The Nihilist Attack: a statement from Federico Buono

The text presented here was hand-written in the feverish days of my trial for aggravated theft.

I have never wanted to know anything, and I haven’t asked help from anyone for knowing the outcome.

In my experience, my way of acting is an attempt to negate the right/law, and living it in uncertainty has made these words stonger.

Words that I dedicate to my kindred spirit Maurizio and to all those who, in the investigation set in motion by sister Manuela Comodi, will choose an anti-legal method.

The Nihilist Attack

I move in the shadow. I feel the perception of an eventuality as the non-way. Vague memories. The uncertain gait scratches the path vertically before myself.

I feel my steps in a frantic convulsion in the non-knowing.

I trace out my essential space and place a concentric circle between me and temporal permanence.

I become one and I in solitude.

Inseparable in a continuous undertaking in the becoming that annihilates the permanent submissive redeeming of the event.

Is the event in me or before me?

Immediateness moves around in individual me.

My shadow arms its misanthropic desire and exposes in projecting itself in a light by endless reflections: the light of passivity loves me shadow. I arm myself against it.
I come out of a gap. I hear voices: I perceive, they want my desire in affirming myself. Far from everything I am also nearby in a hidden corner in the foul-smelling thoroughfares of the necropolises of human society.

I have chosen, I keep memories distant, passivity expands its light and wants to chew up my essence.

I am driven against it. I have decided not to surrender to the “certainty” that completes the changing of the rules of human society.

Every day is a different moment and the space the encloses my eagerness for affirmation tenses in an outward stretch destroying the past of an instant before.

The negated instant destroys normality.

In every hidden corner I am my shadow and my volitional essence.

I place myself at the center shattering the hope of insignificant memories.

The Temple of the prophecy – catalyst of events and experiences – calls me and the Demiurge waits for a sign of despair.

I don’t surrender and haven’t done so from the start.

Egoist power attacks and breaks morality to pieces, nor does it want the corpse still warm – to burn it and make it into ashes.

On this day I come out into the open – jealous of my shado – and dedicate these few words to my blood brothers and sistes and kindred spirits investigated by sister Manuela Comodi.

The Nihilist attack doesn’t abdicate and is vindicated in an endless pace of its vital impulses!

From my Personal Hell, Federico Buono

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The Triumph of the Destroying Genius

Ah! The odor and the stench blend.

Climbing the peak requires sharp nails and hands ready for the most painful wounds.

While you climb the peak of a decadent humanity, they fall, the rocks that crumble under your fingers fall.

To act boldly! To dare! Here they are, raging, the popular fears blended with Ressentiment toward our individual sovereignty

I have encountered Filippi’s dreams and nightmares…

An indomitable devil rises above the multitude, born by chance.

A devil who doesn’t accept being brought to judgment by your nearly-finished authority…

From your orthodox churches you have issued arrest warrants against us, vagabonds of thought and action, we devils of terror, the ones who spit and vomit on your sacred statues…

we devils of terror, nameless, illegalist nihilists and revolutionaries…

All that is born rightly falls! So Goethe thundered from his peak!

Your union of the weak that you call state and society is not immune to this law of things…

The triumph of the Destroying Genius is what awaits you…

The excommunications and stakes set up by Sister Manuela Comodi’s servants will not be enough…

A state answer” has been given… a sacrilegious laugh echoes through the cells, for everyone arrested there will be a new revolutionary nihilist ready to attack.

The fire doesn’t burn us, we come from a place much hotter and have trained ourselves for hell.

 

Greetings to the kindred, the comrades of the nameless Black International and to those arrested and investigated in Operation “Ardire.”

 

Total conspiracy of silence and no delegation.

For anarchy and the triumph of the I.

 

The triumph of the Destroying Genius – Maurizio De mone


Between boldness and reinforcing…

anarchists in upheaval

“It’s the state’s answer”

Annamaria Cancellieri, minister of the interior, June 13, 2012

 

 

Although it doesn’t seem that any anarchists have formulated question for the state, it appears that the state has decided to answer. At dawn on June 13, the Dirty Operations Department of the carabinieri carried out dozens of arrests and numerous searches throughout Italy (and beyond), as part of an operation called “Boldness” (in which sense: courageous impulse or excessive gall?). It is just the latest of the repressive/preventative maneuvers launched in recent times to those who are not willing to adapt themselves to the role of obsequious subject, yet another spectacular warning to potential future insurgents. This means that much more than the particular individuals involved and the specific charges against them, it is the general context that has given rise to this investigation that deserves some attention.

 

When public debt has reached staggering proportions, the state answer is to increase taxes. When banks and speculators have brought the economy to its knees, the state answer is to give a green light to privatization. When work becomes a privilege and its lack brings waves of suicides, the state answer is to facilitate firings.

More. When functionaries of the institutions soil themselves with the worst infamies, the state answer is to make their “crimes” expire. When the oil wells risk running dry in international conflicts, the state answer is to take part in the war. If the damned of the earth are forced to flee their countries and disembark on our shores, the state answer is to lock them up in concentration camps called CIE.1

Still more. When local populations don’t want harmful developments (high speed trains, incinerators, waste dumps), the state answer is to massacre demonstrators and militarily occupy the territory. If the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, the state answer is to protect the luxury of the former and suppress the desperation of the latter.

 

Considering these examples that could become innumerable, there is nothing surprising when, in confronting anarchists who decide to go into action against the power that shows itself to be more miserable and rotten every day, the state answer is a raid.

It was ordered by a public prosecutor from Perugia, Manuela Comodi, suffering withdrawal from popularity since the end of the “Meredith case,” who for the occasion has unleashed the carabinieri of the ROS under the command of general Ganzer (yes, the very one who was sentenced by the very state of which he is a servant to 14 years in prison for narcotics trafficking).

The concocted framework of charges is the usual, the only one conceivable to those who are used to obeying in silence. One takes hold of a few specific actions and proceeds by casting lots. It functions roughly like a backwards lotter, where whoever wins loses: so many numbered marbles get put into a shaker, each number corresponds to the name of someone already known to the forces of order.

A spin of the shaker, an extraction – those responsible are identified and the investigation is quickly concluded. It makes it so much easier, in this case, from the number of marbles mad to spin that over time become fewer and fewer. Those corresponding to the anarchists who, in times like these, refuse to have friends or intermediaries among the municipal councilors and their likes (even if oppositional) or priests (even if of the street), to gather signatures to attest to their innocence or to present themto legitimize their protest, but who stubbornly insist on thinking that direct action us not a strategic variant of politics, but rather its negation. Autism may still be an mistake for autonomy, but political opportunism is certainly an aberration of it.

In any case, the final extraction of “Operation Boldness,” trumpeted by the media which has the task of provide the public with its daily distraction, had led to the “discovery” of so many “informal anarchists” – so informal as to be part of the same organization (?!) and at the same time without even knowing each other very well. That then, we say it in passing, we haven’t seen much of all this boldness. You only have to consider that in some cases the carabinieri haven’t even gone to disturb the ones directly under investigation to carry out their search, preferring to drag their parents or whoever had the inauspicious idea of renting buildings to them out of bed. In many cases, the anarchists sleeping peacefully in their homes, the carabinieri playing the bold ones with relativess or tenants to listlessly ransack houses or play Comodi’s pigs in spaces rented to anarchists.

This is all so grotesque as to irritate even the competitors in the field of repression, DIGOS2 and the like, who in the afternoon of the same day stopped and searched two of those under investigation in the attempt, not successful, to show their colleague-rivals how things are really done. What has opened a competition among handcuff professionals to see who gets there first?

Our ultimate thought to those arrested, our solidarity to all those under investigation.

Our turn next time.

 

[distributed in Firenze on 6/14/12]

 

1Centers for Identification and Expulsion.

2Italian general investigative and special operations division.

(Some pictures from il Trivio dei Tumultuosi, an anarchist space in Firenze, Italy, after the ROS raid there)


The Floodgates

(translated from Italian)

To open the floodgates means “to unblock, remove the cap and let the liquid flow. In the figurative sense, it means to freely give vent to words, verses, insults…” This is the impression that one gets reading the many communiqués of condemnation and of taking a distance from the attacks that have taking place in the last several weeks against the people and structures of domination. That the floodgates have been opened. As if up to now the refusal to distinguish oneself in the eyes of repression, the contempt for those who want to make themselves pass for “good boys and girls,” maybe a bit unruly but over all pretty good, wasn’t at all a spontaneous and natural expression of one’s being, of one’s individuality, but merely an ideological imposition to one felt constrained to submit. A sort of abstract precept, a moral blackmail to bear, often with clenched teeth, with poorly concealed patience. And, as everyone knows, even patience has a limit.

This limit was surpassed with the wounding (by anarchists) of the administrative representative of Ansaldo Nuclear in Genoa, and with the molotov cocktail (anonymous) against the institutional loan sharks of Equitalia in Livorno. Enough already! – many are saying – we will no longer remain quiet, but will speak up to clearly and strongly express that we have nothing to do with this! Especially if it all happens just outside out front door. So from a silence obviously suffered as if it were a conspiracy of silence, things have suddenly moved on to a din considered virtuous. Apparently the ethic – that ethic so praised by anarchists – was only a “cap” against which the shitty liquid, the rancorous eruption of dissociation was building up and pressing. Dissociation not from an organization in one had never participated, of course, but from a certain practice of direct action: that which has no need to be legitimized by any popular approval.

If in Genoa it was the claimed violence against a man in flesh and blood that is (a pretext for) being scandalized, in Livorno it was the anonymous violence against things. This shows how it is the very idea of the possibility of attacking the state outside of an extended, collective, shared context that is considered an aberration to be crushed by any means. We aren’t at all surprised by this. It’s just a step in the descent taken by the movement. Besides, when you repeat over and over again that in struggles when you go out together, you come back together, when you impose the dry alternative between sharing and the state, when you try in every way to wed rebellion and politics, it is inevitable that sooner of later you transform individual action into something counterproductive from which to distance yourself ( or, for the most idiotic, something shady to denounce).

It is also very likely that those who have opened the floodgates haven’t given much thought to what they were doing. Perhaps they only thought to ease the pressure, to give vent for a moment to their irritation with the aim or being able to contain it longer in consequence. That’s not how it goes. Once the cap is loosened, it all gushes forth. A flood of shit and bile is spitting out impetuously, polluting the environment and contaminating minds. It’s easy to imagine the satisfaction of those who threw out the hook, in seeing how many fish are biting.

In the face of all this one truly just wants to go back to their childhood. To go back to being those boys in school who, when the teacher demanded to know who was responsible for a prank, could only keep silent in class solidarity. And none of them would ever think of shouting “Not me, Ms. teacher, it wasn’t me.” Before the hated teachers, all silent! Because then they could settle their accounts elsewhere in at another time.

But not today, today we are no longer children. We’ve grown up. We’ve become adults. The play that sought pleasure has been replaced by the work that demands practical results. We have lost the innocence that doesn’t know calculation and strategy. In exchange we have gotten a reputation that – through sheer calculation and strategy – knows only how to proclaim itself innocent.

May 20, 2012


Some Thoughts on the “Occupy Wall Street” Movement

A movement was started in the middle of September (2011) that has sparked enough interest to spread across the US and elsewhere. The call for the protests that are the heart of the movement was put out by the Adbusters group – a group that I suppose could be called “radical reformist” who make use of watered versions of half-digested situationist and anarchist theory to promote a fairly hip and media-savvy form of leftist activism. They grasped on to the power of the idea of occupation, harking back to the movement in California a few years ago where certain anarchists and anti-state communists promoted occupations with a genuinely radical agenda and also to the insurrection in France in 1968. The agenda of the Adbusters group is not nearly so radical. It is simply a fairly typical populist protest against corporate greed, inequality and government corruption. A lowest common denominator protest. This is why it has been able to draw in at least the sympathy and support of a lot of people, anarchists included. Unfortunately, most of the anarchists who have gotten involved have done so uncritically, as if they have no aims, no dreams, no desires of their own. The main challenge they have presented is to the nonviolence code that seems to be an assumed part of the movement. An important challenge, but not deep.

Despite my strong distrust for mass movements and populism, left or right, I have found a number of things in the reports I’ve read about this movement that rouse my sympathy. After all, any time slaves get up the courage, however temporarily, to say “fuck you!” to their masters, it gives me a quiver of joy. The problem is that as long as the slaves keep identifying as a mass, I don’t see how they can get beyond the desire for better masters – masters who are less greedy, masters who are less corrupt, masters who listen sympathetically to the complaints of their slaves. And so far I have seen nearly nothing in the language, the imagery or the practice of the movement that encourages getting beyond the mass mentality. I grant though that I may be missing a few things… But I am not sure whether it is possible to escape mass mentality when one’s rebellion starts there – more on that later.

The central slogan of this movement – “We are the 99%” – reflects the mass orientation of the movement in a most pathetic way. As interesting as statistics and percentages may be for looking at how this society has divided people and things up, they don’t even make for good “class analysis,” let alone an analysis of how domination and exploitation actually function in daily experience. Instead this slogan reflects the lowest of lowest common denominators, a populism that tries to appeal to everyone except the richest elite. Inevitably, this helps to create a situation where the most radical individuals get demonized – to such an extent that they even get attacked in the name of keeping a demonstration “peaceful.”

The mass need for masters manifests in this movement in general assemblies that actually operate as decision-making bodies. This should raise questions for anyone who favors autonomy. I know all of the collectivists will disagree with me, but autonomy is only meaningful as the autonomy of each individual to decide for herself how to act – in his life and in situations of protest or revolt. Obviously when a movement gains momentum involving large numbers of people, individuals need tools for coordinating their activities, and a general assembly can certainly function as such a tool. But coordination and decision-making are two very different things. If I insist on acting autonomously and so make the decisions for my own life and rebellion, no assembly can override that, and any assembly that tries to is as much my enemy and an authority standing over me as the state, capitalist institutions, etc. That the general assemblies are open to all and operate by consensus does not change the fact that they take decision-making power from the hands of individuals when they operate as decision-making bodies. But because this movement was started with the intention of making it a mass populist movement, the general assemblies did not rise spontaneously out of the needs of individuals involved, but were promoted precisely as a mass decision-making body. And so decisions are made in advance over individuals, and real autonomy, the capacity for individuals to decide for themselves gets over-ruled. Of course, there will be those who rebel. And there will be those on hand quick and ready to police these rebels against the sacred assembly.

So far the most interesting events I have heard about that have come out of this movement are those that have occurred in Oakland. There, in late October, the police viciously attacked the protest encampment and evicted it. A couple days later, people had returned, and a call was put out for a one-day general strike on November 2. Of course, a one-day general strike is a symbolic action, more a show of force than an actual exercise of force. But it was definitely an upping of the ante. Participation was fairly high. The port of Oakland was blockaded, from what I could gather, for the whole day. At the peak of this blockade, there were apparently at least 20,000 people involved, including longshoremen whose union had told them not to participate. In addition, several banks were attacked1, as was Whole Foods which had ordered its employees not to participate in the strike.

Still the feeling I got from everything I read or saw about this (I was not in Oakland) is that of mass activity not of a coming together of rebellious autonomous individuals. I have a strong feeling that going from a mass movement to a movement of rebellious individuals interweaving their autonomous activities together may not be possible. People who identify freedom with obedience to collective decisions rather than with individual autonomy and self-ownership aren’t likely to change perspective in mid-struggle. Especially since this reversal of perspective would require one to recognize his own responsibility in the current social reality: “If the rich exist, it is the fault of the poor…” as Stirner put it. And who wants to admit that? Most people prefer the role of victim that puts all responsibility elsewhere. But this is the denial of one’s autonomy; a movement of victims can never be anything but a mass movement seeking an improvement in their present conditions, a movement of reform.

I am not saying that anarchists should have nothing to do with this movement or these protests. Obviously, this is a choice each anarchist will make for herself. I have kept away from the events in Portland because I really couldn’t think of a way to intervene (and because this is a mass movement, anything I did would have to be in the form of an intervention) that would be an expression of myself and of my own rebellion. Without that, it would be ridiculous for me to go. Most anarchists who have involved themselves seem to have done so uncritically or with a critique limited to tactical questions surrounding the nonviolence code that liberals and pacifists have tried to impose on the movement as a whole (often using the general assemblies to do this). Thus, the anarchists have largely taken on the role of a the fiercely wagging tail of an otherwise well-behaved dog.

So, even though I feel some sympathy for what this movement has spawned and have found specific moments exciting, the movement still remains alien to me. I don’t see a way for my own rebellion to weave into it, because the fabric of this movement seems mono-textured – a lowest common denominator felt – not the multi-textural insurgence of rebellious individuals weaving their struggles together in such a way as to strengthen and enhance each individual thread. I’ll keep an eye on what is going on, but an eye without expectations or illusions. Where there is a mass, there is obedience, even when that mass is saying “fuck you!” Huge mass protests can look exciting, but then I consider the masses that took to the streets in Russia in 1917, in Germany in the early 1930s, in China in the late 1940s, and it becomes obvious that autonomous, non-conforming individuals can never trust masses. They are easily manipulated, easily directed by the forces most desiring to play the games of politics and rulership. In this movement, as in other places (the radical movement in Italy, for example), general assemblies have become a power over those involved in the movement. The illusion of democracy is exponentially increased here, because it is “direct democracy.” Again some words of Stirner come to my mind: “…for every member of the state-community, this community must be sacred, and the concept that is highest for the state must also be highest for him.” And what is more sacred to the modern western state than the concept of democracy2? There is simply no excuse for an anarchist in the present era to continue accepting and promoting this illusion. But I have yet to hear any anarchists who are seriously involved in this movement even questioning, let alone critiquing this adherence to the ideal of democracy or the institutional nature of the assemblies operating as decision-making bodies, rather than as tools for coordinating the autonomous decisions of individuals involved in this movement.

Anyway, I am keeping my eye on this movement for one and only one reason: to see if there may be a way to weave in my personal rebellion that will enhance it and perhaps sway some of the more radical elements in this movement to move in an autonomous direction. If this sounds selfish, it is. I have never denied that I am an anarchist, a rebel, a non-conformist, for myself, not for any “higher” cause. If it sounds arrogant, I don’t care. I am pretty clear about what I want and how I want to play with, in or against the various games of protest, resistance, rebellion and insurgence. That self-assurance may appear arrogant to others, but that doesn’t bother me. I am not here to please others (except to the extent it pleases me to do so). But I hope this makes it clear what I have seen so far in this movement, why I remain sympathetic, but highly skeptical, and how I will play if I play this game at all.

____________________

1 Of course, one of the ugliest moments of this movement that I have seen also happened here, when one of the internal wannabe cops attacked someone who had broken a bank window. The reason for this attack on another protestor? He wanted to “keep the protest peaceful.”

2 I know what all the various leftists and liberals (including the ones who call themselves anarchists) will have to say here: “But this is not a real democracy,” “The rulers are in the pay of the rich – this is a plutocracy,” etc., etc. But sacred concepts, by their nature, cannot exist in pure form in reality. This does not make them less sacred, but in fact is necessary to their sacredness. And the rulers of the US most certainly treat democracy as a sacred concept. It justifies everything. The need leftists and liberals have to defend “real democracy” show that they too are adherents to the state-religion.