Monsieur Dupont

Monsieur Dupont is the pen name of two 21st century libertarian communists in Britain.
History and Ideas
For some time one of them had been a member of the British Anarchist Federation, the Manchester-based communist group Subversion and the rank and file organisation the Communication Workers Group; as well as producing the magazine, Proletarian Gob. They had both been employed by Royal Mail as postmen and from this experience they developed a common understanding of class struggle through a six year long correspondence. One of them now writes as frère dupont and both participate at the website Paths Lab.
Their writing is informed by anarchist, situationist and Marxist politics, and they are declaredly anti-leninist and anti-organisational. They link their ideas on economic determination of social form to two theoretical precedents, the communists Paul Mattick and Sam Moss.
The situation at present, they argued, is characterised by the failure of propaganda and recruiting organisations to either convey ideas outside of the milieu or recruit a mass membership, and that even at the most basic level revolutionary consciousness has not addressed this circumstance. The motivation for their intervention was to strike against 'milieu patriotism', and the 'reduced political language' of political activists. They had become increasingly frustrated with the failures of leftist organisations, which they perceived as unconsciously promoting bourgeois structures and ideologies. By contrast they wished to re-connect ideas to lived experience of capitalist conditions, thereby breaking the hold of 'specialists' of revolutionary theory particularly where these experiences contradicted received organisational responses. Their intervention coincided with a growing discontent within the anarchist milieu at the role of 'activists' and their writing continues to have a small influence within what has become known as the anti-politics milieu.
The duo discuss the origin of their adopted name in the text Why Did You Join The Anarchist Federation For The Second Time? The name Monsieur Dupont can be seen as a conscious development from a long tradition of collective pseudonyms (or the multiple-use name) which became a particularly popular motif during the ‘90’s, e.g. , within the Stewart Home influenced section of the London and Italian avant garde, see the entries on Unpopular Books and London Psychogeographical Association. It may be noted that in French Dupont (literally 'of the bridge') is roughly the equivalent of Smith in Britain or Doe in the US - in so far it is recognised as an archetypal 'ordinary' name.
Their writings are controversial. They describe themselves incoherent and cynical, understanding that this is a 'natural' response to the world. They rely heavily on logical fallacies in order to make their arguments.
'To say, as we do, do nothing ... This is not to say do nothing.'
Nihilist Communism
This is the title of a book which they self-published in 2003. The book is subtitled 'a critique of optimism - the religious dogma that there will be an ultimate triumph of good over evil - in the far left'. The book argues against the conception of 'consciousness raising' and recruiting as practised by the far left, whereby it is implicitly assumed that the social revolution may be brought about by enough persons spreading communist ideas effectively enough. They also argue regularly against class consciousness and even consciousness as a factor in revolution. To this, they counterpose a model of revolution based on a crisis of capitalism which will necessitate the appropriation of entire key industries by the essential proletariat - a class which they believe should be defined solely by the economic position of its members. They write (in a manner somewhat typical of their style):
'We do not know what anyone means when they describe the proletariat as a social category. If they are implying that the working class as a social body have something between themselves other than their experience of work then we utterly reject this. MD have a penchant for Champagne and Tarkovsky movies whereas our neighbours prefer White Lightening and WWF wrestling, our economic position, however, is identical.'
'The Proletariat will not be motivated by political values in its resistance to work but by its selfish interest to assert its species being; its bodily desire to be human floods across the barriers of separation. There is nothing nice or noble or heroic about the working class, it is essential to the productive process which constitutes the structure of our reality and therefore essential to revolution and the abolition of reality based on production.'
In the Summer of 2009, Ardent Press published their own self-edited and designed version of Nihilist Communism .
species being and other stories
<em>species being and other stories,</em> first published by Ardent Press, takes on the questions that tantalize and torment politically aware and active people. species being is a wide-reaching and strikingly original collection of essays from Frére Dupont, one of the authors of <em>Nihilist Communism</em>, and sets out some of the ways in which people resist and comply with an oppressive status quo.
In species being Frére Dupont uses a variety of forms—poetic, dramatic, allegorical and biographical as well as the standard expository—to make points and ask questions. Frére Dupont looks unflinchingly at the illusions that revolutionaries use to protect themselves, and offers new perspectives, and with them, new hope for strategies that can address the reality we live in.
The book brings together insights from philosophy, politics, psychology and years of thinking about why and how people behave the way that they do, and more specifically, don't behave the way that good radical rhetoric says that they will and should. <em>species being</em> was reviewed in a featured essay in Mute magazine .
In addition to <em>species being</em>, Frére Dupont has published essays in Letters journal, an annual published in the United States.
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