“People who have held public positions during peace time should not be recruited for the [civilian] resistance movement. It is likely that these individuals will be arrested and subjected to brain washing. They should have no knowledge of the resistance movement, so your organization will not be compromised, nor lose members. Make sure this ‘basic rule of recruitment’ is well known, even to the enemy. Thus you can protect these valuable and courageous people to some degree since the enemy is aware of this policy, his interest in them will diminish. Examples of members unsuitable for the resistance movement are: prominent politicians both active or retired; leading economists, editors, professors, important administration officials. All these persons are too well known to participate in the ‘underground movement.’ They certainly will be shadowed, will be arrested sooner or later, or even executed. For them it is best to join guerrilla units.”
– Major H. von Dach Bern
Satyagraha, simply defined, is using the force of truth alone in convincing opponents the righteousness of one’s cause. Often, suffering is inflicted upon practitioners of satyagraha by their enemies, yet their modus operandi is to stand firm until a mutually agreeable solution is negotiated. There is an assumption at work here that by reaching the conscience of one’s oppressors, satyagrahans are able to persuade them to remedy their grievances because there is, presumably, a limit to how many times, and how severely, each individual has within himself to hurt another man, face-to-face (of course, satyagraha assumes that oppressors have consciences worth appealing to in the first place).
A political scientist known as Gene Sharp has studied so-called “nonviolent struggle” in the attempt to not only comprehend it, but also to gauge its efficacy. Unfortunately, I’m left with the impression that satyagraha has a mean time to harassment (MTH) of exactly zero, because the whole idea of nonviolent struggle is to confront the State directly, as if nonviolent struggle were nothing more than a suicide pact. It’s almost as if satyagrahans throw themselves upon the gears of the State just to end up as nothing more than a pasty mush.
Sharp’s entire book appears to be collective-movementism on steroids, frankly. Considering the very existentiality of disingenuous activists and their fake grievances, it is merited to ask the quite uncomfortable question of, is there more to politics that pure spectacle? Generally speaking, I don’t mindlessly trust so-called “activists” farther than I can throw them, yet much like the politicians they appear to emulate, activists themselves are reminiscent of broken clocks, which by nature are correct twice a day. Continue reading