Perhaps no single living person was more influential in the recent non-violent toppling of Egypt’s regime than Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp. His 900 page classic The Politics of Non-Violent Action was condensed into a 100 page manifesto a few years ago, and was used by the leaders of Egypt’s resistance. I’ve just finished reading this tiny manifesto. Every page is a gem of collective wisdom.
“When people refuse their cooperation, they are denying their opponent the basic human assistance and which any hierarchical system requires. If they do this in sufficient numbers for long enough, that hierarchical system will no longer have power. This is the basic political assumption of non-violent action.”
“The people who are always pushing for violence and acts of sabotage need to be isolated, for they may well be the agent of your opponent. Don’t fall for this. The non-violent struggle must be continued on a non-violent basis otherwise you erode and destroy your own power capacity, and with that the power to achieve your objectives.” -Gene Sharp, The Politics of Non-Violent Action, Part One