As the failures of war strategies have become increasingly obvious, the benefits of nonviolent approaches based on the principle of equality have become more obvious.
At the root of every major religious tradition in the world is the belief that all human lives are equally valuable: our neighbors as ourselves. The fundamental equality of persons is also the thesis of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Though declared within a system of vast inequalities, the statement rang true from the beginning as an acknowledgement that equality and freedom are inextricably linked.
In my lifetime, freedom movements have made the strongest gains when they’ve modeled equality through a commitment to nonviolence. By guarding the right of one’s adversary to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, one is holding open the possibility that the adversary could become an ally, and that’s the way a healthy movement grows.