To Address Moral Elitism Within the Anarchist Milieu in Response to the Rioters of August 6th Onwards
Since the riots and looting of early August the acts committed in response to the death of Mark Duggan, shot in cold blood by officers of the state in London, have been judged as mindless acts of violence and greed and disregarded as apolitical by the government, media, the right, nationalists, the left, liberals, and also by ‘anarchists’ within the radical movement who propose that these riots were not political as they were not ‘conscious’.
David Cameron has stated that the riots were the result of ‘deep moral failure’. The people responsible have done bad things and should be punished, he said. Not only have the rioters been immoral, he said, but in many cases so have their parents. At no point has Cameron addressed the immorality of the cops that killed Mark Duggan, without reason or trial, or the three other victims of state violence in the following month...
Whilst people who posted on Facebook inciting others to riot are sentenced to years, the morality of MP’s fiddling expenses and looting a nation is barely acknowledged.
Who are the government to talk of morality? To condemn the behaviour of the rioters is to protect and benefit the system and confirm its governing ideologies. We are conditioned by the state and judicial systems to believe in absolutist concepts — stealing is wrong, violence is criminal — regardless of context and despite the surreptitious use of such methods by the economic and state authorities to gain ever increasing control. Theft is not always justified, situation is always a consideration and the individual must determine their morality.
However, to denounce looting, an act of damage against property and theft against capitalism, is to conform to the imposed suffocating morality of commerce, state and media. To condemn the expropriation committed is the counter revolutionary cop in the head ensuring we ‘self contain ourselves through moralism’ and ensuring we reconfirm an imposed illusionary morality.
Besides, why is it ‘just’ if a self-proclaimed anarchist shop-lifts as an act of rejection against capitalism, yet mindless greed if a youth loots a store during a riot?
The desire to have is a product of capitalism, not simply innate human greed or question of morality. It is capitalism that teaches what one should desire, demands that we crave commodities, status awarding, life affirming commodities impossible to attain as unemployment rises, benefits are cut, and taxes increase.
Humiliated everyday by the advertisements and billboards flaunting all that will never be in their grasp, the youth of the ghettos in the UK galvanised their common rage and reached out to take what they could have by no other means.
A conscious decision isn’t necessary to act against a system that imprisons you. It is a sane, emotive, visceral, response to the frustrations of being born into an insane, authoritarian, capitalist, society that provides you nothing.
It is self-defeating for anarchists to ostracise by judgement those at the forefront of the struggle, who experience to the greatest extremities the repression and control delivered by Capital and the State.
These are the people the most vulnerable to the system. Their revolution, is revolution. Their organisation, fearlessness, strength in numbers, strength in bond, has eclipsed the anarchist revolution within the UK. They have achieved within the last year far more than the anarchists dream. Their means do not mirror those of the theorists, but their ends are being actualised. They are comrades.
Anarchist action however has been measured and found wanting. It has been shown to be contrived, symbolic, redundant.
Whilst genuine insurgence occurred in the UK, few self-proclaimed anarchist were on the street, or elsewhere in solidarity. The anarchist collaboration appears, for example, working against council authorities who propose to evict parents of those charged, not convicted, with rioting — a purely reactionary form. It is an arrogant conclusion that the ‘anarchists’, the predominantly white middle class ‘anarchists’, know what the revolution requires, and are most capable of delivering it. Often they do not know the condition of the relinquished. Their participation in revolutionary action is CHOICE. Educated, white people have the CHOICE to evade the system or be accommodated.
Choice, opportunity, accommodation are luxuries not afforded to the non-privileged youth of the estates throughout the UK.
Their rebellion (inclusive of the looting of independent stores who remain none the less complicit to the modus operandi of commerce and private ownership even if they do not have specific responsibility) is a compulsory rebellion. Looting is part of our noxious methodology in a struggle against a capitalist state. Injustice has become law and so criminality has become necessary to act against it.
The future of revolution may well be dangerous and chaotic. It will be. It certainly will not be prescribed by anarchists or their idea of a noble revolution. As the global nexus of commerce, state control, and resistance becomes more complex and intricate we should aim, no longer to be swept along, but instead to dispose of the current for the unknown, that at the very least, is not this. As destruction is method toward creation we should join efforts to plunder and destroy that which plunders and destroys.
— Those who do not stand with the oppressed, stand alongside the oppressor.