by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The weapons that are really needed are books. Yes, you read that right. Books and education. Books on many subjects related to establishing a new society and education and for the latter there is also the requirement for well-trained cadres.
Most people do, unfortunately, seem to believe that they can and have to bring about a revolution by violent and militant means and that all that is required are guns and other such weapons to do that.
Guns and Molotov cocktails do not make a revolution. It may be possible to overthrow the existing system, the existing structures, but what happens after? Many seem to hope that there will be some charismatic leader that will lead the revolution and rally the troops and thereafter become the head of government. This shows that they are more the problem than the solution.
Having said before that guns, forgetting the cocktails, are not the weapons needed for a revolution there will come a need for the former, however, and that is to protect the gains made against the enemies of the class and of the revolution. For, unless we manage to change the entire world in one swoop, the enemy, in the form of capitalism, will still be all around us.
However, for the revolution itself we need weapons other than firearms, grenades and Molotov cocktails. We will need first and foremost education and knowledge in the subjects and in order to get there the revolutionaries may need to read more than learning to shoot and throw grenades. Some, probably, will need to learn to read first as well, and learn to look critically into the subject matters and learn to apply lessons and also adapt such material to the situations arising.
Throwing Molotov cocktails, shooting guns and such like, and the learning of such, is easy compared with (learning to) read and understand the various books and teachings on the matters of revolution, system change, and the building of a new society. Thus the most important thing is learning and the acquisition of knowledge of the aforementioned subjects not the use of weapons and violence.
This, unfortunately, does not seem to compute with many of the young people who claim to be revolutionaries of the “Left” today who all they seem to be capable is to have street battles with the police and other people. They believe – yes, honestly, they do and please don't laugh – that fighting the police at demonstrations and marches is a revolutionary act. Or, are they actually not what they claim to be and are, in fact, paid agent provocateurs? In some – in fact a great many – cases this is exactly what is appears to be and Antifa is but one of them.
Breaking the windows of stores in the High Street and turning over and burning cars is not a revolutionary act; it is a criminal act and nothing more. Such acts always seem to be designed to create a backlash from the security services during demonstrations and escalating violence and thus bringing the entire demonstrations and the movements behind them into disrepute even if the organizing groups are peaceful themselves.
And, if they are not agent provocateurs, though I believe that many of those hooligans, for lack of a better word, are, then their actions are due to the lack of reading and understanding of the revolutionary subjects. Smashing the windows of stores and looting are not revolutionary acts, and nor is baiting the police at what is, to begin with, a peaceful and authorized demonstration.
On the other hand demonstrations also do not really solve the problem(s) as, more often than not, while possibly showing the will of a section of the people, in the same way as strikes, do not bring others onto the side of our cause. Often they alienate those that we need to recruit. We need to be educated to educate others and that means reading books and documents that will teach the basics and the more intricate things of revolution and why and only when we have acquired that knowledge and the skills to teach others can we ever get anywhere in changing the system for a new and better one.
So, but away that gun and that bottle with the fuse, grab the right kind of books and sit down and read. A good starting place for everyone would be – no, not the works of Marx and Engels straight away - “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” by Robert Tressell. And, while it is a novel and fiction it brings out the message loud and clear.
Now, once you have a clear idea what it is all about you can proceed to read heavier books on the matter of socialism, communism and such and again you don't have to, immediately, read the works of Marx and Engels though, after Tressell's book I do recommend that you read the Manifesto and read it more than once for the message to sink in.
Remember it is not guns and bombs that are the most important weapons to bring about a revolution, but books, education through those books, and knowledge.