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Maxims on Civil Resistance part III

12 Oct
  • Fighting dictatorships is like defying gravity. Unless these regimes are already upside down.
  • We read a lot about violent collapse of Yugoslavia and find nonviolent dissolution of Czechoslovakia boring and no newsworthy.
  • Nationalism is a slavery to an infallibility of the state. Patriotism is the liberty to disobey that state.
  • All dictators are the same. They are boring, ugly and smell like death. Civl resistance that challenges them must be witty, beautiful and infused with life.
  • Coalition building in civil resistance is a cooker of ideas and mixture of positive tensions. Skill is to use these vibes to weave unity.
  • Engagement in civil resistance builds our skills and expertise. This is why, regardless of the eventual outcome, we are better citizens if forged in civil resistance fire.
  • Violence on the part of the movement’s radicals consolidates the opponents as much as it polarizes movement’s supporters. A tactic that unifies the movement and divides the opponent is strategically best option for resisters.
  • Prefigurative powers of civil resistance are reflected in collective acting by people as if their freedom was already here.
  • How existence becomes resistance? When the life is affirmed and the goal of self attainment and community empowerment is being realized by locals despite domestic or foreign  oppression.
  • Dictators are not as strong as they believe they are. Their material powers have little force when faced with organized and disciplined people.
  • People are not as weak as they think they are as long as they strategize and gauge smartly risks and benefits of their political actions.
  • Do the movements fail or do they just not succeed yet? For many successful movements their initial failures paved the way to the ultimate victory.
  • Victims must be their own liberators. Seemingly disempowered hold the key to their own liberation if only they unlock their collective powers.

Maxims on Civil Resistance part II

Maxims on Civil Resistance part I

Maxims on Civil Resistance part II

9 Oct
  • Nonviolent struggle is not sprint but marathon. The last thing we want is a burnt-out movement 10 years before ultimate victory.
  • During struggle, conflict within movement is as common as its resistance with regime. Mastery of coalition building is one step to victory.
  • Nonviolent resisters succeeded in the past because their deep down belief that failure was impossible.
  • In civil resistance solidarity is more important than heroism. It’s the primacy of strategy over emotions. Victory comes from the former not the latter.
  • Tyranny of structureless in a movement produces vacuum that reinforces anarchic forces in resistance.
  • People cannot be forced to join nonviolent movement. It is a voluntary collective experience that imparts pluralism before state becomes pluralistic.
  • Activists must avoid awesomeness problem when tactics feel so right but they are not necessarily strategic.
  • Governments make change? Institutions make change? People make change? Your choice will determine who you will join.
  • How many people would have abstained from terrorism had they learn about effectiveness of civil resistance earlier in their life?
  • Studying past nonviolent resistance is like an ancient wisdom that informs present understanding of conflict.
  • Movement is like a living organism. It’s born, experiences excitement of childhood, has ups & downs of adulthood & when passes away is reborn in yet another form.
  • Undemocratic systems are schizophrenic. Imprison but say people are free. Censor but say people can express themselves freely. Outlaw protest but say people can dissent.
  • If regime declares a state of emergency in order to violently disperse peaceful sit-ins it lays bare the scale of its own fear & defeat.
  • Revolutions happen when ordinary people decide to make them. Why then scholars look to regime & economy not people for clues to why people rebel?
  • Authoritarian country – it is where the people live the lie – and know about it – and the system keeps telling them it is a truth.
  • “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” B. Franklin. Good reason why protest seldom transforms into a political movement.

See Maxims on Civil Resistance part I

Maxims on Civil Resistance part I

1 Oct

 

  • Civil resistance is a voluntary collective experience that imparts pluralism before state becomes pluralistic.
  • ‘Rule of law’ occludes the fact that without people’s consent there cannot be any rule of laws, institutions, or elites.
  • Gandhi, King, Havel, Walesa, Mandela agreed on this point: idea of political violence to overthrow dictatorial regimes is NOT RADICAL enough.
  • Resistance is about preeminence of action. Inaction is less effective than violent action. Violent action is less effective than nonviolent action.
  • No nonviolent resistance that mobilized at least 3.5% of the population ever failed. In China, it would be 45 million people…
  • Transactional demands: higher wages, better working conditions pave the way to transformational demands: equitable distribution of wealth.

See Maxims on Civil Resistance part II

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