As has already been explained in earlier posts, the output of the Psyclone project has been adjusted from an emphasis on waking people up to what’s happening to providing usable information to those who don’t need waking up.
The change of tack has put me in touch with the long-running debate of nonviolence/violence in political struggles. I’ll discuss my own feelings and thoughts on the subject in future posts., this being the first of several planned on the theme.
This post was inspired by a Dandelion Salad post I read recently that again reasserted the debate in my mind. The Black Bloc subject of that interview will also be addressed in a future post, but I felt a more detailed examination of the fundamental question of violence/nonviolence was in order.
I approached How Nonviolence Protects The State by Peter Gelderloos expecting a pro-violence rant, but still curious to see what the argument would be. What I found was less of an argument and more of an analysis of the issue of violence and nonviolence within political struggles, discussed from a seldom-if-at-all taken perspective.
A basic premise of the book is that the argument in favour of nonviolent resistance is based on selective, and therefore biased, historical information, particularly that to do with the independence and human rights campaigns of Gandhi and King. When usually omitted information is included in the analysis, statements (chapter headings in the book) such as:
- NONVIOLENCE IS INEFFECTIVE
- NONVIOLENCE IS RACIST
- NONVIOLENCE IS STATIST
- NONVIOLENCE IS PATRIARCHAL
- NONVIOLENCE IS TACTICALLY AND STRATEGICALLY INFERIOR
look more reasoned and less sensationalist and unlikely.
My online posting of this book has led to some lively (offline) conversation, which in turn has deepened my appraisal of the subject and where I stand in it. My hope is that it will stimulate similar thought and discussion in others.
(Click on the image to download the PDF)