First of all, I can’t believe FOX is talking about this. It also does not seem to fit with the way FOX usually dismisses the left. This time the “radical left” is taken seriously and it’s because someone is talking about violence. Glenn Beck does not address anything the book actually mentions. The quotes he selects are just spicy snippets from the concluding paragraphs of each “circle” [chapter].
I started reading The Coming Insurrection a few weeks ago. Honestly, it’ is good writing. I just have seen a lot of writings like this, and The Coming Insurrection is not very different from a lot of insurrectionary texts, from Blanqui to the present. But insurrectionist writing is satisfying to read because it’s passionate and speaks directly to the reader, it pushes the reader further, and it feels good to not give a fuck. The style of the Invisible Committee is noticeably influenced by Situationist thought and the polemic style of Jean Baudrillard. It cannot help sounding intellectualized and French and fed up all at once. But why people are even talking about this particular text is because of the amount of secrecy that formed around it. It was not put on the internet until at least two or three years after it was written (which was some time after the 2005 suburb riots in France.) The TCI was instead was passed along from person to person, and the cops had no idea. Until the English copies made their way to English zine-sharing websites, which was no more than several weeks ago, few people had even read it in English.
After Julien Coupat’s arrest in connection with the NYC bicycle bombing in 2008 and the arrests made in connection with the French high-speed train sabotaging, the French government talked the book up, and is using it as evidence against the Tarnac 9 in court, and the book gained international notoriety as being some kind of seminal insurrectionary text of the times.
But also, partly because of this book more anarchists in the US have been discussing the ideas of Agamben, who has connections to the authors of “post-Situationist” anarchist journal, Ticcun, some of whom I believe lived in Tarnac where Coupat was living at the time of his arrest.
FOX News may be scared as fuck, and that’s right because they totally should be. But in reality, only a small number of people in the US are actually reading this because they consider themselves insurrectionary. And even fewer are actually taking up arms. The rest are probably FBI agents and ideologues who will never identify their own struggle against capitalism. Many, many more people are in fact reading right-wing fascists’ books like Glenn Beck’s. Perhaps the left always has an element of being more active, or visible in certain ways than the right. Or maybe the right uses visibility or outspokenness as an excuse to shake its fist everytime the left makes itself noticeable. One thing is for certain, and that’s that – when this country does face an insurrectional blaze – like so many other countries we will see fascists and neo-nazi groups cooperating with political and military forces to regroup themselves as death-squads to hunt down and murder any “leftist” they feel is a threat to their way of life.