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 we 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 change.
The Nonviolence 3.0 blog will focus specifically on strategies, tactics and methods rather than issues. It will feature Interviews and discussions with activist around the world. It will draw on ideas from such diverse fields as business, public relations, military science, art, history, sociology and psychology.
The ideological bias will be the advancement of popular empowerment. This entails the dispersal of political power through increasingly skilled resistance to centralized, entrenched institutions.
Hopefully this blog will become a source of ideas and inspiration for activists striving to make their own campaigns more effective.
Examples of some ideas we hope to explore in the Nonviolence 3.0 blog:
- Broadening the conception of resistance beyond Sharp’s 198 methods
- Exploring the value of constructive program, organic work, social improvement, anti-politics, etc.
- Using propaganda, branding, polling, surveys, focus groups, talking points, etc.
- Employing humor and unique, creative resistance methods
- Leveraging social media tools (smart mobs, hashtag activism, etc.)
- Extracting historical lessons from the strategies, tactics and methods of nonviolence 1.0 and 2.0 to see how can they guide us going forward
This blog is not about pacifism. 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 necessary and inevitable. The question we will explore is how to increase the effectiveness of that conflict using nonviolent strategies that minimize the damage to people and society.
To read my earlier writing on Gene Sharp, civilian-based defense and strategic nonviolence, see http://fragmentsweb.org/fourtx/subnonvi.html