Monday, January 11, 2010

A Statement

Due to the recent publication of a loose smattering of straw man arguments and other logical fallacies, also known as the CrimethInc. article, “Say You Want an Insurrection,” which both critiques insurrectionary anarchist thought and misrepresents the purpose of Social Rupture, I feel it necessary to step outside of my usual posting format and talk briefly about why this blog exists. This statement is neither meant to be a scathing critique of the article or CrimethInc. in general, as other people have already begun dissecting the article and I'm sure that anyone familiar with the anarchist milieu in the United States has already heard their fair share of criticism related to CrimethInc.

Social Rupture was conceived by a dear friend of yours truly during a time when a handful of other blogs (Bombs and Shields, AntiCiv, Center for Strategic Anarchy) were regularly updated with news of anti-capitalist, anti-exploitation, and anti-authoritarian struggles and attacks from around the world. Social Rupture was created in order to show that right beside the swelling militant anarchist activity, there were non-political attacks on normality in the United States every day in the form of anti-social actions such as bank robberies, high-end vandalism, cop killings, prison breaks, sabotage, various expropriations, and the occasional smashed bank window or two. In the midst of these other blogs, Social Rupture was conceived to explore the illegalist activity and creative destruction which runs rampant in the United States. The blog has never existed to publish explicitly anarchist action, although I do not hesitate to talk about the exploits of our comrades.

Now, a point of contention arises with the CrimethInc. article: in the section entitled “Not Just Insurrection, but Anarchist Insurrection,” the authors make the egregious claim that Social Rupture “hail[s] all sorts of antisocial crime as manifestations of social war, without knowing the motivations of the protagonists.” Au contraire, never has such a notion been expressed and to suggest that every action reported on Social Rupture is being billed as a staunchly anti-authoritarian attack on state and capital is a gross misrepresentation of this blog's purpose. The truth of the matter is, the majority of the people who commit these anti-social acts which are not explicitly anarchist were probably not reflecting upon the ideas of negation, potentiality, the totality, or even insurrection or anarchy while they stole an ATM, torched a church, or shot four cops sitting in a cafe. It is important to recognize that assaults on daily life occur frequently, but often have little to do with politics or the negation thereof.

Social Rupture, contrary to the assertions of “Say You Want an Insurrection,” does not push for a particular party program or a desire for an anarcho-specialist revolt against capitalism. Let us hope instead for a widening of the chasm which snakes in and about society--a fissure of social malaise which continues to threaten the banality of everyday life. May the spread of illegalism and the gratification of destruction further infect all passersby.

8 comments:

wind-up bird. said...

i used to work on bombs and shields, and i have to say that at least for my part i covered a lot of non/antipolitical stuff involving regular ass people collectively wildin out against the state and market's plans for their communities...

you disagree with crimethinc's assertion that you presume the motivations and direction of the incidents covered here, but continue on to describe them as "assaults on daily life" and speak of illegalism. it seems like you are calling them 'birds of the coming storm' so to speak, and while i think there may be something interesting about any or all of these, i think you are painting with too broad a brush and it's unhelpful. illegal and antisocial acts may be assaults on daily life, and they may also be reinforcements of it. a person might slash a politician's tires becuase they support the other party, or steal an ATM because they are addicted to meth... and more importantly whether you are a cop, a bank robber, or a bank-robbing cop, you are still putting in labor in order to get money to buy commodities and survive in capitalist society. this will not change without a rupture that is truly social - seriously your blog might as well be called "individual rupture"! revolution is a collective wilding out of regular ass people getting together to make (end) history - not a sum total of disparate lashings out, nor something brought about by such.

i do think its worth while to recognize the diffuse and chaotic negation which permeates this society; but honestly i can't entirely blame crimethinc for taking this blog as validating all of it in a general way. maybe you are just casting too wide a net in terms of the material you post. or maybe you should be thinking and writing more about how the crimes of this 'imaginary party' can become linked and something more than what they are in themselves. again; crime is in no way outside of normality! it is produced by capitalism just like anything else we see around us in society. so in this sense i think you are confused either about what rupture means or what constitutes the social.

i am getting sleepy, and rambling, but also i wanted to suggest that you tag your posts. it would be easier to find specific things as well as to get a general idea of what sorts of things are being covered here in what proportions. this might help you work on my above suggestion should you choose to follow it, or to evaluate the information accumulated here in some other way.

Beautification Committee said...

First off, I did not intend to imply that Bombs and Shields published primarily anarchist content, just that the combined effort of those three blogs generally leaned towards anti-authoritarian or anti-state action.

I agree with you that criminal acts are very much incorporated into the capitalist scheme of things. In the metropolis, a truly “social rupture” only occurs with a larger upheaval brought to fruition by all types of participants. However, were I to publish a blog that only focused on revolts against normality in the United States which completely break from capitalism and the state, I would unfortunately be posting much less frequently.

I'm more than aware that the desires, intentions, and beliefs of the people who commit these anti-social acts may not be people with whom I share anything in common with when it comes to value systems. The people who break out of prison tomorrow could be complete scumbags and the individual who's arrested for a bank robbery next week may have spent a good portion of the money they stole on drugs and prostitution. The purpose of Social Rupture is not to idolize these individuals or place them on a pedestal, but to reveal the frequency and repetitive nature of their actions. Obviously, I'm more enticed by riots and other fierce attacks on capitalism than day-to-day thefts and vandalism, but the latter occurs far more often than the former in the United States.

I agree with your notion that revolution is made by regular people and that large scale revolt will not be brought about by a bunch of jewelry store robberies. So then why should Social Rupture exist? Perhaps to explore and further the atmosphere of assaults on state and capital (both within and without the framework of capitalism) in the United States. After all, we do not live in a country where these attacks garner much popular support. If Jean Genet was born an American, he surely would have spent his entire life in prison. I am somewhat torn between letting these actions speak for themselves and tying them to the concept of the imaginary party. But others have already made fantastic explorations on this front in light of recent events that are worth reading.

I do see where your critique is coming from and I do find valid points in it. I appreciate your post much more than the misrepresentations brought forth by CrimethInc. After all, it is always necessary to critique the critiques (or in this case, the critiques of the critiques.)

Lastly, I've thought in the past about tagging posts, but at this time, can't be bothered to go back and tag every post that's been made on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I actually thought crimethinc was refering to "Fire To The Prisons" more than this site, since it's an actual publication.
Which, don't get me wrong, I like FTTP, as well as Rolling Thunder, and am annoyed by parts from both publications, FTTP is too vague for me, which they had more theory than 'fuck shit up', Rolling Thunder is too activisty for me at times, but this last issue was awesome, with the insurrectionist critique, the piece on Chile, and a small article from an ex-member of Os Cangaceiros.

I refuse to brush all tendencies off and only focus on one, I have learned a lot from different anti-authoritarian lines of thought, from the rage, passion & urgency of 1800's russian nihilists, to the hope in humanity in early 1900's anarchism, to the non-ideological anti-civ critiques of today.

Anyway, let's get on with smashing the state, capital, & civilization itself in all our different & autonomous forms...

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/20/zhang-xuping-china-teen-s_n_430147.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2010/01/post_151.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34982331

Beautification Committee said...

The CrimethInc. article linked to Social Rupture in the sentence "Insurrectionist websites and magazines appropriate images from a wide variety of contexts; some hail all sorts of antisocial crime as manifestations of social war, without knowing the motivations of the protagonists."

Anonymous said...

This Statement seems like an absurd concession. I'd argue that of course all these acts are part of the "social war," as is absenteeism, many murders, events both more violent and less violent. The social war is an objective reality, something to be neither denied nor hailed.

Those events which constitute it have no relation to any kind of consciousness, revolutionary or otherwise, but are instead an expression of objective interests and social conflicts. That's why it's the social war, not the "guerrilla war," not the "partisan war" or the "anarchist war." It's our starting point, but no more. This is the reason blogs like this can be problematic- yes, we have to recognize that conflict exists outside various political ghettoes, but valorizing that conflict quickly becomes either boring, spectacular, or dangerous.

Negation can't just be material- it must also trace itself across ideas, replacing various forms of passive affirmation with vacuums that can only be filled by social upheaval. You can cover all the negative and destructive acts you want, but if your framework remains affirmative, you'll never accomplish more than a sweet blog.