Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Notes from Nonviolence: King's Six Principles of Nonviolence

The afternoon of Day One of the two-day Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation training covers two critical components:

  • What is nonviolence?
  • Nonviolence has been successful over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over.
We explored definitions and dimensions of nonviolence, we identified the methodology of Kingian thinking, and we learned and analysed King's Six Principles of Nonviolence (below the cut). We reflected on the principles as well as the powerful concepts embedded in them like courage, discipline, community, goals, vision, and hope.

We explored the application of these principles over time in the grander context and in detailed context around four important historical movements in the US Civil Rights Movement, all of which achieved their goals through the practice of nonviolent action:
Interested in all of this?  Be sure to keep an eye out at SALD rolls out Kingian nonviolence trainings this fall! Also, check below the jump for King's Six Principles of Nonviolence.
Principle One: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice, and utilizes the righteous indignation and the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.

Principle Two: The Beloved Community is the framework for the future.
The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.

Principle Three: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil.
The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one's opponents or their personalities.

Principle Four: Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goals.
Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension.  The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one's own friends and community as well as to the opponent.

Principle Five: Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence.
The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign.  It provides mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one's opponent and the community at large.  Specific activities must be designed to help maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.

Principle Six: The universe is on the side of justice.
Truth is universal and human society and each human being is oriented to the just sense of order of the universe.  The fundamental values in all of the world's great religions include the concept that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.  For the nonviolent practitioner, nonviolence introduces a new moral context in which nonviolence is both the means and the end.

From The Nonviolence Briefing Booklet: A 2-Day Orientation to Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation by Bernard LaFayette, Jr. and David C Jehnsen, August 2008.

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