Кронштадский дневник *
Граффити на дамбе – «Мятежный Кронштадт!»,
Рядом - «Свобода! Равенство! Братство!»
«Движение сопротивления имени Петра Алексеева» провело выездную сессию
пробуждения сознания жителей острова, где время остановилось.
Пустые улицы, без припаркованных машин выглядят как выцветшие открытки 60-ых.
Вонючие магазины, где старые холодильники не справляются с жарой
Неужели кто-то готовит эту пищу?
Ночной мат на улицах, где нет шума транспорта поражает как афоризм
«Лен, жизнь всегда так - то до хуя, то ни хера…»
1. The Specter of Anarchism
In recent years, one can observe a deep-seated paradigm shift in the theories of the Left. While many theorists keep their steadfast attention focused on the problem of power, they also see it as something autonomous of its socio-economic base. Moreover, they feel that power cannot be reduced to its traditional representations such as the state or the juridical figure of sovereignty. Instead, it envelops all spheres of life. This, in turn, has spurred a critical re-evaluation of the notion of revolution. As a project centered on government take-overs, the revolution appears as something that loses sight over all the other zones in which power is implemented. Entangled in the mechanism of political sovereignty, it seems doomed to inevitable failure. In search of a way out of this dead-end, the Left abandons the project of revolution altogether or modifies it beyond recognition, orienting itself toward the creation of counter-power through society’s self-organization, which will change the world, not only at some point in the future, but here-and-now as well. This re-invention of a world without power may be appear as a collective fiction, admit its proponents, but active participation will turn today’s fiction into tomorrow’s reality.
1. In its heterogeneity and permanent movement, Bolivia is at the same time the experience and the fracture of magma. It is there where faces, bodies, and languages tell stories that challenge those seeking to understand, accompany, and enjoy. Our trip, in February 2005, was a struggle between this attempt to understand and the difficulties of adaptation (of which altitude was not the least of obstacles). It is also a wager on the distinctive outlook opened by what took place in recent years in Argentina. And this dialogue between processes of de-institution-construction is vital for both.
2. To arrive in Bolivia is to be surprised at an atmosphere that concentrates an extreme tension between different elements, a polymorphous dynamic that today characterizes, in different ways, the syntaxis of the movements and struggles of a good portion of Latin America. To connect with Bolivia is part of a necessary and renovated literacy.
It looks as though any image let itself be seen and read. Today the space referred to as Latin American appears to the public through the emergence of so-called leftist national governments. The literacy we propose is one that allows us to have new keys to read this process. These governmentseach in its own wayfunction as an extension, interpellation, substitution, subordination, displacement and/or reorganization of the movements and experiments that strive, in entire regions of the continentprecisely the hotter and more creative onesto unfold a politics from below. This democratic impulse does not thrive without moments of insurrection, which spatialize and open new terrains, but, evidently, nor does it emphasize the constructive and innovative dimension of the processes that have been opened.
Any discussion on Kronstadt today, as 70 years ago, is a historical discussion in the full sense of the word. Neither details nor these or those interpretation of concrete facts are at stake. Instead, the discussion’s central issue is revolution and revolutionary war as such, the significance and the logic of October. The supression of the Kronstadt Uprising has taken a lasting position in the “top ten” moral indictments of Bolshevism, along with the “philosophical steamboat” and the “money of the German general staff”.
1. But in another respect, the solution of an intellectual problem arises not much differently than when a dog who carries a stick in its mouth wants to go through a small door; he turns his head left and right as long as necessary to make the stick slip through. We do it just like this, with the difference that we do not go act haphazardly but know from experience more or less how we should go about it."
Robert Musil, The Man without Qualities
Robert Musil’s description of the cognitive process seems especially relevant to the Left’s struggle for a better society. But is the quote’s last half-sentence really true? Do we “know from experience more or less how we should go about” changing society for the better? This question is particularly relevant in reflecting the historical experience of the Soviet Union, a history that leads from triumph to defeat. This process of reflection has been encumbered by party-loyalty: those who dared to place their fingers into the open wounds of Communist history often risked being denounced as traitors by their comrades. To make matters worse, the special emphasis that Soviet Marxists placed on (re)writing the narrative of the Soviet Union’s becoming paradoxically interferes with any attempt to explore and evaluate its actual history.
In contemporary Russia, the existent system of power seems totally incapable of formulating or realizing any consistent cultural policy, just it seems unable to formulate any coherent policy on the whole. Nevertheless, it constantly imposes the chimera of the necessity for unity with the state. In order to do so, it continuously promotes and demonizes the image of a certain outer or inner enemy, be it terrorism, orange revolution, or the aggression of U.S. foreign policy, geared toward conquering and dividing our country etc. All of this takes place against the realization growing more and more massive that the state is a reality of its own right, alienated from the people, more and more reminiscent of a criminal organization who bosses are interested in nothing but holding on to their present positions, since these position guarantee huge financial profits for catering to someone elses business interests. To this state, the interests of societys development seem like some vexatious misunderstanding, only to be taken into consideration when buying electoral votes in yet another carded election. If one directs ones attention to the fact that a huge, constantly growing percentage of the population either votes against the representatives of power or doesnt vote at all, it becomes completely incomprehensible in whose name this power continues to function.
1. I don't know the answer. Perhaps we can change the world without taking power. Perhaps we can not. The starting-point - for all of us, I think - is uncertainty, not knowing, a common search for a way forward.
В своем тексте Холлоуэй поднимает сразу несколько крайне важных проблем, причем делает это в форме тезисов, ясной и четкой, подробно разбирая трудности, с которыми сталкивается революционная теория на современном этапе. Такое стремление к дискурсивной прозрачности, трезвому рассмотрению всех «за» и «против», можно только приветствовать. Другая симпатичная (и симптоматичная) черта текста – его открытость, вопросительная модальность. В тезисах, вообще говоря располагающих к «сильным» утверждениям, «директивам», больше вопросов, чем ответов. В этом Холлоуэй солидарен с коммуникативной стратегией Маркоса и других революционеров новой генерации, предельно внимательных к любыми проявлениями авторитарности, в том числе текстуальной.
Alexei: Then politics is a kind of ecstatic frenzy. In kitchen quarrels, people will provoke one another to the point of being beside themselves. This is actually we mean when we talk about kitchen politicians.
Artem: Sure. Politics is ec-stasis, literally. It can start in the kitchen, leading from the frying pan to the class struggle. This is what happens when the infinite intervenes, making the parties forget themselves and see what they are fighting for.
Oxana: But in politics, people are always divided into two camps. Look at our Left: they are often beside themselves over the pathetic little details of doctrine!
Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism.
The group was founded in May 2003 in Petersburg in an action called “The Refoundation of Petersburg." Shortly afterwards, the original, as yet nameless core group began publishing an international newspaper called Chto Delat. The name of the group derives from a novel by the Russian 19th author Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and immediately brings reminiscences of the first socialist worker’s self-organizations in Russia, which Lenin actualized in his “What is to be done?” (1902). Chto delat sees itself as a self-organizing platform for cultural workers intent on politicizing their “knowledge production” through reflections and redefinitions of an engaged autonomy for cultural practice today.
The platform Chto delat is coordinated by a workgroup including following members:
Tsaplya Olga Egorova (artist, Petersburg), Artiom Magun (philosopher, Petersburg), Nikolai Oleinikov (artist, Moscow), Natalia Pershina/Glucklya (artist, Petersburg), Alexei Penzin (philosopher, Moscow), David Riff (art critic, Moscow), Alexander Skidan (poet, critic, Petersburg), Oxana Timofeeva (philosopher, Moscow), and Dmitry Vilensky (artist, Petersburg). In 2012 the choreographer Nina Gasteva has joined a collective after few years of intense collaboration. Since then many Russian and international artist and researchers has participated in different projects realised under the collective name Chto Delat (see descriptions of each projects on this web site)
Chto Delat collective in Kronstadt in 2005
Standing: from the right: Oleynikov, Gluklya, Timofeeva, Shuvalov, Tsaplya, Riff, Penzin
Sitting: Magun and Vilensky)
Our Principles: Self-Organization, Collectivism, Solidarity
The Chto Delat platform unites artists, philosophers, social researchers, activists, and all those whose aim is the collaborative realization of critical and independent research, publication, artistic, educational and activist projects. All of the platforms initiatives are based on the principles of selforganization and collectivism. These principles are realized through the political coordination of working groupsthe contemporary analogue of soviets.
The projects undertaken by any of these groups represent the entire platform and are closely coordinated with one another. At the same time, the existence of the platform creates a common context for interpreting the projects of its individual participants. We are likewise guided by the principle of solidarity. We organize and support mutual assistance networks with all grassroots groups who share the principles of internationalism, feminism, and equality.