Interesting questions arise such as:
- How “successful” is a struggle (non-violent or otherwise) that only convinces the ruling apparatus to make superficial changes (e.g. substituting one corrupt/oppressive figure-head with another) without altering the conditions that foster corruption and oppression?
- Who get's to define what is "violent"? (The victims? Those with the monopoly on "legitimate" use of force?)
- What does "violence" actually entail? (Physical harm? Self-defense? Property damage?)
The debate about violent/nonviolent tactics between the Crimethinc Collective and Chris Hedges [edit:also] tackles some of these interesting questions. The Crimethinc rep made this observation:
Violence is indistinguishable from "code for 'illegitimate' use of force" ...That's why dumping carcinogens into a river is not "violence" but sabotaging the factory that does this is "violence".