Commune War Machine

The commune war machine


‘The war machine is that nomad invention that in fact has war not as its primary object but as its second-order, supplementary or synthetic objective, in the sense that it is determined in such a way as to destroy the state-form and city-form with which it collides.’ The commune war machine returns into being at the moment of insurrection — the martial swarming of that site ruptured by the potential generalization of the event and its emergent universalism — and is consistently threatened by appropriation into the apparatuses of state by strength of structural violence and institutional unification. War is the means of promoting the centrifugal force of dispersal against the centripetal force of unification. Civil war is the motor of the commune war machine. The more generalized insurgence there is, the less unification there is, and the best enemy of the state is war. The assemblage of Communization (community-in-movement), Exodus (instituent flight) and Partisanship (insurrectionary-singularities) constitute the major flows of the commune war machine.


The commune comes into its power through the mutual aid and autonomy of a community-in-movement. As the communizing civil war machine reaches for the common, through the dynamic of economic and subjective production, it evades concentration and attacks through dispersal. This dispersal of power, the fluidity that evades institutional crystallization and electrifies popular energies – is war on the state. Such community against state, where everyday life is deployed as an arena for insurrectionary action, necessitates the transcendence of communitarian flows into a commune war machine. The general force remains as the dispersal logic, as well as the mutual aid and autonomy of the community, and its discontinuousness. The process of communization/dispersal is territorialized, creating nodes that bind but do not unite; parallel to this, the nodes are dissolved in a multitude of initiatives of attack and defense.


Exodus is the collective flight, a multiple desertion from the institutions that codify social relations and regulate biopolitical life. The intensity of this flight constitutes a war-machine in itself, which seeks to recompose itself into the community-in-movement. The commune war machine will inevitably lay siege to the various camps from where the state of emergency is the norm. A vision for the subjective liberation of bare life interned must coincide with this mass escape. Exodus joins the space-time of the movement and ensures its dispersion by creating lines of flight, not just trajectories of removal from the metropolis – but also the reorganization of society irreconcilably divided from the apparatus of control. Operating as a plural energy it assists the social war machine by thwarting the re-conquest of hierarchal structures and configures a rearguard battle against the forces of command. A break from centralized power is a multidimensional exodus that must be in itself militarily efficient in its flight.


The communard is a partisan war machine. One whose commonality flow through the commune war machine as armed joy and enmity. The partisan is not a vanguard but one who leads without leading. There is no purpose within the community-in-movement for vanguardist dispositions because the forms of action are part of everyday life, which deserve no specialization. Rather, the partisan war machine is the social relations of the multitude which forms organization based on collective decision making and the obligatory rotation of duty, but in a militarized state or, adapted to cope with violent assault. It is in these moments of insurrection and confrontation the community structures begin to mobilize the partisan war machine as characterized by rhizome. The logic of dispersal prioritizes no single form of action and has no central command; this is where the partisan war machine operates as a multiplicity of channels and forms of intercommunication and action. The partisan is not a permanent body but a transient group of plural singularities who are capable of sabotage and armed struggle to disrupt and bloc the flows of empire. This should not be taken as objective criteria but as a potentiality of new subjectivities – singularities beyond governmentality; whatever-they-may-(re)becoming.


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