Anarchist Matchbook

This perfect image post went up on Facebook the other day

It sparked the response:  “I don’t think burning stuff down is generally all that helpful or necessary. It’s exciting though.”

Which is a friendly expression of worry, that perhaps destroying things is not most effective or desirable means for political transformation.  I countered that there are a number of things which need to be destroyed which will require metaphysical matchbooks, rather than real ones.

There are social structure, imbalanced power relations and entire economic models which need to be destroyed if we are interested in fair and just society.  Part of the reason that the Occupy movement, without any advertising budget, has become so popular is that there are so many types of relationships which need to be destroyed, with the onnection between bankers and politicans being high on the list.

But it begs the question, what physical things need to be destroyed to make a better world?  Like the naive conculsion to Fight Club, burning stuff down generally does not change these vexing relationships.  The Pentagon would make a fine community residence, but it is infested with the miltary industrial complex and the exterminator has said that nothing short of destroying it will get these pests out.

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

2 responses to “Anarchist Matchbook”

  1. Bliss says :

    Property destruction or reappropriation is my favorite form of protest and I believe it is hugely helpful in the transformative process. If more Hummers were reduced to ashes, perhaps people begin to have second thoughts about buying them. If enough war weapons were hammered to pieces, perhaps we’d find them not such a great investment. These things aren’t doing anyone any good hanging around anyway. A bilboard with an added helpful phrase at the bottom to juxtapose whatever insipid thing was written there in the first place it the ultimate in public dialogue, and why should one person with money be able to make a huge public statement without expectation from others who can’t buy their own bilboards, anyway? Also I believe the most useful thing about it is its inspiration to others, people put down huge important movements because the kids in them are “too suburban” to have anything relevent to say, or the movement is so relatively calm that there must not be that much to be upset about. A burning car in the middle of an intersection or a few less Starbucks windows tells all those people watching from their homes, yes, there is plenty to be mad about, there is plenty to act on, and you are free to do so. That said, I’d be careful with the burning car, since property destruction and hurting people are completely different things that I hope never to see mixed, so I don’t believe in doing anything risky. Also, I like to make sure that any property effected is the kind owned by people who can afford to take the loss. Yay for the Weather Underground!

  2. Ian Mayes says :

    Jails and prisons. The physical structures of these institutions are such that I can not see *any* positive use that can be made of them.

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