What is nonviolence?
It is not only the absence of violence.
Nonviolence is action. Martin Luther King said, “the way of nonviolent resistance ultimately is the way of the strong person. It is not passive non-resistance to evil, it is active resistance to evil.”
Michael Nagler calls nonviolence an energy. Gandhi called it a soul force. Gene Sharp calls it a method for people to take charge of the consent they give or withhold from authority. Thich Nhat Hahn calls it “love in action.”
Nonviolence takes personal experience and values, and insists they apply to politics as well. Conventional political actors create a false line when deny the practicality of basic moral behaviors like respect, courage, conscience, and cooperation in waging conflict. Nonviolence looks evil in the eye and says, “darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that; violence cannot drive out violence, only love can do that.” Nonviolence insists this perspective is not fanciful belief, but practical confidence. It works. And violence does not work. Violence makes things worse. No method, no effort works all the time. But a recent book analyzed 300 violent and nonviolent resistance campaigns around the world during the last 100 years and concluded that nonviolent campaigns succeeded twice as often as violent campaigns.
This page is dedicated to the ongoing discussion, exploration, and practice of nonviolence. What is written here reflects the experiment with nonviolence as experienced by Project ReGeneration and Resource Center members. These words written are subject to morphing, and you comments and reflections are greatly encouraged.