What if the black bloc have the right idea?

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Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Sure, Churchill uses a number of other inaccurate and insulting arguments,

I've read his book...thanks to Maysie for loaning it out.  Anyway, I was referring to your attempted linkage with my own comments, which I contend you have misread.  On the other hand, I'm not exactly sure how you can fail to detect a quixotic sort of arrogance that says peace is the best way to proceed against a war machine, until we say otherwise.  Regarding the Trek and the General Strike, the state tends to view disobedience itself as a violent provocation.  Just ask anyone who has ever been assaulted by the police for simply asking why they’re being violently dragged off to jail.  Nowadays, proof of servility is required when arranging demonstrations.  This is why there are plenty of denunciations to be thrown around whenever a few subjects step out of line to vent their anger.  Instead they're supposed to doff the cap and bow their heads, march along and be orderly about it, chant a few slogans, and go home.  After all, if unscripted outbursts of that nature are permitted, it’ll likely result in ruining things for everyone if they decide to not grant the requisite permits the next time around.

Quote:
But I think you're missing my point, which is that the vast majority of positive changes are accomplished without any violence at all. And unless we are seriously considering settling school board budget through urban warfare, I'd say that all other avenues of decision making and protest have NOT outlived their usefulness.

Sure, if one continues to overlook the junction between the minutiae of social struggle, and the larger, systemic issues related to global corporate governance.

NDPP

Slumberjack wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:
 Sure, Churchill uses a number of other inaccurate and insulting arguments,

I've read his book...thanks to Maysie for loaning it out.

Churchill's book is posted, and is well worth reading for those that haven't. Especially since it will most certainly come down to a contest of force in the end, unless we continue on the path we're on which is to suck up whatever the PTB decide to impose and continue to believe nonsense and fairy-tales about 'opposition'...

Pacifism as Pathology  -  by Ward Churchill

http://zinelibrary.info/files/pap_imposed.pdf

ps whatever form the resistance ultimately takes, organization will still be a necessary prerequisite...

Slumberjack

Thanks NDPP.  That thread reminded me of our discussions about Chris Hedges and the burr in his saddle about the black bloc.  Being a Theologian in addition to everything else, its pretty much a given that he prefers some sort of authority, which likely ties in with his diatribe in favour of domestic counter-insurgency.  There's a consistency in that at least.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

This is very good paragraph summation of what I believe about this issue. 

Churchill wrote:

I don’t deny the obviously admirable emotional content of the pacifist perspective. Surely we can all agree that the world should become a place of cooperation, peace, and harmony. Indeed, it would be nice if everything would just get better while nobody got hurt, including the oppressor who (temporarily and misguidedly) makes everything bad. Emotional niceties, however, do not render a viable politics. As with most delusions designed to avoid rather than confront unpleasant truths (Lenin’s premise that the sort of state he created would wither away under “correct conditions” comes to mind),[2] the pacifist fantasy is inevitably doomed to failure by circumstance.

Bacchus
6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

On the other hand, I'm not exactly sure how you can fail to detect a quixotic sort of arrogance that says peace is the best way to proceed against a war machine, until we say otherwise.  Regarding the Trek and the General Strike, the state tends to view disobedience itself as a violent provocation.

That's nice. So non-violence is rrelevant because the state says it actually violence. Good to know who controls the debate here.

I wonder how things might have turned out if some protests and standoffs - Oka is one which springs to mind, as well as those I mentioned above - were offensive rather than defensive. I doubt we would have seen the same outcome.

By contrast, I wonder if the police who cracked down on a peaceful demonstration in Winnipeg in 1919 weren't just a little antsy because of the mailbombings which had taken place in the states just weeks before, and which accomplished absolutely nothing other than giving the authorities an excuse for more suppression and demonizing.

And since you use the term, I can think of nothing more quixotic than smashing a store window, knowing it is going to be there again the next day. But hey, if this esoteric quote on wikipedia is to be believed, it's not really an act of force designed to effect physical change at all; it's breaking the psychic glass that is important:

When we smash a window, we aim to destroy the thin veneer of legitimacy that surrounds private property rights … After N30 [November 30], many people will never see a shop window or a hammer the same way again. The potential uses of an entire cityscape have increased a thousand-fold. The number of broken windows pales in comparison to the number of spells—spells cast by a corporate hegemony to lull us into forgetfulness of all the violence committed in the name of private property rights and of all the potential of a society without them. Broken windows can be boarded and eventually replaced, but the shattering of assumptions will hopefully persist for some time to come.

ACME Collective, quoted in Paris (2003)[22]

Again... it seems k was on the right track about this being all about magical thinking.

kropotkin1951 wrote:

This is not the 1960's the APEC summit was the start of the normalization of brutal police assaults on peaceful protestors. 

Say what? What history book did you pull THAT out of?

Not only have police, the military and right wing mobs been using violence forever,  political groups were thinking and acting internationally 100 and even 200 years ago.

There is nothing new or even remotely revolutionary about this - not even the staged hooliganism, however they want to dress it up.

 

 

 

contrarianna

Slumberjack wrote:

Thanks NDPP.  That thread reminded me of our discussions about Chris Hedges and the burr in his saddle about the black bloc.  Being a Theologian in addition to everything else, its pretty much a given that he prefers some sort of authority, which likely ties in with his diatribe in favour of domestic counter-insurgency.  There's a consistency in that at least.

Though Hedges graduated from Harvard divinity school, he is decidely not a "Theologian".

(He remaims sympathetic to both secular and believers progressive actions)

There is no clear evidence that I have seen that he even continues to be a Christian, and  certainly not one who has subservience to any "authority" as presumed by you.

I wouldn't be surprised if his many years of being a war correspondent dislodged that notion.
 
The only statment of belief I have seen from him is that he is a "socialist".

Slumberjack

contrarianna wrote:
Though Hedges graduated from Harvard divinity school, he is decidely not a "Theologian".

I don't know.  This sounds awfully similar to how modern theology holds forth these days.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Hedges wrote:

To survive as a human being is possible only through love. And, when Thanatos is ascendant, the instinct must be to reach out to those we love, to see in them all the divinity, pity and pathos of the human. And to recognize love in the lives of others, even those with whom we are in conflict—love that is like our own. It does not mean we will avoid suffering or death. It does not mean that we as distinct individuals will survive. But love, in its mystery, has its own power. It alone gives us meaning that endures. It alone allows us to embrace and cherish life. Love has the power both to resist in our nature what we know we must resist and to affirm what we know we must affirm.

Sounds a lot like turn the other cheek to me. So go ahead hug a riot cop at your next demonstration I am sure it will be uplifting.

 

contrarianna

Slumberjack wrote:

contrarianna wrote:
Though Hedges graduated from Harvard divinity school, he is decidely not a "Theologian".

I don't know.  This sounds awfully similar to how modern theology holds forth these days.

Hedges, having studied religion and being willing and actually capable of discussing it,  could, in the broadest sense, be called a "theologian".
But not  by your narrow understanding as a term of opprobrium necessarily entailing subservience to some religious "authority".

The essay cited is on the dimensions of "love" for which he appropriately cites  religious and several atheistical writers on the subject (including atheists Viktor Frankl, Sigmund Freud and Vasily Grossman). One does not have to agree with his essay but their is no reason to claim there is any dominant religious transcendentalism counter to the obvious and typical humanist content.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So merely calling him a theologian is an insult to him and constitutes public censure.  You must have something against theologians, care to share.

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sounds a lot like turn the other cheek to me. So go ahead hug a riot cop at your next demonstration I am sure it will be uplifting.

I'm not sure those lines of distinction are so clear, k.

Probably the most serious protest action in the U. S. during the Vietnam war was made by one of those turn the other cheek types, and a religious one at that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Morrison

And there are enough times when the humanity of those who are enemies is very significant:

http://demosthenes.blogspot.ca/2011/02/egyptian-army-refused-orders-to-f...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_battleship_Potemkin

 

 

 

contrarianna

kropotkin1951 wrote:

So merely calling him a theologian is an insult to him and constitutes public censure.  You must have something against theologians, care to share.

It is an insult when used by some, as is clear from context,  here and elswhere. Just as calling someone a "atheist" or "socialist" is an insult  in some circles.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Is is an insult to call Mulcair a lawyer? How about calling Harper an economist?  Both of those are insults in many quarters including many who post here.

Norman's sacrifice was the height of ineffectiveness.  The Vietcong beat the imperial war machine not pacifists dousing themselves in gasoline.  The early Xian's did the same thing to get the Roman imperial state to stop persecuting them. They succeeded and it became the state religion and thus began a couple of millennium of killing in the name of Christ. Seems their lion assisted suicides did nothing to really change the true nature of the imperial state but merely gave it a new propaganda regime to justify its greed driven violence.

My favourite MP's have mostly been Xian activists and pacifists so its not like I don't have time for that perspective. I just am tired of the self righteous on this board telling others how they should react in the face of police brutality.  I for one only really believe in using violence to defend oneself but frankly breaking windows is just another ineffective method of bringing about change just like passively asking for more and letting the cops tear gas, pepper spray and truncheon oneself.  IMO neither works and neither is morally superior no matter how good it feels to vilify others in the face of our own impotence.

contrarianna

 

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Is is an insult to call Mulcair a lawyer? How about calling Harper an economist?  Both of those are insults in many quarters including many who post here.

your point?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

@ k #115

No, of course Norman Morrison didn't stop the war, but he did demonstrate that those religious turn the other cheek types can also make a symbolic act of protest - one that is  powerful in its own right, and that isn't forgotten after they replace the glass on the Nike store. And the VietCong were the first to recognize the importance of his protest.

And what does ritual destruction of property have to do with police brutality? Who said anything about "passively asking for more"? We're talking about offensive violent action being the only way to effect change.

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

We're talking about offensive violent action being the only way to effect change.

I don't think it is the only way but I can understand your point of view that it is the only way. Seems a little disjointed from what I thought you were saying but then again maybe you just decided to get off the fence.

Slumberjack

contrarianna wrote:
Hedges, having studied religion and being willing and actually capable of discussing it,  could, in the broadest sense, be called a "theologian".  But not  by your narrow understanding as a term of opprobrium necessarily entailing subservience to some religious "authority".

It's not the first time he's referenced spirituality in his writing.  I'm not really an anti-Hedgiantologist or anything.  Much of his writing constitutes an accurate description of the times, but I don't necessarily agree with everything.  The only further thing I'll add is that recognition of an ultimate authority is subservience by definition and practice.  It's fine to be in the service of something, but not so much if its involuntary, or else.

6079_Smith_W

The key phrase there being "what I thought you were saying".

Do I need to remind you that my position is that offensive violent action is not the only possible way to effect change? That in fact no, it is not very effective at all, and that far more progressive change has been accomplished through peaceful means?

 

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
That in fact no, it is not very effective at all, and that far more progressive change has been accomplished through peaceful means? 

How about a few examples?

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

 The only further thing I'll add is that recognition of an ultimate authority is subservience by definition and practice.  It's fine to be in the service of something, but not so much if its involuntary, or else.

Off-topic, but I don't think that necessarily describes the thinking of all religious people; It doesn't even describe all christians. I mean if you read the story, that Jesus character spends much of his time telling people to not blindly obey the letter of the law, but rather to apply it in a way that makes sense. He certainly never said that anyone should worship him or build a church in his name.

On the other hand, lots of things can set up as an ultimate authority to obey, from a book to a cultural or political tradition.

(edit)

cross posted, SJ.

Geez, how many have I mentioned already this thread?

Suffrage, marriage equality, abortion choice, probably the majority of our legal protections, for starters.

Now anyone want to answer my question (probably for the 10th time now)  of how street theatre and breaking windows has produced any reforms, and how it is the only way we can change things?

 

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Suffrage, marriage equality, abortion choice, probably the majority of our legal protections, for starters. 

The movement toward suffrage was a long, drawn out struggle that was expedited by war. There was a time when voting meant people could change their circumstances, and when you have half the population as a potential voting block, the political opportunists have little choice but to promise certain things. There was a protracted campaign since at least the late 1800’s for voting rights with varying results, and then there was a world war.  Women were needed in the factories because of conscription, taxes were collected from their labour, after which the universal suffrage genie was let out from a long corked bottle so to speak. It could be said in this instance that war accomplished what peaceful agitation in the late 1800's and early 20th century could not, up to the 1st of January 1919.  Obviously, other rights were only possible from that point of origin.

Legal protections?...hmmm.  I assume you know the story of the Magna Carta, that it was produced from rebellion?

6079_Smith_W

I wouldn't say suffrage was the result of war, but of course it has had an influence, as I think k mentioned above. In that it is no different than any other social pressure which has a side effect, like the depression.

And after all, when suffrage in Canada was based on property, women who owned it DID have some voting rights. It was only after non-property owners got the right to vote that it was taken away from women.

But the war was not fought on the issue of suffrage. There have been progressive issues settled by conflict, of course. But that gets back to the main question - is force the only way to effect change? Have progressive people ever committed violent acts, short of starting an actual war, which resulted in lasting positive change? Other than being recognized as a cry for help which was later acted on, I can't think of any. At least not here in Canada.

(not that there may not be any; I just can't think of one)

 

 

 

 

 

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
There have been progressive issues settled by conflict, of course. But that gets back to the main question - is force the only way to effect change? Have progressive people ever committed violent acts, short of starting an actual war, which resulted in lasting positive change? Other than being recognized as a cry for help which was later acted on, I can't think of any. At least not here in Canada.

Exactly. To which I'll add that police agencies have been known to infiltrate groups and perform black bloc style tactics (see Montebello). So on that basis alone, how can that tactic be defended?

onlinediscountanvils

Emmeline Pankhurst wrote:
The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics.

[url=http://www.counterfire.org/index.php/articles/75-our-history/7697-the-su... Suffragettes, Black Friday and Two Types of Window Smashing[/url]

Quote:
A hundred years ago today (on Friday 18th November 1910) a suffragette deputation to the House of Commons met with a six hour onslaught of police brutality resulting in a the Suffragettes beginning a huge window smashing campaign in protest.

The attack was so horrendous, the Suffragettes remembered the day it happened as ‘Black Friday’.

Today, when the government and right-wing press are declaring moral outrage at the smashing of a window in the Milbank Tower, many activists have been looking back to the inspiring examples of suffragette direct action.

Quote:
The suffragettes were exposing that the government cared more about a pane of glass than a woman’s life (force feeding for hunger striking suffragette prisoners had been introduced in 1909) or a woman’s political rights. If property was the government’s priority, then property was a target.

onlinediscountanvils

Aristotleded24 wrote:
police agencies have been known to infiltrate groups and perform black bloc style tactics (see Montebello). So on that basis alone, how can that tactic be defended?

 

Police are constantly infiltrating and gaining infuence within many activist groups. Sometimes they push groups to become more militant. Other times they push groups to be less militant. Sometimes they just make sure nothing gets done at all. If we start discarding tactics simply because at one time or another cops have used those tactics to their benefit we'll have no tactics left. 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
There have been progressive issues settled by conflict, of course. But that gets back to the main question - is force the only way to effect change? Have progressive people ever committed violent acts, short of starting an actual war, which resulted in lasting positive change? Other than being recognized as a cry for help which was later acted on, I can't think of any. At least not here in Canada.

There was information presented around suffrage which suggested that war and a few broken windows in conjunction with peaceful pressure did contribute to something of lasting effect, but the question is actually about the black bloc, and if they have the right idea.  It's more complex than a simple 'no' based on an aversion toward violence.

Slumberjack

The gains from the early days and subsequent years of the organized labour movements for example can't be said to have been the result of motions bandied about at Sunday picnics, or the result of peaceful strolls along the pavement.  Instead the processes were bloody, brutal, and fatal in many instances. 

Ultimately, the various agreements to bestow collective bargaining rights was a brilliant response by the elite against the threat of bolshevism, as were the subsequent reforms instituted through social democratic compacts between elitism and the general population through the intermediary of government.  The murder of an entire family of elitists and the specter of the tyranny of masses pouring out onto the streets in every city represented a fresh backdrop for some time, into the 20s and 30s well after the actual events took place. 

The advent of collective bargaining however; at a stroke, subdivided the working class into have and have not categories, meaning that here and there, pockets of represented, comparatively better off workers were created amongst the general drudgery of wage slavery that was pervasive everywhere else.  As the general situation unfolded several decades later, it was almost as if lower wage earners and the destitute alike were used as a bargaining chip by both organized labour and corporatism, with one side offering up not only the prospect of production stoppages, but also the potential threat of mobilizing the general disenfranchisement found simmering at the lower strata of society, and the other side countering with scab labour arrangements backed by the muscle of the police.  This was the setting upon which today's social democratic welfare state was founded.  In part, this is also why today, it is a relatively small matter for the elite to turn the working poor against collective interests that should otherwise be theirs as well.

Today the terrain of social unrest has undergone significant seismic shifts.  There is the successful media campaign against the 'fat cat' organized labour sectors, which was directed at the poor, who no one ever really cared about at any rate as is well understood by everyone affected.  And then there is the era of globalization, offshored manufacturing, along with temporary worker visa programs issuing documents by the thousands to even poorer people around the world to come here and share in the work of the menial sectors that are still looking for wage relief, and can keep on looking for it.  As well there is the globally integrated system of market speculation and inflation that can be fine tuned and directed as a weapon, in such a was as to recuperate any losses from wage pressures that always lag behind at any rate.

When we talk about the elitist media caricature of the black bloc, or of similar tactics that are equally denigrated by the organized, entrenched, buffer zone stasis between elitism and the poor, the marginalized, the destitute, and the fed up with crap sectors of the population, whether we associate with violence and vandalism or not, this is the terrain upon which we should be examining things.

6079_Smith_W

Slumberjack wrote:

There was information presented around suffrage which suggested that war and a few broken windows in conjunction with peaceful pressure did contribute to something of lasting effect, but the question is actually about the black bloc, and if they have the right idea.  It's more complex than a simple 'no' based on an aversion toward violence.

Two things:

It's not exactly about the black bloc, despite the title. After all, when some of us called them hooligans we got cries of slander, and explanations that they're a bunch of nice kids who help people and foil those dastardly cops.

I agree it is about if they have the right idea, and an explanation of that is all the way back in post #2 - that non-violence only works within a certain system, and that the only alternative is a violent action and a radical takeover. That is exactly what I have been talking about.

Onlinediscountanvils' point on the British Suffragettes is a good one, though personally, I think Nellie McClung did it with way more style and got the same result. I'd add to that some in the temprerance league in the States, who smashed up saloons (an act which probably had a more direct effect because they were actually costing people a lot of money).

The difference with the BB is that they came into existence around that tactic, and in terms of expressing a point, there is nothing else they do outside of these demos around international meetings that are as common as Leap Day. It's not an act of frustration so much as their whole reason for being, and it's not something you can use to run a society (well, other than a fascist one). It doesn't accomplish anything except in extreme cases, and even then it is rare. The example I offered from France? Do nothing but smash trucks on a regular basis and even the cops get bored with it.

The authorities certainly don't though. They love it.

That's why I find the whole question absurd. It has nothing to do with an aversion to violence. Protesters stand up to violence all the time. It's because it doesn't produce lasting results, there is no consensus around it (the smashers in Seattle this last May Day were about 70 people), and if you accept that it is okay for you to use it, then you accept that it is okay for others to use it against you.

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Here you go again.  You don't get the BB because you refuse to believe anything except the cartoon images that you are so fond of.  Your dismissal of anything the individual anarchists do is clearly your bias.  You refuse to believe anything but the MSM reports.

Quote:

The difference with the BB is that they came into existence around that tactic, and in terms of expressing a point, there is nothing else they do outside of these demos around international meetings that are as common as Leap Day.

But the real people who are involved in the BB and other anarchist groups don't seem quite so clueless.

Leah Henderson wrote:

My skills and experience — as a facilitator, as a trainer, as a legal professional and as someone linking different communities and movements –
were all targeted in this case, with the state trying to depict me as a “brainwasher” and as a mastermind of mayhem, violence and destruction.
During the week of the G8 & G20 summits, the police targeted legal observers, street medics and independent media. It is clear that the skills that make us strong, the alternatives that reduce our reliance on their systems and prefigure a new world, are the very things that they are
most afraid of.

I organize openly as an anti-colonial, anti-capitalist anarchist. My organizing is focused on movement building, and this commitment to build
skill sets and support other activists is another part of why the state has targeted me. However, this attempt to deter me has failed, just as it
has failed to deter thousands of others similarly facing police brutality and jail. I am strengthened in my resolve to build communities of
resistance. We are building the structures of a new kind of society in the midst of the old, and we cannot do that without a commitment to
skill-sharing, mutual aid and collective liberation.

http://www.passemuraille.on.ca/2012/01/03/g8g20-protests-still-reverbera...

the Huff and Fluff about Byron Sonne wrote:

Despite his two-year ordeal, which included 11 months in jail following his arrest two years ago, an ecstatic Byron Sonne said he would continue to "test" the system.

"I'm not going to stop," a trembling Sonne, 39, said after his exoneration.

"It's more important than ever that we fight against the slippery slope of what's being done with our rights, against our ability to participate how we see fit."

Sonne was arrested in the days before the June 2010 summit. Although police found no bombs, he was charged with four counts of possessing explosives and one of counselling mischief.

Police alleged he planned to combine the myriad neatly labelled legal chemicals he had at his upscale home into explosives, and that he incited others to scale or tear down the three-metre security fence erected around the main downtown summit site.

"You guys are making me look like some kind of terrorist or something," he told police after his arrest.

In her 87-page judgment that took almost two hours to read, Ontario Superior Court Justice Nancy Spies accepted Sonne's claims the chemicals police seized could have been used in pursuit of his rocketry hobby, for camping or for gardening.

Spies, who called the Crown's case "entirely circumstantial," noted Sonne had been open in numerous Internet exchanges about his intentions to test the $1-billion G20 security setup.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/15/byron-sonne-trial_n_1516949.html

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

contrarianna wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Is is an insult to call Mulcair a lawyer? How about calling Harper an economist?  Both of those are insults in many quarters including many who post here.

your point?

You damn theologian lawyer you.  There get me banned for a personal insult.

Your idea that calling someone a theologian is an insult is to me extremely humorous and that was my point.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Oh yes the white woman who relentlessly worked on two issues. A vote for every woman like her and sterilization for any woman who wasn't.  Thousands of marginalized women were assaulted  because of her peaceful advocacy.  Any time I hear one of her most famous quotes, “Never explain, never retract, never apologize. Just get the thing done and let them howl”  I think of poor First Nations women on the operating table howling.  Nellie did nothing for Asian women or First Nations women except help embed nefarious racist policies in our health care systems.

Quote:

though personally, I think Nellie McClung did it with way more style and got the same result

 

 

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin.

We are talking about the effectiveness of violent force, as was proposed in the OP -  the METHODS of that group.

I'm sorry, but regardless of what individual people do, I'm not aware that the black bloc have any function at all outside of situations where there is a confrontation.

And did I not too long ago mention Oka? Seems to me they had a rule in that blockade to not instigate violence, and not take action unless they were first attacked. And they sure didn't start smashing things to prove a point. So sorry, it ain't just elite white people who realize you don't resist violence by creating more violence.

And I also made the distinction upthread of cases where people are driven by frustration to riot, or to defend themselves.There is a big difference between that and carefully planning how you are going to creating havok.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’

6079_Smith_W wrote:

I'm sorry, but regardless of what individual people do, I'm not aware that the black bloc have any function at all outside of situations where there is a confrontation.

Quote:

 Wilful blindness does not define the mens rea required for particular offences. Rather, it can substitute for actual knowledge whenever knowledge is a component of the mens rea . The doctrine of wilful blindness imputes knowledge to an accused whose suspicion is aroused to the point where he or she sees the need for further inquiries, but deliberately chooses not to make those inquiries. This was similarly stated in the U.S. case of State v. McCallum : "[T]he rule is that if a party has his suspicion aroused but then deliberately omits to make further [i]nquiries, because he wishes to remain in ignorance, he is deemed to have knowledge…. The rule that wilful blindness is equivalent to knowledge is essential…."

http://www.mcmillan.ca/Contrived-Ignorance-Wilful-Blindness

Aristotleded24

6079_Smith_W wrote:
The difference with the BB is that they came into existence around that tactic, and in terms of expressing a point, there is nothing else they do outside of these demos around international meetings that are as common as Leap Day. It's not an act of frustration so much as their whole reason for being, and it's not something you can use to run a society (well, other than a fascist one). It doesn't accomplish anything except in extreme cases, and even then it is rare. The example I offered from France? Do nothing but smash trucks on a regular basis and even the cops get bored with it.

The authorities certainly don't though. They love it.

That's why I find the whole question absurd. It has nothing to do with an aversion to violence. Protesters stand up to violence all the time. It's because it doesn't produce lasting results, there is no consensus around it (the smashers in Seattle this last May Day were about 70 people), and if you accept that it is okay for you to use it, then you accept that it is okay for others to use it against you.

No Simth, don't you see, our cause is progressive and good and just! Thus, we are morally free to use any tactics we so choose. It's the elites whose cause is evil and corrupt, so if they use those same tactics against us, that makes it evil because they're doing it. Anything our side does is good, anything the other side does is evil!

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well since it is clear that the BB only really appears at places where the global 1% meet to plan their domination of the world I guess then we need to contrast their tactics with the BB.  The 1% use targeted assassinations to take out indigenous leaders in South America and drones to kill individuals in Asia who oppose their agenda.  They subvert democracies around the globe and promote corrupt business practices in every developing nations.

The BB breaks windows and torches police cars.  Yes Aristotle I see the similarities now.  Your right the elite is not any worse than the BB.

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I'm not aware that the black bloc have any function at all outside of situations where there is a confrontation.

What are you going on about? A black bloc is a tactic, not an organization. That's like saying 'gee... outside of the context in which they generally occur, don't you think picket lines are rather pointless?'.

I can think of at least one example where some folks blocked-up to do a neighbourhood clean-up, but by and large, black blocs don't have a function outside of protests because that's where they occur. That's the only place it would make sense for them to occur. But if you're suggesting that the people who make up a black bloc do not involve themselves in anything other than black blocs, then you're just talking out your ass. People who participate in black blocs do have other clothes besides bandanas and black hoodies. Just because you don't see people all blocked-up at your food co-op, your PTA, your union local, your tenants' association, your migrant justice group, your soup kitchen, your crisis line, etc. doesn't mean that 'black blockers' aren't present and deeply involved in their communities.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'd like to remind babblers as this discussion gets more heated to avoid lobbing personal attacks and insulting language. That includes things like "you would say that since you're so bourgeois" and "if you support the black bloc you are a traitor to the cause/selfish/macho" etc. That also includes the various innuendo implying the above. You know what I'm talking about, yes?

Most of this discussion has been fairly thoughtful and interesting, from both sides. If you feel your temper getting to you, please take a breath before posting. Many thanks.

Slumberjack

ArghMonkey ArghMonkey's picture

I just wonder what the left plans to do since we cant seem to effect change in any meaningful way.

We all know the powers that be like to have us neutered.

We all SHOULD know that violence isent off the table, (as established earlier, we know there would always be a time for violence).

We all know things are bad, very very bad, for all of us and getting worst overall.

 

So many of you hate the black bloc because they seem to accomplish less than the rest of the left, so what if we led a coup? You wont find me leading that, im a coward, but what if we took over the government by force? would that be ok?

If the left cant ever accomplish very much, despite our being correct!, and if we shouldnt take over the government (however necessary), then should we all accept conservative insanity? just be ok with dragging the world back 100+ years?

I dont think a lot of you guys are being honest with yourselves!

The answer is not fun but its obvious.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ onlinediscountanvile #136

Yes, I realize that people do things other than smashing windows once every few years.

Cops do other things when they aren't in uniform too. Just because some of them might take care of kittens at the animal shelter in their off time doesn't mean we can't be critical of the role police play in our society. For that matter, just because there happen to be some good cops, and just because cops provide some necessary protections doesn't mean we can't be critical of the institution either. Same goes for the Black bloc, and specifically the tactic of ritual violence for its own sake.

And speaking of Slumberjack's reference to wars of attrition, this conversation is starting to feel like one.

One more time... as I understand it, the proposal on the table is that peaceful reform is impossible, because it only works within a certain structure. The only way (it is proposed) that we can hope to change society is through Black-bloc tactics, violence and overthrow of the system by force.

I think that idea is baseless, misguided, and simply nonsense.

To be clear, I do understand there are times when people resort to violence - sometimes out of frustration, sometimes out of necessity. Sometimes defensively. And in war, people carry out violent acts by strategy.

The ritual smashing of windows with no provocation, and with no reason, and no goal, has nothing to do with these other kinds of violence. I have said why I think so enough times already, but I will say it makes a fucking mockery of violence borne out of real purpose because it does have an effect, a negative one - not on the shareholders of any banks, and not even on the people who buy shoes or coffee - but on people who have a visceral reaction to violence, on people who live and work in those neighbourhoods, people who lose their livelihood and don't have some insurance company to pick up the slack, and people working for reform who wind up paying the price, and having their work undermined.

Self-indulgent display is one thing when it's all on your own time and no one is getting hurt by it. Quite another in cases like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6079_Smith_W

dp

6079_Smith_W

cross posted with you AarghMonkey

 

I haven't yet thanked you for starting this thread. I may not agree with you, but it is an interesting one.

 

And no, I'm not in favour of overthrowing the government by force. I definitely do not think we are there yet. And frankly, if people can't be convinced to take the many avenues of action that must be exhausted before we WOULD be at that point, how can you possibly think that they would be capable of overthrowing anything?

I'm not being pessimistic. Really, I believe change is far easier than you think. But the fact is you can lead a horse to water, but that is about it.

 

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
@ onlinediscountanvile #136

Yes, I realize that people do things other than smashing windows once every few years.

 

Ok, I just wanted to clarify that point since it looked like you were suggesting - as people often do when discussing black blocs - that those who participate in black blocs are just thrill seekers who have no other involvement in struggle.

I'll make another couple more obvious points here. Not all black blocs engage in property destruction. And even within those that do, the window-smashers are probably a minority.

ArghMonkey ArghMonkey's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

cross posted with you AarghMonkey

 

I haven't yet thanked you for starting this thread. I may not agree with you, but it is an interesting one.

 

And no, I'm not in favour of overthrowing the government by force. I definitely do not think we are there yet. And frankly, if people can't be convinced to take the many avenues of action that must be exhausted before we WOULD be at that point, how can you possibly think that they would be capable of overthrowing anything?

I'm not being pessimistic. Really, I believe change is far easier than you think. But the fact is you can lead a horse to water, but that is about it.

 

 

 

 

Cheers!

Its an important subject, glad its getting attention.  

I have come to Rabble on and off for years and it gets pretty stale in here, I have tried this question in different ways, at differnet times and it usually gets shrugged off, ignored and swept aside, I think the fact that protests are happening around the world and the fact that things are getting really really bad (how bad?) REALLY BAD out there, that people are, even on the left side, waking up.  

It bothers me to see the left so impotent and apathetic,  we are the ones guarding the truth, we DESERVE our place in power, not the right.

I wish I had some peoples optimism but anyone that is optimistic about our future has blinders on, from the environment to living standard, we are screwed royally and its only a matter of time before something really big happens, I would just like to mitigate that big thing and try to steer the crashing car into the soft ditch and not wait for it to inevitably hit the brick wall.

Whatever puts the left in power should be considered, our "everyones voice deserves to be heard" approach has allowed the right to LIE, CHEAT and then DESTROY that liberal system, VILIFY the left and systematically shut us out of power.  

The generation that dreamed up the midde class realized that a group that attacks the middle class should be attacked back, that the importance of an intelligent, liberal, thriving middle class is paramount, without that even the 1% is screwed.

Im rambling, I do that when I actually give a shit about something. 

1. The left is impotent right now, all efforts havent worked for decades and instead have seen the right seize more power by driving buses through our "give everyone a chance" stance.

2. Theres nothing to be optimistic about, we dont make goods, wages are plummeting while cost of goods are sky rocketing, gas is expensive and running out, the 3rd world is beginning to create a small middle class and making demands on us (their right since we screwed them over for our own good), the environment is screwed, the weather is screwed and theres no sign, NONE, that the left will gain power anytime soon.

Sorry, its late and this shit is killing me, peace.

Aristotleded24

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Well since it is clear that the BB only really appears at places where the global 1% meet to plan their domination of the world I guess then we need to contrast their tactics with the BB.  The 1% use targeted assassinations to take out indigenous leaders in South America and drones to kill individuals in Asia who oppose their agenda.  They subvert democracies around the globe and promote corrupt business practices in every developing nations.

The BB breaks windows and torches police cars.  Yes Aristotle I see the similarities now.  Your right the elite is not any worse than the BB.

The point is that the elite see their own cause as just, and they go to violent lengths to acihieve that cause, while any violence directed against them is, in their eyes, wrong. In other words, the ends justify the means, and some here seem to suggest that since a progressive cause is good, then any means to achieve it are good while any means to oppose it are evil. Not to deny that the elites have more power, but the thought processes are surprisingly common.

Besides, having worked with children in the past, the whole "yeah well that person is worse than what I do" really causes me personally to tune out anyways.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Slumberjack wrote:

I'm assuming that this is an image of the brick you just put down on the pavement as you walk away in silent contemplation, perhaps looking for a decent latte. If so, allow me to begin a slow clap in your honour.

6079_Smith_W

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

 

Ok, I just wanted to clarify that point since it looked like you were suggesting - as people often do when discussing black blocs - that those who participate in black blocs are just thrill seekers who have no other involvement in struggle.

 

No, I don't assume that. But I do see it as an act that is completely disconnected - disconnected from any sort of cause and effect,  disconnected in that the people they are trying to influence aren't the one's they are hurting, and disconnected in that nobody is getting the message the perpetrators want.

And I do see it as dangerous in that it can seem thrilling and potent to people who are impressionable and think that is the only way to solve problems. Plus, when you create havoc you might have a bigger theory behind it, but you can't necessarily control where it will go. You can't exactly draw a map telling people which things to smash and which to leave alone.

I guess I am saying that if people learn only  force without a foundation of what led to that force, and what comes after, all they are learning is mindless thrill-seeking.

And all most of us on the outside see is arrogant self indulgence that hurts a lot of people - not the intended lesson at all. So again, it begs the question of what the point is.

There have been enough revolutions and upheavals that failed not because there weren't people willing to grab their pitchforks when it was time to storm the Bastille, but because when it came time to do the real work the only ones who had the wherewithall were the ones who had been doing the job all along under the old regime.

That's why I think it is important to do the other work that isn't so exciting, doesn't produce instant gratification, and sometimes involves compromise.

 

 

onlinediscountanvils

6079_Smith_W wrote:
I think it is important to do the other work that isn't so exciting, doesn't produce instant gratification, and sometimes involves compromise.

 

Has anyone suggested otherwise?

NDPP

Third Anarchist Jailed for Refusing to Testify Before Secret Grand Jury

http://rt.com/usa/news/refusing-grand-jury-plante-196/

"A third self-described anarchist from the Pacific Northwest has been jailed by federal officials for refusing to speak before a secretive grand jury that the accused have called a politically-motivated modern-day witch hunt. Leah-Lynn Plante, a mid 20s anarchist from Washington, was  lead out of court by authorities  on Wednesday after refusing for a third time to answer questions forced on her by a grand jury..."

Statement by Leah Lynn Plante (and vid)

http://tidesofflame.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/we-are-made-of-star-stuff-s...

what some BBerss do when they're not smashing windows...what are you doing for the resistance?

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