New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Passivity or Violence

September 09, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Michael N. Nagler, Politics

Is That the Only Choice?

by Michael N. Nagler

Between Libya, which has endured more than 2,000 NATO bombings, and Syria, where more than 2,000 civilians have been killed by their own government so far, we see the two traditional responses to a perceived need for intervention by the international community in regimes gone wrong. It’s a grim picture — invaded Libya and abandoned Syria — and a sad comment on the paucity of human imagination, at least when that imagination is squeezed into the narrow confines of “realism.”

Fortunately this Hobson’s choice, and the comment it delivers on the creativity of our concern, is not, in fact, all humanity can come up with. (more…)

Libya: Acid Test for Nonviolence?

March 28, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Michael N. Nagler, Politics

Practicing Peace Before Wars Break Out

by Michael N. Nagler

The nonviolent revolution in Egypt has spread across the Mideast, but unfortunately in many other countries, particularly Libya, “revolution” was picked up without “nonviolent.” I have been asked whether there is anything that nonviolence could nonetheless do in the face of the bloodbath that is going on before our eyes in that country. There is, but I would like to consider not one but two questions: what can we do now (which is very little), and what could we be doing if we lived in a more nonviolence-aware world. As we will see, the two questions fold together at one point.

Libya’s convulsion once again caught the “international community” (it’s more like an international schoolyard) flat-footed. Open warfare broke out very quickly, and the scale and stage of the violence are extreme. Yet there is still a way to respond that, while extremely difficult to pull off, could be called nonviolent. (more…)