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
Saturday, March 1, 2014
The Efficacy of Combative Resistance
Up until 2002 Bramhill was a Seattle resident but was forced to flee to New Zealand to escape FBI harassment because she was supporter of Black nationalists in the Seattle area since the 1970s when Black nationalists were the main target of FBI agents. (Not only that, she like the actress Jean Seaberg were known by FBI agents to have had intimate relations with Black activists--this was the most heinous crime of all for the rabidly racist FBI. Thus, they had to be severely punished.) In this piece she discusses a recently published book entitled The Failure of Nonviolence by Peter Gelderloos which I have read.
I think that book functions as an excellent antidote to all the "non-violent" indoctrination by ruling class media agents that has occurred over many years because the rich ruling class are afraid of us. However, I wish to emphasize one caveat.
Combative resistance can quite easily be co-opted by ruling class agents and diverted into hooliganism whose participants offer good fodder for neo-Nazism. Capitalists have frequently used such people to save their system or to destabilize capitalist "democracies" when they feel threatened by popular movements. We have witnessed the recent use of neo-Nazis by Empire agents in Ukraine to serve Empire interests, and their use of terrorists in Syria and Libya.
Hence, I argue that a political awareness and consciousness must be developed among large sections of the population before launching actions that include combative resistance tactics, or at least, having political education as a vital component to inform such tactics. That is why I have so often argued for alternative media to counter the disinformation and indoctrination of mainstream media, and thereby raise the political consciousness of a popular resistance movement.