On nonviolence and Occupy

Those who advocate for nonviolence at Occupy should remember that nonviolence is at best a great spirit of love and generosity, not a prissy enforcement squad. After all, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who gets invoked all the time when such issues come up, didn’t go around saying grumpy things about Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.

If anything, MLK was the soft cop to the Panthers and Malcolm X hard cop .

If the radicals should frighten the liberals as little as possible, surely the liberals have an equal obligation to get fiercer and more willing to confront — and to remember that nonviolence, even in its purest form, is not the same as being nice.

Nonviolence as a tactic and at its best is a serious challenge to the accepted way of doing things. It has nothing to do with being nice. Also, as Alinsky has pointed out, nonviolence only works when the other side isn’t willing to open fire with machine guns as was true with Ghandi and MLK and which is not true in Syria today.

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