Something has bothered me for a few years now. During protests, riots, or any form of peaceful or violent demonstration, people on the political left, as well as anarchists (however you want to classify them) tend to wear Guy Fawkes masks. The mask has become synonymous with anonymity, and it tends to convey a message of rebellion against the establishment. The rebellion part makes sense. Guy Fawkes, after all, was one of the men behind the Gunpowder Plot against the British Crown. What doesn’t make sense is why, out of all the ‘rebels against authority’ in history to choose from, contemporary left wing movements would settle on using this man’s persona.
Guy Fawkes was so far to the right it’s hard to describe. This is a man who wanted to re-institute Catholic rule in Britain, by assassinating King James I. Essentially, he thought the British monarchy wasn’t conservative enough. Why on Earth did this man get chosen to be the face of left wing activism? He was an old school, western reactionary conservative. Not in the same sense American conservatives are conservative today, but even further from what the modern left would want. Maybe most people wearing the mask don’t know their history? Maybe they just don’t care. I couldn’t tell you.