Nonviolence, racism, and the state

posted by Mike on July 3rd, 2008

You may recall my frustrated critique of the essay “Nonviolence as Racism.” One of many things I disliked about this essay is that it didn’t back up many of its assertions, and seemed more off-the-cuff than the subject deserves.

In trying to understand this line of argument, I stumbled across some references to Peter Gelderloos’s How Nonviolence Protects the State. I haven’t found much of the meat of this book online, but I did find this 7-part critique of the book by Parke Burgess. I plan to read this over the weekend.

I have chosen to devote considerable space to a critical review of this work not because it represents a formidable challenge to nonviolence in itself, but because it appears to collect under one title many of the grievances and frustrations of militant activists toward those who advocate nonviolent tactics.

(Everyone I talked to about “Nonviolence as Racism” disliked it, some intensely, but I have second-hand reports of people who agree with parts of it. I hope to track them down and talk about it.)

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