I’m mulling a (nother) longer post on the question of demands and clarity of mission as it applies to activist movements, but in the meantime, check this out:
“We affirm the philosophical or religious ideal of nonviolence as the foundation of our purpose, the presupposition of our belief, and the manner of our action.
“Nonviolence, as it grows from the Judeo-Christian tradition, seeks a social order of justice permeated by love. Integration of human endeavor represents the crucial first step towards such a society.
“Through nonviolence, courage displaces fear. Love transcends hate. Acceptance dissipates prejudice; hope ends despair. Faith reconciles doubt. Peace dominates war. Mutual regards cancel enmity. Justice for all overthrows injustice. The redemptive community supersedes immoral social systems.
“By appealing to conscience and standing on the moral nature of human existence, nonviolence nurtures the atmosphere in which reconciliation and justice become actual possibilities.
“Although each local group in this movement must diligently work out the clear meaning of this statement of purpose, each act or phase of our corporate effort must reflect a genuine spirit of love and good-will.”
Other than a commitment to “nonviolence,” which is itself more than a little fuzzy as a strategy, it’s completely vacuous. “A social order of justice permeated by love.” What the hell does that mean? That “the redemptive community supersedes immoral social systems.” Well, okay, but how? “By appealing to conscience and standing on the moral nature of human existence.” Seriously?
And then, of course, the last paragraph is a total punt. “Each local group in this movement must diligently work out the clear meaning of this purpose.” Come on.
Movements need demands. Movements need clear and specific goals. Otherwise they’ll never amount to anything.