Monday, January 30, 2012

Non-Violence: Forum Discussion on OccupyPhilly Web Page

Forum discussion opened on Non-Violence: Occupy Web Page, Free University of Philadelphia Forum

My first commitment is to communal anarchism--non-hierarchical direct democracy: "Nothing about us without us!" For me, this entails a secondary commitment to non-violence, which is both strategic and consequential. Violent action fails on both counts. Active, aggressive, and transgressive Non-violence—not “Pacificsm!’

Individual, spontaneous violence fails strategically. It does not, and cannot effectively threaten or change existing power structures. It produces no effective message that might expand revolutionary action beyond small fringe groups, easily contained and crushed. It represents most of all--a suicidal inversion of anger. It’s only real message: “We are so angry we want you to destroy us, and we will make it as easy as possible for you to do so!”

With organization, discipline and leadership, violence can be effective.

But the very vertical power structures which enable its success outlast its efficacy and purpose and installs in turn, new regimes of oppressive power.

Communal power does not reside in or depend on, and cannot be created by violence… or in Simone Weil’s terms: Force – which turns a human person into a Thing, at worst… a corpse… and becomes itself Master of those who falsely believe they can control it. (Simone Weil: The Iliad: a Poem of Force) .

The regimes of power we would change are regimes of Force. Freedom in any meaningful sense, is freedom from the arbitrary compulsion of Force, freedom to work out our lives and decide together without surrogate gods, leaders or so-called ‘representatives’ deciding for us, telling us what we need and what we desire. I see no way to win that freedom by robbing us of its very essence—by the self-slavery to yet another set of Masters in yet another Empire of blood and theft.

1 comment:

  1. Very well spoken, Jacob Russell! And stay out of jail while you're at it, darling.