Everybody is concerned for what could happen at the Toma de Venezuela protest march today.

We’re still a bit hazy on what Civil Resistance is, on how exactly it’s supposed to work. No time like right now to get clear on this stuff.

First we have an exceptional video of Erika Chenoweth explaining why civil resistance works. Like, for real:

Then there’s a movie scene that shows con qué se come eso…

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  1. So there you have it, for all the Civil Resistance bashers.

    Another point is, the longer you wait to apply such measures, the harder it will be to do so as people are becoming increasingly desperate, so the natural reaction to act violent is exacerbated.

  2. There is very little tradition of civil resistance on the right, so a good chunk of the opposition seems to be at sea about what to do when the institutions of power are being held hostage by a hostile force. The strategy at this point seems to be focused on self-defeating, reactive and symbolic measures (the AN declaration, the shout out to the military to be neutral, the Vatican gambit, being cases in point).

    So yes, an instructional video is welcome advice. Talking to some people who have acted in that tradition would be helpful. It is time to give up the notion, which holds a natural appeal and I think implicitly has informed much of the opposition’s strategy to date, that there is going to be a meaningful political transition without first incurring significant additional economic risk.

    That is to say, the people who make this regime sweat are not Venezuelans on the street, they are not envoys from the Vatican, not the Pope. The people who make this regime sweat are the people to whom the regime is indebted. So how do Venezuelans move them? The opposition must not be afraid to invoke the productive forces within the country – to rally those forces to back its demands. Case history in point: Romania.

    But as “so there” has indicated above, delay is a big problem. At a certain point, people become so desperate, the movement loses its cohesion and there is just chaos. At a certain point, the only force of cohesion is the military, and so history just repeats itself.

    If during this whole bond swap episode, the opposition had its hands on an economic lever and had made its demands in that context, then…perhaps then, the Vatican envoy could have arrived and been the hero of a resolution. Perhaps then, the regime would have been forced to make a major concession to maintain a financial lifeline. So a question people might ask themselves is: when is that next event, and what could disrupt it?

  3. I just had to join TED’s Open Translation Project so I could add Spanish subtitles to this video. Lots and lots of people need to check it out, specially those too eager to call for violent “solutions”.

  4. Too bad she didn’t study how an 80% majority can find itself up against a wall trying to change a government that has the guns …. Maybe Maduro read her books?


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