We’ve always been against elections. Of every shape and nature. Political, local, zone-based elections; union elections, school elections, etc.
Taking part in elections means that you’re “delegating”, namely that you’re surrendering yourself to other people’s hands. Most people are manipulated by ideological programs and easy words. Anarchists have never been laboring under this misapprehension.
Those who participate in power become themselves power. Because there isn’t an optimal management of power. There is a better and a worse management, but from the depth of a dictatorship to the (apparently) golden surface of a tolerant democracy, the exploited always end up obeying, making sacrifices and a... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchists have an ambivalent relationship with the question of organization.
On the one hand there are those who accept a permanent structure with a well-defined program and means at their disposal (even if only a few), that is divided up into commissions, while on the other there is a refusal of any stable relationship, even in the short term.
Classical anarchist federations and individualists are the two extremes of an escape from the reality of the clash. The comrade that belongs to an organized structure hopes that a revolutionary transformation will result from a growth in numbers, so he holds the cheap illusion that the structure is capable of controlling any authoritarian involution or any concession to the logic of the party. The... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The road ahead of the proletariat is blocked: the reformist parties, trade unions and employers have coalesced to obstruct any growth in the level of the struggle, or any conquests that could lead to a revolutionary transformation of production relations.
The proletariat have only one alternative: that of building communism directly, passing over the counterrevolutionary bureaucratic structures. In order to do this we must provide analyzes of and realize in practice, elements organized by the base at the level of production: autonomous workers’ nuclei.
These nuclei must not, in our opinion, be confused with the company, the factory, etc., but their concept must extend to a global vision of factory, living area, school and land.
Wit... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
Anarchists have tended to shy away from the problem of the national liberation struggle or rejected it entirely because of their internationalist principles.
If internationalism is not to be merely meaningless rhetoric, it must imply solidarity between the proletariat of different countries or nations. This is a concrete term. When there is a revolution, it will be as it has been in the past, in a precise geographical area. How much it remains there will be directly linked to the extent of that internationalism, both in terms of solidarity and of the spreading of the revolution itself.
The ‘patriotism’ of the people at a basic, unadulterated level is the struggle for their own autonomy, a natural urge, a &lsquo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Anarchists are not slaves to number but continue to act against power even when the class clash is at a low level in the mass. Anarchist action should not therefore aim at organizing and defending the whole of the class of the exploited in one vast organization to see the struggle from beginning to end, but should identify single aspects of the struggle and carry them through to their conclusion of attack.
If anarchists have one constant characteristic it is that of not letting themselves be discouraged by the adversities of the class struggle or to be enticed by the promises of power.
It will always be difficult, often impossible, to find an anarchist comrade who has given in to power. This might happen as a result of torture or physical... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) I am always somewhat embarrassed when I begin a talk, at least to start with. And this embarrassment increases in the case of what we mistakenly call conferences, or as one more modestly tries to camouflage them, conference-debates. After all, it is a question of someone turning up from elsewhere, perhaps from another generation, as though they have rained in from the past. Someone who stands in this classroom to give a talk and strangely, even dangerously, resembles those who hammer your brains with quite different intentions. If you listen carefully however you will find that, beyond appearances, there is a considerable difference in the concepts I am about to outline.
The first of these concepts takes the form of a question: What is ana... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
The Italian State had taken care to manage the vacuum left by the broken revolutionary movement long before revolutionaries started thinking about it. So anyone who starts shouting that any means are valid in order to free comrades from prison, should not complain afterwards that they find themselves standing alongside docile creatures who are no more than tools in the hands of power.
Recently in the Italian political scene truth and lies have been intermingled as never before, to the point of becoming a spectacle of different positions democratically produced by the government and the institutional opposition aimed at holding the attention of uniformed revolutionaries.
The Naria case is a blatant example and has become... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Preface
Over the last fourteen years, “political refugees” have developed counter-information work on the reality of class confrontation in Italy and about specific publishing attempts; all of this documentation, which is necessarily insufficient, only offered us a partial expression of the revolutionary movement, and only of certain aspects of the armed experience in that country.
The text that we are publishing here, which was published in issue #42 of the Italian anarchist review Anarchismo, can fit into this documentation. Its critique of certain models and methods developed by armed organizations is not an overall rejection of the armed struggle of recent years. It tries to present the positive aspect of this struggle, ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introductory note
The appeal trial in Rome in which anarchists were accused of belonging to a clandestine armed organization has concluded with higher sentences than those meted out on the previous occasion. That was in the logic of things.
In my case I was sentenced to six years, i.e. an increase of two and a half years for a robbery in Rome which, needless to say, I know nothing about.
If on the one hand the fact that there was no sentence for ‘armed organization’ or ‘terrorism’ — to use the terms of the law — can be considered a defeat for the dogged zeal of general prosecutor Marini, the above-mentioned personage has every reason to feel pleased concerning the diatribes that this trial has led to... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
This book was written in 1977 in the momentum of the revolutionary struggles that were taking place in Italy at the time, and that situation, now profoundly different, should be borne in mind when reading it today.
The revolutionary movement, including the anarchist one, was in a developing phase and anything seemed possible, even a generalization of the armed clash.
But it was necessary to protect oneself from the danger of specialization and militarization that a restricted minority of militants intended to impose on the tens of thousands of comrades who were struggling with every possible means against repression and against the State’s attempt—rather weak to tell the truth—to reorganize the management... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Translator’s Introduction
Canenero was a weekly anarchist publication that came out in Italy between the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1997 with one break. This was when the Marini investigation against anarchists began to bear its rotten fruit in an attempt to imprison dozens of anarchists on charges of “subversive association” or membership in an “armed gang”. One of the ideas behind Canenero was to provide a means for ongoing communication and discussion in the face of this repressive operation of the state. A substantial portion of the material in the paper dealt with the situation and the various anarchist responses to it.
But the editors of Canenero were not willing to allow the repressive activ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) In Italy there is a civil war in course. Just as in every other part of the world, the mortal clash has well defined characteristics in relation to the conditions of exploitation imposed by the dominant class. That is why we are speaking of class (civil) war.
State violence and defensive class violence are opposing each other in a clash that only the politically short-sighted insist on not seeing. The terrorism of the various organizations in the service of the bosses is a constantly detectable element, just as in the other field, an organization of defense is beginning to take shape against the State assassins, organizations that should be examined and evaluated in their limits and perspectives. The other discourse, the so-called legalita... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
Seen at a distance of more than twenty years this work contains some interesting forecasts. Nothing exceptional, but on this subject the capacity to foresee is essential to the notion of seeing.
Half way through the ’Seventies the world was still tied to rigid forms of productivity. Castled in its new fortresses, capital defended itself by having recourse to the final returns of the old Taylorism. It tried to rationalize production in every possible way by applying new complicated techniques of control at the workplace, drastically reducing the mechanisms of defense that the working class had cut out for themselves during a century and a half of exploitation on the line.
In actual fact the results were not exactly br... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The main characteristic of cyberpunk is that it escapes definition. This is not only due to the wide range of choices in the ideas of its supporters, it is also a direct effect of the possibilities offered by the new methods of information technology. Nothing in this field can be neatly separated from the rest. In many narrative texts the style of the story reflects the means that make it into a transmittable object, and this same story then has consequences on the elaboration of future technology.
The mechanism undoubtedly allows for an autonomy of individual consciousness and sophistication in decision-making capacity, if nothing else as far as timing is concerned. It is impossible to predict the amount of intellectual capacity, the rati... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) (...) The structure of domination, the conditions of conflict and the composition of the exploited class have changed to such an extent that an operation like “the taking of the Winter Palace” in the marxist sense or a liberation from the bottom in the anarchist sense have become utterly inconceivable. These two endeavors are antithetical, but they share the idea of taking over the means of production and placing them in the hands of the representatives of the exploited class who will organize liberated society. So what remains?
What remains is destructive attack... and this is a most ambiguous point... What does destruction mean? What does it mean to knock down a trellis, when a hundred thousand, perhaps a million of them are ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The dissonance lies in the content of these arguments. But by remaining in the content, crystallizing itself in the place for saying (and even doing), they could also become elements of recuperation, food for future conservative thought, new uniforms (of a different color), new ‘idols’ (in a more agreeable format). There are no definitive recipes not even dissonances, capable of breaking the rhythm that constantly envelops us.
Yet dissonance has something else to offer.
Something meaningful appears in the crossroads of rhythms between re-evoked facts, the time of writing and the time of fruition, that is, in the task freely taken on by the reader one perceives a content which is something other than the single arguments, the w... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introductory note
This talk of mine at the anarchist conference on Malatesta in Naples, December 2003, is a perfect example of how any attempt to justify or condemn the concept of revolutionary violence is a failure from the outset. Revolutionary violence has no need of my justification and cannot be affected by any kind of condemnation, even if it comes from the ranks of the anarchists themselves.
Pacifism is also basically a non-issue and does not deserve to be refuted in too many words.
My effort did not, nor does it here, intend to provide arguments supporting revolutionary violence. It just wanted, and still does, to make a contribution to the revolutionary ideas and activity of Errico Malatesta. Many unwarranted things have been ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
Existentialism is the philosophical current that affected my life in the latter half of the nineteen fifties. I had read all the books of Benedetto Croce at a very young age, a heavy baggage to carry around until my release on reading Abbagnano's History of Philosophy and beginning the study of the French, German and Russian poets and philosophers. All of this research, which has continued alongside the flourishing of other interests for almost thirty years, is divided into three parts here:
a) Essays on existentialism. This comprises all the articles published in the late fifties following my experience in Turin with Corriere di Sicilia of which I was editor of "page three".
b) The philosophy of existence. This includes e... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The end of ideology has almost arrived, but not quite.
No political apparatus will ever be able to do without it completely. The substantial transformation in the productive structure of capital that has come about all over the world over the past ten years, has emptied nearly all the existing ideological coverings of their meaning. Having said that, one cannot maintain that politics, intended as the managerial and repressive action of the State, has suddenly got closer to people’s needs. New ghosts have turned up on the heels of the old, with characteristics that are not always easy to distinguish, it being a question of ideological coverings that are still in formation. We can only say that their objective is still that of exerting... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Facerias was one of those men that it almost comes naturally to write a biography about. All the essential elements of the legendary anarchist are to be found in his actions, his life as a whole and his death: the vindicator who rises up in struggle against the class enemy and refuses to accept any compromise. And this is certainly one way to read the volume we are presenting here, the first and, if you like, the least useful one.
Many anarchists have struggled and are still struggling today with the same irreducible spirit of counter-position that characterized the life of Facerias or Sabate or the thousand other guerrilla fighters who fell while continuing the armed struggle against Francoism even after the fall of the Republic. And for ... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) This book has a lot to say, far more than it might seem at first sight. But it requires a particular disposition on the part of the reader, a disposition to understand rather than to simply inform oneself.
In fact, there is not merely ‘information’ here, there are ‘ideas’, something that rarely happens in American (even ‘radical’) culture, and this is somewhat disturbing. How many of us are prepared to consider ideas? I don’t know. Those who do not want to question their certainties will find confirmation of their beliefs in this book in another guise, ruining the author’s solicitations to look at reality differently.
Anyone can spend years ‘in the wilderness’, Feral maintains, r... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Historical background
In Italy as in many other parts of Europe May ’68 in France marked a great upsurge in libertarian expression, and parallel to this a relaunching of political organizations. There was a great surge towards the anarchist movement but the latter were full of contradictions and many of the young people who turned to it quickly left, disillusioned. An attempt was made to re-organize the anarchist movement through the old rigid structure of the FAI (Italian Anarchist Federation), however it was incompatible with the needs of the moment. At the same time Servire il Popolo (Serve the people), a Marxist Leninist organization, was formed.
In the Hot Autumn of ’69 workers in the factories began to organize autonom... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) The evolving of social struggles leads to profound changes in the structure of the movement of the exploited. Capital’s attitude to the class struggle changes according to time and place, leading to diverse reactions and organizational forms.
We are going to look at some of the more obvious of these forms, see where they belong in the social clash and point to their real or apparent revolutionary essence in the anarchist sense.
The movement of the exploited
It is not easy to identify the social composition of this movement for the same reasons that make any analysis that claims to fix the essence of a class of exploited here and now unreliable. The great mass of disinherited (those who have been deprived of the means of productio... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Proposal For a Debate
This proposal for a debate for an Anti-authoritarian Insurrectionalist International was first published in the Sardinian anarchist paper “Anarkiviu”. Oriented towards in the Mediterranean region it is the fruit of various anti-authoritarian realities active in this region, particularly in Greece and southern Italy. We are printing it here to participate in this debate and to contribute to the diffusion of this perspective of an informal, insurrectionalist character which must be of interest to anti-authoritarians everywhere.
The reasons for choosing a particular geographical region
There are many ways to look at the Mediterranean: a sea rich in peoples, traditions, culture and history but also in un... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Introduction
There can be little doubt left anywhere on the planet that a fundamental change is taking place in the organization of production. This change is most obvious and most felt in the centers of advanced capitalism, but the logic of information technology and decentralized production is now reaching what were once remote peripheral areas, drawing them into an artificial communitarianism whose only real common element is exploitation.
In the “western world” the traditional worker, cornerstone of the authoritarian revolutionary thesis and still a principle element in many anarchist ones, is being tossed out of the gray graveyards of docks, factories and mines, into the colored graveyards of home-videos, brightly lit j... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Putting aside for the time being the problems raised by the popular insurrection in China, limiting ourselves to as objective as possible an analysis of the insurrectional processes in course of development in various countries in Eastern Europe and the borders of the Soviet empire, we must make one further distinction right away.
The USSR, i.e. the hegemonic power of a universe that polarizes the countries of the Warsaw pact, has for some years now been moving towards a political and economic project of deep-seated reforms, a project rendered necessary by the truly poverty-stricken conditions that the population finds itself reduced to. This has forced a reduction of spending on armaments in order to give the people a little more to eat.
... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) I am putting together here my studies on Hegel composed between the end of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies.
Some of them have been revised later (indicated at the end of each piece) but, nearly always, it has been a question of updating the quotations with publications that were not available at the time they were drawn up.
In the following decades I returned more than once to Hegel’s books, but of my many notes, in part expressions from a too personal point of view to interest anyone, I have not considered it useful to insert anything more. It was a question, for the main part, of reflections on the dialectic that will perhaps find a place in the future in the volume History of Logic that I am thinking of publishing.... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) I know who killed Chief Superintendent Luigi Calabresi on May 17 1972, outside his house in via Cherubini 6, in Milan, at a quarter past nine in the morning.
This is a serious statement, not due its judicial implications, for goodness sake, which I don’t give a damn about, but for quite other reasons, and these reasons are what I want to draw my reader’s attention to.
Basically, if we stop and think for a moment, what is there that we can be certain of? We get up in the morning, have a quick breakfast, rush to school, work, the nearest park to meet some friends, in a word, each towards their own daily business. In the evening we come back and lie between the sheets, nearly always the same as the evening before, where we can fe... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Illness, i.e.a faulty functioning of the organism, is not peculiar to man. Animals also get ill, and even things can in their own way present defects in functioning. The idea of illness as abnormality is the classic one that was developed by medical science.
The response to illness, mainly thanks to the positivist ideology which still dominates medicine today, is that of the cure, that is to say, an external intervention chosen from specific practices, aimed at restoring the conditions of a given idea of normality.
Yet it would be a mistake to think that the search for the causes of illness has always run parallel to this scientific need to restore normality. For centuries remedies did not go hand in hand with the study of causes, which a... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.) Preface
If we refuse to let our lives be organized by others we must have the capacity to organize ourselves, that is, we must be able to ‘put together the elements necessary to act as a coherent functioning whole’. For anarchists, individuals who ardently desire the elimination of every trace of tyranny and domestication, this has been experimented in a myriad of forms according to prevailing social and economic conditions, and marked by each one’s particular concept of wholeness. If this could once be interpreted — by some — to mean a big organization to oppose big industry, today social disintegration and uncertainty have gone further than any critique in relegating such undertakings to the pages of histo... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)