Principled Nonviolence Analysis

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Nonviolence is a simple yet broad term that can reflect two smaller more complex terms that many people turn away from. Within nonviolence there is principled nonviolence and there is strategic nonviolence. To see the difference in the two clearly one only needs to think of separate leaders associated with the two methods: Mohandas K. Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. with principled nonviolence, and retired political theorist Gene Sharp with strategic nonviolence. The problem with the two different methods is that people are unaware that there is a distinction that needs to be seen. Just because principled and strategic nonviolence are both methods of nonviolence does not mean they encompass the same ideas. To better understand the distinction …show more content…
It could be argued that it takes a lot more courage to practice principled nonviolence as opposed to strategic nonviolence. Practitioners of principled nonviolence see nonviolence as a way of life; it is considered the “right” way to be a human being. Consider the question: “what is right?” Principled nonviolence begins with this by looking at the root causes of a problem, and works its way from there. A good way to think of principled nonviolence is by looking at a quote from Gandhi himself, he once said: “means are ends in the making.” (CITE HERE) this shows that within principled nonviolence the means of resolving a conflict are and end in themselves. This means that the way that people achieve a goal is as important as the kind of goal they achieve. Within principled nonviolence there is a willingness to suffer, many would even sacrifice their lives if needed. Often, participants train their minds and their inner selves so that they will be well guided in their actions. The goal here is the transformation of self and the opponent and this is done with persuasion and cooperation and by avoiding coercion entirely. Principled nonviolence seeks to change the heart and behavior of the adversary. There is a certain depth within principled nonviolence that has a lot to do with compassion and …show more content…
Whereas principled nonviolence rejects violence because it is morally unjust and wrong, strategic nonviolence rejects violence because it is ineffective and impractical. Strategic nonviolence encompasses the use of nonviolence as a tool or a method, a strategy of sorts. Mostly strategic nonviolence takes place over longer periods of time and because it does not happen in spontaneous bursts the overall effects seem last longer. Strategic nonviolence works well to get people on board with an issue. This form of nonviolence embodies change and improvement that is likely to occur and it is goal oriented, the nonviolent means are a path towards an end. Suffering and sacrifice are only acceptable if it is likely to achieve goals or put an end to a situation and coercion is not frowned upon but instead it is used when needed. The people who practice strategic nonviolence train their behaviors and actions, not their minds and inner selves. There is no care to change the heart of the adversary only their behavior, so much so that participants are even willing to use coercion since it is not frowned upon but instead it is used when needed. They are willing to harm the adversary emotionally and economically, but never physically. Nonviolence to them is not seen only as an alternate way of fighting but as the superior way of fighting. Clearly, there are many distinctions between the two forms of

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