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Monday, September 14, 2009


Insurgent illegality is not to be mistaken for criminality. Yes, the insurgent outlaw does commit crimes and may do well to have some peripheral underworld connections...But the professional criminal is using crime to make a living, whereas the insurgent outlaw is consciously trying to undermine the mores, laws and manners of society. The intelligent criminal will have friends among the enforcers of the law, because this is good business; the insurgent outlaw will avoid such connections, because her desire is the creation of a life that recognizes no law...Any connection with the enforcers of law endangers such a life. There are outlaws whose rejection of law is based on a moral principle - usually an abstract conception of "anarchy" or "freedom" or "individuality." But these outlaws only wish to replace state law with moral law. The insurgent outlaw is amoral - he rejects law in all its forms, because it restricts her life and limits his possibilities. An insurgent outlaw may destroy a stolen item, sell it on the black market, keep it or share it among friends - as it pleases her. He may rob a bank and use the money for a project, squander it on friends, take a trip or burn it. But moral outlaws will feel obliged to use all stolen goods for their chosen cause.


Professional criminals are not outlaws. They dance with the law and twist it to their own ends. They break laws not out of defiance, but for economic reasons. Within their subculture, they have quasi-laws and methods of enforcing them. But their illegal jobs are better than most legal jobs because they involve elements of risk: the thrill of outwitting the heat. It may be wise for the professional criminal to stay in one place, to create established connections. But for the insurgent outlaw? No, never in one place for very long. The insurgent outlaw no more wants to be integrated into the criminal subculture than into mainstream culture or any alternative subculture...


The insurgent outlaw is consciously trying to increase her power of self-creation in opposition to society. His ability to do so demands wits, courage and the capability to become invisible. Thus, insurgent outlaws often live as vagabonds - passing through, but never settling and becoming defined. Their lives, as much as their illegal activities, are also an attack against society.

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