Sunday, 27 December 2009


original title: Qu'est-ce que le terrorisme?
A Corps Perdu number one, 1 December 2008

In May 1898, king Umberto I, worried about the news
reaching him from Milan where a general strike had
broken out, entrusted general Bava Beccaris with the task of repressing the revolt. The order is given to the soldiers to shoot at sight, and Bava Beccaris opens fire on the town with canon shot. The balance is 80 dead and 450 wounded. Proud of having done his duty, the general telegraphs the king that Milan is now ‘pacified’. The head of the government, the marquis Di Rudini, prohibits over one hundred opposition newspapers, the Bourses de Travail, socialist circles, Mutual Societies, and also at least 70 diocesain committees and 2,500 parish committees. Moreover, the universities of Rome, Naples, Padova and Bologne are closed, while thousands of arrests are made. Umberto I immediately sends a telegramme of congratulations to Bava Beccaris and decorates him with the cross of the Military Order of Savoy ‘for precious services rendered to the institutions and civilisation’. Two years later, on July 29 1800, the anarchist Gaetano Bresci relieves king Umberto I of the weight of his responsibilities by killing him in Monza. The King and the anarchist. Two assassins, their hands stained with blood, that’s undeniable. Yet, can one put them on the same level?I don’t think so, any more than one can consider the motivations and consequences of their acts in the same way.
And so, because they can’t be united in a common execration, which of the two committed an act of terrorism? The king who had the crowd massacred, or the anarchist that slayed the king?
To ask oneself what is terrorism is one of those questions that it would seem pointless to ask, because it is destined to get a univoque answer. In reality - when it is formulated rigorously - it doesn’t fail to give rise to surprising reactions. The answers are actually different and contradictory. ‘Terrorism is the violence of those that fight the State’, some say, ‘Terrorism is the violence of the State’, others answer, ‘but no, terrorism is any act of political violence, no matter where it comes from’, the last point out. And all the debates that open up in the face of the distinctions that can then be made on the subject: for example, terrorism is only violence against people or can also be against things? Must it necessarily have a political motivation or is it only characterised by the panic is seminates?
The multiplicity of meanings assigned to this term is suspect. The sensation here is not of finding oneself in the presence of the usual malcomprehensions linked to the incapacity of words to express a reality whose complexity goes beyond the symbols that would like to represent it. On the contrary, one gets the impression that one is face to face with deliberate confusion, a relativism of interpretations created artificially with the intention of emptying ideas of their meaning, or neutralising practical strength, banalising the whole question by reducing all reflection that one might carry out on the subject to chatter.
All the same, this nine-letter word must have an origin, a history, from which it would be possible to deduct a meaning capable of dissipating at least a good part of the ambiguities that its use generates today. And that is in fact so.
The first definition that is given of this term by most dictionaries is of an historical character: ‘the government of terror in France’. One thereby discovers the precise origin of the word. Terrorism corresponds to the period of the French Revolution that goes from April 1793 to July 1794, when the Committe of public health led by Robespierre and Saint-Just ordered a huge number of capital executions. The terror was therefore represented by the guillotine whose blade cut the head off thousands of people who, one presumes, constituted a threat for the security of the new State in formation. Starting off from this base, the same dictionaries add by extension a more general definition of terrorism: ‘all methods of government based on terror’.
At the present time this interpretation of the concept of terrorism is extremely clear. First of all, it highlights the narrow line that exists between terrorism and the State. Terrorism is born with the State, is exercised by the State, is precisely a ‘method of government’ that the State uses against its enemies to guarantee its own conservation. ‘The guillotine - said Victor Hugo - is the concretisation of law’. Only the State can promulgate laws. And law, far from being the expression of this social contract garantor of harmonious cohabitation among humans, represents the barbed wire with which power protects its privileges.Whoever dares to go beyond it will have to pass through the hands of the hangman. In fact, before the month of April 1793, some so-called common law criminals and some insurgents had already climbed the scaffold.
Whatever one might think, the guillotine is not actually an invention of monsieur Guillotin. In France this instrument of capital execution already had a history, but nobody had talked about Terror yet.It is only when the authority of the State, then in the hands of the jacobins, is threatened by a revolutionary wave, when it is no longer a question of simple outlaws or isolated insurgents, but a huge social movement capable of overthrowing it, only then does repressive violence come to be called terror’.
But, apart from its institutional character, another characteristic distinguishes terrorism: anyone can become a victim of it. During the period of the Terror there were no fewer than 4,000 executions in Paris alone. Louis Blanc found the identity of 2,750 guillotined people, discovering that only 650 of them belonged to the wealthy classes. That means that the State machine of the guillotine did not make many distinctions, decapitating anyone it considered a nuisance or suspect. It was not only noblemen, military men and priests that lost their heads these days - as the most conservative and traditional propaganda would have it - but above all simple artisans, peasants, poor people. Terrorism is such because it strikes blindly, hence the feeling of collective panic it inspires. The indiscriminate use of the guillotine, systemised thanks to the simplification of judicial procedures consented by the law of Prairial, created the ineluctable effect of chain operations, annuling the individual differences between all the decapitated. This practise of amalgam has a precise political sense: regrouping into one single seance the people suspected of ‘crimes’ of a nature or identity that were completely different. Terror aims at eliminating individual differences to create popular consensus, and to destroy ‘the abjection of the personal me’ (Robespierre), given that there must only exist one single entity into which to melt individuals: the State. Terrorism is therefore born as an institutional and indiscriminate instrument. These two aspects also retentissent in current expressions, as for example ‘terrorising bombardments’. Not only does bombardment take place during wars carried out by States, it seminates death and desolation among the whole population. One could say the same thing concerning the psychological terrorism considered ‘a form of intimidation or blackmail’ in order to manipulate public opinion, effectuated above all through the means of communication, by the exaggeration of the dangers of certain situations or even inventing them, in order to induce the masses to behave in a certain way in political, social and economic projects. One can see clearly how only those who hold power are able to manipulate the great means of communication and, through them, the ‘masses’, in order to reach their aim.
Terrorism is therefore the blind violence of the State, as the origin of the term shows clearly. But language is never a neutral expression. Far from being merely descriptive, language is above all a code. The meaning of words always points to the side on which the balance of power is leaning. He who holds power also possesses the meaning of words. That explains how it is that, over time, the concept of terrorism has taken on a new meaning that completely contradicts its historical origins but corresponds to the needs of power. Today, this concept is defined ‘a method of political struggle based on intimidatory violence (murder, sabotage, explosive attacks, etc.) generally used by revolutionary groups or subversives (left or right)’. As we can see, this interpretation, which began to spread at the end of the 19th century, is in complete opposition to what has been said until now.In the initial acceptation of the word, it is the State that has recourse to terrorism against its enemies; in the second, it is its enemies that use terrorism against the State.The upturning of meaning could not be more explicit. The usefulness of such an operation for the Reason of State is only too clthe Terror in France was the work of a state born from the Revolution.To justifythe present meaning of the concept of terrorism, the dominant ideology has had to intervertire its subjects and attribute to the Revolution the responsibility that in reality belongs to the State. Ainsi, we are taught today that Terror is the work of the Revolution which, in this far off historical context, took the form of the State. Terror is therefore synonymous with revolutionary violence. An acrobatic jump in logic that continues to enchant the parterres of spectators the world over, who don’t seem to realise de l’arnaque more than obvious.
In reality, one cannot attribute Terror to the Revolution, the insurgent people, because it is only when the Revolution becomes a state that the Terror has appeared. It is an enormous ideological lie and a gross historical error to make Terror the very expression of ‘massacrante’ revolutionary violence, that in the streets, ythe days on the barricades, of popular vengeance. Before April 17 1793 (day of the foundatio of the revolutionarytribunal), the violence exercised against power, even that which was particularly cruel, had never recouvert the name of terrorism. Neither the bloody Jacqueries of the XIV century, nor the excesses that deroule during the Great Revolution (such as for example the demonstratio of the women of Marseille who carried a la ronde, on top of a pike, the visceres of Major De Beausset to the sound of ‘who’s for tripe?’) were ever considered as acts of terrorism.This term indicates only the repressive violence of the State apparutus at the moment in which it has to defend itself - for the first time in history - from a revolutionary assault. En somme, the historic aspect of the term shows how terrorism is violence of power that defends itself from the Revolution, not Revolution attacking power.

What a social monstruosity, what chef d’oeuvre of Machiavelism is this revolutionary government! For any being that reasons, government and revolution are incompatible.
Jean Varlet, Gare l’explosion, 15 vendemaire an III.
It should be said a ce propos that the persistence of this ambiguity has been encouraged for a long time by the revolutionaries themselves, who have accepted this qualificativ de bon gres, without realising that in so doing they were helping the propaganda of the very State that they wanted to strike. And if the concept of terrorism can legitimately find its place in an authoritarian concept of revolution (as Lenin and Stalin demonstrated in Russia), it is absolutely devoid of sense, not to say abhorrant, in an anti-authoritarian perspective of liberation. It is not by chance thast it is precisely the anarchists to have in first revu the improper use of this term, perhaps pushed by events. In 1921 the tragic attentat took place against the cinema-theatre Diana in Milan, causing the death and wounding of numerous spectators, although it had the objective the town prefect who was responsible for the imprisonment of some well-known anarchists. In spite of the authors’ intentions, it was an act of terrorism. As one can imagine, this act has led to many arguments within the anarchist movement. Ainsi, in the face of the condemnation of the gesture by many anarchists, both the revue Anarchisme of Pisa, undoubtedly the most widely distributed publication of autonomous anarchism in Italy, continued to defend ‘this cardinal anarchist truth, of knowing the impossibility of separating terrorism from insurrectionalism’, it began on the other hand to esquisser the first critical reflections on the concept of terrorism: ‘why name and tax with ‘catastrophic terror’ - which is the propre of the State - the act of individual revolt? The State is terrorist, the revolutionary who insurges, never!’ Half a century later, within a context of strong social tension, this critique was to be taken up again and developed by those who did not intend to accept the accusation of terrorism launched by the state against its enemies.
Words have always been subject to an evolution in meaning. It is not surprising that the meaning of the term terrorism has also been modified. It is all the same unacceptable that it contradict each one of its original characteristics, which are those of the institutional and indiscriminate aspectof violence. This violence can be exercised against people or against things, it can be physical or psychological, but in order to be able to speak of terrorism, there must be at least one of these two characteristics remains. For example, one has rightly spoken of terrorism to indicate actions carried out by death squads of the Spanish State against the militants of ETA. These actions were directed against a precise objective, but it was all the same a question of a form of institutional violence against a threat considered as revolutionary. In the same way terrorism can not always be carried out by institutions. But in order for us to consider it such, its manifestations must then strike in an indiscriminate way. A bomb in a station or an open supermarket or on a crowded beach can rightly be defined terrorist. Even when it is fruit of the delirium of a ‘madman’ or when it is claimed by a revolutionary orga nisation, the result of such an action is to seminate panic in the population.
When on the other hand violence is neither institutional nor indiscriminate, it is a non-sense to speak of terrorism. An individual that exterminates his family in prey of a crisis of madness is not a terrorist. Any more than a revolutionary or a subversive organisation that choses its objectives with care. Of course there is violence, revolutionary violence, but not terrorism. It is aimed neither a defending the State nor at seminating terror in the population. If, during such attacks, the media talk of ‘collective psychosis’ or ‘whole nations trembling in fear’, it is merely in reference to the old lie that wants to identify a whole country with its representatives, in order to better justify the pursuit of the private interests of some in the name and at the cost of the social interests of all the others. If someone were to start to kill politicians, industrialists and magistrates, that would merely seminate terror among politicians, industrialists and magistrates. Nobody else would be materially touched. But if someone were to put a bomb in a train, anyone could be a victim, without exclusion: the politician just like the enemy of politics, the industrialist just like the worker, the magistrate just like the repris de justice. In the first case we are faced with an example of revolutionary violence, in the second it is a question of terrorism on the other hand. And in spite of all objections, critiques and perplexities that the first form of violence can raise, one certainly cannot compare it to the second.
That said, we come back to the initial question. Between the king who has the crowd massacred and the anarchist that shoots the king, who is the terrorist?
Mare Almani

Critique of 'Call' 2

This critique of “Call”was written because it is being talked about among comrades, sometimes not too critically. For the sake of the article’s size, I will refer only to some crucial points that I see as the basis of their proposal.

According to Call, the main problem is capitalism. The State is a mere accessory that we can ignore, put in parenthesis. So, don’t expect to find anything in this text pointing to suggestions for an attack on the State. And don’t even bother looking for an analysis of any other structures and institutions of domination; in fact, for the Call the latter are desirable and even necessary. So long as they are managed by the “political force” they call “the party”, of course – “What would be of a political force, under empire, that didn’t have its farms, its schools, its arms, its medicines, its collective houses, its editing desks, its printers, its covered trucks and its bridgeheads in the metropolis?” (pg. 67). We realise on reading the whole of Call that a critique of production, technology, industrialization, the submission of the individual will to the collective will, militarization, politics, etc… is totally absent from the interests of its authors.
But, what about capitalism? What is the analysis and proposal of the Call?
According to the authors of Call, the objective and method of capitalism is “to ruin all community” (pg 30). And we’re given some examples of communities persecuted by capitalism: sects, revolutionary parties, secret societies… If we had already recognized the individual misery existent wherever the reproduction of a group feeds on the theft of the individual’s capacity to decide over his/her own life for some time now, the authors of Call seem to see a problem precisely in the disappearance of alternative societies. What they don’t seem to understand is that those alternative societies reproduce the same individual domination existent in mainstream society: only the form changes. Everything is about an image of radicality. But perhaps they are not concerned about this: their analysis doesn’t come from the individual. The autonomy they’re sorry about having lost is the autonomy of communities.
Obviously, for those for whom capitalism isn’t the reproduction of forced social relations not chosen by the individuals who reproduce them, but rather a formality where it seems to be sufficient to cast aside a symbol (the capitalists) for everything to be alright, that which is reproduced will be ok, if those who reproduce it are seen as the revolutionary subjects of the modern times. “[…] communisation means depriving only the agents of the empire from it” (pg. 69).
So, if the problem is the disaggregation of all community, the solution will logically be the aggregation and constitution of new communities. And this is the way that, in opposition to capitalism, the Call proposes communism. But what is Call’s conception of communism? “So, communism starts from the experience of sharing. […] The practice of communism, as we live it, we call “the Party” (pgs. 64/65). And, somewhere else: “[…] everyone has access to a certain amount of resources and knowledge made available by the simple fact of living in these lands of the old world; and can communize them.” (pg. 33). What is proposed is the sharing of that which we have and generate; the goal is the sharing of structures and resources, and the flux of experiences, knowledge and emotions of the “worlds” involved in those structures (pg. 66). And this is their communism. Along with “In a way it is existential liberalism itself that pushes us to communism, by the very excess of its triumph.” (pg. 63), you can see Marxism is just around the corner; even if they explicitly discard Marx. As in the past, dialectical materialism will find a way…
What the authors of the call intend is to live in communism in the midst of capitalism, “to start from the situation and not dismiss it. To take sides within it.” (pg. 9). Therefore, their project is one of building and managing infra-structures which, they hope, will aggregate “the deserters” and let them survive outside capitalism. But it seems to me that there are some things its authors don’t recognize: in this world, there is nowhere outside capitalism. If, instead of being destroyed, the technological and productive resources of this social order were to be occupied/taken/shared and managed without the intervention of capitalists, the exploitation and domination of individuals would continue the same as now, but without the intervention of capitalists.
If at some point one can read in the Call that “those who pretend to split material autonomy from the sabotage of the imperial machine show that they want neither” (pg 70), it seems to me that those who claim to build an autonomous community in the midst of this society are simply perpetuating the reproduction of this society. After all, if their desires are met through the sharing of existent infra-structures, why should they preoccupy themselves with organizing the attack on and destruction of those same infra-structures? That attack would be an attack on the very things they are proposing.
An example as to how something like the Call’s “party” would look like are the Black Panthers. A Marxist-Leninist armed party, hierarchical, authoritarian, vanguardist. The goal was to set up the conditions for a future rising up of the black community. In the meantime, they served 10 thousand lunches (?breakfasts?) daily, among other services provided. One could be a militant or a “client”. Or both! Working for the organization and depending of it were perpetuated with each singular act the organization did. Rebellion was strongly discouraged, and the value of “individuals” was measured by how much they could give to the organization, or how much they needed to receive from it. Because sometimes the State isn’t the most effective structure to control people. “Until the time is ripe”, of course! Maybe it’s this that the authors of the Call mean when they write “That it might take a generation to build a victorious revolutionary movement in all its breadth does not cause us to waver. We envisage this with serenity.” (pg. 25) Maybe this is the communism they want to live, but for sure it isn’t anarchy.
Some years ago a comrade said that our goal should not be the defense of interests, but the attack on interests. Also, from my own experience, and from other comrades’, I feel that “in order to be strong at the points of attack, it is almost indispensable to be weak at those you are defending”. It’s not an ideological matter, but a logical one: if you’re preoccupied with building and defending, it’s illogical to be occupied with attacking and destroying. To this goal of building “the party”, this material community, the Call provides something new, an appealing justification: in this context it is possible to live communism. And it’s in this way that you give a positive project a revolutionary appearance.
Here we can see why is that that the only time they speak of insurrection is to say that “insurrection itself is just an accelerator” (pg. 66). Like it’s more of the same: defense, certainty, community, construction, agglomeration.
But an alternative built in this world doesn’t need to come from activists or militants to be a limitation on the desires of the rebels; it only needs to be an alternative built in this world. And I think that here we can make a connection with one other fundamental point of Call: it considers that the individual was built by existential liberalism (and, consequently, that the individual is bad and the collective is good). On this conception they rest their premise that everything must start from the collective. This totally ideological position, based upon collectivist conceptions, reduces the individual to the liberal “individual”. “Liberalism may have invented the individual, but it was born mutilated.” (pg. 38).
The individual wasn’t “created” by any one, or by any system; the individual has always existed! Even if this simple fact surprises or embarrasses the collectivists and the Marxists. If civilization has always based itself on the theft of the capacity of each person to decide how and with whom to live her life, wherever there are rebels fighting against that theft there are individuals taking back their individuality.
But it seems that the individual is an obstacle for the goals of the authors of Call. The material community they want is reached “when affects and thoughts are no longer ascribable to one or the other, when a circulation seems to be restored in which affects, ideas, impressions and emotions transmit indifferently among individuals.” (pg. 45). I’m sorry, but for me it seems that it is individuals that have ideas, affections and emotions, and I don’t feel it is desirable that these start flowing independently of the individuals who feel, develop or discard them. It sounds as though we should be getting rid of something that afflicts us and at the same time that we want to “circulate” the good things it produces/communizes…
The authors of Call, intentionally and ideologically, turn the individual into something he never was (the so-called liberal individual), and attack her on the basis of that transformation. But the critique of a caricature is the caricature of a critique… It’s not hard to see that every revolt, large or small, known or not, has started and starts from the action of individuals and groups of individuals rising up against a specific aspect of their lives.
But precisely because rebel individuals are something that those who want the creation of an alternative society would prefer not to hear about, they imagine things right from the start in such a way that they don’t have to think about them again. After all, rebellion is intrinsically related to destruction; and I don’t think that is what they want.
For those who recognize as enemies not only capitalism, but every structure of exploitation, oppression and dominion, our critique is directed against all of them; and far from proposing the autonomous self-management of those structures, we propose their destruction in an autonomous and informal way of individual and collective struggle.
For those who see the necessary characteristic of capitalism to be not the ruining of communities, but the theft of the individual’s vital activity, the logical consequence is not the constitution of communities (nor of one big community), but the attack on what robs us of our lives. Instead of an autonomous community, we desire individual autonomy.
For those who see and desire communism as nothing less than complete access to the conditions of our existence, a conception that immediately puts us in confrontation with all the structures and institutions that prevent that access, insurrection is not an accelerator, it is the physical and necessary step that can give everyone involved an opportunity to go elsewhere, to live as each one desires. The insurrectionary act breaks the present context and creates new ones, offering no certainties at all.
For those who want to live anarchy now, who struggle for individual autonomy and freedom to live as we want with those we want, the autonomous community/party that the Call claims to create is as limiting and oppressive as the existing society, which in many ways possesses autonomous characteristics!
Even if that is not what its authors intend, it seems to me that all Call is offering are new limits disguised as radicality, expressed in a sea of confusing and ambiguous words; and this is not different from what others that we know well already tried to do before.

Notes on 'Breakfast' - Understanding Ketamine Hydrochloride.

What is it?

Have you ever been to a party and seen someone passed out in the corner with white powder crystallised all around their nose and wondered what the hell they were on? Chances are they're probably in a K-hole – the highest 'plateau' high of the narcotic ketamine. Also called 'Special K'; 'horse'; 'tranq'; 'wonky'; 'donkey dust'; 'Rodney' (only fools and horses!); and by a certain tabloid newspaper; 'techno smack', ketamine use is undoubtedly on the increase, yet it is a substance surrounded by myths and confusion. In this article we will try to raise awareness of the issues surrounding ketamine, whilst addressing some of those common myths. It is meant to neither glamorise nor demonise the drug, but we are circulating this article because there is a big situation with this substance in the UK underground and we know it has spread into Europe. The text is written by a user.
Until recently Ketamine was only really known to the underground scene. Yet recently the front pages of tabloids have been pasted with pictures of 'Ketamine Kate' [Moss] and Brighton's Big Brother Pete allegedly snorting lines of the increasingly popular narcotic, the drug has become somewhat more 'mainstream' and many of us will know someone who has tried the drug if not having experienced the K-hole first hand.

Everyone has their own view on K – some think it is only used by dirty-hippy type squatters – but this view is not too dissimilar from the small-minded view that only middle-class professionals use cocaine. C'mon – lets get real and approach this subject objectively! We live in a society where we're surrounded by all sorts of substances with curious names made up of an amalgamation of letters and numbers. 2CB; MDMA; 5-meo-DMT; 2C-T7; LSD; K; CK1; GHB – this list goes on and on and is only growing, and people from all walks of life 'experiment' with all of the above. Yet how much do we really know about the substances we (or 'they' if you prefer) are putting into our body? Like how it was developed, what does it do and, ultimately, can I get anything constructive out of putting an extremely potent alkaline hydrochloride salt in my body?
Ketamine was invented by Calvin Stevens and patented in Belgium in 1963. It is a derivative of Phencyclidine (PCP) which is less potent with a shorter duration of action. It does not induce sleep but instead a state of apparent catatonia where patients seemed dissociated from the environment without classical unconsciousness.
It was termed a dissociative anaesthetic and was marketed as a rapidly acting anaesthetic with few side effects. However, dissociative and hallucinogenic symptoms were quickly reported. Despite these problems, the drug was the most widely used battlefield anaesthetic in the Vietnam War. This in turn led to an osmosis/trickle like effect of population exposure to the psychedelic effects of the drug caused by 'turned on' returning GI's which may have contributed to the rise of ketamine and phencyclidine misuse in the 1970's. Street use of ketamine hydrochloride was first noted in 1971, although it is likely that it was misused soon after its discovery.

Current UK Legal Situation

Legally ketamine is considered class c, although it has only just been recently made illegal and classified. The authorities are aware of its existence but have not yet developed the systemic tools to deal with it. They know that it is available and are of the opinion that ketamine supply represents low risk and high gains to organised criminals. It seems as though it is not a priority for them as users are unlikely to commit crime in order to get their fix, plus the loss of autonomy produces a much more docile creature for them- easier to control.

There appear to have been a couple of reasons for the classification of K. Firstly the UK police forces reported to the Home Office that there was an increase of use and seizures. However, what is less reported is that it was classified to close a legal loophole. In 2002 Her Majesties Customs and Excise noticed that large amounts of rosewater were being imported from Goa, India(j). Furthermore, all of these bottles of rosewater appeared identical, which raised suspicions. Upon testing the rosewater they realised that it was in fact ketamine hydrochloride (liquid K). In its natural form K comes as an injectable liquid. To turn it into the snortable powder the liquid is heated or 'cooked' until the hydrochloride solution evaporates.
As mentioned above, K previously fell under the Medicines Act, which states that it is illegal to import a prescription only medicine without a license. However, interpretation of this legislation concluded that the import of the rosewater solution [as opposed to medicinal vials] did not constitute a 'medicine', which consequently meant the importation was not illegal5. Unspecified (presumably vast) amounts of liquid K were being imported in the country through a legal loophole, which the government rushed to close. I say 'rushed' as I believe the Home Office's decision to make K only Class C was made in haste. Many believe that if the primary reason for classification were to control the drug, then K would be more at 'home' as a Class B drug. However this merely underlines the flaws of our drug classification system; the class of a substance doesn't reflect the harmfulness, dangers or social impact of the drug.

Composition and Basic Effects

Ketamine Hydrochloride can come either as a crystal, a powder or as a liquid. The crystals are usually small, thin and long (not unlike hundreds and thousands), although sometimes shorter variants can be found; but, as with all crystals, they can come in any size and shape dependent upon how they have been formed. If, for example, the ketamine has been suspended in liquid (usually water) then it can form quite large irregular crystals, given enough time.
+Ketamine is a very strange and a very potent drug whose effects are difficult to explain as they happen on so many different levels dependent upon the consumption and tolerance to the substance of the user. It is usually snort-ed, sometimes injected, and infrequently is used in pills. Tolerance is acquired rather quickly and has enormous influence on the quality of the psychedelic experience .
When snorted for the first time a very small line, 1cm long say (or even less), will give a feeling of exhilaration, invulnerability and slight detachment from reality- 'the wobbly effect', a bit like that old advert for mints- 'Mr. Soft'. However larger doses will draw the user into the dissociative realm.
Dissociation allows the user to become totally detached from reality without becoming unconscious and enter a realm of pure thought, unhindered by distraction from physical reality- this effect is colloquially known as the 'k-hole'.
The K-hole can be extremely scary and daunting at first as your brain does not recognise what is happening to it, but it becomes more manageable as time goes on. This however is the flip side to tolerance. Indeed entering the k-hole is almost as crazy as the thing itself.
Tolerance is the other problem. Whilst first time users can get very, very high from small doses of less than 50 milligrams (one twentieth of a gram), long-term users can tolerate doses of up to 500 milligrams (half a gram) and still feel less intoxicated than the first-time user. Considering the effects of ketamine only last around 20-30 minutes, what is regarded as a relatively cheap drug can turn into quite an expensive habit. Even though the street price of the drug has halved in some cities over the last five years or so to £10 a gram, those who are tolerant to the drug have no problem getting through up to five grams in a session, which can become more costly than heroin addiction. I'm often asked why the price has come down so much – and the answer lies in mere economic theory – supply-and-demand.


After you take the ketamine it can take up to 20 minutes for the first effects to start (this can be much quicker if injected IM or instantaneous if injected IV- not recommended!). The first effects are rather strange. To begin with there can be intense spatial distortion: if you are in a room or night club the room can seem to grow suddenly to many times its real size which can be extremely disorientating. The type of music playing is very important and if you are not used to this I would suggest surroundings, company and music with which you are familiar, although an unfamiliar environment can lead to a more intense experience.
Then suddenly it is almost as if the life in front of you becomes a film reel, or rather a series of snapshots of people and situations which pass before you very quickly, too quickly to perceive any single one on its own in its entirety. Instead you experience a feeling that these snapshots embody reality/existence and you experience a feeling of destiny, of this is how things are meant to be, that all events are connected for a reason too big for you to comprehend. This can be disturbing. The images then start to appear faster and faster and you get the feeling of falling into a hole. You see this hole rush up towards you faster and faster and can experience vertigo until suddenly you hit it and all panic seems to stop and you seem to become at one with the universe. This is often accompanied by a feeling of serenity and a constant quite high pitched note which reinforces the feelings of being calm, safe and at one with everything.
One possible, novel explanation of this effect is that normally each living conciousness is represented as a single point in the universe, the position where the organic vessel containing that conciousness resides. This point has a barrier around it, keeping the conciousness in one place so that it can concentrate on dealing with "reality". Then, when you take ketamine the barrier dissolves and your conciousness expands faster and faster- the snapshots being 'true' events which your mind 'sees' as it expands. Your mind continues expanding/ de-territorialising until it no longer inhabits a single point in space time, but encompasses a network of points of recognition within "universe/the whole of space time", or in 'scientific' words it achieves "quantum non-locality" or you have an "out of body experience". The effect is intrinsic to the ketamine experience. It can most easily and loosely be described as being in one place and every other place at the same time. In other words consciousness appears to escape the confines of the nervous system completely and operate independently of it, that is it separates itself from its local, corporeal embodiment and becomes non-local in time and in space.
After this experience then the hallucinations/visions begin. At first it is hard to comprehend these or to remember anything when you come back round. But as you become accustomed then all matter of visions can happen. It must be stressed that these visions are not like normal hallucinations on LSD or other hallucinogens. Whilst you are in this state the visions that you experience are as real as concious reality itself. You can also cause yourself harm because you are not aware of the environment around you. Let me give you some anecdotal examples:
1) I was on a small travellers site, two trailers, two trucks, next to Devil's Dyke just outside Brighton. I took a big line of K, went through the process outlined above and then suddenly found myself running down a street in some town I didn't recognise. I didn't like this and can remember telling myself so. Suddenly I was on a beach next to the edge of a lake. I looked around me to discover that it was in fact a desert. Behind me was my trailer- the one from reality along with two others that I didn't recognise. I had a ponounced feeling of extreme calm and serenity. A girl I didn't know came out and we sat down, drank tea from a camp fire and talked, although I can't remember what about. Then my reality changed again suddenly, but I can't remember where to. I was so astounded by my transportation to the beach and the peace that I felt that I brought back the memory of this intact. The change between these events is strange, like an abrupt temporal shift: your sense of identity and of being in the present are acute, but your surroundings and their context shift almost instantaneously.
2)Another time I was on a site at a huge squat in Ris d'Orangis in Paris. After I went into the K hole I found myself wandering around the site and talking with people that I lived there with, with no recollection of having taken any K. it seemed as though I was walking round for 20 minutes- half an hour when I suddenly turned a corner that was not there previously to be confronted by a blue triple decker bus- like a London Routemaster but blue and with 3 decks. I thought nothing of this and climbed aboard and ascended to the top deck where I sat on a bean bag and conversed with the people there for what seemed like ages. I then remember coming round quite quickly and finding myself exactly where I was before I took the ketamine. I remember this occasion vividly because I refused to believe that I hadn't moved and had to be repeatedly told by my friends that this was the case. It was only the encounter with the triple decker that finally convinced me, otherwise the encounter was so real as to almost be like astral planing.
3) The amount of injuries I've sustained whilst on K is uncanny. My favourite incident was falling down the bank of grass outside a pub on my birthday. I'd been dancing on the bank, stumbled, and rolled down the hill cracking my head on the concrete bin-store. When I came around there was a bar supervisor there with a member of the security team bandaging up another injury on my arm. I was so off my head I thought I was watching an episode of Blue Peter (starring myself) and they were giving a first-aid demonstration on what to do if your friend [me] fell down a bank and hurt themselves!
4) And then there was the time I borrowed my mates BMX to get home after a session. I got some nice speed coming down a rather steep hill, then I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I came around sitting in my bath with my housemate holding the shower nozzle over my head. I'd somehow come off the bike and again smacked my head on the pavement, causing a not-so-sexy inch-long gash on my forehead. After cleaning the wound, I just wanted to go to bed, but my flatmate was determined to call an ambulance. Five stitches later and I'm scarred for life. It does look kind of cool though…
Another thing with ketamine is that if you concentrate on something enough you can confidently analyse it piece by piece until you come up with a solution or understanding as to how it works. This is because the mind can detach itself and work independently, focussing upon a single matter. In this respect it is a powerful analytical tool, however it could also be seen as poisoned fodder for the inquisitive and brain hungry.
Once your tolerance builds however, you will find that you can no longer reach the point where you enter the k-hole and instead you remain in reality all the time. But you still enter a sort of trance as you are still disassociated in the fact that your mind and body are still separated. Your thought process and your reactions slow down meaning that it is difficult to socialise or get things done, even though you think you are acting normally. This can be extremely dangerous if you attempt to drive, ride a bike or operate machinery (as the prescription warning goes).
Psychologically speaking, ketamine seems to feeds your death instinct, this is one of the dangers of ketamine. It allows it to come to the fore, making you selfish, only concerned about immediate personal satisfaction. You forget about other priorities, you become a shell, refraining from socialising as your focus turns slowly inward onto yourself. After a while you may find yourself being able to move in and out of the conciousness/awareness trance at will, which is a very strange and disturbing thing at first, as you realise that no longer does the drug have such control over you. This is also potentially dangerous as it may lead you to believe that you are in control, whereas in fact the addiction gains greater control instead.
Ketamine also comes, however, with plenty of other negative consequences. It is not too bad if you are an occasional user, but if you are a habitual user (of any drug), in the sense that you use drugs as a mask to take you away from contemporary reality, then ketamine is not for you, as there is a strong chance that you will become addicted with all the psychological and physical problems that entails. It is often said that there are no withdrawals from ketamine, but this view is mistaken.
There may be no visible signs of physical withdrawal like those from heroin and other opiates, but there is a marked psychological withdrawal which entices you back to using. One becomes so accustomed to experiencing the world in this altered mental state that the brain finds it difficult to latch onto reality as the default mode. This can cause quite severe psychological withdrawals as the brain panders after the artificial interpretation of reality that ketamine offers. This, combined with the loss of autonomy that is a by-product of ketamine abuse, can make it extremely difficult to stop- especially if ketamine is freely available.
Further consequences of ketamine abuse are increased anxiety, irrational social fear and self-enforced solitude. It can best be described as being similar to voluntarily incarcerating yourself within a psychological prison. This has the effect of destroying your autonomy while offering insights and speculative scenarios, effectively removing you, psychically, from human community. At the time these insights are extremely enticing. The brain latches onto what it sees as the objective benefits of these experiences whilst at the same time remaining unaware of the negative consequences which are the inevitable result. The worst of these side effects is arguably the loss of autonomy.
Your autonomy is destroyed as a consequence of the quantum non-locality effect. The quantum non-locality effect offers the belief that you are part of a larger thing than just yourself, because it allows you to be where you are and everywhere else at once. A vast emptiness and a very lonely one. When this is combined with the reptilian impulses of the id then a model which favours self gratification and selfishness occurs. This model causes a loss in the ability to choose secondary options which are not so necessary for basic survival and thus a sense of autonomy.
Another way of putting this is to say that Ketamine retards the forward mental advancement procedure of your brain. As it entices you to live in the now, the here, the instant, it also prevents you from seeing the immediacy of any potential possibilities in the immediate future. This is how it slows you down, as you become trapped in the moment, unable to quite grasp the next moment of reality. In effect, you stagnate, mentally, in your connection to the real, everyday world. There is a loss of connection which means that even the most basic chores, like cleaning up and doing the washing up, become even bigger impossibilities, problems and nightmares than they were before.

D.M. Turner, a self-confessed addict, (who drowned in the bath after taking K) explains these problems in yet another way as "a reduction in ambition; a reduction in healthy mortal fears, such as the fear of death; as well as a reluctance to confront fears or difficult tasks and situations directly. Frequent use of Ketamine can lure one as an escape since a blissful and fantastic state of fearless, disembodied consciousness is so easily available".
Ketamine can, if used wisely and not abused, be advantageous when administering chemical assistance in order to modify/self-program your consciousness. It can be useful in helping to determine how individuals might de-program themselves and cause deep changes to the psyche. This can be demonstrated by a reference to the eight circuit theoretical model as first described by Dr. Timothy Leary and then by Robert Anton Wilson in his book PROMETHEUS RISING, (Falcon Press 1983).
This theoretical model of human consciousness employs metaphors termed bio-circuits. As far as we're concerned we only need one of the circuits at the moment. Therefore we will be concentrating on the eighth bio-circuit, which is feature of everyone's nervous system just waiting to be unlocked at any moment!- anybody interested in circuits five to seven should refer to PROMETHEUS RISING by Robert Anton Wilson.
When one takes a 'journey' down the K-hole then the Circuit Eight or 'The Quantum Non-Local Circuit' is triggered. Also called the Metaphysiological Circuit, this type of consciousness involves disassociative and out-of-body experiences (OOBE's), consciousness appears to escape the confines of the nervous system completely and operate independently of it, that is it separates from its local, corporeal embodiment and becomes non-local. This OOBE – appears to be triggered by ketamine, as well as very large doses of LSD or various yogic practices and shamanic techniques and is one of many liberation-of-consciousness phenomena which point ultimately to the type of experience variously known as union with all consciousness, communion with the Cosmic Consciousness, One, AUM etc.
Here is where the quantum non-local effect comes into play. Since Circuit Eight is non-local in time as well as in space, such time-bridging abilities as precognition and retrocognition come into play. Often, precognition is a matter of trusting your own perceptions more than anything else, rather than dismissing them as "only" imagination or fantasy. Indeed, neither the future nor the past can be described as fixed, since each person's reality differs so widely, and many possibilities in the running may or may not materialize at any given point. With activation of this circuit, comes the increasing awareness that various realities are more or less arbitrary and equally valid depending on the framework being used, a logical progression from the metaprogramming discoveries of Circuit Seven. Finally, the most obvious indicator of Circuit Eight in operation is an expansive, "cosmic" feeling that defies description but feels utterly marvellous.
Ketamine boosts the ego. The focus upon the self produces a huge egotistical monster which can happily boom laughingly down the street and into any social situation without realising that its presence is blatantly, obviously apparent. This is like the loss of all social mores in the way that you don't care what people think. Thus develops a mindset perfectly suited for today's society—one which favours self gratification and selfishness within a vast empty and lonely social structure.
In any case, these encounters of the Ultimate kind seem practically beyond description. As is usually experienced with ketamine, words appear completely inadequate to describe or even understand the experience; only repeated trips by the ketamine psychonaut seem to offer a way of understanding and keeping hold of any meaningful context. However, as repeated elsewhere in the essay this method is fraught with danger to the individual psyche, so if one really would like to navigate this level of conciousness and aim for actual transformation of reality, we would recommend other less narcotic methods, like wide-spread rebellion against the ruling order and the immediate total liberation of every aspect of our lives. Unfortunately these take more work and more time to achieve- but the satisfaction is surely worth it.

Physical Effects

If you allow it to become habitual then Ketamine can take an extremely heavy toll on you physically. It is a corrosive alkaline hydrochloride salt so your nose will slowly disintegrate from the inside out, and a good wake up call is if you blow your nose and big lumps of flat snot come out—it's not snot, it's your nasal lining! This is caused by the fact that when you snort it (in large amounts) it sits around waiting to be absorbed into the bloodstream, but while it there it is eating away at the soft tissue inside your head from the inside.
It also has a huge detrimental effect on your urinary/renal system, causing an extremely painful form of cystitis where you will suddenly need to urinate very badly, with strong burning pains in your bladder. however when you attempt to urinate you will find that you are unable to immediately and will have to wait, whilst in the meantime it can be painful to walk. Once it does come you will feel like you are not be able to hold it in, but it will still not come out for a few minutes. When it does it can burn intensely. It is very important to drink lots and lots of water in order to flush the alkaline through your system as all the time it is burning and eating at your kidneys and bladder and can lead to infection in both.
In fact it attacks your whole water system as your body recognizes it for the poison that it is. Your nose also runs and your spit glands go into overdrive. It is extremely important to spit when you feel like it. Although this is not socially polite, if you swallow the spit you may find yourself with k-cramps as the alkaline burns your stomach lining—this is excruciatingly painful and can leave you doubled up in agony. It is important to make sure that you always have food in your stomach.
Excessive intake when ketamine is snorted can cause a build up of salts in the renal system leading to high blood pressure and hypertension. This causes anxiety and is detrimental to eyesight function.
The level of ph is affected by ketamine as your blood becomes more astringent. This causes itches and rashes but is also highly dangerous as you have an alkaline coursing through your body destroying the cell walls. In effect you are burning your body from the inside out, corrosively degenerating your kidneys, liver, heart etc.
You almost feel as if your entire body is becoming alkaline and astringent, you can taste it in your saliva and you feel like you are becoming like the properties of an alkaline-astringent, sharp, edgy, tetchy, agitated: corrosive


Ketamine is a seriously dehabilitating drug that causes psychological dependence resulting in a loss of autonomy which is antithetical to the survival of the human spirit. If you really want insights into the human condition or just want a drug to use recreationally to escape the pressures of modern life then I would suggest you look elsewhere.
It is a perfect dumb down drug for the modern generation for all that ultimately does is distract you from reality
Ketamine offers a lot but produces nothing. It offers a vision of perfection but removes the tools with which you would need to get there.
Ultimately ketamine is a death drug: it kills your body, it kills your spirit and reduces your autonomy for the sake of a perceived artificial reality which only contributes to the social disintegration which is an endemic symptom of post-industrial, post-modern society.

Random notes on CALL

My first impression after reading ‘Call’ was that it really did not say anything to me. Since the beginning of their booklet the authors use quite abstract language, which is perhaps intended to go beyond the banal words that are employed in everyday conversations and by the media, but which fails to achieve its purpose. So they talk about ‘evident’ and ‘worlds’ but me, quite a humble reader, do not catch what they mean nor do they further explain these exotic concepts.
Their Proposition I states: ‘Faced with the evidence of catastrophe there are those who get indignant and those who take note, those who denounce and those who get organised. We are among those who get organised’.
They do not mention another category: those who struggle and attack by deeds and by words. They do not mention hundreds of comrades all over the world who attack and sometimes are imprisoned but still continue to attack. They do mention the Black Panthers, the German Autonomen, the Italian Autonomists, the British neo-luddites, radical feminists, the 2nd June movement but they seem not to be aware of recent facts, from the struggle against the immigration detention centres and the world that produces them to the solidarity that expresses itself by all possible ways every time repression hits hard.
It has to be seen, then, what kind of organisation the authors of this booklet are into. They declare that ‘to get organised means: to start from the situation and not to dismiss it. The name we give to the situation that we are in is world civil war’. First of all I wonder why they say world civil war instead of calling it social war, then I still don’t understand what they mean by starting from the situation and not dismissing it. The answer is maybe what they later call ‘secession’, secession from the capitalist valorisations and secession from the left identified with Tute Bianche, Attac, social forums and other species of activists.
I wonder once again why they talk about ‘secession’ and not about ‘refusal’. Refusing the capitalist valorisations and the world of the leftist activists (which is a product of the latter) means to act according to a revolutionary project. ‘Secession’ implies the negation of any revolutionary break. The authors simply constitute themselves as an ‘autonomous material force within the world civil war’ and as such they ‘set out the conditions’ of their call. What is this autonomous material force intended to do? And does not this ‘setting out the conditions’ have a hint of vanguardism? It does, in my opinion, and I found other statements in ‘Call’ that seem to be imposed from above.
If on the one hand their analysis of the present catastrophe and of the way various species of leftists try to cope with it is good, on the other hand the authors of ‘Call’ do not propose anything concrete. On the contrary they launch their ‘call’ (from above of course): ‘This is a call. That is to say it aims at those who can hear it. The question is not to demonstrate, to argue, to convince. We will go straight to the evident’. Here are some people who propose themselves as those who know the truth (what they call ‘the evident’) and make a ‘call’ at those who can hear it.
Furthermore throughout the booklet great emphasis is made on ‘community’, ‘sect’ and ‘collective experience’. No mention is ever made of individual action. In fact the authors of ‘Call’ say clearly that they prefer ‘collectivity’ to the individual. In their ‘Call’ the individual disappears under the predominance of the ‘material collective force’. The individual is only mentioned in a derogatory way, as the ‘liberal individual’, the pacifist, the advocate of human rights. The existence of individuals animated by rebellious thoughts who act according to a revolutionary project either on their own or along with other individuals animated by the same rebellious thoughts is not at all contemplated. On the contrary the authors are convinced that ‘the end of capitalism’ will come after a link is established between what one lives and what one thinks, and that this link is not an individual issue but it depends on ‘the construction of shared worlds’. I find it hard to follow this reasoning as I think the desire to put an end to ‘the catastrophe’ is entirely an individual issue. It starts from individual inner rage and its ability to find accomplices along the way. I don’t think that the starting point is organisation and ‘shared worlds’: this only leads to the production of abstract words, which can be seductive and glamorous but which will never end up in any really revolutionary transformation.
Finally, what on earth does: ‘On the one hand, we want to live communism; on the other, to spread anarchy’ mean? The authors of ‘Call’ suggest that communism is not a political or economic system, has no need of Marx and has never had anything to do with the USSR. They say that communism means to elaborate one’s relationship to the world, to the beings, to oneself, and that it starts from ‘the experience of sharing’.
They go on: ‘The practise of communism, as we live it, we call the Party. When we overcome an obstacle together or when we reach a higher level of sharing, we say that we are building the Party’. If this kind of communism needs the building of a party (exactly as Marxist communism) it cannot be associated with ‘spreading anarchy’. The authors of ‘Call’ are very careful in depicting their ‘Party’ as a captivating ‘formation of a sensibility as a force’, in which everything is shared on equalitarian basis and in which formalisation is minimal. They almost succeed in presenting ‘the Party’ as the only effective instrument of struggle against the system, as the most wonderful achievement of any antagonist movement, but still their association between ‘anarchy’ and ‘communism’ and its ‘Party’ is unconceivable.
As far as I know anarchy does not need any Party. And if it can express itself also through collective activity (between two or more people) it cannot be disconnected from the individual. It is the individual desire for freedom, the individual disgust towards exploitation.
I wish the authors of ‘Call’ all the best. May their call reach those who ‘are building the Party elsewhere’, but certainly it will never reach my ears.

Chile – Communique from Insurrectionist Internationalist Revolutionary Organisations to the world


On June 4 2008, following unanimous agreement between the organisations that signed this document, the second Informal International Meeting of Insurrectionist Revolutionary Anarchism, which was held in some place of the Chilean metropolitan area, has concluded.
This declaration is part of the final document elaborated to make public the debate and the conclusions expressed by the participants at this meeting. Therefore we publish clandestine words full of violence against the state and dreams strengthened by anarchist reconstruction of human society.
From this place we declare:
1. We recognize that a Social War is going on and manifests itself in the different dimensions of human strength and intellect at different levels of intensity. We did not invent this war nor did we wage it; it has been actually proclaimed for centuries by the bosses and the defenders of political systems that oppress the vast majority of people with coercion, fear and ‘reason’.
2. We publicly recognize the enthusiasm and efforts of anonymous brothers and sisters of past and present generations, who have dedicated and still dedicate their life to libertarian struggle. Their ideas and actions take us all the way long. A warm greeting to all of you.
3. We declare ourselves libertarian and insurrectionist fighters. We did not serve any authoritarian leftist ideology nor do we fall into the trap of reading ‘classics’. What they suffered is different in many aspects, though not in all, from what we are enduring now. Our idea is permanently defining itself, always free and ferocious.
4. We are claiming and making concrete the right to think and struggle for the construction of really free societies, led by supreme respect for nature and characterized by social and individual behaviour aimed at strengthening the dignity and common wealth of the men and women who live on the planet. We are claiming and cultivating the right to multiply solidarity and egalitarian practices in every aspect of the existent. We claim mutual support between individuals and independent and free communities, the right to intervene directly against the catastrophe menacing the planet every single second, the right of human beings to think and act for a free world, the right to live without bosses, leaders, police or authority, in freedom and self-discipline.
5. We identify our direct enemies as those who govern and defend this system of slavery, which is based on the existence of pyramidal and authoritarian organisations, for example State structures, business companies, churches and also their false critics.
6. We claim the right to exercise collective and individual abilities towards the destruction of everything that is turning us all into slaves.
7. We affirm our engagement to carry on the libertarian struggle.
8. We claim all the actions carried out in different areas by every organisation present at this meeting.. We made explosions against police stations, banks, companies and churches. We have contributed to stirring up and radicalising wild strikes. We have hurled stones and molotovs against cops. Yes, we claim our full and conscious responsibility for these actions. If they want to consider us ‘guilty’ we are such. We declare ourselves guilty of sabotaging the functioning of this slave society that reduces people to starvation. We declare ourselves guilty of knowing this functioning in order to attack it. We declare ourselves guilty of illegal possession of autonomous thoughts of struggle for freedom. But we know that the ‘guilt’ we take on ourselves every day is the knowledge that the vast majority of people suffer and die under the action of the lords of the world, whereas the latter live in the opulence of a fantasy from which we are waking them up.
9. Clarification. The authorities of this country have said that we act against property and that we do not want to kill anyone. We answer that property is our actual target. Property is theft, therefore to destroy it conceptually and effectively is our duty. But we remind that property is created and defended by individuals armed with laws and soldiers. To eliminate these parasites is inevitable in the social war.
We have control of all the sectors in which we realize our direct actions. Before attacking public places we have always made telephone calls so that these places were evacuated. Police and the media tell a lie when they claim that we did not. The explosive attack against the Opus Dei University, carried out by the Insurrectionist Federation in the night of April 23, had been announced with telephone calls to the police station in Los Dominicos, the 133 police line and to the Cooperative radio 15 minutes before the explosion. As the comrades already declared, the reason for the attack was not to execute some fascist children of the bosses of this country. If such had been the case a different spot of the building would have been targeted, which would have represented only a grain of the violence that the fathers of these students and these students themselves inflict on us the exploited.
The same Federation claims the incendiary attack against the Church of Opus Dei on Lastarria road in Santiago. This attack occurred at 2.30 of Tuesday June 3. The police and the media did not make any mention of it. But the attacks will not stop.
10. We denounce the creation of a state secret structure that tries to criminalize the revolutionary organisations that dare react to institutional violence. This new ‘office’ concentrate the efforts of the State against the wide libertarian forces by gathering two departments of institutions headed by murderers and torturers (Arturo Herrera, chief investigator, and Jos? Bernales, chief of the carabineros) born by the Pinochet dictatorship, and by the government repressive services, which since 1990 are headed by leftist politicians intoxicated with power. From the carabineros; Direccion de Intelligencia Policial (DIPOLCAR), Grupo de Operaciones Especiales (GOPE), Departemento de Investigacion de Organizaciones Criminales (0S-9); from investigative sectors: Brigada de Investigaciones Policiales Especiales (BIPE), Brigada de Intelligencia Policial (BIP), Brigada Contra el Crimen Organizado (BRICO); from the government: Agencia Nacional de Inteligencia (ANI), and the new prosecutors, especially those of the East Area. They meet in secret places in order to investigate details and communications of all the people and in order to plan the repressive fury that reminds that suffered during the military dictatorship. They try to control everything. Their goal is the same of the old and hated landowner: that only the boss enjoys the land and that the inhabitants do not make trouble.
Following these events we have formulated a few questions:
Why do they not employ all these people to investigate the deaths caused by police bullets or by this capitalist system? What about speculation carried out by traders, real-estate agencies, financial usurers, what about the daily aggression of transantiago, what about the repressive and unworthy education, the existence of armed forces that have licence to shoot on whatever pretext, the oppression against aboriginal people, the existence of an impoverished and exploited population? Are these crimes investigated? Are the names of the responsible made clear?
Answer: they are not. That is because these criminals and their wrongdoing are essential parts of the world they compel us to suffer.
11. We express our joy at the death of cop Jose Bernales, which occurred in Panama. He was nothing more than a despicable being, a torturer and murderer of the exploited and emarginated. The socialist Chilean government mourned his death and they also dared call him ‘general of the people’. But he will be remembered as General Murderer of the People, as stated by his long curriculum of torture and the recent assassinations of Rodrigo Cisternas, Matias Catrileo and Johnny Cariqueo. We dance on the body torn to pieces of the man who headed the ‘special forces’ and ‘intelligence forces’ of the police, who ordered the occupation of part of the Mapuche territory, who tried to silence any libertarian voice in the continent. But what happened? It seems that he precipitated from his helicopter while he was asleep, as wished by the many threats against he who used to suck the powerful’ socks.
As we celebrate his death we tell his successor, criminal Eduardo Gordon Valcarel, not to fall asleep because he can die at any moment like his predecessor, and not necessarily by precipitating from a helicopter.
12. We invite the conscious youth to despise the institutions and any form of social consensus. You have to know that it is all a farce. Despise and fight against servile behaviour before capital, the State and its organised mafia, historic enemies of social revolution as well as political parties (especially the communist one and the organisations that define themselves leftist) are. They only want to alternate in the exercise of power and administrate it (as in the case of the Chilean communist party).
Act inside and outside this space in which we hit at the enemy. Do not listen to pure critics who block your energy and reflective abilities. The control exercised by this system has its base in the fear instilled inside you, a fear of your thoughts, desires and actions. Break it. Anarchy can be reality. What counts is that you are its starting point.
13. We are launching an appeal so that attacks against the centres of power and social control multiply, spread and strengthen. We stress the collective proposal to carry out actions in the areas where you live and where the enemy reproduces itself. The wealthy sectors of this society must be destroyed by fire and explosions, and only we, the ever persecuted, excluded, scorned and suspect can do that.
14. We are aware that every single word we are writing will be analysed by the police of various States, especially by their ‘intelligence’ offices and by judges who waste their days trying to lock up even the air. We are not worried about that. Probably they will intensify their recourse to classic and technologically new mechanisms of social control. Further funds will be destined to pay the cowards and traitors who turn themselves into infamous informants, people who are not even worth the bullets that will execute them one day. Further shadowing, cameras, phone and internet tapping will occur. However, they are warned that we, revolutionary forces, managed to infiltrate their operations, so we will keep on sabotaging the investigations against us. We are already doing this.
15. Do you want to know the names of the members of the local organisations that sign this document? The names of the brothers and sisters who came to this meeting from other areas? As a collective answer we smile and say that it is impossible for them to identify us. They can watch the images on their cameras, examine the phone tapping on the entire population, the traffic of all emails, the register of customs at the borders, the fingerprints on every bomb that explodes under their nose, investigate everything they want, but our libertarian cause has neither names nor numbers to add to their controls on the population.
We are human beings who are breaking free from chains, bodies full of revolutionary energy that their eyes cannot see, blinded by the ghosts of the dead who weigh on their conscience. They can never stop or silence our idea. We are everywhere you look. We are the gardener who watches your moves, the porter you ignore on your way to work, the shop assistant of the shop you visit, the window-cleaner who approaches your car when you stop at the traffic light, the teacher who educates your children, the person next to you while you queue at the bank, the football player of your team, the anonymous people who pierce your controlled borders, the human beings you look at with disgust and annoyance. Present and alert. We sow the idea that is eroding your brain and your police system. We carry a new world in our heart and bombs in our hands, which will destroy your universe of chains and exploitation.
16. Next meeting will follow soon. Our direct actions are due when the enemy least expects them…

Banda Antipatriota Severino di Giovanni
Columna Buenaventura Durruti
Columna Luiggi Lucchenni
Columnas Armadas y Desalmadas Jean Marc Rouillan
Federacion Insurrectionalista
Federacion Insurrectionalista / Comando Ciudad de Panama - Brigada Barrio de Calidonia
Federacion Revuelta
Federacion Revuelta-Comando Antonio Ramon Ramon
Federacion Revuelta 14F – Brigada Gaetano Bresci
Fuerzas Autonomicas y Destructivas Leon Czolgosz
Grupos de Ataque Antiautoritario
Miguel Arcangel Roscigna
Tanmyo Gavilan

GENOA 2001.

This article is translated from the periodical ‘Machete’,
number 1, January 2008.

…all jokes are fair
Sand. It blurs our vision and takes us into a fantasy world where everything seems to be alive yet nothing is real. We get lost in a rapid alternation of strangely vivid and alluring images, and are drawn along by their hypnotic power. What is the story we are about to tell if not a story of ghosts, shadows mistaken for preys, and deformed mirrors regarded as spectacles of truth? And it has been like that from the beginning.
We are thinking about neo liberalism, which the good souls of the left are shooting their arrows at. Instead of criticising the whole social organisation that reduces human beings to goods and puts life and the universe at the mercy of the economy, they are complaining about this detail of its politics and have ended up in struggling for a local and possibly more human capitalism. As if all one wanted was to consume goods produced closer to home.
And what about the summits of the leaders of the world? Media-orchestrated appointments where nothing concrete is established, as decisions that have been made elsewhere are merely formalised and made public. With these big encounters ‘our representatives’ want to demonstrate that there is no such thing as pre-arranged politics, no centre of directives, and that all the possibilities are always open: you just have to wait in your queue, then come forward and discuss things in a civilized manner. But it has been well known for a long time that it is not a question of if, but only of when and how.
The same evanescence also afflicts counter-summits in all their manifestations. This amusing militant activism engages all the political rackets who follow government leaders and their ministries as a dog follows its owner, trying to attract the latter’s attention in every possible way. As if dominion were not the expression of social relationships and depended on the will of a bunch of State representatives upon which certain pressure must be exercised. As if it were sufficient to sit at that table, or to put the right report on it, to end exploitation and the senselessness of human existence.
The magic lantern showing all these images in their flashy inconsistency was be found in Italy a few years ago on the occasion of the G8. As the plot seemed taken for granted, not much was expected. But…. by dint of representing, simulating and demonising the latter, revolt broke out for real in the streets of Genoa that Friday of July 20 2001. A furious revolt that was able to resist repression lasted for hours but surrendered beneath the blows of media chatter, sociological comment, militant distinctions and police and judicial inquisition. It is now buried under a mountain of sand. It is time we started to clean it out of our eyes.

The meeting of the powerful of the world and their pseudo-opponents was to take place in Italy this time. Everything was to proceed to perfection, nothing had been left to chance. The press emphasized the belligerent proclamations of the curtain-raising dissenters along with the possible threat of ‘international terrorism’. Even if nobody believed the self-proclaimed people’s tribune Casarini, whose pseudo-guerrilla rhetoric provoked tears of laughter rather than shudders of fear, even if nobody believed in incursions of Arab kamikazes… the atmosphere had become hot. The government confronted the situation by adopting martial measures. In the Italy of Berlusconi, Fini and Bossi the city of Genoa underwent a militarisation such as had never been seen before. All kinds of armed forces of the State had come to patrol the city. Blockades had been set up, body-bags had been provided for the dead, marksmen had been stationed on the roofs, scuba divers in the sea. A real torture centre for prisoners had been set in Bolzaneto, whose management had been committed to the gentlemen of the prison special antiriot squads. The task of guaranteeing public order was mainly delegated to the carabinieri, which on that occasion formed the CCIR (resolute intervention squads), made up of soldiers headed by officials of the elite military body ‘Tuscania’, already active in warfare missions abroad; but the police also distinguished themselves in repressive tasks. The State was not only ready to face protests but also and mainly to wage war. It was not a question of controlling demonstrators but of completely getting rid of enemies. It was in Genoa that the Italian State experimented the same military logic that characterizes international missions in a systematic, explicit and widespread way for the first time. This shows how, in a world unified by the religion of money, the difference between external and internal enemies is disappearing. After all, if a war is considered to be a police operation, a police operation can be well considered a war.

The battlefield is individuated around the ‘red zone’. It is here, under the gates and fences erected in defence of the site of the summit that the assaults of the demonstrators are expected. It is here that the little leaders of media-directed dissent have gathered their camel-troops. It is also here that the guard-dogs of dominion are concentrated in order to ward off the pressure of the unhappy subjects who have come to beg their non-existent rights. Everything seems ready. A multitude of respectful citizens shouting their reasons, the forces of order employed to stop them, the skirmish decided in advanced to exorcise the spectre of real clashes, the journalists from all over the world, the final applause so that everything, summit and counter-summit, ends quietly. Nothing of this is to happen.
The institutions do not really want to avoid clashes but want to give an unforgettable lesson to the ungrateful consumers of western welfare. A part of the movement, however, prefer to be protagonists of an explicit rebellion against so-called Masters of the World rather than spectators or walk-on parts in a show set for the media. So the rebels do not show up in the ‘red zone’, they prefer to desert the virtual clashes decided in advance with the institutions and engage in a real clash without mediation. Hundreds of enemies of this world, very different each one from the other, without leaders, heads or tails, decide to desert the appointment with the politicians and honour that of the darkness of their desires. Even if they are in the city on the day decided by the institutional agenda, they go where they are not expected to go. Instead of hurling themselves head-on at the heart of dominion they prefer to move elsewhere, knowing that dominion does not have a heart but is everywhere. The physical places where the cult of money is celebrated, where the stench of goods can be felt, where the lies of commerce can be heard – and not the mere ‘symbols’ of capitalism used as pretexts by leftist adulaters of the existent – will undergo the practical critique of action: banks are attacked, supermarkets are looted, finance companies are assaulted.
As time passes and the revolt spreads, the flux of rebels (joined by passers-by and curious onlookers) transforms its composition by modifying the surrounding environment. Nothing remains as it was before. Cars are now toys to be played with and barricades hold back the police. Sirens are silenced, electronic eyes are blinded. Journalists are kept away. Looting transforms goods for the few into a free-for-all. Walls lose their menacing greyness through colourful slogans. Roads, yards and buildings become arsenals. Town planning melts in the fire of revolt. In all these actions, rebels find authentic wellbeing, not that contemplated in abstract or exchanged for the humiliation of work. They clash many times with police, but on many other occasions they know how to avoid them. As always happens when the existent errupts, euphoria spreads and common sense flees. Soon the impossible becomes possible: the Marassi prison, which had been emptied to make room for arrested people, is attacked. The same happens to a carabinieri barracks. For their part, the men in uniform display all the violence they are capable of.
Those who accuse the black-dressed rebels of having stirred repression should recognize that from the beginning police attack was indiscriminate and hit everybody, especially the pacifist demonstrators. This means that the actions of police and carabinieri had been prepared and organized in advance as a preventive measure against everybody. It was not the result of excess of zeal or nervousness on the part of the forces of order, or of their lack of experience; on the contrary it was the real face of State terrorism that hurled its tanks at mad speed against harmless demonstrators. Under a deluge of teargas shot even from helicopters, the street became covered in the blood of hundreds and hundreds of demonstrators. It was this that pushed the explosion of revolt. Up until that moment the rebels’ devastation had not gone beyond what had been done in similar situations, that is to say direct action carried out by some hundreds of comrades who take advantage of the situation. Exactly what was supposed to stop it, the intervention of police, ended up fomenting it. In fact, the brutality of the men in uniform led to a generalized uprising. In a short time, thousands of demonstrators who had been quiet until then, joined the rebels and started fighting the cops armed with their anger alone.

Many insubordinates deserted the ranks of the political rackets whose leaders were calling for calm, moderation and non-violence. The ideology of disobedience knew its first disobedients. Before the ferocity of repression no party can resist. Deaf to the appeals of their leaders who told them not to react, many Disobedients started fighting against the men in uniform with the help of other demonstrators who ran to defend them from the attack of police. It is exactly by individuating the common enemy when the latter attacks that rebels immediately recognize each other and break the isolation of the ‘lonely crowd’, because when the boredom and anguish of survival are broken, individuals reveal themselves, to themselves and to others. It does not matter what the specific reasons are that provoked this situation. The fact is that for a few hours of that day, July 20, 2001, there were no violent or non-violent, men or women, social democrats or anarchists, militants or common people, employed or unemployed, but there were only individuals in revolt against the guard-dogs of the existent and the life that is imposed.
The clashes against the forces of order multiply, demonstrators come from everywhere ready to hurl themselves against the cops, and it is during one of these clashes that Carlo Giuliani is executed. He is not one of the ‘black bloc’. He is not an anarchist. He is not a provocateur. He is not an infiltrator. He is simply a young man who has decided to react to the violence of the State. He is not one of the few but one of the many. It is important to clarify this aspect. In the following days all the politicians-in-career that infest the movement take their distance, accusing the rebels of being ‘provocateurs’ and ‘infiltrators’ who have intentionally sabotaged a great pacific appointment with their actions, and have made everybody lose the occasion of being heard.
The social democrat mob—the same that until then had raised so much dust and noise and that believed they were the engines of history—spread slander on the rebels by reintroducing the old Stalinist tradition of the ‘witch-hunt’. This is their way to unleash their rancour against those who have decided to flee their control and have revealed the falseness of their pretended authoritativeness. It is their way to close their eyes before the failure of their political project, whose vainglorious inconsistency appeared in all its misery at the end of those days, when they tried pathetically to re-launch it. On the following day, July 21, police unrestrained by absolute certainty of impunity carried out the attack against the Diaz school, where all those who were there were massacred by ferocious cops.
In truth the rebels who fought against the forces of the old world in Genoa were numerous. Anarchists but not only. Dressed in black but not only. Foreigners but not only. The taste of freedom does not know limits, labels, uniforms or borders. And those who were so indignant at the fact that hundreds of comrades went to Genoa with the intention of stirring an uprising, by preparing themselves and avoiding the trap of the direct clash with police, should think instead of those who had stirred passions for months before and promised assaults and incursions without really intending to do it and without taking care of the possible consequences, those who lifted the white hands of non-violence as a sign of surrender and not of dignity, by contributing to sending thousands of harmless demonstrators to the massacre.

As soon as the revolt was over, journalists, specialists and experts started with their comments. The more testimonies and interpretations of what happened came forward the more its crystal clarity diminished. The lively wholeness of the revolt of Genoa has been sectioned and dismembered into many little particles. The bureaucracy of detail has swept away the immediacy of meaning.
An example for all is the inquest on the death of Carlo Giuliani. Who fired the shot? What weapon was used? From what distance? How may shots? Was the defendant really isolated from the other carabinieri? Let’s see the images again, let’s calculate the distances again, let’s read the reports again… one, two, three, to infinity until ears become deaf, eyes blind, brains exhausted and the original event is buried under the deluge of opinions. Make sure that no one ever reflects on the death of a young man executed during a demo of protest, instead make sure of where the extinguisher he was holding came from. The same process of making everything banal has been employed for all the rest, from the torture inflicted at Bolzaneto to the night raid at the Diaz school; everything has been pulverised so that it will be impossible to see anything. Of course this powerful work of mystification has been carried out in the name of Truth. The same truth that many hoped would come out in a court of law. Denounciations have rained against the butchers and torturers in uniform. Lawyers have been hired. Hundreds of videos have been collected with the intent to show what really did happen. Yes, the revolt of Genoa is the most photographed event in history. Cops on one side, media activists on the other, journalists in the middle, everybody was engaged in a mad game to immortalise the actions of others. Representation first of all, for posterity, for people to know, for someone to pay, for justice to triumph.

In spite of that, everybody knows what happened. It is engraved in indelibly in the memory and the flesh of thousands of demonstrators. And Genoa has demonstrated the absolute practical inutility of cameras and video cameras; on the contrary it has showed their dangerousness. Apart from the police, who took advantage by identifying and denouncing many rioters, a task made easier by the constant presence of people carrying cameras, and apart from journalists who have earned money for their work, who has really benefited from all the filming? What’s the point in showing the entire world the vice-chief of Digos of Genoa, Alessandro Perugini, kicking in the face of a boy immobilised on the ground by a few cops? Has he, caught red-handed, been put in the condition not to repeat his enterprise? Did a court condemn him by expelling him from the police and substituting him with a well-educated cop respectful of the Constitution? Not at all, on the contrary, with quite a macabre sense of humour the State has appointed Mr Perugini as Italian representative for an international campaign against torture. Similarly, it has promoted many of the butchers who distinguished themselves over these days.
The conviction that it is sufficient to show abuse of power in order to bring it to its knees is an ideological illusion, which should disappear like all ideologies. As direct heir of the old counter-information, modern media-activism cultivates a blind confidence more in the healing power of the image than in that of words. But both are based on the assumption that, once truth is revealed, propaganda lies will be put to silence. The poor idealists who believe in the light that defeats darkness must have been very disappointed at the news that one of the experts appointed by the judiciary has argued that a stone thrown by a demonstrator could have diverted the bullet that killed Carlo Giuliani. It is really true that one can see whatever one likes in a picture. And in a competition of pictures and chats between alternative media and the institutional, one it is useless to conceal that the latter will always win. Once and for all, cameras and video cameras are only indispensable instruments for policemen and journalists (who have the same function): no one else needs them, let alone those who want to taste revolt in person instead of immortalizing that of others (or of being immortalized as tourists of revolution who film the ‘beautiful moments of life’ in order to keep them in some dusty photo album).

As no truth can be extrapolated from a picture, so no justice can be expected in a sentence. Tribunals are institutions of the same State that ordered the massacres that occurred in Genoa. Why should judges condemn the men who are in their service? It is better to cover their enterprises under some judicial quibble.
Let’s get rid of the good common sense propitiatory of guarantees according to which there exists a difference between State of right and State of fact, as if these were distinct entities that must coincide to produce justice. The State invents its right and applies and modifies it as it likes best. The torturers that in Bolzaneto tore the identity cards of the arrested to pieces while shouting ‘here you do not have rights, you are nobody!’ were merely expressing the real nature of the State, of which they are the obedient and loyal servants. No assessment, counter-investigation or sentence will ever recognize these banal facts: in Genoa the State showed its true face, our security depends on our servility, those who oppose the will of the State are enemies to be eliminated. In their delirium of omnipotence and in their security hysteria, all States offer a sharp alternative: either you are loyal subjects, in which case you might be allowed to express your disagreement, low voice and with due respect, or you are terrorists to be sent to the slaughter or to jail. Crawl or die. It does not matter if you squat empty spaces or block trains and roads, if you smash shop windows or steal in order not to work, if you express your dissent or execute a State official: any action can be legitimately considered terrorist, with all that this involves. By defining terrorist whoever does not submit voluntarily, the State shows its terrorist nature.
But the judges in Genoa have gone further: they have introduced the concept of ‘psychic participation’, according to which it does not matter if you actually take part in a revolt to be a target for repression, it is sufficient to be on the spot. If you don’t want trouble not only must you avoid throwing stones or smashing windows, you must become a cop and actively check on others. Otherwise you might be incriminated as an accomplice. Respectful subject and potential cop: that is the ideal citizen of the new millennium in the fantasies of those who govern us.
Even if all this throws an alarming light on future struggles, it also contributes to eliminating once and for all a false problem that grasps the conscience of many: that concerning violence and non-violence. The State itself now declares that repression is not stirred by the mere use of violence, as maintained by the pacifist believers in an emancipating world; on the contrary, repression is also caused by the motivations that animate its opponents. What is intolerable for the State is to aspire to a radically different life and fight for it. If things stand this way, who can be above all suspicion? If it has been the State itself to put aside the question of violence, what’s the point in parading it as a line of demarcation between ‘comrades’ and ‘provocateurs’? So the use of violence remains what it has always been: an individual choice emerging from the circumstances of the moment and the attitudes of those who put it into practice. In fact, if the reasons for the destruction of this society are clear to everybody, those for its conservation or its simple tolerance are definitively less so. Who has the right to curse those who smashed windows in Genoa? Certainly not those who smashed bones, heads and teeth. Nor those who are indignant at the violated flowerbeds and regard death at work as something normal. And not even those who want to invade the ‘red zone’ of privilege starting from the ‘grey zone’ of collaborationism. If those who attack a bank are infiltrated provocateurs, what can the one who negotiates with a chief police officer in the name of everybody, who treads the boards of representation, who becomes member of parliament, who is part of the institutional machinery be called? The State will always rely on crowds of servants ready to kill and on crowds of voters ready to be killed; and today it has presented a steep bill to some comrades for their moments of freedom. But our road, the only one that can lead us to fantastic landscapes and secret encounters where everything is still possible, can’t pass either through the halls of a tribunals or TV studios. The cult of justice and that of truth will not have our attention.
And if yesterday a quite spectacular political event turned into a generalised revolt as unexpected things followed in rapid succession, this does not mean that we have to keep an eye on the agenda of power in the hope of a replica. We can’t wait for the calendar to tell us that it is carnival time, the only day when all jokes are fair, so that we can light a match in order to melt the social ice in which we are hibernating.

‘In my opinion, to put the police on trial along with the demonstrators means to give the so-called forces of order too important a role in the event; it means to cancel the importance of the actions carried out by the people who were in the street to express what they thought of this society, by confining everyone in his or her historical role of victims of an almighty power. Carlo Giuliani, as well as many other comrades of mine, died for having expressed all this with the courage and dignity that have always characterized those who do not submit to the existent. And he will not be the last as long as relationships between people are regulated by external bodies that represent a social minority. And as I’m disillusioned and I attribute the right meaning to democracy, the idea that a representative of the constituted order is put on trial for having fulfilled his duty makes me laugh, honestly. The State puts the State on trial, someone would say. There will certainly be sentences and I won’t regard them as acts of indulgence or persecution by the court towards us. In all cases, they have to be considered as attacks against those who, in one way or another, are ready to put their life at risk in order to destroy the existent in every possible way’.
One convicted for the Genoa riots


We are heading towards global “neo-fascism”. The “fate“ of Western Democracy as the overall “fate” of the whole of Humankind. In those European countries where Civilization has finally given its most cherished fruits of “civility”, “lay virtue”, “good education”,... (Civility, in short), the post-democratic Police of Oneself has already turned real and taken body; it has actually been incarnated.


So what is the dream of democracies? What do they want to achieve over time?. Seeking answers to this problem means to raise the question of the relationship between “fascism” and “democracy”. How is “Fascism” defined from this arena of “democracy” in which it once gave rise to feared and horrendous political monuments? Is it just its opposite? Is it something else? Is it the same thing?
The History of ideas has seen three ways to clarify these questions, three theories of fascism from the perspective of Democracy. The first among them, conceived within academic historiography, has attempted to present historical fascism (German, Italian) as a kind of unparalleled monster, a horrifying “isolated” phenomenon that would meet certain very precise, specific causes typical of a certain time and certain countries, certain men and certain attitudes, which have little or nothing to do with us any more. The game of economic (crisis, unemployment, famine, ruin of the middle class, etc.), social (turbulence, conflicts, revolutionary attempts, fear of ruling powerful individuals), political (spread of certain new organizations, sclerosis and vilification of the traditional parties and almost the whole democratic system...) and ideological circumstances (dissemination of racist, nationalist, xenophobic, totalitarian beliefs etc.) often suffices to depict a local, cut-off process, almost like an endemic plague that would have placed two states in the very same antipodes of Democracy. For these historians, including Mommsen for example, “Fascism” is the perfect antithesis of “democracy” and so its historical implementation during the Inter-war period expresses the aftermath of very “particular” processes and circumstances resulting from a combination of concrete factors quite difficult to duplicate. Western Democracy, having learned the lesson, will always have to remain alert, vigilant, in order not to see itself threatened again by totalitarian organizations which, taking advantage of periods of crisis and social unrest, will always try to spread their abhorrent ideas in order to achieve political and sectarian strength...
This thesis remains dear to politicians and rulers of any kind so it legitimizes Democracy “by contrast” (the monster inhabits beyond, outside of it; it is on the opposite side) and at the same time reassures the population (Auschwitz will never happen again. We have buried its seed in salt). However, it suffers from great inconsistencies and retains some internal issues in the shadows.
Although, once holding the reins of the State apparatus, the fascists proceeded to undermine the liberal regime from within, their previous strengthening, their electoral and political promotion occurred in respect and observance of democratic rules -legalization, polls, alliances…- The public actually wanted fascism and democracy led it to where it was to arrive: the dome of the State...
In spite of some minor variations, this liberal interpretation of the fascist phenomenon has ended up as part of the official ideology of our present system; and has, for a long time, been taught almost without any discussion in our schools, privileged by the mass media etc. It is usually combined with an over valuation of the role of the leaders (Hitler, Mussolini, thoroughly demonized) and an exaggerated emphasis on the impact of ideology. It also clears the whole population, the “average citizen” from the burden of any responsibility. The men and women who voted and applauded these parties to the end, who idolized those leaders, and who, such has been recently testified by Goldhagen (1), did not always want to miss the opportunity to participate themselves in the ongoing torture and murders...


The second interpretation emerged in Marxist historiography, within the context of a fierce controversy against the liberal versions. From this perspective, which had in Nicos Poulantzas an exceptional supporter and theorist, “representative democracy” and “fascism” should be regarded (expressed metaphorically) as two “playing cards” that the ruling bourgeoisie, the national oligarchies and the social and economic supporters of Capitalism, can put on the table at their convenience. While one was shown, the other would be hidden up the sleeve, each of them would be used alternatively according to immediate interests. That way, in times of economic boom and social peace, the democratic card better serves their aspirations, reducing the use of physical repression and hardly raising any “problem of political legitimacy.” Nevertheless, in times of social upheaval, under the threat (real or imagined) of a revolutionary anti-capitalist process, economic crisis, disorder, widespread discontent, vibrant anti-establishment groups or ideologies, and so on, the hegemonic bourgeoisie, the ruling classes that keep control of the state apparatus, will resort, in order to safeguard their positions of privilege, to the terrible fascist “playing card” so far hidden up the sleeve, and will encourage, fund and sustain a process of fascistization whose aim is to restore law and order and prevent the capitalist system from further damage or collapse.

From this trend “Fascism” is no longer perceived as a “horror” buried forever in the past, but as an option for Capital, a mere functional alternative to Democracy, a replaceable monster that can very easily re-visit us. An asset which the bourgeoisie would never relinquish ... According to this interpretation, certainly less reassuring than the former, “fascism” is not the antithesis of “democracy”: it appears rather as its “blood brother”, its occasional replacement. Leaving aside any “humanist” sentimentality, the worst thing that could be said of fascism is that it serves the same interests as democracy: where fascism is bad, democracy is evil. As both regimes are the offspring of the capitalist system, their stories will always go hand in hand, hiding one after the other, following one another in a rhythmical fashion...

The third interpretation has emerged in the philosophical and literary fields and is the least complacent, the most disturbing among them. Just to put it in a nutshell: it argues that Fascism, though under a new guise, is the destiny of democracy, its truth and its future, the horizon that it is making for, its very same displaced and postponed essence. I personally concur with this version...
Representative democracy leads to a new type of fascism and, as it spreads worldwide as THE ONE AND ONLY form of political organization in our day, “Neo-Fascism” globalizes with it as the definitive denouement of mankind. Ironically, the roots of this discourse can be found in the “Dialectic of Enlightenment“, by Adorno and Horkheimer, authors who would not subscribe to the subsequent development given to the prospect that their initial work demonstrated. French theory (Foucault, in particular), with its appropriation of Nietzsche’s views, is the second largest source. The theoretical and conceptual material with which to support the unmasking of representative democracy as a liberal genesis of “Neo-Fascism” have been mainly provided by these two traditions (School of Frankfort, Genealogical Theory).
Despite their overall differences and their divergent intellectual trajectories, both schools have agreed in pointing out a circumstance whose recognition still sounds disturbing to mainstream intellectuality, academic and official knowledge: that the Western liberal democracies are based on the same form of rationality and turning to the same procedures as Historical Fascisms and Stalinism (see, in this regard, “Unmasking power” booklet by Michel Foucault) (2). This “identity” of the conceptual pre-assumptions (a-priorisms) and the leading categories found in the philosophical matrix of Fascism, Stalinism and Democracy (three versions of the same sort of rationality, three excrements discharged by the bourgeoisie politic ratio), originates in the fact that our culture has closed ranks around its philosophical roots (anchor point) in the Enlightenment and has developed its political concepts in strict obedience to the logocentric dictates of the Ratio, in the rigorous subjugation to the Modern Project. Once the background affinity between “Fascism” and “Democracy” is established, nothing prevents the former from replacing the latter, or rather, nothing prevents to two from overlapping, especially when a broad and unrestrictive concept of this applies.

Eduardo Subirats can be counted among the contemporary authors who have worked towards the elaboration of a comprehensive concept of Fascism. The latter would allow a significant “diversification” in its expressions and would legitimize the idea of a “new kind of Fascism” under a different format from the “old” one, but still sharing with this the most important generative features according to the Spanish author. Subirats carries on by stating that the absence of internal resistance (the lack of a notable opposition and critical response, which is to say the absolute “docility” of the population) and expansionism abroad (belligerency, desire for universalization) constitute the two most significant traits that define “Fascism” as a socio-political phenomenon nowadays. I personally would add a third one: the desire to exterminate Difference (cultural, psychological, political and economic etc...). These three characteristics link the experiences of German and Italian “fascism” (known as Historical Fascisms) with the management models of social space (guidelines for population control, socio-political management policies) that tend to characterize the present Demo-Liberal regimes. It could be said therefore that there is a Neo-Fascism overlapping to a greater or lesser degree with the political apparatus of Democracy (elections, parliament, political parties, etc.). A Neo-Fascism from and within democracies (democratic fascism or demo-fascism). I ignore whether there is actually still more to come or if it has already wholly installed itself within our society.


I think that we are on the threshold of a new era, if we have not already entered into it, and the least important thing in this discussion is the adequacy or inadequacy of the words I have chosen to appoint it. I could have called it “democratic despotism”; but the term does not mention expansionism and the repression of Difference. I could have also said “post-democracy”, but I do not want to give the impression that I am in sympathy with any intellectual fashion trend (fashion of the “post”, “Post-Modern”, “Post-Industrial”, “Post-History “...) The various schools of thought that have sought to distance themselves from the Modern Project, which seek to turn their backs on the chain of myths bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment (a chain so revered by all the oligarchies of the planet), provide elements, perspectives and concepts useful in order to establish and develop this idea of post-democracy or demo-fascism. In one of my recent books I attempted to bring this to the limelight and to collect evidence proving that it is not a fantasy.
The reason for me to be interested in this problem is that I believe that the new School of Demo-Fascism, the symbol and source of the new era is already starting to rise. Reformation after reformation, the post-democratic new school is appearing little by little and part of the work is about to be completed very shortly.


I have already alluded to the traits that link “post-democracy” with the broad concept of fascism, which are shared by the experiences of the totalitarian regimes in Germany and Italy. Now I would like to allude to those aspects that distinguish and singularise the former from the latter, nearly turning it into the opposite of the Historical Fascisms.
In the first place, a resounding “lack of enthusiasm” for the liberal regime, the antithesis of the “warmth of the masses” that accompanied the former fascisms can be easily detected. This “lack of enthusiasm” comes in part as a result of the de-politicization of society brought by the disempowering practice of political liberalism i.e. vote and wait to see what happens and then wait to vote again because nothing has happened. Faced with the re-politicization of citizenship that distinguished the “fascisticide” Germany and Italy, we have today the growing apolitical attitude shown by those men and women claiming to be democrats only in name, increasingly disappointed with a formula that once promised them “political self-determination “, nothing more, nothing less. Lack of enthusiasm: disillusionment, disenchantment, apathy...
Secondly, the “demo-fascism” is characterized by a progressive concealment (invisibility, imperceptiveness) of all technologies, coercive mechanisms along with every position of power and authority. Therefore, this emerging regime tends to minimize the physical apparatus of repression, and to rely almost entirely on psychological (symbolic) strategies of domination. The dialectic of Force must give up its place to the dialectic of Sympathy. This way, the post-democratic repression frankly does its job very well since, as Arnheim said, in painting as in music “the good work goes unnoticed, It barely hurts our senses“. I am afraid that the post-democratic repression is found among these sorts of “masterpieces”: It is actually excellent, for it goes on all the time but remains unperceived, almost unseen. Its core ideal is defined as: “turn every man/woman into a policeman of him/herself” so as long as certain explicit figures of authority, empirical positions of power still have to be maintained, these will need to become softer, “dulcified“, watered down, diluted and hidden. There we have the “friendly” cops, the “sensitive“ prison guards the “humanitarian” soldiers or “peacekeepers“, the “almost absent” teachers and so on...

In the spaces where relationships of subordination and uneven distribution of power quotas still have to be maintained, it will be required that the dominated people (the victims, the oppresed) grab the reins and take charge of their own subjugation and exert as punishers of themselves: students who act as “self-teachers” intervening in every school-related domain, holding opinions about everything within the school dynamics, “energizing” the lessons/lectures, participating in the governing of the institution and if necessary, even proudly marking themselves with a fail. In this way, the “object” of institutional practice will partly assume the traditional powers of the “subject”, a portion of its prerogatives and its duties as well, becoming almost the subject and object of this at the same time.
Students playing teachers; prisoners being their own guards, watchmen for the other inmates; workers acting as foremen, controlling themselves and their colleagues… Hence, this hybridization and this semi-reversal of roles, is followed by an occultation of coactive procedures and a strategic postponement of the use of force...
Of course, not all students, workers, prisoners, etc.. , fall into this trap. Harcamone, the honest criminal of Genet who really had deserved prison by murdering children, (unlike those others, ending up in “the mansion of pain” (Wilde) on the grounds of pathetic reasons, victims of miscarriages of justice, repentant crooks, criminals and even occasional or involuntary delinquents) wants one day to enjoy the whim of killing a jailer. In the end he chooses his aim well. He does not pick the prototypical sadistic, cruel and inhuman prison guard, but that idealistic young man, full of good intentions, that speaks a lot to the inmates, claims to “understand” their suffering, passes them cigarettes, criticizes the prison governors and policies and never incurs in gratuitous violence, aggressions or mistreatment. Harcamone chooses to murder that jailer through which the penal institution masks its ultimate truth, lies cynically and even aspires to “become bearable” ... Neither do the poor, the beggars and the homeless of “Viridiana” let themselves be entirely fooled by the half-nun who needed them in order to feel pious, generous, virtuous, and so did not spare undignified and outrageous gestures of unforgivable sympathy towards them. They were even on the verge of raping or killing her at a certain point... Deep poverty is terrible no one can play with it, without risk, to earn a place in heaven for themselves... (“My deprivation kills,” seems to be the message that Maldoror of Isidoro Ducase is trying to tell us after each of his murders). Unfortunately, there are no more killers with the honesty and clarity of Harcamone or poor people with the fortitude necessary to hate the “pious” who come to them to benefit in some way ... Post-democracy blurs the relations of subjugation and exploitation, saving itself the excessive resort to the physical repressive violence that characterized former fascist states…


So “demo-fascism” will be, or rather is already, an order supported by extremely civilized homunculi. Paraphrasing Norbert Elias, men who have internalized, to a high degree, the apparatus of self-repression have thus gotten used to enduring anything without experiencing any emotion of disgust or rejection. Men and women who are extremely “manageable” and incapable of hating what is worthy of being hated and loving what really deserves to be loved. Men and women incompetent for and horrified by any conflict, inept at rebellion, who have deleted the word “no” from their vocabulary and faded away in paralysing scepticism, in the most abject conformism and docility. Men and women who have failed to discern the dangers of common sense and die their lives defeat after defeat. “Withholding, withdrawal, retreat, not only with respect to this world but to all worlds, a mineral serenity, a taste for prettification whether for fear for pleasure or for pain” (Cioran).
Our civilization and culture, in its stage of decline (and, therefore, scepticism and conformism), has provided the post-democracy with the men that it needed to reduce the repressive apparatus of the state. Men moulded for centuries (“what you will never know is how long has been required by man to produce the man“, warned Gide). Men trained and accustomed to the nauseating technique of surveillance, censorship, punishment, correction, watch and snitch on each other in accordance with the expectations of current social standards.
In those European countries where Civilization has finally given its most cherished fruits of “civility”, “lay virtue”, “good education”,... (Civility, in short), the post-democratic Police of Oneself has already turned real. Indeed it has taken body, been incarnated. I recall with horror those Nordic people, in that phantasmagorical city from the Polar Arctic Circle called Alta, who did not cross the street until the traffic light, feeling sorry for them and pitying them for their absurd waiting (there were barely any cars passing the whole day), gave them the order, ashamed.
They also paid for everything mechanically, (for newspapers, drinks and some other articles which, with their corresponding price indicated, appeared here and there without anybody in charge, without locking mechanisms preventing them from being shoplifted or stolen), even though it was so simple to take them “for free” (I did it myself). For somebody like me, who has stolen so many times in his life, and who has always regarded disobedience as the only moral law, those pictures, taken from an otherwise very real nightmare, already predicted the extinction of the human heart. Soon, it will only be a gap that simulates beating under the demo-fascist man’s bosom.

Pedro GarcĂ­a Olivo

Translated from the original in Spanish by Mohawk; in the Autum of the year 23 of the Orwell Era (2007 by the already obsolete Judaeo-Christian chronology).


(1): “Hitler willing executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust”. Goldhagen, Daniel Jonah.

(2): The title of this essay in Spanish is “Por que hay que estudiar el poder; la question del sujeto” which in English would come to be something like “Why should we study power; the question of the subject”. Since no similar title has been found among the English translations of this author’s writings I have chosen the one that looked more similar to it. Anyway I am not sure if this is the right text. If somebody has an answer to this problem please, let us know.