Tag Archives: Claire Fontaine

What if the black bloc have the right idea?

What if the black bloc have the right idea?.

The building of mass movements, and the laying down of parameters by which they’re permitted to function; at bottom, toward the acquisition of status and official recognition by the system being objected to. Anything else is equally condemned by unanimous consensus of the extreme right, social democracy, the police and the media. The black bloc is hardly detrimental to any of these symbiotic power arrangements. After all, it helps in establishing one’s legitimacy by pointing out the illegitimate. In many countries power has only bestowed favours when it felt threatened by diverse examples of social contestation, or when the social agitation managed to wrest control entirely away from an existing power structure, only to replicate what was driven away. In any case, the credit for change is often given over to the organization of masses of people applying their moral persuasion upon the immoral. It is only when the feting of martyrs is considered useful in maintaining present circumstances, where the social has acquired a measure of status and power in its own right, would they deign to imply a relationship with the more direct examples of sacrifice and struggle.

I find it curious that many social liberation movements around the world, even where violence is present, are recognized by the North American and European versions of social agitation as the legitimate result of trampled upon aspirations, dependent of course on the nature of the conditions they’re confronted with, how many people are being represented by the agitation, parameters laid down from afar in other words. One can almost detect a vicariousness to it. In North America of course, such things would only bring ruin upon ‘everything,’ and so finding solidarity here would be as rare as finding hen’s teeth.

In Claire Fontaine’s essay “This is Not the Black Bloc,” she writes:

No speech comes “from inside” the black bloc, because there is no inside or outside. The black bloc, which we name as such with these two impoverished words, is not constituted like groups, corps, institutions. It is a temporary agglomeration without truth or watchwords. It is also what is left in the hands of our discontent, at the stage of society we have reached, despite ourselves: the impossibility of marching together while shouting out phrases so that they can be heard, the incapacity to engage in indirect and representative actions, the urgent need to unload one-thousandth of the cruelty the State, money, and advertisements inject in all our veins every day.

On the other hand as I was saying, it seems clear that the activities of the black bloc and other similar minded persuasions serve as little more than useful adjuncts to power and negation politics, to the extent that where power is concerned, if none of these groups were to ever convene in the streets again, the security services would see a need and simply invent them as they do in fact, judging by the elaborate lengths they go to in cultivating terrorists for the benefit of the public lie.

Comrade Foucault?

Insurrectionary Foucault – Andrew Culp

This is a convincing, well sourced analysis.  An overall pleasure to read, notwithstanding a demonstrably confused sub-commentariat.  For me it hardly seemed that Foucault was being specific in terms of the ‘what is to be done,’ let alone specifics as supporting references to the follow-on question of ‘how is it to be done;’ irrespective of suggestions that something indeed should be done which was inherent in his work, statements and acts.  An apparent theoretical confusion between Claire Fontaine’s logical response to the questions of ‘how’ and ‘what’ with ‘presently we don’t know how or what,’ and the IC who held forth in TCI on the power of communes superimposed as a autonomous network over the existing landscape; metropolis and barnyard alike presumably; may have found a bridge in Giorgio Agamben’s essay “Metropolis,” where he stated:

“I think that a confrontation with metropolitan dispositifs will only be possible when we penetrate the processes of subjectivation that the metropolis entails in a more articulated way, deeper. Because I think that the outcome of conflicts depends on this: on the power to act and intervene on processes of subjectivation, in order to reach that stage that I would call a point of ungovernability. The ungovernable where power can shipwreck in its figure of government, the ungovernable that I think is always the beginning and the line of flight of all politics.”

The superimposition of un-governability; de-subjectivizing from programmed violence which only manages to produce governability; a relentless and resonating drain of biopower from mechanisms and nodes.  The spread of re-appropriated ‘human strike’ forms of communism bereft of management centers.  Information highways and highway robbery.  An end to state violence – here the daily propaganda that convinces citizens to perform violence on one another.  New purposes found in a general resonance where the questions of ‘what’ and ‘how’ are left open ended – a precise Foucauldian maxim by way of omission concerning example or subject – where more and more blooms awaken in typical confused fashion, but where it seems pointless to complain too much about it anymore.