A Project Of Liberation
“Theory must also take into account the human element; it must accord a place to courage, to boldness, even to rashness. The Art of War has to deal with living and with moral forces, the consequence of which is that it can never attain the absolute and positive… courage and self-reliance are principles quite essential to war; consequently, theory must only set up such rules as allow ample scope for all degrees and varieties of these necessary and noblest of military virtues. In daring there may still be wisdom, and prudence as well, only they are estimated by a different standard of value.”
– Clausewitz, “On War”
In all the history of the class struggle the exploited have always resisted their oppression. Often in individual and isolated ways, and sometimes in social movements leading to mass insurrections. Throughout the history of the class war innumerable theories, organizations, and movements have developed in opposition to capitalism, and insurrectionary anarchism, being one tendency among many, should be clarified as having many real and significant differences from all the others.
In the history of the clash between classes anarchists have defined themselves as a conscious minority within the movement of the exploited, a group that moves with the current of the social struggle against capitalism and the State. Insurrectionary anarchists do not act as a minority outside the movement, attempting to organize, manage and control the mass of the exploited, to subject the oppressed to the discipline of a single organization, trade union or political party, but instead act as accomplices to all exploited people on principles of solidarity and mutual aid.
Anarchists identify their enemies as the dominant class and the institutions of oppression and they do not hesitate to attack their enemies. They do not wait for orders from on high, or for permission to act against oppression, but instead analyze the reality of the social clash which they find themselves in, combine with comrades on the basis of affinity, and then immediately set out to assault all the structures of domination. Insurrectionary anarchists see the struggle in qualitative rather than quantitative terms and understand that every small, destructive action taken against capitalism is a contribution to the overall social clash. A revolution is undoubtedly the act of a mass of exploited people rising in rebellion, but it is not through recruitment and discipline under a single organization that such an outburst comes to be. It should be obvious that it is useful for anarchists to clarify their ideas and to present them to the mass of the exploited, but it is not propaganda alone that will overturn existing conditions. Anarchists should be distinguished from other revolutionaries because they act for themselves, against their own oppression, and in solidarity with all the oppressed people of the world. They do not seek to control or direct the social war, and instead intervene in the movement of the exploited through direct action and participation is mass organizations that are based on principles of self-management of the struggle and uncompromising conflict with the class enemy. Anarchists fight to awaken a spirit of revolt across all of society, to completely destroy the economy of exploitation.
Insurrectionary anarchists have ideas and methods of action that can be of great importance to the oppressed. A clear rejection of dominant class morality and law, a willingness to engage in direct action, a commitment to permanent struggle, and a passion for freedom, all can contribute to a revolutionary movement to overturn the present order. The importance of the insurrectionary anarchist minority to the mass of the exploited is not in the anarchist’s quality of leadership or advancement in class consciousness. It is in anarchist action, in attacks on capitalist institutions, and acts of solidarity with those suffering oppression. Any exploited person can contribute to the struggle to overthrow the exploiters. Insurrectionary anarchists merely demonstrate useful tools in the social war, and by striking the enemy in simple and direct ways provide points of reference that can be put to use by all.
Passivity, resignation and doubt can easily give way to determination and defiance. A strategy of waiting can be thrown aside in favour of a strategy of attack. Small affinity groups can immediately begin to organize direct actions against specific institutions of capitalism; schools, workplaces, businesses, and all the other prisons. Anarchists can participate in base structures, mass organizations that are not vehicles for anarchist ideology, but are instead tools with which to dismantle specific repressive structures of the capitalist State. Bosses, landlords, politicians, and all the other cops can be identified and attacked. Capital can be destroyed to make room for life.
Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories