Violence does not work, but it does. This is essentially the message that I have experienced over the last day. Boris worded it perfectly, ‘One obvious point, it is completely wrong to blame this killing on Islam but also wrong to draw a link between this murder and British foreign policy.’ The…
I have been mostly quiet on Nonviolent Communism for a year now. My belief in it has not diminished, but another conviction has gradually taken precedence. I realized today how best to communicate that conviction.
I will start with clarifying that under no circumstances would I like to live under the North Korean regime. If there is one thing that people on almost every side of almost every debate can agree on these days, it is that we would rather not live under the North Korean regime. But there is something priceless that North Korea has been doing for the world during the last few decades, and it is something that we need more of. Much, much more of. In fact, it may be the thing the human race needs most.
That something is Science. Over the last century, the scientific method has come to dominate almost every area of human knowledge, with at least one very notable exception: the organization of human society. The scientific method in this area is often reduced to flippant references to the fall of the Soviet Union: ‘See, Communism didn’t work. Therefore, Global Capitalism.’
There are two glaring fallacies here, and forgive me while I note them (I assure you that the defense of Communism is nothing to do with my main point): firstly, that everything that Communism is and could be was encapsulated in that one system, and secondly, that what such a person thinks of as Communism is the only alternative to a version of Capitalism. If you paid attention to that, you might be thinking that the two fallacies are essentially the same, but there is a crucial difference. The difference is this: the second fallacy is worth debating; the first is not.
What I mean is this: it does not matter whether the word we use is Communism. Again I will reiterate that neither Communism nor another word in place of Communism is my point. But it is important to frame my point within a rejection of the semantics. People on every side of the debate must stop clinging to words: they have become like a football team that you support no matter what. You support them when the manager changes, when new players come in and old players leave. Over the course of your life, you might have watched every part of a football team other than the logo transform into something else, and yet week after week you attend the matches because you are dedicated to the word. Not the players, not even the team in general. Just the word.
So thank God for North Korea, a tangible demonstration of a thing we do not want. So what if they call it Communism!? We know that it is a thing that we do not want, and we should be very grateful that we can know this so certainly. This is the scientific method: you try something and see if the results are desirable. If not, you try something else. If we get many more North Koreas – systems that utterly buck the trend – we might actually find something worth keeping.
And why not!? I do not see a good reason not to break countries into simultaneous experiments. No one seems to be happy with the way things are, and everyone seems to think that this perpetual state of disagreement is inevitable. It is not inevitable: we can, through the power of trial and error, keep trying something new until that desirable thing catches our attention, we see it happening before our eyes, and eventually there are no debates left to be had regarding its practicality and its results.
But we must discard the words. One thing that I know would be much worse than Capitalism is if we were to all try one idea of Communism everywhere right now. The idealists are all so divided that it would signal a final end for every version of the Communist ideal. And the same for every other ideal. Let me be brutally honest with you: if we tried what the Tea Party wants and the results were desirable, I’d be just as happy. Genuinely. This is the power of the scientific method: our sharp disagreements before the experiment cease to matter. It is the only such approach that both has a chance of working and of allowing those who argued for something else to be won over.
We have learned by now that is it the winning over that matters. This is the failure of the ideals thus far: the incredible underestimation of the power of disbelief. We will tolerate incredibly unjust systems if we can only be convinced that nothing else would work. We will tolerate absurd leaps of logic in the justification of our own system if we just accept that the alternatives are impossible or worse. Science is the only response to this – even if you are 100% convinced that the experiment will not work, you do it anyway.
We need political parties separate from left and right. Parties of people who will stop insisting that they know what will work best and instead promote a willingness to put everyone’s ideas to the test. I can imagine that would take a ridiculously long time and I’m not suggesting everyone stops voting for what they believe to be best, but that those of us who would like to see this realized communicate with each other until such a time that we are numbered enough to be heard.
I’ve changed the Cawwm project to Cosmos, and changed it to being a forum rather than a tumblr thing. The tumblr format would have been awkward anyway, since a lot of people wouldn’t have wanted to post their fantasy ideas on their main blog.
For those who have no idea, Cosmos is a project wherein a community democratically designs fantasy worlds, with each feature being voted for. You will want to read the FAQ before diving in.
Welcome to the Cawwm Project, where you and I will create an intricate fantasy world from start to finish. Our first world will be tolkienesque with some features predetermined by myself to kick it off, but if it is successful the next world will be entirely decided by you all.
Yes, this will be messy. But note that our finished project will not be treated like Evangelicals treat the Bible, as if one guy wrote it all. We will recognize and celebrate the variety of styles, and where the records conflict, it will be understood to be human error.
How it will work
Once this post reaches 100 notes, a single post will appear on this blog, exactly as below:
The Deities 
2. Associated Quality(s)/Virtue(s)
3. Favored Deeds
4. Disdained Deeds
2. Hard Work, Patience, Persistence
3. Working hard
4. Stealing, Hastiness
These deities will eventually be associated with many other features of our world. For example, they will each be associated with particular elements, which can only happen once the elements have been decided. The blogger who wins this deity nomination will also make these other decisions for their deity.
Note that these deities don’t need to actually exist - they only need to be worshiped by our primary race (to be decided later). We will decide whether these gods actually exist later.
‘’ is the number of deities that will be chosen. Each blogger may only nominate one.
The nominations will all be published at the same time once more than 14 (an arbitrary number) have been submitted. Nominations after that may still win but will be at a disadvantage. The winning nominations will be those with the most notes.
The Cawwm Project will begin once this post gains 100 notes.
Remember this? Reposting this to see if there are more people interested than there were last time.
If the fiscal cliff triggers a crisis that triggers a war that triggers a nuclear armageddon, the Mayans will deserve full credit for their relatively accurate prediction.
I have been voicing my opinion on Facebook for the last few days and have become so angry that it is time for a Tumblr rant lest I utterly renounce my real-life friends and relatives.
I’m sure many of my friends have been outspoken in realms other than Facebook and a few of them have done so there too, but speaking for my general experience over the last few days, ‘Christian’ is now a label I would be ashamed of.
I understand those of you who want to fight for what a word originally meant, but in my opinion this word is becoming too tarnished, too repulsive to be associated to.
It is stunning that a Christian could spend any time arguing for the right of a nation to return violence with violence, i.e that Israel is justified in returning last night’s 10 rockets with 180 rockets. It is also stunning that in reply to this point, Christians continue to argue that America or the UK would do the same. I do not fucking care whether the violence is acceptable when compared to the norm. My point is that you call yourself a Christian and this means nothing. You cannot mean the word in any literal sense. Yes, it was understandable when Israel fired back and it was understandable when the US and the UK went into Iraq - completely ignoring any other motives any of these nations might have had, yes, it was fucking ‘understandable’ when we consider how ignorant the majority of humans still are or have chosen to be to the nature of violence.
Christians can choose to ignore how far back the spiral of violence goes and how futile it is to continue it, but if they do, their claim to the word ‘Christian’ is a joke. I don’t care how you interpret the Bible; you have to be holding it upside-down to come to the conclusion that Jesus would not be rejecting Israel’s violence. But this joke has been repeated seriously so often that there is no longer anyone laughing.
I am exhausted with criticizing oblivious Christians. I’m starting to give up. Is there any hope for the label or is my community unrepresentative of Christians as a whole?
I was browsing through the World’s Longest Invoice and, while wondering how seriously the ‘invoice’ could be taken… I came across this line and found my answer.
I cannot stress enough how important this post is for understanding what The Nonviolent Communist is about.
The primary reason Nonviolence sounds ridiculous to many people is their ridiculous idea of it. Imagine a person you care about being attacked by a person that you’d stand a chance…
I dreamed about the death of Walter Wink last night, and consequently the emptiness and misery of a death-filled reality. I vaguely remember my previous beliefs of reality being mysterious and beautiful, but Wink imparted most of those to me.
I am being told by numerous sources that my posts are just too long, so here is a summary of the myth.
1) Chaos is the natural, original state of reality.
2) The [chaotic] feminine (Tiamat) oppresses the powers (creating the hope that she in turn will be oppressed, and the hope seems to justify it).
3) The [orderly] masculine (Marduk) offers to subdue her, but only if the remaining powers will take him as their ruler (establishing patriarchy as the only hope for society).
4) The masculine/orderly slaughters the feminine/chaotic in creative and entertaining ways, and thus earns the right to dominate.
5) The masculine/orderly creates the world from the corpse of the feminine/chaotic, implying that the very fabric of reality is built on subduing chaos with order, the feminine with the masculine, and that violence is the primary creative force of reality.
Someone just made the point to me that ‘Nonviolent Nazi’ makes as much sense as ‘Nonviolent Communist’.
Can someone remind me how striving for a fair world is somehow inherently violent while endorsing the global Capitalism that sustains constant, intense violence is somehow less violent?
You have heard the argument. Communism failed. Perhaps it was a terrible idea to begin with, or perhaps it was a good idea that just couldn’t work. But its time is far gone, and no one considers it a serious threat to global Capitalism anymore. ‘Communist’ is now widely just a name to mock your enemy with.
Some say Communism failed because the very idea of equality is unfair, that the rich deserve their spoils while the poor deserve their rations. Some now even go further, saying that Communism was not only a failure but was in and of itself evil – that the effort to tame humanity, to tame the reckless expansion of Capitalism, is deeply immoral, offending our moral desire for liberty.
There is something poetic about this scenario: Capitalism, which can only operate by limping from crisis to crisis, failure to failure, dismisses Communism for its few failures, most of which have come about thanks to the aggression of Capitalist nations. Capitalism, which does not care about Fair, attacks Communism for attempting a fair world at all, absurdly calling wealth redistribution ‘stealing from the rich’, a concept similar to reverse racism. Capitalism, which chains those in rich countries to a life-long cycle of consumerism and work as part of a system that enslaves ‘developing countries’, criticizes Communism for attempting to free the slaves on both sides of the oppression, daring to use the word ‘liberty’ against us.
Causes of Our Failures
While Capitalist aggression has been largely responsible for rendering Communist movements impossible, Communism is not entirely without blame. There are two flawed concepts that have been themes of humanity throughout history, and continued to be a theme throughout the attempts at Communism. It is these two concepts that, we suggest, have resulted in their failure. A Communism that holds to either of these concepts cannot thrive under the weight of Capitalist propaganda and violence.
State Sovereignty – the concept that we must have laws that are considered higher than our own morality
Militarism – the concept that we must be violent to avert violence
Both of these ideas are rejected through our use of the word ‘Nonviolent’, since Nonviolence cannot be achieved by a person who holds to either one. This is obvious for the latter concept, but to demonstrate why the former is incompatible with Nonviolence: A nonviolent activist who holds to State Sovereignty will just be told that their protests are against the Law and they are thus rendered ineffective. At the heart of Nonviolence is the belief that there are concepts higher than Law: such as goodness and compassion, and we choose to honor these at the cost of displeasing wider society, or more precisely, displeasing the few in power.
It is still held by a ridiculous amount of people that a country cannot operate without sovereignty. This, more than either Capitalism or Militarism, is the global myth, and the ultimate source of our worst atrocities.
As Nonviolent Communists, we strive for a world that organizes itself through education and voluntary cooperation. We have no interest in forcing a system on those who do not want it. It is often argued that the rich will not ‘want’ to give up their power; well, of course. But we are their power. The slaves do not need to take anything from the slave masters; they need only to walk away.
Crime in such a world would likely be dealt with through a combination of education, counseling, and medical treatment. People do not commit crimes without reason. The goal for us will be to find these reasons and respond accordingly, not to lock these ‘evil’ people away from society.
Large-scale Militarism cannot exist without Law, so it is almost unnecessary to argue against it while rejecting the necessity of Law. There is a reason that the military is never a democracy: you cannot order people to murder if they are allowed to question the ethics of their task. But the notions behind Militarism must still be refuted, and to this end we will utilize the writings of Walter Wink, whose writings on the Myth of Redemptive Violence are to Militarism as Marxism is to Capitalism. Explaining Wink’s thought will be our (Joshua Bizley and Thomas Mayer) next task after finishing this introductory post.
Those of you who are familiar with the Myth of Redemptive Violence will be sad to learn if you have not already: Walter Wink died on the 10th of May.
Here I have outlined the questions that this movement must answer.
Imperative – Is Nonviolent Communism a good idea? Is there a moral imperative to strive for it? Would it actually be a better world than Capitalism?
Imagination – Is Nonviolent Communism possible? How would we deal with dissent? How would we create a society that is both fair and appealing? How would we motivate people to contribute?
Interest – Is Nonviolent Communism popular? Even if it is theoretically possible, would enough people be up for it that it would be practically possible?
Processes [of Transformation]
Roughly speaking, there are two processes by which the transformation from Militarist/Capitalist to Nonviolent/Communist can happen: Active and Passive, which essentially refers to whether a person is actively seeking the truth on the subject. If you are reading this page, chances are that you are an AP person, while many of your family and friends may be PP.
Active Process (Imperative-Imagination-Interest)
An AP will generally follow the above steps in the given fashion, because the questions matter in that order; it does not matter whether the idea is possible if it is not a good idea, and it does not matter if the idea can be accepted by society if the idea is not possible. So the AP will ask these questions one at a time, and progress to the next step when the previous question has been answered satisfactorily.
Passive Process (Interest-Imagination&Imperative)
A PP does not care about the first two questions, because the Idea does not affect their lives until the answer to the third question is ‘Yes’. They may be very intelligent people, but they are busy, and life is too short and difficult to stop and question whether there is something fundamentally wrong with the system that they are chained to. You have possibly attempted to ask a PP one of the first two questions, and are potentially very disillusioned with the result: you are treated as insane or naive, or both. However, once the third question is answered ‘Yes’, the first two questions are suddenly both reasonable and critical; they will soon be forced to ask them honestly.
The ultimate purpose of The Nonviolent Communist is to achieve the Idea of Nonviolent Communism, but the primary purpose of the project until then is to help enough people through the Active Process that people begin to be transformed through the Passive Process. This is the tipping point. Once Passive people begin to convert, the war is all but won. So, following the Active Process, this is our plan:
Imperative: We will write up and publish articles to this page arguing for the necessity of Nonviolent Communism.
Imagination: We have an Imagination submission page so you can submit your ideas of precisely (or vaguely) how Nonviolent Communism could work, or how one aspect of it could work. Read the next post to see why we have set this up instead of answering the question for you.
Interest: Visibility plays the lead role in this effort, and so we aim to have a presence on every social network. At the moment, we are establishing a presence on Tumblr and Facebook – please let us know if you are active on a network that we are not yet on, and if you would like to be one of the first voices for this project.
In case you are confused, I have changed this blog to a personal blog, while the one above is using my old name.
thenonviolentcommunist is no longer a personal blog, but will soon be used as a manifesto for nonviolent Communism.
God, please resurrect Walter Wink. He’s the only guy who can fix the mistake you made with your last resurrection.