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amongstclouds wrote (edited )

I wouldn't call myself a pacifist, nor a non-violent person for that matter. I am however, anti-violence.

The difference is immense. I look at it like this: we are all born into the same trap; naked; cold; and totally ignorant to the world around us -- it's not until we begin to grow and learn that we develop the 'for/against' line of thinking that has been beaten into us since birth. We learn through social interaction to be the way we are and some people are born into bad situations where they will inevitably develop a hateful and toxic mind. These people are victims just as much as anyone and if we're really trying to create a better world this HAS to be acknowledged.

However, some people are far too gone and this leads back to the use of the word 'anti-violence'. Nonviolence is basically suicide, just like pacificsm. Anti-violence is about the eradication of violence in all forms, and this sometimes means that violence is necessary to fight violence -- but violence begets violence so I think what we as a movement need to develop is a sense of 'conscious violence' wherein any act of violence we commit should be done fully aware of it's implications.

Revolutionary violence is a necessary force of change, but history has shown that it can easily spill over into all kinds of in-fighting and their eventual eradication (because violence begets violence) because every person we harm or injure in the name of the cause will push multiple others away. Every act has to be surrounded by conscious mindfulness to ensure that this instance of violence is necessary and helping the cause more so than hurting it in the long run.


Chomskyist wrote

Violence is not absolutely wrong, and violent struggle is sometimes (I would even say always) necessary for any revolutionary change to occur. All of the "victories" of pacifism, like the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, or the de-colonization of India, occurred in the context of a movement that incorporated a diversity of tactics, both violent and nonviolent, in its struggle for justice and equality. There have been no successful movements without a diversity of tactics.


________deleted wrote

Well I'd much prefer to convince Nazis that the harm they're doing makes the world a worse place for all of us instead of punching them and lowering ourselves to their level. Utilizing pain, shame and terror to change the way they act is antithetical to everything I believe in. They are entitled to their beliefs and we are entitled to ours. I would simply urge them to reconsider their hateful ideology and convince them that there is a better way, using patience and understanding, rather than making them feel pressured or rejected.


jadedctrl wrote

That does work, but convincing even a single one takes weeks (maybe months) of deep introspection, discussion, and support from family members and close ones. It isn't easy, and it isn't quick. So if the goal is to prevent white nationalists from gaining power as they increase numbers, this is fundamentally a flawed approach. It isn't scalable.


hotcool wrote (edited )

The time and effort is worth it, because then you have another one on your side.

Nazism / fascism is fueled by anger and fear. Violence only intensifies these feelings and people get further entrenched in their beliefs. That is psychology 101.

Yes, there may be times when we must defend ourselves and protect others from harm, but violence will not solve the problem.


jadedctrl wrote (edited )

Violence isn't meant to rid them of their thoughts-- just to silence them.
If you silence them, they don't spread or gain power.
After silencing, then you can work on rehabilitating and ridding them of their prejudices. But isn't preventing their spread and potential gain of power more time-pressing?
EDIT: I don't mean just violence-violence, I mean more intimidation, like doxxing and defamation.


Tequila_Wolf wrote

Also, it doesn't necessarily work.

And also, in the meanwhile they are hurting people, which, so far as I am concerned, you cause by not stopping them if you were able.


reloop wrote

That's easier said than done, but what happens when your polite gestures and handshakes have no effect and people die because you wouldn't take real action?


vacuousaptitude wrote

Do you think that punching a Nazi actually lowers you to their level though? That using violence to prevent genocide is equal to genocide?


MeowZedong wrote

How would you convince a Nazi that just doesn't want to listen to your opinions because they're so convinced that their opinion is the right one and that it's an acceptable one to express?

What about situations where Nazis might be physically threatening someone?


sagemon wrote

I'm no pacifist. I do tend to look for the root of problems and not the symptoms though. Almost all racism and racial superiority is driven by fear. Fear of the "other"..

Committing violence against them only increases that fear and validates it. The only answer is to eliminate their fear. Eliminate that fear of the "other" and you eliminate the resentfulness anger and hate right along with it.

Which leaves the question, how do you eliminate their fear? This black man has done it, and he personally reformed about 200 klan members so far, and has a huge collection of KKK robes to prove it.


chaos wrote (edited )

A lot of racism is irrational, stemming from one's society. Sure, racists like to come up with all sorts of rationalizations for their views, but that's exactly what they are, rationalizations, created after their opinion was arrived at. Since their views come from and are reinforced by their society, the best way to show them that their views are wrong is to change society and show them that society is changed, by, for example, showing solidarity for others.


EdgyIndividualistBuffoon wrote

Violence begets violence, confronting nazis only emboldens them and allows them to enable their numbers by spreading the anti-antifa message that allows other right wingers to punch further right.