August 28, 2007

Organized Anarchists For Authoritarianism

Mitch brought this story to my attention last night on our NARN broadcast from the State Fair. Local anarchists have begun to organize for the 2008 Republican National Convention, and they started off with an implicit threat of violence and lawbreaking:

A group of activists who describe themselves as "anarchists and anti-authoritarians" will hold a private strategy session over the Labor Day weekend to discuss plans to protest at the Republican National Convention to be held in St. Paul Sept. 1-4, 2008.

The group, called the RNC Welcoming Committee, held a news conference on Monday at the Jack Pine Community Center on Lake Street in Minneapolis, where Bea Bridges, speaking for the commitee, showed a video that hinted at confrontational tactics, read a statement and walked out, taking no questions.

First, let's muse for a moment on the concept of organized anarchists. Isn't anarchy the rejection of any kind of command structure, wherein each person decides for themselves how to act? Anarchy, as defined by Webster, is a "utopian society of individuals who enjoy complete freedom without government". A real anarchist wouldn't attend strategy sessions conducted by a hierarchical organization.

And what about taking no questions? Isn't that just a little authoritarian?

The group had sent out an announcement last week, saying questions had to be submitted by e-mail a week in advance.

What? There are rules in an anarchy? Why wouldn't they extend the "complete freedom" they seek to members of the media reporting on their public statement?

Bridges said the group favors "ending capitalism, imperialism, patriarchy and all other forms of hierarchy" to be replaced with "direct, participatory democracy."

Direct and participatory, unless you want to participate in their news conference, in which case you have to ask permission to ask your questions.

She said the group would not seek permits to demonstrate, and said efforts to restrict protesters in that way constituted repression and a "violent threat."

They can demonstrate all they want on private property without a permit. Perhaps someone will lend them their private property for that purpose. If they use public property, which belongs to the entire community, then they will need to abide by the community's laws in using it. If not, the community has a place for them to stay a while. It's along the same lines as demanding that people follow rules at press conferences .... you know, that rule thing again.

In discussing future tactics, she said, "Some may choose to resist state violence using pacifist tactics, while others use whatever methods they deem necessary and appropriate."

We're going to free you, and if we break a few of your heads to do it, you'll thank us for it later. Anarchists always resort to violence to get their point across -- at least those organized anarchists that like to hold press conferences. In point of fact, these "anarchists" are in reality just lunatic-fringe authoritarians of another stripe, the kind that want to impose their vision of how the world should be run at the point of a gun or the blunt side of a brick. Their website complains of unjust war, but they have no problem with their members conducting their own wars against the local police.

Anarchists? Not really. Thugs? Yes.


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Seems rather oxymoronic to me -- but then again, most anarchists I've met have been morons, so there's no surprise. A group of activists who describe themselves as "anarchists and anti-authoritarians" will hold a private strategy session over the Labor... [Read More]

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Comments (15)

Posted by reddog | August 28, 2007 6:20 AM

Gimme a break. These guys aren't going to toss any bombs or break any heads. I'll bet most of them either live on the dole or at home with Mommmy.

Posted by NoDonkey | August 28, 2007 7:29 AM

Thugs? Not quite. I've seen their pasty white girlish faces hiding behind bandanas.

I don't think most of these (guys? girls?) things could break wind, a sweat or a paper bag.

Besides, if they actually got locked up, they might miss the first couple of physics classes at the expensive private college daddy got them into.

Got to keep that credit card turned on. It's what funds the dope.

Posted by justsayno2islam | August 28, 2007 7:41 AM

I read a very good oral history of the Spanish Civil War in which the anarchists played a major role in organizing the city administration, services, etc. when the civil servants fled. The irony of their actions was not lost on them. Anarchy had a shining moment when anarchists resisted anarchy. Must be a shameful secret for modern anarchists.

Posted by Daniel Messing | August 28, 2007 7:41 AM

The Cato Institute published this interesting article about anarchism that might change your opinion that anarchism isn't intellectually respectable.

Posted by NoDonkey | August 28, 2007 8:26 AM

"Anarchy had a shining moment when anarchists resisted anarchy."

They also aided the communists in murdering unarmed clergy and community leaders.

I've also read that Franco is a hero for defeating the communists/anarchists. If Franco had not assumed control and saved Spain, the Soviets, at the behest of the Nazis (while the Nazi-Soviet pact was still in force, prior to Operation Barbarossa), would have directed the Spanish communists to allow the Germans access to Britain.

Posted by S.A. Miller | August 28, 2007 9:44 AM

Haha, check out the video on their website:

They seem like the least threatening anarchists I've ever seen!

They seem more like your run of the mill Lefty activists who got a deal on bulk black hoodies.

Posted by jeanneb | August 28, 2007 10:18 AM

Shhhh! Let them riot.

The best thing that could happen to the GOP in '08 would be for the lunatic left to show their true colors by trying to disrupt the convention with violent protests. It would drive average voters back to the Daddy Party.

Posted by jeffk | August 28, 2007 10:39 AM

I'm all with you on the making fun of anarchist thing, but I don't think it's particuarily healthy for a democracy to make free speech on public property a pain in the ass. It only hurts all of us.

Posted by TQ White II | August 28, 2007 11:41 AM

I share your sense of irony about organized anarchists, though I think your jokes are sophomoric. What I don't understand is why you as 'conservatives', don't share their sense of determination to have free speech on terms that are, well, free.

The treatment of citizens around the last Republican convention has been shown to be pretty sad for those that feel that participatory democracy requires opportunities for participating. Civil rights were violated and the 'free speech areas' were anything but free. They were little gulags off in remote parking lots. Hardly meets the needs of citizens that want to be heard.

Why do conservatives that so frequently opposed to government restrictions seem so enthusiastic about governments saying when and where people can express their opinions?

Posted by Only One Cannoli | August 28, 2007 12:28 PM

I always wonder at stories about anarchists organizing. Glad I saw their video -- these people are waaay less threatening than i thought. They're geeky drama students! And probably have a hard enough time holding onto their job at Kinko's.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 28, 2007 12:36 PM

Thugs in the streets, who weren't republicans, absolutely killed Hubert Humphrey's chances of winning over Nixon in 1968.

So, in a similar vein? Picking the Blue State, Minnesota, as a venue for their 2008 convention, who knows if this wasn't brilliance, not blindness, on the part of the GOP?

In other words? "Street actions" get televised. I'm sure it's pretty easy to keep the people INSIDE safe. While the freaks in the streets can do what? Rally around 10-foot puppets, and overturn cars? Doesn't help the Bonkeys.

Besides, by now the FBI is probably staked out inside all these "crazy camps." Where the FBI agent does not have to wear regulation haircuts. He could look as weird as can be.

The one thing that won't happen is the "street people" operating in secret. Where's the value if there's no press coverage? Hmm?

I know some people have suggested that Austin, Texas "should'a been" chosen. Why? The GOP does not have to look like it lives and dies in Texas.

And, by going into the BLUE ZONE, with their team, to use a football analogy; they've advanced on the field. WITH THE BALL. On OFFENSE. While the defenders can do what?

Posted by buzz | August 28, 2007 5:13 PM

"What I don't understand is why you as 'conservatives', don't share their sense of determination to have free speech on terms that are, well, free."

Because they don't care about free speech. They are fascists. They only care about their own speech. Any speech they oppose is "hate" speech and is to be shut down. Any political action they oppose is to be shut down. They exist to break windows and make a mess. They figure dressing in black and being "dangerous" will get the chicks.

Posted by Ray | August 28, 2007 9:29 PM

"Please bear in mind that our group is in constant flux"

That's the problem with anarchists, you can never count on their support. You might as well organize a herd of cats, it'll have just about the same effect.

Posted by tom bri | August 28, 2007 10:24 PM

How cute they all look in their burkhas. Dhimmis.

That was a great video though, very well done, might I say managed, or, heaven forbid, organized?

Posted by BlackSabbath | September 1, 2007 3:11 PM

Wow. You people really no nothing about anarchism. Well, I'm an anarchist. Allow me to enlighten you.

First of all, anarchists generally hate the Democrats just as much as we hate the Republicans. The reason we are opposed to the Republicans is because we are opposed to government interference, both at home and overseas; thus, the we are opposed to intervention in the Iraq Civil War.

Secondly, anarchism is not a leftist movement, any more than statism (the opposite of anarchism) is a rightist movement. There are anarchists on the left (anarcho-socialists) and right (anarcho-capitalists). Anarchism is best described as radical libertarianism, taking the ideas of individual sovereignty to their logical conclusion; that the government must be abolished. We reject the idea of a social contract between the government and its people because such a contract would logically require that all people agree to it, something that is a practical impossibility. Thus, being opposed to government, we are opposed to the following activities of government: war, taxation, gun control, public schools, government-monopolized postal services, publicly funded abortion, public ownership of property (only an individual can own property), drug laws, anything funded by taxes, etc. Thus, you could call us economic conservatives and social liberals. Or, you could just call us hardcore libertarians.

Finally, anarchists are not opposed to organization as long as it is voluntary. The members of an organized anarchist group are free to withdraw from that group at any time. Those living under a government (i.e., everyone in the world) are forced to abide by that government's regulations even though they never consented to do so. I would also dispute the claim that these demonstrators are anarchists, at least if they use violent force. Violence is only acceptable when used in self-defense, as per the Non-Aggression principle.

Oh, and by the way, Franco was a statist. The Soviets were statists. Anarchists are the enemies of both of these groups. Perhaps, if you researched the Spanish Civil War a bit more closely, you would discover that the Anarchists ultimately were the victims of a vast purge at the hands of the Soviets. If you wish to learn more of this, read "Homage to Catalonia" by George Orwell; it provides an excellent account of the systematic disarmament of the anarchists and murder of several highly regarded anarchists at the hands of the Soviets.

We are against the conservatives, yes. But we are also against the liberals. Perhaps you would all benefit by learning more of anarchism before you smear us and write us off as liberals.

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