Revolution in Theory & Praxis (Part I)
The following is a dialogue between Nathan Coe and Bart Black, both of GNN, on the merits and flaws of “non-violent” vs. “violent” (semantic terms that will be discussed further) resistance to the State as a means for political change. Nathan has taken the position of supporting armed resistance and insurrection coupled with information warfare, while Bart supports the path of pacifism and non-violence, advocating the “infowar” as the sole vehicle of true revolution, without a component of armed struggle.
The debate is broken into two parts. Part I will include opening statements, questions, critiques, responses, and closing statements by Bart and Nathan. Part II will focus on a Q&A between Bart, Nathan, and the GNN community.
Nathan Coe’s opening statement:
We live in the midst of the most violent civilization that has ever existed upon this planet. Industrial civilization is systematically destroying the natural world. Though the Earth will ultimately survive the impacts of humanity, our activity has the potential to eradicate not only human life but also much of life on Earth as we know it. That the Earth will ultimately heal and life in some form will continue on does not justify or excuse the current state of destructive affairs.
We live in revolutionary times. This is an understanding we both share, and it is for this reason that we have come together to have this discussion today. Our visions of these revolutionary times, however, differ greatly, perhaps irreconcilably, perhaps not. In order to be clear about my statements, it is necessary for me to define, for my own use, various terms and concepts.
First I would like to define violence as intentional harm inflicted on living beings (“technology” will also be used throughout the duration of this article in reference to advanced technology, rather than in reference to any tool). I contend that property destruction (that avoids harming life) is non-violent, and in the face of inherently violent private property, inaction justified as non-violent pacifism is in fact a passive act of violence. In turn, a true act of non-violence often includes the destruction of private property that is itself inherently violent (such as a Wal-Mart, which eradicated an entire community of living beings who once lived where the building now sits, not to mention the ecological, cultural, and social destruction caused by the manufacturing of the products they sell).
Regarding potentially violent/harmful actions, I am not in favor of or comfortable with intimidation/scare tactics such as letter bombing and arson of residences, though I recognize them to be acts of desperation. My opinion is that there are many more tactically and strategically effective ways to achieve the goal of ending the destruction of the planet, ways that do not risk harming human life. The inanimate infrastructure of the death machine is replete with bottlenecks and fulcrum points that can be occupied or dismantled by the people themselves, decommissioning them in an intelligent manner that avoids the risk of harm to life.
Tactics such as letter bombing and the arson or firebombing of homes are intended to scare scientists into not participating in such cruelty towards animals, or to cause corporate executives to divest from corporations that profit from the torture of animals (such as HLS). While the SHAC model has proven that such tactics of harassment can be effective in causing divestment, etc., it remains my opinion that these issues are systemic, rather than housed within specific people or corporations. Just as removing politicians will not stop the system that will simply replace them with new politicians, removing scientists and corporate execs will not stop the system that will simply replace the with new scientists and execs. It is the system itself that must be dismantled.
Therefore, I am not in favor of targeting/harming human beings. This position is not so much because I believe human lives are worth more than non-humans, but simply because I think it is strategically & tactically less effective than some of our other options. I do not, however, denounce the actions of those who have used letter bombs or firebombed homes, and stand on the record of the earth and animal liberation movements of having never harmed a human being in the process of their actions. Several actions have come a little too close for comfort, but the record stands. While I do not condemn them, I do not find the action to be the most tactically effective. Their rage would have been better directed at a lab containing years of research. Burn the papers and use magnets to wipe the computers.
I am in favor of armed resistance against exploitation and oppression and in self-defense, including defense of one’s land base (by means of well-planned sabotage, arson, and property destruction, as well as means such as occupations, barricades, blockades, and yes, even boycotts, protests, and other means of civil disobedience and direct action), while avoiding use of arms and infliction of harm on humans and non-humans alike, not “at all costs,” but rather, as much as possible without in doing so becoming complicit through inaction. If your intent is to cause me harm or destroy the land base upon which I depend for life, I’ll defend myself, and my home, with ferocity and vengeance. But as long as other means are available to me to achieve my goals and objectives, I will pursue those other means.
Bart Black’s opening statement:
Revolution is a delicate thing, a flower, a moment, a dream. The possibility of its success is even more delicate than the transitory nature of its emergence. Like all of man’s hopes and dreams, it is often gone at the very moment the conscious mind recognizes its existence. It is a fleeting glimpse, seen and then gone. It is for this reason that understanding the dynamics of revolution is so critically important for those who would seek to capture it. All revolution is built upon by successive moments, acts, and events. As we approach the critical juncture the first stage of revolution approaches. But whose revolution will it be? Those who would seek to create a new order out of the old struggle to frame the first moments of this transformation. It is these first critical moments that will decide the outcome of this process. The establishment is aware of this and is using every form of technology, science, and understanding of the workings of our hearts and minds to plot a course to their ideal world. The New World Order technocracy assails humanity with all of this, and finds us, those poor dreamers and patriots, rebels and revolutionaries opposing them, each in our separate way.
It is for this reason we are gathered together for this debate. It is the reason that you are here. For each of us, though understanding the immense problems that confront humanity at this hour, can little agree on the best course of action to chart our way out of these troubled waters. And as those who have stood against this system it falls to us to mount the first resistance against the controllers, against all those who would now use this crisis, either by willful manipulation or their own unconscious nature to expand their power and dominion over the rest of us.
One of the most fundamental questions we ask ourselves, and each other, is from where does effective resistance come? How do we achieve the objective of throwing off the yoke of our oppressors? Regardless of the world we would ideally seek to create after that victory, we are left with the first question, and the most important: how are we going to achieve liberation?
Why violent revolution will not work
Any attempt to do away with the current system by violent revolutionary means will only further empower these systems as they exist today. Direct and violent confrontation will lead nowhere. We cannot attack this system from within its confines; we must attack the very reality that creates it. To do so will require a revolution of humanity’s understanding of this reality, a revolution of the mind.
Any kind of physical attack only serves to accelerate the capability of the power structure/organism to defend itself. By attempting to confront that control you feed its energy in an endless cycle because currently all forms of resistance must occur within that matrix.
Under the current world system, industry, military, intelligence agencies, financial institutions, and governments are fully controlled by a class of people who are the embodiment of that world order. This group functions as the gatekeepers and defenders of the status quo of the current world order of control through scarcity, controlling every lever of society, advancing its evolution along an agenda that will perpetuate that state of affairs. Any kind of physical resistance is exactly the type of action that elite power structure wants to see happen now. This group sees the writing on the wall. It understands that without outside influence the current world order will become obsolete, thus this organism is now moving to sabotage any movement into a future without it. It does this by consistently creating situations that offer zero chance for a framework for a future without it to develop, thus a reality is created in which any chance for change is impossible. Any physical attack on this group organism will only accelerate the organisms’ ability to lock down society and eliminate the capability of the ideas that are the real threat to it to flourish. This is the reason for the creation of the New Order, to quash the potentiality of any new paradigm from forming.
So long as the people believe in the system, any attack on that system will be construed as an attack on the people. Hence, this matrix in its current physical from is invulnerable to physical attack. No rebellion, no resistance, can ever have meaning so long as it takes place within the bounds of that reality. This is the deadly power of the “matrix”; it turns off humanity’s ability to resist it so long as they function within its boundaries. Only by attacking the social construct that creates this matrix can we win. If we alienate the very people we seek to liberate then we simply function as the architects of our destruction. We do the work of the enemy for them.
There will only come one fulcrum point at which successful revolution can occur. This point will be expressed at the moment western civilization attempts to transform itself from the old matrix to the New World Order. This moment, and only this moment will afford the people of the world their chance for change. This time of metamorphosis, where all the energy of the old system will be in flux into the new one, will offer the only soft point for humanity to take control of its own destiny and remove from the elite power structure their dominance over the world’s control mechanisms. This and only this will afford the people of the world an opportunity to enter an age without these systems. It will be at this very moment as well that the illusion of this system serving humanity’s best interest will also end. After this any doubt that these systems only serve to perpetuate themselves will vanish, any and all who are capable of seeing the truth of this and having an impact on the outcome of this situation will come to a useful understanding either before or at that moment. It is for this reason that this moment will be so crucial. This moment will align not only humanity’s revelation about the world system but will afford humanity the one chance it will ever have to defeat that system. In that critical moment the future of our race will be decided. It for that reason that the information war, the war for the minds of men, is so critical.
To those that call for violence to bring about change now I say you are strong, proactive, and misguided. No victory can be achieved without the turning of the tide, without a mental atomic bomb going off in the consciousness of the western world. Blowing up elitists, or monkey-wrenching, or fighting guerrilla style in the streets will only hasten martial law and get innocent bystanders killed. This type of action will only further alienate the public from our message, driving them strait into the imagined protection of the slave system.
So long as the masses believe that the system is there for their safety, we will never be free from them. By practicing violence against the public in any way we legitimize the police state measures that will be used to maintain control of our police, military, and political institutions. Only trough exposing the reality of the parasitical and criminal nature of the controllers of these institutions can we open to retake control of our governments and destiny. The media revolution has shown us what we can achieve. More of our fellow citizens are ready now than ever before to recognize the lies of the state and its establishment. Now is our finest hour and the most important because we are right. We hold the moral high ground. We hold the truth. To sacrifice that truth on the altar of violence is the worst mistake we could ever make in the hopes of toppling the New World Order slaves system.
The first moments of the old system’s death has begun. The old order is dying. A planned and welcomed death by both factions seeking to shape the New World Order. On one hand, all those hungry souls, seeking to set themselves free from the old world order colonial imperialist elitist military industrial debt slavery system, and its controllers, those who would seek to capstone that system with the scientific dictatorship, on the other.
Every human being has the right to defend their person, property, or family from aggression. This is a natural right endowed by creation itself. I do not dispute that. To defeat the controllers that run this world however without risking the very survival of the human race our only hope is massive non violent non compliance with the system. We are quickly approaching the one moment where we will have the choice to make our stand and chance to choose that path. In that moment the fate of billions, and perhaps the future of all life on this world will be made. If we choose to stand against the darkness, if we can make that choice then we will have chosen to break the chain, to break the cycle of man, and in doing so set ourselves for free. If we choose the other path, if humanity can not apply the lessons of ages that have brought us to this final stage in the evolution of our consciousness, then we will disintegrate into warring factions that will run rampage across the planet. Utilizing all the of dark wizardry that the weapons makers have supplied us the dark side of our nature will consume the planet in the fires of humanity’s Id. This is not hyperbole: this is a fact.
Can my simple words here make you see? Can I explain it any better? Many of you think of the coming crisis as merely a political, economic, or sociological event. What is coming is much larger than that. What approaches is a question regarding the very character of the human race. A question that makes us ask ourselves: does mankind deserve to survive? This question can only be answered by our collective choice to recognize the truth in this statement.
There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.
If humanity can unite, if in solidarity we reject the fate that has been designed for us, and instead choose to forge our destiny in the fires of our will, we can create our own new world order. We can choose freedom. We can slough off the slavery of the old system and travel to the stars. The system for enslavement and marshal law requires our consent. We must consent by our actions to walk down that road. If instead we reject that road, we can take from our controllers their excuse, their shield, their defense. We must through our actions expose that this system does not, and will not ever serve the greater good of humanity. This will most likely require great sacrifice and even greater perseverance and will. It requires great faith in humanity and great hope for the future. It proves if even for a little while, that mankind does deserve to live.
Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga states the case against non violence for us when he said recently:
Maroni should do what I did when I was Minister of the Interior. University students? Let them do what they want. Withdraw the police from streets and universities, infiltrate the movement with provoking agents ready for anything [“agenti provocatori” is the Italian term] and let them devastate shops, put fire to the cars and put cities to the sword for ten days.
Then, strengthen by people’s support, the sound of the sirens from ambulances will have to overwhelm that from the police and carabinieri [italian military police]. Law enforcement officers should pitilessly beat the shit out of protesters and send them all to the hospital. They should not arrest them since the courts would free them immediately, but they should beat them savagely, and they should beat savagely as well those teachers that incites them: not old professors, just the young school teachers.
Cossiga is essentially describing the problem-reaction-solution dialectic that he exploited when he was in government. Under the banner of Operation GLADIO, which was unveiled after parliamentary investigations in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium, NATO sponsored secret armies committed acts of violence and terrorism and blamed the attacks on left-wing political movements, allowing far-right governments to seize power in numerous European countries. This process is not confined to any wing of the false left right paradigm but is a timeless tactic that can be used by any regime in controlling the political process.
“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game,” right-wing terrorist and GLADIO agent Vincezo Vinciguerra explained the so-called “strategy of tension” in sworn testimony.
“The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security.
Until the Republic falls, until the storm troopers come, I will stand by non-violence. Only through the dissemination of truth can we hope to achieve our ends. Great revolutions are the work of principles rather than weapons, and are achieved first in the moral, and afterward in the material sphere.
I end my statement with this simple fact: The stark and undeniable reality stands that peace is the only true choice we have, any other choice leads to absolute destruction, the cyber punk apocalypse.
Nathan’s questions of Bart:
1. What concrete historical examples can you provide to back up your statements such as “Any attempt to do away with the current system by violent revolutionary means will only further empower these systems as they exist today. Direct and violent confrontation will lead to nowhere. We can not attack this system from within its confines and Any physical attack on this group organism will only accelerate the organisms ability to lock down society and eliminate the capability of the ideas that are the real threat to it to flourish”? History is full of examples where militant direct action achieved significant victories. How is this different today? And how can the system accelerate its control if we sabotage, destroy, or occupy their means of producing and transporting weaponry (physical as well as psychological)?
For any revolutionary movement to be successful it must be able to reach sufficient power and legitimacy within the society to assume control. There are two primary types of revolution; One is top down revolution; The other is bottom up. In top down revolution, (also the most common in human history) a sub leadership group within the overall power structure attempts to replace the existing power structure’s leadership with its own; examples of this include the American Revolution, the plot to kill Hitler, The assassination of Julius Ceasar, the Chilean military coup of 1973, the English Civil War, and many others. These revolutions are always violent as one leadership moves quickly and violently to destroy all of the elements of the former regime and consolidate power. While the people do play a role in these struggles and help determine the winning faction by who they support they are not the outright beneficiaries of the revolution unless the new power structure deems it so. In the current system of world politics there does not appear to be at this time any rival faction to the Anglo American Establishment without or within that will liberate us from the current world order. It thus falls to the people to be the instigators of their own liberation.
The other type of revolutionary movement is from the bottom up. This is a movement where a group of people within the society, or the society as a whole attempts to throw off the yoke of oppression and achieve liberation from subjugation. This type of revolution is incredibly rare in the human experience and in fact it was not until the 20th century through the practices of Gandhis Satyagraha it even shown to be possible. His people’s struggle to be free is instructive to our debate in that numerous violent attempts had been made to remove British Colonial rule to no avail. Besides his country’s victory we see later the civil rights movement in the United States, but most importantly we see the Polish Solidarity movement and the liberation of the Warsaw Pact countries from the Soviet Union in 1989. Gandhi defeated the British Empire, the very designers of colonial imperialism. The overthrow of the Soviet System is equally important and pertinent to our discussion today because it is the combination of British Imperialism and the Soviet Authoritarianism that most closely resembles the current situation in the western nations at this time. For over a generation the western powers sought to break apart the Warsaw pact through the funding of subversive groups. Weapons, money, espionage, many efforts were made to overthrow these governments and “liberate” the people. They all failed. Why? Because these were not people driven revolutions, they were organized and instigated by outside sources, even if they had been successful these revolutions would have simply represented another example of the top down revolutionary model. With each attempt to supplant the power structure the Soviets only enacted harsher and more brutal suppression of the society. It was only later through massive non-compliance with the state were the people able to bring down the systems that had been oppressing them. Coordinated peaceful non-compliance is driven by information. It is impossible to have a functioning society without information dissemination. It was through the coordination of the national strike (by spreading information) that the system was bypassed, its’ defense systems deactivated. If the same organizers and leaders had tried to confront the state with force they would have become hard targets, identified one by one, and eliminated. The idea of non-compliance was the only weapon the people had, it was their only way to bring down a state that was not only impervious to physical attack, but welcomed it. The Soviet system had no respect for life, no liberal democratic vales to guide its people. The soviet leadership were quite willing, and had shown themselves willing and able to murder vast numbers of their own people. A military industrial complex thrives on conflict and the fuel of such conflict is aggression. Remove the fuel from the system; remove its’ source of power and it is a lifeless hunk of metal, incapable of action. The same majority that supported massive non-compliance would not support violence, as is unfailingly typical of the majority of populations throughout history. By putting the masses in the middle of a power struggle between revolutionaries and those in power, you create victimized factions caught in a cycle of violence from which their is no escape. Simply look at the Palestinian people’s attempts through violence to throw off their oppression. With every aggression their occupiers are given further pretext to subjugate them with violence. We occupy the same position. No amount of violence can free them, because they are prisoners to violence – both their own and the Israelites. Mention agent provocateuring?
So, the failure of violent revolution in these circumstances is two fold. 1: Any oppressive system thrives on direct confrontation. It is through direct confrontation that enemies are created for the system to fight against and the people are polarized into factions either for or against the status quo. 2: The people do not have the capacity to wage war against a war state. Only by removing its’ power – its’ fuel – can the war machine be stopped. The moment you begin to violently oppose the system by violent protest you alienate the very people you need to accomplish this; you drive them like frightened cattle into the welcoming arms of state security. The one clear example I have been able to find concerning a violent overthrow of a government by its people in the terms you describe is the French Revolution and the Reign of terror it generated. If that’s the result you want, thanks, but no thanks. Furthermore, the French revolution was only made possible because the status-quo had nothing approaching a monopoly of propaganda. The Palais-Royal was the nexus of information dissemination and effective demonization of revolutionary force was impossible. The situation today is quite different. Even if you were able to circumvent the media manufacturing a popular opinion of you, through violence you would manifest and animate a black terror as dangerous and destructive as the one we face now. Clandestine vestiges of the state will not be destroyed and will exploit any chaotic violent revolutionary turmoil to reassert control, whereas mass non-compliance renders even these pernicious elements inert. What we need is a breaking of the chain of violence that has bound man. This can not be done through devolutionary means but only through evolutionary ones. We must defeat this system through cutting off the energy that empowers it, not by defeating it on its’ own terms through violent confrontation.
2. While I do not disagree with your assertion that we also face a struggle of the mind, I find myself wondering why you see this as a dichotomous either/or scenario, and why you think that direct action such as sabotage, blockading, occupations, etc. are in any way unsuccessful in the historical or contemporary contexts. I agree that we must free our minds from the system, but we must free our bodies as well. We could free our minds from the systems control tomorrow, and see it for the system of slavery and control that it is, but if we still dont know how to feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves, and if the system still controls all access to resources and means of production, we are still its slaves. How do you respond to this? How do you suggest, through your revolution of the mind (and of the mind alone), we go about liberating ourselves from our physical dependency on the ecocidal system of global capitalism?
Governments are social contracts, agreements between a people and the State that the state is there to protect them and serve them in some form. At differing times in history and cultures people’s definitions of what that means have changed but it remains the underlying premise of why people submit to authority — they believe that by submitting they get more than they give. This might be difficult for most to understand in light of the slavery that most of humanity has undergone, yet at the end of the day people will submit so long as they believe a) there are no other choices, or b) that what they have is the best they can get. It is only when they are presented with believable alternatives that they become rebellious to their current situation. Currently in the western world, people are maintaining this contract because of these fundamental reasons. For the people to evolve past the current status quo they must come to realization that this system is harmful and destructive. This is the first stage of liberation, but it is also the most critical. It is from this realization that all physical manifestations occur. Through this realization we can transform the system, and this is what I think you fail to realize; the system is us, it is an extension of the group mind, and any dysfunction it manifests is simply a reflection of humanity. To change that reflection you have to change the source of the problem. We have the tools we need, we have knowledge we need, we need only apply it. The global fascist crime syndicate known as the Anglo American Establishment derives its power from scarcity. It actively suppresses any technology that can disrupt its’ models of control through the manipulation of resources. Look no further than nano-assemblers or research The Law of Accelerating Returns
An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense intuitive linear view. So, we wont experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The returns, such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There is even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to the so called Singularity—technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history. The implications include the merger of biological and non-biological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light.
Even if you are not ready to accept these converging facts, the reality does not change that the system requires consent to rule. It feeds off of our energy. It is a creation of our combined will, and to change that you must go to the source of the problem, the human mind and its perceptions. Violent protest, particularly within a society operating under democratic pretext, alienates the minds that we require to join in our struggle. For our victory to be achieved we must not only tear down the system, we must appeal to the psychology of those who would defend it. Otherwise, we only create a terror filled world of war and chaos.
3. You state that no victory can be achieved without the turning of the tide, without a mental atomic bomb going off in the consciousness of the western world. What would such a mental atomic bomb look like? What form would it take? And how is armed revolt at odds with that? In my opinion, armed resistance is an essential part of the circumstances that will cause such a transformation in consciousness, as is systemic collapse. People will not stop believing in and defending this system until is stops feeding, clothing, and sheltering them. And it is about to.
You are exactly right, people will stop supporting the system the moment it stops serving them, during this breakdown process it is very important for the people to recognize where the source of the problem originates. If you allow that message to be muddied by alienating the public through violent acts you do the work of the establishment for them. A mental atomic bomb is what we are experiencing now on the internet, more people are more aware of the globalist New World Order neo-feudal state than ever, and guess what – they don’t like it. They want change; they want new options. The election of Obama when viewed in this regard is a good sign: it is a desperate move by a crumbling power base trying to recapture the will and imagination of the people. This is why I was able to predict the election of Obama almost a year before his victory. It was obvious after having spoken to Dr. Nye, one of the top neo-liberal technocrats. Once I read his writings and other think tank documents coming out of the neo-liberal base it was easy to see what was being done. This is where an understanding of herd psychology, mass mind control, propaganda, and history are so important in understanding how the technocrats form policy. If you understand these things then reading what the elite will do at any moment becomes fairly simple. The controllers wage war against the group mind, this is the key to their power. It is there that we must wage war against them. Make not doubt, the world is falling apart and we rush towards a confrontation with the establishment for control of framing the coming struggle. Whoever wins that struggle will win the war.
Where I feel you’re absolutely wrong is in the process you feel this should be achieved. The info-war is ours, and we have already won because the masses recognize that they can no longer trust the media, the government, their police, or their leaders. On every front only the most hopelessly brainwashed will go along with the agenda. This is easily recognized by national polls concerning confidence in leadership and the media. All the anecdotal evidence points to the simple fact that the very information streams and networks that were meant to create the all seeing eye control matrix were hijacked by the group mind of humanity, that this free market place of ideas has out-paced the systems of control, and that the elite have unleashed a force greater than any previously experienced in the human condition. This is why the info-war has been and continues to be so important. We do not need armed revolt because we are the system, the people create it, and the people can stop it at any time. They must simply choose to. It is for this reason that so much effort has been made, and will continue to be made to fracture the people against one another through a divide and conquer strategy that violence plays directly into. Violent protest (of any kind) is too dangerous a tactic. Not only does it initiate the cycle of violence, opening the door for unintended consequences, it also alienates the general population, police, and military establishments. Recruiting these groups to our cause and keeping them there is absolutely critical to the success of the cause of liberty.
I think one of the prime places we differ is that my goal is liberation from the the current leadership and the reformation of a constitutional republic of limited government and free markets so that the people can begin the process of dealing with many of the problems the current fascist global order has created. Your definition of liberation requires the complete destruction of all human social order on the planet, something I believe is inherently dangerous when one considers the level of technology currently available to mankind. Because of these differing goals my approach seeks to do the least harm in dismantling the current power structure. In my view great care must be taken because of the dangerous and unstable nature of not only the system, but its controllers. I feel this is a more realistic approach than expecting humanity to suddenly embrace the perceived chaos of anarchy and collectively tear down all civilization. Your strategy is unrealistic and dangerous. If this was attempted those who desire order and the continuation of civilization would dialectically side with the controllers and blood bath would follow.
4. You state that by practicing violence against the public in any way we legitimize the police state measures that will be used to maintain control of our police, military, and political institutions, but no one here is talking about using violence (Im certainly not), let alone against the public. Were talking about using direct action against inherently violent property in order to stop said property from being used to commit acts of violence. This is an inherently non-violent proposition. And it certainly isnt directed at the public. Perhaps you seek to conflate the public and the elite, but I dont. My question is this: if civilization is systematically destroying the land base, and the land base is ultimately what future generations depend on for survival, then is it not our duty to dismantle ecocidal civilization and create a sustainable alternative? And isnt it our responsibility to do so NOW, as soon as possible, so as to minimize the ultimate impact of civilization on the land base?
Your definition of violence is myopic in the extreme and functions only as an intellectual exercise. The moment you begin to exercise violent means of conveying political messages you have initiated the cycle of violence, a cycle that you have no control over after the first act. By practicing non-violence we control the framing of he struggle in the public mind. Everything always goes back to legitimacy because success of any revolution hinges on public perception. If the state and its’ masters can cast itself in a role as dealing with external threats they will win, we through our actions must expose their criminal nature and the fact that they themselves are the source of the problem to the people so that the people will throw them off. Any type of violence will be viewed by the people as an attack against them and not the system. You are talking about engaging the military industrial complex with violence, but the complex itself is an engine of violence, and you cannot beat it on its’ terms. This should be obvious. Yes, it is our duty to to engage this system, but to what end? Resistance in vain without goals is futile. While the threat to ecosystems worldwide is a key issue in this struggle it represents one threat among many. The threat which creates that problem and overshadows it is systemic to humanity itself, specifically the war machine it has allowed to be created by the controllers at the helm of that machine. Until you recognize that there are organized factions using sophisticated propaganda to herd all of us into more and more tightly controlled systems — all resistance is futile.
As to the question of timing; yes, the hour is late and we are out of time on all fronts. It is not hyperbole to say that the fate of the human race hangs in the balance and if mankind cannot rise to the occasion then what comes next is ugly in the extreme. That is what I am struggling against. Where I think you and I differ is that I want human civilization to evolve past where it is now to a new construct where it efficiently utilizes its’ technology and knowledge to know itself and to steward the earth in caring and supportive way. I think your method is devolutionary and reductionist as well as short sighted in that it ignores the problems that the technology and weapons systems have spawned. These things cannot be swept under the rug. We have to deal with our problems and come up with solutions. We must reform the system rather than destroy it, because as I have previously stated, we are the system: to destroy it is to destroy ourselves.
5. Your statement that Until the Republic falls, until the storm troopers come, I will stand by non-violence is very revealing of your privileged positionality and lens, for you see, my friend, the storm troopers have long since arrived. Those of us connected to a legacy of resistance and struggle that stretches back into history over hundreds and even thousands of years know the storm troopers arrived long ago, and weve been hunted, imprisoned, and killed ever since. The best time to begin to resist was yesterday, last week, last year The second best time is now. My question is: if the storm troopers are already here (which they most certainly are), what does this mean for your strategies and tactics?
You are correct. We are already in a soft police state that kills, maims, and runs rampage across the face of the earth. Yet, that machine runs off the hopes, fears, and desires of the people that make it work. Those people have believed up until now that this system serves their interests. This illusion is about to evaporate. They stand ready now as never before to see the horror that they have unwittingly created. We must point this reality out to them now, and with more urgency than ever before because now is the opportunity to arrest control of the system from those who have perverted for their own selfish ends. We are afforded with a great moment in the human experience. In the past such evolutionary leaps where one way of thinking or governance or belief fell away to birth a new one humans have reorganized themselves into much healthier expressions. The renaissance, enlightenment, reformation, civil rights movement, the revelation of a loving God; All of these events represent watershed moments in human history where people fundamentally shifted their consciousness and understanding of their world for the better. Through these shifts and evolutions humanity was able to move forward to new understandings and better modes of living. We now approach another turn, another opportunity to make such a leap. As an individuated collective we can shed old and outdated modes and structures and move on to to create newer and healthier ones.
6. We both speak of a revolution of consciousness. You seem to focus on some sort of techo-utopia of an intergalactic cyber humanity, whereas I envision a future where human beings re-learn how to live as responsible members of the greater community of life that exists upon this planet. We must return to an existence within the basic ecological limitations of this planet. As I see it, little else holds much hope for our continued survival. Can you speak to how humanity, in your vision, can continue to survive and perpetuate itself while ignoring the basic parameters of the natural world?
You seem to think that our visions in this regard are mutually exclusive. I feel they are not. The problem we face today is monopoly control over technology and resources. Because of the domination of these systems and the power derived from their management we are currently stunted in our evolution as a species. Because of this our system is growing increasingly heavy on its burden on the planet. All of the next layers of technology smash the current system of scarcity and centralization of power. You can see this just by looking at current discoveries and trends in nano-technology or quantum physics. Free energy, or the ability to create our own resources, is anathema to control. It is for these reasons that these types of technology are so ruthlessly suppressed. From Tesla forward to the electric car, or water carburetor; for any researcher that bothers to spend even a day or two it becomes obvious that the technology that could revolutionize the human experience is being systematically denied to the people. Removing the force that blocks these technologies and knowledge from being used is what is key for us to move forward. If our technology had not been suppressed over the last century we would not have grown so out of balance with the planet. Yet, this imbalance is further evidence of the imbalance within the expression of the human group mind that is civilization. Correct that imbalance and all else follows.
Bart’s questions for Nathan:
1. A tactic by different leaderships throughout history has been to use violent agent provocateurs to instigate violence as a pretext to manipulate the public into calling for police state measures to deal with all forms of protest. Considering how effectively this tactic has been used to crush legitimate protest and revolutionary movements how do address this fact? Doesn’t this make violent protest counter productive?
One of the basic intents of COINTELPRO and other programs utilizing agent provocateurs is not only to justify crackdowns and the police state, but also to render any and all armed resistance and true threats to the status quo suspect and marginal. In other words, to buy into the idea that because governments have attempted to provoke violence all militant tactics simply play into their game, is itself playing into the game of the elite. They want us to distrust armed struggle, because they know it is the only thing that can stop them.
2. It seems your ideology focuses on the destruction of current systems of commerce, trade, and organization as a way of short-circuiting the power structure itself. Have you ever considered the idea that the power structure does not really care anymore about the current status quo and is itself in the process of destroying this very system to create its new order? Can you address the idea that if chaos and anarchy is what the establishment wants, doesn’t your methodology play right into that plan?
The elite want to maintain their power and control, be it under the current system or some sort of new world order. But as it is often said, the new world order is really just the old world order in a new form. The same dynamics of centralized power remain. The few control access to resources and the means of production, and the many, who do not, are enslaved by them. My “ideology” aims at the horizontal and decentralized redistribution of access to resources and control of the means of production, and indeed, the destruction of centralized power, authority, and control. This in no way plays into their plan, which is to maintain their own power and status as the ruling-class elite.
3. What is the difference between violent non-compliance with the system versus non-violent non-compliance? It would seem both seek to accomplish the same objective yet the violent approach alienates the public while the other historically inspires them.
The difference, obviously, is that one is violent and the other is not. That said, I do not advocate violence, defined as intentional harm to living beings. But the biggest problem with your question is that what you term “non-violent non-compliance” all to often really isn’t non-compliant at all, but rather, compliance masquerading as its antithesis. Regardless, if by “violent” you mean tactics that include property destruction (which I define as fundamentally non-violent), I would argue that both tactics are necessary in our struggle, and that tactics that alienate the public should not be abandoned on those grounds alone. Many historical struggles that we today would certainly consider “right,” such as the movement to abolish slavery, utilized means and tactics that arguably alienated vast majorities of the public at the time.
4. Would the civil rights movement have been able to achieve is objectives through violence? Would white middle class America looked at negroes burning downing cities and rioting and been inspired to support their cause, or would they have demanded that the troops be called in to crush the resistance?
A close study of the history of the civil rights movement reveals that, despite the narrow focus on the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there were many militant civil rights activists and leaders that advocated sabotage, property destruction, armed self-defense, etc. Many have also convincingly made the argument that the more peaceful wing of the civil rights movement was rendered more palatable and acceptable to the public in the face of more militant activists such as Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. Without the presence of the militants as a counterbalance, even MLK would have been too extreme to be accepted by the majority of the American public at the time. How do you respond to this perspective?
But again, you are using the word “violence” in a way at odds with my own definition of the word, as articulated in my opening statement.
5. Violent protest seems to ignore the law of unintended consequences, what happens when the fires you set spread beyond the area you intended and innocent children or babies are consumed by your acts?
Once again, I feel that you are misusing the word “violence” as defined for the purposes of this discourse. I do not advocate inflicting intentional harm on living beings, be they human or non-human. And whose fires are you talking about? I do not advocate arson.
If you are using “fire” figuratively, then I would say that what I advocate is not the destruction of infrastructure without the creation of sustainable and viable alternative infrastructure, but rather with it. That said, what of the unintended consequences of THIS SYSTEM as it is now, and of our failure to dismantle it NOW? I find it curious that you worry about the unintended consequences of dismantling a fundamentally and inherently violent system and replacing it with a sustainable and compassionate one while failing to consider the consequences of a failure to take action and actively create a new world. The potential consequences of taking action are far outweighed by the potential and certain consequences of NOT doing so.
6. How can violence against anything be morally justifiable?
It can’t, save perhaps in self-defense against an aggressor. And as I have repeatedly said, I do not advocate violence. In fact, I advocate property destruction and sabotage as a means of stopping violence where all other means have been exhausted.
Bart’s Concluding Statement:
While I do not agree with many of my opponents methods for solving the current crisis the world now finds itself it, I do applaud his tireless work and concern in exposing the problems of this time. Above all else I feel we need solidarity and awareness in these troubled times by those who genuinely seek to meet the coming challenges. In closing I would say that anyone who reads this must make up their own mind in how to meet these problems, who they want to associate with in that time, and what method they think will be most effective at delivering us from these dire straights. I would call upon all of those reading this to decide, and decide quickly for soon the luxury of indecision will be taken from all of us. We have all been called to testify the truth of our convictions, the only question that remains is who will make their stand and be true to those beliefs and who will cower before the darkness. I can respect those who I disagree with for their courage, but I have nothing but disdain for those who slink from the battlefield only to mock and decry those of us struggling for a better tomorrow.
We struggle not against flesh and bones but ideas, the infowar is on and the window for us to awaken as many of our fellows as possible is short. Unless we can come together to avert the coming physical confrontation quickly, then a great price in blood will have to paid for mankind to relearn some sorely forgotten lessons from our history. I am sill hopeful, even in this late and tragic hour that we can have peaceful revolution to mitigate or diffuse a violent one.
Only time, and your actions will tell.
Long live free humanity. Death to the New World Order.
Nathan’s concluding statement:
I would like to thank Bart (whom I will refrain from referring to as my
“opponent,” as he has referred to me) for his patience in the process of conducting this “debate” (and the GNN community for their patience as well), and for his tireless work in exposing the truth regarding the injustices in this world and struggling for freedom as he understands it. My disagreement with him is not so much one of one tactic versus another, but rather my embrace of a diversity of tactics. While he denies the necessity of armed struggle and armed defense of one’s land base, I do not deny the necessity of the information war in this and the larger struggle at hand. Both are equally necessary. We the need assassins and gravediggers of the old world just as much as we need the midwives and doulas of the new.
I would like to clarify that I find the concept of the “social contract”—once cited by Bart—to be invalid in any instance where explicit consent is not present. One cannot be born, de facto, into a social contract, for instance. Yet that is how they, and we, are treated. Think about how many “social contracts” society holds you accountable to, about which you were never consulted or allowed to consent. Those are false and illusory “social contracts.” We are not accountable to them. We must stop believing in them. This is where the information war comes into play. We must remember who we are, where we came from, and how it is we got to be where we are today. We must decolonize our minds.
I stand with Bart in favor of a non-violent revolution, though I find the chances of one, particularly at this point, highly unlikely, and I will not count on one to defend my land base from those who are destroying it. I advocate the destruction of inherently violent private property as a means of minimizing true violence against living beings, human and non-human alike, and violence against people only as a last resort in self-defense (which includes defense of one’s land base).
Equally important as the ability to defend ourselves, and our land base, is the ability to provide ourselves with the basic necessities of life from our immediate land base, in a sustainable way. The system of control is just that because we depend on it for our very survival. As it begins to fail to provide us with the basic necessities that have placated the class struggle in America and much of the “First World,” the people will very quickly realize that their true ally and provider is the Earth, and that their true enemy is the system that is causing damage to their environment. In these times of global systemic collapse, we must reclaim the commons and free the land. As I have said before, one of the most revolutionary acts possible within this system is simply learning how to grow and collect your own food. It’s time to start ripping up asphalt and growing gardens.
Long Live the Free Earth! Death to the Anthropocentric World Order!
Coming in Part II, Bart & Nathan answer questions from the GNN community. Stay tuned!
Bart Black is a patriot libertarian who produces and hosts the TV show Frequency Clear.TV, Media rights and 9-11 truth activist, End the Fed organizer, writer, blogger, and reporter. He has interviewed Greg Palast, Alex Jones, Dr. Jerome Corsi, Dr. Ron Paul, and many others. You can read more of his work at frequencyclear.tv, or by searching for HackMkUltra online.
Nathan Coe is a guerrilla journalist and rebel insurgent residing in the mountains of Southwest Colorado, who also works with SW(A)RM, subMedia, and Indymedia. Nathan has written numerous articles about the impending global economic collapse and police state, as well as resistance movements around the world. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or via his blog at ShiftShapers.gnn.tv