Brutality, in the form of a lack of scruples toward the enemy and the enemy’s symbols, is a basic ingredient in the cult of radical movements
—by Nicolas Sevastakis | Translated from greek by Margarita Zachariadou—
The torching of Marfin* ought to be regarded as the incident that compacts an era’s political nihilism. This political nihilism, with the totalitarian features it bears, has been grossly underestimated by those who (like myself) went along, mentally, with the Radical Left. However, it is one’s duty to think things over, to put one’s beliefs to the test and reconsider everything; to harbour no awe towards any «community of credos», whatever its idea about itself might be. And most of all, not to turn a blind eye to the sinister and hard-line autocratic aspects of any radical theology of Good.
Indeed, I have never resorted to the usual left-wing euphemisms, such as «unacceptable methods of action», when it came to downright extremism. Because this extremism is not just another methodology but in fact represents an overall relation to the world as a whole; a relation where the lyrical vocabulary of the current principles («Communism», «Liberation», «Revolt») is accompanied by outbursts of brutality.
Brutality, in the form of a lack of scruples toward the enemy and the enemy’s symbols, is a basic ingredient in the cult of radical movements. It is highly possible that the people who torched the Marfin branch with their molotov cocktail bombs have considered (and probably still consider) themselves part of some kind of militant antifa. This is the tragedy that still haunts us – the tragedy of the fake, the shameless language. Radical moralism, stupidity and crime always go hand in hand.
* On May 5 2010, three people were killed (among them a pregnant woman) in a bank («Marfin Egnatia») in Athens, Greece. The bank was torched with molotov cocktail bombs during massive demonstrations against austerity measures. Six years later, the police investigation has come to no conclusion.
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Cover photo: Egil Paulsen, Todesengel #1