Why violence is ineffective

ABRAHAM Lincoln was once talking with a woman during the American Civil War about all men being brothers.

She disagreed with him, and said that she felt that Lincoln should destroy his enemies.

Lincoln replied: “What, madam? Do I not destroy them when I make them my friends?’’

Lincoln was not just morally right. He was exhibiting good science and good sense.

He perhaps knew instinctively that non violence is more effective in bringing about lasting social change .

One study found that non-violent resistance is actually about twice as effective as violence.

Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth analyzed 323 resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006 and found that major nonviolent campaigns had achieved success 53 percent of the time, compared with 26 percent for violent resistance campaigns.

The study sheds light on why terrorism has been largely unsuccessful.

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22 thoughts on “Why violence is ineffective

  1. It is a known fact from physics, that a force create equal counter force. On emotional level same applies. Terrorism ignites resistance and sometimes desperation in people, which will unite them in opposition and defeat it.
    Another good example is the Soviet Union under communist regime. The oppression runt out of energy while the consciousness of freedom overcame it. Freedom always comes on top. Just a matter of time.

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    • ?? “Got a link as to how Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth arrived at their conclusions ~ and which campaigns they ‘analysed’?
      Generally, I’d challenge the stated conclusion.
      Human history is rooted in and counted by violent events.
      Even religion: where do you suppose christianity would be if the jewish authorities had persuaded Jesus to abandon his rabble-rousing, repent, get a proper job (and a haircut!) and become a worthwhile member of society?
      That’s to say, no persecution, no crucifiction, no constant conflict = no christianity.

      For example:- ask fifty ‘ordinary’ people about the christian presence in 1st-century Rome and you might, maybe, get one or two who have any knowledge of the subject other than that they were arsonists and lion-food.

      ps. And his old man was even worse:- Only ever gets a mention when he’s doing the dirty on somebody.”

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      • I wonder how you know how Jesus looked like? Seen some religious images perhaps? How you know what sort of haircut he has?
        You quite right about the violent past and present of humanity. Does it mean though that this is a state we going to continue forever? There is no doubt in my mind we will evolve eventually to less arguments and more tolerant. We could start to practice here, after all we just anonymous faces on internet blog. We don’t really need to defend the ego. Nobody ever will know.

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      • HI Paul,

        That would be a good direction to evolve too. But there’s going to be more and more of us on this planet competing for diminishing resources.

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      • From Bubba Ray: “That would be a good direction to evolve too. But there’s going to be more and more of us on this planet competing for diminishing resources.”
        Well I seems to be an optimist. I have conviction that we will eventually wake up to ourselves and manage to live with one-other in peace. Also managing our resources in better way. At the present we seems to believe, growth is the only way to go. To sustain is my believe. When i was a boy, every garden had fruit trees and vegetable patch. We had a pig in the closet, which was sacrificed every Christmas. Chooks in the yard and geese was fattened for Easter. We were managing our food resources. In the US now there are groups who grow vegetables on the streets, in parks and on roofs of the sky scrapers. I am convinced we can do better that we do now. We oriented on consumerism. It will change. Willingly or otherwise.

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      • I used to hang around with him in the old days, Paul.
        But then he got god, went all funny and started spending his time with people
        I couldn’t cop.
        (Except the well-brought-up catholic girls, of course! 😉 )

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      • Hey Paul,

        I hope you’re right, but when you were a boy there were probably a lot less than six billion of us on the planet and the planet itself was probably in a heck of a lot better shape.

        Time will tell.

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      • Hope is always good. When I was a boy I think we had 3 billion people. I could Google it but too lazy to do so. How old are you Bubba? Just curious.
        Like I said, I am optimist. I trust we will change. I trust we will put of all the nonsense, wars, greed and embrace brotherhood. After all we are all the people of this planet and Universe.
        I sincerely hope we put of what divides us and embrace what unit us. I believe there is more of what unite us than divides. The divisions are just more in focus right now.
        Every one of us here is a seeker, seeker of more. What ever more means to each. In that alone we already brothers.

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  2. Tantrums are tolerated because we know they will fizzle out eventually. Questions asked demand an answer – the degree of morality, integrity, and humanity within both are as important as the exchange itself. Which is why I prefer tantrums 🙂

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  3. “ABRAHAM Lincoln was once talking with a woman during the American Civil War about all men being brothers.”

    Seems like non-violence will only get you so far ……..

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  4. Non violence comes from lack of fear, not heroism. Anybody here who has some understanding how nature works will tell you the same I will. Animals attack fear. Animal is able to recognize fear at distance and they react to it by attack. Because they know instinctively that a fearful presence can be dangerous and it will possibly attack out of fear. So they attack first.
    On the other hand if fear is not present, even the greatest predator will not attack. I give an example that happened to me. I lifted a piece of corrugated iron in my chook pen while sitting on the ground. As I did a very large Brown Snake (deadly poisonous) rose its head and hovered about 2″ from my face. After few flicks with his tongue he put his head down again without aggression. Since I had no fear he felt no threat. A bite from him in my face would have had serious consequences.
    Fear is our greatest enemy, and many times we not even aware we fear something. At the present the US acts the way they do out of fear. So called pre-emptive strikes are purely motivated by fear.
    To be free of fear, one needs to fully understand who we are. Not mere mortals as we mostly believe, but divine beings endowed with great wisdom and power. I know, hard to believe and rightly so. We must not believe anything but to experience first hand. Then we know, instead believing.

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  5. I don’t know. I feel as though people think you’re silly or stupid for being so peaceful sometimes.

    Still, the bible instructs ‘as much as it lies with you, be at peace with all men’.

    Words for life. Thank you, Bryan.

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  6. Got a link as to how Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth arrived at their conclusions ~ and which campaigns they ‘analysed’?
    Generally, I’d challenge the stated conclusion.
    Human history is rooted in and counted by violent events.
    Even religion: where do you suppose christianity would be if the jewish authorities had persuaded Jesus to abandon his rabble-rousing, repent, get a proper job (and a haircut!) and become a worthwhile member of society?
    That’s to say, no persecution, no crucifiction, no constant conflict = no christianity.

    For example:- ask fifty ‘ordinary’ people about the christian presence in 1st-century Rome and you might, maybe, get one or two who have any knowledge of the subject other than that they were arsonists and lion-food.

    ps. And his old man was even worse:- Only ever gets a mention when he’s doing the dirty on somebody.

    Like

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