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New Forms of Resistance
First there was the satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi and the soul force of Martin Luther King—nonviolence 1.0. Then there was the purely strategic nonviolence of Gene Sharp and his theories of raw power stripped of ethics and morality—nonviolence 2.0. What’s next?
That’s what I intend to explore here. While Gandhi, King and Sharp have much to teach us, the 21st century is seeing amazing new approaches to the drive for social justice and political change.
Strategies and Tactics
The Nonviolence 3.0 blog focuses primarily on strategies, tactics and methods rather than issues. The broad goal is the advancement of popular empowerment. This entails the dispersal of social power through increasingly skilled resistance to centralized, entrenched institutions and authoritarian governments.
I am especially interested in creative dissent, as opposed to traditional protest/march/rally actions. Hopefully, some of the posts can provide inspiration for activists striving to make their own campaigns more imaginative—and more effective.
This blog is not about philosophical pacifism. It is about power. When disagreements arise, there is clearly a role for love, peacemaking, conciliation and negotiation. But at some point those things may not be enough. Conflict is inevitable and sometimes necessary. The question is how to increase the effectiveness of that conflict using nonviolent strategies that minimize the damage to people and society.
I grew up in New Jersey, spent most of my life in Southern California, and currently find myself in Raleigh, NC. I’ve written about Gene Sharp and civil resistance for Commonweal, The Progressive, Peace Magazine, Waging Nonviolence and elsewhere.
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I also have another site called “Fragments” where I post videos, graphics, stories and essays. I view Fragments as a more creative, “playful” space.