06 February 2010

the pitfalls of nonviolence

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Too many cowards use it as a shield against revealing their pusillanimity. They are not nonviolent. They are very, very quick to allow the slaughter of thousands in their name... and if you call griping about the killing in their name some excuse for their cowardice... you would probably be one of them.

I don't know about Tolstoy, but I know that Gandhi didn't mean anything passive or safe by it. He meant for those committed to it to be able to die smiling in a hail of bullets... not that the nonviolent complain about things on radio call in shows or on blogs or go to a church meeting to try to work out their internal conflicts or write their Congressman or donate to Code Pink. He meant getting out there in harm's way and physically obstructing the evil and injustice without raising a fist to the enemy. He counseled that one should fight as hard and as violently as ever one possibly could if one could not with complete assurance walk into that hail of bullets with complete serenity. He hated cowardice. So do I.

The POINT is to halt the evil. If you can do it nonviolently, this is best. If you can't face them down without defending your own life and limb, then you fight them with everything you've got—fists, bullets, clubs, pitchforks, what have you—but you do not just sit back and let the evil continue. That is cowardice.

The reason it is best is because FEWER DIE in nonviolent resistance. The resistance, the stopping of the evil is the imperative, whether nonviolent or violent. No one never kills. Being alive means other life dies for you, and you die for other life. That is the fact of it. The only way the aggressors are tamed, pushed back... the only way they EVER lose their impunity is when others stand up to them, stop them. They don't just stop without others risking their lives, giving their lives, to stop them. That's WHY they do what they do. They know you're a coward and won't stop them. Why must it forever be that people will not fight certain destruction until it is lapping at their own toes?

It's so pathetic to see so many scrapping and sniping and vilifying each other over mortifyingly trivial wedge issues in the face of so much clearly evil and dangerous to all living beings stuff going on right in front of us. It's as though everyone were caught in a Twilight Zone episode... or I somehow have gotten locked in another dimension and can't be heard through the nothingness between you and me.

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