Anti-capitalists Attack Banker's Home and Mercedes: "This is Just the Beginning."

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172 Responses to “Anti-capitalists Attack Banker's Home and Mercedes: "This is Just the Beginning."”

  1. Inkstain says:

    I agree with one of the commentators on the article.

    If my house is vandalized, do I get 24-hour police protection?

  2. mypalmike says:

    “Mob violence without leadership, organization and a political program is not revolution. It does not lead to social change. It leads to destabilization of society. Gaza? Northern Ireland? You really want that?”

    Gaza and Northern Ireland are/were violence with leadership, organization, and a political program. Does that somehow validate them as revolutions, as implied by your first sentence?

  3. demidan says:

    Maybe it was posted as “funny” because it was the “Daily Mail” and there was an expectation of aliens,,,

  4. compassx says:

    These acts of violence seem to be the only tactic left to the people who continually see the government reward or slap on the hand these super criminals…the time is coming for greater riots and rebellions as a means of taking back our power.

    Rebellion, is simply politics by other means -W.A. Gamson

  5. mdh says:

    mgfarrely, of course, i forgot your ealier contribution of “murder a bankers infirmed uncle”.

    And yes, usury.

    Do you have a credit or earn interest on your checking/savings?

    No, actually, I do not. I live hand to mouth because having my sense of fair play comes at a steep price. Now get back to rolling your tub.

  6. 13strong says:

    Thought this seemed worthy of another mash-up of the British Transport Police “A bomb didn’t go off here…” posters.

    Here it is:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3559/3385733606_e0c7d70fdc_o.jpg

  7. HereticGestalt says:

    @Antinous #103:

    1) Obligatory: Godwin’s Law, you fail.

    2) More seriously, that’s an extremely unfair, and possibly offensive, comparison. Are you accusing the brick-throwers of anti-Semitism, or Nazism?

    Or utilizing (and thus affirming) the “Jews are bankers” stereotype, and trivially invoking Holocaust imagery, just to score a facetious point?

    I’m obviously inclined to think the latter, and if so, it’s unfortunate that you’ve chosen to more or less make a Holocaust joke to ‘support’ a serious argument.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Are you accusing the brick-throwers of anti-Semitism, or Nazism?

      I’m accusing the people who are really in charge of using scapegoats and mob violence to deflect attention from the real issues. The UK is in the toilet financially because the Blair regime put it there, not because one greedy RBS asshole has an absurdly fat pension.

      You can’t control mob violence and thugs. Once you get them started, they don’t stop. And they generally don’t give a shit if you find a political or diplomatic solution. They just keep smashing shit and looking for new scapegoats. Hamas and the IRA and a lot of other political organizations looked to mob violence to back themselves up. It gets ugly and there’s not a goddamned thing that you can do about it.

      Smashing this guy’s window has a lot more in common with disgruntled auto workers beating up Chinese Americans because they hate the Japanese auto industry than it does with any political goals.

  8. UglyDeafMuslimPunkGurl says:

    That is so awesome.

  9. Cooky says:

    @#10…seriously? cowtow to the ruling elite becuase we’re scared of them? How about we go to the Houses of Parliament and set up a guillotine. dish out some of the retribution that’s a few thousand years overdue instead?

  10. Anonymous says:

    All of this arguing aside, here’s the basic problem:

    There will always be a class of people intent on getting ahead, usually at the expense of other people. Alot of times these people have a means of keeping the other people down, whether it be through their connections, taking advantage of legal loopholes etc.

    Most people just want to get by, without interfering with others. The way it SHOULD be. These people generally are passive and like to keep their lives as simple as possible (including not educating themselves on the issues affecting them).

    It’s all a cycle: people are oppressed, they get liberated, they get too comfortable, they get taken advantage of and then back to Step 1, the people get oppressed again.

    This dynamic has been playing through history and will continue until something drastic that changes human nature.

  11. ab5tract says:

    To all those who claim the anti-capitalist set has no alternative economic system to propose, I call bllsht:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_economics

    Participatory economics is a welding of anarchist political theory with political economy, yielding an economic system that provides economic democracy, rather than economic freedom (aka neocapitalist economics).

    There are already working implementations, including Z Media, publishers of Z magazine.

    So there it is, it is proposed and it is already operating. But since the capitalists can’t refute it, they ignore it.

  12. mdh says:

    SNSR – endlessly repeating “they’re just jealous” does not make it true. They were organized criminals before they were victims. So, what was that about whining?

  13. mdh says:

    “Where’s my money?” is ALSO not equal to “Where’s OUR money?”

  14. Ceronomus says:

    So…damage his house and car…which are most certainly insured.

    Yeah! That’ll show him!

  15. zikzak says:

    @9,mgfarrelly: It’s pretty obvious that the economic elites need to be resisted firmly. If you don’t like the way that resistance is being carried out, you’d best get active yourself and show us by example how we can be more effective through “non-violence” and “protest”.

    People are hungry for decisive action. They want serious punishment for those who have destroyed the livelihoods of millions, and right now the only people moving in that direction are radicals.

  16. Trent Hawkins says:

    #16 – And my I suggest that after you overthrow the fat cat ruler class you adopt a more sensible system of government. I hear Communism is just the thing to have after a good o’l royal execution.

  17. God45 says:

    All right! Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrades?

    In all seriousness, this is just karma coming back to bite the banksters in the arse. They have it coming.

  18. mdh says:

    Just trashing some villain’s property is little more than a temper tantrum. And should their family get hurt, you make that villain into a victim.

    When the law is not up to the task, what is the alternative? Congratulate them on their success?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Richard Metzeger when somebody breaks into your home and destroys your car invite us over to laugh about your “funny” incident.

  20. HereticGestalt says:

    The problem isn’t that anticapitalists have too few or no ideas about what alternative system(s) to support – quite the opposite. One of the major problems in the contemporary anarchist/socialist movement is rampant, obsessive infighting over ideological differences, mostly revolving around the multitude of proposed post-capitalism political and economic models.

    Any poster here who really thinks that there isn’t a wealth of theoretical literature out there on alternatives to the capitalist model of political economy hasn’t even made a gesture at doing the research, because nothing could be further from the truth.

    On the issue of the particular ideas and motivations of the people in this article – what could any of us possibly know about their theory background, or aspirations for the future? And who cares, anyway? Symbols derive their meaning from those who perceive them. If people are inspired by the revolutionary sentiments implicit in this act of retribution, I don’t really give a damn whether those who did it are disciples of Marx, Proudhon, Zerzan, or whoever.

  21. GregLondon says:

    Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

  22. Dillenger69 says:

    So, they aren’t socialist, communist, or anarchist … just “against capitalism”?

    What do they propose as an alternative?

  23. zikzak says:

    @4,agraham999: When trying to change something as basic as the underlying economic system of the world, “working within the system” becomes effectively impossible. It’s a noble goal, and theoretically possible. But in practice, calling for only “legal, moral solutions” is effectively calling for no real change. It is placing stability as a higher priority than justice.

    Direct action and the threat of widespread disorder is one of the only forces capable of motivating the powers that be to do the right thing. And we really, really need them to do the right thing.

  24. TroofSeeker says:

    I can’t condone either the rediculous greed of corporate executives or the violence of the victims, but if retributional violence like this gets real commonplace, I think the execs will start to get more practical about their bonuses.
    I just can’t believe that shareholders and BOD’s allow these outragious benefits. 16 million pounds?! How much frickin’ life is left in the old bastard that he needs that? And WTF did he do that he thinks he deserves that?
    I hope this puts a good scare into greedy bankers everywhere.
    “The peasants are revolting!”

  25. mgfarrelly says:

    @Zikzak:

    You mean like going door to door last weekend talking to people about the economic recovery plan the Obama administration has in place? Or working with teenagers to develop interviewing and financial management skills? Or joining a community food co-op that helps poor and marginalized families get cheap, locally grown produce?

    Cause that’s what I’ve been doing. What about you?

    Throwing a rock through a window and trashing a car does nothing but satisfy a base desire for revenge. It’s not justice, it makes nothing better and it’s not funny.

  26. Takuan says:

    government can’t preside over a country that no longer exists because its economy no longer exists. This time of trouble isn’t about social justice, it’s about everyone’s money-maker being broken.

    What’s the typical top end car in the UK these days? A Rolls? In another month you won’t be able to drive one down the street.

  27. zikzak says:

    @24,dillenger69: In radical circles the term “anti-capitalist” is generally used to describe a group of people who have differing views on exactly what utopian society should look like, but are united in their criticism of the status quo.

    For example, communists, anarchists and greens might all come together as “anti-capitalists” to organize a movement against the bank bailouts. It’s basically a nod to the fact that we don’t need to all agree on everything to act together.

  28. mdh says:

    It gets ugly and there’s not a goddamned thing that you can do about it.

    You seem to think we’re past some sort of brink and we’re sliding into civil war because one victim finally got angrier and more thuggish than the apparently average 16-year old in Britain?

    What we can goddamned DO is put up a stink, throw rocks through windows to disturb their peace, and humiliate people who have earned our derision.

    What we should NOT do is use poorly formed analogies to warn people that taking any action (even just a symbolic one) in the face of injustice is a waste of time. Of all people to hear that kind of tripe from antinous, you surprise me.

    (Last week with the 0.01% of tarp monies and this week with this fearmongering)

    WE HAVE TO START SOMEWHERE and a broken window turns heads.

  29. HereticGestalt says:

    @Antinous: What are you basing your assumptions about these people off of? Generally, I tend to go by evidence. Just a personal preference.

    The only evidence available here is what they did – damage the property of a high-profile banking executive – and what they said – that they were an anticapitalist group.

    Given that this particular action is hardly the first of its kind in the last few years, but simply the first to gain significant publicity, and that many similar acts were committed by people with well-developed backgrounds in political theory and coherent ideas, the evidence available would suggest to me that this was an action with a political motivation, not a scapegoatist one.

    Now, whether it’s an effective praxis, or whether one agrees with whatever their underlying politics is, is up for debate. But accusing these people of being equivalent to an enraged, thoughtless mob, and their ‘victim’ to a worker of an unpopular ethnicity, is ridiculous and unfounded.

    You seem very interested in dismissing sentiments and actions like this as the thoughtless rumblings of the ὁι πολλοί, and equating the banker with victims of racial discrimination, while appearing to sympathize with the problem of political and economic inequality. Had a lot of experience in apologetic writing?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Had a lot of experience in apologetic writing?

      No, but I have had experience running an underground ammo factory for a WUO splinter group, so I understand politics gone horribly wrong quite well, thanks. I’m a communist. There’s a difference between politics and tantrums.

  30. mdh says:

    If my house is vandalized, do I get 24-hour police protection?

    If my investments are vandalized, can I get a restraining order to keep this man and his golf partners at least 500 yards from my money, forever?

    I do not want to see them injured. But I very much want them to be financially ruined and visibly working off their debt to society in an unrelated field. I also want their children in public schools.
    I think they’re more afraid of falling than of dying.

  31. Antinous / Moderator says:

    This reminds me less of the brave crew of the battleship Potemkin and more of the thugs who vandalized the pediatrician’s house because they couldn’t tell the difference between a pediatrician and a pedophile.

  32. BastardNamban says:

    Let’s get something straight- you theoretically can change the system from within. But that’s something you do for localized injustices. Think Erin Brockavich. This financial crisis IS NOT LOCALIZED. It has become WORLDWIDE. It threatens the existence of countries now. “Fix it from within” only works when it’s not totally broken and containable. That is not applicable anymore. That’s like signing up as an executioner in the French Revolution who refuses to behead- they find someone else ready to immeadiately and behead you next!

    This is not VIOLENCE the way I see it. Violence is something you perpetrate directly on people, person to person, with a knife, a gun, a torch, or what have you. No one was harmed here physically- and that’s good. Violence should always be of last resort for free men, or the tool of thugs in lawful times.

    Destruction is another thing. Destruction is what happened here- you perpetrate that on property, things, symbols of power, institutions of greed or corrupt goverments, what have you.

    Destruction, very soon, is what’s going to happen all over the world as anger rises. Violence will happen too, because some people can’t control their rage, and that’s a shame. Innocent people are eventually going to die from this, and that’s a true tragedy. But have you ever heard anyone say, “I’m going to get destruct with him!”? No, because it’s not semantically directed properly at people. Semantics do matter, dearly.

    Violence & Destruction are two different things, and the only reason why we could destroy the world, but not each other. We can burn the buildings of the bastards among us when law ceases to serve the citizens, but those guilty need not die. Killing is abhorent, Destruction is a natural consequence. Destruction is the wind, the tides, slowly, typhoons, tornadoes, and lighting quickly. Destruction is a consequence of what happens when things go unprotected.

    And if the world’s rage at the levels of thievery and corruption, resulting in poverty for many and not the few is not quickly and lawfully assuaged, there is going to be Destruction. A lot. And frankly, philosophical meandering aside, we need it.

    Only the massive amounts of Destruction that are bound to occur with this massive uprising of rage from the common people of the world is ever going to change what’s broken in this world, when laws fail to uphold “Justice”. And things like this man’s house and car don’t count as Justice upon being destroyed- simply a consequence of what has happened. It’s not Violence, here it’s Consequence, wrapped in Destruction.

    Only when people see the consequences of their unchecked actions in Destruction of something, a relationship, a man’s mind, a home, or a system, will they stop or change what they are doing.

    I am eagerly awaiting Destruction right now, and “praying” that there is little to no Violence as the result of all this.

  33. mdh says:

    Richard Metzeger when somebody you’ve wronged breaks into your third home and destroys your ninth car invite us over to laugh about your “funny” incident.

    fixed your thing there, anonymouse.

  34. Takuan says:

    hmmm…. no further attacks…no one captured…timing…. think the cops did it?

  35. zikzak says:

    @28,mgfarrelly: Nice! I hope you keep up the good work, at least with the kids and the coop. We definitely need that kind of involvement from people: making an effort to solve the problems around them directly and build community.

    However, it seems pretty obvious that if everyone did what you’re doing, it wouldn’t magically cause the restructuring of our economic system and hold accountable those who are exploiting it. We need people to pursue all kinds of different avenues if we hope to actually create real change. We should be glad for these differences, not trying to repress them.

    The point I want to make is this: It’s possible that your strategy is a good one AND that a different strategy someone else is using is ALSO a good one. You don’t need to be down on them simply because it’s not how you’d go about things. We are on the same side.

  36. mypalmike says:

    There’s a difference between anti-corporatism and anti-capitalism.

  37. vennblender says:

    @mgfarrelly and others.

    Is it possible that those responsible for breaking a window and damaging a car are *also* committed to other forms of action? Why this assumption that they are thugs or simple ne’er-do-wells?

    I know plenty of people who plant organic gardens, feed the poor, sign petitions, and march in protests but who have also committed acts of ‘vandalism.’ The equation of bodily violence with violence against objects in our society is deeply troubling.

    Even if those so-called ‘violent’ offenders did what they did for shits-and-giggles they are representative of a massive surge of collective anger towards a system that seems to offer no alternative (nb. Obama’s lame efforts).

    As others have already stated. Complex, hybrid, and diverse strategies are needed (and to be expected) for troubling the fundamental immorality of our financial system.

  38. magpiekilljoy says:

    someday, a real scum will come and wash all the reign off the streets.

    I ask that you think of actions like this not as vengeance, or justice, but as consequence. Better not to get lost thinking about whether or not it’s effective or just… the same as if someone punches you on the street, and you punch them back, that doesn’t make you right or wrong, or effective or ineffective. It’s cause and effect. You destroy the world with capitalism, you’re lucky as hell that the consequence is some window-bricking.

    I for one had my opinion of Boing Boing brought even higher by the inclusion of the “funny” tag.

  39. mdh says:

    There’s a difference between politics and tantrums.

    There’s also a difference between populist rage and revolutionary fervor. Communists drove me out of the Green Party. I believe I now understand where you’re coming from on this one, and I am, for the first time, unimpressed.

  40. Takuan says:

    everyone should get over to the Rolling Stone article thread and give it a good read.

  41. EH says:

    This is relevant to my interests.

    As for anonymouse and any other empathizers, the only reason anybody would do this to me is “random.” Not so with those in the financial sector, who currently enjoy a dearth of criminal investigations.

  42. mgfarrelly says:

    @Zikzak:

    Violence and vandalism is not a “different strategy”.

    There is no magic solution, there are simply people working in their own ways, in their own communities to make things better than they were the day before.

    Anger is easy. I’m outraged by malfesance I’ve read about day after day. I want trials and I want investigations and I want power taken from those who would use in pursuit of only personal enrichement at the expense of millions.

    But to take that anger, put it to a purpose, fight to change the system and help those around you, that’s the only way to avoid a cycle of violence.

    For those arguing that you can’t change the system from the inside, I agree. But there is a world of difference between civil disobedience, civil disruption and peace action and simply torching the rich guy’s car.

  43. subliminati says:

    Really? Smash up one of his many well insured houses?

    Why can’t some smart people get a scam going and Robbin Hood his rich ass?

  44. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Woo-hoo! An old-fashioned class war! Who’s got the guillotine???

    Joking!

    … or am I?

  45. Anonymous says:

    @Arkizzle #152

    I hear Chris Knight just got suspended from UEL

  46. verygneiss says:

    Wow, I would have never believed this many people cared about some rich twat’s windows.

  47. agraham999 says:

    My point above about this not being “funny” and certainly not the best way to handle the situation is based on the historic fact that it is a slippery slope down this road. What starts as revenge against fat cats eventually will end up on the doorstep of average people…as there is always someone below you who might feel you have it better than them. Violence or vandalism always ends badly in the end.

    ———-

    Vandalizing insured property is soooo hardcore…I bet you he’ll return millions in ill gotten gains immediately.

    As for comparisons here that I’ve seen to the French Revolution…tens of thousands of innocent people got caught up and killed in that. It came at a terrible cost that I don’t think we want to see repeated.

    Personally I say if you want change get off your ass and vote or get in the system and start changing it from the inside. I hear a lot of people complaining today who voted for the morons that helped deregulate the global financial markets into the ground. It was all fun and “gains” on the way up…now we’re all facing a long ride down…and many of us only have ourselves to blame.

  48. HereticGestalt says:

    No, but I have had experience running an underground ammo factory for a WUO splinter group, so I understand politics gone horribly wrong quite well, thanks. I’m a communist. There’s a difference between politics and tantrums.

    The fact that politics has gone horribly wrong does not imply that this is an instance thereof, and it doesn’t make your claims regarding this action any less ill-founded, or your comparisons any more appropriate/less offensive.

    Then again, the wannabe state-capitalist vanguards that you profess support for always have shown a marked antipathy towards any revolutionary or popular action that occurs outside the benevolent sanction and direction of the Politburo.

    Wait, is this where I’m supposed to fall silent in awe of your (supposed) superior militant credentials? Sorry.

  49. Brainspore says:

    @ vennblender #119:

    …I know plenty of people who plant organic gardens, feed the poor, sign petitions, and march in protests but who have also committed acts of ‘vandalism.’ The equation of bodily violence with violence against objects in our society is deeply troubling.

    I agree and was happy to see the article correctly describe the crime as “vandalism” rather than “terrorism”. But attacking someone’s private residence is getting awfully close to a threat of bodily harm, in my opinion.

  50. mdh says:

    It’s called experience.

    Have any experiences which involved actually changing the dominant paradigm rather than dominating the paradigm changers?

    (by drove me out of the Green Party i meant “bored me to tears” with their always talk, talk, talk – and never do, do, do)

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      mdh,

      Have you ever tried to start a revolution in a first world country? It’s difficult.

      HereticGestalt,

      If you have any real life experiences that you’d like to share, don’t let me stop you.

  51. Anonymous says:

    All these people who want to “overthrow the system” don’t really have any alternative system in mind, beyond their Rage Against the Machine suburban fantasies.

    Essentially, they are a purely reactionary movement spouting trite slogans and engaging in petty anti-social behavior, but I have yet to see any so-called “anti-capitalist” movement present any alternative beyond the state-capitalism Marxist Lennonist model.

    Essentially, we are supposed to give up living in the most free and prosperous society the world has ever known for the vague promise of “Communism that won’t suck this time around”. Um, yeah, sure guys, enjoy your childish pranks.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I have yet to see any so-called “anti-capitalist” movement present any alternative beyond the state-capitalism Marxist Lennonist model.

      I, for one, welcome a government based on the principles set forth by the Marx Brothers and the Lennon Sisters.

  52. buddy66 says:

    Today is the anniversary of the completion of the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. There’s your model for direct non-violent action. Be like that. Do like them.

  53. Takuan says:

    Reddits looking for Cassano.

  54. mdh says:

    …thugs who vandalized the pediatrician’s house because they couldn’t tell the difference between a pediatrician and a pedophile.

    You forgot about the apologists who never dared wonder if the thugs were once patients of the pediatrician (or priest, or cop)…. who actually WAS a pedophile.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      You forgot about the apologists who never dared wonder if the thugs were once patients of the pediatrician (or priest, or cop)…. who actually WAS a pedophile

      She was a woman in her twenties. Unlikely.

  55. arkizzle says:

    Watch this now:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9La1uBYz5Y

    I’m surprised it hadn’t come up til now, I’ll post it as a suggestion as well.

    Anyone gonna be in London on the 1st?

  56. wynneth says:

    “Help! Help! I’m being oppressed! Come see the violence inherent in the system!”

  57. arkizzle says:

    Oh, just saw the G20 Thread, I’ll repost it there for better relevance.. :)

  58. synocrat says:

    I tend to fall on the side of some vandalism to their property might make them pay attention a bit… but then again, nothing says “be good” like a head on a pike in the town square.

  59. failix says:

    @Ian Holmes:

    Yeah sure, let’s just peacefully “reclaim the streets”, because in our great democratic societies it’s tolerated too…

    Now honestly, it’s funny how people like you always whine about the current situation, but still insist on respecting these people.

    Don’t give me the stuff about how it’s outweighed by all the evil on the other side.

    Why not? It’s true. Wtf are you scared of?

    It kind of reminds me of Eldridge Cleaver claiming that his rapes were “cleansed by the blood of Vietnamese peasants”.

    Weird, this kind of reminds me of someone comparing the rape of innocent women to the destruction of windows of guilty bankers.

  60. zikzak says:

    @37,mgfarrelly: there is a world of difference between civil disobedience, civil disruption and peace action and simply torching the rich guy’s car.

    Is there? I’m going to take a guess, but is the difference that property was destroyed? What’s the difference between destroying the car of this at-large criminal and staging a sit-in in the financial district? Both are illegal, both cause large financial damages, and neither hurt anybody. How about when dock workers shut down west coast ports in protest, causing goods that would otherwise have been shipped quickly to rot in their containers? That civil disobedience resulted in the destruction of far more property than the smashing of a car. What about the clergy who snuck onto military bases and hammered the nose cones of bomber jets, preventing them from being deployed to Iraq?

    Are these actions all merely “temper tantrums”? Are they just perpetuating a “cycle of violence”?

    I’m certainly not trying to suggest that anything goes. However, these are complex times, and I think we need a more nuanced analysis than just “do whatever MLK would’ve done”.

  61. Teller says:

    #114, Troofseeker: “if retributional violence like this gets real commonplace, I think the execs will start to get more practical about their bonuses.”

    I think they’ll get more practical about hiring out-of-work Iraq contractors as security. Picture Johannesburg.

  62. alisong76 says:

    This isn’t funny, nor is what these idiots have done somehow “cool” or a political statement. No matter what I, or you at BB, for that matter, think about rampant capitalism, there is never an excuse for vandalism and thuggery.

  63. Cupcake Faerie says:

    If you don’t want to see an increase in violence in the name o class warfare – then we are going to have to see some retribution paid to those who got us in this state in the first place – and there is no room for argument as to who those people are. We know who they are. so – hand them over. Congress should deliver some indictments asap. Indict Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfield. That’s just for starters. Next comes the executive structure of the largest banks in the world. Hand them over – or violence – some of it random – is going to be guaranteed. I don’t condone random violence but boy are you going to see it happen.

  64. Anonymous says:

    I’m against bank bailouts because I’m a capitalist. Capitalist markets require that failed businesses cease to exist, or the market can not function.

    I’m willing to support the kind of temporary government spending initiatives that FDR implemented and then discontinued after they were no longer needed, because I’m a capitalist. (note, I’m aware that not all of FDR’s actions fit this category).

    I’m against corporatism because I’m a capitalist. Capitalism needs private ownership and strict spheres of legal responsibility, corporations implement collectivism and avoidance of assignment of responsibility to individuals.

    TARP, Reaganomics, Bush2ism, these things are not capitalism. They are at best socialism, but I think “corporate feudalism” is a better term.

  65. BritSwedeGuy says:

    He has CCTV and security guards – all paid for by the bank he doesn’t work for any more. “As a courtesy”.

  66. mdh says:

    agraham –

    What starts as revenge against fat cats eventually will end up on the doorstep of average people…

    If it is not on your doorstep, then you are fat.

    tens of thousands of innocent people got caught up and killed in that. It came at a terrible cost that I don’t think we want to see repeated.

    “we” all of us? Or “we” who don’t have this problem on our doorsteps? Or “we” the ones responsible for the mess?

    …and many of us only have ourselves to blame.

    oh, the third one then.

  67. Takuan says:

    Blackwater Xe operating in the USA has the disadvantage of a population better armed than they are. If they try the type of crap they routinely unleashed on Iraqi civilians, they will be taking return fire. I imagine armed mercenaries in the UK will be in a better position,but conversely there is a citizenry that isn’t used to being gunned down in the streets by their government. Yet, anyway.
    Nope, gated compounds and no contact with the common scum is the way they will go. I also predict the Latin American disease of kidnapping family members will soon be booming.

  68. Grumblefish says:

    To all those asking why the British haven’t tried peaceful protest about serious things like the Iraq war

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2765041.stm
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3223780.stm

    We did. It didn’t work.

  69. Takuan says:

    this has happened before and will happen again.I do think that more change has come about from this bit of physical action than all the talk previously done by posters here. Not all the change they might have desired, but real change none the less. Settle in for the ride, the beast is awake, don’t imagine you will be steering. Stay alert and you might avoid getting stepped on though.

  70. Anonymous says:

    It’s good to see that anti-capitalist direct action hasn’t ceased completely, although attacking bank managers can never be enough in itself. Other tactics and building a wide-scale movement is necessary. In Spain the revolution had to be prepared for eighty years. I hope we have that much time…

  71. mdh says:

    She was a woman in her twenties. Unlikely.

    He was an Oxford grad in his 60′s. Unlikely.

  72. yakta says:

    This is sad. The saddest thing about it is that it wouldn’t have had to come to this. If the legal system, mainstream media and the political establishment would have had a working moral compass and some non-lapdog tendencies then they would have brought the financial elite scumbags to justice. Justice as in imprisonment, expropriation, extended media scrutiny and confrontation and what not. If they had outlawded the bonus hysteria and taken real measures to lessen the shameful and unjustifiably large income and welfare gaps (yep, progressive taxation, annihilation of tax havens, rooting out upper class economic crime — the whole package!). If all of that had happened then the people behind these acts of violance would probably not have built up so much f-ing reality based anger that they’d resort to violence.

    And to the “do you want it like in soviet-russia?!”-crowd: of course not. A society where the top has ONLY ten times more income than the bottom can still have a lot of market mechanism structures AND be a wonder of equality compared to the utter unfairness we have today. It would leave ample room for incentives and rewards for those working harder and producing better. But in fact no one deserves more than 10 times what the average working poor gets. No one is that irreplaceable.

    Just ask yourself: what could possibly the justification be? “I work 2000 hours a week so only 10 times more than others isn’t enough!” Not true. “I have a much harder (more than 10 times harder!) job at my posh, airconditioned financial institution office job compared to regular folks”. Not true since many of the worst paid jobs are also the hardest and most unhealthy.

  73. GregLondon says:

    Workers on strike in France are holding their boss hostage as negotiations are underway.

  74. mdh says:

    Does anyone think we’re going to get adequate regulation by asking for it? nicely?

  75. Ian Holmes says:

    Richard, I don’t like fatcat bankers either, but you are off your rocker to endorse this sort of thing. A year or so ago, an eco-anarchist movement fire-bombed the house of the lab manager of one of my colleagues in Santa Cruz, simply because he didn’t like the title of their institute (“Biomolecular Engineering”). It was a position of pure ignorance, as it happens (mostly that group just does research in evolution & basic molecular biology), but they had to evacuate the house and move small kids out of the way of angry protestors in ski masks. I submit to you that the only message that smashing this banker’s car really sends is solidarity with other such acts of intimidation. For some reason, the more mainstream trustafarian crusty protestors seem to have a big problem even recognizing that such fringe tactics are not just counterproductive, but wrong. There is a big difference between direct action that is street circus (Reclaim the Streets, etc) and direct action that threatens people in their homes. To ignore that is puerile; have a gold star for removing the “Funny” tag, and I still love ya for recommending “Ideal” to me (and introducing people to Jam), but stop trying to be Mark Thomas, ‘kay? Don’t give me the stuff about how it’s outweighed by all the evil on the other side. It kind of reminds me of Eldridge Cleaver claiming that his rapes were “cleansed by the blood of Vietnamese peasants”. Give me a break, this is sophomore middle-class-anarchist crud.

  76. Piers W says:

    Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

    If you’re not talking about the banker this should be made clear.

    ‘Costs’ or consequences of the French revolution include the United States, its constitution, its revolt against British rule and its existence as a secular state.

  77. Takuan says:

    greed always finds a way. In the heyday of communism in China and Russia, ostentatious wealth was a ticket to the re-education camp (while higher-ups split your wealth), so people better at grabbing, hustling and backstabbing settled for the power to ruin the lives of others instead. Not as good as money, but fun none the less.

  78. Ian Holmes says:

    Also… what Antinous said. He, at least, seems to be a grown-up.

  79. Mindpowered says:

    Fred the Shred?

    Not that the British gutter press has anything to with this. No none at all.

    They’re all off covering somebody really important like Jade Goody, or Katie Price or some other worthy person.

  80. mgfarrelly says:

    @ZikZak:

    The difference between civil disobedience and violence is simple, you risk yourself.

    These people struck under cover of dark, under a made up name and issued some nebulous threats.

    A sit-in, a protest march, a vigil, you’re putting your face, your name, your tuckus out on the line. You’re accepting a risk of counter-protest, arrest and other dangers gladly, because your cause means more than that.

    You say these are “complex times”, that’s a cop out that’s used just as easily by tyrants as it is by those who would resist them. Gandhi should not have protested the UK during WWII. Martin Luther King should have been quiet because of the war in Vietnam. We can’t speak ill of President Bush because of the war on terror.

    It’s always complex times, but violence is a simplistic solution.

  81. JoshuaZ says:

    John @97. Thanks for pointing those out. I wasn’t aware of that. If the allegations do turn out to be accurate then he should by punished to the full extent of the law.

  82. aldasin says:

    I’m all for this. Burn them, break them, bury them.
    You think Martin Luther King changed things with marches? Bullshit.
    It was fear of riots that changed things.

  83. HeruRaHa says:

    I think it’s a little silly to call these guys anti-capitalists, unless you define capitalism as a system in which the rich get richer and get taxpayer bailouts while the working class slips into a Depression…

    I’ve been predicting this sort of behavior for months, and frankly I’m surprised it’s only now happening. To be clear, I’m not promoting this kind of thing, but when the government doesn’t do their job as a protector of the people it should be no shock when the people begin to seek their own justice. I wonder how long it will be before they move from petty vandalism to Robin-Hood-style claw-back.

  84. Takuan says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7960426.stm

    wonder if they aren’t starting to plug ratholes?

  85. yer_maw says:

    what what what? the guy presides over the biggest corporate los sin history and walks away with 702K a year pension and people don think he deserved this?

    I was considering doing it myself. The guy is scum pure and simple. he as shown absolutely no shame in what hes done and deserves all he gets.

  86. JoshP says:

    My first thoughts on this thread were, oh gawd, wasn’t this the classic anti-capitalist propaganda that was emblazoned iconically on so much socialist realism in my youth? Then I thought about it, and realized if I made that claim I’d have to back it up with citation and I said to hell with it.
    Then I sort of went back to my old enculturated western habits… true change comes from within… blah, blah, blah… Change yourself, change the world, *yawn*. If I could, I’d help the man fix his window, maybe by him a cup of coffee and try to understand if his need to horde was pathological or just a hobby. But that’s kind of pansy. If we have to go nuclear, the critical mass will develop. And I’m pretty sure the brains in poli-sci have pretty good defusing mechanisms. (speaking of nuclear options, does anyone else have the bomb nightmares?)
    Then I had an observation on Godwin’s Law. Barring any present big bad, we reflect on previous big bad. It’s easier to discuss complicated topics when they’re boiled down to nice little black and white nodes. Invocation of Godwin means we are trying to make the soup on the plate gel up into a solid. It could happen.. But not likely.
    As far as some hooligans lofting bricks… eh?

  87. arkizzle says:

    Anon#162

    That didn’t take long! Kind of expected it, in fairness.

  88. arkizzle says:

    At leat wikipedia has the decency to call “Bank Bosses are Criminals” an “anti-banking group”, which is the fairest I’ve heard yet.

    I mean, we know nothing about their politics or affiliations.

  89. agraham999 says:

    #48 I don’t work in the financial system. I make a decent but not fancy living. I didn’t try to get rich “quick.” I didn’t put all my money in the markets. I also didn’t participate in taking a mortgage that I couldn’t afford. I didn’t run up $20k in cc debt or live beyond my means.

    At the same time, I’ve seen our “safe” retirement funds drop over 100% in profit and 50% in value. Our house has lost over 20% of its value and wiped out our equity. We would love to lower our interest rate, but we refuse to pay our mortgage bank (which took tax payer money) fees. In one year we’ve seen everything we worked to build up almost vanish. If one of us loses our job, we’re in trouble.

    I didn’t vote for any of these deregulation idiots, but I also didn’t do enough to fight against it when it was happening because I wasn’t paying enough attention. But I don’t see how violence and vandalism is going to solve this problem.

    If we let this spiral out of control you’ll see a lot of innocent people get hurt. Starts with broken windows and keyed cars…where does it end?

  90. fnc says:

    The trouble with any system we put in place will be that humans are using it. I don’t care what -ism we replace our current (supposedly) capitalist system with, it won’t be long until the A-types have perverted it to serve them at the expense of others. It’s not -capitalism- that is the problem, it’s greed. And greedy people are going to right on grasping for all of it no matter what -ism we put in place.

  91. codereduk says:

    This is just shooting practice for the upcoming G20 summit in London next week.

    “This is blood for blood and by the gallon. These are the old days, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They’re back! There’s no choice left. And I’m ready for war. “

  92. Moriarty says:

    Yeah, lynch mobs are awesome! And great fun! And “funny!” Hahaha! Let’s make anyone who works in finance sew big green dollar signs onto their clothes. So if we decide to round them up and put them in camps or lop off their heads, they’ll be easier to find. Or just let the angry mobs do their thing, because really, when has an angry mob ever been wrong?

  93. zikzak says:

    @56,mgfarrelly: It seems you have two different complaints. One is that this kind of action is executed anonymously, and the participants try not to get caught. I can think of many actions which you’d probably find admirable which were done this way, for example the (illegal) creation and circulation of protest ‘zines by soldiers during the Vietnam War. Or how about the disruption of assembly lines by workers during the labor movement? Were these actions incorrect because the participants were afraid of getting caught resisting injustice?

    I’d also add that people who smashed up this banker’s property most definitely put their “tuckus out on the line”, and stand to go to jail for a very, very long time. They know this and did it anyway, because their cause means more than that.

    When I say these are complex times, I don’t mean that you should automatically agree with me – which I agree is different from when government or corporate interests say that. All I mean is that we should not reject new thinking and strategies out of hand simply because they don’t fit neatly with our storybook version of how social justice was won in the past.

    Finally, you keep using the word “violence”, and I think we can both agree that harming people is completely unacceptable (except perhaps in cases of self-defense). I’d encourage you to re-read my previous post to you and consider where the line is between violence and non-violence, and what – if anything – is violent about damaging property.

  94. Man On Pink Corner says:

    #35

    You destroy the world with capitalism, you’re lucky as hell that the consequence is some window-bricking.

    Sigh.

    That wasn’t capitalism.

  95. zikzak says:

    @57,herahura: I wonder how long it will be before they move from petty vandalism to Robin-Hood-style claw-back.
    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/02/23/18572788.php

  96. Hawkviper says:

    No, see, this is economic stimulus at its finest. The banker will have to hire a glazier to fix the window, and then the glazier can afford to buy bread from the baker, and the baker can buy shoes from the cobbler. See, economics works.

    Thanks to Frédéric Bastiat for pointing this out.

  97. shMerker says:

    @#57: You could combine the petty vandalism and Robin Hood style claw-back by getting window repairmen, auto-body shops, etc. to fund your operation. This would be an especially effective system if you get security companies to pay you for instituting a state of constant panic for these executives and their families.

  98. zikzak says:

    @61,moriarty:
    Your alignment: Lawful Neutral

  99. Anonymous says:

    See to be honest, us Scots are genetically programmed to pan windaes (smash windows for you sassenachs). Extra points for big fancy hooses with posh motors.

  100. Bill Albertson says:

    Peaceful protest from the 50s & 60s is orthogonal to peaceful protest of the last two decades.

    In the 50s & 60s, there were very recent memories of large racial clashes, called riots. The national guard had to be called out to make them stop. When “peaceful” protest started, it was directly invoking the memory of those riots while maintaining the peace. They were a veiled threat of what could go wrong again if things did not change. Things changed pretty quickly.

    The concept of peaceful protest from the 80s and on is utterly meaningless, because there is no implied threat, and therefore no risk if behavior on either side is not changed. Protests from those periods are numerous, but can anybody remember ANY lasting change resulting from a specific action? No, thought not.

    And why? Because there is no “community” that will continue resisting and supporting its members even if many are beaten down with guns and bayonets, even if they are arrested, even if they lose their homes and families. That was another element of the former times, and is non-existent in the latter times. Please do not confuse the efficacy of one for the other!

  101. failix says:

    It isn’t really about revolution, it is about looking sexy and dangerous like Che Guevara.

    So what? At least it annoys people who are responsible for injustice, poverty, wars etc…

  102. jjasper says:

    Better would have been hacking his personal data, taking out a line of credit in his name, and buying food for the poor with it. Then putting his info online for all to duplicate the process with.

  103. JoshuaZ says:

    I’m unimpressed. Fred Goodwin is very unpopular now given his large pension and other issues. They probably targeted him because it would generate the most sympathy to their cause(whatever that may be). Goodwin may have screwed up badly, but he has done nothing morally wrong. He earned his pension in a completely legal fashion. The primary impact this sort of behavior does is likely to do is simply lesson the legitimacy of serious complaints about recent excesses.

  104. Moriarty says:

    @#67:

    Maybe. But laws can certainly be the result of mob rage, and I’m definitely against those, too. I hate to Godwin this thread, but it’s a perfect example. Another is the Terror after the French Revolution. Or, say, the Iraq War as a response to 9/11. I guess you could say that I believe anger never aids judgement. Call that what you will.

  105. teh_chris says:

    @ #28

    where is your newspaper writeup?

  106. mgfarrelly says:

    @ZikZak:

    I’m sorry, but you’re moving the goalposts here. My comment was in response to yours and now we’re out in a hypothetical about anonymous zines.

    I’ll clarify, one positive aspect of non-violence is that it generally calls on the protester to take responsibility for their action, to own what they do. Can you act anonymously and non-violently? Sure, but only to a point. Violence and wanton destruction relies on anonymity to survive.

    These vandals did not put anything “on the line” they trashed a car, broke windows and frightened some people. Their message intimating that this is just the beginning. That’s a clear threat. One of the first things you do in a letter of of protest is sign your name. Put your name where your ideals are.

    This is not an example of new thinking. And I’d ask you not to write off the hard-won struggles of generations of Black, Gay and Female social justice advocates as “storybook”. MLK, Harvey Milk, Gandhi. These weren’t saint or supermen, their lives are far from storybook. Whatever new ideas you might have if you’re drawing on violence and revenge as a source you’re actually embracing some very old ideas there, Cain ;)

    And yes, I do use the word violence. This is attacking a persons home and threatening them. It’s resorting to a primitive response to an issue. Revenge is not justice.

  107. mdh says:

    agraham –

    If we let this spiral out of control you’ll see a lot of innocent people get hurt. Starts with broken windows and keyed cars…where does it end?

    A lot of innocent people have already been hurt.

    It did not start with broken windows or keyed cars, it started with broken promises and unearned bonuses.

    Bankers (a catch all term, admittedly) have developed finer and finer tools for skimming the creme off our milkshakes.

    Then they bought the laws and the politicians they needed to sharpen their tools further, and added still more tools to take even more cream off the top.

    Now it is time for their haircut. And yes, the Vichy sympathizer analogy IS intentional.

  108. Ejmr says:

    What a bunch of W*nkers. Given the power of their first attack and the lyrical brainery behind their name, I can’t wait to see their campaign spread and the world we know get turned upside down… I bet the bankers are shivering (or shaking) in their anarchist skin wingtips…

  109. NE2d says:

    This sure brought all the Internet Tough Guys out of the woodwork.

  110. Takuan says:

    @68 Bill, regarding “community”; the poor always with us is a community, but their learned helplessness removes them as any threat to those who have too much.

    What you see aborning now is new poor, who WILL have a clear community since they have living memory of NOT being poor. Anyone who remembers earning a pay check and putting a meal on the table for his family is quite capable of picking up the cobblestone and suffering the split head or the jailhouse if it means he has a chance of regaining dignity.

    The UK is in for it. Stupid, heavy-handed policing and remarkably tone-deaf government combined with a perfect storm of other social factors means a summer of rage is coming. If Brown et al have the remotest grain of sense they’ll being paying close attention to how Obama is surfing the tsunami. The cultures are different but the dynamics are the same. There better be some pretty, upper-class heads on pikes and damned soon.

  111. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many of the people who are calling for blood and revenge say that they are against the death penalty.

    Yeah, this guy did some idiotic stuff, but he is still a person.

  112. Moriarty says:

    “Bankers (a catch all term, admittedly) have developed finer and finer tools for skimming the creme off our milkshakes.

    Then they bought the laws and the politicians they needed to sharpen their tools further, and added still more tools to take even more cream off the top.”

    I hear this kind of thing all the time, but never any details about how this is actually supposed to work or who specifically is responsible. Mentally convicting without trial large groups of people of vague but egregious crimes has a lot of precedent among history’s nastier demagogues. Clearly, something is very messed up right now, and probably there was serious wrongdoing or at least irresponsibility, but I’m guessing you don’t have the economics background to sort it all out, because nobody has yet. Be very, very careful.

  113. Richard Metzger says:

    Okay, for the sake of calming the water here a bit, I’ve removed the “funny” tag from this post. To be clear –and perfectly blunt– I do fully support the aims of groups like “Bank Bosses Are Criminal,” “Class War” and “G20 Meltdown,” but by being arch and thinking I was being cute by tagging this entry as “funny,” I seemed to have struck a raw nerve with some of you. The point wasn’t to offend anyone, I just thought it would stir things up a little. Apparently it did, but at this point maybe we should all take a step back, wait to see what happens at the G20 meeting and convene again to see if the protests during the event were positive or not.

    Personally, I wish I could be there. I was smack in the middle of what I now read is considered the first anti-globalization protest, the “Stop the City” demonstration organized by Greenpeace in London in 1984. It was an incredible street circus, a colorful “manifestation” of pissed off people and one of the greatest things that I have even personally witnessed. People today have much more of an excuse to be angry and it’s not just a bunch of teenage anarchists with Mohawk haircuts throwing bricks, this time I expect that a lot of different types of people will show up to shout at the world leaders. The people need to do things like this, and to speak up. If Sir Fred’s car gets trashed, boo who, I think he deserved it. This is street theater, meant to send a message to the top. It worked.

    And no one was hurt.

    Well, no one if you don’t count the people who’ve followed the rules all their lives and lost their pensions and life savings because of lowlifes like Sir Fred Godwin gambling them away in the plush casinos of predatory capitalism like the Royal Bank of Scotland! If Bernie Madoff’s window was smashed most people would cheer, true or false? Fred the Shred is no different. But what he did was legal, if you take my point. Godwin will never do jail time. Thankfully Madoff will.

    If you don’t agree with me, fine, but this is the way I feel and I was asked by one of the mods to clarify my opinion on the matter. I took it on myself to remove the “funny” tag as I do not wish to offend anyone here. I am a guest at Boing Boing, this is not my house, and I want to respect the BB’ers as well as the readers involved enough to have such a valuable –and mostly civilized– debate here.

    Richard

  114. Piers W says:

    #76 Takuan

    Pretty, upper class heads ?

    We must scour the entire kingdom, or hire the finest morticians in it.

  115. Anonymous says:

    To all those who claim the anti-capitalist set has no alternative economic system to propose, I call bllsht:

    Assuming that even 1% of your typical lefty agitator crowd had even heard of “participatory economics”… it is a generalized concept and not a political program.

    Participatory Economics:
    “remuneration according to effort and sacrifice” = so vague and subjective as to be meaningless, virtually every society claims this.

    vs.

    Communist Manifesto (for example):
    “Abolition of all right of inheritance” = coherent political policy. Everyone knows what this means, even if you agree with the ideology or not.

    “Participatory Economics” is some vague convoluted rhetoric that the post-modern grad-student revolutionary uses in place of a real ideology that would require a commitment to real policies that might suck. Far better for the ennui-filled bourgeois youth who make up the core of the far-left to smash a few windows and then go back to enjoying the benefits of a prosperous liberal democracy. It isn’t really about revolution, it is about looking sexy and dangerous like Che Guevara.

  116. mgfarrelly says:

    @77:

    Very well said.

    The notion of conspiracy is very inviting. It allows people to feel content in their hopelessness. If the game is rigged, you’re smart for not playing right?

    And Hillary Clinton was a lock for the democratic nomination.

    You are not powerless, you are not helpless, you are not weak and the game is only as rigged as you allow it to be.

    Cynicism makes violence seem all the more attractive. If you’re really angry about the economy, volunteer at a soup kitchen, grow a garden, agitate for local political change, write letters to the editor, protest, organize, collaborate online, engage in civil disobedience, meet your city council members, talk to depression survivors about their experiences, learn new skills, become excellent at something, learn chemistry, learn to draw, write and publish and speak out loudly and proudly.

    Do all that before you toss a rock or threaten, or bully or raise your hands in anger.

  117. zikzak says:

    @79,mgfarrelly: Ok, this feels like pulling teeth, but I think we’re getting somewhere. You’ve said that the problem with this action was that it was an attack on someone’s home and could be seen as a threat against them. Personally, I’m with you there. However, what if the vandalism was done to a branch office of the bank and company cars, in the middle of the night when nobody was there? What if they publicly turned themselves into the police after having done it? Is it still violence? Is it still wrong? I ask this not to be a smartass, but because I think there are nuances here which we ought to suss out. I think we probably agree a lot more than we realize.

    Re: Ghandi and MLK, I’ll not write off their crucial contributions to social justice movements if you’ll acknowledge the similarly vital role played in those same movements by militant activists like the Black Panthers and the Jugantar.

  118. mdh says:

    Moriarty – your guess about me is wrong-ish. I work in an industry where banks / mortgage brokers / insurance companies are my direct clients.

    In my industry (environmental consulting) my license is all I have. It is my good name. The licensing was necessary because without it people will cut corners to make a buck, and did so, and the banks put up a holy stink at being taken for a ride and having (literally!) toxic assetts on their books.

    Now, at the very least, these bankers will be licensed, just like me. I could whine and cry that it’s not needed – like bankers do today – but at the end of the day it IS needed.

    Your point about nobody having the background to sort it all out is close to the mark. The people who have the background to sort it out will not do so out of the goodness of their hearts. Not when they could do nothing and let their great-grandchildren be spoken about as having “old-money” in a couple generations when the hub-ub has died down.

    I may not be an economist, but I suspect you are no historian either.

  119. Anonymous says:

    Santa’s Knee here.

    Jean Rasczak, Starship Troopers:

    “Violence has resolved more conflicts than anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn’t solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst.”

  120. Rasselas says:

    Violence rarely, if ever, yields the profit that one expects. I suppose it has that much in common with recondite financial products, as well as a pronounced tendency to redound to the detriment of the most vulnerable in society, wherever the original targets may reside.

  121. Takuan says:

    lots of precedent in historical happenstance too. The few more ruthless, sharper and more grasping ALWAYS end up with a disproportionate piece of the pie, whether in money, power, land, chattels or slaves. They always overreach and that majority on the bottom on the pyramid always pull them down when times get bad.

    Perhaps a real difference now is that information gets around better an quicker and the usual tactics of the power elite (scapegoating small groups a la Hitler, KGB style crushing of intelligentsia or all the methods of the GOP this past half century) will not work so easily.

    Look at what is happening in China today; the Party is scrabbling to adopt new tools to cling to power in the face of a rising wave of discontent that springs from unstoppable physical realities. Maoist tactics of wholesale slaughter of millions isn’t going to work this time either. Even in the vast prison camp of Tibet, word still gets in and out. The Party is trying though, they recently even seem to dimly grasp they can’t censor the web so now they seek to twist it and bribe other governments into the same. Will the UK power elite come to the same conclusion? Somehow I doubt it. Too many years of arrogance to unlearn and too many ordinary folks who don’t realize just how radical they will themselves become when the real crunch comes.

    Some want to believe there is a peaceful solution to everything. History has its own momentum.

  122. Takuan says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund

    the table of dictators is especially droll.

  123. Cowicide says:

    I thought it was fucking funny.

  124. Anonymous says:

    In the 50s & 60s, there were very recent memories of large racial clashes, called riots. The national guard had to be called out to make them stop. When “peaceful” protest started, it was directly invoking the memory of those riots while maintaining the peace. They were a veiled threat of what could go wrong again if things did not change. Things changed pretty quickly.

    But more importantly, the protests of the 50s and 60s had very clear and specific policy goals in mind… ending segregation, ending American involvement in Vietnam. These where simple, precise, and actionable goals.

    Where as the protests nowadays are protests about vague, undefined ideas. And threats of violence are even more stupid. So you are going to physically hurt someone over your general malaise with so-called “Capitalism”? You don’t understand even the most basic aspects of civics and economics, yet you are willing to destroy and kill for your “goals”… your “goals” consisting of some trite “anti-capitalist” (whatever that really means) slogans?

    Not one of these post-modern activists and “revolutionaries” can communicate anything resembling a coherent ideology or specific policy that politicians can legislate on. They can’t possibly win, because they don’t have any clue what exactly it is the want in the first place.

  125. busydoingnothing says:

    @Takuan: “A man wouldn’t be human if he didn’t at least feel a desire to pull out the lynchpins.”

    Brilliant. Everything old is new.

  126. mdh says:

    Do all that before you toss a rock or threaten, or bully or raise your hands in anger.

    Have you been spying on the last 10 years of my life? I did all that. Seriously. About 5 years ago I saw the house of cards for what it was (an upside of working for bankers and insurance comanies is you talk to bankers and insurance execs all the time and can tell which way the wind is blowing).

    As soon as the focus became “get them the loan” rather than “is this a good loan?” I cashed out my meager investments and did damn near exactly what you suggest.

    Is my righteous indignation justified now?

    So can you try not to speak to me like some sort of a child JUST because I’m pissed and you find the truth i’ve seen as too challenging to listen to?

    And FYI – I’m not throwing rocks – but if I hadn’t seen this coming I’d be quite angry enough to do exactly that.

  127. mgfarrelly says:

    @Zikzak:

    It feels like pulling teeth because you’re trying to expand the argument, bring in hypotheticals and make some rather sweeping statements about history.

    If you don’t see what was done as a violent act, as violence, that’s fine. I think that’s a moral abstraction at best and simple justification at worst.

    The “What if” works the other way. What if he’d been home and his elderly uncle slain? We’re talking about what happened and what happened was destructive, menacing, and violent.

    I don’t believe in violence as a means of bringing about social change. History is an endless cycle of reprisals and grudges. Non-violence asks you to stop the recrimination. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. I avoided saying that since it’s so often quoted, but there it is.

    And the Panthers were more effective when they empowered their community than when they took up arms. All violence did for them was give the federal government a means to disrupt them and destroy many of their good efforts in the black community.

  128. buddy66 says:

    Nice link, Takuan. Good recall.

  129. rpl says:

    ‘Costs’ or consequences of the French revolution include the United States, its constitution, its revolt against British rule and its existence as a secular state.

    I can’t believe this ridiculous statement has survived this long unchallenged. The French Revolution lasted from 1789–1799. The United States declared independence from Great Britain in 1776, held its constitutional convention in 1787, and ratified its current constitution in 1789, all before the beginning of the French Revolution. The founders of the US were greatly influenced by French Enlightenment thinkers, but the Revolution itself postdates the founding of the US and the writing of its constitution.

    As for the “consequences” the other poster had in mind, I suspect he was referring in part to the nearly 20,000 documented executions, no small number of whom were Girondins who were killed for the heinous crime of wanting to hold a referendum on whether to execute the King, rather than just getting on with it. Insufficient revolutionary fervor, don’t you know.

    Really, we should give some careful thought here and now to the example Girondins. They were well-known for their rhetorical prowess, which they used to whip up revolutionary frenzy when it was convenient for them to do so. How were they to know that when it began to boil over they wouldn’t be able just to turn it off? Revolutionary mobs, it turns out, have a way of getting out of hand. Forget that at your peril.

    In the end, the immediate legacy of the French Revolution was violence and bloodshed and a lot of innocent people dead. I, for one, feel fortunate to be reading about it in history books, rather than living through it. If that’s your model for social change, then count me out, thanks.

  130. demidan says:

    Almost everyone these days is spending the majority of their time trying to feed their families and pay their bills while watching “sports” so they lack the energy/time to organize.

    Is that just a coincidence?

    Yeah everyone here has the time to bitch and a few do real work to help; but over all we as a group need more sleep/energy to form a resistance organization to combat our collective economic Rape.
    Unless there are a couple of hidden conservatives about I think we can all agree that Corporations don’t give a rats ass about the average person; greed and subsequent power is the means and the end. If we could all get a week off to rest, think and organize maybe we could figure something out that would be a bit more constructive than breaking a few windows and denting a fine automobile.

    Do we have to wait until “Let them eat cake” is uttered once again in order to turn off the TV?

  131. Anonymous says:

    Hatin’ on oligarchs ain’t anti-capitalist.

    RBS initiated the violation of property rights (albeit the fault of a US contingent that bought the 30bil in deritaves – w/ transction fee! – which would had started the process of credit contraction and insolvency).

    I’m not sure if this is an effective way to change things but if you’re complicit on trillions of theft/laundering at the expense of others you really don’t have a right to that house or that car.

  132. mdh says:

    mgfarrelly – are you really saying it stands to reason that an infirmed uncle would have been murdered if circumstances had been slightly different?

    That’s a pretty weak stance, even for the internet.

  133. GregLondon says:

    Antinous: I have had experience running an underground ammo factory for a WUO splinter group, so I understand politics gone horribly wrong quite well, thanks. I’m a communist. There’s a difference between politics and tantrums.

    Wait, so, WUO was “politics” and this thing is a “tantrum”? “your” group were serious revolutionaries, and these guys are a bunch of punks causing trouble?

    One of the first acts of the Weathermen was the “days of rage”, which consisted of riots, smashed windows, destruction of property, and similar acts of vandalism.

    As far as we know, these window-smashing “tantrums” could be the start of the equivalent “days of rage” for the “Bank Bosses Are Criminals” organization. I can see little difference. The only potential difference is that I’m guessing the BBAC might just fizzle out before they start building bombs and killing people.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Greg,

      Whoosh. I was pointing out that I have seen every possible way of doing it wrong, not that we did it right.

  134. Takuan says:

    radical groups identified with the common people balance the power equation. Government spits in the face of a population that is nothing more than a twice-a-decade electorate to be misled and cozened. The fact that groups like the Panthers existed, never mind that they did anything violent, meant the complaints of the people had to be heard – to make sure nothing violent happened. This has always been so and always closely allied with the existence of organized crime. Never forget Robin Hood was a gangster. Only an imbecile parasite kills it host, and regrettably, the people seem to be quite capable of voting in imbeciles.

  135. Teller says:

    Where are those damn CCTVs when you need one?

  136. jtegnell says:

    How unfair!

    What could these people possible have done to deserve this?

  137. johnphantom says:

    Wow. So when do we get a branch of BBAC in the USofA?

  138. Piers W says:

    #90 rpl

    Silly me, must be the other way round then.

  139. John Coulthart says:

    @71 “Goodwin may have screwed up badly, but he has done nothing morally wrong.”

    Ya think?

    RBS faces probe over ‘threats’ to directors:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/mar/22/rbs-threats-directors-lord-foulkes

    “The scandal engulfing the Royal Bank of Scotland reaches new heights today with serious allegations from a senior Labour politician that at least three of its former non-executive directors may have been intimidated and threatened with the sack for asking searching questions about its financial affairs.”

    RBS may face criminal investigation “Serious Fraud Office ponders inquiry into financial collapse of banking group rescued by government”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/mar/24/sfo-probes-rbs

    “Calls for a full investigation into RBS have been strengthened by claims that its traders invested billions in so-called toxic debt, or sub-prime loans, as part of a tax avoidance operation. Though legal, the tax avoidance schemes were designed to exploit gaps in different countries’ tax laws.”

  140. Anonymous says:

    “Think of everything we’ve accomplished, man. Out these windows, we will view the collapse of financial history. One step closer to economic equilibrium.”

    - Tyler Durden

  141. steauengeglase says:

    When I saw the phrase “Daily Mail” I automatically questioned the idea that these people are “anti-capitalist”. I also immediately questioned if the Royal Bank of Scotland, bankers, Mercedes, bricks, glass and homes exist. I mean, seriously, it was in the Daily Mail.

  142. mypalmike says:

    #79 Moriarty:

    “I hear this kind of thing all the time, but never any details about how this is actually supposed to work or who specifically is responsible.”

    OK, first look into the SEC meeting that took place on April 28, 2004. This isn’t vague, hand-wavy conspiracy theory. It’s historical record: the largest investment banks were given the green light at that moment to ditch limits on their leverage ratios. More leverage = more risk. It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to understand.

  143. agraham999 says:

    Can I ask…why is this tagged as “funny?”

    While I do believe many bankers/financial experts likely belong in jail, I think the escalating rhetoric here in the states and abroad regarding guns, overthrowing governments, and revenge are only going to escalate to violence.

    We need to promote legal and moral solutions for dealing with those responsible for bringing down the financial system and not just target them for reprisals or vigilante justice since this will no doubt spill over into general society and innocent people will no doubt get hurt.

    I ask you re-tag this…and perhaps add this type of message to the post.

  144. macrumpton says:

    This is totally understandable, but the bankers were just the opportunists that took advantage of the deregulation by the politicians. The more productive targets would be crooks like Phil Gramm who engineered the dismantling of the safeguards that protected the public from reckless practices.

    Make the supporters of policies that victimize the public feel the public’s wrath and they will be a lot less willing to betray the public interest no matter how big the bribes (campaign donations) are.

    There is nothing like the threat of shunning and property destruction to focus the mind on doing the job you were elected to.

  145. Takuan says:

    hope Obama reads Graves.

  146. snsr says:

    Anti-capitalists my ass. Try Poor, Jealous Whiners.

    If they’re really out of a job, they wold be better off spending that energy doing something positive for themselves and their families.

  147. mdh says:

    Violence rarely, if ever, yields the profit that one expects.

    Unearned profit rarely, if ever, yields the violence it deserves.

    Seriously, a 7 figure pension for being the guy who will push papers without asking too many questions, and you expect people who are losing their houses to just sit back?

    The people who handle our money make 7 figures for doing 5 figure jobs. My hearts really go out those of them who didn’t see their own usury.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      ♥ Mob violence without leadership, organization and a political program is not revolution. It does not lead to social change. It leads to destabilization of society. Gaza? Northern Ireland? You really want that?
      ♥ It’s somewhat offensive to compare this to Vietnam era protests. That makes it sound altruistic and political when it is in fact, thuggery. Where were these noble Robin Hoods when the UK sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan and let the US use airports for extraordinary rendition? “Where’s my money?” is not equal to “Stop bombing foreign children.”
      ♥ Smashing the windows of bankers accused of being responsible for all the country’s woes has an unfortunate and specific history.

  148. John Napsterista says:

    A. No one was hurt. Destruction of property is far preferable to actual violence.

    B. It is funny because 1) it’s from the Mail and 2) “Bank Bosses Are Criminals” is a funny name for a terrorist group (which is what the heroes behind this act are). It goes to the very essence of Brit humor (“humour).” Just because something is tasteless doesn’t mean it’s not “funny.”

    C. This idiot gets his car dinged and a few windows broken, accompanied by a note from some crackpot (albeit heroic) group. Far less of a “violent” affront than thousands of others Scots (who can’t even afford ex-SAS bodyguards) have faced. But he gets 24-hour police protection. That’s even an even more compelling reason for class war.

    D. @ #69 – right on!!

  149. mdh says:

    Where are those damn CCTVs when you need one?

    Busy watching the under 16′s, sorry.

  150. mgfarrelly says:

    Seriously, a 7 figure pension for being the guy who will push papers without asking too many questions, and you expect people who are losing their houses to just sit back?

    The options are not “sit back” and “break things”.

    And “usury”? Really? Do you have a credit or earn interest on your checking/savings? Then get thee to confession for your gluttonous sin sirrah!

  151. Chrs says:

    Huh. And all this from a broken window.

  152. Anonymous says:

    Also wondering about the “funny” tag.

    Violence isn’t funny.

  153. mdh says:

    “A bomb won’t go off here, because none of these people received a bonus for sinking the RBS”

    You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

  154. Richard Metzger says:

    @ COWICIDE

    Of course YOU would!

    *wink*

    RM

  155. skatanic says:

    Sounds an awful lot like The Edukators (or Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei for you germanophones), except slightly less amusing.

  156. Lucifer says:

    These aren’t “anti-capitalists” at all. They are a lot of things but I don’t think they were against the idealism behind free market economy.

  157. mgfarrelly says:

    @4:

    I agree, this isn’t funny.

    I can imagine the response “They stole people’s life savings” “They’re protected by the law”.

    Then fight, but fight with non-violence, with protest, with organization. Take that anger and passion and make an actual difference.

    Just trashing some villain’s property is little more than a temper tantrum. And should their family get hurt, you make that villain into a victim.

    It’s not funny at all.

  158. urshrew says:

    Yeah, I wondered also why this was posted under “Funny”, seemed more like “Scary” then funny, if we consider how the power elites will come down doubly hard on the rest of us if some people get it into their heads to make this a regular thing, and worse, escalate it.

    Although these people need a good pie in the face.

  159. Takuan says:

    every war in history started with a single act.

  160. HereticGestalt says:

    @MGFarrelly #89: You seem to be willfully evading any recognition of Zikzak’s point. What exactly do you think qualifies as (unacceptable) violence? Attacking a human being, destroying property, and making threats are all distinct actions with different social and ethical imports.

    What, I believe, Zikzak is arguing is that destroying the property of the guilty powerful – recognizing the possible redundancy of that description – is an entirely acceptable and potentially effective form of resistance, whether symbolic or direct. He’s drawing a very clear bright line between harming people and harming their property, and agrees with you that the former is unacceptable, except in self-defense.

    Where is your bright line? He’s asked you again and again to clarify what the ethical schema you’re proposing is – the point of all the hypotheticals you find so confusing is to prompt you to clearly define the standard you’re using to evaluate various forms of action. All you’ve responded with so far is a reiteration of your nostalgic, blinkered preference for repeating the comfortable tactics of a particular bygone era. It’s not an answer to the questions that are relevant here.

    On the topic of making threats, I think that the ethical dimension of making a threat carries directly from the action threatened. The message these people sent is fairly clear, contextually, in its threat of further property damage – not violence against people.

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