Domestic Terrorism and the Lulz (Darian Worden)
Friday July 1st, 2011
LulzSec hackers have released a government report entitled "Anarchist Movement." This "strategic report" was marked for official use only and was issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, a government organ that has previously drawn criticism for warning cops to be suspicious of things like Ron Paul bumper stickers. MIAC is one of several fusion centers, organizations intended to facilitate the sharing of information gathered about people in America between federal, state, and local government agencies.
I was curious to see what law enforcers would have to say about anarchists. While some of the information in the report is factually correct, the quality of the research is not impressive.
The report puzzled me with the first sub-category of anarchism it listed. While I've heard of many obscure isms, never have I read about "Anarcha-Masculinism." Obviously, the wording is framed as a counterpart to anarcha-feminism, a term which is widely used, but how many people indentify as Anarcha-Masculinist? A Google search of the term brings few results besides a small page of the website Anarchopedia, a Wikipedia-type website with a particular anarchist bent. As it turns out, the MIAC report's description of Anarcha-Masculinist is almost identical to the text found on Anarchopedia. The descriptions of other anarchist sub-categories are also directly lifted from text at various Anarchopedia pages.
The report concludes that "we believe the groups discussed pose a significant domestic terrorist threat at this time." This means that people are being paid with tax money to plagiarize websites and label people domestic terrorist threats. Lifting text from websites and putting it into a report with little evidence of analysis and no citations does not count as research. Perhaps we should be frightened that this is the haphazard process by which people are officially designated terrorist threats.
The MIAC report also shows its lack of scope by its neglect of market anarchism, not saying anything whatsoever about how to categorize market anarchists. Radicals who have held that monetary exchange and individual possession could be non-exploitative go back to New Harmony participant Josiah Warren and abolitionist Lysander Spooner, and the self-identified anarchists they inspired. While those who fall under the label "market anarchist" are hardly a homogenous group, they generally challenge the authority of states and other elites mainly by creating alternative social relations and advocating for the expansion of non-coercive relations. Presumably, if they can be placed under the banner of Anarchist Movement, they're all terrorists.
Ironically, the MIAC report also does not mention anarchist hackers or other techno-anarchist tendencies. Few projects have pulled back the veil of the state's apparatus of terror more effectively than computer activists, whether they are affiliated with LulzSec or WikiLeaks.
The MIAC report is aimed solely for the consumption of the law enforcers who explicitly operate by terrorizing their opponents -- whether by aggressive behavior, swat teams, mobile electrocution torture devices, overwhelming force, threats of jail, or simply shooting them. It is terrorism that people have a right to resist, though of course mindful of potential consequences. Exposing the bankruptcy of the authorities is a valuable step in creating a world where they are much less able to harm other people. Lulz are best had at the expense of oppressors.
C4SS News Analyst Darian Worden is an individualist anarchist writer with experience in libertarian activism. His fiction includes Bring a Gun To School Day and the forthcoming Trade War. His essays and other works can be viewed at DarianWorden.com. He also hosts an internet radio show, Thinking Liberty.