Liberation Theology, Revolution, and Sanctions
If we change the system by war, the new system is one of war. If we change the system by threat, we create a system of threat. If we change the system by love and compassion, we will live in a world of love and compassion.
If we change the system fast, by fiat, the new system will be overthrown fast, by fiat. But if we change the system slowly, patiently, compromisingly, plodding with each piece, our system will continue to change slowly, piece by piece.
We may be tempted by liberation theology, which speaks of oppression and calls for change in the name of religion. Some talk of this theology as one of peaceful change. More often, however, I have heard it in the context of military revolution and government by champion. Even the word "liberation" to me implies a violent wrenching away, as opposed to bargaining, pressure, and change by agreement. I have much to learn about liberation theology, but I will be cautious unless and until it manifests itself unequivocally in nonviolent form.
Violent revolution always returns the pre-existing society, only with different leaders in a different guise. Russian peasants were "liberated" in 1917 and allowed to invade the properties of their overlords. By 1933, all those properties had been taken by the state, with great bloodshed, and the peasant was as much a serf as before. In The Peasant