Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Big Picture

This may be the sanest explanation I've read so far for why Black Bloc tactics are not just wrong, but ultimately counter-productive. From Thomas Walcom:

Two things stand out from the street riots and subsequent police actions that swept downtown Toronto last weekend.

The first is the state blatantly abused its powers. Summits legitimately require security; but in this one, governments went over the top.

...The second is that most people don’t care. Polls show that more than 70 per cent of Torontonians approve of these abuses.

For that we can thank the small group of rioters who burned police cars and smashed store windows last Saturday. The logic behind those actions (and yes there is a logic) flows from the theory that capitalism is based on violence, albeit violence that is usually veiled. By provoking the state, this intrinsic violence will be revealed, thereby radicalizing the population against both capitalism and the state.

The problem with this theory, as the Red Brigades and other left-wing terrorists found in the 1970s, is that such provocations drive the general population to authoritarianism, not revolution.

Faced with a choice between order and civil liberties, people almost invariably choose order. Think the Nazis in 1930s Germany; think the PATRIOT Act in post 9/11 America.

Which is why most people figured out long ago that non-violent resistance is a far more effective way to provoke a response, expose the intrinsic violence of the state, and (most importantly) gain the support of the public.

Here endeth the lesson.

1 comment:

  1. All the more reason to suspect an agenda, or many agendas were being fulfilled here. As a commenter over at the Galloping Beaver pointed out; if the Black Bloc weren't there; they would have had to have been invented.

    Nothing excuses this police chief for inventing evidence or going fast and furious with the rules.

    Canada is becoming more and more of an embarrassment and so are Canadians for that matter. The very idea that Canadians can support totalitarianism; the idea of no protesters whatsoever; nobody even walking from point a to point b. The media in the wrong place at the wrong time; getting what they deserve; they are all scum of the earth as they put it.

    If my husband & I were young enough to be employable to be eligible for work visas overseas somewhere; we would high tail it out of here. Because I think that a society that allows a police chief to lie and get creative and suspend human rights and arrest anyone on a whim is far more dangerous than any anarchist or black bloc can be.