Non-violent revolution, is it possible?

What will it take to bring about a civilization that is peaceful, equitable and happy? This is a key question that I have been contemplating for the almost four decades during which I’ve come to realize the fundamental changes that are required in order for a convivial civilization to emerge.

In my most recent book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, I drew upon Prof. Philip Zimbardo’s work on human behavior and the lessons learned from his famous Stanford Prison Experiment. Just recently I happened to hear on the TED Radio Hour on NPR, a fascinating program that explored, The Violence Within Us. Besides Philip Zimbardo, talking about “Why Do Good People Do Bad Things?”, the program featured three other related segments as follows:

Jim Fallon: What Does The Mind Of A Killer Look Like?

Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why Don’t Domestic Violence Victims Leave?

Steven Pinker: Is The World A Less Violent Place?

These segments, each dealing with a different question relating to violence comprise one of the most thought-provoking programs I’ve heard in a very long time. I think we can learn a great deal by contemplating the facts and ideas presented. Please visit the program page and have a listen.

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3 responses to “Non-violent revolution, is it possible?

  1. I found David Graeber’s new book The Democracy Project to be instructive here: he suggests that “revolutions” are actually successful in changing the status quo not by armed seizure of power. This opens more possibility to social change, specifically change through example rather than fire-fights-fire, with the attendant problems and compromises.

    • Yes, that’s why I promote free market approaches to change. When the power structure goes to extremes to preserve their privileges and suppress peaceful change, people get frustrated and angry. That’s when things turn violent. Let’s hope that can be avoided.

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