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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire UCL - Al #304- Culture, Read: Del Rey and Benasayag, "Commitment in an obscure era" (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 8 May 2020 09:30:01 +0300

The book published in 2011 has been republished in pocket version since 2017. A great opportunity to read this text which questions militant evidence and offers new approaches. ---- First there is the title, falsely explicit: first, the era here is less a period between two dates, than the paradigm that defines it (myths, beliefs, projections etc.). Ours has a central myth, that of our current societies which are only sums of individuals. Behind it hides an equally ingrained illusion, one that makes people believe in control of their whole life and "destiny". ---- Second, darkness; the purpose of the authors is to recall that this notion is not that, subjective, of degrees of "mental" luminosity , ranging from sadness to (individual) happiness. In the book, obscurity is the powerlessness of the contemporaries of an era to overcome negations (dominant ideologies, forms of governance, etc.) of life (human, social, animal, etc.). By this state of affairs, the majority of these contemporaries do not project themselves into possibilities against squaring the negations of life.

These two concepts explained, the authors give us a very interesting thesis, starting with the critique of commitment-transcendence (that of activists and sad activists). This is the form of activism inherited from the last two centuries. In that it remains in "religious" representations: a promise (religions, ideologies etc.), bringing about a paradise (religious or humanist), through a subject (messiahs, proletariat etc.) and history will know its end for eternity. When paradise is slow in coming, or when the subject is slow to become aware, the sad activist loses faith, and will curse humanity by denying all of its commitments.

Self-management and animation
To this type of commitment, the authors propose, commitment-research, that in which various components of the libertarian movement are already inscribed. The notion of animators of the struggles that the Libertarian Communist Union claims here finds its full meaning here: "We are promoting a self-managing concept of the role of animators and animators of struggles.[...]the self-management intervention is necessarily contradictory since it tends, at the same time, to the self-direction of the movements by those who struggle, to the speaking by all and all, and to collective responsibility. This living dialectic is necessary."

If the book takes us to review concepts from different thinkers (Deleuze, Foucault, Spinoza etc.) brought up to date, to (re) discover concrete past experiences (Tupamaros), it is frankly to regret the overall level of writing , which does not give itself the means of popularization accessible to the greatest number.

The book is however to be read and the ideas to be shared, in order to grasp the complexity of engagement situations. In order to make the comments in this book more accessible, surveying workshops would be welcome.

Marouane Taharouri (UCL-Naoned)

Miguel Benasayag, Angélique Del Rey From engagement in an obscure era , Le Passager Clandestin, second edition, 2017, 183 pages, 6 euros

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