Friday, September 13, 2013
#256 / Sharp
Anyone who wants seriously to think about using nonviolent techniques to effect political change should be familiar with the works of Gene Sharp. I particularly recommend From Dictatorship To Democracy: A Conceptual Framework For Liberation. You can buy the book (in the form illustrated) by clicking this link. Or, you can download a less pretty but free copy by using this link.
Sharp is not a "loosey goosey" kind of guy. He makes a convincing case that it is possible to "disintegrate" (his word) the power of dictatorship, and provides a list of 198 methods of nonviolent action.
I am personally convinced (as Sharp argues) that human political freedom can only be achieved through what Sharp calls "realistic" nonviolent struggle. Being willing to die for freedom is part of the equation. Being willing to kill for freedom isn't.
The best part of this book, from my point of view, is that I think its techniques can be adopted to places where oppressive governments prevail in what they claim is a "democracy." When "we" are the 99% and those in actual charge of the government are the 1%, it is probably time for us to start using these techniques to "occupy" our own government. That idea would be "bringing it all back home."