Ive been reading Christian Anarchism lately and I'm troubled by the linchpin word 'non-violence', and, in particular, how this term means in the milieu.
Of course, sorting the term in a subsequent way produces differences. But what if one doesn't accept ones' sorting?
Some Quakers suppose that property damage, like fires and shit, falls square within the orbit of non-violence. And so it would seem that the difference is not clearly given by the state; nor is it therefore a simple matter of acceptance, a willingness to abide. Nor is it therefore enough to read Gene Sharp's (Otherwise excellent) writings on non-violence to get clear on the term.
Nope: doing violence in the milieu, isn't cut and dry, friends; and with Quakers making the intuitive point that you can't hurt property (even if scumbags find themselves in their stuff), the problem is only made explicit.
If then anarchism wants to distance itself from one small aspect of nihilism (assassinations), then this distancing completely demolishes any a priori, theoretical effort to untangle the terms. Is an anarchism sans assassination non-violent? We want to say no because we don't want to be seen as pacifists; but can we say no?
Oh you shitty Christian Anarchists; you bastards that turn againstness away from non-action into action of a curious sort; you bastards that confuse the difference between pacifist and passive-ists; how can we still say we aren't Christian anarchists; how can we claim that we are not non-violent, against douchey liberals, when "pacifist action" is taken up in opposition to passivity, when these pacifists without passivity produce violence as a well defined term that we can support?
On this reading, the orbit of permissible pacifist actions doesn't reduce to non-action, to bearing witness, to doing nothing. Until anarchists define what they mean by violence, thereby making explicit their differences, it would seem that they confuse the whole (non-violence) for a part (non-action).