Zine of the week | Issue 11
You can't blow up a social relationship: The anarchist case against terrorism
First published in Australia by Libertarian Socialist Organisation, 1979
Spray-paint did not cripple the World Trade Organisation in Seattle. The 11 September terrorist attacks did not bring down the United States. The bombing of Greenpeace’s ship, Rainbow Warrior, by the French Government, however, did enable better nuclear-testing in the Pacific. The Urewera raids by the New Zealand Police did, somewhat, lessen indigenous groups organising radically in Aotearoa.
And yet I have wondered whether if someone were to burn a mansion, it would lead to society becoming more justly distributed. Perhaps if I were to mix a banker’s drink with cyanide, a new monetary system would emerge? Perhaps if I were to develop a crypto-virus that destroyed every piece of private data gathered by a nation state, I would free the digital world?
No! The total collapse of this society would provide no guarantee about what replaced it. Unless a majority of people had the ideas and organisation sufficient for the creation of an alternative society, we would see the old world reassert itself because it is what people would be used to, what they believed in, what existed unchallenged in their own lives.
To those contemplating political violence, I say, first look to yourself: is destructiveness an expression of fear or love? There are political traditions and political possibilities you have yet to examine.
To the society that produces the conditions of poverty, passivity, selfishness, shallowness and destructiveness, in which the response of political violence can grow, we say, take warning. These conditions must be overthrown. If you have no will for human association, I tell you that you are ensuring the worst possible outcome.
Zines of the week are chosen by volunteers at Blackstar Books, Dunedin’s own anarchist-inspired community library and social space since 2003, located on Moray Place near the Octagon. Come by sometime – details and directions are available at cargocollective.com/zinefest