By Brian Martin
Argues for social safeguard as a grassroots initiative associated with demanding situations to oppressive buildings in society, akin to patriarchy, police, and the kingdom. choked with examples from Finland to Fiji.
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Extra resources for Social Defense: Social Change
How much do most of us really know about the class structure of the intifada in Palestine, Solidarity in Poland or “people power” in the Philippines? In-depth studies of these and other struggles predictably reveal a complexity glossed over in usual accounts. We may still support these struggles. The point is that care should be taken in presenting a nonviolent struggle as one by the entire population. In countries occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II, only a very tiny fraction of the population was active in resistance in the years before liberation was imminent.
20 Finally, several commentators have pointed out that the Nazi extermination of the Jews and other stigmatised groups did not begin until after the war began. In effect, the war provided a brutalising environment conducive to the killings as well as a cover for them. Much of the blame for Nazi genocide can be attributed to the war itself. Conclusion In this chapter I’ve raised some of the basic issues about social defence, partly through recounting and commenting on historical examples. There are, of course, many other questions that people raise about social defence.
This example of a grassroots initiative for social defence illustrates several features different from the likely direction of elitesponsored social defence. First, the orientation would be much more to defence at the community level rather than only at the national level. Since the state is a key feature of the war system, this community focus is much more suitable for putting social defence into a wider antiwar strategy. Second, a grassroots approach would lead to a much more democratic and self-reliant social defence system.