Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: Active resistance or passive resistance?

Posted 7 years ago on March 12, 2013, 5:02 p.m. EST by HCabret (-327)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Active resistance or passive resistance?



Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by gsw (3319) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 7 years ago

Yes, both active and passive. http://www.cusdi.org/problem.htm

Theres a need for more people to be involved in it.

How do we get more involved people?



[-] 0 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Why passive? What is good about doing nothing?

[-] 1 points by gsw (3319) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 7 years ago

I took it as pacifist, peaceful resistance.

passive resistance n. Resistance by nonviolent methods to a government, an occupying power, or specific laws, as refusing to comply, demonstrating in protest, or fasting. passive resister n.


Gandhi distinguished between satyagraha and Nonviolent resistance in the following letter: I have drawn the distinction between passive resistance as understood and practised in the West and satyagraha before I had evolved the doctrine of the latter to its full logical and spiritual extent. I often used “passive resistance” and “satyagraha” as synonymous terms: but as the doctrine of satyagraha developed, the expression “passive resistance” ceases even to be synonymous, as passive resistance has admitted of violence as in the case of suffragettes and has been universally acknowledged to be a weapon of the weak. Moreover, passive resistance does not necessarily involve complete adherence to truth under every circumstance. Therefore it is different from satyagraha in three essentials: Satyagraha is a weapon of the strong; it admits of no violence under any circumstance whatsoever; and it ever insists upon truth. I think I have now made the distinction perfectly clear."[8]


: resistance especially to a government or an occupying power characterized mainly by noncooperation



[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

"the expression “passive resistance” ceases even to be synonymous, as passive resistance has admitted of violence as in the case of suffragettes and has been universally acknowledged to be a weapon of the weak."

Gandhi said passive resistance is a 'weapon of the weak'. Again I ask, what is good about passive anything?

[-] 1 points by gsw (3319) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 7 years ago

Any resistance is active. Even if only in your mind, if that is the only way you can resist, as in slaves who were captured form Africa didnt have much opportunity to resist while chained, but when they got chance rose up, did so, even facing near certain death and defeat.

Ghandi said it weak because it used violence.

I just dislike violence....it was drilled into me as a child "people are not for hitting", by parents.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3319) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 7 years ago

[-] 3 points by gsw (1707) from Kent, WA 18 hours ago But if people united for a big change like this or something else, it would compel politician to take a stand, pro or not. and might lead to some being defeated. Well, if we cant get this, how about if we all in ows refuse to pay a portion of our taxes, say if we didn't have enough withheld, that could clog the system... or maybe if we withheld say a hundred bucks from our taxes. I'm sure they'd just take it out of our paychecks with interest. great Jeferson quotes, and others, in your post above, by the way.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Withholding only a portion of your taxes would equal 'passive' as you are refusing to actually do anything.

Writing a letter to the IRS saying that from now on I will not pay any taxes until I am allowed to decide where my consent goes, is 'active'.

No taxes is better than low taxes.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

If you don't somehow put a hurtin' on the establishment, they ain't going to change.

I know most of you are not into violence (I'm not either), and I'm not suggesting that. There are ways to put on a hurtin' without pulling a trigger or swinging a bat.

Active non-violence then. But most people are not into that either, for its only a matter of time when the establishment will come back at you with thier violence, and one needs to be prepared for that.

Ok, for all you arm chair revolutionaries, here is something we can all do. Talk up, belittle, and neutralize the propaganda of the establishment. Make fools out of the scum, and popularize doing so. Propaganda is a key pillar in the establishment's arsenal for keeping people down. If we can at least knock that one down, we will have made progress. We all got keyboards, cell phones, and a mouth. This can't be too hard.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Everyone has got to change themselves. I nor you can change others for them.

Fighting Thier propaganda with Our propaganda will solve nothing. That is like fighting fire with fire or fighting violence with violence.

I want Innovation anyway, not Revolution.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

I want the corrupt creeps out of Washington.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Me too man, but lowering yourself to their level wont acheive that.

[-] 1 points by trulyamazingOWStruthseer (-23) 7 years ago

What does passive resistance even mean?

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Supposedly resisting by doing nothing. Seems lazy to me.

[-] 1 points by Narley (272) 7 years ago

Passive activism. Anything seen as illegal or threatening the public would be self defeating. For example, the blac blocks breaking store windows turned off millions of middle Americans. Riots, no matter the good intentions, will be seen as terroristic.

So, whatever OWS does, it must be peaceful.

[-] -1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Why must resistance be 'passive'? Why cant it be 'active' and non-violent?

active doesnt equal violence....

"I, for one, have never advocated passive anything. And I think our resistance must be active and provocative!" -The real Gandhi may never had said this, but this is from the Gandhi movie and rings very true.

"Where there's injustice, I always believed in fighting. The question is, do you fight to change things or to punish? For myself, I've found we're all such sinners, we should leave punishment to God. And if we really want to change things, there are better things than derailing trains or slashing someone with a sword." -Also from the Gandhi movie, also true.

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

I have a book written by Gandhi. You'll never believe what he wrote; (in a nutshell), use active non-violence if you can, but if non-violence doesn't work use violence. Ok, he then goes on to say, if a one is smart enough one can always find a path of non-violence, but one should never give into the other man's violence, and back down from one's cause.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

What book do you refer to and what is the exact quote?

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

The book: "The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi", Compiled and Edited by R.K. Prabhu & U.R. Rao, Navajivan Publishing House Ahmedad-14, 1945. In it, a chapter 28 titled "Between Cowardice and Violence", the chapter begins with the words " I would risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race. ... I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour that that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor."

But before we all go pulling out the howitzers out of our barns, and dusting off our grenade launchers because our mentor said violence is ok under certain circumstances let us make a little effort to not take these lines out of context, but read more of what the Mahatma writes, and understand what he is really trying to say; as well as what I am trying to say.

Against a serious adversary, the potential for violence will always exist. If one shies from this potential one will have already lost. It is for civilized men to figure out how not to cross the line without shying from it. i.e. prancing around parks with signs alone does not confront the problem. Such is not enough to enact real change.

[-] 2 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Who said Gandhi was my mentor?

He failed misaberably. India is split in 3. 2 of the Indias have nukes. 1 of the Indias had a horrible genocide 30 years after Gandhi was murdered. They still have representative democracy and not swaraj.

People like Gandhi and Thoreau and MLKJr. layed the groundwork, but I am neither them nor a follower of theirs.

Listen to them and build on what they said, dont follow blindly.

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. Violence is any day preferable to impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent."

Your quote is not evidence of Gandhi's endorsement of violence. He says if you are going to choose between being a coward and a violent person, you better pick being violent. He said nothing of violence being better and/or preferable to non-violence. Non-violence is always superior to violence. The cowards die. The violent die. The non-violent never die.

Instead of 'prancing around parks with signs', why dont you actually do something. Employ Active resistance, Employ Gandhigiri.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 7 years ago

OK, you’re right. Active activism doesn’t mean violent activism. Still, surly you don’t believe blac blocks breaking windows accomplished anything? To the contrary, it drove millions of middle Americans away from OWS. Even worse were the guys wanting to blow up the bridge last year.

If OWS ever expects to win the hearts and minds of the masses it must shun any level of violence. That’s my point.

[-] 3 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

Actually, because OWS is too passive, it is being seen by many as a do nothing organization, and people are loosing interest because of that.

I'm not into violence, but truth is black blocks and the like are what the establishment fears most. Unfortunately, it is the threat of violence, but not necessarily any actual violence, that affects political change. The problem is if only a few loose nuts do it, it is not seen as a threat. So, such violence is ineffective to the degree of being negative. But say if the threat was created by a popular mass movement.......

(p.s. read my posts above.)

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

But say, if the people just stopped playing the game.

Don't pay your bills. Don't go to micky D's. Don't buy gas. Don't go to work. Don't do anything to benefit the oligarchs at all.

See how long they (and you) can hold out.

[-] 3 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

Yep, these are the sort of things I'm talking about. But if only a few folks do it it will not be effective. We need to create mass movement.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Yes, and I feel the beginning is near.

Even rather conservative people are starting to realise that the only available options include action. The time for talk, and expecting politicians to do the right thing, is over.

[-] 3 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 7 years ago

The young lady on the left holding, The Beginning Is Near" sign is the first one I saw, and it is an iconic image of early Occupy

Her message written on a pizza box is turning into a prophetic one too

And it is 'recycling' at its very best...lol



[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Yes, I remember that one.

And I even see Homer in there as well.

I haven't heard much lately on the actions in Europe, though there was a brief mention that there has been a bank run in Cyprus, after their govt started removing ten percent of everyone's savings to bail out their banks.


[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 7 years ago

Courageous determined young women make up a big part of Occupy, as they did in the early 20th century struggles

The gall of politicians who expect the people to pay for their comlicitous corruption with the banks

It sounds like its time for shadzy to educate us in what is going on over there, as he always has the best posts and links

I think everyone took some time off from doing direct actions over the winter to strategize, reflect, and network with each other


[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

The act of refusing to pay taxes is 'active' not 'passive'.

Passive would be sitting at home, continuing to go to work, pay taxes, ect. ect. People who want change, but dont do anything about it are passive.

Open defiance of the 'United States way' of doing government is ACTIVE.

Death and Taxes are both voluntary in my eyes. Nothing is certain.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 7 years ago

Any kind of violence is viewed as negative by most middle Americans. Black blocs are viewed as borderline terrorists and hooligans. Their violence has probably done more harm to OWS than any other single factor. People are turned off by childish breaking windows and hassling the cops. I’m pretty sure corporate America isn’t afraid of the black blocs.

As far as a popular movement embracing violence. Riots maybe? Armed insurrection? A revolution? No, OWS doesn’t yet have enough people to be effective. The police would quickly quell any violent acts. Then the press would vilify OWS.

Remember the violent revolutionary radical groups of the late 60’s? The Weather Underground, the group that kidnapped Patty Hurst, the group that killed cops and robbed banks? None of them accomplished anything. They gave the peace and love era a bad name. People were turned off.

So, I say whatever path OWS takes, violence at any level will overshadow any good intentions.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

In general I agree with you. Micky mouse tactics by a some population of hooligans is harmful to a movement, and is something that can be easily be put down by a ruling oligarchy. And yes OWS is nowhere near in size and strength to militarily take on something as huge as the U.S. government, or even any real elements of Corporate America. And to think of it, considering the size of the U.S. government and the respective corporate oligarchy, military style threat is out of the question.

And we (at least most of us) are not even into overthrowing any government,corporate entity, or any group of billionaires anyway. We just want them to behave a bit more compassionately and responsibly to the greater population of Americans.

Nevertheless, what I'm saying is true. They will not respond to mere protest and talk. Consider all the anti war protests ten something years ago. The world was in protest. Yet our then President Bush simply said "I'm not interested in public opinion", and invaded Iraq anyway. Without a viable threat, the oligarchy ruling over us will not respond. They are psychos.

So, that leaves us with a bit of a dilemma; how do we create a viable threat, yet let it be non-military and (preferably) non-violent? It comes down to this: OWS needs to be able to state : "We want you to _, or else we will __." Fill in the blanks. The statement needs to be believable and executable. Without such a statement there is no viable movement.

[-] 1 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Anyone and everyone who voted for George the Second was complicit in the Iraq War. Anyone who paid federal taxes from 2000 to 2008 was complicit in the Iraq War.

Taxes=complicity. It is not so much about the money, as it is about the consent.

No taxes are better than low taxes.

[-] 2 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

"it must shun any level of violence"

I agree. violence is always wrong and never justified. on top of that, it is extremely ineffective as a means of resistance.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

The kinds of action #ows needs are those that were displayed at occupy Sandy, with the distribution centre, food gathering and preparation, asset management (clothing, bedding, first aid), because when we all go on strike, we'll still need feeding, housing, and all the other things that go along with living.

[-] 2 points by HCabret (-327) 7 years ago

Active means doing something as opposed to passive which means doing nothing. Active doesn't mean vandalism.