The most noteworthy detail of the UK riots Omri mentions is the organized contingent of anarchists and their commitment to large-scale theatrical destruction. This follows last year’s dramatic uptick in anarchist attacks across Europe and in cyberspace. It is a good time to mention that I wrote an article entitled “The Return of Anarchism” in the March issue of COMMENTARY, as yesterday’s chaos seems to fit with my take on things. Yesterday’s Daily Mail reports, “Anarchists today broke away from one of the largest protests Britain has ever seen to bring chaos to the streets of London.” In “The Return of Anarchism,” I write:
The best way to think of today’s Euro-anarchists is as a small contingent of rioters who have broken away from the crowd and recognized that asking a failed statist system for more statism is nonsensical. Action aimed at bringing down a failed system at least has a certain logic to it, however dark and unrealistic. Anarchism is the only place for the left to go when statism fails.
In America, a lack of faith in government is a foundational political principle. In Europe, it amounts to a continent-wide identity crisis. Expect even more nihilism from anarchists in the months ahead, as European governments enact the austerity measures they decided on last year.