index > savoirs et pouvoirs autonomes / autonomous powers and knowledges >
autonomous knowledge and power in a society without affects
savoirs et pouvoirs autonomes dans une société sans émotion

index :


deconstructing the complex machines, to reconstruct them unconventionally…

the economy and politics of autonomous knowledge/power

Potential politics



Walking through cities connected to world distribution networks, we shift from one imaginary to the next, from Monoprix™ to UGC™, from Friskies™ to the Guggenheim™ or Pinault™ foundations to MacDonald's™. Each time we activate fields of relational, communicational or sensational possibilities, equivalent and interchangeable. The commodity-possibilities© offered by world supermarket culture are born of desires and needs conjured up by advertising and the media. They can only be actualized with the money we have at our disposal, through our work and our credit at the bank. The richest has a good chance of being right, because he's got the cash for it. He can create his own commodity-possibilities©, and impose them on everyone else. An equation associating truth, money, technology and power takes form: it allows you to work on your own indoctrination, your own subjection. Foucault speaks of "regimes of truth" by which he means the self-tightening circle in which the subjection of individuals and the production of subjectifying truths reinforce one another.

Different kinds of autonomy stand out from this context. They reveal themselves in the rising power of diffuse intellectuality, diffuse creativity and diffuse resistance, exercised by individuals and collectives creating forms of life (expressive, dietary, passional, urban), bringing forms of social or civil disobedience into play, developing their skills and secreting meaning autonomously, critically.
These manifestations of autonomous knowledge/power provoke a crisis in the monopoly of access to possibilities held by the productive organizations of consumer society.
Unlike a subjectifying truth-regime, an autonomous form of knowledge acts by resonance, intensifying the potentials of being and deconstructing the complex machines, the unipolar totalities that constitute our environment: technological and economic power; bureaucratic, cultural and sexual power. The being who brings autonomous knowledge and power into play is a potential being. S/he is not just there, frozen in a role or trained to seek or desire a particular, normalized possibility, or to choose among such possibilities. Her possibilities are not commodity-possibilities, controlled and rationalized by the capitalist system, but real chances, possible destinies brought into play by the activity of being.

deconstructing the complex machines,
to reconstruct them unconventionally…


Autonomous knowledge decolonizes possibilities, opens up the existence and potential of being through horizontal exchanges of knowledge and experience: italian hacklabs, in the domain of informatics; networks for the reciprocal exchange of knowledge; amateur practices in biotechnology (critical art ensemble, a u.s.-based group of artists and researchers); the struggle for access to extra-atmospheric space (association of autonomous astronauts); video close to home (for example, in brussels by the art group pttl); struggles for the shared organization and management of the environment (water, in the case of the semapa, a group of local inhabitants in cochabamba, bolivia); fights for the use of networks, in the case of seattle wireless (u.s.a.); struggles over land, in the case of the sem terra or landless peasants movement' in brazil; struggles over urban space, in the case of the squatters' movement in france; over the circulation of people, in the case of kein mensch ist illegal (a social movement originating in germany)... etc.

Autonomous knowledge can be constituted through the analysis of the way that complex machines function. Deconstructing a program or an operating system in order to reconstruct them unconventionally is exactly what the hackers or the free software movements do. The italian hacklabs create an economy by placing knowledge of electronics and informatics at the disposal of any interested person. They do not furnish services. They are organizations that bring together skills in a more or less informal way. They offer different kinds of expertise, transmitting their knowledge and know-how for free.
The deconstruction of complex machines and their "decolonized" reconstruction can be carried out on all kinds of objects, not just computational ones. In the same way as you deconstruct a program, you can also deconstruct the internal functioning of a government or an administration, a firm or an industrial or financial group. On the basis of such a deconstruction, involving a precise identification of the operating principles of a given administration, or the links or networks between administrations, lobbies, businesses etc., you can define modes of action or intervention on these businesses, lobbies or administrations. But to deconstruct a machine, you must first have access to it and understand its functioning, or in other words, you must access the information that constitutes it. However, scientific and technical information, but also organizational information, are of very limited access today. The desire to deconstruct the complex machines is therefore doubled by a demand for free access to knowledge, and its free circulation. Colloquia and informal meetings reject copyright both on forms of knowledge whose production costs are high, or whose cost is maintained by the creation of artificial rarity; they reject the monopolies and privileges that bureaucratic or commercial powers hold through intellectual property rights or secrecy.
The importance of communications media (cell phones, computers, internet, radios, televisions, CBs, photocopy machines...) for the constitution and sustained existence of social movements and autonomous forms of life is well known. The use of these media – and particularly of the internet and the associated computer technologies – requires specific forms of autonomous knowledge which are produced and distributed by collectives, cooperative networks, individuals: networks for the production of alternative information, webzines (indymedia, nettime), infoshops (malocka in dijon, infoshop la torre in rome, or more generally: www.infoshop.org), fanzinets, autonomous televisions (free speech tv, deep dish and paper tiger tv in america, télé bocal in paris, community access tv in amsterdam), publishing houses (l'éclat in nîmes, b_books in berlin, ak press in the u.s.a./u.k., autonomedia in the u.s, encyclopédie des nuisances, l'esprit frappeur, liber raison d'agir in paris...), radios (kpfa in berkeley, radio popolare in milan), hacking (electrohippies in the u.k., electronic disturbance theater (edt) in the u.s.a.), programs to preserve anonymity (freedom, created by zero knowledge), operating systems with open-source code (linux network, free software foundation), free suppliers of recorded music (gnutella, morpheus, napster before its acquisition by the german group Bertelsman, MACOS network: musicians against copyrighting of samples), cryptography (cryptography.org), hosts of autonomous internet sites (www.enc.org, www.sindominio.net in spain, samizdat.net in france), hackmeetings (for example, in barcelona in october 2000) and more broadly, networks articulating multiple forms of knowledge, generally including forms of life as well (earth first!, zapatistas/ezln, squatnet)
[NOTE 1], squats (the "okupa" movement and the occupied social centers (cso) in spain represent social projects in a country without housing allocations or any universal minimum income); and various modes of action similar to those carried out in italy or in france: free transportation, self-service operations (cost-free appropriation of basic consumer goods in supermarkets).

The inventions of militant forms of autonomous knowledge/power can be discursive
[NOTE 2], but they are mainly practical and "tactile": expressive knowledge (bringing the self and the relation to others into play), urban knowledge (familiarity with the localities and temporalities of the city), organizational knowledge (affinity groups in seattle), tactical knowledge (understanding the thresholds of symbolic violence, for example by the tute bianche, during the counter-summits), human knowledge.
These forms of temporary action can gradually take on a more durable turn: for instance, many empty spaces were occupied during the november 17 day of action in italy
[NOTE 3], opening up an opportunity to transform them into social centers or squats over a more-or-less long term. During these encounters and moments of cooperation, the actions can be organized in more lasting forms such as campaigns or occupations: as in the health-workers movement in france which, beginning with temporary demonstrations, then set up durably in public space. The same holds for the africans who installed a tent village for survival purposes on a public square in the town of vincennes, france, or for the sans-papiers movement in the form it took (after decades of "forgetting" by public opinion) with the occupation of saint-bernard, then of saint-ambroise church in paris. Such long-term occupations, abandoning the temporary character of the demonstration or action, require specific forms of knowledge and skill, as illustrated by the recent occupation of a district of madrid by striking Telefonica™ workers: the installation of a life-possibility in urban space by illegal connection to electric grids, water and sewage systems.
As long as the problem raised by the initial social movement has not been resolved, the temporary action tends potentially to become permanent (depending on the energy, willpower and tenacity of the actors, and on the passivity of the public officials).
But permanence has another origin: certain social movements are directly linked to imposed forms of life (being paperless) or chosen forms of life (via campesina, confédération paysanne, sem terra movement, squatters or social centers). These movements are not simply caused by an economic downturn or linked to a public opinion campaign engendering forms of regular symbolic action, but spring rather from a philosophy of existence, from an interpretation of the relations of cultural, political or economic domination by a majority, or from a general protest against capitalism or the state.
Such forms of symbolically constituted actions, occupying public or media space, can be contrasted to other forms of action choosing invisibility as their mode of appearance and organization. These other forms choose not to appear, to act secretly or to disconnect entirely from the system. Exodus, disconnection, disaffiliation, erasure, invisibility and disappearance are carried out by people without masters, unqualified individuals who have escaped the magnetism of the planetary supermarket, developing singular forms of knowledge, their own forms, "abnormal" ways of apprehending and representing the real, "abnormal" relational or communicational capacities and skills. These people without masters – who intentionally desert – no longer respond to the demands for participation, for the production of meaning (indeed, for the production of critique) that are issued by the economic, media and bureaucratic powers. They exercise their power as authors in a mode where "it doesn't matter who's speaking," the mode of the anonymous author or the unqualified singularity, with the power of the multitude. In this sense, the author – even when de-individualized and referred back to the collective ground of which s/he is the voice and experience – breaks with the informality and indeterminacy of a fading trace: the author makes him- or herself manifest as a power. She is the site where we invent ourselves, breaking with any tradition, sovereignty, territory, or ancestry, an endless insurrectional process appropriating only itself in the mode of becoming, of transformation.

the economy and politics
of autonomous knowledge/power


In western europe, numerous informal or militant organizations (for example, squats in france) and numerous collectives producing forms of autonomous knowledge/power have signed agreements with local governments, selling services without seeking profit or accepting public grants. But certain militant organizations, along with other squats or social centers, workshops for the truth production and collectives generating autonomous knowledge, refuse both agreements and grants and do not sell any goods or services. These forms of disaffiliated autonomous knowledge/power to not have any legal status: they do not fit into associative or cooperative formats. They generally emanate from isolated individuals or informal collectives whose material, human or financial means have nothing to do with market principles or redistribution.
We can therefore distinguish between an economy of solidarity, on the one hand, involving autonomous knowledge/power – the so-called "third sector," which is always more-or-less integrated to the general dynamics of capitalism (jean-louis laville of the crida characterizes the economy of solidarity as an articulation between the commercial economy, the non-commercial and non-monetary economy) – and the "invisible" economy of autonomous knowledge/power, on the other.
The economy of solidarity often characterizes the informal economy as described in studies of vietnam, indonesia or various african countries. Although based on reciprocity, these informal economies are at the confluence of the domestic economy and the non-monetary, cooperative market economy (the people's credit fund, a vietnamese network formed of 971 cooperatives, numbering over 700,000 members; or the nyesigiso network in mali, regrouping 46 village funds, savings and credit cooperatives, encouraging the development of small businesses, with over 70,000 members; or kuapoo kokoo in senegal, bringing together village granaries and grain banks, collective marketing systems, craftsmen's organizations, multi-activity peasants' unions, rotating loan and credit associations, savings-and-loan cooperatives and village savings-and-loan funds, mutual health-insurance programs, neighborhood organizations; or the cofac network in uruguay – cooperativa financiera de ahorro y crédito – bringing together 200,000 members in 35 cooperatives; or the people's economic organization, or oep, in chile, bringing together health collectives, collective kitchens and community gardens, associations, with homebuilding cooperatives and systems of solidarity-based credit such as the grameen bank).

The "invisible" economy of autonomous knowledge/power can be characterized in the following way:
1 An economy of reciprocity, without the slightest intention of developing commercial activities or being dependent on or subordinated to any criteria of public redistribution, but without any intention of remaining limited to the domestic sphere either;
2 An economy of free exchange, i.e. without any criteria of belonging or any or cataloging of the participants by status as a member, a volunteer or an employee, anonymous, unqualified authors, no copyright (MACOS network, negativland)... This economy, if developed in a complex way, could take the following form (cf. www.slip.net/~knabb): Certain basic goods and services would be freely available to everyone without any accounting. Others would be equally free, but only in limited, rationed quantities. Still others, classified as "luxury goods," would be the visible in exchange for "melting credits," i.e. credits with expiration dates so as to limit excessive accumulation
[NOTE 4].

The dividing line between visible and invisible autonomous knowledge/power finds another expression in the distinction between the politics of representation (whether negotiated or cooperatively constituted) and a politics that is at once iconoclastic and without representation (radical democracy or direct democracy). Even more essentially, this dividing line separates a juridical analysis of power (legitimacy, legalization) from a productive analysis of power
[NOTE 5].
"Visible" forms of autonomous knowledge/power proceed by struggles for legitimacy and legalization, or by cooperation with the public authorities. They rest on a constituent, transcendental and anthropological definition of meaning. Struggles for legitimacy and legalization are just one systemic strategy (among others) for the reduction of complexity that is indispensable to the reproduction of the system. The existence of such a society-system is assured by the statistical interchangeability of individuals, and bolstered by the manipulation of the collective imagination and the technical normalization of the field of subjectivity-formation. "Successive subjects enter the inner workings of the system, but by the side doors only; thus the system not only preserves its own systematicity (which is in a sense independent of human consciousness), but also proves to have its own existence, independently of one subject or another." (michel foucault, dits et écrits II, Gallimard, p. 424)
[NOTE 6].
The movements, forms of knowledge, and autonomous organizations resting on a productive analysis of power emerge from the loss of man's centrality (the loss of transcendental subjectivity or intersubjectivity), from the end of any transcendence, from the loss of the meaning of political anthropology, from the systemic (and statistical) interchangeability of individuals in the control society, and from the predominance of efficiency over legitimacy. These movements, forms of knowledge and organizations seek an opening of the possible through the multiplication of conflicts: they create contingency and complexity, augmenting the "problems" (possibilities) instead of seeking to resolve or integrate them.
In the productive approach to power, tools are not objects, and persons are not subjects. The autonomous forms of knowledge/power open up the world in its multiplicity and its potentiality. They exit the system by de-coding it, that is, by exceeding it and overflowing it in all directions, refusing to be institutionalized, preferring to exist in motion, remaining provisional and disappearing when the energy on which they are founded begins to wane. The forms of autonomous knowledge/power are situational and without any model, i.e. without any possible direction or any "promised land," without any speculative discourse decreeing how the world should be, without any general organization. "The traditional logic of political commitment, which made the activist or the citizen [from the freemason to the believer] into an appendage of the "Great Work," tends to be replaced by a new figure of the activist, seen as an individuality inserted into various, mobile networks, existing for limited time periods, often informally. This figure culminates [in france] with the movement against the debré law [a set of laws on immigration], where we witnessed a proliferation of individual initiatives articulated with networks founded on proximity. Rejecting any form of the delegation of power or centralism, indeed, any cooptation, the figure of the activist seeks to retain mastery 'from a to z' over his or her words and actions. Although public space is not rejected a piori (one need only consider the highly spectacular utilization of the media by the social movements), it is increasingly not taken as a space of rational discussion" (olivier blondeau, “L'intelligence collective au service des mouvements sociaux”). The activist-researcher refuses the logic whereby an elite group works out a philosophy and a political strategy which is then supposed to give rise to a mobilization within and around the organization.
In many of these forms of autonomous knowledge/power, the activist becomes the media. In this context, class struggles become struggles of language. The activist is "a supplier of information and an initiator of action, at once a node and a relay of the network" (olivier blondeau). An activist-researcher, for whom knowledge is a foundational element of the struggle.

Potential politics

Power and wealth in a society of communication and information depend on control of the circuits of production and distribution of data, and on access to stocks of information and informational flows (scientific, technical, cultural, media information). Such access is held by those who know how to separate truth from dissimulation, who understand what is possible and how, and who are able to hide what they know from others. Power is the power of secrecy, but also a capacity to manipulate the human mind, the affects, the beliefs, the perceptions, and the hopes of human beings, a capacity to domesticate the potential of human and non-human life.
In the current state of generalized warfare, tending toward the physical extermination of excess beings on a massive scale, while democratic processes fade away and disappear, do the forms of autonomous knowledge/power still have any chance of reconstituting the rotting tissue of public life by means of struggles based on legitimacy and legalization? Or should they not fight the invisible with the invisible, in other words, slip away, disaffiliate, desert, and in this way, hollow out tunnels everywhere beneath the edifice of capitalism?



[NOTE 1]
The ezln's use of cyberpropaganda was so effective that sites were created spontaneously to distribute the zapatista texts. According to henri favre, the ezln represents "the first post-communist insurrection of the 21st century" ("mexique: le révélateur chiapanèque," problèmes d'amérique latine 25, la documentation française, 1997, pp. 4-5). But even beyond cyberpropaganda, allowing for the mass distribution of news in real time without recourse to the media subordinated to the established powers, the internet also made possible the organization of demonstrations throughout the world (and not just cyberdemonstrations) in support of the zapatistas. In effect, the internet allowed the organization in early 1997 of protests at 29 mexican consulates in the united states. "In the cities where we had no representatives to go to the consulates, local organizations contacted us by internet to offer us their assistance" (guillermo glenn, quoted in gregory destouche, menace sur internet: des groupes subversifs et terroristes sur le net, michalon, 1999, p. 32).
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[NOTE 2]
The discursive forms of autonomous knowledge/power appear notably in political discourses, and in the rhetoric running through the tracts, speeches and publications of activists or civil-society, union and political representatives. Indeed, discourse is the very foundation of politics in the common sense of the word. Thus each political movement in the course of its history invents its own language, its own fields of reference and rhetoric, as well as its own reading of the history of ideologies. First it is necessary to constitute the identity of the movement; then this identity can sometimes (or even repeatedly, among the anarchists or the situationists) give rise to a divisive logic, increasing the divergences, and provoking major expenditures of energy on the process of fighting or neutralizing each other instead of acting together. Here it will be a matter of distinguishing between the movements, attitudes and discourses which are authentically anarchist, or not. To do so, one refers to the movement's history. This history also serves to anchor certain strategies: thus, unlike the fédération anarchiste in france with its "syntheticist" organization (attempting to bring together all the currents of anarchy at the risk of becoming a hodgepodge), the organisation révolutionnaire libertaire develops a so-called "platformist" organization, in reference to the organizational platform of the russian anarchists in exile after the revolution of 1917. The libertarian revolutionary organization is one of the branches of the anarchist revolutionary organization which split into two tendencies after the orléans congress in 1976 in France. The second branch would become alternative libertaire, aiming, unlike the earlier formations, to develop a political party.
Certain political denominations involve situational political tactics, gradually acquiring a meaning distinct from the original one. Such is the case of the word "libertaire," invented as a way to get around a French law prohibiting the sale or distribution of publications with the names of "anarchy" or "anarchist." In the same way, the terms communism and socialism are charged with a particular history.
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[NOTE 3]
The date of november 17, 2001, in italy – the first day of social disobedience against war – can illustrate the extent of this creativity: in venice, the demo decided to move toward the British Consulate, which received a volley of eggs filled with a red paint. In torino, statues commemorating war were covered with paper and cardboard. In genoa, the disobedients occupied the construction site of a future mega-shopping center to protest against the privatization of public property. In gorizia (a city cut in two by the border with slovenia) a demo passed through both parts of the city, thus rejoining an initiative launched by the "no-border social forum." In milano, several hundred demonstrators blocked the access to a branch office to denounce its participation in financing the war against afghanistan. In rome, hundreds of people imposed free access to the exhibition hall. Outside, an immense banner proclaimed: "Knowledge, a global public service. Free access. Income for everyone!" In cosenza, military objectives were symbolically attacked. In reggio emilia, more than 300 people used picks and shovels to expose a pipeline furnishing gas and energy to several Nato© military bases in the region. Several barracks in milan received bloody italian flags. In padua, the barracks were attacked with numerous smoke bombs and firecrackers. In marghere (venice), several kilos of toxic mud were left in the entryway to the chamber of commerce. In genoa, a gigantic table with organic food was set up in front of a McDonald's™, offering detailed information against the multinational, etc.
Other forms of legal or illegal actions: french penal law implicitly distinguishes between two forms of legal political actions (the right to expression, in verbal, oral or written form, but also in the physical and symbolic form of the public demonstration) and three forms of the legal political actions (gathering in a mob, insurrection and terrorism). Concerning political action, french penal law leaves open a possible slippage of interpretation from the demonstration (which is legal if it is declared – law-decree of october 23, 1935, recognized implicitly by article 431-1 of the new penal code) to gathering in a mob (which is illegal according to articles 104 to 108) or even to insurrection (which is punishable with criminal incarceration and fines from 1.5 to 5 million francs). A demonstration – although legalized by the law of october 23, 1935 – can therefore quickly slip in legal terms toward gathering in a mob or insurrection (both illegal and severely punished), if the erection of a barricade or the occupation of the building by ruse or by force should occur... The extra-parliamentary action of the legal mass demonstration is therefore subject to the spontaneous policing of those who practice it, under the constraint of possible punishment by these penal dispositions.
Lock-ons (chaining oneself to the fences around a building or an operating table) or hunger strikes are specific forms of demonstrations. Other techniques include the "die-in”, where activists lie immobile on the ground, as though killed by some cataclysm.
The hunger strike as a mode of political action or protest has quite ancient origins, if we are to believe georges duby, who sees the fasting of women married by force in the middle ages as one of its first occurrences. In the twentieth century, hunger strikes have often been assimilated to a female activism, or a "hysterical" activism, by contrast to the world of real violence and real politics: the hunger strike was denounced as "a petty-bourgeois method in communist circles and certain far-left leninist circles in the early seventies" (johanna siméant, "grèves de la faim en france," sociétés contemporaines 31, l'harmattan, july 1998, p. 76). This form has been broadly used by the sans-papiers in the seventies, eighties and nineties in france, and is currently used by prisoners in turkey among others.
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[NOTE 4]
Free access to food and lodging, the satisfaction of vital needs, is no doubt the first step toward liberation from all subjection. But if this liberation comes at the price of a dependency or a subordination to a dominant party, its cost (the bond of subordination) is displaced from the monetary to the psychological.
Liberation from subjection is therefore a preliminary to free access. Only beings liberated from subjection to another party (but also to themselves) are able to make free use of things. To escape domestication or subjection (shifting the cost from the monetary to the psychological or behavioral register), a society of free access must unburden itself of sovereignty and conceive itself potentially. As the precondition of its very appearance, a potential society requires the disappearance of the sovereign author, who prescribes, owns or gives.
One must distinguish between the gift and free access. The giver addresses his gift in sovereign fashion, and may create a debt, a dependency or a state of subjection in the person who receives. Free access is an anonymous or unqualified way of placing something at the disposal of everyone, without any contract: it is without intention and without expectation. Nonetheless, it may cause subjection or create different forms of dependency (free and anonymous distribution of ecstasy allows one to get to know the product, to use it and, possibly, to consume it regularly). Businesses seeking to engage in the commerce of a new use or a new commodity or service must provoke the desire and the need to use this new commodity or service: to this end, they invest in the distribution of what are considered educational or loyalty-building samples. Marketing uses "free" distribution of goods in order to create a dependency or to install a new habit, a new need, new uses...
One should distinguish between free access with an author and free access without an author; marketing and commercial projects involve the former. Free access without an author can be called anonymous or unqualified access. (a) In anonymous free access, individuals are interchangeable. The circulation of goods or services is not effected from one person to the other. There are no senders or receivers. Anonymous information, for example, is an aggregate, a common fund, a good which anyone can take because it is accessible to all. Its principle is neither the sharing or the community of information – the exchange of information between people who know each other – but instead the sheer fact of availability without any expectation of return, and with indifference toward the receiver. Anonymous information is produced, distributed, collected or just picked up by anybody. If meetings between senders and receivers come about, they are brief and unique, without identity or recognition, without stakes or project. The information enters temporary conjunctions inducing random and provisional groupings of senders and receivers, in mobile contexts rendering any sovereignty and any constituted power impossible. (b) In unqualified free access, the individuals are not interchangeable: they are whoever or whatever, but they are themselves, wholly singular. There are concrete senders and concrete, embodied receivers. Groupings occur through intensive affinity, and are not statistical or random. The unqualified author breaks with that absence of quality that is anonymity: she manifests herself as a power.
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[NOTE 5]
Just as one can differentiate between the "invisible" economy of autonomous knowledge/power and the economy of solidarity, articulating the market, non-market and non-monetary economies (whether public or not), one can also differentiate between autonomous movements, forms of knowledge and organizations which accept, or do not accept, to "work with" the public authorities, or at the very least, to produce political representation. This debate arose in the italian social centers in 1998: "on one hand, the tute bianche and the social centers of the milan charter (september 1988) were increasingly involved in an institutional, social-democratic framework; and on the other hand, the social centers, squats (mestre, padua, torino...) and the experiments in social and union self-organization took their reference points from 'class autonomy' or from the variegated expressions of anarchy, from the squatters to the italian anarchist federation" (cf. sandra k, "faux-semblants sans fard en combinaisons blanches," french translation of a text from umanità nova, weekly of the italian anarchist federation).
The second kind, refusing any mediation with the institutions, are taxed by the former with being nostalgic for class identity, or even with being a reactionary left. The former are taxed with being the social-democrats seeking a "conflictual reform of the welfare state" through the demand for universal rights (citizenship income in particular), thereby abandoning both the class struggle and communist subversion. These differences in position to back to the 1970's when the italian potere operai group was described by the anarchists as the "great unifiers of organized autonomy," bureaucratizing the very concept of autonomy (neg/azione, 1976). The tute bianche seek to create "a social process of transformation, through which the 'network of networks' becomes a magnetic pole which facilitates the creation of other social networks" (luca casarini). Yet after the repression in genoa, the same luca casarini, one of the driving forces of the genoa social form (gsf), observing the imperial logic of world government, concluded that the experiment of the tute bianche "seems inadequate now for confronting the imperial system we have facing us, in which politics are the continuation of war, and not the reverse" (interview with luca casarini by benedetto vecchi, il manifesto, august 23, 2001). In this new context, casarini evokes the shift from civil disobedience to social disobedience. The latter has already been symbolically carried out in italy in the demonstrations of november 17, 2001 (first day of social disobedience against war), in the course of which laboratories and chambers of social disobedience, or municipal governments of civil society, were constituted in collectively occupied spaces.
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[NOTE 6]
In this regard, see the unabomber manifesto: ‘Suppose the system survives the crisis of the next several decades. By that time it will have to have solved, or at least brought under control, the principal problems that confront it, in particular that of "socializing" human beings; that is, making people sufficiently docile so that their behavior no longer threatens the system. That being accomplished, it does not appear that there would be any further obstacle to the development of technology, and it would presumably advance toward its logical conclusion, which is complete control over everything on Earth, including human beings and all other important organisms. The system may become a unitary, monolithic organization, or it may be more or less fragmented and consist of a number of organizations coexisting in a relationship that includes elements of both cooperation and competition, just as today the government, the corporations and other large organizations both cooperate and compete with one another. Human freedom mostly will have vanished, because individuals and small groups will be impotent vis-a-vis large organizations armed with supertechnology and an arsenal of advanced psychological and biological tools for manipulating human beings, besides instruments of surveillance and physical coercion. Only a small number of people will have any real power, and even these probably will have only very limited freedom, because their behavior too will be regulated; just as today our politicians and corporation executives can retain their positions of power only as long as their behavior remains within certain fairly narrow limits.’ Paragraph 163.
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(Bureau d'études, 2002)
translation : Brian Holmes

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