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(en) Freedom 6402 25 Jan, 2003 - Non-violence is no solution

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 3 Feb 2003 10:14:13 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

The Palestinians are an occupied people, fighting a
war for national liberation. If anarchism is ever
going to appeal to them and other oppressed groups,
we anarchists must prove that we realise something
important - that different social conditions require
different solutions. Many people are attracted to
anarchism as an ideology because they're repelled by
the violence of governments. But to reject all
violence, especially in acts of self-defence, is to
accept the morality of fascism, that the weak must
accept the rule of the strong or, in practice, of those
who are most ruthless in their methods of
controlling others. We mustn't forget that the
greatest advocate of non-violent revolution,
Mahatma Ghandi, once suggested that Jews in nazi
Germany should have committed mass suicide in
order to bring the world to their aid in sympathy. An
act that would merely have saved the nazis the
effort of killing more Jews themselves.
A more moral and relevant argument from that
period, which we could all do with heeding, is one
put by Reginald Reynolds. He argued that, if
libertarian socialists in imperial states were to have
any hope of spreading their ideas, they should
support the aims of any oppressed group around the
world, so long as the aims were just. And yes, today
this might even mean the establishment of a society
based on Islamic principles. I'd also add something
which was only implicit in Reynold's thought. We
should support methods of resistance where they're
both just and necessary.
Many of us living in 'liberal-democratic' states fail to
differentiate between the social controls we live
under - largely government through 'manufactured
consent' and 'counter-intelligence', and infiltration
of our movements - and the blatant mass murder
and assassination of 'progressive' movements and
their organisers in most of the rest of the world.
Non-violence and pacifist means of protest may
have some import in a war of intelligence and
propaganda, but not in a war against fascists and
colonialists. Force must be met with force, at the
very least. I think there's a time and a place for
non-violence, but Palestine 2003 isn't it. As Ceri
Gibbons said, in an article in this newspaper
('Palestine: an eyewitness report', 14th December),
non-violence has been the main form of opposition
to Israeli aggression for sixty years, and has
attracted neither the world's attention and
sympathy, nor meaningful change.
If Palestinians are to gain control of their resources
and their lives, they must organise and act in a way
that brings about these conditions. This will
inevitably necessitate the use of violence. Unless, of
course, Israelis suddenly see the error of their ways
and give up all power and control. But this, to my
knowledge, would be unprecedented in world history.
No, I believe that if we're to move forwards, we must
reject, not only quotes from the bible (which Ceri
referred to), but that whole new testament morality,
which tells the poor and oppressed to love those who
oppress them and to turn the other cheek (only to
receive a blow to the other side of face). To people
who want to preach non-violence - please save it for
Washington, London and Tel Aviv.
Jose Marti

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