Changed header - last one was offensive

Graeme Bacque (
Mon, 09 Nov 1998 22:49:15 -0500

At 10:12 PM 11/9/98 -0400, you wrote:
>So maybe we need, as one person wrote on Food Not Bombs list, to
>_challenge_ the idea that "government can do nothing" for everyday people.
>Just because government is mainly beholden to business interests today,
>does not mean that must always be.

The problem is that the existing structure was created by the ruling class,
to serve the interests of same while keeping everyone else conned into
believing they actually had achieved some kind of personal autonomy.  The
_structure_ of existing society is rotten to the core and cannot be
redeemed.  This doesn't rule out rethinking how we choose to structure
ourselves as a human community - only that the existing structures are
unsuitable. We're starting from scratch here.

>Civil rights, wage and labor laws, sanitation systems, Social Security -
>these boons to everyday people came from lifetimes of organizing, with many
>casualties.  If these organizers from the ranks of everyday people had not
>been willing to engage and change government officials, we'd all have less.

True... but the administration of such has been left to the same ruling
elite that sought to deny us these basics in the first place. As such these
things remain tenuous as long as they remain under the control of a
different class interest, as well as woefully inadequate and  punitive in
their approach (as anyone who's had to apply for welfare even in the best
of times  can attest.) We're talking about merely another form of social
control here rather than a community of people looking after its own.

>Of course, some would argue that a world without government would free us
>to assist each other unimpeded.  I fear that no-government could leave
>business unimpeded to trample the enviroment and our rights.

Actually, I would say that existing forms of government impede ordinary
people from organizing to deal effectively with these issues, by legally
mandating that we sign over our right to decide and to act as people
through the ballot box. Until there is direct, ongoing, face-to-face
accountability of those who claim to represent our interests, and
decision-making is ultimately controlled by those who must bear the
consequences of any decision(s), there will be no democracy. 

>The way out of these dillemnas?  I'm stumped.  Any suggestions?
>No nonviolence, no justice. -- Tom

I still maintain that legitimate and neccesary acts of self-defense are the
natural, inalienable right of all living beings. (I'm not discussing
retaliation or vengeance here - that is an entirely seperate issue.)
Self-defense extends to ridding our societies of those organized bodies who
would impose their culture of unbridled greed and enslavement on the rest
of us. This isn't an act of violence, but an act of resisting violence by
putting a stop to the perpetrators by whatever means it takes. This is our
right as a human community. As the oppressed we are under no obligation to
submit to the oppressor's agenda merely because we might be required to
lift our hand to another human to avoid such submission.

This is where we still find our fundamental difference, Tom, is on our
analysis of violence. I am not willing to allow more rights to an abuser
than I am to myself. The existing theory of 'nonviolence' insists we do
just that. No thanks.