It may be due to the fact that I will spend a large portion of my remaining life in a prison, that lately I feel inclined to “necrophilia”, to “historicize” what has just been. After all, the last action claimed ‘Federazione Anarchica Informale – Fronte Rivoluzionario Internazionale’ in Italy was “just” a year ago. Usually we historicize the things “dead”, past, but in me the fear that everything that has been deleted or worse, distorted, has taken over. And I say this with the conviction (maybe I’m wrong) that the FAI-FRI has exhausted its vital charge and has passed the “baton” to something more essential, the revolutionary campaigns. Campaigns that, from one continent to another, relaunch revolutionary solidarity, not by an organization but by groups and individual comrades who never need to know each other personally. Dynamic alive, linear process as effective in the world goes by the name of “Black International” and that in fact does not even need the coordination, there is no need to meet, to know each other personally. The anarchists of action usually neglect the historical introspection, the anarchists who postpone the violent action instead tend to exhume distant experiences that are more unlikely to give rise to criminal retaliation and “imitations” in today. “It was a different time …”, this phrase still rattles in my head repeated to me as a boy endless times by anarchists / and more conscientious, anarchists / and other times precisely …
If our history is not written by us anarchists and anarchists will do so others. If the anarchist “historiography” ignores the relevance of anarchist action in time will be the official one to deal with distorting it, showing it. Then there are fortunate cases, as rare, in which to deal with it are revolutionaries of other “schools”, as in the case of the book The work of the mole that is presented in these initiatives. A book the result of the work of revolutionary communists that comes in its last pages to talk about anarchists and in particular of the FAI and then the FAI-FRI. They do it honestly, but they do it with an interpretation that leads to distortions, inaccuracies. It is more than natural that coming from an “other universe” (let’s say so) something escapes, but this does not mean that we cannot but be impressed by their work. Let’s put aside certain statements that are the heavy baggage of a Leninist thought that sees in the organization to conquer and direct the proletarian state its point of no return, indisputable. Statements that support the thesis that “the anarchist approach is often by definition (sic) devoid of strategic depth” or that the basic “contradiction” of anarchism would be the “refusal of organizational and programmatic structuring [which would prevent] the development of unity and high capacity/possibility of confrontation”. Statements that, when they do not distort the reality of things by supporting our lack of “strategic depth”, transform our strengths, “the refusal of organizational structuring”, into “contradictions”, into weaknesses. Not understanding that our innovative and potentially disruptive strength, our strong point, is right there.
The thesis that sees the FAI as “daughter” of the experience of Revolutionary Action is certainly a stretch. The thing that unites the two experiences in addition to the constant use over time of an acronym is the turmoil that both created within the anarchist movement. As for the FAI, the reactions of the movement were far more virulent than those had against AR, the accusations of being infiltrators, provocateurs flocked. The thing finds its explanation in the acronym used, and in the mockery of some claims against the so-called official anarchists.
Let it be clear that these are just my thoughts in freedom, I certainly do not have the absolute truth about the evolution of this phenomenon, which for geographical extension has no equal in the anarchist scene. The influence of AR on the comrades who approached anarchy in the 80s is almost non-existent. Much stronger for example the influence of the Angry Brigade and GARI, just note the irony that characterizes the claims of the FAI to realize it.
I would venture to say that the anarchists of the 90s and 2000s are the children of insurrectionism and Bonanno’s theories on informal organization and affinity groups, which in turn are the daughters of anti-organizational anarchism, which in turn is the son of the “groups in random order” of Cafiero, which in turn is the son of the “resurgent” strategy of Pisacane … The only companion of AR that I met in those years was Marilù, she was an exception, although very important, on a human and affective level and therefore “political”, let’s say… The FAI was not (like AR) a “return” to a greater “structuring” but on the contrary a further destructuring of the insurrectional practice. Social insurrectionalism that saw in fact (even if not clearly theorized) operationally central the role of the assembly as a decision-making body, however intrinsically informal it might be.
The methodology of the FAI and of all that movement full of acronyms questioned the assembly, bypassing it and giving the floor to the nuclei and to the single comrades of action. Comrades who no longer need to “submit” to an assembly in order to recognize and coordinate themselves, the actions and words that follow them are enough for themselves.
So I would argue that the birth of this “new” anarchy (at least in Italy) has come from the strong criticism of social insurrectionism and its assembly dynamics. Assembly where those who had more charisma or were better known and respected, consciously or not, “imposed” his thought. I do not blame anyone, it is the same assembly dynamics (that we all know) that lead us by the hand towards certain forcings.
In this way the environment stagnated, always the same ideas that over time became dogmas, always produced by the same comrades who, however “enlightened”, made us predictable and ineffective.
These dynamics are not addressed in the book ‘Il lavoro della talpa’ (The Work of the Mole), but they are difficult to analyze for those of us who have touched on them, let alone for comrades belonging to other revolutionary currents. From my point of view, there are two moments that led to a different awareness of a part of the so-called insurrectionist movement: the Marini trial and even more the tragic deaths of Baleno and Sole. In my opinion, those two deaths were the real watershed between a before and an after, and the reactions to those events opened the eyes of a part of the comrades.
If we re-read the chronicles of the time, as a retaliation for those deaths, for the first time in Italy the parcel bombs came out, making an incredible sensation in the media.
We do not know who sent them, whether anarchists or not, there were no claims, but from the targets it was clear that they were an attempt to take revenge for that terrible tragedy (I do not know how else to define it). But what really made the difference was the subsequent dissociation of almost the entire anarchist movement. To give an example, here in Turin, among the places occupied only El Paso refrained from statements of dissociation and accusations of police provocation.
As questionable as the practice of parcel bombs is (but after all, what practice is not), the transition from attacking structures, things to attacking people made it clear (to those who had a minimum of critical sense) that many people filled their mouths with words of insurrection and “warrior” but in reality they did not want to risk much even when their comrades died. Since we are in Turin, which has been my city for many years, I have to say that in the movement in Turin in an instrumental and a bit mean-spirited way was opposed the so-called “good life” (distorting the original vital and revolutionary sense) to the hypothetical “sacrifice” and “martyrdom” of those who wanted to go further, putting at stake for passion their lives and their freedom.
Only a few months before, the same people who accused “lottarmatism” of martyrdom had claimed that “you had to die for your art”, they were just nice words.
I think (maybe I’m wrong here too) that it was from there, from that leaden atmosphere of dissociation and distancing (which crossed the whole of Italy) that the various acronyms were born as a reaction that would later, in time, become the FAI. The prospects (at least reading the claims) of the FAI were undoubtedly “social”. Then the contribution of the Greek comrades of the CCF, with their contribution of “anti-social” nihilism, was the driving force behind this phenomenon that spread throughout the world and even reached Indonesia (even today groups in that country claim under the acronym FAI-FRI).
Today is another story … nothing is over, everything continues …
A hug to all revolutionary comrades present, whether communist or anarchist.
Always for anarchy.