Friday, 20 July 2007

crime pays.. does violence?

There was an article in last Sunday's Observer about a painting forger who had spent 4 months in prison, and now continues to forge paintings but is quite open about it. He gets up to £75,000 for his fakes and has had an order from the leader of the jury that sent it down. Clearly he is doing very well out of the publicityof his trial. (Notably his accomplice still denies involvement and is still in prison 6 years on).

It reminded me of the debate about violence, and whether it is needed as the last resort. Would South Africa have escaped apartheid if it had been an entirely non-violent campaign?

Clearly it's simplistic to say 'crime pays'; I guess usually it doesn't (though this kind of crime, which is not hurting anyone physically, and is stealing property rights but not property itself, raises interesting questions). And the same with violence. But the nagging question remains - can we change everything with non-violence?

1 comment:

Carl Reynolds said...

Hi. I'm not sure everything will be changed by non-violence, but that's different from whether it can. I think the best for us is to recognise that all social movements have effected some change by using non-violence, and to now, some change becasue other players are using violence. But I'd be interested to know of a movement which created change where there wasn't some violence. Know any?