Tiqqun

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Tiqqun
Tiqqun front covers.jpg
Front covers of the issues of Tiqqun
Notable work
The Cybernetic Hypothesis, Introduction to Civil War, Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl, Theory of Bloom
RegionWestern philosophy
LanguageFrench, Italian
Main interests
Anarchism, Anti-capitalism, Anti-statism, Communism, Feminism, Insurrectionary anarchism, Situationism
Notable ideas
Imaginary Party, Theory of Bloom, Theory of the Young-Girl

Tiqqun was a French-Italian left anarchist philosophical journal, produced in two issues from 1999 to 2001. Topics treated in the journal's articles include anti-capitalism, anti-statism, feminism, and the history of late 20th century revolutionary movements, especially May 1968 in France, the Italian Years of Lead, and the Anti-globalization protests of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The journal's articles were written anonymously; as a result, the word "Tiqqun" is also used to name the articles' collective of authors, and other texts attributed to them.

The journal came to wider attention following the Tarnac Nine arrests of 2008, a police operation which detained nine people on suspicion of having conspired on recent sabotage of French electrical train lines. The arrested were accused of having written The Coming Insurrection, a political tract credited to The Invisible Committee, a distinct anonymous group named in the journal. Julien Coupat, one of the arrested, was a contributor to the first issue of Tiqqun.

The journal's articles are polemics against modern capitalist society, which the authors hold in contempt. Individual articles present diagnoses of specific aspects of modern society, drawing on ideas from continental philosophy, anthropology, and history. Guy Debord's concept of the Spectacle is used to explain how communication media and socialization processes support existing capitalist society, and Michel Foucault's concept of biopower is used to explain how states and businesses manage populations via their physical needs. The journal's articles introduce terminology for their topics, freely used throughout the other articles. A "Bloom" refers to an archetypal, alienated modern person or subject, named after the character Leopold Bloom from the James Joyce novel Ulysses. A "Young-Girl" refers to a person who participates in modern society and thereby reinforces it, exhibiting traits commonly associated with femininity. Although a "Bloom" frequently stands for a man and a "Young-Girl" frequently stands for a woman, the authors stress that the concepts are not gendered. The word Tiqqun is an alternate spelling of Tikkun olam, a Jewish theological concept which refers to repair or healing of the world. In the authors' context, Tiqqun refers to improvement of the human condition through the diminution of modern capitalist society.

Due to their philosophical influences, political content and historical context, the Tiqqun articles have received some attention in humanities scholarship and anarchist reading circles. Selected articles have been republished in several languages.

Contents and authorship[edit]

The first issue of Tiqqun was published in February 1999 with the title Tiqqun, Organe conscient du Parti Imaginaire: Exercices de Métaphysique Critique (Tiqqun, Conscious Organ of the Imaginary Party: Exercises in Critical Metaphysics). The second issue was published in October 2001 with the title Tiqqun, Organe de liaison au sein du Parti Imaginaire: Zone d’Opacité Offensive (Tiqqun, Organ of Liaison within the Imaginary Party: Zone of Offensive Opacity). For simplicity the two issues are commonly referred to as Tiqqun 1 and Tiqqun 2, respectively.

Eleven[1] articles were published in Tiqqun 1, and ten[2] major articles were published in Tiqqun 2.[a] Additionally the first issue contained a one-page spread, and the second issue contained nine smaller pieces interspersed between each of its ten main articles, two-page spreads with black borders.[b] In all 31 pieces were published in the journal, listed below in the order they originally appeared.

Due to their anonymity, Tiqqun's articles are not credited to indidivual authors; rather, they are simply attributed to the journal's namesake. However the first issue's back cover contained a colophon which listed the issue's editorial board as Julien Boudart, Fulvia Carnevale, Julien Coupat, Junius Frey, Joël Gayraud, Stephan Hottner and Rémy Ricordeau.[4]

Articles of Tiqqun 1
Original French Title English Translation
Eh bien, la guerre! Of course you know, this means war!
Qu'est-ce que la Métaphysique Critique? What is Critical Metaphysics?
Théorie du Bloom Theory of Bloom
Phénoménologie de la vie quotidienne Phenomenology of Everyday Life
Thèses sur le Parti Imaginaire Theses on the Imaginary Party
Le silence et son au-delà Silence and Beyond
De l'économie considérée comme magie noire On the Economy Considered as Black Magic
Premiers matériaux pour une théorie de la Jeune-Fille Preliminary Materials For a Theory of the Young-Girl
La théologie en 1999 Theology in 1999[c]
Hommes-machines, mode d'emploi Machine-Men: User's Guide
Les métaphysiciens-critiques sous le «mouvement des chômeurs» The Critical Metaphysicians beneath the "Unemployed Persons' movement"
Quelques actions d'éclat du Parti Imaginaire A Few Scandalous Actions of the Imaginary Party
Articles of Tiqqun 2
Original French Title English Translation
Introduction à la guerre civile Introduction to Civil War
L'hypothèse cybernétique The Cybernetic Hypothesis
Thèses sur la communauté terrible Theses on the Terrible Community
Le problème de la tête The Problem of the Head
«Une métaphysique critique pourrait naître comme science des dispositifs...» "A critical metaphysics could emerge as a science of apparatuses..."
Rapport à la S.A.S.C. concernant un dispositif impérial Report to the S.A.C.S. Concerning an Imperial Apparatus
Le petit jeu de l'homme d'Ancien Régime The Little Game of the Man of the Old Regime
Échographie d'une puissance Sonogram of a Potential
Ceci n'est pas un programme This Is Not a Program
Comment faire? How Is It to Be Done?
Minor pieces of Tiqqun 2[d]
Original French Title English Translation
Dernier avertissement au parti imaginaire Final Warning to the Imaginary Party
Les vainqueurs avaient vaincu sans peine The Conquerors had Conquered Without Trouble
«Tout mouvement excède...» Untitled Notes on Citizenship Papers
Ceux qui ne veulent pas du progrès, le progrès ne veut pas d'eux Progress doesn't want Those that don't want Progress
Halte à la domestiCAFion! Stop DomestiCAFion!
Notes sur le local Notes on the Local
On a toujours l'âge de déserter You're never too old to ditch out
Bonjour! Hello!
Ma noi ci saremo[e] But we'll be here

Synopsis[edit]

Tiqqun 1[edit]

Portrait Cover with Grotesques, attributed to Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, was used as the first issue's frontispiece

The journal's first issue included a frontispiece depicting a traditional Italian mask set against the Latin inscription SUA CUIQUE PERSONA (To each their own mask); masks are used frequently as metaphorical devices throughout the issue. The frontispiece is a detail of Portrait Cover with Grotesques [it], an Italian Renaissance painting of uncertain origin, commonly attributed to Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. The painting functioned as a practical art object, intended as a cover for a portrait painting. Although its companion is also uncertain, Portrait Cover has become associated with the portrait Veiled Woman [it], also attributed to Ghirlandaio. The two artworks are exhibited together at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.[6]

The journal's first issue included articles treating the concepts of "critical metaphysics", the "Theory of Bloom", and the "Theory of the Young-Girl".

Tiqqun 2[edit]

The journal's second issue included articles treating the concepts of civil war and cybernetics as they relate to modern capitalist society.

Minor pieces[edit]

Nine minor pieces appeared in Tiqqun 2, which included reproductions of flyers posted publicly, or for dissemination at demonstrations.

Final Warning to the Imaginary Party is a sarcastic list of articles concerning the proper use of public space—for leisure and consumption as opposed to protest or "abnormal behavior"—written from the point of view of governments and businesses. The piece was reproduced as photographs of the printed list, posted in public and subsequently defaced and marked with criticisms. The Conquerors had Conquered Without Trouble is a prose vignette describing a proliferation of gatherings of silent, masked people in the world's cities, to the disturbance of the cities' original "conquerors". The old conquerors blamed the phenomenon on an "Invisible Committee", and the piece invoked the phrase used as an author's credit in the later eponymous texts:

A great menace, at the same time as a great derision, were given off by the crowds of mute masks with their regard riveted on the entrenched conquerors. These conquerors were certainly not mistaken as they hastily denounced the conspiracy of a certain Invisible Committee. They even spoke of a major peril for civilization, for democracy, for order and the economy. But in the interiors of their chateaux, the conquerors became afraid.

The Untitled Notes on Citizenship Papers are remarks on a social movement demanding citizen documentation for all persons; the authors observed that such a movement could be tactically useful to abolish the concept of citizenship as such, in the sense that granting citizenship documentation to all persons would defeat the exclusive character of citizenship itself. Progress doesn't want Those that don't want Progress is another sarcastic flyer, admonishing the residents of the Paris suburb Montreuil to accept gentrification and the re-election of mayor Jean-Pierre Brard, or else leave. Stop DomestiCAFion! is a flyer concerning the demeaning aspects of applying for welfare, describing inspections made by social workers with regard to income and social life as intrusive. This was immediately followed by a quotation from Robert Walser describing a flame igniting on a stage during a performance, which the audience initially believed to be part of the show, but which then frightened the performers and finally the audience once they understood the fire to be a real danger.

Notes on the Local is a series of remarks on the fragmentation of the built environment into spaces with distinct functions. According to the authors, places like highways, supermarkets and public benches are transient locations that their users are expected to pass through in a timely fashion. To cope with this regimented use of real space, virtual spaces (television, internet, video games) are provided to people to give an illusion of freedom. You're Never Too Old to Ditch Out is a piece which exhorted the elderly to deny capitalist society their further participation in it, instead using their savings for self-reliance and to seek authentic human community with others. Hello! was a piece which criticized the activist group ATTAC for what the authors described as its recuperation into conventional capitalist society. Ma noi ci saremo (But We'll Be Here) was a series of remarks on the then-recent anti-globalization protests which occurred in Genoa, Prague, and Seattle.

Affiliations[edit]

Tiqqun’s poetic style and radical political engagement are akin to the Situationists and the Lettrists. Tiqqun has influenced radical political and philosophical milieus, post-Situationist groups, and other elements of ultra-left, squat and autonomist movements, as well as some anarchists. Tiqqun’s themes and concepts have strongly influenced the political thinking of the Italian philologist Giorgio Agamben, who in turn wrote a public editorial supporting Coupat's due process legal rights.[f]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Each issue had a table of contents for its main articles in the back. See the previous citations for these; note that the second issue's table of contents did not list page numbers and ignored the small pieces placed between each main article.
  2. ^ See for example Dernier avertissement au parti imaginaire (Final Warning to the Imaginary Party), pp. 38-39 of Tiqqun 2.[3] One exception to this rule was Ma noi ci saremo (But we'll be here), the final small piece, which instead ran for six pages.
  3. ^ The one-page spread. An advertisement for the French laundry service 5àsec is reproduced, showing actor Christophe Malavoy wearing a suit. In his own words, Malavoy looks "impeccable". A newly-added caption notes the etymology of the word: sinless, "not subject to sin".[5]
  4. ^ Each minor piece appeared between the issue's main articles in the order shown in both tables, e.g. Final Warning to the Imaginary Party appeared between Introduction to Civil War and The Cybernetic Hypothesis, The Conquerors had Conquered Without Trouble appeared between The Cybernetic Hypothesis and Theses on the Terrible Community, etc.
  5. ^ An Italian phrase. The piece consists of a series of remarks on then-contemporary anti-globalization protests in Genoa, Prague and Seattle, and reproduces a flyer in parallel Italian and French.
  6. ^ Giorgio Agamben, "Terrorisme ou tragi-comédie" Libération (Paris, France: November 19, 2008). (Cf. also a widely circulated English translation.)

Bibliography[edit]

Original French sources[edit]

  • Tiqqun (1999). Tiqqun, Organe conscient du Parti Imaginaire: Exercices de Métaphysique Critique. archive.org. Original French edition of Tiqqun 1.
  • Tiqqun (2001). Tiqqun, Organe de liaison au sein du Parti Imaginaire: Zone d'Opacité Offensive. archive.org. Original French edition of Tiqqun 2.

English translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tiqqun 1 (French), p. 162.
  2. ^ Tiqqun 2 (French), back cover, following final page 288.
  3. ^ Tiqqun 2 (French), pp. 38–39.
  4. ^ Tiqqun 1 (French), back cover, following final page 162.
  5. ^ Tiqqun 1, p. 131.
  6. ^ Theophanidis, Philippe (October 10, 2020). "Sua Cuique Persona: The Ambivalent Politics of Masks". aphelis.net.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]