Under What circumstances is nonviolence an effective strategy for change.

War has been accepted as part of the human race, constant conflicts which people seek to settle differently. Historically, people have been known to take up arms to fight. There have been instances of political conventions but then most of the time violence and politics have accompanied each other. The use of non violence has been there in history, amazingly. Few students are interested in the activities of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Ceaser and Martin Luther. They are the first advocators of modern use of non violence as opposed to arms to solve conflicts. Non violence is also associated with religion and many Christians view the actions as having been advocated by the bible. These actions to be effective have to lay moral principles and people in groups have to be taught how to undertake the planned actions. The outcomes must also be visualized.


The 20th century saw more wars than any other past century in the world history ranging from minor tribal wars in Africa to conflicts in Asia and other parts of the world. These conflicts, violence led to the death of many and it has been approximated that over three million people have lost their lives since 1990. To date, people still continue to use violence to seek evenness and revenge. War can be looked at in a new dimension by working towards peace and the rights of the human race, by preventing conflicts and injustice, while using non violence actions.

Social change has some approaches, one of which is non violence. Non violence is a method of action that is not conventional politics and in which people have downed their war tools. Such methods include rallies, strikes, boycotts and vigils among other approaches that do not aim at hurting each other. These methods are effective in achieving goals and have been used by people to try to achieve goals through others. In history, this action has been undertaken through practices such as civil disobedience, partial resistance and non resistance. During the British war, the American pacifists fighting for the American independence refused too pay taxes, which was civil disobedience.

People could take up this approach as a way of life so that they align their livelihoods to doing deeds of kindness, acts of mercy, and collaborating with other people in the society. By taking it as a way of life, people minimize harm to others by reducing personal violence and helping others reduce domination in the world. Approaching it as a way of life has made non violence be linked to religious belief. Non violence could also be adopted as a strategy in which case people could practice disobedience of civics. There are numerous ways of putting non violence into action. People tend to differ as to what strategy to take upon with the exception of influential leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez and martin Luther king junior. These leaders tried to combine both a way of life and strategy. Most people do not believe in nonviolence and it might be oppressive to force such people to participate in non violence strategies. Events for such activities should be open to those who are willing and there should be training forums.

Non violent action in the past has been both successful and has also faced failure. This path to social change believes in using physical presence either by an individual or groups. The actions try to minimize physical harm unlike in violence and the victims are not caused to suffer. There are times when non violence action does not use physical presence in which case the protesters use withdrawal or boycotts. These actions have been found to bring development to neighborhood associations, serve the needs of poor people in the society, and help in the promotion of harmony among the various groups of the society and sets up interactive communication in the communities. Mahatma Gandhi referred to these outcomes as the constructive program as they aid the community stay on without violence and oppressive regimes.

The strength of noon violence action is usually in its ability to lower the legitimacy of users of violence, at least morally. This reduction in legitimacy leads to the building of coalitions among people in the community and the reduction of violence related activities. These actions then can only be achievable when the parties concerned in the boycotts, strikes, non resistance and any other kind of non violence actions base their activities on principles of morality and a strategy of communication which publicizes the immoral and violent behavior of opponents to the whole world. This publicizing help the people know what they are up against. This however requires impartial observers or who are trusted in a wide area and also a theatrical touch.

To make non violence actions effective, there has to be some moral principles that the groups or individual or groups use. Besides the principles, there has to be a strategy, the people have to be trained on how to handle the actions, the methods of the social change path have to be defined and the lifestyle after the violence has to be laid out. The strategy lays out the foundations of how the people should work to curb future conflicts.


Non violence actions have been found to fail sometimes but then its benefits surpass those of violence and political conventions. These actions however cannot be effective if there lacks collaboration among members in a group and if there is the element of fear. The people have to be fully informed about what is being done, that is in training while being guided by some oral principles. This aids avid violence in case the non violence actions fail to work. The methods to use have to be made known to avoid conflict of interest in the group which could lead to the sprouting of violence.

King L.martin The trumpet of conscience

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