Publish at January 19 2022 Updated January 28 2022

Does non-violent civil disobedience work?

A more mixed record than what activists say

If the dominant ones have control over the population it is because the population tolerates the domination it suffers. This is the principle understood by Etienne de Boétie in the 16th century and thus comes its counterpart: nonviolent civil disobedience. By going on strike or blocking access to premises in numbers simply by sitting on the ground, the symbol is strong and the odiousness remains on the "forces of order" who are armed.

Organizations often argue that nonviolence is more effective by citing a study stating that it would be 40% effective compared to 20% for violence. Yet the methodology of this research fails to account for many of the geopolitical elements in some of the claimed "gains."

What if the movements did not necessarily include a bit of both? Everyone pitted the approaches of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X against each other when the two men actually corresponded regularly with a great deal of respect for each other despite seemingly differing messages.

Time: 11 minutes

Illustration : AJ Colores on Unsplash

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