Thursday, February 18, 2010

Random Thoughts on Violence

Thanks to the failure of my career I'm home a lot more! So why haven't I been blogging as much with all the free time? Simple. There's a very gregarious two-and-a-half-year-old in my house with me who takes up most of my time and energy. While I was often able to spend half-an-hour at work on blogging (it wasn't an assembly-line job), I was also free from the ramblings of a toddler filling the space between my ears during his every waking moment. It takes me just half-an-hour to get the conversations his toys were having out of my head.

This is all a long way to go about saying that I want to comment on the recent violent protest against Vancouver's Owe-limpicks greed-fest, which got the progressive blog-o-sphere in a tizzy a couple of days ago, but I don't have the time to write anything particularly coherent or structured.

Don't pretend that breaking the window of a major corporation is an assault upon our whole way of life and civilization itself. Sometimes a broken window is just a broken window. Sometimes rage against the machine is just that, and not a call for complete mayhem and cannibalism.

Don't pretend that non-violent protest was just SECONDS away from achieving all sorts of great (if undefined) things, but then the violent protests ruined everything, and it will all be snatched away now. This makes no sense. Why would a set of elites who were prepared to grant some concessions as a result of months of dialogue with some respectable activists renege on those promises because some strangers threw a brick through a window?

Instead of distancing ourselves from the occasional outburst of justified violence ("Bad protester! Bad!") perhaps respectable, non-violent activists could turn to the elite scum they're forever petitioning and say "If you don't deal with us, eventually you'll have to deal with more of them."

"Violence is never justified." This is so much bullshit that I can't stand it. "Violence" is just a word. We commit acts of violence every time we go to the kitchen to fix ourselves a meal! We slice into defenceless vegetables, we fry eviscerated chunks of flesh, we masticate stuff to pulp between our teeth. Technically, that's "violence." And this is an important point, because a window is just a thing, as a carrot is just a thing. It doesn't matter to the window if it gets smashed. Who does care? I guess the person who owned the window. What if the person who owns the window subcontracts the assembly of their shoes to sweatshop operators who physically abuse their employees and pay them slave-wages? What if that window owner also teams-up with other captains of industry to finance paramilitary death-squads in the countries where they assemble their products to kill trade-union organizers and mutilate their remains? What then? If you continue to wail and gnash your teeth in the face of this violence against a plate-glass window, then we'll have to agree to disagree. You'll think that I'm a crazed fanatic and I'll think you've got some seriously fucked-up priorities.

What do we think would have happened without the threat of violence against autocracies in the past? What do we think our corporate masters would think if they were certain that the worst they would ever have to suffer for their crimes against humanity was a "facebook" group and an afternoon's rally?

Well, that's all the time we have this week folks! Tune-in next time when my guests will be Yasmin Bleeth, Kurt Waldheim, and Chuck Norris!


Wayne said...
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Anonymous said...

Since the Montebello summit near Ottawa, we now know that the so-called Black Block, the so-called "direct action" violence-prone protestors, are really undercover cops.

The use of violence by these "protestors" is simply a way to discredit democratic dissent.

The next time, anyone at a demo sees people with their faces covered by a bandana, you should politely ask them for their badge number so they can be reported to the local police complaints commission.


Patrick Ross said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thwap said...

You're banned dip-shit. Remember?



[Anybody wanna guess who it was?]

Patrick Ross said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thwap said...

Jesus, but you're a fucking loser.

thwap said...

For the record: There were two other attempts to troll that didn't get past the re-activated comment moderation.

It occurred to me that the troll is in his twenties and it was a Saturday night! Way to party-hearty!

(There was a pause though. Maybe the butt-ugly fucker went and abused a drug-addicted prostitute between posts. More likely the pud was just trolling elsewhere. LOL!!!!)

Todd said...

Lawlibrarian said:

"Since the Montebello summit near Ottawa, we now know that the so-called Black Block, the so-called 'direct action' violence-prone protestors, are really undercover cops."

Nonsense. There's a big difference between infiltrators & agents provocateurs and the whole org being a front for the cops (not that it isn't easy for something like that to happen, given the BB's lack of structure).