Mumia Abu-Jamal

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Wed Jun 7 19:18:19 MDT 1995

People interested in this debate might want to look at Norman Geras' very
sensible piece on Revolutionarity Morality in Discourses of Extremity, inb
which he applies just war considerations to revolutioanry violence.

Since we're fessing up to past allegiences, let me say that as a former
member of the former CWP, we found at Greensboro that revolutionary
infantilism with guns isn't smart. The other side is a lot better at this
stuff than we are. I weep no tears for Klansmen and Nazis killed under any
circumstances, but it's counterproductive to try in ordinary ones.

There is, in addition, a tactical moral advantage to nonviolence as an
approach--I don't mean absolute pacificism.

I'm not sure that moral and pragmatic considerations can be nicely
seperated out on this question. But anyone who advocates killing cops is a
fool or a provocateur.

--Justin Schwartz

On Wed, 7 Jun 1995, Matt Davidson wrote:

> John D. Walker says:
> >An interesting question being raised, though, is just what our attitude
> >should be towards violence in the support of the just cause of socialist
> >change.  Some people, like me, will want to say that violence is
> >justified if necessary in the course of a revolution, but otherwise, in
> >what Justin called "more ordinary circumstances", not.
> >
> >I wonder what the difference is, especially if the "ordinary
> >circumstances" can include, say, police used forcibly to break strikes.
> >
> >Incidentally, I'm asking a moral question, not a strategic (I think what
> >you mean by a "political") one...
> If I may offer up a slogan from my RCYB days: "It's Right to Rebel!"
> Violence by the people against the system and its enforcers is always
> "justified."  The only question is whether or not it's smart from a
> strategic standpoint.  I really don't see how we can separate any "moral"
> question from the political (and ultimately, military) issue here.
> --Matt D.
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