From the perspective of co-intelligence, the essence of violence is domination,
the imposition of one's will upon the behavior, circumstances and even consciousness
of another. The essence of non-violence is partnership, the sharing of diversity,
common ground, responsibility and destiny. Nonviolence aims to evoke the spirit
of partnership among the best parts of everyone involved. Nonviolence assumes
the limited wisdom but basic goodness of all participants: If they can contact
their own basic goodness then they can join together to generate greater wisdom.
The power of this derives from the fact that all of us, deep inside, have a
common core that allows us to resonate
with each other, to feel each other's pain and suffering, so that resonant
intelligence can operate.
Part of strategic nonviolence is the bottom-up enforcement of democracy. Individual
non-violent activists become empowered by the realization that there can be
no oppression without cooperation from the oppressed. Through nonviolent direct
action, they take charge (to a greater or lesser extent) of an oppressive situation,
putting political, economic and/or moral pressure on oppressors to act like
the good, peer human beings they are beneath their facades of social power.
If they don't respond, then the pressure (at least in theory) can be increased
until they must at least ACT like decent human beings. At which point peer dialogue
It is contrary to the spirit of nonviolence to dominate a former oppressor.
The goal of nonviolent coercion is peerness, not domination. Nonviolence assumes
that peers, working together, can achieve greater truth and more effective solutions
than any of them can achieve alone. That is the essence of collective
The Nonviolent Peaceforce hires and trains people from all over the world, and places small groups of them in countries experiencing war (or threatened by it) for extended periods of time to support peace in a variety of creative ways, including relationship-building, witnessing, accompaniment, and many other interventions that they develop themselves in context.
Pendle Hill is a Quaker center with many programs, courses and other resources.
Nonviolent Communication is one of the more powerful teachings and networks we know of for living nonviolence personally and interpersonally.
The METTA Center for Nonviolence
War Resisters League
Einstein Institution has some great resources, particularly its' list of 198
Methods of Nonviolent Action.
The King Center Glossary of Nonviolence
Nonviolence.org was a great resource for many years but the people behind it have moved on to other things. You can still browse a wealth of information in the web archive of nonviolence.org.
Articles, Papers, Books, and Film
Philosophy of Nonviolence" by David McReynolds
by Randy Schutt
Joan V. Bondurant, Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict (1965, University of California [revised]).
Michael Nagler's Is There No Other Way?
Bill Moyer's (not the TV Bill Moyers) Doing Democacy
Any books by Harvard historian Gene Sharp, such as The Politics of Nonviolent
Action (1973) (usually available in three parts: Part One: Power and
Struggle, Part Two: The Methods of Nonviolent Action and Part
Three: The Dynamics of Nonviolent Action), Social Power and Political
Freedom (1980), Gandhi as a Political Strategist (1979) and Civilian-Based
Defense (1990). Sharp used history as a laboratory to prove that nonviolence
was as effective or more effective than violence, especially if you take into account how little study,
training and strategizing has gone into most nonviolent campaigns. He elucidates
hundreds of nonviolent techniques and hundreds of stories from history, many
of which (like nonviolent successes against Nazi regimes) boggle the mind. His
crowning thesis was that populations could be trained to successfully resist
any oppression, domestic or foreign, making nonviolence the ultimate in defense
strategies. His work inspired the formation of the (now-defunct?)
Civilian-Based Defense Association. See the excellent list of
articles and websites on Civilian-Based Defense at The
Look for the following films in film libraries or at PBS:
- Bringing Down A Dictator
- A Force More Powerful
Co-intelligence thoughts on 1999 Seattle WTO demonstrations
The Case for Non-violent Responses
to Y2K Disruptions
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