Passive Resistance Comics

Militant advocates of nonviolence as an exclusive tactic ignore the inconvenient historical fact that sometimes little else will do the job.

14 thoughts on “Passive Resistance Comics

  1. Well said.

    Great article in the Times about how Occupy is perceived by the MOTU:

    Kappa Beta Phi, an exclusive Wall Street fraternity whose members include big-name bankers, hedge fund billionaires and private equity titans, met at the St. Regis Hotel in Manhattan on Thursday night for its 80th annual black-tie dinner and induction ceremony.

    The Occupy movement was fodder for several after-dinner skits. In one, a documentary filmed during the protests, James Lebenthal, a bond specialist, joked with a protester whose face was appeared to be tattooed.

    “Go home, wash that off your face, and get back to work,” Mr. Lebenthal told the protester.In another skit, William Mulrow , a senior managing director at the Blackstone Group, put on raggedy clothes to play the part of an Occupy protester. Emil W. Henry Jr., a managing partner at Tiger Infrastructure Partners and a fellow new Kappa, joined him dressed as a wealthy baron.

    “Bill, look at you! You’re pathetic, you liberal! You need a bath!” Mr. Henry said, voice full of mock indignation.

    “You callow, insensitive Republican!” Mr. Mulrow said. “Don’t you know we need to create jobs?”

    There it is in black and white. Just like I’ve said in previous posts, the MOTU are fucking laughing at Occupy. Literally. It’s their light entertainment these days, and rightfully so. Occupy is a fucking joke that deserves to be laughed at. It’s pathetic. I actually applaud these Wall St. cretins for mocking the whole thing because it deserves to be mocked. Laughing at beggars who just want to be allowed into the system, to become better consumers (buying 40 different types of cheese) DESERVE to be laughed at. Fucking peasants they are and fucking peasants they will remain.

    I wonder if these guys would sell tickets to their Occupy skits? I’d buy one.

  2. WOW…..absolutely fantastic piece Ted….this one has moved to the top of my list as the original I’d most like to get come November when Obama wins re-election

  3. Seriously, Ted, I think this is the best I’ve seen out of you, if I don’t win it, I’d at least like the right of first refusal if you plan on selling the original.

  4. I applaud the truth contained in Ted’s comic strip: that non-violent methods don’t work unless your adversary is also non-violent. There is another truth that needs to be considered, and it is omitted. Violent methods do not have a record of efficacy either. For example, the French Revolution resulted in a restoration of Louis XVI’s brother, Louis XVIII. There followed plutocratic republics and ultimately the reign of Napoleon III an autocrat as bad as any. The rule of Cromwell after the execution of Charles I, resulted in decades of civil war, finally a restoration of Charles II as monarch. The Russian Revolution did not produce a 70 year period of civil liberties and well being for the working-classes. The Arab spring has not produced democracy for those long suppressed peoples. Egyptians are being killed in the streets each day by their military.

    That’s what’s so bad about the loss of our Bill of Rights and Constitution. Once lost, they are unlikely to be regained. Sorry, but that’s the prospect as I see it.

  5. There’s a lot of room for a pacifist in today’s world, but I would like to think I’d have more impact than quietly shuffling off to the oven.

    Nice work on the subject matter though, Ted. WW2 gives even the most committed pacifist conniptions.

  6. I left out of my message, yesterday, the immediate consequences of the French Revolution, the reign of terror (1792-5), the rise of Napoleon and his bloody rampage into eastern Europe and the hundreds of thousands of lives lost by the French young men in his armies, the creation afterwards of a reactionary entente among the Great Powers (England, Austria, Prussia, Russia and France, too) that thwarted the lofty goals of the Revolution for the rest of the 19th century. Violence does not work either.

    So what does work? Jefferson said constant vigilance, and that is what the American people have been very poor at since the end of the Cold War.

  7. Innocent victim:

    I fear that as long as humanity is defined by a constant struggle between tribes for a greater or lesser share of limited resources, nothing works. The game is rigged, every scenario ends in violence, state-sanctioned or otherwise. Gandhi’s movement helped set in motion the events that lead to incredible violence during the partition of India – half a million dead, for fuck’s sake!

    Are the results of the peaceful revolution in Egypt better or worse than the Mubarak regime? Time will tell. But I think that’s what we have realistically available to us – a series of incremental gains or losses made by violent or non-violent means. Until we stop playing the game, we will live and die by its rules.

  8. Violence does not really work either, the problem with fighting over resources is somebody eventually keeps/loses the resources and your back to the same problem one group has them one group doesn’t. The best you can hope for in a revolution is that your side wins so you can be the privileged for awhile. Hey maybe it will be like the last revolution and cartoonist and editorialist will be on vogue for awhile.

  9. Various leaders have stated that it is always permissable to resist force with force; in fact, the harsh reality (which you drew) is that when force is being used against you, only force will work to resist.
    The problem arises when it’s economic force, rather than physical force. Resisting with economic force is rarely much of an option; if the oppressed had sufficient resources to do that, it’s unlikely that the protest would be so vehement or necessary. With that said, the OWS movement could have used some more effective non-violent tactics, causing some real pain to the bureaucracy.

  10. Violence works. For the powerful.

    Before WWII, the Brits and French used aircraft dropping poison gas on rebels. The Brits machine gunned over 1,000 protesters at one anti-colonial rally in the Raj, thereby dispersing the rebels. In the Boer War, the Boer rebels farmed in season and went off to be guerrillas out of season. The Brits rounded up their families, put them in Concentration Camps, and said to the rebels, ‘Unless you surrender to be shot for treason, we won’t give your wives or children any food.’ This was suppressed, but a few reports and photos came out (see Wikipedia) of the women and children starved to death. In any case, the Boer rebellion was crushed.

    Then Britain and France lost WWII, and the US and the USSR demanded the dissolution of their empires. Britain started dissolution in 1947, and finished in 2007 with the return of Hong Kong to China. France tried to hold on, but eventually lost (almost) all its colonies, plus a few provinces considered part of France. Graham Green reported on Vietnam in ’54: the US was supporting the Communists to end the French Empire; supporting the French to stop the spread of Communism; and giving most of its support to a tiny but corrupt group of Christians (in an overwhelmingly Buddhist country) to create an independent, non-Communist state.

    Had Britain and France not lost WWII, the Indian resistance would never have been able to end the Raj. Neither Gandhi’s non-violence nor the violent Indian resistance, limited by their lack of weapons, could have dislodged the Brits, nor could Indochina, if not supported by the US and the USSR, have dislodged France.

    The establishment can and will crush OWS, disirregardless of whether OWS tries non-violence or violence, until someone or something stronger comes along.

    And as for Sobibor, according to Wikipedia, “the total figure of murdered Jews at a minimum of 250,000 … After a successful revolt on October 14, 1943 about half of the 600 prisoners in Sobibor escaped… [but] only 50 to 70 escapees survived”.

    So violence at Sobibor only saved about 50 – 70 out of 250,000, as opposed to non-violence which wouldn’t have saved any.

    And, of course, in the wars against the Native Americans, US history books tell us that, in spite of fierce resistance and massacres (NB: ‘massacre’ is the technical term for a Native American victory in the war), the 10 million fierce Native Americans who posed a severe threat to the American Nation were reduced by the brave, selfless US Calvary to fewer than 100,000 harmless, reservation dwellers.

    So even 10 million opposed to having serfdom imposed on them by the establishment and willing to employ violence to resist would certainly fail.

    And the answer is ???????????????

  11. Michael,

    Your statement that 50 escapees survived Sobibor is what the pedants would call “paralogia.” That is, although it’s a correct statement, it is not presented in a relevant context. To enter Sobibor was to receive a death sentence. There was no way to “reasonably” get through it. Escape was the only way out — in this world at least.

    Negotiation only works when you can back it up with something OR if you can appeal to the other side’s sense of fair play OR if you can catch the other side in a situation where they simply don’t want to be bothered/cannot devote the resources (the last being why the U.S. won the Revolutionary War; Britain was tied up in a whole bunch of other problems so to hell with one colony).

    I think we can all agree that the other side has no sense of fair play. I think we can also agree that they aren’t going to stop their behavior because there really isn’t anything else to tie up their attention.
    Additionally, I need to reiterate a point that hasn’t been mentioned in a while. The 1%ers? Look up the traditional definition of “sadist.” I strongly belief that they derive genuine excitement and pleasure from causing others to suffer. I’m not being hyperbolic. I think that if they had a choice between eating a slice of bread in front of a starving man or picking something delicious with the provision that the hungry person gets the same thing, they would choice the bread because watching the other person’s pain would be worth more to them.

    That brings us to negotiation backed by something. Go on. Someone. Anyone. What possible “force value” have OWS’s tactics generated? I am thoroughly disgusted with how lame and limp the “people’s movement” has been. In the Civil Rights Era, buses were integrated because the blacks stopped taking them. The economic force — yes, FORCE — they wielded by withholding their bus fares is what won the day.

    OWS needs to stop being the coddled little brats of brainless witlings.

  12. I just had a great idea for a comic book.

    It’s called “Passive Resistance Man”.

    Basically, every plot will consist of Passive Resistance Man letting the villains whale on him until they collapse from exhaustion.

    In a special two-part issue, Passive Resistance Man will take on his greatest foe, the Pepper-Spraying Thug, leading to an action-packed climax in which the supervillain develops a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

  13. No problem, Ted ! If the US State Department (or the New York Times or the Washington Post, which amounts to more or less the same thing) calls you a «terrorist», you’re obviously being a tad too violent. If, on the other hand, you are referred to as a «freedom fighter», then it’s full speed ahead !…


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