wild policy



Introduction of the author and excerpt from the newly released book


When, at the turn of 2010 to 2011, this decade of democratic insurrections began, I was in the final period of my doctorate (defended in October 2012 and published in September 2013 – a few weeks after June). I always noticed affinities and connections between the research I was completing and these ongoing events. wild policy is the result of a deepening of this initial understanding and can be understood as an unfolding of the wild marx.[I]

The pages that follow result from a journey through acts, demonstrations, assemblies, debates, meetings, plays, films, meetings and stories. A mix of reflections from the presences in the streets, squares and forests, smaller mobilizations, subjective perspectives, geopolitical processes and (state) institutions. Theoretical-existential wanderings from Brazil, a political drift, an attempt to “think in the open”[ii] together with situations-fights here, in the USA and in France, but also calling some located in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Algeria, Italy, Egypt and some more.

Toni Negri asks about the possibility of “capturing this new being, this excess, this 'breath' [and] […] thinking from within the uprisings and in their rhythm”.[iii] I try, in five moments, starting from the sciences and politics of the movement, following through and through the expressions of the ongoing revolts, diverting, later, to the study of the current repressive turn to, finally, try to (un)tie the discussions in a policy of cultivation . These five parts can be read in any order and independently and, moreover, as suggested by my friend Silvio Rhatto, the same can happen with the paragraphs (numbered by the footnotes that include the references).

Partially shared, over the last few years, in texts, classes, speeches and conversations (I take this opportunity to thank you for all the encouragement), these pages are a tribute to eight masters to whom I owe much (everything?) and to whom I am extremely grateful for having known and live together, even in disagreements. Heiner Müller already said that to use and activate Bertolt Brecht without criticizing him is to betray him. “To love is to betray”.[iv]


In the beginning was the movement

Revolt. Revolution. Rebellion. Insurrection. Insurgency. Raise. Riot. Turmoil. Gé-mìng. Intifada. Hibba. Thawra. Racket. Uproar. Bustle. Agitation. Ara pyau. Emotion. Subversion. Uprising. Subversion. Implosion. Irruption. Eruption. Emergency. Outbreak. Spark. Felony. Maelstrom. Virus. Repudiation. Opposition. Transformation. Disorder. Disruption. Dissent. Dissension. Dissent. Disturb. Disjunction. Dysfunction. Undoing. Abolition. Disturbance. Interruption. Split. Break. serhildan. Insubordination. Insubmission. Indiscipline. Disobedience. Dismissal. Boiling. Effervescence. Pachakutik. Tiqqun hello. Borroka. Revolutionization. Revolving. Tremor. Earthquake. Storm. Swirl. Protest. Block. Sabotage. Boycott. Barricade. Obstruction. Lockdown. Braking. Braid. Ratchet. Party. Riot. Strike. Manifestation. Act. Break-break. Occupation. Camping. Quilombo. Resistance. Resumption. Self-demarcation. Recovery. Escape. Desertion. Drift. Dribble. Dodge. Shondaro. Rough sea.

Elias Canetti recounts, in the second volume of his autobiographical trilogy, his striking and decisive encounter, in Frankfurt, with a mobilization of workers in the XNUMXs. He is then seized by “an intense desire to participate”, but he does not take the step. Decades later, his “memory of the first demonstration […] has remained alive”; in that instant, he was transformed – “what happened to us in the crowd, a complete alteration of consciousness, was as drastic as it was mysterious. I wanted to know what it was about, really.” This clash with a community in motion made him dwell on this enigma for more than thirty years, which resulted in the publication of mass and power in 1960.

Going through works on the subject, he soon felt irritated with the influential readings of Sigmund Freud and Gustave Le Bon, because “these authors had closed themselves to the masses: they were strange to them, or they seemed to fear them. And when they decided to investigate them, their gesture was: stay ten steps away from me!”, since they were “a kind of disease, whose symptoms were looked for and described”, being “decisive that, when confronted with the masses, do not lose their minds, do not allow themselves to be seduced by them, do not lose themselves in them”.[v]

Later on, the writer recounts his second intense experience of the kind on July 15, 1927 in Vienna. After the Austrian Court acquitted the murderers of workers in a previous protest and the official newspaper spoke of a fair sentence, an indignant Canetti crosses the city and joins the workers who, from all corners, spontaneously rush to the front of the Palace of Justice. The mass burns him, along with his files. The police receive the order and shoot, killing ninety demonstrators. Elias Canetti remembers, after fifty-three years: “I still feel the excitement of that day in my bones. It was as close to a revolution as I have personally experienced. Since then I know perfectly well, without needing to have read a line about it, how the storming of the Bastille took place. [By plunging into the event], I became part of the mass, completely dissolved in it, without feeling the slightest resistance to what I was undertaking”.[vi]

The scenes that Elias Canetti lives and shares, decades later, illustrate the rise of a political actor (the industrial working class) and the extremely violent reaction that faced him. The author also insists on the links between Le Bon's work (crowd psychology) and the irruption of workers' associations and the Paris Commune. The repression of this new movement will, over the course of the last century, take extremely tragic and violent forms, with the Nazi-fascist rise, the Second World War and its horrors. Elias Canetti, in his experiences on the streets and in his long investigation, brings the irruptive and creative force of rebellion. What if, contrary to the usual perspectives on politics, centered on the State, on the powerful and on representation, we start from the primacy of the struggle and its movements as elaborated by a group of authors and actors, crossing approaches and positions?[vii]



“One can only predict the struggle”, tells us Antonio Gramsci. Outbreaks happened, happen and will continue to happen. And they have occurred everywhere, perhaps like never before. If the partners Marx and Engels felt in the communist manifesto the Spring of the Peoples of 1848 to come and the Empire by Hardt and Negri anticipated a certain spirit of Seattle, The coming uprising, launched in 2007 by the invisible committee, seems to have intuited this wave that we are experiencing (in a remarkable episode, at the end of 2011, the website from the powerful security company Stratfor is hacked and that book is hung there). As put by this non-author group in their following book, in which they make an initial assessment of these rebellions, “the insurrections finally came” and “stability is dead”.[viii]

A new global cycle of struggles broke out at the end of 2010, following the self-immolation of fruit and vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi and the collective revolt that this limiting gesture caused in Sidi Bouzid before winning over the whole country. A last desperate action by a street vendor in a medium-sized Tunisian city, where the president was constantly re-elected and had created a technology of government that included, in its international facets, being praised by multilateral organizations and belonging to the Socialist International. Get out, Ben Ali! [ix] A contagion takes place. The people want the fall of the regime. Solid autocracies collapsed in a few weeks, like Tunisia and then Egypt (in eighteen days!). From the so-called Arab world (Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Syria), the wave crosses the Mediterranean and reaches southern Europe (Spain and Greece in particular). It reaches dozens and dozens of countries in the following years (Turkey and Brazil, USA and Japan, Mexico, Senegal and Uganda, England and France, Hong Kong and Ukraine, among many others). It would possibly be easier to name those who were not challenged by these disruptions, which had already occurred months before the so-called Jasmine Revolution in Western Sahara and also in Iceland and Greece in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

The spring of 2011 brings down four “lifetime” presidents (in addition to Tunisia and Egypt, Yemen and Libya – the latter is cowardly assassinated in the midst of a NATO attack), but it is followed by a winter in 2013 (2010 Egyptians and 2011 Syrians massacred , civil wars) before returning. And this in countries generally little affected in the first wave of 2018-XNUMX and where it was, for many, impossible for something like this to happen due to the combination of external interventions and more intense internal repression. From the end of XNUMX, however, popcorn in Sudan, from the rise in the price of bread (and, finally, the dictator al-Bashir, with thirty years at the head of the State, not before his troops killed a thousand people in the attempt to undermine the insurgency).

In Algeria, subsequently, the Hirak [movement] repudiates the possibility of another term for President Boutleflika (who has ruled for two decades and who gives up his endeavor after pressure). In Egypt, in September 2019, insurgency is present again. Get out, system! The following month, Iraqis rose against the dismissal of a general and for policies to combat inequality. Soon after, the Lebanese take to the streets (due to the state initiative of a tax for calls via applications, later cancelled) and the Prime Minister resigns in this process.[X]

This resumption in 2019 is even broader, worldwide, with the French yellow vests occupying, in their Atos, first the roundabouts and then the rich avenues at the end of 2018 and Hong Kong a few months later, initially against a law of extradition to China. They stole everything from us, even fear. In the second half, the outbreak The Chilean [explosion] is extremely remarkable in finally overthrowing the Pinochet Constitution, the result of a long struggle. It's not 30 pesos, it's 30 years! It is concomitant with another in Ecuador, led by the indigenous movement against the increase in fuel prices and the austerity measures. Other protests also broke out in Honduras, Indonesia, Armenia, Catalonia (condemnation of the independence supporters), Colombia, Iran (increase in gasoline prices), India (restriction of Muslim civil rights) and Haiti (corruption of Petrocaribe funds).

In large part, the flow is halted and contained by the covid-19 pandemic, but it insists on resurfacing: in 2020 (and victorious the following year), a huge ongoing mobilization of peasants in India (for the repeal of laws favorable to large corporations) , France (against police violence and security bills) and strong protests in Bulgaria, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Thailand, Poland, Haiti, Peru, Burma, Hungary and, in the biggest protest in US history, for black lives (with immediate repercussions and people on the streets in many countries). If we burn, you'll burn with us. This is just to mention some of the dissensions with certain national (and global) repercussions, not to mention the many more localized ones, such as, for example, the constant fires in the big Brazilian cities, after cases of police violence and permanent antagonism in general.

Would we be repeating (in other contexts and terms) a wave of strong confrontations between “people” and “powers” ​​(with precedents, such as at the end of the eighteenth century, in the wave of 1848, at the end of the First World War or in 1968)? Real democracy ya! Perhaps we are experiencing more confrontations (in numbers and in geographic extension), although there is no automatic relationship between the different events or a certain shared horizon (thinking, for example, about what the communist movement, the decolonization movement or the anarchist experiences were like). )?

The images are always impressive and the courage and intensity of the bodies are astonishing. Associations are formed in this risk taking without any expectation of winning in their field the police and/or military forces and their omnipresent repression. There is also an abundance of the joy of engagement, of being together, creating collectively, dedicating vital energies – “this is where the event resides: not in the media phenomenon forged to vampirize the revolt by its external celebration, but in the encounters that were effectively produced” .[xi]

*Jean Tible is a professor of political science at USP. Author, among other books, of Wild Marx (Literary Autonomy).


Jean Tible. wild policy. São Paulo, Glac editions & n-1 editions, 2022, 320 pages.

The launch will take place on December 06th, starting at 18:30 pm, at Teatro Oficina.


[I] Jean TIBLE. wild marx (São Paulo, Literary Autonomy, 2019, 4.ed.).

[ii] Oswald de ANDRADE. “Old conversation with Oswald de Andrade (by Milton Carneiro)” (1950) in: The Dragon's Teeth: Interviews (Rio de Janeiro, Globo, 2009, p. 287

[iii] Antonio NEGRI. “The 'uprising' event”, in Georges DIDI-HUBERMAN (org.) Levantes (São Paulo, Sesc, 2017, p. 39 and 41).

[iv] Heiner MÜLLER, “Fatzer ± Keuner” (1980) in: Erreurs choisies: Textes et entretiens (Paris, L'Arche, 1998, p. 35).

[v] Elias CANETTI. A Light in My Ear: Story of a Life 1921-1931 (São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 1989 [1980], p. 80-81); Elias CANETTI. mass and power (São Paulo, Companhia das Letras, 2013 [1960]); Elias CANETTI. A Light in My Ear: Story of a Life 1921-1931 (pp. 138-139).

[vi] Elias CANETTI. A light in my ear, P. 224.

[vii] Gustave LE BON, crowd psychology (São Paulo, WMF Martins Fontes, 2018 [1895]).

[viii] Daniel BENSAID. Marx, the untimely: greatness and miseries of a critical adventure (XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries). (Rio de Janeiro, Civilização Brasileira, 1999 [1997], p. 16); Karl MARX and Friedrich ENGELS. Communist Party Manifesto (São Paulo, Perseu Abramo Foundation, 1998 [1848]); Michael HARDT and Antonio NEGRI. Empire (Rio de Janeiro, Record, 2001); INVISIBLE COMMITTEE, The coming uprising (Recife, Edições Baratas, 2013 [2007]) and to our friends. (São Paulo, n-1, 2016 [2014]).

[ix] In italics throughout the text, there are messages of pixos, banners, “words of order” and shouts from the streets.

[X] Ezequiel KOPEL, “¿The third chapter of the Arab Spring?”, New Society (n. 286, March-April 2020, p. 130 and 138-139).

[xi] Alain BERTHO. Time over? Le temps des soulèvements (Paris, Croquant, 2020, p. 66); INVISIBLE COMMITTEE. to our friends.

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