Nonviolent Democratic Alternative:

- By Bahram Maskanian

Those who do not learn from their true history are doomed to repeat it.

History has shown time and again, that in the absence of coherent, organized civil society and supporting infrastructure, well informed citizens, independent Citizen Unions, or political parties free from foreign and religion influences, labor unions, student unions, women organizations and independent local journalists and press, no democratic movement and public rebellion has ever fully formed, matured and lasted as a true functioning democracy. The revolutionary revolts are usually instigated and used as instruments of replacing one thuggish regime with another, soon after which the promise of democracy shall evaporate for another quarter century, or more.

The disorganized desperation and anger-driven social uprising witnessed in Tunisia, soon followed by Egypt, Jordon, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, etc, are similar movements motivated by the public’s deep revulsion and animosity towards their ruling corrupt and criminal regime. These movements are historically focused on an illusion of democracy and hoax of free democratic elections, funded and organized by either a foreign power using the local thugs, or local political hustlers eager to gain political power and wealth. These thugs, or hustlers are willing to provoke the public into the streets, based on deceitful promises, and if successful, they provide the public with a couple of puppet candidates to vote for and choose from, thus creating mass euphoria and the illusion of free democratic election and a birth of a new democracy.

But in reality and based on many in-depth studies of nonviolent uprisings, civil rights struggles, and successful and lasting democratic regime changes, it is clear that advancing social freedom, reform and true democracy takes careful strategy and meticulous planning, plus the six defined democratic components.

Peaceful Nonviolent Protest:
Peaceful nonviolent uprising is the best tool in the hands of political and social justice activists.  Nonviolent pursuit of political change is a simple common sense.  Violence provokes dictators and legitimizes the use of deadly force to crack down.  Violence paints activists as villains in the eyes of the silent majority, thus losing the crucial support of the large segment of the public.  If any democratic movement lowers its standards by using violence, they are in fact promoting the use of the dictator's best weapon.  One may be perceived brave for a moment, acting as a villain, but there is a fine line between courageous and shortsightedness, besides, a brave dead hero is no help to anyone.

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