Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Case for Non-Violent Resistence

Given the extraordinary power of the corporate elite and the devastation they continue to wreck on countless populations for their profit, given the threat they pose for the very survival of our species,  while I am convinced beyond doubt that violent resistance does not and will not work, I am deeply troubled that my convictions have been reduced of late to almost entirely utilitarian arguments.

"They" have a near monopoly on violence. "We" don't. That violent acts--say, assassinating the most egregious corporate murderers, would unleash a reactionary repression that might establish the aims of the Corporate Global Police State for the duration.

While these considerations are persuasive, they do not address the deeper ethical questions they ignore.

I'm reminded of a debate I witnessed in a jail cell in Canton Mississippi in 1966 between those who defended Martin Luther King's non-violent action and those who wanted to claim that there was an end to what could be accomplished by non-violence: that even it violence failed, it would create a threat of destabilization unacceptable to established power, driving them to offer compromises they otherwise would not be willing to offer.

Utilitarian arguments are the ultimate slippery slope, inevitably implying justification of might makes right.

Please, offer me a better argument than "it doesn't work.'

1 comment:

  1. The clean-up's a whole lot easier when I "spill your black lake of Cannibal ink." Blood stains are no picnic.

    Quoted words from