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V For Vendetta

category dublin | arts and media | news report author Monday May 22, 2006 16:00author by V - anarchist youthauthor email anarchistyouth at riseup dot net Report this post to the editors

Anarchist Youth Pirate Film Showing

After spending a long week outside St. Patricks Cathedral Anarchist Youth yesterday held a film showing to allow everyone to relax. We chose to show the major hollywood film "V For Vendetta" for free as we are opposed to the idea of entertainment as a commodity and intellectual property laws that outlaw downloading and sharing information (movies, music, games, software).

The following is the basic text of a talk given before the film.

V talks about "anarchy" in the comic
V talks about "anarchy" in the comic

V for Vendetta was originally a graphic novel written in the 80's by Alan Moore about a man taking on a fascistic regime and promoting "Anarchy". The comic was full of choice quotes on the nature of the state, justice and the struggle for a free society. The main character, "V", is an 18th century style "propaganda by the deed" anarchist who spends his time blowing up buildings and murdering people, it's all very exciting if not somewhat cliché.

Many American anarchists were enraged that V's "anarchist" message was cut out of the film and even launched a campaign to promote V as an anarchist and to fill people in on what was left out of the film taking the angle; "you know what V was against now find out what he was for". For me this shows the naivety of certain American anarchists, did they ever think that Hollywood would produce a film sympathetic to real revolutionary ideas? Surely they didn't think the Wachowski brothers, of "The Matrix" fame, would leave the story intact. Has Hollywood ever taken a decent idea and turned it into anything more than a dumbed down, meaningless, 2 hour long forumlaic product? But the question the question that really struck me while watching the film was, is V actually an anarchist?

Can anyone who acts on behalf of the people instead of alongside them consider themselves an anarchist? His so called revolution, a crude plot to overthrow the government by blowing up the houses of parliament would not and could never lead to an anarchist society, if anything it would only serve to strengthen the state. Capitalism is a social relationship, defined by the system of wage labour, class structures and the pursuit of profit. We have bosses and rulers, cops and big business all working together to keep the organised chaos of the free market ticking over.

In this film V seems to be little more than the crude personification of the media stereotyped anarchist. If he blows up parliament, will there be anarchy? Or would another set of rulers just step into place and continue business as usual? Unfortunately I think the latter is far more likely. This is why anarchists believe that we must build the revolution now in how we organise and we must make our ideas the leading ideas within society before we can ever hope to overthrow this system. To quote a comrade of mine arguing for an anarchist revolution ,

"For us means and ends are interconnected. The means we use influence the society we want to see and we feel that an anarchist or communist society cannot be brought about by centralising power. But this doesn't mean that we believe in a "quick change". Revolution isn't a spectacular event, it's a process. To stop a minority seizing power after a revolution we need to encourage the self activity and organisation of the Working Class in here and now. Following a revolution when the bourgeoisie state is overthrown there will obviously be a vacuum of power, or a dual power situation. This vacuum can be filled by the democratic (mandated) organs of the Working class or by a vanguard that takes control in the name of, and even possibly supported by the class."

Related Links,

Our site, made with open source software.
Torrent site where you can download copyrighted films, music, etc.
American "anarchist" site which claims V was an anarchist.

author by Aaronpublication date Sat Mar 17, 2007 15:51Report this post to the editors

You claim to be a writer, and yet you can't even spell "vendetta" ... I'm sure you're a writer. No, really, I am.

author by Jhonson - noNepublication date Fri Mar 02, 2007 06:18Report this post to the editors

Why I dislike corporations.

The corporations, are ran by people. They are people trying to make it just like you and everyone else around you. It is a competition. One that has excisted since humanity itself and even further back... sinse life itself. There is one rule and one rule only that governs all, and that is that the strong will prevail and the weak will fall, also known as "The Survival of the Fittest".

I don't like big business because it's success means my failure. In the wild that would mean that they live and I die, but in my case it merely means that they have the means to live more fulfilled lives then I do. I don't blame them, if I was in their place I'd ensure my stay on the ladder of success and keep reaching higher, but since I am not, you can obviously see where my dislike for them comes from. We are competing for the same scarce reasource, lets call it "success" (not necesarely money... money =/= success), and so far they are winning.

It is not so much that they are winning that bothers me. After all if you want to be a winner you must learn how to take a loss. No one will always win. But what bothers me is that, the "winners" have the ability to change the rules and they have. They have made it damn near impossible to win if you play by their game, but with common sense and great inteligence a person can and will prevail. I like to think that the people that laid the foundation for some of the most successful businesses in the world were very smart and practical individuals. They may have bent or broken the rules set before them but in the end they made it and their competitors didn't, which is what really matters here. After all before they were successfull they too played by someone elses impossible rules.

So what makes most people so unsuccessful?As far as corporations go, they go back much further than their present owners. It took generation after generation to build up to their current status. Those people and the generations before them have worked hard for what they have, because in reality you don't get what you want, you take it. I ,unfortunately for me, have no foundation. No one has layed even the first brick to my success. All my ancestors were worried about was mere survival not actual success, so if I don't change something the same chain of events may continue forever. People are unsuccessful for that exact reason, they do the same thing over and over, and expect different results.

In these "thoughts" of mine I have listed above I talk about success, not money. Money is not the measure of success because success has excisted long before money was invented. Money is today's measure of success, and what is success? Success is having the most of something that everyone is after.

Yes like most people here I dislike to be exploited, in turn I don't want to be a hypocrate so I don't exploit people, but exploitation is in the heart of every competition. You exploit your strengths and exploit your opponent's weaknesses. So in this compettitive world, everyone is fair game.

p.s. I am no writer, these are just ideas that come to me when I read about anarchy or watch movies about corruption and politics like "V for Vandetta"

- "Never fight under someone else's flag" -
- "You can't put a price on loyalty" -

author by Jamie Oliver Paramilitary frontpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 07:33Report this post to the editors

The film (cookbook not "V") struck me as someone who saw the title of the book as a great title for a film. Unlike say Richard Linklater's fast food nation (a dramatisation of the book of the same name) the film is just hanging its name on the book in the hope of some related kudos. Its a very simplistic film, a kind of moronic fight club (now theres a film thats dated badly) structurally basic and with rudementary politics hacked on to a traditional plot.

However that being said, flicking through the cookbook some years after I first picked up a txt file of it, the essays on anarchism are scant at best, and it seems more a demolision instruction book more than anything else. I mean come on, who really needs a gun that fires frozen oranges through pilewood? The politics of the cookbook seem incidently, It seems more like something an episode of jackass would try rather than a revolutionary text book.

Now that been said, anyone seen the german film "the edukators?"

author by Wandering off the beaten trackpublication date Fri May 26, 2006 07:24Report this post to the editors

I'll ask again the anarchist youth to clarify their "position" are they aganist copyright on principle or are they aganist copyright when it suits them? I mean are they willing to abuse the copyright of big business but want it respected on low budget independent projects? Do they respect the rights of people who chose to protect their project be it film, music or theater, or do they feel will to force their position on anyone who disagrees with them.

Put simply will the anarchist youth be storming into theaters and music venues and refuses to pay for plays and live gigs as well.

I'm just trying to figure out is this an actual politcal philosophy at work at here or just some posturing.

author by Oispublication date Fri May 26, 2006 00:13Report this post to the editors

To be honest C. I've never met any anarchist half as ridiculous as Joe Black in Anarchist Cookbook. And I've met alot of ridiculous anarchists.

Anarchist Cookbook was supposed to be a comedy though. Or I hope it was. I thought it was really quite funny.

author by Cpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 23:09Report this post to the editors

I thought the first 2/3 of The Anarchist Cookbook (note to the cops we're talking about the movie here not the original book!) had some relevant insights into the anarchist scene as I have experienced it ocer the years. The Joe Black (more militant than thou keep on escalating character) was familiar, last thrid gets a bit far fetched in the alliances even he makes. "But in Sweden........."

author by d'otherpublication date Thu May 25, 2006 20:22Report this post to the editors

Isn't that the one that conflates anarchism with fascism? There's another appaling German one called "What to do in case of fire" about a gang of ex-squatter members of an art collective that models itself stylistically on the RAF. As an art prank they set a bomb in an empty house and twenty years later it goes off, no ones injured but the five are forced to revisit their past in the autonome mileu, facing up to their own sell out and co-option. Of course one has remained pure to heart and watched his movement decay, no surprise by the end he ends up identifying more with the special branch cop who's been trailing him for years than his ex-comrades.

On V - it was an alright movie, it carried you through for the hour with all the edge of the seat excitment a good action flick should have. There were some substantial jarrings with the original comic that did my head in quite a bit. The updating to a post-911 scenario is really an idiots trick to assuage demands for some form of intellectualism in a generally arid Hollywood. Leaving it intact as a commentary on the fascistic aspects of states inspired by Thatcher would have been far more useful politically. It would have avoided the trap of counterposing a boring and uninspired American liberalism to a fascist state with a figure head as threatening as Dr X from Action Man. I think that at least, was Alan Moore's big problem with the film and why he had his name taken off it.

Another telling way this was just a cash cow with a very subtle political overtone was the amount of action sequences. V gets armed with knives in this, whereas in the comic he twarts his chasers and enemies with tricks and the force of his intellect - the film makers just give us some fancy action sequences for the third class bully boys. Also leaving out Finchs acid trip to get inside V's mind in Larkhill was a strange dumping of what could have been an interesting cinematic sequence. As for the final rebellion and the destruction of parliment - whatever, a nice rushy end to a standard action movie with its deeper political content dumped for a Rage Against The Machine "fuck you I won't clean up my bedroom" climax.

author by anopublication date Thu May 25, 2006 19:17Report this post to the editors


author by Cpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 23:04Report this post to the editors

While on the subject of anarcho pop fims, did anyone see the movie "Anarchist Cookbook"? Waddyathink?

author by Still herepublication date Wed May 24, 2006 22:28Report this post to the editors

So lets have it clear you're aganist copyright on principle, so by that logic you're just as happy stealing from a multi million dollar studio as a small indy low budget with the crew on differed salaries?

I'm just trying to figure out is just a double standard or an absence of principles.

As for the craftsman comment. Cop on you don't know many people who work in skilled environments. Plenty of people working in film be it prop making to gaffering and cameraman view themselves as dedicated craftsmen and women.

author by Ex-Peasantpublication date Wed May 24, 2006 00:28Report this post to the editors

Spare us the bollocks, and alusions of rebellion, by screening a movie that you didn't pay for you're in essence depriving the craftsmen that made the movie. you're exploiting the toil of others, not very anarchist now is it?

Craftsmen? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I suppose we are undermining the power of the guilds as well. Christ I hope the Lord doesn't punish us. I hope the Church doesn't excommunicate us.

Cop yourself on. Everyone who worked on this film has been paid their wage. Stealing it does nothing apart form cut into Warner Bros. profits. And quite frankly none of give a shit if we do that. We're anti-capitalists don't ya know.

Jesus who do you think you're talking to? We're ripping off craftsmen toil. HA.

If you're going to troll you'll need to come up with something better than that.

author by Cpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 23:17Report this post to the editors

The tone of the comments of "Be Realsitic...." & "Get Realistic" speaks to why movements have youth wings
1. Because you(th) don't have to put up with grumpy old men syndrome and
2. Us grumpy old men don't have to put up with the wonderful chaos that is youth. Please make your own mistakes in your own good time but don't drag us along to make the same mistakes we made 20 years ago.

The poster does hint at a debate inthe anarchist movement aroud "the freerider". The fettish around shoplifting around some anarchist scenes in the '70's rarely critiqued its consumerism. Most of the anarcho-shoplifters in our scene went on to smack addictions, the biggest consumer item subculture, managing to merge concepts of freedom & addiction. So that yipee early emphasis on "free consumption" could have done with a healthy balance of self managed production. And there are examples of that in the anarch-scene. The sign that still hangs over the Justice Products shop in Briz started by the anarcho CW's in '84 "Property is Theft, But Theft is the Begining of Property!" (please don't steal from this poverty ridden co-op etc)

This debate is also present in the contmporary freegan v vegan movements....

"By contrast, some vegans feel that the freeganism is inherently
unsustainable because: it does not economically support non-animal
alternativies; it avoids making an explicit statement about food of
animal origin; and it presents difficulty in determining the 'freeness'
of food, ie. food taken without permission from a buffet table may be
free to the recipient, but it has the potential to create a shortage
for others attending the buffet who might later fulfill their food
needs by purchasing animal-based foods. A common derogatory term for
freegans is "Opportunivore"."

author by pat cpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 18:32Report this post to the editors

Have to admit that I enjoyed the film V. It left out some (but not all) of the cutting edge of the original. But I think its as good as it gets from a Hollywood film. The Secret Police were portrayed as homicidal rapists, although there were some good ordinary cops. Like Stephen Rea, plodding along, only in the limelight because he was the CID DCI on the case. But (surprise, surprise) he uncovers corruption and wont stop digging. (Reminded me of the Berlin Noir Trilogy by Philip Kerr, set in Berlin in the 30's and 40's.)

It didnt have the politics of the comic but some of the cutting edge remained as was graphially portrayed a few minutes into the film when V cuts the throats of the Secret Policemen who are about to rape Evie. V then goes on to make a proper job of blowing up the Old Bailey. (Gerry Kelly please note.)

Is V an Anarchist? Is he a Platformist? Is he into propaganda of the Deed? Or is he solely motivated by personal animosities? Does it matter? Finally it is Mass Action that defeats the State. When tens of thousands of people dressed as V sweep through Army lines and the troops stand down. V has just beheaded the regime (and blown up Westminster Palace) but it is the masses who have overthrown it.

Anyway, its a film, enjoy it. Maybe someday Ken Loach will direct a version.

author by Dpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 18:08Report this post to the editors

And I found that it was quite thought provoking

- worth a watch - D

author by troll watchpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 14:19Report this post to the editors

"Spare us the bollocks, and alusions of rebellion, by screening a movie that you didn't pay for you're in essence depriving the craftsmen that made the movie. you're exploiting the toil of others, not very anarchist now is it?"

What a loads of shite, the film has huge profits in the multi-millions, if AY chose not to pay then that in itself can be considered a radical act, re-appropriation of entertainment.

Don't feed that angry little troll.

author by Get realisticpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 13:53Report this post to the editors

----We're not trying to pretend anything we're just posting the text of a talk to indymedia.----

Oh you're not are you, then what do you mean by this?

---we are opposed to the idea of
entertainment as a commodity and intellectual property laws that outlaw downloading and sharing information (movies, music, games, software).------

Spare us the bollocks, and alusions of rebellion, by screening a movie that you didn't pay for you're in essence depriving the craftsmen that made the movie. you're exploiting the toil of others, not very anarchist now is it?

As for the pretending, trying to hang some slender thread about how watching this film in the manner that you did, a free dowload, you're making a wider political point, is laughable.

then proclaiming some semblance of higher politcal thought was brought forward by discussing the disembowled politics of this film is as laughable as the producers who mae the film and claimed it made a statement on he current world politcal climate, they just couldn't elaborate what that statement is.

Anarachist youth? More like infantile wannabes.

author by young anarchistpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 12:57Report this post to the editors

As for Anarchist youth watching this film and trying to labour some profound point from it, there are plenty of intelligent copy left films on this subject matter which deal with the subject of revolution and anarchism, that you could have watched. you just fancied a bit of mindless entertainment and didn't feel like paying for it. Fair enough, but don't try and pretend theres a bigger point being made by watching this film in this manner.

We have done a film showing every month since we formed, so far we've watched; Land and Freedom, Zapatista, Fourth World War,The Take,etc. as well as doing showings of Berlusconi's Mousetrap and Surplus before AY was formed.

We're not trying to pretend anything we're just posting the text of a talk to indymedia.

Related Link: http://www.anarchistyouth.org
author by Be Realistic. Demand the Impossible, eh?publication date Tue May 23, 2006 12:52Report this post to the editors

------we are opposed to the idea of entertainment as a commodity and intellectual property laws that outlaw downloading and sharing information (movies, music, games, software).------

you feel you have a right to consume and absorb the labour of others without contributing anything towards it yourself? And you feel you're in any way different from people exploiting the toil of workers?

Yeah it's a big hollywood movie, but it's a movie with a team of craftsmen and artists laboured on, and you feel you have a right to consume the product of their hard work without contributing to it.

Spare us the prententious bollocks about entertainment as a commodity, I doubt you'd be okay if one of the editor's or camera crew came into your house and started eating your food. Which in essence is what you are suggesting people do.

As for Anarchist youth watching this film and trying to labour some profound point from it, there are plenty of intelligent copy left films on this subject matter which deal with the subject of revolution and anarchism, that you could have watched. you just fancied a bit of mindless entertainment and didn't feel like paying for it. Fair enough, but don't try and pretend theres a bigger point being made by watching this film in this manner.

author by Oispublication date Tue May 23, 2006 03:05Report this post to the editors

I think you make some good points but I'm curious about this:

If you want the film to deal with all the issues, what about the anarchist idea of spontaneaity of the working class. The film erronously leans towards this position.

I think the talk does deal with the spontaneism of the film:

Revolution isn't a spectacular event, it's a process. To stop a minority seizing power after a revolution we need to encourage the self activity and organisation of the Working Class in here and now.

That's not at all spontaneist.

I'm not sure what you mean by "the anarchist idea of spontaneaity". I mean anarchist have always said that the revolutionary movement is autonomous self activity of the working class. But I dont see how you could argue that we are wrong in doing so without giving some hackneyed Leninist answer that the working class is only capable of TU consciousness. But sure you don't need to be an anarchist to disagree with that. As Marx said "the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves".

author by Gearóid O Loingsighpublication date Tue May 23, 2006 01:32Report this post to the editors

I am not an anarchist of any sort and have never believed in the propaganda of the deed. There are many questionable aspects to the film in terms of how revolutions actually happen. However, the film was refreshing in that it raised, albeit with problems, the question of revolutionary violence and actually justified it. In the times that we live in of a "War on Terror" I found the vindication of revolutionary violence quite refreshing, though I share many of the criticisms already made.

Being a hollywood film it was never going to delve in deep into questioning or discussing age old quesitons on teh left about small groups and violence. In fact, the medium is quite unsuited to such a discussion. A revolt could never happen in the circumstances of the film, it would require some sense of organisation. If you want the film to deal with all the issues, what about the anarchist idea of spontaneaity of the working class. The film erronously leans towards this position. However, that does not detract from the main impact of the film to rescue the discussion on violence from the pit it has fell into.

author by Cpublication date Mon May 22, 2006 23:04Report this post to the editors

Haven't read the comic, but obviously by the opening period scene in the movie they were making the connections with Guy Fawkes. The makers of the film obviously chose the 400th. anniversary of Guy Fawkes to morph with the contemporary comic V. Last year there was even a Guy Fawkes/Gunpowder Plot exhibition running at British Parliament

Last year I was invited to give at talk on Guy Fawkes at an arts festival in England. Although claimed by anarchists "Guy Fawkes, the only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions!" Guy was Catholic. the burning of the Guy became an anti-Catholic celebration in both Britain and Australia, fireworks/cracker night.

The other speaker was a young playwrite who had written a work comparing what happened to Catholics in England after the Guy Fawkes/Gunpowder plot with what is happening to Muslims post -911. The area & audience was populated by olded Tories and many retired officer class military. The presentation took place the weekend after the London suicide bombings on the tube. It was an interesting afternoon alrighty!

Having seene the film with an old anarchist comrade, I don't think the Movie character V could be said was "acting on behalf" of anyone. He seemed to be taking the whole thing pretty personally. The final secnes reminded me of the Eneimem vid where all the black hoodies emerge fromall the oppressive situations (beaten woman, returned Iraq War Vet) to merge on a government building and......(WAIT FOR IT)....vote! Bit of an anti-climax there, E baby!

People take their resistance as far as they can, often depending on how much solidarity they are experienceing. Unless your a Ghandian who is going to plead guilty and ask for the max sentence, it is better to plead not guilty and politically organise around the court case/trial. To say that a jail experience is place where you can't "experience dignity" or empowerment is wrong. I've spent two years in jail cells, a lot of other more together people have spent a lot longer. Sometimesit felt like the most spiritually and politcially significant place to be to say NO to the state that continues to kill kids in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. You can jail the resister but not the resistance. As our movement grows jailings will be an occupatinal hazard.

Anarchist Youth is a wonderful dvelopment to this old codger anarchist. Hopefully it's a growing experience where people want to learn and grow. If you pretend to be right on politically correct- you're saying you've arrived and there's no room for growth. "If you're not busy being born, you're busy dying!:" (Bobby Dylan)

Obviosly V with its promo billoards is a pop anarchist phenomenon. For those of us who lived through '70's punk and its (for the larger pop part) co-option. It is good V the film be discussed, critiqued and discussed here.

And another thing........Piracy is for the greater part insurgent capitalism, even a U.S. war pane at Baldonnell was flying the skull and cross bones. So that might be worth thinking about as well.

author by Noise Hackerpublication date Mon May 22, 2006 20:32Report this post to the editors

Because you demand it – The electronic crusader returns!

5 – H T All colour comics present - Undergrounder V’s Commercialist -
5 – H T All colour comics present - Undergrounder V’s Commercialist -

author by Blehpublication date Mon May 22, 2006 20:06Report this post to the editors

Please, do you realy think that us anarchists are going to have the correctness of our politics and the vivacity of our commitment validated in a court room?

The court room is an un-heroic place that us anarchists unfortunately find ourselves, due to our beliefs, quite frequently . When we are in court and when we are facing the cold hand of the judicial system, we try to get out as quickly as possible and try not to go to jail. There is no dignity in a jail cell. It is not in front of the state that we need to justify our beliefs and have them validated but in front of our comrades and in the movement of our class.

author by young anarchist - anarchist youth (pers cap)publication date Mon May 22, 2006 17:12Report this post to the editors

One member of AY pleaded guilty due to personal reasons and another member got off his charges, please do get your facts right. We support our members by showing up in court and helping them out with their fines and there is a benefit planned to pay the fines of all those arrested in Baldonnel.

Those who chose not to fight in the courts did so knowing that the judicial system is corrupt to the core and that no change can be brought about using it, it must be destroyed at best and ignored at the least.

Anarchist Youth is a revolutionary force for change and will engage in many more direct actions against the state alongside the social organising and basic grounwork we engage in, we will not however be goaded into action by anonymous aging lefties, we pick our battles.

Related Link: http://www.anarchistyouth.org
author by Yawn!publication date Mon May 22, 2006 17:03Report this post to the editors

Twas a time for a while i thought that this group "anarchist youth" would be something to watch. A lot of noise was made leading up to the action at Baldonnel and alot of people where willing to show solidarity to those who chose to dissent. Everyone know it would end in arrests after all Baldonnel is a military air base and the guards in that area have not blotted there copy books like those in Shannon where the guards would be a little more reluctant to make arrests. Then they have alot more experience in securing that airport.

And there was arrests.

But what happened?

All those arrested pleaded guilty?

Were they guilty?

I thought at least one would fight the case but I got it wrong. For several years groups like disent and the grassroots have been organising demos, actions, etc. These have been sucessful to varying degrees but all have foundered at the courts for one reason or another? Why is this?

I cant blame anyone one for pleading guilty as I know the system takes alot out of you but I have to say I am disappointed they fight their charges.

This has been said before but activists in Dublin could learn alot for the anti-war people at Shannon who provided great support for those arrested at Shannon.

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