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In Defense of Regicide May 5, 2013

Posted by Summerspeaker in Anarchism, Anti-imperialism, Decolonization.

In response to Steven Kurlander’s antianarchist diatribe, Adam Jung counters with the troubling argument that anarchists are really nice and peaceful sorts. Jung writers the following:

Kurlander attempts to back up his claim that this was “criminal anarchist violence” by selectively citing historical examples. He cites Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of president McKinley, and self-proclaimed anarchist, and the followers of Luigi Galleani, who famously advocated for “propaganda of the deed.” It can be debated whether assassination is technically terrorism, but regardless, both these men engaged in violence for political means and Galleani advocated and encouraged the use of terrorism. It’s worth noting the majority of anarchists at the time repudiated Czolgosz’s actions. While the philosophical ethics of using violence against an oppressive state is debated today, violence against people is not. It is completely rejected by anarchists. It is seen as an immoral, authoritarian action.

The state is apparently not people; the third-to-last sentence leaves me a bit bewildered. Violence against people remains thoroughly contentious in anarchist circles.


On that note, I always intensely annoyed by all the handwringing over Leon Czolgosz’s assassination of William McKinley. Both today and at the time, most anarchists do nothing but try to distance themselves from Czolgosz. Saying ey was just mentally ill or wasn’t really an anarchist supports all sorts of oppressive narratives. If anything, we should be proud that one of our own killed the figure personally presiding over a genocidal war in the Philippines and various other colonial ventures. That’s anti-imperialism in action. I don’t want to shoot anybody, but McKinley is about the last person we should mourn or feel sympathy for. Hell, I do things on a daily basis more morally reprehensible than killing the head of a colonial state.



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