by Joshua Kirshbaum
Nonviolence is a philosophy of life that rejects violence in the struggle for social change. It is an active and powerful way to fight injustice, which has been proven time and again to be extremely effective. That's why it's such a shame not many people understand what nonviolence actually means. In this blog post, I will give you the basics on nonviolence so you can take part in this important movement!
Nonviolence is the practice of being non-violent. This means not using violence in any form for personal gain or to solve conflicts; it includes peaceful conflict resolution, respect for life and self-determination, active noncooperation or civil disobedience based on nonviolent principles--like Gandhi's Salt March campaign against British rule in India, Martin Luther King Jr.'s marches from Selma to Montgomery Alabama as well as his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." Of course there are different forms of pacifism which will be explained later but broadly speaking, we can say that the opposite of this would be using force or violence against others/oneself (as seen by military interventions) which has been proven time and again not only to fail but also cause more long term issues.
In order for all living beings to thrive, we must work together--each one bringing our own unique gifts--to create a world based on compassion towards ourselves and others; where no one lives in fear or lacks basic necessities like food, shelter, healthcare etc.; where responsibility is shared among the masses so all can live with security and dignity.
The opposite of this would be using force or violence against others/oneself (as seen by military interventions) which has been proven time and again not only to fail but also cause more long term problems than resolving them like 20 year wars, the increase of global terrorism since we went into Iraq after 9/11, and roublesome issue with Iraq is that the US was not really invited in (invasion without a specific request) but this can be seen as an example of what happens when you go into another country or region to try and solve their problems.
The approach of nonviolent activism is to present an alternative to violence through "disruption of the status quo" or "active noncooperation." Nonviolent activists attempt, as far as possible and practical, not to cooperate with their opponent. This may be done by simply standing in front of soldiers on patrol or holding a candlelight vigil outside the nuclear weapons plant; refusing orders from protesters who are participating in civil disobedience such as being arrested during a sit-in at the site for either protection against police brutality or because they do not wish to participate any more themselves; boycotting goods manufactured by those corporations that support apartheid (one form of economic boycott); withdrawing money from banks supporting dictatorships like Pinochet's Chile; demanding that companies stop extracting oil when there is no plan for mitigating environmental effects, ect...
So, Nonviolence works because it helps bring all parities involved to the same level. It doesn't ask the oppressed to give up their rights, but instead asks those in positions of privilege to give back some of what they have. It forces those in power to need a solution.
In conclusion , Nonviolence is a powerful tool for the oppressed. Nonviolence Works because it helps bring all parties involved to the same level. It doesn't ask the oppressed to give up their rights, but instead asks those in positions of privilege to give back some of what they have. It forces those in power to need a solution. In conclusion, Nonviolent methods are a powerful tool for the marginalized groups and individuals who want change without violence or oppression on themselves
So non-violence functions by bringing us all down together; not asking any one group to concede their rights, with the exception that oppressors will be forced into considering solutions when made aware that if they don’t find an answer there could be other forms of dissent or loss for those in power.