Black Bloc = Left Impotence

The notion that breaking windows, burning limousines, knocking over trash cans or throwing rocks at the cops has anything to do with the epochal struggle against American capitalism must be interrogated. Keep in mind that this is a recent “tactic”, for the lack of a better word, that emerged in the 1970s as a largely student movement grew frustrated over its ability to change society. If it was impossible to get steelworkers, truck drivers and oil refinery workers to join a revolutionary movement, maybe the next best thing would be to carry out “exemplary” actions that might encourage them to resist the ruling class. This was what the Weathermen believed and it must be noted that the black bloc was following their example as they would willingly admit.

I have vivid memories of the “Days of Rage”, which can best be described as a collective nervous breakdown by Mark Rudd, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and others who have led productive political lives in recent decades. Even Van Deusen, who wrote in defense of the black bloc, has a more grounded existence today as a union representative of the Vermont State Employees Association.

The Weathermen were fond of making épater la bourgeoisie type statements such as Bernadine Dohrn announcing that the Weathermen “dig Charles Manson” and Bill Ayers advising young people to kill their parents. In an attempt to build up their strike force for the “Days of Rage” between October 8–11, 1969, they used to invade high schools or community colleges, barge into classes and harangue the students about the need to “fight the system”. If teachers got in their way, they’d get a karate chop for their efforts. Most students felt like they were being addressed by maniacs, a function no doubt of the mixture of ultraleft fantasies reaching epic proportions and marathon LSD sessions at Weathermen crash pads. One of the people involved in these “jailbreaks” was Diana Oughton, the daughter of a banker who died in an accidental explosion making bombs in a Greenwich Village townhouse in 1970.

Why anybody would want to emulate such “tactics” is an enduring mystery.

But things were not that different in Europe where the student left was going through the same kinds of paroxysms. On the continent, you had the same sort of adventurism but it was cloaked in a neo-Marxist ideology called “Autonomism”, which was a reference to being “autonomous” of the traditional trade unions and left parties.

One of the more exotic of the Italian autonomist groups was the Metropolitan Indians, a group that dressed up and put on war-paint as if they were Sitting Bull, a sign of their “autonomy” from bourgeois society. Among their demands were free pot and LSD for anybody who wanted to use them and occupying empty buildings as sites for alternatives to the nuclear family.

In 1973 they stormed a jazz festival in Umbria and harangued the audience with the message that the “weapon of music cannot replace the music of weapons”. Apparently, they had a big fetish over the P38, a pistol made by Walther. (James Bond used the Walther PPK.) Obviously, we are dealing with some very humorless people despite their feeble attempts to the contrary.

On February 17 of that year a two thousand strong detachment of CP trade unionists accompanied party leader Luciano Lama to the campus of the University of Rome where he intended to deliver a speech against a student sit-in protesting tuition hikes. Not long after Lama’s talk began, the Metropolitan Indians donned masks and led an assault on Lama and his supporters. At least fifty people were seriously injured in the fracas. This violent attack gave the government the pretext it needed to launch an assault on the university. Two thousand cops raided the campus and used tear gas and clubbed everybody in sight. Between the naked opportunism of the CP and the agent provocateur-like behavior of the Metropolitan Indians, it is not surprising that the Italian left crashed and burned in this period.

Other urls found in this thread:

Antonio Negri became a leading figure in the autonomist movement and particularly as the leader of a group called Autonomia Operaia (Worker’s Autonomy). Like the Weathermen’s intervention in high schools and community colleges prior to the Days of Rage, Negri’s followers would rather punch people than debate with them.

Alexander Stille provides some detail on Negri’s bully-boy past:

Things were just as bad in Germany.

A group of autonomists in Hamburg issued a communique in 1982 that denounced the “absurd demands of unions for more jobs that only integrate people into oppression and exploitation”. Instead the idea was to “sabotage, to change the political, moral and technical structures of domination is a step toward a self-determined life.” Since many of these student radicals were from muh privileged families, it is no surprise that they would sneer at the need for having a job.
While they were deeply influenced by the Italians who preceded them, the Germans can be “credited” with inventing the black bloc tactic. (Don’t ever refer to the black bloc as a group to its supporters since they insist that it is only a tactic—as if the people who use this tactic are not part on an informal network that can be counted upon to mobilize for a particular action and share identical beliefs.)

Ironically, it was the German cops who first coined the term referring to the “Schwarzer Block” in a raid in Frankfurt on July 28, 1981 against squatters and other “subversives”. The cops did not view the schwarzer block as a tactic, but as a group even if was ill-defined. In fact, it was so ill-defined that charges were eventually dropped against those arrested.

But the tactic predated its naming by the cops and its enshrinement as a permanent tactic by the autonomen. In the late 70s, a wing of the radical movement donned helmets, masks and black clothing when they went out to fight neo-Nazis and the cops. There was such a deep hatred toward the German state in this period that the black bloc tactic could summon thousands of activists into battle. Only a few years earlier the Red Army Faction, led by Baader and Meinhof, could count on support that the American Weather Underground could only fantasize about. Fully one out of four Germans supported their activities and one out of ten said they would hide an RAF member from the cops.

In “The Subversion of Politics”, one of the deeper analyses of the European ultraleft, George Katsiaficas views the widespread choice of black as a “style” preference rather than an indication of any kind of deep ideological affinity with anarchism:

In West Berlin, the autonomists began to use their muscle against “yuppies” in the same way they had used it against fascists. Apparently, a middle-class life style was just as much of a menace to their vision of a liberated territory as a swastika.

To block the gentrification of a neighborhood called Kreuzberg, they vandalized upscale restaurants catering to professionals, in some cases throwing bags of shit at diners. They also torched luxury automobiles in the same way limousines were torched in Washington.

They functioned as a morality police just like the Taliban. When a small theater called Sputnik decided to show the low-budget anti-Nazi satire film “Terror 2000”, a group of activists sprayed the projectionist with teargas, and used butyric acid to destroy a copy of the film, which they considered “sexist and racist.” Afterward, they threatened to return and “destroy everything” if the movie was ever screened again.

Having a thing about movies, they also invaded a small art house showing Lydia Lunch’s movie called “Fingered” that they considered pornographic. Twelve masked men and women invaded the theater, destroyed the film and projector, and emptied the cash register on their way out.

They also targeted a relatively modest restaurant called Maxwell that sounds exactly like those that have opened up in Brooklyn neighborhoods where Jacobin writers live. The restaurant was launched by a man named Hartmut Bitomsky, who was a film student who took part in a leftist occupation at the German Film and Television Academy in West Berlin that he and seventeen other students renamed the Dziga Vertov Academy in honor of the Soviet documentary filmmaker. He was expelled for his efforts.

[read on: ]


what else, then?

Setting an example. Criminal trashcan and nazi super villains beware!


It's almost as if the FBI is totally OK with impotent outrage and is afraid of real political movements!

While I will admit the possibility does exist, ex members had to beg members to disband years after the war was over

You don't need to infiltrate when you can just arrest the lot when they riot and lock them up for a decade.

The notion that breaking windows, burning limousines, knocking over trash cans or throwing rocks at the cops is somehow an example of all that a black bloc is, shows a large amount of sheltered ignorance in ya.
Stopped reading there because you're starting with a false premise.

seems to me like the problem is not black bloc at all. the problem is people who fry their brains on drugs. go easy on the wacky weed, comrades.

some of this stuff is cringe, but they were successful in starting autonomous housing projects and community spaces all around kreuzberg and mitte, many of which still exist today.

Ignorance of how drugs work isn't something to be proud of.

in the 60s, most people were ignorant about pot and acid. they were relatively unknown to mainstream america beforehand. lots of people got very weird ideas during sort of inadvertant group-hypnosis processes as a result. look at the huge rise in cult membership, and the ongoing debate about whether drug countercultures may have been a hindrance to the more sober-minded New Left/antiwar movement.

The problem is that these people aren't killing the politicians and capitalists that lead and exploit them and those who do end up killed or locked up due to minimal support that they get. Instead of killing nazis for instance, anarchists just provoke them and get killed because nazis usually don't have as much of a deterrent to killing that left-wingers often have.

oh no not the windows ;_;

you have to be exceptionally fucking stupid to believe this

i will say, if one skips to the end of OP's article, they'll see a pretty cool success story. people actually beat the klan back in houston by using the courts. makes me think there may be hope for democracy yet =,(

God you're such a useless liberal faggot

What good are they for then? They have literally nothing else going for them - no modern propaganda of the deed, no positive effect within the spectacle, no theory and obviously nobody with half a fucking brain

The reason anarchists "have no theory" is because none of you read your own fucking authors

Yeah. Liberal government protected Liberal movement from gangsters. 4 gangsters got prison sentence.

How unexpected.

I do read my own authors. Pacifism is more liberal than anything, especially when you're advocating against something that doesn't have any downsides whatsoever. Then it's just non-violence because violence is somehow bad on its own, because it sure as hell has no negative effect for us.

so fucking deep in ideology that "pacifism is liberal" is your answer to us telling you that your "violence" is pointless

It's not pointless. In fact, I'm arguing in favour of propaganda of the deed as a concept. It has no negative value at all, and does help us.
Pacifism because violence is just wrong or something, is liberal.

It's good to see that you reached the very first paragraph of the article. Maybe read further?

Making don't start with something obviously and laughably untrue if you want people to give a shit about the rest.

ok, babby, stay ignorant

You really are so eager to make sure no nazi ever comes to harm you'll even intentionally refuse to make sense of a typo that hardly effects the full sentence.

Literally nothing you're arguing for is Propaganda of the deed


Can't we just ban all Americans? I'm sick of their gross liberalism.

Oh, all I'm arguing for is black blocs in general.
Here you go anarkiddie.

And you completely ignored me when I called you out on that nonsense

I assume much of what you want can be done in conjunction with large amounts of people dressed in black to avoid being picked out in a crowd.

How is that not anarchism?

nice deflection

It's not deflection. It's my core point.


"Most of it"

Seriously good post OP. I suspected that all this anarchist nonsense came out of the academic left, as all the most garbage political takes do. The academic left is made up entirely of people too chickenshit to engage with nonacademics(regular people) and thus their message never reaches beyond the campus. Anything except bog standard organizing is besides the point, we need to gather comrades if we are to meet the storm head on.


Don't you anons realize by now that all this is going to do is get you guys arrested and ruin your chances in life, cause financial burden, etc?

Is it really worth it?

An agent provocateur (French for "inciting agent") is a person who commits, or who acts to entice another person to commit an illegal or rash act or falsely implicate them in partaking in an illegal act. An agent provocateur may be acting out of their own sense of duty or may be employed by the police or other entity to discredit or harm another group (such as a peaceful protest or demonstration) by provoking them to commit a crime, thereby undermining the protest or demonstration as a whole.

Agent Provocateur? Masked Cop, Uncovered by Oakland Protesters, Points Gun at Freelance Photographer

The 'agent provocateur' who infiltrated Occupy Wall Street

With the proof caught on video, Quebec provincial police were forced to admit Thursday that three undercover agents were playing the part of protesters at this week’s international summit in Montebello, Que.

Just name one instance of the black bloc going into a community and building them up and doing something positive. Pls. Just 1.

that's the thing. after destruction must come some sort of rebuilding, like occupying workplaces or something



protestors should carry thermoses of near boiling water to splash on agent provacteurs when discovered. Cops are such cowards they would immediately stop their shit if this happened.

I agree, there's a danger in them becoming nothing more than Luddites. Still, if the destruction is done with tact, I see no reason not to engage. It's a legitimate form of protest that actually gets media attention.

You say that like it's a slur word.

It's meant for people who riot of the sake of rioting, and not much else, much like Luddites who attacked machines and missed the bigger picture. I don't blame the Luddites for that though, since industrialization was a relatively new phenomenon and they had very little knowledge of what to do when up against it. It was the strategy that worked best at the time, but today we should know better.

Nice shitpost, but yes it is. Or should be.


This is an amazing thread and our resident smashies need to expose themselves to this critique to at the very least defend what they are accused of: pseudo-activity.

The feds shilling at full force

Sabotage your workplace
Kill your boss
Bomb a bank

but dear lord don't break insured vehicles and franchises, all damage that will be replaced within hours, and then delude yourself into believing you've accomplished anything

make the capitalist squirm, not laugh

Gee, it's almost as if doing just those autistic outbursts is precisely what they want so they can easily weed you out and jail you, then have the perfect excuse to tighten the security state and have the mass of classcucks behind them in support of that:

Fucking idiot.

All of these are equally pointless, ultimately. Look at Baader-Meinhoff: they achieved nothing with their ultra-violent attacks on banks, ultimately just strenghtening the system again in the aftermath with full popular support.

How about turning those first three into:
and if you're actually indending on doing something to a bank
and put it to good use instead of just obsoleting it as a useful tool. Even tankies knew this. I mean Stalin robbed a bank and funded an actual movement with it. Just bombing it does squat, and even now there's nothing to even fund with such money.

The serious struggle against capital begins in the daily economic sphere us working people all share, not out in the streets on LARPing fit.

Top kek, literally fully cucked

Hmmm its almost as if we should further radicalize against the state, inluding suicide attacks performed by the elderly so that youngsters do not spend their life behind bars

Nope better stay at home shitposting on the internet, that will do

Yes, breaking windows, kicking trash cans and sucker punching Nazi LARPers is definitely "destroying capital relations".

Am I getting wew'd or are you genuinely this delusional?

You are mistaking meditating on the current situations with refusal to act.

But here's the thing, black bloc is not destroying anything. Quite the contrary, they make the left come off like a bunch of autistic children from petit-bourgeoisie families with a lot of built up rage against said parents. Black bloc could riot and inflict 10's of 1000's of dollars in property damage. The effect is null, for most of the higher ups of these companies 10 million dollars is a pittance. Black bloc is steeped in utter ineffectualness, lashing out against the establishment in the most impotent way possible.

You seem to think that the left should adopt the tactics of Islamist. Islamist are successful because they pride themselves on emulating a cult. The Left does not want to come off as a cult, in fact that's one of the stereotypes often thrown against us. The constant reinterpretation and lack of consensus over Marx's work, a disregard for the sanctity of life with the hope of achieving and ideal that seems utopian and moves further away the closer you get. This is exactly the reputation we must dispel, embracing it may work for Islamist in unstable and highly religious countries but it comes off as insanity in the Western world.

As expected

Thanks for proving my point that they should radicalize even further


Top kek

Actually, I never denied that a cult of personality developed around Marx particularly in the 20th century. A lot of the incoherence in Marx's theory does however stem from people presenting their own theory as Marx's. A modern example of this is Andrew Kliman. Revisionism being an issue because of the cult of personality is precisely one of the reasons the left needs to abandon all pretence of cultish tactics by focusing exclusively on party politics with a revolutionary platform.

How? How do you want them to radicalize? By terrorizing the population until we're labeled as a "terrorist organization" by the alphabet soup agencies and promptly subverted due to the already deep incoherent in our tactics and platform?

You're not destroying them by making your own markets around the larger market.

The fact that you consider proper working class organization as "the political circus" also shows your ignorance in how this is literally the basis of any actual left wing success in the history of ever.

I mean, I'd say you're trolling but then again I've seen just how asinine you are so all I can honestly say is wew lad.

I outlined a bunch of things to do that aren't shitposting at home, but here you are shitposting at home instead of taking them into consideration, while advocating we become lumpenporkies.

I know you like to LARP, and I know how you do it. But I especially know that it's little more than LARPing and illegalist autism. Feel free to explaining to us how it does anything of relevance against capital, though.

Kliman as an example of the type of purist Marxists, or what? It comes across as strange to accuse him of this considering he is himself leading the front of people that want Marxism to be rethought and he specifically resists orthodox dogmatism, e.g.:

He's also critiqued the Stalinist (hegemonic 20th century) take on Marx, whom were the biggest culprits of dogmatism, in talks like this one where he says that no reading of Marx really supports the idea of the Stalinist "transitional state":

Bump for good thread and good discourse.

Come out and defend yourselves, smashies of Holla Forums. Prove you're not just thugs acting purely on the behalf of ideological interpellation.

No, he presents measuring the rate of profit in historic cost instead of reproduction cost as Marx's theory. Marx was very clear value is measured in real time, that does not change the fact that between two turnovers the rate of accumulation can contract or expand. I don't hate him or anything, but this is pretty clear revisionism of Marx's economics.

This was my point: that Kliman resists idealizing the man that is Marx himself in favor of constructively altering Marx wherever he came short.

I thought you were previously critiquing essentialism of Marx and cult of personality around him and his theory.

Either way, what do you think of Anwar Shaikh's economic theories: ? He has developped an incredibly accurate model which incorporates at the base Marx but builds upon it with Sraffa, Ricardo and Smith.

That's not what I mean. I've read a fair bit of Kilimans stuff and like some of his critiques of other authors. But in his debate with Fred Mosley, he spent a lot of time trying to find textual support for historic cost being how Marx conceived up the rate of profit.

Anwar is good. I need to read more of him. I'll keep that book in mind. I'm re-reading Capital right now.

I'm also friends with Kliman on Facebook, and he went full blown "lesser of two evils" when it came to Hillary during the election. Can't say if he was wrong now that Trump is going full proto-fascist, but as a leftcom you'd probably despise his rants during election ahha.

I can definitely see what you mean: he has not always been consistent with his otherwise "level-headed" humanist, reinterpetative Marxist economics, but I hope you see what I mean when I say he is one of the modern Marxists who refuse to both be dogmatist and opportunists at the same time.

is kind of a let down, though. Are you saying he shilled for Shillary instead of the Bern, or that he shilled for Shillary over Trump? I agreed very much with Zizek's order of preference here: Bernie > Trump > Hillary, because Hillary's "lesser evil" would just mean more left stagnation with as reward four more years of capitalism with a pretty face and no galvanization of the derelict hovel that is today's left.

You should definitely first check out his lectures. There's a few cut out parts uploaded on Youtube, e.g.:

He does more than just theorize in them, but also provide really good commentary from his sort of "Marxist-post-Keynesian" POV.

He shilled for Shillary over Trump. Constantly. Pic related.

At the same time, he is a comrade and at the end of the day he's an older academic Marxist. I can't really hate him and his talk on the transitional state is very good.

Will do. I've read his bit on the transformation problem and his iterative solution.

In general, the modern Marxist I've liked the most has been Ernest Mandel even though he's a Trot. I'm sure you've read his introductions to Capital but say for a couple interpretive issues I think he does a great job.

Truth be told, I only use this flag because I generally agree with the ultra left stance towards the left: that it needs to be ruthlessly critiqued if it ever hopes to get out of its quasi-inexistence. The left communist flag just comes closest to this; I have no further illusions about the left communist wing of the 3rd Int being the true enlightened way forward or w/e.

As such, I generally abhor the general "left com" stance towards people like Sanders who people like Zizek will see a use in for the greater term.

Far from signalling the birthing of a new communist party or something truly serious, left-liberals like Bernie Sanders are definitely going to be the left's only few chances at regaining relevance in the shorter term, and they will be what the left can start building upwards on. And by this I definitely do not mean Trotskyite coopting of their movements to sell newspapers, but genuinely supporting their efforts in knowing it will advance the discourse in favor of the greater impetus of the left.

Christ, that's pretty awful, but eh he's still very useful as you've said.

I need to read more left communist critique. I wasn't very impressed by the bit of Bordiga I read but apparently he's the meme-tier leftcom philosopher.

I agree about Sanders.
Kek, did this happen?

He's a scared New Yorker, what can you do?

Their best work is not on general theoretical standpoints, but their direct critiques of 20th century events and exploits.

One of the best examples is Dunayevskaya's analysises of the USSR's economy, which still enrage Stalinoids to this very day:

There is also Paul Mattick, who you can practically consider grandpa Kliman in how he turns on its head the tankie adherence to anti-revisionism by pointing out precisely that is the tankies who revise at the barrel of a gun:

That's like the 101 basis of contemporary Trot praxis. I wish I was kidding.


I've read Dunayevskaya's work on the USSR already, but not pancake man.

I'll read this later.

Is Mandel like that too?

Stirnerite-tier smh.

Pancake man, while interesting in his time, is largely discarded nowadays on the ultra/left communist side (theoreies of spontaneous action are generally perceived as idealist and his anti-party rhetoric was largely rendered obsolete by the likes of Dauvé and Bordiga himself in his exchanges, never mind Lenin who very well addressed council communism in Infantile Disorder).

I have yet to read any Mandel but in spite of being a Trotskyist in his time, I heard he was theoretically very sound.

Keep in mind that I am mostly talking about Trot praxis, which is really little more than coopting and shilling for socdems, covering up rape scandals whenever they pop up in their thousand splinter groups, selling newspapers, babying and pandering towards the working class, etc.


Bump for good thread. Can any resident anarchists even seriously defend themselves here?

Why, just let the marxists babies screech in their safe space alone, they refuse to have any coherent discussion anyway

Impotence nothing!