Title: ‘The State Always has a Conspiracy... Have You?’
Author: Anonymous
Date: 2013
Source: from Return Fire vol.1
Notes: PDFs of Return Fire and related publications can be read, downloaded and printed by searching actforfree.nostate.net for "Return Fire", or emailing returnfire@riseup.net

We know we can't win on our own or with the few friends we know, there's just not enough of us, we would never be able to make any great impact. Fighting alone was always preferable to surrender, no doubt about that, but we want to see more fuses being lit in insurgent hearts... So we write.

We aren't asking you to join us, that's ridiculous, why should you? You don't know who the fuck we are! You have your own boundaries and territories, your own limitations.

Maybe you're one of the people (one of many) who doesn't need anyone to tell them that there's something profoundly wrong with everything that makes up modern life. Something uneasy, unhealthy, unnatural, that just won't stop creeping in at the edges, regardless of what is put in front of us to spectate, consume or believe in.


We know you're scared, so are we, but sometimes we get brave and that happens when we get out there without the blinkers, and see our existence for what it is. Let's be honest with each other: when so many people can't even feel their chains, or clamour for more when they associate those chains with Freedom(TM), how can any such utopia as an anarchist 'society' take root beyond the fringe? As the overarching slave-ship we are press-ganged onto from birth then told we are somehow indebted to, 'Society' is the slaughter-house of our dreams and individualities. It is being part of a Mass instead of a freely-chosen family, and what we want is not conceivable in the same terms. We see no inherent value in the multitude simply because of their weight in numbers: slavery to the will of a social majority is still slavery, and far from a desirable condition for free and intimate existence.

We feel too impatient to wait 'for the community's health to improve' and move as a whole towards an uprising against the global elites and local despots, we'd wait for donkey's years, we aren't going to sit back and wait for this or that collective to shed it's poison so it can function.

But even when earning converts or concessions aren't our aims, the challenge is overwhelming – so many barriers, so many pitfalls, so much inexperience to overcome with our frail human bodies.

The one thing that we know for sure is: everything must go. Destroying the State, the Industrial System and dismembering the cowardly interpersonal relationships within Society is the bare minimum that can leave us or future generations the chance to construct free, genuine lives, and this is depressingly beyond our scope in present times. But we are out for everything we can get to satisfy our passion for liberty here and now, and beginning that pressing task, even alone, infinitely expands our vision of what can be made into flesh by our hands. We feel the only time is now, waiting is constipation... Anyway why wait when we've already ourselves learned hard lessons in conflict and survival?


Touched by the system's violence throughout our lives, it turned out to be a kick up the ass, sending us into a wanton whirlwind of revenge and conspiracy. Rejecting the role of the victim, lashing out, smashing the symbols, gradually building stronger capacities to shit-up the greedy capitalist dictators along with their blind devotees, opening up to grasp new possibilities and techniques.

The truth is: there seems to be really only one way to gain the confidence and that's taking the plunge, just starting to fight no matter what scale you start from, knowing there's no safety net to jump in but that no less than our uncaged lives are at stake. We have found comfort and inspiration in the messages of others who are engaged in open revolt, and we know that sparks can fly and fire-up others who feel scared and gagged by oppressive societies the world over. We have discovered that despite the death-march of this civilisation, lit up with endless headlights and leering billboards, we are not spiritually dead, and that we are able to assert ourselves.

Though we feel upset and frustrated at our present limitations and sometimes stagnant situations, things do shift, if only slowly, and we can become the authors of our own movement. Each time we succeed in breaching our enemies' fences to land a blow, whether brazen or in stealth, we win something in ourselves. Each time we take back something we're taught could never be ours, whether sharing subversive choices with one another, intimacy with the Earth we're part of and our wild impulse even in the heart of their empires, or just the ability to eat and find shelter outside the economy's logic, we win something in ourselves.


Outside the urban built environment there is definitely a comparative sense of emotional calm, which we must remember to take as a much-needed respite from the war in the city where we are boxed in without enough space for any healthy creature: stifled by traffic, walls, advertisements, misery, resignation, overcrowding, exploitation, security guards, cameras, cops. Not to mention the rich collaborators and other obedient servants of the commodity machine, always watching with condemning eyes those who act outside of their prescribed market exchange, as we try to become ever-more of a spanner in the works of this human-powered factory. The margins are rapidly disappearing to economic enclosure and total commercialisation: part of our war becomes struggle for the basic interconnectedness with a live habitat which could even give us a sense of what we're fading from, give us something to fight tooth and claw to keep our own. We can observe, from the last besieged tribes and unwillingly dispossessed peasants across the world, the vital fighting force found in people who still have some more reciprocal relationship with living surroundings. Generally in the Western world most of the ground has already been lost (literally) to urban civilisation, and most of the popular opposition movements can only imagine fighting for vaguely reorganised versions of our own helplessness and degradation to the city-machine. This is why we insist on taking the struggle against modern alienation for what it is: life or death, or worse, survival drained of any meaning and dignity festering in the existential turmoil of domesticated non-life.


We're told this is 'peace time', as they choose to call it, but this is wartime to those of us distracted by struggle, those who didn't heed the soothing blanket broadcast “It's time to lay down your weapons”. If you feel connected to life and spirit you will always find yourself cast into a fight when in the metropolis and its world, even if it's only keeping your head above the water with dignity and supporting your loved ones to do the same. Not everyone can handle being one of the citizens with their off-the-shelf straightjacket lifestyles.

So when we fight, with every stolen moment and every forced break from the shit we're drowning in, we are here for ourselves. You hold on to it, when you find an empowering coping mechanism, to help deal with processing the slavery that surrounds you, unwilling to accept restrictions that we appear to have. And the chains are never too tight to keep us from rebelling, it's how creative we are, it's whether we choose to side with the State or just act out token gestures of polite protest, or commit to freeing ourselves (alongside others) by putting ourselves on the line in the battle to realise our dreams.


Some of the more important skills and tools we have found to kick out some of our fears and kick-off our war for total liberation are: understanding your limitations, finding out who you can rely on, getting an in-depth knowledge of your surrounding terrain, obtaining access to diverse resources and weapons (however improvised), the ability to blend in when necessary and stay mobile, some form of media outlet and places to hide. The State always has a conspiracy... have you?

We're in a rush to kick out all the dull, poisonous things, so we look out in our lives for what gaps in the system we can exploit – foraging, fraud, theft – not to make an idol out of illegality within the current system (more satisfying though it is), but just to help us piece together what time and skills we need for an emotional and insurrectional transformation out of this passive social state. Life is not black and white, we have and need no model for 'purity', but we try to find the path least damaging to our rebel pride. We couldn't wait until we'd 'cleansed ourselves of the system' before we started tearing it down...

And when we cock our ears, we can hear crashing in the ghettos and echoes in the distance of others brave enough not to 'cope', proud enough not to kneel. These are our comrades – the ones that are trying to take this war forward, not necessarily your friends or those you know, or dress like you, or whose style you accept...

We count ourselves lucky to hold some social warriors close to us in this crisis of daily life. We see we are in this together – so we choose to be forgiving of ourselves and our similarly-scarred companions as we heal together. We remember to stock-pile our ammo and basic supplies, tending our bodies with nutrition and affection, keeping our hand well in with the fight, motivated by our instinct to refute the platter proffered to us as The Best Life Ever(TM), the end of history.

Our different experiments in practical non-compliance fulfil more than we can find in navel-gazing 'self improvement', shrink-wrapped social scenes, or heartless political platforms, how boring! We don't take the fun out of fight-back. Our struggle is far from compulsory radical routines and set-ups: we choose our time, our place, our terms. We follow our own inquisitive, demanding, adventure-loving spirits: there is nothing to prove to anyone else. And when the strain of our intense struggle begins to fray the edges, we have no guilt complex about stepping back to leisurely refine our aim, giving our time and attention to others we love, but it's never long until we're back and embarrassing the authorities by flaunting law and order in their faces once again...


We're always happy to complement (in practical terms) any social explosions that seem promising and touch us: but before then, and when the dust has settled again, we'll still be trashing and burning everything we can in the bid to spend our days as warriors rather than pawns. So instead of some official Party, some Class, some externally-validating social structure, we guess that (like our 'radical' critics say) this is a 'lifestyle' for us because it won't be a Society. From the track-record of that template, another Society would only corrupt our sociability and individuality into more customs, conditioning and captivity (of course, free small-scale association is another matter, and seems more fitting for anarchist ideas). But the lifestyle is something real and concrete that we own, breathe oxygen into and hold in our hands, the treasure of our own insurrectionary times. But we want more, much more...

They (the cops) have a helicopter, so what, we are getting away with it...”

- poster on the streets of Bristol, U.K.