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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

This non-violent stuff’ll get you killed

Click here to access this book review by James Robb from his blog A communist at large [New Zealand].

In this article Robb reviews a new book entitled This non-violent stuff’ll get you killed - How Guns made the Civil Rights Movement Possible, by Charles E Cobb, Jr.  Robb in his introduction writes:
This book, published earlier this year, sets out to correct the one-sided view of the place of ‘non-violence’ in the conventional account of the great US Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The tradition of armed self-defence in Black communities predated the non-violent tactics, the author explains, played an important part in the struggle, and coexisted throughout with the non-violent protests. The title of the book comes from a warning given in 1964 by a Mississippi farmer, Hartman Turnbow, to the most famous practitioner of non-violence, Martin Luther King: “This non-violent stuff ain’t no good. It’ll get ya killed.”
I've always suspected that the widespread propaganda which raised the tactic of non-violence to a fundamental principle in many US activist organizations was accomplished by stealth from agents, conscious or not, of the ruling class.