Alfredo M. Bonanno
- If I don’t feel like carrying on, given that no one can be forced to continue if they don’t feel like it, I say, ‘My friends, a man is made of flesh and blood, he can’t go on to infinity. So, if I don’t feel I can make it, what must I do? Sign a piece of paper? I don’t carry out impure actions, I don’t get comrades arrested, I’m simply making a declaration of my own desistence.’ I have always considered this to be a legitimate position, because nobody can be obliged to carry on if they don’t feel up to it. But desistence is no longer legitimate if, in order to justify it, I come out with the statement, ‘I can’t carry on because the war is over’. No, I no longer agree, because where does that lead us? To all the others both inside and outside prison for whom it isn’t true that the war is over, or for whom this concept is dubious, but end up believing it because everybody is saying so. And, desisting or not desisting, they end up reaching the same conclusion. It would be quite indecorous for me to push others to desist in order for me to justify my own personal decision to give up the struggle.
- Locked Up (2008)
- The rebellion of the exploited is never terrorism.
- "Of the Terrorism of Some Idiots and Other Matters" (1979)
Armed Joy (1977)
- Remunerated joy, weekends off or annual holidays paid by the boss is like paying to make love. It seems the same but there is something lacking.
- If production is at the root of capitalist exploitation, to change the mode of production would merely change the mode of exploitation.
- Anyone who decides to organise my life for me can never be my comrade.
- What madness the love of work is!
With great scenic skill capital has succeeded in making the exploited love exploitation, the hanged man the rope and the slave his chains.
- By abolishing the ethic of production you enter revolutionary reality directly.
- In the illusory world of commodities, play is also an illusion. We imagine we are playing, while all we are really doing is monotonously repeating the roles assigned to us by capital.
- Liberation is seen as setting right a balance that has been upset by the wickedness of capitalism, not as the coming of a world of play to take the place of the world of work.
- These people cannot comprehend that it would be possible to not produce any surplus value, and that one could also refuse to do so. That it is possible to assert one’s will to not produce, so struggle against both the bosses’ economic structures and the ideological ones that permeate the whole of Western thought.
- Only joy will be uncontrollable. A force unknown to the civilised larvae that populate our era. A force that will multiply the creative impulse of the revolution a thousandfold.
- No real joy can reach us from the rational mechanism of capitalist exploitation. Joy does not have fixed rules to catalogue it.
- The search for joy is therefore an act of will, a firm refusal of the fixed conditions of capital and its values. The first of these refusals is that of work as a value. The search for joy can only come about through the search for play.
- The reign of capital, which denies our very existence as human beings and reduces us to ‘things’, seems very serious, methodical and disciplined. But its possessive paroxysm, its ethical rigour, its obsession with ‘doing’ all hide a great illusion: the total emptiness of the commodity spectacle, the uselessness of indefinite accumulation and the absurdity of exploitation. So the great seriousness of the world of work and productivity hides a total lack of seriousness.
- Many things can be done ‘playfully’ yet most of the things we do, we do very ‘seriously’ wearing the death mask we have borrowed from capital.
- Play is characterised by a vital impulse that is always new, always in movement. By acting as though we are playing, we charge our action with this impulse. We free ourselves from death. Play makes us feel alive. It gives us the excitement of life. In the other model of acting we do everything as though it were a duty, as though we ‘had’ to do it.
- Hurry comrade, shoot the policeman, the judge, the boss. Now, before a new police prevent you.
Hurry to say No, before the new repression convinces you that saying no is pointless, mad, and that you should accept the hospitality of the mental asylum.
Hurry to attack capital before a new ideology makes it sacred to you.
Hurry to refuse work before some new sophist tells you yet again that ‘work makes you free’.
Hurry to play. Hurry to arm yourself
- Courts and sentences are always part of the spectacle of capital, even when it is revolutionaries who act them out.
- We aren’t afraid, just stupidly full of prefabricated ideas we cannot break free from.
- Capital accepts the clash in the quantitative field, because that is where it knows all the answers.
- The way capital is physically organised at the present time makes it vulnerable to any revolutionary structure capable of deciding its own timing and means of attack.
- In order to break out of the magic circle of the theatricals of commodities we must refuse all roles, including that of the ‘professional’ revolutionary.
- When the whole of reality is spectacular, to refuse the spectacle means to be outside reality. Anyone who refuses the code of commodities is mad. Refusal to bow down before the commodity god will result in one’s being committed to a mental asylum.
- When we say the time is not ripe for an armed attack on the State we are pushing open the doors of the mental asylum for the comrades who are carrying out such attacks; when we say it is not the time for revolution we are tightening the cords of the straightjacket; when we say these actions are objectively a provocation we don the white coats of the torturers.
- The neutralisation of the individual is a constant practice in capital’s reified totality. The flattening of opinions is a therapeutic process, a death machine. Production cannot take place without this flattening in the spectacular form of capitalism.
- Joy is arming itself. Its attack is overcoming the commodity hallucination, machinery, vengeance, the leader, the party, quantity. Its struggle is breaking down the logic of profit, the architecture of the market, the programming of life, the last document in the last archive. Its violent explosion is overturning the order of dependency, the nomenclature of positive and negative, the code of the commodity illusion.
- Physical death, so much a preoccupation in the death world, is less mortifying than what is peddled as life.
- Let’s be done with waiting, doubts, dreams of social peace, little compromises and naivety. All metaphorical rubbish supplied to us in the shops of capitalism. Let’s put aside the great analyses that explain everything down to the most minute detail. Huge volumes filled with common sense and fear. Let’s put aside democratic and bourgeois illusions of discussion and dialogue, debate and assembly and the enlightened capabilities of the Mafiosi bosses. Let’s put aside the wisdom that the bourgeois work ethic has dug into our hearts. Let’s put aside the centuries of Christianity that have educated us to sacrifice and obedience. Let’s put aside priests, bosses, revolutionary leaders, less revolutionary ones and those who aren’t revolutionary at all. Let’s put aside numbers, illusions of quantity, the laws of the market. Let us sit for a moment on the ruins of the history of the persecuted, and reflect.
And We Will Still Be Ready to Storm the Heavens Another Time (1984)
- We insistently reaffirm that the use of organized violence against exploiters, even if it takes the form of minoritarian and limited action, is an indispensable instrument in the anarchist struggle against exploitation.
- We are all responsible for our dream of storming the heavens. We cannot turn ourselves into dwarves now, after having dreamed, elbow to elbow, each feeling the others' heartbeats, of attacking and overthrowing the gods. This is the dream that makes power afraid.
- The reduction of class war to a mere military confrontation carries within it the logical conclusion that, if we undergo a military defeat on this terrain, the class war ceases to exist as such. From this we come to the not just theoretical but practical absurdity that in Italy today, after the defeat of the combatant organizations, there is no longer an actual class war.