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Re: [smygo] Can Anarchists Get It Together?

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  • stevphen shukaitis
    uhm . . . part of the confusion here is the Dan, great guy he is, unlike how your message indicates - did not write this write aricle. It was written by some
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 3, 2003
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      uhm . . . part of the confusion here is the Dan, great guy he is, unlike
      how your message indicates - did not write this write aricle. It was
      written by some journalist - and the presuppositions and stances it takes
      have to be considered from that persepctive. So, although the points you
      make are valid - they should be directed at the aformentioned journalist -
      and not Mr. Clore, who didn't write this article.


      > Dan wrote:
      > "But where the smashed window or street fight is what makes
      > the television screens, anarchism as a philosophy does not
      > require violence. For every smashed window, there are a
      > dozen or more meetings about the fine points of collective
      > decision-making and regional democracy."
      > I think you may be getting confused over the word 'violence' here. 
      > As I understand it, it is not contrary to anarchist principles to smash
      > windows.  Nor is such action truly 'violent'.  Violence
      > against people IS contrary to the principles of anarchism, since such
      > action is undemocratic.  In anarchism, people must be given
      > freedom, and violence against persons takes away such freedom. 
      > Thus, street fighting is authoritarian and thus non-anarchist.  On
      > the other hand, institutions must be questioned, and if found wanting,
      > the harmful creations of such institutions should be destroyed or
      > otherwise changed and put to good use.  That challenge and the
      > resulting action is at the heart of anarchism.  As an anarchist,
      > and thus by definition a pacifist, I would see no contradiction between
      > my pacifism and the breaking of (for example) a McDonalds restaurant
      > window.  Such action is (in my view) nonviolent.  In my
      > opinion the institution and its creations are inherently unjust and
      > unhealthy.  I would not engage in such destruction myself, nor
      > would I advocate it, since I think there are more intelligent ways of
      > getting rid of the institution and replacing it with something better,
      > but I do see a need to let other anarchists express themselves in
      > whatever way they see fit, as long as it is non-authoritarian and
      > non-oppressive.  Certainly, the breaking of a McDonalds window
      > serves to highlight the issue.  The question then, is not so much
      > whether such action is by its nature contrary to anarchism - the
      > question becomes whether breaking an institution's window is likely to
      > harm or oppress those who depend on the institution for their
      > livelihood, and whether such action is a productive way of advertising
      > anarchism to the general public.  I tend to think that, in the case
      > of McDonalds, the corporation and its employees will not be unduly
      > affected by such actions in the long run, so such action can be
      > justified if one accepts that view, although that also me ans that such
      > action on the part of anarchists is useless in the long term. Also, such
      > actions tend to generate sympathy for the corporation in the minds of
      > those who don't appreciate the harm that the corporation does. 
      > Thus, although it may be justified, in the present political and social
      > climate such anarchist action is both useless and counter-productive.
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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