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Re: re-building a movement?  Lawrence A. Rosenwald
 Jul 19, 2011 20:07 PDT 
I'm interested in this.   For what it's worth, and to repeat what's Ed
already heard me say:   1) I don't think we can make ourselves into a
movement unless we ask ourselves to agree, in practice if not in thought,
on a few principles, guidelines etc. In particular, I think we'd need to
figure out the relation between wtr as civil disobedience, committed
publicly, and wtr as a mode of life in which one simply doesn't owe the
government any money.   2) I don't think we can make ourselves into a
movement unless we seek to exert influence, even power - unless we seek to
win, that is.   3) I don't think we can make ourselves into a movement
unless we can answer the question, collectively, What changes in
governmental behavior would it take to us to _stop_ doing war tax
resistance?
All good wishes,
Larry

wtr-@igc.topica.com writes:
 It seems to me that while all sorts of wrongheaded and deluded anti-tax
sentiments are afoot in the country these days, war tax refusal isn't
engaging the imagination of our fellow citizens and as a result has no
political salience - it elicits no politically useful response from the
government, while there's no sign that it's turning any but the already
committed away from militarism and criminal war-making. And the already
committed aren't particularly gaining new practitioners by our example.

I know that WTR is more than a numbers game, and that NWTRCC provides
important support and information for those already trying to resist. I'm
not a member of NWTR's Coordinating Committee so I don't know if it has
the
information, but it might help to know what signs there are that war tax
refusal in the country is declining, holding steady, or increasing.

I can't be particularly grieved by the present low public appeal of WTR,
as
I think it's an expected result of the current social/political situation
Yet I do spend too much time thinking more or less aimlessly about "why
WTR
isn't working," so much so that it's interfering with my participation in
other, more focused activism.

To counter my sense that I'm engaged in what has become a purely private
and to that degree alienating behavior I've been thinking of what it
might
take to turn (or re-turn?) wtr into something resembling a social
movement.
For a while I've been talking on and off with a few other resisters and
ex-resisters about how to do that. Not surprisingly, no bright ideas have
emerged. But it strikes me that we haven't been asking the right
questions.
So I thought it might be helpful to put forth some questions that would
shed light on the conditions that would make the effort to build a wtr
movement at least as useful as some of the myriad anti-militarist
endeavors
now being carried forth.

I'm hoping that the first and shortest of my rants on this topic will be:
What do we mean by a "movement," and how does it differ from the wtr
community that now exists?

Before I inflict that on the list, I thought I'd ask: Do folks think that
even though a "movement" may not now be in the works, it would still be
useful to think about those questions that might be asked in preparation
for some future one? I don't want to be posting if I'm the only dreamer
here. - ed

NOTE: opinions expressed in posts to wtr-s are those of the author and
do not express the position of the National War Tax Resistance
Coordinating Committee (www.nwtrcc.org), which maintains this list solely
for the purpose of providing a public forum for war tax resisters and
friends.
	
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