Home Columns What Greek Anarchists Really Want: Nothing

What Greek Anarchists Really Want: Nothing

Now these guys knew how to destroy authority - with wit.

These guys knew how to destroy authority, and they didn’t need a bomb or a gun to do it.

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 ANONYMOUS

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.

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  • Adde

    Excellent article, well argumented and well documented.
    A brilliant piece of journalism.

  • kita

    Anarchists will be the only Europeans that  will not be thrown in the ocean in the real boston tea party to swim back home.
    homeland security
    fighting terrorism since 1492

  • Alex

    Good article Andy. Also a good article pointing out treasonous syriza.

    I know you’re not a communist but the reason why I keep complaining about your “elite versus poor” anti-government articles is precisely because I know it feeds the communists and anarchists and other radicals effectively working to destroy our homeland. (including Skopians who strongly support communists in our country… but mostly support crypto-Nazi Gruesvki in their own)

    We can’t just complain about everyone in our government like anarchists and communist do (as its the communists who will gain political power). We have to make choices as to who we support too. Until/if there is a viable patriotic middle ground alternative, any rational Greek would support our coalition government (that represents both moderate left and right Greeks). For all their imperfections  and mistakes Pasok, ND and DIMAR are generally moderates that love their country.

  • S Kouvoussis

    The people who threw Molotov bombs in Egnatia Bank have yet to be caught. In the same protest tens of police officers armed like thugs wearing civilian clothes committed vandalism. I was there. How can someone say that they were anarchists when they are not caught? 

  • Alex

    We can’t know for sure but it is highly probable given the riot in question involved anarchists (as well as communists) We know for sure there are both anarchists terrorist cells and tons and tons of anarchists that riot on a regular basis.

    Any in the Greek media that pretend they don’t notice this lawless behavior, or downplay it, or apologize for it (by trying to blame the police for  it), are definitely part of the problem.

  • S Kouvoussis

    Dear Alex,

    in many cases it is indeed the police which starts the clashes. Actually, been in more than 100 protests the last 10 years I can tell that is usually the police that starts the clashes. They attack people who can’t fight back, in cases they have attacked 70 year old pensioners or school teachers or even people with disabilities. It is not weird that according to statistics of convictions the Greek police was the most convicted police among the EU countries for violations of human rights. I do not support terrorism of course but this doesn’t mean I will support or tolerate state violence either. 

  • Alex

    ” in many cases it is indeed the police which starts the clashes”

    Not true. Anarachist and communist nonsense.  The police are there to enforce the law not start riots. When the anarchists and communists keep rioting they have no other choice but to use force. Do some police get out of hand. Probably but by far most of the violence is being caused by violent anarchist and communists extremists. The just they exaggerate or manipulate occasional incidents by some bad police officer to go on a rampage (as happened with the protest of the death of that 15 year kid… that ended up with massive riot with that pregnant woman dead and other bank employees>

    The more you apologize for it, the more it seems like you sympathize with it.

  • Alex

    The term “human rights” has been hijacked by leftists to mean leftwing politics. Anyone can claim their polical views are “human rights”. Even the Nazis claimed to be considered about the oppressed German minorties in other countries before WW2. I really don’t give a damn with foriegn based NGOs have to say about human rights now they they pretend not to notice the Skopians change into ancient Macedonians (weasals more interested in trying to hide their shame for supporting them)

    If you are going to argue, argue with facts not narratives of  goodness. The indisputable facts are that the vast majority of violence in Greece is caused by leftist and anarchist extremists. There are no excuses for this violence. It should be denounced by alleged moderate leftist at every opportunity not justified.

  • Alithia

    Nice try at some humor Andy, but you are running your sentences and missing the mark. kmake them simpler and more to the point. 

    As for anarchists, we should put them them in a big room, give them knives and only let them out when they decide what they want. . 

  • Tzak12345678

    Well done Andy. Enjoyed reading this.

  • http://www.bournias.net/ P. Bournias

    And who has been caught in this great democratic nation of chaos???
    Only simple people, the ones who are given a counterfeit 50 euro note by the bank or a person who tries to cash a check that they didn’t know was stolen.

  • Tasos

    andy. what a joke. another insipid article devoid of any substantial analysis. why bother writing when you’re just regurgitating usual tripe. Powell never even considered himself an anarchist. So dumb. You say authorities say anarchists tossed molotovs into the bank…. yet no one was arrested. there are no actual suspects. was it communists? maybe. was it union members who do not have an ideology? maybe. was it local hoodlums? maybe it’s true. maybe it’s not. baseless accusations are just that, baseless. how can anyone know. cheap journalism. this is ALWAYS what allows both the far right and far left in Greece to breed and proliferate. every single article is obvious in its selection of facts and accusations. I’m supposed to come away from reading this with the disdain for anarchist killers and the idea police are good and righteous. this is exactly why the greek people have written off parties and journalists and anarchists and all the rest. read greek “reporter” then read the guardian or BBC and you think the entire greek people are a joke. andy, grow a spine and report actual facts. don’t use a standard of proof for your enemies that you will not use for your friends. then, and only then will the majority of people begin to take you seriously. 

  • Rera

    A crappy opinion by a man who obviously does not even comprehend anarchism and is devoid of any decent argumentation, yet feels the need to express his shallow, meaningless opinion to the world.
    As for the robbery incident, I’d rather emphasize the shocking reality of police brutality which undermines the democratic foundations of society.
    These youths are not against society, quite the contrary i’d say. These youths are against the oppression of irrational power, and power is represented by the government and the banks. Plus, these youths have obviously witnessed their families, friends, neighbours and whole society suffer from a crisis that was triggered by corrupted politicians and greedy banks and institutions.
    When banks and politicians rob people it’s just normal and sad. When anguished youths do it, it is a disgrace. Well my friend, shallow, stupid, arrogant and coward peole like you are a disgrace and a sign that the hope of change is vanished in Greece.

  • makno

    the guy who wrote this article has a serious mental issue and needs to see a doctor asap…

  • Brett336

     The only people with mental issues are “anarchist” spastics running around with fucking AK’s and taking innocent people hostage. And who then have the gall to act like victims when the police fight back using the only language anarcho-scum understand: violence.

  • Anarchy

    Your an idiot sorry to say its “Three bricks shy of A load” and you should use words most people know not words that seem to be made up and someone who can rob a bank and get away is not Stupid nor dense.