Anarchism and Democracy - Starting The Revolution

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Ceannairc
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Joined: 6-04-04
Jun 10 2004 22:36

Sorry I think you don't understand me. I don't see the state as being an entity in itself, but simply an organisational structure. Things have to be done for this structure to operate and those things are done by people. From Teflon Tony himself to the average police patrolman, from customs officials to the RAF pilot, it is people that make it work. Certainly their co-operation can be bought by the government, but I doubt these people would do ANYTHING for the government, at least in most cases. Everyone has limits on how far they are prepared to go. I believe (just my opinion of course) that many of these people are happy to work for the government because they think that they are living in a free country, as we are told by those who want us to believe it. A Stalin-style state crackdown would shatter these illusions permanently. Would this stop the crackdown happening? I don't know. Sure those at the top will go a long way to protect their power, but that doesn't mean that their footsoldiers will play along. Could they justify such a move with propaganda? Could they force government workers to play along? Again we can't know for certain, because every order would have to be given to people prepared to enact it. I think if we approach this the right way, it is possible to avoid this government crackdown. That way, I think, is an assault with words, ideas and publicity. I think that violence will only breed violence in return. I expect, from the tone of your posts, that you aren't as optimistic as I am on this, but I have no doubt you would agree that it would be the best way to achieve our goals if it could be shown to be effective. Am I right? smile

AlexA
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Joined: 16-09-03
Jun 11 2004 11:41
Ceannairc wrote:
I expect, from the tone of your posts, that you aren't as optimistic as I am on this, but I have no doubt you would agree that it would be the best way to achieve our goals if it could be shown to be effective. Am I right? :)

Sorry Ceannairc, but if we fail to develop methods of protecting ourselves in the naive hope that the State won't find enough people to man various torture chambers, then the consequences of you being wrong are too awful to risk.

I mean you know about "the experiment" where scientists told people to give "electric shocks" in psychological trials? And 70% of people gave what they thought to be lethal shocks to random strangers just cos someone in a white suit told them to!

And the fact is Stalin did have a "Stalin-style crackdown". All over the world governments have done the most horrific things imaginable to people - and one problem they have *never* had is finding enough people to do it.

I mean how would you apply your ideas to any revolutionary movements in the past? Like for example the US in the late 60s/early 70s, Italy in ~1920, Spain '36 etc.?

Can you think of a single example of a big revolutionary movement which hasn't been met with huge violence from the state + bosses? (Think concentration camps in Germany; 500,000 massacred in Spain; hundreds jailed, executed and murdered in the US...).

If not what is it you think has changed?

LeighGionaire
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Joined: 28-02-04
Jun 29 2004 20:52
alexa wrote:
Leigh, interesting discussion.

While a nice idea, that you could change the world without any violence, I think that if any anarchist/socialist/workers' movement was powerful enough to actually start to threaten the profits of corporations and the power of the state, that's when the state would start to clamp down violently.

If this happpens then the supposed 'democracy' we live under will be exposed for the sham it is. Surely this is what anarchists should aim for?

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Even when people with good intentions (maybe...) get elected - like Allende in Chile or Lula now in Brazil, they are still constrained by the structure they inherit. So they either "sell out" like Lula is now to big business/IMF/etc. or else they try to implement reforms like Allende (or Chavez now), and then get overthrown in a right-wing military coup.

True, but again at least the enemy is revealed to the masses. Once they are exposed to the truth they are left with only two options, to fight the elites or become mere slaves.

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Simply relying on the "law" (i.e. you're a "legal", "democratically-elected" government) to protect you isn't really enough if you threaten power.

You are probably right, but I still think it is worth a try.