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"Interestingly, many of us who assume ourselves to be part of Anarchism, also consider that it is a reiteration to speak of “illegal anarchism”, however this particular label makes sense if, and only if, there is the existence of two antagonistic positions around the realization of direct action — that is, at the moment when we bring all of our theory to practice. This antagonism, as unfortunate as undeniable inside our movement, will be the cause of these peculiar “distinctions.” So to get into the issue of this theme, we need to address the false dichotomy: “legalistic anarchism “ v. “ illegal anarchism.”

And so we can plant this as a “false dichotomy”, precisely because the so-called “legalistic anarchism” is an unusual contradiction. From the moment we appeal to legality we are denying Anarchism. Anarchism is illegal or it isn’t Anarchism. That is its essence and meaning — its nature. For this reason, sometimes it seems so obvious that we forget to meticulously emphasize the anti-authoritarian character of Anarchism and therefore, that it is consequently anti-systemic; Anti-systemic and full of rage! We are against all authority; that’s our motto. For the same reason, Anarchists, from the moment we begin to assume ourselves as such, right in that initial moment, we are locating ourselves outside of the law.


So when we address the so-called “illegal anarchism”, we do so acknowledging the gigantic size of this incongruity, but also acknowledging that this euphemism is referring to insurrectionary anarchism, then we must reaffirm the validity and objectivity of propaganda by the deed and of expropriations, recognising these tactics and practices as consistent with our principles, appropriate for times of withdrawal and retreat from the real movement of the oppressed and for the periods of reflux, re-articulation and accumulation of forces. But precisely for that reason, our action should not be limited to action for the action itself without ideals or principles that reaffirm them but instead as a direct consequence of those principles and those ideals put into practice."
-[From: Illegal Anarchism]

"Over this first reason for theft there is therefore no need – we believe – to linger along, demonstrating what now no longer needs to be demonstrated.

We can simply add that for the man to whom society denies bread, if there is a crime, it is precisely that of not stealing, or not being able to steal.

I know, there are unfortunately still malignant derelicts with a human semblance, who exalt and praise the “great” virtue of the “honest poor.”

They were – Oscar Wilde says – the ones who deal by their personal account with the enemy, selling their rights as first-born for the vilest plate of bad lentils.

To be poor – and “honest poor” - means, for us, to be enemies – and the most repugnant enemies – of every form of human dignity and every higher feeling.

What can an “honest poor man” symbolize, if not the most degrading form of human degradation?"

-[From: In Defense of Heroic and Expropriating Anarchism]

"When I say I am an outlaw, I don’t mean that I am some great, heroic bandit (such a claim would make my friends laugh their asses off). I mean simply that, to the extent of my power, I live alegally, that is, without regard for the law. I don’t let the law determine my choices and my actions. Rather I use all my powers – my skills, my tools, my wits, my relationships – to create my life on my own terms without getting caught. This alegality reinforces my refusal to ever voluntarily deal with cops or courts.

I speak of alegality and not illegalism, not because I am opposed to illegalism, but because I want to be precise. Originally, the term “illegalism” had a specific meaning. An illegalist was an anarchist who chose to use illegal means as the way to make her living rather than begging or taking a job. So “illegalism” referred specifically to robbery, burglary, theft, counterfeiting, etc., [1] not to propaganda of the deed, attentat, and the like, nor to such things as the refusal of military service, taxes, etc. The original debates over illegalism were therefore not about whether anarchists should take illegal actions – it was assumed that all anarchists did – but about whether individual reappropriation was a legitimate tactic – and for an egoist this is not even a question; the only question is: “What can I get away with?” In any case, anarchists, and for that matter, all free-spirited, unsubmissive individuals, will inevitably break laws. When laws exist, my choice to live on my own terms will make me an outlaw, because I will ignore law except as an obstacle to avoid."

- [From: The Anarchist As Outlaw

Read more:
Illegalist Praxis

Illegalism: Why Pay for a Revolution on the Installment Plan…When You Can Steal One?