riots and/or poetics [5/2021]

Thus ’77 saw a flaring up, a quotidian generalization of a political and cultural conflict with ramifications for every part of society, exemplifying a conflict that had taken place throughout the 1970s, a fierce conflict both between classes and within the class, perhaps the fiercest seen since the Unification of Italy. Forty thousand criminal charges, 15,000 arrests, 4,000 people sentenced to a thousand years of prison—and then there were the deaths and the hundreds of wounded on both sides. There is no doubt that these figures cannot be considered merely the result of some risky, crazy plan dreamt up by evil minds bent on triggering nihilistic tensions within uncultured, marginalized social strata. Rather, the conflict was a necessary moment, the consequence of social contradictions between classes that, within a generalized crisis, pushed forward into a head-on conflict for the redefinition of new rules of power.
Nanni Balestrini and Primo Moroni | The Golden Horde (Translated by Richard Braude)



Nanni Balestrini, Primo Moroni | The Golden Horde

The Golden Horde is a definitive work on the Italian revolutionary movements of the 1960s and ’70s. An anthology of texts and fragments woven together with an original commentary, the volume widens our understanding of the full complexity and richness of this period of radical thought and practice. The book covers the generational turbulence of Italy’s postwar period, the transformations of Italian capitalism, the new analyses by worker-focused intellectuals, the student movement of 1968, the Hot Autumn of 1969, the extra-parliamentary groups of the early 1970s, the Red Brigades, the formation of a radical women’s movement, the development of Autonomia, and the build-up to the watershed moment of the spontaneous political movement of 1977.  (…)


Maurizio Lazzarato | Capital Hates Everyone: Fascism or Revolution

Women and the colonized call for autonomous organizations to respond to the problems that aren’t considered by the theory of the workers’ movement.
Perhaps it’s in the feminist movement that one finds the most radical critique of the centralization and verticality of power relations in the “party” and the aims of radical organization. The transformation of “social roles,” which the revolution postpones to an after-the-revolution, is the immediate object of political practices. In order to become an autonomous political subject, the women invent a radical democracy. Within the self-consciousness groups, they test out new horizontal, non-hierarchical relations that would create a collective awareness specific to women. The concept and practice of “representation” and delegation are absent, since the problem is not the seizure, nor the management of power.
Dismantling the roles and the relegation to femininity means not being taken in by the promises of emancipation through work and through the struggle for power , which are considered as values of the patriarchal culture (and of the workers’ movement). The feminist movement doesn’t demand any participation in power, but, quite the opposite, a placing into discussion of the concept of power and seizure of power, because the only thing truly necessary for managing it “is a particular form of alienation.”
The feminist movement arrives in this way at separating the practices of the formation and affirmation of the autonomous subject from the question of revolution, by producing two very different and (according to Lonzi) incompatible concepts of politicization. (…)


N.H. Pritchard | The Matrix

THE MATRIX is one of the most radical—and most important—books of poetry of the 1960s. It’s also one of the most mysterious. A new facsimile reissue of N. H. Pritchard’s first collection—along with DABA press’s republication of his only other book, EECCHHOOEESS (1971)—provides an opportunity to re-examine an extraordinary and extraordinarily neglected poet whose work continues to evade capture. (David Grundy) (…)


Lida Yusopova | The Scar We Know

Yusupova serves us the daily bread of deadly dog bites in the forest and abrupt head-bashings in the entryway and the casual dismissal of an eager new face at the beautifully named the Center for Gender Problems. For what Yusupova knows is that gender is always a problem, not least because it is the center where there is no center. And so is the everyday cause of everyday death. (Vanessa Place) (…)


Natacha Michel | Le roman de la politique

Le passé est-il la fosse commune d’une vie ? Je ne le crois pas. Il est un jardin où continuent à pousser les fleurs du souvenir. Ma vie avec la politique est si présente en moi que j’ai tenté de la décalquer dans ce livre. Comment pendant quarante années, au travers de deux organisations, Sylvain Lazarus, Alain Badiou et moi-même, avec nos camarades, nous avons voulu rendre justice à notre temps. Notre temps fut celui de ceux que l’on nomma les Maos. À savoir ceux qui, devant la catastrophe que fut l’URSS, cherchèrent une autre voie pour la justice et l’égalité. Avec les ouvriers d’usine, les gens des quartiers et l’épopée des sans-papiers. Alors la nuit s’abrégeait. (…)


Marcello Tarì | Autonomie!

Dans le numéro de mars 1973 de Rosso, le journal du groupe Gramsci de Milan, les ouvriers des ateliers Mirafiori (Fiat) à Turin racontent que « tout commence le jour où ils font une assemblée sans les bonzes du syndicat ». Les défilés dans les usines vont bientôt se faire avec de jeunes ouvriers à leur tête, le visage masqué par un foulard rouge, qui punissent les chefs, les gardiens, les jaunes et les indics, cassent les machines, sabotent les produits finis.
C’est le début d’une période où le langage, les comportements politiques, les formes de vie même sont bouleversés par le mouvement autonome, du nord au sud de l’Italie.
Les relations entre l’Autonomie et les autres mouvements de l’extrême gauche italienne – de Potere Operaio à Lotta Continua, de Lotta Communista au Manifesto – sont expliquées dans la théorie et dans l’action. Comme les grands moments de l’Autonomie – un communisme « impur, qui réunit Marx et l’antipsychiatrie, la Commune de Paris et la contre-culture américaine, le dadaïsme et l’insurrectionnalisme, l’opéraïsme et le féminisme ». (…)


Marcello Tarì | There Is No Unhappy Revolution

It is futile to wait for the spectacular end of the world, replete with a bloodbath and glorious final explosions. The truth is, in fact, that this world has already ended; it exists but no longer has any meaning. A world that functions but is empty of meaning is no longer a world, it is a hell. Pasolini warned us the evening before he was assassinated on the beach at Ostia, a Roman banlieue: “Hell is rising up toward you.” (…)


Verónica Gago | Feminist International. How to Change Everything

Inspired by the internationally coordinated strike for the 8th of March, Gago has given us a book that well captures the revolutionary potential of contemporary feminism—its theories, its organizational forms, its struggles—all examined though the lenses of one of the most radical feminist movements on the American continent. It is a courageous and creative book, an ideal read for political formation; it opens new worlds and calls for action. (Silvia Federici) (…)


Festivals of Patience: The Verse Poems of Arthur Rimbaud (Translation by Brian Kim Stefans)

Parisian War Song
It is evident Spring’s here, for / the verdant Estates hold wide / agape their amazing splendors / with the flight of Thiers and Picard! // Oh May! What delirious asses! / Sèvres, Meudon, Bagneux, Asnières, / listen now to the trespasses / that strew their spring-like cheers! // They have shakos, sabers, tom-toms, / not the old candle boxes, / and skiffs that have not ev-… ev-… um? / split lakes of bloodstained waters! // More than ever, we drink and dance / when, clambering our ant-warrens, / the yellow crania collapse / in these extraordinary dawns! // Thiers and Picard are twin Erotes / and thieves of heliotropes. / They paint Corots with petrol; / here, beetling about, are their tropes. // They’re friends with the Grand Whozit! / —Favre, lounging in gladiolas, / blinking, weeps an aqueduct, / —his sniffles produce a pepper! // The Big City’s cobbles are hot / in spite of your rains of oil; /and, decidedly, it’s time that we / shuffle you up in your roles… // And the Rustics who find solace / in long, luxurious squattings, / will hear, among red rustlings, / boughs in the forests snapping. (…)


Felix Klopotek | Rätekommunismus

Die Faszination des Rätekommunismus und seiner Protagonisten stellt sich meist spontan ein. In Anlehnung an den Schriftsteller Franz Jung – eine Zeitlang selbst als rätekommunistischer Abenteurer unterwegs, aber immer zu ungebunden und zu unruhig, um sich dauerhaft einer Sache zu verpflichten – könnte man sie auch »Anarchomarxisten« nennen. Das war sympathisierend ironisch gemeint, trifft aber ziemlich genau die Sehnsüchte, die bis heute auf den Rätekommunismus projiziert werden: die Verbindung des Antiautoritarismus und der notorisch herrschaftsfeindlichen Spottlust der Anarchisten mit dem wissenschaftlichen Grundzug des Marxismus – Rätekommunismus ist Marxismus ohne Partei und ohne ZK. (…)

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