by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
In the same way as there is more than one way to skin a cat there is more than one way to bring about a revolution.
One is to attack and overthrow the current system and its structures head on. Such action might succeed, the way it did in Russia in 1917 but, in the same way as then, could result in great collateral damage during and after the revolution. The other is to undermine the system by withdrawing cooperation with it and by creating our own alternative structures.
The latter also has more that one way of going about it though sabotage – again violent action – would not be a path that would ever be advisable. As sabotage generally brings down some parts of the infrastructure and thus affects the majority of the population and thus it would alienate those from the cause. This can be seen often enough during strikes and industrial disputes when for instance public transport is affected and while the people may understand the reason as to why such actions are taken it still makes them dislike them and the unions.
But it is the support of the masses that the revolution needs if it is to succeed and, after all, the revolution is meant to fight for them to improve their situation. Alienating them through strikes and other disruption to infrastructure, be it transport, or other, is rather counterproductive unless the people can be brought to understand via proper and good political education that the short term problem are but a small price to pay in the long run and thus bring them on the side of the revolution.
I very well know that there are, alas, many activists who see such actions as necessary to further the cause but this must be at the cost of any popular support from the masses.
There are other ways for us to undermine the exploitative capitalist system. Strikes and violent actions, incl. sabotage, are not always answers though, in the short, they may appear as such and are also often the ones that come quickest to the mind. And, this undermining of the system also does not depend on large scale openly organized (and hostile) acts and action. Not even on public demonstrations and marches. Much of it is just down to organized individual actions.
Refusal to participate
Refusal to be a slave to consumerism
Refusal to be governed
All too many revolutionaries do assume, unfortunately, that the system can only be overthrown by violent action and force of arms. While it may be necessary to be prepared to use weapons and violence to protect the revolution, during and especially after, the overthrow of the system itself does not necessarily require the use of force and bloodshed.
Revolution can, after all, be more than just a violent overthrowing of society; this can also be achieved in different ways. And revolution and evolution must go hand in hand here.
The best way to overthrow the exploitative capitalist system is not by direct confrontation but by means of undermining it and by subversion. At the same time, however, the structures need to be established, one by one, piece by piece, to, immediately, after the Day X, so to speak, when the system has finally fallen, be able to take over. It will take time but then again Rome also wasn't built in a day (and not, that does not mean that the workers worked on Rome during the night).