An Anarchist Concept of Value (2003)

An Anarchist Concept of Value

Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories
Vancouver, Canada
July 1, 2003

The insurrectionary anarchist struggle puts forward certain positive values. The freedom of the individual and the equality of the oppressed class could be described as the most basic of these, along with solidarity and mutual aid, which form the connecting link between individual freedom and class equality and make revolutionary struggle possible. Anarchists also value self-organization, creativity, joy and autonomous action, but none of these positive elements can be artificially isolated from the completely negative orientation anarchists have towards the class of exploiters and their system of domination. The interrelation of elements should be obvious, as should be the positive contribution to our struggle that the various assaults on the property of the exploiters and their guards have in terms of opening up social space in which we can act more freely.

We are not scientists of revolution incapable of seeing the subjective value of struggles that do not necessarily lead to victory for our entire class. We do not accept that there is a guaranteed formula, a political program that can carry us through the struggle from beginning to end without error, without adapting to changing circumstances.

Anarchists are simply individuals who desire freedom and equality and are consequently propelled to fight alongside the exploited masses, as accomplices rather than guides.

We are in favour of immediate, destructive attacks on the structures of the capitalist State, because we see these as indispensable elements of an insurrectionary social movement. It is very easy for an individual or group to initiate actions against the many visible institutions of the class enemy. The simpler the means used the more the potential exists for the practice of sabotage to spread across a social territory, as every small act becomes a point of reference that can be put to use by anyone.

Anarchists place value in the will to rebel against oppression and the autonomous initiative of individuals who are not content to sit and wait for the revolution to come like a gift from the sky. We do not agree with those who say that sabotage is useless or detracts from our struggle. We are not priests of the Protestant work ethic who maintain that everything must be “productive”, that capitalism is part of a progressive historical evolution.

No, it is necessary to begin to destroy all the means of exploitation controlled by the enemy, and the decision to move in this direction cannot come from anyone but ourselves. We can find comrades with who we share a personal affinity in relation to revolutionary action, and we can even contribute to larger informal organizations used to coordinate the efforts of various autonomous groups, but ultimately, the will to resist must come from within each one of us.

As insurrectionary anarchists, we can’t agree with those who think that it is possible to oppose capitalism with productive projects alone, that we can merely replace our enemies institutions with our own, all without attracting the attention of their police forces, the forces of political repression.

Our idea of anarchist communism contains within it many beautiful and positive values, but we want to fight for them, and not limit ourselves to simply advocating our views. In autonomous struggle opposed to the capitalist State we see not only a positive value, but also a material necessity.

Insurrectionary Anarchists of the Coast Salish Territories
Vancouver, Canada
July 1, 2003

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