Pacifism in Anarchism (1 Viewer)

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Ajax

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So I've been trying to understand anarcho pacifism for awhile now. I honestly don't understand it, for one..to actually successfully have a peaceful, non violent revolution your enemies would have to have a soul and feel bad. the government doesn't feel bad when they order drone strikes against innocent women and children and invading countries for oil. The police don't feel bad when they racially profile a innocent black man when he "fits the description" and kill him. What makes you think a peaceful sit down will work? In my eyes the hippies Tried the non violent tactics to resolve the state oppression and police brutality, and we all know what happened to them. Basically what I'm saying is, it cannot work. I've studied anarcho pacifism and it's in my eyes, a fairytale. Give me feedback if you want.
 
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Zaphod

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Most anarcho-pacifists I know respect a diversity of tactics, but simply believe that violent tactics are not for them.

While I think it's unlikely, I do think a peaceful revolution is possible. It would essentially just involve mass refusal to participate in hierarchy. In fact, there is a lot of this kind of work to be done before any violent revolution anyway, so I think we can have plenty of affinity with anarcho-pacifists and do lots of good work together.

Of course, this is kind of basic cause it supposes a belief in "The Revoltion" (to come) which I don't really ascribe to. Revolution ought to be something we do every day in every action, whenever we can get away with it. SOOOO many anarchists (especially the manarchist variety) and communists sit around going to meetings plotting "The Revolution" instead of acting and worrying about what we can do right here and now.
 

Apple Core

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Social and political progress need all varieties of tactics executed in order to be successful. Neither outright pacifism or outright violence is going to be effective. Both must be utilized when each is called for.

This is also why I can't stand people who are anti-government/anarchist/communist/whatever who don't vote because it "upholds and supports the system". Not voting won't do you shit because the vote will still occur and go through regardless of anything, and while your vote alone may not make a difference, if the overall population gave more of a fuck and voted (which includes you!), we'd at least be marginally better off, and headed towards a better, more sustainable mindset in terms of politics and social movement. We still need to recognize why it still needs to be shut down overall, why the system is detrimental and harmful, and so on, but we should still recognize what the current situation is and use what little tools we have regarding it, and using other tactics, violent and nonviolent, to get our way.

Revolution ought to be something we do every day in every action, whenever we can get away with it.
I completely agree with you. Revolution is not one big cataclysmic moment but a series of smaller movements zigzaging towards a better society.

Small acts, when done by billions of people, can transform the world.
 

Dameon

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Not voting won't do you shit because the vote will still occur and go through regardless of anything
Voting sustains and supports the system, and choosing not to makes a statement to other people, who may choose not to vote. When enough people choose not to vote, we can destroy the system. As long as everybody votes, you may be able to make small illusory choices in which rich people run your system, but you forfeit the ability to make any real change, and the noose steadily tightens, and we continue working with a broken system that is getting worse. The two-party system is maintained, the electoral colleges continue and the entire system is manipulated to get the desired results.

Go ahead and pretend that people who take a stand against this manipulation are the cause of the problems, and ignore the fact that it's the people who do what they're told and vote who perpetuate the system and have enabled corporate control over the government. The government is not in your control, and your vote is an illusion. The only way to break the illusion, and win the game, is to choose not to play.
 
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Ajax

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Regarding that flag in your photo backdrop. How'd that violent *people's* revolt work out? Millions dead at the hands of the great comrade leader. Helps Hitler build up his military and joined him invading Poland. Then the secret police allie with a criminal empire to rob *the people* and abscond with the money to offshore hideaways and investing in US real estate, driving up rent for the Americana working class. This is in addition to privatizing wars around the world with no regard to which side is right or wrong - just weapons to the highest bidder. Take your Soviet ass.
Lol that picture is at least 2 years old. I don't take very many pics of myself and I happen to like the picture. Another thing, I believe in left unity, I think non authoritarian communists like Marxists and Anarchists should fight together against the enemies.. Fascists and the government. Because in reality, if a revolution was to ignite anarchists couldn't win a Battle alone. As for Stalinists and tankies they can go to hell..fuck them. Basically what I'm saying is, rtye Reason for the Soviet flag is for two reasons..one being I was super young minded and edgy and I still support left unity.
 
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Ajax

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The MLK march is an example of a win. This was due to numbers. We tried to accomplish this during occupy but too many local occupy groups got infiltrated and were convinced not to show up to DC and instead have local concerts and parties. Pacifist actions work but you need NUMBERS. Look at Woodstock, so many people showed up that they couldnt do shit if they wanted to. That being said I dont believe pacifism is sustainable 24/7, there are gonna be those times when someone wishes to do you harm, in those times you must defend yourself.

I boycotted voting for many many years, i was convinced to return to voting by Jello Biafra. In short while we may have no control of big elections we can have our say in smaller elections. If everyone in disagreement refused to vote than the bastards would have an even easier time of having their way. The system wont collapse, the decisions would just be made by less people. Marijuana reform would never have happened anywhere if nobody voted in favor of it. States would still have the anemic federal minimum wage if nobody voted to increase it on the local level. These are just two examples out of hundreds in history.
The only way to have a successful revolution is to have a very bloody, violent war. Because the system won't go down without a fight. You think the Capitalist system will just collapse with just voting or peaceful protesting? They would somehow make it illegal to vote or anything that would stop our progress. I do believe in a mix of tactics though definitely. But I definitely believe the ones behind the most hardest blows to the state are the bloc. I think everyone is important though. You have medics, donations, people who pass around the fliers before a demostration or protest, etc
 
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Ajax

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Part of the reason the MLK campaign had such success is there was wide national and international support. Today with Fox News and Brietbart and RT and facebook, the masses are confused and indoctrinated in hate. The few sources of people centered information - public media, independent (contributor supported) and liberal commercial media have all but been wiped out. Those who wiped it out not tell you "government" is the problem. It is "a" problem. But the problem is much more encompassing than that. With Trump, it should be clear that there is a lot worse than "government" to worry about when you have a fraudulently appointed leader who has as his primary priority the privatization or elimination of everything government.

Aggressive opposition does not all boil down to throwing bottles at police in the street. It's standing up to lying politicians at their rallies. Infiltrate if you must. It's voting for anyone but Trump and his cronies. It's revealing the corruption of Trump and everything and everyone he's connected to. If you want violent confrontation, stick to your argument with whoever you get into a conversation with.

Blacblock type antics only serve to Italianate your cause from the public and gives the fascists something to site in their Fox News fear-mongering. Non violence does means throwing the last punch, not the first. But you have to defend yourself long enough to get to that point with that punch still left in you.
lol. I mean the bloc is only around to protect, it's the last resort to fixing problems. Anti fascists who use the bloc say it's the last resort, they would rather fight them online and tracking them and seeing what they are doing and planning. Most of the bloc I've talked to they actually feel really uncomfortable with being destructive and "violent". Honestly, I've had to use bloc tactics alot but Everytime I use them I'd kinda feel bad later just because I'm not a aggressive person. But if that aggression solves the problem I'd do it anyday.
 

Dameon

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Marijuana reform would never have happened anywhere if nobody voted in favor of it. States would still have the anemic federal minimum wage if nobody voted to increase it on the local level. These are just two examples out of hundreds in history.
Marijuana reform happened everywhere without a vote. That's why there was eventually a vote that won, because so many people were standing against the laws that it created enough societal change to make it a societally acceptable drug, and the authorities weren't able to stop it. The votes were just a formality long after the fact. It wasn't voting that made the difference, it was the people.

Many states still have the anemic federal minimum wage, and almost all the states may have slightly better than federal minimums, but almost across the board it's not a living wage, and doesn't keep up with inflation. But where people have unionized, and stood together against employers rather than just voting for higher minimum wages and hoping, they've gotten good, living wages for entry-level positions.

Voting is a BS distraction from actual action, get you to feel like you're making changes by asking you if you want things, but nothing actually changes.

I love Jello's talk on the subject, and it nearly had me convinced, but every time I look at where the actual changes occur, it's never the voting process, it's the actions and changes that eventually force a vote, not the vote forcing actions and changes.
 
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Matt Derrick

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This is a pretty great thread so far, I agree that pacifism is pretty ridiculous but also that diversity of tactics is essential.

Just a reminder to keep it civil in your responses, hate to see debate degrade into a flame war :)
 

Dameon

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When you look at how many people didnt vote against mr i look at eclipse without shades its not hard to see how he won. Imho we have become just a bit apathetic when it comes to voter turnout. And i feel this is what the plutocrats want.

All i know is HERE we voted and now some people have natural medicines legally instead of drugs filled with chemicals that harm people.
Trump lost the popular vote. He won because of an electoral college system that's been brutally manipulated to produce desired results, drawing lines in ways that make it so the votes of the people that think in undesirable ways don't matter. The people that didn't vote are the ones following the spirit of voting: You vote for somebody that represents your beliefs and interests, not to tactically block somebody else from winning. The person who most closely represented my beliefs and interests was tactically shut out of an election where he should have been able to affiliate with a third party, but couldn't, because tactical voting has locked us into a two party system that doesn't represent or serve the interest of the common people.

There, just like the rest of the world some people already had natural medicines before that vote, and produced and transported it at risk of being imprisoned, and supplied it to a huge variety of human beings who it helped in a variety of ways, and those producers and suppliers, many of who got out of prison and whose lives are now ruined with felonies, many who are still in prison, are the ones that you can thank for that vote passing. Without them, cannabis would be practically eliminated worldwide right now thanks to the government that feeds off your votes and participation, and there never would have been a vote to officially affirm that even though we're all doing it, it's okay now. But the system tells you how important is to vote, you must vote, must feed the system, your vote makes a difference. Not the actions of all the people who've taken the actual risk and suffered the actual consequences, but somebody who checked a box on a piece of paper after all that risk and suffering produced the actual change.

Feed the system with a vote, or starve the system with non-participation, and take the actions that create the real changes. Votes to legalize cannabis failed over and over again over decades, but enough action over that same time created a situation where the votes said it was okay to do what we're all doing anyway.
 
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Ajax

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This is a pretty great thread so far, I agree that pacifism is pretty ridiculous but also that diversity of tactics is essential.

Just a reminder to keep it civil in your responses, hate to see debate degrade into a flame war :)
I still support diversity of tactics but I've seen first hand the pacifists try to stop the direct action yet hate it when we jack thier peaceful protesting. They try to change us and make us protest how they feel fit. I admire diversity of tactics. Peaceful protesting, direct action, boycotting, whatever you have to offer to the future revolution. I think that as long as your doing something besides complaining it's vaild. I mean I do ALOT of non violent activism like volunteering at food not bombs, rescuing abused animals, helping someone in need.
 
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Ajax

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Activism isn't all pelting riot police with Molotovs/ bricks. It's about mutual aid, helping one another.
 
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Ajax

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Actually i believe it will collapse on its own. The puppeteers have become soo obsessed with money and their place on the forbes list that they cant even relate to the rest of us. They consume so much they couldnt possibly need or use. This is not sustainable imo. The stock market casinos will fail again, its only a matter of time. Their greed and avarice will be their undoing. History teaches us that this vicious circle from freedom to slavery is a norm for humans.

Voting doesnt stop fascism, but while there is still a system in place to vote you can at least vote to decriminalize pot, vote a scumbag out of office, and sometimes get a new playground for the kids and some new gear for the fire dept etc. Voting is just ONE tool in the toolbox, compared to how much work effective direct actions take its really a minor thing to participate in. One day to study and read the ballot and a few hours to vote.
I have actually read an article about the American empire is collapsing. Many young adults are becoming communists or Anarchists and ditching American values like Patriotism..I agree with you about it collapsing on its own but the government won't let that happen without a fight. They will try everything to keep us enslaved and chained. You think the same people who raped and pillaged thier way through civilization or the same people who started wars for oil including killing innocent children would let Everything they fought for fall? The only true way to watch the Capitalist system fall is to make it fall. It can crumble, it can crack and where down making it easier for us to destroy it...but we have to be the ones to push it down.
 

Zaphod

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I'm not trying to get in an argument about voting, so I'm not gonna say too much, but I don't believe in it. Even progressive politicians only make changes as a method of pacifying direct action. If other people wanna vote, go ahead. As an anarchist, the issue of voting just isn't something worth fighting over; I'd much rather fight FOR direct action than AGAINST voting.

People seem to be confusing masking up and black bloc; black bloc is a tactic specifically designed to cover the illegal activities of protesters (usually property destruction and fighting with the police). Masking up may or may not be done for this reason, does not require a large group of relatively identical people, and is more about protecting your identity from the state and the fash.

That being said, if you think rioting doesn't accomplish anything, I'd have to disagree. Riots are just how things start. A radical exercise in the power of the people to effect direct change in their environments and to strike back against the capitalist state. Riots also represent a critical escalation of tactics in the struggle for liberation; after that the next step is insurrection.

Ajax, I feel like you're missing the potential for disaster to erode the state's ability to have their last armed struggle. Natural disaster, famine, drought, disease, and any number of other problems could have much the same effect as armed insurrection on the state's ability to maintain control. Personally, I still believe armed insurrection will be necessary at some point, but with enough organizing around events that are bound to happen anyway, we could eliminate or at least minimize the amount of fighting necessary. I think that we should striving to avoid or limit that kind of conflict is better for everyone involved for a variety of reasons
 

Dameon

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Those who disparage democracy (voting) are usually peddling some demagoguery like Trump/Putin/Hitler/Stalin/Mussolini. It's like "make America great again". The other 4 had similar hearkening to restoring a mythical yesterday. Voting recognizes that there never will be a perfect utopia. So stop living your life as if there ever will be and for god's sake, stop following erstwhile leaders who preach that there ever will be and especially if they say they are humanity's only hope that there ever could be.
You can't use one generalization to attempt to dismiss everybody who is against our particular manifestation of democracy. I don't think anybody here has said that there's some mythical yesterday that needs to be restored. This statement is an attempt to dismiss the entire opposition by using a strawman that equates them all with Trump/Hitler/Stalin/Everybody Bad You Can Think Of (regardless of the dissimilarities of their beliefs, agendas, and regimes) and saying that all they're trying to do is bring back the past, when nobody has affirmed either of those things as part of their reasoning for not voting.
 
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Ajax

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Those who disparage democracy (voting) are usually peddling some demagoguery like Trump/Putin/Hitler/Stalin/Mussolini. It's like "make America great again". The other 4 had similar hearkening to restoring a mythical yesterday. Voting recognizes that there never will be a perfect utopia. So stop living your life as if there ever will be and for god's sake, stop following erstwhile leaders who preach that there ever will be and especially if they say they are humanity's only hope that there ever could be.
So what your saying is anyone who hates democracy and voting is a far right asshole? I
 
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Ajax

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The country represented by your flag/backdrop (Soviet Russia) was not known for "non-authoritarian communists". Marx preached a necessity or explicitly "violent" overthrow of capitalist power structures. Communism as espoused by Marx and Engels and ever, to a lesser degree, practiced by Maoist and Leninist communism is better reflected in what we now refer to as "socialist" ruled countries. Bernie Sanders was a Socialist. Much of Europe is largely socialist. Whenever social scientist conduct studies of the general "happiness" of the people of a country, the more socialist a country is, the higher their "happiness" factor is.

People in Marxist countries: China, Russia, N. Korea are typically at the very bottom of the "happiness" scale. In fact it's hard to poll them since their governments tend to wall off the outside world and restrict movement and persecute their populace for disrespecting their government.
All those countries you just named as Marxist isn't even Marxist. In today's world, there is no true communist country. Communism is meant to be short term that's why it fails everytime Because it's supposed to switch to a different ideology.
 

junkpolecat99

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I lean communist but I think anarchists are more moral and are the best type of friend to have...
I would argue that a coordinated general strike would be more threatening to the rich elite than any kind of violence that would be immediately defeated. When England occupied India, Indians were basically slaves without rights and could be killed or beaten. Americans have civil rights so theoretically a non-violent revolution would be even easier than in India.
 

junkpolecat99

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Dameon and Zaphod's arguments against voting are logical and add up philosophically for the most part, but I have a hard time seeing how NOT voting is an ACTION or way of "not supporting the system." Not voting is just the LACK of an action. Like Zaphod said, arguing over whether to vote or not vote is a first-world, frivolous problem. So...... not voting is direct inaction? Drop-out-ism serves no purpose.

If you listen to Lupe Fiasco, you don't vote. If you listen to Chance the Rapper, you go vote.
 

junkpolecat99

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Journalism is dying and being consolidated so rapidly - even NPR now has commercials for Wal-Mart and Goldman Sachs.
Compare that to Canada where the government has public media like the CBC and the governments of Toronto and Ontario spend tons of public money to support indie magazines and other media.
 

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