Beyond the Sad Comforts & Stale Air of Radicalism

Nick Montgomery and carla bergman

How can we rediscover a joyful basis for insurgency in the 21st century? This zine collects two chapters from carla bergman
and Nick Montgomery’s excellent new book, Joyful Militancy. The authors offer a nuanced diagnosis of what they call “rigid radicalism” within anarchist and other revolutionary milieus, as well as a set of practical conceptual tools for pushing past it. The zine also includes a brief glossary of key terms, such as ‘common notions’, ‘conviviality’, ‘forms of life’, etc.

From the text:

“There is something that circulates in many radical spaces, movements, and milieus that saps their power from within. It is the pleasure of feeling more radical than others and the worry about not being radical enough; the sad comfort of sorting unfolding events into dead categories; the vigilant apprehension of errors and complicities in oneself and others; the anxious posturing on social media with the highs of being liked and the lows of being ignored; the suspicion and
resentment felt in the presence of something new; the way curiosity feels naïve, and condescension feels right. We can sense its emergence at certain times, when we feel the need to perform in certain ways, hate the right things, and make the right gestures. Above all, it is hostile to difference, curiosity, openness, and experimentation.