Richard Bartlett Gregg was an American social philosopher said to be "the first American to develop a substantial theory of non-violent resistance" and an influence on the thinking of Martin Luther King,  Jr, Aldous Huxley , civil-rights theorist Bayard Rustin, and pacifist and socialist reformer Jessie Wallace Hughan. Gregg's ideas also influenced the Peace Pledge Union in 1930s Britain, although by 1937 most of the PPU had moved away from Gregg's ideas.

Gregg traveled to India in the 1920s to learn about the culture and to seek out Gandhi. His publications include Gandhiji's Satyagraha or non-violent resistance, published in 1930, and The Power of Non-Violence, from 1934. His revision, The Power of Non-Violence (1960) included a foreword by King.The book was republished in several other editions, including a Swedish translation in 1936 (as Den nya maktfaktorn: motstånd utan våld). Gregg's 1939 pamphlet Pacifist Program in time of war: threatened war, or fascism was a program detailing how American pacifists could use non-violence to oppose war and fascism in the United States.

In the 1940s, Gregg became interested in ecology and organic farming, and spent several years living on a farm owned by Scott and Helen Nearing. Gregg was also author of other books, including The Compass of Civilization, and the essay The Value of Voluntary Simplicity, a philosophical essay on the need and benefits of living more simply. He coined the term "voluntary simplicity".

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