Hi. Welcome to the site. Please check out the About Us, and if you have a question about crime and/or punishment, perhaps look at some previous questions along those lines first.
Welcome to Anarchy101 Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers about anarchism, from anarchists.

What do anarchists mean by "Attack"?

+3 votes
Many anarchists talk about "attack" as our primary means of engaging with "society."

What do we include as attack?  (obviously don't say incriminating shit)

Are there times that choosing "not-attack" is more pragmatic?
asked Feb 7, 2016 by anonymous

I was wondering if you could clarify what you mean by, "our primary means of engaging with society?" I interpret this as fallibly Manichean- as "us", the good anarchists versus the "bad"society.  Therefore the way for the anarchists to be defined would be because they attack, which I do not agree with.


I would define attack as an act that prevents the flow of capital, the functioning of society, or averts domination. 

I think that there is a tension in pragmatism in our relationship to attack, so that pragmatic is not the place of my desires, but where state repression is situated currently (which people get away with shit all the time so maybe that is not entirely true). I am enjoying what is discussed in the Theory of Bloom pertaining to this question.  Under this form of capitalism we are infantilized, which means we are encouraged not to be cocreaters in our daily lives.  This is where attack transcends this narrative and is largely important for myself, as an anarchist.  I like how the Theory of Bloom contextualizes this in Paradoxes of Sovereignty, "To live in conformance with man’s fundamental aspiration to sovereignty is impossible in the Spectacle except in one single instant: the instant of the act. "

One day or another the bombs will drop, and people will finally believe what they’d always refused to admit; that words have a metaphysical sense to them

the only thing i would add to selftormentor's comment is that what i find interesting/helpful about the concept of attack is the insistence on agency. attack can mean anything to me at any time (sometimes for me it means waiting patiently and sucking it up--not an interpretation that is useful to others, necessarily), but it does remind me that it's my decision, that i have options (even if they may all suck).

dot: "but it does remind me that it's my decision, that i have options (even if they may all suck)."

fucking A! i actually think that is huge. and i wish more folks - especially ones that i care about - recognized that for the potentially liberating concept that it is.

selftormentor: "To live in conformance with man’s fundamental aspiration to sovereignty is impossible in the Spectacle except in one single instant: the instant of the act. "

i like that. i wonder, is "the act" assumed to be a particular kind of "attack"? i guess either term could be used to refer to *any* action one takes in their life, if it is taken as a result of one's agency and desires rather than coercion. at least that is the way i would choose to look at it.

Asker of the question here.

I guess I didn't mean to create a dualistic we anarchists (good) attack societies structures (bad) dynamic, but struggled to come up with how to frame that anarchists (at least as I see it) engage with society, capitalism, civilisation as antagonists. IDK if that clarifies anything, but it gets to my intent.

I appreciate dot's comment about attack being situational, and I think that was part of what I was trying to parse out. You all have some very interesting and helpful perspectives, so thanks for even taking the time to comment as much as you have.

i like the question (i upvoted it), this subject generally frustrates me but is an appealing thought, that of attacking.

and as far as the "good" "bad" dynamic, i mean, the problem i keep running into with creating an idea as "anarchist" can easily lead to this kind of dualism.

Please log in or register to answer this question.

...