The Risks of Multiformity

Write an anarchist prisoner today!

via Anarquía

Words of Anarchist Prisoner Francisco Solar

The search for freedom implies the attempt to establish and develop practices in that sense. Breaking with imposed directions, dogmas and predetermined schemes is essential in the construction of anti-authoritarian relations and in the strengthening of these.

Multiformity in terms of action (and not only) is circumscribed in this way of understanding and carrying out the struggle. It is an expression of freedom that denies singular rigid behaviors and ways of doing things, as well as encouraging imagination and autonomy.

It is also a rejection of specialization and specialists who, as we have seen, sooner rather than later become leaders who become enlightened vanguards. It was and is recurrent to see how the armed apparatuses that perpetrated significant actions became the leadership of an organization or the part of a movement that arrogated, through the use of arms, its representation, demonstrating a militarism that we are alien and contrary to.

On the other hand, the multiformity has managed to extend the propaganda in a considerable way. By means of banners, graffiti, incendiary barricades, explosives and gunfire, anarchic ideas have spread, finding spaces where they are welcomed and put into practice. This is where the importance of what has been called “reproducible actions” comes into play, generally associated with “small actions” that do not require greater risk or that would not entail the questioned prior specialization. “Reproducible actions” would have the advantage of being carried out by anyone, which would increase their possibility of extension, thus generating greater impact and/or effectiveness in achieving a given objective.

However, the multiformity of actions has become a sort of unquestionable paradigm that – like all paradigms – prevents us from seeing beyond. It has become the absolute truth, limiting discussion and making it impossible to talk about issues that have become “taboo”.

It is essential, then, to be able to identify these ties and break with any paradigm that prevents us from questioning what we want or restricts us in any way. We are here, among many other things, to break down paradigms.

One of the issues that have been hidden or left aside by this “paradigm of multiformity” is related to the need and importance of complex or large-scale actions. Cóspito is clear and accurate when he says: “I have to talk about “surprising” actions because nobody talks about them, they are not even remotely included among the possible hypotheses. I don’t think it’s because of fear, but because it is usually thought that one needs to be a specialist… “1

Beyond the causes that provoke it, what is noted is the existence of the omission of a subject that, in my opinion, is fundamental.

The importance of such actions, as well as the need to encourage and analyze them, is directly related to the intensification of our attack and the possibility of dealing hard blows to power.

Dealing with this aspect together allows us to share visions and opinions that will open up new paths and possibilities. It also makes it possible to shatter imaginaries that are generally associated with it, such as the fact that it is necessary to be a specialist to carry out a complex action. It is enough to delve into this issue to realize that behind every major action there were no “specialists” or people outside anarchic environments who had received “special training”. It turns out that they are comrades like any other, that they participate or participated in the activities like any other and that, most of the time, they carry out “simple” actions like any other. Attempting to distance these comrades by understanding them as “specialists” responds, in part, to the remnants of the leftist logic that separates the fighters into specific roles and functions.

On the other hand, complex actions entail risks that are not minor and meanings that can be decisive. They demonstrate a willingness to risk freedom and life and also to inflict considerable wounds and damage, making it clear that it is not a game or a passing fad. Together with the strengthening of individual and collective conviction (fundamental in the development of the struggle), the importance lies in the signal given to the enemy. A strong signal that reflects seriousness in the path undertaken, which is not only perceived by the power and its representatives, but also by society as a whole, shaken by the action. The impact, therefore, is undeniable, allowing the propaganda to be amplified to unsuspected corners, which, ultimately, is one of the central purposes of major actions.

One of the aspects that attracted and still attracts me to anarchy is the irrepressible attempt to do what is said, to take the slogans into the realm of the possible. And the above is framed in that sense: if we talk about waging war on the State, let’s go beyond words and go for it. Let us take on the weight of such a challenge and assume all that it entails.

I fully agree with comrade Joaquín García when he says: “How much can we say about our, let us say, ideas, however radical or extreme they may be, if they have no weight on the reality we intend to destroy or do not certainly stress the status quo, even worse, if they are so maneuverable by the power or assimilated by the masses. “2

Marking the difference within a necessary coexistence

Are large-scale actions and “simple” actions the same thing? Is placing an explosive in a police station the same as scratching a wall or painting a canvas?

Clearly not. They are not the same in their planning, in their dedication or in the stakes involved. They are not the same in terms of impact or the repercussions they generate.

However, “The paradigm of multiformity” openly ignores this difference, making complex actions invisible in the process and reflecting another of their risks and dangers.

For some time now, they have been given equal importance, which empties an anarchic practice in general of analysis and content and wears out interesting projects based on the offensive. I am referring to the experience of the FAI-IRF which, in my opinion, lost much of its weight and forcefulness from the moment when street barricades, scratchings and banners began to be claimed under its acronym. In relation to this, in the magazine Kalinov Most we affirmed; “The limits of the absurd were taken to the FAI-IRF’s vindication of scratchings on some walls, losing all sense and notion of words and their meanings, showing us and showing us the limits of multiformity “3.

The complex actions such as the armed attack on Adinolfi and the car bombing of a Microsoft headquarters in Greece, which saw the birth of this project and which filled with enthusiasm several insurrectionists around the world, soon gave way to painted banners and other simple actions that were vindicated with the same tone and acronyms and received the same coverage in the pro-unity press as the major attacks. The problem was that such interventions, which did not require much planning or risk and had little impact, began to prevail, soon taking over a large part of the counter-information.4

Evidently, this brought with it a stagnation in anarchic actions which, with few exceptions, have not been able to qualify themselves. As Joaquín García rightly points out: “Polyformism hides a demobilizing trap.”5

“The paradigm of multiformity” has led to the impossibility of going beyond, prioritizing minor action with the excuse, among others, of its capacity for reproduction. However, the challenge lies in making large-scale actions reproducible, based on the assumption that there are no specialists or anything like that. That only the will is enough.

Finally I want to make it clear that I understand that the multiplication of “simple” actions and therefore multiformity, are indispensable within the anarchic struggle, but this (multiformity) should not omit the existence of more complex actions with the crude excuse that they are carried out by a specialized apparatus alien to anarchic spaces and environments. It is necessary the coexistence of the different actions and to be able to value them from that, which will allow, to a certain extent, to break with the “Paradigm of multiformity” and to walk towards the intensification and deepening of our attacks.

Francisco Solar D.

June 2021

C.P. Rancagua

(1) Alfredo Cóspito: Response to the magazine “Caligine”-2021

(2) Joaquín García: “on the need to endow our existence with a dynamic vitality. a dynamic vitality.” In Kalinov Most 5, October 2019.

(3) “Our media, our communications.” Reflections on counter-information and the apathetic press, in Kalinov Most 7, December 2020, p. 29.

(4) One of the few exceptions is the website “Social War News” which deals only with complex which deals only with complex actions, publishing its communiqués and making a brief and making a brief analysis of each one.

(5) Joaquin Garcia “On the necessity…” in Kalinov Most , October 2019.

There are 20 Comments

"reprodicible" is "easy to repeat"...I think spontaneous creativity is better.

There isn't singular struggle, dont know why we're reinforcing the idea that there is one.

"There isn't singular struggle, dont know why we're reinforcing the idea that there is one."

Dr.Benway, do work on your reading comprehension. Simply take things more slowly and give what you're reading time to process before commenting.

Misleading correction of a typo, and total lack of imagination.

You're welcome.
However, it wasn't just the typo, champ. Explore insurrectionary anarchist writings and you will understand the reference regarding actions that are easily reproducible, requiring unsophisticated means that are by their very simplicity and spontaneity uncontrollable. Understand why they are favored. Additionally understand that "struggle" in the anarchist context is a plurality and a singular signifier.
Exploration and understanding is fun!

lots of substance there, i totally see it! Some anarchists don't want to do away with the activist mindset and i actually do respect that...yet i'm not going to join you because these are roads i have walked down before.

Clearly explaining something to you that you are palpably upset about due to confusion and hasty misreading is not "suppressing a dissenting agreement" (whatever that means?).

Insurrection is not "an activist mindset."

I'm sad for you, Dr.Benway. You deserve happiness and to never walk alone down roads you have walked down before. Safe travels.

Benway, unlike this compassionate soul here, i fukin hate you and wish you ill BUT ... setting that aside for a moment, you really might stop throwing "activist mindset" around so lightly bro! insurrrection is basically the exact opposite of spectacular whining as an appeal to authority (aka activism).

don't know how you could possibly have got yourself so turned around there but wow! if you've walked those roads, you must not have known which hemisphere you were in.

of so-called "reproducible actions", and then it just got diverted into attacking me rather than having a conversation. I really don't expect anything other than this from you or the anon, who basically just said nothing the entire time. Maybe it was you? Why are ya'll so pathetic that you're merely trying to get responses.

As far as the activist mindset, I know what it is in terms of how it exists in my mind and within the things that other people tell each other to do. For example...why are articles on here so important that I need to be even more careful than i already am before responding to them? You all clearly do not take time to digest everything in articles and what other anons say before just attacking or trolling or whatever it should be called. Don't see why i need to become the center of attention, i use a consistent identifier for the ease of the whole conversation, obviously any sort of tact or attempt at confronting what people say rather than your prejudices against the person talking are completely uninteresting to you and some of the people who post on here.

I also said other things, btw.

PS: I really don't give a shit about the fact you hate me and I really wouldn't recommend caring about what people on the internet think of you very much.

SIGH you talk even more stupid paranoid horseshit when you're getting defensive BUT could be processing better information.

I came here to learn a long time ago and I was also a gigantic asshole because of all my poorly thought out assumptions ... hmm? HMMM? oh yes, I'm still an asshole but that's beside the point!

If you're struggling with difficult concepts and ideas sometimes it's a good idea to slow down and research the concepts that are giving you difficulty. Asking questions instead of making aggressive false statements can also be helpful.

In the anarchist context, 'the struggle' is not (necessarily) a negation of the plurality of struggles. It is simply a signifier. Don't let it upset you. These mean word users are not saying your struggle is less than theirs, okay?

And, yes, above I refer to 'the anarchist context'. This choice is not negating the plurality of anarchist contexts. Understand?

Aggressive false statements, then why are you making a false statement? Nothing I've said concerning the article has been false, and the aggression level has been quite low. Also, the disagreement towards me has been rooted in this idea that I'm not reading the article or thinking about it...any evidence that this is the case? I didn't think so. Try to dispute the things that people say online instead of attacking them as individuals. I dont understand where this hostility is coming from.

Also, it should be noted that I don't find being patronizing or feaux-educational to be very practical. I dont see where being condescending is helpful towards fulfilling the needs of anarchists, or why they would be doing that when they can simply try to engage with a subject matter, or correct people's flawed assumptions instead of getting upset with them. I would think after all this time you wouldn't be that emotional. There's so many ways that the responses to my criticism here have either been missing the point or simply not speaking to what I said. You ask me if I understand, but you haven't been interested in engaging in the subject matter so far.

Is it just me or the concept of "polyformity" or "multiformity" is just a poor choice of words to express something else?

I don't see how conformity or uniformity are a remedy to any of the issues above. And I'll shout a big "lol" at anyone trying to make me believe that there's only one way, or that conformity can be a way, in anything. Regardless of who says that. Put simple, there's no anarchy in being a sheeple or a robot.

Good point. Overall I think the article was hitting at something important but something felt off - this is it
Even the author himself says that multiformity is here to stay in anarchic practice. The real problem seems to be the equivocation later of small and large actions, in a way that magnifies cute and fun little expenditures of energy, while downplaying (in their equilization) actions that threaten power structures or give us back power.

maybe the point should be on actions that gain us (individuals) power, versus actions that just take up our energy.... or something along this line. Though by this logic complex actions like placing a bomb in a police station might be put right alongside wall scratchings, if it doesnt lead to anything except a show of malintent. Maybe it's a good thing though, and would raise the bar for everyone...

Power-building is a central if not single goal in capitalist morality. For a person indoctrinated by capital, you can't escape it, just like other values are at most instrumental to the core principle of power, if not pointless.

Creating liberties is not merely "power". But in a way, to build a confrontational tension with Power that gives you more latitude, it can be attributed as such. But this only an aspect of what's needed, and you know it. Whatever happens to the pleasure principle, or compassion, or understanding, or knowledge, or dignity, or free-sharing? All these values, among others are not clearly an aspect of power, but rather of an appreciation of the living.

Take dignity for instance. It is not clearly creating power, but certainly building more STRENGTH (especially moral) for yourself and maybe others. This strength may become useful in negating the power of oppressors over you.

While the Nietzschean assumption that power is what really drives men is true, this is only a relative truth, an interpretation driven from within Freddie's socio-political context, i.e. the savage capitalism of the late 19th century. It is not a universal truth, while it cannot be dissed away altogether. What I'm rather seeing in every being's (human or not) motives through history, is a quest for life. Which does translate to a quest for power, but also other principles.

Epicurus especially would tell anyone how delusional they are in their quest for power, where according to him, life is just about being, and enjoying it.

You don't need to accumulate more shit in order to enjoy life; the very felt need to accumulate more, inherently, is the manifestation of a failed way of seeing life, that is always incomplete as it needs more and more capacity of enjoying it (power). On the other hand, there are limitless potentials of enjoying it if you do within the realm of possibilities life is offering you. Pleasure is THERE, not suspended in some delayed futures (or projectuality). Just do what pleases you, within the confines of what you can do.

This also makes it the most counter-ableist philosophy there is, as regardless of your incapacitation or limitations. And the realm of possilibility changes from one person to the next, depending on their punctual conditions.

The quest for that candy hanging over your head, that is the thing that needs to be abolished from the start, if you wanna breaks the chains of power. It can't be more obvious than this.

Haven't you forgotten something about power? What about religion and the power to control people, their property and their will? Capital is just a prop and has no intrinsic power per se, its not the " candy hanging over the head " its the god or spook that has been internally indoctrinated that becomes the inside man that the capitalist power brokers communicate to. I know I sound paranoid, but I'm not!

Capital ain't a prop.... It's a way to call what is actually consolidation of power, and its endless territorializations. What do you think people imply when thy say "capital"? Not Marxism, but rather a consolidation of interests and power over something.

The props are the many things and devices that are built in the attempt at reifying this capital. Such are fences, gates, landscaping, etc. These things are not capital but its multifaceted spatial and temporal concretizations. They stop making sense the moment property becomes denied or erased in some way, like during an expropriation, or a squatting effort.

You are totally paranoid but it's not your fault. It's theirs!

So I don't see where's the big contradiction with what I was saying about the "candy over our heads". Of course it's a spook, muchacho; that's the fucking point with the whole quest for power. Nobody needs to appropriate land to make use of it, idiots. It's just an empty old imperative that just keeps working because people are working with/for it. The capitalist dogma sez we gotta buy some piece of land in order to build our free dum. This shit been happenin' ever since the Virginia Plantation.

"While the Nietzschean assumption that power is what really drives men is true, this is only a relative truth, an interpretation driven from within Freddie's socio-political context, i.e. the savage capitalism of the late 19th century. It is not a universal truth"

Revisit Neech, brah. You're expressing some fundamental misunderstanding of will to power and his position on truth. Hint: the essence of a thing is only an opinion about the thing!

Also, you will fail to find adherence to universal truth in Neech. His favor falls to beautiful possibility.

Additionally, what can you understand and interpret outside of your own context? Neech might say: 'one would require a position outside of it! while splashing in the bath.

that term shouldve just been translated to “diversity of tactics” to avoid confusion

Fire to the Prisons!
Freedom for Francisco Solar!
Neither guilty, nor innocent. Simply anarchist!

Add new comment