By Chris Hedges, TruthDig
Editor’s Note: This is an interesting article, but typical of Hedges, with his hatred of “violence”, he compulsively dumps, like a good liberal, on any and all groups or parties that chose or tried the idea of opposing the status quo with force. Thus he puts in the same bag the Symbionese Liberation Army and the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers. He also has nasty things to say about Robespierre and Lenin. Such people he says, “hijack revolutions”:
Radical violent groups cling like parasites to popular protests. The Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement, the Weather Underground, the Red Brigades and the Symbionese Liberation Army arose in the ferment of the 1960s. Violent radicals are used by the state to justify harsh repression. They scare the mainstream from the movement. They thwart the goal of all revolutions, which is to turn the majority against an isolated and discredited ruling class. These violent fringe groups are seductive to those who yearn for personal empowerment through hyper-masculinity and violence, but they do little to advance the cause. The primary role of radical extremists, such as Maximilien Robespierre and Vladimir Lenin, is to hijack successful revolutions.
Well, why do we publish Hedges? Because in the middle of his raging pacifist neurosis he has a few good, even inspired, things to say. But don’t take him too seriously when it comes to revolutionary theory. About that, and until he understand a bit of Marxism, he has lots to learn.—PG
In Robert E. Gamer’s book “The Developing Nations” is a chapter called “Why Men Do Not Revolt.” In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced. They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the “patron-client” networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. “The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups,” he writes. Continue reading »
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