by Eleanor Goldfield
As Croation philosopher and co-founder of the Democracy in Europe movement, Srecko Horvat said in an interview with Democracy Now on July 7th, “…we should always remember what Bertolt Brecht said: What is robbing a bank in comparison to forming a bank? And the same, I would say, goes now for the G20 in Hamburg. What is the violence on the streets compared to the violence of the G20, of the governments which are part of the G20, of the violence of the Saudis making trade deals with Donald Trump and then bombing Yemen…? What is the violence on the streets of Hamburg these days—a few burned cars—compared to the violence of 1 million and more people displaced from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and all the wars which are taking place, still taking place, all around the world? I think we should really deconstruct the notion of violence and what is happening here in Hamburg at the moment.”
If a burnt out car fills you with rage but a $6 billion dollars arms deal doesn’t, your rage is grossly misplaced. If being stuck in traffic because protestors are blocking the streets fills you with hate, imagine how you’d feel confronted by a police state that routinely harasses and kills your friends and family. Whether I always agree with the particular brand of property destruction isn’t the point. I don’t agree with every letter writing campaign or sit-in either.
Black bloc and property destruction are tactics . They are tactics that should be used with pointed consideration – like any other tactic. Again, you don’t have to personally agree with or engage in these tactics – but you do need to consider not only the perspective of the oppressed and indeed the right of the oppressed to fight back but also consider your own perspective:
Who are you angry at and why?
And understand that the goal with these particular tactics isn’t to convert people.
Progress isn’t a church.
Some of those zombies will wake up and fight in this way, in other ways and some might never wake up at all.
The state is not only a system of hierarchy, it is a state of mind. And only by shifting our paradigms, by toppling the state IN our minds , can we truly engage in powerful solidarity and effectively combat the state of capitalism – in all its forms.