Posts by Prof. Michael Nagler

Foundations of Resistance- Reflection

FOLLOWERS of that great pioneer of nonviolent action, the late Gene Sharp, often speak of the “pillars of support:” no dictator can function without police, armies, bureaucracies to carry out their orders (I suppose today we’d have to add a “deep state”). It is much more effective to erode these pillars, rendering the autocrat ineffectual,… read more

Not just a billboard, a story

On my rare visits to LA, I am always impressed (negatively) by the blatant violence of the billboards advertising films and TV. This past weekend was no exception. Apparently, there are fashions in violence. A while back it was crime, then a particularly sick one: the dead – zombies slouching toward you every other street.… read more

Is this #Enough?

If this is #enough, then what’s next? “Protests come and go, almost no matter what the scale and entrenched regimes of violence and injustice wait them out.”   There have been far too many pious clichés in response to all these tragedies, but I’m going to risk one more: if – and it remains to… read more

THE POST: A (Somewhat Biased) Film Review

For full disclosure: I’m a long-term friend of Dan and Patricia Ellsberg, and I was a more distant friend but also admirer of Ben Bagdikian. I lived through the era depicted in The Post, and since I see very few movies I tend to have strong reactions to those I do. That said, I had… read more

A Story + A Request for Help

Dear friends, After three intense hours at a rally for white supremacy in Gainesville, Florida, three simple words “I don’t know” rang out with power. Aaron Courtney, who is black, stood across the lines from Randy Fourniss, whose attitude was proclaimed by the swastikas on his body and clothing. For three hours Courtney stayed with… read more

Nonviolence News – June 23rd, 2017

  During this week’s episode of Nonviolence Radio, during the Nonviolence in the News Section, we run across no less than three (3) developments that, expanding their reach and taken together, have the potential to shift the paradigm definitively!  They are, 1) thanks to the vacuum (or worse) at the top, power seems to be… read more

Disturbance at UC Berkeley: A Few Thoughts

RESONATING as it did with widespread feelings of frustration and impotence, the “successful” action last week to prevent right-wing agitator Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at the invitation of student Republicans on the Berkeley campus has been met with a certain grudging admiration even by those in the peace and nonviolence fold. This, while understandable on… read more

Notes on Nonviolence Strategy: Part 2

This post is the second part of a two-part series. Part 1 looks at the outward aspects of strategy: creating a proactive, long-term nonviolent movement. This part turns to the inner aspects of strategy: exploring who we are as human beings and building meaningful lives. Man appears to be the embodiment of want. Want is… read more

Notes on Nonviolence Strategy: Part 1

This first post looks at the outward aspects of strategy: creating a proactive, long-term nonviolent movement. The second part considers the inner aspects of strategy: exploring who we are as human beings and building meaningful lives. It has been heartwarming to see the passion with which many Americans have said their “No!” to the policies… read more