Re: [smygo] Can Anarchists Get It Together?
- 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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