Is American Nonviolence Possible?

Reactor Fire


Writing in the New York Times, Todd May wonders if American nonviolence is possible and meditates on what it means:

We must understand first that nonviolence is not passivity.  It is instead creative activity.  That activity takes place within particular limits.  To put the point a bit simply, those limits are the recognition of others as fellow human beings, even when they are our adversaries.  That recognition does not require that we acquiesce to the demands of others when we disagree.  Rather, it requires that our action, even when it coerces the other (as boycotts, strikes, sit-ins and human blockades often do), does not aim to destroy that other in his or her humanity.  It requires that we recognize others as fellow human beings, even when they are on the other side of the barricades.

This recognition limits what we can do, but at the same time it forces us…

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