Trick or treat?
While some people roam the streets door-to-door merrily busking for candy, anarchists take to the streets to do direct action. For some, direct action means patching potholes, for others, it means littering. Is being an anarchist about being the house that gives the best candy? Or is it about who TPs the house that gives the best candy, or who makes the best prank? Would you rather be feared or be loved? To be remembered fondly, or to live in infamy? Why not both?
Isn’t that what masks are for? Isn’t that what festival and carnival are for? An opportunity be and do what you regularly wouldn’t, then go on with the rest of your ordinary life.
Halloween is such a festival. Many people take the opportunity to dress up as they normally wouldn’t. Be it by putting on a cute, funny, or even a sexy outfit, or donning the scary mask of a slasher flick villain, or horror movie monster. But this year, instead of jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is trending -like that year when everyone was The Joker, and surely this year everyone will be wearing a square mask from Squid Game- why not dress up as an anarchist? Which anarchist would you pick?
It’s mainstream to have a certain fascination with the macabre, as long as it takes up the form of true crime podcasts and horror fiction. Anarchists can be scary too (BTW: Which are your favorite scary stories about anarchists or by anarchists?). Yet there’s been a Santa Clausification of certain anarchist figures, like with Kropotkin, going as far as literally calling him “Bread Santa”. Often anarchists try their best to put on a cuddly persona when being interviewed in mainstream media. Nevertheless, anarchists are still widely used like boogeymen to scaremonger.
Which anarchists still remain intimidating and strike fear in hearts of rulers and masses? Which are the most terrifying deeds attempted or carried out by these anarchists? If you wore their faces as masks, what devilish phrases would you shout as you ride out for a night of mischief? Do you dare invoke them by their name?
Can you hear them whisper?