Tomás Ibáñez, not without hesitation and only as a heuristic, employs the term “neoanarchism” to refer to the resurgence and changing nature of the movement in the wake of May 1968, France. But these changes have not been without their critics, so that in what follows, the second chapter of Ibáñez’s essay, Anarchism is movement, he endeavours to both explain and defend what he considers to be the virtues of our new anarchism.
With this post, we (Autonomies) begin the publication of an english language translation of Tomás Ibáñez essay, “Anarchism is movement: Anarchism, neoanarchism and postanarchism” (2014).
The role of principle in anarchist thought and action, as I understand it, is to liberate the positive ethical life of human beings. Thus the principle of power-negation is rather a constitutive principle of the desired society than a rule for life within that society. Put more correctly: an authentic relationship between persons, as understood by anarchists, presupposes the absence of power of some over others, but ‘absence of power’ says nothing positive about the content of that relationship, and that content will be the creation of those persons.
… nothing secures an anarchist society, whether of large extent or of commune-size or consisting of two persons, except continuous realization of the human potential for free engagement and disagreement, always in recognition of the personhood of the other.
We (Autonomies) have recently posted a series of articles against the idea of a “revolutionary” government, against the idea of government or the State as an instrument of anti-capitalist reform or radical change.
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.