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View Diary: Just shut up about violent revolution (84 comments)

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  •  All good things to remember. But, for me ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Irfo, Marc in KS, HoundDog

    ...personally, with past membership in SNCC, SDS and AIM, 13 months in prison for resisting the draft, a 200+ page FBI file and two Libyan stepchildren, I think it's safe to say I was already on a list or two.

    •  OMG, Do I know you? I don't recall seeing your (0+ / 0-)

      name before.  I don't know him everyone, I don't even know why he is sending me email.   LOL  "=)

      Oh well, my friend, if they put us in jail, maybe our cells will be close enough we can be like that old prision joke where they assigned all the jokes numbers.  You must know that one.

      But for those that don't I can't help repeating it.


      A fellow is brought into jail for his first time, and is sitting in the cell, when one of the other prisinors shouts out 37!

      And everyone laughs and laughs.

      After a while some one else says 82!  And again everyone burst out lauging.

      This goes on for ahile until the new prisoner just can't stand the curiousity so he asked his cellmate.  "What gives with the numbers?"

      So the cellmate explains, "We've all been in here so long, every one knows everyone else's jokes, so we numbered them to make it easier."

      After a while, the cellmate suggests "why don't you try it out?"

      "But I don't know any jokes," says the newman.  

      "It don't matter none," says the cellmate. " "Just choose a number between 1 and 240."

      So the newman shouts out "25!"
      But no one laughs.  Total silence.

      The newman ask his cellmate  "what wrong?"

      The Cellmate shakes his head sadly and says, "some folks just don't know how to tell a joke."


      So Meteor Blades.  You and I and our fellow progressive co-consipirators can number our all time favorite Daily Kos diaries and shout out numbers.

      And then everyone can shout out 4 or troll depending on their vote!  

      This is going to be fun.  See you soon!

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Fri Jun 30, 2006 at 06:10:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One additional serious response to your excellent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, Major Danby

      points, Meteor Blades.

      One of the most poignant of the many excellent questions you raise, I believe is the following:

      but if we actually were in the fascists' grip, would it be wise, moral even, to recommend that all us "Jews" just silently let them carry us off to the trains?

      I believe I agree with what I believed is your implied answer of no.

      But the alternative of engaging in ineffective or counter-productive violent opposition  must not be pursued merely  because we haven't discovered the more effective intervention YET.

      One suspicion I have in some of these extreme, and highly valuable, thought experiments, is that we tacitly fall into a strawman forced choice.  

      That overlooks the likelihood that the highest leverage interventions that may have been available or possible to create with more proactive advanced wiser implementation are left out of the equation.

      I am reminded of the quote I heard on NPR about 20 years ago by some famous WWI Pacifist when asked during the war if he would now conceed that Pacifism had been refuted.  And would he now, endorse the war.

      Much as Democrats are being asked to endorse the Iraq war and violence from both sides in the I/P conflict.

      But his thoughtful response surprised and pleased me.  He said such as question is analagous to the lung cancer patient who ignored 50 years of advice not to smoke, who now wishes to blame doctors and ask the to renounce Modern Medicine, because the cannot provide a surgical intervention that will save his life.

      So, in response to the Philsophy Class "life boat ethics" style test questions, I could probably be induced to admit that if our social order breaks down, and there are food riots and starving neigbors are about to storm my well stocked survival shelter in a way that would condemn my own children, family, or tribe, and the only way I could save them was to shoot a few of their leaders, I'd probably so okay -- I am not one of those "advanced spiritual or pure pacifists."

      And probably I'm not really a pacifist at all, as I may have been enticed to fight on the side of the colonialists against the British in the American Revolution, whose grievences seem trivial by comparison to some of those of some of the folks in occupied terroritories today.

      But my point, is that Just War Theory, (which stands in opposition to the Pure Pacifist theory) suggests that violent war is only morally justified in extreme condidtions, and as a last resort when all other alternatives have been exhausted.

      I believe morality is actually just a short hand way of arriving at what are usually the same conclusons a wiser, and incredibly brilliant strategic analysist would probably arrive out, through an exhuastive process of figuring out ones "enlighted self-interest."

      So, I'd like to put out the hypothesis, or conceptual challenge to anyone willing to take it on, in goodwill, that if we were to analyze any case studies where violence seems like the only or best way to proceed, that if we were to focus our best analyses, wisdom, and compassion, we will usually find better alternatives are available to all parties.

      But, what they actually are would require extensive analysis and explorations of specific case studies, and parties which are willing to agree in advance to adhere to certain rules of process integrity both in terms of the rules of analysis, logic, and evidence, as well as integrity of intent with regard to motivations of the key players.

      I have no doubt that in many of the most challenging case studies, for exampe the current Palistian/Israeli conflict, you will find ideological extremists on both sides, who are so convinced their own rationals for violence or the "only way" that they will act proactively to subvert attempts at peace.

      Advocates of non-violence need to agree on logical and process protocals for the rules of engagements by which failure to abide by their process protocals could result from such parties being declared "hostile to peaceful intent" and thereby subject to marginaliztion by the remaining participants in the peaceful process.

      Because, at the heart of it, my theories are that even though these are social and psyschological systems there are still advanced systems laws are metaphorically equivelent to the laws of physics.  (Post Quantum Physics not just Newtonian.)

      Gandhi victory for India against Britian was not merely passive resistence.  

      But extremely focus and "assertive" applications of an equivelently strong moral force ultimately stronger than the violence coming from the power from the barrel of the gun.

      When push comes to shove, the parties engaged in the "peaceful" oppostion need to remain ruthlessly disciplined to follow through with the destruction of the moral position of the "opposing" parties, even it they were once thought to be on the same side.  (The violent extremists on both sides of the spectrum.)

      Ruthlessly effective peaceful "assertion" or intervention but not allow itself to be subverted by "agent provacators" of the extreme who are only pretended to go along with peaceful negotiation until they discover some way to sabatage it.

      I believe iron clad adherence to protocals of "process integrity" can handle this.  But it can be an ugly and painful process that requires guts and nerves of steel.  

      Helping to bring justice back to the White House, one indictment at a time.

      by HoundDog on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 03:14:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have got (0+ / 0-)

        to write a diary on these thoughts.  Sorry to be the one to break it to you.

        My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

        by Major Danby on Sat Jul 01, 2006 at 11:19:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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