The opening text from the first journal of Insurgencies by ISIW that discusses the need to abandon activism, which is defined by symbolism, conceptual terrains of engagement and a politics of complaint. Instead, it suggests a realignment towards insurgency, embracing material engagement with our enemies and focusing on strategy as opposed to abstract political theory.
Thesis 1: Up until this point critiques of activism have tended to focus upon the characteristics of activists that we find reprehensible.
Thesis 2: Activism constructs a symbolic terrain of engagement in a conceptual space, one defined by a politics of complaint fused with an injunction to act against problems defined in a completely despatialized way.
Thesis 3: It is this formation that has led us to our current impasse, where attempts to transcend activism replicate the same formation but through actions of greater magnitude.
Thesis 4: To overcome the impasse is not a question of moving past complaint into other forms of symbolic action against despatialized enemies, but of defining the enemy in an immediate and material sense.
Thesis 5: To define the enemy in an immediate and material sense means moving beyond hatred or rejection into a posture of hostility, or an immediate antagonism, in this case hostility in relation to policing.
Thesis 6: This move into hostility requires a reattachment of action to the space and time of the act, the immediate and material tactical terrain formed by conflict.
Thesis 7: The reattachment of action to the immediate and material separates the question of strategy/fighting from the question of why we fight, from the terrain understood conceptually.
Thesis 8: This realignment is the move from activism to insurgency.
Thesis 9: Insurgency is not something that can be defined in itself, except as an immediate and material engagement of hostility toward an immediate enemy within a context of warfare.