Violence, ever since the appearance of ‘legality’ and parliamentarism, has not only continued to play a historical role but is today, as in previous periods, ultimatly the mainstay of dominant politics. The state in its entirety is predicated on violence. Its military organization and its mechanisms of control and suppression in themselves constitute hard proof.
When a ‘free citizen’ is forcefully and against his will incarcerated in a narrow and uninhabited place, and when he is kept there for a stretch of time – everyone can understand that this is an act of violence. But from the moment this action takes place under the provisions of a unified book called Penal Code and that place is designated as the ‘Corinth Closed Residential Center for Migrants’, it is instantly transformed into an act of peaceful legality. If a man is forced, against his will to systematically kill fellow humans, commits an act of violence. But once this is designated as ‘military service’, the “good citizen” imagines himself breathing in the air of legality. If a person is deprived part of his property and income against his will, no one would argue with this being an act of violence. But from the moment the theft is designated as ‘direct tax collection’, it becomes merely the application of the law.
Τhe political violence of those in power, grows on the financial ground of exploitation. What manifests before us as legality is nothing other than the violence of the dominant class raised in advance to the status of an imperative. From the moment, however, that the various acts of violence were defined as obligatory rulings, the situation becomes reflected in reverse in the thinking of the law-makers and of the opportunist socialists: ‘law and order’ are depicted as independent creations of ‘justice’ and state violence as a mere consequence, i.e. as legal ‘sanction’.
According to the ‘logic of the reformists’, while those in power rely for their every action on violence, only those who are subjected to it should denounce once and for all, the use of violence in their struggle against the system which oppresses them. ‘Legality’ gives to the violence of the dominant class the seal of an all-powerful, societal imperative.
Violence is and will remain the ultimate means of overthrow and transformation, the ultimate yardstick of competitiveness, whether latent of manifest.
Not the love of violence nor revolutionary romanticism, but hard historical necessity is what prompts the organized, oppressed social strata to prepare for violent clashes, sooner or later, with those in power, because inevitably their endeavors will be in conflict with vital interests of the powerful. Considering parliamentarianism as the exclusive means of political struggle is no less disorienting and, basically, reactionary, than acquiescing to general strikes or roadblocks as the only means for the struggle.
The concise understanding of the need for the use of violence, both in the various stages of political struggle and in the final overcoming of power, is a prerequisite because it is just that understanding that lends force and decisiveness to the peaceful and legal battles and actions.
If the forces of overthrow and transformation decided to relinquish in advance and once and for all, the use of violence, if they attempted to force the masses to bow before the dominant legality, then all political struggle, in the parliament, in the unions, in local arenas, would by that token be ruefully bankrupt, and would, sooner or later, be replaced by the unbridled sway of reactionary violence. [plot]