Egypt’s revolution vindicates Gene Sharp’s theory of nonviolent activism (in ScientificAmerican)

“Whereas most pundits have focused on the role of social media in Egypt’s revolution, what impressed me most was that one of the most powerful, entrenched regimes in the world was toppled by a nonviolent uprising. Does anyone doubt that if the protestors had resorted to violence, they would have been violently crushed by Mubarak?

Egypt represents an extraordinary vindication of the philosophy of Gene Sharp, a political scientist whose work I described here last July. For decades, Sharp has argued that nonviolence is the best means of overthrowing corrupt, violent, repressive regimes. […]

Sharp is not a moralist but a pragmatist, who bases his claims on an empirical analysis of history. He asserts that violence, even in the service of a just cause, often results in more problems than it solves, leading in turn to greater injustice and suffering; hence, the best way to oppose an unjust regime is through nonviolent action. Nonviolent movements are also more likely than violent ones to garner internal and international support and to lead to democratic, non-militarized regimes.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=egypts-revolution-vindicates-gene-s-2011-02-11

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