Text IV. The Phenomenology Of Miscellaneous Subjects
II: Phenomenology Of Fire Extinguisher
IV: Phenomenology Of The Queen
phenomenology, noun: 1: The science of phenomena as distinct from that of the nature of being 2: An approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience
I: Phenomenology Of Dog
In Athens, the center of western civilization, there are numerous stray dogs that wander the dirty streets of the eternal city. Some of them have a very distinct and clear territory. For example, there has recently been a small brown dog that sits in front of the Kallithea metro station. Occasionally, the small brown dog follows random people, sometimes even walking onto the station platform or across the street and into the school. But this dog stays within its territory and seems to enjoy the constant presence of the metro passengers boarding and exiting the train, sometimes feeding the dog, sometimes not.
There are also three dogs that are almost always lingering around the Panepistimio metro, always traveling together, never straying too far. The majority of the stray dogs in central Athens have their basic needs met. There are more than enough scraps to eat, people are generally very kind to animals, and there is even a government service to give the dogs name tags that indicate they do not have diseases such as rabies (although junkies often steal these to tie up their upper arms). Because their basic needs are met, the dogs have no real reason to move other than to find food. Most dogs spend their days asleep in the shade, having nothing better to do. The city keeps them alive and the dogs wander its eternal streets, bored, tired, and full.
Reincarnation exists, although it cannot be proven. It exists because of a dog, one dog that constantly reappears in Athens throughout time. This dog is the canine manifestation of the anarchist waveform pattern and an embodiment of the world revolutionary Geist (spirit), but it is a waveform and spirit that is localized in Athens.
Our narration of this waveform begins several years ago. At a point in time which no one clearly remembers, a dog began appearing at demonstrations, marching with the anarchists and leftists, and charging at the police with them. One terrible day, when the anarchists were attacking the police, the dog leaped forward, bit a cop, and was then executed on the street. The loss of this dog was a tremendous blow to the anarchists, who had come to identify with this dog who was not satisfied to have his belly full, his needs met, and his life pointless. This dog had lived for more than mere survival in the eternal city, finding his greatest joy in fighting the very guardians of the city that fed him.
To the surprise of everyone, a new dog appeared soon after the death of their beloved companion. This dog had all of the same characteristics, but seemed to have become increasingly adept at arriving at the sight of a street-fight hours before it took place. To many anarchists, this talent seemed to resemble precognition, while to others it was nothing more than acute canine instinct. Nevertheless, this dog was at nearly every street battle, always barking at the police, always running with the anarchists and leftists. This dog succumbed to a natural death and passed away eventually, but as with the previous dog, another one appeared with the same characteristics and behaviors.
This cycle has continued up until the present day. The current manifestation of this spirit (Geist) is a light brown dog with long legs. It physically resembles all of the others, something that we in the Anarchist International are at a loss to explain. It is also unclear why only one dog-waveform can manifest in linear time or why it is Athens that is hosting this spirit. But one thing is clear: this dog is the mirror for our activities and our fate. Like the dog, none of us are content to just eat, sleep, and wander the eternal streets. We cannot help ourselves and always find our way into the eternal struggle. The luckiest of us possess elements of precognition that are similar to that of the dog. The rarest of us is conscious of this ability.
What is troubling, and what we wish to leave you with, is the relationship of the city to the dog. The dog would not have the strength to constantly fight were it not for the abundance of the city. The dog’s enemy is the police, but the police are the same people who establish and maintain the brutal order of the city of Athens. We are unsure as to whether the abundance of the city produces the dog, the dog acting as either an antidote or a natural reflex to the intrinsic repression and malaise of the metropolis. It is clear, however, that the dog is the eternal enemy of the eternal city.
Using the dog as our mirror, it is important that we clarify our own relationship to the city. The dog does not think twice about fighting against the established order, nor do we. But the behavior of the dog can be seen as some form of death-urge. The dog is not content to act like the other dogs, and is pushed to bite the hand that feeds it. The dog utilizes its excess energy to fight, but this fight is ultimately suicidal. This drive is powerful and is identical to what propels the Anarchist International. But let us look at this paradox and not shy away from its darkness. Amidst the emptiness of life in the eternal city, the dog chooses to fight. Along the way the dog loves and is loved, but there is only one truth for the dog: to live is to fight.
II: Phenomenology Of Fire Extinguisher
Island Fire Protection have been established as a fire protection company since 1991, and we have many years of experience in the fire protection industry. During this time, we have come to specialize in all aspects of fire protection — from fire risk assessments, fire alarm design, installation and service, emergency lighting installation and service, fire extinguisher supply and service, fire training and fire safety signage, in fact all aspects of fire protection requirements throughout the UK.
-Island Fire Protection, Ltd. (UK)
Island Fire Protection has undoubtedly filled thousands of buildings with its fire extinguishers. Usually they are kept in glass cases, waiting to be used in event of an emergency. However unlikely it is that a building will catch fire, the extinguisher is there to provide assurance that everything will not be destroyed in a blaze, that any damage will be minimal, managed, and under control. The fire extinguisher is intended to have a counter-revolutionary function. As we have said before, the Anarchist International views fire as a force that is vital to our growth. However, the fire extinguisher does not need to have a counter-revolutionary function, and we will explain why.
On July 20th, 2001, at the peak of the offensive against neo-liberal capitalism, a young man named Carlo decided to pick up a fire extinguisher and throw it into the window of a police car. As he ran towards the car with the extinguisher in his hands, the cop inside lifted his gun and shot Carlo in the head. The car then ran over his body and sped away.
Carlo had committed the unspeakable crime of using this tool of order to attack its guardians. He was brave, determined, and unspeakably alive during his last moment. His death is still remembered by us all, and we are pleased, just as he would be, to know that his action was not singular but timeless and infinitely repeating. His final action has become a ghost that continues to haunt our enemy.
On November 10th, 2010, hundreds of people flooded into the Millbank Tower, home of the Conservative Party, commonly known throughout London as ‘Tory Scum’. Long a symbol of twisted authority, the tower was attacked at its base, the front windows were smashed out, and the angry crowd surged inside. They trashed the inside of the building and climbed their way up to the roof. Down below, the overwhelmed police were trying to preserve order when suddenly, as if possessed by a ghost, a young man decided to drop a fire extinguisher on them from the roof of the 387 foot tower. The young man missed his target, was turned in by his mother, and was sent to jail for over two years. While it might seem that whoever uses a fire extinguisher against the forces of order is inevitably captured or destroyed, this is incorrect.
The Greek MAT, green-clad guardians of order, have a unit who is equipped with a fire extinguisher. His job is to shadow his coworkers during a Molotov attack and extinguish any fires that may be burning on or near their bodies. This unit performs his counter-revolutionary function perfectly. He brings the intended nature of the fire extinguisher to its logical conclusion. But there is another person who is this man’s opposite. And he brings the unintended, revolutionary function of the fire extinguisher to its non-logical conclusion.
This person shoots a cloud of gas at the police whenever they try to assault a demonstration. When hit by one of these blasts, the MAT retreats, unable to see anything, lost amidst this gas that was meant to put out fires, not allow and encourage them. But that is precisely what it does. Hiding behind this expanding cloud of gas, the anarchists regroup and attack, often time throwing more Molotov cocktails. Besides this, the gas of the fire extinguisher helps dampen the power of the tear gas that the MAT is constantly hurling at its antagonists. Our Greek comrades have re-discovered and harnessed the power that our beloved Carlo was executed for using.
And so we return to London, the eternal city. Island Fire Protection has filled many buildings with its product, but despite all of the assurances of safety, the second week of August, 2011 was filled with fire. The fire that was meant to be contained and controlled by the International Olympic Committee has spread beyond its pathetic little torch, infected the streets of the city it wishes to invade and sterilize. East London, a thriving area of criminality, poverty, and rage, is slated to be ripped apart, rebuilt, and cleansed for the upcoming Olympics. As the construction of the Olympic facility proceeded onward during the second week of August, the city around it exploded. The fires spread to Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester, and Nottingham. And the reason the fires started were because a young man, no different than our beloved Carlo, was shot by the Metropolitan Police.
As we write these concluding statements, the fire seems to have been contained in the UK. But we at the Anarchist International can assure you that it will reappear, as the wave-form is fond of doing. Given that the eternal city of London was once the epicenter of global-capitalist expansion into North America, it is not surprising that it will now spread fire westward into one of the most pacified, degraded, and hollow countries in the world. As you have undoubtedly guessed, we are referring to the United States of America, the land of perpetual delusion and distraction. It is up to the members of the Anarchist International within the US to learn how to turn the dominant system against itself, to amplify and augment the final act of Carlo. Everything that is used to crush us must be subverted and turned into a weapon. There are endless tools to use, as our comrades in London have shown. All we must do is pick them up.
III: Phenomenology Of The Pod
As our struggle intensifies and faces repression, more and more anarchists will experience moments of life within the contemporary jail pod. The jail pod is a hermetic, interior world that contains all possible social life for those who are incarcerated. It is the common area in a space that is completely controlled by the authorities. Within this limited area, prisoners are able to converse, play chess, exchange books, instruct each other, tell stories, deal drugs, and do a variety of other things.
During what is known as “pod time,” prisoners are allowed to freely associate within the common area. Some spend their time on the phone, others watch TV, but most socialize. It is here, in this space of limited freedom, that subversive knowledge is exchanged between prisoners. Relationships are made, connections are forged, and advice is given. These connections continue outside jail and are often criminal in nature. Most people in jail have been there before, will most likely return, and over time have established networks with other prisoners that span thousands of miles. The jail pod is where these networks are born, and its this simple fact that we wish to analyze, for we believe that the jail pod is a primary symbol for our times.
The limited freedom granted within the pod is the microcosm of the freedom we are granted in our living rooms, bar rooms, parks, and parties. We are surrounded by and exist within an apparatus of control that designates certain areas for free association and social life. Like prisoners, we chose to play chess, read, watch TV, drink, use drugs, write, exercise, write letters, etc. While we may be able to take walks in the forest, sit on the beach, and make love with people of the opposite gender, it is worthwhile to entertain the notion that all of these actions take place within a large recreation yard inside a mammoth open air prison. While you made find this assertion to be ludicrous, please take a moment to listen to our reasoning.
The normal functioning of the prison is dependent on the pacification and subservience of the prisoners. In its most basic manifestation, this subservience is maintained through collective punishment. If someone is caught smoking a cigarette in a pod, that entire pod is punished by having their privileges revoked. These privileges include the TV, pod time, and the ability to purchase Cheetos and Top Ramen from the commissary. In most cases, the smoker will be scolded by the other prisoners more fiercely than the guards. The smoker will have their privileges revoked for longer than the other prisoners, and when the other prisoners regain the ability to watch TV, the privilege will be more precious than it had been before.
The more this process is repeated, the less likely it is for prisoners to disobey. When they have regained their pod time, their ability to socialize, they squander it in mindless activity, the only goal of which is to stave of boredom. This addiction and compulsion towards mindless distraction is identical to the force that exists in what the Anarchist International will continue to refer to as an open air prison. Prison and jail act as the punishment, and when prisoners return to less-administered portion of the open air prison, they cherish their ability to squander their time. We feel that this is the primary mechanism through which the reigning order is maintained: through the fear of losing what little freedom has been granted by the authorities.
This situation is bleak and inspires hopelessness. However, there does exist a way out of this feedback loop of repression and subservience. We are referring, of course, to the intrusion and expansion of the world revolutionary Geist within the common area of the pod. When this occurs, several things can and have taken place. Most commonly, a riot takes place within the pod, a riot that, if organized enough, can either spread to several segments of the prison or take over the entirety of the prison. By the time a prison is taken over, the external authorities surround the prison and ultimately assault it. When the bloodshed and violence of the repression is over, reforms are sometimes instituted that have historically granted prisoners more privileges. But it is safe to say that these riots have never destroyed the prison system of the various nation states. At best, these riots have been beautiful examples of collective rage and anger in which prisoners kill tyrannical authorities and live, if only for several days, more freely than they ever had while still inside a cage.
There are grander things that have happened when the Geist invades a prison. It has created a rage in prisoners so deep seated that when they return to the open air prison, they can think of nothing else than the destruction of all prisons. This rage has propelled people forward to dig tunnels into jails, break out their comrades, and assassinate guards. In one of the most sublime examples of this exemplary rage, thousands of ex-prisoners stormed the Bastille prison in Paris and raised it the ground. As you well know, the storming of the Bastille was not enough to prevent the terror of the bourgeois from drenching the ground of the open air prison with the blood of thousands of prisoners. But that moment represents a point in time in which the prisoners possessed infinite potential, potential that was ultimately used and squandered by the merchants and wealthy aristocrats who wanted nothing more than a few more privileges in the open air prison of the King.
We have numerous examples from which we can better prepare ourselves for another intrusion of the world revolutionary Geist. While we inhabit the communal areas of the open air prison, we should never squander our time. We will only receive a few chances to act, and when they pass, we will be lucky to see another one. Lifting our heads and watching the TV, eager to get through another day in the pod, will surely alleviate our boredom and despair. But we must never fall into these petty traps and diversions. The prisons do not function without our complicity and subservience. At every moment in time, there is the potential to set fire to the prisons and free ourselves forever.
With these words, let us wholeheartedly dive into the new offensive. While all of the pieces may not have been assembled for you yet, we will continue to provide you with our analysis and interpretation of events. For some of you, however, you may have just read as far as you needed to to begin. We have already begun. Feel free to join in.
As a comrade of ours wrote very eloquently: We made gods and jailers because we felt small and ashamed and alone. We let them try us and judge us and, like sheep to slaughter, we allowed ourselves to be...sentenced. See! Now! Our sentence is up.
IV: Phenomenology Of The Queen
And now we arrive at the saddest portion of our Phenomenology Of Miscellaneous Subjects. At the time of this writing, we are witnessing the explosion of the world revolutionary Geist all over the planet. The events that have transpired over the course of these serialized installments bears out the validity of our assertions. If you have recently seen the actions of anarchists synchronizing to a common rhythm, make no mistake that what you are witnessing is the intrusion of the anarchist waveform pattern into the linear time of the capitalist world. Soon, we will all have collectively articulated the rudiments of the Anarchist International’s invisible structure, but as of this writing it is premature to say that we have reached this goal.
The Anarchist International has existed throughout time, and as we have stated earlier, it is our intent to insure this explosion of the world revolutionary Geist will be the one that finally brings down the authoritarian world. This is a moment similar to all of the others: 1871, 1936, 1968, 1977, 1999, 2008. Before we launch into our analysis of the Queen, let us wish you all good luck in your efforts to make the best of the months and years that follow. Close your eyes, look for a red light, and you will know how to help rebuild the Anarchist International.
In the 1970′s, a member of the Anarchist International supplied false passports to a majority of the guerrilla groups operating in Europe at the time. This man from the old world, a Basque anarchist who had robbed banks with Francisco Sabate and guided people across the Pyrenees mountains, was named Lucio Urtubia. He and others like him carried our history out of Spain on their backs. After the defeat of Spain, Lucio took an interest in any group that fought the capitalist order that had allowed his comrades to drown in blood. To this end, he ended up supplying the Provisional Irish Republican Army (Provos) with false papers and money to aid them in their war against the Queen.
That war, as many of you undoubtedly know, is one of the most bitter and tragic that has ever taken place. In 1969, the army of Queen Elizabeth II was sent into Northern Ireland to calm tensions between the Catholics and the Protestant controlled government of Northern Ireland. After having split with the Official IRA, the Provos began their guerilla war against the forces of the Queen in 1970. The official program of the Provos was to inflict as many casualties upon the British Army and to defend entire neighborhoods in Belfast and Derry. Their campaigns eventually grew to include the bombing of commercial targets linked with the Northern Irish government and British interests. After creating a chaotic and deadly situation for the forces of the Queen in which 250 British soldiers died, the Provos declared a ceasefire in 1972.
After the ceasefire, members of the Provisional IRA began to negotiate with agents of the Queen. The Provos demanded a withdrawal of British forces by 1975 and the release of all political prisoners. The Queen refused this offer, leading the resumption of the war. In 1973, the Provos began to send their fighters into the heart of the United Kingdom. In 1974, one group began a campaign of bombings and assassinations in the Queen’s city of London that resulted in the deaths of dozens of people, including a right wing politician.
In 1975, another ceasefire was declared and the Provo leadership continued to attempt to negotiate a withdrawal of British forces from Northern Ireland. But while they were negotiating, the Queen’s agents were infiltrating the movement and causing internal clashes between the Provos and the Official IRA. Noticing that the tactic of the Queen was to pacify the fighters with promises of freedom, the Provos resumed their war in 1976.
Surviving persecution by the Northern Irish Government, the Provos went on to form smaller cells that were harder to infiltrate. These cells continued to kill soldiers and bomb targets throughout 1979. On August 27th of that same year the Provos killed 18 British soldiers with a roadside bomb and assassinated two members of the Queen’s royal family. This campaign continued throughout the 1980′s and included an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In 1981, the Provos detonated a bomb at an oil terminal where the Queen was speaking at an opening ceremony. This was the closest they ever came to killing the Queen.
During the 1980′s, Provo cells made their way to London and carried out extensive bombings and assassinations in the center of the Queen’s empire. Understanding they were fighting a diffuse network of cellular groups that could strike anywhere (even British targets on the continent of Europe) agents of the Queen formed similar groups to begin striking at Catholic targets. These paramilitary forces, acting on information supplied to them by the British Army, proceeded to assassinate civilians in Catholic areas of Northern Ireland. These loyalists also supported and often were themselves fascists who killed immigrants in the United Kingdom. Refusing to kill Protestant civilians in revenge, the Provo’s responded to the loyalists with their own wave of assassinations and proceeded to kill the leaders of the Queen’s militias.
It is important to point out that many anarchists in the United Kingdom supported the struggle of the Irish against the Queen during this period of time, in spite of the bombs that were killing civilians in their own cities. While the conservative Catholic beliefs of many Irish fighters were repulsive to them, the anarchists did lend their assistance to those who fought British colonialism and fascist terror. By the 1990′s, there were over 10,000 British soldiers in Northern Ireland. The British had to travel with heavy protection and their bases were routinely damaged or destroyed by Provo mortar attacks. Despite the complete militarization of Northern Ireland, Provo attacks increased in ferocity. In London, they attacked the Prime Minister’s office with mortars and detonated a bomb at the Baltic Exchange in 1992, causing 800 million pounds worth of damage. The bombing of the exchange caused more monetary damage than all of the bombings in Northern Ireland over the previous 20 years combined. Rather than blowing up pubs or killing lone figures, the Provos had finally dealt a tremendous blow to the center of British capitalism. Knowing that this was the best way to strike at the Queen, the Provos detonated another bomb in 1993.
This one ton fertilizer bomb was placed on the same street as the Baltic Exchange. The street was also home to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclay’s. A telephone call to the police caused the area to be evacuated. After the bomb went off, 1 billion pounds worth of damage had been inflicted in the financial heart of London, causing Lloyd’s of London to nearly collapse as it attempted to pay off insurance claims. The Queen had been stabbed in the heart. Her next move, and the reaction of the Provo leadership to this move, is the reason we have narrated the basic story of this war.
Negotiations for an end to the conflict had been ongoing for some time. However, after the bombings of the early 1990′s, the Queen realized the war would never end. And so, in 1994, she offered a ceasefire that the Provo leadership could accept. The fighters of the group were not happy with this, given that the British still occupied Northern Ireland. However, in spite of the anger of the militants, the political wing of the Provos, Sinn Fein, began to grow more popular as a legitimate political movement. The Queen knew that if she gave the leaders more power, they would deactivate their own fighters in order to hold onto that power. And that is precisely what happened.
The treaty of 1994 was broken in 1996 but once the British agreed to deal directly with Sinn Fein, the ceasefire was resumed in 1997. Within the next two years, a deal had been brokered between the Queen and all political parties in Northern Ireland. On December 2nd, 1999, the peace accord went into effect and the Provisional IRA had nothing left to do but let the politicians carry out their plans. In 2005, the Provos surrendered their weapons.
The fighters were left to lead normal lives under the Queen’s capitalism. The leaders continued in their political careers. The Queen remained untouched, uncaring, and smiling for the cameras. Her trick was not a sophisticated one. She merely pretended, as did all of her family, that she mattered more than other people and the reason she smiled so much was because people believed her. The leaders of the Provisional IRA were more susceptible to this trick than the fighters because her power infected their minds more directly. Their mistake was to listen to the Queen, to accept any of her terms, and to not realize that her greatest trick was to colonize Ireland not with an army, but with an economic system. Striking the heart of this economic system scared her and she quickly neutralized the leaders of the Provisional IRA by assigning them a place in the system they had been excluded from.
The Queen destroys her enemies by making them realize they are already part of her system. And the saddest part about this realization is that she is most often correct. By the end of the war, Sinn Fein had long since become mangers of the capitalist economy of Northern Ireland.
We will not retell the full story of Southern Ireland becoming a nation state separate from the British Empire. The war of independence claimed many lives and was fought to reclaim a heritage and culture that was being suppressed by the forces of the Empire. However, the civil war between Irish factions that followed this forming of a new nation state was far worse.
In 1919, Sinn Fein proclaimed an independent Irish Republic, triggering a war with the British. Upon the conclusions of Ireland’s war for independence, a faction supporting the newly formed Irish Free State concluded a treaty with the British in which the new state would have to swear an oath to the Empire. This was seen as a betrayal of the fighters who had fought and died for independence. As part of this treaty, each county was given the choice to not join the Free State. The largely Protestant Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the Empire. Seeing the island split in two and watching the new government betray its own people, a faction of Republicans decided to wage a war against the newly establish authority. The fighting lasted less than a year and the new government quickly wiped out its opponents and consolidated its power, eventually forming the independent Republic of Ireland. While the civil war took place, Northern Ireland was effectively forgotten and surrendered to the British.
Long before the war for independence, British capitalism had taken over the large cities of the island. After centuries of butchery by the British, the Irish had struggled to hold onto their culture. What was left of it was channeled into the nationalist movement that sprung up at the beginning of the twentieth century. However, any semblance of a pre-colonial culture was completely destroyed by the capitalism that had been imported centuries earlier. The British surrendered Southern Ireland only because it had leaders that could administer the capitalist economy of that region. The anti-British rhetoric of the new leaders meant little to the Empire. As long as the Republic was participating in the global economy that the British had created, they could have all the nominal freedom they liked.
In the years that followed independence, the Republic of Ireland became one of the most repressive and conservative countries in Europe. After crushing its first rebels, the new government maintained a heavy handed policy regarding all internal matters. The population of the Republic of Ireland seems to have been too traumatized and exhausted to notice, after the delirium of independence and civil war, that the Empire never left. And so they accepted the authority that flowed from Lienster House, following all the laws it made, living within the economic policies it decided on. No one doubted for a moment that the British had been expelled or that brave Ireland had defeated the Empire.
Before independence, the British controlled Ireland by utilizing large segments of its own population against it. This strategy is ancient and has been used by every conqueror. Employing an oppressed group to police and control itself has worked for centuries and its persistence throughout time is a testament to the ability of humans to trick and confuse themselves so thoroughly that they willingly enslave themselves to others. When the rule of the Empire became untenable, when the slaves would no longer submit to its authority, the Empire simply withdrew, allowing its servants to be liquidated by the IRA and trusting that the new leaders would be able to administer the economy.
Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, becoming the head of what remained of the old British Empire. The second world war had just ended and the Republic of Ireland had remained neutral, still having no desire to fight and make sacrifices for the countries that had allowed the British to subjugate the island. Like her father, Queen Elizabeth II understood that it would only be a matter of time before the Republic would join the world of the same rulers that had allowed the fascists to slaughter millions of people. Her assumption was correct and in 1955 the Republic joined the United Nations, binding itself to an organization that included the United Kingdom, making its first steps towards global integration.
Flann O’Brien, a possible member of the Anarchist International, published a book in 1941 titled An Béal Bocht, or The Poor Mouth in English. The book was written in Gaelic and did not appear in English until 1971. The book takes place in an Irish town where it is perpetually raining, everyone is starving, and it is mandatory to not only talk in Gaelic, but to also talk about the idea of the Gaelic language, endlessly. The book was meant as an attack on the stupefying existence imposed on the population by the Republican government and illustrated the narcotic effect that nationalism had amongst the dispossessed. In the book, the narrator draws a map of Ireland and requests that the reader look at it from a certain angle. It is not a far stretch to suddenly perceive the entire island as a dog, bounding after something it cannot see.
By the 1970′s, Ireland had joined the world economy in a deep recession and restructuring. The instability caused by the conflict in Northern Ireland worsened the effect of being connected to the global capitalist system. Restructuring took place throughout the 1980′s, a time that most people remember as being filled with chronic unemployment, despair, and emptiness. Rage and rebellion against the Irish State was never able to articulate itself during this time period, due in part to the engrained nationalism that was only reinforced by the struggle of the Provos. Southern Ireland did not have the memory of a struggle against its own government when it arrived in the economic upswing of the 1990′s. Just as it did in the rest of the world, the 1990′s arrested and stupefied the minds of massive numbers of people. The now restructured capitalist economy isolated and imploded the USSR, took over Europe, and spread its new technologies and networks around the world.
The IT bubble expanded in Ireland at the end of the 20th century, but not to such an extent as it had in the US, and just like that country, Southern Ireland found its solution in the housing and real estate market. And just like the rest of the world, the Republic of Ireland found itself in a recession at the end of the year 2008 after that markets collapse. Because of the severity of the global meltdown, many young Irish have fled the country to look for work and opportunities. Oddly enough, they have mostly fled to the United Kingdom, the land of the Queen.
The streets of Dublin are filled with boredom and alcohol, there is very little point in participating in the economy, and the future of life under the rule of the capitalists holds no promise. The population has taken its first steps towards resisting its government, buts its steps are awkward and slow. Parties, groups, and factions dominate the left of the Republic. There was one group, however, that made a final statement in the midst of the disaster.
Sinn Fein was nearly alone in opposing the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Republic in 2011. At the request of the President of the Republic, the Queen was asked to visit. She was to be the first monarch to visit the independent nation state. This announcement was immediately met with anger and hostility from the conservative Sinn Fein. At a protest in front of the Leinster House during the March elections, Sinn Fein made a spectacle denouncing the traitors in the government. When one passerby took a flier and saw why the group was protesting, he handed the flier back, shook his head, and said “Let her come.” This was to be the common reaction of the population.
On March 26th, the Queen’s city of London was shut down and torn apart by rebel segments of the population, angered at the collapse of the economy and motivated by a distrust all authority. The Trade Unions Council helped bring hundreds of thousands of people to the capital, but just like Sinn Fein, appeared only as an old relic walking on a collapsing stage. With the last vestiges of her old Empire collapsing in its very center, the Queen prepared for her visit in May.
There were bomb threats, sabotage, and threats being made in the lead up to the visit, but the population remained tranquilized by the media that was telling them to be excited for the privilege of being alive to witness such an suspicious event. Sinn Fein tried to remind everyone of what the Queen had done to Northern Ireland, let alone what her family had done to the South, but no one cared to remember. The politicians droned on about the importance of healing and moving on, as if the population had not been forced to move on by the whims and fancies of the economic system. Former IRA fighters were put back in jail, Dublin was militarized, some youths fought the Garda in the streets, and everyone watched as the Queen set foot in her family’s former colony. She waved and smiled and was content with the knowledge that the system her family had left behind was still running, however erratically.
It is no coincidence that we live now in the world with Queen Elizabeth II. She has appeared once before and was responsible for seeding the eastern coast of what is now called the United States. Elizabeth I, the virgin queen, was one of the principle architects of what became the global capitalist system and her colony of Virginia slowly became a fortress of slavery and death. Under her reign, the Irish were slaughtered in pacification campaigns that lasted for years and left the earth blackened. She was also a patron of the arts and loved theater.
It has taken over 400 years for the Elizabeth waveform pattern to return. The Queen, the eternal Queen, knows how to keep the rabble in place. Within her Empire, her subjects stumble about from work to the tavern and on Sundays they go see a play. Sometimes they grow angry, and when they do she lets them rage up to a certain point. When they actually threaten the stability of her Empire, she cuts their heads off and kicks their bodies into the river. Her palaces and balls are so intoxicating that her enemies quickly become her servants upon entering. She rules through splendor and force. All of her slaves know they exist at her mercy and that is why their rebellion is often so confused. They lash out at each other at all the wrong moments and fight battles that end up being illusions. The Queen hides her hand in all matters, and when people think they are undermining her plans, they are often simply caught inside those plans, wrapped in a hallucination of independence and freedom.
But clearly the Provisional IRA discovered a way to harm her. We have no doubt that some of their best fighters understood, if only for a moment, the way the world worked. The Provisional IRA split in the period leading up to the ceasefire and a group called the Real IRA formed. They have been active since 1997 and were originally composed of all those who felt betrayed by the treaty with the Queen. As always, the linear time of capitalist reality is punctuated by these betrayals and conflicts that reappear endlessly. This new group will hopefully understand what the Anarchist International means about time and recurrence, just as we hope you do.
The Anarchist International has only one enemy, but the Queen is one of them. We understand the illogical nature of this statement, but that is the only accurate way to describe our true enemy: the virus that is multiform and yet singular, the virus that devours in multiple places at once. But we also are everywhere at once, throughout time, fighting this war, and as we said at the beginning of this narration, it is our intention that this current moment of possibility not be squandered fighting illusory phantoms projected by our enemy. The capitalist system is the ultimate creation of our enemy and it will be its last. Let us hasten its death, together.
Towards the defeat of the enemy
and the remembrance of all things past
— ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL