Wild-Cat Strike of Illigal Imigrants in Israel.

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teh
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Jan 13 2014 01:27
AES wrote:
The Makhnovchina were a movement in the Ukraine that included various tendencies. They together with many other workers, mostly peasants defend themselves and advanced their own interests by means of armed defence against several hostile armies from all sides including Austro-hungarian army, White army, and the Red army (on a few occasions when they were considered expendible after helping the Red army defeat the White army/Denekinists...)

teh, if you want to argue that capitalism and the state will allow their own abolition without social revolution (that includes violent struggle) then start a new thread.

No I'm arguing that 'deadly force as something that is ugly but sometimes necessary' is a much more violent sentiment then 'glorifying that killing as wonderful', not only because of its historical uses but because it allows one to kill and then rationalize it as one of historical necessity. If you're going to kill be open about it.

And clearly armed struggle in Ukraine was a historical failure and generally speaking has nothing to do with class struggle. Also allying with the Red army as it was attacking not only the gains of the working class but other left forces in the country is akin to today's quasi-trot groups voicing support for progressive 'anti'-imperialist nation states. Workers in the former USSR are even more demoralized and regimented today then in the core EU.

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AES
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Jan 13 2014 05:42

teh, if you promote "propaganda by the deed" or want to discuss that, then make your arguement?

If you want to have a discussion about various other aspects of violence then please continue the violence discussion here

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Tyrion
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Jan 13 2014 04:03
teh wrote:
No I'm arguing that 'deadly force as something that is ugly but sometimes necessary' is a much more violent sentiment then 'glorifying that killing as wonderful', not only because of its historical uses but because it allows one to kill and then rationalize it as one of historical necessity. If you're going to kill be open about it.

Where are you going with this? Are you suggesting that the working class should never engage in deadly force when it's the only effective way to resist attempts to reimpose capitalist social relations, or are you saying that if they do so then they should revel in it (in a similar fashion to meerov)?

teh wrote:
And clearly armed struggle in Ukraine was a historical failure and generally speaking has nothing to do with class struggle.

What alternative was there to engaging in armed struggle--quietly allowing Austro-German or White or Bolshevik forces to forcibly restore property "rights" and all that goes along with that? And how did the defeat of various armed bourgeois factions, which allowed communist movement to advance in a large portion of Ukraine, have nothing to do with class struggle?

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AES
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Jan 13 2014 05:44

Unless if you promote "propaganda by the deed" or want to discuss that in this thread - please continue the broader violence discussion here

Please edit (empty) your posts on this thread (specifically those recent posts concerning a general violence discussion which have been copied to the other thread, so that others don't continue discussing those broader issues on this thread). Thanks.

===

meerov/maggid, you have not answered my earlier question -
What about racist and other reactionary strikes?

Also, what about the violence of "popular uprisings" that turn into pogroms which were probably never "popular" violence anyway?
Or xenophobic violent attacks on immigrant workers and unwaged such as those which took place in South Africa a few years ago?

Your attempt to promote "propaganda by the deed" (not supported and recognised by the vast majority of anarchists since the 1890s) is to try make violence a principle and this attempt to attach violence to revolutionary struggle is counter-revolutionary.

meerov21
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Jan 13 2014 08:31

AES do you try to communicate with me?
I'm not going to talk with a person which allows himself to insults. Until you bring me an apology there can be no communication. If someone else is interested in my opinion on these issues i can answer him, but not to the people who use insults against me.

meerov21
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Jan 13 2014 09:50

teh, i partly agree and partly disagree with your opinion
In any case, any rebels (libertarian or not) celebrate they victory over the enemy and his death (not their own). I think denial of this fact sounds strange even if these rebels simultaneously fill sorrow at the death of the enemy.
From another side i did not understand what you do mean at this point "armed struggle in Ukraine was a historical failure and generally speaking has nothing to do with class struggle"

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Devrim
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Jan 13 2014 08:59
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None of the modern trade-unions (including syndicalists) support physical attacks against strike-breakers

I am not sure what you mean by 'modern', but I have seen the general secretary of a UK TUC union taking part in physical attacks against strike breakers, and I am not that old.

As people have said violence isn't revolutionary in and of itself. I think also that it is often a sign of weakness in the struggle. Not of strength.

Devrim

meerov21
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Jan 13 2014 09:26
Devrim wrote:
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None of the modern trade-unions (including syndicalists) support physical attacks against strike-breakers

I am not sure what you mean by 'modern', but I have seen the general secretary of a UK TUC union taking part in physical attacks against strike breakers, and I am not that old.

As people have said violence isn't revolutionary in and of itself. I think also that it is often a sign of weakness in the struggle. Not of strength.

Devrim

As for unions we should probably say that they are very rarely use violence compare with wild-cat.

"violence isn't revolutionary in and of itself" - I talked about the violence in the course of the class struggle. Of couse pogrom or rasist atack are not revolutionary struggle.

But what if the strikers give a direct armed response to the scabes, is that a revolutionary act, or not? I am not talking here about situation than scabes and cops behave as pacifists - in this case no one will shoote tham except lunatics .

"I think also that it is often a sign of weakness in the struggle. Not of strength". - Examples?

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Steven.
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Jan 13 2014 18:33
meerov21 wrote:
As for unions we should probably say that they are very rarely use violence compare with wild-cat.

sorry, but that's completely untrue. Read Louis Adamic's book Dynamite, for example, which covers the extremely violent actions of American unions in the early 20th century (like blowing up non-union-made buildings, breaking the fingers of non-union musicians, etc).

Other texts elsewhere talk about the often violent attacks American unions made on the members of rival unions, while scabbing on each other.

As others have pointed out, there is nothing inherently revolutionary about violence.

In terms of your sentence above, I would modify to say that "union violence is very rarely revolutionary, compared with the violence of wildcat strikers, which can be". But as others have adequately pointed out, it can be counter-productive.

If I attacked a strike breaker at my work with a baseball bat the next time we go out, firstly I would go to prison, and secondly all of my colleagues would sympathise with the scab rather than me, which would not help "the revolution" one iota!

The bosses would also make use of it to denigrate the strike as a whole, and would almost certainly be pretty successful in this.

meerov21
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Jan 13 2014 19:51
Steven. wrote:
meerov21 wrote:
As for unions we should probably say that they are very rarely use violence compare with wild-cat.

sorry, but that's completely untrue. Read Louis Adamic's book Dynamite, for example, which covers the extremely violent actions of American unions in the early 20th century (like blowing up non-union-made buildings, breaking the fingers of non-union musicians, etc).

Wait a minit. I was talking about todeys inions, about early 21 centuary )

teh
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Jan 13 2014 20:01
Tyrion wrote:
Where are you going with this? Are you suggesting that the working class should never engage in deadly force when it's the only effective way to resist attempts to reimpose capitalist social relations, or are you saying that if they do so then they should revel in it (in a similar fashion to meerov)?
\

I'm saying if youre going to beat up strikebreakers don't be evasive about it with rhetoric about historical necessity or moralism about violence. I don't know what 'revel' would mean here. If someone is arrested for violence during a strike say, and the violence was justified, they should be defended and supported.

teh
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Jan 13 2014 20:20
Steven. wrote:

In terms of your sentence above, I would modify to say that "union violence is very rarely revolutionary, compared with the violence of wildcat strikers, which can be". But as others have adequately pointed out, it can be counter-productive.

If I attacked a strike breaker at my work with a baseball bat the next time we go out, firstly I would go to prison, and secondly all of my colleagues would sympathise with the scab rather than me, which would not help "the revolution" one iota!

The bosses would also make use of it to denigrate the strike as a whole, and would almost certainly be pretty successful in this.

Don't disagree on the first paragraph but your example is a individualistic one. A more relevant one would be situations like this (which are pretty common): http://libcom.org/blog/indian-suzuki-workers-lynch-hospitalise-forty-man... EDIT: Or the recent mineworkers strike in South Africa. Several low level officials of the company union were murdered by the strikers. Given the level of violence unleashed by the union against the strikers this appears appropriate. And it did have a positive effect for the strikers.

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Chilli Sauce
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Jan 13 2014 20:18

Meerov,

What about racist and other reactionary strikes?

Also, what about the violence of "popular uprisings" that turn into pogroms which were probably never "popular" violence anyway?
Or xenophobic violent attacks on immigrant workers and unwaged such as those which took place in South Africa a few years ago?

Also, good point about violence often being a sign of weekness of a struggle - although, undoubtedly, in a truly revolutionary situation, armed self-defense and violence are basically and inevitability.

meerov21
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Jan 13 2014 20:58

As others have pointed out, there is nothing inherently revolutionary about violence.
In terms of your sentence above, I would modify to say that "union violence is very rarely revolutionary, compared with the violence of wildcat strikers, which can be". But as others have adequately pointed out, it can be counter-productive.

1. Firts. Let's talk here about mass violent movement (not about individual violense). As i said: "I talked about the violence in the course of the class struggle. Of couse pogrom or rasist atack are not revolutionary struggle"... "Violence against straike-breakers and bosses is a revolutionary thing. It is an impotent indicator of class consciousness. It is an indicator of trand from the class negotiations to the class war".
Do you disagree that transition from the class negotiations to the class war is revolutionanary thing?
I hope you understand that such a transition is violent: no nagotiations means violens (soon o late).

If I attacked a strike breaker at my work with a baseball bat the next time we go out, firstly I would go to prison, and secondly all of my colleagues would sympathise with the scab rather than me, which would not help "the revolution" one iota!

2. Second. Naw let's talk here about individual violens in the class strugle. In your example workers of you company "would sympathise with the scab rather than you". In this case individual violens is obviously politicaly wrong. But what if they can do the same violense becouse they love what you did with a scab? May be it is imposible in your company but what about others? What about some companys or countries there workers dislike the bosses o scabs more then in your plase? Are you sure you can say to the workers in such a places what is write or what is wrong in their case?

3. Third. Personal (not political) attitude toward him. If somebody did this and then shit happen that was a political mistake. But what if this man or woman did it just becous he or she can not tolerate humiliation (harassment, persecution, bullying) anymore? Yes, others can but he (she) can't. Isn't such person deserve compassion and respect? Isn't the ded scab deserve contempt?

meerov21
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Jan 13 2014 21:08

What about racist and other reactionary strikes?

Terrible thing. We can try to to convince these people that racism is totaly wrong.
If it is not possible i don't see posibility to support such a strike.

Also, what about the violence of "popular uprisings" that turn into pogroms

The same. Furthermore since the uprising turned into a nationalist pogrom we have to help to proletarians who may become the victims of the pogrom.

Or xenophobic violent attacks on immigrant workers and unwaged such as those which took place in South Africa a few years ago?

disgusting manifestation of xenophobia

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Jan 13 2014 23:15
teh wrote:
Steven. wrote:

In terms of your sentence above, I would modify to say that "union violence is very rarely revolutionary, compared with the violence of wildcat strikers, which can be". But as others have adequately pointed out, it can be counter-productive.

If I attacked a strike breaker at my work with a baseball bat the next time we go out, firstly I would go to prison, and secondly all of my colleagues would sympathise with the scab rather than me, which would not help "the revolution" one iota!

The bosses would also make use of it to denigrate the strike as a whole, and would almost certainly be pretty successful in this.

Don't disagree on the first paragraph but your example is a individualistic one. A more relevant one would be situations like this (which are pretty common): http://libcom.org/blog/indian-suzuki-workers-lynch-hospitalise-forty-man... EDIT: Or the recent mineworkers strike in South Africa. Several low level officials of the company union were murdered by the strikers. Given the level of violence unleashed by the union against the strikers this appears appropriate. And it did have a positive effect for the strikers.

the latter examples are obviously good, and to be supported: as we do clearly on libcom on a regular basis.

My point was just to say that we do not think that violence is inherently good in all circumstances, as AES and others have commented it is purely a tactical matter. Useful in some circumstances and counter-productive in others.

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Jan 14 2014 08:48
meerov21 wrote:
As for unions we should probably say that they are very rarely use violence compare with wild-cat.

I think that this raises the question of what a 'wildcat' actually is. Much of what are called 'wildcat' strikes are actually organised by the lower levels of the unions at times with encouragement, and even direction from the top. I don't think that it is at all correct to say that the trade unions never use violence. As I said I have seen the leader of a major trade union attacking scans, and have seen people being paid petrol money by the unions to go out and make violent attacks.

meerov21 wrote:
"violence isn't revolutionary in and of itself" - I talked about the violence in the course of the class struggle. Of couse pogrom or rasist atack are not revolutionary struggle.

I am not referring to pogroms or racist attacks. I am referring to violence used by workers in defence of class interests in the class struggle.

Of course these things are not always clear. Today there are groups which have roots in both the left communist traditions who are talking optimistically about the 'revolution' in Syria. I believe that one of the things that has attracted some of these groups to support this struggle is the violence. The movement in Syria is certainly one that is going down the road of pogrom and ethnic cleansing.

meerov21 wrote:
But what if the strikers give a direct armed response to the scabes, is that a revolutionary act, or not? I am not talking here about situation than scabes and cops behave as pacifists - in this case no one will shoote tham except lunatics.

If strikers give an armed response to scabs, I think it is the job of communists to defend them from the state. It doesn't mean that it is a revolutionary act though. Quite often it is an act of complete desperation. The Shankland and Hancock case in the UK miners' strike is a good example of this. They killed a scab. I, like many others of my age group on here I imagine, collected money for them at my work. It was a really stupid thing to do though, and was the act of desperation in a losing strike. It certainly wasn't revolutionary.

meerov21 wrote:
"I think also that it is often a sign of weakness in the struggle. Not of strength". - Examples?

To continue on the example of the UK miners' strike, the difference between Orgreave and Salty is of utmost importance. At Orgreave coking plant in June 1984 miners set up a blockade aimed at shutting the place down. What resulted was a pitched battle, and at the end of the day the police managed to keep the plant open. At Saltley Coke works in 1972, miners also tried to close down the plant. After a weeks failure they picketed out local engineering works, and brought down tens of thousands of extra pickets. The police overwhelmed by the numbers closed the gates, which was a defining moment in a strike that the miners went on to win. What violence couldn't achieve, solidarity and masses of workers could.

To just call briefly on a strike that I took part in, I remember anarchists telling me that the three and a half week wildcat postal strike in 1988 was "boring" because there was "no confrontation with the police". At my office we had no scabs. In my district (with about 3,000 workers) we had two. We were strong and had solidarity.

In contrast in the miners strike there was mass scabbing, and that's why there was picket line violence.

Surely you are stronger when you can persuade other workers to join you struggle by force of argument, not force of arms.

Devrim

meerov21
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Jan 14 2014 11:15

Devrim

"As for unions we should probably say that they are very rarely use violence compare with wild-cat".

I think that this raises the question of what a 'wildcat' actually is. Much of what are called 'wildcat' strikes are actually organised by the lower levels of the unions at times with encouragement, and even direction from the top. I don't think that it is at all correct to say that the trade unions never use violence. As I said I have seen the leader of a major trade union attacking scans, and have seen people being paid petrol money by the unions to go out and make violent attacks.

If a strike is controlled by the leadership of the trade-union it is not a wild cat.
Just by definition wild-cat is the spontaneous strike. Anyway i don't know what meaning do you put in it. Than i talk about wild-cat i mean strikes are not controlled by the union organization.
Yes, in some examples given by me lower levels of the unions participated in the wild-cat-strike (Souf African Marikana) or even led strike against the will of the leadership of the trade-union (mines uprising in Spain in Asturia in 2013). However, even in the latter case we can see the elements of the workers autonomy and the begining of desintegration of the trade-nions.
Also some trade union strike includes elements of wild-cat. I knew the participants and organizers of the strike of railwaymen in some russian citys. It was the trade union strike but some local cells were partly independent and were in close relationship with not-union workers activists. In one city such a core of unionists and not-unionists do all work during the strike including the pressure on potential strike-breakers.
Somtimes there is no clear border between the trade-union strike and wild-cat. But if the workers autonomy from the union is broader, the arsenal of tools, including violence also broader.

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jura
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Jan 14 2014 11:32

Someone might find this useful: Workers' violence doesn't always mean workers' autonomy.

meerov21
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Jan 14 2014 11:29

If strikers give an armed response to scabs, I think it is the job of communists to defend them from the state. It doesn't mean that it is a revolutionary act though. Quite often it is an act of complete desperation. The Shankland and Hancock case in the UK miners' strike is a good example of this. They killed a scab. I, like many others of my age group on here I imagine, collected money for them at my work. It was a really stupid thing to do though, and was the act of desperation in a losing strike. It certainly wasn't revolutionary.

A very interesting question.
"It was a really stupid thing to do though, and was the act of desperation in a losing strike". - so if miners just lose a strike and take it as is and don't kill a scab you thing it will be better? Just accept defeat is a better thing? Why do yo think so?

To continue on the example of the UK miners' strike, the difference between Orgreave and Salty is of utmost importance. At Orgreave coking plant in June 1984 miners set up a blockade aimed at shutting the place down. What resulted was a pitched battle, and at the end of the day the police managed to keep the plant open. At Saltley Coke works in 1972, miners also tried to close down the plant. After a weeks failure they picketed out local engineering works, and brought down tens of thousands of extra pickets. The police overwhelmed by the numbers closed the gates, which was a defining moment in a strike that the miners went on to win. What violence couldn't achieve, solidarity and masses of workers could.

What about the situation when you can't attract a hundred thousand workers on the picket of solidarity? Or even you can, but scabs and police use some weapons against you?

meerov21
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Jan 14 2014 11:42
Quote:
Steven. wrote:
My point was just to say that we do not think that violence is inherently good in all circumstances, as AES and others have commented it is purely a tactical matter. Useful in some circumstances and counter-productive in others.

Nobody here says that violence is inherently good in all circumstances.
But i also don't think it is a is "purely a tactical matter".
This is a very important strategic issue
A social revolution is a class war.
The basis of social revolution is a communist self-organization, which lead to a widespread emergence of the workers ' councils and workers autonomy. But class war also can not be victorious wothout violens.
Side by side with the growing solidarity and self-organisaton is the growing ability for violens.

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Jan 14 2014 16:08
meerov21 wrote:
What about the situation when you can't attract a hundred thousand workers on the picket of solidarity?

Exactly when you can't bring out that number of workers you are weaker that when you can. In those situations you have to adopt other tactics, which may include violence.

The point was though that violence is often a sign of weakness, which I think you have demonstrated very well.

meerov21 wrote:
Or even you can, but scabs and police use some weapons against you?

Again, you are talking about a situation when workers are in a position of weakness. When they are strong there are no scabs.

meerov21 wrote:
A very interesting question.
"It was a really stupid thing to do though, and was the act of desperation in a losing strike". - so if miners just lose a strike and take it as is and don't kill a scab you thing it will be better? Just accept defeat is a better thing? Why do yo think so?

I don't think that dropping concrete blocks off a motorway bridge was ever a good idea. Do you think that doing it had any productive results? Does killing somebody make up for the fact that you lose the strike?*

More to the point, I think that to a certain extent the unions encouraged the intensification of the violence through both the miners' strike and the following News International strike, and that what this effectively did was diverted the most militant workers from what could have won the strike; spreading it to other industries. Thatcher herself admitted this in her autobiography.

So in effect the violence didn't take the strike forward, but held it back.

Devrim

*Actually they didn't manage to kill the scab, but killed the taxi driver who was taking him to work, but that is not really the point.

meerov21
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Jan 15 2014 13:45

Devrim "What about the situation when you can't attract a hundred thousand workers on the picket of solidarity?"

Exactly when you can't bring out that number of workers you are weaker that when you can. In those situations you have to adopt other tactics, which may include violence.

The point was though that violence is often a sign of weakness, which I think you have demonstrated very well.

Ok

Devrim : Do you think that doing it had any productive results? Does killing somebody make up for the fact that you lose the strike?*

1. I am not talking about killing the innocent people. I think that killing innocent people is bad. But initially you were talking about ded scab: "The Shankland and Hancock case in the UK miners' strike is a good example of this. They killed a scab... It was a really stupid thing to do though, and was the act of desperation in a losing strike."

2. Of course, to win the strike is better than losing. However, i think that for the supporters of communism, the crucial issue is the question of HAW to organize the strike. If workers are ready for violence against boss this is testimony of radicalization of class conflict. This is a transition from class negotiations to the class war. Yes, it is not the only dimension in which there is a radicalization: solidarity and self-organisation are also important. Yes, workers can start negotiation after the violens. But willingness to violence is very importent.

3. If you lost the war, but still managed to deal a devastating blow to the enemy at the end, and he understood that you are not so easy to break, is it bad?

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Jan 15 2014 22:28
meerov21 wrote:
1. I am not talking about killing the innocent people. I think that killing innocent people is bad. But initially you were talking about ded scab: "The Shankland and Hancock case in the UK miners' strike is a good example of this. They killed a scab... It was a really stupid thing to do though, and was the act of desperation in a losing strike."

Yes, I was talking about a dead scab. The guy was driving a scab to work across a picket line. Therefore he was a scab too. It was a very polarised time but he wasn't 'innocent', whatever that means. The method used to kill him was stupid, and very dangerous, and killing him did nothing to take the strike forward.

meerov21 wrote:
2. Of course, to win the strike is better than losing. However, i think that for the supporters of communism, the crucial issue is the question of HAW to organize the strike. If workers are ready for violence against boss this is testimony of radicalization of class conflict. This is a transition from class negotiations to the class war. Yes, it is not the only dimension in which there is a radicalization: solidarity and self-organisation are also important. Yes, workers can start negotiation after the violens. But willingness to violence is very importent.

I don't think that the willingness to commit violent acts is anywhere near as important as you do. I don't think that in itself it shows the radicalisation of the struggle. I also beleive that it can at times act against the radicalisation of a struggle.

meerov21 wrote:
3. If you lost the war, but still managed to deal a devastating blow to the enemy at the end, and he understood that you are not so easy to break, is it bad?

I don't think that killing a scab is a devastating blow. I doubt that Thatcher, or Ian MacGregor lost ten minutes sleep over his death, let alone a night's.

Devrim

haljanvi
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Jan 17 2014 12:01

I've read the discussion and I want to say that, first, to me it seems there was a kind of misunderstanding because nobody here says violence is a panacea and a good thing in itself. On the other hand, speaking about how violence is bad leads nowhere. Non-violent aspirations only cause MORE VIOLENCE, because the government isn't at all going to abandon violence... Look at what is happening now in Ukraine. Not only a new dictatorship is under way, but the effect of this will frighten protesters in nearby countries for long. But maybe we will learn from this that violence is necessary. We don't live in some "civilized" world where government yield to people just for the fact they go out and stand somewhere. Whether you like it or not, violence should be used without remorse (of course it should be organised and well thought-out) or you with your sophisticated philosophy will be absolutely destroyed.

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Jan 27 2014 01:14

Listen halganvi, I think you have completely missed everyone's point here. No one posting on this thread is a pacifist.
People are simply trying to say that in some situations violence can do more harm than it does good. Its a tactical thing, if you catch my drift. That does not mean we shouldn't support our comrades in situations where they may have acted out and done something."tactically" wrong. The point I'm trying to bring across is that we don't always support violence because we think, and have personally witnessed, violence bring the struggle backwards and not forwards.

Meerov I share some of your sentiments and would love it if every striker was ready and willing to bust a scab up if necessary, but that does not mean we should jump on that any chance we get. Also, stop being a fucking asshole to everyone plz. Violence is not something to glorify, be a fucking human here...

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Jan 27 2014 10:17

.

meerov21
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Jan 30 2014 17:12
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Also, stop being a fucking asshole to everyone plz.

So if I answer in the same tone or even allow myself to sarcasm, moderator write that I'm guilty of inciting scandal.