On LulzSec, Paranoia and Resistance

It’s common in cases where defiance of, or resistance to, the state is carried out for commentors to voice suspicions that the whole spectacle is a farce or “black op” designed to create a rationale for further state control of something or other. A recent example is some of the reaction to the nihilistic online mayhem carried out by hacker group LulzSec, but we tend to see such concerns expressed every time someone carries out high profile acts of defiance. Wikileaks, Bradley Manning and hacktivists operating under the banner of “Anonymous” have been similarly labeled as “CIA fronts” or “black ops” by some.

It’s easy to sympathize with such concerns. Police stings are commonplace. Incoherent rule-making often places people in a position where the only choice available to them is which statist law to break rather than whether or not to break one. Government secrecy and manipulation are generally acknowledged as commonplace by those who pay attention to such issues. Police provocateurs have been confirmed masquerading as anarchists in black blocs. In short, people have lots of incentive to make paranoia their standard operating procedure.

However, it’s easy to overstate such concerns. Here’s why…

If one assumes that every case of resistance is some government plot to provide a rationale for further control, the state already HAS total control (of that person, anyway) because resistance is simply unthinkable to them and not an option.

After making that point in response, one ought to try to pivot the conversation. A better conversation to have might be: which methods of resistance ought to be acceptable and which shouldn’t?

The ultimate rebellion is to replace the laws of the state with people’s law that emerges from the grassroots (i.e. “the market“) — law that the resistance allows itself to be “governed” by in the knowledge that sweeping the tyrannical system of state monopoly law aside with a polycentric alternative legal system is the only way to a truly liberatory revolution.

The resistance needs to police itself based on ethical considerations rather than acquiesce to state power.


2 thoughts on “On LulzSec, Paranoia and Resistance

  1. I hear that reasoning in conspiracy thinking a lot. And it’s always asserted with no evidence.

    And besides it enabling/excusing people to do nothing about the status quo, people also say it to stay “right”; they don’t want to challenge their mental model.

    A friend rejects the idea of creating a decentralized net with this same reasoning: the gov’t could overload it with bad data.

    Sure, that could happen, but that doesn’t mean don’t try. It question begs, do these people even believe resistance is possible?


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