Cleverbeans wrote:It doesn't really matter what they do, that sentiment is firmly entrenched in capitalist culture already. If violent organizations convinced people that such organizations should be resisted we'd have already gotten rid of capitalism. The reality of it is that the capitalists own the media, and they use it very willfully to vilify organized labor and government. Propaganda doesn't care about the truth, and is significantly more powerful than any violent act. Carnegie hired a milita to attack his workers during the Homestead strike, they resisted, so he had the state militia brought in and turned Homestead into a forced labor camp for the next decade but somehow he's one of the most celebrated businessmen in history. Victors write history, especially when they own the presses.
So what I'm reading here is "Setting this man on fire won't improve or otherwise change the way things are". So how do we get from that to "Setting this man on fire might have been justified"?
Cleverbeans wrote:The Times of India reports that 30 union agitators were participating in the disruption so it seems reasonable to me that they were activists. I'm not a big fan of the "ignore the context" approach to interpreting events, and generally if someone is willing to publicly murder someone knowing full well they're going to be caught I think it's reasonable to try and understand what could motivate someone to commit such an act. It's easy to forget that so many of the things we take for granted like minimum wage, public education, overtime pay, child labor laws, and lunch breaks among others were all paid for in blood by union members and their families. It's difficult to understand what's happening there until you see it for yourself, but I seriously doubt you'd feel the same way if you were there.
Let's get two things straight.1)
I'm all for interpreting the shit out of events. By all means; let's understand what's going on here and why there's such a brutal, violent response to the firings. When I hear about things like this, I have two responses: Horror, followed by a desire to understand why
. But while we're doing that, let's at no juncture whatsoever
try to justify those brutal, violent responses. I'm fine with putting things in context; I'm not fine with trying to use that context to justify lighting people on fire and watching them burn. Not unless there is something beneficial to gain from lighting people on fire.2)
I'm really sick and tired of people trying to use the whole 'You don't understand their experiences' defense to justify horrible acts of violence. I don't need to understand their experiences to understand that what they are doing is wrong. I understand that their situation may be horrible, deplorable, and fucked up beyond all measure; I accept that I have no understanding of what it is to live in deplorable poverty where the life of my family can be decided by the presence of a pink slip. These things do not justify acts of atrocity
. They don't justify genocide, they don't justify rape, they don't justify torture, they don't justify murder, and I am sick to fucking death of people pretending like they do. The only way you can ever justify violating the rights of another human being is as a means to protect the rights of other
human beings. If what they did doesn't accomplish that, then what they did is completely fucking wrong.
It really is that simple.
Cleverbeans wrote:Because it's not about you it's about us. If you're raped, and the rapist tosses you out while walking into your sisters room would you say it's justified to take action? Certainly their self-interest is no longer served, but self-interest is at the heart of the problem here, that's kinda the point of socialism in the first place.
This metaphor fails very deeply on several important levels. Killing someone to prevent a violation is justified; killing them in response
to that violation is not. If I was violated, it would not be right for me to respond several hours later by finding the perpetrator and setting them on fire. Not unless this act was somehow preventing a future violation.
You might further justify this by saying that this manager was on the way to fire several more employees, but killing him would in no feasible way prevent