Italian police managed to disarm a parcel bomb at the Greek embassy in Rome on Monday, following successful detonations at the Swiss and Chilean embassies last week. The bombs are all believed to be the work of the Informal Anarchist Federation, which has also sent package bombs to Italian police stations over the past few years, and has evidently not run out of postage yet.
The Informal Anarchist Federation has ties with Greek anarchists, who have also been known to mail the odd bomb to the authorities. The note claiming responsibility for the Rome attacks was signed by the “Lambros Fountas revolutionary cell.” Lambros Fountas was an anarchist shot dead by the police in Athens last March, while trying to steal a car, which counterterrorist officials believe he intended to convert into an improvised explosive device. He’s become a dashboard saint of the global anarchist movement, which describes him as a “martyr” who was “murdered” by the police.
Fountas was linked to a terrorist organization called the Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire, which the Informal Anarchist Federation described as their “Greek companions” when taking responsibility for the embassy bombings. What’s the story with these anarchist groups?
Anarchy is difficult to pin down as a political movement. Anarchist groups, unsurprisingly, squabble among themselves quite a bit. Many of them are essentially leftist or Marxist groups trying to rebrand themselves, but others declare themselves equally opposed to capitalist and Marxist concepts of order. The Greek militants organizations have flourished during riots caused by austerity measures designed to hold off government collapse, which gives us the spectacle of “anarchists” furious that a bankrupt government won’t keep giving them stuff. The Italian anarchist movement has deep roots in communism, dating back to the 19th century.
The Anarchist International Information Service defines their philosophy as “system and management without rulers, i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny, and slavery.” For the record, they don’t think much of the Informal Anarchist Federation. It is, however, difficult to follow the ideal of “horizontal organization” to any other conclusion except violence and repression. In practice, anarchy is not the absence of rulers. It is the rule of brutality.
Society does not naturally assume a “horizontal” configuration. It must be beaten into that shape. People willingly cooperate and seek leadership, for better or worse. They must be violently prevented from doing this, and those who wield the violence become the new leaders, selected by their willingness to kill off those who would have assumed the position through merit.
Communism, Marxism, socialism, and every other incarnation of supposedly “compassionate” collectivism are sold as pathways to horizontal organization. “From each according to his means, to each according to his needs” is meant to express the moral superiority of demand, in which needs dictate the allocation of resources. This ignores the tremendous amount of deadly force necessary to take “from each according to his means.”
The anarchist is really just another species of collectivist, who holds romantic notions about the level of violence necessary to destroy the existing order, while pointedly ignoring the level of violence needed to sustain the “anarchy” he would replace it with. Economic liberty is an essential component of individuality – a person who owns nothing is a slave, not an anarchist. The concept of ownership is inseparable from the kind of “vertical organization” anarchists hate, because people will always freely choose to cooperate in a structured manner that produces different levels of leadership. The benefits of doing so are simply too great to ignore. A population raised on a desert island as part of an experiment in controlled anarchy would abandon it as quickly as possible, just as humanity has done over the millennia of its existence, all around the world.
What bomb-wielding Italian and Greek “anarchists” advocate is actually closer to fascism. Murdering people and destroying property to express criticism of the existing order is an excellent way to polish their jackboots, while they choose a location for the unmarked grave of true liberty.