Well, low level civil war in the present form of pre-civil war or civil strife anyway is just fine. It’s not ok to promote anything beyond that right now though.
A new article in Salon says that Trump has set off a civil war in America. As a supporter of the very similar Revolutionary movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, which also erupted into a near civil war, the Alt Left supports this low- level civil war (civil strife) completely. Right now what is going on is like a pre-civil war or what is often referred to as civil strife. The civil war will pretty much only start if and when people start killing each other, and that’s not happening…yet. Hopefully it will not come to that because not only will the enemy start dying but we will too. That means you, me, our friends and loved ones. It’s generally better if civil strife does not move to a shooting civil war level barring extreme circumstances.
The only thing that is happening now is street fights between the Left and Right, similar to the Left vs. Right street thugs fighting in the streets in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It also similar to civil strife that goes on in Latin America. Particularly in Chile, left vs. right street fighting is very common. The Right is fascist and supports Pinochet. The Left is almost Communist or socialist and supports Salvador Allende and his followers. A woman from Allende’s own party is now governing the country. The Left regularly stages what can only be called pro-Allende demos, which are regularly raided by fascists who support Pinochet. Similarly, fascists regularly stage what are more or less pro-Pinochet demos which are regularly invaded by leftists. Street fighting between the two is very common.
People do not realize it but rioting is very common in Latin America. Venezuela had regular riots, often led by university students, even before Chavez came to office. After Chavez came in, the Opposition staged regular riots and demos in their neighborhoods. After a while, the Chavista police just sat back and let the Opposition trash their neighborhoods. The Chavista police must have had one of the most hands-off approaches to rioters in the world.
In Chile once again, high school students are now staging regular demos which typically turn into riots. This is because in this wealthy country, the schools are literally falling apart. These riots have been happening about once every three weeks now. The Chilean Indians are a much discriminated against population and popular racism against Indians is at a very high level.
I had a friend in Chile whose father worked for Allende and considered himself a progressive guy. He was majoring in sociology and he planned to go to the Indian regions to do fieldwork. However, this anti-Indian racism was off the charts from an American point of view. He also had wildly classist views which would be shocking in the US. Obviously any country afflicted with crazy high levels of classism and racism along with some of the worst wealth inequality on Earth is a pretty shitty place. In a shitty country, you might as well demonstrate and riot all the time because that is exactly what shitty countries deserve. If they ever clean up their act and turn into decent countries, I think the rioters in general should knock it off.
Rioting should only be for protesting truly noxious systems, not, for instance, against Swedish social democracy. It’s a very civilized and decent system and there’s nothing to riot about. But rightwing shitholes can have all the riots in the world for all I care. They asked for it by being rightwing shitholes. If they don’t want riots all the time, all they have to do is create a decent country.
Needless to say, the Chilean Indians riot on a very frequent basis. And Indian riot is almost banal down there. That’s how common it is.
I was very close to the politics of Peru for a while there and I got regular updates of the situation on the ground. Even leaving aside the fact that there was an armed and very deadly insurgency going on, besides that, on the Left in general (which did not necessarily support the insurgency at all) there were regular strikes and demonstrations.
A lot of the strikes were by people like teachers and physicians. Teachers’ unions are very militant in Latin America, they go on strike all the time, have regular demonstrations and they even riot quite a bit. Schoolteachers rioting seems odd in a US context but down there, it’s just normal. There are also almost constant demonstrations against mining and really for all manner of leftwing causes. It’s quite common for these to turn into riots. Even setting aside the insurgency, Peru struck me as a place where leftwing riots were quite common.
I don’t know much about civil strife in the rest of the continent. I saw a recent video of young people mostly in their late teens to mid twenties who appeared to be actually demonstrating in favor of the FARC guerrillas and against death squad activity directed at civilian supporters of the guerrilla. I was surprised that the FARC had that much support. The demonstration was quite violent to say the least.
I believe demonstrations are very common in Brazil and if I am not mistaken, they regularly become riots also.
This low level civil war or civil strife is a good thing in the US right now. Bottom line is we deserve it. We are turning into a true rightwing shithole along Latin American lines, and shitty countries deserve all the riots that rioters can unleash against them. Don’t like the rioting? Fine, put in a halfway decent government. Unless and until that happens, I say let the riots go on.
All of the following are important:
- Calling or writing to your Congresspeople.
- Attending town hall meetings of Congresspeople.
- New laws at the state level
- Anti-Trump lawsuits by states
- Anti=Trump lawsuits by individuals and aggrived parties, often being taken by the ACLU right now.
- Appearances by Congresspeople at areas of controversy, such as Congresspeople who tried to get travelers released from airports
- Journalists writing highly critical and rabble rousing articles
- Openly defiant and angry press organs, even such staid venues as the New York Times. There’s nothing with the NYT calling Trump a liar on the front page.
- Letters to the editor
- Signing petitions
- Refusing service to Trump supporters in the workplace
- Ending as many friendships with Trump supporters as you can handle
- Various organizations leading peaceful demonstrations of all sorts such as the women’s march. Those demos can get pretty loud and rowdy, but without overt violence, they are still peaceful
- Blocking highways
- Walkout strikes
- Wildcat strikes
- Shopping strikes
And also nonpeaceful protest would seem to be in order. If we are truly turning into a nightmarish Latin American style rightwing shithole, then this country deserves as many riots as rioters can stage. Shitholes deserve nothing less until they clean up their act and turn into decent countries.
Among forms of nonviolent protest:
- Looting of noxious corporate venues, especially window smashing.
- Smoke bombs
- Rocks, bricks and police barricades at windows of some venues, the purpose being merely to break windows at the venue.
- Vandalism, especially of corporate property. Window smashing is just fine.
- Arson, particularly of corporate property but especially of the property of our class enemies, such as the limousine burnt on January 20.
Violence against people.
- Generally not recommended at this point.
This is a very tricky area and I am wrestling a lot with this one. In wars, the civilian supporters of the insurgency or state are supposed to be left alone. They seldom are in wars anymore, but they are supposed to be. This is why the fire bombings in Germany and Japan were so wrong. Even if Germans were supporting Nazis, it was not ok to set their cities aflame with the sole purpose of incinerating as many civilians as possible. Something very similar but much worse happened in Japan.
Of course the purpose of the atom bombs was to slaughter as many civilians as possible in order to end a war. The argument is typically raised that it was worth it to murder 300,000 Japanese civilians in a couple of days to end the war and that alternatives would have been more costly. Even with a goal of ending a war and supposedly saving lives by ending a war prematurely, it’s awful hard to justify mass slaughter of civilians, even if they are supporting a noxious regime. Killing thousands of civilians even for this purpose seems wrong, not to mention 10,000’s. Killing 100,000’s of civilians even for some supposedly noble goal gets very hard to justify under virtually any circumstances.
So if civilian supporters even of armed insurgencies and noxious regimes are not to be killed or even harmed for that matter, how is it ok to beat up Trump supporters. Now granted, things are much worse in hot wars. If all Assad’s army and supporters were doing was punching out rebel supporters, I doubt if anyone would care. I doubt if many would be bothered by German patriots clocking Nazi supporters during the war, assuming they could even get away with it. Likewise in Japan. The main argument in all of these cases is that state are actually mass murdering civilian supporters of insurgencies and civilian supporters of enemy states during state to state war. The argument never gets down to the level of if it’s ok to punch out guerrilla supporters or people backing a state in wartime in a state to state war.
Nevertheless, attacks on Trump supporters leave me a bit queasy. It may come down to that at some point, but for now, political violence against Opposition civilians doesn’t rub me the right way. Of course the antifa will do it anyway, we don’t have to stamp our approval on it. And it’s a thin line that separates a right hook from a group beating stomping someone to death. Single punches can turn into fatal beat downs faster than you can think.
For right now, nonpeaceful tactics should be limited to property damage, particularly of noxious corporations. Destroying the property of class enemies such as limousines is certainly acceptable. Even arson is ok against their property and that of noxious corporations, especially if you clear out the civilians just stick to burning stuff, not other people. A lot of limousines deserve to be torched and a lot of banks are asking for it too.
But I am going to butt out of attacks on people of the opposition. And surely, attacks with guns, bombs and whatnot are completely out of line at least at this stage. Now it may come down to a 1970’s revolutionary scenario where as late as 1972, 1,900 bombs went off in the US. That’s six bombs a day. Very few of them killed or even hurt other people as they were often set off late at night or preceded with warnings. Nevertheless, once you step it up to setting off bombs, it’s a whole new ballgame. We aren’t there yet, so such activities are not acceptable at the least.