Sunday, March 29, 2009

Anarchists Misunderstand Anarchy

I watched the protest march yesterday from the comfort of a fantastically expensive, boot in the face of the workers hotel suite. Most people were marching under trade union flags - the RMT predominated. It was, therefore, a relief to see one large group bearing the black and red flag of the anarchists. I was puzzled, however, by one of their banners - 'Don't panic, organise'. This can't be right. They're anarchists. It should be 'Don't organise, panic' or 'Don't panic, disorganise'.
And, while I am on the subject, this march was a little, well, vague. I thought it was going to be 'Bankers are bastards, especially that Freddie the Shreddie', under which banner I might have done a spot of light marching myself. But the primary slogan seemed to be 'Jobs, Justice, Climate'. Marlon Brando could get away with 'Whaddya got?' when asked what he was protesting about, but I'm not sure protesting against everything on principle, understandable though it may be, is an appropriate basis for a mass movement.


  1. Can you imagine the chaos we would have had over the last 18 months if a Conservative Government were overseeing the blowup?

  2. Well, at least the anarchists managed to turn up. I've always thought "Down with this appalling thing" was the English way when it comes to spelling out what's what. It's hard to be beat the all-purpose "Contra", but as this usually also means "Men with beards" it's not really suitable for these shores.

  3. Anarchists like spontaneous order. Not state enforced order.

  4. Today's protest marchers are not treated with the respect given to their predecessors. In the good old seventies they would march into Downing st, No 10s door would open, in they would stride, if they were trade unionists... cup of tea. biscuits, demands met, smiles all round, job done.
    This present lot, all poofters, lezzies and layabouts of course, plod just points the good old taser, whack, wallop, job done.

  5. Hey, cool to see Guido speaking up for the anarchists. But Bryan's surely right about 'Jobs, Justice, Climate'

    You may not get the first, you'll never get the second (not in this age - the must read book on that is The Quest for Cosmic Justice) but you'll always have the third. That's partly what makes it such a damp squib as a campaigning issue. What on earth does one put on the placards?

    The New York Times did something so much better this week. A full eight pages on Freeman Dyson. Starting with and coming back again and again to his very serious doubts about warmism and, even more startling, his very humane love for coal, on behalf of the world's poor. And much else to chew on in between, for anyone interested in the wonder and strangeness of how real science gets done.

    For James Hansen to say that this guy hasn't done his homework when Dyson was looking hard into the increase of almospheric CO2, as measured from Mauna Loa, in the 1970s is completely absurd. That's like saying Einstein never did his homework on non-locality in quantum physics. No, he understood. He happened to be wrong, as was proved by an experiment that he in effect suggested. But, as Dyson says, anthropogenic global warming remains a matter of judgment, because, unlike quantum physics, the data is so incredibly patchy.

    He gets it all right in fact. Good to see that in someone in his eighties - another group that should be marching for justice this weekend but probably has better things to do.

  6. yeah, you'd think those anarchists wouldn't march, just wander about a bit...

  7. i didnt realize one was required to be an anarchist to carry a banner and march at an anti capitalist rally perhaps i should therefore abandon punctuation altogether i leave this for you to decide since you feel so very definite about such things

    truly anti social

  8. It's called "controlled subversion." Lotta marching, shouting, flags, and then nobody really has to do anything. If people can demonstrate like that, no revolution will ever happen.

    Jeez Louise: We've just discovered how cheap it is to fly to Ireland. Think we're gonna switch plans and skip Scotland in favor of the Emerald Isle this summer. (Finally, a place in Europe Americans can afford to visit!)

    Has the Celtic Tiger been skinned and I missed it?