An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Power of Nonviolence




The first thing we need to recognize is that war is being waged on us. Forcible imposition of debt peonage is just as much violence as carpet bombing. Someone once said, "Poverty is worst form of violence."

That means we have to decide how to respond to the violence waged against ourselves and our brothers and sisters. There is a power in us that is independent of money and violence. There is something in us which is superior to brute physical force and that this brute nature always yields to. Gandhi said, "This force is to violence, and, therefore, to all tyranny, all injustice, what light is to darkness. In politics, its use is based upon the immutable maxim, that government of the people is possible only so long as they consent either consciously or unconsciously to be governed."

Hedges probably knows well how easily controlled angry mobs in the streets are. The powers will do everything they can to encourage acts of violence. We got a small taste of this at the G20 demonstrations in London last week. Credible reports indicate that the police deliberately provoked window smashing to aid camera crews in capturing violent scenes to be played over and over on the nightly news. This type of action plays directly into the panic they are constantly stoking.

Conscious non-cooperation with evil is the foundation of genuine resistance. We must constantly remember that their power depends on our cooperation. They don't have enough military power to subdue Iraq. What would they do if a hundred million Americans decided to stop playing their game of fear and illusion? We are capable of much more than our allotted role in this fantasy factory. We are capable of purposeful responsible action for social change, but it must be made a concrete part of our lives. The new corporate masters depend on our cooperation - without it their money is worthless.

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