"EVERY TIME AN ANARCHIST SAYS 'I BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY,' THERE IS A LITTLE FAIRY SOMEWHERE THAT FALLS DOWN DEAD."
They saw the effects, but not the cause: A little Monsieur Dupont reader on activism, democracy and other obstacles to revolution.
There’s been a lot of talk lately in anarchist circles about “activism.” Some people have been saying quite loudly that they Do Not Like Activism. Others have responded with an indignation in which “activism” appears as if the negative reflection of the reification named “insurrectionism.” Meantime, “democracy,” direct, radical or otherwise, has been rearing its ugly head in the meetings, assemblies and discourse of the public education movement in California. Lost in all this is a clear understanding of what these words actually mean, what they represent and what relevance they bear towards radical possibilities.
It’s to this end that we’ve reprinted a few pieces by Monsieur Dupont (the pen name of two British anarcho-communist ex-mailmen). What’s it all about, comrade? outlines the general difference between the activist/voluntarist models of social revolution and historical materialist models—a much shorter version of some of the main points in MD’s 2003 book Nihilist Communism. This provides a basis for the much more thorough examination of activism in Your smile is so mysteriously kind (p. 13), and the eponymous essay on Democracy (p. 23).
We’re happy to say this is our first (re)publication of MD’s work and we hope you find them as insightful, challenging and enjoyable as we have.
Here’s to making theory a threat again.
—an autonomous committee