| The Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia in 1989 under Vaclav Havel was not the first non-violent revolution and it will not be the last, the notable point with this revolution was the government it occurred against. Daily, individuals let me know that I am working against a system that cannot be beat except through use of force or worse. When I say worse I, of course mean voting and simply replacing one side of the coin with the other.

Revolutions throughout history have occurred as a result of social unrest, economic turmoil, loss of perceived liberties and excess taxation. Successful revolutions have rested on solid information platforms and a small percentage of strong-willed idealists. Some revolutions, the unfortunate majority; have occurred directly as a result of the use of force against force and have almost always resulted in the further loss of life. However, there are a few revolutions that have occurred, been sustained and ultimately been successful as a direct result of the use of knowledge and perseverance without the use of force.

The event that sparked the Velvet Revolution was the use of armed jackbooted thugs against a peaceful demonstration by students in Prague on November 17, 1989. However, the truth is that while this single event was a catalyst for widespread popular support there had been a movement up to that point working in the shadows, spreading the truth and being placed in jails across the nation. The economic turmoil engulfing the USSR leading up to that point helped the movement gain some momentum and paved the way for a successful nonviolent revolution in a nation that up to that point had embraced violent use of force against any and all who would “rebel” against the government by deigning to think for themselves.

Here is the lesson to be learned, violence never works, I am willing to accept that I may in fact be wrong in what I am about to say however, I feel it is necessary to say.

Not one violent revolution has worked in any positive manner, and especially the revolution that “won” the freedom of this “nation” from its oppressor. Thomas Jefferson stated in a letter written before he died that he was saddened and ashamed that the “sacrifices” of his generation had already been “squandered.” You see, most Americans ignore the simple fact that the central reason for the revolution and one of the catalyzing events that occurred revolved entirely around taxation. And what Americans also tend to ignore is that within four years, taxation had been levied against Americans HIGHER than the British EVER HAD!

What Americans ignore are the incidents that occurred within ten years of the ratification of the Constitution, the Whiskey Rebellion and the violent murder by then President Washington. What Americans ignore is that this nation is bankrupt, even though so many Americans seem to believe that money is differently set up for governments. What Americans ignore is that the individual has since the end of the War of Northern Aggression in 1865 been depressed and the “state” i.e. group has been elevated in every way, through “education”, chanting the pledge, singing the songs and in almost every federal government decision.

I firmly believe that to affect real change in this nation now we must educate those around us, and do so without simply turning them away. Remembering that before the light bulb went off for us where we were as well and what were we preaching to others then. Use our experiences, knowledge and presence of mind to show others that alternative exist. Remind people that the individual is still more important than society as a whole. Remind people that the state has never, will never, and can never benefit the individual. The state can only take, kill and torture to enforce the will of some over the many. Remind people that the state is the real reason we are here now, remind them that the state has not always existed and remind them that we are all individuals every day regardless.

The lessons of the Velvet Revolution are simple, but easy to forget especially since our “rulers” and the state will say and do anything to ensure it continues. Let’s repeat a simple approach, and remind others that this is also the way to live with them, as well as “revolt” against the state.

Do not initiate force against another – DO NO HARM!

“The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both.”
– Vaclav Havel