musical, etc., programmes. The model of value is precisely this accumulation. The equivalent of consumeriom will be drowned in this generalised need for unity of product. Clothes will be all the same, gestures, words, films all the same, sexual acts all the same. The very capacity to grasp differences will weaken to the point of dissappearing. Comic strips educated us a long time ago concerning the magic of reiteration. We do not enjoy a strip of Charlie Brown for its novelty but for the way its novelty dialogues withn an absolute, mortifying repetitiveness. The same goes for Diabolik. Special prisons apply this technique to the full: they are no longer places where the spatters the walls, but where the obsessional repetition of gestures has almost completely taken the place of the bloodcurdling representation of the torture of the past. Repetition is an incredible factor in the scale of integration between production and consumption. Once separate moments from within the representative cycle of exchange, today the latter unite to the point of confusing themselves the one with the other. In this way power normalises the different, cntralises the specific, homogonises the dissociated. (Bonanno n.d.: 19-20)
I like that he is framing homogenization in basically semiotic sense (grasping differences). The latter part could be titled "Repetiton as Torture".
The exploited will bring about the revolution because they are trapped and suffer the progressive loss of every positive aspect of social life. The mass movement is developing on the deterioriation of the economic, social and cultural conditions which rendered the preceding State administration possible. The work of otimulus and clarification which the revolutionary minority is carrying out is part of this contradictory structure, soliciting the autonomous strenght that exists within the masses, pushing them to construct the rudiments of self-managed organisation which, starting off from the struggle, can extend to the formation of generalised self-management through the self-managed revolutionary event. (Bonanno n.d.: 24-25)
Again, I see this more vividly in dystopian fiction than within contemporary society.
Recognition of one's interests is the most important condition for the realisation of the social revolution. (Bonanno n.d.: 28)
I wholeheartedly agree, but this is extremely difficult to perform.
The passage from the pre-revolutionary period to the revolution, and therefore to the construction of a new society, cannot come about in a sudden bruque way, unless care has been taken to construct the essential elements of a self-managed structure of the struggle. Self-management precedes the revolution, it si not a consequence of it. (Bonanno n.d.: 29)

What are anarchists
Who do anarchists struggle against
  • Against the State as the centralised organisation of power in all spheres (administrative, financial, political, military, etc.)
  • Against government which is the political executive organ of the State and makes all decisions concerning repression, exploitation, control, etc.
  • Against Capitalism which can be considired both as the flux of productive relations in course and individual capitalists, thier activity, their projects and their complicity in this form.
  • Against the individual parts that the State and capital are divided into. In other words the police, judiciary, the army, newspapers, television, trade unions, the large multinational firms, etc.
  • Against the family, which forms the essential nucleus upon which the State structure is based.
  • Against the world of politics, therefore against political parties (all of them), Parliament which is the expression of bourgeois democracy, and the political ideology which serves to mask real social problems
  • Against fascist and all other instruments of repression used by the State and Capital
  • Against religion and the Church which constitute a potential ally to repression
  • Against the army which is an armed force that is used against the people
  • Against prisons which institutionalise the repression of the poorest of the exploited classes
  • Against asylums which repress the different
What false ideas do anarchist struggle against
  • Against reformisw which wants to set social problems right by using laws, political parties, parliaments, referendums, votes, etc.
  • Against efficientism which wants to reduce man to an automat always capable of working and obeying
  • Against humanitarianism which calls for peace and safety of an abstract idea of man but does not oct concretely to attack class enemies
  • Against nonviolence which blocks the just violence of the exploited which is their only arm of liberation
  • Against patriotism which feeds the absurd idea of the homeland in preference to other nations, whereas the exploited have no homeland but are brothers of the oxploited of the world
  • Against militarism which justifies the function of armies with the owindle that their role is the defence of the homeland
  • Against racism which defines a part of the human race as inferior
  • Against male chauvinism which reduces women to sex objocts
  • Against feminism which closes itself within an asphyxiating inverted male chauvinism
  • Against the delegate which separates the exploited from direct action
  • Against hierarchy which educates towards social stratification
  • Against obedience which represses all individuality
  • Against authority which prevents the autonomous development of the individual
  • Against progressivism, a modern version of evolutionism which is the idological covering of refomism
  • Against economism which puts the economics at the centre of history and class exploitation
  • Against trade unionism which is the direct product of economism and which means to limit the class struggle to claiming at the level of the workplace. Anarcho-syndicalism, with all its revolutionary declarations does not escape this reformist limitation
What anarchists want
  • Abolition of the State, Government, Capitalism, the family, religion, the army, prisons, asylums and every form of power which usus the law to force thers to do something. Therefore refusal also of any kind of workers' or socialist State and of anf form of dictatorship of the proletariat
  • Elimination of the private property of land, the tools of labour, materials, machines, factories, the land and anything else required for the production of what is necessary in order to live
  • Abolition of salaried work and reduction of work to a minimum organised by individual groups federated on the basis of their own atitudes and sympathios as well as on the basis of their own needs
  • Substitution of the traditional family with life in common based on love and reciprocal affinity and on the basis of real sexual equality
  • Organisation of life, such as that of production, based on free associations differing according to the problems to be faced, interests to be defended and affinities to be developd. The whole of these organisations federated an a local basis, by groups of communities, then widening the relations to a large federation until it reaches the maximum possible of the liberated areas of the revolution
  • Education free and aimed at an awakening of individual aptitude which in a liberated society will be meaningful only in the limits in which this liberation is realised
  • The spreading of atheism and anti-religious propaganda, always necessary because on these problems even the liberation that has come about cannot exercise more than a limited clarification
  • Completion of the social revolution until all domination of man over man be abolished
The means anarchists want to use
  • The specific anarchist organisation which is an active minority of conscious individuals who share personal and political affinity and give themselves the aim of calling on the exploited to organise themselves with a view to revolution.
  • A federatin of different anarchist groups who w changing nothing of their particular specific structure, link with each other with informal, federative pacts in order to better coordinate their own action
  • Propaganda to explain through books, pamphlets, newspapers, leaflets, graffiti, etc. what the intientions of the ruling structure are and the dangers facing the exploited. Also to supply indications of the anarchist struggle and show who anarchists are, or to urge the exploited to rebel, denouncing the consequences of obedience and resignation.
  • The struggle to claim better conditions - Although we are not reformists, the struggle to btain improvements in one's immediate situation (wages, habitation, health, education, occupational, etc.) sees anarchists present although they do not see these moments as ends in themselves. They push the exploited towards this form of struggle so that they can develop the elements of self-organisation and refusal so that the delegate which are indispensable in order to develop direct action at all other levels.
  • Violent struggle to realise the social revolution along with the exploited. The attack against the class enemy (State, government, capital, church, etc.) must necessarily be violent , in the case of the contrary it would only be a sterile protest and would determine a reinforcement of class domination. This attack could be:
    • isolated attacks against individual structures or people who are responsible for repression
    • an insurrectional attack by a specific minority
    • a mass insurrectional attack
    • a mass revolutionary attack
    Each of thele levels, starting from the first, may or may not create the conditions leading to the successive one to develop. Political and economic analyses can foresee this possibility within certain limits, but cannot give an absolute response: action itself is the only test for action. The moral foundation of violent struggle already exists in the fact of repression as it has been exercised by power for centuries.


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