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PainlessEphemera wrote

It’s complicated as most things in life are. On the one hand, violence is a tool used by the state. On the other, pure pacifism doesn’t have a big impact if it’s the only tool used. I would say that I would try to use pacifism as much as I can, and I don’t want to use other tools, but if I have to, I will.


Cosmicsloth42 wrote

I'm a pacifist. I know it isn't a popular position, and I can understand the arguments against it. However I truley don't think other humans should ever hurt each other. I can't stand to see anyone hurting and I will do my best to prevent physical harm to everyone I can. We have to remember not to dehumanize our enemy even as they dehumanize us. We are not them, we are better.

Maybe it is a bit idealistic but if you are gonna dream might as well dream big :P


manicatorman wrote (edited )

I am personally a pacifist for religious reasons, but for the movement as a whole I agree with Malatesta:

"Since historical antecedents have driven us to the necessity of violence, let us employ violence; but let us never forget that it is a case of hard necessity, and in its essence contrary to our aspirations. Let us not forget that all history witnesses to the distressing fact - whenever resistance to oppression has been victorious it has always engendered new oppression, and it warns us that it must ever be so until the bloody tradition of the past be for ever broken with, and violence be limited to the strictest necessity.

Violence begets violence; and authoritarianism begets oppression and slavery. The good intentions of individuals can in no way affect this sequence. The fanatic who tells himself that he will save people by force, and in his own manner, is always a sincere man, but a terrible agent of oppression and reaction. Robespierre, with horrible good faith and his conscience pure and cruel, was just as fatal for the Revolution as the personal ambition of Bonaparte. The ardent zeal of Torquemada for the salvation of souls did much more harm to freedom of thought and to the progress of the human mind than the scepticism and corruption of Leo X and his court.

Theories, declarations of principle, or magnanimous words can do nothing against the natural filiation of facts. Many martyrs have died for freedom, many battles have been fought and won in the name of the welfare of all mankind, and yet the freedom has turned out after all to mean nothing but the unlimited oppression and exploitation of the poor by the rich.

The Anarchist idea is no more secured from corruption than the Liberal idea has proved to be, yet the beginnings of corruption may be already observed if we note the contempt for the masses which is exhibited by certain Anarchists, their intolerance, and their desire to spread terror around them.

Anarchists! let us save Anarchy! Our doctrine is a doctrine of love. We cannot, and we ought not to be either avengers, nor dispensers of justice. Our task, our ambition, our ideal is to be deliverers."


NeoliberalismKills wrote

I think most anarchists, in my experience, support a variety of tactics. Not every battle requires violence but some will. Any gains will almost certainly require violence to maintain.


anyan25 wrote

I support pacifism as well as self defense, to me, the two aren't mutually exclusive. Violence seeks to oppress another, self defense seeks to empower oneself


Prismatic_Iguana wrote

Turning to pacifism will leave those weaker without a way to fight back against the emerging threat of fascism. Never again!


zombie_berkman wrote

no, because with out the threat of violence the status quo will never change


zer0crash wrote

Hell nah dawg. Pacifism is code for "Imma let the minorities get killed instead of fighting for them"


tnstaec wrote (edited )

I'm certainly opposed to the state's wars. But there are cases where non-state actors are fighting against the forces of oppression, currently most notable is the Rojavan struggle against Islamic State. I'm down for the YPJ/ YPG


Scan2 wrote

Pacifism is an interesting subject. One of the best essays written about it is by Ward Churchill - Pacifism as Pathology. A 60 page quick read that is both informative and disheartening at the same time. It's the defacto baseline knowledge of the subject.

Here is the Amazon link:

Here is the link to a legal free copy of the essay:


Mullvaden wrote

When I was younger people I hung out with looked down on pacifists because being willing to turn to violence for your cause was somehow radical in itself. Now that I'm older I don't see violence as a progressive tool because it usually breeds more, counter-violence.

On the other hand I don't want to sit down and get beaten either. So the answer is "it depends" :)


ladyanarchist wrote

I used to be a pacifist. I don't know anymore...


LostYonder wrote

As noted by others, it is more complicated than a simple yes or no. I think pacifist actions can be powerful tactics, carrying significant symbolic value in particular contexts.

One of the challenges with pacifism today is the degree of violence the state possesses and perpetrates against human beings combined with the erosion of a moral commitment to some communal value by both the state and a large portion of the population. This means appeals to moral positions will only be met with dismissal or outright violence. The taking the knee protest in the NFL right now is such an example. The significance of the act is only for those who already agree with the sentiment, others recast it, dismiss it, and will act violently against it.

Pacifism does not carry the transformative power that so many would hope for...