Chapter 9

Submitted by GrouchoMarxist on April 25, 2012

Do it yourself

‘Bricoleur’ Manual

It’s easy. You can do it yourself. Alone or with a few trusted comrades. Complicated means are not necessary. Not even great technical knowledge.

Capital is vulnerable. All you need is to be decided.

A load of talk has made us obtuse. It is not a question of fear. We aren’t afraid, just stupidly full of prefabricated ideas we cannot break free from.

Anyone who is determined to carry out his or her deed is not a courageous person. They are simply a person who has clarified their ideas, who has realised that it is pointless to make such an effort to play the part assigned to them by capital in the performance. Fully aware, they attack with cool determination. And in doing so they realise themselves as human beings. They realise themselves in joy. The reign of death disappears before their eyes. Even if they create destruction and terror for the bosses, in their hearts and in the hearts of the exploited there is joy and calm.

Revolutionary organisations have difficulty in understanding this. They impose a model that reproduces the reality of production. The quantitative destiny of the latter prevents them from having any qualitative move to the level of the aesthetic dimension of joy. These organisations also see armed attack in a purely quantitative light. Objectives are decided in terms of a frontal clash.

In that way capital is able to control any emergency. It can even allow itself the luxury of accepting the contradictions, point out spectacular objectives, exploit the negative effects on producers in order to widen the spectacle. Capital accepts the clash in the quantitative field, because that is where it knows all the answers. It has a monopoly of the rules and produces the solutions itself.

On the contrary, the joy of the revolutionary act is contagious. It spreads like a spot of oil. Play becomes meaningful when it acts on reality. But this meaning is not crystallised in a model that governs it from above. It breaks up into a thousand meanings, all productive and unstable. The internal connections of play work themselves out in the action of attack. But the overall sense survives, the meaning that play has for those who are excluded and want to appropriate themselves of it. Those who decide to play first and those who ‘observe’ the liberatory consequences of the game, are essential to the game itself.

The community of joy is structured in this way. It is a spontaneous way of coming into contact, fundamental for the realisation of the most profound meaning of play. Play is a communitarian act. It rarely presents itself as one isolated fact. If it does, it often contains the negative elements of psychological repression, it is not a positive acceptance of play as a creative moment of struggle.

It is the communitarian sense of play that prevents arbitrariness in choice of the significance given to the game itself. In the absence of a communitarian relationship the individual could impose their own rules and meanings that would be incomprehensible to anyone else, simply making play become a temporary suspension of the negative consequences of their individual problems (the problems of work, alienation, exploitation).

In the communitarian agreement, play is enriched by a flux of reciprocal actions. Creativity is greater when it comes from reciprocally verified liberated imaginations. Each new invention, each new possibility can be lived collectively without pre-constituted models and have a vital influence even by simply being a creative moment, even if it encounters a thousand difficulties during realisation. A traditional revolutionary organisation ends up imposing its technicians. It tends unavoidably towards technocracy. The great importance attached to the mechanical aspect of action condemns it along this road.

A revolutionary structure that seeks the moment of joy in action aimed at destroying power considers the tools used to bring about this destruction just that, means. Those who use these tools must not become slaves to them. Just as those who do not know how to use them must not become slaves to those who do.

The dictatorship of tools is the worst kind of dictatorship. Revolutionaries’ most important weapons are their determination, their conscience, their decision to act, their individuality. Arms themselves are merely tools, and as such should continually be submitted to critical evaluation. It is necessary to develop a critique of arms. Too often we have seen the sanctification of the sub machine-gun and military efficiency.

Armed struggle does not concern weapons alone. These on their own cannot represent the revolutionary dimension. It is dangerous to reduce complex reality to one single thing. In fact, play involves this risk. It could make the living experience become no more than a toy, turning it into something magical and absolute. It is not by chance that the machine-gun appears in the symbolism of many revolutionary combatant organisations.

We must go beyond this in order to understand joy as the profound significance of the revolutionary struggle, escaping the illusions and traps of part of the commodity spectacle through mythical and mythisized objects.

Capital makes its final effort when faced with armed struggle. It engages itself on its last frontier. It needs the support of public opinion in order to act in a field where it is not too sure of itself. So it unleashes a psychological war using the most refined weapons of modern propaganda.

Basically, the way capital is physically organised at the present time makes it vulnerable to any revolutionary structure capable of deciding its own timing and means of attack. It is quite aware of this weakness and is taking measures to compensate for it. The police are not enough. Not even the army. It requires constant vigilance by the people themselves. Even the most humble part of the proletariat. So, to do this it must divide the class front. It must spread the myth of the danger of armed organisations among the poor; along with that of the sanctity of the State, morality, the law and so on.

It indirectly pushes these organisations and their militants into assuming precise roles. Once in this ‘role’, play no longer has any meaning. Everything becomes ‘serious’, so illusory; it enters the domain of the spectacular and becomes a commodity. Joy becomes ‘mask.’ The individual becomes anonymous, lives out their role, no longer able to distinguish between appearance and reality.

In order to break out of the magic circle of the theatricals of commodities we must refuse all roles, including that of the ‘professional’ revolutionary.

Armed struggle must not let itself become something professional, precisely that division of tasks that the external aspect of capitalist production wants to impose upon it.

‘Do it yourself.’ Don’t break up the global aspect of play by reducing it to roles. Defend your right to enjoy life. Obstruct capital’s death project. The latter can only enter the world of creativity and play by transforming who is playing into a “player’ the living creator into a dead person who cheats themselves into believing they are alive.

There would be no sense in talking about play any longer if the ‘world of play’ were to become centralised. We must foresee this possibility of capital taking up the revolutionary proposal again when we put forward our argument of ‘armed joy’. And one way this could come about is through the management of the world of play from the outside. By establishing the roles of the players and the mythology of the toy.

In breaking the bonds of centralisation (the military party) one obtains the result of confusing capital’s ideas, tuned as they are into the code of the spectacular productivity of the quantitative market. Action coordinated by joy is an enigma to capital. It is nothing. Something with no precise aim, devoid of reality. And this is so because the essence, the aims and reality of capital are illusory, while the essence, aims and reality of revolution are concrete.

The code of the need for communism takes the place of the code of the need to produce. In the light of this need in the community of play, the decisions of the individual become meaningful. The unreal illusory character of the death models of the past is discovered.

The destruction of the bosses means the destruction of commodities, and the destruction of commodities means the destruction of the bosses.