Friday, June 24, 2011

"Non-violence is a piece of theatre. You need an audience. What can you do when you have no audience? People have the right to resist annihilation.”

That's a quote from Arundhati Roy that up at The Crow's Eye, go read the whole thing.

I once saw this brilliant, wrinkled old man give a lecture. He had escaped from some horrible regime, I can't remember if it was communist or facist. He was a pacifist, but when asked about it his response was amazing. "I would never chastise a person for acting in self-defense against an oppressive state. People have the right to decide for themselves how to respond to violence". I wish I could remember his name.

I'm not a pacifist, but I do waver, back and forth, on non-violence and it's effectiveness. And honestly, on violence and it's effectiveness. There is no question, violence works. If it didn't we wouldn't be bombing Libya. But violence is like chemotherapy, pumping toxins into society to kill the tumorous elites. What's left afterwards isn't always a healthy body.

And people keep offering me these false constructs, "Isn't A preferable to B?" and getting peeved when I refuse to let that kind of framing be the basis for an argument. No, neither is preferable. Think bigger, think better, demand more! So maybe I need to think bigger, think better, demand more of myself when wavering on the violent/non-violent ideas. Never let it be said that I don't look inwards first, since the only thing we really can change is ourselves.

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