Communiqué from the Insurrectionary Youth Front – Asheville, NC

Originally published by the
Insurrectionary Youth Front in Asheville, North Carolina


The time is now. The only thing stopping us from insurrectionary struggle against so called America is ourselves. We need to recognize our collective misery and actual desires. We need to find ourselves and each other. Our collective liberation has been sabotaged by capital’s imposition of fear, anxiety and false security. […]

Our lives do not belong to us. Our futures are miserable. This is an invitation to a life built on revolutionary discovery and struggle. […]

The university has the potential to be a revolutionary base, one built on mutual recognition and shared revolt. We have the opportunity to inspire others to do the same and to join us in this revolutionary struggle. We must act without hesitation, now choosing sides. We are youth, students, dropouts, revolutionaries, willing to risk it all to explore a life of the unknown.

Youth as a Revolutionary Site Against Capital

Thoughts on the Impending Collapse

a note on occupation

The land on which we live and call western North Carolina is the occupied territory of the ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ (Ani-Yunwiya) peoples, known to us as Cherokee. We acknowledge that this land was stolen, and that our ability to live here today is a privilege afforded to us by settler-colonialism and a violent process of displacement and genocide.

Warren Wilson College is in the Swannanoa Valley of the Appalachian-Blue Ridge bioregion, home to one of the most biodiverse temperate deciduous forests in the world.

The Swannanoa River joins the French Broad at Asheville, North Carolina. The Cheraw Indians lived east of the Cherokee until they were obliged to join the Catawba people early in the 18th Century, due to colonial displacement. To the Cherokee, they were Ani-Suwali [“they are Suwali”]. The Cherokee name for the route from the mountains to the Cheraw country was Suwa’li-nunnohi [“Suwali path”]. In English pronunciation, that became Swannanoa and was applied to the river and the mountains just east of Asheville.

(adopted from https://chenocetah.wordpress.com)


Contents

Intro

An Invitation to our Fellow Comrades

Beyond Education and the Urgency of Disruption

Against Naive Reformism: Reclaiming our Imagination

Capital, Power, and Discourse

The Body as an Investment

Capitalist Intentions: Crisis as Usual

Value, Surplus, and Expendability: State Theft and Fiscal Homicide

Against a Broken Future: Boredom, Repression, and Creativity

Understanding and Rechanneling our Anxiety and Despair

Off Campus Groups


 An Invitation to our Fellow Comrades

“We gravitate towards the young people who last year set fire to downtown Oakland to show they were still alive, to reveal a spark of their own relevance in the shadow of the police execution of Oscar Grant Jr. and so many others. We recognize ourselves in them. For all of our apparent differences, how we have been classified and filed under the logic of capital, race, gender, citizenship, ad nauseam, we know these categories do not guarantee a politics– we know our differences and commonalities are more complex than what is allowed in this world. Our faith is sheltered there, housed in mutual recognition, in building-seizures and confrontations.”

–  No Conclusion when Another World is Unpopular

Hello Friend,  

The time is now. The only thing stopping us from insurrectionary struggle against so called America is ourselves. We need to recognize our collective misery and actual desires. We need to find ourselves and each other. Our collective liberation has been sabotaged by capital’s imposition of fear, anxiety and false security. We must understand our reality and attack it without negation or longing to return to normalcy. You and I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Our lives do not belong to us. Our futures are miserable. This is an invitation to a life built on revolutionary discovery and struggle.

The university is nothing more than the continuation of the colonization of the United Snakes. The degradation of organic life, an assembly towards the continuation of production and consumption. A fixed space, organized on separation and classification. Our efforts towards liberation are commodified, maintaining the same structures and relations.  We must act now and with urgency. Our future is not only bleak, but dystopian. We at this institution may feel as if we struggling towards a life a liberation, but solely producing a skill or knowledge for a future employer. Just paying for the same facades and routines we hate.

The university has the potential to be a revolutionary base, one built on mutual recognition and shared revolt. We have the opportunity to inspire others to do the same and to join us in this revolutionary struggle. We must act without hesitation, now choosing sides. We are youth, students, dropouts, revolutionaries, willing to risk it all to explore a life of the unknown. This to you my friend, is an invitation to life. An invitation to righteous upheaval and existence. Join us in creating a new world.

– Insurrectionary Youth Front


Beyond Education and the Urgency of Disruption

Against Naïve Reformism; Reclaiming Imagination

“Though we denounce the privatization of the university and its authoritarian system of governance, we do not seek structural reforms. We demand not a free university, but a free society. A free university in the midst of a capitalist society is like a reading room in a prison; it serves only as a distraction from the misery of daily life. Instead we seek to channel the anger of the dispossessed students and workers into a declaration of war.”

– No Conclusions When Another World is Unpopular

Capital has transformed the education system into another social workshop, an apparatus of production and subjugation. An instrument of a power-knowledge relation, producing false truths within the reigns of the almighty sovereign. Truth, knowledge, is for the sake of economic utility and political obedience, rather than the well-being and subsistence of existence. It is the reproduction of colonialist knowledge, history, and practice. Maintaining and imposing racialized and gendered spaces, relations, and punishments. It is something beyond our reach, conveying the illusion that those in power know what is best for us. Converged under a roof, we are distracted to insure the prevention of conversation, imagination, or negation. Its inflicting anxieties and boredom over the body are redirected towards obedience, rather than organic shared upheaval. It is the reproduction of class society; training workers for the changing conditions of capital. As it is a site of social repression, it too is a base for disruptions. However, we must ask ourselves, how has this system of production changed and what is it that we really want when we think of education?

The institutionalization processes of knowledge and assembly begin during early education; preparing us to be submissive to a life full of false authorities of bosses, cops, politicians, military officers, parents, and so forth. The teacher and student relation not only teachers youth to be submissive to a ‘higher power,’ but teaches them how to be the most efficient producers and consumers. Through normalized relations and routines of punishments and reward we are pitted against each other; with the false hope that maybe I shall succeed past the proceeding dystopian future. This rivalry redirects our actual desires towards the prosperity of a future employer, fancies beyond this despair are forbidden and unknown. The colonizers objectives of a class based society are written between the lines of our curriculums. It has no objective other than to prepare us towards the modern factory known as the university, where we will after spend a life time attempting to pay off what we have already spent.

“First we pay, then we “work hard.” And there is the split: one is both the commander and the commanded, consumer and consumed. It is the system itself which one obeys, the cold buildings that enforce subservience. Those who teach are treated with all the respect of an automated messaging system. Only the logic of customer satisfaction obtains here: was the course easy? Was the teacher hot? Could any stupid asshole get an A? What’s the point of acquiring knowledge when it can be called up with a few keystrokes? Who needs memory when we have the internet? A training in thought? You can’t be serious. A moral preparation? There are antidepressants for that.”

–  Communique of an Absent Future

The modern university is the continuation of the separation of knowledge and the production of a complacent workforce. The increasing marketization of the university reinvents the classroom to run by the expectations and logic of the free market. Teachers and students relate to one another through an economic exchange – ideas are generated as commodities and are bought and sold; we don’t learn to survive, but how to consume and produce for someone else in the future. We are alienated from the processes of the institution as well as from the physical world of violently conflicting social forces. It precise spaces, routines, and ideologies blind us from recognizing our own exploitation. The capitalist university runs on individualist and competitive logics, not only breaking social communication and solidarity, but creating the illusion that with enough effort we will be able to find some form of employment and security. Just as any other market the university produces a surplus population of students, of social theorists, photographers, engineers, scientists, lawyers, etc. They will leave the institution with an impending amount of student debt – but, with the surplus of bodies they will not find a place within the market and have no way to repay the money they have spent. What does this mean? We are fucked. The epoch for upcoming generations will be brutal.

With the epoch just around the corner, we need to leave the naïve romanticism of any autonomous national “free education” at the door and truly understand the functions of the education system under capitalism and how our future is very bleak and potentially gruesome. We need to discover alternatives forms of modernity and not alternative forms of modernity. The relationship between power and knowledge is something we must consider carefully. The realities of reformism and negotiation between students and the administration under capital is constantly laid out before us. Somewhere students at a large public university take some form of action and make a list of demands towards the administration; such as, disarming campus police, divest from prisons and fossil fuels, allow for more agency over the curriculum, so on and so forth. Not only will these demands be watered down by the administration, but most likely at some private liberal arts college (*cough* Warren Wilson *cough), these exact demands have already been met and reshaped to fit the true functions of so called education. As there are some exceptions, it doesn’t determine the rule.

To strive towards these efforts it would neglect the fact that under capital those in power will always have a monopoly over our desires and use it for their profit. If we ever hope to achieve anything that resembles our desires, we have to reconsider our tactics and reveal the true functions of the university and attack. We have to create and reclaim spaces, such as the occupation, and discover skills, tools, and how to support these new spaces and relations we discover. All our actions should be reactionary to the capitalist mode of production. We have to break the frameworks in which these powers control us and exploit its weakness. We need to understand and rethink the way in which we value knowledge and skills. We need to prepare, learn, and think about our future; learning how to support each other and how to sustain ourselves beyond the realms of capitalism. If anything, education should be about how to sustain our struggle, not limit itself to the government and its business agendas


Capital, Power, and Discourse

The Body as an Investment

 “The continued reproduction of the images, roles, and identities within a given space is only stable so long as nothing interferes with the rhythms of routine. Whether it’s a student refusing to put her cellphone away in a San Antonio middle school, a young man suspected of shoplifting cigarillos walking down a street in Ferguson, or a few dozen Black youth hanging out at a public pool in a white suburb—any potential disruption of the routine functioning of power relations within a space threatens to destabilize the arrangement and function of that space. Which is to say, disruption carries the potential to temporarily rearrange and repurpose a space toward the production of subversive, non-hierarchical power relations.”

–  For A University Against Itself

The spaces in which we live in are merely inscribed power relations, spectacles, tactics, enforced over the body and cognizance to redistribute power and submission towards the sum of the colonial war-machine called capital. It’s aesthetics of power are nothing more than an illusion, constantly reproducing itself through space, force, routine, relation. It ensures itself through racialized and gendered hierarchical intervention, distributing each individual by their ‘true’ name, place, body, and to prevent any ‘dangerous’ mixtures, disruptions. These divisions are marked, analyzed, and distributed to insure control over any individual who may disrupt their arrangements. Their branding process functions as a binary system, abolishing any collective effort, subtly reinventing a collection of separated individuals into a compacted mass. Colonizing everyday life, the entirety of one’s existence, for the insurance of its capital driven prosperity.

Capital is warfare. Occupation and annihilation are its tactics, subjecting all of its victims to its precise codification and arrangements. Space is one of its distributionary arts, requiring intentional enclosure, measurement, ladder, and supervision to ensure the forces of production are most concentrated and profitable. It’s a functional space, breaking disruptive communication and collectivity, to create individual fiscal productivity and administrative control. Creating fixed positions and a constant circulation of obligatory power relations and dynamics. Under capital, the body is broken down and readjusted to operate as one wishes, at a defined speed and efficiency. It is a political and economic target, it is something trained and manipulated for  something useful to its rulers. Coercion of its movements, consciousness, thoughts, it is shuttled into the apparatus of production. It is an investment. Time is something valuable and educated as something not to waste. Within spaces, there are technicians of authority and rhythm, who impose a routine and regulation of repetition. Its tactics of force are both subtle and brutal, both devaluing and prioritizing specific bodies for its productive continuation.

Capital claims the rule to name a body as ‘expendable,’ if unprofitable to them, they rearrange, displace, and/or kill. Laying out the landscapes of the modern colonialist metropolises, nesting class antagonisms and racialized hierarchies of surveillance, structure, discipline. The geographic spaces in which we live in are molded for the sake of white capital, comfort, and deterrence. Flooding our streets with white militias who are murderers with badges, an agent of the state to produce a fabricated spectacle for the prevention of relation. The prison is not only padlock of our desires, but the modern plantation, enforcing discipline, labor extraction and social dehumanization of black, brown,  queer, neurodivergent, and working class bodies. Its logic manifests itself into the everyday – from the workplace, classroom, and home. Here, we are molded into automatist soldiers, lost in the rhythms of routine, spectators of a performance directed by our overlords. Learning to consent and favor our submission, seeing it as something in own safety, rather than the state’s consumerist foundation. Capital becomes our life, we believe there is no other world to discover. Our misery, exhaustion, and labor are what defines capital – our compliance ensures its profitability.

“To conduct is, at once, the act of ‘leading’ others (in accordance with mechanisms of coercion more or less strict) and the way of behaving in a field of more or less open possibilities. The exercise of power consists in ‘conducting conduct (conduire des conduites)’ and in laying out (aménager) the probabilities. Power, fundamentally, is not so much confrontation between two adversaries, or the engagement of one with regard to another, but ‘government.”

–    Foucault, Dreyfus and Rabinow

Discourse is challenging the illusions imposed by the enemy. It is a discourse that allows for the revealing of its weaknesses and an understanding of how and why it operates. It creates a place where action and relation can take place without limiting our desires to its concessions. Discourse, allows for the abstraction and an opportunity to act upon our actual objectives. Recognizing that the system is constantly reproducing itself and will never be willing to hand over its forces of production and subjugation – negotiating with them only permits them to use their forces of counter-insurgency to simmer down our longings and demands. Discourse, allows for us to come face to face with what we really want; life. We want what is constantly being robbed from us, not worthless concessions or the reproduction of the same façade and desolation.

 “Critique illuminates all the errors of a society that its managers have overlooked. It is the perfect interlocking mechanism of stagnation, stunting the growth of burgeoning, subjective revolt by offering one a whole buffet of irresistible, irrelevant options for “change.” A release valve for intellectual dissonance, critique today resembles the state-sponsored “strikes” of communist countries, where the desire for resistance is satiated by a regimented diet of acceptable means of conflict, supervised by its very enemies. Critique must be abandoned in favor of something that has no relation whatsoever to its enemy, something whose development and trajectory is completely indifferent to the nonlife of governance and capital.”

– Preoccupied: The Logic of Occupation

Within the realms of academia we usually think of discourse within the classroom as critique. Critique under this apparatus is just another form of commodity exchange. It is the continuation of capital; no matter how clear the critique. Power relations and practices are what molds our social fabric, reinforcing capitals ideologies, norms, practices, and expectations over the mass it governs. Teaching us that we can only exercise our capabilities and desires within the framework that is defined by their practices and intentions. Yet, their employed tactics of subjection can only function so long as there is coordination to it. Revolt, subversion, and discourse are paradoxes to the illegalities of these functions, tools that subvert and contest its strategies. They expose its fragility and see its weaknesses as useful sites of action. Through its transmission, it allows for the creation of a collective force that practices indocility, opening space to redefine values and connection. Subversive struggle is both physical and inversive to structural subjection, creating personal and collective autonomy. Doing so by exposing and exploiting the procedures of power, redefining and reclaiming its space, its impositions and classifications over our bodies, its theft of our time and energy, its dreaderous routine, its colonialist infrastructure of detachment.

It halts the processes that instill complicity and individualization, it makes use of social spaces and contests it and calls it into question. This struggle is social, public and institutionalist; it requires infrastructure to serve its demise. It is the recuperation of the processes used by the enemy and refusing to participate in them as a productive mass. Uncovering what is possible. Subversion is the something that creates an endless arena of possibilities within these spaces of domination, not just sabotaging the sovereign’s agenda. It finds agency and develops viable alternatives that disposes us from continuously wanting our own subjection.


Capitalist Intentions: Crisis as Usual

Value, Surplus, and Expendability: State Theft and Fiscal Homicide

“If some commentators made fools of themselves by hastily proclaiming the “death of neoliberalism” with the explosion of the subprime swindle, it’s because they failed to understand that the “crisis” was not an economic phenomenon but a political technique of government. We’re not experiencing a crisis of capitalism but rather the triumph of crisis capitalism. “Crisis” means: government is growing. Crisis has become the ultima ratio of the powers that be. Modernity measured everything in relation to the past backwardness it claimed to be rescuing us from; now everything is measured in relation to its impending collapse”.

– The Invisible Committee, To Our Friends

What defines value?

The capitalist world is a world of fronts, hiding the realities in which we actually live in. Why is that we are shuttled through processes of institutionalization and willing to sacrifice our mentalities for systems of routine, anxiety and misery? What is behind this obvious surface and how can we understand and attack it? Answering these questions requires an abstraction of the concepts that define our lives and future. When we think of capital we usually think of specific terms such as commodities, values, prices, and production; but how do these concepts define our realities? Commodities, objects that are produced for sale, produce their own specific value. What defines the value of a commodity? These commodities are made through certain production processes, with different machines, laborers, and durations of time. Yet, more importantly what all these processes have in common is labour – people have to work to produce these things. Hence, the nature of capitalism forces persons to participate in the modes of production and rely on the market for survival; and so our lives give it value. The more of our life, our time, which we put into the production of a product the more value it has. So, for us to live under capital, we have to be willing to give more and more of our lives away for the profit and production of the capitalist system.

What is Surplus?

Surplus by definition is excess; under the framework of capital it is the excess of labour and commodities. Arguably in some cases even bodies, which are treated as commodities under such system. As mentioned before, in order for us to survive under such system we have to be living to give a chuck of our lives away in order to survive. When we participate in systems of production under capital, such as wage-labor processes, we work for a specific deteriorate of time for a predetermined pay. The worker produces an excess amount of commodities that produces excess wealth for the capitalist, but receives the amount of pay predetermined by the capitalist for x amount of the time. In other words, the worker does not get paid for the amount of life put into the production. The worker is getting paid really 1/20 of the value of what was produced and everything else goes into the hands of those who own the means of production. This is theft.

What is Expendability?                                

Not only is crisis inevitable under capitalism – it survives on it. Its reliance on surplus and constant accumulation of resources eventually becomes intangible. When the market has an over-production of commodity it crashes, the value begins to fall and capital must recuperate itself by any means necessary. Weaker companies will go bankrupt, leaving stronger companies the ability to buy up the resources from the weaker ones and create themselves into larger corporations. Machinery will become cheaper and so will labour power; resulting in more unemployment and lower wages. The over production of commodities will be sold over and/or destroyed. After a crisis, capital usually prevails and reinvents itself to continue capitalism in both violent and subtle ways, leading to the concept of expendability.

Before analyzing the concept of expendability is would be a mistake not to reflect on the current phase of capitalism and the dystopic future that is rapidly advancing on us. With the rise of neoliberalism, corporations and the international banking systems become humanized and are maintained through a monopoly of violence of gentrification, war, pollution, environmental disasters etc. Following a rise of fascist reactionary forces that deploy social forces of neo-nazi’s and white supremacist to defend their interests. A rise of a police state and transnational system of technological supremacy that is able and willing to suppress any revolt. So, as capitalism enters into a potential phase of no return, finding nowhere else to expand, no new markets, nothing new to exploit, it finds itself at a place where laborious bodies are becoming less and less useful to its supervisors. How will capitalism come out on top of the next ‘crisis’ (as if we weren’t already constantly living in it)?

Expendability. Capitalism survives on expendability, unemployment allows for it to pay its workers less and to make labour international and save themselves a profit. It does this violently, through police violence to pollution the state displaces and/or kills bodies it does not find profitable. Capitalism produces fiscal homicide – it has the ability to dehumanize and eradicate bodies to reproduce itself as a stronger face. The future is dystopic; our prisons will be overflowing, the police state will be entrenching in our everyday lives, a rise of political and environmental refugees, the rest is unthinkable – all because of the continuation of capital.


Against a Broken Future: Thoughts on Boredom, Repression, and Creativity

Rechanneling our Anxiety and Despair 

“We gravitate towards the young people who last year set fire to downtown Oakland to show they were still alive, to reveal a spark of their own relevance in the shadow of the police execution of Oscar Grant Jr. and so many others. We recognize ourselves in them. For all of our apparent differences, how we have been classified and filed under the logic of capital, race, gender, citizenship, ad nauseam, we know these categories do not guarantee a politics– we know our differences and commonalities are more complex than what is allowed in this world. Our faith is sheltered there, housed in mutual recognition, in building-seizures and confrontations.”

–  No Conclusions When Another World is Unpopular

They don’t give a shit about us.

We fight because we have nothing to lose.

To act is a rejection of faith, a negation of the false hope that things will eventually mend themselves. If it isn’t our future, it is our complicity that should be feared. It is a waste of time to wait for the collapse or even the revolution, we’ve been walking amongst the crisis all along. All the material evidence of the epoch is right before us, hesitation and ambiguity have been our only obstacles of reaction. We shouldn’t wait for orders, may it be from our ‘guardians,’ administration, campus cops, or even others to take our next steps towards the unexplored. Under the veil of the epoch we have nothing to lose and everything to gain, moreover now with the broken promises of our generation’s future under the current system of affairs.

Our imagination has been sabotaged by imposed boredom, despair and repression.

Consumer and production modes of power teach us that exercising our capacities can only operate within the field defined by their practices. We need to struggle and redirect our despair to discovery what lives beyond capital and its fields of operation. When we take action from the occupation, strike, youth gathering, or even using the materials of the university to decolonize it and support our comrades, we create an unexplored space. In these spaces we must not fall into the logic of capital’s aesthetics and practices of consumption; if the space is created by struggle, it has the ability to see beyond the fronts imposed on us. We must too reject the past and recognize our damaged future – reclaiming our imagination and using it to create new ways of challenging the ever changing faces of capital.

We don’t have a choice. We must only look to the success of past comrades, and share their stories of new worlds and ways of building. We live in a time were crisis surrounds us, we can’t ignore it. Through this people are finding each other and rebuilding what they are losing, what they have lost. Autonomy is being built all around us; materially. Each form of power and capital can be subverted as long as we are willing to act against them; each space has the ability to be transformed. Youth have generally always been on the front line of these subversive struggles. From building countercultures out of despair and gloom. To occupying their schools and towns, because they are tired and bored of a life of routine and fear.  To acting outside the realms of legality and using it for the benefit of their limited futures. To finding inspiration in modern struggle and developing new and unique ways of fighting against imposed realities. There is no blueprint for the future, or the struggle towards it, but if we do know act to subvert the world in which we live in. We will never know what it is capital is hiding from us.


 

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