Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Enemies We Know

The Institute for Experimental Freedom is proud to announce the release of “Enemies We Know.” This project was originally intended to be a 4-part poster series, and will be released in this medium as well. However, after careful consideration and reflection, these short texts are currently being released as an easily reproducible pamphlet—designed with high contrast black and whites, easy readability, and succinct critical messaging. This pamphlet serves the purpose of an “instead of an introduction,” and because it is not designed to spread ideology, it focuses on clarifying who and what are our enemies, rather than what is our program. The three known enemies that are the subjects of this pamphlet are “Police,” “Bosses,” and “Rapists.” Each is examined from their functional role within the environment they serve and exposed as an amorphous set of practices rather than a substance. Our intention is not to merely name the enemy—who doesn't know know the name of that occupying force in blue? Rather, our intention is to elaborate an analysis of what function each realizes, and how they can be disarmed, undermined and neutralized. In a world of such confusion, it's nice to know certain truths.

If you don't like the “IEF” brand and contact on the back or you wish to add your own, use Adobe Acrobat or another PDF editing program to digitally edit it (for Acrobat: tools, advanced editing, touch up object tool), or simply white it out during production. Even though, it would be more satisfying to leave anonymous letters to potential comrades, we concluded its more beneficial at this time—a time without clear escape routes—to direct a reader toward some signal that they are not alone.

After considering the social and political environment you occupy, leave this pamphlet anonymously at potential points of encounter (the cliché and historical points: cafés, bookshops, colleges, record stores, and bars).

Enemies We Know


With love; in struggle,
The Institute for Experimental Freedom


  1. It is now confirmed.

    The IEF is beyond irrelevant. It is the form in which irrelevance shows itself to the world. Perhaps that is its only gift to mankind.

    I won't waste a tear on your drift into the ideology of "enemies."

    I take that back. I'll waste one tear. Here it goes: Structures of enmity are not created by enemies. Enemies are created by structures of enmity. That simple error has confused your entire project. You will always have an ideal type of enemy to blame. But structures cannot be blamed.

    I once respected you theoretically.

    I no longer do.

  2. Luke, It's possible that when you say "irrelevant" you mean "trendy." I think you've mistaken the particular time when you became sensitive to the IEF within a constellation of insurgent thought to be the time of everyone, and I think you've mistaken the IEF as the representation of this constellation.

    If you were to read the pamphlet--which as noted is an "instead of an introduction" and will not achieve the same intellectual stimulation of carefully examining Hobbes and Clausewitz--you would notice that the entire point of focusing on these particular enemies is to examine them as points of contact, and rather than specific bodies, individuals, to conceptualize "police," "bosses," and "rapists" as the functional operations they realize. Why would the texts spend so much time talking about the way in which these figures are not singular, and how they stare back at us from the mirror if that were not the case? That all being said, the concept of apparatus in Foucault and Agamben is a useful tool for understanding how this "enemy" has a functional role, inseparable at the moment of its operation, from the environment that this enemy maintains. Thus, those who do police labor--who manage disorder--are police. Which is to say "holy fuck, sovereign power is diffused, amorphous, and without a pure substance."

    You can argue that this pamphlet is potentially irresponsible because how it use "absolute enmity," but you'd be arguing with every molotov cocktail poster on the block. And if you confront the reality of our situation, that of global civil war, you will realize you have no argument.

  3. Well, if you think that "molotov cocktail posters" are somehow good arguments, then you prove my point.

    You are writing posters. Not arguments. Keep making posters, you are good at that.

    Having ideas is one thing. You have many of them. Defending ideas is another thing. You have none of those.

    If you want to converse, find me in in the midwest, as usual.

    your old friend,

  4. Though I prefer the theory the IEF is known for putting out, it's still great to see a concise and uncompromising rudimentary piece on these amorphous social configurations that we categorize as enemies. The section on rapists was particularly impressive.

    Pleased to see ya'll are writing stuff again--keep up the good work.

  5. 1. pg 9, ln3: wear, not where
    2. pg 10, 2nd p, ln4: too, not to
    3. pg 13, ln 3: author [of] the book
    4. pg 13, 1st p, last ln: remove comma
    5. pg13, 2nd p, 2nd to last ln: remove comma
    6. pg16, ln7: conclusion, not concussion (?)
    7. pg16, 1st p, 2nd to last ln: thoughts, not thought

    I have admired the IEF's work as polished in the past. Please fix these errors (unless they are not errors in the writing but errors in the reading, like #6 may be), then delete this comment.

    <3 from someone who might surprise you.

  6. I agree with the comment regarding the rampant, but not surprising, errors throughout this piece. Although, I will disagree regarding the "polished" works in the past.

    I respect a lot of what y'all have to say, but it really bothers me that you lack a quality editor to keep that grammar, punctuation, and spelling in line. Or maybe you like it that way? Whatever the case may be, I think most things I have read contain plenty of simple mistakes.

    Really not trying to be an asshole. Maybe the problem is with me.

  7. Excellent, useful. Will be handing out, leaving around- especially to non-anarchists

  8. Bosses, police, and...rapists(??).

    Wait let's try that again. Bosses, cops, and...child-murderers(??).

    Hmm, something's not right here. Seriously though, why are these words together when they have literally nothing to do with each other and are very different things? If you really want to talk about rape, you're not doing a service to obscure what it is and inventing ridiculous notions of what a rapist is. Unlike police and bosses, rapists are not a class, not a group of people that meet together and conspire for the furtherance of the ends of their group, not part of any organization. Also, the actions of bosses and police are mostly public as their are public figures that do public things, whereas rapists act in the dark away from crowds and generally affect only one person at a time. I could seriously go on and on all day about how different these groups are and how nonsensical it is to group them together.

    If you want to make a zine about "not-cool crime" it would go something like this "Muggers, rapists, serial killers (the bad kind)". I also don't think such a zine would be very interesting because who isn't against all these things at least on a surface level? MANY MANY people, however, are not against bosses or police so there's more of a discussion to be had there. This seems to be implying there there's some new contribution being made to an understanding that "rape=bad". Really? Rape is bad? Hmm, never heard that one before! I think that essentially putting "rapist" next to "bosses" and "police" is more of some kind of bizarre provacation, basically forcing the "rapist" into the face of the reader as some new concept that they are assumed to have not been paying enough due attention to. A special class of people that needs far more attentions than it is getting. It was appalling the way the Central Park rapist was portrayed as a hero in the media...right? Uh...right...

    No, this doesn't seem to actually be aimed at the general public, as the description seems to say. This pamphlet would not have been put together if it weren't reacting specifically to insular events within the "anarchist" scene, a scene incredibly irrelevant to most people. So who is the audience of this "rapist" section of the pamphlet? I would argue that it is very clearly other members of this scene. Why you ask? Well, there is this myth going around that the scene that the greatest amount of rape in American occurs within the "anarchist" scene and that it is a safe haven for it, more than any other scene (Including the party-going and rave scene). Furthermore, a few well known "anarchists" are even vocally in defense of rape as an important form of action against this society. What, you haven't heard? Yes, it's true. Don't ask for any citations or proof of this, but yes it's true, just take my word for it, you sexist pig.

    So, in conclusion, I hope that this pamphlet circulates greatly (That is, within the "anarchist" scene) because we really got a problem going on there! Those manarchists are going crazy! So you better hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cuz they rapin' everybody out here!

  9. Anonymous,
    What are you talking about? Like the other enemy figures that are subjects of this pamphlet, "The Rapist" is exposed and examined through the lens of the operations he realizes. I don't know what you're on about regarding all the hyperbole about rapists in the anarchist scene, but that's not the purpose of articulating and analysis of rape, rapists, and patriarchy through a civil war matrix. Nothing in this pamphlet articulates rapists, bosses, or police in terms of a "class," nor does that make any sense. I also don't think its worthwhile to form our strategy from the myth that police and bosses conspire substantially together as a class. These figures do so as a force, but not usually as a specific coalition. Either way, if you don't see how specific acts of rape, policing, or bossing affects broader ranges of people than their primary targets, then I don't think you are that sensitive to the war...

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