Communiqués and insurrectionary violence

Since the early 2000s, global, underground networks of insurrectionary anarchists have carried out thousands of acts of political violence. This book is an exploration of the ideas, strategies, and history of these political actors that engage in a confrontation with the oppressive powers of the state and capital. The vast majority of these attacks have been claimed via online communiqués through anonymous monikers such as the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI). The emphasis of the insurrectionary, nihilist-infused anarchism is on creating war-like conditions for opposing capitalism, the state, and that which perpetuates structural violence (e.g. racism, poverty, speciesism, gender roles). To connect the various configurations of post-millennial, insurrectionary resistance, the book explores explore three of its most identifiable components, the FAI, Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), and emergent networks in Mexico. In his discussion of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, conflict theorist Richard Rubenstein points to a two-stage understanding advocated by Vietnamese leader and military strategist General Vo Nguyen Giap. The book also examines the strategy of Blanquism, the contribution of "classical anarchists," the influence of theorists such as Tiqqun and The Invisible Committee. It seeks to construct the basis for an insurrectionary framework based around a shared politic. The feminist methodology and ethic of research adds a great deal, including a reading of identity politics, standpoint theory, action-orientated research, and embedded, emotive and sincere participatory involvement. The design and methodological intent of the book is to embrace a "militant" form of inquiry which is counter to the project of securitization.

The integration of critical theory for the understanding of political violence is central. Since the violence is meant as commentary, or reaction to problems at the level of the entire society, the nature of the explanation is often based in notions of a social order. This chapter discusses the object of analysis, the communiqué, as a method for delivering critical analysis typically reserved for more formalized texts. In developing political theory as derived from communiqués and other claims of responsibility, it is important to note the revolutionaries' tendency toward "organic intellectualism". The chapter then identifies some initial difficulties arising from the study of the objects, specifically problems relating to verifiability, triangulation, determining credible authorship, and the inherent subjectivity in historical interpretation. The feminist methodology and ethic of research adds a great deal, including a reading of identity politics, standpoint theory, action-orientated research, and embedded, emotive and sincere participatory involvement.

in The politics of attack

The V For Vendetta became a film, and though Guy Fawkes was far from a self-declared insurrectionary anarchist, his example of attack without mediation, and a rejection of traditional politics, earned him a place in the insurrectionary hall of heroes. The genealogical history of insurrection is an assemblage of events, ideas, and individuals from among a broad historical record, united in a shared ethos and praxis of illegality, aggression, spontaneity, informality, and clandestinity. The Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and the more generalized anti-globalization movement are reacting to the tendencies under neo-liberalism, namely the command and control character of everyday life under globalization. The 2000 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, and the inauguration of President George W. Bush, saw a mass convergences, the uses of direct action street confrontations, and the black blocs.

in The politics of attack

In order to connect the various configurations of post-millennial, insurrectionary resistance, this chapter explores three of its most identifiable components, the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), and emergent networks in Mexico. Beginning around 2010, a sudden surge of insurrectionary-styled, clandestine guerrilla networks emerged in Mexico and launched a series of attacks on the state and capital. Insurrectionary anarchism can be understood as a tendency within anarchism's larger history, sharing the framework's chief concern of the destruction of state and capitalism through direct action, voluntary association, horizontality, mutual aid, and illegalism. The chapter focuses on two district networks: the Práxedis G.Guerrero Autonomous Cells for Immediate Revolution (CARI-PGG), and Individualists Tending Towards the Wild (ITS). In Mexico, ITS's bombs have targeted civilian, seemingly 'non-political' scientists, professors, technical experts, researchers, and technocrats and within a politic most closely described as anarcho-primitivism.

in The politics of attack

This chapter explores the macro strategy of insurrectionary action as a strategy and form of warfare. It also explores the means, strategy, and organization of political violence, which are necessary to historically encapsulate modern conflict. Unlike Marxism and other revolutionary frameworks, insurrectionary anarchism is not rooted in a specific theory of change but is rather a theory of critique and action, not prefiguration. In his discussion of guerrilla warfare and terrorism, Richard Rubenstein points to a two-stage understanding advocated by General Vo Nguyen Giap who divided the conflict into two stages, beginning with guerrilla war before moving into more conventional forms of warfare. The use of guerrilla warfare is devoid of politics and can be adopted by any radical actor from reformist to sectarian communists.

in The politics of attack

This chapter contends that through a genealogical review of the insurrectionary tendency, one can construct the broad outlines of a canon, which serves to inform contemporary action such as the attack strategies of the Cells of Fire or Informal Anarchist Federation. Based partially on his experience in the revolution of July 1840 and several armed demonstrations in 1870, Louis Auguste Blanqui was a careful tactician with a keen focus on revolutionary method and strategy. While the majority of the twenty-first-century insurrectionary canon is derived from a history of actions as reported via communiqués, a number of more central texts are consistently referenced and make up a sort of pre-history for the tendency. Throughout the end of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, a variety of shorter, often anonymous works were written that contributed to the insurrectionary tendency.

in The politics of attack

This chapter seeks to construct the basis for an insurrectionary framework based around a shared politic. This approach borrows from insurrectionary theory's rejection of strict ideological encampments as understood through self-imposed identities. Modern insurrectionary attackers understand that massive interlinked apparatuses of governance will not likely be toppled through sporadic attacks on property and individuals, but they strike regardless. The insurrectionary strategy is based in the task of creating social conditions akin to active combat, termed the "social war". The insurrectionary epistemology rests in a poststructurally-infused articulation of anarchism, often termed post-anarchism which seeks to locate a form of ultimate intersectionality, a total liberation philosophy that does not rest its critique in institutions or specific hierarchies. The false dichotomy typically presented for the purpose of categorization is one wherein anarchism has two approaches, one of organization and another of explosive spontaneity.

in The politics of attack

The lack of stable, centrally-located, canonical texts in insurrectionary anarchism is mirrored in other more traditional accounts of political violence. Insurrectionary theory aligns with the critical critique of securitization, labeling the statist determinations as "narrow, inadequate and immoral in the context of 'real' security threats to the individual". The poststructural reading of power, one wherein control is disembodied from a physical site and is instead transnational, omnipresent, and yet operating invisibly, is a highly influential aspect of modern insurrectionary critique. In a more generalized viewpoint, other insurrectionary thinkers have theorized on "The Totality" of oppression drawing more from Michel Foucault's reading of power than politics. Globally, the insurrectionary tendency is situated within the larger anarchist, communist, and anti-authoritarian movements but has served to redefine the subject vis-à-vis systemic violence.

in The politics of attack