Political Purpose

To orient your entire strategy, identify the political purpose of your defense or liberation struggle.

The political purpose of your strategy is a clear and simple statement of ‘what you want’.

This political purpose ‘anchors’ your strategy: it tells people what you are concerned about so that you can clearly identify allies, opponents and third parties. Your political purpose is a statement of what you will have achieved when you have successfully completed your strategy.

Here are five examples of a political purpose:

To defend [name of the country] against the political/military coup by [identity of coup perpetrators].
To defend [name of the country] against the foreign military invasion by [name of invading country].
To defend the [name of targeted group] against the genocidal assault by the [identity of genocidal entity].
To establish the independent entity/state of [name of proposed entity/state] by removing the foreign occupying state of [name of occupying state].
To establish a democratic state in [name of country] by removing the dictatorship.

Once you have clearly decided the political purpose of your strategy, which might usefully reflect a local wording and/or flavour that gives it real meaning for the defending population, write this political purpose – ‘what you want’ – into your ‘defense/liberation strategy document’ which can be downloaded from the Strategic Aims page.

In practice, your political purpose may be publicized in the form of a political program or as a list of demands.

The specific political demands are vitally important and should be compiled with five criteria in mind:

(i) the demands must be concrete, easily understood and ‘within the power of the opponent to yield’;
(ii) they should accurately reflect the needs of the people engaged in the campaign in order to mobilize widespread support for the struggle;
(iii) they should include an explicit commitment to the needs of the opponent;
(iv) they should expose moral weak points in the position of the opponent; and
(v) they should nominate specific positive changes (giving substance to the political purpose), not just token changes.

For a full explanation of any of the above, see The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach.

Once you have defined your political purpose, I suggest that you go to the ‘Assessment’ link in the sidebar and then progressively work your way down the list until your strategy is fully developed.

Source of this document: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/strategywheel/political-purpose/

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