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(en) Australia, Rebel Worker Vol.24 No.3 (189) Aug.-Sept. 2005 - "Anarcho-Syndicalism & Terrorism"

Date Thu, 01 Sep 2005 21:31:59 +0300

Over the decades a lot of people have thrown bombs and regarded
themselves as anarchists. We all know, however, that these people are
acting individually and their actions in no way constitute anarchism.
Some student, and radical, activism (including people identifying as
anarchists) may lead in this direction. These types of political activities,
which have no basis in class struggle and the self-mobilisation of working
people, can lead to frustration and anger because their methods are utopian and
unrealistic and therefore unable to change anything. Often people feel
disempowered in these situations and end up imitating the militarist
governments they claim to be fighting and, hence, we end up with terrorists.

Anarcho-syndicalists take a very different view towards terrorism.
Terrorism is yet another oppressive force attempting to impose its will
onto workers (just as the bosses and governments do).

Okay, so it was fun to see the big bully America get its nose bloodied in
New York. Do I care if a few merchant bankers were melted in the Twin
Towers? But what about the myriad of cleaners, clerks, etc., who actually
did most of the work in the building? I can identify with them and their
families, and it is these people that terrorism almost invariably attacks.

Terrorism is just as anti-working class as the actions of governments
dropping bombs on working people in Iraq. A great many of the people
currently dying in Iraq are not military cogs, but ordinary Joe and
Josephine Iraq trying to go about their lives, feed their families and
cope with capitalism.

The recent London bombings are a fine example. Certainly, with the
imposition of the 'congestion tax' in London (which allows only rich
bastards to drive

their cars into the city) many more bosses now take the train to work.
It's still a safe bet, however, that the vast majority of the people on the

trains (and the bus) affected by the recent bombings were working people on

their way to work. The IRA has been doing much the same in London for

years: blowing up pubs full of men and women relaxing after work.

So, is the War on Terror justified? Well, people like Bush,

Howard and Blair have the most to gain from a hobbled version of War

Communism/Fascism - it keeps them winning elections. A constant state of

war (a la Orwell's1984 ) has often been seen by governments as a means

of keeping workers' attentions diverted. What it means on the job, of

course, is more and more intrusive surveillance of the workplace (Howard
now wants even more cameras), and more and more draconian laws suppressing

workers' organizations (because of the supposed 'crisis').

Where is the 'war' in Australia (apart from on the job)? It is

non-existent, a figment of John Howard's mind: perhaps because of

untreated post-traumatic stress after spending 9/11 hiding under a motel

bed in New York. Remember, he was there when it happened. We're paying

for this war with our tax money while this government chops away at

welfare and Telstra. Australian workers are bearing the brunt of the

Homer Simpson style 'Bear Patrol Tax' because John Howard is losing his


It's no surprise that the extra security guards all over the place can

also conveniently watch workers at the precise time the Howard

government is trying to dismantle what is left of working people's rights

on the job. Of course, maybe that's me just being paranoid. Maybe they
are there to watch out for these mythical Terrorists (or maybe Hamburglar?).

The muck press loves the WAR ON TERROR CRISIS because it gives them

big headlines that sell their dodgy newspapers. Of course, they need to

resort to dirty tactics now and then to keep the momentum going.

Recently an Australian victim of the London bombings suggested that John

Howard had contributed to the attack by involving Australian forces in
Iraq. The matter was very quickly silenced with new shock horror
stories. Every other day I see some newspaper story or another that has
massive headlines suggesting a terrorist threat to Australia.

In the fine print I realize yet again I have been duped by instances of

'possibly' and 'perhaps'.

So how would Anarcho-Syndicalists prevent Terrorism?

Bombs and explosives are made by workers for capitalists for
governments, so we simply would not bother making them. Home made bombs
(the fertilizer kind perhaps) would not be possible if we took away the
profit motive in farming and didn't use so many dangerous chemicals that
can be turned into bombs. What use have we for bomb making technology
and ingredients, other than for the armies of the bosses? We might need
some bits and pieces to blast roadways, I suppose, but in such small
quantities that potential terrorists would have a very hard time

getting near them to misuse them.

There would be no bombs or bullets if the working class of the world

decided to (for example) dedicate its output to producing extra food for

countries like Niger in a time of famine. You can't eat bullets!

Of course if we feel that the world is not ready for such a peace-loving

approach, then the government could simply reform the gun laws so every

worker can cheaply own a personal firearm; then we'd be very safe from

these terrorist nasties. Of course, gun ownership was placed firmly in

the hands of the ruling class a few decades ago to allegedly stop people

going berserk with guns - didn't stop Martin Bryant with his millions of

dollars? The arguments put forward to control gun ownership were

as hollow as those which proclaim the War on Terror. If the War on
Terror is really so serious (and the newspapers tell me daily that it
is) every working

Australian should be immediately issued with a gun and ammunition. We're

at war, goddam it! I doubt, of course, it will happen unless we working

Australians are prepared to offer ourselves up for slaughter in the

army at the command of the government. Autonomous self-protection is not

something any government would ever allow.

There will always be extremists. Hopefully, one day we will see a society

where the likes of the Liberal/National Parties are considered the
extremists. There will always be people who will try to impose their
will on our lives. For the most part it is and always has been
governments, or nationalist movements like the Basque separatist
organisation, ETA (i.e., people who want to be a government), who are
letting off bombs. Islamic extremism (the flavour of the month) is a
striving for yet another form of world government.

The day workers decide we no longer need governments (or bosses of any

kind) terrorism may well become a distant memory except perhaps to John

Howard rambling away at 100 years of age in the Mental Health Syndicate.

Rebel Worker <rebel_worker@yahoo.com.au>
Paper of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Network

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