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Chris Hedges on Occupy, Black Bloc at Left Forum

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Posted on Apr 12, 2012
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In this clip, author, activist and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges gives one of the keynote speeches at last month’s Left Forum conference in New York City, expanding on his column about Black Bloc anarchists and the Occupy movement. “The fundamental task of the security and surveillance state ... is to sever a movement that articulates the truth as Occupy did from the mainstream,” Hedges says. Watch the video below to see the whole speech from the Left Forum’s March 18 session.  —KA


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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Oddly, a straight-forward term like “violence” gets twisted and this also happened during the phone call with Hedges and Zeese.
Let’s be clear: your survival depends on use of force. No force = no survival. It’s that simple.

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By gerard, April 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

Vector and other defenders of violence:  Our differences are not likely to be overcome by words.
Maybe it’ll take experience.  Anyhow, the ineffectiveness and the pain and sorrow of violence is evident to most people. Time we think up something more humane and loving. Some pretty smart and experienced people are advocating it, teaching it (to the extent that it can be taught) and practicing it. I’ll rest my case, knowing the inadequacy of words, lectures, sermons, rants etc.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

EXPLAIN the difference.
YOU STFU or prove you know what you’re talking about.
All executions are homicides and all people tied up and pepper-sprayed to death are EXECUTED.
End of story.
Your “la-la-la-la-can’t-hear-you” tactic won’t fucking cut it here. Everyone here will rip you a new asshole.

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By heterochromatic, April 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

justshit———STFU until you learn the difference between an execution and a
homicide.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, “Nonviolence does not require that you give up your right to self defense.  It asks you to defend yourself”
Sadly I’ve seen the opposite. I’ve seen large groups of people saying that any act of self-defense is an act of violence.

“Nonviolence doesn’t mean giving in to violence and walking into the den of lions unarmed.”
Yes, today most people say that’s 100% required.

‘“takes the fun out of” violence, and opens the door to more creative and humane solutions.’
You misunderstand. State violence is not for fun. It is for control. If by any means you do as you are told then any use of violence is merely a stepping stone to that end-result. Fun is not a factor.

“Giving out information about plans and tactics ahead of time enables violent opposition to consider methods other than force “
No it doesn’t. It means they show up in greater numbers, surround you and beat you nearly to death. Recent history has only proven this statement correct.

“because they cannot excuse violence”
They NEED not excuse violence. They have no one to answer to.

“Study the recent situations in Egypt, in Lybia, in Israel, in Syria, in the Congo, in South Africa, in Iraq and Afghanistan keeping violence versus”
They are proving the use of force is valid & helpful.

heterochromatic, “I consider myself part of the non-loonie left….which sorta “
Which is sorta a lie.
You describe that murder is not execution and even sought to deny the pepper-spray execution even happened and demanded me twice to produce the link in the “black block is a cancer” article comments. You’re busted.

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By heterochromatic, April 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

quite correct, vec, I consider myself part of the non-loonie left….which sorta
means that we have some disagreements.


I can’t ever be a cheerleader for Castro, when he coulda been a hero and turned
into just another petty tyrant.

we got some cops pepper-spraying some OWS protesters and Syria has Assad
killing thousands and torturing and raping tens of thousands ..... and you can’t
find a single standard.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

gerard;

Your logic is impeccable; WWI (50 million dead) “the War to end all war” fed the beast that produced WWII (75-80 million dead).

Just as OWS built their foundation on a lie (the 99% v.s. the 1%) MLK and Gandhi turned out to be useful tools of empire. When the British finally left India (after a 100 year occupation) 30 million little Brown people were dead!

Your “boy” JC, declared “the meek shall inherit the earth”; maybe, but in what condition?

The 99% is a myth; hell even here IMax and heterochromatic do not consider themselves part of the same group as I or a few others.

The Tea party
KKK
Nation of Islam
Militant Jews
Right Wing Christians
Black Militants
Aryan Brotherhood


I could go on, but what would be the point; 99% my well fed ass!

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By gerard, April 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Interesting comments on nonviolence etc. 
  vector56: “Don’t be so quick to give up your right of self defense.”  Nonviolence does not require that you give up your right to self defense.  It asks you to defend yourself (and at the same time your opponents( by using non-violent behavior and methods instead. Why?  Because nonviolence can defeat violence by destroying both the evil effects of violence and and the will of violent opposition.  It offers a more humane, less poisonous path to eventual reconciliation and deep permament social and political change.
  Nonviolence doesn’t mean giving in to violence and walking into the den of lions unarmed.  It means being armed with a different and superior kind of strength which can, and often does prevail over violence because it weakens the opponent’s rage, hate, fear and automated reaction, “takes the fun out of” violence, and opens the door to more creative and humane solutions.
  Showing your hand in poker is in no way analagous.
Giving out information about plans and tactics ahead of time enables violent opposition to consider methods other than force for meeting opposition and disarms violence because they cannot excuse violence by saying they were “caught off guard” by “secret
arrangements,” etc. It opens conquest to the possibilities of mutual understanding before violence has been allowed to begin. It is “getting there fastest with the mostest.”
  Vector, your point about “waterboarding” being made to sound like a summer vacation sport is precisely accurate.  Yet even so, almost everybody sees through the deceit and secretly if not openly despises the people who use such trickery to promote
violent assault.
  Nonviolence is a whole new and different psychology and it takes time to understand what the heck these pacifist freaks are trying to pull off. It also takes great courage and is improved by experience.
  There are two things it has going for it:
  1. Violence isn’t working but is destroying the world—violence against man and against nature, and almost everybody knows that in their bones.
  2. Some alternative is desperately needed, and non-violence has been used successfully in some situations, which means it could be used in other situations. It needs to be studied, applied and taught because the future depends on finding other ways of solving social and political problems. That’s why it is the younger people who are most interested in tryiing to perfect it.
  3. Study the recent situations in Egypt, in Lybia, in Israel, in Syria, in the Congo, in South Africa, in Iraq and Afghanistan keeping violence versus alternatives to violence in mind. Experiences as varied as these, as well as the current situation in the U.S., are “proving grounds” that offer a great opportunity for learning. More than bifocals are necessary, however, because it’s not a clear case of: “Force is inevitable.  All they understand is force. Nonviolence is always ineffective. Violence means giving up the right to defend yourself.” etc.
  The only thing that is probably “inevitable” is that mankind will destroy itself and the planet unless alternatives to violence are invented and practiced and perfected. Changing our ways of thinking is a huge part of it.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 15, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

I remember this case. After strapping this man to a chair and “Pepper Spraying” him to death his wife said “it was almost like he was tortured”.

“Almost” like he was tortured!

This reflects the “sheepish” mind set most Americans thanks to the generational conditioning by the corporate media suffer from.

The man “was” tortured to death by the Cops!

American Water torture thanks to the media is now “water boarding”; sounds like something one does on vacation.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=9397988&mesg_id=9411293
“IT only means that the longer an internet discussion goes the closer to 1 the probability becomes that a Nazi reference will be made.

It does not now, nor ever did, mean that the person who mentions the Nazis loses the argument. That little addition always seems to made by people who lose arguments online.”
____ and ___
“The abuse of the law in some forums has been to prevent anyone from mentioning the relevant similarities between some claims, positions, or probable outcomes and those of Nazism.  The latter is a form of unjustified censorship – anyone who mentions Nazism is disqualified, declared to have lost the argument, or finds themselves demonized.”
- http://richardvaningram.hubpages.com/hub/Godwins-Law-and-Ingrams-Law

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic;

Standard operating procedure for you and your kind; spend all your time trying to “discredit” the other guy, why avoiding the subject!

Stop being an “anal retentive” nit picker!!!
___
Vector56, ask heterochromatic about this:
police executing people with pepper spray
link 1 : http://www.theblaze.com/stories/new-pic-shows-aftermath-of-man-tied-to-chair-by-cops-and-pepper-sprayed-until-he-died/

link 2: http://www.care2.com/causes/florida-man-tortured-and-pepper-sprayed-to-death-by-police.html

link 3: http://youtu.be/9nssw1bzBic

Heterochromatic has had the gall to say it isn’t an “execution” and further has had the gall to deny it happened at all until I threw the links at him twice in comments for another article.

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Justin Case's avatar

By Justin Case, April 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

“Don’t be so quick to give away your “right” to defend yourself, you may need it one day.”

You WILL need it one day SOON.

The worst outcome ever is for us all to stop any will or means to defend ourselves. The instant that is known we are slaughtered. Being able & willing does not mean you are guilty of the act. All you can do to minimize violence is show you must do it to survive, show you are not hindered, but choose not to use it - and give no advance notice of your choice NOT to use it.

The best way to lose at poker is to be the only person at the table showing everyone else your hand.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 14, 2012 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

In an attempt to exit this “circle jerk” of a conversation with heterochromatic, I will Address gerard’s thoughtful analysis concerning non-violence.

Deep down I want to “believe” that non-violence in a world ruled by violence (Cops, FBI, CIA, Military)is something more than just another pipe dream, but I have this problem of not dismissing out of hand what my “lying eyes” have shown me most of my life?

Asking human beings to give up or suppress the natural right to defend themselves has a kinda “Jim Jones-ish” feel to it.

I also find it “suspicious” that the “powers that be” and the corporate media promote this “sheepish” behavior, yet reserve unto themselves the right of violent self defense.

Don’t be so quick to give away your “right” to defend yourself, you may need it one day.

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

vec—- Ronnie tweren’t ever my boy…..any more than
Charlie Manson was your soulmate.


My POV is that Nixon was a better and more honest and
beneficial president than was RR

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By gerard, April 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment

An important and central moral (spiritual?) point being missed in this argument about violence or non-violence:
  Violence does not guarantee victory.
  Non-violence does not guarantee victory.
  Violence requires perpetrators to deliberately harm and kill people.
  Non-violence deliberately requires perpetrators NOT to harm and kill people.
  Violence requires courage to harm and kill.
  Nonviolence requires courage NOT to harm and kill.
  Violence is based on the BELIEF that it is necessary to harm and kill.
  Nonviolence is based on the BELIEF that it is both NOT necessary and morally wrong (and counter- productive) to harm and kill.
  Evidence for the belief in war’s counter- productivity is proven by centuries of history.
  Evidence for the belief in the counterproductivity of nonviolence is not well-established because nonviolence has seldom been used.
  Belief in violence is based on physical strength, plus weapons of one “side” intended to be fatal to “the other side”. Both “sides” think they are right, and therefore are “entitled” to kill others.
Belief in nonviolence is based on the moral/ethical strength to refuse to harm or kill, and to thereby communicate a spirit of reconciliation guaranteed by their willingness TO RISK DEATH if necessary in order to prevent harming/killing others. Nonviolence acts out and illustrates the mutual vulnerability of BOTH SIDES, plus the human ability to make moral choices and not follow violent directives from authorities, which directives those authorities have no “right” to command. They are supported only by ideas and laws based on ancient custom.
  Nonviolence (sometimes called alternatives to violence, which is perhaps a more exact term) is something entirely newer and deeper, more humane and far less damaging than modern mass warfare. As yet it is poorly understood, heavily resisted and scorned, and has a hard job overcoming widely indoctrinated systems of belief.
  It has a long way to go—but the journey has begun! At last!

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 14, 2012 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

“been hit with a night stick, been gassed, had a cop put his gun between my eyes
and cock the thing.”

heterochromatic, In the words of “your boy” Ronald Wilson Reagan, “there you go again” grabbing the “low hanging fruit” and completely side stepping the subject!

Once more I will repeat the “meat” of the subject of this post;


“Many here like to pretend that MLK and his “sheeple” single handily persuaded the “brutes” to change their ways without the pressure applied by the Weather Men, Black Panther Party, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez and many others. Those who fought back were not wrong just because they lost; “might does not make right”. w

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

been hit with a night stick, been gassed, had a cop put his gun between my eyes
and cock the thing.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 14, 2012 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

“syopping the war wasn’t self-defense vec, not even for those of us who didn’t want
to be required to go and fight in it. “

I assume you meant “stopping”?


Spoken, like a “privileged White Boy who has never experienced the “business-end”  of a racist Cop’s night stick.

Kent state was rare because victims were White. The Black Panthers and Hispanic Farm workers who tried to create Unions for better living condition were gunned down by the Cops as “standard” procedure.

There many Black, Hispanic Asian and White people who were not part of Kings, “lets beg Massa for our freedom” movement who gave their lives to help bring about much of the social and economic justice we have (had) today.  Many here like to pretend that MLK and his “sheeple” single handily persuaded the “brutes” to change their ways without the pressure applied by the Weather Men, Black Panther Party, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez and many others. Those who fought back were not wrong just because they lost; “might does not make right”.

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

vec———WTF are you on about? there was nothing remotely like real self-
defense in what we were doing in the late sixties and seventies. we were trying to
change society, not simply preserve our lives.


syopping the war wasn’t self-defense vec, not even for those of us who didn’t want
to be required to go and fight in it.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 14, 2012 at 7:28 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic;

Standard operating procedure for you and your kind; spend all your time trying to “discredit” the other guy, why avoiding the subject!

Stop being an “anal retentive” nit picker!!!

Ayers, pussied out! 

The Weather Men and Jane Fonda did not spray Vietnamese children with Napalm, yet they are considered a Terrorist and a Trader!

John Sidney McCain III dropped “death Jelly” from the sky, and Obama (among others) calls him a national hero? Personally, I think the Vietnamese should allowed that “baby killing Mother fucker” to drown in the river he bailed out in when they shot his plane down.

There seems to be a need to discredit any movement in the 60’s, and 70’s who dared to exercise their “natural right” of self defense. Any one who fought back (and lost) was wrong; therefore, “might makes right”?

Fact; men of peace also “die by the sword” (violence).

Martin Luther King Jr.;  bullet to the head

The Mahatma Gandhi; also, ate a bullet

Jesus Christ; (your “prince of peace); standard Roman method of execution. Very violent and brutal.

In the end “brutes will be brutes” whether you defend yourself or not!

The question is shall we perish huddled on the ground in the fetal position while they pepper spray us, or will we ever reclaim our “natural” right to defend our very lives?

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By heterochromatic, April 14, 2012 at 6:59 am Link to this comment

vec—- again you’re simply wrong. Ayers has never said that he was wrong to
oppose the war in Vietnam or other things….he’s expressed regret at the lunacy of
the actions and tactics and some of the grandiose analysis.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 14, 2012 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

“I repeat, they were not always unwilling to spill blood and I think that you’re sort
of a fool to say that Ayers “pussied out”.”

heterochromatic; your statement above seems to “avoid” the point I was making altogether?

When I said Ayers and Jane Fonda “pussied out” I was referring to the fact that they were on the “right side of history” and after years of pressure and ridicule from narrow minded bullies like you they caved and denounced their participation in a “just” struggle to save the lives of millions in Vietnam.

heterochromatic; you are far to “transparent” to have this conversation.

The bottom line is if Chris Hedges or anyone else who asks you to give up your basic human right of “self defense”  and “beg” your way to freedom may need to rethink their strategy.

Malcolm X and MLK had this conversation a long time ago; and as you know, they both ate a bullet!

Again, it looks like old JC didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about; if you “live or die by the sword”, your fate in the end succumbs to the randomness of the Universe.

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

vec—- did you ever talk to any of them?

I repeat, they were not always unwilling to spill blood and I think that you’re sort
of a fool to say that Ayers “pussied out”.

you ever kill anybody, vec?

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

“The Weather Men didn’t always go out of their
way to see that no one was hurt—-and didn’t always
succeed when they did….....”

heterochromatic; the Weather men as a rule did go out of their way to avoid hurting humans; sure to all rules there are “exceptions”, but we both know that? You can only rewrite history for those who were not there.

Compare the Weather Men to the Cops and the US Military your above statement seems to hold them to a far greater standard.

As far as Bill Ayers buckling under the decades long social “beat-down” it is understandable he would say what ever it took to “fit in” again. Jane Fonda all so pussied out under pressure.

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By John Zerzan, April 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In 2003 the biggest demos in world history meant zero in terms of preventing the
war against Iraq. Chickenshit obey-the-rules liberals like Hedges and others (e.g.
Derrick Jensen) who attack Black Bloc anarchists lack the courage of anarchists in
the streets and fail to notice that the well-behaved get what they deserve - nada.
To Hedges and his ilk Occupy is not much more than what they talk about while
awaiting their next ballot for Obama.

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By heterochromatic, April 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

vec——The Weather Men didn’t always go out of their
way to see that no one was hurt—-and didn’t always
succeed when they did….....

ever talk to Ayers? he doesn’t agree that he never hurt
anybody and regrets some of the shit that he was
part…even as he still is staunch on believing that
protest and opposition were and are correct.

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By Joe, April 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Why the CIA Funds Non-Violence Training”

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20120313130100207

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By Dave, April 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem with this is the total lack of transparency over what is actually motivating Hedges comments.

In his “Cancer” article Hedges relies on quotes from Derrick Jensen to dismiss anarchists, but I doubt that most people know Derrick Jensen’s history with anarchists. Hedges has repeatedly called out John Zerzan in his criticism and the entire discussion is obscured by the fact that most people have no idea what ‘black bloc anarchists’ are or who Zerzan or Jensen are. This is made all the more confusing when Hedges calls himself an anarchist (despite having no history within the anarchist movement).

Hedges is basically pissed about 2 things.

1. Pacifism, which many anarchists do not adhere to and which John Zerzan has been a very vocal critic of

2. Post-Leftism

I think the second part is the important subtext. There has only been 1 action at occupy that could be considered a ‘black bloc’ so it’s not exactly like the occupy camps are teeming with anarchists ready fuck shit up. There was no need for the ‘Cancer’ article calling to push out the black bloc because, frankly, there is no black bloc at occupy.

So what got Hedges so mad? Well he listened to a few episodes of anarchy radio when researching his piece and I can tell from his writing that it got under his skin. Within the anarchist milieu the big division (there’s many smaller ones) is basically between anarchists who identify with the Left and those who think the Left is part of the problem. Zerzan is one of the latter. As a former labor organizer, Zerzan comes out of the left but now sees it as obsolete and part of the problem. He’s part of the anti-civilization tendency within anarchism, which is opposed to not only capitalism but also domestication, mass society, and industrialism.

To anti-civ anarchists the left fails to acknowledge that these things are issues. It also recuperates people’s efforts and co-opts movements into the system. Derrick Jensen is a writer from this perspective who broke with anarchists after a few incidents (one of them involving him calling the FBI) and there has been bad blood between him and Zerzan ever since. For Hedges to take Jensen’s statements as fact is hugely irresponsible since he is essentially wading into anarchist drama by using Jensen’s statements in the piece.

I can understand that Hedges disagrees with post-leftist anarchists. I mean if you listen to John’s show he is pretty derisive towards liberals and those he sees as ‘working within the system’, and he isn’t someone who believes that occupy is going to save everything (as Hedges seems to). Still, to misrepresent his ideas and publish personal attacks from his anarchy rival is not good journalism, especially when most people don’t even know who exactly it is that Hedges is talking about and likely assume this applies to all anarchists.

In conclusion, John Zerzan is very open to dialogue and I am sure if Hedges wanted it there could easily have been (or could still be) a debate where people could actually get to hear their differences in opinion. Hedges doesn’t seem interested in that though.

If anyone is curious on the actual ideas that Hedges is upset about post-leftist/anti-civ anarchist literature is plentiful on the net.

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Jason_McQuinn__Post-Left_Anarchy__Leaving_the_Left_Behind.html

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/John_Zerzan__Running_on_Emptiness__The_Failure_of_Symbolic_Thought.html

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By Gavagai, April 13, 2012 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

The people associated as OWS have in all cases I know of consulted locally and agreed to proceed by consensus.

Either a local GA have consented to black block tactics or they haven’t.

The discussion can continue about whether to engage in these tactics, but until consensus is reached, at *least* locally, anyone coloring an Occupy action with un-consented tactics is violating a fundamental principle of this movement.

The principle of Consensus. 

Such action-in-opposition to OWS is no less salient than Officer Pike’s pepper spraying at UD Davis.

Violence to people or property in such a way that it will be attributed to OWS is nothing less than violence against OWS and violence against the individuals comprising OWS.

Some blackblockers seem committed to destroying only property. Let’s consider such a group for a moment.

Perhaps someone dons a black hood and mask and joins into one of their actions, merging anonymously with a group. Then, from amidst the group, he or she starts shooting police to kill, or chaisa bank’s exits shut and firebombs the building. Welcome “diversity of tactics”?

Do your thing another day. Do your thing in another place.

Hedges might be wrong. Everyone else who has made a strategic decision to foreswear violence (whether as principled non-violence as as preferred tactic of war) against both people and property may be wrong.

Black blockers may be right that zero change can happen without violent destruction.

OWS’s name than anyone has to suicide-bomb the local government/corporate hospital in your name.

We know that *agents provocateur* have attempted to harm OWS by infiltrating it and then promoting or engaging in violence (you can watch it happening in unambiguous video documentation available online.)

No one can coherently choose to help OWS by mimicing the precise behaviors OWS adversaries engage in to harm OWS.

OWS moves by consensus. Don’t pretend you can support OWS by attacking its central principle of operation.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, April 13, 2012 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

@ vector56

We all have issues that we need to work out.

Get down with your bad self, just leave Occupy out of it.

Batman Returns - Miss Kitty Scene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmcBnyQCrcM&feature=related

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, April 13, 2012 at 7:03 am Link to this comment

“If you or anyone else ever comes to my house and tries to harm my cat, I will personally give you a pre-frontal lobotomy. “

EmileZ; Yes, that’s the spirit! Unlike Michael Dukakis’s “milk-toast” response when asked “what would he do if Willie (“where Da White Women”) Horton were to have his way with Kitty, you pulled out your “club” and tossed that sheeple none-violent crap aside!

Don’t think for a second that the “night raids in Afganistan aren’t coming here; “Bad boys, Bad boys; “what you (EmileZ) going to do when they come for you” and yours?

None-Violence as a tactic has it’s place; but it will never replace the “natural right of self defense (your “lobotomy” statement above drives the point home).

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By EmileZ, April 13, 2012 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

@ vector56

Gee, I thought my comment encompassed a little more than your “pussy” statement.

If you or anyone else ever comes to my house and tries to harm my cat, I will personally give you a pre-frontal lobotomy.

That is a promise. A promise that has nothing to do with Occupy, but a promise nonetheless.

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By vector56, April 13, 2012 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

EmileZ;

Latching on to the low hanging fruit of my calling MLK a “pussy”, but not really addressing the core issue I raised seems to be the norm around here?

Evidently, “he who lives by the sword”, and he who does not; die by the sword anyway.

Without the Men of action like Bill Ayers, Malcolm X or the Women like Angela Davis, applying pressure to the Corporate thugs of their time the non-violent followers of MLK would have gained little traction.

If I told you I could kick down your door and have my way with you and your family all of that “non-violent” sheeple shit” would go right out the window!

What the Declaration of Independence was saying was that"citizens” have a right, even duty to defend themselves “by any means necessary”!

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By EmileZ, April 13, 2012 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

@ Gulam

You lost me in that second paragraph.

The clergy, the trumpet, the stunning example…

I am confused.

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By Gulam, April 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

EmileZ, I was all over Afghanistan and Pakistan with the UN
during the early stages of the present American/European
occupation, and I was one of very few on the ground there
in 2000, traveling alone with the Afghans on both sides of
their divide.  As soon as I returned to the USA, as soon as
I was physically able to drive I packed everything into a truck and drove to
Canada. I grow more pleased with my decision with every passing day.

Hedges is part of a clergy that has been complicit with these wars against Islam
all the way down the line. Only the Presbyterians have spoken out. Hedges is
still blowing the trumpet for the Civil War, which event provided the archetype
of occupying and subjugation the lands of others under the bogus pretext of
expanding the domain of human freedom. He provides again and again a
stunning example of how very difficult it is to simultaneously keep faith with
any vestige of the Western religious tradition and the American secular worship
of democracy at the same time.

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By EmileZ, April 12, 2012 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

@ vector56

I think the real question Chris Hedges is asking is:

Do you want Occupy to succeed and grow as a movement?

When your heroes The Weathermen burned down a building, I don’t remember them spray-painting a message claiming they did so in the name of MLK (who you call a pussy).

I do not recall any time where the Black Panthers showed up an MLK march with their guns.

It is true that Angela Davis was a fugitive for a while, but this is because of something one of her bodyguards was involved with that she did not approve of, nor have any knowledge of prior to the event.

When Angela Davis speaks about violence she is speaking about things that I don’t imagine any “black-block” members have ever experienced…

ANGELA DAVIS: You ask me, you know, whether I approve of violence — I mean, that just doesn’t make any sense at all — whether I approve of guns. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. Some very, very good friends of mine were killed by bombs, bombs that were planted by racists. I remember — from the time I was very small, I remember the sounds of bombs exploding across the street, our house shaking. I remember my father having to have guns at his disposal at all times because of the fact that, at any moment, someone — we might expect to be attacked. The man who was at that time in complete control of the city government — his name was Bull Connor — would often get on the radio and make statements like “Niggers have moved into a white neighborhood; we better expect some bloodshed tonight.” And sure enough, there would be bloodshed. end quote

Lastly, I could care less about the Declaration Of Independence, and were I alive back then, would probably have been tarred and feathered (if they caught me, for I would have “fled to Canada”) for refusing to participate in their bullshit war.

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By vector56, April 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, but I must agree with jimmmmmy.


In the end MLK and Gandhi both ate a bullet for their “non-violent” efforts (fact)!

Evidently, “he who lives by the sword”, and he who does not; die by the sword anyway.

During the 60’s and 70’s there were many groups who used tactics that make today’s “Black-Bloc” look like alter boys.

The Weather Men (personal heroes of mine) burn down building where draft cards were stored and blew up a few factories. These guys went out of their way to make sure no one was hurt, yet they were stilled hunted by the FBI as if they were Terrorist.

I also recall watching the Black Panthers (the real ones) engage in ruining gun battles with the “Pigs” on the 6:00 news! Add to this the Nation of Islam, and a few others like H. Rap Brown, the Powers that be were more than willing (by contrast) to deal with “pussies” like MLK.

What Chris Hedges seeks to is destroy that “contrast”! 

The text below was taken from the Declaration of Independence:


“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.”

Sounds like these guys were telling us it is our right to defend ourselves (to quote Malcolm) “by any means necessary”!


Without the Men of action like Bill Ayers, Malcolm X or the Women like Angela Davis, applying pressure to the Corporate thugs of their time the non-violent followers of MLK would have gained little traction.

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By vector56, April 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

“Godwin’s law” smells like that thing with 360 of Kevin Beacon.

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By EmileZ, April 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

@ jimmmmmmy

The labor movement is weak because we stopped enforcing anti-trust laws and because of “free-trade” and globalism. We stopped enforcing anti-trust laws. We also have allowed many companies to violate labor laws (for example, putting up a sign during a strike announcing their intentions to close the plant, and move to a new one in Mexico).

Also, the leadership in many unions was corrupted as you mentioned, with the help of Taft-Hartley.

There are all kinds of reasons.

Anyhow, this has nothing to do with “Black-Bloc” and their self-defeating tactics (what has “Black-Bloc” accomplished???).

Many people, young and old, are willing to stand up and openly resist. They are being encouraged.

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Thats wonderful! Best thing I’ve read today . Thank you.

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By afs, April 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmy: “Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies[1][2]) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990[2] that has become an Internet adage. It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.”[2][3] In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis….”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin’s_law

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

afs without more detail your comment makes no sense. Goodwin? HItler?

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Simple fact peaceful protest has never accomplished any thing permanent or useful in the history of human strife. Mr. Hedges rigidity will get a lot of innocents killed as things get worse . The negotiating committee doesn’t win strikes the tactical committees which are never mentioned at the table, are the ones who wins strikes. That is why so few strikes are successful today . No tactical committees. When young people are willing to stand up and resist they should be encouraged.

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By afs, April 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmy: Black Bloc supporters violating Godwin’s Law and throwing Hitler at Chris Hedges probably not the wisest move to make tactically.

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By gerard, April 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

As I see it, the main problem between a movement like Occupy and a movement like the “black bloc” is that the kind of people who choose black bloc tactics over nonviolence are more psychologically rigid. This rigidity prevents them from being able to see both possibilities for creative tactics and possibilities for advantageous negotiation or interest-based bargaining.
  They believe that anything less that this absolute rigidity is weak, and because of this weakness, can be overcome, suppressed and negated by forces employed by the status quo.
  It may take more experience of success brought about by nonviolence to convince people of the block bloc persuasion to change because it is the very rigidity of their position that they believe is a basic and essential part of their ideology.
  Just a thought.

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

How is that a wise move? Dr. King was assassinated as the movement began to go national, and gain traction. I doubt that you really have and inkling about what Hedges is dealing with here, HIs desire to purge the movement publicly is tacticly foolish.

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By Rottin Roti, April 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@jimmmmy

Precisely, it’s also something Hedges has spoken about frequently (how anarchists and radicals were weeded out by pro-establishment types in the 20s and 30s), and which he seems enthusiastic to repeat. This mantra of gathering as many people as possible sounds great, but what will those people be doing? Chanting slogans? Shuffling around like zombies? Many of the people who introduced the consensus process and other radical forms of organizing to newcomers at the beginning have been forced out through the anarchist witch hunts that Hedges has helped to instigate, while at the same time calling himself an anarchist. If you find yourself surrounded by a mass of confused people with only pop-culture notions of what radical politics are looking for a leader to tell them what to do, well you’ll know what went wrong.

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By 1984 or 1776, April 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Hedges is repeating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s
arguments—a wise move.

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By jimmmmmy, April 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

I just watched a program on Hitlers rise to power and Mr. Hedges current purge of Black Bloc from OWS personnel struck me as similar to what the left in Germany did in the 20s. They were so busy fighting each other that Hitler got in almost by default. Only having to murder a few prominent leftist that were left weak and defenseless after the internal purges . I word to the wise Mr. Hedges.

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