I am part of the far left. I've spent time in radical communities and believe that the corrosive forces of capitalism and patriarchy must be resisted. There are times when good people must put their bodies and lives on the gears of the machines of greed and destruction. Disruption and radical non-compliance have an important place in any movement that seeks to speak truth to power.
That being said, violence and the threat of violence against others is not only a despicable tactic, it's the tool of the oppressor, of the war monger, of the misogynist. Violence must be forsaken if we are to build something new and free of oppression.
I know this element of the far left. I have participated in its discussions, studied the history and walked in its shoes. What I saw was the subconscious whispering of authoritarianism itself. The anti-empathic belief that an individual with enough anger and a strong enough belief in their own cause should physically force others to their way of thinking. What I saw was that those who held radical violence as a tool were often young and very angry white men. Men who had at some point internalized the message that they had the privilege to assume they were right at all cost and that violence, when sufficiently impassioned was sometimes the answer.
I reject this. Not only does this behavior further glorify the same processes that bring the world into war, it isn't a strategy that works. We will never outgun them.
We have non-violence, we have love. We have the numbers. We will always be the ones with music and dance, good sex, laughter and art. If you don't believe these are incredibly powerful forces then I don't want your revolution.
Anarchist, mother of two