Our national culture values and worships the OPPOSITE of Nonviolence

We need to recognize that our national culture is trapped in myths, values, beliefs, and an educational system that are the OPPOSITE of Nonviolence.

In the 1760s and 1770s, nonviolent resistance was already winning independence for the 13 colonies before the Revolutionary War started killing British troops and thereby gave England a reason to violently wage war against the colonies.  Gene Sharp’s research showed that we would have achieved independence sooner if we had continued nonviolent resistance instead of resorting to war.

We have worshiped the military ever since, even though the U.S. has not won a war since World War II (except for Grenada and Panama, which were tiny).  Military violence does NOT work, but the U.S. funds it lavishly while opposing legitimate diplomacy and other nonviolent international strategies.

Many movie scripts end with violence (a shoot-out, a car chase, blowing something up) solving the problem.  This has been called “the myth of redemptive violence.”  Real life is not that way.  Look at the news.  Who gets shot?  Innocent people.

The world’s great religions are grounded in nonviolent ethics, but those are overlooked except by very few persons.

Schools teach history as a sequence of wars and other top-down actions but fail to adequately teach nonviolent actions or what life was like for women, ordinary workers, poor people, etc.  Nearly 100% of the attention in history textbooks focuses on politicians, generals, etc.  The textbooks ignore Conscientious Objectors, people who organized nonviolently at the grassroots to improve the lives of women, farmers, workers, etc.

What gets news coverage nowadays?  A familiar critique points out that violence is what gets the headlines.  The saying “If it bleeds, it leads” is true.

In contrast to all of that, nonviolence is:

  • Ethical
  • Practical
  • Effective

Far too few people know this.

Governments do NOT know this.  And they DON’T WANT to know this.  Politicians’ campaigns are funded by giant business corporations and extremely rich people — including those who profit by selling military weapons and by exploiting the profits they make from U.S. military exploitation of other nations’ natural resources, labor, etc.

We need profound systemic changes.  I’ve addressed some in recent TV programs.  My February 2023 TV program deals with this too.  See https://parallaxperspectives.org/nonviolent-ways-to-heal-our-societys-dysfunction-watch-glens-tv-program-online-or-on-cable









About GlenAnderson 1498 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