marjaerwin: (Default)
First, I’m ethically opposed to violence.

Second, the ruling systems of today are based on violence: the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, capitalism, and torture.

Third. violent resistance is in no way comparable to the violent system.

Fourth, violent resistance is ill-suited to ending the violent system.

Fifth, violent means are more easily bent to oppressive ends, and non-violent means are more easily bent towards liberatory ends; violent means are also prone to futility. A decisive military victory, like Breitenfeld, Blenheim, Leuthen, or Austerlitz usually turns out completely irrelevant within five or ten years.

Sixth, non-violent means are means, and to turn non-violence into an end in itself risks tolerating violent systems. The point isn’t to speak truth to power. At times it’s to speak truth to those who don’t have power or can’t see their power. At times it’s to disarm power. And in the end it is to abolish power as we know it and build a world for equality and humanity.

Seventh, know your enemy - or set out to know one part of it. Tolstoy isn’t just remembered as a great pacifist and a great novelist, he is also remembered as a historian of the Napoleonic wars.

Cross-posted from my tumblr: http://ananiujitha.tumblr.com/post/41809972693/a-few-thoughts-on-nonviolence
marjaerwin: (Default)
Since some of my friends have asked -

1. I know that non-participation isn’t a solution, but I consider participation in American electoral politics a form of participation in violence. Historically, many electoral assemblies have been army assemblies. I want to work towards freedom, not a comitia centuriata, nor a tribal assembly manipulated by reiks and their household soldiers.

2. I don’t have all the necessary documentation. I can’t get everything sorted out under state law.

3. Otherwise I might consider holding my nose and defensively writing in Jill Stein, or perhaps protest writing in Breanna Manning. I think Stein’s prejudiced against autistic folks, but not as badly as Roseanne Barr is prejudiced against trans folks. Barack Obama has a wretched record on civil rights, has continued the wars, has targeted whistleblowers, and so on.

4. I think the voting system is irrepairably corrupt and disenfranchises too many people. Al Gore betrayed his voters and his country by taking a fall twelve years ago, and his actions allowed the problems to continue to get worse. George Bush and the Supreme Court also betrayed this country. And yet somehow people blame Ralph Nader.
marjaerwin: (Default)
@#$%

I just got banned from an alternate history board for pointing out that the Green Scare targeted non-violent activists and classified some groups' non-violent activism as terrorism. And that it turns a blind eye to racist hate groups murders. Apparently, they think criticizing the United States government means supporting terror.

Never mind that opposing terror, let alone opposing *all* violence, means opposing *any* empire, indeed *any* state.

Imperial statists accusing pacifist anarchists of supporting terror are worse than hypocrites.

Another user got banned for pointing out that the United States government used its political support after the 9/11 attacks to try to take control of oil-producing areas, namely Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack and had no 'weapons of mass destruction.'

All this is historical fact.

All this has to be swept into the memory hole.

The problem isn't one or another moderation mistake. The problem is that systemic doublethink has taken over the public discourse. Opposing violence becomes 'supporting terror.' Supporting violence is taken for granted, as long as it's the people at the top of the pyramid using violence against people at the base of the pyramid. Nonviolence, equality, love, these things are made meaningless.

Pacifism

Oct. 2nd, 2010 05:57 pm
marjaerwin: (Default)
I am a pacifist.

I don't really want to discuss all my reasons for pacifism. Suffice to say, some are because I seek nonviolence and some are because I have noticed that the logic of violence and escalation draws people into terrible acts, sometimes the very acts they tried to oppose. The means we use shape our ends, for good or ill. Good means will draw us to better ends, and bad means will draw us to worse ends.

I just want to say that I think institutionalized violence is worse than human violence. And institutionalized violence is everywhere. I am trying to figure out how to untangle myself from it. In terms of the political institutions, being non-violent comes close to being a non-person. It means not voting within any violent institution. It means not using the courts against any other person. It means not asking others to use violence and not encouraging others to use such institutions. I had hoped to be able to counsel other trauma survivors, but I can't compromise my moral ideals to meet the legal expectations of such positions. So after months of soul-searching I decided to avoid that. I sometimes feel helpless. A good case can be made that we live in a state of atrocity. I mean, war, poverty, murder, rape: what else would you call it? But the logic of violence is the same in any condition. I think we need counter-institutions which are non-violent and support non-violence. Now how do we get there from here?

I tend to pursue feminist projects because I can sometimes make progress. Something more tangible than marching against war, getting beaten up, and getting told I should fracking vote...
marjaerwin: (Default)
I am a pacifist, but I rarely play pacifists. It's complicated. I feel like I'd be spoiling the game and passing burdens onto the gamemaster and the other players. But I want to visualize nonviolence.

Honestly, I don't think games necessarily put too much time/effort into combat rules. I think sometimes they put too little time/effort into helping resolve negotiation, matters of trust, ambition, and so on. *Call of Cthulhu* has rules for combat, rules for studying the Cthulhu Mythos, and so on, but these things are liable to kill characters, or leave them insane. I think most players avoid these things.

I'm a bit iffy about whether we should use game mechanics to discourage violence, such as [even temporarily] reducing presence/charisma/empathy scores if someone dies due to the characters' actions. But it may help.

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