With all of the legitimate grievances the American people have against the federal government, it is difficult to imagine that perhaps some of them wouldn’t be advocating for the collective exercise of their right of revolution. The cradle-to-grave dictates from all of the Administrative Agencies truly pushes past the boundaries for what constitutes a limited government; and as such, they were the ones who breached the contract with the people when they chose to rebel against the United States Constitution. These rebels are the ones responsible for the demise of our country, so is it any wonder that the people are beginning to rediscover various techniques of guerrilla warfare?
Monkey-wrenching, as I wrote about over two years ago, is the colloquial term for sabotage; monkey-wrenchers, by definition, are saboteurs (in much the same way the Maquis were during WWII). Earth First!, the environmental organization credited with advocating this neologism, currently defines monkey-wrenching as:
“Monkeywrenching is a step beyond civil disobedience. It is nonviolent, aimed only at inanimate objects. It is one of the last steps in defense of the wild, a deliberate action taken by an Earth defender when almost all other measures have failed.”
You should keep in mind that anti-propertarians of various stripes do not consider property destruction to be inherently violent, whereas those who value private property do; so, I think you can reasonable infer from their definition what Earth First!’s attitude towards property rights happens to be. By contrast, here is how James Jarboe of the American secret police chose to define monkey-wrenching:
“The FBI defines eco-terrorism as the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.”
As you can tell here, the FBI considers monkey-wrenching to be exactly the same as what they describe to be “eco-terrorism” (or alternatively as “ecotage”). Jarboe decried monkey-wrenching specifically, and direct action more generally, as types of criminal activities that the FBI and their “law enforcement partners” investigate. John Lewis additionally said that the FBI cooperates in investigations with foreign LEOs on eco-terrorism cases, because the Bureau has made the investigation and prevention of ecotage a “domestic terrorism investigative priority.” Although some individuals have claimed that monkey-wrenching could be more broadly described as little irritants to help “wake people up” by slowly delegitimizing the system, I think this muddies the water, as it were, by confusing attrition warfare with culture jamming.
So, where did monkey-wrenching come from? It is true that it originated from those environmentalists who grew disillusioned with reformism, so they decided to reorganize themselves around the idea that they were the last humans who were dedicated to the preservation of Nature, and this commitment of theirs was demonstrated by their acts of sabotage against the corporatocracy. These government unions for anti-free market plutocrats were able to financially profit from harvesting the raw materials from the land while keeping potential competitors out of their respective industries (not to mention how they were able to socialize the costs of “development” onto the taxpayers). The cherry on top was that these very same environmentalists also knew that the federal bureaucracy was already subject to regulatory capture, thereby exacerbating this whole tyrannical situation; this is why the Administrative Agencies of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and especially the United States Forest Service (USFS) are the sworn enemies of the monkey-wrenchers, because they are the socialized mercenaries working ultimately on behalf of the United States Congress.
What are the strategic goals of monkey-wrenching, though? Very simply, the idea here behind this class of guerrilla warfare techniques is to conduct a war of attrition; namely, to substantially increase the rebels’ costs high enough to the point where (ideally) they choose to just up and quit because their designs upon the environment are simply not worth it to them anymore. Obviously, in this context, the implementation of such a military strategy would necessarily entail property destruction, so if the enemy rebel forces were in control of “the law,” then why wouldn’t they use their bar attorneys to cast those captured saboteurs into the government dungeons?
The techniques of monkey-wrenching are vast and numerous. Better than describing them in any real length, I’ll list a few of them for you so you’ll begin to get an idea of what monkey-wrenching actually entails:
No doubt you can infer that much of monkey-wrenching could be considered as vandalism or destructive culture jamming, but this would be an oversimplification. Vandalism presumes that the destruction or defacement in question was chaotically random, whereas monkey-wrenching is deliberately and purposefully conducted in accordance with that abovementioned attrition strategy. This is further evidenced by the tactical principles of monkey-wrenching, which are:
- Nonviolent (in the sense that no action is ever taken against human or animal life)
- Not organized (no formal organizing, in any case)
- Individual (usually by solitary civilian operators)
- Targeted (because vandalism is counterproductive)
- Timely (that is, non-interference with public civil disobedience)
- Dispersed (under the leaderless resistance model)
- Diverse (not just demographically, but also in terms of specialization)
- Fun (not boring)
- Non-revolutionary (it is self-defense of the wild only; also, no firearms are used)
- Simple (improvisation of tools and safety during operations is paramount)
- Deliberately ethical (thoughtful planning & the embodiment of a warrior ethos)
These principles are what justifies the use of their techniques. It is more important to understand why they act the way they do rather than how, because by doing so, it gives us a barometer by which to judge ourselves.
Obviously, it goes almost without saying, that monkey-wrenching is thoroughly and completely illegal. Not only does it violate mala prohibita, but unlike civil disobedience, monkey-wrenching takes the initiative by waging attrition warfare against the government. Although not all forms of “taking the initiative” need be in the context of conducting a guerrilla warfare campaign (such as by forming a security team or establishing a local Committee of Safety), it can definitely be applied that way.
I would like to take this opportunity to reemphasize the necessity for a genuine security culture. With all of the informants and vortexes swirling around us, it would behoove each and every one of us to at least keep our own counsel (even if you choose never to engage in monkey-wrenching). Each one of us can learn something from Jan Karski’s experience in remaining invisible from the Nazis.
Dave Foreman and Bill Haywood’s Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching is quote a provocative manual about a class of guerrilla warfare techniques; in fact, the word “Haydukery” refers to committing an even broader class of acts, which also encompasses methods of revenge, in addition to monkey-wrenching. Interestingly enough, monkey-wrenching is currently experiencing a noticeable resurgence, specifically targeting GMO crops. Yet, if you were to consider the fact that none other than Edward Abbey wrote the forward to this book, then I believe it would just be a matter of time until there was widespread hatred of genetically modified organisms by the American people. I will leave you with this paragraph from Abbey’s astute observation of American politics back in the (oh-so-appropriate) year of 1984:
“Representative democracy in the United States has broken down. Our legislators do not represent those who elected them but rather the minority who financed their political campaigns and who control the organs of communication – the Tee Vee, the newspapers, the billboards, the radio – that have made politics a game for the rich only. Representative government in the USA represents money, not people, and therefore has forfeited our allegiance and moral support. We owe it nothing but the taxation it extorts from us under threats of seizure of property, or prison, or in some cases already, when resisted, a sudden and violent death by gunfire.”