"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

Western Anarchism On The Rise.

Western anarchism on the rise

Arab Spring was followed or preceded by many similar mass movements, the last being the riots in London. Greeks were on the streets long ago. Israelis are no different; hundreds of thousands have poured onto the streets protesting their governments for a number of reasons.

Some protest against cuts in their wages, hurt by austerity measures that reduce public spending. Israelis demand affordable houses. In the town squares of many European cities young people are protesting unemployment and structural inequality created and sustained by earlier generations that still rule their countries. The same inequalities find their voice in the US under the banner of the “Tea Party” as if they are up against a colonial power.

There are different reasons for the rebellion of the masses, especially the youth in varying countries, but there is a visible commonality: they all want an “attainable future.” They can no longer see such a future within their reach. It is too elusive and seems inaccessible in the midst of a crisis that seems to last for an indefinite time. The middle and lower middle classes are especially affected. By pouring on to the streets they express their desperation and fear of a future that can no longer be imagined. That is why being a politician is getting harder by the day. People want results; they want to feel hopeful again. With spreading protest movements, the power and privilege of leaders and politicians are diminishing. As they lose face and power, they call these movements “anarchic.” Indeed they are because in ancient Greek anarchy means “without a leader.” Anarchists repudiate the omnipotence of the state. They do not want the state in their “business,” or the hierarchy it has created. They refuse a morality dictated by a state that leaves no room for the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual.

Today’s rebels (as they are often called “anarchists”) are anti-authoritarian. They show this not only in their rhetoric but also in actions that are getting increasingly violent.

The youth of Europe had learned that good government is good to its people. With stringent social welfare austerity measures they began to question this assumption. They now believe that governments prefer to sustain a system in which a small privileged minority receives more benefits than the common people.

The rebels or anarchists of Europe want a revolution. They yearn for a unified anti-authoritarian international network of activist groups composed of “autonomous individuals” who can think for themselves as well as other fellow human beings, not governments or regimes or financial systems. They tend to plan to sabotage the international economic and political system that has led the world from one crisis to another. That is why they see solidarity with other nations’ rebels as so important for their aims.

If such a plan works and an international front of rebels/anarchists is set in motion we may expect the following:

• Threatening leaders and harassing politicians.

• Attacking government facilities, police and law enforcement facilities (including courts) or personnel.

• Attacking embassies, starting with symbolic “imperialist” powers.

• Bombing banks.

• Vandalizing selected/symbolic cultural and political targets/groups.

• Symbolic robberies.

They see this selective violence as an “initial phase of the revolution” to come. Needless to say, they want this to be a global revolution. But as of now they have no post-revolutionary vision of a society or social nexus.

The European anarchists have a shared legacy of terror. Now this backdrop has been revitalized by the ongoing economic crisis that has upset the balance between economic prosperity and democratic stability. The young generations of Europe and the Americas are questioning this equation that has so long been taken for granted.

If the West does not mend the bridge that has collapsed between democratic stability and economic sustainability and welfare in the shortest time possible, terrorism of the alienated middle-class will be the biggest challenge of the Atlantic region. The massacre in Norway, the rise of racism, xenophobia and the violence-prone right must be eye openers. We are living in interesting times.


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