mad in pursuit journal

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS, AT THE intersection OF vengeance & reconciliation

P.S. on Nonviolence

(Still following up the Gandhi essay continuing from yesterday.)

Heidi called Monday night to say that yesterday's Diane Rehm Show was going to be on the subject of nonviolence. The show featured Mark Kurlansky and his new book "Nonviolence: 25 Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea" (Modern Library). (Listen)

I thought the author did a much better job than I could at explaining why nonviolent approaches were usually more effective than war and other violent responses.

Like everyone, Diane immediately brought up World War II and Hitler. Kurlansky confirmed a thought that crossed my mind: the time to take the steam out of Hitler was not in 1939 or 1941 but in the early 1930s, when he first came to power. That's when the Germans and the rest of us were asleep at the switch. And Kurlansky points out that the Jewish Holocaust didn't begin till well into the War, after Hitler had secured his power base.

And as for the Revolutionary War, he asserts that by 1774 the American freedom fighters had pretty much already worn down the British by wonderful tactics of nonviolent resistance. The War in 1776 might have been unnecessary had their strategy played out a little longer.

Interesting stuff to think about.


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