0.8– Offense Strategy for Nonviolent Struggle

December 8th, 2011

This is Ethiopian Review Policy Research Center’s series on From Dictatorship to Democracy extracted/quoted from books and articles published by Albert Einstein Institution and similar sources.

“It is not enough to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance and fear.”

Strategic nonviolence, is a “weapon system” that derives its force from fundamental human psychological, social, and political tendencies. Provided we adhere to nonviolent discipline, noncooperation, persistence, fearlessness, and openness, strategic nonviolence will doom the despotic regime to failure regardless of how the tyrant respond to our actions.

The Roads To Victory

“A major fault of nonviolent struggles, historically, is that they make little or no provision for actually winning. They expect that actions will happen on the subordinate levels of strategy and tactics, and that following these actions, the tyrant will capitulate. But why should he? What is the mechanism of his defeat? Will he be persuaded to view the contentious issues differently, or strike an opportunistic deal, or ultimately be coerced, in the sense that his cronnies, army, and resources will no longer perform well enough to keep him in power?”

All struggles, including nonviolent ones, achieve victory by using a combination of various mechanisms. However, to maintain our focus and effectively strategize, we must choose which mechanism is best suited for achieving our specific objectives. Yet before we pick a primary mechanism for achieving victory, we must first understand our objectives.

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are [people] who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.” –Frederick Douglass,

To View Proposed Strategy for Offense Capacity Building CLICK: United, Planned and Disciplined Struggle for SELF-Liberation

To View Nonviolent Resistance and Use of Force Click: