Saturday, December 3, 2011

Revolutionary Wisdom: A primer

Gene Sharp; Wisdom Quarterly; LA Times;

Occupy: Sharp Strategies for Success
In 1993, American political scientist Gene Sharp wrote a massively successful 88-page guide to nonviolent revolution:
(LA Times) "No one should believe that with the downfall of the dictatorship an ideal society will immediately appear," warns Gene Sharp's pamphlet on nonviolent resistance to dictatorships.

It has now been translated into more than 30 languages (by Sharp's count). It is available for free download at his website. This plainspoken book has found its way from Burma to the Balkans and beyond. More

Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod (
DEC. 2, 2011 - On Friday, KPFK had a one-hour special with Gene Sharp -- the author whose work has guided successful nonviolent revolutions around the world.

His 88-page booklet inspired activists in Buddhist Burma (Saffron Revolution) as well as Islamist Egypt (Green Revolution), Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Yemen, essentially stirring up the "Arab Spring."

It is sure to eventually be directly used by the Occupy Movement in the West, which itself claims to have been inspired to launch an "American Fall" (or Autumn) emulating the Arab Spring by occupying Wall Street and other major centers. Sharp is a senior scholar at the Albert Einstein Institution. He is also the author of many books on using the strategy of non-violent action to topple dictators.

Waging Non Violent Struggle: 20th Century Practice, 21st Century Potential is one of the works that are widely read by activists in the lead up and during the uprising in Egypt.
  • Is non-violence as a strategy for change a sustainable approach?
  • Are there ever times when violence is necessary?
  • What are his definitions of democracy and dictatorship?
  • What was his relationship with the civil rights movement and what are his views on the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East?
NOTE: This show was originally aired 4-29-11. The news segment is for 12-2-11.

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