It should come as no surprise that the four young punks who robbed two banks in northern Greece and reportedly are involved in yet another terrorist offshoot in Greece were anarchists, the type who believe there shouldn’t be a government, except for when it comes to getting benefits like roads, hospitals, schools, post offices and social services.
As three of them stated, they deserve it’s their right to rob banks, except for those where their families keep their money. “As anarchists we consider the option of robbing a bank a conscious choice of resistance,” said Nikos Romanos, Andreas Bourtzoukos and Yiannis Michailidis. Too bad they didn’t consider working for a living an option.
Much has been made of how these three-bricks-shy-of-load troglodytes, aged 20-24, were allegedly roughed up by the police. If that account is true, the police should be held responsible because all suspects have rights that come under the umbrella of the law or there isn’t any law – just the way the anarchists would prefer it, of course.
But you can’t talk to a man with a shotgun in his hand and these guys were carrying heavy weapons, the police said, and are conscienceless, remorseless, stone cold crazies who would have killed if they had to, so the next time you’re confronted by an anarchist with an AK-47 you probably won’t want to try to dialogue with him.
The mentality of Greek anarchists was on full display for the world on May 5, 2010 when authorities said they tossed Molotov Cocktails into a branch of the Marfin Bank in downtown Athens during a riot against austerity measures. Just to make sure people couldn’t get out, another one was thrown in, forcing people to flee to an upstairs floor where three of them – including a pregnant, 32-year-old woman died while the cowards fled.
Police said the four have been linked to the urban guerilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, and could be the perpetrators behind a bomb blast at The Mall shopping and entertainment center in northern Athens in January.
It’s only because a call to the media alerted authorities and allowed the mall to be evacuated that someone probably wasn’t killed. The blast came on a Sunday, when the stores are closed, but the cinema isn’t, and kiddies going to a matinee could have been victims, which puts the lie to the anarchists manifesto that they support the people.
Nearly every protest in downtown Athens eventually is taken over by hooded anarchists, mostly young men and women with nothing else to do, who start tossing chunks of marble at any sign of authority: police, banks, traffic lights and everything except their psychiatrists. Much like welfare recipients who line up one generation after another for free government handouts because it beats working, anarchy practitioners often are bred, starting with their friends and families.
Romanos’ mother is a novelist, who said she’s proud of her son and from the gleam in her eye when she talks about him you know she couldn’t be any happier unless he gunned down a bank clerk too. His grandfather was Athanasios Nasioutzik, also a novelist, and convicted in 1993 of the 1984 brutal murder of a rival of whom he was said to be jealous, enough at least to hit him in the head with a hammer 97 times. Maybe instead of robbing banks, this sick family could just write about it instead of running around with automatic weapons and taking other people’s money in the name of the people.
Anarchists are a strange breed. I went to one of their conventions once and while they served great Molotov Cocktails they couldn’t agree on anything and blew up the hotel on the way out, so they had to pick a different location for the following year’s convention. The seismologists weren’t as much fun but their Tectonic plates were great.
Groucho Marx was famous for saying he would never belong to any club that would have him as a member, which not only made him funnier than any anarchist, but a lot smarter because they want to belong to clubs that would have them as members so they can plot to destroy all organizations except theirs, and all banks, except where they keep their blood money.
“Anarchists-insurrectionists work to try to raise the level of clashes when there are problems,” Marco Boschi, a criminologist who teaches a course on terrorism at the University of Florence and has written about anarchists told the Associated Press. “They exploit every occasion.”
Greek anarchists, like their slinking brethren around the world, aren’t really a conspiracy against governments, because apart from hurling some Molotov cocktails and shouting slogans and bad poetry, they seem to have no real purpose. They don’t want to rule, only challenge because it’s more fun and the world is still waiting for the first anarchist government, the ultimate oxymoron.
But it’s also inept and corrupt governments that give the anarchists ammunition to attack them because political leaders are so busy feeding like pigs at the public trough it’s easy to point a finger at them and say “Off with their heads!”
The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis put it this way: “If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy,” and that’s what happened in Greece before the anarchists became killers and made themselves more contemptible than politicians.
Courts, police stations, banks, luxury car dealerships and symbols of authority, affluence and people who work for a living are their primary targets, so if you go to a coffee house in the anarchist hotbed of Exarchia in Athens you’ll probably be safe. That’s unless you’re forced to listen to speeches demanding the downfall of mankind, or have people trying to sell you Che Guevara T-shirts and posters and anything by Karl Marx, a surly man unrelated to Groucho. He’s the Marx they wouldn’t like because he destroyed authority with irreverence, not firebombs.
It’s been 42 years since American William Powell wrote The Anarchist Cookbook with instructions for how to make bombs because he was opposed to the war in Vietnam, but he has long since distanced himself from it. “The book, in many respects, was a misguided product of my adolescent anger at the prospect of being drafted and sent to Vietnam to fight in a war that I did not believe in,” he said.
Even he wasn’t anarchistic enough for today’s ranks, though, the cudgel picked up by Greek groups such as The Boatmen of Thessaloniki, Anti-State Justice, Thieves in Black, Conscientious Arsonists, Black Star, the new Lovers of Lawlessness and the Conspiracy of Cells of Fire.
WHERE THEY WENT WRONG
Anarchy breaks down when it resorts to violence, and it’s apparent most of these people are really nihilists who believe life is without meaning unless they live in Cuba, but it’s hot there, and Castro’s Communism is so broke the government is laying off 500,00 workers and there’s only 1957 Chevrolets to drive, so what’s the point of going?
Revolution with a purpose has a place in civilization if it works to replace the corrupt with those who believe in the common good, but it always disintegrates because too many self-styled anarchists are just bored, spoiled rich kids, not merely disenfranchised alienated poor who have nowhere else to turn. Anarchists offer bombs, not solutions.
They try to promote themselves to the gullible young to keep the next generation of bomb-tossers coming and even have their own movies. The New York Anarchist Film Festival in the past promoted such gems as Insurrection Now – From New York To Greece – F**k the Police, which, alas, wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award.
Anarchists say they advocate the absence of the state – except perhaps for free medical care, free universities, libraries, roads, and all the niceties of life other people work for – but they differ bitterly over what kinds of rules would prevail in a stateless society. These dregs carrying on today are like the remnants of the 1970’s Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) in the U.S., which Patty Heart said forced her to rob a bank to finance their goals, which seem to be robbing banks.
Anarchists say they want freedom based on political and economic self-rule, an unattainable Utopia. The idea of common ownership of property and distribution according to need had its offshoot in communist five-year plans which left people hungry and powerless. What they really want is nothing, and that’s what they always get.
When they turn to murder, they become a club to which no decent person wants to belong, and, even though anarchists don’t like it, that’s still the majority in the world and they’re better off skipping the Anarchist Film Festivals and checking out the Marx Brothers instead.
The lovers of lawlesness love spouting the drivel of people like one of the fathers of anarchy, 19th-Century Russian Mikhail Bakunin who said, “Absolute freedom and absolute love, that is our aim; the freeing of humanity and the whole world, that is our purpose.” First though, they have to make a stop at the bank.