is destruction of property supposed to cause any kind of positive social change?
what did the g8 / g20 summits’ accomplish? what did the protesters against them accomplish? NOTHING. if the two sides were dialectically opposed, something may have been produced. such as it is, “nothing comes of nothing,” and the two sides are as much in collusion, providing a news media spectacle more than embodying the class struggle.
we did, however, see canada’s culture of secrecy operate by passing a law allowing police to arrest people who approached the perimeter and did not show credentials. as mentioned in an earlier post, the passing of this law bypassed all democratic legislative procedure. this kind of secret legislation is directly contrary to the canadian “credo” of PEACE, ORDER, and GOOD GOVERNMENT: for laws to be effective and just THEY MUST BE PROMULGATED. otherwise, we have a populace that does not know if what they do is in violation of the state’s policy – or, in an even more terrifying Kafkaesque scenario: the state could, in fact, invent a law on the spot to simply trap someone they thought was a threat …
it would be better if the black bloc actually had an agenda. although i do respect the spirit of their actions, their actions themselves are idiotic. there may be such a thing as “radical innocence” – the protesters, however, possess only an ironic innocence: the pose of victimood cannot be worn in earnest by over-privileged members of north american “counter-culture.” these are “the worst full of passionate intensity.”
an assassination would be effective. a hostage situation would be effective. destroying major economic / political institutional property would be effective. murdering a representative of authority would be effective. any of these would have been more effective in effecting an EVENT to cause social change than lighting police vehicles on fire or smashing starbucks’ windows.
these so-called anarchists’ do not show the contempt of luxury that true suffrage requires. the destruction of luxury, as we learned from mishima’s treatment of beauty, is also its highest exultation. what any true iconoclast ignores is the paradoxical nature of their actions: what we see with the protesters’ pseudo-violent demonstration is reverence for capital and luxury, not an attempt at rehabilitation.
to involve death is to make things serious. destroying life is not iconoclasm but true commitment to the cause one wishes to defend, fidelity to the world one envisions as worth fighting for.