One of the reasons why I departed the Left has a justification in what Stalin said of the Pope. When asked when dividing up Europe after the Second World War if he should consider the position of the Vatican, it is said that Stalin quipped, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Substitute “the Pope” for “the Left” and you have the fundamental question as to why anyone should bother being a progressive leftist: “How many divisions does the Left have? How many divisions do anarchists have?” Well, as I’ve insinuated, there’s Rojava, so that’s one which is fighting in a ethno-religious quagmire that will likely end badly. How about in other places where anarchists and leftists talk a good game?
For example, a popular cry among anarchists / communists everywhere is “Abolish the Prisons!” or “Abolish the Police!” Well, that’s nice, but who are you going to replace them with? As with all leftist dreaming / thinking, it’s always “we’ll see,” “that’s not important,” or they think that human nature is inherently good and we’ll all be pleasantly surprised by how well-behaved people become once we get rid of all bodies of armed men forcing them to behave. Of course, they can come up with any number of anecdotal cases of when authority collapsed but people behaved anyway, in cooperation and solidarity. Rest assured, it is the Law that creates the sinner, as St. Paul said (Paul being the first anarchist, really). Or as St. John of the Cross wrote, perhaps foreshadowing Mount Carmel as the True Anarchy: Ya por aquí no hay camino porque para el justo no hay ley; él para sí se es ley (Here there is no path because for the just man, there is no law; he is a law unto himself.)
That is a great leap of faith, one that few (i.e practically no one) would take in hyper-civilized society. While the believer in Marx or Bakunin thinks that people would behave if you just stopped coercing them, most are glad that the FBI and NSA have eyes and ears everywhere, looking for murders and child pornographers (and eco-extremists maybe). The average person would look at the feeble proposals of the cop-hating leftist/anarchist (“workers’ / neighborhood patrols and militias”) and just laugh. (“How are those different from cops?”) Let me help them out there: something about accountability and local control, something about class solidarity and restorative justice, etc. etc. For people who want to change the world, they certainly have no argument. Even in places where law and order are greatly respected, and crimes are punished quite swiftly, thieving and spousal abuse still take place, as well as assaults and the occasional murder. And cross into the city, forget about it. Someone is getting shot or assaulted every night practically.
So let me paint the picture further: say, in the really unlikely event (like astronomically unlikely) these dreamers finally get their workers’ state or autonomous zones or what have you. What do you do to people who rob, murder, rape, etc.? You need to detain them, you need to have people who can detain them, you need a place to put them while they are detained, etc. That sounds like a criminal justice system to me. You can say that, at some point, human beings will be reconfigured to no longer be alienated and somehow be nicer to everyone they can’t possibly know, but how long is that going to take? Is that any consolation to the person who gets their laptop stolen, the woman who is raped, the people victimized by child pornography, and the victims of crazy eco-extremist violence (which, admittedly, is quite small compared to the rest of the crimes mentioned here)? How long before solidarity and that intersectional love for all humankind finally kick in? Maybe you can get a terror going to purge all of the nasty criminal elements (including any suspected eco-extremists, and everyone who hasn’t outright condemned them, you can’t be too careful)? Please stop me if any of this seems familiar.
So yes, I get it, you’re mad at ITS. You’re MAD, MAD, MAD. “They’ve just passed into being serial killers!” is something I’ve heard many times in the last week or so. (I should note that you’ve probably just started to pay attention. What else do you think they were doing?) And serial killers are awful, aren’t they? Good thing the anarchist shock troops are on the ground hunting them down… wait, what was that, anarchists don’t have any shock troops or an intelligence agency? Darn, well that is a pickle. I bet they are forming super-effective armed guards to protect people from ITS and all of the other undesirables… Oh, they don’t have guns and can’t have them down there (legally)? That’s right, the STATE is the one doing the protecting, all of those poor feminists are marching to make the STATE do something. Do they think that some sort of Confederation of Anarchist Squats with a standing army exists for these situation? Deciding who does the dishes every night after communal meal probably involves a struggle session in and of itself, so I doubt that such an army will be forthcoming any time soon…
So barring that, all the anarchists and leftists have is moral suasion, backed by State violence, to ask that ITS (and the criminal element in general) please, pretty please stop the violence, or else… or else the Big Bad Cops who they hate otherwise might accidentally do their job and “protect us” (at least this one time). Because, of course, the point of Anarchy is to reassure everyone that, in the end, the world is not as dangerous as the bourgeoisie say it is, so please unlock your doors, disband the police and “trust us”. After all, anarchists tend to come from the most foresighted and intelligent sectors of society that know exactly how things are run and are able to implement their plans without anyone ever getting hurt.
I suppose the anarchists should thank bourgeois domination for having crafted such well-behaved, domesticated citizens who, once there are no more traffic signals and private property, won’t go off and start killing and raping people. Or they will organically and “from below” institute new forms of social organization that look just like the State but of course aren’t the State because (insert reasons here). Or they’ll just withdraw into their autonomous zones and let the rest of society go to Hell. But whatever you do, don’t let any lack of a plan dissuade you from the beautiful dream of Anarchy, where all language is gender-inclusive and no one is ever, ever offended by anything anyone says. After all, anarchists have extensive experience diving in dumpsters and holding book fairs. Running a society can’t be that much harder, right?