The fact of the matter is that not a single nonviolent movement challenging a government has convinced said government to actually come around and adopt the philosophy and practice of nonviolence itself. Not Gandhi, not MLK, not a one. For throughout virtually all of the inhabited land on Earth, there is some form of government in place exercising authority. And for all of the governments on Earth, not a one of them practices nonviolence in the tradition of Gandhi or MLK.
But there are plenty of pacifist civilians claiming that nonviolence is “the most powerful weapon.” If this is so, wouldn’t some professional in some government, by now, have come up with the ingenious idea of using this “powerful weapon” to defend its borders or keep its citizenry in line?
Of course not, because nonviolence is for civilians only.
The real message of pacifism is intended for civilian audiences. While nonviolence movements will target a government with their message communicating a specific goal, the pacifists aren’t dumb enough to expect that such a government will actually warm to the idea of pacifism itself. You see, kids, governments are made up of professional decision-makers, some of whose job it is to see that the government and the nation-state actually survive. The adherents of nonviolence assume no such burden. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to persuade you, the politically active civilian, that the course of nonviolence is the most effective way to go.
Wait a second, here. Who is it again that’s trying to persuade you, the politically active civilian, to forswear violence? Is it the loftily idealistic pacifist with his head in the clouds quoting Gandhi or is it the hardened government professional who knows how the real world works? Which one would have you believe that nonviolence is for civilians only?
Funny how their goals intersect, ain’t it?
And yet the “nonviolent” types are never accused of being “agent provocateurs.” Notice how it’s almost always those who speak of violence against the government who are quickly accused of being “provocateurs.” If it weren’t such an intellectually bankrupt tactic, I might be inclined to throw the brain-dead “provocateur” accusation at a few pacifists.
But, then again, “pacifist” is enough of a put-down on its own.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of pacifist libertarian-Constitutionalists out there. They need to be ignored or at least taken with more than a few grains of salt.