January 1, 2011
RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Anarchy Is Back. “It is the welfare state that is in crisis and the Left is divided on the question of how to fix it. Anarchists, who are the cannon fodder of the extreme left, are sending the message that the Old Leftist politics has failed and the time has come to double down. . . . In the beginning it will take exactly the form we are witnessing now: a signaling exercise on the Left ostensibly directed at the mythical right but essentially aimed at sending a message to leftist politicians and semi-respectable activists that they haven’t been militant enough. It is an open political letter from one faction to the other. In the case of Greece the message is simple. Keep spending, the hell with austerity. . . . The anarchists themselves are ineffectual but provide the symbols around which the larger Left can rally.” Anarchists are stupid — I mean, bone-crushingly dumb — and usually inept. But they have certainly set tragic chains of events into motion with their stupidity in the past.
UPDATE: Okay, this is worth breaking out, too: “In fine anarchists are Red Guards of the European Left, a collection of dupes formed inside the vast and creaky infrastructure of Marxism to advance the interests of one faction against another faction. It is impossible to understand the politics of the Left without grasping that it is all about deniable intimidation.” That’s why they don’t want you to own guns.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Various readers say that I’m painting anarchists with too broad a brush here, and they’re right. I was referring to the — self-evidently stupid — “socialist anarchist” types above. Being a socialist anarchist is like being a “libertarian socialist” — proof of idiocy. But there are certainly libertarian anarchists who aren’t dumb, they’re just not the ones found rioting in the streets for more government spending.
MORE: Moe Lane comments:
There’s nothing particularly innocent about the anti-globo anarchist blackshirt Left. Then again, there’s nothing particularly ‘anarchistic’ about those fools, either: if you want proper anarchism (not to mention a more moral one) go look up the more… committed… anarcho-capitalist libertarians, who at least have the saving grace of not routinely going out and throwing Molotov cocktails at the police. . . .
I still feel obligated to point this story out because it’s important to understand something about the Activist Left: to wit, that the Activist Left is so alienated from the common mass of humanity that they think that blackshirt anarchists actually reflect an expression of populist sentiment. Put more bluntly, when the Activist Left thinks ‘populist’ they conjure up the mental image of a group of twentysomething unwashed creeps in balaclavas who simultaneously reek of patchouli oil and Rage Against the Machine.
And now you know why the Activist Left hates the Tea Party. Not just because the Right linked up with the libertarians and almost-casually put together a true populist movement that started electing Senators, Congressmen, and Governors in its first showing: that’s offensive to the fake populists on the Activist Left, to be sure, but not frightening. What frightens them is due to a failure of imagination or understanding on their part: because they have no true understanding of what actual populists look like, the Activist Left’s equate their child’s flattery and slave’s imitation with the real thing – and thus get terrified when they see the Tea Partiers being allowed to operate on their own without top-down controls. If the Activist Left allowed the anti-globos that kind of freedom there’d swiftly be blood on the streets – and Republicans getting elected in San Francisco and Seattle in the next election. So clearly the GOP leadership is being insanely reckless.
Yes, I know and you know that the Tea Party is generally made up of folks who make it a point of honor to leave protest sites in the same condition in which they found them. This is about perception of reality, not actual reality, remember?
MORE STILL: Via the comments at Moe’s, this on anarchy from Clayton Cramer:
In an anarchy, a bunch of masked kids running through a big city smashing in shop windows would be machine gunned or sold into slavery by the private security firms that would exist in a true anarchy.
The libertarian anarchists, on the other hand, have that figured out.