Talk:Nonviolence

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I will be starting a Nonviolence WikiProject[edit]

If you are interested in participating, please chime in at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Nonviolence. Cheers, Kingturtle (talk) 16:35, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Distinction between different NV articles[edit]

As User:Salinecjr remarked: We currently have several largely overlapping articles about NV. I believe sorting these out is a great first task for the NV wikiproject proposed above. The following is a presumably incomplete list (numbers in italics are google counts of the term):

  1. Nonviolence (1,700,000) (with redirects from Nonviolent direct action (69,400), Non-violence (1,770,000), Non-violent (2,960,000), Non-violent protest (4,850,000 - I am amazed that this number is so much higher than the simple term!) and various other spellings): Most generic title, but article text actually explicitly excludes pacifism and seems to also exclude Ahimsa (or "passive resistance" as Gandhi called understood the term since 1920, or what Mark Kurlansky calls "nonactive pacifism". This distinction was so vital for Gandhi that he said he would "rather see someone incapable of nonviolence resist violently than not resist at all.").
  2. Nonviolent resistance (168,000) (with redirects from Nonviolent action (118,000), Passive resistance (544,000)) - this is largely a "History of nonviolent resistance", and it is currently being discussed there if the article should be renamed accordingly.
  3. Civil disobedience (2,090,000) - This is less a definition of the term "civil disobedience" than a list of events, which is largely the same as the ones listed in Nonviolent resistance. (Of the 15 examples in the former, only 3 are not in the latter. There is some overlap; the examples of Egypt, the Velvet Revolution, and the Rose Revolution are mentioned in lead, but not in body text; also, it is doubtful if "Religious examples" and "Climate Change" are good examples: The former is unreferenced OR, and the latter hasn't really happened yet.)
  4. Nonviolent revolution (28,100) (with redirects from Bloodless coup (159,000) and Soft revolution (38,300)) - Has request to merge from Peaceful revolution since Aug. 8. Also lists many of the movements already listed in Nonviolent resistance and Civil disobedience.
  5. Peaceful revolution (208,000) - Stub; lead says it's synonymous to "bloodless coup", but that is a redirect to Nonviolent revolution. Has request to merge into Nonviolent revolution since Aug. 8. -- this has been merged in the last year.
  6. Civil resistance (83,700) - barely above stub level; with distinctions to other terms either nonexistent or based on an unreliable source such as a blog.
  7. Satyagraha (650,000): This article currently has a dual function: On one hand, it describes Gandhi's take on nonviolence, and it also serves as an overarching article for a whole list of specific nonviolent movements in India. I think Gandhi's concept would fit nicely in an overall article, such as nonviolence.
  8. Ahimsa (950,000) - This is what Gandhi meant by "passive resistance" in the quote above
  9. Pacifism (1,470,000) - see above for distinction

Related terms for which we have no articles or redirects yet include:

If there is interest, then I propose we start the project as Kingturtle proposed and move the discussion there. — Sebastian 02:20, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

I worked on some of these when first started editing, but not since I've learned the ropes. Now I know most of these article are filled with WP:original research. So we should not take too seriously anything NOT sourced. And check out the source of anything that looks questionable. A few comments, with yours in italics:
  • Non-violent protest (4,850,000 - I am amazed that this number is so much higher) Probably because of all the news articles or protest announcements, various descriptions of events using "nonviolent protest."
  • Most generic title, but article text actually explicitly excludes pacifism and seems to also exclude Ahimsa (or "passive resistance. What is there now is all WP:original research which needs to be re-written according to good WP:RS.
  • Nonviolent resistance - is largely a "History of nonviolent resistance", and it is currently being discussed there if the article should be renamed accordingly. Sounds good.
  • Civil disobedience -Nonviolent revolution -Peaceful revolution -Civil resistance A well written WP:RS article will create the right context for all these articles.
  • Satyagraha This article currently has a dual function: On one hand, it describes Gandhi's take on nonviolence, and it also serves as an overarching article for a whole list of specific nonviolent movements in India. I think Gandhi's concept would fit nicely in an overall article, such as nonviolence. It is a specific Philosophy of nonviolence and deserves own article as well as section. "Duragraha" is the other philosophy Gandhi described and is what is used by many groups; it's more nonviolent badgering than anything else.
  • Ahimsa This is what Gandhi meant by "passive resistance" in the quote above. It also is a religious term so deserves own article. Would be integrated into Gandhi's views on Satyagraha.
  • Pacifism It first means opposition to war and organized military violence, allowing some room for violent tactics in self-defense. Does not necessarily mean total nonviolence. Need good WP:RS on this.
  • "Non-cooperation" or "Noncooperation" - but we do have Non-cooperation movement for the specific movement in India. There is also a subsection for it in Nonviolence. Should stay as is, subsection and a specific movement.
  • "Nonviolent intervention" or "non-violent intervention" - but we do have Third Party Non-violent Intervention. Should stay as is, a subsection of Nonviolence (or of nonviolent direct action) and a specific movement.
What sources do you suggest people use as some of the main texts? There are a number of classic texts, of course. And then there are all sorts of new books describing varieties of views, having different definitions and synthesis, etc. CarolMooreDC (talk) 02:22, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
This sounds very good and I would like to help you with this. Unfortunately I don't have much time, and I was hoping there'd be more people to share the work; maybe we should leave messages on the talk pages who signed up for the wikiproject? I do think that a wikiproject would be the best location for discussing issues that cross a series of articles on related topics. If you don't like the idea of creating a new one, then maybe we could go to Wikipedia:WikiProject Anti-war? Either way, after we decided where to move this discussion, we should post pointers there on each of the affected articles talk pages. — Sebastian 00:50, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't have much background in sources; I just finished Kurlansky's "Nonviolence", which seems to be a good overview. You obviously have a much better background, and I will largely trust you on this. I don't have a preconceived notion; all I want is to see this mess cleaned up. — Sebastian 00:47, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

In this context, we should also look at the article Peace movement. — Sebastian 01:39, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Yet another one to add to the above list: Nonresistance. — Sebastian 06:15, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
And there's de:Gütekraft. I know, it's a different language, but it's just such a beautiful word that I want to mention it here, too. — Sebastian 06:40, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
One more: Nonkilling. — Sebastian 23:33, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Nonviolence or Non-violence?[edit]

I am wondering if the title is correct: should there not be a hyphen separating 'non' from violence? Wiki-uk (talk) 17:38, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Proponents of 'nonviolence' think of the it as 'active force that is not violent' rather than than the negation of the word 'violence'. There is no good word (in English) for 'active nonviolence' which is what the word 'nonviolence' is supposed to mean as opposed to 'Non-Violence' which links closely with "Not Violence".

Does that make sense? Salinecjr (talk) 21:18, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Spelling should remain same as article name[edit]

It was recently changed from nonviolence to non-violence throughout article. Obviously different people spell it differently for different reasons. At some point it was decided it would be spelled that way. That does seem to be a naming convention on wikipedia (for example Antisemitism is one word in that article. So to be consistent it should be spelled without hyphen throughout. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:08, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

List of leaders and theorists of nonviolence[edit]

Resolved

This article contains a list of "leaders and theorists of nonviolence", which is currently a free-for-all; there seems to be no agreed criterion for who should be in that list. We already have category:Nonviolence advocates with two subcategories and over 200 articles; it is obviously impossible to include them all into one sentence. I remember reading somewhere else that most people can handle up to 5 different entities, so I propose we strive for a list of 5 people. If we can't do that, it would be better if we just replaced the list with a link to category:Scholars and leaders of nonviolence, or nonviolent resistance.

Also, there is no rhyme or reason to the way the list is currently sorted; I think the least POV and most meaningful way to sort this list would be chronologically.

I looked at all articles linked from that list and in the process created the following table.

Legend - explanation of columns

closest categories
abbreviations mean:
NV in article
lists approximately how often the term "nonviolence" or "non-violence" occurs in the article about a given person. (I stopped counting at 10.) I also included related terms when I recognized them. That's obviously a crude measure, and I realized after I did it that it's probably not useful, but I thought it won't hurt to keep it.
born
This column is included so we can sort by it.
person (relevant articles) closest category NV in article born
Leo Tolstoy P 10 1828
Lech Wałęsa SL 0 1943
Petra Kelly SL 3 (incl. booktitle) 1947
Nhat Hanh SL 2 1926
Dorothy Day SL 2 1897
Ammon Hennacy SL 0 1893
Menno Simons P 1 ("rejected violence") 1561
Albert Einstein (political views) P 0 1879
John Howard Yoder SL 2 (incl. booktitle) 1927
Stanley Hauerwas SL 1 (incl. booktitle) 1940
David McReynolds SL 3 1929
Johan Galtung SL 1 ("positive peace") 1930
Martin Luther King SL 10 1929
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi SL 10 1869
Percy Shelley A 4 1822
James Bevel SL 7 1936
Daniel Berrigan A 2 1921
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan SL 10 1890
Mario Rodríguez Cobos SL 0 1938
César Chávez SL 2 1927

After going through this list, I realized that it's not as useful as I had thought. I wanted to include a column "referenced" to indicate if there a a reference that shows the significance of this person for NV thinking and action, because I felt that that should be the ultimate criterion. But when I thought about Wałęsa and Einstein, I realized that that is not at all clear cut. Both don't have "nonviolence" proper in their article, but there are plenty of references to back up the general notion that they were doing something related. Is that good enough?

A systemic problem of this list is recentism. E.g., the list contains Stanley Hauerwas, but not his role model Dietrich Bonhoeffer. That is exacerbated because the term nonviolence has only recently been coined and anything older is a matter of interpretation. Any ideas how to overcome this? I'm running out of time now, but I'm looking forward to your replies. — Sebastian 18:59, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

BTW, see also Category talk:Scholars and leaders of nonviolence, or nonviolent resistance. — Sebastian 22:11, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

OK after a week of silence, it seems nobody cares for that list. I will therefore pare it down to the three most famous people. — Sebastian 06:02, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, seeing how that paragraph is just carelessly attached to the unrelated section Nonviolent intervention, and since the most important people are already mentioned elsewhere in this article, I will just remove the paragraph altotgether. For all others, we already have a link to Category:Scholars and leaders of nonviolence, or nonviolent resistance under "See also". — Sebastian 06:08, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Article misses the point[edit]

Nonviolence is many things, but it is not specifically a philosophy or strategy for social change as the lead claims. It may be used for those things, but it is not those things. Thich Nhat Hanh best describes it as "awareness", which comes before all of the things the article claims it to be. Viriditas (talk) 10:15, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

It has been a constant problem of this article (and others in this category) that there are many opinions by individual editors who each is certain to know the true meaning of the terms, but few reliably sourced definitions. That shows in the lead section, too. If you have a reliably sourced definition, you're very welcome to replace the unsourced text with it. "NV is awareness" alone, of course, would not be a sufficient encyclopedic definition; any more than any single "Love is ..." statement. — Sebastian 15:21, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
The problem is much greater than a simple definition. This article is not really about nonviolence. It is about nonviolence in political movements. Viriditas (talk) 20:07, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
You have a point. There currently is a huge thematic overlap with nonviolent resistance. It would make sense to sort that out. Looking at the bigger picture, maybe we could merge the details of NVR into that article, and move the table in that article into a new page, which we could call something like "Timeline of ..." per nonviolent resistance#Name change. — Sebastian 05:39, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
BTW, we could also move the quote "We will wear you down by our capacity to suffer", which you removed from this article, to the NVR article. That would fit nicely there. — Sebastian 09:06, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

I've tried to do a bit of housekeeping, removing the image-cruft, which was making the text difficult to read, and removing the last section, which neither appeared notable or remotely relevant. Viriditas (talk) 20:58, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

I've responded to some of the problems identified on this page (and to others I saw in the article) by adding new first paragraph to clarify dual meaning of term. I've also revised what are now 2nd to the 5th paras extensively to make the analysis more coherent; and added source where one had been requested. There is still much to be done, in my view, in the rest of the article (including a critical evaluation of Gelderloos - see below), but I haven't time to do it.Aberdonian99 (talk) 22:10, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Gelderloos[edit]

Need an indication that this is a notable criticism of nonviolence. Viriditas (talk) 21:04, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this is hugely out of proportion, with a paragraph bigger than the text of some entire sections, such as Respect. I took a look at the article Peter Gelderloos, and there are no independent sources that support his notability. The only links that are not to advertisement for his book are the two articles from anarchistnews.org, reporting about his arrest and acquittal, hardly a claim to fame. Moreover, that website doesn't seem like it meets our standards for reliability, such as being third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, and having editorial oversight. — Sebastian 05:59, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Archiving[edit]

I just archived the sections that have been resolved or in which people lost interest. That means, if they either had the "resolved" tag, or if there was no discussion since last year and it didn't look like anyone was waiting for more opinions. The long section Talk:Nonviolence/Archive I#Recent changes was a borderline case; I figured that if someone wants to bring up some of the issues discussed there, it would be better to summarize that part of the discussion, and write it as a new section. — Sebastian 05:23, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

When I edited the archive, I noticed that there was already a discussion about the hyphenation. Since that seems to be a perpetually repeating issue, I'll add it to the relevant section here. — Sebastian 05:26, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Anti-war cartoons[edit]

Just to let you know that I have loaded several cartoons onto Wikimedia Commons under Category:Anti-war cartoons. Feel free to use them on Wikipedia articles. Nirvana2013 (talk) 08:17, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

I literally laughed out loud.[edit]

Leon Trotsky, Frantz Fanon, Reinhold Niebuhr, Subhash Chandra Bose, George Orwell, Ward Churchill...

Ward Churchill in between George Orwell and Malcolm X? Jesus, not to be mean to the poor guy, can we edit him out for the sake of style? --66.233.55.145 (talk) 02:15, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

What? 24.7.129.254 (talk) 08:33, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

potential resource[edit]

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/11/28/a_history_of_nonviolence

99.19.42.30 (talk) 07:31, 4 December 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.190.81.65 (talk)

A History of (Non)Violence; Why humans are becoming more peaceful. by Steven Pinker December 2011, excerpt ... removed because it's excessive.
99.181.130.209 (talk) 01:18, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Not a shred of potential relevance to this article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Shorten, see View History(s) ... 99.181.131.59 (talk) 05:51, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Violence-prone personality traits are even more consequential when they infect political rulers, because their hang-ups can affect hundreds of millions of people ... The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association defines narcissistic personality disorder as "a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy." The trio of symptoms at narcissism's core -- grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy -- fits tyrants ... vainglorious monuments, hagiographic iconography, and obsequious mass rallies. ... At the same time, their lack of empathy imposes no brake on the punishment they mete out to real or imagined opponents. ... their DSM symptoms: their "fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love," which may be realized in rapacious conquest, pharaonic construction projects, or utopian master plans.

Here is a shorter version of 99.181.130.209's which was deleted by Special:Contributions/Arthur Rubin along with signatures, see WP:TALK#Editing comments. 99.181.139.130 (talk) 10:48, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Arthur Rubin, please see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. 141.218.36.41 (talk) 00:42, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
It's still a probable copyright violation, many of links (within quotes) violate Wikipedia guidelines as being either obvious (violating WP:OVERLINK), speculative as to the author's intent, or just wrong (the Wikipedia article being on something entirely different).
And irrelevant to the improving the article. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 02:52, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

potential resource[edit]

In Uprising, Syrians Find Spark of Creativity "In Protests, Syrians Find the Spark of Creativity." published NYT December 19, 2011 by Neil MacFarquhar

97.87.29.188 (talk) 00:24, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

potential resource; 'empathy, imagination, and a healthy sense of humor"[edit]

from Talk:Extremism ... Fanatics Attack; The best defense against extremism includes empathy, imagination, and a healthy sense of humor by Amos Oz, from How to Cure a Fanatic Utne Reader November-December 2011

Here is an excerpt ...

As a former Jerusalemite, as a recovered fanatic, I feel I’m fully qualified for that job. Perhaps it is time that every school, every university teach at least a couple of courses in comparative fanaticism, because it is everywhere. I don’t mean just the obvious manifestations of fundamentalism and zealotry. I don’t refer just to those obvious fanatics, the ones we see on television, in places where hysterical crowds wave their fists against the cameras while screaming slogans in languages we don’t understand. No, fanaticism is almost everywhere, and its quieter, more civilized forms are present all around us and perhaps inside of us as well.

99.181.147.88 (talk) 03:38, 1 January 2012 (UTC)