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¿Is anarcho-pacifism undervalued by contemporary anarchists?

+1 vote
I personally agree and like both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and I think that Jesus and Satan should collaborate within all of us and Henry David Thoreau was an awesome guy and the origin of the anarchist criticism of work and that i will be very happy if i could get me a PDF of Bart de Ligt’s 1936 treatise "The Conquest of Violence" and that it doesn´t surprise me at all that an anarcho-pacifist, namely Alex Comfort, wrote that awesome famous book called "The Joy of Sex" (yes the almost manifesto for the Sexual Revolution was written by an anarchist) and that it will be a lot of fun and even ironically some good propaganda for anarchism if Dorothy Day is given one day the title of "saint" by the Catholic Church

Kropotkin on Tolstoy:

"His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike." http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/petr-kropotkin-anarchism-from-the-encyclopaedia-britannica

I suggest replacing the word "religious" with "pacifist" so as to get the following:

"the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the pacifist and the non-pacifist reader alike"
asked Jan 1, 2013 by iconoclast (3,380 points)
edited Jan 1, 2013 by iconoclast

1 Answer

0 votes
If anything, pacifism is over-valued by absolutely everyone, anarchist or otherwise.

EDIT: A fair portion of anarchists I encounter (mostly in passing and on the internet, in places like Facebook or Tumblr) profess an attachment to the concept that the ideas can be spread solely via good argumentative skills and appeals to a person's morals or ethics or inner desires or sense of logical reasoning.

An equally significant portion espouse the idea that violence (a hazily-defined term that may or may not include anything from harsh words to property destruction to inflicting physical harm on a person) is inherently authoritarian and coercive and thus illegitimate for use by anarchists, even when used as a response to societal institutions that are coercive and use force as an inherent part of their daily activity.

I'm 100% tired of people making reference to Gandhi or King as an example of how "pacifism works" when it's a massive historical inaccuracy to claim that either of their movements weren't inherently reformist or that they could have achieved anything significant without the presence of militant radicals in or around their movements.

Equally tired of people believing that it's possible to simply "change people's minds" on a mass scale and achieve some kind of revolution without ever coming into forceful conflict.

The vast, vast majority of arguments for pacifism I've heard assert that it's either the only morally correct or the only strategically correct thing to do. I don't hold either of those statements to be true, and I think they either show a dangerous vulnerability to divide-and-conquer tactics (specifically the strategy of granting certain reforms to the non-violent/pacifist wing of a social movement and bestowing legitimacy upon them, while repressing the violent/militant wing and marking them as illegitimate), or a twisted understanding of how massive change comes to a society.
answered Jan 1, 2013 by Rice Boy (10,100 points)
edited Jan 1, 2013 by Rice Boy
rice boy: it would be great if you said a bit more about why you hold your opinion, and/or quoted particular sections from the links you provide?

edit: thanks for the additions.
"An equally significant portion espouse the idea that violence (a hazily-defined term that may or may not include anything from harsh words to property destruction to inflicting physical harm on a person) is inherently authoritarian and coercive and thus illegitimate for use by anarchists, even when used as a response to societal institutions that are coercive and use force as an inherent part of their daily activity."

i partially agree with your answer. Nevertheless not knowing so called "non-violent tactics" i think can impoverish one´s repertoire of tactics and those available to a group resisting something.

As far as violence being inherently authoritarian, well, some people within anarchism argue that self-defense is not violence and so violence will be mainly equal to agression while responding to agression will then not be violence. On how violence is authoritarian one can well see how fascists make a whole cult of violence and fascist skinheads like preparing themselves for "battle" and empasize warlike mentalities. Mafias and gangs also mainly use violence as their main form of keeping a territory under their control just as states do.

So i see that a lot of what anarchism does is resistance to violence and counter-violence. A great part of authority can force me to do things i don´t want using the threat of violence. Without that apparatus of violence authoritarian orders can end up as just noise which a person can well decide to ignore and keep on.

As far as both the US Civil Rights movements and the Indian independence movements i think that they gained victory because of the diversity of tactics employed both planned and unplanned and that if all of them would have kept just "violent" or "non-violent" most likely they would not have achieved anything. So while some self-defense combat and attacks helped also all the forums and dicussions also helped and in the case of the US civil Rights movements definitely a sensibilisation of white people also helped and for all of that one needs investigation, intellect, propaganda and diplomacy.

"Equally tired of people believing that it's possible to simply "change people's minds" on a mass scale and achieve some kind of revolution without ever coming into forceful conflict."

I hope you are not suggesting here that then kicking their ass or getting your ass kicked by the police will do the job. This reminds me of the sad fate of many latin american marxists vanguards of intellectuals who decided to arm themselves in the example of the Cuban Revolution in the 60s. Without any support from the people, many ended up dead as soon as they entered into combat with the army while a big part of the people either ignored the whole thing or actually took side with the army. Very likely this happened since all they saw was the violence and the marxist intellectuals as people coming from outside their communities bringing in that violence.
As far as your suggestions of texts, well. one can know what to expect from a site called "warrior publication".

My view is to hear both the insights of Gandhi and the violentists and to keep a strategical view of things.

As far as "pacifism being over valued" i will think otherwise is the case. One thing is that liberals, socialists and conservatives use a pacifist face for public relations and another the actual practice by their governments. In fact as far as anarchism they have enjoyed disseminating the picture of them being the pacifists while anarchists being the violentists.

This is why i value anarcho-pacifism and anarchopacifists. I value the fact that when a discussion with a liberal comes accusing anarchists and anarchism of being mainly "violent" i say to them that some of it is while also we have and have had inside us people who go as far as thinking that moshpits are "violent".
Pacifism is a tactic.

When the state expects violence you answer with non-violence.

When the state expects non-violence, you throw a grenade.
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