Communique concerning Rene Riesel

None of our readers can be ignorant of the fact that, at the very least, our analyses do not square with the positions advanced by Rene Riesel and those close to him. The opposition maintained by Riesel, the Encyclopedia of Nuisances, In extremis, Los Amigos de Ludd, and Selected Notes and Morsels to necro-technology, genetic manipulation and the opportunistic sacking of the planet would merit being approved if it was not accompanied by the most scandalous, sudden reversals of theory[1] that lead astray the old radical critique to the benefit of a stupefying revalorization of work, small commercial enterprises and, more generally, tradition.

Riesel has just experienced, at his own expense, what has become of the peasants' union, of which he had little experience when he was still its Secretary General. A little late, he identified his former comrades as forming a citizenist[2] swamp. In reality, the initial objective -- the fight against genetic manipulation -- simultaneously averred that it was too radical to involve unionists and too limited to stir up a social movement: but who could be surprised at this? It is this non-viable contradiction that is at the origin of the current dead-end. Riesel only distanced himself from this tactical result (in this manner: "the tactical recourse to the Conf[ederation] umbrella was a primary strategic error," see letter dated 3 September 1999 from Rene Riesel to Jose Bove[3]) so as to avoid being blamed with the original mistake of the theoretical position defended by his pathos [mouvance] (the reduction of the multiple capitalist impasses to the domination by technology).

On the other hand, Riesel's current refusal of the temptations to protect himself with unionist pretexts and to negotiate with the Elysee or the European Court of Justice (and thus recognize the authority of the State) for his release from prison, like the other defendants, is without any doubt estimable.

On the general level, we thus ask that all those who want to take action against the false social dialogue should be free to do so, without any repressive measures coming to strike them. It is strictly impossible for anyone to make him or herself understood without breaking with the fake conditions of "acting in concert."

On the level of the particular, we expect to continue to critique the perspectives defended by Riesel. But since (for multiple reasons) one cannot critique the positions of an imprisoned man, it is thus all the more important that Rene Riesel is released, so that he can live exposed to healthy critique.

Finally, we consider the motivation invoked by the authorities to incarcerate those who have destroyed transgenic seeds to be perfectly laughable. The dominant order is a permanent system of violence and destruction. In the course of the world such as it is, the destruction of transgenic seeds does not even have the weight of a detail. Still worse, how could one rank among the innumerable destructive practices (destruction of the lives of people, their simple survival, their mental health, animal species, the air, the oceans and rivers, the climate and the faraway ionosphere) the destruction of a destructive element? That the guardians of the system are not led to understand the positive character of a double negation is no doubt unsurprising, but there assuredly exists no reason for following them in their willful myopia.

To the supporters of legal fury, we can only say: get your paws down![4]

Les Amis de Nemesis

[1] The rejection of both Guy Debord and situationist theory in general. See Riesel's interview with Liberation, published on 3-4 February 2001.

[2] An anonymous article entitled L'impasse citoyenniste (April 2001) offers a preliminary definition of "citizenism": 1) the belief in democracy as something that can be opposed to capitalism; 2) the project to reinforce the State (the States) so as to put this politics into place; and 3) citizens as the active base of this politics. Attac is thus a "citizenist" organization.

[3] A translation into English is here.

[4] The French here is Bas les pattes!

(Published online 16 December 2002. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! August 2007. Footnotes by the translator.)

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