The Second Coming of Errico Malatesta (call_me_the_end) wrote in violentstruggle,
The Second Coming of Errico Malatesta

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While many of us are reluctant to posit that the use of force in any of its various forms, particularly deadly force, has any particular relevance or usefulness to our struggles for personal or collective autonomy, I find that this reluctance is misguided. As a result, one who embraces such an idea subverts one's own intentions to fulfill certain societal roles (self-defence/collective self-defence)independent of the state, or autonomously.

While we are quick to characterise the violence of the state as unethical and oppressive and therefore to attach generally negative propositional attitudes to this violence, one must understand that the violence we say is "inherent" in the state is more accurately characterised a developmental tool of the state. That is to say that the actions of a state in pursuing its agenda will be violent, but that this violence can empirically be seen to serve a purpose other than some abstract innateness. State violence is functional. One must understand that the state commits itself to violent methods to achieve specific goals.

To say that by using a tool of the state like violent force one becomes like the state is like saying that by using a monkeywrench, one becomes like a plumber. It is to say that the state 'owns' violence, that violence belongs to the state and that because of this, violence or force cannot also belong to us, or that we cannot utilise it to other, even opposite, ends. It supports the idea that non-state-sanctioned violence is illegitimate. This attitude is obviously statist.

Additionally, the state marks certain individuals and groups for marginalisation, exploitation, neglect, and even death. Therefore, any individual act of violence against the state is justifiably an act of collective self-defence. To deny the importance or usefulness of such forms of violence is to deny a historically important form of human altruism - the intervention in the unjust affairs of individuals (like a policeman) or groups (like the state). In fact, insofar as one is willing to posit that we are born potential victims of the state via violent acts on our person, we might conclude that ANY act of violence against violent state actors is self-defence.

To recap briefly, the state did not invent violence nor does it own violence. The supposed state monopoly on violence, however, was invented by statists, to exclude the vast majority of people from specific forms of social action. Therefore, reluctance to utilise violence as a tool in a struggle for autonomy is misguided, not to mention counter-productive. The concept of violence is separate from the concept of the state and to understand or define violence solely in reference to the state is recursive, thus flawed. The denial of violence against violent state actors as a universally available social tool is the denial of human altruism in so far as we are potential victims of state violence.

suck on that hoover.
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