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The guru of colour revolutions, gene sharp: I learned from the Russians...
Material posted: Publication date: 26-02-2012

Developer of techniques for nonviolent forms of resistance to power, quite successfully used for two decades in many countries of the world, American historian and political scientist gene sharp has denied any involvement in opposition to the mood that swept Russia since the end of last year. Sharpe, deservedly bears the title of "the ideologist of the orange revolution", says that he learned it from the Russians, and asked the Russians not to forget the "glorious pages in the history of the struggle against tsarism and Stalinism".

To say that the nonviolent struggle is an American product imported into other countries, according to Sharpe, is just wrong. "But for the Russians it's just unpatriotic. Great story of nonviolent resistance in Russia against tsarism and Stalinism, very impressive. I learned a lot from the Russians," said Sharpe in an interview with the Russian service of the BBC.

The vast majority of Russians, we should note, does not believe that the protests in the country reiseroute from abroad. According to a survey by research holding "ROMIR", the foreign organizers of mass actions "For fair elections" believe only 9% of respondents. On rallies of protests that swept the country in recent months, knows 80% of the respondents. Every third (33%) endorsed the holding of these shares, but participated in them only 5% of respondents. 27% of citizens belong to such shares adversely. 30% say they don't care who leads the "Interfax".

At Oxford, where he received his Ph. D. in political science, Sharpe studied the February revolution, and the writings of Gandhi, in which he refers to "Russian methods of struggle against tyranny". "If the Russians abandon their history and say that (nonviolent struggle) is an American method - it's very bad," says the analyst.

He does not deny that some connection with the U.S. government he has, however, the "revolutionary theorist" and discover the special love, according to him, America is not experiencing. "The American government has done many terrible things, including planted his people, toppling a democratic government... the US is in no way an angel. But there are some people who see the devil even over good deeds," says Sharpe.

American devil for good deeds Sharpe tried to see a former first Deputy head of Kremlin administration, and now - a Deputy head of government staff Vladislav Surkov. He recently stated that non-systemic opposition and its supporters staging rallies in Moscow and other cities, "there are literally books Sharpe". What Surkov gets bored, and he advised the organizers "to deviate from the instructions, to dream".

It all began with Burma

About the "Sharpe books" the world learned in the early 1990-ies. The most famous text of the analyst was created specifically for Burma, in the late 1980s, covered the protests, on the basis of which even the name of the country changed to Myanmar. Then, to support the democratic impulses of the Burmese led by the leader of the "Democratic League" Aung San Suu Kyi, and was written by the famous work sharp "From dictatorship to democracy".

Gradually the list of the revolutionary works of American political scientist updated with new "user manuals", which is simultaneously translated into all modern languages. Today "From the book dictatorship to democracy" translated into more than 40 languages, including Russian and several other Slavic languages. For example, there is a translation into Serbian of the book is Sharpe considered was a Board for Kosovo activists of the second half of 1990-ies.

Gene sharp says that in 2000 he won the people of Serbia, and in 2004 the people of Ukraine. According to him, his role in the events in Ukraine was very small, although sharp and acknowledges that maintained contact with the "orange".

"They found somewhere a copy of "From dictatorship to democracy". Like, I don't know. This work was transferred, but their organization was so poor that no money to publish the translation. They sent us an e-mail address: help the little money. We've sent them, I think, about six thousand dollars," says sharp and says that it was the only case of direct contact with the Ukrainian opposition. Although according to others, he and his helpers taught the leaders of the Ukrainian movement "Pora!". As well as the heads of the Belarusian "Zubr", Georgian "Kmara", Kirghiz "KelKel", if we talk about the post-Soviet space.

However, there are specific events that a scientist is proud of: for example, the struggle for the independence of three Baltic republics in 1990-1991, when Sharpe was in the Baltic States and advised the leaders of the independence movement: "Yes, it's true. And I'll take the blame for it, because I think it is a great achievement".


From dictatorship to democracy

Now Sharpe is headed, based on the Institute named after albert Einstein. Full-time employees - units: three now, in the best years there worked 11 people. But constantly there are the enthusiasts, ready to translate and adapt the institution produce texts in other languages and thereby to carry the sacral knowledge in the still untouched parts of the world democracy.

As simply and schematically arranged and methodology of the founder of the Institute. Sharpe has collected and described almost two hundred methods of nonviolent struggle, as well as some options for their interaction. Hard no instructions methods can be used in any combination in any country.

The method is based on the principle that power is always heterogeneous, as it consists of people. Besides the power of any government is based on obedience of the people to the orders of the ruling leaders, which means that if people do not obey, leaders will automatically lose power. So the essence of sharp's techniques is to find the weak point of the regime. In other words, to degrade what is already "not very", and to bring it to everyone's attention.

Change of power should take place in three stages. First: the protests, the proliferation of the phrase "the illegitimacy of power." The goal is to test the reaction of the authorities to form local protest groups in the anti-government movement, to determine the mobilization of protest potential of society.

Second stage: the discrediting power structures and the state apparatus, the propaganda to sabotage and wrecking.

The third stage: the immediate overthrow of the government. However, the book does not say how this should occur and who should undertake this work.

"A common mistake of past political campaigns of disobedience was the rate of just one or two methods, for example, strikes and mass demonstrations. In fact, there are a variety of methods strategists resistance as necessary to concentrate the struggle or spraying it," the book says Sharpe.

One of the basic postulates of his method - the resistance must be nonviolent. "Choose nonviolent action makes sense not just because it's good or nice, but because it is more efficient," says Sharpe. However, he does not believe in the potential of the democratic opposition negotiations with the regime: "All the negotiations are determined by which hand hidden under the table more dumbass".

Among other works of Sharpe: "self-Liberation", "Real alternative" and others, including many historical essays about the revolutionary processes in different countries. Also "the scientific papers on the revolution" written by a colleague of Sharpe from the Institute of Einstein.


198 steps to the overthrow of the government

Methods of non-violent resistance sharp divides into several groups, each of which is divided into small subgroups. The group are the following: the rejection of social cooperation, the rejection of political cooperation, refusal of economic cooperation, non-violent protest and persuasion, non-violent intervention. The first group includes 54 of the method, including: rallies, cartoons and slogans, convoys, marches, picketing, satirical awards.

The second group of methods include the following: student strikes, public disobedience, emigration and others.

Methods of refusal of economic cooperation are divided into two subgroups: economic boycotts and strikes, each of which combines numerous types of strikes and industrial sabotage.

Methods of refusal of political cooperation include: boycotts of governmental and other public institutions, disobedience to "unjust" laws, the refusal of judicial cooperation, and more. And, notably, the evasion of military service, shoots and forged documents, and the like.

Non-violent intervention Sharpe calls, for example, a hunger strike, demonstrative suicide, sitting and standing as forms of protests, blocking roads. Total list of Sharpe series of methods aimed at the creation of a "new state within the state": the creation of alternative economic institutions and markets, the transportation system, the proclamation of the authorities of a parallel government.



Tags: Russia , USA

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