Those who keep up with academic queer theory will surely be aware of the self-described “anti-social turn” in Queer Theory. It seems that the newest trend within the queer academy is to focus on the queer negativity, to critique society, and to refuse traditional politics. At a time when society itself is falling apart, when unprecedented amounts of human beings are recognizing that they have NO FUTURE and are proceeding accordingly, we must call this academic trend by its name: recuperation.
Some idiot tries basing his thesis on the queer riots at the G20; Judith Butler delivers a speech at a conference at the New School about “queer anarchism”; Jack Halberstam seeks to valorize the negative and trace the anti-social turn; a class at the University of California is called ”criminal queer” (yet the instructor denounces the activity of insurrectionaries on that very campus)—one after another queer academics line up to jump on the negativity bandwagon. Each appropriates the activity of insurgents toward the ends of strengthening their own careers. They take anti-social activity and use it to reproduce the Academy as a central engine of society itself. This is the ultimate treason. In theorizing about the activity of Bash Back! it is my ambition to demonstrate real queer assaults upon the social order. In doing so, this collection should clearly expose those for whom negativity and revolt are mere matters of image.
Queer insurrection demands that each of us become a theoretician. More importantly, it demands that the anti-social turn, the turn against society, remains in the streets. Our revolt and our theory must be inseparable from our daily life. Toward this end, Bash Back! can be read as an attempt to expropriate queer theory from the Academy and put it toward the service of queer revolt; to dynamite the distinction between theory and life. For the sake of organizing this book, we split the texts between essays and communiques. To a large extent this is a false dichotomy that doesn’t accurately describe the activity of Bash Back!, which never recognized a distinction between its theorists and its combatants. Rather, it sought to queer this distinction and offer a praxis wherein theory is embodied in the very activity of those who theorize. A book that declares NO FUTURE offers only words. A riot that declares the same demonstrates a step toward insurrection.