On the 17th of May, 19 squadrons of military police (that is, between 1,500 and 1,700 police) entered the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes for a second operation of destruction and eviction.
With the seeming proliferation and celebration of anniversaries of revolutions, “successful” or “failed”, we lose cite of the conceptual wealth and practical weight of the concept itself. We have tried here, however modestly, to reflect upon the history and the significance of the idea. Yet, with every new rebellious event, and with every commemoration of past rebellions, the questions surge up again: what is revolution? are there different kinds of revolutions? Can a revolution, for example, an anti-capitalist revolution, be defined theoretically and/or normatively? Or must we wait upon history, blindly, to tell what such occurrences are?
And what are we to make of “the revolutionary”, the disobedient subjectivity desirous of destroying the old, to create the new? Is such a subjectivity possible, desirous, or a tyrant?
Without wishing to close the debate (indeed, it is impossible to do so), we share a reflection on the imaginary of revolution by Amador Fernández Savater.
As a complement to our post “Revolution imagined outside history”, we share an essay by the anarchist militant-writer Miguel Amorós on the possibility of revolution after the “death of the working class”.
Notes for a 2015 presentation of a book about the “Incontrolados” and The Friends of Durruti, discussing the “cultural genocide of the proletariat” inflicted by capitalist development and its “eternal present”, the suppression of historical memory, the rise of consumer society and mass culture, and the need for a “non-doctrinaire re-appropriation of the past” in order to build a new culture of resistance. (libcom.org 15/01/2018)
Utopia of a Tired Man Borges story Illustration (above) by Federico Abuyé.
Radical political militancy is never intellectually unarmed, for it always assumes some understanding of what it contests and of how it can or should be overcome. It also carries with it some idea of what is to follow the detested social order. But it is precisely because of the weight of these assumptions that militancy is dangerous even for the militant, for all may go terribly wrong at all three of these levels. In other words, a non-reflective militancy is blind, and fatally so.
This year’s call for a global women’s strike to mark the 8th of March women’s day was expressed in protests throughout the world. But it found no greater resonance than in spain.
Carol Ehrlich’s Socialism, Anarchism, and Feminism was first published as Research Group One Report 26 by Research Group One, 2743 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, Md 21218, USA, in January ’77, and ran to a second printing. It will appear in the anthology Reinventing Anarchy: What anarchists are thinking these days to be published by Routledge, Kegan & Paul, London, in Spring ’79. An abridged version of Socialism, Anarchism and Feminism appeared in the American feminist magazine Second Wave Vol. 5, No. 1. (infoshop.org)
If the essay has aged, it has as old wine. However different our time is, or not, there is still much to be learned from her reflection.
From the birth of the Church, out of the womb of Fear and the fatherhood of Ignorance, it has taught the inferiority of woman. In one form or another through the various mythical legends of the various mythical creeds, runs the undercurrent of the behef in the fall of man through the persuasion of woman, her subjective condition as punishment, her natural vileness, total depravity, etc.; and from the days of Adam until now the Christian Church, with which we live specially to deal, has made Woman the excuse, the scapegoat for the evil deeds of man. So thoroughly has this idea permeated Society that number”, of those who have utterly repudiated the Church, are nevertheless soaked in this stupefying narcotic to true morality. So pickled is the male creation with the vinegar of Authoritarianism, that even those who have gone further and repudiated tire State still cling to the god, Society as it is, still hug the old theological idea that they are to be “heads of the family” — to that wonderful formula “of simple proportion” that “Man is the lead of the Woman even as Christ is the head of the Church.” No longer than a week since, an Anarchist (?) said to me, “I will be boss in my own house” — a “Communist-Anarchist,” if you please, who doesn’t beheve in “my house.” About a year ago a noted libertarian speaker said, in my presence, that his sister, who possessed a fine voice and had joined a concert troupe, should “stay at home with her children; that is her place.” The old Church idea! This man was a Socialist, and since an Anarchist; yet his highest idea for woman was serfhood to husband and children, in the present mockery called “home.” Stay at Ironic, ye malcontents! Be patient, obedient, submissive! Darn our socks, mend our shirts, wash our dishes, get our meals, wait on us and mind the children! Your fine voices are not to delight the public nor yourselves; your inventive genius is not to work, your fine art taste is not to be Cultivated, your business facilities are not to be developed; you made the great mistake of being born with them, suffer for your folly! You are women, therefore housekeepers, servants, waiters, and child’s nurses!
Voltairine de Cleyre, Sex Slavery
Cowards don’t make history; and the women of Mujeres Libres (Free Women) were no cowards. Courageous enough to create revolutionary change in their daily lives, these women mobilized over 20,000 women into an organized network during the Spanish Revolution, to strive for community, education, and equality for women and the emancipation of all. Militants in the anarcho-syndicalist CNT union, Mujeres Libres struggled against fascism, the State, and reaction; and the less than supportive attitudes and concerns of their male comrades. (libcom.org)