We can’t all just get along

Posted on July 13, 2011 by

Numerous commenters have complained about the dangers of revolutionary sentiment. The general meme is contained in the idea that “revolutionaries breed reactionaries”. But what is the alternative to a revolution? Shall we sit around, sing kumbaya, and pretend not to notice the general misery?

Perhaps. Or perhaps that is a fool’s errand. As the misery-index rises, and families continue to dissolve, violence will increase. Regardless of whether or not there is a revolution. The difference merely being that the violence will be unfocused and undirected.

So we do not have the choice of violence or peace, but of random violence versus targeted violence. Mobs versus militias. People will not suffer in silence, and if you do not organize the discontented, they will simply organize themselves.

The mobs are already appearing:

Early in the morning of July 4th, a gang of approximately 50 teenagers looted a convenience store at the corner of North Avenue and Humboldt. Shortly afterwards, the mob attacked groups of people hanging out at Reservoir Park after the July 3rd fireworks.

A surveillance video shows the convenience store being looted. Televised interviews with victims of the attacks in the park confirm the wildings. Residents in the area say that the mob has been running around the Riverwest neighborhood for weeks.

You say that revolution will merely usher in tyranny. Do you think that wildings will not usher in the same tyranny? That class warfare will not result in calls for “safety” and the expansion of the police state?

From the Huffington Post:

Is it any wonder that in a city that only graduates 50 percent of its students, there would be large groups of wandering “wildings” with no sense of hope for the future? Should we expect anything less when the percentage of people unemployed or underemployed is near 20 percent? Is it any wonder that with unprecedented income inequality that a marginalized group of people would resent the affluence of downtown Chicago, where most of the attacks have taken place?

Longstanding economic trends toward inequality and 2008’s disaster are driving a wedge between the already polarized rich, middle class and poor.

While Romans 13 clearly directs Christians to be “subject to the governing authorities”, Catholic teaching discerns between obeying just and unjust laws, and allows for civil disobedience when faced with injustice. But when is violence allowed? Is it allowed at all, even to protect ourselves against the violence of the state? Are Christians allowed to take part in violent overthrows of government, when that government is illegitimate?

Yes, they may take part. The Catechism clearly states:

2243 Armed resistance to oppression by political authority is not legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.

So the question is: have those criteria been fulfilled? May I suggest that it is nearly impossible to fulfill those criteria, so armed resistance is possibly allowed in theory, but never in practice. Even armed resistance against the Nazi regime would not have been possible under those conditions. Setting the bar too high, perhaps?