With news of the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, our intrepid team of reporters has engaged resources to explore why nonviolence is a more effective tactic to combat hate.
The New York Times recently published a powerful overview of how a German town faced down Neo-Nazis. The story was simple: every year Neo-Nazis marched to commemorate the death of Rudolph Hess, one of Hitler’s most important lieutenants, by visiting his grave at Wunsiedel, Germany.
The town’s locals created a powerful and subversive response that combined humor with wit and elegance: Rechts Gegen Rechts or “The Right Against the Right”. It featured a walkathon and a fund-raising drive with proceeds going to anti-fascist charities.
The result was a success.
In their book “Why Civil Resistance Works” Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan explain the psychological subversion of humor and nonviolence. When you fight someone with violence you diminish your political good will and lose the moral high ground. When you fight a cause with nonviolent methods it is easier to gain sympathy and allies.
Logical, Wise, and effective.