A VIOLENT PROPOSITION
AGAINST THE WEIGHTED CHAIN OF MORALITY
When dealing with the question of how to battle the social order,
there is no place for morality. Anyone who desires a world without
exploitation and domination does not share the values of the society
that spawned them. Thus, it is necessary to avoid getting drawn into
its viewpoint-the dominant viewpoint with all that implies.
The dominant viewpoint in the present era is that of democratic
dialogue. All are to come together to discuss their perspectives,
argue over their claims, debate their opinions and negotiate
compromises guaranteed to enforce the power of those who claim
to represent us and to disappoint all parties (except those in power)
equally. Isn't our democratic equality a beautiful thing?
Within this viewpoint, revolutionary action ceases to be activity
chosen by individuals in terms of their inclinations, capabilities,
situation and desires. Instead it must be reified into a dichotomous
choice given moral connotations between violence and nonviolence.
For anarchists, who-in theory, at least-determine their own actions
on their own terms, this should be a false and meaningless
The central aim of anarchist activity in the present world is the
destruction of the state, of capital and of every other institution of
power and authority in order to create the possibility of freedom for
every individual to fully realize herself as he sees fit. This is not a
moral principle, but simply-by definition-putting anarchy into
practice. And it is a violent proposition. No apologies should be
made about this. I am talking about the destruction of the entire
social order-of civilization, if you will-and such an upheaval is,
without question, far more violent than any hurricane or earthquake.
But the significant question is how each individual will act, and that,
for anarchists, is determined by each individual in terms of their
desires, dreams, capabilities and circumstances-in terms of the life
they are trying to create for themselves. In this light, it only makes
sense that anarchists would reject morality, humanism and any other
external value in deciding how to act. Even efficacy would be
rejected as an essential determinant, though, of course, one would
try to succeed and would put all of oneself into any self-chosen
activity in order to make it as strong as possible. But effectiveness is
not the primary question-the desire to attack the institutions of
domination and exploitation where one can is.
In this light it becomes clear that we who call ourselves anarchists
have no use for dealing with such questions as: "Is property
destruction violence or not?"; "Is this an act of legitimate
self-defense?" and so on. We have no reason to try to make such
artificial distinctions, since our actions are determined precisely by
our desire to attack and destroy power. These distinctions between
"violence" and "nonviolence" or between "legitimate self-defense"
and the violence of attack are based in the hypocritical morality of
power that serves no other purpose than to place weighted chains
on our ability to act.
Since the demonstrations against the WTO in Seattle,
representatives of the mass media have been looking for anarchists
to question about violence and property destruction. We will never
be able to win over the media or to be presented "fairly" through
them. So speaking to them on their terms, using their moral rules as
guidelines in determining how we speak about these matters and
following their protocol when we speak to them is absurd. The best
way to speak to the media on this question is shown by the action of
three Italian anarchists-Arturo, Luca and Drew-who beat up a
journalist who dared to invade their comrade's funeral.