the holy fools


[1] Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, Pan, London 1947.

[2] See Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, “The Californian Ideology”, Californian Ideology.

[3] A TJ is a ‘theory-jockey’: Amsterdam slang for intellectuals who cut ‘n’ mix philosophies like DJs in a club.

[4] DIY stands for ‘do-it-yourself’. See Elaine Brass and Sophie Poklewski Koziell with Denise Searle (ed.), Gathering Force: DIY culture - radical action for those tired of waiting, Big Issue, London 1997.

[5] See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on Rhizome (was, now

[6] “May ‘68 was a demonstration, an irruption, of a becoming in its pure state... Men’s only hope lies in a revolutionary becoming: the only way of casting off their shame or responding to what is intolerable.” Gilles Deleuze, “Control and Becoming”, Negotiations: 1972-1990, Columbia University Press, New York 1995.

[7] Jacques Camatte, The Wandering of Humanity, Black & Red, Detroit 1975.

[8] See Félix Guattari, Molecular Revolution: psychiatry and politics, Penguin, London 1994.

[9] Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia, Athlone Press, London 1988.

[10] Alfred Douglas, The Tarot. This Gnostic vision of human freedom is remarkably close to the liberating role of insanity championed by the two philosophers.

[11] See Félix Guattari, “Three Ecologies”, New Formations, Number 8.

[12] See Félix Guattari, “Les Radios Libres Populaires” in Pascal Defrance (ed.), De la Necessité Socio-culturelles de l’Existence de Radios Libres Indépendantes; and his introduction to Collectif A/Traverso, Radio Alice, Radio Libre (translated in Molecular Revolution: psychiatry and politics).

[13] Jean-Paul Simard, Interview with Author, Fréquence Libre, April 1985; and Annick Cojean and Frank Eskenazi, FM: la folle histoire des radios libres, Grasset, Paris, 1986.

[14] The vanguard was a military term used for the advance guard who opened up the path for the main army. Applied to politics, this phrase emphasised the leadership role of radical intellectuals within revolutionary organisations.

[15] For a critique of New Left vanguardism, see Jo Freeman, “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” in CS (ed.), Untying the Knot: feminism, anarchism & organisation, Dark Star/Rebel Press, London 1984.

[16] See V.I. Lenin, What Is To Be Done?: burning questions of our movement, Foreign Language Press, Beijing 1975; and Georg Lukács, History and Class Consciousness, Merlin, London 1968.

[17] See Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy and other Essays, New Left Books, London 1971.

[18] Above all, anarcho-communism was seen as the heir of those Left Communists who had fought for direct democracy organised through the Soviets against the dictatorship of the Leninist party. See Maurice Brinton, The Bolsheviks & Workers’ Control: 1917-1921, Solidarity, London 1970; and Ida Mett, The Kronstadt Uprising 1921, Solidarity, London 1967.

[19] See Jacques Camatte, The Wandering of Humanity. Of course, a much diluted variant of this attack on oppressive ‘grand narratives’ later formed the ideological basis for the self-styled post-modernists.

[20] In classic New Left films like Weekend and Themroc, rebellion against a repressive and alienating urban society was symbolically represented through a return to primitive simplicity. Curiously, both films portrayed cannibalism as the ultimate expression of liberation from bourgeois morality!

[21] See Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus.

[22] Apart from its emphasis on peasants rather than nomads, Khmer Rouge ideology was very similar to the anti-modernism espoused by Deleuze and Guattari. See Michael Vickery, Cambodia: 1975-1982, Allen and Unwin, Hemel Hempstead 1984.

[23] In contrast, most of their contemporaries gravitated towards either electoral politics or post-modern nihilism. See Jean-Pierre Garnier and Roland Lew, “From The Wretched Of The Earth To The Defence Of The West: an essay on Left disenchantment in France”, Socialist Register 1984: the uses of anti-communism, Merlin, London 1984.

[24] From 1930 to 1933, the Surrealists’ journal was called Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution. See Helena Lewis, Dada Turns Red: the politics of surrealism, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 1990.

[25] According to Nietzsche, the culturally impoverished masses were ‘herd animals’ compared to the ‘eagles’ of the artistic world.

[26] Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, Vintage, New York 1968. Deleuze commended Nietzsche for the ‘positive task’ of inventing the reactionary concept of the Superman.

[27] See Ken Knabb (ed.), Situationist International Anthology, Bureau of Public Secrets, California 1981.

[28] See Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life, Practical Paradise, London 1972. The Situationists discovered the tribal gift economy in Marcel Mauss, The Gift.

[29] See Warren O. Hagstrom, “Gift Giving as an Organisational Principle in Science” in Barry Barnes and David Edge, Science in Context: readings in the sociology of science, The Open University, Milton Keynes 1982.

[30] See Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, “Cooking Pot Markets: an economic model for the trade in free goods and services on the Internet”,

[31] See Keith W. Porterfield, “Information Wants to be Valuable: a report from the first O’Reilly Perl conference”,

[32] See Eric C. Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”,

[33] See Netscape Communications Corporation, “Netscape Announces Plans to Make Next-Generation Communicator Source Code Available Free on the Net”,

[34] Andrew Leonard, “Let My Software Go!”,

[35] Wired uses ‘The New Economy’ as a synonym for its neo-liberal fantasies about the digital future.

[36] Alexandre Kojève, Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’, Cornell University Press, Ithaca NY 1969.

[37] Henri Lefebvre, Everyday Life in the Modern World, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick NJ 1984.

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