The most absurd apology for authority and law is that they serve to diminish crime. Aside from the fact that the State is itself the greatest criminal, breaking every written and natural law, stealing in the form of taxes, killing in the form of war and capital punishment, it has come to an absolute standstill in coping with crime. It has failed utterly to destroy or even minimize the horrible scourge of its own creation.
Crime is naught but misdirected energy. So long as every institution of today, economic, political, social, and moral, conspires to misdirect human energy into wrong channels; so long as most people are out of place doing the things they hate to do, living a life they loathe to live, crime will be inevitable, and all the laws on the statutes can only increase, but never do away with, crime. What does society, as it exists today, know of the process of despair, the poverty, the horrors, the fearful struggle the human soul must pass on its way to crime and degradation. Who that knows this terrible process can fail to see the truth in these words of Peter Kropotkin:
"Those who will hold the balance between the benefits thus attributed to law and punishment and the degrading effect of the latter on humanity; those who will estimate the torrent of depravity poured abroad in human society by the informer, favored by the Judge even, and paid for in clinking cash by governments, under the pretext of aiding to unmask crime; those who will go within prison walls and there see what human beings become when deprived of liberty, when subjected to the care of brutal keepers, to coarse, cruel words, to a thousand stinging, piercing humiliations, will agree with us that the entire apparatus of prison and punishment is an abomination which ought to be brought to an end."
The deterrent influence of law on the lazy man is too absurd to merit consideration. If society were only relieved of the waste and expense of keeping a lazy class, and the equally great expense of the paraphernalia of protection this lazy class requires, the social tables would contain an abundance for all, including even the occasional lazy individual. Besides, it is well to consider that laziness results either from special privileges, or physical and mental abnormalities. Our present insane system of production fosters both, and the most astounding phenomenon is that people should want to work at all now. Anarchism aims to strip labor of its deadening, dulling aspect, of its gloom and compulsion. It aims to make work an instrument of joy, of strength, of color, of real harmony, so that the poorest sort of a man should find in work both recreation and hope.
From Emma Goldman, Anarchism: What it Really Stands For
For those who do not understand why black bloc activists use militant tactics to destroy the property of corporations: black bloc activists are not protesters! They are not out there to protest! They are out there to carry out direct action against symbols and mechanisms of oppression. Their actions are aimed at causing material damage against oppressive institutions.
However, even more importantly, they act with performative intent so as to illustrate dramatically that people have the power even when they're faced with the overwhelming force of a police state; that corporations and institutions are not as powerful as they would like to convince us, and when they try to deter us it's really in our hands to resist.
Since they insist on attacking us, let us challenge authority and subvert the order and the laws. This does not mean that we should abandon ethics, humanity, or quit supporting one another. These are vital lessons that people should remember now more than ever. The police blatantly disregard the rights of human beings. To them, people are only a docile mass, easily controlled and manipulated.
Most would agree that those in Power should fear the people, and apparently they have lost this healthy fear; thus militant activism is the effort to keep this threat alive—because conducting sit-ins and waving placards never will.
The more we forget we hold the power to rebel against anyone who tries to dominate us, the more they dominate us.
Jaydee performs an acoustic cover of Baby, I'm An Anarchist originally by Against Me!
This version of the song is the theme tune for The Circled A Radio Show hosted by Yodet Gherez which broadcasts every Tuesday 9pm on Resonance 104.4 FM and www.resonancefm.com.
Shot & Edited by Greg Hall for Broke But Making Films.