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A couple of points concerning the reconciliation of the movement

We must be damned careful NOT to let differences in LANGUAGE be mistook for differences in STRATEGY
* I am concerned that there is a real division forming. Many have recognized it, but attribute it to differences in strategy. I'm not so sure about that.

* Take for example, the "It's Time for the Militants" article. Where an author expresses anger at "White Liberalism" and speaks for the need for action outside the "systems"

* A comment titled "Vandalism is Foolish" wrote:___ "You are not causing significant damage to corporations by breaking a window, graffiti-ing, or doing other forms of vandalism that can be covered by multinationals' other arm....the insurance industry." (comment#31866)____

and said that:

___"If you want to reduce the dependency on multinationals, form a food (or other supply) co-op. Grow your own food; borrow other people's belongings for use around the house; buy used or make your own clothing. Learn how to fix things instead of buying them new. (FreeGeek is a *brilliant* idea....computers are powerful tools, and FreeGeek makes them FREE for sweat equity building systems for others.) " (comment#31866)___

The author of comment#31866, believes that the "militant stance" is against all the solutions they listed.

A comment to his comment, agreed with him saying:

____"These are very radical changes and not at ALL what white
liberals do. White liberals aren't ready to give
up there SUV's and fancy clothing styles. They would rather
vote for Democrats and scold those of us who don't vote or know it is an exercise in futility and will spend the next four years fighting the decadence they enjoy! (While your shopping, bombs are dropping!) But there consciences are clear
because they voted for a Democrat! Give me a fucking break! " ("Liberals won't even go that far" comment#31874)____

If you read this carefully, you will see that what the author of comment#31874 means by "white liberal" is someone who believes that by just simply voting for a democrat, their conscious is cleared at they can do living their life of "decadence."

IT IS ABSOLUTLY ESSENTIAL THAT ANYONE WHO IS UPSET BY THE LANGUAGE OF 'MILITANTS' TO REREAD COMMENT#31874. The author clearly states "These are very radical changes and not at ALL what white liberals do"

OK. I would like to make some important conclusions.

I don't see two different views I see do different language systems;

* People who believe that the system isn't working, so they are working on alternative and empowering structures. They see themselves as creating real alternatives and are therefore building ONTO the system. They also believe in protest and civil disobedience, but they want to present it in a way that brings in people who are more mainstream. They are concerned with empowering people who are stuck in the system and helping them get onto a better path. They get upset by militant language because they associate violence with the power structure and do not what to act only in reaction. To them: "MILITANT" means "VIOLENT." "WORKING WITH THE SYSTEM" means "CREATING ALTERNATIVES"

*People who believe tat he system isn't working, so they are working on alternative and empowering structures. They see themselves as creating real alternatives and are therefore building OUTSIDE OF the systems. They also believe in protest and civil disobedience, but they want to present it in a way that shows people that they are not simply begging the master for bigger cages. They are concerned with empowering people who are stuck in the system and helping them get onto a better path. They get upset by the Antimilitant language because they desire REAL change and so think that the critique of their strategy to react to the system is an attempt to usurp the movement. To them: "MILITANT" means "MOVITATED AND EFFECTIVE." "WORKING WITH THE SYSTEM" means "BEING A GOOD SLAVE."

So, do you see it?

There is a translation problem, but I simply don't see much of a difference in strategy.

Nonmilitants: the "Militants" don't want to hurt people. They love the alternative solutions. They are concerned that the systems will prevent the realization of those solutions. They view their actions as "self-defense." They are your allies, not your enemies. Do not be distracted from the work of getting things on the right track.

Militants: the "Nonmilitants" don't like the democrats either. They vote strategically because they want to effect the systems how ever they can. Most don't vote anymore anyway. They are the folks who are working on all the alternative strategies for the world that we need when the system collapses. They are your allies, not your enemies. Do not be distracted from the work of getting things on the right track.
actions: reflect thoughts, louder than words 06.Nov.2002 14:53

hologrAfrican

'I don't see two different views I see do different language systems'

--good point. peoples actions and conduct should necessarily reflect their expressed views. "i hate you" in 2 languages can have a singular expression that relates to it, like a face slap.

what's is ultimately more important, in some way, what we say, how we say what we say, or what actions we display?

I agree some. 06.Nov.2002 16:31

Heck mbthink@hotmail.com

There is a struggle of would be polar extremes. On one side portland has had a community of people that stand for liberal reform of the state and pacifism. That seemed to work for them untill people started expressing a need to see an escalation in our tactics. At first the people asking for this escalation seemed to come from a civil disobediance oriented aspect of non violent actavism. Then we saw the government make an active effort to portray property destruction as inheriently violent. This created a schism in the type of acts people were willing to take for social change. Around the time of the WTO we began to see black blocs emerge. At first these anarchists made every effort to act in solidarity with the peoples struggle if not in tactics. We definitly were pro property destruction.
Then we saw the emergance of the peace cop, representing the extreme of liberal pacifism they encircled and helped to arrest anarchists at protests. This continued locally for around a year untill people wised up and started confronting it.
I know a few anarchists that are more than apt to work in co-operatives. I've met many liberals that will do little more than vote. I've met a few anarchists and we got mad skills. I personally not inclined to work with people that support government or hierchy. The assertion that no one should be governed amounts to more than a question of language or phrasing.

freedom in action
(A)

Right the fuck on... 06.Nov.2002 16:50

amy

I think the whole point of CascadiaSwaraj's article is that Militant Anarchists confuse the NonViolent Anarchists for SUV-driving, Democrat-voting Liberals and the NonViolent Anarchists confuse the Militant Anarchists for Dangerous Angry Street Mobs.

Both "sides" are wrong in their interpretation of the "other".

Great, let's dig deeper 06.Nov.2002 20:18

Enji

I think this is a wonderful articulation of the polarization that happens.

I would like to add that it appears to me some poor communication skills add to the fray.

Clearly, in order to point out the difference, exaggerations are made. Amy puts the difference succinctly, but it also lumps a lot of people at different polar ends when most difference don't go to those extremes. Not her intention, but I think perhaps then because these boxes are made, there are some who will put people and their essays into these boxes without doing a clear reading of their articles.

For example, I've quibbled with 'taking the streets', pointing out Gandhi did not advocate blocking people's access, and arguing for similar tactics, not quite so drastic, that might be more effective. (citing Jews for Global Justice's blockades at red lights and handing out of flyers to drivers). I'd be willing to bet that turned into, in some people's minds, a rejection of the blocking of the street, something I never said. In fact, I don't think I've ever read someone here say the street should never be blocked, yet some have characterized others into that belief.

It's important to analyze an essay for what it's not saying, but at the same time, it's important not to ascribe notions to a person and their writing simply because they appear to fit into a pre-defined box.