"I liked Renascent's comment in your blog, 'Gene Sharp is to non-violent strategies as Clausewitz was to Napolean: a theorist who studies the practitioners, generating and synthesizing the underlying insights.' I've come to see Sharp's writings as Jominian, in the best sense of the word - Jomini predominated for decades before Clausewitz gained a second wind - and like Jomini, Sharp has extracted/elucidated actionable methods from his studies that have been useful (not always with successful outcomes) to practitioners. It's exciting to see Sharp's work quickly find a new and global audience."
Barry recently published Muscular Nonviolence: Beyond the Terror War in the Winter/Spring 2011 Issue of The Culture and Conflict Review.
BLUF. An unexpected wave of people-powered insurgencies, waged bravely by unarmed protesters against the many mightily-armed secular and theocratic dictatorships that span the Middle East and North Africa, has shaken the very foundations of not only the region, but of the entire world order.
People-power is not a new phenomenon, but has roots that date back to ancient times, having fueled the Christian movement that internally transformed the Roman Empire, and providing ever since an alternate model of insurgency from those of presented by the heroic guerrilla campaigns of both Spartacus and the Zealots who took their own lives at Masada. The Cold War, which held the world hostage to the ominously delicate balance of terror, came to its swift end not by a fiery nuclear exchange as many had long feared, but by the massed popular resistance of democratic movements that rose up to topple the communist autocrats who enforced Moscow's will. The people, when united, seem to almost never be defeated -- with notable exceptions that include China and Burma, where competent communist or military oligarchies have successfully held onto power in the face of popular uprisings for several generations. And, so now in Arabic and Farsi we hear a new generation of nonviolent insurgents cry out for change -- with Tunisia and now Egypt forever transformed by popular revolts combined with military realignments in which the required loyalty of the armed forces shifted tectonically from state to people with decisive results.
To understand the power of the people as manifested in this wave of popular revolt, its potential for success against tyrannical regimes recognized as ruthlessly Machiavellian by even their closest friends and allies, a natural starting point is the very archetype of strategic nonviolence, Mohandas K. Gandhi -- known to many of his followers as "Mahatma" ("Saint") Gandhi.
Much more at The Culture & Conflict Review