Leaderless Resistance: Well Isn’t That Convenient?


I’ve suggested before that Anonymous qualifies as a leaderless resistance movement, though, frankly, I waffled on that a little bit because Anonymous hasn’t been violent.

Be that as it may, Anonymous does display many of the qualities of a leaderless resistance movement and it has recently put one of those on particular display.  Last month somebody hacked into Sony’s networks and stole a great deal of customer data, including credit card numbers.  The perpetrator left behind a file named “Anonymous” which contained the phrase “We are legion,” a part of the group’s slogan.

On a blog which claims to speak for Anonymous, a recent posting disavows responsibility for this raid on Sony, implying that Anonymous is not a crass criminal organization but instead is and asserting that it has “never been known to engage in credit card theft.”

I see.  The assertion may be true, but this is all very convenient, isn’t it?

The Anonymous movement is not only leaderless with no definable membership, but in fact it really exists only as an ideology, as Simson Garfinkel has helped us understand.  Hence, any action not consistent with that ideology was not undertaken by the movement, even if it was actually undertaken by someone thinking he/she was acting on behalf of the movement.

Hence, a leaderless resistance movement can be absolutely ideologically pure.  Oh, how the Marxists must be jealous.


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