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The Tarnac 9 were once just nine individuals who had withdrawn from the capitalist paradigm to live a quiet, communal life in an isolated French mountain village.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 81 - 90 of 92

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Anonymous

go outside and do something with you hands. pretend your a kid again, go into the forest, build yourself a fort from fallen branches, and pretend you are knight living in a castle. some say simple, i say revolutionary. you'll understand when you feel it opening up. or, go throw a brick through a window and end your hypocrisy.

Anonymous

go outside and do something with you hands. pretend your a kid again, go into the forest, build yourself a fort from fallen branches, and pretend you are knight living in a castle. some say simple, i say revolutionary. you'll understand when you feel it opening up. or, go throw a brick through a window and end your hypocrisy.

josephspark107

All we have to do is trust people that he can do his job.And we need to stop the ethic war in various country try set aside religious and cultural believe and act like a human being. josephspark107 mohel

josephspark107

All we have to do is trust people that he can do his job.And we need to stop the ethic war in various country try set aside religious and cultural believe and act like a human being. josephspark107 mohel

Anonymous

ANARCHISM V.S LIBERTARIANISM: ON A VERY BASIC LEVEL There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about libertarianism vs. anarchism in response to The Coming Insurrection. First, there needs to be a distinction made between social policy and economic policy. When talking about social philosophy, this will make your lives a lot easier. Libertarianism and anarchism have something in common: they believe in complete democracy on a social level. Meaning they would like their collective actions to be rendered out of a democratic structure. It is on an economic level that they disagree: anarchism endorses a collective form of economics. Through the formulation of a localized democracy, out of that comes Many people, mostly Marxists, will say that there isn't a difference between the social and the economic. I however disagree, a capitalist society feeds heavily on that distinction and has created a disjunction between the social and economic realm that we must realize in order to create unity. As actors within this system, we must realize that our social system and our economic system both reflect that work to perpetuate and buttress on another- but no social or economic system alone is tantamount to "freedom." Without the right From a sociological standpoint this is the place that the libertarian capitalists rise from, they recognize the juxtaposition between large government and the threat it presents to personal freedom (represented by democracy). However, they also recognize and laud the social philosophical seed that spurred capitalism: humans are self interested. Capitalism is a system that rewards that self interest, a meritocracy, so it only makes sense. This is a very judeo-christian standpoint that has many historical challenges. Anarchists, for the most part, believe something quite different. They believe that humans are the architects of their own "nature." Humans can change, through the creation social and economic democracy, their nature. Humans aren't benevolent, but instead are easily manipulated through social bonds and relationships with one another. Anarchists, essentially libertarian socialists, see the need for a harmony between social and economic freedom. Through capitalism human's are rewarding self interest and therefor manipulating human "nature" to the detriment of the collective species. There are many different types of anarchists and libertarian capitalists, so I'm not speaking on anyone's behalf. I just wanted a simple accessible overview to lay the foundation of how to have discourse about these things instead of a rhetorical conversation. -Hali Vik

Anonymous

ANARCHISM V.S LIBERTARIANISM: ON A VERY BASIC LEVEL There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about libertarianism vs. anarchism in response to The Coming Insurrection. First, there needs to be a distinction made between social policy and economic policy. When talking about social philosophy, this will make your lives a lot easier. Libertarianism and anarchism have something in common: they believe in complete democracy on a social level. Meaning they would like their collective actions to be rendered out of a democratic structure. It is on an economic level that they disagree: anarchism endorses a collective form of economics. Through the formulation of a localized democracy, out of that comes Many people, mostly Marxists, will say that there isn't a difference between the social and the economic. I however disagree, a capitalist society feeds heavily on that distinction and has created a disjunction between the social and economic realm that we must realize in order to create unity. As actors within this system, we must realize that our social system and our economic system both reflect that work to perpetuate and buttress on another- but no social or economic system alone is tantamount to "freedom." Without the right From a sociological standpoint this is the place that the libertarian capitalists rise from, they recognize the juxtaposition between large government and the threat it presents to personal freedom (represented by democracy). However, they also recognize and laud the social philosophical seed that spurred capitalism: humans are self interested. Capitalism is a system that rewards that self interest, a meritocracy, so it only makes sense. This is a very judeo-christian standpoint that has many historical challenges. Anarchists, for the most part, believe something quite different. They believe that humans are the architects of their own "nature." Humans can change, through the creation social and economic democracy, their nature. Humans aren't benevolent, but instead are easily manipulated through social bonds and relationships with one another. Anarchists, essentially libertarian socialists, see the need for a harmony between social and economic freedom. Through capitalism human's are rewarding self interest and therefor manipulating human "nature" to the detriment of the collective species. There are many different types of anarchists and libertarian capitalists, so I'm not speaking on anyone's behalf. I just wanted a simple accessible overview to lay the foundation of how to have discourse about these things instead of a rhetorical conversation. -Hali Vik

Anonymous

Very cool- Noam Chomsky II what is the seperation of work -free time does a bee divide its day into sections-work-leisure-life flows in perpetuity with work rest evening morning it all is living we may say" lf I had that laptop I'd be happy,if I had that pizza I'd be happy wanting more than enough food,water air sheltar than is needed is encumberance. (Destroys the soul) working living loving peace all is one. giving up all stuggle for power-humility and peace is all-love-we are all one-Meta-Agape love without ego is the way? bless you all who read.

Anonymous

Very cool- Noam Chomsky II what is the seperation of work -free time does a bee divide its day into sections-work-leisure-life flows in perpetuity with work rest evening morning it all is living we may say" lf I had that laptop I'd be happy,if I had that pizza I'd be happy wanting more than enough food,water air sheltar than is needed is encumberance. (Destroys the soul) working living loving peace all is one. giving up all stuggle for power-humility and peace is all-love-we are all one-Meta-Agape love without ego is the way? bless you all who read.

Anonymoose

Wow. Never have I seen so many people misunderstand anarchist philosophy as when I have ventured to read the comments on an adbusters article.

Let me make it easy for you:
Why do anarchists oppose the current system?
http://infoshop.org/faq/secBcon.html

What are the myths of capitalist economics?
http://infoshop.org/faq/secCcon.html

Anarcho-capitalism literally means the unabated freedom to devour scarce natural resources and protect it with violence. Where anarcho-capitalism has been tried in the "Wild West" it resulted in violent crime and hegemony. Where social anarchist ideas have been put into practice what was created was a culture of solidarity, mutual aid, and liberatory resistance against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Of note is the fact that several economic systems co-existed and supported each other.

A hallmark of anarchist philosophy is the desire for diversity; and individualism and freedom is not lost on social anarchists. Instead social anarchists see individualism and collectivism as supporting each other and equally necessary. It is impossible for individualism to thrive if the monopolization of productive capacities induces people to become wage slaves; and if a society denies individual possession and autonomy in the work place it is impossible for a community to thrive. It goes both ways, strong communities need strong individuals and strong individuals are best served by strong communities.

Above all, anarchists seek a society where people consent to the terms of their lives, free from coercion, domination, and exploitation.

Also, something new initiates to the ideas of anarchism should be aware of is the changing class analysis of contemporary anarchists. Traditionally anarchists have offered pluralist additions (anarcha-feminism) to class analysis in attempts to make up for a rather dull and one dimensional Marxist analysis that puts class above all other types of oppression. Many have suggested that pluralism is a good start but not comprehensive enough and now Complimentary Holism offers a new conceptual framework for understanding oppression wherein each form textures another but no clear hierarchy of oppression exists. Also, social anarchists have proposed a variety of economic models because we share a variety of concerns when it comes to the exploitation of the worker. Mutualists are concerned with the exploitation of individuals by communities; communists are concerned by the inequalities of wealth which have historically led to exploitation of communities; and collectivists are concerned with the exploitation of a work place by slackers. We can see this by the various forms of remunerative systems they employ. Now, many anarchists are being attracted to Participatory Economics because it focuses on designing solutions to economic issues that are consistent with a social justice philosophy and anti-authoritarian principles - it has remunerative concepts that respect the individual without exploiting the community and ownership/decision making concepts that respect the community without exploiting the individual.

Among French anarchists lately, there also seems to be a trend in reanalyzing communization but most of the stuff that's been translated to English I still cannot read without getting a headache.

The moral of the story here is that if you think you know enough about anarchism you've already lost the battle. Keep reading and join discussion groups whenever possible. Go on late night wikipedia/internet search rabbit trail fests. Read the FAQ, poke around libcom.org, checkout zcommunications.org. Read! Speak! And think!

Anonymoose

Wow. Never have I seen so many people misunderstand anarchist philosophy as when I have ventured to read the comments on an adbusters article.

Let me make it easy for you:
Why do anarchists oppose the current system?
http://infoshop.org/faq/secBcon.html

What are the myths of capitalist economics?
http://infoshop.org/faq/secCcon.html

Anarcho-capitalism literally means the unabated freedom to devour scarce natural resources and protect it with violence. Where anarcho-capitalism has been tried in the "Wild West" it resulted in violent crime and hegemony. Where social anarchist ideas have been put into practice what was created was a culture of solidarity, mutual aid, and liberatory resistance against fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Of note is the fact that several economic systems co-existed and supported each other.

A hallmark of anarchist philosophy is the desire for diversity; and individualism and freedom is not lost on social anarchists. Instead social anarchists see individualism and collectivism as supporting each other and equally necessary. It is impossible for individualism to thrive if the monopolization of productive capacities induces people to become wage slaves; and if a society denies individual possession and autonomy in the work place it is impossible for a community to thrive. It goes both ways, strong communities need strong individuals and strong individuals are best served by strong communities.

Above all, anarchists seek a society where people consent to the terms of their lives, free from coercion, domination, and exploitation.

Also, something new initiates to the ideas of anarchism should be aware of is the changing class analysis of contemporary anarchists. Traditionally anarchists have offered pluralist additions (anarcha-feminism) to class analysis in attempts to make up for a rather dull and one dimensional Marxist analysis that puts class above all other types of oppression. Many have suggested that pluralism is a good start but not comprehensive enough and now Complimentary Holism offers a new conceptual framework for understanding oppression wherein each form textures another but no clear hierarchy of oppression exists. Also, social anarchists have proposed a variety of economic models because we share a variety of concerns when it comes to the exploitation of the worker. Mutualists are concerned with the exploitation of individuals by communities; communists are concerned by the inequalities of wealth which have historically led to exploitation of communities; and collectivists are concerned with the exploitation of a work place by slackers. We can see this by the various forms of remunerative systems they employ. Now, many anarchists are being attracted to Participatory Economics because it focuses on designing solutions to economic issues that are consistent with a social justice philosophy and anti-authoritarian principles - it has remunerative concepts that respect the individual without exploiting the community and ownership/decision making concepts that respect the community without exploiting the individual.

Among French anarchists lately, there also seems to be a trend in reanalyzing communization but most of the stuff that's been translated to English I still cannot read without getting a headache.

The moral of the story here is that if you think you know enough about anarchism you've already lost the battle. Keep reading and join discussion groups whenever possible. Go on late night wikipedia/internet search rabbit trail fests. Read the FAQ, poke around libcom.org, checkout zcommunications.org. Read! Speak! And think!

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