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Response to Sand Wind (Original post)

Fri Sep 13, 2013, 09:23 PM

38. Neither war nor peace, but non-violent struggle:

From an essay by Gene Sharp discussing Gandhi's response to conflict.

Modern thought widely assumes that the peaceful alternatives to violence and war consist of negotiations, dialogue, diplomacy, negotiations, compromise, conciliation, and other tools of conflict resolution. Those are all good and useful tools in many situations and they need to be explored and developed further. However, that list does not include the full range of alternatives to violence. It does not give recognition to Gandhiís views and experience in the development of satyagraha and the important wider historical practice of nonviolent struggle in social, economic, political, and international conflicts.


The article you posted does not even give recognition to those mentioned "peaceful alternatives." It assumes that "pacifist" = passive non-response.

Gandhiís important contributions about how to deal with conflicts do not fit smoothly into established modern thought and practice. The
assumption usually is that in serious conflicts one ultimately must choose between surrender, using violence, and refusal to participate on pacifist grounds.


That's exactly what those supporting a violent response are saying.

Gandhiís answer was to identify those conflicts where the issues are fundamental. Those are the conflicts when moral principles, human rights,and justice are at stake and when compromise is not possible or desirable. Then the primary task of the exponent of nonviolent means is to assist the oppressed people to become empowered by learning how to apply satyagraha, or nonviolent struggle, to change their situation, as Gandhi insisted.
Most Western conflict resolution advocates, pacifists, and peace researchers have not yet fully grasped this great contribution to the resolution of acute conflicts.


It's an interesting and relevant read.



http://www.aeinstein.org/lectures_papers/INDIA_GANDHI_ANSWER.pdf

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