In participating in the Zeitgeist Movement the education I've laid at my feet is endless. A book was brought to my attention that TZM has foundational similarities to, and is a resource the founder of TZM references as inspiration in regards to action. The book is called "A Testament of Hope", it is the essential writings of Martin Luther King Jr. during the era of what we refer to as The Civil Rights Movement. And I take from it excerpts here, since they are what made the Civil Rights Movement what it was, and are also part of the direction of the Zeitgeist Movement.
Martin Luther King Jr. on Nonviolent Resistance
Nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards. It does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the injustice to which he protests as is the person that uses violence. His method is passive or nonaggressive in the sense that no physical violence or other violence is used.
Nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. For example, noncooperation / boycotts are means of (nvr); the ends are reconciliation and community, (and justice).
Moderation (the criticism King received)
King was criticized for moving too fast, or causing problems that were too big, too fast in the social mind. It affected the status quo in ways that made people uncomfortable. King defined moderation as “A moving forward with wise restraint and calm reasonableness.” Not as capitulating to the whims and caprices of the guardians of the status quo.
About this method:
“Passive Resistance” often gives the false impression that this is a “do nothing” method in which the resister quietly and passively accepts the injustice at hand. This is false..
While one is passive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade his opponent of his error.
The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide.
The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
The way of nonviolence leads to redemption and the creation of new community.
Now we must say that this struggle for freedom will not come to an automatic halt, for history reveals to us that once oppressed people rise up against that oppression, there is no stopping point short of full freedom. On the other hand, history reveals to us that those who oppose the movement for freedom are those who are in privileged positions who very seldom give up their privileges without strong resistance. And they very seldom do it voluntarily. So the sense of struggle will continue. The question is how will the struggle be waged?
Three ways oppressed people have generally dealt with their oppression:
1. Acquiescence. The method of surrender. That is, the individuals will somehow adjust themselves to oppression, they adjust themselves to discrimination, to segregation, to colonialism or what have you.
2. Rising up against the oppressor with hatred and physical violence. This method is known in Western civilization because in a sense it has been the hallmark of its grandeur, and the inseparable twin of materialism. But there is a weakness in this method because it ends up creating many more social problems than it solves. I am convinced that if we (referring to black America) succumb to the temptation of using violence in our struggle for freedom and justice that the means will be preexistent in the end.
3. Nonviolent resistance, which does not seek to beat the opponent, but to bridge the gap in understanding and reach reconciliation (in King's words: redemption and a beloved community)
Ends and Means:
King advocated that the (Civil Rights) movement is based on the philosophy that the ends and means must cohere. This has been one of the long struggles in history, the whole idea of means and ends. (Militarism/nationalism/Monetary-ism) goes under the philosophy that the end justifies the means that are used in the process. This is where the Zeitgeist Movement breaks with traditional systems (i.e. political, national) or any other system that would argue that “the ends justifies the means.” For in the long run we must see that the end represents the means 'in its process' and the ideal in the making. In other words, we cannot believe, or we cannot go with the idea that the end justifies the means because the end is preexistent in the means. So the idea of passive resistance, and the philosophy of nonviolent resistance, is the philosophy which says that the means must be as pure as the end, that in the long run of history, immoral, destructive means cannot bring about moral and constructive ends.