note dump.
sasha k, “Some notes on Insurrectionary Anarchism”
“It is through acting and learning to act, not propaganda, that we will open the path to insurrection, although propaganda has a role in clarifying how to act.”
“Precisely because [revolution] is a concrete event, it must be built daily through more modest attempts which do not have all the liberating characteristics of the social revolution in the true sense. These more modest attempts are insurrections. In them the uprising of the most exploited and excluded of society and the most politically sensitized minority opens the way to the possible involvement of increasingly wider strata of exploited on a flux of rebellion which could lead to revolution. \
“It is never possible to see the outcome of a specific struggle in advance. Even a limited struggle can have the most unexpected consequences.”
“Small actions, therefore, easily reproducible, requiring unsophisticated means that are available to all”
“we all survive in various ways, often in compromise with capital, depending on our social position, our talents and tastes.”
“in the worst case they first build the organization then find or create the struggle. Our task is to act; organization is a means.”
“Informal organization is based on a number of comrades linked by a common affinity; its propulsive element is always action. The wider the range of problems these comrades face as a whole, the greater their affinity will be. It follows that the real organization, the effective capacity to act together, i.e. knowing where to find each other, the study and analysis of problems together, and the passing to action, all takes place in relation to the affinity reached and has nothing to do with programs, platforms, flags or more or less camouflaged parties. The informal anarchist organization is therefore a specific organization which gathers around a common affinity.”
“The active anarchist minority is not slave to numbers but continues to act against power even when the class clash is at a low level within the exploited of society.”
“We embrace what is best in individualism and what is best in communism. Insurrection begins with the desire of individuals to break out of constrained and controlled circumstances (…) There is no contradiction between individuality and communism.”
“Against Organization” by Giuseppe Ciancabilla
“we come together spontaneously, and not with permanent criteria, according to momentary affinities for a specific purpose, and we constantly change these groups as soon as the purpose for which we had associated ceases to be, and other aims and needs arise and develop in us and push us to seek new collaborators, people who think as we do in the specific circumstance. (…)producing and sustaining a movement of ideas is, for us, the most effective means for determining the flow of anarchist actions, both in practical struggle and in the struggle for the realization of the ideal.”
“Social Struggle, Social War”
“for the anarchist struggle to become revolutionary it must become social, expanding through solidarity in action. Our relationship with the mass must be informal and direct. We must recognize the mass as individuals, avoiding the danger of falling into generic perspectives and ideology. (…)To limit ourselves to spreading counter-information and declaring our convictions to the masses would not make sense (…) We must always re-evaluate our analysis and attempt to advance through discussion and the gathering of information, but we must also act.
Our organizational forms should be fluid and adaptable, capable of destructuring when necessary (…) We should fight in intermediate struggles alongside the excluded, for housing, food, shelter, wages, against police repression, against social control. But always trying to push these struggle further, helping them expand into the unknown of insurrection.”
“Revolutionary Initiative”
“The will to resist exploitation and social exclusion is an often overlooked factor within the revolutionary movement, but without this subjective element revolutionary change can not take place. Oppression can nurture apathy and resignation as easily as it can provoke hatred and anger. The exploitation of the capitalist system creates the context and justification for mass rebellion, but the determination to resist must come from within each individual. The spirit of revolt, the indispensable revolutionary initiative of individuals must be the groundwork of a project that aims at overthrowing the dominant class and destroying the infrastructure of their economy. The struggle for real individual freedom must also necessarily become a struggle for equality of conditions and access to social life for the entire exploited class. (…)With the individual as a catalyst, an insurrectionary process can begin to take shape, first in small affinity groups, and then in base structures; mass organizations founded on principles of self-management, direct action and permanent conflict with the class enemy.”
“The Insurrectional Project”
“organization, as I’m using the term here, means bringing together the means and relations that allow us to act for ourselves in the world. This starts with the decision to act, the decision that our thirst to have all of our life as our own requires us to fight against the state, capital and all of the structures and institutions through which they maintain control over the conditions of our existence. Such a decision puts one in the position of needing to develop the specific tools that make intelligent action possible. First a thorough analysis of the present conditions of exploitation is necessary. Based on this analysis, we choose specific objectives to aim for and means for achieving these objectives based upon our desires and the ideas that move us. These means, these tools for action must first and foremost include ways of making our objectives, desires and ideas known to others in order to find affinities, others with whom we can create projects of action. Thus, we look to create occasions for encounters and discussion in which similarities and differences are clarified, in which the refusal of false unities allow the real affinities—real knowledge of whether and how we can work together—can develop. (…)A significant aspect of this informal organization would be a network of like-minded people. This network would base itself on a reciprocal knowledge of each other which requires honest, straightforward discussions of ideas, analyses and aims. Complete agreement would not be necessary, but a real understanding of differences would. The aim of this network would [be] (…) developing methods for intervening in various struggles (…) and coordinating such intervention. The basis for participation would be affinity—meaning the capacity to act together. This capacity stems from knowing where to find each other and studying and analyzing the social situation together in order to move to action together (…) this network would only grow an the basis of real affinity of ideas and practise. This informal network would consist of the tools we develop for the discussion of social analyses and the methods for intervening in struggles that we create. (…) liberation depends on intervention in the struggles of the exploited classes as a whole.”
“The Fullness of a struggle without adjectives”
“insurrection incites pleasure and the realization of how much we have in our hearts
“Autonomous Base Nucleus”
“We believe the revolutionary struggle is without doubt a mass struggle. We therefore see the need to build structures capable of organising as many groups of exploited as possible. (…) It is in moments of action that differences emerge among comrades who all agree in principle with anarchist propaganda, the struggle against the State, self-management and direct action. When we move into an organisational phase, however, we must develop a project that is in touch with the present level of the clash between classes. We believe that due to profound social transformation it is unthinkable for one single structure to try to contain all social and economic struggle within it. (…)The autonomous base groups are mass structures and constitute the point of encounter between the informal anarchist organisation and social struggles. (…)the objective of the nucleus is to fight and attack this State and this Capital in their smaller and more attainable structures These attacks are organised by the nucleii in collaboration with specific anarchist structures which provide practical and theoretical support, developing the search for the means required for the action pointing out the structures and individuals responsible for repression, and offering a minimum of defense against attempts at political or ideological recuperation by power or against repression pure and simple.
At first sight the relationship between specific anarchist organization and autonomous base nucleus might seem contradictory. The specific structure follows an insurrectional perspective, while the base nuclelii seem to be in quite another dimension, that of intermediate struggle. But this struggle only remains such at the beginning. If the analysis on which the project is based coincides with the interests of the exploited in the situation in which they find themselves, then an insurrectional outcome to the struggle is possible. Of course this outcome is not certain. That cannot be guaranteed by anyone.
This method has been accused of being incomplete and of not taking into account the fact that an attack against one or more structures always ends up increasing repression. Comrades can reflect on these accusations. We think it is never possible to see the outcome of a struggle in advance. Even a limited struggle can have the most unexpected consequences. And in any case, the passage from the various insurrections-limited and circumscribed-to revolution can never be guaranteed in advance by any procedure. We go forward by trial and error, and say to whoever has a better method-carry on.”
The Affinity Group
“(…)Affinity is often confused with sentiment. Although not distinctly separate, the two terms should not be considered synonymous. There could be comrades with whom we consider we have an affinity, but whom we do not find sympathetic and vice versa.
Basically, to have an affinity with a comrade means to know them, to have deepened one’s knowledge of them. As that knowledge grows, the affinity can increase to the point of making an action together possible, but it can also diminish to the point of making it practically impossible.
Knowledge of another is an infinite process which can stop at any level according to the circumstances and objectives one wants to reach together. One could therefore have an affinity for doing some things and not others. It becomes obvious that when one speaks of knowledge that does not mean it is necessary to discuss one’s personal problems, although these can become important when they interfere with the process of deepening knowledge of one another.
In this sense having knowledge of the other does not necessarily mean having an intimate relationship. What it is necessary to know is how the comrade thinks concerning the social problems which the class struggle confronts him with, how he thinks he can intervene, what methods he thinks should be used in given situations, etc.
The first step in the deepening of knowledge between comrades is discussion. It is preferable to have a clarifying premise, such as something written, so the various problems can be gone into well.
Once the essentials are clarified the affinity group or groups are practically formed. The deepening of knowledge between comrades continues in relation to their action as a group and the latter’s encounter with reality as a whole. While this process is taking place their knowledge often widens and strong bonds between comrades often emerge. This however is a consequence of the affinity, not its primal aim.
It often happens that comrades go about things the other way round, beginning some kind of activity and only proceeding to the necessary clarifications later, without ever having assessed the level of affinity required to do anything together. Things are left to chance, as though some kind of clarity were automatically to emerge from the group simply by its formation. Of course this does not happen: the group either stagnates because there is no clear road for it to take, or it follows the tendency of the comrade or comrades who have the clearest ideas as to what they want to do while others allow themselves to be pulled along, often with little enthusiasm or real engagement.
The affinity group on the other hand finds it has great potential and is immediately addressed towards action, basing itself not on the quantity of its adherents, but on the qualitative strength of a number of individuals working together in a projectuality that they develop together as they go along. From being a specific structure of the anarchist movement and the whole arc of activity that this presents–propaganda, direct action, perhaps producing a paper, working within an informal organisation–it can also look outwards to forming a base nucleus or some other mass structure and thus intervene more effectively in the social clash.”
Revolutionary Solidarity
“every social struggle has many different layers and facets. While various political, union or guerrilla groups strive to impose their “service” on the struggles of the exploited and excluded, many individuals go on carrying out their struggles autonomously, organizing their attempts to take back their lives and attack what stands in their way in free association with others of their choosing. In any struggle, we find our accomplices, those with whom we can act in solidarity, among these individuals.”
“Developing Relationships of Affinity”
“The development of relationships of affinity is specifically the development of a deep knowledge of one another in a complex manner, a profound understanding of each other’s ideas, dreams, desires, passions, aspirations, capacities, conceptions of the struggle and of life. It is, indeed a discovery of what is shared in common, but more significantly it is a discover of differences, of what is unique to each individual, because it is at the point of difference that one can truly discover the projects one can carry out with another.
Since the development of relationships of affinity is itself a reflection of our aims as anarchists and since it is intended to create a deep and ever-expanding knowledge of one another, it cannot simply be left to chance. We need to intentionally create the opportunity for encounters, discussions and debates in which our ideas, aspirations and visions of the revolutionary struggle can come into contention, where real affinities and real conflicts can come out and be developed—not with the aim of finding a unifying middle ground in which every one is equally compromised, but to clarify distinctions and so discover a real basis for creating projects of action that aren’t simply playing the role of radical, activist or militant, but that are real reflections of the desires, passions and ideas of those involved. While publications, internet discussion boards and correspondence can provide means for doing this on some levels, to the extent to which they are open forums they tend to be too random, with potential for the discussion to lose any projectuality and get sidetracked into the democratic exchange of opinions which have little connection to one’s life. To my mind, the best and most significant discussions can take place in face-to-face encounters between people with some clarity of why they are coming together to discuss. Thus, organizing discussion groups, conferences, meetings and the like is an integral part of the development of relations of affinity and so of projects of action. (…)

Relationships of affinity are the necessary basis of self-organization on the most basic daily level of struggle and of life. It is the deep and growing knowledge of one another that provides the basis for developing projects of revolt that truly reflect our own aspirations and dreams, for developing a shared struggle that is based in the recognition and, at its best, the passionate enjoyment of our very real and beautiful differences. The development of social revolution will, of course, require an organizing of activity beyond the range of our relationships of affinity”
“The Affinity Group”
An affinity group “is a method for organizing an action based on affinity between those taking part in the action. So the essential first step is the development of relationships of affinity. Affinity is not a matter of feeling good around each other. For the purpose of an insurrectional practise, affinity develops through the process of getting to know each other as comrades on an ever deepening level–that is coming to understand how the other understands the struggle against this society and how they feel they can intervene in it. Through discussion, such questions can be clarified, strengths and weaknesses made evident and possibilities for shared actions revealed.
It is when the possible projects of action become evident that certain of those who have been developing affinity come together as a group with the specific purpose of carrying out a particular action. When this project is completed, the particular group disbands as such, but the relations of affinity continue.
In the course of carrying out actions together, affinity will deepen and strong bonds may grow between those involved. This is to be expected, since as anarchists we do not see our activity as separated from our lives, but rather as an expression of the way we view and choose to live life. Thus we put the whole of our being into these actions. Our passion for freedom and intensity of life goes into our projects, so how could it not affect the relationships of affinity we choose to develop?”
“What Have We Demonstrated?”
“Though there is not a large-scale, visible social movement here, mostly invisible and often unconscious revolt does exist. So then, wouldn’t we do well to develop our own daily struggles against the exploitation we experience and, in the process, maybe discover other hidden wells of revolt among the exploited who are being excluded from this society and its political games?”
“It’s Easy to Attack”
“We have to prepare ourselves. Yet while preparation is very important, courage and ease of action are more important still, and one does not attain these qualities talking and drafting proposals for hours on end, having to meet for three weeks before realizing an action. Ease of action is attained after the action. Courage is attained with practice, or with groups of friends who are also afraid but decide to confront this fear together.
(…) Without society, we cannot survive, not as revolutionaries, and not even as healthy human beings. Without losing our own identity or collaborating with the institutions, we have to participate in the movements and social struggles. We have to have a presence and create relationships with people outside of our circles. (…) you can’t struggle without your own reasons.
We need a political presence as well as a social and cultural presence. We must not let ourselves be surrounded. We need to relate to our coworkers and our neighbors. If they disappear me one night and the neighbors never realize it, I’ve already lost. I was already disappeared. And thus, appearing in the lives of the others, we will also develop a social intuition, which is extremely important: understanding the level of social tension, the level of discord, the themes that provoke rage, and which type of attacks other people will understand.”
“why a vanguard?”
“it is not within the enclosure of the specific anarchist movement that one works for the revolution, but outside in the reality of struggles, which at this moment do not see us present. In this sense the anarchist movement still has a long way to go.”

Introduction to Insurrectionalist Anarchism

“only those who have rebelled and faced the consequences of this rebellion and lived it to the full, be it only within the microcosm of their own lives, can have the sensitivity and intuition necessary to grasp the signs of the insurrectional movement in course. (…)The masses do not possess the virtues we often attribute to them. (…)It is silly to think that everything must come forth from the insurgent people. (…)Although insurrection is a revolutionary moment of great collective creativity, one which can produce analytical suggestions of considerable intensity (think of the insurgent workers of the Paris Comune who shot at the clocks), it is not the only source of theoretical and projectual wealth. The highest moments of the people in arms undoubtedly eliminate obstacles and uncertainties, clearly showing what had only been hazy until then, but they cannot illuminate what is not already there. These moments are the potent reflector that make it possible to bring about a revolutionary and anarchist project, but this project must already exist, even if only in terms of method. It must have been elaborated and experimented to some degree, although obviously not in every detail.

On the other hand, when we intervene in mass struggles, clashes with intermediate claims, is that not almost exclusively so as to propose our methods? (…) it is necessary to go further and think about the possibilities of giving more organisational strength to one’s actions”