ANOTHER person “gets” it:
Utter pacifism is selfish bullshit. The tone with which Gandhi wrote an open letter to the Jews of Germany, this whole attitude of outright refusal to engage in “violence” (an incredibly ambiguous term). Firstly, the preaching to others who are in a position you cannot possibly even imagine, telling them they must “maintain the moral highground” by remaining “peaceful”. That in itself is inherently oppressive and judgmental and to be so certain that you would remain “peaceful” in such a situation is naïve at best!
Secondly, there is the sheer selfishness in the idea of seeing a person being brutalised and yourself remaining “peaceful” so as not to earn any bad karma, or whatever, because, let’s face it, the afterlife and eternity, etc — whether it’s in a figurative or a literal sense — will be what many pacifists are worried about. They want to be able to sleep at night and they believe they will sleep better if they refuse to lay a finger on anyone under any circumstances. Seriously, fuck it, you have a whole eternity to earn enough good points to reach Nirvana. This is an incredibly selfish and egotistical position because it is just one person concerned with saving their own soul as opposed to saving another from suffering. If I were the divine deity or whatever it is, you know, the person in charge of the guestlist to Heaven, I’d take such people off the list until they earn themselves some real points.
Finally, there is the potential hypocrisy of it all, that a person believes they would not resort to “violence” if their life depended on it and that they would rather die a martyr. Again, it’s naïve at best, egotistical at worst.
At the end of the day, look at where all that pacifism got old mate Jesus. I don’t fancy dying up on that hill. The Establishment will encourage admiration of those who allegedly preached non-violence (I say allegedly because King’s quotes on rioting would suggest he wasn’t as opposed to violence as we are often led to believe. Mandela also did not consider himself a pacifist). However, people such as Malcolm X are more or less left out of school history lessons.
Let’s face it, putting your hand up and politely asking someone who’s repeatedly kicking you in the face, to stop doing so if it’s not too inconvenient for them, isn’t going to work.
Actually, if Gandhi had merely been counseling “auto-genocide” of the adult, Jewish population — well, that would still have been enough to earn any sane and rational person’s utter contempt for any of his other publicity-stunts.
But, here’s the thing:
A significant proportion of the victim-population in question were INFANTS AND CHILDREN. Thus, Gandhi’s “advice” amounts to the following:
1. the adult Jewish population “voluntarily” engage in auto-genocide BEFORE they can be slaughtered en masse by the Nazis — WITHOUT killing their own children (in which case, those children are EASIER PREY for the Nazi genocide machine)
2. The adult Jewish population PREEMPTIVELY KILL THEIR OWN CHILDREN — AND *THEN* ENGAGE IN AUTO-GENOCIDE AS PER VERSION #1.
Oh, wait — that’s right. Gandhi was too much of a fucking weasel to permit even the sort of “mercy-killing” implicit in option #2.
EITHER the Nazis would have simply rounded up the remaining (orphaned) Jewish infants/children, and turned them all into lampshades/soap etc. (IN WHICH CASE THEIR OWN PARENTS WOULD HAVE BEEN MORALLY CULPABLE FOR THE FATES OF THE CHILDREN THEY HAD “ABANDONED” BY MEANS OF AUTO-GENOCIDE)
OR the nazis would have “re-purposed” those (orphaned) Jewish infants and children — either as slave-labor, subjects of medical experimentaiton, or even “cannon-fodder”. (Rememer folks — “stockholm syndrom” is a real phenomenon):
Did I mention that George Orwell was very smart:
Pacifism. Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.
I am not interested in pacifism as a ‘moral phenomenon’. If Mr Savage and others imagine that one can somehow ‘overcome’ the German army by lying on one’s back, let them go on imagining it, but let them also wonder occasionally whether this is not an illusion due to security, too much money and a simple ignorance of the way in which things actually happen. As an ex-Indian civil servant, it always makes me shout with laughter to hear, for instance, Gandhi named as an example of the success of non-violence. As long as twenty years ago it was cynically admitted in Anglo-Indian circles that Gandhi was very useful to the British government. So he will be to the Japanese if they get there. Despotic governments can stand ‘moral force’ till the cows come home; what they fear is physical force.
Fuck “pacifism”. “Nonviolence” has never been anything but a particularly-cowardly bromide, and/or a deliberate equivocation — the ultimate form of “false equivalency”-argument. Moreover, “non-resistance” always enables and emboldens the perpetrators — in that it morally disarms their victims.