Our findings show that major nonviolent campaigns have achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns. There are two reasons for this success. First, a campaign’s commitment to nonviolent methods enhances its domestic and international legitimacy and encourages more broad-based participation in the resistance, which translates into increased pressure being brought to bear on the target. Recognition of the challenge group’s grievances can translate into greater internal and external support for that group and alienation of the target regime, undermining the regime’s main sources of political, economic, and even military power.
Second, whereas governments easily justify violent counterattacks against armed insurgents, regime violence against nonviolent movements is more likely to backfire against the regime. Potentially sympathetic publics perceive violent militants as having maximalist or extremist goals beyond accommodation, but they perceive nonviolent resistance groups as less extreme, thereby enhancing their appeal and facilitating the extraction of concessions through bargaining.
Our findings challenge the conventional wisdom that violent resistance against conventionally superior adversaries is the most effective way for resistance groups to achieve policy goals. Instead, we assert that nonviolent resistance is a forceful alternative to political violence that can pose effective challenges to democratic and nondemocratic opponents, and at times can do so more effectively than violent resistance.
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, who lived from October 27, 1466, to July 12, 1536, faced censorship in his day, and has never been as popular among the rich and powerful as has his contemporary Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. But at a distance of half a millennium, we ought to be able to judge work on its merit — and we ought to have regular celebrations of Erasmus around the world. Some of his ideas are catching on. His name is familiar in Europe as that of the EU’s student exchange program, named in his honor. We ought perhaps to wonder what oddball ideas these days might catch on in the 2500s — if humanity is around then.
In 1517, Erasmus wrote The Complaint of Peace, in which Peace, speaking in the first-person, complains about how humanity treats her. She claims to offer “the source of all human blessings” and to be scorned by people who “go in quest of evils infinite in number.”
This 3 1/2 page conversation does not make a cogent argument against absolute pacifism. Both speakers make the obligatory reference to Hitler; discuss the difficulties of being a pacifist in a non-pacifist world; and determine that unsurprisingly that Einstein was not an absolute pacifist. Paradoxically in an essay that argues against pacifism, they conclude with a discussion of how Japan has advanced quicker in economic and individual health due its not diverting national resources into a military economy.
Daniel Berrigan and Thich Nhat Hahn‘s 1975 dialogue Communities of Resistance: A Conversation is the eighteenth chapter of The Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace .This dialogue leads off the Post-Vietnam to the Present (1975- ) section of the book. Hahn and Berrigan’s hopes for communities of resistance springs from their own experience with religious communities in the Buddhist and Catholic faiths, respectively, and with the experiences of their late mutual friend Thomas Merton.
The eleventh chapter ofThe Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace contains Albert Camus‘ 1946 essay Neither Victims nor Executioners. Camus wrote this 16-page essay as World War II had just ended, and it seemed as if the Soviet Union and the United States were dragging the planet into the horrors of a third world war. Eleven years later, he would win the Nobel prize for literature. There is so much to discuss in this essay I will being reviewing it in parts.
The tenth chapter ofThe Power of Nonviolence: Writings by Advocates of Peace contains a selection from Simone Weil‘s short 1933 essay Reflections on War . Weil wrote this essay at age 24, and would die young eleven years later. Some would ascribe her death to her empathy for those suffering during World War II being too much for her frail health.
From its title onward, the essay is directed to a Christian audience as it opens with “Dear fellow workers in Christ” The prior essay quoted the Pope. This essay quotes a priest named Father Orchard for 5 paragraphs.