Saturday, January 24, 2009

Quotable on pacifism

Ward Churchill sez:
“the outright lie that I have actively sought to incite ‘violent revolution.’ I have done no such thing. To the contrary, what I have consistently advocated over the years is the rule of law.”

“I would vastly prefer that this happen through nonviolent means. However, I cannot say that nonviolence is the only legitimate response to systemic violence.”

Reminds me a bit of some of the words of Malcom X:

"Concerning nonviolence: It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe in obeying the law."

[...]

"It doesn't mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence in self-defense. I don't call it violence when it's self-defense, I call it intelligence."

There is much in common with both Churchill and Malcom X and such voices as Frantz Fanon and Subcomandante Marcos with regard to the subject of violence and nonviolence. None of these cats glorify violence. Rather, they are keenly and painfully aware of the violence - interpersonal, organizational, structural, and intrapersonal - afflicting themselves and their people on an ongoing basis. In each of these activists' words is a preference for using nonviolent means of action (the Zapatista slogan along the lines of "our word is our weapon" should give a hint), but also in each of these activists' words is an admonition against a doctrinaire knee-jerk pacifism.

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