Path of the Black Flag- Revolutionary Strategy

The structure of a simple guerrilla warfare or...
The structure of a simple guerrilla warfare organization (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The revolutionary strategy is simple, if not easy. Anarchists want to destroy government (all governments theoretically, but usually one government at a time.) How do you destroy a government? You raise an army and fight it.

While that is the broad strategy, the tactics of Anarchists differ from the tactics of other armies. Anarchist armies are usually at a great disadvantage when it comes to numbers, training, and resources. So, they must adapt to those limitations. Instead of fighting the government forces head on, they prefer sneak attacks, hit-and-run maneuvers- in short, guerilla tactics. It’s all about weakening the enemy, disrupting their logistics and intelligence, so that when you do attack them, their size, resources, and training can’t help them.

While the Revolutionary strategy is one of the most commonly used Anarchist strategies, second only to the Trade Union strategy, it is least popular among the great Anarchist thinkers and theorists. The theorists dislike it because it is so easy for an Anarchist revolution to forget, compromise on, and betray its original reasons for existence. Many Anarchists philosophers see the very act of forming an army, even to to fight governments, as perpetuating the problems of government. They feel the temptation for the Anarchists commanders, and their soldiers, to give up control after they win would be too great. Still, from many Anarchists it is the most familiar, most comfortable form of resistance they know, so Anarchist revolutions keep happening.

It should be noted that Anarchist revolutions rarely happen in a vacuum, during peacetime, and rarely on their own. Most often, they are part of a more general revolt or war against another government. If a civil war breaks out, or if most of the army is away fighting some other power- that is when an Anarchist revolution is most likely to occur.

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