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