“Anarchists” Protest Against Cutting Government

Self-styled “anarchists” have recently mounted violent protests against the Greek government’s proposed budget cuts:

Greek anarchists threw petrol bombs and clashed with police during a major protest Wednesday against fresh government austerity measures, with at least two people reported injured.

Dozens of hooded and self-styled anarchist youths hurled water bottles and stones at police outside the Greek parliament, and the police responded with volleys of tear gas, The Wall Street Journal reported….

The strike[and the protests] come… as Greece’s parliament debated a five-year €28 billion ($40.2 billion) austerity program that the government has promised its international creditors….

These protestors seem to be confused about their own ideology. The whole point of anarchism is the abolition of government. Real anarchists would demand even bigger cuts in government spending, especially in a country like Greece, where government spending was a whopping 48% of gross domestic product as of 2008, according to the OECD.

An anarchist could consistently oppose cuts in government spending if he believed that the cuts would somehow lead to even greater state spending and regulation in the future. But the Greek “anarchists” aren’t making any such “lesser evil” argument. They apparently support the endangered government programs for their own sake. And they seem oblivious to the contradiction between that stance and their commitment to anarchism. Before their next demonstration, these people would be well advised to learn some basic political knowledge, starting with the definition of anarchy. Making an effort to become informed is an ethical obligation of voters. And that goes double for people who seek to advance a political agenda through violent demonstrations.

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