Thought Control in Economics

The Coming Insurrection

Revolutionary movements do not spread by contamination, but by resonance.
The Coming Insurrection

The Tarnac 9 were once just nine individuals who had withdrawn from the capitalist paradigm to live a quiet, communal life in an isolated French mountain village. They grew their own food, opened a small grocery store and started a movie club where they screened films for their rural neighbors. The group, nearly all of whom hailed from affluent Paris suburbs, were highly educated and, by all accounts, friendly, helpful and generous. It was an idyllic existence, far from the consumer spectacle of modern urban existence.

But then someone – it has yet to be determined who – sabotaged railways in the surrounding countryside, injuring no one but delaying thousands of passengers for several hours.

Suddenly the commune became a cell. The isolated farmhouse became a base, the store became a front and the absence of mobile phones became evidence of an effort to avoid detection. Tarnac’s native population became unwitting accomplices to terrorism. Nine became 9.

In a terrifying show of force, French authorities raided the farmhouse in the predawn hours of November 11, 2008 and tore its sleeping inhabitants from their beds. The balaclava-clad police handled their wards not as alleged vandals or even saboteurs but as high-level enemies of the state: terrorists.

The ensuing investigation centered mainly around Julien Coupat, a 34-year-old activist who was described by French Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie as the leader of the “anarcho-autonomist cell.” He had drawn the attention of the FBI for attending a protest outside an Army recruitment center in New York City which was later targeted in a bomb attack. French authorities were focused on his “ultra-leftist” activities, namely his communal lifestyle and alleged authorship of The Coming Insurrection.

Officially authored by “The Invisible Committee,” an anonymous group of activists and intellectuals, The Coming Insurrection is a slim manual that predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture and outlines a plan for the regeneration of collectivist values. Written in the wake of widespread riots that gripped French suburbs in 2005, the text is interpreted by some as an anarchist manifesto, a situationist-inspired call to arms. The French government sees it as a “manual for terrorism.” The move against Coupat and the rest of the Tarnac 9 was intended as a preemptive strike against the burgeoning anti-capitalist movement in France. While the others were released with relative speed, Coupat was held under “preventative arrest” until May of 2009 and labeled by the government as a “pre-terrorist.”

And there, buried within the idiom of conservative fear – leftist, anarcho, collectivist, commune – is the word that points to the real danger in this story: pre. Preemptive. Preventative. Pre-terrorist. The French government, fearing the societal upheaval that a mass rethink of capitalism would spawn, exercised the principles of preventive medicine as the doctrine of law. It suspected the presence of renegade cells, mutating into malignant tumors of dissent and threatening the health of the entire body politic, so the government acted preemptively by swiftly excising the tissue in question.

The one ray of hope shining down on this brave new world – in which people can be detained for transgressions they have yet to commit – is the massive show of solidarity that has grown around Coupat and the others. Groups have sprung up across France, Spain, the US and Greece. In Moscow, supporters marched in protest outside the French embassy. And in June an unauthorized reading of The Coming Insurrection at a Barnes & Noble in New York City sparked a spontaneous – albeit brief – insurgency that flowed through the streets and nearby shops. As the crowd pushed into a Union Square Starbucks, patrons closed their laptops and lowered their lattes. For a moment they were transfixed by the infidel who leapt onto a table and passionately recited passages from the book. As he assailed the very paradigm of which they were each implicitly a part, the customers – just for a moment – seemed to listen.

“I have no idea what’s going on,” said one. “But I like the excitement.”

Sarah Nardi

92 comments on the article “The Coming Insurrection”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 92

Page 3 of 10

Anonymous

I am afraid one hasn't familiarized his/herself with the ideas behind VNP if such concepts as "leaders" and "government" are being used in relation to it. It is about a new society through better education and smart instead of "for profit and immediate gain" allocation of resources. If all people on this planet were allowed to study continuously and create and think for themselves without the need to survive by means of boring and repetitive jobs, do you think anyone would be paying attention to political populists and their propaganda? C'mon! It's about gradually phasing out money and consequentially poitics+army+police+bankers+beaurocrats etc and freeing enormous resources for the benefit of the planet and people. One has to pay more attention to the ideas before attempting criticism.

Anonymous

I am afraid one hasn't familiarized his/herself with the ideas behind VNP if such concepts as "leaders" and "government" are being used in relation to it. It is about a new society through better education and smart instead of "for profit and immediate gain" allocation of resources. If all people on this planet were allowed to study continuously and create and think for themselves without the need to survive by means of boring and repetitive jobs, do you think anyone would be paying attention to political populists and their propaganda? C'mon! It's about gradually phasing out money and consequentially poitics+army+police+bankers+beaurocrats etc and freeing enormous resources for the benefit of the planet and people. One has to pay more attention to the ideas before attempting criticism.

Anonymous

What about the call by VNP guru Peter Joseph for a "central super-computer to allocate resources and administer general societal decision making." WTF? How are we suppose to take this movement seriously? I respect Zeitgeist for its info on a vast array of subjects, but the VNP, in my opinion is the opposite direction we need to head toward. First off, it is a global movement with global aims, basically rampant globalization, well meaning, but globalization nonetheless. Second: It is hierarchical (see the computer quote above). A perverse hierarchy as well, where technology is bestowed decision making power over non technology. Amoral agents above moral agents = bad idea. Thirdly, it takes away the power of individuals to control their political existence. My dream is when the local school board election is more important than the Presidential election. The idea is to decentralize and repeal. To give power back to local communities and to forget about federal or international laws. Yes, there will be ignorant areas with really bad decisions made in those communities but what makes this system more appealing than the super-centralized computer land vision of VNP, is that millions of experiments in governing will appear throughout the world. Some will be better than others and those will probably be adopted by others and so on, etc. There will be collectivist areas, libertarian cities and even Venus Project communities and these communities will survive or die based on their effectiveness. But the VNP offers the opposite condition (homogenized globalization with a technocratic overlay). Please question authority even the authority proposing glossy pictures of glass cities and world peace.

Anonymous

What about the call by VNP guru Peter Joseph for a "central super-computer to allocate resources and administer general societal decision making." WTF? How are we suppose to take this movement seriously? I respect Zeitgeist for its info on a vast array of subjects, but the VNP, in my opinion is the opposite direction we need to head toward. First off, it is a global movement with global aims, basically rampant globalization, well meaning, but globalization nonetheless. Second: It is hierarchical (see the computer quote above). A perverse hierarchy as well, where technology is bestowed decision making power over non technology. Amoral agents above moral agents = bad idea. Thirdly, it takes away the power of individuals to control their political existence. My dream is when the local school board election is more important than the Presidential election. The idea is to decentralize and repeal. To give power back to local communities and to forget about federal or international laws. Yes, there will be ignorant areas with really bad decisions made in those communities but what makes this system more appealing than the super-centralized computer land vision of VNP, is that millions of experiments in governing will appear throughout the world. Some will be better than others and those will probably be adopted by others and so on, etc. There will be collectivist areas, libertarian cities and even Venus Project communities and these communities will survive or die based on their effectiveness. But the VNP offers the opposite condition (homogenized globalization with a technocratic overlay). Please question authority even the authority proposing glossy pictures of glass cities and world peace.

Anonymous

"supercomputer" is not to be feared more then array of sensors on a field that switches sprinklers when the need be. But anyway it is still another century or two away. We need more research into AI and the whole plethora of advances in nanotechnology, computation and materials' science. Until the day comes when garbage cleaners are robotic we are in the same boat with anyone who wishes to abolish corporate/political/military control over our planet. And, yes!, of course local communities rule. Global unity through cultural diversity only. And mind you it is all there at the Venus Project website. Just read a little deeper.

Anonymous

"supercomputer" is not to be feared more then array of sensors on a field that switches sprinklers when the need be. But anyway it is still another century or two away. We need more research into AI and the whole plethora of advances in nanotechnology, computation and materials' science. Until the day comes when garbage cleaners are robotic we are in the same boat with anyone who wishes to abolish corporate/political/military control over our planet. And, yes!, of course local communities rule. Global unity through cultural diversity only. And mind you it is all there at the Venus Project website. Just read a little deeper.

Anonymous

How are you going to "gradually phase out money" without centralized leadership or government? You are basically talking about switching our economy to a barter or gift economy. I believe that the only way to do so without infringing on peoples rights using coercive means is if it happens spontaneously. Libertarians, myself included, speak of what's called spontaneous order. That is, if we are going to work together and be all collectivist, the only way it can happen legitimately is if it happens spontaneously. A free society can not be planned out and written. You'll notice that the US constitution speaks of individual liberty and the limits of government, NOT of what an 'ideal' society should look like. That is up to the individual to decide.

Anonymous

How are you going to "gradually phase out money" without centralized leadership or government? You are basically talking about switching our economy to a barter or gift economy. I believe that the only way to do so without infringing on peoples rights using coercive means is if it happens spontaneously. Libertarians, myself included, speak of what's called spontaneous order. That is, if we are going to work together and be all collectivist, the only way it can happen legitimately is if it happens spontaneously. A free society can not be planned out and written. You'll notice that the US constitution speaks of individual liberty and the limits of government, NOT of what an 'ideal' society should look like. That is up to the individual to decide.

Anonymous

i am confused also, so-called anarchists that want socialism? capitalism is the friend of the individual, socialism is the friend of statists. global socialism will make a prision planet. and adolf will have won.

Anonymous

i am confused also, so-called anarchists that want socialism? capitalism is the friend of the individual, socialism is the friend of statists. global socialism will make a prision planet. and adolf will have won.

Pages

Add a new comment

Comments are closed.