AN IMMORAL FAIRY TALE
Anarchists read a lot and write even more, perhaps it is because of some excess of bookish culture that we talk about ethics to no end when you trudge to understand it and forget to apply it in everyday life. And… when one realizes the error one has made, one still writes pages and pages (it is not clear whether for private use or for a selected public) of redundant corrections that sound even more shaky and hypocritical than the trial declarations, when not comical in their frantic contradiction.
I don’t enjoy moralizing within four walls, but, noting that certain silences risk being filled by the chatter of others, I think it’s time to address a curious phenomenon of inversion of meaning and referents of discourse, a couple of years old and not yet clarified.
On the occasion of one of the many anti-anarchist repressive proceedings, as a defensive strategy, the defendants, who had been in prison for a month, decided to make spontaneous statements, which were filed for review in February 2019.
Without going into the merits of the content, the first incongruity is that this is done in secret to the comrades, the movement (… this mysterious entity to which we all refer anyway), revealing their political and “ethical” (with all the quotation marks of the case) on attack practices, mode of relations and fields of interest of the movements … only to the magistrates.
Strange, isn’t it?
In my naivety about movement fairness I had grown up hearing a different refrain, something that sounded simple, argue even fiercely but leave foil or cleaver outside the courtroom.
Instead, in step with the times, the moral of the story is different.
The damage is done, and if someone notices, let’s put a patch, or more than one depending on the interlocutor.
I HOPE I GET AWAY WITH IT
The “ethical” compass that is invoked so much becomes a useless burden in trying to stay afloat.
The “confidentiality” after the fact “in the desire not to aggravate the error by adding useful words to the repressors”, in order not to discuss so publicly the subsequent pieces, after having already privileged such an interlocutor, sounds particularly clumsy and serious. Not wanting to throw everything on the net when it has been filed in court is a blatant reversal of values.
To call this juggling between accusations to be rejected with indignation and defense of one’s own immaculate conscience “that oscillating line between technical and political” or to affirm that in the secret of the confessional courtroom “statements of principle” have been made, removing a few pebbles from one’s shoe, only demonstrates how shaky, jelly-like is the base on which the fixed points of one’s own “political” actions rest.
THE HYPOCRISIES ON THE SAFETY
In these times of daily psychopolice, I think we are all (among those who frequent movements and, consequently, courtrooms) aware that our ideas and solidarity between comrades are making us pay with years and years of stolen life and that often repressive operations move on the sounding board, rather than the facts, of the positions expressed in newspapers and publications, on the solidarity expressed and on the vivisection of human relationships.
On the basis of this, we are often called upon to pay attention, to weigh the meaning of every single phrase, of every single slogan. But this must be done in a positive sense, a priori, by weighing the contents (in public and in private) not by fear, a posteriori, of sanction. Otherwise, ethics becomes merchandise for sale, on sale because it is flawed.
The first step to take when faced with the facts would be… to make an effort to know them before taking a position, and not only for defensive purposes. Rushing to explain one’s reasons along the lines of an intimidated reading of the charges or of the media hype produces monsters in the worst cases, at best unpleasant hypocrisies and simplifications that only play into the hands of the inquisitors.
Individual responsibility, the rejection of top-down structures and indiscriminate acts are tautological for anarchists: I can decide to repeat them or not in a courtroom based on a number of factors. The basic problem is the harmony with the co-defendants, the solidarity between comrades.
The basic problem is above all the awareness that judges play dirty, we don’t, or at least we shouldn’t, not even with words, which only end up besmirching those who pronounce them thoughtlessly.
P. S.: If this fairy tale seems too cryptic, you can start the treasure hunt for subsequent tears and patches, asking those directly involved who wanted a debate… en privé.