the power of the poor

He [Petr Chelcický] saw war as a conspiracy in which the poor were duped into fighting to defend the privileges of the rich. If all poor people refused to fight, he argued, the rich would have no army and there would be no war. (from Kurlansky, Nonviolence, p51-2)

This is reminiscent of Aminata Sow Fall’s Beggar’s Strike, in which the poor deprive the rich of essential blessings made by giving offerings to the poor – that doesn’t do it justice; I recommend the book, it’s clever and subversive.

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