Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind nonviolence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one's life. As a teacher of nonviolence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.
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Today's world is traveling in some strange direction. You see that the world is going toward destruction and violence. And the specialty of violence is to create hatred among people and to create fear. I am a believer in nonviolence and I say that no peace or tranquility will descend upon the people of the world until nonviolence is practiced, because nonviolence is love and it stirs courage in people.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
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The trouble is that nonviolence is so often defined as refusal to fight, and that is the American definition of cowardice. In fact, marching unarmed against the guns and dogs of the police requires more courage than does aggression. The perverted idea of manhood coming from the barrel of a gun is what keeps people from understanding nonviolence.
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Nonviolence seeks to 'win' not by destroying or even by humiliating the adversary, but by convincing [the adversary] that there is a higher and more certain common good than can be attained by bombs and blood. Nonviolence, ideally speaking, does not try to overcome the adversary by winning over [them], but to turn [them] from an adversary into a collaborator by winning [them] over.
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From a magical point of view, the term 'nonviolence' doesn't work well. Every beginning Witch learns that you can't cast a spell for what you don't want - that the deep aspects of our minds are unclear on the concept of 'no.' If you tell your dog, 'Rover, I can't take you for a walk,' Rover hears 'Walk!' and runs for the door. If we say 'nonviolence,' we are still thinking in terms of violence.
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In order to live a life of nonviolence one must be willing to soften - to open one's heart to others, to forgive, to be compassionate, to be graceful, to be loving toward others and oneself, to be kind. We must be willing, in other words, to reject hardness as the measure of power and justice, and to embrace, instead, so much of what is commonly associated with the feminine. Indeed, it is no longer tenable - if it ever were - to assess and critique nonviolence in terms of whether or not it conforms to some masculine idea of the justice-seeking self.
Alycee J. Lane
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Dr. King's policy was that nonviolence would achieve the gains for black people in the United States. His major assumption was that if you are nonviolent, if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and will be moved to change his heart. That's very good. He only made one fallacious assumption: In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.
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I myself would go for nonviolence if it was consistent, if everybody was going to be nonviolent all the time. I'd say, okay, let's get with it, we'll all be nonviolent. But I don't go along with any kind of nonviolence unless everybody's going to be nonviolent. If they make the Ku Klux Klan nonviolent, I'll be nonviolent. If they make the White Citizens Council nonviolent, I'll be nonviolent. But as long as you've got somebody else not being nonviolent, I don't want anybody coming to me talking any nonviolent talk.
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So many people around the world have used nonviolence as a way to resolve a conflict that they faced in their lives. And they continue to use it everywhere all over the world there. And I think, in a way, nonviolence is our nature. Violence is not really our nature. If violence was our nature, we wouldn't need military academies and martial arts institutes to teach us how to kill and destroy people. We ought to have been born with those instincts. But the fact that we have to learn the art of killing means that it's a learned experience. And we can always unlearn it.
Arun Manilal Gandhi
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Just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for non-violence. Violence does not mean the emancipation from fear, but discovering the means of combating the cause of fear. Nonviolence, on the other hand, has no cause for fear. The votary of nonviolence has to cultivate the capacity for sacrifice of the highest type in order to be free from fear. He recks not if he should lose his land, his wealth, his life.
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If you are a feminist and are not a vegan, you are ignoring the exploitation of female nonhumans and the commodification of their reproductive processes, as well as the destruction of their relationship with their babies; If you are an environmentalist and not a vegan, you are ignoring the undeniable fact that animal agriculture is an ecological disaster; If you embrace nonviolence but are not a vegan, then words of nonviolence come out of your mouth as the products of torture and death go into it; If you claim to love animals but you are eating them or products made from them, or otherwise consuming them, you see loving as consistent with harming that which you claim to love. Stop trying to make excuses. There are no good ones to make. Go vegan.
Gary L. Francione
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