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+2 votes
If so, how?

I often hear "direct action" used to describe activities that seem purely reactionary or symbolic from my perspective.  For example, when do you believe that the smashing of a window qualifies as direct action?  When do you think it qualifies as expression?  Both?  Do you differentiate between the two, perhaps contextually?

I will refrain from immediately posting my own opinion, but I will take a moment to express that I brought the window-smashing up arbitrarily.  I could have instead used picketing, gardening, dumpster-diving, voting, lock-ins/occupations, etc.  I will post a link to a related question as a comment below.
by (950 points)

2 Answers

+2 votes
window smashing is direct action only to the extent that people are not going to representatives(tm) to complain for them.
gardening could be direct action, depending on circumstances.
voting is not direct action in any way ever.

to quote my girl voltairine in a paper on exactly the questions you're both asking and alluding to:
"Every person who ever had a plan to do anything, and went and did it, or who laid his plan before others, and won their co-operation to do it with him, without going to external authorities to please do the thing for them, was a direct actionist. All co-operative experiments are essentially direct action."

kind of crimethinc-y, hunh?

edited to make "any way" two words, instead of one.
by (53.1k points)
edited by
Your quote brought a smile to my face, for I just shared it with a friend last week.

Strange.  I tend to think of most of CrimethInc.'s circulated publications as pre-packaged reactionary thinking, but I often appreciate the discussions they open up by ending their online articles with a good variety of questions that I find much more constructive.  So, CrimethInc-y in what way?
to the extent that crimethinc is all about how everyone is an anarchist even if they don't know it.
0 votes
No matter what action is taken, if it is in response to a existing condition then no matter what that action is. it s a response.  Reactions deal with the outcome of conditions.   

Direct Action does not mean that an action is not a reaction, only that the action taken deals directly to the specific object of intent.

Proactive measures of a different nature to reaction than what direct action is.   Direct action can apply to both conditions.  But proactive measures deal with the condition which cause undesirable outcomes, thereby working to eliminate the source of the problem thereby eliminating the problematic conditions so that the problems no longer occur.

The effectiveness of anarchy would seem to rely greatly on its which of the later two approaches it uses.  But a direct reaction is no more than a reaction to effect of a condition than to the condition itself.

Governments can be overrun, they can fall apart, and they likely be eliminated but unless that void is filled with another functional system government will rise again, because we have only dealt with the condition and have not prevented its occurrence.

For governments to be vanquished once and for all, they must become obsolete.   An effective non-authoritarian system that sustains functions beneficial to the health and well-being of the people and the life within the planet would do so.
by (2.0k points)