Friday, February 22, 2008

The Politics of Nonviolent Action

Withdrawing support, even symbolically, calls into question the props and illusions that hold Power up. Yet people are often ignorant of the power they hold, and governments conspire to maintain the illusion of their monolithic power, making their subjects feel helpless.
It may seem counter-intuitive that nonviolent resistance can be effective against rulers who have massive amounts of force at their disposal. But that is precisely the beauty of nonviolence. Using violence against "violence experts" is the quickest way to have your organization or movement crushed. That is why governments frequently infiltrate opposition groups with agents provocateurs—to sidetrack the movement into violent channels that the violence professionals (police, military, security agencies, etc.) can deal with.