Anarchy Bang: Introducing Episode 28 - Terrorism

From Anarchy Bang

This week we will be discussing terrorism. Terrorism is the threat or use of violence in the pursuit of political goals. Obviously states use terrorism all the time to control and put fear in their constituent populations. The border situation terrifies both the people crossing the border and anyone living within range of ICE policing, border "asylum" camps, or the militarized border itself. This week we'll be discussing anarchist views of terror, Adam Curtis' Power of Nightmares that links 19th century and 20th century views on terror. We'll discuss how the 21st century continues in this vein and how anarchists should confound politics of terror but end up being a kind of booster for statist terror itself.

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There are 16 Comments

State terror =/= terrorism. Some violence rips apart, eviscerates, annihilates, rather than consolidating towards a center.

Where does one start, at the terrorism of tribal territorial law?

Deny the Guardian getting advertising revenue off anarchists.
Insert the word dump in between https;//www.and the specific Guardian link you're sharing.
For example, in the comment above, the link will look like this:

Terrorism is not direct action. What goods does it get?
It’s communicative violence, a grand symbolic gesture readily readable and recognizable by the powers that be.
It’s a form of representation, a sterner version of writing to your congressmen.

It’s a theatrical exposition of madness carried out by delirious, self-aggrandized megalomaniacs with victim mentality and martyr complexes.

It has all the faults of contemporary performance art, and none of the saving graces of other fatal acts like assassinations, murders, and suicides.

Terrorism is wishful (or magical, or delirious) thinking tacked to carnage, dissimulated with a thin veneer of bombastic rhetoric.

Terrorism takes itself too seriously. It’s an austere melodramatic act in bad taste. Even war can seem like a tragicomedy in comparison, specially when some soldiers find sadistic humor in their deed, like that video of the drone pilots joking while firing a missile at civilians.

This part of the prompt makes me think a few things:
“ anarchists should confound politics of terror but end up being a kind of booster for statist terror itself.”

Terrorism is not unexpected as there is nothing contemporary states are more vigilant of. If they are well prepared and respond promptly and appropriately is another matter. They can be caught off guard, but they know what to expect and how to react.

Confound is a great choice of word and it does suggest a way forward with its various meanings:
1. cause surprise or confusion in (someone), especially by acting against their expectations, synonyms: amaze, astonish, dumbfound, stagger, surprise, startle, stun, stupefy, daze, nonplus; More
throw, shake, unnerve, disconcert, discompose, dismay, bewilder
2. prove (a theory, expectation, or prediction) wrong
3. defeat (a plan, aim, or hope).
4. overthrow (an enemy).
5. used to express anger or annoyance.

“Confoundism” as opposed to terrorism could be a proposal. What would be unexpected? What would be surprising?

The the politicians are quick to label any act they want to as “terrorist”. Beyond the mystical aspect of the category that attributes it an inhuman/godly quality of (un)holy evil/good, it’s ultimately reduced to a death toll, the extent of the material destruction, the forensic evidence that points to the culprits, the political repercussions, the spins on the media, the effect on public opinion and moral, the emotional and mental trauma, etc. Ongoing wars and armed conflicts provide plenty of these things as well, so does the ordinary functioning of states in many ways, even when not under the label of terrorism.

All this is very routinary and is the bread and butter of states and those who compete with them asymmetrically and aspire to overtake them and replace them by the same means and using the same logic of war/politics.

Why engage in despicable acts we abhor against insurmountable odds, on the off chance we win something we never really wanted?
Why must the “fuck it point” yolo move be one of self-flagellation or immolation, and not the opposite?

Don't really disagree with this but I also don't see many "despicable acts" being committed by desperate revolutionaries in my context so for me, how the corporate state tries to turn what used to be considered "hardcore activism" in to terrorism is more relevant. How they keep trying to stretch the edge of the overton window until questioning police authority becomes a "hate crime", etc.

I've read interesting stuff about how more authoritarian ideologies can spread virally online, using basic psychology to turn alienated people in to weapons. There's a lot of easy comparisons to be made between seemingly different kinds of reactionary politics here but does anarchism really have this problem today? Seems like it's mostly being misrepresented by its enemies in this regard, although there's much milder forms of martyrdom that I still see too often.

Desperate alienated wannabe revolutionary in your area!

I make sure to take care of my basic psychology to keep me away from any path that leads to despicable acts.

I find it interesting that the listed antonym for “martyrdom” is “apostasy”.

People should look into what Heidi Matthews has said about terrorism. Really it's just a way of not giving a political ideology a platform for grievance on a geo political level. Anarchists were the og terrorists, they should be on the leading edge of critiquing the concept.

What's "despicable" about this? Sounds a bit sad. Only concentration camp guards need lose any sleep

Good episode, by the way. You're all a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of the online chatter about van spronson. Not easy to find that critical yet respectful tone but I think you did!

ah, you listened! why don’t you pop in in the IRC some day, i’d like to chat with you

For some inexplicable reason I feel entirely different to the death of Willem Van Spronsen as opposed to the Russian anarchist who suicide bombed the FSB.

Never Mind The Ballots is really a nice album yo, Thanks for the tip

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