This is the most encouraging news I've read all year: Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change.

@yogthos Those numbers have already been debunked.

I don't have time right now, but I can try to find back the debunking if you want :).

@marsxyz seeing how the source is BBC that doesn't surprise me at all, if you can find the debunking would love to read it and share it

@marsxyz @yogthos
This is the last article (french, but I guess online automatic translation is possible) I read debunking the 3.5% theory:

They took the 3 biggest non violent win in history: revolution angainst marcos in philippinas 1983-86, estonia 1989, georgia 2003. Those revolutions took more than 3.5% of the population to win, so the researcher used this number, which is statistically not significant.

@yogthos I don't have the sources on hand, but I'm pretty certain that all those "non-violent" movements always went paired with subgroups that weren't completely opposed to violence as such...

@yogthos Of course people supporting the status quo would tell you that, because they dont want to encourage protests that are actually effective.

@yogthos If you really want to be encouraged by revolutionary spirit, I recommend you read the book "Guerilla Warfare" by Che Guevera.

@felix yeah I thought the whole non-violent protests are more effective part to be rather odd. The question is what the tipping point is when majority of the population starts getting engaged.

@yogthos Um... that’s simply not true. The largest protest ever was to stop the Iraq war. They had that war.

This is capitalist propaganda telling you to be polite.

@tesseract yeah now that I've read some comments I have to agree, might work for things that aren't too controversial but you're right Iraq war is a great counter example

@yogthos Yeah. There’s just no way this is true. It’s 100% typical capitalist propaganda to get you to hate activists.

@yogthos @tesseract It's more complicated, to be honest. To be successful, a non-violent campaign requires a high level of strategy; you can't just ape the surface form of campaigns that have been successful in the past. But this is what both the organizers of the demonstrations against the Iraq war and XR have done – used the form of nonviolent struggle without its content.

@gcupc @yogthos You're misconstruing my point. I'm not knocking the idea of having a protest at all. Protests are good.

What I'm saying is that the claim that if 3.5% of the population is "engaged" by a protest that it is guaranteed to succeed if and only if the protest is nonviolent is so laughably nonsensical that it doesn't even deserve to be discussed. It's completely removed from reality. It's a liberal fantasy. It's capitalist propaganda. Period.

@tesseract @yogthos I think that's probably reading too much into the study, anyway. (For what it's worth, I support a diversity of tactics and the theory of a radical flank, but non-violent conflict has a lot of clueless detractors like Peter Gelderloos who confuse non-violence with liberalism).

@yogthos This study prominently gets used by XR in talks, which is certainly not the main problem why the radical left has it's problems with the movement but it's a good symptom. One of the counter arguments is that peaceful movements usually have more violent groups (e.g. Civil rights movement and the Black Panthers) that "encourage" the powers to be to to negotiate with the non-violent part of the movement. (

@yogthos Quoting from the "Radical flank" wiki page:

Chenoweth and Schock's data set was limited to "ideal types of campaigns...that rely solely on nonviolent or violent tactics." She does not study "mixed campaigns" of both violence and nonviolence, although it is documented that most real-life campaigns are varied in this way.

@fap yeah I think non-violent protests are great for getting things rolling and creating mass public support, but they can only go so far

@yogthos Found a more thorough critique, which is kind of too long to quote it here in it's entirety.
See the section "Nonviolence works?" in

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