Propaganda by the Deed
The State is My Enemy
The Terror my deed has wrought
Shall forever stand on its own behalf
Through my cold disregard for morality
I have become a propagandist by the deed
I refuse to be ruled, by anyone or anything – fixed ideas. My own life is mine to create. So I will. My anarchism is not idealistic, unattainable – Anarchy is beautifully realistic. We must all dispose of our rulers.
Where to even begin, when all manners of coercion surround us? Government, religion, morals, and much more. All would hope to control me, you. I see my best avenue for overcoming what exists as personally usurping the constraints, physical and mental, imposed onto my person. You are free to follow, though what would I gain by demanding so? One must desire to lead their own life, lest they merely allow themselves to be re-enslaved.
I am at war with what-is, the State. It is a war I refuse to lose. My life, and this battle as well, are everchanging. I fight for my very survival, my continued existence, my individuality.
What do you live for? Do you dare to create? I will not be subservient to my humanity.
On Propaganda by the Deed
I have seen it grow common amongst so-called anarchists to disparage illegalist praxis as heinous, evil, overall damaging to “the anarchist cause”. I write to address what I have come to know as the attacks on Propaganda by the Deed, and further yet to elucidate the motivations for Propaganda by the Deed. I highlight my own deeds, known and unknown, as my rationale for this writing – I speak from lived experience.
“Candle, you have a 140 IQ – We need you in academia, not smashing ATMs and windows!” Well, I have formed my own opinions on academic institutions. Prior to my recent enrollment at the University of Oregon, I was a college dropout. I am certain I achieve more ‘good’, whatever that word means, from preventing use of a store or ATM – What works, works. Regardless of how sharp my pen, I will seldom ever convince a beneficiary of a capitalist institution to the anarchist’s plight.
Could you have ever convinced a king that we need a rulerless existence? I’d have burned down his church, his whole castle, or stabbed him on his throne. Should I have disdain for the acts of comrade Czolgosz, the Galleanists, or those whom took the lives of pigs during the Haymarket affair? Orestes, even? These acts were not unfathomable or off-limits due to legality or moralizing. Individuals have been defying authority for millennia, taking life into their own hands rather than some hope for an eventual revolution. The insurrection is now, comrade, and you will not rule me.
What is the anarchist cause? I want to know of no rulers, and could waste page-upon-page detailing all that exists to thwart this aim. I would not be the first to, either. Let us do merely with this ‘vibe’ so as to form a more concise argument.
As I see it, Propaganda by the Deed, in whatever manner said deed is born, is an individual’s own defiance of those who would seek to rule them – My actions will not be policed by morals nor Law. Born of this beautiful act of defiance is something that is to now stand upon its own two legs – Propaganda by the Deed. The deed’s undeniable reality speaks all on its own. I smashed an ATM and walked away – my deed.
When I choose to rob a store, my insurrection is created in my current moment. I create what I want to see, for myself and involving myself. I have long since forsworn hope.
One individual can damage a lot of property, prevent thousands upon thousands from utilizing key infrastructure in the capitalist mode of production or influence the lives of millions via viral media – how many have seen me smash open an ATM to not even take its contents? Smashing a window? We need to throw a brick, smash a window, or stick someone up sometimes. You should be the sole decider of your actions, not merely that what is permissible be controlled by means of morality and Law.
Am I merely a terrorist, an evil bad-actor whose sole-desire appears to be giving ‘the movement’ (a particular distinction from ‘our movement’ or ‘our cause’) a bad name? Anarchy is not moral policing. I will never brush shoulders with those whom becry the acts of an antifascist as terrorism, nor with those who uphold their morals as dogma, as absolute. Morals are relative, and if we are to entrench ourselves in them once more then let it be known my deeds are ‘good’ – value?
“You are violent, Candle, and I am happy you are in prison!” – So would be the common opinion to be had of my drape-burning self. Proudhon says ‘property is robbery’, Stirner that ‘property precedes theft’. As private property’s guarantee remains only through Law, one is threatened with violence at every waking moment for not respecting this right. Property is no right, it is violence – violence done unto any and every individual whom dare defy the will of Law.
Is your objection to my callous disregard for the moralism you tout as absolute, my willingness to do unto violence as is done unto myself, or for my utter rejection of what-is?
Regardless, I hardly see myself as violent – militancy. No one should be in prison, so I fail to see anything really worth addressing here.
It is no problem of mine if your dogmatic moralism is so terribly riddled with presuppositions a priori as to damn my beautiful creation. You wish to enslave your being forever to these spectres of self-alienation, so I will help you to it – “That window had a family!” or maybe “I would’ve taken the ATM’s money”?
I have taken control of my life.
As to the matter of the store clerk, the root of most left-wing critique of Candle as I perceive it, I will be blunt – a gun to the head is how one opens a cash register. There is no other means, the everyday capitalist slave will not ‘risk their livelihood’ to satisfy my egoistic desire. Rather, one would so choose to use their entire person to satisfy the egoistic desires of the capitalist, to prevent individuals from possessing property in an overt manner, to threaten the violence of Law unto any-and-all who choose to defy the sacred nature of property.
Most of the overall argumentation of this essay, my attack on morals, can be reiterated as to the matter of opening a cash register utilizing a loaded firearm. If I were to employ the Nietzschean moral relativism, then I could quite possibly see myself as evil… from the store owner’s perspective. As to myself, my act of Propaganda by the Deed was ‘good’ – “And we are entrenched in morals once more.”
The acts of a capitalist are evil. My anarchistic Propaganda by the Deed is noble, virtuous.
No one can deny the reality that I rid a store of its capital through armed robbery – what one is far more capable of is applying presuppositions and moral dogma to my deed, done so as to damn all ‘like me’ to infamy. This tradition, custom, of having an outright aversion to robbery, more deeply theft in its entirety, is laughable and I foresee I may need a separate essay to address these attacks. It is typically what gives rise to the idea I am doing The Cause a disservice, with many choosing to distance themselves from my deeds and person.
The purpose of my deed is that, in a multitude of ways and however it is viewed, my deed will serve as its own propaganda for my anarchist cause. Should that cause not be yours, then you are no anarchist, or comrade, to me. You would impose your will unto mine as right, as just and absolute. You would seek to be my ruler, so you may instead fuck off.
Propaganda by the Deed
I will see anarchy birthed from my insurrectionary flame. As I know it, I am its creator – No one is ever going to gift me with anarchism. Our world is icy, my being too. A moment in the cold is a worthwhile taste of the bitter harshness; How much of my life have I truly led? A moment.
The chills and thrills, gallant acts. I will never have power over how my history is recorded. So away with it! The moral pandering, the posturing – I’m the real deal, sweetie. I care only for myself, and you aught to as well. No one else will ever be you, you might find it to your own benefit to give life, as you alone experience, your full attention. Or not, I truthfully don’t care.
Label me what you will, a terrorist or a radical – I am an anarchist!
I. Beautiful terribleness
Brought to life by my own two hands, my grisly deed of terror. Suffering wrought, or has it always been? Not my beauty! My beloved! You might find me hideous, though will I ever truly care? I know of my own beauty, even as I am reduced to my grisly deed.
What is good to a lion’s prey will forever remain evil to the lion. What am I? My queenly deed? I am beautiful, lest you ever get it twisted – I have transgressed morals. It may remain terrible to some, the beauty then need not be lost; My beauty will not be lost on me.
I will never find your pious facade of Law, Order, Peace to be beautiful. It is gross, that you wish to rule me. The great reality I reside in is paltry. Ugly and just, upheld with all manner of force and violence – Your rule will never be more, despite your carefully chosen wordage.
Beauty remains subjective, so for what do you ultimately stand? I will know merely from how I am perceived, my defiance of the State’s will. Certainly you will be evermore governed by moralistic dogma. I choose to, instead, behold my own beauty.
I will meet your perspective, as mine will never be – My terror is terrible; for you.
That ATM, that store, that church – and a million more! My anarchy is beautiful, you terribly pious minister. As you will never be, I am always. Understand me right, filth – I have made no excuse for my terror. I will not be the only beautiful anarchist. Most of us are, if you ever manage to witness us through your shattered windows; anarchy is beautiful.
To bring about anarchy, I will do so beautifully; My deed will exist.
I know you desire that I succumb to the traditional narrative – I am to see myself as wrong, troubled, in need of change. I refuse to conform, to turn my Deed sour (I think of Gerlach and Meyerhoff). What I have made will not be taken from me and turned on its head. I am not a crazy, trouble youth – like you, I am a human robbed of my birthright through property, the State, Law. Oh, to be free. Defiance is brave, bold, daring. Of doing as you are commanded?
Morals impose restrictions upon what the militant may or may not do. Hard lines are drawn in the sand by morals, the ‘moral police’. Why? Do you feel guilt destroying an ATM to deny its exploitation? I can assure you it is indifferent to your ‘carnage’. The ATM won’t call you ugly, that task appears reserved for those who own property and their defenders. Ugly, terrible, without reason – No! Cold, rational, beautifully terrible.
There is a terrible beauty, a beautiful terribleness, to one’s deed; criminal. I will always see it. The beauty is tantalizing, almost – Are not all capable of their own deed?
Woe unto the store, the window, the ATM. Ha! They had far worse coming, for what meaning ‘worse’ has. The terror sown by property, endlessly, seems far too normalized to be called so – the earth was mine before ‘property’ defined this ownership as ‘theft’. Property – it is ugly.
What is terrible? Is my defiance, to my rulers, to not always be seen as so? “Death to the Anarchist who defies my rule, my Law!” – And I am to find your spineless bending-of-ones-knee to be beautiful? Not a chance. Criminals, of which anarchists are many, and their deeds remain beautiful.
Terrible is any who dare defy the State, who call in to question its rule or Law. I am terrible – terribly bored.
Perhaps you see my beauty, too.
II. My subjugation
I have always known of my own subjugation. The life I merely see, not live. Choice. Coercion. Violence. Order.
What is Order? Is it to always demand I be lesser, another to be greater? Is ‘Order’ to always mean ‘the many individuals are controlled’? Our ‘order’ we know of is no more than threats of violence. It is not in my interest to be threatened, to be placed beneath another; controlled. I want control over my own life. Instead, my life has been one ruled by the State. Instead, I am governed.
I have always known Law and its threatening grip on my being, or Property and what its definition prevents of me.
There has always been someone ruling over me.
My life has never truly been my own.
III. A desire to be free
I demand my own freedom, not merely ask. You will not ever find freedom from begging – I will take my desire into my own hands. I will be free.
IV. My Deed
My deed will always be. It shall always exist. My deed will only ever be mine, and it stands to become far more than myself.
It is propaganda.
I am constantly creating during my brief wake, my lapse from the comfortable bliss of non-existence. I consume my very person, eternally, to do so. What will I create?
Anarchism – I will create anarchy.
What is being? Being is. Being as one’s present, as one has been or will be. Being is the forever present – it is.
Nothing is sacred, lest it rule me – Law. I will defy any who wish to impose their rule on me. My life is to be made by my own design, born from the creative nothing and coerced by no one or thing.
When will you take control of your own life?
My life began, my self-designed insurrection, with my defiance of Law. What is illegal? Law damns as illegal all that the State demands individuals not create – illegality, comprises a vast range of activities which the State has attempted to coerce individuals into not performing by threats of violence, activities such as squatting, theft, possession of particular plants, and disregarding national borders.
Illegal is noble.
What could amount to more virtuous than to defy the State’s will, tos challenge its icy wrath?
Illegal acts, freed from the presuppositions that denounce them as evil or heinous (and need I remind any of moral relativism), are merely acts. I can desire one be robbed, another not – the act of robbery itself need not forever be renounced by myself as reproachable. I will not have Law impose its moralism unto my mind, the very Law that would, with no question, imprison countless of my comrades.
Perhaps you ought analyze your conceptions of Law, Order, Just, Right – how often these spectres demand you subjugate the ‘criminal’, the ‘disorderly’, the ‘unjust’, the ‘wrong’! Your authority does not go unnoticed, moralist. Not yet a millennium has passed since the outright possession of human beings was upheld as ‘good’, a person’s freedom ‘bad’, and mind you there are strong arguments that our ‘justice system’ amounts to a reinvention of slavery – and I am to, with no question, subvert my own desires to your moral dogma, your code of Law?
I’d rather take your lunch money.
Write to Comrade Candle at:
Sofia Johnson 23976151
24499 SW Grahams Ferry Rd.
Wilsonville, OR 97070