Just a reminder: today is Tyrannicide Day, the commemorations of the nearby assassinations of Czar Alexander II on March 13th, 1881 (124 years ago Sunday, give or take the relevant calendar adjustments), and Gaius Julius Caesar on March 15th, 44 CE (2,048 years ago today, give or take the relevant calendar adjustments).
It’s worth remembering in these days that the State has always tried to pass off attacks against its own commanding and military forces (Czars, Kings, soldiers in the field, etc.) as being of a piece with terrorism against civilians. This is, in fact, what virtually the entire record of so-called
terrorism attributed to 19th century anarchists was: direct attacks on the commanders of the State’s repressive forces. But that just ain’t terrorism. I think there are plenty of reasons–strategic reasons, not moral reasons–to criticize the strategy that lay behind the assassinations of Czars and Princes in the late 19th century, or for that matter the assassination of Julius Caesar, but the fact that the brutal absolute monarch of a monster State lay dead at the end of it is not among them.
The fact that someone puts a crown on his head and wraps himself in the bloody robes of the State does not make him anything more than a person just like you or me, and the same principles of just self-defense apply when it comes to the crowned heads of Europe as apply to some freelance thug on the street. The right to challenge the princes and potentates of the world as fellow human beings, subject to exactly the same moral principles as you and I and anyone else, has been at the core of every movement for human liberation in history. And thank God for it. That’s something worth commemorating a lot more than, say, the births of a couple of jerks who got themselves selected as President.
Beware the State! Celebrate the Ides of March!