The drop that causes the cup to overflow

From now by Author
Forfatter: Den usynlige komité
Forlag: Oversat af Carsten Juhl
Ovo Press (København)
REBELLION / The three books are equal parts revolutionary manifestos for those who want an analysis of the state of affairs, and strategic manuals for those who have already taken to the streets and revolted.


When an anonymous collective published a book entitled The insurrection that comes >(The coming uprising) in French in 2005, not many took note of the book and its analysis.

The global popular resistance to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 had quickly lost his breath. The invasion was made by those in power in the United States, Britain, Denmark, etc. a symbol of the democratic system that the United States and its allies would export to the Iraqi people. With the exception of the short-lived altar globalization movement, the period between the mid-1990s and up to 2008 was characterized by the absence of protests in the world in general and in the West in particular.

Of course, there were a few uprisings, such as the Paris suburbs in 2005, but they were usually short-lived explosions that were either quickly absorbed or served as exceptions – in an era of globalization and anti-terrorism, capital expansion and control. According to the analysis in The coming uprising however, it was only a matter of time before the uprisings would begin to break out again.

While the nation state's biopolitical quarantine policy empties life of political content.

Signs of the uprising

The invisible committee was right in its prediction. The time after 2008 has been marked by the uprising. It started in Greece in 2008, after Greek police shot and killed a 15-year-old student. But it took off in late 2010 in Tunisia, when a 26-year-old street vendor set himself on fire in protest of corruption and police brutality. Mohamed Bouazizi's suicide triggered a wave of opposition to local ragged depots in North Africa and the Middle East. During the summer of 2011, this spread to southern Europe, where local governments forced by the European Central Bank were in the process of implementing one austerity plan after another in the wake of the financial crisis. In Spain and Greece, people began to occupy seats in protest of the austerity plans and a corrupt and incompetent political system that merely benefited banks and businesses.

Adolescents' depressive internalization of society's psychosis, however, lies as
a bomb under the jovial racist public.

The years since 2011 have been a discontinuous course, with one uprising replacing the other. Almost no matter where we look, uprisings or occupations have taken place. The Scandinavian countries and Germany are so far the most important exceptions to this development – here the states have succeeded in inciting racist exclusion. Youth's depressive internalization of society's psychosis, however, lies like a bomb under the jovial racist public north of the Alps. What will constitute the droplet that causes the cup to overflow is still unknown. But tensions are rising all the time, all the while the fleeing revolutionaries from Syria are pushing. At the same time, the nation's biopolitical quarantine policy empties the life of political content

The invisible committee

In 2017, the Invisible Committee presented another situation analysis, Today. It is now available in Carsten Juhl's excellent Danish translation with the title From now on. Just like the The coming uprising and the intermediate book, À nous amis from 2014, is From now on an exploration of the possibilities of the struggle against the state and capital. The invisible committee draws, so to speak, the watery depths of the revolutionary breach. How far have we come, and how does the enemy act? The three books are equal parts revolutionary manifestos for those who want an analysis of the state of affairs, and strategic manuals for those who have already taken to the streets and revolted.

They were anti-political, they were against the whole conglomeration of institutions and representations

The coming uprising took its starting point in the suburban riots and the French students' opposition to labor market reforms in the spring of 2006, and À nous amis was a status statement after the first wave of uprisings and vacancies. From now on, it is written in close dialogue with the French Nuit debut movement, protesting against the Hollande government's El Khomri law, which should make it much easier for employers to fire employees. Like the Southern European Occupation Movements and Occupy in the United States, the protests in France in 2016 took place outside of both the established party political system and the unions. They were anti-political, they were against the whole conglomeration of institutions and representations that make up what we usually talk about as politics.

The uprisings have come, but the state is ready – and it meets the uprisings and the subjects that arise in the uprising with control and militarization. To rule becomes more and more to fight those who revolt, and to harden those who do nothing to joyfully see fugitive revolutionaries from Syria drowned or raped in camps.

State interpellation and the identity fix of the economy

The starting point for the Invisible Committee's analysis is the uprising, what happens on the streets in the confrontation with the law and the violence of the law. In the encounter with the state and its war against the uprising, a space opens up where the life and identities of capitalist civilization slip away, where the masses are transformed and become a class of self-awareness, regardless of courage and destructive creativity.

The uprising is a machine of subjectivity. In the uprising, a temporality arises next to or below, a free time beyond paid work, consumption and electoral actions. The state's interpellation and the economy's identity fix are rejected by a cross-cutting communication, where the citizen and the consumer are replaced by a struggling community, where the subject and object are dissolved in a virtual fulfillment of both human need satisfaction and freedom and communication.

Disposable and constitutive

The uprisings continue to take place. After the publication of From now on > the night watchman movement in Paris was replaced by the yellow vests that occupied roundabouts and demonstrated against Macron's petrol taxes and the whole world the taxes represent. As the Invisible Committee writes, the uprisings have not yet turned into a revolution, but the contours of a new revolution are gradually becoming clearer. A revolution that in all probability does not have much to do with the revolutions of the 20th century, where Leninist avant-garde and small disciplined cadres took power and tried to realize the revolution as a program. The new revolution does not stand in the sign of realization, but will remain disposable. It is the revolution that dismissal.

It is a new revolution on the other side of the collapse of the labor movement. The destructive revolution becomes neither a socialization of production nor the dictatorship of the proletariat. Confronted with the becoming community of capital and the climatic crisis, it will probably be an ethical revolution, where it is life itself that is at stake. Human life, but also the Earth and all the creatures that inhabit it. It is thus a new kind of communism we are talking about. A communism like the Invisible Committee provides a language.

An anonymous and poetic language outside the militarized public of the state and the eroded identities of the economy.

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