There’s Nothing Anarchist about Eco-Fascism: A Condemnation of ITS

  • Posted on: 12 May 2017
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From IGD - by Scott Campbell

“When horror knocks at your door, it’s difficult to hide from. All that can be done is to breathe, gather strength, and face it….I shared news of the woman found in University City. From the first moment, I was angered and protested the criminalization of the victim. The next morning I woke up to the horror and pain that she was my relative.”

Statement from the family of Lesvy Rivera to Mexican society

“[W]e take responsibility for the homicide of another human in University City on May 3rd….Much has emerged about that damned thing leaning lifeless on a payphone… ‘that she suffered from alcoholism, that she wasn’t a student, this and that.’ But what does it matter? She’s just another mass, just another damned human who deserved death.”

29th Statement of Individualists Tending Toward the Wild (ITS)

Some things shouldn’t have to be said, but as is too often the case in this disaster of a world, that which should be most obvious often gets subsumed to the exigencies of politics, ideologies, money, emotion, or internet clicks. The purpose of this piece is to condemn the recent acts of eco-extremists in Mexico and those who cheer them on from abroad.

This critique does not aspire to alter the behavior of Individualists Tending Toward the Wild (ITS), Individualities Tending Toward the Wild (ITS), Wild Reaction (RS), Indiscriminate Group Tending Toward the Wild (GITS), Eco-extremist Mafia, or whatever they will change their name to tomorrow. Like any other deluded, sociopathic tyrant, these individuals have declared themselves above reproach, critique, reason, or accountability. They have appointed themselves judge, jury, and executioner; the guardians and enforcers of Truth using a romanticized past to justify their actions. As absolutist authoritarians, they have constructed a theoretical framework that, while ever-shifting and inconsistent, somehow always ends with a justification for why they get to hold a knife to the throats of all of humankind. In short, they think and act like the State.

There was a discussion about ITS on an IGD podcast from last December. For those unfamiliar, ITS and its spawn of affiliated acronyms publicly emerged in 2011 as an anti-civilization grouping that blew things up and tried to kill people they didn’t like, primarily university research scientists. In early statements, they spoke of favorably of anarchism and revolution. Over the course of just a few years and various groupings and splittings, they adopted a firm stance of rejection and reaction. They disavowed anarchism, revolution, leftism, or anything related to the social or human. They proudly adopted the mantle of eco-terrorism and proclaimed their disgust for the likes of John Zerzan or Ted Kaczynski, who they previously praised.

Unsurprisingly, through their increasing isolation and reactivity, ITS has turned into just plain murderers. (Or at least they’d like you to think so.) “The human being deserves extinction” and “We position ourselves against the human being, without caring about the use of civilization to carry out our acts” is now their creed. As such, in the State of Mexico, ITS claims it went out hunting for loggers to kill, but not finding any, they decided to ambush, shoot and murder a couple on a hike on April 30th, because, “We just want it to be clear that no human being will be safe in nature.” They suggest humans should instead stay in the cities, but then claim responsibility for the May 3rd femicide of Lesvy Rivera at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, stating, “Not even in your damned cities will you be safe.” The ITS phenomenon, while beginning in Mexico, has spread throughout much of Latin America, with groups using the ITS name claiming responsibility for attacks – including attempts at the mass murder of ordinary, working-class people – in multiple countries.

Understanding what led to the creation and evolution of groups such as ITS is a topic best addressed in a separate piece. As mentioned above and in the podcast, they find their roots in the insurrectionary and anti-civilization streams of anarchism. Mexico in particular has a vibrant clandestine, direct action insurrectionary movement. Mexico is also where 99 percent of all “crimes” go unpunished, where narcos, police, military and politicians either work hand in hand or kill one another and anyone else nearby in the tens of thousands. They also team up against aboveground social movements – repression being the only language the Mexican state speaks. It is not difficult to understand, in a country being gutted by neoliberalism, where appeals to the state are met with batons and bullets, where anarchists are already blowing things up, and where everyone else with an agenda seems to be killing people and getting away with it, why a group like ITS would emerge.

Yet at the same time in Mexico, aside from a few websites, ITS and its actions have not been praised or embraced by anarchists or anyone else. This likely also contributes to the escalating violence on ITS’s part – no one really pays attention to them except to dismiss or condemn. At least one anarchist group has publicly stated its belief that ITS is a state-run operation, designed to delegitimize the broader radical movement.

It seems more likely that ITS is a genuine group that believes what it says. Whether it has actually done what it says is another matter. Some attacks have certainly occurred, but a curiously large number of ITS attacks fail or go unmentioned anywhere except in their statements. They claim this is due to the police and media conspiring to not call attention to their acts. Yet the typical insurrectionary anarchist direct action is almost always reported with precise information, photos showing the damage caused, and can be verified in corporate media reports. How ITS is so much worse than other direct action groups at carrying out direct actions is an unanswered question. That ITS killed any of the three people they recently claimed to have killed is unlikely. The statement shares no details of the killings and only includes a photo taken from Facebook. Especially with regards to the femicide of Lesvy Rivera at UNAM, ITS is likely seeking to get a free ride on the coattails of a tragedy that has generated considerable action and coverage amongst the anarchists and radicals they hate so much yet whose attention they so desperately seek.

So do we anarchists give it to them? Admittedly, even the existence of this piece is a capitulation to their attention seeking. But worse are those that promote, even implicitly, the actions of ITS. Sites such as Anarchist News, Free Radical Radio, Atassa, Little Black Cart and Black Powder Press. The “a retweet does not constitute endorsement” excuse doesn’t fly here. As ITS says, “We’ve been warning you since the beginning.” And now they are claiming to have killed three humans simply because they were human. Will ITS fans continue to distribute the propaganda of a group that by its own admission is not only not anarchist, but proudly terroristic, rejecting of all ethics, morals, or principles of liberation? They solely exist to kill people. It should not have to be explained why such a position does not merit support. Of a less pressing matter is the way in which ITS conceives of “nature” is itself a social and civilizational construct. Their (already constantly shifting) ideological basis for murder falls apart under any real scrutiny.

Some defend the publications and discussions (or trolling, as it were) they engender because while perhaps they don’t agree with killing people, the analysis ITS presents is intellectually stimulating and worthy of consideration. If ITS did kill her, Lesvy Rivera can surely appreciate that her brutal murder was found intellectually stimulating for some. It is the peak of colonial, racist arrogance that those from the safety of their U.S. or European homes feel comfortable debating the finer points of an ideology that amounts to brown people killing other brown people. We eagerly await the publishing on these sites of ISIS or al-Qaida communiques due to their intellectually stimulating critiques of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East.

The only support ITS should be receiving from anarchists is encouragement that they practice their dedication to human extinction on themselves. Just as the fascists of ISIS are meeting a true anarchist response, the fascists of ITS should be called to task, rather than coddled.

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Comments

Agreed. Very good and necessary article. Inb4 youtube-atassa-guy shows up and brings the cringe.

Not gonna lie, I cringed. But solid Patreon burn!

Also there is no ITS anymore. There's just cringy Youtube guy finding unsolved murders in MX and making shit up on his blog. animus ejaculation.

It's hilarious seeing these reifying idiots contaminate wild activity with stuggle and ideology. The funny part in regards to the quote at the end is that they speak of inherited ancestry. Ancestry is actually a mediated deviation away from ACTUAL wild existence which does not involve bad prose and writing as well as coordinated psychopathy.

this text is makes me think its ok to be a pacifist. thank you.

Just want to state that the Atassa Journal, but now on littleblackcart.com, fully supports the AHCA, which could kill up to 24,000 people! Yes, one step closer. Thank you all Republican comrades in the Senate know and expect will soon vote yes on this. You rock, ITS, all the way!

Just too bad Mexico has no nuclear WMD program... these ITS religious fanatics would have been the first in line to manage the silos.

Probably incapable of getting a job, let alone keeping one long enough to handle anything important. Leave workplace action to the adults.

in physical reality, imbalance sources relational tensions which build and release in violent bursts. this is the way of nature's 'physis'.. building and releasing is included in nonlinear dynamics and it is called self-organized criticality and is the source of earthquakes and avalanches. the same processes are clearly seen in relational social dynamics but 'science' and 'rationality' do not see them because 'science' and 'rationality' are linear views of the world wherein it is assumed that "the present depends only on the immediate past". that is built into the foundations of newton's calculus and into science and rationality in general.

self-organized criticality, on the other hand, arises from influences from the remote past or from much earlier on in the transforming relational continuum ['spacetime' if you like] influence the unfolding present.

nonlinear dynamics in society stem from 'memory' and 'thresholds' within the relational social dynamic; e.g. a run on the bank as investor trust is stretched to the snapping point. rationality disappears at such 'breaking points'.as where the quiet but alienated student goes on a killing rampage.

what's the point of applying moral judgement to the 'rational' theories of those who have passed through their tolerance thresholds or breaking points?

should we expect 'rationality' to 'still hold' in the post-threshold zone? there is a certain perverted 'logic' in the notion of de-civilizing the civilized agents responsible for the mess we're in; i.e. 'humans', and approaching this by decivilizing oneself by undertaking uncivilized acts of violence. but do we not pass over a threshold where rationality [linear science] no longer works and where intuition must take over [resume its natural primacy over rationality]?

indigenous aboriginal [anarchist] traditions invoke 'restorative justice' in those situations where the 'avalanche' threshold is exceeded and things get bizarre. in restorative justice, there is a suspension of both rational analysis and moral judgement. these rare subsumed and transcended, with the pursuit of restoring balance and harmony.

linear theory [rational analysis] no longer works where relational tensions build beyond a certain threshold 'break point'. a plane whose wing metal has been linearly stretched many times may reach a threshold where its stretch behaviour may only remain linear at small stresses. at large stresses, the wings may drop off.

the mistake has been in assuming that linear phenomena [amenable to rational analysis] is the norm and nonlinear phenomena are exceptions. instead, nonlinear phenomena are the norm and there are no linear phenomena, only phenomena where linear theory works quite well, as with linear economic theory between collapses of the economy..

all rational theories of rebellion are misplaced since rebellion is a nonlinear phenomenon.

I shudder to think what ITS could do with a Mexican Emile.

this is an 'abstract' of the comment on the shortfalls of rationality as applied to ITS that thecollective removed from the thread.

people who are caught up in a nonlinear, non-rationality-capturable dynamic are nevertheless capable of, and often motivated, to use rational views to analyze 'where things are at'.

the sexually abused woman is experientially conditioned in the manner of the war veteran with PTSD and has present responses that are shaped by experiences in the remote past; e.g. she sees the problem of sexual abuse as being caused by abusive males. in doing this, she is transmitting influences from the remote past into her present actions [ as in activism that seeks to strip males of their abusiveness].

sexually abusive males are like the child-soldier whose violence is the venting of relational social tensions and thus he is transmitting influence from the remote past so that it shapes present dynamics. this is nonlinear dynamics that is too relationally complex to be understood by 'being'-based rational inquiry.

the general pattern here is that nature [the physical reality of our actual experience] is nonlinear and non-rational while our common, popular mode of inquiry is 'rational' [scientific, logical, being-based inquiry], thus when we use rational inquiry and identify 'things-in-themselves' as the source of problematic issues [sexually abusive males, violent child-soldiers, rogue regimes, civilized humanity], leading us to the notion that these 'things' must be cured of their defectiveness, we are formulating twenty-pound theory from ten pound axioms [the axiomatic assumption of independent things-in-themselves as the source of [desirable or undesirable] actions and results]

ITS is another example of people caught up within a nonlinear dynamic, the relational complexity of which is beyond the understanding-delivering competency of being-based rational inquiry.

ITS, nevertheless, puts rational inquiry based understanding into an unnatural precedence over relational experience based intuition [ and thus seeks to cure humanity of its malady of civilization, in the manner of seeking to cure males of their malady of sexual abusiveness, as if 'males' and 'civilization' are 'things-in-themselves' that jumpstart troublesome behaviours, rather than vents through which relational social tensions are transmitted]

also in mexico;

EZLN puts relational experience based intuition into its natural precedence over rational inquiry based understanding.

mexican emile's can be found among the latter.

Hi Scott,

While your critique of ITS is welcome, I think you're using too big of a brush when painting the picture of other counter-information sites acting as plaudits, knowingly and unknowningly, and in-turn moving your critique towards a bad faith argument, deception, and hey why not, the strawman. You specifically call out this website (@news) along with a few other publishers of information towards the end.

If we were to go by similar measures alluded to in your text, let us not forget that It’s Going Down has also published at least one text that discusses actions of eco-extremists in Mexico. [1] Does that make IGD a plaudit (your word) for eco-extremism? Is IGD clapping and enthusiastically supporting ITS by sharing this information relevant for anarchists? Well, IGD published the text – so, accordingly by your standards, yes. One may also include, the IGD podcast you linked in your essay as further IGD support for ITS by similar measures.

I don’t think the sharing of news and dialogue relevant for anarchists means overall approval of such texts. I think @news and the other publishing projects mentioned, act as an outlet for content that is of interest to anarchists and their friends, as a news source and way of having conversations.

I’m glad @news didn’t post or share this new communique from ITS. It’s fucked up for sure and I share in your outrage, certainly indiscriminate violence is no friend of the anarchists I want to know, not even the anti-social variety.

Looking forward to your follow up text, as alluded to in your original essay, but perhaps next time leave the big brushes at home.

- a long time reader

[1] https://itsgoingdown.org/mexico-anarchists-cisen/

Look buddy, I'm not Scott and most likely no one you know personally, but you still are failing to provide with just ONE good reason why it is so important for Anews and a few other anarchist media to be publishing the irrational and dishonest crap from these psychopaths and their groupies who've never seen the face of death. If it's "of interest" to us, then why are these the only insurgent actions and communiques we're having here coming from Mexico, while Mexican eco-anarchist insurgents have been already doing much more well-thought and targeted attacks on tech industry barons and speculators for even before the ITS spook started to exist.

So do we so badly need to be served with this bullshit Goldsteinian enemy for the Two Minutes Hate?

I'd love to hear about those other attacks! Where can I read about them?

To be fair, most of the printed material available seems to be their older (more anarchist influenced) communiques. The newer crazy stuff is just online. And the newest, craziest stuff, isn't even posted here. I think ITS has turned down a scary road, and I don't really think any anarchists (or folks from anarchist projects) who I've talked to support that direction or the group anymore. But to say it isn't of interest of anarchists to know where this once-anarchist group has headed, I think that's a bit insincere or miscalculated.

This is probably the best argument for continuing to analyze the ITS tendency. It's still useful as a cautionary tale: where a volatile mix of anti-social nihilism (which I'm very sympathetic too), some misapplied romantic primitivism and hazy analysis around power can go. A very dark road to wander down.

Humans don't have the "right" to decide to live or not......

No they have guns

Narco-terrorism is the most dominant and ruthless of them all.

I think eco-reactionary makes more sense and even goes with the whole Savage Reaction name and fits better with some of Uncle Ted's stuff. Reminds me of those fools at the Unterrified. These are very undesirable projects, not so as much as well industrial civilization or whatever bur still. Abe is another one of these men who comes out and talks shit on reds, feminists, etc all the while clutching to some "tradition" like Catholicism or historical cultural identity they are actually pretty alienated from and seemingly accept them uncritically. Which is pretty similar to typical reactionary stuff. Although the anti-anti-civ and anti-egoist stuff from the "Social Anarchists" pisses me off to no end as well...

There are eco-fascists. Like Exile in Olympia or the National Socialist Black Metal paganos in Mexico. But Abe, what was ITS, and Ted etc are more reactionaries in a general sense than fash or whatever. I think a lot of the critique of IGD is bullshit even the patreon jabs etc and seems like people scraping up anything they can to sling at them using more militant than thou bs from their loungers or from the beach where they're catching sick waves bruh. I do think the broad critique of EcoNihilism is bullshit. These strains that are reactionary are different from the whole. JZ et all are constantly spouting fallacious bs when it comes to this. None of that helps. The whole anti-antifa stuff is similar. I think there are legit critiques of antifa practice in the US and elsewhere that perhaps A! et all could articulate, but too often I see half-baked insults instead of actual even vicious critique.

The Catholicism is just for the aesthetics and nostalgia bro but w/e

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