Martin Luther King, Jr. said that nonviolence is the most powerful weapon on earth.
Gene Sharp agrees. Sharp (who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize) developed a list of 198 Methods of non-violent resistance and wrote books describing how to deploy them successfully. As you’ll see in the video below, Sharp’s proven peaceful tactics work. They have been used for decades to bring down oppressive regimes around the world. Deposed dictators around the globe curse the name of Gene Sharp.
Sharp’s toolbox of 198 forms of non-violent resistance is even more powerful than violence to resist oppression and dictatorship. That toolkit has the power to make violence obsolete because it just works better.
“This is a technique of combat. It is a substitute for war,” says Sharp.
♦♦ Here are Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Resistance:
♦♦ But to really understand the power of this, it’s vital to watch Gene Sharp’s protege, Jamila Raqib speak. In this TED speech, you will discover the tremendous power of nonviolent tactics. DON’T MISS THIS!!
In the TED talk above, Raqib describes the power of those 198 methods: “Nonviolent struggle works by destroying an opponent. Not physically but by identifying the institutions that an opponent needs to survive and then denying them those sources of power.”
Raqib grew up in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation. Here’s the way she describes struggles for justice in the world in new terms:
“When people have a fundamental issue at stake, for most of them, giving in is not an option. For these types of conflicts, when people’s rights are violated, when their countries are occupied, when they’re oppressed and humiliated, they need a powerful way to resist and to fight back. Which means that, no matter how destructive and terrible violence is, if people see it as their only choice, they will use it.
Most of us are concerned with the level of violence in the world. But we’re not going to end war by telling people that violence is morally wrong. Instead we must offer them a tool that is at least as powerful and as effective as violence. . . The greatest hope for humanity lies not in condemning violence but in making violence obsolete.”
Keep in mind that Gandhi pulled off what seemed like a miracle using nonviolent tactics. 100,000 British were trying to rule over 300,000,000 Indians. (Interestingly, these are similar numbers to our situation. In the U.S., .1% of the population (300,000 people) are trying to rule over 300,000,000 Americans).
Here’s a 30 second clip showing how Gandhi and his supporters beat the British using nonviolent tactics (as portrayed in film):
Martin Luther King, Jr. was not afraid of the word “tension”. He knew that there is a positive form of tension that is transformational:
“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.”
ICELANDERS POINTED THE WAY FOR US
In Iceland, when their elected representatives ignored their calls and letters and pursued an agenda favoring corporations and the wealthy, citizens surrounded their parliament and here’s what happened:
“Protesters were calling for the resignation of government officials and for new elections to be held. The protests stopped for the most part with the resignation of the old government led by the right-wing Independence Party. A new left-wing government was formed after elections. . . It was supportive of the protestors and initiated a reform process that included the judicial prosecution before the Landsdómur of the former Prime Minister Geir Haarde. Their country, as a result, did NOT bail out the corrupt banks. Iceland recovered from the 2008 financial crisis more quickly than most nations around the world.”
How about them apples? 🙂
Also check out Mark & Paul Engler’s celebrated new book “THIS IS AN UPRISING” which brilliantly shows how non-violent revolution is reshaping our world. They do an incredible job demonstrating that SUCCESSFUL revolutions and actions are not spontaneous as the press would often have us believe. They are actually meticulously and strategically planned. This is a real page turner that shows how peaceful resistance is quickly becoming the most powerful weapon on earth.
Please click on this link to see “12 Reasons to Have Hope: We Can Turn This World Around”:
Here is the “Most Destructive Policy You’ve Never Heard Of”. (It causes a great deal of the economic, political, economic and social problems we are wrestling with today. End that one policy and we end a lot of suffering and destruction. And make no mistake. We can end that policy.
Here are books by Gene Sharp who originated the list of 198 Methods of Nonviolent Resistance
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