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Gina
07-04-2012, 05:34 PM
Link (http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002901559)

cthulu2016 (3,070 posts)


I am not advocating Violence

Last edited Wed Jul 4, 2012, 04:52 PM USA/ET - Edit history (7)

I am not advocating violence, but it is a fair historical question to ask whether progressive change (as a trend) happens without violence.

Order holds the status quo in place and thus favors haves and disfavors have nots. (As classes, not individuals.) The tactical advantages of wealth lead to more wealth, and if the system runs in an orderly fashion an inequality ratchet will tend to recreate the middle ages or the worst of the industrial revolution. Or ancient Egypt... those pyramids didn't build themselves.

It is the nature of inequality that the have-nots must vastly outnumber the haves, and the only intrinsic advantage that workers and poor people have is raw numbers. The haves know that the have-nots can, at any point in time, rise up and take all their stuff, or even kill them all.

The whole history of civilization is the ratchet tightening until the people revolt. Then the ratchet begins again, and another revolt follows, and so on. (Only someone alive fairly recently could think the arc of history bends toward justice. Were workers better off in 1000 BC than in 2000 BC? Were they better off in 1840 than in 1640? It is folly to look at 1848-1980 as the whole of human existence.)

Real wealth is a combination of privilege, affluence and security. Modern societies where the people have some power can be viewed as empowering the people or as a technology to maximize the benefits of wealth. It is hard to quantify the value of living without fear of your servants carving you up while you sleep.

Anyway... the point I wanted to make here is that history minimizes popular revolt. You might think that the haves would want to paint the have-nots in the worst possible light by dwelling on their occasional savagery, but to do so would merely remind the people of the power inherent in their numbers.

The Chandler family who owned the LA Times (and pretty much everything else in southern California) was the sort of outfit the word "reactionary" exists to describe. The worst of the worst. In 1910 the LA Times building and the adjacent printing press building were leveled by a bomb. It was assumed by the PTB that labor was involved. It really doesn't matter, however, whether labor was involved... it doesn't matter who really did it. The point made was that anyone could do it. For all your wealth and influence, you are never more than a day away from somebody blowing up your buildings.

It is odd that most people don't know the LA Times building was blown up. If it wasn't for 9/11 very few peple would know Wall Street had been bombed in 1920. These thngs are soft-pedaled in our history.

During a generation of real global class war anarchists assassinated royals and/or heads of state in almost every western nation. (Including the US.) The powerful throughout the world could no go outdoors without wondering when a bearded revolutionary would lob a bomb in their laps. Literally. World War I was started by an Anarchist assassination.

In 1901 President McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist acting for purely poltical reasons. His secretary twice tried to cancel McKinley's trip to the temple of music at the Pan-American Exposition because he feared McKinley would be assassinated. That was the tone of the times.

I recall being taught that McKinley was shot by a disturbed man. Nothing to see here... But at the time everyone knew it was part of a global political struggle. A wave of anti-anarchist laws were passed everywhere. Anarchist groups were attacked, buildings burned.

And, though this was not Leon Czolgosz's motive, the assassination made Teddy Roosevelt president, America's first "progressive."

And almost all big progressive gains for workers in the Western world just happened to come out of that period. (Added to the gains that followed from the worker revolutions of 1848, of course. There's a theme here.)

Popular history highlights the good guys working within the system to make it appear that all gains are the largess of the haves toward well-behaved and downplays that the haves were in terror. Our national mythology is that voting and peaceful protest are the really effective ways to get things done. We are so indoctrinated on the point that we actually believe it, though it is awfully hard to read history to support that.

I am writing this on the anniversary of our founding act, the declaration of war against the British. It is odd that we started shooting British soldiers instead of holding a series of candle-light vigils. The symbolic Boston Tea Party seems not to have done the trick. The American Revolution was, like all such things, a two-track affair. our Revolution had substantial popular support in England AND we were shooting a bunch of people. Without the shooting part there is no reason to think the Crown would give away half a continent. And if England was 100% in favor of repressing the revolution the Crown would have never given up.

Historically, it takes both the carrot of moral persuasion and the stick of popular violence, overt or implicit. (Or, in a pinch, merely the stick of popular violence, but a change in popular ethos will make concessions wrested by threat of violence more lasting.)

Martin Luther King was a great man, but it is fishy that we are so steeped in the idea that moves in the direction of equality came from peaceful and principled moral appeals. That is a very convenient view of history for the PTB. The PTB come off quite well in our mythology of good-hearted northern whites helping out southern blacks because they asked so politely. But the period from which black Americans gained the most in legal rights and government money outside the deep south happened to be the same period that black Americans burned down large areas of many, many large non-southern American cities. If that's a coincidence, it's sure a big one.

Gains made without the ongoing implicit threat of violence are not typically lasting gains. The ratchet is always in operation and will retake any short-term concession as soon as the countervailing pressure decreases. (The LA riots in 1991 were tragic for everyone but, sociologically, served as a reminder of the 1960s. The USA had forgotten that concern for inner-city populations was part of a loosely negotiated peace, not merely liberal largess. Coincidence or not, a Democrat soon entered the White House.)

Our history, white-washed to exclude the threat of popular violence as a driving force, reads like a morality play between nice rich people and mean rich people. Why did FDR do all that swell stuff? Was he just that nice a guy? He was a smart man governing a nation that was a stone's throw from major cities turning into insurrectionist soviet (small s) enclaves. That is not to his discredit. He was a great man for recognizing that the status quo was inherently unstable and that popular revolt is always a very real variable in a governing equations.

The usual course of things is popular revolt > armed force puts down the revolt > leaders of the revolt are hung > most demands of the revolt are quietly acceded to in a way that allows the system to pretend the concessions are spontaneous charity.

The steel boot and the social concessions are both parts of how you put down a revolt. Give the crowd enough to isolate the "extremists," thereby moderating the crowd.

The sad truth is that throughout history I don't see much progress without the haves being genuinely afraid.
Will Pitt ought to suffer for his example of the "longer the better" motto. :rolleyes:

Apache
07-04-2012, 06:21 PM
I am not advocating violence, but... ... I AM ADVOCATING VIOLENCE :rolleyes:

That word, "but", negates everything said before it...

Gina
07-04-2012, 06:52 PM
... I AM ADVOCATING VIOLENCE :rolleyes:

That word, "but", negates everything said before it...

Yup. I love you.......but I never want to see you again. :biggrin-new:

Dan D. Doty
07-04-2012, 08:43 PM
... I AM ADVOCATING VIOLENCE :rolleyes:

That word, "but", negates everything said before it...

I was thinking the same thing.

But they still have the same old plan; you do all the fighting, and when its over, I'll take power and run everything :friendly_wink:

Different day, same assholes ...

DumbAss Tanker
07-04-2012, 09:43 PM
Will Pitt said:

"Blahblahblahblahblah. X 100

Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Look at meeeeeeeeeeeee!

Blahblahblah! X 50

Blahblahblah."

Follow the arc. There is a narrative to these things. Historians know this.

:biggrin-new:

NJCardFan
07-05-2012, 01:57 AM
Bring it on dicklesses. I guess these idiots forget which side has more guns.

noonwitch
07-05-2012, 08:43 AM
... I AM ADVOCATING VIOLENCE :rolleyes:

That word, "but", negates everything said before it...


Yeah, I knew something to justify violence was coming when I read that.


Although, it's more of an invitation to the DU at large to give him reasons to justify violence than an actual justification of it.

Dan D. Doty
07-05-2012, 03:41 PM
Bring it on dicklesses. I guess these idiots forget which side has more guns.

And more common sense.

But they still have the same battle; hold all the cities, get the street gangs to do the fighting for them and then Utopia.

FDK
07-06-2012, 06:35 AM
Sounds like Pol Pot to me - but without any cajones.

Elspeth
07-06-2012, 07:52 PM
Wee Willy Pitt always advocates violence when he is drunk and his interlocutor is homeless.:evil-grin:

Odysseus
07-06-2012, 07:56 PM
Progressives always end up advocating violence because they cannot get their way at the ballot box. Their program is toxic, and most people know it, so the only alternative for the left is violent coercion. Eventually, they will reach that star, if they can just pile the corpses high enough.