How Nonviolent Struggle Works
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How Nonviolent Struggle Works is a serious introduction to nonviolent struggle, its operation, and how it can be used against organized opponents with the capacity to impose harsh repression. This book offers the principle contents of Dr. Sharp’s The Politics of Nonviolent Action in a concise, accessible, and translatable format. It will be of interest to students, activists, and anyone who wants to learn about the technique.
literature and handbooks about nonviolent struggle, printing facilities or services, radio broadcasting facilities and equipment, electronic communication, and bases and centers for study, education, and training in this type of struggle. New technologies, although they do not produce miracles, can assist in communication, education, and access to information. The technologies are, of course, also available to oppressive regimes. Arousing dissent and opposition in the opponents’ own camp Violent
cooperation from the opponents and their system does not lead simply to chaos and disorganization. Instead, the withdrawal tends to produce greater cooperation within the general grievance group and particularly among the actionists. The movement against opponents requires organization, cooperation, and mutual support within the grievance group in order to meet social needs and maintain social order. The boycott of certain institutions requires the strengthening of other institutions or the
creation of new ones. For example, economic boycotts require alternative sources for meeting economic needs. Political noncooperation requires development of alternative social and political institutions, potentially leading to parallel government. I. Contagion When nonviolent action is used with at least moderate effectiveness, the technique will tend to spread. The same people may use it later under other circumstances and still other people may follow the example. Although violence may also be
effectiveness of nonviolent struggle depend upon our gaining increased knowledge of its nature. We also need to deepen our skills in applying this technique to meet major social and political needs. Increased understanding of this option needs to be spread throughout the society. Additionally, greater strategic acumen and capacities in using nonviolent action in actual conflicts are required. In developing these capacities there are roles for the contributions of many people. 143 how
from individuals, groups, organizations, and subgroups. If the multitude of “assistants” reject the rulers’ authority, they may then carry out their wishes inefficiently, or may even flatly refuse to continue their usual assistance. When this happens the total power of the rulers diminishes. Sanctions may be applied, but 7 how nonviolenT sTruggle works the rulers need more than reluctant outward compliance. Sanctions will be inadequate as long as acceptance of the rulers’ authority is limited.