Tell me how to improve this scheme. In studying effective resistance movements, I came across two interesting factoids: First, America’s “scientist of resistance,” Erica Chenowith, has run extensive studies around the world and concluded that nonviolent movements have over twice the success rate of violent ones. She is a former Free Talk Live guest, and I believe her based on all I have experienced and studied myself. It matches…and the violent stuff, even violent talk or “parallel violence” tends to dramatically undermine peaceable efforts. The words “Tienanmen protest” and “Antifa” prove this point. The former gets your support because it maintained peaceability discipline, the latter gets your opposition because it didn’t.
Second is a statement by Ivan Jorovic, maybe the most prominent member of Otpor. Optor is the mostly-Serbian group that basically ended the Third Balkan War in 2000, by pushing Serbia’s strongman out of power without firing a shot. Jorovic says to succeed along these lines you need all of the following: Flexible planning, unity and discipline…particularly nonviolent discipline.
I have found few easy guides on how to achieve the latter, but it’s probably the most important. Our movement has maintained it with govt, but there are instances where folks have made threats, etc. As the walls close in and our endeavor continues its expansion, there will be additional strains on nonviolent discipline. Here is how I’m going to try and help enforce it within the NH liberty movement for now, without unnecessarily damaging our unity.
If I catch someone advocating for physically harming people who serve or represent governments in America, (not street criminals, not invading foreign armies, not inanimate govt. objects free of risk to thinking beings) the plan is to initially issue them a warning. If I catch them doing it again, I would probably cut them off from most or all of the support I am giving them or would have given them. This might be temporary. But it is not hypothetical, and the implications for the blowhard could be significant. For example, Rich Paul (who has made frequent and unimpressive public calls for physically harming government people), is currently locked up and receiving about 25 pages of mail from me per month. The next piece of mail I send will be a warning, suggesting that he cease and desist with this…or cease to receive mail from me. I would also probably lose interest in protesting or publicizing his plight but would not take it out on others just for being associated with him. A person outside of jail could be reluctantly cutoff in other peaceable ways.
A proven act intended to physically harm government folk along these lines would result in a longer cutoff, without warning.
Since activists who make violent statements tend to wind up in trouble and desperate for any type of support they can get…and since I otherwise tend to offer quite a bit of support to activists in jail…this should be a significant deterrant. But it should be a lot better, if a lot of you took this course of action: Warning blowhards, then cutting them off if they ignore the warning. Maybe publicize the cutoff, but in the interest of unity…it’s best to avoid going all Denis Goddard. In Rich’s case that would mean being mindful of his frequent, helpful activism and putting his overstep in perspective. It’s minor when compared to the average Fed’s abuses…and not a cause for foaming at the mouth against him. In an individualistic movement, it’s a thing that individuals can do on their own initiative.
This plan of action on my end is subject to revision or improvement. What do you think? Is this something you too are willing to do? What are other methods we could use? Nonviolent training classes come to mind, and Otpor used those…but I don’t see a practical way to do it myself much. Can you?
Remember…some police start to get queasy attacking the polite. But few get queasy about attacking rock throwers, let alone people who are more violent than that…or who spew threats.