05 March 2009

Frederick Douglass on the Necessity of Struggle for Progress

I like this Frederick Douglass quote because it is in line with my belief about the need for an inclusive broadbased nonviolent civil resistance movement.
If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.

Thinking more about this quote, I am curious about examples where powers that be may have made concessions without demand. Are there any examples of this? What kind of demands and concessions? Were they meaningful and substantial - or superficial?

I am also interested in asking about the nature of demand. Because I believe that demands can actually be nonviolent in nature. Even the making of demands can be uplifting, and can be in the service of all life. Demands, I argue, can even be relayed in a way that is joyful.

I believe that the struggle must be both moral and physical - I believe that it must also be nonviolent, honest and truthful - truly in service of life, and uplifting. It's difficult because there is so much innate anger and hostility that drive those who are most prone to protest.

I don't believe that hate is a natural condition. Hate is a disease and a cultural phenomenon. A lot of the time, people who feel hate, and who demonstrate hateful behavior, seem to not recognize it - or to not understand that it is hate, in and of itself, that is key to enabling the violences of oppression, tyranny, and imperialism.]


  1. How does your support of "nonviolent civil resistance movement" and your support of suicide bombings co-exist?

  2. I do not support suicide bombings.

  3. I agree with your comments. Violence is not necessary to achieve desires or demands. A young boy, a poet, philosopher, peacemaker, and author said it well, "I believe that peace becomes possible when we choose to make peace an attitude and a habit. I believe that the reality of peace begins within each one of us....~Mattie J.T. Stepanek, "Just Peace, A Message of Hope"


    "Peace is possible. It can begin simply, over a game of chess and a cup of tea." Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004)

    Enjoying your Blog...