The so-called ‘Father of the Egyptian Revolution’ was the shy and relatively unknown former peace activist now turned orchid-grower Gene Sharp. Now 83, Sharp is slowing down, but is about to publish another book, and must marvel at the success his writings on nonviolent revolution and especially “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” which was used as an overarching guide to revolutions, both successful and failed, around the world, including Serbia, Myannmar, Burma, Tunisia, Egypt and different of the color and blossom revolutions. A WikiLeaks cable said a year ago that Syrian dissidents were training with Sharp’s work.
He has been the object of various smear campaigns by autocrats including Hugo Chavez and top Iranian officials, one of which included a cartoon video portraying Sharp as a CIA agent teaming up with John McCain and George Soros to overthrow Iran’s government. (grin) Sharp had studied Gandhi and Thoreau and subscribed to their notions that: (from the NYT)
”… power is not monolithic; that is, it does not derive from some intrinsic quality of those who are in power. For Sharp, political power, the power of any state – regardless of its particular structural organization – ultimately derives from the subjects of the state. His fundamental belief is that any power structure relies upon the subjects’ obedience to the orders of the ruler(s). If subjects do not obey, leaders have no power.