The nonviolent struggle within India, the United States, and South Africa have all been successful, although not all nonviolent struggles end with victory. In places such as Egypt, Iran, and Russia, non-violent tactics have failed. If we zoom into the core strategies of each situation, we can gather some central factors on which may have aided or destroyed the plight of the power of nonviolence. In all three successful countries in which non-violent struggle has been victorious, all movements were led by a powerful, influential, non-violence leader such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. All three movements collectively were against using violence to gain results but used methods such as non-cooperation, civil disobedience, strikes, peaceful protest and economic boycotts to create desired results. Most leaders of this movements knew that violence could threaten the momentum of the movement and destroy the essential goal at hand. Reflecting on the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement in the United States, one of the parties leaders spoke about the repercussions if the movement would have resorted to guerrilla warfare.”If we had started guerrilla warfare in America’s cities, if we had given into terrorism in America, we could not have won but America could not have survived,” said Young.”(Young)They also took advantage of tools such as media coverage playing to their advantage as the rest of world got to witness the brutality of the oppressor on the peaceful oppressed.
As far as failed nonviolence attempts in other countries such as Egypt, The Green Revolution in Iran and the Russian revolution, it seems as if their main object was to get rid of the authoritative ruling dictator, but not necessarily a plan to construct the change of economic conditions. This may have been a great factor in the movement’s downfall. The Arab Spring source states, “advocates and practitioners of nonviolent civil resistance, who have often concentrated on the task of getting rid of dictators with less thought and planning about what comes after.”Therefore the lack of planning for postconditions after the regime has been removed may have only created a temporary change and not a permanent one. Also, factors such as leaders being jailed and many of the supporters pulling out and not receiving total support for the oppressed can affect the results of the nonviolent movement. As stated in the quote, “But the overwhelming majority of them opted for a full recognition of the dignified limits of what they could say or do from abroad and never joined the bandwagon of “regime changers”, or the treasonous path of plotting against their own homeland.” (Aljazeera.com)Also, lack of unity of the parties, lack of support, lack of strategic planning can also lead to a failure of the nonviolent struggle.
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