Our Book Study group is reading This is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century by Mark and Paul Engler. The book discusses the theory behind the success of nonviolent actions around the globe. As a service to the very busy CCC team, members of the BSG are writing brief synopses of the chapters. Here’s chapter 4:
Chapter 4 looks at power distribution in democratic societies and how those without access to traditional political power can wrest big changes by going after “pillars.” The “pillars” refer to the military, media, business community, churches, labor and civic groups, educational establishment and courts, to name a few. Using the example of legalization of gay marriage, this chapter discussed the fallacy of a “monolithic” understanding of power versus the reality that rules are only powerful if we follow them. Rather than working to elect officials that may or may not support a certain cause, this model targets the public at large via the pillars and aims to change public sentiment in order to foster change.
If you’d like to join the BSG for a discussion of chapters 5-6, come to the Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County on Monday, March 20 at 6:30 pm. They meet in the second-floor conference room.