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Attentat - What's the main thrust of the journal and why is it controversial?

+2 votes
From what I could tell, there was a little bit of an internet ruckus a few months ago over 'Attentat: A Journal of Collision'.  I've been wanting to read it to see what all the fuss was about, but it looks like it's only available from littleblackcart, which I've tried ordering from, but there's some kind of postal fuckery going on (I'm not in the US).  Can anyone summarize the main thrust of the journal and why it was controversial?  What are your thoughts on it?
asked Apr 2, 2014 by Yosemite (5,820 points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

The ruckus, if it happened on tumblr or facebook [1], was probably about "Insurrectionary Anarchism As Activism" and "Professional Anarchy and Theoretical Disarmament: On Insurrectionalism" by Miguel AmorĂ³s (not an original Attentat piece but a new translation). The latter is a fairly in-depth critique of Alfredo Bonanno specifically--but also Italian IA by proxy--from a Situationist-inspired perspective, while the former is a kind of postscript from Attentat explaining their reasons for the translation and publication of that piece, and relating it to the North American context.

The controversy on the IA point can be boiled down to two related claims: vanguardism, and activism. Though my reading of the piece, especially Attentat's comments, points even more so to ideology--in particular an ideology of action, which assumes the superiority of action (perhaps any action) over inaction. The brief notes on the separation of theory from practice were also an important point for me.

As to the main thrust of Attentat, I seem to remember the journal was also subtitled "the journal of the nihilist position" or similar; nihilism, or critique, or a Situationist influence, seems to me the main thrust of the journal. There are several pieces which take aim at positions other than IA, and more harshly (in "IA As Activism" Attentat say something like that IA is the position probably closest to theirs), but for obvious reasons these haven't raised as many noticeable hackles.

I enjoyed the journal, especially "History As Decomposition," which is a thoughtful engagement with Fredy Perlman's Against His-story, Against Leviathan! as well as Situationist ideas of decomposition.

[1] If, on the other hand, it was a ruckus on libcom or google+ or twitter, maybe it was another piece :)

[edited for italics]

answered Apr 2, 2014 by anok (19,540 points)
edited May 11, 2015 by anok
Thanks for the explanation, I definitely have to have to get ahold of a copy now.

I didn't see much of the ruckus myself, only a few comments on Crimethinc. (iirc) that assumed familiarity with a wider ruckus, which by the sounds of it,
was taking place on tumblr and fb.