Militancy: highest stage of alienation - Part 2

Le Militantisme : stade suprême de l'aliénation

Published in France 2 years after part 1, part 2 puts part 1 in into the political context it was published in and expands on its themes.

Militancy: highest stage of alienation - Part 2

The revolutionary is to the militant what the wolf is to the lamb.

Organisation des Jeunes Travailleurs Révolutionnaires - 1974

Translation by Anonymous

Translators’ note: Two years after the OJTR’s text of auto-dissolution, this add-on was written by former members of the group regrouped as “Amis de 4 Millions de Jeunes Travailleurs”. I do not know if translations already exist, I didn’t find any and even in France this second part seems unknown to most who have read the first so I have decided to translate it. This second part helps clarify the context in which the first part was written and distributed, the success it had and misconceptions about the text and OJTR that were circulating at the time. As with most “part twos” it would be wise to read part one first.

The sub title “The revolutionary is to the militant what the wolf is to the lamb” was also part of the first part as well. “Militancy: highest stage of alienation” is in reference to Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism by Lenin and a portrait of him can be seen next to the title. The cover has the drawing of a man painting the chains at his ankles.

The first pamphlet also had such illustrations, mocking Mao, having an ad for Eugène Descamps’ (general secretary of the CFDT) book Militer with a speech bubble saying “…and a bit of self-management to make our young militants’ dicks hard”, Karl Marx saying, “when I think about how they’re mixing my name into their salads it makes me want to puke”, détournements, quotes from Vaneigem and other indications of being influenced by the Situationist International.

Their rejection of a militancy filled with religious values of sacrifice and charity that could be found (and is still found) in Marxist-Leninist and even so-called libertarian groups, among others, can be largely attributed to this influence.

Dominique Blanc, apparently driving force of the group, and other members of the group became founders of the group and review La Guerre Sociale. By 1979 it would get involved with a controversy involving minor parts of the French ultra-left at the time: Holocaust denial. Dominique Blanc is now a fascist and Breton nationalist. Some passages on fascism and criticizing nationalist struggles in this text are become rather ironic with hindsight as a result.

As this second part states (“we have not critiqued action but passivity”), the first text was not intended to justify ‘doing nothing’ (as has often been misinterpreted in the forty years since publication), the highest stage of submission.

PART 2

“There is a legitimate wariness of the PSU in relation to tackling the questions around Jeunes Travailleurs: that of seeing the party create an organisation, investing material and militant forces into it and then seeing the organisation transform into the young’s microparty, fighting the party internally and externally. But today that objection has lost its value because the PSU has endowed itself with a set of coherent positions in the Dijon Theses, founded on scientific socialism, capable of facing left-wing ideologies and utopias.”

- Directives N°199 June 1970 Internal Bulletin of the PSU

Miltancy: Highest Stage of Alienation was written and edited by us in 1972. Its publishing was tied to a precise and immediate perspective: the dissolution of the Organisation des Jeunes Travailleurs Révolutionnaires (OJTR) and having enough of the militancy of many comrades. It sums up the conclusions that we had arrived to on the basis of concrete experience and the contacts each of us had in the small militant world.

Around the same time members of the OJTR had the pleasure of participating in the sequestration, at the headquarters of “Découverte et culture” (DC), satellite organisation of the PSU, of M.M. Simon and Guéneau, permanents of this organisation. In addition Simon was a member of the national political direction (DPN) of the PSU and Guéneau was responsible for the party’s security service. Twenty or so comrades from the young workers’ housing in the 13th arrondissement of Paris participated in this tour de force. Its origin was the bureaucratic and chief-like behaviour of Simon in his work but mostly that the DC’s gains were swiped for other purposes while in the DPN’s declaration, they were reserved for the JT. They even had the occasion to exchange a few blows and repel an attack by the PSU’s leaders come to rescue their colleagues.

It was not the first time that at the OJTR we were forced to confront the PSU and leftists. The goal was not to be confrontational but simply to oppose behaviours judged as intolerable and that repeated themselves too often to be simple blunders. Miltancy: Highest Stage of Alienation was supposed to be published accompanied by more precise attacks against militant organisations and notably against the PSU. It was supposed to criticize the misery and illusions of various fractions that at the time shared this party and to incite replacing the dance of tendencies with the tendency of play. The comrades advocating this were unfortunately not to the height of the task. Their failure can be explained by the need to go back to distracting their preoccupations from the shitfest from which they had teared themselves from. But it did a proud service to our enemies.

The OJTR had been made up of a handful of young workers from the PSU in the summer of 1970. The leaders who started the affair’s goal was to conquer the young workers who are particularly reluctant to enter in political organisations. The OJTR, “organisation of the masses” was to help the solicit young proles by starting with their preoccupations and foil their fear of enlistment and of politics. Obviously the “best” of these young workers, once politicized, would go towards the PSU, “embryo of the revolutionary party to be built in the struggles”. The OJTR’s founding core, autonomous organisationally, was composed of PSU members. This guaranteed that it could not stray away from or go against the party. The PSU’s “promoters” thought they would be followed. They thought that in the recent Dijon congress they had put their raft in the winds of history.

If all of the DPU had approved the launching of the OJTR, the affair mostly interested the left tendencies of Maoists and Trotskyists that saw in it a means, through their organisation’s “proletarisation”, of taking complete control of the party’s direction and guaranteeing it a future. All projected their ideological fantasises onto it: construction of a big youngsters’ organisation for the trotskists, construction of a mass organisation of the base for Maoists.

While the OJTR never really developed itself numerically (a dozen people participated regularly, a few hundred less so) it took immense importance in a lot of PSU brains. It was the proof the party had a proletarian implantation. It was also the proof that it was democratic and not salvaging already politicized people. They dressed their locals in OJTR posters. The practical support however was lacking. If thePSU’s direction regularly payed the debts of the OJTR’s journal “4 Millions de Jeunes Travailleurs”, when it came to the base never was the development of OJTR a priority.

Next to careerists who pounced on the occasion to guarantee themselves a leadership position, there was in the group that launched the organisation comrades desiring to escape from the PSU’s shitfest, without however breaking from what they considered the most important and less sectarian revolutionary organisation; comrades who wanted to struggle for the organisation of the working class and hoped to transform a far-left that did not satisfy them via a flux of fresh and proletarian air. But the voluntarist and artificial character, the exasperated militancy that presided at the launch of the OJTR, dictated to all a relatively uniform and bureaucratic conduct where only quarrels over strategy and personal conflicts emerged. Once again the goal was to launch an organisation like one would start a brand of washing powder. This came back to regrouping young workers’ around the core from the group’s launch through the distribution of “4 millions de JT” , published for its first issue at 30 000 copies.

If some individuals showed sane reactions in the face of manipulations and bureaucratic compromises, in the OJTR, PSU or elsewhere, as long as the initial goals seemed possible and justified, they could not distinguish themselves from those who had personal interests to defend.

The evolution of certain comrades towards revolutionary positions was determined by the organisational crisis, paradoxically associated with relative success in certain struggles. The small support PSU militants gave the OJTR, the repercussions of the party’s ideological and strategical divides, the militant and leadership experience of people projected towards posts with responsibilities, blocked the OJTR from pursuing a coherent policy that would have assured it, even briefly, an organisational success like AJS or an ideological success like VLR.

Meanwhile, some comrades at the OJTR, thanks to their personal qualities and to the possibilities of coordination and support that they got from the organisation, played a key role in certain struggles. In young workers’ housing, some companies and adult formation centres, the action even took a certain magnitude. Which sometimes vividly opposed them to leftists who, implanted or parachuted there, engaged in manoeuvres of recuperation or sabotage, intentionally or not. The gap between the militants who, swimming in their preconceptions, were regularly completely mistaken and a fraction of workers who showed themselves spontaneously radical and efficient was blindingly obvious. These comrades found themselves closer in their acts and also their ideas to numerous young workers’ little preoccupied with entering any organisation than to leftist militants or a part of the OJTR, ex members of the JOC or other, who came only to warm themselves or even to bureaucratize. These militants were skilled to call to participate in protests where you only need to prove that you can walk and yell, they were incapable actually of acting when facing a moving situation, to make choices or take risks. These people act as owners of struggles and victories in which they are often in no way responsible for.

The Bolshevik party was never truly communist in its action or even in its program. However, it regrouped (particularly in 1917) some of the most combative proletarians, resolved to change their lives.

The various formations today that claim lineage from Leninism and the Bolshevik example are not any more communist than their model but they cannot claim to regroup the most capable and courageous proletarians. Their militants’ pretention to be a vanguard is most often justified in the realm of showing-off and babbling. There were some risks to being a Bolshevik, there is often negligible risk to entering a leftist group. An exalting role can easily be gained. You can ride to take the sky by storm next to the communards! “Smoke a Malboro, you’ll be a real cowboy”, adhere to the first grouping you find and take yourselves to be a fierce Bolshevik.

When we cross out the aspirations to promotion that militancy covers, it is not in the name of a moral condemnation of superiority. We denounce the gap between what the militant is and what the militant thinks they are.

The OJTR, after a certain development due to the contribution by young workers adhering to or gravitating around the PSU, to the entrance by friends of friends, started to dissolve itself and fast since departures were not being replaced by the “contacts” developed in the struggles. These “contacts” did not have any reason to “freeze themselves” within the OJTR. You needed to a stranger to the struggles to concretely imagine that our links that were founded on non-permanent actions would become permanent and this without transforming themselves and becoming strangers to the struggles they had created. At best, they became purely links of acquaintanceship or friendship. We survive in the same neighborhood, we meet at the pub, we go to the cinema together. At worst, they artificially prolonged themselves and became political.

The OJTR’s racket crises, the lassitude, the refusal to support for any longer the schemes no longer justifiable in the name of efficiency, the action by comrades with no illusions towards militancy within and at the fringes of the organisation, the distribution of ultra-left and situationist texts, the election into the national secretariat in December 71 of comrades who respected the OJTR and PSU’s brand image very little; allowed the regrouping of a fraction resolved to finish and dissolve the OJTR which could not be reoriented towards a revolutionary path.

The national secretariat summoned a general assembly in May 72 and proposed its dissolution. The small number of participants divided themselves into two tendencies of relatively the same size. One accepted the theses exposed in Militancy and Imaginary statuses for an association of communist workers, the other rejected them while remaining strongly divided within itself. Nobody tried to defend the organisation’s survival. Those who opposed us did not take themselves seriously enough to the point of believing they could continue to support if only a façade. They left us to go evaporate in the sun.

Thus, any possibility of a patchwork like for example the integration of what was left of the OJTR in an organisation of youngsters of the PSU was pushed out of the way. There had already been a proposition to a comrade, a permanent of the OJTR and payed by the PSU, to continue as a semi-permanent!

The OJTR’s end was marked with the lies, the excessive slander of the frightened. The PSU’s vultures no longer hesitated, trying to save what they could, to directly intervene within the OJTR and trying to use any means that were left to pressure us. Some Maoists proposed to block the distribution of Militancy. They brought some comrades by surprise in front of a “popular court”. The sampling of masses must have been poor because the trial that was supposed to be theirs turned into one against militancy and the state attorney generals of “Humanité Rouge” and “Ligne: Communiste” who had allied for the occasion. Various threats of expulsion against people and housing were professed. It is to be underlined that militants, within the OJTR and outside of it, without rallying themselves to our cause, did take exception against such procedures.

From the moment where the PSU’s leaders had full knowledge of the theses exposed in Militancy it was impossible, despite precedent promises, to publish in their national or regional press a text to expose our positions or even to reply to articles (such as the deceitful report on the occupation of “Découverte et culture” published in “Directives”). A comrade was surprised to find themselves as a co-signatory of an article in “Tribune Socialiste” on the international question. This maoisting text in which he had no part of reaffirmed among other nonsense that we could “build communism in a national framework”. A text of protestation followed by an update on their true positions was sent. Nothing was published.

If the distribution of Militancy was not followed by any official reactions in the press of leftists and of all the militant movement, that does not mean there were no enraged reactions. The deliberate will to attack militancy could not be the act of brave proletarians. As such, mythodologically, it was attributed to a university professor, a cop or to Bigfoot… The too literary style proved “that it could not come from the worker milieu” and that the pamphlet had disdain for the workers because “unreadable for any worker worth that name”.

But mostly there were cries about “fascism”. For the average leftist, fascism is bad and you should not try to understand or analyse by fear of being contaminated. Fascism is to be stuffed away not criticized. Considering the pamphlet as a fascist or of fascist inspiration allowed to spare thinking and rejecting it to hell. The accusation had been justified to us in “private” in a rather original manner. For the PSU’s leaders, the mark of fascism was in the vocabulary. Thus, the expression “old world” is typically fascist! For others, we were only expressing the tendencies of young workers for apolitical violence… and thus fascist. The Albanese Maoist A. Rehar and the old Trotskyist ruin Craipeau interpreted it as the “delinquency of young urban workers” during a DPN.

The working class is thus no longer spontaneously trade-unionist but fascist! We can feel the urgency of a revolutionary party to rectify this.

This accusation is tied to a petit bourgeois view of fascism. The petite bourgeoisie who had been the most seduced by fascism, now that it knows it’s bad, revises its terms: fascism is the hooligan without faith or law, he who does not respect rules, savage violence. Thus, our pamphlet is fascist because it talks of desire and spontaneity, criticizes hierarchy… for the bureaucrat fascism is uncontrollable movement of the masses, barbarism.

Even if in Militancy we talked of action and organisation, we are accused of preaching resignation and passivity as salvation. A variation accuses us of being self-contradictory and of being more hypocrite than militants since we criticize militancy while continuing to take action.

We did not critique action but passivity.

It is not us but militants who have proclaimed their activity as distinct, complementary and superior to that of the supposedly inorganized spontaneity of the class. They called their activity “militancy”. We only said that spontaneous proletarian activity, even if it still expresses itself shyly, is ALREADY communist and that on the contrary militancy is not. It is delirious to claim against us to have the monopoly of action and therefore to totally substitute themselves to the class. Asking “what is to be done?”, running around seeking action, is to show separation from the communist movement. The communist, even if they have a conscious strategy or if they concern themselves for theory, does not separate their activity from the motivations and the situation that push them to act. Militancy, from a communist point of view, that is to say from the point of view of the militants’ needs, is not action but agitation in order to change nothing. More than just the militants themselves, the pamphlet enraged a layer of sympathizers that swim in militant ideology without being willing to pay the price. The rage of seeing militancy put into question is even bigger when feeling guilty for not being militant.

We have been condemned for not being moderate enough. We are not fishing for militants. We do not seek to convince or convert to our ideas or practice. It would be to stay militants even anti-militants. It is not a question of seducing by starting with flattery but of shaking the tree… Our call, even in a violent or pamphlet form, is a call to militants but it is not the simple reading of this text that can transform a militant into a revolutionary. Rallying to our ideas would disturb us and turn us away from them. They can only join us because their experience joins ours. We are not putting a new commodity on the revolution market!

The communist writing is however not a simple flag, a sign that allows us to recognize and sort those who would be for from those who would be against. It is an action and a message directed towards all those who feel the misery of militancy who vegetate in organisations or who leave them but for whom it stays a private matter, a question of sentiments or personal resentment that is exterior to the seriousness of history.

How many militants and particularly workers leave disappointed by an organisation because they were bored and felt useless but without expressing it? Openly, publicly and without shame affirming what is felt by many cannot be reduced to discourse, more or less reflecting reality but participates in the transformation of said reality.

What is remarkable in those who recognize themselves in our theses on militancy is the diversity of their origin: pro-situ, homosexuality groups, ecologists, Trotskyists, neo-nationalist-maoists and other word salads, etc… Next to ours has been published a certain number of revealing texts around the crisis of leftism and the return to communist critique. Among others: “Bilan de oser lutter”, “Rupture avec Lutte Ouvrière et le Trotskisme”, Bilan du Comité de Lutte Renault”, “Le Fléau Social N°3”.

Militancy has newfound success and debacles for a while in so-called “oppressed minority”, nationalist and other movements. It is interesting to observe with what ease pro-nationalist elements without knowing or admitting it, can find themselves in Leninism. How their struggles against states, French or other, instead of being a struggle against the State becomes a struggle to build a new one, opening the door, like all statist-militant organisations, to the mercantile world’s rejects, offering them the possibility to remake themselves in the skin of a revolutionary simply via the functionariat and bureaucracy. References to “What is to be done?” are made and the Russian Revolution is made an example in order to give themselves a shiny new coat of paint. Lenin’s internationalism is merrily mined in order to proclaim an international neo-nationalism! The petite bourgeoisie from the provinces but more importantly its most alienated branch, that of the miserable ghetto of an unescapable education system: from high school to university to go back to high school to teach – knows very well how to recycle itself to avoid the trashcan of history, by graduating in revolution. Going from the tea salon to the amphitheatre to the meeting room, the sanctuary, in order to talk of revolution.

In the mercantile universe where capital tends to uniform all, where its level of internationalisation drains the basis of nationalism, a need is felt to singularise and to search for a small originality in the warehouse but it is done in the mercantile world. The new nationalist trinkets replace military decorations and grandpa’s rosette. The paroxysm of maso-stupidity has probably been reached by the Parisian militants who, living in Paris, separated from their desire: to live in their home, return to it periodically to do their “political work”.

The same search for community pushes leftists to identify themselves to their sect, feminist and homosexual revolutionaries become a new formal nation. To be radical and modern there is agitation against family, all while reinventing the tribe. Bored to the point of engaging in militancy, who are homosexuals because in the FHAR, who are Occitans, Bretons, Basques because in the Occitan or Breton movement, etc… who are women more “women” than others because in the MLF. Today we are witnessing the derisory success of different militant forms that translate into a “left neo-chauvinism”, encouraged by leftists, always eager to support or organise others, to find new fertile grounds. Demagogy towards peasants, women, ect… the conservatism, the new cultural or sexual racism and the creation of new ghettos does not bother them. The daily newspaper “Libération”, “the newspaper who teaches the workers what they did yesterday”, has no qualms calling for protests and support meetings. There would be much to say about those militants who often claim not to be ones anymore because they specialize in daily life. Their gaze is no longer towards Pekin our Havana but towards themselves. The resistance movements in Latin America no longer interests them, what interests them is the liberation of their own body, the control of their own lives, the choice of their encounters. Whether they are pro-situs or VLR ruins, all of that is not the negation of militancy but its paroxysm even if their behaviour, like in all militancy, has its base in perverted communist tendencies. They believe they are abolishing the distance separating them from their object of interest but they are only making the distance closer to themselves. They can run after their bodies and their everyday lives for as long as they want without ever catching up to them because it is their own lives that they are demeaning into a political object and a spectacle in which they wish to be the director. The claim to be master of their own lives and desires, of being able to produce their own selves, is nothing else but the other side of the bourgeois project of ruling the world and others. It is also illusory. If we can understand it as a defensive reaction, we must still denounce it when it claims to be revolutionary.

The fact that the reactions of militants to our pamphlet were rather stupid does not mean that our pamphlet is above any criticisms. In the last part, we invoke the masses and the power of Workers’ Councils as a guarantee that the revolution will not be corrupted. We essentially trusted revolutionaries with the task of respecting democratic rules against manipulators. It was, as comrades, notably those of “Mouvement Communiste” 1, have remarked a fall back into the perversions we were denouncing. We appropriated for ourselves the mass-militant opposition, we invited anti-militant revolutionaries to, in a way, put themselves back at the masses’ service. Of course, the communist program finds the guarantee of its application in the proletarized masses’ situation and the revolution’s victory demands a very large participation by the population, but we must not see in the proletariat an indifferent mass and must underline the communist fraction’s (or party) role. We must also have no illusions in regard to democracy. Democracy does not lead to communism but to a dead end. People will reply that yes for representative democracy, bourgeois parliamentary democracy, but not for direct democracy, councilist democracy, the one with general assemblies, revocable delegates…and all that stuff. We of course reject parliamentary democracy but proletarian democracy is also a sham. The main component of democracy is the principle of separation between decision and execution. Groups like “Socialisme ou Barbarie” and later on “Internationale Situationniste” called for democracy and the abolition of this separation at the same time. It was trying to reconcile the unreconcilable. This can only spread confusion.

The word is linked too closely to the idea of debate and preliminary and preparatory meeting before action, to the necessity for the minority to bend itself to the will and decisions of the majority, to the idea that truth comes out of this majority. We can always denounce the manipulations within general assemblies but we must above all show that the principle of “all power to the general assemblies” mostly comes back to letting the general assemblies choose between the most skilled and demagogic pressure groups. By insisting before anything else on the respect of organisational rules, the control on delegates, the frequency of meetings, we risk falling into a perfectionism that guarantees nothing.

Communists must first affirm themselves as such, for themselves and against others, defend their program within concrete situations. This does not reduce itself to repeating “abolish wage-labour” or “abolish commodity production”. We must practically act towards these goals, without making our actions depend on a democratic approbation a priori. We will prove we are right by the force and the example of our practice. The important thing is to assemble sufficient forces to act, whether they be at some point or other a minority or a majority.

As for Workers’ Councils, reflexion and study of past experiences shows that we are not to glorify or call for the creations of councils in themselves as the situationists did in 68 while giving crude definitions of them. It rapidly falls back into an ideology of councils as the expression and representation of the class. The construction of councils substitutes itself to the construction of the party. It is merely the opposition of one type of organisation to another, a power to another power. It’s putting an organisational intermediary between the proletariat and communism. We must put forward the communist tasks and act for the organisation of the class struggles.

It is in proportion to these tasks that appropriate organisational forms will be born: action committee, council, coordination organism… It is according to what the councils will do that they will be judged. In a revolutionary period, everyone risks becoming “councilist”. The councilist and self-management ideology will be the best way to embark large fractions of the class in an institutionalist activity. We will have fun or we will be bored by building the councils’ pyramid, democratically or not, by self-managing zipper factories, while the counter-revolution will reinforce itself. The disgusting apology of the LIPs 2 as workers self-managing, gives us a taste of what it would be like. The question of democracy is already asked in the present struggles who often start wildly with no vote under the pressure of the less resigned who pull the others in. The moment democracy takes over is the moment of disenchantment, the moment where the vote to resume work officialises exhaustion. The general assembly is often not the place of living discussions but that of formal debate separated from what is discussed because within the space-time of separated discussion.

At the OJTR we payed the price of democratic ideas. There was a tendency to fight for a number of rules to be respected within the organisation for the base to be able to have power. This position does not really allow to demask bureaucracy because all claim to be closer to the base than others and it does not stop manipulations.

The bureaucrat’s persona is neither authoritarian or violent. For their career, they play the conciliator, occupy themselves with synthesizes, accept everyone’s point of view, flatter, etc… The decisions and organisational rules that can emanate from meetings or general assemblies are ignored or hijacked and the same ones continue to pull the strings according to their personal interests without the base, occupied by their own problems, really worrying about it. It is much better for those who approximately know what they want to, rather than waiting for the base finally free to express itself give the signal, clearly affirm in acts its positions which can force counter-attacking politicians to reveal themselves.

We have not reduced the critique we made to a question of vocabulary because we had the occasion to practically measure the nefarious character of the democratic-councilist-self-management conception.
This will no doubt convince the “militant democrats” of our fascism; it did not stop these vultures from exploiting the execution of the communist and antidemocrat Puig Antich and making of him a martyr of their antifascist struggle at the start of this year.

In the last part of Militancy, the main danger that we denounced was that of the reformation of a ruling class from pseudo-revolutionary organisations like what happened in so-called communist countries. It was overestimating militancy. In developed capitalist countries, where the conditions for them and the rest of the word of a communist revolution are actually present, the political far-left has no future. Leftists are not a vanguard. Often their reformist project is obsolete in comparison to that of the modernist wing of much more shrewd and audacious rulers. Far from kickstarting new trends, leftists only caricature the rules of capitalist society. Their sects and ideologies affirm themselves, propose themselves, distinguish themselves from each other like brands of bras. The other markets have nothing to envy from the ready-to-struggle market.

That the far-left has no future does not signify that it cannot play a nefarious role. They who in the name of realism claim to be just one step ahead of the masses are only getting in their way. By searching to bend the revolution to the necessity of their survival, bureaucrats can only make it more vulnerable. Preoccupied by organizing the masses, they can only organize them following their own mode of organisation and the demands of their power institutionalize the mass movement and as such erect it as a target for the counter-revolution.

Trotsky and Mao have in vast countries founded on agrarian economy and in the trail of inter-imperialist conflicts succeeding in imposing their power…

Today those who wish for example, rebuilding a red army risk ushering us to our defeat.

The gap between pre-established armies and those who could form is huge. We are not okay to play with guns and missiles; to die by nuclear fire or even be eaten by small pigs. The industrial countries being extremely vulnerable when it comes to their production and communications, the control of aviation, among others, is sufficient to starve us with our limbs in the air, mouths open and tongues out. Reasoning in terms of war is entering into the military counter-revolution’s game, settling on grounds where the proletariat will be defeated. Yet, all has predisposed already hierarchical political groups to play that game. Take the Chilean example, Allende’s pacifism was stupid but the MIR was just as stupid. Self-defense groups did not last.

The proletariat’s force rests on its economic position, the Achille’s talon of modern armies is their dependence in regard to this production. It is around this that game will played. Without renouncing armed struggle, we must try not to offer targets, refuse frontal or territorial war, oppose revolutionary fluidity to the military machine’s heaviness. Bureaucrats searching permanence and power cannot find it.

Leftism is not the enemy at the gates of capitalism – it’s the kings’ jester – and it’s our weakness. Leftist militancy can continue to play its role, to parody and be presented as revolution because true communism does not speak distinctly or loudly enough yet.

  • 1. See J. Barrot’s book Le Mouvement Communiste published by éditions Champs Libres – “Critique de l'Idéologie Ultra-Gauche” in La Question Russe published in la Tête de Feuille. Translators’ note: “Le Mouvement Communiste” was Gilles Dauvé’s (aka Jean Barrot) group at the time and also the name of a book he published referenced here.
  • 2. Translators’ Note : see “LIP and the Self-Managed Counter-Revolution” - Négation (1973)
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