Strategic Timeframe

The Strategic Timeframe, Stages and Campaigns of your Struggle

The strategic plan should identify a realistic strategic timeframe and a thoughtfully designed sequence of stages and campaigns so that the struggle can make steady progress towards the strategic aims. This will also reduce the risks associated with an unrealistic timetable (including the possibility that people will become prematurely disenchanted with the strategy and advocate its abandonment) and the danger of sudden and excessive doses of repression. There are several points to consider in planning the stages of a nonviolent strategy.

(i) the appropriate timeframe for the strategy as well as the number, nature and duration of its stages should be decided following a realistic assessment of the existing will and power of your activist network compared with those of the opponent elite;

(ii) because a nonviolent strategy is based on the participation of ordinary people, thought should be given to designing both nonviolent campaigns and the constructive program in ways which encourage new people to become actively involved during each stage of the struggle. For example, the first stage should include simple things that everyone can do;

(iii) in planning the stages of a nonviolent strategy, careful thought should be given to the number, nature, duration and stages of the individual campaigns, each of which should be planned to achieve a previously identified strategic goal;

(iv) the stages should be designed so that support for the opponent elite’s policy is systematically undermined in accordance with a precisely identified strategic sequence and so that the climax of the strategy is neither reached prematurely nor unnecessarily drawn out; and

(v) the timeframe should take reality into account: how much time is left in which your nonviolent strategy can have the necessary impact? See ‘Human Extinction Now Imminent and Inevitable? A Report on the State of Planet Earth’.


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