I find nonviolence to be an appeal to a higher power. Whether its an international community or the current ruler. They rely heavily on the fact that the power is willing to see their way. If the power isn't willing, then it either falls to violence or goes to dissolution. Revolutionaries on the other hand are in direct conflict with that higher power. They do not seek to appeal, they seek to impose their own power over that which is above them. And you can't do it without violence, since violence has always been the tool to compel our opponent to fulfil our will, because what will that power have to fear but their violence, the very tool in which power is supposed to monopolize on?
DISCLAIMER I edited in some better wording, this was written in a sprint and doesn't represent a completed or particularly articulate argument. Rather, it represents a process of thought and reasoning that I'm currently crystallizing alongside other posts I've made and things I haven't posted on the forum into a more cohesive argument.
Absolutely. All politics rely on violence and domination of some form. All modern politics are power dynamics at play. Every ideology furthers its aims through exercising violence. They all rely on an outlet to enact violence upon.
Fascism relies on inhumanely marginalizing a minority for power.
Capitalism relies on violently suppressing the poor. (Edit: Rather, capitalism relies on commodifying of everything even humans themselves in order to create value. Which is an extremely violent and dehumanizing process that runs counter to the human spirit. I might say that capitalism serves something that isn't even human, it dominates in order to serve a concept.) The most forward thinking progressive still derive their wealth from the ongoing economic enslavement of the Global South.
Monarchism violently suppresses everyone but the monarchs and their nobles for the gain of said nobles.
Decentralization doesn't solve power politics either. (This is a recent realization) The Rwandan Genocide was no less a crime against humanity because it was carried out in a decentralized way.
Communism has never been achieved, but if it were, I believe it would be an evolution of human politics that eliminates power politics entirely. A lack of domination seems inherent to a classless, moneyless and stateless society.
This is where anarchism comes in. Modern anarchism also plays the game of power dynamics. The difference is that good anarchists enact their violence exclusively on people who themselves use violence to gain power. Cops, politicians, CEOs and monarchs are all examples of people in this category, they all gain their position through the direct and or indirect domination of others. In essence, anarchism seeks to abolish power entirely, for to be powerful is not to be free, just more comfortable in ones enslavement. True freedom implies that a person has as many options for interacting with the world as physically possible. Power is derived from oppressing others for one's own gain. But by doing that, the powerful eliminate the creative influence and potential of those they oppress from the world. In turn, they sacrifice the innovative capacity of a whole civilization in exchange for a short term, relatively minute increase in their own ability to be creative.
A medieval scientist can do more when the peasants cooperate and bring him supplies, but could never achieve the same measure of discovery as he would if all the peasants were themselves scientists he could collaborate with. By liberating them from their work in the fields and treating them as equals, he gains true freedom predicated on the fact that his creative capacity--his freedom--is inherently intertwined with theirs. Freedom is not a definite end state. One cannot every be truly "free," they can only be in the process of becoming more or less free. Freedom is an infinitely expanding process whose limit is truly defined by the laws of physics, not human culture. At least in a very physical sense, it remains to be seen if humans can socioculturally evolve enough to take advantage of this truth. I believe we can, it is my mission to show everyone that they are ultimately more free when the people around them are themselves free. Furthermore, by hurting others a person hurts themselves.
A capitalist can build a rocket ship to mars on the backs of their workers in a few decades. But a civilization liberated people all willingly and passionately working towards space colonization could probably have colonies on or in orbit of every major celestial body within the solar system in the same period of time. As an example, Elon Musk is working with a minute fraction of human capability, he's completely missing the big picture. In the same way that a feudal scientist can't compete with a capitalist scientist due to the resource, labour and intellectual constraints inherent to feudalism. A capitalist scientist can't approach the material and creative capabilities of a communist one. A communist scientist would have 7+ billion scientists, artists, spiritual leaders and otherwise actualized people mutually contributing to his project in some form whether that be directly through research and labour or indirectly through enriching his life by saturating society with art and good vibes. The capitalist scientist is limited by a small group of scientists who he dominates into control who themselves are backed by an army of disgruntled slaves.
Returning back to anarchism here. Anarchism is the only ideology that seeks to confront the nature of power dynamics. Instead of relying on more domination to achieve its ideological aims, anarchism seeks to completely redefine society so as to eliminate domination. However, there is an understanding that this is a process, not a state. In this sense there are justifiable hierarchies, like the parent child relationship. Without some level of domination children cannot fend for themselves. It's important to not overdominate either as in the case of child abuse. And what an anarchist defines as child abuse is going to be much farther reaching than where modern society would normally define the concept. Anarchism digs deep into the core of what it means to be human. It recognizes that much of human interaction is domination of one person over another. Some anarchists would say all human interaction is domination, although, I don't go that far personally.
Finally anarchism itself is a process. It makes no claims to understand how a society free of domination would exactly manifest. Instead, anarchism seeks to push the boundaries of what liberation and freedom even mean by combating power predicated on domination and empowering everyone through mutual consent. For to empower means to consensually give another the ability to act. To dominate means to forcefully take the ability to act, in turn harming oneself. And when society adopts changes laid forth by anti-authoritarianism--anarchism again feels out the boundaries of definition and pushes them beyond the veil of the modern day.
No other ideology that I know of takes a fundamentally different approach to human politics like anarchism does. Democracy is simply majoritarian domination. Dictatorship is the domination of one over all. Fascism is ethno-nationalistic domination. Capitalism is the domination of the strong over the weak as all affluent private property can be historically traced to violent seizure. Anarchism though, is the domination of the dominator.
I'm open to other possibilities. Are their any ideologues that break the dynamic of power politics, that don't rely on violence at all? Well, partially answering my own question here. Absolute pacifism breaks the power dynamic by refusing to dominate at all, but there's no moral high ground from the grave, so that doesn't work in this period of history. Absolute pacifism only works if everyone else are absolute pacifists. Again though, if you or anyone on the forum knows of other ideologies that approach power dynamics differently, please speak up. I'd love to know
Some anarchist mantras:
- Your Freedom is my Freedom.
- Anarchism is order; government is civil war.
- If Nature is Unjust, Change Nature!
- Abolish Power!
- Every Anarchist Should be a Scientist.