Street Violence: It Does Not Alienate People

In my recent Random Rants #9 video I questioned the Canadian Communist Youth League’s position condemning the violence by the Black Block. A member of the YCL with whom I have spoken before told me that the YCL believes that violence alienates the masses, however I disagree.

Marxism in the West has definite ties to militant and even violent action. The Black Panthers for example were a Maoist organization that had a great deal of militancy, one of their tenants was that all of their members had to be armed and prepared for combat at any time.

The National Liberation Front in Paris during 1968 had a good deal of combat action in the streets. This had no alienating effect among the revolutionary masses. Of course the bourgeois media made all kinds of two-face denunciations of the actions, but the masses, revolutionary or not were behind them if only is spirit.

The Workers World Party was far more militant than I’ve ever been. Their actual motto was “The Streets Belong to the People”. They kicked a lot of ass back in the day. They pushed for some really strong anti-imperialist positions

Students for a Democratic Society during the Vietnam War were burning down ROTC building and banks to make an anti-war statement. They were often backed up by black urban rebellions.

Now does this militancy automatically alienate the people?

The idea by, what are called “social pacifists”, believe is that violence and militant street action will cause the masses to turn away from us and toward the bourgeois. It’s the idea that the people can’t relate to violence and be put off buy it.

The problem with this is that if it’s all we do, we become a movement of ignored marches and boring bloggers. We’ll be completely ignored and is something the Communist Party of Canada can understand. How many times have they held rallies or participated with labour strikes and they have been completely ignored?

Now I’m not saying that there cannot be violent actions that do alienate the masses. Hurting innocent people obviously does no one any good, especially the innocent people. Also provoking a police action during a large protest can get people hurt if they are not prepared for police repression.

The Black Block can be rightfully criticized for some of the targets they have hit. They have often been very indiscriminate in their targets, often harming small capitalists who, while being capitalists, don’t like the big businesses that harm their businesses. These people could have been potential allies. Small grocery store owners are hardly the trans-national corporations we hate.

Here I want to quote Mike Ely:

“…the issue there is not violence per se. Many among the people respect violence and militancy, and find it attractive politically. (And you need go no further than Northern Ireland to see a world-class example of that.)

This was certainly true among working people. Anyone who thinks that “violence just turns people off” knows nothing about the working class. And should spend a night in a West Virginia beer joint, or on a wildcat picket line!”

Violence lets the bourgeois know we are serious

The main point of liberal democracy and bourgeois parliamentarianism is to abandon all physical struggles by the working class. If we have no armed force and we do nothing to physically defend ourselves from repression and marginalization, we might as well give up now.

The liberal view is to simply be non-violent and follow the so-called procedure for change.

Well this is a fraud designed to make us sit down and shut up. If we know positively that the system doesn’t allow us to change things peacefully, then why would we do it peacefully? Should we assume that if we just put it to a popular vote the bourgeois will relinquish their power and wealth? Obviously not.

A liberal non-violent view is designed to make us passive. The bourgeois media ignores us because we have nothing to make them listen. They did not ignore us at the beginning of the 1900s when we pretty much lead the mass working movements in Canada. It was these violent dangerous times when we the communists effected the most change.

When universal healthcare was introduced into Canada during the Tommy Douglas elections in Saskatchewan, people died fighting for it. Our Marxists forefathers built the foundations of what we have left slip away the last 30 years. They fought in the streets getting shot and clubbed so we could have a minimum wage, so we could have safety standards, so we could have universal healthcare.

Our Marxists and Anarchist forefathers bought these great things for us with their sweat and blood. We have to buy them back with our own. There’s an old saying that goes something like “what your grandfathers won, you have to win for yourself.” Now our lives have been under attack the last 30 years, and we have lost our victories because we are punk bitches compared to them. And that includes me. We are nothing, we are the real men and women who stood up to the garbage the ruling class dumps on us.

Why should the state have a monopoly on force? If we the damn vanguard of the masses of the people don’t fight, who will? If we can’t fight we’ll be crushed.

“Without a people’s army the people have nothing.”

Chairman Mao Tse-tung
April 24, 1945

2 thoughts on “Street Violence: It Does Not Alienate People

  1. You know, you raise a good point there. When the time comes, we WILL have to start a revolution.

    I’m not sure about you but I think the best way would be to have a mass rally and wait for the bourgeois police to be the one to hit us. When they hit us, we hit back HARD. And I do mean HARD.

  2. Excellent post.

    I agree that the workers need to have their revolution because there is no way in hell that the bourgeoisie is going to give up their power and wealth voluntarily and peacefully. However, I think that a step that needs to be taken first is educating the proletariat. It depends on the country, of course. I am an American and in my country, most of the working class has been deceived by the media to think that the Republicrats have their best interest in mind and that the cause of their problems is the party that isn’t in power at the time. We need to somehow educate the masses to understand that capitalism is screwing them over, but I don’t really know how that’s possible.

    I only discovered Marxism from a random bit of chance that I happened to stumble upon a copy of The Communist Manifesto in a used book store one day and the rest is history. But most Americans have been scared since youth to hate the left because they think all communists are baby eaters and Stalinists.

    I don’t know all of the details of Maoism and that whole third world theory. Maybe it is accurate in that the revolution must come from the poorest people first and then it may spread to the 2nd and 1st. I think 1st world nations have a long way to go until any sort of massive revolution from the hands of the proletariat. I need to study Maoism more in depth. I’m pretty new to it. Any thoughts on this?


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