Existence 2/2017

The main subject of the spring issue of the anarchist revue Existence is “the Protectors of the Order”. We’ve decided to focus on police as an institution, which is a part of the wider repressive apparatus with its tools of control, surveillance, threat, discipline, punishment, and vengeance.

The presumption that the police exists in the first place in order to help to the common people is the same misleading as that we vote for politicians, who protect our interests, and that capitalists want to give jobs to the people. However, the whole repressive apparatus exists mainly in order to protect the order. Don’t imagine the order, though, as a swept street. The order is a system with certain values, ideology (declared ad nauseam, or cleverly hidden), and certain class of privileged, who gain profit from its setting – both material and social. The authoritarian power is kept alive both by ideology and when it is not enough, by brute force, and it doesn’t matter whether it is of psychological or physical nature.

In order to understand better the role of police, we’ve looked to the past how this institution even originated. We’ve used for this a transcription of the David Whitehouse’s lecture. In order to explain the nature of law, we’ve used then the classic of the anarchist theory, Peter Kropotkin.

If you’re not satisfied with the present order, sooner or later you’ll encounter the police. At such a moment, it is good to forget about the naive idea that “they cannot do anything to us, if we did not do anything wrong”. And this is valid on all continents. Not only that you can be beaten at the demonstration, you can spend also some time in the jail or be sentenced in an absurd and staged show trial. The anarchist Igor Ševcov talks within interviews about his own experiences.

We focus on various kinds or repressions. Sergej Gavrilin writes about his experience being enlisted in the Belarusian State Security. The text by Peta Kosovo tells the story of the systematic fight against the left, where repressive forces, fascist terrorists, and mafia stand side by side. The links between police and drug traffickers are illustrated by experiences from Mexico, and David Graeber explains how the police in the US became the repressive tool to gain money from the poorest.

Further in the issue, we introduce José Luís García Rúa, who passed away recently, and John Olday, the familiar anarchist caricaturist. In the article by Víctor Muñoz Cortés, we’ll return to the fates of the anarchist movement in times of Pinochet’s dictatorship, and Vadim Damier acquaints with the history of the environmental movement in Germany. The next look over Czechia’s borders aims to France, where people protested against the labour code, and to Belarus, where people stood up against the tax from unemployment.

As usually, the events calendar of the local anti-authoritarian movement is included, as well as texts of wall newspaper A3 from the last trimester. Together with our reviewer you can wonder at the publication of the Anarchy & Alcohol pamphlet by CrimethInc. And in a brief summary of some theoretical conceptions refusing work, we remind the topic of the previous issue.