Democratic Violence Quotes

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Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Discourse and critical thinking are essential tools when it comes to securing progress in a democratic society. But in the end, unity and engaged participation are what make it happen.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May. 2. If you felt belittled when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables” then you should have felt equally concerned when Eric Trump said “Democrats aren’t even human.” 3. When the president of the United States calls women dogs or talks about grabbing pussy, we should get chills down our spine and resistance flowing through our veins. When people call the president of the United States a pig, we should reject that language regardless of our politics and demand discourse that doesn’t make people subhuman. 4. When we hear people referred to as animals or aliens, we should immediately wonder, “Is this an attempt to reduce someone’s humanity so we can get away with hurting them or denying them basic human rights?” 5. If you’re offended by a meme of Trump Photoshopped to look like Hitler, then you shouldn’t have Obama Photoshopped to look like the Joker on your Facebook feed. There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
The job facing American voters… in the days and years to come is to determine which hearts, minds and souls command those qualities best suited to unify a country rather than further divide it, to heal the wounds of a nation as opposed to aggravate its injuries, and to secure for the next generation a legacy of choices based on informed awareness rather than one of reactions based on unknowing fear.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
Violence isn't a Democrat or Republican problem. It's an American problem, requiring an American solution.
DaShanne Stokes
Voting, the be all and end all of modern democratic politicians, has become a farce, if indeed it was ever anything else. By voting, the people decide only which of the oligarchs preselected for them as viable candidates will wield the whip used to flog them and will command the legion of willing accomplices and anointed lickspittles who perpetrate the countless violations of the people’s natural rights. Meanwhile, the masters soothe the masses by assuring them night and day that they — the plundered and bullied multitudes who compose the electorate — are themselves the government.
Robert Higgs
-----If you walk like a fascist, talk like a fascist, think the rules do not apply to you; if you seek to destroy the democratic institutions of your nation, solely to serve your own personal ends; if you foment racism, violence, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny and racial intolerance; if you constantly lie to the people of your country; if you seek to destroy the credibility of news organizations to inoculate yourself against them reporting to the nation about your crimes; if you knowingly collude with foreign powers to undermine your country’s electoral process; if you sell public policy, domestic and foreign, to the highest bidder…you just might be a fascist.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
In a covenant...among proprietor and community tenants for the purpose of protecting their private property, no such thing as a right to free (unlimited) speech exists, not even to unlimited speech on one’s own tenant-property. One may say innumerable things and promote almost any idea under the sun, but naturally no one is permitted to advocate ideas contrary to the very covenant of preserving and protecting private property, such as democracy and communism. There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
The moment has come to give fascism a usable short handle, even though we know that it encompasses its subject no better than a snapshot encompasses a person. Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
What in water did Bloom, waterlover, drawer of water, watercarrier, returning to the range, admire? Its universality: its democratic equality and constancy to its nature in seeking its own level: its vastness in the ocean of Mercator's projection: its unplumbed profundity in the Sundam trench of the Pacific exceeding 8000 fathoms: the restlessness of its waves and surface particles visiting in turn all points of its seaboard: the independence of its units: the variability of states of sea: its hydrostatic quiescence in calm: its hydrokinetic turgidity in neap and spring tides: its subsidence after devastation: its sterility in the circumpolar icecaps, arctic and antarctic: its climatic and commercial significance: its preponderance of 3 to 1 over the dry land of the globe: its indisputable hegemony extending in square leagues over all the region below the subequatorial tropic of Capricorn: the multisecular stability of its primeval basin: its luteofulvous bed: its capacity to dissolve and hold in solution all soluble substances including millions of tons of the most precious metals: its slow erosions of peninsulas and islands, its persistent formation of homothetic islands, peninsulas and downwardtending promontories: its alluvial deposits: its weight and volume and density: its imperturbability in lagoons and highland tarns: its gradation of colours in the torrid and temperate and frigid zones: its vehicular ramifications in continental lakecontained streams and confluent oceanflowing rivers with their tributaries and transoceanic currents, gulfstream, north and south equatorial courses: its violence in seaquakes, waterspouts, Artesian wells, eruptions, torrents, eddies, freshets, spates, groundswells, watersheds, waterpartings, geysers, cataracts, whirlpools, maelstroms, inundations, deluges, cloudbursts: its vast circumterrestrial ahorizontal curve: its secrecy in springs and latent humidity, revealed by rhabdomantic or hygrometric instruments and exemplified by the well by the hole in the wall at Ashtown gate, saturation of air, distillation of dew: the simplicity of its composition, two constituent parts of hydrogen with one constituent part of oxygen: its healing virtues: its buoyancy in the waters of the Dead Sea: its persevering penetrativeness in runnels, gullies, inadequate dams, leaks on shipboard: its properties for cleansing, quenching thirst and fire, nourishing vegetation: its infallibility as paradigm and paragon: its metamorphoses as vapour, mist, cloud, rain, sleet, snow, hail: its strength in rigid hydrants: its variety of forms in loughs and bays and gulfs and bights and guts and lagoons and atolls and archipelagos and sounds and fjords and minches and tidal estuaries and arms of sea: its solidity in glaciers, icebergs, icefloes: its docility in working hydraulic millwheels, turbines, dynamos, electric power stations, bleachworks, tanneries, scutchmills: its utility in canals, rivers, if navigable, floating and graving docks: its potentiality derivable from harnessed tides or watercourses falling from level to level: its submarine fauna and flora (anacoustic, photophobe), numerically, if not literally, the inhabitants of the globe: its ubiquity as constituting 90 percent of the human body: the noxiousness of its effluvia in lacustrine marshes, pestilential fens, faded flowerwater, stagnant pools in the waning moon.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
No state, however democratic,” Bakunin wrote, “not even the reddest republic—can ever give the people what they really want, i.e., the free self-organization and administration of their own affairs from the bottom upward, without any interference or violence from above, because every state, even the pseudo–People’s State concocted by Mr. Marx, is in essence only a machine ruling the masses from above, through a privileged minority of conceited intellectuals, who imagine that they know what the people need and want better than do the people themselves. . . .” “But the people will feel no better if the stick with which they are being beaten is labeled ‘the people’s stick
Noam Chomsky (On Anarchism)
Building on Linz’s work, we have developed a set of four behavioral warning signs that can help us know an authoritarian when we see one. We should worry when a politician 1) rejects, in words or action, the democratic rules of the game, 2) denies the legitimacy of opponents, 3) tolerates or encourages violence, or 4) indicates a willingness to curtail the civil liberties of opponents, including the media.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Princes had, so to speak, turned violence into a physical thing but our democratic republics have made it into something as intellectual as the human will it intends to restrict. Under the absolute government of one man, despotism, in order to attack the spirit, crudely struck the body and the spirit escaped free of its blows, rising gloriously above it. But in democratic republics, tyranny does not behave in that manner; it leaves the body alone and goes straight to the spirit. No longer does the master say: “You will think as I do or you will die”; he says: “You are free not to think like me, your life, your property, everything will be untouched but from today you are a pariah among us. You will retain your civic privileges but they will be useless to you, for if you seek the votes of your fellow citizen, they will not grant you them and if you simply seek their esteem, they will pretend to refuse you that too. You will retain your place amongst men but you will lose the rights of mankind. When you approach your fellows, they will shun you like an impure creature; and those who believe in your innocence will be the very people to abandon you lest they be shunned in their turn. Go in peace; I grant you your life but it is a life worse than death.
Alexis de Tocqueville
[O]ne cannot separate violence from the very exist­ ence of the state (as the apparatus of class domination): from the standpoint of the'subordinated and oppressed, the very existence of a state is a fact of violence (in the same sense in which, for example, Robespierre said, in his justification of the regicide, that one does not have to prove that the king committed any specific crimes, since the very existence of the king is a crime, an offence against the freedom of the people). In this strict sense, every violence of the oppressed against the ruling class and its state is ultimately ‘defensive’. If we do not concede this point, we volens nolens ‘normalize’ the state and accept that its violence is merely a matter of contin­ gent excesses (to be dealt with through democratic reforms).
Slavoj Žižek (In Defence of the Terror: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution)
Under capitalism, neither Democrat nor Republican can save Indigenous lands or Black and Indigenous lives. The continuation of state-sanctioned racial terror against Black and Native people, from police violence to energy development, from one administration to the next demonstrates only radical change in the form of decolonization, the repatriation of stolen lands and stolen lives, can undo centuries of settler colonialism.
Nick Estes (Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance)
If you accept a democratic system, this means that you are prepared to put up with those of its workings, legislative or administrative, with which you do not agree as well as with those that meet with your concurrence. This willingness to accept, in principle, the workings of a system based on the will of the majority, even when you yourself are in the minority, is simply the essence of democracy. Without it there could be no system of representative self-government at all. When you attempt to alter the workings of the system by means of violence or civil disobedience, this, it seems to me, can have only one of two implications; either you do not believe in democracy at all and consider that society ought to be governed by enlightened minorities such as the one to which you, of course, belong; or you consider that the present system is so imperfect that it is not truly representative, that it no longer serves adequately as a vehicle for the will of the majority, and that this leaves to the unsatisfied no adequate means of self-expression other than the primitive one of calling attention to themselves and their emotions by mass demonstrations and mass defiance of established authority.
George F. Kennan
To be sure, I am not speaking about Christian equality, whose real name is equity; but about this democratic and social equality, which is nothing but the canonization of envy and the chimera of jealous ineptitude. This equality was never anything but a mask which could not become reality without the abolition of all merit and virtue.
Charles Forbes René de Montalembert
The question, then, is not about changing people; it's about reaching people. I'm not speaking simply of better information, a sharper and clearer factual presentation to disperse the thick fogs generated by today's spin machines. Of course, we always need stronger empirical arguments to back up our case. It would certainly help if at least as many people who believe, say, in a "literal devil" or that God sent George W. Bush to the White House also knew that the top 1 percent of households now have more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. Yes, people need more information than they get from the media conglomerates with their obsession for nonsense, violence and pap. And we need, as we keep hearing, "new ideas." But we are at an extraordinary moment. The conservative movement stands intellectually and morally bankrupt while Democrats talk about a "new direction" without convincing us they know the difference between a weather vane and a compass. The right story will set our course for a generation to come.
Bill Moyers
Conquest occurred through violence, and over-expolitation and oppression necessitate continued violence, so the army is present. There would be no contradiction in that, if terror reigned everywhere in the world, but the colonizer enjoys, in the mother country, democratic rights that the colonialist system refuses to the colonized native. In fact, the colonialist system favors population growth to reduce the cost of labor, and it forbids assimilation of the natives, whose numerical superiority, if they had voting rights, would shatter the system. Colonialism denies human rights to human beings whom it has subdued by violence, and keeps them by force in a state of misery and ignorance that Marx would rightly call a subhuman condition. Racism is ingrained in actions, institutions, and in the nature of the colonialist methods of production and exchange. Political and social regulations reinforce one another. Since the native is subhuman, the Declaration of Human Rights does not apply to him; inversely, since he has no rights, he is abandoned without protection to inhuman forces - brought in with the colonialist praxis, engendered every moment by the colonialist apparatus, and sustained by relations of production that define two sorts of individuals - one for whom privilege and humanity are one, who becomes a human being through exercising his rights; and the other, for whom a denial of rights sanctions misery, chronic hunger, ignorance, or, in general, 'subhumanity.
Albert Memmi (The Colonizer and the Colonized)
Among the many symbols used to frighten and manipulate the populace of the democratic states, few have been more important than "terror" and "terrorism." These terms have generally been confined to the use of violence by individuals and marginal groups. Official violence, which is far more extensive in both scale and destructiveness, is placed in a different category altogether. This usage has nothing to do with justice, causal sequence, or numbers abused. Whatever the actual sequence of cause and effect, official violence is described as responsive or provoked ("retaliation," "protective reaction," etc.), not as the active and initiating source of abuse. Similarly, the massive long-term violence inherent in the oppressive social structures that U.S. power has supported or imposed is typically disregarded. The numbers tormented and killed by official violence-wholesale as opposed to retail terror-during recent decades have exceeded those of unofficial terrorists by a factor running into the thousands. But this is not "terror," [...] "security forces" only retaliate and engage in "police action." These terminological devices serve important functions. They help to justify the far more extensive violence of (friendly) state authorities by interpreting them as "reactive" and they implicitly sanction the suppression of information on the methods and scale of official violence by removing it from the category of "terrorism." [...] Thus the language is well-designed for apologetics for wholesale terror.
Noam Chomsky (The Washington Connection & Third World Fascism (Political Economy of Human Rights, #1))
After September 11, some critics even tried to lump the antiglobalization protesters in with the terrorists, casting them as irresponsible destabilizers of the world order. But the protesters are the children of McWorld, and their objections are not Jihadic but merely democratic. Their grievances concern not world order but world disorder, and if the young demonstrators are a little foolish in their politics, a little naive in their analysis, and a little short on viable solutions, they understand with a sophistication their leaderes apparently lack that globalization's current architecture breeds anarchy, nihilism, and violence.
Benjamin R. Barber (Jihad vs. McWorld)
Lizzie and I arrived in the polluted heat of a London summer. We stood frozen at street corners as a blur of pedestrians burst out of the subways and spilled like ants down the pavements. The crowed bars, the expensive shops, the fashionable clothes - to me it all seemed a population rushing about to no avail...I stared at a huge poster of a woman in her underwear staring down at her own breasts. HELLO BOYS, she said. At the movies we witnessed sickening violence, except that this time we held tubs of popcorn between our legs and the gunfire and screams were broadcast in digital Dolby. We had escaped a skull on a battlefield, only to arrive in London, where office workers led lines of such tedium and plenty that they had to entertain themselves with all the f****** and killing on the big screen. So here then was the prosperous, democratic and civilized Western world. A place of washing machines, reality TV, Armani, frequent-flier miles, mortgages. And this is what the Africans are supposed to hope for, if they're lucky.
Aidan Hartley (The Zanzibar Chest: A Story of Life, Love, and Death in Foreign Lands)
Capitalism is cruelty for money.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Inside The Mind of an Introvert)
The third criterion is toleration or encouragement of violence. Partisan violence is very often a precursor of democratic breakdown.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
The problem is that this kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation. It prevents learning –- since, after all, why should we listen to a “fascist,” or a “socialist,” or a “right-wing nut,” or a left-wing nut”? It makes it nearly impossible for people who have legitimate but bridgeable differences to sit down at the same table and hash things out. It robs us of a rational and serious debate, the one we need to have about the very real and very big challenges facing this nation. It coarsens our culture, and at its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response. So what do we do? As I found out after a year in the White House, changing this type of politics is not easy. And part of what civility requires is that we recall the simple lesson most of us learned from our parents: Treat others as you would like to be treated, with courtesy and respect. (Applause.) But civility in this age also requires something more than just asking if we can’t just all get along.
Barack Obama
The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by a group of former Confederate soldiers; its first grand wizard was a Confederate general who was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The Klan soon spread beyond the South to the Midwest and the West and became, in the words of historian Eric Foner, “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.” The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members. The last one, Robert Byrd, died in 2010 and was eulogized by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton called him her “mentor.” The sordid history of the Democratic Party in the early twentieth century is also married to the sordid history of the progressive movement during the same period. Progressives like Margaret Sanger—founder of Planned Parenthood and a role model for Hillary Clinton—supported such causes as eugenics and social Darwinism. While abortion was not an issue in Sanger’s day, she backed forced sterilization for “unfit” people, notably minorities. Sanger’s Negro Project was specifically focused on reducing the black population.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Tolstoy’s most lasting influence was in India. He and M. K. Gandhi had begun a correspondence in the early years of the twentieth century, with Gandhi referring to himself as Tolstoy’s ‘humble follower’. Many of their beliefs have close affinities – the doctrine of non-violence, for example, and the belief that the kingdom of God exists within man. Gandhi’s campaign of civil disobedience and passive resistance, together with his abhorrence of Western ‘progress’, owe much to Tolstoy, although his engagements in the political arena do not. And it is in the East, particularly India, where the liberal democratic tradition continued longer, that Tolstoy’s ideas remained alive.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession and Other Religious Writings)
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
It is this cultural dilemma that now drives the debate between Democrats and Republicans, the one wanting more law and the other more freedom. Would it be inappropriate to suggest that both parties are partly wrong and partly right? Republicans, I believe, are right that government regulation is burdensome and sometimes ineffective, but they are slow to see the consequences of having less law in a culture whose moral character is worn, where "obedience to the unenforceable" is tepid. Democrats are right to fear what will happen in such a society where the heavy hand of the law is lifted, but they rarely see that the law cannot restore what we have lost, which is our sense of "obedience to the unenforceable." The law is no substitute for what we have lost. We can, for example, pass laws against murder, but not against hatred; against adultery, but not against lust; against fraud, but not against lying; against violence, but not against the emotional neglect of children. We can condemn abuse, but we cannot command kindness. We can condemn bigotry, but we cannot require civility. Republicans ask for more freedom, Democrats for more law, but freedom in the absence of public virtue is as disastrous as more law because of the absence of public virtue.57
David F. Wells (Losing Our Virtue)
Why do the Fascists want violence?” Ethel asked rhetorically. “Those out there in Hills Road may be mere hooligans, but someone is directing them, and their tactics have a purpose. When there is fighting in the streets, they can claim that public order has broken down, and drastic measures are needed to restore the rule of law. Those emergency measures will include banning democratic political parties such as Labour, prohibiting trade union action, and jailing people without trial—people such as us, peaceful men and women whose only crime is to disagree with the government. Does this sound fantastic to you, unlikely, something that could never happen? Well, they used exactly those tactics in Germany—and it worked.” She went on to talk about how Fascism
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
And there’s one other matter I must raise. The epidemic of domestic sexual violence that lacerates the soul of South Africa is mirrored in the pattern of grotesque raping in areas of outright conflict from Darfur to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in areas of contested electoral turbulence from Kenya to Zimbabwe. Inevitably, a certain percentage of the rapes transmits the AIDS virus. We don’t know how high that percentage is. We know only that women are subjected to the most dreadful double jeopardy. The point must also be made that there’s no such thing as the enjoyment of good health for women who live in constant fear of rape. Countless strong women survive the sexual assaults that occur in the millions every year, but every rape leaves a scar; no one ever fully heals. This business of discrimination against and oppression of women is the world’s most poisonous curse. Nowhere is it felt with greater catastrophic force than in the AIDS pandemic. This audience knows the statistics full well: you’ve chronicled them, you’ve measured them, the epidemiologists amongst you have disaggregated them. What has to happen, with one unified voice, is that the scientific community tells the political community that it must understand one incontrovertible fact of health: bringing an end to sexual violence is a vital component in bringing an end to AIDS. The brave groups of women who dare to speak up on the ground, in country after country, should not have to wage this fight in despairing and lonely isolation. They should hear the voices of scientific thunder. You understand the connections between violence against women and vulnerability to the virus. No one can challenge your understanding. Use it, I beg you, use it.
Stephen Lewis
Evangelicals hadn’t betrayed their values. Donald Trump was the culmination of their half-century-long pursuit of a militant Christian masculinity. He was the reincarnation of John Wayne, sitting tall in the saddle, a man who wasn’t afraid to resort to violence to bring order, who protected those deemed worthy of protection, who wouldn’t let political correctness get in the way of saying what had to be said or the norms of democratic society keep him from doing what needed to be done. Unencumbered by traditional Christian virtue, he was a warrior in the tradition (if not the actual physical form) of Mel Gibson’s William Wallace. He was a hero for God-and-country Christians in the line of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, and Oliver North, one suited for Duck Dynasty Americans and American Christians. He was the latest and greatest high priest of the evangelical cult of masculinity.
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
I told myself that in the country of my birth, from which I was disengaged in an increasingly irreversible way, there undoubtedly were many men and women like him, basically decent people who had dreamed all their lives of the economic, social, cultural, and political progress that would transform Peru into a modern, prosperous, democratic society with opportunities open to all, only to find themselves repeatedly frustrated, and, like Uncle Ataulfo, had reached old age - the very brink of death - bewildered, asking themselves why we were moving backward instead of advancing and were worse off now with more discrimination, inequality, violence, and insecurity than when they were starting out
Edith Grossman (The Bad Girl)
People without rights are always a menace to social order. Their common interest in removing such barriers unites them; they are prepared to resort to violence because by peaceable means they are unable to get what they want. Social peace is attained only when one allows all members of society to participate in democratic institutions. And this means equality of All before the Law.
Ludwig von Mises (Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis)
Democracy provides the institutional framework for the reform of political institutions (other than this framework). It makes possible the reform of institutions without using violence, and thereby the use of reason in the designing of new institutions and the adjusting of old ones. It cannot provide reason. The question of the intellectual and moral standard of its citizens is to a large degree a personal problem. (The idea that this problem can be tackled, in turn, by an institutional eugenic and educational control is, I believe, mistaken ; some reasons for my belief will be given below.) It is quite wrong to blame democracy for the political shortcomings of a democratic state. We should rather blame ourselves. In a non-democratic state, the only way to achieve reasonable reforms is by the violent overthrow of the government, and the introduction of a democratic framework. Those who criticize democracy on any ' moral ' grounds fail to distinguish between personal and institutional problems. It rests with us to improve matters. The democratic institutions cannot improve themselves. The problem of improving them is always a problem of persons rather than of institutions.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies - Volume One: The Spell of Plato)
And on the other side of the ledger, unions like the Teamsters often employed their own muscle, their own reigns of terror, including bombings, arsons, beatings, and murders. The warfare and violence were not just between labor and management. It was often between rival unions vying for the same membership. Sadly, it was often violence directed at rank-and-file union members who urged democratic reform of their unions. The
Charles Brandt ("I Heard You Paint Houses", Updated Edition: Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran & Closing the Case on Jimmy Hoffa)
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is a city consecrated to the worship of a father-son dynasty. (I came to think of them, with their nuclear-family implications, as 'Fat Man and Little Boy.') And a river runs through it. And on this river, the Taedong River, is moored the only American naval vessel in captivity. It was in January 1968 that the U.S.S. Pueblo strayed into North Korean waters, and was boarded and captured. One sailor was killed; the rest were held for nearly a year before being released. I looked over the spy ship, its radio antennae and surveillance equipment still intact, and found photographs of the captain and crew with their hands on their heads in gestures of abject surrender. Copies of their groveling 'confessions,' written in tremulous script, were also on show. So was a humiliating document from the United States government, admitting wrongdoing in the penetration of North Korean waters and petitioning the 'D.P.R.K.' (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for 'lenience.' Kim Il Sung ('Fat Man') was eventually lenient about the men, but not about the ship. Madeleine Albright didn't ask to see the vessel on her visit last October, during which she described the gruesome, depopulated vistas of Pyongyang as 'beautiful.' As I got back onto the wharf, I noticed a refreshment cart, staffed by two women under a frayed umbrella. It didn't look like much—one of its three wheels was missing and a piece of brick was propping it up—but it was the only such cart I'd see. What toothsome local snacks might the ladies be offering? The choices turned out to be slices of dry bread and cups of warm water. Nor did Madeleine Albright visit the absurdly misnamed 'Demilitarized Zone,' one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on earth. Across the waist of the Korean peninsula lies a wasteland, roughly following the 38th parallel, and packed with a titanic concentration of potential violence. It is four kilometers wide (I have now looked apprehensively at it from both sides) and very near to the capital cities of both North and South. On the day I spent on the northern side, I met a group of aging Chinese veterans, all from Szechuan, touring the old battlefields and reliving a war they helped North Korea nearly win (China sacrificed perhaps a million soldiers in that campaign, including Mao Anying, son of Mao himself). Across the frontier are 37,000 United States soldiers. Their arsenal, which has included undeclared nuclear weapons, is the reason given by Washington for its refusal to sign the land-mines treaty. In August 1976, U.S. officers entered the neutral zone to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of an observation post. A posse of North Koreans came after them, and one, seizing the ax with which the trimming was to be done, hacked two U.S. servicemen to death with it. I visited the ax also; it's proudly displayed in a glass case on the North Korean side.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Fascism may be defined as a form of political behaviour marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cult of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working with uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Robert Paxton
What the secularists forgot is that Homo sapiens is the meaning-seeking animal. If there is one thing the great institutions of the modern world do not do, it is to provide meaning. Science tells us how but not why. Technology gives us power but cannot guide us as to how to use that power. The market gives us choices but leaves us uninstructed as to how to make those choices. The liberal democratic state gives us freedom to live as we choose but on principle refuses to guide us as to how to choose.
Jonathan Sacks (Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence)
Complex operations, in which agencies assume complementary roles and operate in close proximity-often with similar missions but conflicting mandates-accentuate these tensions. The tensions are evident in the processes of analyzing complex environments, planning for complex interventions, and implementing complex operations. Many reports and analyses forecast that these complex operations are precisely those that will demand our attention most in the indefinite future. As essayist Barton and O'Connell note, our intelligence and understanding of the root cause of conflict, multiplicity of motivations and grievances, and disposition of actors is often inadequate. Moreover, the problems that complex operations are intended and implemented to address are convoluted, and often inscrutable. They exhibit many if not all the characteristics of "wicked problems," as enumerated by Rittel and Webber in 1973: they defy definitive formulations; any proposed solution or intervention causes the problem to mutate, so there is no second chance at a solution; every situation is unique; each wicked problem can be considered a symptom of another problem. As a result, policy objectives are often compound and ambiguous. The requirements of stability, for example, in Afghanistan today, may conflict with the requirements for democratic governance. Efforts to establish an equitable social contract may well exacerbate inter-communal tensions that can lead to violence. The rule of law, as we understand it, may displace indigenous conflict management and stabilization systems. The law of unintended consequences may indeed be the only law of the land. The complexity of the challenges we face in the current global environment would suggest the obvious benefit of joint analysis - bringing to bear on any given problem the analytic tools of military, diplomatic and development analysts. Instead, efforts to analyze jointly are most often an afterthought, initiated long after a problem has escalated to a level of urgency that negates much of the utility of deliberate planning.
Michael Miklaucic (Commanding Heights: Strategic Lessons from Complex Operations)
The contemporary West is the most individualistic era of all time. Its central values are in ethics, autonomy; in politics, individual rights; in culture, postmodernism; and in religion, ‘spirituality’. Its idol is the self, its icon the ‘selfie’, and its operating systems the free market and the post-ideological, managerial liberal democratic state. In place of national identities we have global cosmopolitanism. In place of communities we have flash-mobs. We are no longer pilgrims but tourists. We no longer know who we are or why.
Jonathan Sacks (Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence)
There was violence here, and even attempted coups, as when members of Louisiana’s White League stormed New Orleans in 1874, trying to eject Governor William Kellogg, a Republican, and install his unsuccessful Democratic challenger, John McEnery. The insurgents took control of the city, forcing President Ulysses S. Grant to send in federal troops to restore order. In a telling postscript, a monument was erected in New Orleans in 1891 memorializing the White League members who died trying to take over the city. It was finally pulled down in 2017.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
The “Muslim speech,” as we took to calling the second major address, was trickier. Beyond the negative portrayals of terrorists and oil sheikhs found on news broadcasts or in the movies, most Americans knew little about Islam. Meanwhile, surveys showed that Muslims around the world believed the United States was hostile toward their religion, and that our Middle East policy was based not on an interest in improving people’s lives but rather on maintaining oil supplies, killing terrorists, and protecting Israel. Given this divide, I told Ben that the focus of our speech had to be less about outlining new policies and more geared toward helping the two sides understand each other. That meant recognizing the extraordinary contributions of Islamic civilizations in the advancement of mathematics, science, and art and acknowledging the role colonialism had played in some of the Middle East’s ongoing struggles. It meant admitting past U.S. indifference toward corruption and repression in the region, and our complicity in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected government during the Cold War, as well as acknowledging the searing humiliations endured by Palestinians living in occupied territory. Hearing such basic history from the mouth of a U.S. president would catch many people off guard, I figured, and perhaps open their minds to other hard truths: that the Islamic fundamentalism that had come to dominate so much of the Muslim world was incompatible with the openness and tolerance that fueled modern progress; that too often Muslim leaders ginned up grievances against the West in order to distract from their own failures; that a Palestinian state would be delivered only through negotiation and compromise rather than incitements to violence and anti-Semitism; and that no society could truly succeed while systematically repressing its women. —
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Kashmir is India’s greatest moral and political failure. It is here that even the most civilised amongst us begin to make excuses for repression, brutality and violence. It is here that we subsume all that we otherwise celebrate under the demands of freedom, progress, liberalism, liberty and secular ideals. Since 1947, the Indian state has responded to the political aspirations and the social and the legal demands in Kashmir through militarisation, repression, and indiscriminate violence, including, at various times, the denial of democratic rights, the manipulation of elections, and the murder and imprisonment of its political leaders.
Suchitra Vijayan
The introduction of Christianity in Iceland was attended by no violence. While in the other countries mentioned above the monarchical form of government prevailed, and the people were compelled by their rulers to accept the gospel of Christ, the Icelanders enjoyed civil liberty, had a democratic form of government, and accepted the new religion by the vote of their representatives in the Althing, or Parliament, which convened at Thingvolls in the summer of 1000; and in this way we are able to account for all the heathen and vernacular literature that was put into writing and preserved for us by that remarkable people, who inhabited the island of the icy sea.
George Mentz (The Vikings - Philosophy and History - From Ragnar LodBrok to Norse Mythology: All you need to know for the Scandanavian Movies and Viking Television Channel)
Let us consider some of the most important Anarchist acts within the last two decades. Strange as it may seem, one of the most significant deeds of political violence occurred here in America, in connection with the Homestead strike of 1892. During that memorable time the Carnegie Steel Company organized a conspiracy to crush the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. Henry Clay Frick, then Chairman of the Company, was intrusted with that democratic task. He lost no time in carrying out the policy of breaking the Union, the policy which he had so successfully practiced during his reign of terror in the coke regions. Secretly, and while peace negotiations were being purposely prolonged, Frick supervised the military preparations, the fortification of the Homestead Steel Works, the erection of a high board fence, capped with barbed wire and provided with loopholes for sharpshooters. And then, in the dead of night, he attempted to smuggle his army of hired Pinkerton thugs into Homestead, which act precipitated the terrible carnage of the steel workers. Not content with the death of eleven victims, killed in the Pinkerton skirmish, Henry Clay Frick, good Christian and free American, straightway began the hounding down of the helpless wives and orphans, by ordering them out of the wretched Company houses.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
Take one famous example: arguments about property destruction after Seattle. Most of these, I think, were really arguments about capitalism. Those who decried window-breaking did so mainly because they wished to appeal to middle-class consumers to move towards global exchange-style green consumerism, and to ally with labor bureaucracies and social democrats abroad. This was not a path designed to provoke a direct confrontation with capitalism, and most of those who urged us to take this route were at least skeptical about the possibility that capitalism could ever really be defeated. Many were in fact in favor of capitalism, if in a significantly humanized form. Those who did break windows, on the other hand, didn't care if they offended suburban homeowners, because they did not figure that suburban homeowners were likely to ever become a significant element in any future revolutionary anticapitalist coalition. They were trying, in effect, to hijack the media to send a message that the system was vulnerable -- hoping to inspire similar insurrectionary acts on the part of those who might be considering entering a genuinely revolutionary alliance; alienated teenagers, oppressed people of color, undocumented workers, rank-and-file laborers impatient with union bureaucrats, the homeless, the unemployed, the criminalized, the radically discontent. If a militant anticapitalist movement was to begin, in America, it would have to start with people like these: people who don't need to be convinced that the system is rotten, only, that there's something they can do about it. And at any rate, even if it were possible to have an anticapitalist revolution without gun-battles in the streets -- which most of us are hoping it is, since let's face it, if we come up against the US army, we will lose -- there's no possible way we could have an anticapitalist revolution while at the same time scrupulously respecting property rights. Yes, that will probably mean the suburban middle class will be the last to come on board. But they would probably be the last to come on board anyway.
David Graeber (Revolutions in Reverse: Essays on Politics, Violence, Art, and Imagination)
Agricultural cooperation thrived during the 1930s, again due to New Deal initiatives. In 1933 the Farm Credit Administration set up Banks for Cooperatives, a program that created a central bank and twelve district banks; it “became a member-controlled system of financing farmer cooperatives, as well as telephone and electric cooperatives.”181 For the rest of the century, Banks for Cooperatives would prove an invaluable resource. Already by 1939 its financial assistance made it possible for half the farmers in the United States to belong to cooperatives. With World War II and the end of the New Deal, and especially in conservative postwar America, cooperation in all spheres but agriculture plummeted. The political left went off to fight Hitler as the center gained control of the government and many unions. After the war the CIO was purged of Communists, dealing a huge blow to the labor movement. Through reactionary legislation like the Taft-Hartley Act, military and police violence against unions, imperialist foreign policy, so-called “McCarthyite” fear-mongering, massive propaganda campaigns, and other such devices that created a center-right consensus in the 1950s, the labor and cooperative movements were severely damaged. It was essentially a war of big business and conservative Republicans against the social and political legacy of New Deal America, a war in which centrist politicians and even liberal Democrats were complicit, due in large part to the supposed exigencies of the Cold War.182
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
This act of whistleblowing was not like other acts of whistleblowing. Historically, whistleblowers reveal abuse of power that is surprising and shocking to the public. The Trump-Ukraine story was shocking but in no way surprising: it was in character, and in keeping with a pattern of actions. The incident that the whistleblower chose to report was not the worst thing that Trump had done. Installing his daughter and her husband in the White House was worse. Inciting violence was worse. Unleashing war on immigrants was worse. Enabling murderous dictators the world over was worse. The two realities of Trump’s America—democratic and autocratic—collided daily in the impeachment hearings. In one reality, Congress was following due process to investigate and potentially remove from office a president who had abused power. In the other reality, the proceedings were a challenge to Trump’s legitimate autocratic power. The realities clashed but still did not overlap: to any participant or viewer on one side of the divide, anything the other side said only reaffirmed their reality. The realities were also asymmetrical: an autocratic attempt is a crisis, but the logic and language of impeachment proceedings is the logic and language of normal politics, of vote counting and procedure. If it had succeeded in removing Trump from office, it would have constituted a triumph of institutions over the autocratic attempt. It did not. The impeachment proceedings became merely a part of the historical record, a record of only a small part of the abuse that is Trumpism.
Masha Gessen (Surviving Autocracy)
Fascism has a contradictory character and carries within it strong elements of ideological and political dislocation and dissolution. Its goal is to recast the old bourgeois 'democratic' state into a fascist state based on violence. This unleashes conflicts between the old established bureaucracy and the new fascist one; between the standing army with its officer corps and the new militia with its leaders; between the violent fascist policies in the economy and state and the ideology of the remaining liberal and democratic bourgeoisie; between the monarchists and republicans; between the actual fascists (the blackshirts) and the nationalists recruited into the party and its militia; between the fascists' original program, which deceived the masses and achieved victory, and present-day fascist politics, which serve the interest of industrial capitalists and above all heave industry, which has been propped up artificially.
Clara Zetkin (Fighting Fascism: How to Struggle and How to Win)
Congress would later find that though bureau officials undertook COINTELPRO in the name of national security, its purpose was “preventing or disrupting the exercise of First Amendment rights.” The program took tactics developed for use against foreign adversaries during war and applied them to citizens: leaking phony allegations, sending anonymous poison-pen letters, interfering with jobs, having people arrested on drug charges, distributing misinformation, and encouraging violence. “In essence, the Bureau took the law into its own hands, conducting a sophisticated vigilante operation against domestic enemies,” the committee said. “Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that. The unexpressed major premise of the programs was a law enforcement agency has the duty to do whatever is necessary to combat perceived threats to the existing social and political order.
Seth Rosenfeld (Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power)
(The term Islamist generally refers to people and parties who support a guiding role for Islam in politics and government. It covers a wide spectrum, from those who think Islamic values should inform public policy decisions to those who think all laws should be judged or even formulated by Islamic authorities to conform to Islamic law. Not all Islamists are alike. In some cases, Islamist leaders and organizations have been hostile to democracy, including some who have supported radical, extremist, and terrorist ideology and actions. But around the world, there are political parties with religious affiliations—Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim—that respect the rules of democratic politics, and it is in America’s interest to encourage all religiously based political parties and leaders to embrace inclusive democracy and reject violence. Any suggestion that faithful Muslims or people of any faith cannot thrive in a democracy is insulting, dangerous, and wrong. They do it in our own country every day.)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Hard Choices)
You know, a government should be a good thing. The Anglo-Saxons and the Germans rejoice in the phenomenon of government. They think that the recipe for human happiness is that you should make your desires and actions concordant with those of the government. So a German and an American will try to make the government work for him, protect him, and he will be more than happy to murder to preserve that wonderful symbiosis. And if he has some money to invest, he will invest it in the government, buying government bonds. He does this regardless of whether his government happens to be trillions of dollars in debt—that is, practically bankrupt. Despite his rhetoric of private enterprise, a Westerner will invest in his government. And we, Eastern and Central Europeans, and particularly Slavs, we all consider our governments to be absolutely the worst in the world. We are ashamed of our governments, and, as a rule, our government is ashamed of us, trying to improve us statistically, to say that we work more and drink less than we do. We think that there's no greater obstacle to human happiness than the government. So even if we have an institution pregnant with democratic potential, such as workers' self-management, we never even bother to attend a meeting unless absolutely forced. And as for voting, we circle any name without looking at whose it is, out of spite. To a Slav, there is nothing more disgusting than voting. We have an aversion to investing trust in any human being. So how could we single out someone we haven't met but whom we know a priori to be a social upstart and climber? So we spend these workers' self-management meetings, where democracy could be practiced, in daydreams of sex and violence.
Josip Novakovich (April Fool's Day)
On August 16, 2012, the South African police intervened in a labor conflict between workers at the Marikana platinum mine near Johannesburg and the mine’s owners: the stockholders of Lonmin, Inc., based in London. Police fired on the strikers with live ammunition. Thirty-four miners were killed.1 As often in such strikes, the conflict primarily concerned wages: the miners had asked for a doubling of their wage from 500 to 1,000 euros a month. After the tragic loss of life, the company finally proposed a monthly raise of 75 euros.2 This episode reminds us, if we needed reminding, that the question of what share of output should go to wages and what share to profits—in other words, how should the income from production be divided between labor and capital?—has always been at the heart of distributional conflict. In traditional societies, the basis of social inequality and most common cause of rebellion was the conflict of interest between landlord and peasant, between those who owned land and those who cultivated it with their labor, those who received land rents and those who paid them. The Industrial Revolution exacerbated the conflict between capital and labor, perhaps because production became more capital intensive than in the past (making use of machinery and exploiting natural resources more than ever before) and perhaps, too, because hopes for a more equitable distribution of income and a more democratic social order were dashed. I will come back to this point. The Marikana tragedy calls to mind earlier instances of violence. At Haymarket Square in Chicago on May 1, 1886, and then at Fourmies, in northern France, on May 1, 1891, police fired on workers striking for higher wages. Does this kind of violent clash between labor and capital belong to the past, or will it be an integral part of twenty-first-century history?
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
[Magyar] had an intense dislike for terms like 'illiberal,' which focused on traits the regimes did not possess--like free media or fair elections. This he likened to trying to describe an elephant by saying that the elephant cannot fly or cannot swim--it says nothing about what the elephant actually is. Nor did he like the term 'hybrid regime,' which to him seemed like an imitation of a definition, since it failed to define what the regime was ostensibly a hybrid of. Magyar developed his own concept: the 'post-communist mafia state.' Both halves of the designation were significant: 'post-communist' because "the conditions preceding the democratic big bang have a decisive role in the formation of the system. Namely that it came about on the foundations of a communist dictatorship, as a product of the debris left by its decay." (quoting Balint Magyar) The ruling elites of post-communist states most often hail from the old nomenklatura, be it Party or secret service. But to Magyar this was not the countries' most important common feature: what mattered most was that some of these old groups evolved into structures centered around a single man who led them in wielding power. Consolidating power and resources was relatively simple because these countries had just recently had Party monopoly on power and a state monopoly on property. ... A mafia state, in Magyar's definition, was different from other states ruled by one person surrounded by a small elite. In a mafia state, the small powerful group was structured just like a family. The center of the family is the patriarch, who does not govern: "he disposes--of positions, wealth, statuses, persons." The system works like a caricature of the Communist distribution economy. The patriarch and his family have only two goals: accumulating wealth and concentrating power. The family-like structure is strictly hierarchical, and membership in it can be obtained only through birth or adoption. In Putin's case, his inner circle consisted of men with whom he grew up in the streets and judo clubs of Leningrad, the next circle included men with whom he had worked with in the KGB/FSB, and the next circle was made up of men who had worked in the St. Petersburg administration with him. Very rarely, he 'adopted' someone into the family as he did with Kholmanskikh, the head of the assembly shop, who was elevated from obscurity to a sort of third-cousin-hood. One cannot leave the family voluntarily: one can only be kicked out, disowned and disinherited. Violence and ideology, the pillars of the totalitarian state, became, in the hands of the mafia state, mere instruments. The post-communist mafia state, in Magyar's words, is an "ideology-applying regime" (while a totalitarian regime is 'ideology-driven'). A crackdown required both force and ideology. While the instruments of force---the riot police, the interior troops, and even the street-washing machines---were within arm's reach, ready to be used, ideology was less apparently available. Up until spring 2012, Putin's ideological repertoire had consisted of the word 'stability,' a lament for the loss of the Soviet empire, a steady but barely articulated restoration of the Soviet aesthetic and the myth of the Great Patriotic War, and general statements about the United States and NATO, which had cheated Russia and threatened it now. All these components had been employed during the 'preventative counter-revolution,' when the country, and especially its youth, was called upon to battle the American-inspired orange menace, which threatened stability. Putin employed the same set of images when he first responded to the protests in December. But Dugin was now arguing that this was not enough. At the end of December, Dugin published an article in which he predicted the fall of Putin if he continued to ignore the importance of ideas and history.
Masha Gessen (The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia)
The liberal ideals of the Enlightenment could be realized only in very partial and limited ways in the emerging capitalist order: "Democracy with its mono of equality of all citizens before the law and Liberalism with its right of man over his own person both were wrecked on the realities of capitalist economy," Rocker correctly observed. Those who are compelled to rent themselves to owners of capital in order to survive are deprived of one of the most fundamental rights: the right to productive, creative and fulfilling work under one's own control, in solidarity with others. And under the ideological constraints of capitalist democracy, the prime necessity is to satisfy the needs of those in a position to make investment decisions; if their demands are not satisfied, there will be no production, no work, no social services, no means for survival. All necessarily subordinate themselves and their interests to the overriding need to serve the interests of the owners and managers of the society, who, furthermore, with their control over resources, are easily able to shape the ideological system (the media, schools, universities and so on) in their interests, to determine the basic conditions within which the political process will function, its parameters and basic agenda, and to call upon the resources of state violence, when need be, to suppress any challenge to entrenched power. The point was formulated succinctly in the early days of the liberal democratic revolutions by John Jay, the President of the Continental Congress and the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court: "The people who own the country ought to govern it." And, of course, they do, whatever political faction may be in power. Matters could hardly be otherwise when economic power is narrowly concentrated and the basic decisions over the nature and character of life, the investment decisions, are in principle removed from democratic control.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
Despite its reputation for individualism and unbridled capitalism, the United States has a history rich in cooperation and communalism. From the colonial era to the present—and among the indigenous population for millennia—local communities have engaged in self-help, democracy, and cooperation. Indeed, the “individualistic” tradition might more accurately be called the “self-help” tradition, where “self” is defined not only in terms of the individual but in terms of the community (be it family, township, religious community, etc.). Americans are traditionally hostile to overarching authorities separate from the community with which they identify, a hostility expressed in the age-old resentment towards both government and big business. The stereotype, based on fact, is that Americans would rather solve problems on their own than rely on political and economic power-structures to do so. The following brief survey of the history substantiates this claim. While my focus is on worker cooperatives, I will not ignore the many and varied experiments in other forms of cooperation and communalism. Certain themes and lessons can be gleaned from the history. The most obvious is that a profound tension has existed, constantly erupting into conflict, between the democratic, anti-authoritarian impulses of ordinary Americans and the tendency of economic and political power-structures to grow extensively and intensively, to concentrate themselves in ever-larger and more centralized units that reach as far down into society as possible. Power inherently tries to control as much as it can: it has an intrinsic tendency toward totalitarianism, ideally letting nothing, even the most trivial social interactions, escape its oversight. Bentham’s Panopticon is the perfect emblem of the logic of power. Other social forces, notably people’s strivings for freedom and democracy, typically keep this totalitarian tendency in check. In fact, the history of cooperation and communalism is a case-study in the profound truth that people are instinctively averse to the modes of cutthroat competition, crass greed, authoritarianism, hierarchy, and dehumanization that characterize modern capitalism. Far from capitalism’s being a straightforward expression of human nature, as apologists proclaim, it is more like the very antithesis of human nature, which is evidently drawn to such things as free self-expression, spontaneous “play,”131 cooperation and friendly competition, compassion, love. The work of Marxist historians like E. P. Thompson shows how people have had to be disciplined, their desires repressed, in order for the capitalist system to seem even remotely natural: centuries of indoctrination, state violence, incarceration of “undesirables,” the bureaucratization of everyday life, have been necessary to partially accustom people to the mechanical rhythms of industrial capitalism and the commodification of the human personality.132 And of course resistance continues constantly, from the early nineteenth century to the present day. “Wage-slavery,” as workers in the nineteenth century called it, is a monstrous assault on human dignity, which is why even today, after so much indoctrination, people still hate being subordinated to a “boss” and rebel against it whenever they can.
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
The fact that students will no longer put up with such things, that students have decided to no longer let reactionary professors finish their speeches, and that those in earlier semesters will therefore not continue to lose valuable years before they finally see through the sham but begin to study and learn in critical fashion much earlier than preceding generations – this fact does not make the university “non-functional as a center of research and learning” – as R.W. Leonhardt would have it. On the contrary, this is precisely what makes it functional. The students have learned through bitter experience – such as the opening ceremonies of the University of Hamburg – that they cannot achieve their goals by being quiet and well-behaved. They have to be noisy and persistent. They have understood that ceremonious orderliness does not allow room for critical content or democratic discussions, and that certain professors will have to suffer some unpleasant experiences if they refuse other forms of discussion. -Ulrike Meinhof responds to critics demanding the class of 2014 grow up and listen to Condoleeza Rice and Christine Lagarde, 1968, Counter-Violence
Anonymous is a different matter entirely to commit military resources to keep peace in such areas, where often no peace can be kept, or to build nations in our own image before they are ready for our freedoms - or even want them. The military need not do the work of sanctions and diplomacy. As we carry on in this new century, we would do well to remember the importance of balancing the twin goals of our foreign policy: preserving national security and promoting democratic principles. And we must remember that historic conflicts between enemies can be won on moral force, without firing a single bullet or missile; that cultural, market, political, and perhaps religious forces can be far more transformative in areas of the world where chaos and violence reign; and that America can contribute to the building of nations by any and all of these means - while preserving our military and reserving our sovereign right to wage war to maintain true peace.
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (Making War to Keep Peace)
There exists today a dangerous relationship between the extreme left and the extreme right, and between black rage and white fear. The confrontation tactics of the one evoke a reactionary response from the other. When the would-be revolutionaries of the new left manhandle professors, occupy buildings, and destroy property, the right wins new adherents. When sincere but misdirected young black people engage in violence in the name of justice, they are strengthening those very forces which in the past have inflicted violence and injustice upon the Negro community. Such acts of protest may be cathartic, may appear to be bold and militant; but let us be very clear--their primary effect is to bring about a political reaction. These acts have set loose a wave of panic in this country, and opportunistic right-wing demagogues understand the nature of that panic and are building their political futures upon it. These demagogues do not believe in meeting the black community's urgent needs for income and education. Indeed, social justice, by removing the cause of social unrest, would threaten the very base of fear upon which they stand. Their program is the billy club and their staunchest ally the police arm of the state. They believe in repression. The lessons of these recent developments should be clear. An assault upon our democratic institutions will not reform them but destroy them. Violence will lead to more violence, not to social justice. And the fundamental tragedy is that the absence of justice will provoke more people to engage in violent acts. We must find a way out of this vicious cycle.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. —Henry Wallace, New York Times, April 9, 1944
John Nichols (The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace's Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics)
Fascist regimes could not settle down into a comfortable enjoyment of power. The charismatic leader had made dramatic promises: to unify, purify, and energize his community; to save it from the flabbiness of bourgeois materialism, the confusion and corruption of democratic politics, and the contamination of alien people and cultures; to head off the threatened revolution of property with a revolution of values; to rescue the community from decadence and decline. He had offered sweeping solutions to these menaces: violence against enemies, both inside and out; the individual’s total immersion in the community; the purification of blood and culture; the galvanizing enterprises of rearmament and expansionist war. He had assured his people a “privileged relation with history.” Fascist regimes had to produce an impression of driving momentum—“permanent revolution”—in order to fulfill these promises. They could not survive without that headlong, inebriating rush forward. Without an ever-mounting spiral of ever more daring challenges, fascist regimes risked decaying into something resembling a tepid authoritarianism. With it, they drove toward a final paroxysm of self-destruction. Fascist or partly fascist regimes do not inevitably succeed in maintaining momentum. Several regimes sometimes considered fascist deliberately took the opposite tack of damping down excitement. They “normalized” themselves—and thereby became more authoritarian than fascist.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
In the programs and statements of these parties one hears echoes of classical fascist themes: fears of decadence and decline; assertion of national and cultural identity; a threat by unassimilable foreigners to national identity and good social order; and the need for greater authority to deal with these problems. Even though some of the European radical Right parties have full authoritarian-nationalist programs (such as the Belgian Vlaams Blok’s “seventy points” and Le Pen’s “Three Hundred Measures for French Revival” of 1993), most of them are perceived as single-issue movements devoted to sending unwanted immigrants home and cracking down on immigrant delinquency, and that is why most of their voters chose them. Other classical fascist themes, however, are missing from the programmatic statements of the most successful postwar European radical Right parties. The element most totally absent is classical fascism’s attack on the liberty of the market and economic individualism, to be remedied by corporatism and regulated markets. In a continental Europe where state economic intervention is the norm, the radical Right has been largely committed to reducing it and letting the market decide. Another element of classical fascist programs mostly missing from the postwar European radical Right is a fundamental attack on democratic constitutions and the rule of law. None of the more successful European far Right parties now proposes to replace democracy by a single-party dictatorship. At most they advocate a stronger executive, less inhibited forces of order, and the replacement of stale traditional parties with a fresh, pure national movement. They leave to the skinheads open expressions of the beauty of violence and murderous racial hatred. The successful radical Right parties wish to avoid public association with them, although they may quietly share overlapping membership with some ultraright action squads and tolerate a certain amount of overheated language praising violent action among their student branches. No western European radical Right movement or party now proposes national expansion by war—a defining aim for Hitler and Mussolini. Indeed the advocates of border changes in postwar Europe have mostly been secessionist rather than expansionist, such as the Vlaams Blok in Belgium and (for a time) Umberto Bossi’s secessionist Northern League (Lega Nord) in northern Italy. The principal exceptions have been the expansionist Balkan nationalisms that sought to create Greater Serbia, Greater Croatia, and Greater Albania.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
Whites had already posted a sign on the black church in Taylor County, Georgia: "The first Negro to vote will never vote again." Snipes was not deterred. In July 1946, he cast his ballot in Taylor County's primary. In fact, he was the only black person to do so; and with that act of democratic bravery, Maceo Snipes signed his death warrant. A few days later four white men showed up at Snipes's house and demanded that he step outside. As he stood on the porch, they pointed their guns at him and began firing. Snipes staggered and fell to the ground. They just walked away. His mother ran out of the house and got him to the hospital, but in Jim Crow America, black patients did not have the right to health care. He lay in a room the size of a closet unattended for six hours bleeding, just bleeding. This strong man, this veteran, lingered for two more days, but the damage was too extensive, the medical treatment too slow, and Georgia's hate too deep.
Carol Anderson (One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy)
Because of Hitler’s penchant for nationalistic Social Democracy and Marxian revolutionary violence, Nazism could be easily identified as a militant Social Democratic movement.
L.K. Samuels (Killing History: The False Left-Right Political Spectrum and the Battle between the 'Free Left' and the 'Statist Left')
No one knows whether at the global level a framework of democratic institutions will develop, or whether alternatively world politics will slide into a destructiveness that might threaten the entire planet. Nobody knows if sexual relationships will become a wasteland of impermanent liaisons, marked by emotional antipathy as much as by love, and scarred by violence. There are good grounds for optimism in each case, but in a culture that has given up providentialism futures have to be worked for against a background of acknowledged risk.
Anthony Giddens (The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies)
foundations have a corrosive influence on a democratic society; they represent relatively unregulated and unaccountable concentrations of power and wealth which buy talent, promote causes, and in effect, establish an agenda of what merits society’s attention. They serve as “cooling-out” agencies, delaying and preventing more radical, structural change. They help maintain an economic and political order, international in scope, which benefits the ruling-class interests of philanthropists.
Incite! Women of Color Against Violence (The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex)
In today’s world, a refugee from a war-torn country is a messenger carrying an important message to all Western people. That message is: 'I am here because of what the warmongers in your so-called ‘democratic’ governments have done to my country and my people.' And so, read the message and work with the messenger rather than shoot them.
Louis Yako
He thought how easy it would be to write an entire book on Johannesburg violence. The strike leader Pickaxe Mary, after whom Mary Fitzgerald Square was named, who attacked her enemies with a pickaxe handle. The trenches dug into the streets of Fordsburg during the 1922 miners’ strike. The cannons of the government aimed at the poor whites of Vrededorp. The murdered woman in the 1960s whose head was found in the Zoo Lake and whose torso was discovered in a suitcase in Wemmer Pan. Jan Smuts, who wanted to bomb striking workers with aeroplanes. The countless schoolchildren shot during the 1976 uprising. The fifty-three supporters who were shot down in the street outside Shell House, the ANC headquarters. The huge bomb that went off shortly before the first democratic election and made a whole row of shops kneel down on the pavements of Bree Street. The commuters, in the early 1990s, killed by pangas or who jumped to their deaths from moving trains to escape their Portuguese-speaking attackers. The murderess Daisy de Melker, whose third husband survived only because she was caught in time. The violent home invasions, rapes and hijackings he read about in the newspapers every day.
Harry Kalmer ('n Duisend stories oor Johannesburg: 'n stadsroman)
Jawaharlal Nehru, who wrote in a 1936 letter to an Englishman, Lord Lothian, that British rule is ‘based on an extreme form of widespread violence and the only sanction is fear. It suppresses the usual liberties which are supposed to be essential to the growth of a people; it crushes the adventurous, the brave, the sensitive, and encourages the timid, the opportunist and time-serving, the sneak and the bully. It surrounds itself with a vast army of spies and informers and agents provocateurs. Is this the atmosphere in which the more desirable virtues grow or democratic institutions flourish?’ Nehru went on to speak of ‘the crushing of human dignity and decency, the injuries to the soul as well as the body’ which ‘degrades those who use it as well as those who suffer from it’. These were hardly ways of instilling or promoting respect for democracy and its principles in India. This injury to India’s soul—the very basis of a nation’s self-respect—is what is always overlooked by apologists for colonialism.
Shashi Tharoor (An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India)
In the United States, both of the dominant parties have shifted toward free-market capitalism. Even though analysis of roll call votes show that since the 1970s, Republicans have drifted farther to the right than Democrats have moved to the left, the latter were instrumental in implementing financial deregulation in the 1990s and focused increasingly on cultural issues such as gender, race, and sexual identity rather than traditional social welfare policies. Political polarization in Congress, which had bottomed out in the 1940s, has been rapidly growing since the 1980s. Between 1913 and 2008, the development of top income shares closely tracked the degree of polarization but with a lag of about a decade: changes in the latter preceded changes in the former but generally moved in the same direction—first down, then up. The same has been true of wages and education levels in the financial sector relative to all other sectors of the American economy, an index that likewise tracks partisan polarization with a time lag. Thus elite incomes in general and those in the finance sector in particular have been highly sensitive to the degree of legislative cohesion and have benefited from worsening gridlock.
Walter Scheidel (The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 69))
Both Mussolini and Hitler could perceive the space available, and were willing to trim their movements to fit. The space was partly symbolic. The Nazi Party early shaped its identity by staking a claim to the street and fought with communist gangs for control of working-class neighborhoods of Berlin. At issue was not merely a few meters of urban “turf.” The Nazis sought to portray themselves as the most vigorous and effective force against the communists—and, at the same time, to portray the liberal state as incapable of preserving public security. The communists, at the same time, were showing that the Social Democrats were unequipped to deal with an incipient revolutionary situation that needed a fighting vanguard. Polarization was in the interest of both. Fascist violence was neither random nor indiscriminate. It carried a well-calculated set of coded messages: that communist violence was rising, that the democratic state was responding to it ineptly, and that only the fascists were tough enough to save the nation from antinational terrorists. An essential step in the fascist march to acceptance and power was to persuade law-and-order conservatives and members of the middle class to tolerate fascist violence as a harsh necessity in the face of Left provocation. It helped, of course, that many ordinary citizens never feared fascist violence against themselves, because they were reassured that it was reserved for national enemies and “terrorists” who deserved it. Fascists encouraged a distinction between members of the nation who merited protection and outsiders who deserved rough handling. One of the most sensational cases of Nazi violence before power was the murder of a communist laborer of Polish descent in the town of Potempa, in Silesia, by five SA men in August 1932. It became sensational when the killers’ death sentences were commuted, under Nazi pressure, to life imprisonment. Party theorist Alfred Rosenberg took the occasion to underscore the difference between “bourgeois justice,” according to which “one Polish Communist has the same weighting as five Germans, frontsoldiers,” and National Socialist ideology, according to which “one soul does not equal another soul, one person not another.” Indeed, Rosenberg went on, for National Socialism, “there is no ‘law as such.’” The legitimation of violence against a demonized internal enemy brings us close to the heart of fascism. For some, fascist violence was more than useful: it was beautiful. Some war veterans and intellectuals (Marinetti and Ernst Jünger were both) indulged in the aesthetics of violence. Violence often appealed to men too young to have known it in 1914–18 and who felt cheated of their war. It appealed to some women, too. But it is a mistake to regard fascist success as solely the triumph of the D’Annunzian hero. It was the genius of fascism to wager that many an orderly bourgeois (or even bourgeoise) would take some vicarious satisfaction in a carefully selective violence, directed only against “terrorists” and “enemies of the people.” A climate of polarization helped the new fascist catch-all parties sweep up many who became disillusioned with the old deference (“honoratioren”) parties. This was risky, of course. Polarization could send the mass of angry protesters to the Left under certain conditions (as in Russia in 1917). Hitler and Mussolini understood that while Marxism now appealed mainly to blue-collar workers (and not to all of them), fascism was able to appeal more broadly across class lines. In postrevolutionary western Europe, a climate of polarization worked in fascism’s favor.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
A Community in Conversation Last week I went to the Chill Out and Proud festival to sell my books of poetry. It was not my first gay pride festival, but it was Somerset’s. There are a few observations that I had this particular day. My observations have very little to do with morality and more to do with wanting to live in a community that can communicate. My first observation was that my family and I were on high alert and felt a sense of fear for the first time in my life in the town of Somerset. It was not the people attending the festival that left us feeling uneasy, but rather the protestors. My second observation is that there were two groups of what would seem to be opposites, Christians and Neo Nazi white supremacists, standing side by side holding signs and yelling into an otherwise quiet and peaceful group of citizens. I understand everyone’s right to protest and be heard but the method of communicating our differences should be a checkpoint of self reflection. I had a calm conversation with one of the protesters who approached me. I asked him to consider that yelling at people might result in them putting their guards up, increasing the tension, and in turn, people yelling back. It’s a cyclical deterioration where no one hears or understands one another. Anger and fear are the brothers that are born of this kind of relationship. I would say the same to those who yell back at the protesters. We are going to be a community of diverse people who do not think the same or live the same lifestyle, but if we are going to live together peaceably, we need to find a better way to disagree. My last observation is that the protestor also asked me why I was there, did I have a family member who is gay? He stated, “You don’t just come to these things for no reason”. I replied, “Honestly, I did start going and taking my family to gay pride festivals just to be amongst other cultures. It’s good to get to know people who are different from yourself.” The world’s a big place and you may find that you have more in common with people than you think or, in this case, that you know more gay people than you think. I would like to say the same to you. Somerset is a lot more diverse than you think and we have a lot more in common than you think. The only way we will love our neighbor as ourselves is by getting to know our neighbors, even in the midst of our differences. Protesting often times takes a stance of offense; a form of violence that may not always be physical but is a form of violence all the same. Everyone has the right to be heard, but only if they are willing to really listen to others in an attempt to understand. As an atheist, I have never stood outside a church and disrupted their gathering, although I am willing to have a conversation about how my journey brought me here and how you have come to this point. For me to enter a gathering and protest is an offensive move that would cause the people involved to put up walls. It would not be welcomed and I would not do it. It would be a hindrance to us actually knowing and understanding each other. The only way to truly know someone is by being with them, by conversation. We will not agree. There are too many of us and if we agreed on every point of life then that would be another checkpoint for self reflection. I am just asking us to practice a certain amount of hospitality no matter your beliefs about each other, whether gay or straight; whether Christian, Agnostic, or Atheist; whether Democrat, Republican, or Democratic Socialist; whether you’re the protestor or the protested against; in person or on Facebook, let us contemplate mindful listening, empathy, patience, kindness, and the well-being of people who are different than yourself. Eric Overby [email protected]
Eric Overby
A Challenge to Every White Man’ from the Dallas Sun ; ‘Police Battle Black Mob Seeking White Skins,’ from the Atlanta Topic; ‘Negro Doctor Admits Being Taught by Germans, ’ from the St. Louis North American. Here’s a line or two from an editorial in the Oklahoma City Hatchet: ‘There are times when the welfare of our race must take precedence over law. Opposed as we always have been to mob violence as the worst enemy of democratic government, we cannot help but feel that the
George S. Schuyler (Black No More)
Admission to the Union followed on September 9,185o. However, the federal government continued to play a vital role in California: the role of a bystander and enabler of genocide. With as many as 15o,ooo Native Americans living in the soon-to-be state, California had by far the largest Native American population in the Union. The federal government was the legal authority responsible for dealing with Native peoples, who were considered people of sovereign nations in terms of diplomacy and treaty making. In the course of the next two decades, though, the federal government would prove reluctant to contradict the will of the white citizens in California in their democratically driven campaign of physical extermination through violence, kidnapping, exposure, and compulsory starvation.
Brendan C. Lindsay (Murder State: California's Native American Genocide, 1846-1873)
By formal declaration the Northern American states had abolished slavery; but the shovel gangs of the Irish and Chinese immigrants who built the railroads were, during their working span, hardly to be distinguished from slaves, if only temporary slaves. Republican government had promoted civil justice, along with law and order, to such an extent that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts showed such a low rate of violence or crime that Daniel Webster could boast without exaggeration that no one had to lock the door of his house at night. But these democratic communities were nevertheless part of a National State that waged merciless war all through the nineteenth century upon the rightful original occupants of the soil, the American Indians; that still shamelessly robs and mistreats their descendants; and that had despoiled Mexico of millions of acres of land in an infamous war.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
I sense that you are nearby, son and daughter of the Almari bloodline. I will soon come for you both.
Eric Mrozek (Destruction (Maereath: The War of the Democratic Coalition, #1))
In a democratic society, there is always a struggle between the machinery of national security and press freedom, and the public’s right to know is usually the loser. When our national security czars become, in effect, our media gatekeepers, we lose one of the essential cornerstones of a true democracy—an informed citizenry. Distracted by the manufactured flow of information produced by a news media that has fallen under the spell of its own official sources, and beguiled by militaristic and patriotic Hollywood myth-making, the American public is largely benighted when it comes to understanding the wars and covert violence carried out in our name. Spooked will explain exactly how this process occurs and what happens to journalists who dare to break the rules. The
Nicholas Schou (Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood)
Everything that is wrong with the inner cities of America that policy can affect, Democrats are responsible for: every killing field; every school that year in and year out fails to teach its children the basic skills they need to get ahead; every school that fails to graduate 30 to 40 percent of its charges while those who do get degrees are often functionally illiterate; every welfare system that promotes dependency, condemning its recipients to lifetimes of destitution; every gun-control law that disarms law-abiding citizens in high-crime areas and leaves them defenseless against predators; every catch-and-release policy that puts violent criminals back on the streets; every regulation that ties the hands of police; every material and moral support provided to antipolice agitators like Black Lives Matter, who incite violence against the only protection inner-city families have; every onerous regulation and corporate tax that drives businesses and jobs out of inner-city neighborhoods; every rhetorical assault that tars Democrats’ opponents as “racists” and “race traitors,” perpetuating a one-party system that denies inner-city inhabitants the leverage and influence of a two-party system. Democrats are responsible for every one of the shackles on inner-city communities, and they have been for 50 to 100 years. What
David Horowitz (Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America)
Reasonable compromise is a founding principle upon which America is based. The large states against the small, the Democrats against the Republicans, the conservatives against the liberals, yet the only way for these groups to coexist are reasonable compromises. We are many people of many backgrounds, and often at cross-purposes. It is easy to use hyperbole and call for violence, shaming, harassment, and shunning. It is simple to justify calling those you dislike evil, but difficult to appreciate that which makes them human and find common ground. We destroy that common ground at our peril, because when there is no common ground left, there is no America.
C.A.A. Savastano
The Democrats’ response against open education for black youth sometimes went beyond words to acts of violence – as when they burned down eight schools in Memphis in which black youth were being taught.
David Barton (Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White)
Reasonable compromise is a founding principle upon which America is based. The large states against the small, the Democrats against the Republicans, the conservatives against the liberals, yet the only way for these groups to coexist is reasonable compromise. We are many people of many backgrounds, and often at cross-purposes. It is easy to use hyperbole and call for violence, shaming, harassment, and shunning. It is simple to justify calling those you dislike evil, but difficult to appreciate that which makes them human and find common ground. We destroy that common ground at our peril, because when there is no common ground left, there is no America.
C.A.A. Savastano
We should worry when a politician 1) rejects, in words or action, the democratic rules of the game, 2) denies the legitimacy of opponents, 3) tolerates or encourages violence, or 4) indicates a willingness to curtail the civil liberties of opponents, including the media.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
In a complex situation, when confronted with new considerations, Koba prefers to bide his time, to keep his peace, or to retreat. In all those instances when it is necessary for him to choose between the idea and the political machine, he invariably inclines toward the machine. The program must first of all create its bureaucracy before Koba can have any respect for it. Lack of confidence in the masses, as well as in individuals, is the basis of his nature. His empiricism always compels him to choose the path of least resistance. That is why, as a rule, at all the great turning points of history this near-sighted revolutionist assumes an opportunist position, which brings him exceedingly close to the Mensheviks and on occasion places him in the right of them. At the same time he invariably is inclined to favor the most resolute actions in solving the problems he has mastered. Under all conditions well-organized violence seems to him the shortest distance between two points. Here an analogy begs to be drawn. The Russian terrorists were in essence petty bourgeois democrats, yet they were extremely resolute and audacious. Marxists were wont to refer to them as "liberals with a bomb." Stalin has always been what he remains to this day—a politician of the golden mean who does not hesitate to resort to the most extreme measures. Strategically he is an opportunist; tactically he is a "revolutionist." He is a kind of opportunist with a bomb.
Leon Trotsky (Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin: The Intelligentsia and Power)
Al Qaeda is using our liberal justice system,” he continued. I really don’t know what liberal justice system he was talking about: the U.S. broke the world record for the number of people it has in prison. Its prison population is over two million, more than any other country in the world, and its rehabilitation programs are a complete failure. The United States is the “democratic” country with the most draconian punishment system; in fact, it is a good example of how draconian punishments do not help in stopping crimes. Europe is by far more just and humane, and the rehab programs there work, so the crime rate in Europe is decisively lower than the U.S. But the American proverb has it, “When the going gets rough, the rough get going.” Violence naturally produces violence; the only loan you can make with a guarantee of payback is violence. It might take some time, but you will always get your loan back.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Guantánamo Diary)
Combined with aggressive assaults on the Republicans during the 1871 campaign, Democratic clubs and groups of Klansmen aimed violence at black communities across the state in order to scare those voters away from the polls.
Andrew Himes (The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family)
Backed by Klan-type organizations dubbed “Red Shirts” and “Rough Riders,” Democrats summoned thirty-two of the city’s prominent blacks and laid out their demands: All black officeholders in Wilmington must resign and Alex Manly must leave Wilmington. Then, while the black elite were formulating a response, the Democrats launched a wave of violence that steamrolled the scattered Negro opposition. The Republican-Populist administration was ousted and replaced with Democrats. More than 1,400 blacks abandoned their property and fled the city. One commentator called it “the nation’s first full-fledged coup d’état.”45
Nicholas Johnson (Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms)
On the first day of the meeting that would become known as the United States Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph of Virginia kicked off the proceedings. Addressing his great fellow Virginian General George Washington, victorious hero of the War of Independence, who sat in the chair, Randolph hoped to convince delegates sent by seven, so far, of the thirteen states, with more on the way, to abandon the confederation formed by the states that had sent them—the union that had declared American independence from England and won the war—and to replace it with another form of government. “Our chief danger,” Randolph announced, “arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions.” This was in May of 1787, in Philadelphia, in the same ground-floor room of the Pennsylvania State House, borrowed from the Pennsylvania assembly, where in 1776 the Continental Congress had declared independence. Others in the room already agreed with Randolph: James Madison, also of Virginia; Robert Morris of Pennsylvania; Gouverneur Morris of New York and Pennsylvania; Alexander Hamilton of New York; Washington. They wanted the convention to institute a national government. As we know, their effort was a success. We often say the confederation was a weak government, the national government stronger. But the more important difference has to do with whom those governments acted on. The confederation acted on thirteen state legislatures. The nation would act on all American citizens, throughout all the states. That would be a mighty change. To persuade his fellow delegates to make it, Randolph was reeling off a list of what he said were potentially fatal problems, urgently in need, he said, of immediate repair. He reiterated what he called the chief threat to the country. “None of the constitutions”—he meant those of the states’ governments—“have provided sufficient checks against the democracy.” The term “democracy” could mean different things, sometimes even contradictory things, in 1787. People used it to mean “the mob,” which historians today would call “the crowd,” a movement of people denied other access to power, involving protest, riot, what recently has been called occupation, and often violence against people and property. But sometimes “democracy” just meant assertive lawmaking by a legislative body staffed by gentlemen highly sensitive to the desires of their genteel constituents. Men who condemned the working-class mob as a democracy sometimes prided themselves on being “democratical” in their own representative bodies. What Randolph meant that morning by “democracy” is clear. When he said “our chief danger arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions,” and “none of the constitutions have provided sufficient checks against the democracy,” he was speaking in a context of social and economic turmoil, pervading all thirteen states, which the other delegates were not only aware of but also had good reason to be urgently worried about. So familiar was the problem that Randolph would barely have had to explain it, and he didn’t explain it in detail. Yet he did say things whose context everyone there would already have understood.
William Hogeland (Founding Finance (Discovering America))
There is only one further use of violence in political quarrels which I should consider justified. I mean the resistance, once democracy has been attained, to any attack (whether from within or without the state) against the democratic constitution and the use of democratic methods. Any such attack, especially if it comes from the government in power, or if it is tolerated by it, should be resisted by all loyal citizens, even to the use of violence. In fact, the working of democracy rests largely upon the understanding that a government which attempts to misuse its powers and to establish itself as a tyranny (or which tolerates the establishment of a tyranny by anybody else) outlaws itself, and that the citizens have not only a right but also a duty to consider the action of such a government as a crime, and its members as a dangerous gang of criminals.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
In recent years there has been a tendency by some Western historians and politicians to look back at the aftermath of the Second World War through rose-tinted spectacles. Frustrated with the progress of rebuilding and reconciliation in the wake of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at the beginning of the twenty-first century, they pointed to the success of similar projects in Europe in the 1940s. The Marshall Plan in particular was singled out as the template for postwar economic reconstruction. Such politicians would have done well to remember that the process of rebuilding did not begin straight away in Europe – the Marshall Plan was not even thought of until 1947 – and the entire continent remained economically, politically and morally unstable far beyond the end of the decade. As in Iraq and Afghanistan more recently, the United Nations recognized the need for local leaders to take command of their own institutions. But it took time for such leaders to emerge. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the only people who had the moral authority to take charge were those with proven records of resistance. But people who are skilled in the arts of guerrilla warfare, sabotage and violence, and who have become used to conducting all their business in strict secrecy, are not necessarily those best suited to running democratic governments.
Keith Lowe (Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II)
Especially in the Deep South, where Democratic victory was impossible without the neutralization of part of the black electorate, it also implied a revival of political violence. And, a noticeable shift away from support for state-sponsored modernization (the economic corollary of the discredited New Departure) accompanied the reemergence of white supremacist rhetoric. The depression heightened the attractiveness of retrenchment and tax reduction to white voters who associated expensive government with new state programs that primarily benefited corporations and blacks, and who feared that high taxes threatened both planters and yeomen with the loss of their land. And with Republicans proposing as an economic program little more than a milder version of “reform,” they had little to offer white voters to counteract Democrats’ racist appeals.64
Eric Foner (Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877)
How we react to the presidency of Donald Trump will be the first test of our preparedness. His administration in its infancy is already wracked with scandals. But the real scandal is that he is president at all. Yes, a few extra votes in key states might have changed the electoral college outcome. But a Democratic victory would not have masked the fact that it was a third force that surged from below to fill a vacuum and defeat both parties. There proved to be an untapped yearning to hear someone address America’s new challenges in a different key, someone willing to champion change and say without equivocation that America can be great. Trump offered an authoritarian snarl and an ever-changing string of bizarre spontaneous “positions,” not a political vision. But his demagogic skills were sufficient to move millions to applaud his race baiting, his misogyny, his hardly veiled threats of violence, his contempt for the press, and his contempt for the law.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
During the second semester of 1945, at the University of Havana, Fidel Castro studied law and became involved in student politics. It was during a time when student protesters were exceptionally active. Throughout the régime of Geraldo Machado (President of Cuba from 20 May 1925 until 12 August 1933), university students were suppressed by La Porra (the secret police), and later it was not much better when Batista’s forces took over. Things got very physical when student activists and labor leaders were attacked and terrorized by violent, armed, politically motivated gangs. Frequently, even opposing student groups attacked each other. Castro, getting caught up in this gang culture, ran for the position of President of the Federation of University Students (FEU), a group founded by Julio Antonio Mella (the originator of Communism in Cuba). Although he was unsuccessful in this endeavor, he did become active in anti-imperialistic movements and campaigned for Puerto Rican Independence and a democratic government for the Dominican Republic. His involvement in these left-leaning groups grew, and although he did not embrace communism, he did protest the political corruption and violence during the Grau administration. In November of 1946, Castro spoke out against President Grau (7th President of Cuba) during a student speech, the text of which was printed in several newspapers. In 1947 Castro joined Eduardo Chibás’ (a well liked activist & radio personality) new Partido Ortodoxo, which promoted social justice, political freedom and honest government.
Hank Bracker
From the beginning, entire populations of persons were excluded from the national promise which, because it was a promise, was held out paradoxically: falsely, as a democratic reality, and legitimately, as a promise, the promise that the democratic citizenship form makes to people caught in history. The populations who were and are managed by the discipline of the promise— women, African Americans, Native Americans, immigrants, homosexuals— have long experienced simultaneously the wish to be full citizens and the violence of their partial citizenship.
Lauren Berlant (The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship)
democratic and liberal society, despite having created the highest living standards in history and reduced social violence, exploitation and discrimination more than at any other time, does not receive the enthusiastic support of its beneficiaries, but is greeted with boredom and scorn, if not systematic hostility. For
Mario Vargas Llosa (Notes on the Death of Culture: Essays on Spectacle and Society)
In the previous chapter, we argued that while democratic governance is one of the central pillars of the international post-conflict/peace-building enterprise, Burundians rarely explicitly included governance in their definition of peace. But this is not the end of the story. Our conversations reveal that matters of governance and citizenship are important to ordinary Burundians in many ways.
Peter Uvin (Life after Violence: A People's Story of Burundi (African Arguments))
Why do the Fascists want violence?” Ethel asked rhetorically. “Those out there in Hills Road may be mere hooligans, but someone is directing them, and their tactics have a purpose. When there is fighting in the streets, they can claim that public order has broken down, and drastic measures are needed to restore the rule of law. Those emergency measures will include banning democratic political parties such as Labour, prohibiting trade union action, and jailing people without trial—people such as us, peaceful men and women whose only crime is to disagree with the government. Does this sound fantastic to you, unlikely, something that could never happen? Well, they used exactly those tactics in Germany—and it worked.
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
One of the ensnared, bribe-taking congressman Michael “Ozzie” Myers—a Pennsylvania Democrat and former longshoreman with a propensity for profanity and violence—memorably told one of the sting participants, “I’m gonna tell you something real simple and short: Money talks in this business and bullshit walks. And it works the same way down in Washington.” With that, he took an envelope full of $50,000 in hundred-dollar bills and earned himself three years in prison.
Eric Bolling (The Swamp: Washington's Murky Pool of Corruption and Cronyism and How Trump Can Drain It)
Most governments, most of the time, seek to monopolize violence. If only the government can legitimately use force, and this use is constrained by law, then the forms of politics that we take for granted become possible. It is impossible to carry out democratic elections, try cases at court, design and enforce laws, or indeed manage any of the other quiet business of government when agencies beyond the state also have access to violence. For just this reason, people and parties who wish to undermine democracy and the rule of law create and fund violent organizations that involve themselves in politics. Such groups can take the form of a paramilitary wing of a political party, the personal bodyguard of a particular politician—or apparently spontaneous citizens’ initiatives, which usually turn out
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
The levels of approval depend on the country and region: Swedes approve of spanking far less than do Americans or Kiwis, and Americans themselves are diverse, as we would expect from the southern culture of honor.178 In a 2005 survey, spanking approval rates ranged from around 55 percent in northern blue states (those that tend to vote for Democrats), like Massachusetts and Vermont, to more than 85 percent in southern red states (those that tend to vote for Republicans), like Alabama and Arkansas.179 Across the fifty states, the rate of approval of spanking tracks the homicide rate (the two measures show a correlation of 0.52 on a scale from -1 to 1), which could mean that spanked children grow up to be killers, but more likely that subcultures that encourage the spanking of children also encourage the violent defense of honor among adults.180 But every region showed a decline, so that by 2006 the southern states disapproved of spanking in the same proportion that the north-central and mid-Atlantic states did in 1986.181
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Building on Linz’s work, we have developed a set of four behavioral warning signs that can help us know an authoritarian when we see one. We should worry when a politician 1) rejects, in words or action, the democratic rules of the game, 2) denies the legitimacy of opponents, 3) tolerates or encourages violence, or 4) indicates a willingness to curtail the civil liberties of opponents, including the media. Table 1 shows how to assess politicians in terms of these four factors.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
We know pretty well the makeup of the party of the global economy, but who are the members of the party of local community? They are people who take a generous and neighborly view of self-preservation; they do not believe that they can survive and flourish by the rule of dog eat dog; they do not believe that they can succeed by defeating or destroying or selling or using up everything but themselves. They doubt that good solutions can be produced by violence. They want to preserve the precious things of nature and of human culture and pass them on to their children. They want the world's fields and forests to be productive; they do not want them to be destroyed for the sake of production. They know you cannot be a democrat (small d ) or a conservationist and at the same time a proponent of the supranational corporate economy. They believe-they know from their experience-that the neighborhood, the local community, is the proper place and frame of reference for responsible work. 'They see that no commonwealth or community of interest can be defined by greed. They know that things connect-that farming, for example, is connected to nature, and food to farming, and health to food-and they want to preserve the connections. They know that a healthy local community cannot be replaced by a market or an entertainment industry or an information highway. They know that contrary to all the unmeaning and unmeant political talk about "job creation," work ought not to be merely a bone thrown to otherwise unemployed. They know that work ought to be necessary; it ought to be good, it ought to be satisfying and dignifying to the people who do it, and genuinely useful and pleasing to the people for whom it is done.
Wendell Berry
The imperialist concept of treating the genuine grievances of the people simply as ‘law and order’ problems and inability of the system to respond to the peaceful and legal means of democratic agitation had firmly rooted in the minds of the people that the ‘sarkars’ (governments) only understood the language of violence.
Maloy Krishna Dhar (Open Secrets: The Explosive Memoirs of an Indian Intelligence Officer)
As should be obvious by now, the Nazi race laws were the precise equivalent of the Democratic Party’s race laws. It isn’t merely that the former provided a precedent for the latter; the two sets of laws also had the same functional purpose. Just as the segregation and discrimination laws were intended to supplement, and in some respects replace, the random violence of the Ku Klux Klan, so too the Nuremberg Laws and Nazi discrimination laws were intended to supplement, and in some respects replace, the random violence of the brownshirts. In this respect, as in so many others, the Nazis and the Democrats draw so close that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell one from the other.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
White supremacist paramilitary organizations allied with the Democratic Party practiced intimidation, violence and assassinations to repress and prevent blacks exercising their civil and voting rights in elections from 1868 through the mid-1870s. Black voting decreased markedly under such pressure, and white Democrats regained political control of southern legislatures and governors' offices in the 1870s. As a result of a national compromise related to the presidency, the federal government withdrew its forces from the South in 1877.
Boundless (U.S. History, Volume II: 1865-Present)
The new social movements which emerged since the end of the Cold War, experiencing a resurgence in the years after 2008, have been similarly unable to devise a new political ideological vision. Instead they expend considerable energy on internal direct-​democratic process and affective self-​valorisation over strategic efficacy, and frequently propound a variant of neo-​primitivist localism, as if to oppose the abstract violence of globalised capital with the flimsy and ephemeral “authenticity” of communal immediacy.
We have no periodicals, however, devoted to the study of authoritarianism. Similarly, although graduate seminars on democratization can be found on most university campuses, courses on authoritarianism are few.
Eric McGlinchey (Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia (Central Eurasia in Context))
And rivaling the Democratic Peace theory as a categorical factoid about modern conflict prevention is the Golden Arches theory: no two countries with a McDonald’s have ever fought in a war. The only unambiguous Big Mac Attack took place in 1999, when NATO briefly bombed Yugoslavia.234
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Very few young people know this history. Most of them haven’t even heard about Douglass; who hasn’t heard of Martin Luther King? Am I suggesting that the scandalous neglect of Douglass and the excessive praise heaped on King is part of the progressive whitewash? You bet I am. But, say the Democratic and progressive historians, wait a minute! While King’s program moved forward and was enacted into law, Douglass’s program was halted in its tracks. We cannot forget about the backlash! Yes, indeed. The Democratic storytellers are right that there was a powerful backlash against blacks in the South, so that the constitutional provisions of freedom, equality, and social justice became a dead letter. The Civil Rights laws were stymied, and even the provisions that passed were ignored. Blacks were reduced to new forms of subjugation not identical with, but reminiscent of, slavery. This re-enslavement of blacks was enforced by a juggernaut of violence epitomized by that institution of domestic terrorism, the Ku Klux Klan.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Precisely the same benefit that the British government offered to its white expatriates, the Democratic Party in the United States offered to its poor white supporters. From the 1870s through the 1960s, the Democrats established their political hegemony in the South by granting whites the full social and psychological enjoyments of white supremacy. Blacks paid a costly price for this, because the Democrats unleashed a fury of violence against them. In fact, had the Democrats been the only political party in America, it’s hard to image what would have become of the black population of the South. Blacks, however, had during most of this difficult period a single ally. That ally was the Republican Party.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
The Democrats did play a role in Reconstruction—they worked to block it. The party struck out against Reconstruction in two ways. The first was to form a network of terrorist organizations with names like the Constitutional Guards, the White Brotherhood, the Society of Pale Faces, and the Knights of the White Camelia. The second was to institute state-sponsored segregation throughout the South. Let us consider these two approaches one by one. The Democrats started numerous terror groups, but the most notorious of these was the Ku Klux Klan. Founded in 1866, the Klan was initially led by a former Confederate army officer, Nathan Bedford Forrest, who served two years later as a Democratic delegate to the party’s 1868 national convention. Forrest’s role in the Klan is controversial; he later disputed that he was ever involved, insisting he was active in attempting to disband the organization. Initially the Klan’s main targets weren’t blacks but rather white people who were believed to be in cahoots with blacks. The Klan unleashed its violence against northern Republicans who were accused of being “carpetbaggers” and unwarrantedly interfering in southern life, as well as southern “scalawags” and “white niggers” who the Klan considered to be in league with the northern Republicans. The Klan’s goal was to repress blacks by getting rid of these perceived allies of the black cause. Once again Republicans moved into action, passing a series of measures collectively termed the Ku Klux Klan Acts of 1871. These acts came to be known as the Force Bill, signed into law by a Republican President, Ulysses Grant. They restricted northern Democratic inflows of money and weapons to the Klan, and also empowered federal officials to crack down on the Klan’s organized violence. The Force Bill was implemented by military governors appointed by Grant. These anti-Klan measures seem modest in attempting to arrest what Grant described as an “invisible empire throughout the South.” But historian Eric Foner says the Force Bill did markedly reduce lawless violence by the Democrats. The measures taken by Republicans actually helped shut down the Ku Klux Klan. By 1873, the Klan was defunct, until it was revived a quarter-century later by a new group of racist Democrats.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Meanwhile, angered by white violence in the South and inspired by the gigantic June 23 march in Detroit, grassroots people on the streets all over the country had begun talking about marching on Washington. “It scared the white power structure in Washington, D.C. to death,” as Malcolm put it in his “Message to the Grassroots” and in his Autobiography.6 So the White House called in the Big Six national Negro leaders and arranged for them to be given the money to control the march. The result was what Malcolm called the “Farce on Washington” on August 28, 1963. John Lewis, then chairman of SNCC and fresh from the battlefields of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama where hundreds of blacks and their white student allies were being beaten and murdered simply for trying to register blacks to vote, was forced to delete references to the revolution and power from his speech and, specifically, to take out the sentence, “We will not wait for the President, the Justice Department nor Congress, but we will take matters into our own hands and create a source of power, outside of any national structure, that could and would assure us a victory.” Marchers were instructed to carry only official signs and to sing only one song, “We Shall Overcome.” As a result, many rank-and-file SNCC militants refused to participate.7 Meanwhile, conscious of the tensions that were developing around preparations for the march on Washington and in order to provide a national rallying point for the independent black movement, Conrad Lynn and William Worthy, veterans in the struggle and old friends of ours, issued a call on the day of the march for an all-black Freedom Now Party. Lynn, a militant civil rights and civil liberties lawyer, had participated in the first Freedom Ride from Richmond, Virginia, to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1947 and was one of Robert Williams’s attorneys.8 Worthy, a Baltimore Afro-American reporter and a 1936–37 Nieman Fellow, had distinguished himself by his courageous actions in defense of freedom of the press, including spending forty-one days in the Peoples Republic of China in 1957 in defiance of the U.S. travel ban (for which his passport was lifted) and traveling to Cuba without a passport following the Bay of Pigs invasion in order to help produce a documentary. The prospect of a black independent party terrified the Democratic Party. Following the call for the Freedom Now Party, Kennedy twice told the press that a political division between whites and blacks would be “fatal.
Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography)
We should worry when a politician 1) rejects, in words or action, the democratic rules of the game, 2) denies the legitimacy of opponents, 3) tolerates or encourages violence, or 4) indicates a willingness to curtail the civil liberties of opponents, including the media.19 Republicans in the Donald Trump era are guilty of all four.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Democracies commit fewer democides because their form of governance, by definition, is committed to inclusive and nonviolent means of resolving conflicts. More important, the power of a democratic government is restricted by a tangle of institutional restraints, so a leader can’t just mobilize armies and militias on a whim to fan out over the country and start killing massive numbers of citizens.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Iraq is one of the best contemporary wounds that captures how the global struggle for genuine dignity and freedom are at stake. Iraq is the most important contemporary example that proves that the entire world is neither free nor democratic, because if it was, such a large scale of death and destruction would not have been allowed to happen. It is a big mistake to think that the Iraq war was ever over. The war in Iraq and elsewhere will never be over so long as the causes that lead to these wars still exist, and so long as the criminals who plot and wage these wars are still not held accountable for their actions.
Louis Yako
What Power does present is something perhaps equally rare and surely as useful—an abundance of sheer good sense and plain speaking. To read it at the close of this troubled century is to be struck by the prescience of its warnings concerning the dangers of the control of media and propaganda, the shrewdness of its appreciation of the mass appeal of fascism, nazism, and Stalinism, and the wisdom of its admonitions concerning the spread of violence and intolerance even in democratic states. Power thus remains a book whose blend of rare good sense and uncommon wisdom speaks to us with as much eloquence and insight as ever.
Bertrand Russell (Power: A New Social Analysis (Routledge Classics))
There is no longer any denying that this country is in the throes of a historic national crisis. Its ramifications are so vast and frightening that even now, shocked into numbness and disbelief, the American people have not yet fully grasped what is happening to them. The grim data are clear enough and still coming in. Since this summer began, thirty of our cities, big and small, have been wracked by racial dis-order; scores of citizens, almost all of them black, have been killed, thousands injured, and even more arrested. Property damage has exceeded a billion dollars; total income loss is incalculable. As a people, we are not unaccustomed to violence. Frontier lawlessness, Southern vigilante-ism, Chicago gangsterism : these are images and themes embedded in the American tradition. We have only just lost a President to an assassin's bullet. But, having escaped the bombs of two world wars, we are not familiar with the horror of burned-out buildings, smoking rubble, tanks in our streets, the blasts of Molotov cocktails, the ring of snipers' bullets from rooftops. Today we look at sections of Detroit and think of war-torn Berlin. We see rampaging, looting mobs and think of the unstable politics of underdeveloped countries. A nation's identity has been overturned. In our own history we can find no precedent in this century for the massive destruction the past three years have brought to our cities—no precedent since the Civil War. But the greatest toll is not in property damage or even in lives lost. Nor is the greatest danger that the violence will go on in-definitely, any more than the Civil War did. It is that the aftermath of that war will be repeated, that as in the Compromise of 1877 the country will turn its back on the Negro, on the root causes of his discontent, on its own democratic future.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Le Bon claimed that when individuals assemble in the street or at a political meeting, they spark in each other a mass reversion to a primitive state: “By the mere fact that he forms part of an organized crowd,” Le Bon wrote, “a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization.” By himself, “he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian”—and becomes capable of the sort of irrational and brutal actions that characterize a street riot or lynch mob. “He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity,” but also the “enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings.”41 Since modern urban life and democratic politics create a wealth of opportunities for this kind of mass reversionary behavior (what another theorist, William Trotter, would call “the herd instinct”), enormous dangers loomed ahead for European industrial society. As Le Bon explained, echoing Jacob Burckhardt, “the advent of power of the masses marks one of the last stages of Western civilization … Its civilization is now without stability. The populace is sovereign, and the tide of barbarism mounts.”42 Therefore, the “true” character of mass democracy required a new approach to politics. Traditional parliamentary or legal institutions can no longer control the masses, Le Bon warned. What the crowd looks for, in its atavistic way, is instead a leader, a single powerful figure who can direct its irrational energies to constructive ends.*
Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History)
The interracial MFDP came to Atlantic City and requested to be seated in place of the regular Mississippi delegation, which everyone knew had been elected through fraud and violence. The MFDP’s electrifying vice chair, Fannie Lou Hamer, riveted the nation in her live televised testimony at the convention. “If the Freedom Democratic Party is not
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
Demagoguery is about identity. It says that complicated policy issues can be reduced to a binary of us (good) versus them (bad). It says that good people recognize there is a bad situation, and bad people don't; therefore, to determine what policy agenda is the best, it says we should think entirely in terms of who is like us and who isn't. In American politics, it becomes Republican versus Democrat or 'conservative' versus 'liberal.' That polarized and factionalized way of approaching public discourse virtually guarantees demagogues, on all sorts of issues, and in all sorts of directions. Demagoguery is a serious problem, as it undermines the ability of a community to come to reasonable policy decisions and tends to promote or justify violence, but it's rarely the consequence of an individual who magically transports a culture into a different world. Demagoguery isn't about what politicians do; it's about how we, as citizens, argue, reason, and vote. Therefore, reducing how much our culture relies on demagoguery is our problem, and up to us to solve.
Patricia Roberts-Miller (Demagoguery and Democracy)
Capitalism runs on investment, and lawlessness puts investment at risk. No one wants to buy new machinery or more land to plant with commercial crops when there is a strong risk that those machines or crops will be stolen or vandalized by competitors. When it supplanted feudalism, the modern state was supposed to establish a monopoly on violence, on the power to wage war and punish criminals. When the modern state monopolizes violence in this way, it helps create the conditions in which commerce can flourish. The barons’ ramshackle, unruly private militias were scheduled to disappear. Franchetti argued that the key to the development of the mafia in Sicily was that the state had fallen catastrophically short of this ideal. It was untrustworthy because, after 1812, it failed to establish its monopoly on the use of violence. The barons’ power on the ground was such that the central state’s courts and policemen could be pressurized into doing what the local lord wanted. Worse still, it was now no longer only the barons who felt they had the right to use force. Violence became ‘democratized’,
John Dickie (Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia: A History of the Sicilian Mafia)
the largest groups of people who migrate to the U.S.A.—voluntarily, forcibly, unknowingly, like them—do so because of what the U.S. government has done to their countries. How a trade agreement, like the North American Free Trade Agreement, drove millions of Mexicans out of jobs and led parents to cross borders and climb up walls so they could feed their kids. How six decades of interventionist policies by both Republicans and Democrats brought economic and political instability and sowed violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Jose Antonio Vargas (Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen)
The temptation to fulfil all desires was, in the past, that of evil; temptation by the devil. Today it is good which presides over that fulfilment, but it is no longer the fulfilment of a desire or an impulse of our own. We no longer aspire to anything; we are aspirated, sucked up, by the void. The logic of distinction is, ultimately, a precious vestige of the bygone time of signs and sign-value, the loss of which, though imperceptible in the equivalence of images, is even more serious than the loss of the real. Prestige, challenge, rivalry, privileges - it was, at bottom, the golden age of symbolic violence, the only antidote to democratic erosion and the great game of equality of opportunity. It is doubtless as absurd to wish to eliminate that violence as any other. Is it better to stop the haemorrhage and live in a state of perpetual transfusion?
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories V: 2000 - 2004)
a set of four behavioral warning signs that can help us know an authoritarian when we see one. We should worry when a politician 1) rejects, in words or action, the democratic rules of the game, 2) denies the legitimacy of opponents, 3) tolerates or encourages violence, or 4) indicates a willingness to curtail the civil liberties of opponents, including the media.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Trying socialism is like playing Russian Roulette with 5 of the 6 chambers loaded. That's the rate at which socialism manages to avoid extreme violence and oppression.
A.E. Samaan
The Colored Farmers’ Alliance was the name of the group that organized black farmers alongside the whites-only southern Farmers’ Alliance. Leaders from the Colored Alliance were essential in launching the People’s Party; in some respects they were well ahead of their white brethren in calling for a third party.30 But Black Populism, as it is now called, was ultimately a fruitless effort. Everywhere in the South, the Pops hit the wall of violence and vote fraud that blocked the progress of anyone who challenged white solidarity. When the new party made its debut in southern elections in 1892, black voters were attacked and a number of them were murdered, a direct reflection, according to a recent study of Black Populism, of “the political threat posed to the Democratic Party by the coalition of black and independent white voters.
Thomas Frank (The People, No: The War on Populism and the Fight for Democracy)