As the United States totters ever closer towards total collapse and WW3 looms on the horizon, one question burns with increasing intensity in the minds of Anarchists everywhere: what can I do to help destroy things?
Not since the heyday’s of the early 1900’s has the moral and social fabric of America the Brutal been so close to the tipping point, the minds of an entire populace so close to boiling over. We live in a unique age, a transitory position; Radicals of every stripe are quickly abandoning the long dead tactics of the Protest Left in favor of militant activity, going so far as to form armed squads. The State not only knows this but expects it, which says something quite dire about what lies ahead of us consideringthe massive build-up of military units for such an occurrence. Things are bad, real bad, and people everywhere feel the need to do something. The fact is violence DOES work and people are starting to realize that.
Radicalism has long been clubbed by the idiotic beliefs perpetuated by the Democratic party. With Bernie’s betrayal people are starting to look for alternatives. There is an itch on the arm of Leftists everywhere, a sullen pimple begging to be popped. There is talk of “real revolution” and what that might entail. It’s a question whose time has come. The religious belief in nonviolence that we’ve all had passive-aggressively shoved down our throats states that an individual must allow an entity in opposition to see the evil in his or her own ways and voluntarily change because apparently people switch out belief systems like vape liquids. This, as if by magic, will somehow spread across society and create lasting change. Of course it’s all a lie. This foolish notion places an extraordinary amount of faith in the human conscience and assumes people are rationally deciding the course of their actions and has proven it’s bankruptcy. If the dogma of “conscious choice” were true the entire field of advertising wouldn’t exist. If an individual had a working conscience in the first place would they actually engage in activities with threaten and destroy various forms of life on this planet, support a state that exports war and death to millions across the globe? The entire system depends upon people NOT acting rationally and not ethically reflecting on those same actions. I can assure you cops and soldiers sleep like babies.
Other factions, primarily on the Left, want us to wait for some Grand Revolution, accepting our lot as tools in some dialectical gear work, forced to silently taking blow after blow until enough critical mass has been reached until….well, nobody seems to know. Serfinski in Blessed is the Flame notes that almost every concentration camp run by the Nazis had an organized resistance, some even with weapons. Thousands of prisoners were part of these organizations actively plotting the moment they would put an end to the widespread slaughter and liberate themselves. The problem was that the plot never came to fruition, times were never quite right, things were never ready enough. The bodies continued to pile up as fast as each new unspeakable horror was unleashed yet hierarchical leaders remained steadfast in waiting for the picture-perfect weather. Even social protests like better wages, social security, more rights, while certainly admirable, are mobilizations with an expire date that lead back to passivity. The only thing we learn by waiting is to wait.
People want to act, want to do something. Scores of the restless are filled with piss and vinegar looking for a target. Hands are willing with only one question remaining: who the fuck do they do it with?
It’s a question I’ve asked myself, and one that lead me to message the fine folks over at Insurrection News, a clearing house for “news, counter-information & incitement from the global front lines of anti-capitalist insurrection & social war.” The way I saw it there were a few outfits out there, but you’d be hard pressed to find one better than the infamous Informal Anarchist Federation, a shadowy “terrorist” group better known by its Italian acronym of FAI, the same one whose “death squads” I covered for Disinfo:
“[The] FAI/FRI made it clear this is no collection of high-school students with a passing interest in Bakunin. This is hardcore Propaganda of the Deed.“The fire, the attack, the threat against any representative of the church and the power is fully justified,” noted the Anarchists, “We have the weapons and our willingness to attack them. Their days of revelry are over.”
The FAI/FRI is probably the only Anarchist collective on the planet capable of backing up that claim, having launched arson attacks against cellphone towers in Russia as well as Chilean banks, sabotaging Bristol train lines, even shooting out the kneecap of the head of an Italian nuclear engineering company.
These guys and gals don’t play around and aren’t interested in “influencing the argument” or “moral victories.”
Masked Anarchists striking fear into the heart of the bourgeoisie? Be still my beating heart! So where does one sign up?
The short answer: you don’t.
The long answer is much more complicated.
“FAI doesn’t really have a membership as such, it is an informal organization,”explains Insurrection News. While it may not have offices, ranks, or official structures, that’s not to say one couldn’t become part of it. “A person is only an FAI member when they carry out an action under the FAI name. It’s more of an idea than some kind of actual organization.”
Alfredo Cospito, the jailed Anarchist who was convicted of an FAI-FRI action (kneecapping that nuclear power company executive) elaborates and highlights the effectiveness of this “informal” organization in a letter from prison:
“I’ll never tire of repeating it, in my opinion the informal federation must ‘limit itself’ to being a simple instrument which even comrades like myself, totally extraneous to any organization, can use, giving themselves the possibility of relating with other individuals or nuclei scattered around the world. FAI-FRI is a weapon of war, and the simpler its structure, the more elementary its dynamics, the more efficient it will be. Reducing its complexity increases its effectiveness….
Rather than wait to be issued commands the FAI operates as a symbolic mast-head for individuals or groups to gallantly raise their own black flag of Anarchism; there is no leader to capture, no informants to pay off, because cells do not come into contact with one another.
Both coordination and assembly are exposed to repression, everyone knows everyone else, it’s like a house of cards, if one falls all the others fall. The FAI, in a very simple and natural way through the collective experience of dozens of groups scattered throughout the world has, without even realizing it, substituted these two old methodologies with revolutionary campaigns that don’t need deadlines or reciprocal knowledge, only the actions speak. There’s no need for coordination when it is sufficient to communicate the beginning of a campaign with claims, pieces of writing that follow the actions and open debates among different tensions (insurrectionalists, individualists, nihilists, social and anti-social anarchists) thus creating new trajectories that are never characterized by uniformity, ideology, politics. As for the assembly this is a way of politicizing, and rendering ideological the simple and natural relations of affinity, friendship, love, sisterhood, brotherhood that every FAI-FRI group has within itself and which concern their most intimate lives and only in the moment of the action intertwine with the existence of the informal federation…
The informal federation follows its trajectory of war which within the limits of its strength wants only to destroy and build nothing. An unpredictable trajectory, which is never ideological, never political, never constructive, and which sometimes intersects with that of the ‘real movement’. Two trajectories with quite different objectives, the first the anarchist movement, combative, violent, revolutionary with its assemblies and specific organisations and the second the FAI-FRI, a simple instrument, elementary, basic, informal to make war, strike, then disappear, communicate without ever becoming visible. The two trajectories must be kept separate from each other as they would annihilate each other if they came together.
Above all one thing must be clear, one is only part of the FAI-FRI in the moment of the action, then each one returns to their life as anarchist, nihilist, individualist, to their own projects and rebel or revolutionary perspectives with all their adjuncts of assemblies, coordinations, affinity nuclei, occupations, communes, struggles in the territory and so on and so forth.
The FAI-FRI (at least that’s how I see it) is not a party or a movement and even less an organization, but a means to strengthen single affinity groups or single individuals of action through international campaigns that unite our forces without coordination, without surrendering precious freedom.
A means that can be used by any anarchist who aspires to destruction here and now. It’s not a perfect instrument, many things could be improved starting with the international campaigns, which, I think, have never been exploited to the full. Imagine concentrating forces on objectives of the same kind, on an international scale…“
Powerful words and big claims. But does it work?
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