Monday, February 18, 2008

Blame Anarchism? (Per Bylund)

When many people think of the word "anarchism," they think of rock throwing punks with masks, black flags, and destruction; but is that really anarchism? Per Bylund says the "do as I say – or else" principle they display is hardly anarchist:

Youngsters dressed in black wearing facial masks setting another McDonald’s restaurant on fire. Some of them trying to make the full body of protesters attack the police and innocent passers-by. Others are throwing rocks at whatever is close enough to hit. Still others, with spray cans “borrowed” from daddy’s garage, making sure the riot leaves marks on walls and windows for a long time.

On the news, reporters stand against the violent flames consuming another building talking about yet another “anarchist riot.” Tens of “anarchists” were apprehended by the police, but most of them escaped and left people in fear and their belongings in ruins. One of the hooded teenagers is interviewed on TV and tells us about his deep hatred for the police, society, order – and prosperity.

This is anarchy, if you ask most people. It is the devastation of human creations and uprooting of human organization, it is the destruction of order. People are brought to believe that anarchism is about threatening, burning, destroying, assaulting, and killing.

Unable to categorize these young people so filled with hatred – so “anti” everything that is and has been – reporters talk of “anarchism” in lack of a better word for violent nihilist chaos. They are no doubt ignorant of the anarchist philosophical/political tradition, and go with what they believe they know: “anarchy is chaos.”

But it isn’t as simple as reporters being ignorant.

Read the rest

No comments: