From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation

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Albert Einstein Institution, 2008 - Civil disobedience - 93 pages
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A serious introduction to the use of nonviolent action to topple dictatorships. Based on the author's study, over a period of forty years, on non-violent methods of demonstration, it was originally published in 1993 in Thailand for distribution among Burmese dissidents.

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User Review  - blake.rosser - LibraryThing

This is an actual handbook on nonviolent resistance, which on the one hand makes it incredibly intriguing but on the other makes it rather boring, since it reads somewhat like an instruction manual. I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - WaltNoise - LibraryThing

Sharp is a modern day combination of Gandhi and Machiavelli. While not a strict pacifist, Sharp makes the point that by picking up the gun, you have chosen to fight on the dictator’s terms ... Read full review

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Page 8 - If you refuse to pay unjust rents, if you refuse to take farms from which others have been evicted, the land question must be settled, and settled in a way that will be satisfying to you.
Page 69 - Records, radio, and television 12. Skywriting and earthwriting Group Representations 13. Deputations 14. Mock awards 15. Group lobbying 16. Picketing 17. Mock elections Symbolic Public Acts 18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors 19. Wearing of symbols 20. Prayer and worship 21. Delivering symbolic objects 22.
Page 18 - Such a tactic leaves the burden on the authorities to try to return the situation to the previous condition; if they fail, a piece of the new society has been planted. Machiavelli long ago noted the impossible position of a government which sees the people's compliance dissolve; he said that the prince "who has the public as a whole for his enemy can never make himself secure; and the greater his cruelty, the weaker does his regime become.
Page 18 - These considerations apply to totalitarianism as they apply to all types of government, but in their application to totalitarianism they again suggest a paradox. Totalitarian power is strong only if it does not have to be used too often. If totalitarian power must be used at all times against the entire population, it is unlikely to remain powerful for long. Since totalitarian regimes require more power for dealing with their subjects than do other types of government, such regimes stand in greater...
Page 74 - Boycott of government-supported organizations. (129) Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents. (130) Removal of own signs and placemarks. (131) Refusal to accept appointed officials. (132) Refusal to dissolve existing institutions. Citizens' alternatives to obedience: (133) Reluctant and slow compliance. (134) Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision. (135) Popular nonobedience. (136) Disguised disobedience. (137) Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse. (138) Sitdown. (139) Noncooperation...
Page 26 - As noted earlier, all governments can rule only as long as they receive replenishment of the needed sources of their power from the cooperation, submission, and obedience of the population and the institutions of the society.
Page 30 - Far more often, nonviolent struggle operates by changing the conflict situation and the society so that the opponents simply cannot do as they like. It is this change that produces the other three mechanisms: accommodation, nonviolent coercion, and disintegration.
Page 64 - If both legitimacy and cooperation are denied, the coup may die of political starvation and the chance to build a democratic society restored.
Page 45 - Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action (Boston, MA: Porter Sargent, 1973) and Peter Ackerman and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict (Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1994).

About the author (2008)

Gene Elmer Sharp was born in North Baltimore, Ohio on January 21, 1928. He received a bachelor's degree in social science and a master's degree in sociology from Ohio State University and a doctorate from Oxford University. During the Korean War, rather than declaring himself a conscientious objector, he refused to cooperate with his draft board because he opposed conscription altogether. He was sentenced to two years in prison for draft dodging, but only served nine months. His strategy of peaceful resistance inspired velvet revolutions that toppled dictators on four continents. He created a list of 198 nonviolent weapons of protest and noncooperation to disrupt or even paralyze oppressive authorities including boycotts, mock funerals, hunger strikes, and Lysistratic nonaction. In 1983, he founded the Albert Einstein Institution to promote indigenous regime change that does not invite violent retaliation. He also taught political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and was a researcher at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. His first book, Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power: Three Case Studies, was published in 1960. He wrote over 30 books including The Politics of Nonviolent Action: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation and Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System. He died on January 28, 2018 at the age of 90.

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