A critique of a letter written by Stasi and Gregorian that proposed the creation of an armed organization. The article is at times specific to Italy and the debate between Stasi, Gregorian, and Canenero. However, it is useful for its critique of armed organization.
— Killing King Abacus
Recently a comunique from jail has been circulated that will probably disturb, not just a few comrades, and we, therefore, will reproduce it in these same pages. In spite of the proclamatory tone and the ambiguity of certain assertions, it seems to us that they could have left out a hypothesis that makes us witness to this announcement of the founding of an anarchist organization. This would be illogical for various reasons. For example, since the beginning of the world armed groups have had the courtesy to explain themselves after having agitated, and in our case, it turns out that the name: “Revolutionary Combatant Action,” has never claimed anything. Besides, if the undersigned comrades had really formed an armed organization, their document would prove itself an explicit self-denunciation in front of the magistrature, before even having begun any hostilities. Were this the case, it would be totally nonsensical.
We therefore deduce that this text should be interpreted as a mere proposal. Unfortunately the misshaped language with which it has been formulated risks provoking misunderstanding and incomprehension that is in the interest of all to avoid. More simply put, we believe that Pippo Stasi and Garagin Gregorian want to invite the anarchist movement to reflect on the arguments contained in their statements; like the necessity on the part of anarchists to take the route of armed struggle, and of the need therefore, to create a specific armed structure. And since these comrades have not hesitated to assert what they think, assuming all responsibility, we think no one will take it badly if we do the same.
As we have had the opportunity to say many times in this paper, we are decisively against any armed organization, including the improbable armed anarchist organization. This is not about a simple divergence of views, but of a substantial radical difference that goes beyond any consideration of opportunity, or circumstance. We are against an armed organization today, as we were yesterday, and we will be tomorrow. And this is our aversion, we confirm, it is not limited to a formal disagreement. Not only will we never support an armed organization, but we will oppose it with a tight critique. We oppose its formation as well as its spread because we consider it our enemy, and thus incapable of producing perspectives that are desirable to us.
For us the individual that rebels, the individual that revolts against this world that is too petty to contain his dreams, is not interested in limiting his own potentiality, but if possible, would extend it to infinity. Thirsty for freedom, greedy for experience, he who revolts is in constant search for new affinities, for new instruments to experiment with, with which to assault the existent and subvert it from its very foundation. This is because the insurrectional struggle should find stimulus and energy in our capacity to always fill its arsenal with new arms, outside and against any reductive specialization. The gun experts are like the book experts, or squatting experts, or any others; they are boring because they always talk and only about themselves and about their favorite means. And this is why we don’t give privilege to any instrument over others, we love and support innumerable actions, use the most disparate means, that daily occur against the dominion and its structures. Because revolt is like poetry: and should be done by everyone, not by only one person, he who is the most expert.
Now, specific armed organization represents the negation of this insurrectional struggle, the parasite capable of poisoning its blood. Whereas insurrection incites pleasure and the realization of how much we have in our hearts, armed organization promises only sacrifice and ideology. Whereas insurrection exalts the possibilities of the individual, armed organization exalts only the technology of its soldiers. Whereas insurrection considers a gun or a stick of dynamite as only one of the arms available to it, armed organization turns it into the only instrument that it uses (“Long live the armed struggle”). Whereas insurrection looks to generalize and to invite all to participate in its party, armed organization is necessarily closed — except for its few militants — there is nothing left for the others to do other than to chant for it. Of that vast project that is the subversion of life, a project that does not know limits because it looks to shake up the totality of society, armed organization is capable of glimpsing only the marginal aspect of a military clash with the State — exchanging it for everything else. And therefore this clash, also the armed attack against the State, loses any liberatory significance, any breath of life, when all of its upsurge is reduced to the promotion of a program and an acronym that is bought in the market of politics.
Conversely, this is why in anonymity any political calculation disappears to leave in its place a thousand individual tensions and vibrations, and their possibility of meeting, uniting and dispersing. To he who doesn’t have commodities to sell of what use are lit up signs? What about the accusation directed against those actions claimed with a circle A that expose the whole anarchist movement to the provocations of the police, this fear will be surely shared by other anarchists, terrorized by the idea that someone could come knocking at their door. Therefore for them and their comrades that sign this document, an eventual acronym will surely not resolve the situation. Instead of suspecting the anarchists having signed an action with a circle A, the police would suspect that they have made themselves part of that specific group.
That in the 70’s the anarchist movement had specific experiences with the combatant model, this seems to us an affirmation lightly risked now that the archipelago “Revolutionary Action” — which we assume that Stasi and Gregorian are referring to — can be defined as anarchist only at the cost of a macroscopic ideological distortion. In fact, “AR” brought together of diverse origins, animated at first by a libertarian and anti-stalinist spirit, for a brief period they defined their own experience as anarcho-communist, considered as the sum of the diverse positions of the comrades. What on the other hand became clear for many anarchist is was these very armed organizations that contributed in those years to the stagnation of social subversion. And these critical reflections are not from today, but they were expressed by different anarchist on different occasions.
We don’t know what reasons pushed Stasi and Gregorian to circulate this writing. In summary, their proposal seems out of this world to us, a little like rhetoric used for the occasion, that seems to have directly out of the debates of the 70’s, polluting the air. More than anything else, we don’t like to see comrades accepting the ultimatum launched today by power (reformism or armed struggle), and throw themselves into a stupid game of catch: given that we are accused of… belonging to an armed band that does not exist, why not form a real one? This temptation, this attraction towards armed organization which has nothing to offer, as of us has been drawn into it, and we will not tire of criticizing wherever it manifests itself. Insurrection has desires and reasons that no military logic will ever be able to understand.