alt. link: https://archive.org/details/BlessedIsTheFlameAnIntroductionToConcentrationCampResistanceAndAnarchoNihilism
hard copy: https://www.activedistributionshop.org/shop/books/4231-blessed-is-the-flame.html
Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame. Blessed is the flame that burns in the secret fastness of the heart. Blessed is the heart with strength to stop its beating for honor’s sake. Blessed is the match consumed in kindling flame.
—Hannah Senesh, Jewish partisan fighter.
We are being led to our slaughter. This has been theorized in a thousand ways, described in environmental, social, and political terms, it has been prophesied, abstracted, and narrated in real time, and still we are unsure of what to do with it. The underlying point is that the progress of society has nothing to offer us and everything to take away. Often it feels like we are giving it away without a fight: when we sell our time for money, allow our passions to be commodified, invest ourselves in the betterment of society, or sustain ourselves on the spoils of ecological destruction, we openly (though not consensually) participate in our own destruction.
The question hangs in an ethereal and ghastly voice: Why do you let yourselves be led to the slaughter like sheep? As Hermann Langbein addresses in Against All Hope: Resistance in the Nazi Concentration Camps, the survivors of those most explicit of human slaughter houses have been plagued by that question for decades, to which some have simply replied: we didn’t.
An online discussion about Serafinski’s introduction to ‘Blessed is the Flame’ (p.1-18, inc. ‘Anarcho-nihilism’, ‘Collision’ & ‘The Ceaseless Lager’) hosted by FORGED BOOKS, Manchester’s anarchist reading group.
Online conversations take place on the Jitsi platform here: https://8X8.vc/forged/books
We recommend the Chromium browser on desktop: https://download-chromium.appspot.com/ Chrome should also work. We couldn’t get Firefox to work with Jitsi. You can also use one of Jitsi’s desktop apps here: https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet-electron/releases/tags – you will need to change ‘Server URL’ in settings to https://8x8.vc/ and join the room /forged/books
For mobile devices try: https://jitsi.org/downloads/ – you will need to change ‘Server URL’ in settings to https://8X8.vc/ and join the room /forged/books
If you’re really stuck, you could try joining the meeting room /forged/books with the desktop and mobile apps listed here: https://download.8X8.vc/
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