Monday, July 25, 2011

On the Violence in Norway

What is an anarchist response to violence?

We know what the statist response is: identification of suspects, pursuit, apprehension. We know well too that this is no perfect process. It commits many crimes in itself, perhaps even worse because they masquerade under the name "justice."

So what justice is there in a system where there is no intermediary between victim and violator?

I suppose that in such a case, individuals would be in charge of reprisal killing or apprehension. Perhaps they would hold trials; perhaps they would not. This would depend on the composition of those offended and aggrieved. Perhaps they might vote on the methods to be used; perhaps communities would have already-standing policies related to enforcement of their rights.

This attempt to organize my thoughts is in its infancy. Likewise, my thoughts on the acts of murder in Norway. But we anti-authoritarians must think about how we respond to acts like this madness. He acted outside of the political system and exercised his autonomy as an individual to do terrible, terrible things... If we do not have a murderous state to resolve the issue, we will have to resolve it ourselves. And so we should take a moment at such a terrible time to not only cheer that the death of the state will free us from crimes like the occupations of foreign countries, but to ruminate on the thought of going about the bloody business of responding to heinous crime without becoming monstrous ourselves.

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