This week, The Economist published a very interesting article entitled “The Weapon of Choice“. It started with a John Steinbeck’s quote: “The little screaming fact that sounds through all history is that repression works only to strengthen and knit the oppressed”. Indeed, History suggests that the use of violence by authoritarian governments is counter-productive.
But more interestingly – and perhaps more difficult to understand – it suggests that the use of violence by revolutionary movements against those authoritarian governments, are as well counter-productive.
As the article points out, the peaceful journeys led by Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi have shown that these historical suggestions are right. Actually when thinking about it, this message goes much more back in History: it was Jesus Christ himself that preached for us to give the second cheek when being aggressed.
Yet, how plausible is it for one to choose the non-violence path when attacked by others? As animals that we are, the rational thing to do when attacked is to counter attack.
Yet, we should not. (And we should keep this in mind).
According to two researchers from the University of Denver, “peaceful uprisings are twice as likely to succeed to violent ones”.
The only condition?
Unity. Unity of the movement. There cannot be the belligerents and the peaceful ones on the other side.
No matter where we are from, we should keep this in mind.
After all, what is violence if not the most absolute proof of our animality?