By Tim Jordan
Many colleges of idea assert that Western tradition hasn't ever been extra politically apathetic. Tim Jordan's Activism! refutes this declare. In his strong polemic, Jordan exhibits how acts of civil disobedience have come to dominate the political panorama. simply because we inhabit this sort of fast altering, high-tech and fragmented tradition, the single-issue political routine and solid, conservative experts of the prior are continuously being wondered. conventional political battles were changed through the preferred, collective practices of a brand new political activism. From Europe to america, from Australia to South the USA, from the Left to the precise, Jordan introduces us to the voters who make up d-i-y tradition: eco-activists, animal liberators, neo-fascists, ravers, anti-abortionists, squatters, hunt saboteurs and hacktivists. In his view, activism contains a brand new ethics of residing for the twenty first century.
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Additional resources for Activism!: Direct Action, Hacktivism and the Future of Society (Reaktion Books - Focus on Contemporary Issues)
When Snowdrop campaigners spoke at a pro-gun-control rally in the US, there was a counter-demonstration by Armed Informed Mothers. Even such compromise measures as child-proof trigger locks on guns were opposed. ’1 We see in this contrast between the US and the UK how closely associated some popular campaigns are with legitimate social institutions. Change on guns in the UK was possible because the government felt that broad support for guncontrol existed. Where this support does not exist, campaigns relying on existing social institutions tend to fail.
For example, early in the development of widespread non-violent actions, 379 demonstrators were killed and fifteen hundred wounded when British troops opened fire on a peaceful meeting in Amritsar. For some, moments like these mark the end of non-violent action, but for others they signal a renewed commitment. Even extreme situations, Gandhi might have argued, reinforce satyagraha, because they demonstrate the moral superiority of the dead protester over the living oppressor in an extreme way. The news that the officer who ordered the 58 ACTIVISM!
It is the connection between the violence of oppressors and the non-violence of protesters that establishes this moral position, though this is also a connection that has come under strain. : the Quaker notion of bearing witness. , his is certainly not the only or the oldest conception of nonviolence as a political and spiritual tactic. The Quakers developed similar notions in their belief in the need to ‘speak truth to power’ and to ‘bear witness’. For them, the wrongs of the world need to be seen, to be brought into the light, both to accuse perpetrators and to ensure their visibility.