One of the themes I am interested in is the recurrence of kabbalist/mystical concepts in radical politics. So I was intrigued to notice the name of the French language pro-revolutionary journal Tiqqun. The journal, or more precisely one its founders, Julien Coupat,  has been embroiled in a long running police/judicial investigation for the past couple of years. Coupat is one of the Tarnac 10 (originally 9), arrested in November 2008 and accused of disrupting  high speed railway trains by hanging metal hooks off the overhead lines.  Several of the accused, including Coupat, spent months in jail and are still awaiting trial under strict bail conditions.

But what of Tiqqun? The concept derives from the kabbala of Isaac Luria who used the term to mean redemption and reparation, the putting right of a broken world. In his usage it had clear messianic overtones. Not hard to see the link between this and a concept of communism as the creation of a new community amidst the ruins of the old world.


1 Response to “Tiqqun”

  1. June 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    the following passage, from “silence and beyond,” may help shed some light on their perspective.

    “In the Sabbatean tradition, the moment of the general destruction of things was given the name Tiqqun. In that instant, each thing is repaired and removed from the long chain of suffering it underwent in this world. “All the subsistence existence and toil that permitted me to get there were suddenly destroyed, they emptied out infinitely like a river into the ocean of that one infinitesimal moment.” (Bataille, Theory of Religion) But the “perfect silent ones” that carry universal ruin within them also know the paths that lead beyond it. Jakob Frank, the absolute heretic, handled this truth in his usual abrupt style: “Everywhere Adam went, a city was built; but everywhere I have set foot everything will be destroyed. I came to this world only to destroy and annihilate, but what I will build will last eternally.” Another heretic said likewise, a century later: “no matter what you want to undertake, you have to begin by destroying everything.” Whether Tiqqun will bring life or death depends for each person on how much of his illusions he has been able to lose: “it is to the extent that clear consciousness wins out that the objects effectively destroyed will not destroy mankind itself.” (Bataille). It is certain that those who have not been able to throw off their reifications, those who persist in putting their whole being into things, are doomed to the same annihilation they are. Whoever has never experienced one of those hours of joyous or melancholic negativity cannot tell how close to destruction the infinite is. What we’re saying here is in no way reverie; events such as these can be found scattered throughout history, but since the world was still not unified in a substantial totality, they remained mere local curiosities. “

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