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  • Writer's pictureLaurence Dunn

Anarcho-Nihilism, A Brief Introduction Or, Are You Really Just Going To Sit There?



‘One of the men who was sacked at this period (1911) was Jules Bonnot. He knew one or two more in the same position. They were sitting idly in a cafe bar in Montmartre, playing cards desultorily, when he burst out with his famous declaration: “Aren’t you all sick and tired of this wretched existence? Here we are, flogging a stolen bicycle here, and pushing a few dud coins there, or even stooping to pick up our ridiculous wages from the

foreman, capitalism’s galley-master, after a long week’s work at the factory — and what do we get out of it? Nothing! You all talk about revolution and illegality, but what do you do about it?” “What do you expect us to do?” one of them asked him sarcastically. “Rob a bank?” “Precisely,” he said. And they did. It began as simply as that...’


- Albert Metzler, The Truth about the Bonnot Gang (1966)


It really is that simple. Put no faith in anything above yourself, there is no grand revolution

coming to save you, or me. The number of newspapers the local Trots are selling isn’t going to affect anything in your lifetime. The membership numbers of the local anarcho-syndicalist union are likewise meaningless. Grandiose schemes of how many neighbourhood-based meetings you’ll have to sit in to discuss every single, measly issue until a consensus is reached should similarly be laughed away. All we have is right here and right now. There are moments to act. There is fighting that can be done by you, now, against this capitalist hellscape we find ourselves locked in. And every single act, no matter how small, increases your freedom. If you do not act, we find ourselves stuck, and we don’t have the time that previous generations of anarchists had. The biosphere will not be able to support the current animal population (which includes you) in less than an average human lifetime. Does this not make you feel like an animal in an ever-shrinking cage? All there is left to do is lash out. That, or wait for the next “most important election of our lives.”


The great dream of the revolution which will uplift us all is no more a truth than the heaven which the Christian fervently prays for. It is an ahistorical wish. All revolutionary moments were due to a critical mass of spontaneous rebellion. So, rebel! In any which way you’re able – and encourage it where you see it in others.


Seize your freedom in the here and now; or be herded like unthinking cattle into a bleak

grave.



“I call myself a nihilist because I know that nihilism means negation. Negation of every society, of every cult, of every rule and of every religion. But I don’t yearn for Nirvana... And if I call myself an individualist anarchist, an iconoclast and a nihilist, it is precisely because I believe that in these adjectives there is the highest and most complete expression of my wilful and reckless individuality... I do not renounce life. I exalt and sing it.”

- Renzo Novatore, I Am Also a Nihilist (1920) By Kozlov Masih (2024)

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