Oaths of Blood, Oaths of Water

Phil. A. Neel

This zine collects two chapters from Phil A. Neel’s fine study, Hinterland. America’s New Landscape of Class and Conflict. It’s the first in a new series by Reaktion Press and Brooklyn Rail, which also includes Pavlos Roufos’ new book on the Greek crisis. A recent interview with Phil Neel can be found here.

From the text:

“Leftists demand a program as a necessary preface to ‘political’ action, or simply presume that one will emerge naturally out of the activity of particular demographics. The absence of such a program is seen as an inherently fascistic elevation of might in the place of morality. It’s true that the oath has no such program, since it is an oath to shared action within the many political rifts that are just beginning to open. But, unlike the far right, what we might think of as the proto-communist oath is not unified by identity but by a reflective fidelity to the unrest itself. It was the universal character of this oath that was able to bring juggalos together with indebted college graduates in Occupy and to unite football hooligans with slumdwellers in Egypt. The unity of this oath is therefore the inclusive, flowing unity of those who wish to push the rift open, to spread it further, to extend it longer, or to ensure that the potential spreads. Instead of an oath of blood, it is therefore an oath of water, the ‘party of Anarchy’ that seems to seek nothing but further erosion, the growth of the flood.”