Strategy for Revolution in 21st Century
Winning Conflict by Nonviolence Its Relation to a Culture of Peace for the 21st Century


Marx and Engels:
Communist Manifesto

Civil War in France


Theory of History

Marx and Engels:
On Human Nature


Violence and the Origin of the State

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Marx, Engels, Lenin:
On Dialectics

What is to be done?


The State and Revolution

Lenin: War Communism

The Cultural Revolution

Left-Wing Communism

The American Revolutions

The French Revolutions

On Workers Control

On Religion

On the Arms Race

Militarization of Labor

Russian Revolution

The Women's Question

Role of Communist Party

On Violence

On the Army

On Women

Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

Mao and Fidel:
Fall of the American Empire

Man and Socialism in Cuba

Hall and Winston:
Fighting Racism

National Liberation and Culture

Cabral: National Liberation and Culture

Nkrumah: Neo-Colonialism

Nonviolence is a strategy to win in conflict. It was invented by Gandhi during the struggle of independence of the people of India against British imperialism. It was so successful as a strategy that it produced the most decisive of all victories to bring down the British empire.

For the basic principles of nonviolence, see the clear exposition by Martin Luther King, Jr in his book Stride Toward Freedom.

A key to nonviolence is that there should be no enemies. The struggle is against ideas and institutions but not individual persons. As Gandhi put it, "Hate the sin and not the sinner" History shows that people change and today's enemy can become tomorrow's ally. Perhaps the most extraordinary example is that of Saul of Tarsus who was the persecutor of the Christians until he was converted to Christianity and became St. Paul.

As we leave the 20th Century behind, nonviolence has yet to reach its full potential. Both Gandhi and King were assassinated. In India independence was marred by a bloodbath between Hindus and Muslims and the splitting off of Pakistan. The movement begun by King has yet to reach its goals of racial equality in America. Enemy images continue to be used by those seeking dominance in the world today, including the anti-Islamic language of American militarism and the anti-American language of Islamist sects.

We have a long way to go in the 21st Century to put nonviolence on the agenda and to replace enemy images by the tactics of Gandhi that the opponent must be "weaned from error by patience and sympathy."

There are important lessons to be learned from the practical experiences of nonviolent revolutionaries in the 21st Century. One of the most important is the "Peace Process" that was at the center of the successful struggle to overthrow apartheid and establish a multi-racial democracy in South Africa. It directly engaged people in conflict management on a grass roots level throughout the country. At their peak, there were 11 regional committees and over one hundred local peace committees,

Another important side of the South African struggle was the international movement in solidarity with the struggle against Apartheid. The movement forced major imperialist countries and institutions to withdraw financial investment from companies doing business with the South African apartheid government.

The success of the nonviolent struggles led by Gandhi in India and by the ANC in South Africa, as well as more recent nonviolent struggles in the Philippines, Czechoslovakia and Venezuela, has depended on the mobilization of large numbers of people to come onto the streets where they have overwhelmed military power by their sheer numbers. Success, however, did not come as a result of spontaneous action. Instead, many of the people were prepared by training and discipline in nonviolent resistance.

As Gandhi has stressed, nonviolence requires at least as much training as that of a traditional soldier. "It takes a fairly strenuous course of training to attain to a mental state of non-violence ... The perfect state is reached only when mind and body and speech are in proper co-ordination. But it is always a case of intense mental struggle ... Non-violence is a weapon of the strong."

An important part of training for revolutionaries in the 21st Century will be the study of nonviolent resistance movements and training and experience in the disciplined methods that prove to be successful in these movements. No doubt, there will be more and more such movements in the coming years - and more lessons to be learned and applied.

For nonviolence to succeed, there must be training of thousands of activists, mastering the discipline of nonviolence and the principles and practices of revolutionary leadership.

To take part in a discussion about this page, go to the Discussion Board Forum on Winning Conflict by Nonviolence:
discussion board


Revolutionary socialist culture of peace

Culture of War

Internal Culture of War

Culture of Peace

Education for nonviolence and democracy

Sustainable development for all

Human rights vs exploitation

Women's equality vs patriarchy

Democratic participation vs authori- tarianism

Tolerance and solidarity vs enemy images

Transparency vs secrecy

Disarmament vs armament

Revolutionary leadership

Revolutionary organization

Proletarian Interna- tionalism

National Liberation

Guerrilla Warfare


Agent Provocateurs

Communica- tion systems

Psychology for revolution- aries

Capitalist culture of war

Socialist culture of war

Winning Conflict by Nonviolence

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More Sources

South African
Peace Process

Soviet Union
Disarmament Proposals

Soviet Collapse

Has Socialism Failed?

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Ecology in Cuba

On Religion

Human Rights in South Africa

on Nonviolence

on Nonviolence

on Communism