The USA is presently degenerating into full-blown tyranny. The present regime has every intention of expanding the current war for imperial consolidation into as many countries as possible. Public opinion be damned. If public opinion gets to be too inconvenient for the System, martial law will simply be declared. Plans for that were drawn up a long time ago. If you are of draft age, or a little older than the present draft age, then plan on getting a notice ordering you to one or another military training facility. If you don’t go, plan on going to federal prison for a long, long time. The present day Republican Party is a fascist party in everything but name and the Republicans control every branch of the federal government and a majority of the state governments. The alleged opposition party, the Democrats, are a collection of crooks, wimps and airheads. They will likely go the way of the Whigs very soon and good riddance.
The USA is a full-blown police state. America leads the world in per capita incarceration rates and is second only to China in its execution rates. In czarsist Russia, there were five thousand policemen in a nation of 180 million. Just the LAPD or the NYPD match that on their own. Because of modern technology, the state now has surveillance powers the tyrants of antiquity could only dream of. The System is currently attempting to put the final nails in the coffin of the Bill of Rights by eliminating habeas corpus and legitimizing torture. The USA is a dying nation. The dollar is shrinking, wages are gradually being sunk to Third World level. It’s the nineteenth century all over again. The USA is the world’s leading debtor nation in terms of public debt, corporate debt, trade debt and consumer debt. Eventually all those creditors out there are going to call in all of that debt and the US economy will resemble that of Argentina.
Where are the anarchists? Where are all those folks who used to go out and raise hell whenever the WTO or IMF came to town? If there’s ever going to be an anarchist revolution in this country, now is the time to get moving. I’ve been an anarchist for twenty years. Let me tell you about all of the mistakes I’ve made along the way so you won’t repeat them. If you aspire to be an anarchist revolutionary in the 21st century, then listen up.
First of all, forget about the Left. I started out on the Left twenty years ago as an antiwar activist. Historically, the Left was the party of class struggle and we should thank them for it. Without the historic labor Left, you would still be working sixteen hour days for $2 an hour. If the present day Establishment gets their way, you will be again. Today, however, the Left is a joke, concerned only about bourgeoise identity politics and whatever intellectual fad that happens to be in style this season. If you don’t believe me, by all means trying working with the modern Left. Sit in on some of their meetings and listen to all of the drivel about male domination and homophobia and listen to all of the middle-class white kids trying to pretend like they’re black militants and you’ll soon see what I mean. It might be more productive to sit in the studio audience of the latest episode of the Jerry Springer Show.
Second, forget about fantasies about revolution by “the workers”. I was in the labor movement for a few years. I did strike support work with a number of different unions. It was all anyone could do to get “the workers” to show up for picket duty, much less carry out a “revolution”. The workers are concerned only with their own bread and butter, not revolution, and they never were. Even in the historic labor movement, anarchists and other hard-core radicals were always in the minority.
Third, if you’re an anarchist, chances are you’re probably a white person. Forget about trying to set yourself up as a self-appointed guardian or savior of the black race. If you want to support one or another black cause, then look to actual black leaders who organize actual black people and ask what you can do to help. Chances are they’ll probably tell you to mind your own business and stay out of their way. If you want to advance the cause of anarchism in the minority communities, probably the best groups to reach out to would be the black and Hispanic gangs. Be careful if you do this, it’s extremely dangerous, but many of these groups views themselves as independent nations at war with the US government. This is precisely the kind of mindset we should seek to cultivate. Over the years, the population groups that I have found to be the easiest to convert to sympathizers for the anarchist struggle have been members of the urban lumpenproletariat (i.e, street kids, the homeless, criminals, ex-convicts, drug users and sellers, prostitutes, mental patients, the pettiest of the petty bourgeoise, the most lumpen of the lumpenproles). Now, these people are typically not very stable, so most of them aren’t leadership material, but they make for essential periphery (informants, scouts, middlemen, etc.) But be careful and keep your eyes open. There are a lot of double agents among these groups. If they’ll inform for you, they may be informing for the other side as well.
Fourth, look at your own life circumstances and figure out what you can do to most contribute to the struggle against the State given your age, income, occupation, location, skills, etc. If you have a job “within the system”, if you’re a public school teacher or college professor, social worker, police officer or EMT or firefighter, petty bureaucrat, physician, lawyer, or soldier there’s a lot you can do right where you are to fight the System. Figure out what it is. Identify others in your field who are potential recruits to our Cause and form a cell. But don’t blow your cover. If you’re in the System, it’s a good idea to generally hide your radical views. Publicly become a neoconservative or neoliberal if you need to. Work your way into leadership positions. If you’re in the military, work to become a platoon commander. If you’re a cop, work yourself into a position to influence department policy. If you’re in the school system, propagandize when you can, otherwise look for students with that special spark. If you’re in the social services or any other bureaucracy, work to spread our message to your “clients”. Work to nullify and weaken the System where you are and when you can.
Fifth, forget about so-called “protest demonstrations”. They’re useless. I haven’t been to one since 1991 and I’m not going back. Ours is not a movement for the masses at present. Before we can have followers, we have to have leaders. Forget about membership organizations period. These are just havens for losers who want to belong to something. Most of these groups waste time fighting with each other for control of the group. Instead, form a cell of 3 to 5 people whom you trust completely (and no, not someone you met at a rally or in your political science class or over the internet). These should be people you’ve known for years and whom you know to be solid. If you don’t know any people like this, then just be a “lone wolf”.
Sixth, beware of anyone that proposes anything illegal. Effective warriors don’t attempt to recruit people they barely know into risky activities. Go along with these people and next time you see them they’ll be testifying against you in court. Avoid getting near contraband. It is the height of foolishness to be a public political dissident and simultaneously be involved in illegal activity (drug dealing, holding hot shit, illegal weapons, etc.) You don’t need illegal weapons. Make sure your firearms have all the required permits, etc. Otherwise, keep them far out of sight. All you need are run of the mill semi-automatic handguns, high-powered hunting rifles with a good scope (good for sniping) and ordinary shotguns (sawed off as low as possible these will take limbs off, but don’t do the sawing until the shooting begins-remember Randy Weaver). Don’t even bother with trying to procure shit like grenades, land mines or mortars un
ss you’re already in the military or some other capacity where this might be more feasible. If you’re already a convicted felon, stay away from firearms altogether. Get a good knife and learn how to use it.
Seventh, give yourself a good political education. Learn how the System actually works. Study economics. Study history. Study tactical works like those of Machiavelli or Sun-Tzu. Study military science. Study leading military thinkers and guerrilla warfare tacticians. Study how the Vietcong won the war for Vietnamese independence. Be informed. Follow both the alternative press and the international press (from all ideological perspectives).
Eighth, look for allies where you can find them. Forget about irrelevant cultural or ideological differences. Chances are you will find just as many people with whom you can connect on the Right as on the Left. Treat your politics as war and not as religion. Put practical politics over high theory. And always remember, an enemy of an enemy is a friend, at least in the short-term. Don’t waste time arguing about where you disagree. Focus on where you agree.
Ninth, adopt an attitude that reflects martial spirit. This is war. Treat it like war. If you need role models, look to the Islamic resistance fighters or to rebel fighters in Latin America. Both of these put North American radicals to shame. Forget all of the utopian nonsense you’ve heard about “non-violence”. The enemy certainly isn’t going to practice non-violence.
Lastly, have some coherent ideas about what you actually want to achieve. Most so-called anarchists couldn’t give an intelligible definition of anarchism to save their lives. Here’s my suggestion: Let’s work to build a common revolutionary movement to eradicate the US government and replace it with decentralized, regional federations of voluntary communities organized by sovereign individuals. Leave all of the other details (economics, culture, ideology, technology, crime, dispute resolution, community-organizing, propaganda, defense, education, specific tactical or strategic considerations, etc.) to the local community, village, town, neighborhood or municipal district. These will vary considerably from place to place. There are plenty of people from plenty of backgrounds with plenty of ideological labels whose ideas are reasonably compatible with this outlook.
Do not ever be swayed by System propaganda or appeals to emotionalism or sentimentalism. Case in point: after September 11, I don’t know how many people in various radical or resistance movements I heard say something like, “Well, I don’t like the US government or its polices but……”. Get over it. The 3000 killed in the 9-11 mess are a drop in the bucket compared to the 300,000 the US incinerated at Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the millions killed in Southeast Asia and various counterinsurgency campaigns or the tens of thousands killed in the present war in Iraq. The present regime in Washington, D.C. is the Enemy. End of discussion. We must view that regime as the equivalent of an enemy occupational regime, as an enemy military force or simply as an enemy gang with whom we are battling for “turf”. As long as the regime stands we will be under their boot. They hate people like us and don’t want us in their Empire. It’s a question of US or Them.
It’s good that there’s a war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s good that the regime has plans for attacking Iran and Syria. It’s good that the economy’s going down the tubes. It’s good that crime and social unraveling are on the rise. It’s good that more people are losing faith in the System. All of this has to happen in order for the Enemy to lose control. Political disintegration works in our favor. If you’re an anarchist and you’re serious about revolution, plan on becoming a guerrilla fighter a la Nester Makhno at some point in your future. Start preparing yourself now for when that day comes. Follow the resistance currently going on in Iraq. What can you learn from the Iraqi resistance? If the System Pigs in Washington, D.C. can be beaten in the streets of Baghdad or in the mountains of Afghanistan, then they can be beaten in the streets of Atlanta or the Appalachian mountains.