21
Aug
08

Resistance Blogging

Pax Americana has a seemingly vast number of posts dealing with tactics of nonviolent resistance and noncooperation, of which blogging can be one element. (Boycotting is another element, and this will come up again when I speak of the Pentagon’s Minerva Research Initiative.) Pax Americana’s attempts to reconfigure blogging as an oppositional tool, an outlook that represents a refreshing change from the academic blog scene where some might be more interested in using blogs more for professional advancement or reputation building, which is not to impugn them for doing so. After all, it would be a drab world of uniformity and strange conformity if all blogs were the same, doing and saying the same things.

Some might ask: why cannot blogging be both oppositional and professional? In answering this question, some might look for a synthesis, or challenge the dichotomy by instead seeing a continuum between the oppositional and the professional.

I am not confident about a harmonious synthesis being possible, and I believe it misunderstands the often harsh realities of each position that sets the two apart. One of Immanuel Wallerstein’s arguments about liberalism as the dominant geoculture of the world-system is that it attempts to absorb as many contradictions as possible, in an attempt to buy peace, until it can absorb no more, that is, when contradictions multiply beyond manageability. It is not surprising that in our kind of society, the search for the peaceful synthesis between stark contrasts is such a driving impetus behind so much social, political, and professional discourse. The common ground idea is paradigmatic, a convention, a rationality that predefines itself as rational, making alternatives irrational by default. The paradigm, however well intentioned when put into practice by some, also fails to grasp difference and tries to pull difference toward sameness so as to minimize its threat. This is a long way of saying that when it comes to blogging, I pull toward the oppositional end of the so-called continuum.

Having said that, let’s look at some of the other forms of resistance and non-cooperation laid out by Pax Americana, which gives a lot of credit to Gene Sharp’s Waging Nonviolent Struggle:

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION

  • Public Speeches
  • Letters of opposition or support
  • Declarations of indictment and intention
  • Banners, posters, and displayed communications
  • Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
  • Newspapers and journals
  • Records, radio, and television
  • Mock awards
  • Group lobbying
  • Displays of flags and symbolic colors
  • Wearing of symbols
  • Delivering symbolic objects
  • Protest disrobings
  • Destruction of own property
  • Paint as protest
  • Rude gestures
  • “Haunting” officials
  • Taunting officials
  • Fraternization
  • Vigils
  • Humorous skits and pranks
  • Singing
  • Marches
  • Mock funerals
  • Demonstrative funerals
  • Teach-ins
  • Silence
  • Renouncing honors
  • Turning one’s back
  • Social boycott

THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION

  • Lysistratic nonaction
  • Boycott of social affairs
  • Stay-at-home
  • Total personal noncooperation

THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION

  • Consumers’ boycott
  • Revenue refusal
  • Refusal of a government’s money
  • Protest strike
  • General strike

THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION

  • Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
  • Literature and speeches advocating resistance
  • Boycott of elections
  • Popular nonobedience
  • Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
  • Hiding, escape, and false identities
  • Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
  • Mutiny
  • Noncooperation by constituent governmental units

THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION

  • Self-exposure to the elements
  • The fast: a) Fast of moral pressure; b) Hunger strike; c) Satyagrahic fast
  • Reverse trial
  • Sit-in
  • Ride-in
  • Nonviolent invasion
  • Nonviolent interjection
  • Establishing new social patterns
  • Speak-in
  • Guerrilla theater
  • Alternative social institutions
  • Alternative communication system
  • Selective patronage
  • Overloading of administrative systems
  • Seeking imprisonment
  • Civil disobedience of “neutral” laws

For those who want to read more about each one, I recommend the Pax Americana blog and the Sharp book linked to above.

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