Some of the most celebrated social justice victories of the 20th century are attributed to the great pacifists of our time, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. This constitutes a historical whitewash, as these “victories” were achieved when the state weighed its options and chose the lesser of two evils: the pacifists. In this segment Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Aric Mcbay, Harjap Grewal, Gord Hill and Peter Gelderloos deconstruct the Gandhi myth and show us why militant action plays an important role in movements of resistance.
Music by stig inge oy. and CJ Boyd
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 9:28 — 121.9MB) | Embed
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | RSS
5 thoughts on “Pacifying Resistance”
well behaved women rarely go down in history.
This video is like a Las Vegas buffet of confusions…
It lumps together all forms of direct-action activism in the same serving container (mixing up nonsensical acts of vandalism with ethically legitimate armed-resistance) and labels it “militancy.”
Then, it mixes up persuading reasonable people to join ranks in opposing the status quo (which is what reformists are really advocating) with a straw man salad of persuading corporations directly.
Last, it demands you only choose between a plate of this “militancy” melange or else a bowl of pathetic “pacifism” (with a side of “persuading sociopaths”).
The reality is that many forms of “militancy” are totally morally unjustified (amounting to nothing more than an attempt o relieve frustration in a symbolic act of destruction) and actually do grave harm to our cause (including their own), thereby resulting in lost public support (yes, eventually winning the support of the masses really does matter).
Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam advocated violent resistance when necessary to protect human rights, which was absolutely warranted (ethically). They never endorsed “symbolic acts of vandalism,” which is what this generation has understood “militant activism” to mean. We no longer understand warranted, effective forms of militancy. We don’t care if it works, or if it furthers our goals. We just want an outlet for our anger, our angst. But such equivocations between do nothing to show us the way.
Instead, it remains self-deception to suggest that “breaking shit” amounts to anything remotely approaching an actual threat to the state or to capitalism. It does not.
Pingback: Check out this video! | NC Piece Corps
@mavaddat thanks for your comment.
You seem to have a bone to pick with those who choose black bloc tactics. Fair enough. But this video is not about measuring the efficacy of different types of militant actions. And yes, black bloc is militant, weather you agree with it that’s a different story.
But by the looks of it, you don’t oppose militant action which is why your analysis is so nuanced. This video is not meant to promote one type of action or another, or to simply dispel non-violent resistance. The video is meant to show how militant actions put pressure on the rulers and how history has cleaned the record of these.
This is gonna be a mammoth fucking project when its done, are you planning on touring with it? If so, make sure you come back to Toronto. It probably sucked being here during the G20 but I know a lot of people that would love to see a film like this.
Comments are closed.