A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-violent Conflict (Anglais) Broché – 5 octobre 2001
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
I grew up in the 1960s learning about “peaceful resistance” and “civil disobedience.” These terms take my thoughts to Martin Luther King and Mohandas Gandhi. You’ll read of the non-violent movements these men nursed into being, and about other compelling stories of people who used right, reason and universal ethics instead of guns and bombs to defeat dictatorship and disenfranchisement: Solidarity in Poland; Denmark vs. the Nazis, Argentineans and Chileans, South Africans and Palestinians, Filipinos, Salvadorans, and many others.
Two things make this book stand out. First, it presents non-violent conflict as a methodology that is divorced from a particular creed, flag or political ideology. Readers who can’t let go of strong geopolitical biases or religious beliefs may be scandalized by some of the people and institutions cast as “heroes” of the non-violent movements chronicled here. The authors are challenging us to get past our biases so that we can understand something more universal than our political or nationalistic preferences might allow, about the relationship between people and their rulers.
Many are familiar with the Enlightenment idea that a government’s legitimacy is derived from consent of the governed. Ackerman and Duvall want us to see this not as a slogan or even a noble ideal to which we should aspire: but as universal truth all governments ignore at their peril, and that any oppressed people group can harness in the fight to exercise their inherent human rights.
Second, the authors draw conclusions that guide people into changing the relationship between themselves and their oppressors. Along with successes, you’ll read about failures and of victories that could have been bigger had the movement been better-organized, more patient, better-trained, more committed to developing and exercising the ability to self-govern even during the struggle; and more pure in its commitment to non-violence.
Today’s cell phones and Internet provide unprecedented opportunities for the oppressed to get the story out and create a global movement to isolate the oppressor from the support they usually need to stay in power. Questions arise from this: Is every group who claims they are being oppressed and who take up non-violent conflict, worthy of support? How do we know the degree to which the things we’re given as evidence of the oppression are real or staged? The media has traditionally played the “curation” and “editorial” roles in deciding what is newsworthy and how it’s spun: can they still be trusted? The book may bring these questions into sharper focus.
It’s dense reading, and repetitive at times. Readers may want to slow down to understand the historical details that are less familiar to them, or perhaps to opt for the DVD version that aired on PBS. The attempts to relate the separate movements together sometimes help to clarify principles of effective non-violent resistance, and other times seem a bit forced. Those are the criticisms. The rest is all praise.
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