Violence is necessary for life, Violence is as necessary as Peace.
Peace in the face of Oppression, Genocide, and Exploitation; is as destructive as Violence being used for Oppression, Genocide, and Exploitation.
In our word its ecosystems, violence perpetuates life; when the lion hunts the antelope, when the violent storms attack the land, when violent waves churn the seas; it’s all part of the life cycle.
I think oppressed people should all cultivate their capacity for organized and directed violence, they should be willing and able to employ both defensive and offensive violence.
The only form of illegitimate violence is the violence of the state, the violence of repression; and the state maintains a monopoly on violence, it mandates that no other violence, or capacity for violence exceed the state; and this is why there is so much suffering, and why the life sustaining capacity for the planet is in jeopardy. Not because of violence, violence has always been on the earth, has help life to thrive on earth, but because of the states and their monopoly on the use of violence, because the masses of humanity view the violence of the state as legitimate. The most illegitimate form of violence is accepted as the only legitimate form of violence, that that’s why our understanding and application of violence is so distorted, and destructive.
Pan-African violence is decolonization violence, it is liberation violence, it is life affirming violence, it is legitimate violence. Africans need to embrace violence, and cultivate our capacity to employ violence in our liberation struggle. Just as the Oppressor’s violence dehumanized us, the Liberators violence secures and affirms the humanity of the oppressed. Che, Fanon, Ward Chruchill, and George Jackson wrote extensively on this issue.
The catch is, violence has a powerful impact on those who employ it, therefore those who employ it (in the purity of liberation) need to also have the discipline, integrity, and vision, or they will be corrupted or destroy by this otherwise life giving and affirming force. But that’s true of all powerful forces in our lives. Take sex for instance, it’s powerful, but if you engage in it without a level of internal maturity and development, it can take your life, or dispute your live; if engage it with respect and despite, it can enhance your life and bring more life. The same goes for Peace, begin peaceful towards an oppressor is suicidal, peace in the presence of justice is live affirming. Love, Hate, fear, bravery, Wisdom, and even ignorance (the state of ignoring that which you don’t value) are all double edged swords that can aid or harm us, but they are all necessary; or they would not have survived throughout our evolution.
Violence is a delicate topic, and as usual, I’ve probably created more questions than I’ve answered.
I’m glad you asked the question tho; we need to demystify violence, and we need to do away with the Cult of Non-Violence that has griped the African Diaspora since the Civil Rights Movement.
Also, check out We Will Shoot Back, by Akinyele Omowale Umoja