Social Defence, Social Change

(London: Freedom Press, 1993), 157 pages, ISBN 0 900384 69 7

by Brian Martin

Available for purchase from Freedom Press,


The idea of military defence - namely of abolishing military forces and relying in their stead on nonviolent struggles by the general population - is extremely radical. Yet seldom before have the many radical implications of social defence been outlined.

Social Defence, Social Change argues for social defence as a grassroots initiative linked to challenges to oppressive structures in society such as patriarchy, police and the state. Filled with examples from Finland to Fiji, the book also provides a provocative survey of radical alternatives in politics and economics.

Social defence is not just a defence option. It is a direction for action that should be known to all those who seek a society without oppression, inequality or violence.


Entire book in pdf


Separate chapters in pdf

Front pages

1 Introduction 1

2 Some basics 4

3 Elite reform or grassroots initiative? 27

4 Steven Huxley and "nonviolent" struggle 38

5 Lessons from the Fiji coups 50

6 Nonviolence against hypocrisy in the Gulf 66

7 Revolutionary social defence 69

8 A tool for feminists? 80

9 What about the police? 89

10 Social defence and the environment 96

11 Science and technology for nonviolent struggle 106

12 Telecommunications for nonviolent struggle 111

13 Towards a resilient political system 120

14 Towards a resilient economic system 132

15 Postscript: Power tends to corrupt, even social defence 141

Further reading 145

Index 148

Go to

Brian Martin's publications on peace, war and nonviolence

Brian Martin's publications

Brian Martin's website