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On violence and revolution

19 July 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in mind control | 5 Comments »

Originally posted as a comment to a post by George Donnelly at the Free Agents Network:

One might respond to [a certain discourse] by noting that we are all already, in fact, free.

That the state exists only in our minds and the minds of billions.

And that if defending one’s free life in a crisis against one of the state’s brainwashed minions might mean – gasp – violence, and violence is kinda “off the table” now because there’s “so much else to be done” or “education is the key” or one’s philosophy speaks (rightly) to “peace and trade” as desirable while downplaying (imho, wrongly) the role of self-defense in preserving and seizing one’s liberty, well, one’s not really acting like a free person.

And that if one is in that spot, dithering about whether or not it’s the right time to defend oneself, then one is not really free yet. That the state still exists in one’s mind, binding and constraining one, contrary to one’s true nature.

And may one’s chains rest lightly upon one, should one find oneself there.

  1. 5 Responses to “On violence and revolution”

  2. By Kyle Bennett on 19 July 2009

    In saying “the first [obstacles to freedom] are between one’s own ears”, I was referring, in part, to one’s apprehension of the state and one’s orientation to it. However, those are not the only obstacles to our freedom.

    The state is but one obstacle, and for many, if not most people, it is the most distant, least immediate. Others include, for example, debt, bad relationships, wage slavery, routine, lack of skills, lack of free trading partners, lack of surplus resources, fear. I could go on, but I hope you get the idea.

    Defense always has to consider the immediacy of the threat, and the cost incurred even in success, let alone in possible failure. I would not tell anyone not to defend themselves if they perceive the threat immediate enough and the cost acceptable.

    What I would caution against is defending against a transient or minor threat from the state while leaving one’s flanks open to more immediate and serious threats that do not come from the state, and which the state will probably use as leverage. Doing so, remaining oriented primarily toward the state, even in a confrontational stance, is just another form of allowing the state to control one’s actions. It is letting it become bigger in one’s mind than it really is.

    I said that “Violence can never create freedom, it can only preserve it.”, and I believe it. Violence is not “off the table” as far as I am concerned, it is merely put in its proper place. I’m advising that, when considering violence, it is vital that the freedom one thinks is being preserving by it be one that has actually been achieved. Otherwise, the result will not be what he expects it to be.

  3. By Winterset on 20 July 2009

    This is an issue I’ve been grappling with since coming to the realization that the government is merely the land’s biggest street-gang. It’s my thought that when living in a city where a street-gang runs the streets, one has several options. One is to go about their business in as close as possible to a “normal/free” fashion, another is to seek out the street gang and attack it in some way and a third is to join the gang. There are, of course, many other options but I think those are the main three I can think of. The second is a suicide run unless you can mount a military-level assault or have great skills and experience as a gorilla fighter. The third is giving in to the fear and becoming part of the problem.

    The current discussion, in my perception, is about the state of mind one holds while following the first option. If one knows for a fact the street gang has hoods out patrolling the street, and those hoods are well armed and well coordinated, an intelligent person–even an armed and trained one–would learn how to avoid confrontations so long as it does not interfere too greatly with their daily business. Coordinating efforts to evict the thugs requires that one stay alive and active, i.e. not tossed in a box somewhere, long enough to become part of the solution.

    Perhaps I’m merely rationalizing my own fears, but I have no intention of risking my own life or that of my wife on some vain attempt at making a statement nobody will hear. At the same time, I have no intention of living this way forever. Part of freedom is freedom of association. One should be allowed to live and work in a place where those around them hold similar ideals. Since we can’t force others to conform to our wishes we must be willing and able to move to where the others already hold to our wishes. In this way tyrannical regions become depopulated and free regions thrive.

    Until then, I’ll go about my business as well as I am able and avoid supporting the street-gangs as much as possible. And I’ll try to help others come to the same conclusions as I have.

  4. By The New Anarchist on 20 July 2009

    I have to admit that I get my sights set on “the government” all too often, while ignoring my own immediate motivation and desire. There is no government sitting next to me telling me what to do and probably never will be.

    The people that influence me the most are those that I see every day, coworkers, bosses, friends, family. They are my community, my little lamb that ultimately cops to a bigger system. I feel kind of dumb following up the last two comments because they were so good but here’s what I’ve learned the most and the hardest over the past few months:

    We all have different ideas of what revolution is, how it should play out and what reasoning should back it up. Some people talk about philosophical liberties. Some people talk about financial liberties. Some, like me, think liberty and equality are bullshit, just words that I want to throw off at the earliest possible convenience because, if being “free” and “equal” means being “free” and “equal” by someone else’s definition or by playing someone else’s game, I’d rather people think me a prisoner in hell with grand delusions than a free man that pays his taxes and doesn’t ask, “Why?”

    I will be violent and nonviolent on my own time, in my own terms. Isn’t that what this is all about?

  5. By Kyle Bennett on 21 July 2009

    “learn how to avoid confrontations so long as it does not interfere too greatly with their daily business”

    That’s half of it. Passive avoidance is merely the first step. Trying to assemble enough collective will, courage, and resources to give that “suicide run” a chance is *not* the other half.

    Arranging your affairs so that the gang cannot initiate confrontations on their turf is the other half. Doing so requires a deliberate and methodical re-arrangement such that no business is conducted on their turf, and so that no business conducted on your turf is accessible to them without *physical* involvement on their part, and on ground you’ve chosen and prepared.

    Your “turf” is not physical. The gang’s intervention against it always is, unless you voluntarily go playing on their turf. You cannot take their turf, not by force. You have a chance at defending yours. First you have to have some to defend.

    TNA, yes, to your ending question.

  6. By Anna Morgenstern on 3 August 2009

    There are sort of two things I usually keep in mind when it comes to the practical matter of “smashing the state”:
    1. We need a counter-economic structure to keep us alive, or we will remain dependent on the “mainstream economy” which is really the state in a flimsy disguise. Relying on handouts from your enemy is not a good strategy. At least, once they know that you’re their enemy.
    2. It’s going to have to be done piecemeal, at least up until near the very end of the struggle.
    Something like Bell’s AP will probably happen somewhere between now and then, and also other sorts of “black ops”.
    Our model, at least until the very end phases of the game, has to be more like the CIA than the Army, which is something I think a lot of folks don’t get.

    A third thing to understand is that all of this is already going on, here and there. It’s sort of like rule 34. If you can imagine a strategy, someone somewhere is probably trying it, at least tentatively. We usually don’t see it in front of our eyes, but the media isn’t going to report this stuff, or if they do, not honestly.
    So the work we do on the internet is actually kind of important…
    We’re transmitting and relaying so we can find each other in the dark.


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