Civilian-Based Defense—aka Transarmament


“All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.”—Étienne de la Boétie

“There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded mosquito.”—Roy Spim, Mosquito Hunter

“If we take care of the means we are bound to reach the end, sooner or later”—Mohandas K. Gandhi

Direct Action

Voltairine de Cleyre (1866-1912), author of this essay on the nature of direct action, was an American anarchist/feminist writer and theorist active at the time of the Haymarket riot.

Non-Violent Defence in Classical Strategic Theory

This article is chapter X of the 1975 book, War Without Weapons: Nonviolence in National Defense, by Anders Boserup and Andrew Mack. It's a fascinating analysis of the strategic superiority of nonviolent techniques over all manner of military might, from bullets to H-bombs and beyond. Along the way the writers expose major flaws in conventional military practice.

Fragments Home Page: Power

The reciprocal nature of political power is explored in this fragment of Fragments through a process of discovery. Starting with what is thought to be the source of political power and eventually exposing the real source of that power—the basis for Nonviolent Direct Action. A very original approach to the subject and a well-done web site.

Bureau of Public Secrets: Selected Writings on War and Nonviolence Topics

Selected essays and book excerpts concerning war, nonviolence, and related themes at Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secrets web site.

The Literature of Nonviolent Resistance and Civilian-Based Defense

Bryan Caplan's bibliographic essay on the literature of nonviolence, published by the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.

Program on Nonviolent Sanctions and Cultural Survival Home Page

Possibly of cursory interest to most, but included here for its continuing interest in "a seemingly simple premise about the nature of political power--that it is rooted in and continually dependent upon cooperation and obedience, and that this cooperation and obedience can be withdrawn."

From Dictatorship to Democracy

Gene Sharp, Senior Scholar-in-Residence, The Albert Einstein Institution, holds forth on his ideas of how most effectively to extricate oneself from the tyranny of governments.

Correcting Common Misconceptions about Nonviolent Action

Gene Sharp, here, attempts to correct common misconceptions about nonviolent action. Excerpted from his three volume series, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Porter Sargent, 1973.

A Structural Approach to Human Rights

A working paper by Gene Sharp, originally published in Nonviolent Sanction News, emphasizing the singular effectiveness of noncooperation against tyranny.

How Nonviolent Struggle Works

Another excerpt from Gene Sharp's trilogy on the politics of nonviolent action, this essay provides the basics.

Historical Examples of Nonviolent Struggle

Historical highlights courtesy The Albert Einstein Institution. Not, by any means exhaustive, but illustrative, nonetheless of nonviolent action.

An Interview with Gene Sharp

The editor of Fragments, linked above, interviewed Dr. Sharp in June 1983 while he was attending a conference in Whittier, California. According to the editor, this transcript represents those portions of that conversation that still seem most interesting and relevant. Included are questions that reveal a little about the personal side of the man and his work, and those that cast a critical eye on Sharp's conception of civilian-base defense and the possibility of transarmament.

Civilian-Based Defense: A Short History

This bibliographical essay by Phil Bogdonoff is from the November 1982 issue of the newsletter published by the Association for Transarmament Studies (which is now known as the Civilian-Based Defense Association).

The Civilian-Based Defense Association

This association "is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1982 to promote widespread consideration of civilian-based defense (CBD) and to engage in educational activiies to bring CBD to public attention." This is the group once known as the Association for Transarmament Studies whose original aspirations were not just the development of CBD, but the elimination of the necessity for standing armies and armaments.

Civilian-Based Defense, Spring 1996

The only known example of a publication of the Civilian-Based Defense Association on the WWW. Contains a letter from Gene Sharp among other things of interest.

Nonviolence International

Another educational organization which also "assists individuals, organizations, and governments striving to utilize nonviolent methods to bring about changes reflecting the values of justice and human development on personal, social, economic, and political levels."

Annotated Bibliography of Nonviolent Action Training

This bibliography "contains basic training resources for those who engage in nonviolent action training. We are adding to our material in many languages as quickly as we can. However, at this time most of our resources are in English."

The Nonviolence Web

"Home to many of the US's most dynamic nonviolence groups." This appears to be the hub of nonviolent action groups on the WWW. In contravention of the anti-topical rule, a link is included here to the Iraq Crisis Antiwar Page (archival materials).

War Resisters League

Web site of one of the oldest nonviolent action groups in existence. Historically, they have been foursquare against war without reservation.

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