Making Friends, Creating Maps, Growing our Shared Power

This is a rough beginning to a longer work, tentatively entitled Rot, Fermentation, Counterlogistics.

As those committed to ending the current order, to establishing a new world, we must do more than engage in hand-to-hand combat with the state and capital, moving mindlessly from one protest to the next. We also must be theorists and strategists, surveying the terrain of struggle, creating maps, marking paths and building a collective analysis. 

And, this of course what we have always done when we are with our friends: conversations over coffee and cigarettes sprung from chance encounters in cafes, conversations about what is happening, how we relate to each other, what is to be done. It happens when we retreat to the kitchen after the protest, discussing what when wrong, what we will do next time as the fumes from the onions cause our eyes to remember the sting of the pepper spray. It happens in the clandestine friendships that blossom among people laboring together: the discussions of wages, promotions, agreements not to work to hard that are made in the break rooms, on the assembly line, in the delivery trucks and all these other fugitive publics.  It happens when we travel and find new friends: at the action camp, the convergence space, the humanitarian aid encampment, the international brigades, the social center or the infoshop. In these moments and spaces of encounter, we are overjoyed to find we are not alone and immediately set about understanding, translating and building a shared analysis of how our situated struggles correspond to this historical moment. 

And as we talk, as our friendships deepen through this collaborative work of coming to a shared understanding, we being to write, to put what we have learned into words. We spend hours stapling and folding our zines, building websites, laying out books and journals, recording podcasts and getting into the work of public-ation. Then we send these products to the book-fairs, the libraries, the feeds, the newsletters, the mailing lists. We pamphlet crowds and leave flyers on the subways. In short we leave the traces of our friendships and conversation, our plans of attack, our maps to another world, in hopes that a friend might find them, might join in our conversations, might join our fugitive public that we have labored to build. 

Such is the work of the organic intellectual, the militant researcher, the theorists grounded in struggle: making friends, creating maps together and, then, finding new friends, new accomplices, creating new publics. In short: growing our shared power through these formal and informal practices of sharing.