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Announcing the Release of the First Annual Issue of Insurgencies: A Journal of Insurgent Strategy

Since the announcement of Insurgencies by Little Black Cart around a year ago the impasse that this project formed in response to has deepened. We would like to say that this is not the case, but over the past year it has become clear that the impasse that was generated after the fall of the Occupy movement has begun to solidify into a stasis. But, at the same time there is something hopeful in this impasse. As the impasse begins to solidify as a terrain of engagement the traditional attempts to answer the question of “What is to be done”, attempts which all too often replicate the same staid formulas of the past, have begun to be seen for the absurdities that they are. This absurdity has not only become clear in the sense that former assumptions have been shown to be farcical, but in the sense that the entire concept that there can be a singular answer to this question, a general tactical approach that can be adopted regardless of the variances in the dynamics of engagement in different times and in different spaces, has not only been shown to be impossible, but damaging in its very assumptions. In the collapse of what was, the possibilities for something else can arise; the impasse is necessary, though frustrating and potentially painful.

In this collapse a new discussion has begun, one that recognizes the problems of former attempts to work through past impasses, one that is beginning to be serious about moving past activism, one that is beginning to attempt to navigate this indiscernible space. It is in this tendency that we are attempting to engage. This issue will be an attempt to not only engage in this discussion, but to push forward the concept of the discussion itself, to deepen the impasse and the crisis that this causes for the traditional, activist/movement-centric forms of engagement that tend to dominate this discussion, and to widen the space for rethinking what engagement is. It is only in this process of tearing apart, of deconstructing the terms of engagement as they have existed, whether as traditional rally and march forms that have passed for action and engagement for all too long, or the replication of similar assumptions in the attacks on symbols that had come to replace this form for many of us, that we can see the internal dynamics of these forms of engagement and the assumptions that have led us into impasse after impasse. It is only in this process that we can begin to understand the hazards that we must navigate, not merely as the tips of the icebergs that we must move around, but also as that which exists under the surface, the assumptions that have proven, time and time again, to be our ruin.

In this we do not promise nor intend to provide any answers to how to move beyond the impasse, and anyone that claims to do so is engaging in pure sophistry. Rather, this journal intends, at this point in time, to merely open the question further, potentially identify some pitfalls, and contribute to the process of orientation that we all must undertake if we ever hope to continue the struggle.

Insurgencies is available from Little Black Cart.