The following is a brief debate about violence and its use in revolution that happened on my Tumblr:
There is no such thing as a “violent anarchist,” only misguided activists. Emma Goldman said all acts of violence are simply misplaced anger. The premise of anarchism is nonviolent. I reject all anarchists who carry bombs and talk of destruction, for they are not anarchists at all, only uneducated punks. Anarchism has a bad name because these are the people news media gets their hands on. Anarchists practice peaceful change; are against war and violence of any kind; and though we are angry, we also have brains.
I strongly disagree with this. Saying violent anarchists aren’t anarchists is, in my eyes, nonsense.
Although, in my heart, I’d like to be peaceful at all times, society is organized in such a way that a constant peaceful approach gets us nowhere near the kind of society we envision. Not attacking the system is only in their advantage.
Yes, peaceful ways of dealing with anarchism are necessary. I’d also like to only engage in positive projects, building alternatives and spreading the message that another way of living is possible. But at the same time the system pursues, submerging thousands of people into misery. Building alternatives is beautiful, but if we do not attack the system, in the end we will have our own alternative society, next to the present one. Many people will keep living in misery because they’ll probably never know of our existence, as the upper class will try to silence every message from our side.
Once we’ll pose a real threat, they will wipe us out when they get the chance.
Of course we also need alternatives, because only being violent alienates many people from us. Attacking and building need to go hand in hand. Destroy//create.
I’d also like to be peaceful at all times, but because our society is so violent in so many ways, my perspective is a conflict perspective.
Because I will not be satisfied once I can live in freedom, I will be satisfied when we can all live in freedom. Until all are free, no one is free.
That’s why I want to attack the system, destroying what destroys me and others.
Hey, I hear you man. But heres the thing: you want to attack a system and I’m totally with you. But a system is not made of of people, it’s made up of ideas. You can’t physically fight a system, only reject it. Live against it. Camus (I believe it was) said to live so much against the system that your very existance becomes a revolution. That is how we are to combat oppression.
One cannot pinpoint a single individual, or even a large group of individuals and blame anything on them. the problems we face in the world stem from lifetimes upon lifetimes of bad decisions made by systems that are simply not designed to work. You fight ideas with ideas. If you want to fix a system, a way of life, the solution is simple: live YOUR life differently and hope it catches on. And I assure you, if it’s done right, it will.
Anarchism is based entirely on peace and equality for all. That includes the politician, the law enforcer, the bailiff, and the tax collector. They are individuals just like you, trapped by the system just like you, just trying to survive just like you. Don’t fight them, teach them. You have to assume that anyone against the Cause simply doesn’t know any better. It is our job as educators of anarchism to tell everyone we can. We have to spread the word that there is another way to live. Then, we simply start living that way. Who is going to stop you then? An army of the State can stop a rebel army, but no one can stop people from simply living their own lives.