Published on Hastings on Nonviolence, Sunday, March 02, 2014

Is violence effective? Well, sure. Any schoolchild can tell you that. I remember my sister teasing me until I punched her in the upper arm. She would stop teasing me and start crying. I would not have to deal with the teasing for a minute–but that minute was spent trying to explain my frustration to my Mother. It was uncomfortable no matter what until I learned how to deal with her in a bit more mature fashion. Nonviolence worked much better, and was ultimately much faster because there was no period of escalation once my sister learned that I now was immune to her teasing.

But of course violence makes things happen. Sometimes they get much worse much faster, sometimes things get better over time, and there are times when violence seems to solve all problems instantly. However, there are almost always upcoming costs to the instant success of violence, whereas the hidden costs of pure nonviolence are, for the most part, nonexistent or negligible. Nonviolence can cause a crackdown of sorts but that actually diminishes in the face of nonviolence rather than increases. Some costs of violence are not so immediately apparent, nor are some benefits of nonviolence.

Read the full blog post on Hastings on Nonviolence.