Six years ago, in sixth year of the Proletarian Calendar [2013 Vulg.], Strategic Optimism Football club was formed in London. It was created by former members of the nomadic invisible college, the University for Strategic Optimism as a vehicle for its own self-abolition. The UfSO had been a revolutionary tendency within the UK student movement, instrumental in various conflicts with the State and Capital around 3-6PC [2010-13 vulg.]. It is remembered for its part in the storming of the Tory party HQ, of Lewisham Town Hall, the Battle of Parliament Square, etc, as well as triggering a series of viral bank occupations that in turn helped light the touch paper for the Indignados and Occupy Movements. However, as a result of this fame, UfSO grew tired of fending off speaking invitations from ‘radical’ art and political organisations, increasingly finding itself recuperated by cultural institutions, from the Museum of London to the fashion supplement of the NY Times – basically anywhere ‘radical chic’ could bump up the sales figures.
The UfSO had only its time. By 6PC [2013 vulg.] the movement of which it was one of the more advanced practical-theoretical elements had dissipated and disintegrated. Even just one year after its founding, the major part of the UfSO’s energy and resources had been diverted into the Occupy movement and the UK and global struggles of 3-4PC [2011 vulg.] more broadly. One can see that in hindsight, this loss of practical coherence manifested in the UfSO’s descent into abstract theorising, resulting in internal wrangling and splits within the group. Internal sexual tumult, along with drug and alcohol addictions played their part, like they do in all good stories, but it was ultimately a political decomposition that brought about an end to the UfSO’s more radical phase of operations. From 6PC [2012 vulg.] on, its direct actions more or less ceased, it became solely an abstract venue for thinking and writing – in short it became another off-shoot of academia. The UfSO’s radicality had always inhered in its praxis, in its practical critique of the university as an institution and the class relations that produce it. Without this praxis it was nothing. After a year or so of attempting to regroup, and thinking through the slow disintegration of the ‘2011 moment’, the remaining faculty of the UfSO decided that a continuing programme of practical critique had become impossible – it had never wished to become an avant-garde without a movement. For a short while the UfSO then turned to thinking through and attempting to put across the insights that it had gained into the nature of radical pedagogy. When it became clear it had said all it had to say on the matter, and that such a project could more effectively be pursued through other groups, the last remaining participants took the decision to dissolve the UfSO as an active organisation.
In order to do so, it was necessary to put the ‘legacy’ of the UfSO beyond reach of the would-be cultural assassins and profiteers of the worlds of art and politics. For that, what was needed was their practical supersession, something that was to be found in the collective game of three-sided football. Three-sided football was chosen because, truly, it has no author, it is and always was collectively elaborated. It was chosen because it has always remained continually in a state of triolectical incoherence and experiment – as a really existing movement. Most importantly, it was chosen as it extended the practical critique of capitalist social relations that the UfSO had, at its peak, embodied
So it was that in 6PC [2013 vulg.], the UfSO announced its auto-dissolution, but simultaneously the formation of a new triolectical football team; Strategic Optimism Football (SOF) was born. Declaring that it was triolectically inverting Marcel Duchamp’s well-known gesture of “definitively abandoning” art in favour of chess. In their case, the UfSO gave up art and politics, in order to play 3SF: the realisation and suppression of football. However, SOF’s first game was played under the banner of an international day of action against a neo-imperialist corporate land grab in the Roșia Montană region of Transylvania, rather casting doubt on this possibility from day one. Incidentally, it is a little-known fact that it was from this very game that one of three-sided football’s infamous tactical dissimulations, the so-called “Rosia’s (Triple) Cross”, obtained its name.
‘The Optimists’ went on to play in a multi-coloured kit, derived from a triolectical collision of industrial painting, occult magick and sploshing. It was created by footballing sex workers during a drug-fuelled industrial sploshing session-cum-ritual on Halloween, one month after the club’s formation. Its colourful patterning served to both dazzle the opposition(s), whilst simultaneously – triolectically – camouflaging its bearers as they snuck up on goal.
This was ‘the Optimists’ ‘amplic phase’, a three-year period during which they set about attempting to grow the activity of three-sided football on a global scale. During this phase they achieved notable successes, taking part in the [2014 vulg.] 1th Three-Sided football World Cup, in Silkeborg, Denmark, hosted by Museum Jorn, and through this making contact with existing 3SF organisations internationally. They then went on to contest the Luther Blissett Deptford Three-Sided Football League in the 6, 7 and 8PC seasons [2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 vulg.], culminating in winning the league on the primary “yellow”, or “aesthetic”, matrix in the 8PC [2015-16 vulg.] season.
During this period SOF established a number of further contacts within the international proletarian movement, travelling to Alytus, Lithuania in 8PC to join up with the union of data miners and psychic workers, initiating a programme for the triolectical unwinding of Europe, along the principles of Revolutionary Animism as advanced to the meeting by veteran triolectician Ben Morea. This was put into action that very autumn with the ritual unbinding of the Omphalos of the British Empire, resulting in wild and fluctuating unravellings across the Atlantic axis, as the Northwest Passage pulled free of its psychogeographical moorings. Some have attributed the political turmoil that followed on both sides of the Atlantic to the working through of these events. The following spring, the triple Fluxfootballum Equinoxfest in London, Amsterdam and Carrara saw three-sided football attained new strategic importance within the proletarian struggle, as teams from across space and time convened to herald the new multidirectional struggle.
Having attained this high point, Strategic Optimism Football reached the resounding culmination of its three-year “amplic” phase. In doing so, it promptly peaked, entering a final, three-year “chiselling” phase, set to culminate in 12 PC [2019 vulg]. The ease with which the team had achieved its sweeping successes across both domestic and international arenas, along with the burgeoning worldwide expansion of three-sided football across sporting, artistic, scientific, philosophical and occult circles had been pronounced. As a result, SOF’s players grew so indifferent and bored of the game’s competitive iterations they decided to eliminate one element of their existence every day, right up to and including the team’s complete dissolution on July 31st/August 30th 12 PC, [2019 vulg]. Approached for comment, SOF’s team-mandated instantly revocable head coach famously stated: “While everyone is now trying to get into three-sided football, we’re doing our best to get out of it.”
This momentous decision was announced on the day of the team’s third anniversary, coinciding as it did with a rare “Black Moon” in Scorpio and the regular monthly meeting of Deptford’s Luther Blissett Three-Sided Football League. From here on, the chiselling phase commenced, to culminate in the return of the Black Moon in 33 months, or three years, time, in 12PC [2019 vulg]. Following the Kabbalistic system first codified in Botoșani, Moldova in the 1940s (vulg.), by the second coming of the Letterist messiah, Isidore Isou, the dawning of this Black Moon would mark the climax of Strategic Optimism’s Nine Year Plan and the heralding of the new era of Proletarian Animism.
As is well known, Three-Sided Football builds on Asger Jorn’s invaluable research with the Danish archaeologist P.V. Glob into ancient mnemonic festivities, organised at druidic stone circle sun temples to mark the coincidence of the lunar and solar cycles every 33 years. Jorn’s crucial contribution was, of course, realising that this coincidence also unlocked the key structuring principle of European philosophy, inherited in equal parts via the Egyptian hermetic orders and the Black Celt seafarers, with their megalithic architecture. In short, he demonstrated the indissoluble link between the triple-phase of Hegel’s dialectic, Kierkegaard’s “Three Stages” and the triadic structure of Quantum Chromodynamics, as first intimated by the intuitions of Niels Bohr. All three cases showed the unity of two and three—Hegel’s three-phase dialectic; Kierkegaard’s triple-stage “either/or” existentialism; and, Bohr’s quantum logic of complementarity. Jorn called this discovery “triolectics”. His real innovation was in recognising the roots of this system in attempts to reconcile the gnostic dualism of the masculinist Solar Calendar with the polyvalence of the Lunar Calendar’s triple goddess. This unified system was labelled by the ancients ‘squaring the circle’, but is better known to three-sided footballers today as ‘casting the hex’. It is this which is revealed by reactionary occultist Alistair Crowley in his Book of Lies (Liber 333, chapter 36, the laying of the ‘Star Sapphire’).
The University for Strategic Optimism was the thirty-third in a long line of “Invisible Colleges”, including amongst others, the Royal Society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Alex Trocchi’s Project Sigma. Indeed, it was from Cleopatra’s looted Needle, on London’s Embankment, that the UfSO succeeded in sparking that wave of riots and strikes that spread across Europe and beyond in 3-4PC [2010-11 vulg.], eventually only being pacified through the harmless Bakuninist diversions of “Occupy”. On its three-year anniversary UfSO dissolved and reformed as Strategic Optimism Football. In turn, on SOF’s own three-year anniversary, coinciding, as stated, with the Black Moon (and not coincidentally, a minor stock market crash), Strategic Optimism Football entered the third phase of their Nine Year Plan.
SOF’s chiselling phase entailed a change of kit, from the vibrant colours of amplic sploshing, to the darker shades of an auto-destructive array, ritually ‘chiselled’ from existing shirts during a raging storm in the dark of the Black Moon. This was an inversion inspired by the auto-destructive paintings of renowned striker Gustav Metzger, with the shirts thus painted, splattered and dunked with a specially mixed brew of bleach and sulphuric acid during what was a particularly violent thunderstorm. The torrential rain serving to streak the bleached and burned shirts in a pleasing manner, portending the team’s own gradual dissolution.
This phase was also marked by its own startling successes for the team as it strove, rather than for the development and expansion of the game, instead for its destruction, and dissolution into a form of direct proletarian animist struggle. This process began at the 1th Three-Sided Football World Cup in Kassel, Germany, 10PC [2017 vulg. – sometimes referred to by certain reactionary parties as the ‘2nd’ world cup]. In the run-up to the tournament SOF had entered a large number of one-person associations as teams, representing various psychogeographical allegiances. As a result it was able to commandeer the structure of the tournament for its own ends, diverting it into triolectical auto-dissolution.
Discussions regarding whether to even attend the Kassel World Cup had already triggered a split within DAMTP, into a political faction, an aesthetic faction, and a sports faction, as the triolectical coalition began to crack into specialism in the face of capitalist confrontation. Lunatic Fringe for Triolectics (LUFT-DAMTP) attended Kassel in an attempt to divert the game from further specialisation. Conflict arose, however, owing to the tournament taking place simultaneous to the capitalist art spectacle of Documenta. The political faction argued that DAMTP should act in the way workers‘ organisations do, or 3SF and DAMTP would be recuperated by Documenta. The only way to act against this, they claimed, was to fight the spectacle from outside the Kassel – in Athens, Alytus or some other place (a position supported by DAMTP’s German factions: OKK, Polaris, and by the British faction CLASS). They further held that asemic writing activities should take precedence against 3SF. LUFT-DAMTP instead sought to game the system to escape ‘binarisation’ of 3SF into cultural activity and its resistive opposite. This was tempered however, by the aesthetic faction, for whom participation in artistic activities could be justified as a form of disruptive direct action. There was thus a split between the intent to destroy both Documenta and the World Cup, and to triolecticise them, by moving the goalposts.
ABRACADABRA (Alytus Biennial Reversion into Abolition of Culture And Distribution of its Aberrant Bacillus Right Abroad – Committee) initiated a discussion concerning necessity of a space for meeting local unorganised workers – as DAMTP had in its constitution. The room was arranged in a room of the local Art Academy near the Central railway station, coincidentally an official Documenta venue. The anti-Documenta political faction insisting on meeting organised workers and activists there, in order to plot an attack the festival. However, nobody (including the initiator) showed up. Nevertheless, the event, as the only programmed ‘3SF’ event in a Documenta venue, did ironically become the group’s only official participation in the festival.
Meanwhile, whilst these political and artistic factions split the DAMTP movement, in accordance with SOF’s aims, their plan to enter polyvalent multiple-use teams into the World Cup was a further great success, disintegrating the tournament’s competitive structure from within, and opening the teams beyond borders. As such the refugee comrades who joined the event to play without specialism, did so without reduction and restriction to a ‘token’ ‘refugee team’; the attempted concealment of the tournament’s Eurocentrism. The World Cup itself was ultimately itself directly destroyed by a comrade from the political faction, in an unsanctioned symbolic attack. However, the event was more successfully triolectically dissolved into a series of experimental games in the streets, via the actions of the SOF-ABRACADABRA-FIASCo alliance, resulting in in a victory that was simultaneously a defeat, and thus went beyond the binaries of participation or opposition. Furthermore, and as a knock-on effect, even Documenta itself was successfully destroyed in the process (albeit temporarily) filing for bankruptcy in the immediate aftermath of these disruptive actions.
Further chiseling and dissolutions followed. In 10AP [2018 vulg.] a group of reactionary football specialists unilaterally announced an ‘Alternative Three-Sided Football World Cup’ in Madrid. In response, an alliance between SOF and ABRACADABRA (ABRACADAVAR) succeeded in forcing the tournament’s cancelation and its reduction to a restaged farce, to be held in hiding, behind closed doors, thus revealing it for the ‘Beti Jai’ fascist coup it was! Meanwhile, the true game of 3SF played out over email and in the streets, with the reactionary organisers imploding under the pressure of announced strikes and pickets by SOF. The result was a definitive split in the International Three-Sided Football Federation, between the neo-Stalinist faction represented by Philosophy Football and Dynamo Windrad and the triolecticians of SOF, ABRACADAVAR and Richard ‘Spartacus’ Essex.
Beyond to these international assaults, SOF’s agitations on the domestic front extended apace. The foundations had been laid years earlier, in a text critiquing the instantiation of a competitive league system in the LBDTSFL, but now the time had come for the disruptions to reach fruition. Through a series of maneuvers amongst competing teams, SOF managed to sow sufficient discord that the very competitive league system itself was forced to vote for its own abolition at the culmination of the 10-11PC [2017-18 vulg.] season, reverting to a programme of regular friendlies instead. Ironically, SOF then went on to win this season, even with only one player turning up to the final game, thus showing the whole affair for the farce that it was. Meanwhile SOF activities in the Invisible League continued sporadically, sufficient to build a coalition to threaten the attempted staging of a 12PC World Cup in London, the results of which have yet to play out.
The ultimate result of these agitations was the gradual disintegration of the Deptford ‘league’ itself; no longer compelled by team discipline, players began to drift away and the matches started dwindle. Indeed, such was the success of this operation that the SOF team itself dissolved completely and to all intents and purposes ceased to exist in all but name. Ironically, the only thing keeping it from totally disappearing at this point was its own former promise to auto-dissolve at the awaited return of the Black Moon! The final game of the 10-11PC [2018-19 vulg.] league cemented the ultimate success of this strategy, seeing a grand total of only one player turn up! Simultaneously however, reactionary forces within the former New Cross Irregulars camp conspired to take the game into the official auspices of the Tate, thus ensuring its complete destruction and replacement with a caricature, a pitifully mummified cultural commodity.
Thus on 31st July 12PC [2019 vulg.] the destined day of SOF’s self-abolition arrived – the culmination of the UfSO, the amplic and the chiselling phases, overseen by the 33-month return of the Black Moon. In the annual rotunda – the three-sided game of earth, moon and sun – each of the four elemental seasons gives birth to three new moons. Every 33 months or so, they sire a Black Moon, a seer who walks in the shadows between them, itself a ghostly image of the great 33 year solar-lunar marriage dance, or the 32 letters of the Persian alphabet, plus the special letter of Fazlallah Astarabadi. With the dawning of the Black Moon, in the 12th year of the Age of the Proletariat, Strategic Optimism’s Nine Year Plan reaches the end of its 3rd and final phase. The unending cycle of the Three Rotations is complete, the cosmic game begins again!
Due to discrepancies in Time Zones however, the announced self-abolition of SOF was for the purposes of their social media and blog followers only, owing to servers operating on EST. Their true self-abolition in fact would only happen a month later in Europe, following a month inhabiting an intercalary limbo between worlds, on a pilgrimage to bring to an end the Age of Divinity (from Botosani, Romania, Letterist prophet Isidore Isou’s birthplace, to Letterism’s own wellspring, Fazlallah Al-Hurufi’s death place and mausoleum, in Azerbaijan). Therefore, the final self-abolition of SOF takes place at the culmination of their 33-day Letterist pilgrimage and real moving world cup, begun on Proletarian New Year, 28th July, marking the death of Isou, and ending beyond the shrine of Fazalallah, the final resting place of the Age of Divinity. This final culmination will thus in fact take place during the evening of Black Moon, on 30th Aug 12 PC [2019 vulg.].
With each of the three phases, like the three rotations of a great game of three-sided football, having now achieved its goals, we leave it to the international movement of Proletarian Animists to construct a new world from our ashes. Let the 1th game begin!