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Author Topic: Monkey-wrench vs "destruction" and violence vs non-violence  (Read 1400 times)

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galets

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I listened to yesterday's podcast (2007-07-06), and there was a discussion about whether it's ok to destroy the government property, or it's only ok to throw a little wrench into the system. I have a thought about this: Ian's position on "monkey-wrench vs destruction" is fundamentally inconsistent with his position on "violence vs non-violence" (which personally I consider is better described as active vs passive resistance to violence). Let me be more clear here: I am not discussing here which way to resist the government criminals is the best, or which way should one pick for himself, or recommend others. What I am talking about is: if one accepts that government is just a bunch of gangsters, why would it be okay to destroy the value that the gang controls, but not the gangsters themselves?

Ian was pretty clear that he does not encourage people to do either; but it looked like he morally allows destruction of the property of the gang, but at the same time he totally reprimands those who respond with force to actual gang members.

When I agree with him, that I personally wouldn't chose the path of destruction, shouldn't we express our moral support to everybody who is brave enough to resist the gang, in whichever way he choses? If one wants freedom to himself, then he should set others free to do what they want, as long as they don't hurt innocent people, and gang members are not innocent. Bad idea to fight fire with fire? In current situation: I think so, but it's not for me to decide for the others. In the end, bad people must be punished, and some of them will keep using violence on innocent people, some people don't get love and forgiveness. "What you do to others, someone might just do to you" - I think it is important to reinforce this message by giving moral support to those who actively resist aggression, at minimum not to reprimand them. Even if we don't accept their methods.
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Diogenes The Cynic

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Re: Monkey-wrench vs "destruction" and violence vs non-violence
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2010, 11:29:19 PM »

Fed alert.
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freeAgent

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Re: Monkey-wrench vs "destruction" and violence vs non-violence
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 12:00:34 AM »

I think destroying government property and buildings is a very bad idea unless you want a full-scale violent revolution (and I don't).  I don't think that such people should be defended or encouraged, either.  Once you start using violence and force, you have lost the moral high ground.  Plus, there are a ton of peaceful things one can do to resist that it's not necessary.
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galets

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Re: Monkey-wrench vs "destruction" and violence vs non-violence
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 12:47:36 AM »

I think destroying government property and buildings is a very bad idea unless you want a full-scale violent revolution (and I don't).  I don't think that such people should be defended or encouraged, either.  Once you start using violence and force, you have lost the moral high ground.  Plus, there are a ton of peaceful things one can do to resist that it's not necessary.

I understand and agree this is terrible tactic, especially now. But, take a generic approach: those who respond to force, don't initiate it, only apply force to those who initiated it on them - how are they losing the moral ground? Rothbard clearly doesn't agree with this: http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/thirteen.asp. I'm not saying you should support those folks wholeheartedly, fighting cops is dumb, but at least admit that whatever those guys are doing, it is not unethical.

I'm not trying to agitate anybody here, god forbid, some asshole already got excited and called me fed here, but what I am trying to say is (and I'm assuming you listened to that show): if Ian took a position of not actively responding to even violence, it would be expected that he should oppose any other form of destruction of value, be it building or website. What kind of moral ground can someone talk about hacking website, sitting at home, not risking to be caught at all? That looks pretty low.
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freeAgent

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Re: Monkey-wrench vs "destruction" and violence vs non-violence
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 01:17:04 AM »

Yeah, I don't think Ian's position was/is consistent, and I obviously disagree with him.  I believe you lose the moral high ground when you use force against the government, which is exactly what you're presumably "fighting" against.  At that point you've just made it a contest to see who has the bigger guns, etc.  It's no longer about ideas and education.
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anarchir

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Re: Monkey-wrench vs "destruction" and violence vs non-violence
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 01:21:13 AM »

I am opposed to violence but not destruction.

Potentially killing someone (such as lighting buildings on fire or with bombs) is bad. Acts that are unspecific and promote the "anarchists = violence" mindset are bad.

Burning speed cameras with a flaming tire is fine. It serves a very specific purpose, & is not overly malicious. If a tank was rolling through my town I'd have no remorse over throwing a wrench in its gears to break its treads.  But causing a violent revolt? Throwing rocks at riot police? Smashing windows? Wrong.

The ultimate reason?

It causes fear.
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