Sociology / Ethics of Resistance

Ethics of Resistance

"Who is my brother and my sister? Who is not?" Primo Levi
"If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own - which it is - and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night. Therefore: peace." Brother James

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." Edmund Burke
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass, 1857
"I wish that people would understand that our time is nothing special." Michel Foucault
"Political consciousness without political ambition is a description that fits many members of the [French] resistance of the mind. They came from an intellectual milieu in which experimental rationalism and intellectual courage was paired. They were convinced the political activity of intellectual need not be dreamlike or utopian: ‘Before it can become a sister of the dream, action must be the sister of rigor’. Normally, Canguilhem said, a philosopher who wrote a textbook on ethics was prepared to die at home and in his bed; but in the years when Cavaillés was in danger of being arrested, tortured, and killed by the Nazis, he wrote a textbook on logic. (...)
Since the Nazi ideology was intellectually unacceptable, political resistance against it was unavoidable. Scholars became political resisters out of intellectual necessity. They were willing to fight for their country and for the life of the mind, as Jean Cavaillès did, a professor of mathematics and logic who got used to carrying hand grenades in his briefcase and know how to handle dynamite. He acted – as George Canguilhem put it – without political ambition, but with a highly developed political consciousness. (...)
When asked how he could have changed from a militant pacifist to an active Resistance fighter, Canguilhem said only, ’When the Germans attacked France, I knew that the time for pacifism was over’. Yet he never talked about himself and his admirable role in the Resistance; he only talked about the courage of colleagues and friends. (…) For Canguilhem, his comrades’ dedication to the Resistance and their calm and unflinching courage could be understood only on the basis of their fundamental belief in universal values. National Socialism was an ideology of race that contradicted any claim of universalism." Wolf Lepenies, The Seduction of Culture in German History, 2006:119f.
"Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” 
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable
network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Martin Luther King, Letter from Birmingham Jail
"Who fights can lose, who doesn't fight has already lost." Bertolt Brecht