Non violent Direct Action

I intend to attend an Extinction Rebellion lecture in Sheffield and if it is possible challenge their core principles of pressuring th govt to resolve the environmental issue through NVDA.

My thought is that NVDA is fine but that there is also a time for violent resistance. I am not really interested in moral arguments, just the "results are what count" approach.

I would say that certain issues can be resolved without violence, but not when it comes to revolution - a change in class power- then the present ruling class will not give up without a fight. This may come in the form of a post insurrectionary backlash, but it seems over optimistic to assume revolution can be bloodless.

So the issue comes down to the argument that capitalism can or cannot make the changes necessary to stop runaway climate change. If as we say, it cannot, then the question arises, how do we get rid of capitalism, and the question of violence/non violence has to be addressed.

Any thoughts?


I don't think the main issue here is of violence vs non-violence. Rather most environmental groups seem to believe that capitalism can be reformed towards ecological solutions. Hence the tactic of pressuring governments through direct action (regardless if it's non-violent, like with Extinction Rebellion, or violent like with the Earth Liberation Front).

If on the other hand we agree that such suistainable solutions ultimately cannot be achieved within the framework of capitalism, then we start to pose the question of a different mode of production which can only be brought about by, like you say, a change in class power. It's then no longer about small activist groups carrying out actions on behalf of the immense majority, but about a movement of the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority.

Here we have Extinction Rebellion advocating revolution.

From 10.06 " I think we are inevitably talking about revolution"

What we are looking at now is a massive transformation of the economy in a matter of a year or two. That's the only way that we are going to substantially raise the odds of not going extinct

April 15 they are holding a global protest. They say block cities day after day. Let's see if they can start something which gives room for intervention? I have no idea how many they can mobilise.

Vague calls for revolution don't amount to much. The 3-point programme they have on their website ( doesn't pose the question of a different mode of production, it's all about changing government policy.

The climate marches do open room for intervention, but it's already clear the participants are being led down the route of reformism (Green New Deals, Green Job-Creation Schemes, various electoral reforms, etc.).

I thought exactly the same. What the founder said on the video bears no resemblance to the core principles on th website, other than the non violent approach. I hope to say as much at their meeting.

I think it may attract people who would quickly latch on to the idea that the present system is the root cause of this and other insoluble threats.

It does seem they are going to attempt illegal actions. This perhaps represents some sort of departure from the traditional reformist organisations, but this could be very tame, we will see.

Likely another damp squib trying to get an instant solution when none is on offer. The information they offer needs to be integrated into a wider revolutionary narrative.

I understand how people see the horrendous nature of the threat and the short timescale available to avoid the worst, but the response is somewhat akin to falling out of a plane without a parachute. The impact is coming very soon but no amount of hope, fear, desperation will do away with gravity.

And similarly, there will be no greening of capitalism that averts the crisis which even the mainstream IPCC forecasts depicts.

Destroy the system, not the environment.

The topic could be of interest for the 6th April meet. No war but class war could perhaps need a perspective on NVDA.

The worst case scenario about Extinction Rebellion is that there is deep state infiltration/ influence and at the moment that the class struggle is about to explode, an interclass movement is being fanned to block it. Sounds a little unlikely, but who would say the ruling class isn't willing to play these games, risk the future just to get by for a little longer.

Destroy the System, Not the Environment.

A positive piece of evidence that NVDA is for middle class tossers?

This article by the ICC looks accurate to me, though if anyone sees a flaw, please point it out.

the only issue I picked up on was this line - "The movement against global warming is developing in a context of an almost total absence of struggles by the working class, which is also facing a loss of self-confidence and even a loss of its own class identity."

I would say there is ample reason to say that the working class response lags behind the gravity of the situation, but I think that is to be expected. I dont think there is "almost total absence of struggles" but again to be expected, the struggles are imperfect, and not evenly distributed geographically. Quick example from New York Times, April last year "China is a sea of labor unrest. During the first 10 weeks of this year there were more than 400 publicly reported strikes, more than double the number during the comparable period last year. President Xi Jinping’s government has responded with a firm hand: Labor activists are being arrested and assaulted simply for demanding their wages."

Loss of self confidence and class identity? Well, the working class generally subscribes to ruling class ideas outside of acute revolutionary periods so I dont think we have to write off the class because of its temporary ideas about itself which are almost always filtered through bourgeois propaganda.

Despite all the problems I would still say this much, the issue of climate change is extremely important and not one we can leave to the middle-class, regardless of their sexual preferences.

An alternative perspective. Still drastic but disputes the extinction perspective.