Martin Luther King Jr. and Gene Sharp

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Martin Luther King Jr and Gene Sharp




Martin Luther King Jr. once said "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." From where King stood during the Civil Rights Movement show that he was a great man who preached nonviolence and made the ultimate sacrifice for it. By being persistent in his nonviolence discipline, he was able to show the world the violence of their opponents' repression for what it really was. Gene Sharp's book, Power and Struggle Part One examines the nature and control of political power. Sharp believes that social sources of political power include socially recognized authority, human cooperation and obedience, and the skills and knowledge of the population. All these sources rely on the support, cooperation, and obedience of the population. Therefore by withdrawing support, the population holds an effective means of resistance to political power. Nonviolent action works to control political power by affecting the sources of that political power. Sharp mentions that the three major categories of nonviolent action are: protest, noncooperation, and nonviolent intervention. These actions work to change the opponents' behavior either by conversion, accommodation, or coercion. Conversion involves a change of heart in the opponent to the point where the goals of the protestors are now their own. With accommodation, the opponent resolves to agree to a compromise with the protestors without having changed their mind about the issues involved. Coercion involves achieving demands against the will of the opponents because effective control of the situation has been taken away from them by widespread noncooperation and defiance. By looking at Martin Luther King Jr's role in the Civil Rights Movement, we can see how he…...

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