To suggest that non violence is the only means to to fight against totalitiarianism, authoritarianism, oligarchy, and other repressive regimes denies Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, et al. experience. It can be argued today that governments have overwhelmingly military and police powers today so to fight would be futile. Have those that argue this position ever heard of the Viet Cong, Al-Queda, The Taliban, etc. They have or fought effective guerrilla wars in the latter half of the 20th Century and early 21st against superior armed forces. The free French in WW II also were effective in thwarting and harrassing the Nazis and Wehrmacht. IMHO I'd rather fight than be shipped to a concentration, tortured or sent off to re-education camp.

Totalitarian regimes in particular crush pacificits. Gulags, et al., is their response to peaceful protests, their families, friends, neighbors, etc. You are guilty by association and they cast a wide net. Torture, warehousing of dissenters, abductions in the night or off the public streets is very common.

Individuals, groups, societies, arguing that only by peaceful protests can you win, live in a world that doesn't exist on planet Earth. There are two effective means to combat totalitarian and authoriatarian regimes: fight or flight. Of course you can wait them out and many do that but that is not a strategy that is effective for you and your family since dictatorships, politburos, single party autocrats, have a long shelf life vis-a-vis someone in their 30s, 40s, 50s, etc. Are there exceptions? Of course there is, but do you want to roll the dice and your children, grandchildren on a whim and a hope? And living through fall of a repressive regime isn't my cup to tea either - Venezuela comes to mind.

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Gaius's picture
Gaius 1 year 15 weeks ago
#1

Without Malcolm X and the Black Panthers MLK jr. would have been just another dead n****r. Without the dervishes Mohandas Gandhi would have been just another dead lackey. Had Robespierre adopted non-violence Louis XXVI would now be King of France. Who can name those who non-violently opposed the Third Reich? Non-violence is to be preferred whenever shame can be a factor. But our Oligarchs regard us as property and will fight ferociously to keep us submissive. When opposing totalitarianism the question is not whether or not to use violence, it is: are you ready to accept violence and death for your cause.

Roland

DdC's picture
DdC 1 year 15 weeks ago
#2

"At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! Had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.

We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
~ Frederick Douglass

"The hottest places in Hell
are reserved for those
who in time of great moral crises
maintain their neutrality."
~ Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

"To sin by silence
when we should protest
makes cowards out of men."
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"We should not forget that our tradition
is one of protest and revolt
and that it is stultifying to celebrate
the rebels of the past. . .
while we silence the rebels of the present."
~ H.S. Commager

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The Thom Hartmann Program - Aug 30th 2018

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