In the run-up to the spectacular promotional event that is Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, the two hosts have been promoting it like Avon representatives. In last night’s segment, they talked to Washington’s indigenous protesters, including one prominent DC anarcho-cutie. When asked to write an encapsulating slogan on a piece of poster-board, the masked anarchist wrote “MAKE TOTAL DESTROY.” (Watch the clip here)
Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee says, “That makes no sense,” but that’s because she’s not familiar with contemporary ultra-left mythology. Here’s the way I remember hearing the story, I don’t know if it’s true per se, and I don’t suppose it much matters. There was an anti-IMF consulta in DC, and representatives from all over the world were discussing what actions their communities would take locally. Person by person, they detailed comprehensive plans for direct actions, balancing risks and possible rewards, the various statements they would be making, the composition of coalitions, etc. These kinds of meetings can stretch on and on, and are often filled with all sorts of bullshit posturing and rarefied code words. In short, they can be insufferable. The discussion finally gets around to a Greek anarchist group. The Greeks are internationally known for being especially militant (and awesome). Their spokesman addresses the assembly and says simply, “We will make total destroy.” Everyone looks incredulous and confused. The Greek spokesman, fearing he has miscommunicated, excuses himself to confer with his group. He speaks with them in hurried Greek, and the rest of the assembly seems relieved that there will be further explanation. After the short clarification, the spokesman turns to the room again and says, “Yes, we will make total destroy.”
That phrase, bridging the gap between strategy and tactic, has become a slogan. “Make total destroy” is a step past the ossified anti-neoliberal struggles, with their summits and counter-summits, and summits to plan the counter-summits. Eschew bureaucracy, embrace bricks. So Samantha Bee, that is the story of “make total destroy,” or at least one of the stories. For those who will be in town for the rally and are looking to make a little total destroy themselves, check out the parallel “rally” Million Molotov March on Facebook.