by Max Barry

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Region: The Federation of Anarchist Communes

Against the Logic of the Guillotine

"The guillotine has come to occupy our collective imagination. In a time when the rifts in our society are widening towards civil war, it represents uncompromising bloody revenge. It represents the idea that the violence of the state could be a good thing if only†the right people†were in charge."

"[...] that desire [for revenge] is distinct from my politics. I can want something without having to reverse-engineer a political justification for it. I can want something and choose not to pursue it, if I want something else even moreóin this case, an anarchist revolution that is not based in revenge. I donít judge other people for wanting revenge, especially if they have been through worse than I have. But I also donít confuse that desire with a proposal for liberation."

"For radicals, fetishizing the guillotine is just like fetishizing the state: it means celebrating an instrument of murder that will always be used chiefly against us."

"Our adversary is not a kind of human being, but the form of social relations that imposes antagonism between people as the fundamental model for politics and economics. Abolishing the ruling class does not mean guillotining everyone who currently owns a yacht or penthouse; it means making it impossible for anyone to systematically wield coercive power over anyone else."