Base: The system of production of reality. The capitalist base draws its energy from the ownership of capital that has been produced by past acts, this capital feeds into the base. It has to be said that the base is more than the sum of its parts and has developed inside itself general rules and values that can not be altered by any individual or alliance of forces. Nevertheless the base is owned piecemeal by what can be called a ruling class in whose benefit it operates.
Becoming human: human beings have not yet existed. The pro-revolutionary project is to see the establishment of individuals in the post-revolutionary society as fully existing human beings. It is the difference between being individual and being individuated. This transformation involves the removal of scarcity, exploitation and oppression and necessarily begins as the project of established communism. It is not possible to be human in the present under capitalist conditions, each of us carries too many wounds and these cannot be healed because they are inflicted accidentally in the living of our lives. Even a hermit cannot be free, capital accompanies him in. his desire for a personal solution to his unhappiness. However it is possible to be more human, almost human, in our everyday life, if that is what we choose. Such an ethic has no revolutionary credentials, no objective significance and it contradicts our own rule of speech but in a milieu dominated by a martyrising impulse (Camus said: 'Too many people have decided to do without generosity in order to practice charity') we think it is important to be as almost human in our own lives as is possible and in this way pursue whatever happiness is available, we also hope by saying this that we save new pro-revolutionaries from the exploitation, pressure and misery the milieu routinely inflicts upon its adherents because of its religious character.
Communism: begins as a process and a goal with the seizure of society's productive means and their collective ownership during the collapse of capitalism. This period is known as the dictatorship of the proletariat and has problematic connotations but is only troubling if some representative body has intervened to stand for the proletariat in the state. The dictatorship means just the continuation of the means for living during the revolutionary crisis under the direct control of those who work in the industries concerned, it is a social survival mechanism. This period is followed by the crisis of ownership itself, how can the working class own the means of production? This second crisis is either resolved by the return of the bourgeoisie or the abolition of all classes and a conscious move towards communism. The route to communism involves the abolition of ownership outright and therefore the ending of the dictatorship and its replacement with a more integrated system or process by which people's experiences are responded to and stimulated by the social organisation from which they draw their individual identity. The purpose of communism is the fulfilling of each individual's existence and their becoming human. Communism is unique in history because there is no hierarchy and no depth to society, life is lived on a single plane upon which everything is available to all individuals, thus the levers of power and therefore of existence itself are immediately apparent and always close-by. For the first time individuals will be free to make their society without the pressure of a-human forces such as politics or economics which routinely perceive individuals and masses as functional units within their systemic becoming.
Consciousness: the appearance ia thought of the appearance of a fraction of the objective representing itself as the explanation of the objective with an intention to deceive the recipient of the image.
Culture: the working class do not have a culture. There is no asian culture, there is no black culture, there is no 'people's' culture. All culture is bourgeois culture and its products are fashioned for specialised markets. Into its very refinement is folded its barbarity. How much suffering of others purchases one unit of freedom for a patron to feel rich enough to pass it on to the artist so that he may create? All artworks are bought with blood and sweat. Tie special freedom of the artist is an ugly thing when considered in context of the slavery of others, and yet it is a freedom, the freedom of the dirty face pressed up against the window of opulence, there is beauty and fascination in it. The very best capitalist society may produce is mired and dragged down by its basic structure. No matter that our first instinct for our favourite pieces is to defend them, preserve them, involve ourselves in them. We have had our say about DaDa and pop music but we must, in the end, admit to their ultimate worthlessness and declare that we are prepared not to raise a finger in their defence or their salvage.
Do: what is to be done? The task of pro-revolutionaries is to locate and address the revolution and thereby aid it. The do is two sided, the negative half is to criticise all political pretensions to radicality, this can be done kindly with those who have simply got it wrong and more harshly with those who are out to deliberately mislead and manipulate in their drive for supremacy. The positive side of the do is to create and speak that which only pro-revolutionaries can create or speak, that is, do only that which nobody else can do. Primarily this involves locating and describing the revolutionary potential in events, this may involve the participants in the events or certain tactics discovered in social conflict. It is never our task to speak out on, or participate in reformist initiatives, we do not have the numbers to force such reforms through and we do not have the time or energy to waste on tinkering with banning nuclear weapons or prison reform. That is, we must at all times understand that the secondary appearances of issues within capitalist society are always only symptoms of the basic capitalist structure, which should always remain within our focus. To draw the connection between war or prisons and capital is however a worthwhile project. If as an individual you choose to participate in a reformist movement then do so as an individual and because you think it will directly improve your lifе and do not pretend it has anything to do with revolution. The proper pro-revolutionary position in. regard to such, movements is to demonstrate how they will fail and why they will fail and how they help capitalism renew itself. Misplaced solidarity with left politico's who do not share your vision but are needy only for their self-institutionalisation within the existing establishment is the worst example of pro-revolutionaries losing their heads (we, for example, were condemned for not condemning the attacks of 11/09/01, as if our comments have any relevance to anyone else). Solidarity should be reserved for family, .friends and workmates in times of stress, it should never be expressed for mere political expediency (in feet, solidarity in. these cases is actually only a self-serving, tolerance for others who in reality you can't stand. It is a representation of solidarity, and is always recuperated by those who have organised the movement, we have seen this in trades unionism, the anti-nuclear movement, anti-fascism, etc, all of which have provided the base for the organiser's political ambitions and are abandoned when they have served their hidden purpose). Pro-revolutionaries should only ever engage with wider political movements by means of critique and example. We can either keep our integrity in the open or we can trap it and let it die behind our closed lips.
Do nothing: we came up with this during the activism debate at the beginning of our MD venture. It was and remains a provocation, we think it is important to say whatever it is possible to say within the pro-revolutionary milieu both to bring new terms of reference in and to illuminate the existing and usually unquestioned conventions. 'Do nothing' is an immediate reflection of 'do something' and its moral apparatus which is how we characterised the activist scene. 'Do something' is an agitated reflex to stimuli, a theorisation of turning yourself into a bridge, there is a perceived urgency and a presupposition that the doer is doing something important but 'do something' also suggests 'do anything', a desperate injunction to press every button to save the world. We disliked the connotations of 'do something', and were aware that all the other stuff wasn't getting talked about in the rush to make protest appear on the streets. 'Do nothing' means thinking about the reproduction of authoritarian and capitalist forms within this political milieu, it also ties in with our notion of revolutionary subjectivity and what is appropriate for the pro-revolutionary role.
Events and effects: All that may happen, under restriction of conditions, will happen. All that happens is an unfolding or embodiment of what is possible given the circumstances of our existence. It is not possible to produce, or create, anything that the production of which is not possible. There is no 'outside the box.' There are discreet objects and gestures and individuals and series of developments within these figures, but no evolving ladder may reach outside the base, which is the condition of its existence.
It may be objected to this that whilst anything is theoretically possible under capitalism what we actually get is a distinct tendency towards death and destruction, and therefore acts of love retain a redemptive, even revolutionary, character. We do not belittle the struggle to be more human, and we agree that whilst there is very often, the appearance of a generality of night there has never been a generality of goodness and therefore the aim to establish such a system of good acts by intervening with good acts is very attractive. Nevertheless we refute all political stances based on the supposition that the world is made from acts.
Capitalism is politically neutral and contains both fascism and anti-fascism within its bounds, it contains both socialism and corporatism, both workers' co-operatives and their production for need and 'rampant consumerism', both Israel and Palestine, both the USA and Al Qaeda.
We agree that darkness does seem to dominate to the exclusion of much else, and we can say there is always movement of the balls across the baize, of the seaweed in the tides, but the movement is always towards the worse. The current preference for suicide bombs among irregular military is surely a sign of specific cultural bankruptcy and imminent societal collapse, nothing could come after the social promotion of martyrs, the culture of death, could it? After such a decadent society has collapsed the individuals previously bound to it will be free to pursue their own happiness, won't they? Unfortunately not, after the culture of death and no surrender, comes a period of re-evaluation, the martyrs are still venerated but their value is reassigned as has been that of the IRA hunger strikers of the early Eighties, the line now is that they were relevant in their time but times have changed. When a force has gathered to itself sufficient capital then it is prepared to live in the world the way it is. The movement of the world is always to darkness and the exploitation of darkness.
Is this not then sufficient argument for a deliberate escape from such manoeuvres and for the intervention of beauty and love? We do not think so, because good intentions in the form of the avant garde, the counter culture, charity, political reform, pressure groups, alternative society, anti-capitalism, all of which may he more or less desirable, are addressed to the effects produced by the base and not the base itself. And the movement towards night that we witness is not the base showing itself but only some of its effects. A resistance to bad things by good things is, unfortunately, only the resistance of an. effect to an effect, the mirror image can show ugliness but it has no power to force a change, the base itself cannot be resisted by its effects. No matter what the flights of fancy conjured up about how things could be, by those who rub against the grain of things, they always keep one foot on the ground (all else is error, join my group, read my paper, think my thoughts).
Amongst all those who hate the bad things that come before our eyes there have been produced no viable escapes or alternatives to capitalism. There are only conflicting opinions on. how capital, is to be managed, some of these opinions even go so far as to utterly refuse capitalism altogether, but these proclamations are made in bad faith, everyone has a Plan Two along the lines of the NEP. If change is to come then it will be from within the system, from one of its component parts and not from the many effects of the base. The proletariat is structurally essential to capitalism but because it is the human element it is its most unreliable part It is probable that revolution will begin from the weakness of human beings and not in their fine sentiments or urge to overcome.
Experience: the opposite to belief. Together MD have forty years of experience of the Anarchist milieu, this has given us an insight into the kind of people who frequent it. We have broken anarchists down into three main groups (let us not pretend that everyone can become an anarchist, it will never be more than a minority movement and usually throughout its history it has been much less. The lack of numbers does not discredit anarchism in itself, but the impossibility of its infinite expansion should inform its activities). (1) There are a few good guys (but their position over the years means that they tend towards mental instability). (2) There are a lot of pedants who form fluctuating circles of admirers about themselves, they live for their own centrality to the 'movement's' history and to denounce their rivals. (3) However, the anarchist milieu and its communist sideshoot is made up mostly of transients, that is, people who come into it like a meteorite, saying they're gonna do this and they're gonna do that and then they burn up, get disillusioned and either turn into simple consumers of the radical press or leave the scene entirely, recalling it with amusement, as a phase of their adolescence. That anarchists do not recognise themselves as merely passing through is their most damning flaw and their verdict on their own worth. We have never seen this addressed in the anarchist press, the idea that anarchism, is anything less than a being anarchist is somehow abhorrent, to substitute for this they construct a bubble of living it, a project that is utterly impossible and doomed to result in disaffection and self-contempt. Anarchists, above all else, and beyond their politics, surfer fatally from a crisis of integrity, a crisis of experience. Because they deny experience, pretend to be someone else, try to make a big impact, get upset when their imposture becomes transparent, end up achieving nothing, not even the dignity of a thorough-going personality.
Experience and the primacy of experience as a base fat value involves the acceptance of our self s own weakness and our individual irrelevance to the workings of the world. Where you are important is in your own life, where you are unimportant is in the sphere of economic struggle. The revolutionary struggle occurs at the level of social structure and not individual will. If, from the certainty of this diminution, which is a defeat to your ambition, you are still able to hold on to a pro-revolutionary perspective, then you bave made an advance - if you can accept your personal irrelevance to the causing of revolution whilst holding on to the thought that revolution is a good thing then you will become more present in your own life and not displace your existence to the spectacular realm of the political merry-go-round. To base your life on reflections upon your experience is to engage with what it is to be an individual human being, and to escape the ideology that is reproduced within the pro-revolutionary project. From experience to honesty, from honesty to awareness, from there you may act effectively, but only within your small capacity.
Freedom: it is said that the world we live in is man made and this is true to the point that human beings have existed. But they have not existed very far and have been prevented from coming into being by the systems that have generated them. So it is that although human beings have built palaces and sewers and computers and vacuum cleaners they have done so under conditions of extreme pressure which has facilitated the existence of the object they have worked on whilst inhibiting their own being. The systems that give rise to human beings, society, are, for the majority, beyond control. Bondage is this: People are made by society and society is made by the accumulated dead acts of the past which are owned by the powerful. Freedom is this: the designing of society by the people who live in it. Freedom demands the immediate appearance of the means of producing society before the inhabitants of the society so that they may modify the conditions in. which, they live. Freedom, is the power to change the way you live, to be the cause and not the effect.
Ideas and the limit of ideas in numbers: One weekend in April 2002, thousands upon thousands of people queued up in London for six hours at a time to walk past the coffin of the Queen Mother. This no doubt was a dismal spectacle for many of those reading this. If one has faith in ideas and the power of ideas to move the world then its negation was surely to be found in this tableau, it cannot be escaped that the numbers queuing there far surpassed the numbers the anti-capitalist movement has so far mustered for its demonstrations.
But we are not so downhearted, we place no particular value in the expression of ideas in crowds: anti-capitalist crowds include a large proportion of counter-revolutionary imbeciles amongst their number and many of the Queen Mother's mourners were there to be caught up in the occasion and have no testable political alJegiance to the Windsor's (both anti-capitalists and monarchist mourners are outnumbered by Harry Potter fans).
Ideas are not chess pieces to be moved about in blocks of thousands of people, they work unpredictably, like magic, and no crowd has ever been homogenous. So, could the queuers at the Palace of Westminster in some future crisis become pro-revolutionaries, why not? The other side of this coin is the certainty that many pro-revolutionaries already function effectively as cops. Revolution is not the imposition of an idea, it is a rational response to economic collapse, just as the decisions made by today's capitalists are not grounded in ideas or values but are responses to the possibilities coming up within the system. Millions will be moved towards the idea of revolution when they are already moving towards revolution socially and economically.
Imperialism: In late March 2002 a group of two hundred peace activists infiltrated Palestine and vowed to stand before the besieged Chairman Arafat to protect him from the Israeli army. We think it is foolish to defend or uphold the rights of one nation or 'people' over that of another simply because they are having a bad time. Poverty and being oppressed does not make a 'people' good, or more worthy of our political allegiance than their oppressors, it does not even make them a 'people', which is an entirely ideological term used to lever into power its representatives. We can be certain that all such constituted peoples given access to sufficient capital and weaponry would become equally as barbaric as their oppressors, this is the prime characteristic of nations, 'peoples', liberation struggles and its anti-imperialist apologists. For example, the strategy of suicide bombings used by the Palestinians is not an expression of 'desperation' as is claimed but is a means of securing political supremacy for the organisations that send them, with the intention that all subsequent capital investment will be drawn towards that organisation, whose power, although ugly, is undeniable. Imperialism is a mystification of the figure strong and weak, what passes for imperialism in leftist politics is really only the normal run of things in the capitalist system. All elements in play in the imperialist relation, the oppressor, the oppressed, and the leftist sympathiser are contained within the basic capitalist form. No matter how the relation of the elements is altered the basic form remains unchanged.
Interest: on 23/3/02 in Rome there was a demonstration of two million workers. What was interesting about this demonstration aside from the numbers was what it was about. The Italian government had passed a law that made it easier for companies to sack workers. The trade union movement prepared to mobilise its millions in opposition to the government. Three days before the demonstration the academic responsible for the drafting of the law was killed by the Red Brigades. In response the unions repackaged their demonstration as 'anti-terrorism.' The infiltration of the Red Brigades is well known, it is therefore possible that the murder may have been organised from within the state to discredit by association the forthcoming demonstration. The unions, who may have anticipated this, changed the demonstration so they could not be dismissed as friends of terrorists. It may be that unions organised the assassination so they could neatly avoid being too militant. At the time of writing we have not seen any comment from pro-revolutionaries or the far-left on all this but we assume they will condemn the unions for their timidity and for once again imposing an irrelevant and conservative bias above workers' struggle. But in this they will have missed the point. What is interesting is not the betrayal of the workers by the unions and the fudging of their message but the containment of all operational units within the confines of the spectacle and how nothing that appeared, not the numbers, not the gunmen, and certainly not the state functionaries, came from outside of the established political spectrum. The demonstration was never about the workers struggle but the competition between elements within the ruling class. From the beginning the demonstration was a political representation of workers demands by organisations within the state who use the workers as their lever. The Red Brigades and terrorism, generally is also a spectacular power managed by the state to add a further depth to events. Since 1917 the capitalist state and its pseudo-opponents have played out a phony conflict in which everything that appears has been contained within terms set by the capitalist management of politics. Since the institutionalisation of anti-capitalism in 1917 as a variant of capitalism there has been no politics which has escaped being determined by one or other faction or institution of the ruling class.
The only solution we can see as a means of escaping this is the proposal of severe limitation on pro-revolutionary activity and the pursuit of non-political self-interest by the working class. Self-interest means acting only for the self, taking action or doing nothing if no action is required, to protect and improve the standing of workers in their own industry and not get sucked into making political gestures that refer to positions and ambitions and policies far from their own lives. We think that if a strategy of rigid self-interest, a strategy for .higher wages and Jess .hours, etc, is rigorously pursued by the workers within all industry that this will be enough to generate a crisis in capitalism which in turn, we hope, will produce conditions for revolutionary intervention.
Movement and movements: There is an idea that the world and history is somehow linked to an idea and the idea is progress. We hear a lot in the media nowadays about the rapid pace of change in society, and there have been a number of technical innovations and these have allowed for some spectacular events but in reality the actual structure of society has not altered for about a hundred and fifty years. We are stuck in orbit. Most theoreticians on the left disagree with this, for reasons of novelty and academic ambition they are always coming up with new concepts about how capitalism has transformed and how society has passed into another age, there is always another philosophical sensation. But life at the bottom, where capital is not afraid to bare its teeth and show itself for what it really is, goes on unchanged, occasionally you might hear, 'oh it was very post-modern yesterday but they forecast rain today.' There is an idea in the pro-revolutionary milieu that as well as the reality of experienced capitalism there is a reality in idea form and expressed in anti-capitalist action (mostly unconsciously) as a movement for communism and made up of various political movements that exist in the present and have existed in the past. Many pro-revolutionaries think that all of these add up to a generality that is taking shape in the shadows and will carry on growing until it is so powerful it will be able to overthrow capitalism and establish itself as communism. There is an immediate problem, of course, with this, most of the movements participating in the movement towards communism do not know they are participating, it is not an explicit project of their's but has been interpreted by pro-revolutionaries who insist that communism is implied within the organisation and its relation to capital as it is within capitalism itself (these movements being the objective expression of that). We think this is too complicated, too theological and too dishonest to be a realistic description of reality. Communism exists nowhere in the world at present and nor will it until after the collapse of capitalism and the reorganisation of the material base of existence. All existing political movements, despite their radical pretensions, are determined by the capitalist material base and are therefore more or less contained within present conditions. We see no solution to capitalism either through the 'becoming' of some idea of communism out of capitalism or from any political movement. We see the end of capitalism only in its self-destruction, we see that this destruction may be caused by the working class who have been created by capital and are an absolutely essential component of it. If this component malfunctions it could cause a crisis that destroys the whole system, in that event it is possible that a new material base may be organised by the working class which it creates out of a theoretical ideal of communism combined with the establishment of the primacy of human needs as the sole reason for the base. Ideas and movements can only make a difference to the nature of reality when they have escaped their determining conditions, only when capitalism is destroyed will communism appear as a possible way out.
Nihilism: literally a belief in nothing. In basic terms it means being dispassionate about the pro-revolutionary 'movement' and not getting sucked into other people's pipe-dreams. What is in question here is not the material world itself nor indeed sensuous existence, it is not at all about indifference. We use nihilism as a description for a proper attitude or stance.taken up in relation to the world. What we reject as inappropriate to the present moment is belief, which is a mental attitudes that places an affinity for images above life experience. Nihilism reallocates the importance of belief, and the function of ideas in the world generally. For the individual nothing is more important to it than the question of its existence, which must be decided at every moment by combining circumstances with consideration, but at the same time it is important to note that this urgency is lived entirely at the level of experience and cannot impact on the system that has given rise to it. In place of belief we assert the primacy of the senses arranged about a critical attitude. Therefore, while we are strategic communists with reference to the future and its commencement in. the breakdown of capitalism, we are for the present, tactical nihilists. This gives us the freedom not to be misled by all the solutions to social conflict that are currently generated by the capitalist base. Nihilism is an armour that protects us from credulity and the complicity of the bad faith pro-revolutionary movement.
Owners of consciousness: Isnt it outrageous that MD use highly politically conscious concepts to undermine the status of consciousness in tie pro-revolutionary milieu? All those reading this text and us writing it have pro-revolutionary consciousness, or at least some form of political consciousness. How it should come to be that this is so we cannot say, we think it has something to do with the social structure of enthusiasm and the economic distribution of enthusiasms geographically, for example, in one town there is one pro-revolutionary, about thirty bird watchers, four old car enthusiasts, sixty vegetarians, a hundred football fans, etc. It does not follow that because we are conscious that everyone can become 'conscious'. Quite the opposite in fact, the other people in the town have other interests, therefore MD begin from the assumption that propaganda does not work and that people do not become revolutionaries because they are persuaded by the plausibility of certain beliefs or statements but because circumstance forces them into certain acts which when reflected upon produce values that are entirely at odds with present society. We assume that our texts and the texts of all the pro-revolutionary milieu are read only by a small number of already conscious individuals, thus our concept of 'the owners of consciousness.'
The slightly derogatory stress in the concept is our comment on the unreflective use of consciousness by pro-revolutionaries in their lazy theories. Just because propaganda is useless at changing people's minds, or more subtly, even if people's minds were changed then that would not change the world, that does not mean we should all give up writing and engaging (although we believe certain groups and individuals have caused such damage to the pro-revolutionary milieu that they should give up) we just think it means we should change our practice accordingly. We think consciousness is important because it allows us to operate in advance of any objective revolutionary activity but only within a very limited field and never as the revolutionary subject or as its mouthpiece. We are a pro-revolutionary minority that wants to contribute something to revolution, a something that is probably negligible except in the negative sense that we have the supernatural ability to spot would-be leaders and re-institutionalisers. Or do we?
Politics: what is worst about the current anti-capitalist movement is its understanding of capitalism. Its struggle is conducted primarily as an extended form of democracy, it assumes that it has a collection of ideas that it must get across and set against the ideas that govern society at present. It is a fatal error and a major reason why it is so easily leeched into conventional politics. Capitalism is not a set of ideas, or a politics, and cannot be engaged in debate about values and visions for the future. That kind of thing is what it has invented politics for. Politics is determined by capitalism, it is an. effect and as such, it cannot reach, back and directly confront its parent. So it is that you see 'committed' socialists in parliaments all over Europe, they are there because they think socialism is an idea that must compete with capitalism and when it has convinced enough people then the day will come when socialism will be established. Capitalism is not an idea, it is a set of practices and conventions but most of all it is reality which generates illusions to hide the true nature of its power. Jt can be engaged only where those illusions are less apparent, that is in the factories where it makes itself. The model for the struggle against capitalism may be found in. the internal competition for power within the ruling elite. What matters at the highest level is not the truth or supremacy of ideas but position, manoeuvring, taking effective action, forming alliances, betrayal and above all ambition for more power. From this we can learn how capital is organised against the workers and we can formulate tactics accordingly. Nothing is easier for capitalists to give in on political demands so long as they don't interfere with productivity, what they don't want is to increase their costs.
Pro-revolutionary: the term we give to those who are in favour of the revolutionary transformation of society but who have no means to effect that revolution. We apply the term to all those who call themselves revolutionaries whether they think that only the working class will effect the revolution (which is MD's position) or whether they think pro-revolutionaries themselves have an important role to play. We therefore divide pro-revolutionaries into two camps: authentic pro-revolutionaries, those who accept the limitation of their role; and bad faith revolutionaries who persist in the delusion that they really are revolutionaries. In our definition of the revolutionary we briefly outlined the production of the revolutionary perspective and the self-reflection initiated from that perspective which concludes with the resolution to act. Our definition of the pro-revolutionary pushes the critical/negative function of the revolutionary one or two steps further. By evaluating the actual contribution of revolutionaries to potentially revolutionary situations we see that in most cases the critical consciousness of those who seek to push the situation into revolution by their actions in reality have the opposite effect. Those who are most conscious, that is, desirous, of revolution, are those who from the start impede and restrict the revolution by means of their leadership and influence. And it follows on from this that the most revolutionary elements in a potentially revolutionary situation are precisely those who have no political commitment, no group or party whose interest must be preserved in all situations, but are those who are both committed to the present events of their experience and the vistas of possibility opening up before them, and, of course, those who have the physical power to make, themselves effective in. events by halting the machinery of accumulation.
From looking at the failure of previous revolutions and remembering the corruption of revolutionaries and their part in the downfall of revolutions, as they looked to preserve their party or group, we have developed the concept of pro-revolutionary. This perspective and position assumes that most revolutionary action is cot effective and is no more than gesture. We also conclude that most revolutionaries are never in the right place at the right time. Therefore we argue that the proper position for revolutionaries to take up is that of the authentic pro-revolutionary, the basis of this position is that even though we are cursed with revolutionary desire we have no means of making it concrete. In other words, the pro-revolutionary is a revolutionary who cannot and more importantly, must not make revolution.
In our opinion revolutionaries should let go of the responsibility for making revolution, if they do this they would see more clearly what is possible and where they stand in society, they would no longer have to pretend that what they did was important, it would also allow us to escape from having to have an opinion on every media sensation from animal rights to immigration. In a more positive sense an authentic pro-revolutionary stance permits a tactical understanding of what our effect could be in every instance of struggle that we happen to find ourselves a part of. In our time we have come across many groups who use 'we' when they write to garner for themselves some rhetorical authority when speaking 'for' the revolutionary 'movement' or the proletariat. These 'groups' usually turn out to be one person. It is this kind of basic self-aggrandising dishonesty that makes bad faith pro-revolutionaries such low and dirty dogs to work with, how can you deal with a guy who calls himself 'we'? It is our suggestion that all such 'groups' use 'I' in their works and thereby re-align their subjectivity to an axis of honesty, this is the first step towards becoming authentically pro-revolutionary.
Revolutionary: There are those who see that revolution is a necessity for the redemption of humanity. They see that revolution is desirable because their perspective on society, which has been developed through an interaction of social forces with their personal history, and the development of their consciousness, has produced in them a negative or critical attitude to much of what they experience in present society. They are prevented from being dragged down into utter despair at the hands of this negativity because they see some signs in the present which suggest to them that this reality is merely temporal and that things could very much be otherwise. They see that under different conditions the majority of people could live better lives. The question of the relation between revolutionaries and society becomes urgent, in 19th Century Russia the constant refrain amongst the intelligentsia was 'what is to be done?' The crisis of this contemplation is usually resolved in self-activity, that is, revolutionaries believe they can make an intervention and turn the world to their design.
Revolutionaries conclude that it is their task to make revolution, This conclusion necessitates the deployment of revolutionary acts in society, these acts vary in quality and quantity but range from seizure of state power, to factory agitation, to raising consciousness. In all cases the revolutionary assumes that revolution is to be made by revolutionaries and by implication the prerequisite of making revolution is people becoming revolutionaries, that is: people must change to make social change. We disagree with all of this because it is limited by a too basic theoretical condition, we disagree because we see that the boundaries of this position and the forces that go into making the revolutionary perspective in the first place may be pushed much further. We do not think that the revolution will happen when enough people have become revolutionaries. Revolutionaries do not make revolutions, revolutions make revolutionaries. Revolutionaries can only make groups, networks, parries, unions etc, the adherence to which and functioning of, within society, is the opposite of revolutionary intervention.
The spectacle: the self-organised appearance of capitalism within society.
State Capitalism: it is a convention of the ultra-left to describe post-1917 Russia and its like as state capitalist. However, since the collapse of this particular experiment the term has come up for re-interpretation and what we mean by it is closer to what Debord described as the integrated spectacle. For us, State capitalism means the integration of the state with the productive sphere and the interchangeable roles that have recently been takeD up: the strategies behind recent wars, the industrial supply of education, prisons, health etc. We have no interest in theorising this inter-penetrative relationship, but we are happy to see every capitalist instance included under one term. We do not want to get sucked into defending public transport and opposing private healthcare, or any variant of the public/private debate, that is not what pro-revolutionaries do. We see that the 'introduction of the market' is no such thing and we understand that public ownership is equally capitalist to any other form of ownership - what we also understand is that there is a tightening up of the generality, increased planning and organisation, more and more of production is being linked up, this is precisely what Stalin attempted (albeit under different circumstances) hence our use of the term.