The Accused of Tarnac & the Anarchist Turn
I’ll stop being in “report back” mode since there isn’t really a way to report back events where nothing really happened… except in my mind! I’ll instead ramble along as I usually do trying to recreate those features of the events of April 30th to May 5th that interested me.
I raced across the country because one of the two “formal” events with the “Accused of Tarnac” (abbreviated from now on as IC) was a private meeting with them and “allies”. I am glad that I did because I had a really good time on the first evening and it made what transpired during future events far more comprehensible. Mostly they prefaced the conversation that we were going to have the next night at S40 with a bit more context and were responsive to some of the wide-eyed attention they were getting (and that the next night was lost in the crowd).
Here is the salient controversial point that the IC made that caused a bit of a ruckus the next evening. They do not embrace Marxist dialects as being at the heart of the radical project or, perhaps more importantly economics as a necessary, useful, or appropriate discipline for the same.
Why is this so controversial, since it really shouldn’t be? Because the hipster (insurrectionary) communist has confused (again) complexity for correctness. In terms of not wasting the past 150 years Marxists of all stripes are striving to hold the ideological framework together, especially insofar as it serves as the method by which they can maintain control over the theory landscape. Yes, it is about control & ideology (like usual).
In the IC formulation (as I understand it) power (broadly understood) replaces the “little dialectical engine” as the simple machine that maintains the existing order. To refer to value, profit, & (perhaps) even exhange confuses the point that power relationships dominate and force compels us, not economy. We are not consensual participants in a relationship but subjects of violence.
This IMO reclaims the IC project for anarchists and provides us a way to stop losing our “best and brightest” to the tendrils of the hipster communist. I look forward to understanding a bit more of their reading list to see where they pull some of this from and how shaping this argument can develop a theoretical terrain that we can develop during my life.
Anyway, the commies got angry at the IC right out of the gate with KK storming out in a huff of ad hominems and ressentiment and the professor trying to explain to the IC that it is all just a big misunderstanding. The lengthy French Theory style responses that the IC made to simple questions totally confused the audience (as I said at the time, Americans demand the answer to A + B = ? to be C. If it isn’t C then the question must not be understood) which was funny. The structure of the event was such that the audience was pretty much already lost before the Q&A really began.
I also went to the NYC event (the Anarchist Turn) but it was very very very boring. I’ll try to pull the most interesting bits out of it for the next TCN Radio and you will be able to hear for yourself.