Street Spirit is an excellent publication edited by Terry Messman for a number of years now for the AFSC.
I can't find it posted on their own site yet, but Messman's recent interview of George Lakey deserves widespread circulation.
My wife found it here.
Spirit: When you say that they retired the 1 percent, and replaced them, what was the nature of the economic transformation they set in motion?
Lakey: They were able to set up a new society in which they could virtually eliminate poverty, get rid of slums, open higher education for free, make an assured secure retirement available to all, create a health care system second to none for everyone.
Norway is a very long country. It extends even north of the Arctic Circle. If you’re way at the north end of the country and you get a brain tumor that needs surgery that only somebody in the other end of the country can do — say, in the capital city of Oslo — the system itself flies you to that hospital to take care of your surgery. Universal daycare, universal this, universal that. They were able to establish all those things because the 1 percent no longer had the veto power that they had had previously.
Spirit: That’s exactly the economic transformation our system needs and it’s a central goal guiding the Occupy movement, and the homeless movements we’re involved in. Maybe what we need is to create time machines to pull in those knowledgeable activists from Norway and Sweden to show us how to do it.
Lakey: Well, they can start by reading our database.
Spirit: I knew that would give you an advertisement [laughs]. You’ve written that the conventional wisdom shared by the left, right and center is that violence is the most powerful political force of all. Why do you say this belief is as popular as the belief that the earth is flat, and just as incorrect?
Lakey: Because it doesn’t turn out to be true. Just as some brave people were willing to sail from Europe to the west and hope they wouldn’t fall off the edge of the earth and then it turned out that they didn’t, so also there have been some brave people who, despite conventional wisdom, went up against entrenched, violent dictatorships and overthrew them nonviolently, in situations where previous violent attempts had failed. So it’s obvious that violence, while it has some power, is simply not as powerful as nonviolence in these cases.
Spirit: You contend that people power is more powerful than military force. Again, that is counterintuitive for most people, who believe the exact opposite is true. After a lifetime of research and activism, what makes you believe that the unarmed power of the people can be a stronger force than military power?
Lakey: Let me tackle the other end of it. The reason why people believe that violence is more powerful than nonviolence is not accidental. That is the message that is taught to us by the 1 percent. In all societies in which people believe violence is more powerful than nonviolence, the 1 percent has messaged that, has drummed that into people’s consciousness as clearly as racism has been drummed into the consciousness of little girls and boys in the United States or South Africa. It’s the 1 percent that works very hard to convince us that violence is the most powerful thing.
So those in Occupy who want to be cynical about the intentions of the 1 percent might ask themselves: Why is it so important to the 1 percent that we believe that violence is more powerful? It’s so important because then they know they can beat us, because they are the ones who have the overwhelming instruments of violence. They can keep us in line as long as we believe that violence is the most powerful force. So it is this massive manipulation that is thousands of years old, maybe older than that, and it’s totally in alignment with the patriarchy