Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Were Gandhi, King and Mandela Wrong?

The non-violent means we have so far used to save our Constitution, stop the imposition of a martial law state, and stop World War III seem to have failed*. The neocons are gearing up for an attack on Iran, we're not getting out of Iraq any time soon, people are getting beat up and arrested for exercising their Constitutional rights, the continuity of government plans and Reichstag laws have all been finalized, and the madmen could carry out another false flag attack at any time.

Indeed, some have argued that non-violence by itself and without the threat of violence has never worked, and claimed that those who think that the non-violent resistance of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Nelson Mandela was the decisive factor in their victories are ignorant. Others argue that this is misreading history.

I agree with those that argue:
Violence will achieve nothing, but will provide them with an excuse to crack down. The violent overthrow of government by the masses simply isn't possible in this day and age, nor is it desirable. Our strength lies in our solidarity and our ability to bring the machine to a screeching halt. When we resort to violence, we have compromised our strength and made ourselves weak.
Millions of people understand that 9/11 was an inside job (or at least that the government allowed it to happen), that the U.S. is fast becoming a police state, that the ruling elite of both the Republican and the Democratic parties care only for their corporate masters and not we the people, that the boys want war against alot of oil-rich countries. If large numbers boycotted the corrupt system, stopped providing goods and services for that system, stopped providing the resources that make that system possible, and poured out onto the streets in protest, the system's attack on Constitutional freedoms, its ability to carry out false flag attacks, and its drive for perennial world war would grind to a halt pretty quickly, without a single shot having to be fired.

It would be immoral to resort to violence when we haven't even taken those peaceful actions.

Indeed, we have to find a way to make non-violent resistance work. Because I believe that any acts of violence will be used as an excuse to crush all dissent: "The government could only go so far in acting against explicitly nonviolent organizations. That's why governments repeatedly pay spies to join nonviolent movements and try to turn them violent. The government often needs movements to be violent in order to be able to repress them effectively."

And while I am personally wholly against violent revolution for ethical reasons, I also believe -- on a practical level -- that without an organized resistance, a violent revolution would be doomed to failure anyway. And given the spying on emails, phone calls, etc., how can anyone organize such a resistance?

And even if those who claim that non-violent resistance has never worked are right (and I hope they are wrong), that doesn't mean that we can't use our creativity now to come up with a new solution. I passionately believe in the power of human creativity, in the ability to look at the impossible and to find a solution, in the human capacity to run into an impenetrable brick wall and to find an opening. Remember, Alexander Graham Bell and other great inventors fail hundreds of times before they find a way to do it.

Even if its never been done before, we can find a way to do it now. Even if traditional forms of non-violent resistance don't work, we can find new ways to exert leverage against the fascists. As just one example, some have argued that fascists in a technological society are highly vulnerable to non-violent acts. And the video-to-internet guys -- who didn't exist in Gandhi, MLK or Mandela's day -- who film the high and mighty being confronted by questions that the corporate media won't ask are creating an entirely new way to confront the powerful and level the playing field.

For both moral and practical reasons, I am 100% against violence and 100% for finding new ways to make non-violent resistance effective. It is the only way we'll win . . . and the only way that we will avoid becoming that which we are fighting against in the process.

Were Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mandela wrong? I hope not. But even if they were, let's make them right by taking their positive message of non-violent resistance and applying the real-world smarts, guts and creativity to actually make it work today.

I am not talking about giving up our right to self-defense under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. That is an entirely different issue, and I believe in the right to bear arms (and -- of course -- people who buy guns should learn how to handle them safely).

Legal Disclaimer (the small print):

I am NOT calling for the overthrow of the government or breaking any laws. In fact, I am calling for the reinstatement of our government. I am calling for an end to lawless dictatorship and a return to the rule of law. Rather than trying to subvert the constitution, I am calling for its enforcement, and for a return to the rule of law. Do you disagree with these goals? If so, then YOU are anti-American.

* On the other hand, one wise 9/11 truth activist says it would be better to say "can appear to be failing, unless one takes a broad perspective view". He argues: "It is true that the neocons are continuing to forge ahead with their insane plans. But that is not because we have failed, it is because we aren't succeeding enough YET to turn the tide. It could take years more to turn this tide in an overt way with tangible results reversing insane policies, but the tide IS turning. Slowly. Gradually. But certainly. Unstoppably. Yes, it is. We need to learn to trust that we will turn it in time to be effective in the long run, even as we fail in the short run."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your leadership

5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Non-violence is the ONLY acceptable means of protest in a "Democracy". No exceptions.

Key word - Democracy. A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation involving free elections.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, we still are a Democracy. Recent events and laws passed have put it at risk, but it's still kicking.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nonviolence - you've got it. Yes nonviolence does change things. And the way it works is by having an audience, and by having participants who act in accordance with morals, either their own, or those imposed by the audience/cameras.

In short, if a flower child comes by and sticks a flower in the barrel of your rifle, you'll have a hard time shooting them. It's just not morally justified. So, either you with the gun break down and fail to shoot despite your orders, or else your management sees eyewitnesses and cameras and decides that the sight of a soldier or police (you) shooting someone armed with a flower is bad PR.

Make no mistake, PR is a necessary ingredient. Gandhi, Mandela and MLK were all 20th century figures and were all in the news, and the news was unstoppable.

Before the 19th century, wars to extermination were far more common than people realize. In fact it was policy for the Mongols - if a city didn't surrender before they attacked, they would kill everybody, even chasing people who fled into the forests to make sure it was complete.

The Armenian Genocide was the first time that anybody gave a shit about military extermination of a people other than their own. The Turks couldn't understand why the Jewish ambassador from the USA cared about Armenian Christians. They are still trying to live it down to this day - it's one of the issues blocking their joining the EU.

The Turks made the mistake of exterminating without eliminating the evidence. The press was just way different circa 1800, genocide happened all the time, and there's little evidence cuz the main witnesses are all dead.

These days, it's impossible. Yes, Sudan is getting away with it, but everybody in the world is watching it happen, and make no mistake, it's hurting them. Would you date someone who worked for the Sudanese government?

So, the governments who aspire to the moral high ground can't kill or arrest anybody without some good justification. Your angry violent response is just the excuse they need.

That's why nonviolence works.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Margarita said...

new blogger here and have comments from my brother I would like to post and recieve feedback on:

That was an interesting Blog. Now I've gotta admit that the conspiracy stuff is very compelling but you have to read both sides.
To rant some more: each one of those planes had 6,000 US gallons of highly volatile aviation fuel onboard. When they hit at about 475 MPH the fuel started to burn and much of it traveled down the expansive WTC central elevator shafts shooting out elevator doors on the way down. This accounts for what looked like controlled explosions on lower floors. Even the Loose Change guys admitted that they are taking the controlled demolition theories out of their next updated version (They are also removing the WTC bldg 7 theories out).
Number one in my mind, though, is that no matter all the theories and denials Bin Laden admitted that they planned it and carried it out and so did his #2 :Zarqawi, You can't get beyond those Islamist Butt Heads. As big an asshole George Bush is, they are bigger and have had as much or more $$$ to work with and have way more now. They don't need Senate approval for anything. And just like in the 1960 &1970s with Ho Chi Minh they have the sympathy of the world's USA govt haters. The US govt is just basically inept. Too inept to even get water to the Superdome for five days after Katrina!
My theory about the Iraq invasion is that Bush had a grudge against Hussein since 1992 when Saddam sent agents into Kuwait to assasinate his dad (then President) and his wife Laura who participated in a Gulf War victory parade. The attempt failed but Jr vowed revenge. Simple as that. Add Cheney and Haliburton to the mix and you have total naive idiotic, shameful disaster
Pant, pant rave, rave,sorry. I just think that people just want a conspiracy to be true. If Americans would just expend as much energy VOTING

2:55 AM  
Blogger Margarita said...

whoops hope that this wasn't the wrong blog to post on
newbie like i said

2:57 AM  
Blogger magicmarker44 said...

What an eloquent statement in support of non-violent revolution... I agree wholeheartedly! By the way, I'm one of those "video-to-internet guys" from We Are Change, and we thank you for your mention and link in this post.

1:25 PM  

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