By Katrina Gulliver
The American Conservative
Then as now, revolutionary violence sparks calls for immigration restrictions.
Today, revolutionary anarchists seem archaic, almost quaint. But for around 50 years, from the 1880s to the 1930s, anarchists carried out terror attacks all over the world. Buildings blew up; world leaders and random civilians alike were killed.
The parallels between then and now, when we face the threat of ISIS and other Islamic extremist groups, are many. During the decades of anarchist terrorism, it seemed like each week we heard of another incident carried out by an immigrant from a politically unstable region of the globe, and some prominent public figures called for banning all immigration from these regions. Anarchists were decentralized and self-defined (“self-radicalized” as the media puts it today). Also like ISIS—and unlike nationalist terror groups—anarchists did not have a clear political goal that could be a starting point for negotiations. This is what makes decentralized terror groups particularly dangerous: they have no demands with which we could comply or offer to discuss, even if we wanted to.