From Tarnac: The Fighting Commune Asks For Assistance & Asks Us 2 Help Orselves


Down and dirty translation (not mine) of a recent Tarnac text:

Dear friends,

We haven’t given you any news for almost a year and a half.  If everything follows its subversive course quietly on the Millevaches Plateau , the least we can say is that on the national scale the political and existential climate has become become execrable. A phenomenon so totalizing that it obviously defies all of our categories lies behind the “crisis .” We once talked about the “ravages of neo-liberalism ” and “resource depletion,” the “spiritual void ” or the ” social implosion ,” we now feel that we have still missed essential thing. All this is very similar to a civilization running straight into the wall at breakneck speed, seeking by all means to avoid questioning of it ways of life and thought. In this imperceptible “every-man-for-himself,” the first instinct is to cling to anything that floats in the middle of the shipwreck that is Europe, including the nation state. The return of old fascistic  clichés first expressed the illusion that this frame is a path to salvation, but they only express the sheer scale of our impotence. The miserable little desire to exterminate the”foreigners” who get into the country reflects this self-confinementat the national level, and the instincts of social cannibalism arising fromthis famine. In short : the ship is taking on water everywhere, it is nothing but leaks. 

It is nothing but leaks. This, from a local point of view, from the point of view of the town, has not a disaster. Everywhere, people are looking and experimenting with other ways to organize, to live, to bond with each other and with the territory they inhabit. It leaks, but they do not fleeleak like rats. We are working on research to measure of general disaster. But it would be a mistake to see this as mere “alternative” to the dominant economic system. The situation is more of a panic than that, and it goes in a more political direction — more of a fight than an  “alternative.” A fight with a social organization being violently restructured in favor of the small minority needed to steer the global economic machine from the metropolises on one side, and all the life that works against and swerves away from this organization on the other. What we must construct therefore are not islands, oases , existential niches amidst the neoliberal desert,but real worlds, a sort of territorial condensation forces, ideas , resources and lives that magnetically attract everything that flees, everything that deserted, all that seceded from the dominant nihilism.

In recent years, we have seen that process of regrouping accelerate, on our small scale on the Millevaches . Here, on this harsh land, step by step, a partial global order is built out. An outside that concerns not only those who live there, but also all those who might be tempted, at one time or another, to leave behind a form of existence which has become too toxic for them. So much so that one begins to imagine that if the national politics should continue to follow their negative slope the plateau could take become a kind of break this putrid order. Moreover, such a thing has already been seen here in recent history. Maquis might well one day come out of museums.

But let’s get to the reason for this post. It will soon be almost ten years since we took the farm Goutailloux Tarnac. Since the first day we dreamed of communalizing a large area open to the plateau and the world. A place where you could meet hundreds of people in seminars, with large communal meals, parties, visiting  theatrical or musical groups . We dreamed for ten years a large room of 300 square meters,of granite and raw wood , which would provide an atmosphere of reconciliation: wonderful,the experimental and popular. A kind of architectural collision, somewhere  between the theater Shakespeare’s Globe , CBGBs and a saloon. A place that would call to itself through it’s atmosphere  everything that cannot be welcomed at anonymous tiled and  neon lit parties. A place of encounter, meeting, reunion and celebration . Unt5il now, and this is not entirely unrelated to  a certain police operation which  occurred on November 11,2008, we have had neither the strength nor the time nor the means to build this great site.

But now, we have made plans with a team of thirty companions, German builders whose program it is to come help us do this work next summer, in August. These companions are part of a mixed group of trained carpenters and stonemasons who have been on the three year tour across Europe. Each year since1982, they interrupt their itinerancy and gather for a month to do a project for a cause they have chosen to support. This year, they chose Goutailloux . A project of this magnitude is obviously expensive, and we are still missing at this point , some 70 000 euros to finance the construction of a building for  use is free and with a capacity that greatly  overflows population of Tarnac . To be honest, we rarely have been in greater need of financial assistance for a project that so dear to our hearts for so long. Those who have the expertise and time to devote, between March and July 2014, to carpenters, electricians and masons, are more than welcome. They just have to come to us. Each week these preparatory projects will end with a weekend dedicated to political discussion and / or theoretical elaboration. One way to be faithful to what we mean by ” common; ” a way of not unlinking material construction, thought, and political action.

See you soon,

Friends of the Common Tarnac

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