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Nonviolence Essay Nonviolence Essay Nonviolence is both a moral principle and a pragmatic means of achieving social and political transformation. Nonviolence and pacifism are often considered synonymous ideas, but in fact they are conceptually and politically distinct. The preeminent scholar of nonviolent action is Gene Sharp, who identified the strategic principles and tactical methods through which nonviolent resistance can undermine oppressive systems of political power.
Sharp defined the categories of nonviolent action as protest and persuasion, mass noncooperation in economic, social, and political spheresand nonviolent intervention.
Commonly used forms of noncooperation and intervention include boycotts, strikes, illegal marches, blockades, and sit-ins. Most who participate in nonviolent action campaigns are not pacifists. Gandhian nonviolence goes far beyond mere civil disobedience.
It is a method of seeking and upholding truth through the application of social pressure and the interaction of contending forces. It follows a set pattern of action that includes the documentation of grievances, dialogue and negotiation with the adversary, the dramatization of injustices, disciplined training for followers, and the resort to nonviolent collective action.
Failures of this strategy for change also can be cited—the Tiananmen Square massacre of prodemocracy demonstrators in Beijing, China, in ; the isolation and collapse of nonviolent resistance in the Kosovo region of Serbia in the s; and the as yet unsuccessful struggle for democracy in Burma—but the overall record of strategic success of nonviolence is impressive.
It is a third way, distinct from armed conflict and inaction, for addressing injustice. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth confirmed the advantages of nonviolent action in a major empirical study examining historical cases of resistance campaigns over a span of more than years.
The cases involved sociopolitical movements, sometimes lasting several years, that contended against governments to gain specific political concessions. The study showed that nonviolent means were twice as effective as violent means, achieving success 53 percent of the time, compared to a 26 percent success rate when violence was employed.
Moreover, nonviolent action is also more likely to expand political freedom and democracy. An empirical study by Adrian Karatnycky and Peter Ackerman at Freedom House examined sixty-seven late twentieth-century political transformations and found that nonviolent revolutions were three times more likely than armed struggles to create conditions of increased political freedom.
The key strategic advantage of nonviolent action is the ability of disciplined unarmed movements to withstand government repression. Unjustified brutality against nonviolent action tends to backfire and generate public sympathy and support for the resisters.
The repression of nonviolent movements by political authorities can create an atmosphere of disaffection among regime supporters and generate shifts in loyalty that make it easier for nonviolent campaigns to gain political concessions. Sharp emphasized the importance of winning the loyalties of third parties as the key to eroding the power base of corrupt and repressive political regimes.
The presence of an audience is crucial to the workings of this third-party effect. Effective public relations and the careful crafting of media messages are therefore crucial to the success of nonviolent action.
The nonviolent method, Gandhi and King emphasized, is a strategy best employed by the strong, not the weak.
To challenge injustice and stand unarmed against oppressors requires courage, endurance, fearlessness, and a willingness to sacrifice.
It also requires well-coordinated effort.Nonviolence is the way of the strong. Nonviolence is not for the cowardly, the weak, the passive, the apathetic or the fearful.
"Nonviolent resistance does resist," he wrote.
Finally, the third choice, the use of non-violent resistance, in which he clearly advocated the middle way between the first two choices presented. Martin Luther King uses mainly literary, anecdotal and philosophical supporting examples and arguments to present his case for advocacy of .
They support nonviolent resistance in the manner of Jawaharlal Nehru, an acolyte of Gandhi, who wrote in his autobiography, Toward Freedom, “We accepted that method not only as the right method but as the most effective one for our purpose” (80).
Persuasive Essay Supporting The Use Of Nonviolent Resistance. Nonviolent Resistance: Best Way of Dealing with Oppression When we talk about the United States, the ideal image is freedom and equal opportunity. The founding fathers built this country based on these basic values.
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1. Many of these groups chose to use nonviolent resistance in their protests like sit-ins. Nonviolent protests were not always successful. In civil rights organizations held a number of nonviolent protests in Albany 4/4(1).
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