Organizing with 100% nonviolence works better than using even small amounts of violence

Many people assume there is a spectrum of organizing methods ranging from 100% nonviolence (nice, but not strong enough) to violence (powerful and effective.)  ACTUALLY, THAT ASSUMPTION IS FALSE!!!

Actually, RESEARCH HAS PROVEN that adding any violence to an effort REDUCES the likelihood of winning.

 

I highly recommend the easy-to-read book by Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan – Why Civil Resistance Works – in which they researched a century of major campaigns for change.  They found that those that were scrupulously 100% nonviolent were much more likely to win than those that included some violence.  I mention this – and other resources – in the 1-page resource I compiled and am attaching here.  I borrowed a copy of their book from the Olympia library.

 

In 1976 I started reading materials written by Gene Sharp.  He reported that the Revolutionary War actually SLOWED DOWN the American colonists’ struggle for independence.  A great many kinds of nonviolent resistance were working very well.  These included:

  • Tax boycotts
  • Ignoring the colonial court system and setting up an independent court in Virginia
  • Boycotting British goods and producing alternatives owned by local colonists

These efforts were causing Britain to move toward letting go of the American colonies.  But when the Revolutionary War broke out – and colonists started shooting at British troops – that made the British government angry, so they retaliated by escalating the war.  This actually delayed our independence.

 

I recommend the resources I wrote and attached here.

Resources for Organizing Nonviolent Grassroots Movements

A Solid Case for Nonviolence as Ethical, Practical and Powerful

My blog – www.parallaxperspectives.org – has a whole section on “Nonviolence.”

 

 

About GlenAnderson 1513 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org