Warm Cookies of the Revolution

This morning I joined my friend, Sarah, at an event put on by Warm Cookies of the Revolution. Warm Cookies bills itself as a Civic Health Club, and while Sarah has participated in numerous events, today was my first.

The topic: The Science of Effective Resistance by Erica Chenoweth


This was the opening slide: Presentation prepared for Warm Cookies of the Revolution: The Science of Effective Resistance Erica Chenoweth Ph.D

When Sarah texted me the invite I went to the site to read up on the talk, and saw that it was about nonviolent conflict. My first thought was, “Screw that. We need to be in the streets with torches and pitchforks, and maybe burn a few cars while we’re at it.” (Yes, I am incredibly frustrated with the timid response from the “opposition” party.) But I value Sarah’s judgment and wanted to spend time with her today, so I thanked her for the invitation. And off we went.

Here’s my takeaway: Erica Chenoweth has done the numbers on violent vs nonviolent campaigns of resistance. And guess what? Nonviolent campaigns have a higher success rate. There are a variety of reasons for that but the one that went ping in my head was that acts of violence can (and probably will) turn off active allies and potential allies. Imagine that!

Her research shows that all successful nonviolent campaigns have three things in common:

  • mass participation
  • defections from the ruling regime
  • the use of flexible tactics

Hey, looky there! We’ve got two out of three going on right this very moment!


4 thoughts on “Warm Cookies of the Revolution

  1. It’s important not to conflate nonviolence with inactivity or weakness. On the contrary, I find it takes extraordinary steel to stand up and speak while armed only with conviction.
    Nonviolent resistance is still resistance.

    Sitting around waiting for the next election, as certain officials have been doing, or making a speech one way while voting another way, isn’t nonviolent resistance because it isn’t even resistance. I share your impatience and disgust with that.

    But I have been heartened by actions I’ve seen in recent days: elected officials actually showing up on the ground, writing legislation, getting directly involved. Using the power they have the way they are supposed to: by enforcing laws and supporting the Constitution! They should’ve been leading the people instead of following, but at least they’re finally on deck now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I absolutely agree that nonviolence resistance is still resistance. But I am neck-deep in feelings of disgust for the Dems.
      I’m not yet heartened by my so-called representatives, but know there are good things being done by other reps. It’s so frustrating to watch an “opposition” party take punch after punch, as it constantly strategizes about keeping its powder dry for the next fight. Clueless and spineless people, many of them.


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