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Michael N. Nagler is the founder and president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence. he cofounded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at UC Berkeley, where he is professor emeritus of classics and comparative literature. He is the author of the books
-The Nonviolence Handbook; A Guide for Practical Action and
-Search for a non-violent future.
Rough Interview Notes-- Mostly my questions
Rob: You say that more than half the world now lives in a society that has been significantly influenced by a non-violent movement. How is that possible?
Richard Deats Walter Wink
recommends book peace is the way
Gandhi fought battle
Rob: "A feature of nonviolence that cannot be claimed by militarism or violence: that carrying out the principle is also effective strategy. ie-- non-violence process vs Product
Erica Chenoweth and ".. Maria Stefan
Non-violent actions successful over 60% of time vs 23% of the time and non-violent uprisings took one third of the time.
Rob: You say that non-violence is a principle, not a tactic-- it's a way of being.
Gene Sharp lists out 198 tactics.
It seems that non-violence can be a bottom-up way of making change
It's inside out--
Non-violence is "soul force" as Gandhi called it.
Non-violence does not celebrate victory-- which is top-down thinking.
differentiates celebrating victory vs Triumph.
Indian Emperor Ashoka-- after victory covered to Buddhism
Attempt to be bottom-up in terms of leadership has been shown to be very inefficient.
So, you used the term "psychology of victors" but getting into this conversation we are teasing out the difference between success in a goal vs conquest or victory over.
Rob: discussing experience yesterday where I told a woman mocking a beggar that she's a right wing, psychopathic asshole, how after reading more of the Non-violence book, I was ashamed of myself.
Dalai Lama-- "if you lose, don't lose the lesson."
Ooh. You say that that is violence" which I guess is true.
don't expose yourself to the mass media-- distance from violence and vulgarity in the mass media.
Gandhi said. "Our distant goal could be perfect non-violence". but as human beings a reasonable thing to aim for is to limit violence and aim for violence.
Let's talk a little bit more about anger and how it relates to violence.
Meditation teacher Eknath Easwaran
Anger is power-- the power itself is neutral.
in a way the most angry people are the best candidates for being non-violent soldiers.
Let's take a step back and describe what non-violence is.
An attitude built into one's behaviors, policies and tactics-- to never be against the welfare of a person. NOt against persons-- against practices, doctrines, institutions when they are unjust.
You want your opponent to be ashamed of what he's doing not ashamed of himself.
Restorative justice-- in school system.
Restorative justice means bringing the offended and offender parties together for mutual reconciliation, and it means bringing the offender back into society.
recidivism rate of 2% vs over 70% when non-violent principles applied to prisoners in jail for homicide.
So you think that non-violence is an evolutionary aspect of being human?
NV is the enactment of the new story that humanity is groping for -- that we are connected, that we are the architects of our own destiny.
it takes sacrifice". but you don't lose your humanity in the process--- think of US servicemen who lost their humanity, who have committed suicide.
You talk about non-violence non being non-active, and not-passive. And you talk about dignity. Can you talk about these?
Philipino term To offer dignity-- allay dangal
To offer dignity and preserve my own.
Example of an elderly woman who had someone go into her car and threaten her with a gun. She talks to him. He cries and starts to leave. Wait a minute young man, she says, and then gives him the money he was going to steal.
Nonviolence, as a fundamental energy, is quietly operating at all times, like gravity.
Like love in action-- a cohesive force that pulls life together and keeps us on track and evolve.
Satyagraha pronounced Satyagraaaa-- means clinging to truth-- holding truth to one's self-- that non-violence is the underlying reality-- as a loving ". force.
Rob: You use a story as an example, that brought me to tears-- about black marchers, in 1963, in Birmingham Alabama
Rob: Acting in a non-violent way, participating in a nonviolent action can change the opposition, can change the oppressor.
Rob: Right Intention, right means-- seems to distill the idea down to four words.
I believe that there is a lot we can learn from indigenous cultures? What about non-violence and indigenous culture can we learn?
Within their own culture they are non-violent, but they have problems recognizing humanity of others. Now indigenous groups are learning how to reach out to other indigenous groups.
Dine or Navajo communities-- if you break. use western medicine and THEN put you through emotional healing process
What are the three stages of Satyagraha--
mettacenter.org road map
2- constructive program/actions
Cowboy and indian alliance
Can you talk about the role of the constructive aspect of nonviolence?
And you talk about how after Occupy broke up, Occupy Sandy, and occupy actions related to foreclosures have continued.
Third Stage of escalation curve-- quotation: "If we cannot live with an injustice, we can risk our lives to correct it"
And you talk about suffering and about how suffering can be a necessary part of nonviolence.
Don't let people inflict suffering upon you, but choose to take it on voluntarily" if timing is correct-- that is the ultimate weapon-- if anything is going to awaken the opponent and allow to see you as a human being.
Can you tell the story about your friend David Harsough
You quote Theodore Roszak: "People try nonviolence for a week, and when it doesn't 'work' they go back to violence, which hasn't worked for centuries."
We are not trained to look for nonviolence anywhere.
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Ted Talk June 1, Fremont, CA
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