Nomadic Insurgence


Farmers posses land and work it. Possession and work are the farmerís basic defining activities. Nomads traverse space and transform it through play - moving and playing are the nomadís basic activities. Farmers need habit, ritual, consistency, unity. Nomads break habit, transform, fluctuate, diversify. Farmers deify order. Nomads create chaos.

Farming is the origin of the work ethic, because the farmer is one whose life is created for her by the work of farming. The farmer cannot create any moments for himself that conflict with the necessities of farmwork - otherwise, the farm fails and the farmer loses her identity, and possibly his survival. Time - a steady and standardized measure of motion - is essential to the farmer - his motion through space is not motion through space - not essentially - but working of the land. It is based on the order, the rule of measured cycles.


Nomadism - at least in attitude - is essential to autonomy. The refusal of permanence..the refusal of a home. When all of space and time is formally dominated by the relationships that constitute the social context, autonomy consists of seeming not to be there...The secret of this invisibility is constant motion...Finding the cracks where formal domination is not actual...challenging society with oneís autonomous creativity there...disappearing before the actual forces of domination can suppress the challenge... a tricky, risky dance. Physical motion is not necessary to this strategy - the ability to escape labels, to avoid being pegged, is. But physical motion can improve oneís chances. The broader the terrain one wanders, the vaster the possibilities for radical breaks, for discovery of new cracks, for wild play...Within the context of such wanderings, permanent self-enslavement zones" become aspects of the social context to be subverted for the nomadic insurgentís uses and challenged defiantly in whatever way makes sense in any given instance. There are no blueprints for autonomy.


Settled places and settled lives seem stranger and stranger to me. Thereís something too ordered about most places and most lives. They make me a bit crazy - I want to fuck Ďem up. This is why I appreciate every individual who actually breaks out of this and why i get anxious when Iím feeling too settled. I start feeling like I donít belong - then I remember that the concept of belonging is absurd. I need to make each place through which I pass my own as I go through it, until I am done with it.


One of the reasons to avoid doing insurgent projects...with lame assed that your critical faculty gets wasted on pointing out their idiocy. Better to ignore the idiots and create projects with those who arenít caught up in all the old ideologies. Then our critical faculties can be directed toward creating ourselves as insurgents, transforming our interactions and our daily lives and coming to an understanding of the society we need to destroy in order to do these. Using our critical faculties against easy targets can dull them. Using them to create the lives we desire, at war with authority, sharpens them. Cruelty is necessary.


Insurgent illegality is not to be mistaken for criminality. Yes, the insurgent outlaw does not commit crimes and may do well to have some peripheral underworld connections...But the professional criminal is using crime to make a living, whereas the insurgent outlaw is consciously trying to undermine the mores, laws and manners of society. The intelligent criminal will have friends among the enforcers of the law, because this is good business; the insurgent outlaw will avoid such connections, because her desire is the creation of a life that recognizes no law...Any connection with the enforcers of law endangers such a life. There are outlaws whose rejection of law is based on a moral principle - usually an abstract conception of "anarchy" or "freedom" or "individuality." But these outlaws only wish to replace state law with moral law. The insurgent outlaw is amoral - he rejects law in all its forms, because it restricts her life and limits his possibilities. An insurgent outlaw may destroy a stolen item, sell it on the black market, keep it or share it among friends - as it pleases her. He may rob a bank and use the money for a project, squander it on friends, take a trip or burn it. But moral outlaws will feel obliged to use all stolen goods for their chosen cause.

Professional criminals are not outlaws. They dance with the law and twist it to their own ends. They break laws not out of defiance, but for economic reasons. Within their subculture, they have quasi-laws and methods of enforcing them. But their illegal jobs are better than most legal jobs because they involve elements of risk: the thrill of outwitting the heat. It may be wise for the professional criminal to stay in one place, to create established connections. But for the insurgent outlaw? No, never in one place for very long. The insurgent outlaw no more wants to be integrated into the criminal subculture than into mainstream culture or any alternative subculture...

The insurgent outlaw is consciously trying to increase her power of self-creation in opposition to society. His ability to do so demands wits, courage and the capability to become invisible. thus, insurgent outlaws often live as vagabonds - passing through, but never settling and becoming defined. Their lives, as much as their illegal activities, are also an attack against society.

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