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View Diary: The One Thing That Terrifies The Rich And Their Lackeys in Government (105 comments)

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  •  Actually, AoT (0+ / 0-)

    I've been on many picket lines, including the Greuhound and Teamster freight and grocery strikes, and yes, strikes are occasionally violent, especially large strikes involving hundreds or thousands of workers:

    The ILWU picketing against EGT.

    The Phelps-Dodge, Greyhound, Staley, I-Paper, and Boise Strikes.

    The Teamster nationwide freight strikes.

    The Massey and other coal strikes.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:32:41 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  But advocating for a strike is not (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, WB Reeves, ZhenRen, Chi, gulfgal98

      advocating for violence. There's a world of difference and we all know it.

      •  If a person advocates a strike, AoT (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch

        under a protofascist regime,  they are advocating either violence or a bloody defeat, in my opinion.

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:55:26 PM PDT

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        •  That would be under a fully fascist regime (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          6412093

          There are plenty of strikes that aren't violent. I guess you could argue that a general strike would end up with violence, but that would more likely be from the owners than the people involved.

          •  I am trying to see (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch, AoT, Matt Z, Sylv

            the current political situation through your eyes and the diary's author's eyes.

            The analysis is that our political avenues are inherently and hopelessly corrupted and not available for redress.

            Nonetheless a potential solution is that we will be allowed to win a peaceful strike, even a large strike that would transfer considerable wealth from the privileged to the workers.

            Do you understand why I feel a disconnect between the analysis and the potential solutions?

            “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

            by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:27:16 PM PDT

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            •  Okay, thanks for the clarification (0+ / 0-)

              I think some sort of violence from one side or the other is inevitable to some extent. In fact to do nothing means that mass violence continues in it's current form, be that our brutally violent prison system or the violence of millions of people removed from their homes by foreclosures. Resisting only makes the violence of the people in power more obvious, fascism or not.  I'm not sure what you call a country that brutally oppresses a specific group because of that groups race except fascist, although it doesn't fit exactly. Because that's what we do. Some people want to pretend that because I can say we do that it suddenly is repressive or a police state, but I call that nonsense. Violence is endemic in our system and almost certainly any significant structural change will be resisted by the system with violence. But not every strike involves violence, plenty are small scale enough that they aren't threatening enough to elicit a response. If there was a general strike I can guarantee the government or corporations would use violence. Whether that means using violence in self defense is debatable, but I don't think advocation for protecting yourself is a bad thing.

              •  Thanks, AoT (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                for the detailed response.  The last time I participated in similar discussions, in about 1968-72, often folks did not pay adequate attention to our country's political nuances in their analyses, and in my opinion that led to some leftists making poor decisions.

                So I'm concerned now, at matching an accurate analysis, with appropriate solutions.

                “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

                by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:40:03 PM PDT

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        •  With this implied definition (7+ / 0-)

          any act of standing up for rights and justice is an act of violence. Meanwhile, the violence of the state is being ignored. Are you against any form of self defense? Is self defense violence?

          By your definition, weren't Martin Luther King and Gandhi (influenced by Tolstoy, a Christian anarcho-pacifist) violent? They stood up to systemic oppression, and the authorities fought back with violence.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 04:53:23 PM PDT

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          •  Both MLK and Gandhi (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch

            both has political redress, MLK to the federal government, and Gandhi lobbied the British parlimentary system and also the British citizens.

            In both cases they brought political pressures against their oppressors.

            My impression from the diary's political analysis is we are facing a situation more like Nelson Mandela faced in South Africa, than what MLK and Gandhi confronted.

            Do you think I understand this diary correctly? I'm not being snarky.  I'm trying to accurately summarize this and other diaries' contentions.

            In this and similar diaries, I've read that political solutions in this country are inherently impossible because our representatives are corrupted and indirectly bribed.

             And without political redress, what are we supposed to do?  The responses to comments suggested I go back and read older diaries for the solutions.  The only plain solution I remember, were on-line calls for "flash mobs" to block traffic and so on.

            Oh, believe me, I'm all for self-defense, and unfortunately self defense could be violent, especially against a protofascist regime.  

            Most of the time, in labor situations, I won't encourage a strike if I think the workers aren't up to that stressful challenge, even absent violentce, even if they are talking great abuse from the boss.

            “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

            by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:38:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's nice you've been reading my diaries with (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, gulfgal98

              such interest... I've written 454 diaries so far the peaceful protest tactics is just of the many topics I've discussed.

              So let me help you out so at least we don't have to go over the same thing next time around since your question would have been clearly answered...

              First, let me state that all your impressions about this diary, as you describe them, are totally wrong.  Although it is absolutely astonishing how anybody would come up with those impressions, as I continue interacting here with folks, one must always err on the side that the misccharacterization is born out of error; out of a genuine attempt at understanding the theme of what has been written...

              Let's start with this:

              Sometimes when I write about this some people misunderstand my intention, thinking that this type of "messaging" may be intended to discourage people from staying engage in electoral politics, or somehow say that there is no hope and that we should just throw in the towel in defeat.

              [REDACTED]

              What is my intention when I focus on these things?  It should be obvious to some.  If you have a large number of people believing that the system is not rigged, that although compromised, it still works for the most part, and they act on that (I argue) mistaken belief, failing to put at least some of their attention on the root causes of corruption, then we will continue voting ourselves into outright fascism.

              We have to do both... We have to remain fully engaged in politics, not give one inch on anything; we need to campaign, volunteers, hit the streets, put up signs, man phone banks, make contributions to the best candidates, and much more.

              So it can't be more clear than that...

              In the nation's history we've faced similar situations, much of them chronicled in "The People's History of The United States," and other historical accounts.

              In times of extreme corruption and oppression it has always been the case (without fail), that citizens, social justice activists, have engage in both, the political process, and putting pressure on the system from outside of the political process.  That was what the late 1800's, early 1900's progressive movement was about, and that was what the labor movement and the civil rights movement were about.

              I'm actually very hopeful, very optimist in the capability for people to free themselves fro the choke-hold of the oppression by the few.

              That hope, that believe in the irascible human spirit is what keeps me motivated, is what energizes me.

              The thing about making sure a large enough segment of the population are fully aware of the actual situation at hand, i.e., awakened the reality of the situation, is what all social justice activists try to do, at whatever level...

              There is a Malcom X quote I often use, that goes something like this: "The greatest mistake of the movement has been trying to organize a sleeping people around specific goals.  You have to wake the people up first, then you'll get action."

              Actually that quote perfectly fits with the theme of this diary, and with most of what I write.

              Here's a little historical background:

              So in closing, I don't think you'll be confused when it comes to my intentions when you visit all my diaries in the future to share your insights...

              I'm very hopeful, very optimist about the capacity of the people, the citizenry to make a much needed course correction, both within the system as it is, and from without by putting pressure on the corrupt actors (the same way it has always been).  I don't advocate violence of any kind, and will never do.  I don't believe that there is group of people who meet secretly in a smoke-filled room to hash out conspiracies against the people...

              I think the problem arises from a confluence of interests, and that has led to a breakdown of the mechanism to prevent oligopolistic predatory practices by those in power.

              It's a cultural phenomena, something that took decades... There are philosophical influences, like The Powell Memo, and billionaires-funded think tanks, and the effects of corporate media conglomeration, etc.  It's cultural.

              Now, we need to address these things and fix them, just like we've always have.
               

              •  Hi brother Ray (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen, mahakali overdrive

                Thank you very much for your response. I may not have read all 400-odd of your diaries, but I've read many of them.

                 I appreciate your references to statements that you support political actions including phone banking.  

                Yet I'm troubled because that support is co-mingled with narratives like this:

                They have ... (snip)  bought off the Democratic Party ... (snip) With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform—the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions—we are left defenseless against corporate power.
                So on one hand the diary states incremental reform is eviscerated, and the Democrats are bought off.

                And on the other hand, you urge full throated support for those presumably bought off Democrats, and pursuit of incremental reform.

                You cite the "Peoples History" for examples of potential responses to today's erosion of our rights.

                What I remember most from the "Peoples History" are the accounts of the big strikes; Pullman, Homestead, and so on.

                Is there a portion of the Peoples' History that strikes you as particularly relevant to our current times?  Do you have a favorite chapter or portion of the Peoples History that speaks strongest to you?

                I'm referring to you as Brother Ray, because that was once a requirement at union meetings when responding/criticizing to another members' views.

                It helped remind everyone that we are all brothers and sisters, despite our disputes, and we need to speak respectfully to each other.

                Of course, not everyone who calls you a "brother" these days is an ally, but I'm not utilizing that salutation here as a sarcastic adjective, as some may think.

                “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

                by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:34:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Graeber on violence: (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, 6412093, Ray Pensador, codairem, gulfgal98

          Graeber (author, anarchist, anthropologist), writes a very good piece on violence here in this article (I provided an excerpt on Gandhi, but the entire article is a great read):

          Actually, why limit ourselves to Egypt? Since we are talking about Gandhian tactics here, why not consider the case of Gandhi himself? He had to deal with what to say about people who went much further than rock-throwing (even though Egyptians throwing rocks at police were already going much further than any US Black Bloc has). Gandhi was part of a very broad anti-colonial movement that included elements that actually were using firearms, in fact, elements engaged in outright terrorism. He first began to frame his own strategy of mass non-violent civil resistance in response to a debate over the act of an Indian nationalist who walked into the office of a British official and shot him five times in the face, killing him instantly. Gandhi made it clear that while he was opposed to murder under any circumstances, he also refused to denounce the murderer. This was a man who was trying to do the right thing, to act against an historical injustice, but did it in the wrong way because he was “drunk with a mad idea.”

          Over the course of the next 40 years, Gandhi and his movement were regularly denounced in the media, just as non-violent anarchists are also always denounced in the media (and I might remark here that while not an anarchist himself, Gandhi was strongly influenced by anarchists like Kropotkin and Tolstoy), as a mere front for more violent, terroristic elements, with whom he was said to be secretly collaborating. He was regularly challenged to prove his non-violent credentials by assisting the authorities in suppressing such elements. Here Gandhi remained resolute. It is always morally superior, he insisted, to oppose injustice through non-violent means than through violent means. However, to oppose injustice through violent means is still morally superior to not doing anything to oppose injustice at all.

          And Gandhi was talking about people who were blowing up trains, or assassinating government officials. Not damaging windows or spray-painting rude things about the police.

          Emphasis is mine

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 05:13:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks, Zhenren (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen

            for the excerpt. Interesting reading.

            “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

            by 6412093 on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:40:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to see more cognizance (4+ / 0-)

      and concern over the police violence of the State against free association of workers (a human right) in the State role of protecting the owner class and its enslavement and exploitation of workers, than the few random acts of push back and resistance that spontaneously erupts from oppressed people.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:13:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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