Direct Narcissism

"This isn't about you"

[...] Aside from this rather unappealing psychological profile of the direct-actionist mentality, there are three major problems with this approach as a strategy. First and foremost is its almost child-like naivete. What, exactly, is the point of trying to infiltrate Vandenberg Air Force Base? It's hard to believe they really think they can win a pitched battle against squadrons of enraged Military Police. No one doubts the ability of the U.S. military to fend off such a hare-brained assault: what the nutball caucus of the antiwar movement is counting on is the unwillingness of the authorities to make martyrs out of them. But, if I were them, I wouldn't count on it. As the Sacramento Bee reports: [...]

The road to sainthood often ends in martyrdom. Are these crackpots really willing to go that far? I hope not. It is clear, at any rate, that such a strategy would be largely ineffective. That is, it would not accomplish its ostensible goal: to stop or even slow down the U.S. assault on Iraq. On the other hand, it would succeed in giving John Ashcroft and the War Party a perfect means by which to test the more draconian clauses of the "Patriot" Act -- and a rationale for proposing even harsher legislation in the near future. [...]


7 Responses:

  1. susano_otter says:

    From the article:

    "...[direct action] would succeed in giving John Ashcroft and the War Party a perfect means by which to test the more draconian clauses of the "Patriot" Act - and a rationale for proposing even harsher legislation in the near future."

    "The "direct action" faction would put the broad antiwar movement directly in the crosshairs of the state apparatus. Their suicidal actions could be the catalyst that unleashes a tsunami of repression unlike any seen in this country since World War I. Open authoritarians... are licking their chops, gleeful at the opportunity to call for jailing their political opponents - all in the name of defending "freedom," of course."

    "...a contingent of self-proclaimed "anarchists," who go under the vague general rubric of the "Black Bloc," split off from the main march and descended into the financial district, breaking windows, throwing rocks, and creating havoc. Dozens were arrested, but most were out of jail in a few hours later, and all charges were dropped."

    "A sinister note is added to this turn of events by the revelation that undercover agents of the San Francisco Police Department were deployed in the crowd, videotaping protesters and doing ... whatever."

  2. nice one.

    often i find the anarchists as narcissistic and as likely to engage in black-or-white thinking as the leaders of this country.

    if the end up facilitating the implementation of marital law in this town, i'm gonna kick every last black-bloc'd ass i see...
    ...oh wait, violence is wrong, kids!

  3. jwz says:

    So currently talks about some freeways being blocked in LA, and says ``This is the first in a series of direct actions that is going to hopefully take down this criminal regime and halt its assault!''

    I mean, what the fuck kind of fantasyland are they living in?

    • omnifarious says:

      I find what our government is doing to be unnacceptable, but this article was an excellent dose of reality. I now understand why what the Black Bloc is doing is wrong.

      If you're going to do something, it should be effective, and what they're doing isn't, and won't be. They are not at quite the same level of criminal selfish empty-headedness as the Symbionese Liberation Army, but they are close. They are just clueful enough to be extremely dangerous to those who really understand state power and what it means.

      People aren't frogs.

      • ciphergoth says:

        Efficacy now can't be the only criterion. Given that no protest was going to stop this war, it's worth thinking about what other goals from protest might be worthwhile.

    • jorm says:

      My favorite bit out of all of this is the so-called "anarchists" who go around with masks and shit on.

      A real "anarchy" is about taking 100% responsibility for your actions. Personal responsibility is the key phrase here, where you are so responsible that you don't need a police state to handle disputes for you. So, by wearing a mask, one says they aren't willing to accept the responsibility for their actions. I have zero respect for people who rationalize violence and vandalism "in the name of freedom" and at the same time are too cowardly to stand up for it when the heat comes down.