Monday, January 7, 2013

Exposing misconception

          In addition to misconceptions conveyed by unfortunate te-rminology, there are other areas of confusion in the field of no-nviolent struggle as well. Despite new studies in recent decades
Inaccuracies and misunderstanding  are still widespread. Here are corrections for some of them.
(1)Nonviolent  action has nothing  to do with passivity, submiss-iveness, or cowardice. Just as in violent action, these must first be rejected and overcome before the struggle can proceed.
(2)Nonviolent action is a means of conducting conflicts and can be very powerful, but it is an extremely different phenomenon from violence of all types.
(3)Nonviolent action has not to be equated with verbal persua-sion or purely  psychological  influences,  although  this techniq-ue may sometimes include action to apply psychological  press-ures for attitude  change. Nonviolent action is a technique of struggle involving  the use of psychological , social, economic, and political  power in the matching of forces in conflict.
(4)Nonviolent action does not depend on the assumption that people are inherently  “good “. The potentialities of people for both  “good” and “evil” are recognized , including the extremes of cruelty and inhumanity.
(5)In order to use nonviolent action effectively , people do not have  to be pacifists or saints.  Nonviolent action has been pre-dominantly and successfully practices by “ordinary” people.
(6)Success with nonviolent action does not require (though it may be helped by) shared standards and principles , or a high degree of shared interests or feelings of psychological  closene-ss between the contending  side. If the opponents are emotion-ally unmoved by nonviolent  resistance in face of violent repre-ssion , and therefore unwilling  to agree to the objectives of the nonviolent struggle group, the resisters may apply coercive no-nviolent  measures. Difficult enforcement problem , economic  losses, and political  paralysis  do not require the opponents  agreement to be felt.
(7)Nonviolent action is at least as much of a Western phenom-enon as an Eastern one. Indeed , it is probably more Western , if one takes into account the widespread use of strikes and eco-nomic boycotts in the labor movements , the noncooperation  struggles of subordinated  European nationalities , and the struggles against dictatorships.
(8)In nonviolent action , there is no assumption that the oppo-nents will refrain from using violent against nonviolent resisters In fact , the technique is capable  of operating against violence.
(9)There is nothing in nonviolent action  to prevent it from bei-ng used for both “good “ and “bad” causes .However, the social consequences of its ues for“bad” cause differ considerably from the consequences of violence used for the same “bad” cause.
(10)Nonviolent  action is not limited to domestic conflicts with-in a democratic system . In order to have a chance of success , it is not necessary that the struggle be waged against relatively gentle and restrained opponents . Nonviolent struggle has been widely used against powerful governments, foreign occupiers, despotic regimes , tyrannical government , empires, ruthless di-ctatorship , and totalitarian systems. These  difficult nonviolent struggles against violent opponents have  sometimes been suc-sesful.
(11)One of the many widely believed  myths about conflict is that violence works quickly, and nonviolent struggle takes a long time to bring results. This is not true . Some wars and oth-er violence struggles have been fought for many years even de-cades . Some nonviolent struggles have brought victories very quickly. Even within  days or weeks. The time taken to achieve victory with this technique depends  on diverse factors – includ-ing the strength of the nonviolent resisters and the wisdom of  their actions.

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