Post 9-11 Radical Open Letter
Succinct language proffered by this anonymous letter translated from the french by New York based post-situ zine notbored! incites one's consciousness and calls for using "any means necessary" to combat the crisis of our current terror-state. Posted many months ago on the translator's website, distributed at anti-terror-war marches in Portland, this open letter still packs a punch into just two pages.
"This democracy has perfected for itself a fabrication of its inconceivable enemy: terrorism. In effect, this democracy wants to be judged more by its enemies than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State, and is therefore very educational. The masses of spectators can never by allowed to know everything about terrorism, but they must nevertheless be told enough so that they are persuaded that - compared to terrorism - everything else appears to be acceptable and in every case more rational and more democratic [... ] The secret dominates this world, and primarily as the secret of domination." - Guy Debord, Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle, 1988.
"It remains to be said that people are naturally changeable and it is easy to persuade them of something, but it is difficult to strengthen their degree of persuasion; it is necessary that things be so arranged that, if there are those who do not believe, one can persuade them by the use of force." Machiavelli, The Prince.
In this society that is in an advanced state of decomposition, terrorism has proved itself to be a means by which power strengthens itself or simply maintains its existence.
The practice of terrorism is both modern and archaic. It responds to precise requirements when public order is menaced by social forces that appear to be uncontrollable. Without going as far back a Nero - who, in 64 A.D., burned all of Rome so as to persecute the Christians who, claiming equality for all before God, menaced the foundations of Roman civilization (i.e. slavery) - we can recall that terrorist strikes planned in high places have marked the entire history of the 20th century. And these strike haven't laced originality as far as form is concerned, for they always have the same purpose. From the direct manipulation of Russian terrorists by the Okhrana the Czar's secret police, at the beginning of the 20th century, to the kidnapping and assassination of Aldo Moro in 1978 by the teleguided Red Brigades; from the burning of the Reichstag (staged by Goebbels in 1933) to the police bombs in the Piazza Fontana in Milan in 1969 - all the acts of spectacular terrorism have as their common objectives the silencing of the opposition, the justification of the imprisonment or killing of dissidents, the rallying of frightened populations to existing power, and the consolidation of generalized oppression.
All of these operations spread fear, feed unverifiable rumors, sustain the use of paid informants, train their abused spectators in the most servile behaviors, and extend the special powers devoted to the services of control and surveillance. In each of the cases cited above, the "guilty parties" were evidently those who were the easiest to give up to the furious public, whose responses had already been conditioned. The "mysteries" that nevertheless enveloped each of these acts of war were also and simultaneously presented as impenetrable, that is, until changes in the administration of affairs made it possible to reveal the plausible nature of the truly guilty parties to the mystified public, but, as one says, after it was too late.
The strategic act of terror of 11 September 2001, to which the enslaved media pompously refer to as "the events" so as to thicken the plot, is also a "mystery" [full of] contradictory official declarations, aberrant proofs of guilt, pre-selected media rumors, repeated lies, untestable hypotheses, furies who avenge but are unknown, suspects who are not responsible [endnote 1], mass arrests (public and secret), varieties of military mobilizations, increases in the illegal use of surveillance, [and] fraudulent stock market transactions. But the reviled act encapsulates the direction of the irresistible march of domination, which is present in all the parties of the world of the commodity.
The owners of this world, speaking with the unanimous voice of all of their political representatives, miraculously find within these attacks the justification that guarantees the replication of all their currently existing enterprises, which don't fail to take in all the domains that concern them: from genetic manipulation to industrial war, from the mastery of resources (notably energy) to the falsification of food, [and] from the re-development of land to the management of the living. Already, as the result of this surprising gift from the skies, fear - that ancient leaven in the bread of servitude (commodity servitude, too, for fear sells) - has taken over. For the owners of this world, it is now a question not only of violently dispersing a contestatory movement that seems to break out everywhere (Cincinnati, Gotenborg, Genoa, Addis-Adeba, Kabul), but also, and even more profoundly, of assuring the total voluntary submission of all citizens by increasing consumption ("a patriotic act") and by reinforcing at the global level illegal police tactics that accompany these urgent measures. The war against Afghanistan is part of this larger action; it prolongs it.
With all our international friends, we call for the complete opposition to this war. Because it is also against us that this war is being fought. Its true aim is "the crushing of all opposition, even the most benign, until the total colonization of all aspects of life is everywhere on the entire surface of the earth." It is necessary to expect that "where a sign of a dissidence is found, a terrorist will also be discovered."
"If this world - which silently kills hundreds of thousands of Africans each year and relegates the youths in the suburbs (which resemble camps) to a life that is an interminable and deadly bore - chooses to bomb the Afghans on prime-time TV so that it can forget about the prior crisis and pursue its opponents, we must do something. We must show this world - using all possible means, including demonstrations, texts, radio interventions and speeches in the street - that it cannot massacre its own population."
"This world is at the mercy of an indiscretion, and 'they' come to us to furnish the occasion. It's up to us to seize it." [Endnote 2]
THE INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS,
30 September 2001
Endnote 1: The principal [suspect], bin Laden, who was quickly declared guilty, is, like Noriega or Saddam Hussein, an old ally of the special services of the State that was attacked. It isn't always a good thing to be a chief collaborator with the USA.
Endnote 2: Institute for Contemporary Prehistory (redivivus), The Reichstag Burns Again, 25 September 2001, text in English.
[Translated from the French by NOT BORED! and posted on 20 October 2001.]
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