@1 I swear you are the dumbest motherfucker around.
"For one, the recent riots "took the form of blocking the nearest available freeway." Why?"

Might have something to do with Carnegie hiring the Pinkerton's to shoot everyone back when protestors occupied factories instead. You know property rights. You can shoot protestors if you own the place.

Or it might have something to do with pretending todays neo-anarchist kabuki "riots," and riots in the wake of police killings of black people, are exactly the same kind of riot.

Lord knows the kind of people who try to block freeways would love you to believe it.
oh RS don't ever change. Is there such a thing as a "good" riot (protesters occupying factories), and a "bad" riot (people who try to block freeways)? Please tell me the difference.

I didn't make a value judgement, I'm simply pointing out the fact that anarchists are lying to you (and to themselves, most likely) when they try to appropriate the rioting that happen in the wake of police killings of black people-- rioting in which nobody tries to "block the nearest freeway."
@6 so, when people head out and block a freeway (or Rainier Ave. as they did once a month last summer) that's not a riot, that's actually a 'neo-anarchist kabuki riot' . But, when people set fire to the car dealership or loot the big box pharmacy (like in ferguson and baltimore), that's a riot? And, by that logic, anarchists could bring more authenticity to their actions by popping the window at Nikietown and taking some shoes?

They are both riots. But to say that riots today end in trying to block a freeway is either appropriation or delegitimation of riots that have happened in response to police killings of black people. I gave your guy the benefit of the doubt, there...
actually I think his point was that the decline of organized labor has created a change in flashpoints of conflict, that from strikes to riots. You might remember that anarchists tried to call a general strike mayday 2012, leading to an attempted port shutdown, and it was a dismal failure. Now they make no pretense of calling an organized shutdown of transportation hubs, they just riot. It gets them in the news, the cops get a hardon for it and eagerly participate with the latest non-lethal tactics and toys, and normal citizens look on with a mixture of skepticism and mild interest.

I didn't get to ask Clover about the 'asshole factor' in riot action. How do you account for the 'recreational rioter'? the kid who has an ideological predistribution for public displays of mayhem and disorder? I think you are right to make a distinction between people trapped in a sacrifice zone like Ferguson or Baltimore (who did block freeways and major arterials by day, burnt shit down by night), and angsty teenagers with an anarchist fashion sense who have made a Seattle tradition out of cop baiting every mayday.

Disregarding the infantile political sophistication of this sub genre of anarchism, I think they are a symptom of political stagnation and over policing. Joshua Clover's premise is that riots are the new normal in conflict resolution. When the media is completely locked up by status quo fanatics, when our electoral system can only be described as kabuki theater as well, when financial and cultural elites are removing all pretense of a functional meritocracy, hope starts to fade and people turn to more extreme forms of action.

Please wait...

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