(Marital) Sex, violence, and the most ideological 3 point 5 percent


Yanks commonly claim that only 3% of the colonial population was fervently ideological during their War for Independence.

Now, take a deep breath, because I’m going to link to a TEDx talk by a presenter whom many of my readers will dislike:

I found that talk at:


Here’s the key quotation:

My soon-to-be co-author—Maria Stephan–came up to me and said something like, “If you’re right, prove it. Are you curious enough to study these questions empirically?”

Believe it or not, no one had systematically done this before.[2] Although I was still skeptical, I was curious. If they were right and I was wrong, I figured somebody had better find out. So for the next two years, I collected data on all major nonviolent and violent campaigns for the overthrow of a government or territorial liberation since 1900. The data cover the entire world and include every known campaign that consists of at least a thousand observed participants, which constitutes hundreds of cases.[3]

Then I analyzed the data, and the results blew me away. From 1900 to 2006, nonviolent campaigns worldwide were twice as likely to succeed outright as violent insurgencies. And there’s more. This trend has been increasing over time—in the last fifty years civil resistance has become increasingly frequent and effective, whereas violent insurgencies have become increasingly rare and unsuccessful. This is true even in extremely repressive, authoritarian conditions where we might expect nonviolent resistance to fail.[4]

So why is civil resistance so much more effective than armed struggle? The answer lies in people power itself.

Researchers used to say that no government could survive if five percent of its population mobilized against it. But our data reveal that the threshold is probably lower. In fact, no campaigns failed once they’d achieved the active and sustained participation of just 3.5% of the population—and lots of them succeeded with far less than that [5]. Now, 3.5% is nothing to sneeze at. In the U.S. today, this means almost 11 million people.

But get this: Every single campaign that did surpass that 3.5% threshold was a nonviolent one. In fact, campaigns that relied solely on nonviolent methods were on average four times larger than the average violent campaign. And they were often much more representative in terms of gender, age, race, political party, class, and urban-rural distinctions.

I think many manospherians will dislike the presenter, Prof. Chenoweth, because she wears bluejeans with a bad haircut. Some might speculate that she’s related to the famous Talmud scholar, Rabbi Chenoweth. Others might claim that she doesn’t deserve credit for her main thesis, because it’s all been said before by the Albert Einstein Institution.


However, here’s an alternate perspective.

Perhaps the MARRIAGE MARKET has failed in the West precisely because 3.5% of the women are fervently anti-patriarchy.

Maybe patriarchal marriage is so fragile that a tiny percentage of female resistance will bring down the marriage market.

Initially, that might look like a giant win for feminism, but realize that many of the women who have overthrown patriarchal marriage will often fail to breed, just like the men they would have married. I suspect that feminism will burn itself out due to failure to breed.

It would be wonderfully nice and neat if the future were full of peaceful, nonviolent “Satyagraha” movements that ushered in diverse, vibrant democracies. Wow! No violence! No pepper spray! No high-pressure sewage sprays! No police brutality! If just a tiny fraction of the people stand up, the cops will stand down! Wouldn’t that be awesome? All these years, I had thought that politics was a stupid distraction designed to prevent radical political change, but Prof. Chenoweth’s nonviolent revolution could prove me wrong! I would like to be proven wrong in such as nice and neat manner. Somehow, I don’t think that it will be that nice and neat.

Note, however, that even if such clean, bloodless revolutions do sweep away the nasty, brutish regimes that dominate this world – there would be democracy, but there would be no guarantee of personal survival for the revolutionaries. The heroes of the revolution might be swept aside, and might fail to breed.

The survival of democratic society is not the same thing as the survival of your extended family, or your gene pool.

The illustration at the top is a sexy, violent revolutionary, namely Yagami Light.

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3 Responses to (Marital) Sex, violence, and the most ideological 3 point 5 percent

  1. Tucci78 says:

    Let’s flip this.

    Now that those disposed to govern – to take control of the police power in civil society and use the deadly force of the police and the military against “their” people – have some understanding of the effectiveness of nonviolent civil resistance, what are those thieving, extortionate, murdering, arrogant goons going to do to continue imposing their will on their victims?

    How often in the past few centuries have government officers shown themselves entirely too willing to set defined ethnic and economic factions against each other to those governments’ advantage in holding power? What happens when those small cadres (3.5%) of nonviolent resisters are dispossessed, blackballed, blackmailed, “disappeared” and otherwise punished for their intransigence?

    “Three and a half percent of the population?” reasons el Caudillo. “Pfui! We’d be better-off were we completely rid of all such troublemakers. Start with the most prominent and let’s see if the rest of them are so eager to resist our common-sense policies of preserving the public peace.”

    Calvera: “If God didn’t want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.”

    — screenplay,The Magnificent Seven (1960)

    • I don’t know much history, but I seem to recall that places in South America have had some charismatic strongmen – mostly backed by the USA – who disappeared dissenters.

      • Tucci78 says:

        When you’re examining purposeful human action in the realm of government – which is, first and last, that agency in civil society which maintains a jealously-guarded functional monopoly on the initiation of deadly force (all other policies and practices hinge upon government goons’ ability to break things and kill people; when you get right down to it, even zoning codes are enforced with the threat of violent death) – “strongmen,” whether “charismatic” or not, tend to gain their primacy in their polities by exercising the human and material assets of the police power. Couple that with governments’ natural advantages in C3I (command, control, communications, and actionable intelligence), and the potential for successful focused attack upon resistance – violent or nonnviolent; makes no difference – amps up tremendously.

        Particularly in the modern surveillance state.

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