New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

Refusing to Kill

August 29, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: David Swanson, Politics

Soldiers Finding Freedom in Resistance to Senseless Militarism

by David Swanson

One of the most inspiring events at the Veterans For Peace National Convention in Miami was a presentation by several veterans who have refused to participate in war.  Typically, they have done this at the risk of significant time in prison, or worse.  In most cases these resisters avoided doing any time.  Even when they did go behind bars, they did so with a feeling of liberation.

Gerry Condon refused to deploy to Vietnam, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, escaped from Fort Bragg, left the country, and came back campaigning for amnesty.  President Jimmy Carter pardoned resisters as his first act in office.  Condon never “served” a day, in either the military “service” or prison.

Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist refused to fly to Iraq, choosing instead to sit down on the tarmac.  Ben Griffin from VFP’s new chapter in the U.K. refused to participate in our nations’ wars and has been issued a gag order.  He’s not permitted to speak, and yet he speaks so well. Mike Prysner of March Forward and Camilo Mejia of VFP in Miami described their acts of resistance. (more…)

Shifting the Balance of the Class War

March 30, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Devon G. Pena, Economy, Politics

From Thanatopolitics to the Great Refusal

by Devon G. Peña

There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning. — Warren Buffett

When the history of the early 21st century is debated a hundred years hence, perhaps a central point of contention will be the variant forms used by capitalists to wage class war against other human beings during the so-called Neoliberal epoch. But capitalist strategy is not indeterminably variant when it comes to matters of life and death.  “Structural violence” boils down to the principle that capitalism is irrevocably a system of thanatopolitics — the rule of the dead over the living.

The dead labor of accumulated surplus labor time, machines, and the fancy abstract financial instruments of cognitive capital rule over the living labor of actual bodies. Increasingly, the working class is the same as the condition of a bare life; the new permanently unemployed and devalued service sector proletarians are the generalized Homo sacer subject to a state of economic exception. (more…)