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Non- vs. Violent Protests’ Effectiveness Essay

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Updated: Jan 31st, 2022

Non-violent protest is a way of passing the message across without employing forceful means. Gandhi (2001) considers non-violent protest to be the kind of protest that has no defeat. Gandhi (2001) further tells us about its principles, “The first principle of non-violence is the non-compliance with everything that is humiliating.” In this case, it is not a sign of fear but stronger than violence. Further, he gives more explanation on this. He says, “The power of disposal of a non-violent person is always greater than he would have if he was violent.”

Human beings are the only creatures who can differentiate between good and evil. They, therefore, need to use their intellect and will to guide their reactions to oppression in the best way possible. It is important to realize that violence for violence is more destructive. Shelley (2012) trusted the idea of the power of the human mind. He believed that the mind is very useful in changing circumstances using non-violent ways. His last few stanzas of the poem The Mask of Anarchy show that non-violent is the best means of countering slavery.

Shelley (2012) proclaimed “… Like a forest close and mute,/ With folded arms and looks which are/ Weapons of unvanquished war Here, he reveals how people can approach their protest. Those who use violent ways will not last. The last laugh goes to those who approach it using non-violent protest. It is the best way to solve a problem.

When one engages in non-violent means to solve a problem, they reduce the physical suffering of the people. Non-violence does oppose the physical punishment to the victims. It respects the first moral principles that apply to all beings. It always encourages doing well and avoiding evil. It links all human beings to the true meaning of creation. This type of protest is simpler to take. It utilizes the human intellect and will. This is contrary to using violence that can lead to the use of manufactured weapons.

Non-violent protest is the most influential type of protest. This is because those involved use peace to attract the masses for their support. Their communication is always attractive, making their oppressors agree to listen to them. The oppressors get ashamed of disrupting peace if they employ force. In this case, they do not use force to reject their ideas. They employ dialogue that is the best means of solving crises.

According to the poem, The Mask of Anarchy, the consequences of violence are deaths, damages, slavery, and destruction among others. However, the last stanzas call for non-violent means to counter all damages. Gandhi (2001) cautions those who still think that violence is the way to go. He states that “So long as one wants to retain one’s sword, one has not attained complete fearlessness.” This is evident that man can obtain complete courage through non-violent means.

Non-violence brings about fewer losses to property and life. It is a professional way of countering looting and killing. It values property belonging to fellow human beings. Its main target is the freedom of the human race as it is, God made us be free. It uses the simplest means available to achieve the peace we seek every day. It is the only way to get out of violence as Gandhi (2001) puts it, “Mankind has to get out of violence only through non-violence.” He added that hatred is a vice that encourages violence. It is the worst action in which human beings can be involved. Love is the answer.

It is cheaper to train people to use non-violent means than using violent means. Gandhi (2001) argues that “Human dignity is best preserved not by developing the capacity to deal with destruction but by refusing to retaliate.” In this case, he views the training of humankind to adopt non-violent ways simpler compared to the training of people to use violence. He wonders why people still think that non-violence is difficult to learn. He considers it to be easier to use than using violence.

It is through non-violent protest that the opposition agrees to use non-violent means to solve the problem. This shows how good the peaceful means to promote peace even to the opposition. Alternatively, if one chooses to use violence to obtain a good, there will be violent retaliation. It is worthy to note that when one uses violence to counter violence, they cause double the damage. It does not lead to a solution.

Non-violence is preferable since it counters the cycle of violence and counter-violence. We should advocate it in all conflicts that we should solve. It is a useful way of getting things in order especially when we need a long-term solution. This is contrary to violence where a party uses it to gain control of a situation. It is more permanent as the two parties reach a common agreement, unlike violence. In violence, the one who loses the war agrees to the rules set by his conqueror.

When a non-violent brings about the common agreement, there is an option for future evaluation of the cord and immediate changing if need be. This is a good way of getting the best deal compared to engaging in violence. In violence, one agrees to the rules of his/her conqueror. However, they later retaliate when they feel that they can overcome the enemy.

Violence makes it very difficult to focus on matters at hand. Society is always in fear and panic. The media focuses on coverage of war instead of focusing on the main problem and its possible solutions. It is even confusing because it is difficult to get evidence in a place affected by social unrest.

Solving crises using non-violent means is the main teaching from different denominations and religions. This means that one who employs non-violent ways in solving a problem gets support from these religious bodies. This leads to quick solving of that problem.

Non-violence creates a foundation for a way of life. It is the only method of promoting unity among the human race. It is the only way to use it in solving our problems. It opens the way to self-realization as God created human beings to love and serve each other in their best ways possible.

Violent protests are the main source of shading blood. In the world today, the major crises to people are because of violence. The major problem commonly seen in developing countries is a dictatorship. This is an issue of concern considering the percentage of a nation’s resources taken by these dictators. Due to this, there are more struggles for power in order to gain wealth. The rebel groups arise and fight the government in an attempt to gain control of the rich resources for their wealth

To conclude, the country experiences many problems if its people engage in violence as their means of solving crises. It is clear that they spend most resources to sustain war instead of developing the nation. On contrary, there is higher economic growth in the countries that use non-violence. Human Labor spends more time destroying than building the nation. Therefore, violence is not the answer to crises.

References

Gandhi, M. (2001). Non-Violent Resistance. St. Mineola, New York: Dove Publication.

Shelley P. (2012).The Masque of Anarchy (Kindle ed.) London: BiblioBazaar.

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