Spain, Harden, America discussed on Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain


I want to look at one other idea which is in some ways violence sort of produces its own opposition so that the harsher you behave, yes, on the one hand, you do get compliance and people do fall in line, people are afraid of you, but it's also the case that violence generates enemies, you have more enemies tomorrow than you did yesterday. And over time, you can see how it's effective in the short term, but it can end up having great costs for your campaign in the long term. Yeah, I mean, I think one helpful way to think about this is to think about tactical effects versus strategic outcomes. So if you think about that event that took place in Spain with the 15 M movement, the short term effects of those types of events are often really obvious. It's things like greater media coverage. Like maybe they wound up on the front page rather than on the 20th page or something of the newspaper. Maybe there was a self defense justification. And so somebody was able to get away from that event who otherwise would have been beaten up by someone. Short term tactical reasons why people often say C, that violence helped. But then if you look at the long-term strategic outcomes, it also has really important after effects. For example, the expansion of repression against people who were involved in the movement or their family members, whether they participated in the violence or not. It often has the effect of then expanding government powers of surveillance and infiltration and other types of things that actually are really challenging for movements to manage. And then sometimes it alienates would be supporters and often creates a sense of unity and camaraderie among security forces, for example, rather than encouraging them to take a moment and think about what they think is going on in the country. So yeah, I mean, I think most of what we know about incidents of violence is that it does harden the opposition rather than kind of softening the opposition and allowing it to fracture. And this is part of why a lot of the research, for example, on the impacts of terrorism on a political system are that it's very polarizing, but it generally leads the population to embrace more right wing political beliefs about what the government ought to be able to do to restore public order. So what's fascinating to me America is that our model our mental model, I think, is still stuck in sort of what we see in on television or in the movies. Where we see that violent people who have been unjustly treated, resort to violence in order to get justice or we see that groups that basically want their way sort of use violence to win. I'm not sure it's sort of a concerted effort to look the other way, but there really does seem to be a reluctance to grapple with these histories in a way that at least commensurate with the way we we think about conventional military histories. Yeah, I think part of it is just basic misconceptions and myths about what nonviolent resistance is. For example, when people use the term nonviolence, I think that they often just associate that with a moral position and they think of it as something that's potentially noble, but extremely naive, you know, they don't think about it in terms of a strategy that's literally helped to shape the world we live in right now and that's available to anybody anywhere to a certain degree. There's an interesting book called recovering nonviolent history that's edited by mache and there's an opening chapter in there about the myth of violence and how sort of appealing it is and how we memorialize it in mythologize it and make it part of our national histories, but the book is full of examples of nonviolent campaigns that were formative and developing nations around the world, including in the United States, so one of the chapters is actually a look at the American Revolution by Walter concert and in it he argues that actually the most important part of the American Revolution came in the ten years before armed hostilities broke out where colonists were effectively using all kinds of different forms of economic non cooperation and the development of alternative institutions like alternative judicial institutions, political conventions and other things that otherwise would not be really allowed in a monarchy. And they effectively freed themselves, so to speak, before the hostilities broke out. And in fact, if you tell the story that way, the war that took place between the colonists and the British was actually the counter revolution. It was the attempt by the British to seize back what they thought was rightfully theirs. After the Declaration of Independence took place. So in a way, there's a real need to, I think, recover some of the histories of.

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