28 January 2010

The progeny of of society borne out of the ashes of violence

Chomsky from a 1967 Debate found on his website called The Legitimacy of Violence as a Political Act?

Noting that violence as a tactic has consequences for the societal organization that springs from it. Does this not boil down to the very simple formulation that violence begets violence: Violence begets more tactical action that sees violence as a viable option for political change.

"There's also a third argument in favor of violence which on the surface sounds pretty abhorrent, but I'm afraid it has a point, from the point of view of the revolutionary guerrilla groups. That is the idea that violence, say by the Viet Cong, will lead to reprisal, often overreprisal, and reprisal will win adherents to the Viet Cong. Of course, that's what happens, in fact. The first year of the massive American bombardment of South Vietnam, the number of recruits for the Viet Cong increased enormously, tripled at least.

With all these arguments in favor of this type of violence, I still think there are good grounds to reject it. It seems to me, from the little we know about such matters, that a new society rises out of the actions that are taken to form it, and the institutions and the ideology it develops are not independent of those actions; in fact, they're heavily colored by them, they're shaped by them in many ways. And one can expect that actions that are cynical and vicious, whatever their intent, will inevitably condition and deface the quality of the ends that are achieved. Now, again, in part this is just a matter of faith. But I think there's at least some evidence that better results follow from better means."

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