Monday, October 25, 2010

Anarchist Bombing


There was lots of interesting discussion yesterday about anarchist, and their objectives in the early 1900's. It was suggested that "Anarchy" and "Chaos" are two different things, and those who wanted Anarchy did not want Chaos. The picture above was taken in 1908, 20 seconds after a bomb went off at a rally of 5,000 anarchist at Union Square in New York City. The anarchist pictured had brought bombs to the rally, and were about to throw one at the police. The bomb went off before they threw it, injuring a large number in the crowd. 

So, I must ask you . . . if anarchist do not want chaos, why do they bring bombs to their meetings? Today, elements of the anarchist movement can still be seen in the violent protests at the various G-8/G-20 meetings. Again, if Anarchist do not want Chaos, why are their demonstrations SO chaotic?

6 comments:

  1. Perhaps it's graphic proof of the idea several posters proposed yesterday:that hope for a peaceful "government-less" society is hijacked by the power hungry. In their case, before the message even has a chance to be heard.
    Notice that today the word "anarchist" doesn't bring to mind peace and self government but violent, chaotic revolution.

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  2. Government-less society... has it ever existed? Tribal leaders are government. The notion that we can exist with all members on an even plane ignores the human condition. We each have different abilities and desires. Unless everyone works the exact same job there would be problems.

    George Orwell's Animal Farm should be required reading (or viewing) for all anarchists. But required by whom?
    John

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  3. If the measure of chaos is the killing and torment of those who ostensibly are part of your own group, then governments practice chaos on their own citizens at a scale anarchists could never hope to achieve. If the measure of chaos is the unintentional killing and torment of people who shouldn't be targets, then government militaries are true champions of chaos- they make anarchists look like Zen monks.
    Yes, the revolution will be violent. Governments are organized violence, and resist any true effort to diminish them most strenuously. Yes, the revolution will be chaotic. Have you ever known one that wasn't?
    Bringing up a book written by a socialist, as a warning against communists, as proof of the unworkability of anarchism, is hilarious. If you want an Orwell book that actually deals with anarchists, try "Homage to Catalonia."
    If you want to old photos to put up, I recommend those showing the Haymarket Affair.

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  4. Wow - a bombing in a crowd in 1908. Proving 102 years later not much has changed.

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  5. Hilarious or not... your perfect egalitarian society will always fall prey to those who would rather rule than labor. It matters not who wrote Animal Farm. All that matters is the message. The idea that other forms of government use violence in a grander scale is a poor excuse for anarchists acting in kind. If they were better organized (ironic) they would no doubt surpass others in that department.
    John

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  6. None of this is to say that I agree with anarchy or violence.

    Different anarchists support different methods of achieving the goal of self-rule as opposed to being ruled by authority. Tarring everyone with the same brush leads to stereotypes. Certainly the stereotype of all anarchists being violent and favouring chaos would be the one I would promote if I was in power and didn't want people supporting anarchist causes.

    Angry, violent displays are a dramatic reaffirmation tool for those within a cause/movement/group that something is happening to promote their aim. Violence isn't necessarily an efficient or effective tool to promote support or change. I much prefer celebrations. As an example of how change can start in violence but does not have to continue in that vein, the Stonewall Riots were the tipping point for homosexual communities fighting against police (i.e. societal) oppression and now there are Pride Day parades and festivities worldwide. It remains a protest but instead of being expressed in a violent manner it has become one of welcome (whether or not you feel it personally).

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