Principles

The Six Principles of Kingian Nonviolence

Often referred to as the “will” of Kingian Nonviolence, these six principles serve as the foundation to the philosophy.

Principle One: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice, and utilizes the righteous indignation and the spiritual, emotional and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.

Principle Two: The Beloved Community is the framework of the future.
The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.

Principle Three: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil.
The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.

Principle Four: Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal.
Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension.  The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one’s own friends and community as well as to the opponent.

Principle Five: Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence.
The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign.  It provides mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large.  Specific activities must be designed to help maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.

Principle Six: The universe is on the side of justice.
Truth is universal and human society and each human being is oriented to the just sense of order of the universe.  The fundamental values in all the world’s great religions include the concept that the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice.  For the nonviolent practitioner, nonviolence introduces a new moral context in which nonviolence is both the means and the end.