Good afternoon, I’m proud to be here at TEDxKrakow. I’ll try to speak a little bit today about a phenomenon which can, and actually is changing the world, and whose name is people power. I’ll start with an anecdote, or for those of you who are Monty Python lovers, a Monty Python type of sketch. Here it is.

It is December 15, 2010. Somebody gives you a bet: you will look at a crystal ball, and you will see the future; the future will be accurate. But you need to share it with the world. OK, curiosity killed the cat, you take the bet, you look at the crystal ball. One hour later, you’re sitting in a building of the national TV, in a top show, and you tell the story. Before the end of 2011, Ben Ali, and Mubarak, and Gaddafi would be down, and prosecuted. Saleh of Yemen and Assad of Syria would be either challenged, or already on their knees. Osama bin Laden would be dead, and Ratko Mladic would be in the Hague.

Now, the anchor watches you with a strange gaze on his face. And then, on top of it you add: “And thousands of young people from Athens, Madrid and New York will demonstrate for social justice, claiming they are inspired by Arabs.”

Next thing you know, two guys in white appear, they give you the strange t-shirt, take you to the nearest mental institution. So I would like to speak a little bit about the phenomenon which is behind what already seems to be a very bad year for bad guys. And this phenomenon is called people power.

Well, people power has been there for a while. It helped Gandhi kick the Brits from India, it helped Martin Luther King win his historic racial struggle. It helped a local, Lech Walesa, to kick out one million Soviet troops from Poland, and in beginning the end of the Soviet Union as we know it.

So what’s new in it? What seems to be very new, which is the idea I would like to share with you today, is that there is a set of rules and skills which can be learned and taught in order to perform successful nonviolent struggle. If this is true, we can help these movements.

Well, the first one – analytic skills. I’ll try where it all started in the Middle East. And for so many years, we were living with a completely wrong perception of the Middle East. It was looking like the frozen region. Literally a refrigerator. And there were only two types of meal there. Steak, which stands for a Mubarak-Ben Ali type of military police dictatorship, or a potato, which stands for a Tehran type of theocracies. And everybody was amazed when the refrigerator opened, and millions of young, mainly secular people stepped out to do the change. Guess what – they didn’t watch the demographics. What is the average age of an Egyptian? 24. How long was Mubarak in power? 31. So, this system was just obsolete, they expired. And young people of the Arab world have awakened one morning, and understood that power lies in their hands. The rest is the year in front of us. And guess what? The same Generation Y, with their rules, with their tools, with their games, and with their language, which sounds a little bit strange to me. I’m 38 now. And can you look at the age of the people on the streets of Europe? It seems that Generation Y is coming.

Now, let me set another example. I’m meeting different people throughout the world, and they are, you know, academics, and professors, and doctors, and they will always talk conditions. They will say: “People power will work only if the regime is not too oppressive.” They will say: “People power will work, if the annual income of the country is between X and Z.” They will say: “People power will work only if there is a foreign pressure.” They will say: “People power will work only if there is no oil.” And, I mean, there is a set of conditions. Well, the news here is that your skills during the conflict seem to be more important than the conditions. Namely, the skills of unity, planning, and maintaining nonviolent discipline.

Let me give you an example. I come from a country called Serbia. It took us 10 years to unite 18 opposition party leaders, with their big egos, behind one single candidate against the Balkan dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Guess what? That was the day of his defeat. You look at the Egyptians, they fight on Tahrir Square, they get rid of their individual symbols, they appear on the street only with the flag of Egypt. I will give you a counter-example. You see nine presidential candidates running against Lukashenko, you all know the outcome. So unity is a big thing. And this can be achieved. Same with planning. Somebody has lied to you about the successful and spontaneous nonviolent revolution. That thing doesn’t exist in the world. Whenever you see young people in front of the row trying to fraternize with the police or military, somebody was thinking about it before.

Now, at the end, nonviolent discipline. And this is probably the game-changer. If you maintain nonviolent discipline, you’ll exclusively win. You have 100,000 people in a nonviolent march, one idiot or agent-provocateur throwing a stone. Guess what takes all the cameras. That one guy. One single act of violence can literally destroy your movement.

Now, let me move to another place. It’s the selection of strategies and tactics. There are certain rules in nonviolent struggle you may follow. First, you start small. Second, you pick the battles you can win. It’s only 200 of us in this room. We won’t call for the march of a million. But what if we organized the spraying of graffiti throughout the night, all over Krakow. The city will know. So, we pick tactics accommodated to the event, especially this thing we call the small tactics of dispersion. They’re very useful in violent oppression. We are actually witnessing the picture of one of the best tactics ever used. It was on Tahrir square, where the international community was constantly frightened that, you know, the Islamists will overtake the revolution. What they organized — Christians protecting Muslims where they are praying, a Coptic wedding cheered by thousands of Muslims, the world has just changed the picture, but somebody was thinking about this previously. So there are so many things you can do instead of getting into one place, shouting, and you know, showing off in front of the security forces.

Now, there is also another very important dynamic. And this is a dynamic that analysts normally don’t see. This is the dynamic between fear and apathy on the one side, and enthusiasm and humor on another side. So, it works like in a video game. You have the fear high, you have status quo. You have the enthusiasm higher, you see the fear is starting to melt. Day two, you see people running towards the police instead of from the police, in Egypt. You can tell that something is happening there.

And then, it’s about the humor. Humor is such a powerful game-changer, and of course, it was very big in Poland. You know, we were just a small group of crazy students in Serbia when we made this big skit. We put the big petrol barrel with a portrait of Mr. President on it, in the middle of the Main Street. There was a hole in the top. So you could literally come, put a coin in, get a baseball bat, and hit his face. Sounds loud. And within minutes, we were sitting in a nearby café having coffee, and there was a queue of people waiting to do this lovely thing. Well, that’s just the beginning of the show. The real show starts when the police appears.


“What will they do?” Arrest us? We were nowhere to be seen. We were like three blocks away, observing it from our espresso bar. Arrest the shoppers, with kids? Doesn’t make sense. Of course, you could bet, they did the most stupid thing. They arrested the barrel. And now, the picture of the smashed face on the barrel, with the policemen dragging it to the police car, that was the best day for newspaper photographers that they will ever have.

So, I mean, these are the things you can do. And you can always use humor. There is also one big thing about humor, it really hurts. Because these guys really are taking themselves too seriously. When you start to mock them, it hurts.

Now, everybody is talking about His Majesty, the Internet, and it is also a very useful skill. But don’t rush to label things like “a Facebook Revolution,” “Twitter Revolution.” Don’t mix the tools with the substance. It is true that the Internet and the new media are very useful in making things faster and cheaper. They also make it a bit safer for the participants, because they give partial anonymity.

We’re watching the great example of something else the Internet can do. It can put the price tag of state-sponsored violence over a nonviolent protester. This is the famous group “We are all Khaled Said,” made by Wael Ghonim in Egypt, and his friend. This is the mutilated face of the guy who was beaten by the police. This is how he became known to the public, and this is what probably became the straw that broke the camel’s back.

But here is also the bad news. The nonviolent struggle is won in the real world, in the streets. You will never change your society towards democracy, or, you know, the economy, if you sit down and click. There are risks to be taken, and there are living people who are winning the struggle.

Well, the million-dollar question. What will happen in the Arab world? And though young people from the Arab world were pretty successful in bringing down three dictators, shaking the region, kind of persuading the clever kings from Jordan and Morocco to do substantial reforms, it is yet to be seen what will be the outcome. Whether the Egyptians and Tunisians will make it through the transition, or this will end in bloody ethnic and religious conflicts, whether the Syrians will maintain nonviolent discipline, faced with a brutal daily violence which kills thousands already, or they will slip into violent struggle and make ugly civil war. Will these revolutions be pushed through the transitions and democracy or be overtaken by the military or extremists of all kinds? We cannot tell. The same works for the Western sector, where you can see all these excited young people protesting around the world, occupying this, occupying that. Are they going to become the world wave? Are they going to find their skills, their enthusiasm, and their strategy to find what they really want and push for the reform, or will they just stay complaining about the endless list of the things they hate? This is the difference between the two paths.

Now, what do the statistics have? My friend Maria Stephan’s book talks a lot about violent and nonviolent struggle, and there are some shocking data. If you look at the last 35 years and different social transitions, from dictatorship to democracy, you will see that, out of 67 different cases, in 50 of these cases it was nonviolent struggle which was the key power. This is one more reason to look at this phenomenon, this is one more reason to look at Generation Y. Enough for me to give them credit, and hope that they will find their skills and their courage to use nonviolent struggle and thus fix at least a part of the mess our generation is making in this world.

Thank you.

下午好。能来到TEDxKrakow(克拉科夫,波兰城市)我非常骄傲。 今天我要说一说 一个有能力并且正在改变世界的现象, 这个现象就是人民的力量。 让我先来与你们分享一段轶事, 如果你们喜欢猛踢蒙提·派森(英国喜剧团体)的话,这就是一个蒙提·派森式的小品。

故事是这样的。2010年12月15日。 有人和你打赌。赌约是,你可以从水晶球里 准确地看到未来。 但是你必须把你所看到的公之于众。你愿意吗? 好奇心杀死猫。你接受挑战 看了水晶球。一个小时之后 你在全国性的电视台的大楼里 做脱口秀节目,讲述你在水晶球里看到的事情。 “2011年结束之前,本·阿里、穆巴拉克 和卡扎菲都会垮台并被起诉。 也门的萨利赫和叙利亚的阿萨德 会受到挑战甚至屈服于压力。 奥萨马·本·拉登会死去, 拉科˙穆拉迪契会在海牙国际法庭受审。”

现在,主持人用一种奇怪的眼神凝视着你, 然后你又补充道, “在雅典、马德里和纽约,成千上万的年轻人 会走上街头,声称自己受阿拉伯世界影响, 要为社会公正示威。”

接下来,两个身着白衣的人出现。 给你一件古怪的T恤, 把你送到最近的精神病院。

所以我想谈一谈这一年 恶霸不断倒台背后的现象 这个现象就是人民的力量。

人民的力量并不是什么新生现象。 它帮助甘地把英国人赶出印度。 它帮助马丁·路德·金赢得了一场历史性的种族斗争。 它帮助波兰的莱赫·瓦文萨 将一百万苏联军队赶出波兰 启动了苏联的解体。

现在的人民力量新在何处呢? 我今天就想谈一谈这个问题 要进行成功的非暴力斗争 我们需要一系列可学习可传授的规则和技能。 如果事实如此,我们可以协助此类运动的开展。

第一,分析能力。 请让我从这一切的源头中东地区说起 多年来,我们对中东地区的印象 一直有失偏颇。 我们认为中东好像一个被冷冻的区域,一个冰箱 而且里面只有两种食物: 一种是牛排,代表穆巴拉克、本·阿里这种 军事独裁统治,另外一种是土豆, 也就是以伊朗德黑兰政权为代表的神权政体。 因此当冰箱打开,成千上万的年轻人, 其中大部分拥有着平凡的价值观,走上街头呼吁变革的时候 很多人非常惊讶。知道为什么吗?他们没有关注中东的人口统计特征。 埃及的平均年龄是多少?24岁。 穆巴拉克在位多少年了?31年。 所以这样的统治系统已经过时。应该退休了。 而阿拉伯世界的年轻人某一天早上醒来 突然意识到力量就在自己手中。 此后一年间发生的事情我们已经熟知。 这一代人有着自己规则 自己的工具,自己的游戏和自己的语言 这种语言对我来说有些奇怪。我今年38岁了。 再看看欧洲街头示威人群的年龄组成? 年轻一代正在走上政治舞台。

现在请允许我再举一个例子。 我与来自世界各地的很多人讨论过这个话题 学者、教授、医生都有 他们都喜欢讲条件。 他们会说,“只有政权对于人民的压迫过于深重的时候,人民的力量才会起作用。” 他们还说:“如果该国年人均收入在X和Z之间 人民的力量才会起作用。“ 他们说:”只有外国施加压力时,人民的力量才会起效。“ 他们说,”只有在不牵涉的石油的情况下人民的力量才会起效“ 这些条件确实存在。 然而,真正的重点是,应对冲突的技能 似乎比这些条件更加重要, 它们分别是团结、规划 和坚持和非暴力斗争。

请允许我再举一个例子。 我来自塞尔维亚。 我们花了10年的时间才联合18个自恃甚高的反对党领袖 选出一个候选人 对抗巴尔干独裁者斯洛博丹·米洛舍维奇。 你猜结果怎样?他的末日就此到来。 再看埃及人,他们在解放广场上示威时 去除了所有个人符号。 他们走上街头时只带着埃及国旗。 请允许我再举一个反例。 有9个候选人和卢卡申科竞争总总统职位。 结果不言而喻。 因此,团结非常重要,而且也不难做到。 事先计划也是一样。有人跟你提到过 成功的自发非暴力革命? 世界上不存在这种革命。 如果你看到年轻人在接上 态度友好的和警察或者军队交涉, 肯定有人实现计划。

最后我要谈一谈不使用暴力的重要性, 这在一场运动中可能会起到决定性的作用。 如果坚持非暴力斗争,你就会取得胜利。 如果十万人参加了非暴力游行, 如果其中一个白痴或者奸细扔了石头 媒体的镜头全都会对准这一个人。 一个暴力行为就可以 毁掉整个运动。

现在我们看下一个问题。 战略和战术的甄选。 在非暴力斗争中遵守一些规则是必要的。 第一,从小规模的运动开始。 第二,将精力集中在可能赢的活动上。 今天出席的观众大约两百人。 我们没办法组织百万人大游行。 如果我们趁夜晚在克拉科夫 四处涂鸦呢?市民们一定会知道的。 因此,我们根据形势挑选策略 尤其是运用分散的小规模策略。 这种策略在暴力镇压中特别有效。 这张照片记录的就是 有史以来最棒的策略之一。 这是在解放广场,国际社会 一直担心伊斯兰教徒会在这里 改变革命的性质。于是,他们安排了 基督教徒保护正在祈祷的穆斯林 以及受到成千上万穆斯林祝福的科普特人婚礼。 他们改变了世界的想法, 这一切都是事前计划的。 除了聚集在一起, 在安保人员面前大叫示威之外, 还有很多其他的斗争方式。

事实上还有一种动态制衡也非常重要 而且常被分析家忽略。 这是以热情和幽默 化解恐惧和冷漠的动态。 它的运作方式很像电子游戏。 如果恐惧指数较高,那其它状态保持不变。 如果热情指数升高,恐惧就会开始下降。 在第二天,你就会看到人们跑向警察, 而不是从警察身边逃离。 不难看出,埃及就发生了类似的变化。

接下来我们说说幽默。幽默拥有巨大的力量 可以改变局势,而且波兰人民的幽默感一向不错。 在塞尔维亚,我们一小群疯狂的学生 曾经组织过大型的滑稽活动。 我们在主干道的中间 放上一个大汽油桶 上面贴着总统先生的照片。桶的顶端有一个洞 所以人们可以过来投币 拿起棒球棍,给总统的脸来上一棒。 声音非常响。我们坐在附近的咖啡馆喝咖啡 观察形势发展,几分钟之内, 就有一群人排队投币打总统。 好戏这时才刚刚开始。 警察的出现掀起了真正的高潮。 他们会怎么做呢?逮捕我们?他们根本找不到我们。 我们在三个街区之外的咖啡馆静观其变呢。 逮捕那些带着孩子的购物者?没有道理。 也许你们猜得到,最终他们还是做了最愚蠢的事情: 他们逮捕了那个汽油桶。 警察将被打的歪七扭八的总统头像汽油桶 拖向警车的画面 让报纸摄影记者们欣喜若狂。

因此,我们都可以做一些力所能及的事, 而且别忘记将幽默融入其中。 幽默的力量在于:独裁者们 太在意他们的形象了,幽默其实拥有着巨大的杀伤力。 那些统治者一旦被嘲讽,就会坐立不安。

现在,人们都在谈论尊贵的因特网殿下, 网络也确实是一个非常有用的工具 但是别急着将各种运动命名为脸书革命或者推特(微博)革命。 不要混淆工具和实质。 在提高效率和降低成本方面 网络和新媒体非常有效。 网络的匿名性则 提高了参加反抗运动的安全性。

我们现在看到的是,是因特网在另外一个方面做出的伟大贡献。 它可以让暴力镇压和平示威的政府付出代价。 这是Wael Ghonim和他的朋友在埃及 创建的一个著名组织,“我们都是Khaled Said”。 这是一个被警察殴打的年轻人受伤的面孔。 他成为了公众的代表,可能就是 压垮骆驼的最后一根稻草。

然而因特网也有它的局限。 和平示威只有在真实世界, 在街头才能取得胜利。如果只坐在电脑面前点击鼠标的话 你永远也无法 改善社会、推进民主。 必须冒险,必须有活生生的人参加 斗争才有可能取得胜利。

再说一个重要的问题:阿拉伯世界今后会如何发展? 阿拉伯世界的年轻人 成功的扳倒了三个独裁者, 振荡了整个世界的格局,一定程度上说服了 约旦和摩洛哥聪明的国王大举改革, 但最终的结果还尚未揭晓, 埃及和突尼斯能否成功过渡 会不会有血腥的种族或者宗教冲突爆发 面对日渐残暴、已经造成上千人死亡 的暴力镇压,叙利亚人民 能否坚持不动用武力 还是说他们会陷入武装斗争 引起一场惨烈的内战。 这些革命是否能引领国家向民主过渡 它们的胜利果实会不会被军方 或者各种极端分子攫取?我们无法预测。 发生在西方社会的抗议也是如此 有很多激愤的年轻人四处抗议 一会儿占领这个,一会儿占领那个。 他们会引领世界的潮流吗? 他们是会用自己的能力、热情和策略 去追寻理想,推动改革 还是会继续 抱怨他们憎恨的无数现象? 这两者有云泥之别。

数据显示出什么样的发展趋势呢? 我的朋友Maria Stephan的书 探讨了与暴力和非暴力斗争有关的大量问题 也包含着一些惊人的数据。 过去35年中 在不同的国家一共发生了67次 从独裁到民主的社会变革 其中有50次是通过非暴力斗争实现的 因此,非暴力斗争能起到非常关键的作用。 从这个角度来看,当今世界正在发生的事情值得关注。 从这个角度来看,年轻一代值得关注, 我相信他们有希望 用自己的能力和勇气 通过非暴力斗争 解决一部分 我们这代人给世界带来的问题。 谢谢。(掌声)

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