We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Violence Debate: Teaching the Oppressed How to Fight Oppression

by Ramzy Baroud from Foreign Policy Journal.

The author provides a refreshing look at the issue of using violence or non-violence against an oppressor. 

Personally, I wonder at all the preaching in anti-war organizations about non-violence in the US, a country that has used violence on a massive scale beginning with Native-Americans until the present day against 3rd World people. At times the amount of this preaching has, it seems to me, exceeded the protests against the violence of the Empire. 

Could it be, stemming from a fear of its own people, that the Empire's ruling class and its political operatives have launched a stealth campaign to undermine any thoughts by its own working people to use such methods against them? Something to think about.
Violence and non-violence are mostly collective decisions that are shaped and driven by specific political and socio-economic conditions and contexts. Unfortunately, the violence of the occupier has a tremendous role in creating and manipulating these conditions. It is unsurprising that the Second Palestinian Uprising was much more violent than the first, and that violent resistance in Palestine gained a huge boost after the victory scored by the Lebanese resistance in 2000, and again in 2006.