Friday, May 24, 2013

 

Quotable: Cooperation

The rich cannot accumulate wealth without the cooperation of the poor ... If this knowledge were to penetrate to and spread amongst the poor, they would become strong and would learn how to free themselves ...

Source: Mohandas K. Gandhi as quoted in Gene Sharp,  The Politics of Nonviolent Action. "Part 1. Power and Struggle." (Extending Horizons Books, 1973, 2006) p. 47.

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Quotable: From Two Speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing except a tragic death wish to prevent us from reordering our priorities so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood. -"Beyond Vietnam," April 4, 1967. Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word. -"Beyond Vietnam," April 4, 1967, quoting Arnold Toynbee.

Now a lot of us are preachers, and all of us have our moral convictions and concerns, and so often we have problems with power. But there is nothing wrong with power if power is used correctly

You see, what happened is that some of our philosophers got off base. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love. It was this misinterpretation that caused the philosopher Nietzsche, who was a philosopher of the will to power, to reject the Christian concept of love. It was this same misinterpretation which induced Christian theologians to reject Nietzsche's philosophy of the will to power in the name of the Christian idea of love.

Now, we got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. (Yes) Power at its best [applause], power at its best is love (Yes) implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. (Speak) -"Where Do We Go From Here?," August 16, 1967.

... I'm concerned about a better world. I'm concerned about justice; I'm concerned about brotherhood; I'm concerned about truth. (That’s right) And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can't murder murder. (Yes) Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can't establish truth. (That's right) Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can't murder hate through violence. (All right, That’s right) Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that. [applause] -"Where Do We Go From Here?," August 16, 1967.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

 

Habits & Social Movements

On page 217 in his chapter on "Saddleback Church and the Montgomery Bus Boycott," Charles Duhigg explains in The Power of Habit:
A movement starts because of social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances.

It grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together.

And it endures because a movement's leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and ownership.
He refers to this as "a three-part process that historians and sociologists say shows up again and again".

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