Learn the three myths about violence that are being used to fuel the world’s current state of perpetual war, and be able to explain the transformative dynamics of People Power and Nonviolent Conflict to your peers, friends, and constituents.
Understand How Civil Resistance Can Conquer Violent Oppression
Learn the terms, misconceptions, and assumptions about Nonviolent Conflict.
Understand the critiques and concerns about using Civil Resistance against a ruthless opponent.
Know the historical lineage Nonviolent Action and today’s community of scholars and activists.
Explain the theories, debates, and dynamics of People Power.
Gain the Knowledge Needed to Transform Your World
Nonviolent Conflict is the third, distinct, way the people can exercise their right to self-rule.
By it’s very nature it generates the massive public involvement required for healthy democratic societies.
When a country’s normal legislative channels no longer work, and a violent insurgency is not acceptable, Civil Resistance becomes the most powerful tool the people have to overcome oppression and transform their societies.
Using People Power and Nonviolent Action to counter violent oppression results in freer more democratic societies, a better chance of reconciliation between parties, and less chance of civil war.
Content and Overview
This course offers a concise introduction to Nonviolent Conflict: the use of People Power, Civil Resistance, and Nonviolent Action to guarantee the people’s right to participate in how they are governed.
The material is designed for students, activists, and policy makers looking for nonviolent ways to meet the national and global challenges that are today increasing the conflict in our world.
The course begins by exposing the three myths being used to keep our world at war, and gives the student an overview of how nonviolent methods can be used to bring forth a freer, more compassionate, and more sustainable world system.
After completing this course the student will be able to, 1) see through the many misconceptions and assumptions about nonviolent methods; 2) identify and counter the popular myths most people believe about war and violence; 3) understand the history, dynamics, and debates about People Power, and 4) explain to their peers, friends, and constituents the dynamic transformative power of Civil Resistance to bring forth a freer, more compassionate, and more sustainable world system.
The lectures in Section 1 describe the role of violence in our world, the myths supporting war, and the potential of nonviolent methods to create a fairer, more compassionate, and more sustainable world system.
Lecture 1: section by section review of the course
Lecture 2: nonviolent conflict; need for less destructive way to handle differences; myths supporting war; violence ingrained in society; media thriving on violence; confusion about nonviolent conflict; human’s not violent by nature; few have ability to take another life; brainwashing to kill; suicide rate in armed force
Lecture 3: Hiroshima and Nagasaki as end of war system; now have greatest risk of destruction, greatest chance for peace; elimination of war from world system; polarization of population during war; transformational effects of nonviolent methods; reinforcing myths of war; success of nonviolent action over violence; nonviolent action and subsequent freedom, democracy, reconciliation, and civil war
Lecture 4: nonviolent conflict and democracy; war, nonviolent action and public participation; tactics and strategies; need for massive public support; undermining superiority of modern weapons; inability to kill all people; third-party activation; post conflict results; reduction in cultural heritage, infrastructure, and global environment; war as inevitable; critical paradox; greatest period of nonviolent activism; a choice in how we fight; fighting as transformational means
The lectures in Section 2 go into the many terms and definitions associated with nonviolent conflict, and how the concept is different than pacifism or popular beliefs associated with nonviolence.
Lecture 5: terms and historical campaigns; satyagraha; Civil Rights Movement; People Power movement; civic or political defiance, unarmed revolutions, strategic nonviolent conflict; need for cultural acceptance; democracy and nonviolent action; choice to fight; waging nonviolent conflict outside of law, consent, or cooperation; lea4rning curve of nonviolent conflict; nonviolent and apartheid, checking invaders, securing human rights, creating democracies; social movements: feminist, abortion rights, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender; forcing compliance;
Lecture 6: differences between violent and nonviolent conflict; limiting excuses; massive participation; popular support; stopping another dictator; nonviolent conflict and minority interests, decision making, and transformational change; third avenue to social change; nonviolent conflict and eventual violence; pragmatism and violence; incompatibility of violent and nonviolent methods; not opposite of violence
Lecture 7: terms and confusion; need for cultural acceptance; South African’s and the term nonviolence; Middle Eastern cultures and the term nonviolence; sumud; what nonviolent conflict is not: negotiation, peace studies or building or making, conflict resolution; People Power; democratic ideals; nonviolent campaign; definition of terms; terms for course
The lectures in Section 3 review the many assumptions and misconceptions people, including activists and scholars involved in the field, hold about nonviolent conflict.
Lecture 8: violence as ultimate force; violence as last resort; normality of violence; violence and male domination; historical record of violence; mistaking effectiveness against violent oppression; Nazis and brutality; nonviolent action against Nazis; Denmark and Jews; nonviolent resistance not leading to violence; violence arising when resistance is easy; nonviolent action when resistance is difficult; nonviolent conflict not simplistic, not quirk, potential of citizen action
Lecture 9: confusion among activists; nonviolent action as conflict; need for courage, discipline, and strategic planning; oppression as indicator or success; violence and third parties; compatibility of violent and nonviolent methods; effects of violence by outside groups; effects of violence on nonviolent campaign; First Palestinian Intifada; South Africa and anti-apartheid movement; need for nonviolent discipline; Egyptian counter-tactics; historical lesson of violence; how violence aids the oppressor; Nazis response to violence
Lecture 10: assumptions made by scholars; effects of nonviolent action; assumptions by activists; structural constraints; reduction in casualties; individual acts of violence and their relative importance in a nonviolent campaign (Rachel Corrie); martyrdom and self-immolation; Mohamed Bouaszizi and Tunisia; gun ownership and resisting the state; nonviolent action to protect gun ownership
Section 4 looks into the critiques that have been made of nonviolent conflict, and the concerns people have about using nonviolent methods against forces willing to use violence to achieve their ends.
Lecture 11: critiques of nonviolent action: oppressive governments, Western left, those believing in violence; promoting Western standards of governance; problems with US association; external funding of opposition groups; donor’s history and size of donation; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); donor competition; critique of indigenous oppositions movements; anarchist critiques and rebuttals; anarchists embracing nonviolence
Lecture 12: concerns about nonviolent conflict; massacre, genocide, and ethnic cleansing; psychopath, Joseph Stalin, and Russian Revolution; divine right, religious dogma; Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories; self-reliance, Kim Jong-un, and North Korea; backfire; respect for law and order; upholding electoral process, citizenship, and democratic ideals; civil disobedience and constitutional justification; domination of minority groups; Jewish settlers and Occupied Territories; questions for activists; need to bridge cultural division, class, religion, ideology; democracy, free elections, accepted measures of democracy
The lectures in Section 5 provide the student with a historical lineage of the many people who have influenced our ideas on civil resistance.
Lecture 13: historians equating rebellion with violence; American Revolution; Niccolò Machiavelli and The Prince; rule by fear; loyalty of ministers; inappropriate for transparent democratic society; Machiavelli’s disregard for humanity: “the people were beasts,” manual for dictators; John Gotti; selectorate theory; private and corporate political donations
Lecture 14: Machiavelli and The Prince; Etienne de la Boétie and The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, or the Anti-dictator, kings divine right to rule; democratic principles; United States Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson; American Revolution; Boston Tea Party; semi-independent institutions; John Adams, war of defense; original thirteen colonies and nonviolent action; Thomas Paine and Common Sense; Martin Luther King and his Letter from Birmingham Jail; global responsibility; “My country is the world; to do good my religion;” basic rights of life; consent of the people; right of people to revoke consent
Lecture 15: Leo Tolstoy, John Ruskin, and Henry David Thoreau; Holy Trinity and Gandhi; study of nonviolent conflict; Satyagraha and national civil resistance; George Orwell and nonviolent warfare; principle based approach; pragmatic approach; power of love; Christian pacifism, doctrine, resisting evil with force; coercion; absolute nonviolence; agraha and active resistance; political coercion; ahimsa and principle of non-harm; peace societies; Reinhold Niebuhr and Union Theological Seminary; boycotts; danger of coercion
Lecture 16: Barbara Deming: use of and power of coercion; effects of attitudes displayed by protestors; Occupy Wall Street; anger and public response; John Ruskin and Gandhi; nonviolent action as highest form of freedom; nonviolent action and courage; violence before cowardice; willingness to resist; moral conviction
Lecture 17: Thoreau and civil disobedience; pragmatism and violence; to harm one is to harm all; Gandhi and earning the right to civil resistance; anger and nonviolent campaign; ability of people to follow nonviolent example; fasting and coercion; Tibetan monks and self-immolation
Lecture 18: Richard Gregg and psychological process of nonviolent conflict; moral jiu-jitsu; People Power and Marcos; commonality between protestors and military; Nazis, Northern Europe, and Aryan identification; Poland’s solidarity movement; China and Tiananmen Square; Israeli policy and the Occupied Palestinian Territories; government propagand
Lecture 19: political jiu-jitsu; backfire; third-party support; Dharasana Salt Works, international community; cross-campaign lessons; Gorbachev and the Soviet Union; witnessing oppression; private vigilantes, death squads, and terrorism; Indian security forces and right to violence; Dalai Lama (XIV) and Lhasa, Tibet; MLK and principled approach; pacifism evil as violence; need to avoid inner spiritual violence; cycle of violence; Nelson Mandela; love, morality and respect for the law
Section 6 offers a glimpse of some of the people studying civil resistance today, and some of the theories and debates current in the community of activists and scholars.
Lesson 20: Gene Sharp’s theory of social power; Albert Einstein Institute; methods and tactics; manuals for nonviolent action; pragmatism; cooperation: general public, ruler’s agents, foreign governments; conversion, accommodation, coercion; 200 tactics; fragility of power; who needs who to survive; Ralph Summy and Social Alternatives; Sharp and consent; Arundhati Roy; need to learn from experience; Brian Martin and the backfire model; political jiu-jitsu, regime tactics, Sharon Erickson Nepstad, Martin and hiding regime violence
Lecture 21: Kurt Schock; way dictators increase legitimacy; Ferdinand Marcos; Peter Ackerman, Christopher Kruegler and twelve principles of nonviolent conflict; principles of development, principles of engagement, principles of conception; Jack DuVall; conditions for success with nonviolent conflict; purpose and goals; master strategic plan; nonviolent discipline; massive participation; regime defection; Ralph Summy; Maria Stephan; Robert Helvey and a strategic estimate; principled vs. pragmatic stance; Gene Sharp
Lecture 22: means and end debate; Brian Martin; hypocrisy and credibility; Gene Sharp; Chenoweth and Stephan; nonviolent action and democracy and civil war; democratic society as goal for nonviolent conflict; Kantian triad; democracy and violence; interdependence and cooperation; world peace and international institutions; war, peace, economic ties, and the European Union
Lecture 23: critiques of Sharp’s consent theory of power; Summy and racism, capitalism, bureaucracy, and male domination; James C. Scott and slave and slave owner relationships, gathering sites; Robert J. Burrowes and the Global Nonviolence Network; cultural attitudes and individual choice; Martin and power systems; multicultural education and global citizenship; world system and structural constraints; President Woodrow Wilson and fourteen-points plan; imperialism and totalitarianism; fall of soviet union, South Africa, and the African National Congress
The conclusion to People Power, Civil Resistance, and Social Transformation: An Introduction to Nonviolent Conflict: The Video Course.
Lecture 24: myths supporting war; humans and war and violence; nonviolent methods as ultimate force; nonviolent conflict as third form of social transformation; misconceptions about nonviolent conflict; transformational power of nonviolent conflict; nonviolent conflict and pacifism; transformational effects of nonviolent conflict; call for more compassionate world
Dr. Robert Allen Kezer teaches people about the power of Civil Resistance to create freer, more just, and more democratic societies.
He is the author of The Boétie Legacy, and a World in Peril and People Power, Civil Resistance, and Social Transformation: An Introduction to Nonviolent Conflict, both available at Amazon.
Bob is currently designing a bachelors level course on nonviolent conflict, a masters level course on nonviolent approaches to terrorism, a doctorate level course on using civil resistance for social transformation, and a course for policy-makers exploring civilian based nonviolent responses to terrorism.
Bob has one son and splits his time between Eugene, Oregon, and Cuenca, Ecuador.