Oops, did we say ‘anarchist’? We meant ‘Republican’…

Oh, look at this. Without much explanation, media reports all asserted that an "anarchist militia" had been discovered within the military, that was plotting to assassinate Obama and overthrow the government. (CNN, Fox News, Aug. 28; Reuters, AP, Aug. 27) Based out of Fort Stewart, Ga., the "militia" was apparently called FEAR—Forever Enduring Always Ready—although it is unclear if it really had enough members or weaponry to qualify as a "militia." The supposed plot came to light when Pfc. Michael Burnett pleaded guilty to killing a fellow soldier and his girlfriend because they were suspected of planning to rat out the "militia." Three others are charged in the murders, but note that nobody is yet charged with plotting to kill Obama, overthrow the government or poison the Washington state apple harvest (another of their wet-dreams, it seems).  Now Gawker brings to light that the alleged ringleader in the plot, Pvt. Isaac Aguigui, had served a a page at the 2008 GOP convention!

The account displays a Reuters photo that ran at the time captioned "Republican National Convention page Isaac Aguigui watches from the edge of the floor at the start of the first session of the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota September 1, 2008." Gawker acknowledges that it could be another guy of the same name who is of the same approximate age as the current defendant, and bears an amazing likeness to him. But that seems a long shot.

So it looks like Aguigui and his fellow wingnuts followed the slippery slope from GOP "small government" rhetoric to radical-right "anti-government" extremism—a trajectory we have noted before. We do wish prosecutors and reporters would make clear where they got the word "anarchist" from, especially in light of the current "anarchist scare." (See, e.g., the apparently FBI infiltrator-generated "terrorist" plot involving figures on the fringe of the Occupy movement in Cleveland.) We are told "militia" members "wore distinctive tattoos that resemble an anarchy symbol," but we weren't able to find a photo of this symbol. Could these guys really be mixed-up right-wing anarchists who sport a symbol that "resembles" the circle-A? That would certainly make it all the more difficult to save the legitimate, left-wing anarchist tradition from the Memory Hole… 


  1. The State=Violence, Anarchy is the opposite.
    Not sure what to make of the author’s extream ignorance of so called “Right Wing Anarchism”. The ideology is that the initiation of violence is wrong, evil, and makes things worse. No “Right Wing” anarchist believes in the initiation of violence. The author comes close to disrobing the lies of certain articles, but beyond his *apparent* ignorance of Anarchism, he is also apparently ignoract of propaganda and lies. As if these Nazi like idiots are Anarchists because the media says so. You can be that stupid… unless… he IS the media, and he IS the liar… oh, then it all makes since.

    1. How about “extream ignorance” of spelling?
      Relax, dude. Note that I said “mixed-up” right-wing anarchists. No, the Timothy McVeigh “anti-government” types are not anarchists in my book. They are actually crypto-fascists, even if some of them may not quite realize it themselves. My problem (in case you missed it) is with your demonized “media” abusing the term “anarchist.” Personally, my sympathies are with left-wing anarchism, but there are a few legitimate right-wing anarchists who have inspired me as well, like Lysander Spooner. However, I’m curious what kind of “right-wing anarchist” you are, since most on the right today who either embrace or are slapped with the “A” label are either mere “anti-government” yahoos or else laissez faire capitalists (the line between these two varieties not always being entirely distinct).

  2. Teabaggers are ‘anarchists’? Not!
    Anarchism got some mainstream play in the electronic edition of the Washington Post Oct. 11—but in the usual distorted terms. Even the title is off-base: “The tea party is giving anarchism a bad name.” No it isn’t, because the teabaggers don’t call themselves that. It is their liberal Democratic opponents, who use the word as an epithet for the Teabaggers, that are giving anarchism a bad name. I sent in this letter correcting the distortions, and got no response. I couldn’t even post it as a comment, because it was more effort than it was worth to sign up for a WaPo account. So here it is, for the edification of posterity:

    To the editor:

    Heather Gautney is certainly correct that Elizabeth Warren and Harry Reid are “giving anarchism a bad name” in applying the label to the Tea Party. But she engages in an equal distortion by painting the Tea Party as akin to “pro-democracy” protesters in “Brazil, Turkey, Spain, Egypt…” First, the protests in Brazil, Turkey and Spain (all nominal democracies) have been more about economic grievances than demands for “democracy,” and such grievances also animated the protests in the Arab world. All these movements have demanded social leveling, while the Tea Party is concerned with protecting economic privilege. They are antithetical to each other. The protesters in Sao Paolo, Istanbul and Cairo belong to the left, and are therefore closer to the anarchist tradition than to the Tea Party. Indeed, there are even anarchists among their ranks.

    We anarchists, or “libertarian socialists,” long ago had to surrender the word “libertarian” to the free-market right, at least in the United States. Must we now fight even for the word “anarchism”?

    Bill Weinberg

    Member, New York City Anarchist Forum