The Ragdoll Strategy is useful when being oppressed in a public manner. Provoke your oppressors civilly, peacefully and legally, and do not defend yourself when they lash out at you. From the audience's perspective, it will make your oppressors appear brutal and vicious, even if they agree morally or pragmatically with what the oppressors represent. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. in particular employed this tactic well.
This strategy plays on people's proclivity for 2-Dimensional issues. It's confusing to see a victim defend him or herself. The self defense makes them seem like a combatant who is losing, which can't be helped without implying some sort of favoritism. Instead, embrace victimhood to paint an inaccurate picture of your conflict and give bystanders no choice but to help.
Examples of ignoring this strategy
- On the night of November 9, 1938, violence against Jews broke out across the Reich. It appeared to be unplanned, set off by Germans' anger over the assassination of a German official in Paris at the hands of a Jewish teenager. In fact, German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and other Nazis carefully organized the pogroms. In two days, over 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were trashed and looted, dozens of Jewish people were killed, and Jewish cemeteries, hospitals, schools, and homes were looted while police and fire brigades stood by. The pogroms became known as Kristallnacht, the "Night of Broken Glass," for the shattered glass from the store windows that littered the streets.
- By assassinating the German official, the Jewish teenager changed his people from victims to combatants. The lines were blurred. Hitler was able to take advantage of this opportunity to commit atrocities as an act of "retribution".