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Scholarly Horizons: University of Minnesota, Morris Undergraduate Journal

Abstract

Over the past 60 years, there has been a resurgence of anarchism in Western Society. The revolutionary spirit has very much returned to the consciousness of popular culture, if it ever left at all. This ‘comeback’ of anarchist ideology has become progressively louder in the past decade, with the rise of cyberterrorist/hacktivist groups such as Anonymous and Lulzsec, the proliferation of political and governmental distrust following the 2008 recession, and the vocal increase in anti-fascist, anarcho-capitalist, post-left anarchism, eco-anarchism, and insurrectionary anarchist groups and activists such as The Invisible Committee. But many of these ideas haven’t been pulled from thin-air, or ancient ideological tomes that have gone out of fashion. In fact, most of them, particularly post-left anarchism and insurrectionary anarchism, have direct roots in the Situationist International of the middle of the twentieth century, pioneered by Guy Debord and Raoul Vaneigem. Despite these roots however, contemporary anarchist texts, such as The Invisible Committee’s The Coming Insurrection starkly diverges from their Situationist roots. This paper is an attempt to investigate Situationist roots of The Coming Insurrection through contrasting elements of The Invisible Committee’s ideal revolutionary group, the commune, to Guy Debord’s workers’ council, focusing on four distinct points of divergence – assembly, visibility, power, and individuality. These points of divergence illustrate the change in ideology from the Situationist era of the 60’s to the pre-financial crisis moment that The Invisible Committee is writing in.

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