Thursday, November 17, 2011


We have to change the cultural delusions about protester violence.

We need to have a mature discussion about this.

Yes: Employing violence against fellow human beings is inherently dehumanizing.

Yes: Peaceful processes have more legitimacy than violent ones.

Yes: Black Bloc window smashing seems formulaic and pointless.

Yes: Violence can spin out of control.

Yes: The police and the other servants of the state are more powerful than we are.

Yes: Employing violence will alienate non-activist citizens and be used to de-legitimize the protest movement.

But that last thing is something that needs to be addressed. There is a reflexive response to violence AT protests, even when it is all employed by the state to crush dissent, that somehow the violence is a product of the protests themselves. Furthermore, the general public is far more tolerant of state violence (unprovoked, excessive, and illegal) than of even justifiable physical resistance on the part of protesters.

Without having to argue for violent anarchy in the streets, we should at least internalize that fighting back isn't always the end of civilization and the precursor to the blood-soaked doom of our species, and then we should try to inculcate in the minds of others the idea that violence has to be put into context. Sometimes people resisting being wrongfully arrested, resisting being carted off to being tortured and humiliated, resisting being truncheoned or pepper-sprayed, resisting being rendered voiceless with their right to peacefully protest being lawlessly crushed, are justified. Sometimes anger against massive injustice and massive crimes is justified.

I am not, at the present time, saying that the people in the Occupy camps that are being razed in the USA should have fought back. It's just that when I hear and read calls from people sympathetic or supportive of the movement saying that violence must NEVER ever be employed, and that one can ONLY win through non-violence, I disagree.

In the first place, non-violent protest has utterly failed to even slow-down the abominations that are the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Saying things like "You might lose if you employ non-violence but you will definitely lose if you employ violence" is just making an assertion. Second of all, we are protesting against massively selfish psychotic murderers. True, they have a powerful state apparatus that can obliterate most opposition. Therefore, violence applied against them is suicidal. On the other hand, if these psychotic, murderous greed-heads know that no matter what they do, the people will be as meek as lambs, then what threat are any of our legal, peaceful protests?

It could just as well be asserted: "If you use violence, you might lose, but if you always practice non-violence you will definitely lose."

Yes, it would be unfortunate if things became violent. Yes, it would most likely be crushed. But could we please abandon the notion that it would be inherently wrong and should always and everywhere be condemned? Could we dispense with the dangerous delusion that physically resisting the injustice and oppression of the state is immoral and shameful?


Anonymous said...

Non-violence has worked in the past? Haven't young people heard of Gandhi these days?

thwap said...

Yes, I've heard of Gandhi.

Could you now show how peaceful protest ended the Vietnam War? Or prevented the invasion of Iraq? Or got the troops home from Afghanistan? Or stopped the Tar-Sands? Or blocked the greed orgy at the Vancouver Olympics?

Did you read my post?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a lot of failure there on the Lefties part. Thank you for reminding me why I don't support them.

thwap said...


Is that supposed to be clever?

Because the invasion of Iraq turned out to be a disaster for the USA (not as much as it was for the Iraqis) and the same thing goes for Afghanistan.

And Vietnam was a disaster. And so is global warming.

So what's actually going on is that there's a lot of tragic failure, stemming from mainstream policies that non-violent lefty protesters have been impotent to stop.

But you cheer on the failure nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Especially lefty failure.

Anyhow, what is the protesters grand plan anyway? Put together something coherent if you want people to support it. I promise to keep an open mind.

thwap said...

What do you mean by "especially lefty failure"?

Why did you even write that? What are you talking about?

You can't just keep babbling shit and expecting a reasoned reply.

At this point I don't really care about your promise to keep an open mind. First because you'll probably break your promise (in the same way you ask for civility while calling people you disagree with idiotic clowns who are totally full of crap), and secondly because I'm not sure that the products of your mind (open or not) would be worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Again, thanks for the insult. I am only trying to understand here. Yeesh. I guess the open-mindedness and civility the Left professes evaporates when faced with a point of view with which they disagree. I am part of the 99% but you most certainly do not speak for me.

thwap said...


You don't have a clue do you?

What are you trying to understand?

Let's review your contribution on this little post here. And we'll only mention the total hypocrisy you displayed at Montreal Simon's, whining about ad hominem attacks on you while calling the Occupiers idiotic clowns.

I type something about how knee-jerk condemnations of violence are silly and you mention Gandhi.

I tell you that I've heard of Gandhi but remind you that non-violent protest has been useless in stopping the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, global warming and the greed-fest of the Vancouver Olympics.

You make a snide remark about lefty failure.

I remind you that the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have been disasters. That global warming will bring about a nightmare for the whole human race. That mainstream status-quo policies are failures.

You blurt out "especially lefty failure" and I still don't know why.

Then you ask the Occupy Movement to produce a grand plan. You promise to keep an open mind.

I say that you're incoherent. That I doubt your promise and that I don't respect your opinions.

You whine some more about insults and then it's the tired crapola about how the left isn't tolerant.

You haven't given me any reason to be tolerant of you. You're a concern troll, just like fern hill said.

Anonymous said...

Concern troll. Yeah. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Geez, it's easy to get you guys riled up. I'm only trying to understand what the Occupy group's plan is for change. Can you articulate one or is it just easier to drone on and on about me because you don't have one? Can we stick to the issues please rather than all this needless side tracking? In the end bashing and insulting me doesn't really accomplish anything. Don't fucking insult me simply because you don't agree with my point of view. YOU FUCKING MORON!

thwap said...


I'm sorry.

I'm sorry that you're so fucking stupid that you're completely blind to your own incoherence. I see that your hypocrisy is unintended and that you can't even see it when I describe it for you step-by-step.

Yours is a tragic case indeed.

I don't even know where you get the idea that I'm a concern troll. I don't even know if you know what it is you're trying to say.

"Can we stick to the issues" you ask, when you've been tossing out incoherent one-liners about lefty failure!

As I said, tragic.

Anonymous said...

And again, the leftie facade of "tolerance for all" fades when confronted with a view point with which they disagree. Perhaps you should seek out some therapy for your anger issues.

Anyway, since you seem incapable of answering my question, perhaps I can do it for you.

The Occupy Movement must come up with a clear plan, a blue print if you will, of how it intends to achieve its goals. Simply camping out on public and private property isn't going to cut it in the longs run. It's getting colder obviously and it runs the risk of alienating those fellow 99%ers it claims to represent.

The Group Democracy Watch has some interesting ideas on how to improve both corporate and banking responsibility. Further more, I think it is imperative that Canadians support whichever party they feel is best able to push for these. It is important for people to be politically active. Voter apathy just doesn't cut it anymore obviously.

Refuse to do business with corporations you feel are not good "community citizens" For example, I refuse to buy Coke because I know it sponsors certain rodeo events where animal rights are very far down their concern list. I also advice my fiancee not to buy products from L'Oreal cosmetics. They were infamous for their use of Jewish slave labour during WWII. (BMV would be another one.) I realize that it can be difficult to be aware of everything these corporations do and what they sponsor as the list can be quite exhaustive. Some sort of centralized website would work wonders. I know I'd be a frequent visitor to it. On the topic of social media, I think it is an amazing tool and we are just scratching the surface with it.

I think time and energy has been squandered on the issue of these camps and that more effective forms of protest are needed. I also think people need to hold government accountable for some of its reckless spending. The gun control registry and talk of universal subsidized daycare, the CBC and bloated unions need to be done away with. The insane amount of our tax payers money wasted on this could be much better spent on housing and education. (I can personally vouch for the state of housing in some of our remote communities. It is definitely 3rd world and no government of any political stripe can sugar coat or spin that). Finally, we need to end this notion on the part of some people that they can just get a cushy government job and go "cradle to grave". It is vastly unfair that the everyday working person should have to subsidize some lazy bureaucrat.

I'm sure I could go on much longer but I don't want to write a tome here. Anyhow, call it a vision or some semblance of a plan but this is more than what I've seen put out by many of these so-called activists who thus far seem more concerned with all manner of useless side issues.

thwap said...

What facade of lefty tolerance? I don't pretend to be tolerant, so that's a non-starter.

Here's the thing WWU: This blog entry is about non-violence, okay? It's about the possibility that the moral victories of non-violence aren't going to be worth a helluva lot if the state's violence crushes the movement.


That's what it's about. It's a very specific topic.

And you're not even talking about that.

And you appear to have put a lot of effort into typing your last screed, but your contribution to ANY sort of discussion in this comments section has been less than useless.

Here and at Montreal Simon's, you've really done nothing but call the Occupiers a bunch of idiots and demanded from them a manifesto, which you could then accuse them of attempting to impose it upon you.

Now you've gone and written a lengthy list of things you do and things you believe in and etc., and etc., and some of it has merit and some of it I disagree with. And if you'd started out typing that way, maybe I'd be less abrasive. But for my money, you seemed like some dumb-ass chump, sniping at the sidelines, pretending that you'd have an open mind, but you're really just the typical right-wing deluded chump.

FWIW: You're not very original with your insults.

Anonymous said...

I see you have nothing to add but further insults. Please, insult me all you want. I really couldn't care less. Don't accuse me of intolerance when you pull the exact same thing. Please. Dumb ass chump?......are you still in grade school? Please find yourself a thesaurus. Your repeated use of the same tiresome verbiage is growing weary. I'm not sure why you assume that I demand an manifesto and will then accuse them of imposing it on me? Seriously, where do get this from? You presume to know a lot about me yet your outright ignorance just makes me laugh. It's quite pathetic. I'm sorry that my political beliefs can't be neatly packaged in to "left", "right" or centrist". Sorry if that confuses you. You'll just have to deal with it.

At least I can formulate a plan. It's not that difficult. It's what I asked for all along. And you even admit you agree with some of it. That's how politlcal discourse is carried out and how workable solutions are found. You just throw mindless invective. Seriously, is that all you have? Grow up.

thwap said...

Well, now you're just lying.

I think if a sane person read the record of our online interaction they would see that you're the lying, self-pitying, hypocritical fraud.

Towards the very end there, you were saying things that I'd consider interacting with, but by that time you'd worn out your welcome with your mindlessness and your hypocrisy.


Anonymous said...

No longer wishing to debate and no longer willing to believe a person can change their mind, you decide instead to simply shut down debate. Just like the Tories you so endlessly deride.

Hey, dumbass....the Tories want the page in the play book back!

thwap said...




Anonymous said...

Go easy on will be okay.

Calm blue ocean.....calm blue ocean....

thwap said...

Yep. A liar. Do you have kids? Do you teach them the utility of lying?

Is that how you operate?

Anonymous said...

I have 4 wonderful kids. Out of respect for them I'm not even going to dignify your last comment with a response.

How dare you!

thwap said...

What the hell do you even mean you moron?

You lie, okay? You're a liar. You type nothing but empty snark on this thread and then you bitch and whine when I call you on it.

I assume, from your out-burst, that you think I'm mocking your kids?

No, dumb-ass, I'm asking you to take a hard look at your behaviour and ask yourself if you would behave this way in front of your kids.

You are a dishonest concern troll, out to score political points, but you pretend as if you're interested in genuine debate and that you're offering constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...


thwap said...

Blow me.

thwap said...

Oh yeah, "Blue Oceans." "Blue Oceans."

Practice what you preach concern troll.


Anonymous said...

"Blow me".

Yeah. Sorry. Left the microscope and tweezers at home.

thwap said...


There! That's better!