Tag Archives: gandhi

Radical Pacifism

Radical pacifism refers to a particular nonviolent movement in the United States in the 1940s and 50s of conscientious objectors (CO’s).  These men, who refused to fight in any war and took active steps to undermine the war system, were mostly from the Christian Peace Churches and also were influenced by Gandhi. Radical pacifism began… read more

Third Party Nonviolent Intervention

Third Party Nonviolent Intervention (TPNI) is the term that has arisen for the age-old practice of an outside party intervening in a conflict in an effort to open the space for reconciliation and peacemaking. Some services of TPNI actors can include witnessing, accompaniment, monitoring, interposition, offering good offices, and rumor abatement. Because nonviolent interveners are not… read more

Parallel Institutions

Parallel institutions are one of the most crucial forms of constructive program.  They are the social, cultural, and governance structures that a nonviolent movement builds of its own accord without reference to or even as a comprehensive replacement for the often oppressive existing institutions. Examples include: alternative governments, media, unions, agriculture, clubs, professional associations, civic organizations,… read more

Law of Suffering

The Law of Suffering was defined by Mahatma Gandhi as the necessity of the nonviolent actor to voluntarily endure suffering as a mechanism for transforming an opponent. The law rests on Gandhi’s observation that, “Real suffering bravely borne melts even a heart of stone.  Such is the potency of suffering or tapas. And there lies… read more

Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience (CD) is the deliberate, open violation of a law held to be unjust and the willing acceptance of the prescribed punishment. CD can also be referred to as Nonviolent Direct Action when the action taken is considered to be illegal or challenges a law. Civil Resistance is used interchangeably with CD by some… read more

Law of Progression

Mahatma Gandhi defined the Law of Progression during his early years in South Africa. In his own words: “My experience has taught me that a law of progression applies to every righteous struggle. But in the case of Satyagraha the law amounts to an axiom. As the Ganga advances, other streams flow into it … .… read more

“Work” vs. Work

The distinction, “work” vs. work is necessary to stress that the beneficial results of nonviolent action often lie in the future. “Work” means the immediate and obvious effects, while work without quotes designates the resulting underlying and fundamental shifts brought about by nonviolence. In other words, it means not “got what we wanted,” “does good… read more


Gandhi used the Sanskrit word Satyagraha, meaning “clinging to truth,” in reference to his campaigns in South Africa and India, such as the famous Salt Satyagraha march of 1930.  Satyagraha can be understood as the vast inner strength or “soul force” required for nonviolent acts. Gandhi never defined nonviolence as passive resistance because he saw… read more