Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grad student writes dumb essay on R68

And gets it published in the Post. Christopher Hubble, a UCD history student and "lead organizer" for the LBGT group Soulforce in Colorado (Snappy slogan: "Freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from religious and political repression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance"):

How can dissent groups like Recreate 68 at once espouse the apparently contrary theories of nonviolence and protest?

The world is watching as it and other demonstrators descend upon Denver for the Democratic National Convention. Recreate 68, a local umbrella group, has served as a catalyst of sorts, stimulating conversation about the right of self-defense and the use of political violence.

Recreate 68's "Statement of Non-Violence and Principles" represents a somewhat awkward synthesis of several distinct philosophical and ideological systems that do not always fit together very neatly.

You can say that again. Blah, blah Tolstoy, yack, yack Blondie-er, Gandhi--then:

Confusion regarding the right to self-defense and how it resonates [grad student, all right] with nonviolent theory further complicates these issues. [. . .] In "The Rights of War and Peace," historian Richard Tuck writes about several European political philosophers: "For Grotius, Hobbes, and their followers, self-preservation was a paramount principle [. . .] for, they believed, no society could be found or imagined in which people were denied the moral right to preserve themselves." . . .

So Recreate 68 can, in fact, simultaneously affirm nonviolent philosophy and methodology while insisting upon "the right of the people to self-defense and community defense" on the basis of historical precedent. . . .
As usual when lefties reach this point, Hubble somehow doesn't think to ask several questions: How does self-preservation come into it?; what action(s) by police does R68 consider a legitimate reason for "self-defense"; and, by the way, what constitutes "self-defense"?

La-la-la. Hubble does get stern for a second:
And although Recreate 68's commitment to nonviolence is clear, its statement might have included a stronger rejection of property destruction.
What are you talking about? Can't get much stronger than this (point nine):
To be conscious that if violence or property destruction does occur, we will do what we can to help prevent it from being blown out of proportion and dominating the media coverage.
Together with not ratting out others (point six: "Not to turn people over to the police, or share information with the police about other groups"), it's a ringing declaration of principles.
One can only hope that participants and observers at the DNC remember the spirit of Gandhi and King, and embody the transformative nonviolence they hope to create in the world.
Probably not.

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