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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

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Social Wars


The war had several names in antiquity. At first it was known as the Bellum Marsicum (Marsic War). By 78 BC the name bellum Italicum (Italian War) had appeared on official documents. The more common modern name, bellum sociale (Social War), didn't appear until the second century AD, when it replaced the earlier names in historical accounts.




Social Wars



The allies had also been alienated by the attempts at land reform in Rome. These were meant to break up the larger estates that had been formed on the public land (areas conquered by Rome in earlier wars in Italy but not officially distributed). Unfortunately these laws allowed land to be confiscated from the allies, but only given to Romans and Latins, providing another cause for complaint.


The final battle of the war came at River Teanus, probably also in Apulia. The Roman army was probably commanded by Metellus Pius, described as the successor of Cosconius as praetor, who defeated the Apulians. Poppaedius Silo was killed in the battle. After this battle only the Samnites and Lucanians were still in arms against the Romans, and their fate began tied up with the Sullan civil wars.


Many of the concepts and critiques published in Guerra Social, Tensión Antisocial, are currently widespread in some English-speaking anarchist circles. It is important to note that the text was written in 2011, and it is the continuation of another booklet that was written in the autumn of 2010, when the important revolts that would sweep Barcelona and the rest of the Spanish state had only begun. The first text therefore was written before the return of a combative May Day and the 15M plaza occupation movement, around the time of the first of a cycle of riotous general strikes. These struggles, occurring shortly before the Occupy movement and a couple experiences with general strikes in the US, were an influence on anarchists in the English-speaking world. Although the perspective contained herein is certainly minoritarian and not at all characteristic of the Spanish anarchist space, it may have indirectly spread to English-speaking anarchists through interpretations of the revolts in Barcelona between 2011 and 2013.


The present text's importance, if it has any, is as an anticipation and expression of one specific anarchist modality, among others, within a social revolt, a modality that has already made its appearance in North America both as a translation of European struggles and as a completely endogenous response by North American anarchists to some of the same problematics that the author or authors of Tensión Antisocial presumably faced.Within the text we can also find an evident push towards a new understanding of colonialism, also on the European continent itself (in the form of witch hunts and other processes), and towards a rejection of rationalism. Neither of these elements are at all common in the Spanish anarchist literature, and the influence of both Federici and Rediker and Linebaugh, translated into Spanish shortly before the penning of the present work, is made explicit in 23 Tesis.


The roots of a specific practice are always multiple. With this translation, we present one of them, to a practice readers might be familiar with, so that it might be contextualized, criticized, or elaborated. Clearly, the influences on Tensión Antisocial are international, from Novatore to Federici, but the vision itself was forged in the experience of struggles, some isolated and others popular, that have rocked the streets of Barcelona in the last years. Our hope is to feed an ongoing conversation, international in scope, and bring some small measure of clarity or inspiration to the struggles that will write the next chapters of this conversation.


Finally, North American readers might be surprised to know that the Blackbird Raum quote appeared in the original text. That band played its first Barcelona show at a squatted social center shortly before Tensión Antisocial was written. For her part, Gracia la Valle, mentioned in the dedication, was the first person killed as a witch in the Spanish Inquisition.


For some time now, there has been an ideological abyss between insurgent people who sincerely want to destroy the State, Capital, and the patriarchy, and create a free and solidaristic world. They say that there are socials and antisocials. Although common, it is an imprecise division, and precisely for this reason we use it here, to not force the given categories but to reveal a false dichotomy.


In general, the debate has only been a distraction, an intentional confusion of terms to defend postures that have already been chosen. They say it's easy to make logs from a fallen tree, but if the tree itself is fictitious, its wood will not produce much fire. To dissipate the smoke a little, let's examine a typical episode in this debate so that we can then clearly see the essence of the social war and the antisocial tension.


We speak of social war and not of the more traditional class war because classes do not exist. We respect the companions who still feel part of the proletarian class, if it's really because they live in one of the corners of the world where the disappearance of classes has dragged out for longer and not out of an identitarian effort to meet the dictates of ideologies from other times.


With a great deal of pompousness, some social anarchists ridicule the contempt the antisocials demonstrate towards society, as though they were alienated, privileged, and weak. In truth, the social anarchists don't have truly deep relationships with other sectors of society, but they are appeased with less. The antisocial hatred is always portrayed as an attitude of arrogance, impatience, elitism, and lack of sensitivity. The truth is that those who feel the world will always have a proclivity to hate society and to hate other human beings.


Only with an extreme populism can one forgive the generalized apathy, submission, and stupidity without which the system of domination would never function. The true elitism is to pardon the masses of those despicable behaviors that we would never pardon in ourselves or our companions. In the same way, others whom we may not identify as rebels are also responsible for much resistance of which we are often unaware. It would be a grave error to suppose that the only struggles that exist are those we recognize as such; however, we remain ignorant of such struggles thanks to the same social peace that also makes us invisible. Those of us who are already fighting, known and unknown, are the most sensitive and the most daring, the first weeds that cannot stand the hypocrisy or the misery of normality.


But the antisocial tension is not a mere double line that has its strategic function in the current situation. It is a contradiction one feels in their guts. It is the curse of solitude and the rejection of any limit. The antisocial or individualist concept of liberty is so extreme that it cannot be programmatic; it is not practical. But it is exactly such an impractical contradiction that we need in order to avoid the monstrosities of rationalism! The rationalist revolutionary is the most frightful horror history has ever seen: having overturned the entire world, he has the possibility to order all the contradictions of nature and put in practice the dictatorship of abstractions.


An antisocial tension will exist in any future. Many anarchists fight because we are very sensitive to the imposition of norms. Born in an antiauthoritarian utopia, we would still see much hypocrisy and imposition. Above all we reject the idea of a utopia in which rebellion is outdated and unnecessary. We don't believe in a rebellion that will abolish the need to rebel, to transgress. Knowing that the only perfection is chaos, we will be unable to create a new authority.


In the 15M occupation, social and antisocial anarchists participated, each in their own way. There was also a posture of rejection towards any participation. Given the scarcity of actions exterior to the Plaça during those months, this posture cannot be considered a strategy but rather a lack of the same, a lack of patience, a lack of projectuality, an incapacity to confront the complicated realities of the world. In it we encounter the least interesting side of anarchism, because it refuses to learn from plurality and loses the opportunity to fortify its affinity by bringing it to more complex situations. If there really did exist an anarchist posture that did not participate in the social sprouting of 15M, why did the exterior actions stop during the month of the occupation? It would have been great had the attacks, sabotage, talks, propaganda, and whatever else continued during that month but the truth is that outside of the plaza we only find the continuation of a couple anarchist projects, valid but with little impact. Everything else is empty words. From what we saw, the posture of nonparticipation is purely hypothetical. If in some moment the partisans of this posture decide to develop a true practice starting from nonparticipation in social movements, maybe they will contribute new ideas and tactics that are very interesting, but at the moment we find nothing practical in their rejection, and lone words have never interested us.


It is equally boring, to the point of being pathetic, the posture of the populist rebels, supposed comrades who participate in any social movement without expressing their own ideas, who are satisfied with supplying tools for the use of the movement (whether it's the skills to facilitate a large assembly or their know-how for squatting buildings or constructing treehouses[8]) while they ignore the strategic debates, and decline to criticize their new allies. They must have the hearts of sheep or politicians. They fear frightening the others with their strange and radical ideas. Some feel so alienated from society (a society of alienation) that they want to be just like everyone else, to the point of losing their own identity. Others want to influence the masses without revealing who they are and what they really want; these ones end up reproducing the language of democracy and rights to win more popularity. They often defend their postures with false dichotomies, as though the only options were the use of concepts that betray our dreams or falling in the trap of the typical, clichéd anarchist communication, a sterile and abstract style that is hardly comprehensible to people who have not read the same books as we have. Their mistake is not recognizing that for rebels, conflict is good and the easy path is destined to fail.


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