Political Violence and Responsibility

In the wake of increasing violence across Europe on the political class, we must remember their own violence against the people.

Political Violence and Responsibility
Art by Oskar Pierre Castro

Democracy has two duties - to protect the people from the rich and to protect the people from death. On both counts the current political class is failing. Whilst they protest against nihilistic attacks on their own members, they are also responsible for the most violent dereliction of their sacred duty - the duty to protect. 

For a generation now they have allowed the people to be subject to the violence of the rich - the remorseless decline of public services, the increasing mechanisms of social control, the nauseating moralism that if we work hard and keep our head down we will prosper. The violence of this endless bullshit. 

For a generation now they have allowed the people to be subject to the violence of death. The ultimate disgrace is our politicians' willingness to trade the end of our societies for the private interests of the carbon lobby - the fossil fuel interest, the agricultural industry, the savage endgame plunder of our world by the forces of capital. 

People can only take so much of this reality. Most buckle down helpless and hopeless, some resist and are thrown into prison, others take refuge in conspiracies, and a few turn to violence against themselves. Others direct it against their tormentors. 

The irrationality of this obscene rise of political violence is a mirror image of the irrationality of our obscene politicians. They are an outrageously infantile and cowardly class that continues to administrate the destruction of all we love. All they offer is the final insult - a list of pledges we all know will be broken. Like those before, and those before that.

What do they take us for - idiots?  Sheep to be led to the slaughter?

As Martin Luther King said, we have a choice: Nonviolence or Nonexistence. Some are us are fighting every day for nonviolence - with the power of Powerlessness and the power of Love. But if those in power continue to facilitate this violence upon the people - then they will increasingly come to experience the meaning of the old saying: 

“If you spit in the wind it comes back and hits you in the face”. 

This Sunday I'll be hosting my monthly public Zoom call with a talk and Q&A session on Revolution in the 21st Century. Sign up and find more info about the project here.

I've been speaking across the country over the last week on a new project, Assemble, which is going to use community assemblies to set up local candidates in the 2024 election. This is the democratic revolution in the making. Find out at upcoming events in person or online.

I've got two focuses:

  • Revolution - Building social formations to create revolution and guide moments of social disruption.
  • A Balanced Society - Building the new civilisation, based on a new balance of deliberative democracy, compassion, and limited consumption.

Sign up for nonviolent civil resistance with Just Stop Oil in the UK or via the A22 Network internationally. 

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Help me to get on with the job of sorting it out.