An evening discussion and celebration of the semiotext(e) edition of À Nos Amis with translator Robert Hurley.
We would have liked to be brief. To forgo genealogies, etymologies, quotations.
That a poem, a song, would suffice.
We wished it would be enough to write “revolution” on a wall for the street to catch fire.
But it was necessary to untangle the skein of the present, and in places to settle accounts with ancient falsehoods.
It was necessary to try and digest seven years of historical convulsions. And decipher a world in which confusion has blossomed on a tree of misunderstanding.
We’ve taken the time to write with the hope that others would take the time to read.
Writing is a vanity, unless it’s for the friend. Including the friend one doesn’t know yet.
In the coming years, we’ll be wherever the fires are lit.
During the periods of respite, we’re not that hard to find.
We’ll continue the effort of clarification we’ve begun here.
There will be dates and places where we can mass our forces against logical targets.
There will be dates and places for meeting up and debating.
We don’t know if the insurrection will have the look of a heroic assault, or if it will be a planetary fit of crying, a sudden expression of feeling after decades of anesthesia, misery, and stupidity.
Nothing guarantees that the fascist option won’t be preferred to revolution.
We’ll do what there is to be done.
Thinking, attacking, building – such is our fabulous agenda.
This text is the beginning of a plan.
In 2007 we published The Coming Insurrection in France. It must be acknowledged that a number of assertions by the Invisible Committee have since been confirmed, starting with the first and most essential: the sensational return of the insurrectionary phenomenon. Who would have bet a kopeck, seven years ago, on the overthrow of Ben Ali or Mubarak through street action, on the revolt of young people in Quebec, on the political awakening of Brazil, on the fires set French-style in the English or Swedish banlieues, on the creation of an insurrectionary commune in the very heart of Istanbul, on a movement of plaza occupations in the United States, or on the rebellion that spread throughout Greece in December of 2008?
During the seven years that separate The Coming Insurrection from To Our Friends, the agents of the Invisible Committee have continued to fight, to organize, to transport themselves to the four corners of the world, to wherever the fires were lit, and to debate with comrades of every tendency and every country. Thus To Our Friends is written at the experiential level, in connection with that general movement. Its words issue from the turmoil and are addressed to those who still believe sufficiently in life to fight as a consequence.
To Our Friends is a report on the state of the world and of the movement, a piece of writing that’s essentially strategic and openly partisan. Its political ambition is immodest: to produce a shared understanding of the epoch, in spite of the extreme confusion of the present.