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Non-violence vs. violence: which works better in a revolution?
History

3pointer
Feb 08, 2009
4 votes
8 debaters
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2
Non-violence


3pointer
Feb 09, 2009
2 convinced
Rebuttal
One of the advantages and results of non violent resistence is that it paints the protesters as the oppressed and 'the man' as the oppressor/bully even more clearly to the world or potential followers. This allows for further support of the cause and causes crumbling from within the infrastructure of the tyrant, as shown in the British-homeland as Gandhi-sympathizers spread across the Empire.

Violence only portrays the oppressed as the enemy, not the victim. This limits potential support and may cause the revolution to end with die-hards.

 
3pointer
Feb 08, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: jonjax71 Show

Satyagraha is the philosophy coined by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. This is non-violent ways Gandhi, and in his own words, 'Satyagraha is a weapon of the strong; it admits of no violence under any circumstance whatsoever; and it ever insists upon truth.' By using this 'weapon,' Gandhi and his followers were able to overthrow and remove the British Raj. Later, the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez, and the Velvet Revolution were inspired by Gandhi's teachings and successes. This empirical evidence shows that Satyagraha, not to be confused with passive resistence, works.

 
3pointer
Feb 09, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: atlas101 Show

I concede that non-violence, satyagraha, and non-violent civil disobedience would be useless and a waste of life against mad men like your aforementioned. However, when those that have some compassion are concerned, it has been shown to be incredibly productive.

As Gandhi stated, satyagraha is a tool and weapon to be used only by the brave and committed. Cowardice should not and cannot be covered up by the refusal to retaliate. Gandhi even said that violence is better than a coward performing satyagraha. Gandhi and his followers had nerves of steel and balls of brass. Many would have died in generations of struggle if the British had been more brutal, but I firmly believe Gandhi would have prevailed in the end through a mental war of attrition.

 
3pointer
Feb 09, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: littleminx Show

Gandhi was specifically against physical violence and that was the focus of my post.

I created this debate so for definitions and clarification: Non-violence= non-physical violent protests, disobediance, and actions; Violence= physical violence.

So to be blunt, I would prefer you to use your skills debating the topic and not focusing so much on the definitions.

 
3pointer
Feb 09, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: jonjax71 Show

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had similar goals. One major one was respect. I feel this is where they differ the most. Malcolm X tried to achieve respect through fear that he tried to cast upon whitey, whereas MLK tried to through morals, embrace, and peace. And besides, Malcolm X wasn't advocating violence directly, he was advocating to achieve the goals through any means necessary, whether it be peace, or if one must resort to violence.

MLK and Malcolm X had a complicated relationship. Malcolm X would lambast MLK's actions some days, or try to work as one the next. Now, a two-pronged attack such as this is successful, as shown, but not necessarily the only way, as shown by Gandhi.

Note on Velvet Revolution: The then-Communist government of Czechslovakia was overthrown by a 100% nonviolent protest and power was transisioned peacefully into a democracy. This empirical evidence shows my point clearly.

 
kaleb
Feb 10, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
the choice to be violent or non-violent (or, really, to be forceful or not forceful) is decided for a revolution along with another more important and much more subtle decision.
is a revolution concerned with changing people minds, or is a revolution concerned with allowing peoples minds to be changed? that is, does a revolution consist of people saying "you are no longer allowed to think that way" or is a revolution concerned with saying "this is the way i will think because i find it to be better."
if you are only concerned with the first, then force is not only a tool at your disposal, but is, indeed, the stated goal. when you apply force, you will achieve a change of some kind.
if you are concerned with the second then, in general, revolutions will not be much concern of yours, and yet you consistently see revolutions happening around people who hold this ideal.
MLK did not succeed by telling white people that they had to change. MLK and Rosa Parks succeeded not by forcing people to change their minds, but by living their lives in accordance with dignity, and by sharing that dignity with others. their revolution did not say "you must treat me better," but rather, "i am better, and will live my life as such."


 
frankiej4189
Feb 09, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: jonjax71 Show

They taught us in School that MLK was strongly against the more violent protests from the like of Malcom X because it was counterproductive.

There was also a violent movement in the Indian Independence movement. Ghandi was strongly against that as well for the exact same reasons.

The 2 greatest (IMO) social revolutions of liberty in recent times have been the Civil Rights Movement and the Independence of India, both of which were mostly based off of non-violence. Had MLK and Ghandi approved of and/or advocated violence as a means to their end then i think things would have turned out much differently.

 
+ Add Argument

2
Violence


littleminx
Feb 08, 2009
2 convinced
Rebuttal
There are many definitions for violence. And as far as Im concerned for a revolution to occur there will be violence...weather it may be mental or physical.

 
jonjax71
Feb 08, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Without upheavel, without violence, authority will not relinquish power and or governance

 
andre2552
Feb 08, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
If I was running a revolution I admit some of the people I would try to crush I think deserve violence. However, I would only use violence in defence, or in any situation it may be absolutely necessary.

 
littleminx
Feb 09, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: 3pointer Show

that's considered civil disobedience or to resist....to go against the law...and by doing so it is a form of violence.

Violence is not always physical...nagging and b*tching can be a form of violence as well.

 
atlas101
Feb 09, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
There is no such thing as non-violence. The only thing compelling about non-violent protest is when it possesses enough power to destroy the economy and hence well being of an entire people. Non-Violence also requires an extremely civil or regulated enemy. Ghandi was successful because he was up against the morays of the British and attacked their economic system. Just try non-violent protest against the thugs and gangs in Rowanda and see how it turns out. If the British were of the same cloth as Pol Pot or Hitler or Stalin India would still be firmly in control of said government.

 
jonjax71
Feb 09, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: 3pointer Show

Having not lived the era, but having participated in it as well as being part of an extended family involved in the 1960s struggle and civil rights movement I can tell with all certainty that had it not been for the more aggressive, pro-active or "violent" factions, Rev Dr MILK Jr's non-violence movement would not have had such an impact nor whould've changes been made as soon or at all, ditto for Cesar Chavez's boycott methods, the alternative methods placed fear in those of the staus quo.

Rev King met with Malcolm X and both sides acknowledged the need for the other, Chavez had similar meetings with the more revolutionary leaders for the same reason

 
littleminx
Feb 10, 2009
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: 3pointer Show

...debating anything one must know exactly how something is defined.....because something can have more then one meaning and can be looked at in different ways!!!

verbal violence : such as insults.
physical violence: fighting or killing another.
symbolic violence: An act done to show one is against a leader or group whose ideas one opposes.

Look up the definition for Violence. Its NOT just referred to as physical.

Even so...any type of Violence may it be passive resistance or civil disobedience.... would work "better" in a revolution. Violence can be good if its for the better of the people.....Violence can also be neutral. .......when you need change fast and need immediate results....may it be passive resistance or whatever.....I believe that this would get the point across faster.


 
rndvs
Feb 09, 2009
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Violence is seen as an act to show how serious you are about a belief. Therefore, it is obvious that if you can't win the peoples voice via reasoning, violence is the only viable option

 


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