Beyond the Terror War: People Power Transforms – and Unsettles – the Middle East
An unexpected wave of people-powered insurgencies, waged bravely by unarmed protesters against the many mightily-armed secular and theocratic dictatorships that span the Middle East and North Africa, has shaken the very foundations of not only the region, but of the entire world order.
People-power is not a new phenomenon, but has roots that date back to ancient times, having fueled the Christian movement that internally transformed the Roman Empire, and providing ever since an alternate model of insurgency from those of presented by the heroic guerrilla campaigns of both Spartacus and the Zealots who took their own lives at Masada. The Cold War, which held the world hostage to the ominously delicate balance of terror, came to its swift end not by a fiery nuclear exchange as many had long feared, but by the massed popular resistance of democratic movements that rose up to topple the communist autocrats who enforced Moscow’s will. The people, when united, seem to almost never be defeated – with notable exceptions that include China and Burma, where competent communist or military oligarchies have successfully held onto power in the face of popular uprisings for several generations. And, so now in Arabic and Farsi we hear a new generation of nonviolent insurgents cry out for change – with Tunisia and now Egypt forever transformed by popular revolts combined with military realignments in which the required loyalty of the armed forces shifted tectonically from state to people, with decisive results.
To understand the dynamic of people-power as manifested in this wave of popular revolt, and its potential for success against tyrannical regimes recognized as ruthlessly Machiavellian by even their closest friends and allies, a natural starting point is the very archetype of strategic nonviolence, Mohandas K. Gandhi – known to many of his followers as “Mahatma” (“Saint”) Gandhi, and his contemporary interpreter, the renown theorist of strategic nonviolence, Gene Sharp.
Strategic Nonviolence & the Contemporary World – A Realist Perspective
Against the Goliath of the modern, imperial super-state, it was the diminutive Gandhi who stood up, David-like, against its might. He showed the modern world that the often overlooked third pillar of Clausewitz’s dynamic trinity of army-state-populace, the people, should never be overlooked. His revolutionary nonviolence would paralyze Britain, thwarting its imperial ambitions, revealing the limits of its power by undermining its economic self-sufficiency through his coordinated, mass campaigns of nonviolent non-cooperation. This would be the path that in the end defeated the even more muscular Soviet Union, that nuclear-armed superpower that faced off against the West after the dust of World War II settled – when nuclear weapons and proxy wars of both a conventional or guerrilla nature proved incapable of tearing down the physical and metaphorical walls that defined the Iron Curtain.
The power of nonviolence, strangely enough, did what these more traditional tools could not, reaching into the hearts and minds of the Soviets themselves, converting them the way Jesus converted the Romans, transforming the imperial heart into something more benign. We also see the emergence, during this very same period that gave birth to Gandhi’s revolutionary movement, of his more violent alter ego, Mao Tse-Tung, whose revolutionary violence was equally effective in winning independence from his more brutal foes, both the imperial Japanese and the industrial Nationalists, once victorious transforming his backward, agrarian, long foreign-dominated China into an independent, egalitarian, but most notably non-democratic Maoist state. Yet more recently, along the southern frontier of the old Soviet Empire, borne of the cauldron of the long inter-generational war in Afghanistan, emerged our current nemesis and a new model of resistance to the modern state: the voice of contemporary strategic terror, under the banner of militant Islam and inspired by a vision of the restoration of the medieval caliphate, and our one-time Cold War ally in the war against Soviet expansion – Osama Bin Laden. With his messianic interpretation of Islam as his blueprint for revolutionary change to help guide and shape not only jihadist resistance to the Soviet occupation, but once victorious the West he once fought beside, particularly after 1996, when he audaciously declared war against America, a declaration largely ignored until the Twin Towers fell.
For much of the last decade the West has focused its doctrinal imagination and much of its treasure on the fight against his movement militant, Islamist and importantly strategic terror, ignoring to a large measure the rapid expansion of Chinese diplomatic influence and military power as we became engulfed in what looked to critics to be a never-ending war, if not a quagmire on par with Vietnam, famously described by that one, accusing word “fiasco” that became the title of Tom Rick’s best seller.
Gandhi, Mao & Bin Laden: Three Models of Modern Insurgency
In the paragraphs that follow, all three models of resistance to the modern state – strategic nonviolence, terrorism, and guerrilla war – will be discussed. Front and center to this exploration of the roots and dynamics of contemporary insurgencies of all stripes will be Gandhi, and his strategy of principled nonviolence, or satyagraha—and the power that is unlocked by this kernel truth and simplicity in an age of complexity. Gandhi’s mass movement of nonviolent resistance and non-cooperation, organized at the national level, articulated so powerful a message of resistance that it did not require either armed force or violence to succeed.
Gandhi, in his revolutionary victory, threw Machiavelli on his head. Machiavelli counseled his would-be prince that it was better to be feared than loved, while conceding that it was nonetheless best to be both feared and loved. Gandhi believed otherwise, and through his actions sought to demonstrate that it is ultimately better to be loved than feared, and best to be loved without fear. His lessons are being applied with some stunning success in the Middle East today, with deeply hated dictators in both Tunisia and Egypt on the run, their armed forces choosing love over fear. In Bahrain and Libya, the night remains young but those regimes (and their armed forces) appear more willing to emulate the Chinese, and to spill the blood of their younger generation in their bid to maintain the current domestic alignment of power.
Gandhi tapped into an alternate conception of political and military power, one as realistic as the very tenets of Machiavelli’s realism itself. Gandhi’s vision was not a substitute for conventional or nuclear strategy as developed by the great powers for modern warfare, since it did not substitute his moral weapon for those tools of force or even pure, unadulterated violence, but rather presented an alternate vision for national liberation best-suited for along the periphery of empire, where the salient conflict line was not between the competing ideological visions as seen in the struggle between East and West during the Cold War, but rather the competing economic visions of North and South that defined the liberation movements and independence struggles of the post-colonial world.
When Gandhi unleashed his truth weapon, he unbottled a force every bit as potent as a nuclear arsenal in that it applied total national power; indeed, its totality of power was such that it did not need to apply conventional or unconventional military force to succeed, and instead compelled the British to withdraw from what it wrongly thought of as “British India” when the massed, coordinated resistance of several hundred million Indians revealed how little India was in fact British. Gandhi unleashed and controlled a chain reaction of non-cooperation that would ordinarily erupt into chaos (and thus risk violence) as it did after Gandhi’s premature death, leaving a legacy of fratricidal, and at times total, war between the two offspring of British India: India and Pakistan.
But nonetheless, Gandhi’s strategic achievement was spectacular, a liberation movement pledged to nonviolent resistance, capable of shaking off the imperial yoke of a militarily-superior power, something that ordinarily would seem quite difficult to motivate and even harder to control, lying at the very core of political power as defined by theorists as diverse as Hannah Arendt and later Edward Luttwak, where pure, nonviolent people-power can defeat military force because of the binding nature of a singular political truth: that power rests ultimately upon the consent of the governed. Just as Jesus converted those very legions of Roman power that had sought to crush his peaceful movement into Christians so that in the end they became the soldiers of God who later spread his message of hope in the centuries that followed literally at the tip of the spear of the medieval Christian movement – as it transformed from nonviolent rebellion into a state (or more accurately trans-state) ideology of a militant power. And it was this same transformative power of nonviolence in India that caused the modern British Empire to unravel, a replay to some degree of the story of Jesus and the fall of Rome, with the newly free and independent India taking up arms immediately upon its birth, becoming a modern state, for better or worse, using force when necessary to secure its realm.
At the same time as Gandhi led India to its freedom on his powerful wave of people-power, we also have another struggle of resistance to modern power exploding across the Himalayan frontier, where Mao, a contemporary of Gandhi and to a certain degree his neighbor living one country over but in so many ways a world away, not the British-pacified subcontinent, but a war-torn, chaotic land that fell under the military occupation of the brutal Japanese whose behavior was far more ruthless than British rule in India, and less susceptible to the effects of Gandhian nonviolence, since the Japanese were all too happy to annihilate China’s population – something Britain, itself at war with a genocidal state, was unwilling to do. Mao’s strategy of guerrilla warfare, and later his method of highly mobile conventional warfare that borrowed many of its tactics from his guerrilla campaigns, brought maneuver to the forefront, outflanking his more mechanized and more heavily-armored foe. Mao comprehended the very same notion of power as Gandhi, one of untapped, raw potential locked into the mass of humanity, needing only discipline and focus to dislodge a better-armed imperial foe.
Yet Mao’s guerrilla warfare differed from Gandhi’s satyagraha in that it embraced the role of force and violence, though practiced with equal discipline and an efficiency of precision. Its impurities, a mingling of violence (against his domestic rivals) and military force (against his imperial foe), meant that while successful as a tool of liberation, it did not prepare China for the same self-sufficient independence or philosophical wholeness that Gandhi’s movement sought to bring to India, leaving pos-revolutionary China as dependent on Mao's Party as it was on its previous imperial rulers. However, Mao, like, Gandhi tied together an economic philosophy and a political vision with his movement of liberation; but it was one that, in the end, largely succeeded only in holding China back, and not to propel it forward by any great leap other than, perhaps, one of self-delusion. But on the other hand, one may argue that while inflicting continued violence upon China and thus not fully liberating it, Mao’s movement found perhaps a more organic and natural fit with a Chinese peasantry that had been brutally oppressed by imperial Japan’s occupation and by China's own heavy-handed imperial rule, and which shared his imperfections, his proclivity toward a decisive albeit violent resolution of conflict, one that did not as a result face the same potential gap between aspiration and reality that Gandhi experienced when he demanded truth from the masses, resulting in a post-liberation letdown as the reality of partition, terrorism, and war quickly deflated so much of Gandhi’s purer vision (one we risk seeing again in post-Mubarak Egypt if the hopes of the revolutionaries are not met by their new partner, the armed forces of Egypt.)
Whereas nonviolent non-cooperation needs mass, grassroots acceptance by the populace to succeed, guerrilla strategy needs just a plurality of support, just enough to carve out a secure base from which to launch irregular operations. A determined minority, acting without national unity, can win through guerrilla methods, but only a determined and united majority can win through nonviolence – and such a coalition of the willing is by definition fragile and ephemeral, and requires the erection of a democratic constitutional architecture to contain its diversity of wants and needs. In its absence, chaos could result and with it civil war, terror, and other darker dimensions of insurgency. Mao’s guerrilla warfare was able to weaken the occupying army of Japan, and once successful in containing Tokyo’s reach, to crush the western-sponsored nationalist government with whom he had once allied, in a new, domestic battle for dominance: his vision of disorder was able to challenge and defeat the modern state in its most advanced, industrial form, and replace it with an alternative vision of order that was unique to the East, an agrarian re-articulation of communist ideology, absent the historical necessity of industrialization (at least prior to revolutionary victory), thus breaking with its Marxist origins, presenting instead an adaptation to the agrarian realities of the developing world the precepts of communism, making it tailor-made for a wide variety of agrarian revolts to follow, including recent struggles in the Himalayas and the Andes where crushing poverty amongst the highland peasants has inspired Maoist insurgencies against the lowland urban centers where the power of the state and the wealth of the elite remain concentrated, fueling long-lasting civil wars in Nepal, parts of India, and Peru that linger on today.
Gandhi’s famously successful experiments in strategic nonviolence, emulated by pacifists and anti-war activists the world over for their consistency with moral principles of nonviolence, succeeded as much for their realism as their idealism. Indeed, Gandhi may be viewed as one of the great realist thinkers and practitioners of political change in human history, with a sophisticated understanding of the limits of power, and a sober assessment of the military capability (and inherent limits) of his opponent. Indeed, some contemporary interpreters of Gandhian strategy, including – notably – the leading theorist of strategic nonviolence, Gene Sharp, recently described in The American Prospect as “Gandhi in East Boston” and in the New Yorker as a “Reluctant Revolutionary,” who has successfully presented and analyzed Gandhi’s approach to strategic nonviolence through a realist framework of political power.
Gandhi emerged at a unique historic moment just as the Age of Empire began its rapid post-World War II decline, and the West, once asserting direct political and military control over much of the world, began its de-colonial contraction from an era marked by a global land grab to a more insular, and self-governing, age. As the symbol of Indian resistance to British imperialism, Gandhi became the personification of India’s struggle to be free. His methods, his strategic use of nonviolence through coordinated campaigns of noncooperation, paralyzed British-ruled India, occasionally eliciting a violent response but more often than not contributing a de-escalatory spiral that reduced the role of violence in this clash for political power in the subcontinent, and which demonstrated to the British, who were so vastly outnumbered by their imperial subjects, how – if fully leveraged – they could make colonial rule untenable for any foreign power. But rather than incite hatred or revolutionary passion that embraced violence, he channeled this mass of latent energy into a coordinated, massed nonviolent expression of people-power, and managed to persuade the British to withdraw, without recourse to war.
Gandhi’s tactical innovations present a sharp contrast to Mao’s primary use of guerrilla tactics, but both shared a similar strategic vision of unlocking the potential power inherent in their massive populaces, finding the people in arms, or at least the people intent on revolutionary change with or without arms, could be an unstoppable force if properly channeled. While Mao embraced force, and the tactical use of precisely calibrated violence, Gandhi chose instead to embrace only nonviolent means, and through his successful experimentation, made mass nonviolence a potent revolutionary tool against a rational, and prudent, opponent. Whether it could have worked against the Japanese, who had no compunction against mass civilian slaughter, is a different matter altogether; some theorists of nonviolence believe like Gandhi that satyagraha, the truth weapon, succeeds by in essence converting the opponent to one’s side. A hardened approach applied in the American civil rights movement, duragraha, seeks instead to induce physical violence by the opponent to strengthen one’s moral case and increase one’s political support. But whether Mao could have wielded a weapon of nonviolence against the imperial Japanese, or even against the Chinese Nationalists, remains an unsolved, what-if riddle of alternative history. That Gandhi’s strategy took root in the fight against the British, while Mao’s took root in the fight against the Japanese, does suggest each strategic visionary tailored his means in response to his unique environmental conditions. While their tactics differed, however, in response to variations in their strategic landscapes, it is interesting nonetheless that the Maoist approach and the Gandhian approach to insurgency shared similar strategic expressions of popular power, with different tactical methods.
It is the differences in these two visions that supporters of Gandhi tend to emphasize, though military strategists like B.H. Liddell Hart were well aware of the strategic and theoretical significance of the indirect attack, which in many ways Gandhi’s rebellion exemplified. Gandhi, a hero to many moral and activist leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the dissidents of Central Europe who opposed communism with the self-same commitment to nonviolence and now the Facebook revolutionaries of the Middle East and North Africa, is often considered to be an idealist—but in fact, Gandhi was a shrewd calculator of ends and means, developing a liberation strategy ideally suited to the unique colonial environment of India, with its several hundred million inhabitants, tapping into an undiluted, pure, raw form of power that needed no military augmentation.
When he brought the British Empire to its knees, he did so without firing a shot. Consider the analysis of Gene Sharp, a leading theorist of and prolific writer on strategic nonviolence:
We need to remember that Gandhi was no naïve romantic playing at politics, imagining the world to be one of sweet harmony, gentleness, and love. The times in which he lived and worked had many of the characteristics of our own times, with some variations. Those characteristics include the existence of acute conflicts, dictatorships, great violence, mass killings, and communal and racial hatreds. We often forget that Gandhi was tough and realistic. He fully recognized the role of power in political conflicts. Indeed, it seems that he understood power far better than those alleged statesmen of today who dogmatically believe that violence and military might are the only real source of political and international power. In the January 23, 1930 issue of his journal Young India, Gandhi wrote: “The British people must realize that the Empire is to come to an end. This they will not realize unless we in India have generated power within to enforce our will.” [i] … “The English Nation responds only to force . . . ,” Gandhi wrote at the beginning of the 1930-1931 civil disobedience campaign. [ii] On March 2, 1930, Gandhi wrote a letter-ultimatum to the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, rejecting the idea that the issues between India and Britain could be resolved by a conference. He wrote: “It is not a matter of carrying conviction by argument. The matter resolves itself into one of matching forces. Conviction or no conviction, Great Britain would defend her Indian commerce and interest by all the forces at her command. India must consequently evolve force enough to free herself from that embrace of death.”[iii]
A contemporary of Mao, who at around the same moment in history liberated India’s equally populous neighbor to the North from the military occupation of the Japanese and then a few years later triumphed in the first rurally-based communist revolution, introducing the world to revolutionary Maoism that tapped into the same mass potential inherent in rural popular power, Gandhi at first appears to be in many ways the opposite of Mao, and his nonviolent methods appear to be contrary to Mao’s embrace of revolutionary guerrilla violence. Yet, if you look closely, Gandhi and Mao tapped into massive reservoirs of unlocked power contained in their villages, which was never fully governed by either imperial power; and using, respectively, revolutionary nonviolence and revolutionary violence, each was able to in essence separate the root structure that fed the colonial tree, facilitating total collapse of their opponents. Gandhi, like Mao, understood Napoleon’s contribution not only to the advent of total war but to the dynamic of revolutionary change, and adapted this huge and hitherto untapped reservoir of power, in our time called “people-power” but in fact the core ingredient of total war, stripped of the machinery of modern warfare, like refined uranium outside the casing of an atomic bomb.
Some view Gandhian nonviolence as a tool suitable only against benevolent dictators; but the British were anything but -- they were militarily dominant for centuries and unafraid of using force. As Sharp has observed, “If the British exercised some restraint in dealing with the nonviolent rebellion, this may be related more to the peculiar problems posed by a nonviolent resistance movement and to the kind of forces which the nonviolent action set in motion, than to the opponent being ‘British.’ The same people showed little restraint in dealing with the Mau Mau in Kenya, or in the saturation bombings of German cities. It is interesting that Hitler saw no chance of a successful nonviolent or violent revolt in India against British rule. ‘We Germans have learned well enough how hard it is to force England,’ he wrote in Mein Kampf.”
That Gandhian nonviolence later worked so well against the hardly gentle Communist regimes within the former Soviet orbit also reinforces the notion that nonviolence is neither weak nor passive and can be employed against a ruthless foe, though clearly not without great sacrifice. However, it does appear true that nonviolence works best in a non-militarized conflict situation, since engaging directly against an armed force with only nonviolence could result in a massacre or even genocidal annihilation such as that seen in Rwanda, and Gandhi did not wish his methods to be a precursor to massacre. As such, we can best think of nonviolence is a tool of indirect attack, off the battlefield, a political tool to be deployed instead of terrorism or guerrilla tactics to demonstrate to the opponent that a shift in power is under way that transforms the underlying political order. It is thus an alternate to the use of force or violence. We may think of nonviolence as the antithesis of terrorism, a positive force that displays effective political or economic noncooperation that results from maximal leverage of its underlying political power and inherent popular support, opposite of terrorism which results from minimal political power and popular support necessitating the use of violence to offset this relative paucity of power. Nonviolence may thus also be viewed as a more powerful tool and reflects a more mature movement of political change, one that is forward looking to the post-conflict challenges of restoring political order, quite in contrast to terrorism which is effective at inducing chaos by sapping the will of a populace and coercing a democratic government (albeit not an authoritarian one that does not mind civilian casualties and in fact can benefit from the fear terror invokes). When nonviolence succeeds, it does so because its wielder has built up a reserve of political power that its opponent lacks, which suggests the potential for a decisive victory without recourse to arms, as we witnessed in the peaceful handoff of power to an independent India, and to the post-Communist regimes in Central Europe and later Russia itself. As Sharp observed:
Gandhi was no advocate of surrender to oppression, but neither was he a supporter of violence and war, nor was he a simple conscientious objector. He was a crucial contributor to the continued development of what Krishnalal Shridharani called “war without violence.” [i] Gandhi’s views differ significantly from the answers to conflict espoused by those who rely on war and other violence in extreme conflicts. His views also differ significantly from the answers offered by most practitioners of Western conflict resolution, peace research, and pacifism. The contributions of conflict resolution and peace research are important for some conflicts, especially those with issues of secondary significance. However, those contributions are inadequate when dealing with acute conflicts. Gandhi’s answer was to identify those conflicts where the issues are fundamental. Those are the conflicts when moral principles, human rights, and justice are at stake and when compromise is not possible or desirable. Then the primary task of the exponent of nonviolent means is to assist the oppressed people to become empowered by learning how to apply satyagraha, or nonviolent struggle, to change their situation, as Gandhi insisted.
In our age of terror, one wonders why Islamist holy warriors thrive in their culture of violence, and why Islam has not joined the Jewish zealots at Masada, the Christian martyrs at Rome, the Buddhist martyrs of Saigon, or even the legions of satyagrahi whose combined, albeit nonviolent, assault of British rule liberated India without war, in embracing a nonviolent martyrdom to induce a more Gandhian assault on the foundations of their opponent’s political power? The sudden outpouring on mass strategic nonviolence across the Islamic world in early 2011, however, suggests that the template for change presented by Islamists has been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims around the world, and that a more peaceful approach to political empowerment and even revolution is not only preferred, but more viable against the very dictators at which Al Qaeda has taken aim.
‘Experiments in Truth’
Gandhi viewed his methods of political liberation as “experiments in truth,” a religious odyssey comparable to the odyssey of Jesus as he responded to Roman imperialism, and drew lessons from Judaism, applying them in a pro-active, anti-colonial manner, shaking the foundation of Rome’s secular rule and in the end, dealing it a fatal internal blow. As Gandhi explained, his autobiographical reflections were an effort to “to tell the story of my numerous experiments with truth, and as my life consists of nothing but those experiments,” experiments that were deeply spiritual but also explicitly political, experiments in national liberation without the use of force or violence. In contrast to Jesus, whose ultimate victory evolved over centuries, indeed millennia, Gandhi’s victory was more immediate, achieved within the course of his own life time. From Gandhi’s autobiographical reflections, we learn:
What I want to achieve—what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years—is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain Moksha. I live and move and have my being in pursuit of this goal. All that I do by way of speaking and writing, and all my ventures in the political field, are directed to this same end. But as I have all along believed that what is possible for one is possible for all, my experiments have not been conducted in the closet, but in the open; and I do not think that this fact detracts from their spiritual value. There are some things which are known only to oneself and one’s Maker. These are clearly incommunicable. The experiments I am about to relate are not such. But they are spiritual, or rather moral; for the essence of religion is morality.
Gandhi viewed his experiments in truth as works in progress, and did not “claim any degree of perfection for these experiments,” claiming “nothing more than does a scientist who, though he conducts his experiments with the utmost accuracy, forethought and minuteness, never claims any finality about his conclusions, but keeps an open mind regarding them. I have gone through deep self-introspection, searched myself through and through, and examined and analysed every psychological situation. Yet I am far from claiming any finality or infallibility about my conclusions.” Like Mao, who also experimented throughout his career as he sought to bridge the gap between objective military realities and subjective interpretations of that reality through study, analysis, and effective use of intelligence, Gandhi viewed his experiments as an interpolation between mind and reality as he went, noting that as he conducted his experiments in truth, he noted “appear to be absolutely correct, and seem for the time being to be final. But at every step I have carried out the process of acceptance or rejection and acted accordingly.” Gene Sharp has described the evolving nature of Gandhi’s experiments developing his potent truth weapon:
With Gandhi’s experiments with the technique, its character was broadened and refinements made. Conscious efforts were made in developing the strategy and tactics. The number of specific forms or methods of action was enlarged. He linked it with a program of social change, and the building of new institutions. Nonviolent action became not passive resistance, but a technique capable of taking the initiative in active struggle. … This technique Gandhi called satyagraha, which is best translated as the firmness which comes from reliance on truth, and truth here has connotations of essence of being. A rather philosophical term, perhaps, but this technique was in Gandhi’s view based on firm political reality and one of the most fundamental of all insights into the nature of government—that all rulers in fact are dependent for their power on the submission, cooperation, and obedience of their subjects. … Following the widespread experiments under Gandhi, this technique of nonviolent action spread throughout the world at a rate previously unequalled.
It should come as no surprise that Gandhi was as much a philosopher as he was a member of the pantheon of constructive realists whose blueprints for order transformed our world and who touched history in such a personal and profound way. As Gandhi recalled, “I used to be very shy and avoided all company. My books and my lessons were my sole companions. To be at school at the stroke of the hour and to run back home as soon as the school closed-that was my daily habit. I literally ran back because I could not bear to talk to anybody. I was even afraid lest anyone should poke fun at me.” Yes, Gandhi was the archetypical geek, a studious nerd, joining the pantheon of would-be philosopher-kings whose wisdom provided a competitive advantage, and whose insights guided the enchained masses out of Plato’s cave into the light. The boy, afraid of being poked fun of, grew to know no fear, and to bring down one of the world’s mightiest of empires. Yet early in life, Gandhi recalls being filled with feelings of fear and insecurity.
As a little boy, Gandhi recalled, “I had not any high regard for my ability. I used to be astonished whenever I won prizes and scholarships. But I very jealously guarded my character. The least little blemish drew tears from my eyes. When I merited, or seemed to the teacher to merit, a rebuke, it was unbearable for me. I remember having once received corporal punishment. I did not so much mind the punishment, as the fact that it was considered my desert. I wept piteously.” Gandhi recalls a close friend, one of the few he remembers having what he calls an “intimate” relationship with, whose “exploits cast a spell over me. He could run long distances and extraordinarily fast. He was an adept in high and long jumping. He could put up with any amount of corporal punishment. He would often display his exploits to me and, as one is always dazzled when he sees in others the qualities that he lacks himself, I was dazzled by this friend’s exploits. This was followed by a strong desire to be like him. I could hardly jump or run. Why should not I also be as strong as he?” In contrast, Gandhi felt weak, noting, “I was a coward. I used to be haunted by the fear of thieves, ghosts and serpents. I did not dare to stir out of doors at night. Darkness was a terror to me. It was almost impossible to sleep in the dark, as I would imagine ghosts coming from one direction, thieves from another and serpents from a third. I could not therefore bear to sleep without a light in the room.”
Like a young philosopher first imagining a path out of the cave of darkness, Gandhi was fully aware of his fears, and through his experiments with truth overcame them, guiding his nation to independence in the process. In his autobiography, he even admits to several incidents seeking carnal pleasure at a brothel, each time, escaping with his honor intact—barely:
My friend once took me to a brothel. He sent me in with the necessary instructions. It was all pre-arranged. The bill had already been paid. I went into the jaws of sin, but God in His infinite mercy protected me against myself. I was almost struck blind and dumb in this den of vice. I sat near the woman on her bed, but I was tongue-tied. She naturally lost patience with me, and showed the door, with abuses and insults. I then felt as though my manhood had been injured, and wished to sink into the ground for shame. But I have ever since given thanks to God for having saved me. I can recall four more similar incidents in my life, and in most of them my good fortune, rather than any effort on my part, saved me. From a strictly ethical point of view, all these occasions must be regarded as moral lapses; for the carnal desire was there, and it was as good as the act. But from the ordinary point of view, a man who is saved from physically committing sin is regarded as saved. And I was saved only in that sense. . . . As we know that man often succumbs to temptation, however much he may resist it, we also know that Providence often intercedes and saves him in spite of himself. How all this happens—how far a man is free and how far a creature of circumstances, how far free-will comes into play and where fate enters on the scene—all this is a mystery and will remain a mystery.
This Gandhi, the Gandhi of moral weakness, is reminiscent of Machiavelli’s confessions of similar experiences with women of the night, though Machiavelli showed much less self-restraint. In is interesting to note Gandhi’s discussion of the tension between how free man is, and how much he is a “creature of circumstances,” suggesting that, as Waltz has argued, the behavior of man, even political man, is the outcome of a mysterious interplay of systemic and subsystemic influences.
In matters of religion, Gandhi appears largely self-taught, with limited formal theological exposure, recalling that he was “taught all sorts of things except religion” but that he “failed to get from the teachers what they could have given me without any effort on their part. And yet I kept on picking up things here and there from my surroundings. The term ‘religion’ I am using in its broadest sense, meaning thereby self-realization or knowledge of self.” Gandhi nonetheless became a deeply moral man, considered a saint by his people, and over time, “one thing took deep root in me—the conviction that morality is the basis of things, and that truth is the substance of all morality. Truth became my sole objective. It began to grow in magnitude every day, and my definition of it also has been ever widening.” Truth became so central to his life that he titled his autobiography “The Story of My Experiments with Truth,” or “Satyana Prayogo athva Atmakatha.”
Upon graduating from high school, Gandhi first attended college in Bhavnagar, where he attended Samaldas College. But he recalls finding himself “entirely at sea. Everything was difficult. I could not follow, let alone taking interest in, the professor’s lectures. It was no fault of theirs. The professors in that college were regarded as first-rate. But I was so raw. At the end of the first term, I returned home.” A family friend, upon learning Gandhi was enrolled at Samaldas College, observed, “The times are changed. . . . I would far rather that you sent him to England. My son Kevalram says it is very easy to become a barrister. In three years’ time he will return. Also expenses will not exceed four to five thousand rupees. Think of that barrister who has just come back from England. How stylishly he lives! He could get the diwanship for the asking. I would strongly advise you to send Mohandas to England this very year.” And so, Gandhi went to England, into the very heart of the British Empire, to become a practitioner of English law—something he mastered, and internalized, fully understanding that England was a nation of laws with an empire built upon a foundation of laws. He was thus able to master the legalistic thinking that undergirded British authority, and displace its legalistic logic with one more powerful, and more indigenous. If England and its global empire was architected upon a model furnished by Plato’s Laws, Gandhi became the philosopher-king to transform India into a true platonic Republic. He turned English law upon itself, and as a liberator of an English colony, he demonstrated how best to persuade a mighty foe imbued with legal logic and committed to legal principles that it would be unable to betray its own legal tradition and apply a more brutish, more Hobbesian, brand of order in pursuit of its imperial order. Indeed, British rule depended upon the continuity of British law, and Gandhi as a barrister and expert in English law was the perfect man to, in effect, persuade England by pure logic alone to let India be free.
Gandhi recalls his journey to England, writing “at the age of eighteen I went to England,” and “Everything was strange—the people, their ways, and even their dwellings. I was a complete novice in the matter of English etiquette and continually had to be on my guard. There was the additional inconvenience of the vegetarian vow. Even the dishes that I could eat were tasteless and insipid. I thus found myself between Scylla and Charybdis. England I could not bear, but to return to India was not to be thought of. Now that I had come, I must finish the three years, said the inner voice.” Gandhi went to England an outsider, an exile of sorts from his homeland, bringing with him to England this identity as an outsider, and this to contributed to his insights into liberating an indigenous India from British India, while retaining so many of the positive attributes of British rule, from its legal system to its embrace of democratic governance. There he not only learned about English law, but also the deep spiritual tradition of Europe, a tradition that had at an earlier time brought chaos and strife to the continent but now undergirded England’s social order, and imbued its populace and leaders with a core of Christian values that he could expertly manipulate in his bid to liberate his homeland. So while it was law, as the codification of the power and limits of the modern state, that maintained order—but Gandhi learned that inside the heart of every Englishman, indeed every European, was at core a set of spiritual values that were universal, rooted in the Christian experience. On a trip to Paris, Gandhi recalls, “The ancient churches of Paris are still in my memory. Their grandeur and their peacefulness are unforgettable. The wonderful construction of Notre Dame and the elaborate decoration of the interior with its beautiful sculptures cannot be forgotten. I felt then that those who expended millions on such divine cathedrals could not but have the love of God in their hearts. Gandhi also went to see the Eiffel Tower, but came away from it unimpressed, a symbol of technology without purpose:
I must say a word about the Eiffel Tower. I do not know what purpose it serves today. But I then heard it greatly disparaged as well as praised. I remember that Tolstoy was the chief among those who disparaged it. He said that the Eiffel Tower was a monument of man’s folly, not of his wisdom. Tobacco, he argued, was the worst of all intoxicants, inasmuch as a man addicted to it was tempted to commit crimes which a drunkard never dared to do; liquor made a man mad, but tobacco clouded his intellect and made him build castles in the air. The Eiffel Tower was one of the creations of a man under such influence. There is no art about the Eiffel Tower. In no way can it be said to have contributed to the real beauty of the exhibition. Men to see it and it as a novelty and of unique dimensions. It was the toy of the exhibition. So long as we are children we are attracted by toys, and the tower was a good demonstration of the fact that we are all children attracted by trinkets. That may be claimed to be the purpose served by the Eiffel Tower.
Perhaps this monument to folly, this purposeless technology, revealed to Gandhi a weakness of the West, a dependency on external structures of steel to compensate for moral and spiritual weakness, or perhaps an overcommitment to the triumphs of technology and change over tradition? At the very least it taught him not to be impressed by the structures forged of European steel, and to look beyond such structures to something more essential in the heart of England. And, just as he turned to Tolstoy’s critique of the Eiffel Tower, he later turned to Tolstoy’s embrace of nonviolence as a powerful weapon to change laws, and defeat unjust laws.
Gandhi recalled, with little elaboration, the completion of his studies and his return to India: “I passed my examinations, was called to the Bar on the tenth of June 1891, and enrolled in the High Court on the eleventh. On the twelfth I sailed home.” Gandhi, the newly minted lawyer, was ready to take on the world—or at least take his place within it, as an intermediator of sorts, a subject of the Empire, and an interpreter of its legal doctrine, an articulator of its logic, and in the beginning, a defender of its justice. At first, it was rough going. Returning to Bombay—where Gandhi found “it was impossible for me to get along in Bombay for more than four or five months, there being no income to square with the ever-increasing expenditure. This was how I began life. I found the barrister’s profession a bad job—much show and little knowledge. I felt a crushing sense of my responsibility.” As such, “disappointed,” he left Bombay “and went to Rajkot where I set up my own office. Here I got along moderately well. Drafting applications and memorials brought me in on an average Rs. 300 a month.”
Fate soon intervened, offering Gandhi an opportunity to travel to South Africa on business: “In the meantime a Meman firm from Porbandar wrote to my brother making the following offer: ‘We have business in South Africa. Ours is a big firm, and we have a big case there in the Court, our claim being Rs. 40,000. It has been going on for a long time. We have engaged the services of the best vakils and barristers. If you sent your brother there, he would be useful to us and also to himself. He would be able to instruct our counsel better than ourselves. And he would have the advantage of seeing a new part of the world, and of making new acquaintances.’” Intrigued by “the tempting opportunity of seeing a new country, and of having new experience,” Gandhi accepted the invitation and “got ready to go to South Africa.” Upon arrival at the port of Natal in Durban, Gandhi quickly “observed that the Indians were not held in much respect,” and while enroute from Durban to Pretoria, he encountered several instances of racism: “I began to think of my duty. Should I fight for my rights or go back to India, or should I go on to Pretoria without minding the insults, and return to India after finishing the case? It would be cowardice to run back to India without fulfilling my obligation. The hardship to which I was subjected was superficial—only a symptom of the deep disease of colour prejudice. I should try, if possible to root out the disease and suffer hardships in the process. Redress for wrongs I should seek only to the extent that would be necessary for the removal of the colour prejudice. So I decided to take the next available train to Pretoria.”
Once in Pretoria, Gandhi wrote that his “first step was to call a meeting of all the Indians in Pretoria and to present to them a picture of their condition in the Transvaal.” Gandhi recalls that his “speech at this meeting may be said to have been the first public speech in my life,” and was “fairly prepared with my subject, which was about observing truthfulness in business.” As he explained, “I had always heard the merchants say that truth was not possible in business. I did not think so then, nor do now. Even today there are merchant friends who contend that truth is inconsistent with business. Business, they say, is a very practical affair, and truth a matter of religion; and they argue that practical affairs are one thing, while religion is quite another. Pure truth, they hold, is out of the question in business, one can speak it only so far as is suitable. I strongly contested the position in my speech and awakened the merchants to a sense of their duty, which was twofold. Their responsibility to be truthful was all the greater in a foreign land, because the conduct of a few Indians was the measure of that of the millions of their fellow countrymen.” Gene Sharp recalls that historic meeting, writing on the centennial of the event, held on, of all dates one that has in our own time become infamous for the violence it unleashed—September 11—in the year 1906. As Sharp writes, “in a world that often seems filled with violence and oppression, it is relevant to recall that a hundred years ago the Indian minority in South Africa at the Empire Theatre protest meeting in Johannesburg” agreed that they would “disobey the draft Asiatic Law Amendment Ordinance by means of nonviolent defiance,” adding that the “actual struggle began after the bill became law in July 1907” and that “its lessons are very relevant to the peoples of the twenty-first century.” Sharp adds, “As we reflect on those movements, it is not difficult to be humbled before the memory of the remarkable man who played such an important role in those movements.”
Gandhi recalls discovering “that South Africa was no country for a self-respecting Indian, and my mind became more and more occupied with the question as to how this state of things might be improved.” The lawyer within grappled with a problem whose answer ultimately led him beyond the law, to something more fundamental about the essence of political order and the conception of power that sustained it. Gandhi thus explored the realm of what modern realists such as Morgenthau among others describe as power-politics, or realpolitik, but which I’ve come to view as more an “order-politics” that can pivot toward either “hard power” or “truth,” which in our world is sometimes described as “soft power” or even “neoliberalism” when in fact its original label, as “idealism,” captured this fusion of truth and power well. Gandhi thus evolved from legal constructs, one pillar of Britain’s political and imperial order, to the broader foundations of political order, recognizing much like Plato and Machiavelli that the laws alone cannot sustain order, that other pillars are involved. Plato described the philosopher-king standing at the confluence of these pillars, where law, knowledge, and military power came together, much like Machiavelli in his deduction of the self-same trinity, one later adopted by Clausewitz who became the inspiration for Bernard Brodie as he grappled with the nuclear order. Gandhi found himself traveling in a similar trajectory, but in his time and place, he found the root of popular power, at least within the British Empire, was as much moral as it was power-political, just as he viewed truth to be essential to the conduct of business, always and without compromise.
When the Cold War ended, it was precisely because of a similar recognition by the leaders of the people-power movements across the Soviet empire, who placed their bet on the shared moral framework that bound comrade to vanguard, working man to party leader, enabling poets and playwrights to bring down brutal dictatorships. Not all peoples, not all cultures, share such a bond, and because of this, Gandhi’s truth weapon may not always work. Had he tried to wrestle India away from an empire ruled by Nazi Germany, he would have been slaughtered early on along with his followers. In Guatemala’s long civil war, it has been written that practitioners of nonviolence were subjected to the most ruthless of violent state responses, worse than the genocidal annihilation of the indigenous guerrillas who fought the government to a standstill in its predominantly indigenous highlands. But against the British, where the core of political order retained a substantial moral element, Gandhi sensed and leveraged that pillar of the political order, inducing the collapse of empire. Half a century later when communism collapsed, it was this same shared moral foundation, especially under the benevolent dictatorship of Mikhail Gorbachev, who like Gandhi was trained as a lawyer and who similarly struggled with the moral dimension of power and its contradictions with traditional communist authority, that enabled the people-power practitioners to likewise topple a once feared empire. Gandhi began an odyssey, and in the end developed a vision of strategic nonviolence that not only defeated the British vision of imperial order, but replaced it with a lasting system of governance that blended the best of the British system with elements drawn indigenously, from India itself. As importantly, he elevated nonviolent tactics of protest into grand strategic principles, just as Mao did with guerrilla tactics. So while Mao became the Clausewitz of guerrilla war, Gandhi became the Clausewitz of nonviolent action. And both, as men of action and leaders of historical movements that reshaped their nations and influenced the broader flow of history, were to some degree Jominian as well, capturing perhaps the best of both Clausewitz and Jomini, blending thought with action, philosophy with political change, strategic thinking with the formulation of new stratagems.
Upon reflection Gandhi concludes, “The year’s stay in Pretoria was a most valuable experience in my life. Here it was that I had opportunities of learning public work and acquired some measure of my capacity for it. Here it was that the religious spirit within me became a living force, and here too I acquired a true knowledge of legal practice.” For Gandhi, legal practice and moral action became united, just as he would in his own way blend realism and idealism into a powerful weapon of change. Gandhi writes that he “realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder” and instead of winning and inducing defeat, to transform both parties much as he could, as he later did as a liberation strategist, redefining the relationship between England and India from occupier and occupied to mentor and student, with the student coming of age and the mentor learning to step aside, making room for his prodigy. As Gandhi observes, “The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty-years of practice as a lawyer was accepted in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby not even money, certainly not my soul.” Added Gandhi: “If I found myself entirely absorbed in the service of the community, the reason behind it was my desire for self-realization. I had made the religion of service my own, as I felt that God could be realized only through service. And service for me was the service of India, because it came to me without my seeking, because I had an aptitude for it. I had gone to South Africa for travel, for finding an escape from Kathiawar intrigues and for gaining my own livelihood. But as I have said, I found myself in search of God and striving for self-realization.”
At the time, Gandhi’s fight was to bring Indians equal rights within the British Empire, noting: “Hardly ever have I known anybody to cherish such loyalty as I did to the British Constitution,” and reflection:
I can see now that my love of truth was at the root of this loyalty. It has never been possible for me to simulate loyalty or, for that matter, any other virtue. The National Anthem used to be sung at every meeting that I attended in Natal. I then felt that I must also join in the singing. Not that I was unaware of the defects in British rule, but I thought that it was on the whole acceptable. In those days I believed that British rule was on the whole beneficial to the ruled. The colour prejudice that I saw in South Africa was, I thought, quite contrary to British traditions, and I believed that it was only temporary and local. I therefore vied with Englishmen in loyalty to the throne. With careful perseverance I learnt the tune of the ‘national anthem’ and joined in the singing whenever it was sung. Whenever there was an occasion for the expression of loyalty without fuss or ostentation, I readily took part in it.
The faith of the younger Gandhi in the inherent justice of the English Empire would soon be shaken. Indeed, it took the crucible of war to shake Gandhi’s faith in the righteousness of English imperial rule. His faith was first challenged during the Zulu Rebellion, and later in the Boer War and in World War I, which exposed him to the horrors of war while exposing him to the taint of participation in war, but his belief in the ultimate justness of the British cause and in the moral supremacy of the British empire, and his continued loyalty to the Crown, overruled his instinctive rejection of war itself. Gandhi helped to develop two ashrams while in South Africa—the Tolstoy Farm and the Phoenix Colony—where, as he described in All Men Are Brothers, “he and his co-workers lived a life of self-discipline and service” and put into practice Gandhi’s evolving vision of a holistic nonviolence, and developed satyagraha as a blueprint for daily life, political action, and just revolutionary change. His confidence in applying nonviolence to all of life’s endeavors grew, and later would allow him to reject war itself, but in his younger years, he had not yet come to such a firm conclusion.
Just before World War I started, Gandhi returned to India, having successful reached “the conclusion of the satyagraha struggle in 1914,” bringing greater equal rights for Indians in South Africa. Gandhi recalls while enroute, “war was declared on the fourth of August. We reached London on the sixth.” At that time, Gandhi recalls believing “that Indians residing in England ought to do their bit in the war,” noting “English students had volunteered to serve in the army, and Indians might do no less,” but recognizing that “a number of objections were taken to this line of argument. There was, it was contended, a world of difference between the Indians and the English. We were slaves and they were masters. How could a slave co-operate with the master in the hour of the latter’s need? Was it not the duty of the slave, seeking to be free, to make the master’s need his opportunity? This argument failed to appeal to me then.” Later, of course, this logic would more strongly appeal to Gandhi, as he sought to liberate India from England—but at that time, fresh from his South Africa victory, he still believed he could continue to liberate Indians within the English Empire and not to expel the British, but instead to expunge their inequalities, by bringing to Indians full equality of civil rights. As Gandhi recalls:
I knew the difference of status between an Indian and an Englishman, but I did not believe that we had been quite reduced to slavery. I felt then that it was more the fault of individual British officials than of the British system, and that we could convert them by love. If we would improve our status through the help and co-operation of the British, it was our duty to win their help by standing by them ill their hour of need. Though the system was faulty, it did not seem to me to be intolerable as it does today. But if, having lost my faith in the system, I refuse to co-operate with the British Government today, how could those friends then do so, having lost their faith not only in the system but in the officials as well?... I thought that England’s need should not be turned into our opportunity, and that it was more becoming and farsighted not to press our demands while the war lasted. I therefore adhered to my advice and invited those who would enlist as volunteers.
Gandhi was morally challenged by his proximity to, and indirect participation in, war—discovering in his heart its inherent wrongness after seeing it close-up as a member of the ambulance corps. In the years that followed, he grappled with his earlier compromise: “All of us recognized the immorality of war. If I was not prepared to prosecute my assailant, much less should I be willing to participate in a war, especially when I knew nothing of the justice or otherwise of the cause of the combatants. Friends of course knew that I had previously served in the Boer War, but they assumed that my views had since undergone a change. As a matter of fact the very same line of argument that persuaded me to take part in the Boer War had weighed with me on this occasion. It was quite clear to me that participation in war could never be consistent with ahimsa. But it is not always given to one to be equally clear about one’s duty. A votary of truth is often obliged to grope in the dark.”
Gandhi explained that “by enlisting men for ambulance work in South Africa and in England, and recruits for field service in India, I helped not the cause of war, but I helped the institution called the British Empire in whose ultimate beneficial character I then believed.” He adds to this,
My repugnance to war was as strong then as it is today; and I could not then have and would not have shouldered a rifle. But one’s life is not a single straight line; it is a bundle of duties very often conflicting. And one is called upon continually to make one’s choice between one duty and another. . . There is no defence for my conduct weighed only in the scales of ahimsa, I draw no distinction between those who wield the weapons of destruction and those who do Red Cross work. Both participate in war and advance its cause. Both are guilty of the crime of war. But even after introspection during all these years, I feel that in the circumstances in which I found myself I was bound to adopt the course I did both during the Boer War and the Great European War and for that matter the so-called Zulu ‘Rebellion’ of Natal in 1906. Life is governed by a multitude of forces.
Gandhi reflects on the apparent contradiction, but reiterates his continuing opposition to war and entire lack of training in arms: “Being a confirmed war resister I have never given myself training in the use of destructive weapons in spite of opportunities to take such training,” and “it was perhaps thus that I escaped direct destruction of human life.” But nonetheless, he accepted that “so long as I lived under a system of government based on force and voluntarily partook of the many facilities and privileges it created for me, I was bound to help that government to the extent of my ability when it was engaged in a war unless I non-co-operated with that government and renounced to the utmost of my capacity the privileges it offered me.” He would eventually get to this point, breaking free from India, and severing the cord that had tied him to the Crown and to its defense, enabling him at last to lead India to its freedom.
Moral & Intellectual Mentors
Gandhi credits three philosopher-authors for their intellectual and moral contributions to his vision of satyagraha: Thoreau, Ruskin and Tolstoy. That each was borne of a great power that had at one time dominated much of the world is intriguing, as these three contributors to the evolution of nonviolence methods and ideals each rejected an element of their own society, paving the way for Gandhi’s ultimate break from his imperial allegiance. As he writes,
You have given me a teacher in Thoreau, who furnished me through his essay on the ‘Duty of Civil Disobedience’ scientific confirmation of what I was doing in South Africa. Great Britain gave me Ruskin, whose ‘Unto This Last’ transformed me overnight from a lawyer and city dweller into a rustic living away from Durban on a farm, three miles from the nearest railway station; and Russia gave me in Tolstoy a teacher who furnished a reasoned basis for my non-violence. Tolstoy blessed my movement in South Africa when it was still in its infancy and of whose wonderful possibilities I had yet to learn. It was he who had prophesied in his letter to me that I was leading a movement which was destined to bring a message of hope to the down-trodden people of the earth. So you will see that I have not approached the present task in any spirit of enmity to Great Britain and the West. After having imbibed and assimilated the message of ‘Unto This Last,’ I could not be guilty of approving fascism or Nazism, whose cult is suppression of the individual and his liberty.
Gandhi also writes, how, “forty years back, when I was passing through a severe crisis of scepticism and doubt,” he “came across Tolstoy’s book ‘The Kingdom of God is Within You,’ and was deeply impressed by it.” Indeed, Gandhi confesses, “I was at that time a believer in violence. Its reading cured me of my scepticism and made me a firm believer in ahimsa.” On Tolstoy’s influence, he elaborates:
What has appealed to me most in Tolstoy’s life is that he practised what he preached and reckoned no cost too great in his pursuit of truth. Take the simplicity of his life, it was wonderful. Born and brought up in the midst of luxury and comfort of a rich aristocratic family, blessed in an abundant measure with all the stores of the earth that desire can covet, this man who had fully known all the joys and pleasures of life turned his back upon them in the prime of his youth and afterwards never once looked back. He was the most truthful man of this age. His life was a constant endeavour, an unbroken tide of striving to seek the truth, and to practice it as he found it. He never tried to hide truth or tone it down but set it before the world in its entirety without equivocation or compromise, undeterred by tile fear of any earthly power. He was the greatest apostle of non-violence that the present age has produced. No one in the West, before him or since, has written and spoken on ‘non-violence so fully or insistently and with such penetration and insight as he.
Gandhi finds in Tolstoy’s writings, and in his example, much beneficial guidance for India as it struggled for independence—particularly the youth, who were under bombardment from what today one might call “McCulture,” that onslaught of western pop-culture with its “virus of self-indulgence,” as Gandhi described it:
Literature, full of the virus of self-indulgence, and served out in attractive forms, is flooding our country from the West and there is the greatest need for our youth to be on their guard. The present is for them an age of transition of ideals and ordeals; the one thing needful for the world, its youth and particularly the youth of India in this Crisis is Tolstoy’s progressive self-restraint, for it alone can lead to true freedom for themselves, the country and the world. It is We ourselves, with our inertia, apathy and social abuse that more than England or anybody else block our way to freedom. And if we cleanse ourselves of our shortcomings and faults, no power on earth can even for a moment withhold swaraj from us. . . . The three essential qualities of Tolstoy’s life mentioned by me are of the utmost use to the youth in this hour of the world’s trial.
Nonviolence became essential to Gandhi’s strategic vision, and what we now think of as “Gandhian” has evolved in the popular mind to become the polar opposite of “Machiavellian,” yet, as we see from the full spectrum of Machiavelli’s thought, the rich complexity of his realism, violence for Machiavelli was a necessary evil but not the centerpiece of his vision—and thus bears more in common to the relationship of nonviolence to Gandhi. For Gandhi was as much a master of the relationship of means to ends as Machiavelli ever was, and as a practitioner even more adept than old Nick ever was. And though considered a purist, an idealist, even a saint by some, he was as much a practitioner of realpolitik as the namesake of Machiavellianism himself.
Gandhi preached nonviolence but was not entirely averse to the occasional outbreak of violence, knowing that would awaken the world to India’s plight and undermine the reputation of England, making nonviolent liberation possible. So while Gandhi advocate satyagraha, a dynamic more reflective of the duragraha practiced by the American civil rights leaders, who counted on the use of excessive force against unarmed protestors to galvanize public opinion and leverage the full power of the federal government against the entrenched racism in the deep south of the United States, seems to have been at work, with Gandhi ultimately betting that the kind-hearted people of England would restrain their government and in particular its military, and thus foster a political climate in which independence became acceptable. While knowingly and intentionally courting a violent counterattack using nonviolent provocation has come to be known as duragraha, tactically the opposite of satyagraha which seeks to convert the opponent through love and thus not to precipitate his violent response, the collateral outbreak of violence, and the omnipresence of its threat, seems to be an unacknowledged cousin of satyagraha, perhaps even its sine qua non. And this is not so unlike violence for Machiavelli, who wrote it was best to be both feared and loved (though if one had to choose, he conceded it was better to be feared than loved, a point Gandhi would doubtless disagree on.) Gandhi nonetheless understood the need to be feared, and used mass nonviolent noncooperation to induce pure fear to his British imperial masters, whose grasp of power was tenuous and dependent to a large degree upon the tacit consent of millions of Indians.
Gandhian nonviolence may thus be viewed as an archetype of the extreme application of mass political power, an unleashing of raw democratic energy in a strategic context, much akin to the velvet revolutions of 1989. But it was at heart an application of power, albeit “soft-” or “people-power” as opposed to military power, but power nonetheless. Ever since Napoleon, people-power has in many ways been the articulation of military power by other means: stripped of arms, raw people-power is the engine of Napoleonic military power at its source, and the engine of modern war ever since—without the arms, which merely extend the read of the people-power, it becomes the battery or dynamo that underlies it, recharges it, and sparks dynamic political change. The less military power you have, of course, the more people-power you need; and the more people-power you have at your disposal, the less military power you need, much as Edward N. Luttwak discovered in his assessment of Roman imperial power in his Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire. And Gandhi had perhaps the greatest amount of people-power at his disposal in human history, hundreds of millions of dedicated followers prepared to sacrifice their lives, a reservoir of popular power that no doubt Bin Laden wishes he possessed today. Such as the equation linking hard and soft power. That is what Gandhi realized. Like Mao, he saw the power that remained fully charged, untapped, in the hearts and minds of the hundreds of millions of Indians in the countryside, and by shaking things up through displays of nonviolent cooperation, he spoke to the British using a language of power (and implicitly, a language of war) that they full well understood. Gandhi knew, if he practiced nonviolence artfully, he could liberate India without firing a shot. But the specter of war, especially of that particularly Hobbesian kind of war England feared most, civil war, was tantamount to an ultimatum threatening to unleash chaos itself, and this was part and parcel of Gandhi’s strategic vision, as much as his many followers, especially those who deified him, would disagree. Had Machiavelli been born in India at the same time as Gandhi, Machiavellianism today might be understood to be a doctrine of idealist activism, of nonviolent political change. And had Gandhi been born Jewish, either at the time of Roman occupation or later during the horrific Nazi era, he might have embraced the very same partisan warfare that the Zealots at Masada, under Eleazar’s wise guidance, or of the brave fighters in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Such is the stuff of context, and the whim of history. Indeed, one might reason that had Gandhi been born in the same war-torn England that terrified Sir Thomas Hobbes, he might have even conjured up Leviathan to restore peace to his land.
Means & Ends
We will next consider some of Gandhi’s articulations on the relationship of means and ends in politics, to better understand how it is that Gandhi, the warrior of peace, reflects the very same intellectual tradition as the arch-realists, becoming something of a peer to even the widely scorned Machiavelli himself, cloaked of course in a very different rhetoric but at root emanating a theory of political realism as powerful, as lucid and as clear. The word Machiavellianism has come to mean, in the popular imagination, the subordination of means to ends, and as such, the rationalization of evil in pursuit of good. But as we know, the real Machiavelli, the whole Machiavelli, and not the persona as presented in the Prince, is much more complex, and his juggling of means and ends much more nuanced. And so it is with Gandhi, who is, in the popular imagination, considered the anti-Machiavel, the principled man of moral action who would not rationalize evil means in pursuit of the most moral of ends. But as we see from some of the younger Gandhi’s thoughts, means and ends are related in a complex manner, and at least before Gandhi emerged as the liberator of India, he counseled a more prudent, more realistic, balancing of ends and means. Just as Machiavelli is thought by some to always counsel that the ends justify the means, when in fact this is not quite true, Gandhi is thought by some to always counsel the means, in and of themselves, must be strictly in line and consistent with the morality of the ends. Yet, when it came to supporting Britain during World War I and the Boer War, Gandhi’s actions, and his thoughts, reflect a more prudent approach to life’s complexity, particularly during times of war—one might even say Machiavellist.
But as Gandhi aged and his philosophy of political action evolved, and as he went from being an unknown bit player on the periphery of an empire to being the main character in an epic drama culminating in the end of that very empire, much like Jesus was to the Roman saga, Gandhi’s ends/means equation changed, and like Jesus who went from a rebellious rabbi for a new generation into the deified symbol of a new, global religion that would come to dominate the next millennium, and whose ideas subverted the very order that was Rome. As Gandhi became a moral leader, and made his break from the imperial bosom that had nurtured him, becoming a nonviolent revolutionary showing his generation of mankind a different path toward change, his positioning on ends and means hardened, and by becoming less flexible, it logically became more consistent. So in the end, Gandhi became the anti-Machiavel. As Sharp has observed: “Gandhi’s thinking was constantly developing. Early in his career he did give certain qualified support to war. By the end of his life he no longer did so. But this did not mean he favored passivity to foreign invasions. While believing the Allies to be the better side in the Second World War, he did not support the war. Similarly in Kashmir while believing the Pakistanis to be the aggressors, and believing that India must act, he did not favor military action. Instead, he placed his confidence in the application of an alternative nonviolent means of struggle to fight political evil. … Gandhi was neither a conscientious objector nor a supporter of violence in politics. He was an experimenter in the development of ‘war without violence.’”
Gandhi wrote that “Means and end are convertible terms in my philosophy of life.” As he further explained, “They say ‘means are after all means’. I would say ‘means are after all everything’. As the means so the end. There is no wall of separation between means and end. Indeed the Creator has given us control (and that too very limited) over means, none over the end. Realization of the goal is in exact proportion to that of the means. This is a proposition that admits of no exception.” Using language textured from Hindu philosophy, he added:
Ahimsa and Truth are so intertwined that it is practically impossible to disentangle and separate them. They are like the two sides of a coin, or rather a smooth unstamped metallic disc. Who can say, which is the obverse, and which the reverse? Nevertheless, ahimsa is the means; Truth is the end. Means to be means must always be within our reach, and so ahimsa is our supreme duty. If we take care of the means, we are bound to reach the end sooner or later. When once we have grasped this point final victory is beyond question. Whatever difficulties we encounter, whatever apparent reverses we sustain, we may not give up the quest for Truth which alone is, being God Himself.
That is why Gandhi says he does not “believe in short-violent-cuts to success,” and “however much I may sympathize with and admire worthy motives, I am an uncompromising opponent of violent methods even to serve the noblest of causes.” This is an evolution from his younger days, when things were less black and white, and his belief in the moral supremacy of the British Empire and its system of laws was as yet unshaken. “There is, therefore, really no meeting-ground between the school of violence and myself,” and his “creed of non-violence not only does not preclude me but compels me even to associate with anarchists and all those who believe in violence.” That’s because such an “association is always with the sole object of weaning them from what appears to me their error. For experience convinces me that permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence. Even if my belief is a fond delusion, it will be admitted that it is a fascinating delusion.” Gandhi takes on Machiavelli in an indirect way, writing,
Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. ‘As is the God, so is the votary’ is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say: ‘I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan’, it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow.
Interestingly, Gandhi came to believe the best political order was offered by socialism, something that Mao also came to believe, with Maoism presenting an economic philosophy every bit as liberating as its military strategy. Yet Gandhi opposed the use of violent means to achieve socialism, and likewise opposed the monopolization of violence by the socialist state—suggesting that in some ways, the means to Gandhi, practicing nonviolence, was something altogether more important than the ends, achieving a socialist victory through the process of political change. Mao preferred victory, and the change this would bring, and as such showed a far different approach to means than Gandhi. And Mao achieved this victory through force of arms, thanks to his brilliant strategic vision and his artful execution of guerrilla methods and their intermixture with conventional warfare. Gandhi, in the end, delivered on his dream of liberating India from English rule, but did not succeed in transforming a united India into the socialist utopia inspired by life on his ashram. He left a fractured India locked in seemingly perpetual, and violent, civil war as the British architects of post-colonial India divided this once great nation, and left it broken in two—thwarting Gandhi’s ultimate vision of a world transformed by a united, nonviolent and independent India. As Gandhi wrote:
Socialism is a beautiful word and, so far as I am aware, in socialism all the members of society are equal-none low, none high. In the individual body, the head is not high because it is the top of the body, nor are the soles of the feet low because they touch the earth. Even as members of the individual body are equal, so are the members of society. This is socialism. In it the prince and the peasant, the wealthy and the poor, the employer and the employee are all on the same level. In terms of religion, there is no duality in socialism. It is all unity. Looking at society all the world over, there is nothing but duality or plurality. Unity is conspicuous by its absence. . . . In the unity of my conception there is perfect unity in the plurality of designs. In order to reach this state, we may not look on things philosophically and say that we need not make a move until all are converted to socialism. Without changing our life we may go on giving addresses, forming parties and hawk-like seize the game when it comes our way. This is no socialism. The more we treat it as game to be seized, the farther it must recede from us. Socialism begins with the first convert. If there is one such you can add zeroes to the one and the first zero will account for ten and every addition, will account for ten times the previous number. If, however, the beginner is a zero, in other words, no one makes the beginning, multiplicity of zeroes will also produce zero value. Time and paper occupied in writing zeroes will be so much waste. This socialism is as pure as crystal. It, therefore, requires crystal-like means to achieve it. Impure means result in an impure end. Hence the prince and the peasant will not be equaled by cutting off the prince’s head, nor can the process of cutting off equalize the employer and the employed. One cannot reach truth by untruthfulness. Truthful conduct alone can reach truth. Are not non-violence and truth twins? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’. Non-violence is embedded in truth and vice versa. Hence has it been said that they are faces of the same coin, Either is inseparable from the other. Read the coin either way-the spelling of words will be different; the value is the same. This blessed state is unattainable without perfect purity. Harbour impurity of mind or body and you have untruth and violence in you. Therefore only truthful, non-violent and pure-hearted socialists will be able to establish a socialistic society in India and the world.
Gandhi’s “spiritual weapon of self-purification, intangible as it seems, is the most potent means of revolutionalising one’s environment and loosening external shackles,” and “works subtly and invisibly,” an “intense process though it might often seem a weary and long-drawn process” and “the straightest way to liberation,” one that is “surest and quickest, and no effort can be too great for it. What it requires is faith-an unshakable mountain-like faith that flinches from nothing.” Hinting at a subtle shift from satyagraha to duragraha, an expectation of violence being provoked by militant nonviolence, Gandhi writes:
I am more concerned in preventing the brutalization of human nature than in the prevention of the sufferings of my own people. I know that people who voluntarily undergo a course of suffering raise themselves and the whole of humanity; but I also know that people who become brutalized in their desperate efforts to get victory over their opponents or to exploit weaker nations or weaker men, not only drag down themselves but mankind also. And it cannot be a matter of pleasure to me or anyone else to see human nature dragged to the mire. If we are all sons of the same God and partake of the same divine essence, we must partake of the sin of every person whether he belongs to us or to another race. You can understand how repugnant it must be to invoke the beast in any human being, how much more so in Englishmen, among whom I count numerous friends.
Gandhi’s prioritizations, his preference to prevent the “brutalization of human nature” over the “prevention of sufferings of my own people,” suggests a similarity to Machiavelli’s prioritization of fear and love, with Machiavelli famously positing while it’s best to be both feared and loved, it is better to be feared than loved.
Gandhi seems to be suggesting that it is preferable to see his own people suffer as a result of their use of the truth weapon than to see mankind remain unchanged, although he admits nonetheless that he finds it “repugnant” to “invoke the beast,” particularly in the English. Thus, when Gandhi argues “the method of passive resistance is the clearest and safest, because, if the cause is not true, it is the resisters, and they alone, who suffer,” he seems to be accepting the unilateral application of violence against “the resisters,” not as a goal, but as an acceptable—and perhaps useful—consequence. That being said, Gandhi’s vision of nonviolence and its power should not be understated. He was, after all, the inventor of satyagraha, and though others who came later would articulate a less pure form of resistance called duragraha, Gandhi’s vision of nonviolence was much more than tactical, or even strategic. It was a grand strategy, a framework for strategic action, a foundational beacon for the nation and its relationship with the world at large, and this made Gandhi’s vision of nonviolence so powerful, so enduring, and so monumental. His vision defined, in many ways, the very limits of western power, and eroded the foundations of western imperialism which had endured for centuries. It left behind, in its wake, a more truncated vision of a modern state, as a tolerant, multinational but geographically limited mini-empire of faiths, ethnicities, tribes glued together by a broader vision of nationhood shared by all members of the state. Liberated by nonviolence, Gandhi’s India was as modern a state, as complex a melting pot, as any, east or west. Just as it could not be British, Gandhi’s India could win its independence from the British, with their consent, once both sides came to understand the limits of their own power.
Ahimsa—the Way of Nonviolence
Nonviolence, as Gandhi knew, was not a sign of weakness but of strength, not an indication of powerlessness but a reflection of power. As Gandhi explains it, “Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man. Destruction is not the law of the humans. Man lives freely by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him. Every murder or other injury, no matter for what cause, committed or inflicted on another is a crime against humanity. Interestingly, Gandhi’s vision of man, in nature, is not so different from that of Thomas Hobbes. Gandhi’s vision is refined by the order of his day, the structured reality of life under British colonial rule. Hobbes’ vision was shaped by the brutal anarchy of his day, a violent civil war that rattled his nerves and shaped is vision of order, his antidote to chaos.
Gandhi believes that “man lives freely by his readiness to die, if need be, at the hands of his brother, never by killing him,” while Hobbes believes that in nature, every man is capable of killing every man and it is the Leviathan that is called into being to prevent this senseless death. Are they so different, or is that they merely came of age in different time periods? To Gandhi, the power of nonviolence is that it comes from within, it is a matter of choice. We can choose to be nonviolent, and thus choose to be not only free, but truly human. Hobbes does not trust us to make this choice, nor should he. What he witnessed left him little faith in man’s aspiration to humanity, and it would take an all-powerful arbiter to impose our humanity back upon us. As Gandhi writes, man can be trained to practice nonviolence and thus to transform the world into a world without fear:
Just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for non-violence. Violence does not mean emancipation from fear, but discovering the means of combating the cause of fear. Non-violence, on the other hand, has no cause for fear. The votary of non-violence has to cultivate the capacity for sacrifice of the highest type in order to be free from fear. He reckons not if he should lose his land, his wealth, his life. He who has not overcome all fear cannot practice ahimsa to perfection. The votary of ahimsa has only one fear, that is of God. He who seeks refuge in God ought to have a glimpse of the Atma that transcends the body; and the moment one has a glimpse of the imperishable Atma one sheds the love of the perishable body. Training in non-violence is thus diametrically opposed to training in violence. Violence is needed for the protection of things external, non-violence is needed for the protection of the Atma, for the protection of one’s honour.
Gandhi is not content to define nonviolence as a condition where “we merely love those that love us.” He believes nonviolence can be affirmed “only when we love those that hate us.” And though he knows “how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love,” he observes, “But are not all great and good things difficult to do? Love of the hater is the most difficult of all. But by the grace of God even this most difficult thing becomes, easy to accomplish if we want to do it.” Gandhi is aware of the wider world of danger that surrounds us, noting:
I have found that life persists in the midst of destruction and therefore there must be a higher law than that of destruction. Only under that law would a well-ordered society be intelligible and life worth living. And if that is the law of life, we have to work it out in daily life. Whenever there are jars, wherever you are confronted with an opponent conquer him with love. In this crude manner I have worked it out in my life. That does not mean that all my difficulties are solved. Only I have found that this law of love has answered as the law of destruction has never done.”
Like all modern realists who brought us their science of realpolitik, Gandhi knows that life manages to endure even “in the midst of destruction,” and seeks to create a “well-ordered society” emerge. He is thus not so different in this regard than Socrates or Plato of Classical Greece, or later on Machiavelli and Hobbes in the emergent modern world. Yet Gandhi rejects man’s dependence on the threat of violence, and the dangerous risk of extermination of life itself, that was favored by the nuclear realists, who were contemporaries of Gandhi much like Mao but who had faced down a pernicious evil in the form of Hitler and his Nazi movement, and who brought forth the fury of creation to defeat him.
Gandhi does accept the reality of violence, and of destruction, like all realists. But he, more than any other, believes that we have the capacity to rise from this chaos on our own, that the very same compulsion by Hobbes to impose Leviathan upon war-weary man will in fact compel us to love those who hate us, and if required to submit to their violence on the path to the world’s transformation. Were one to apply the laws of Darwin to the vision of Gandhi, we could expect to see whatever predisposition toward nonviolence that he hoped to cultivate quickly disappear from the human gene pool, as satyagrahis willingly submitted to the violence of their foe. This has happened time and again when innocents were slaughtered, as we saw in Guatemala, all throughout Hitler’s Europe, in the fractured Balkans of our time, even along the young America’s frontiers as its original peoples were exterminated. Instead of conversion, the nonviolent practitioners of satyagraha may instead be annihilated, wiped off the face of the earth. Hence the logic of Hobbes, to look to something more powerful, more violent, to crush violence from our hearts in a mighty display of terror; it was his logic that inspired the nuclear realists to construct their ultimate, thermonuclear Leviathan, whose terror was absolute, apart from the one fatal flaw that was never decisively resolved: its credibility. The ease with which the Soviet empire collapsed suggests that the nuclear Leviathan was perhaps a very audacious bluff; though perhaps it was this ambiguity of the nuclear Leviathan that somehow enabled us to submit to his horrific threat, joined together in our collective nuclear denial.
The Gandhian practitioners of nonviolence look the other way, driven both by hope as well as fear. Their fear is that, as Gandhi once said, “an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.” But their hope is that, in the end, we need no Leviathan, no strong-man, no ultimate arbiter to become what we can become all by ourselves. Gandhi leaves room for just one fear: fear of God. The same fear that drove terror into the hearts of the readers of St. John’s Revelation, a fear of not living up to the commandments of God and thus being punished for that moral failure. Gandhi does not purge anger from our hearts, and leave us somehow transformed into noble creatures. He admits we must fight with our own demons to become better and that this fight continues for a lifetime, and has no end: “It is not that I am incapable of anger, for instance, but I succeed on almost all occasions to keep my feelings under control. Whatever may be the result, there is always in me conscious struggle for following the law of non-violence deliberately and ceaselessly. Such a struggle leaves one stronger for it. The more I work at this law, the more I feel the delight in my life, the delight in the scheme of’ the universe. It gives me a peace and a meaning of the mysteries of nature that I have no power to describe.” Just as Gandhi sees an inner struggle as man seeks to wrestle with his anger, he sees a broader evolution of society toward enlightenment, not unlike the progressive vision of Maoists and Marxists who saw mankind evolving toward the millennial goal of universal socialism within the borderless world of communism:
If we turn our eyes to the time of which history has any record down to our own time, we shall find that man has been steadily progressing towards ahimsa. Our remote ancestors were cannibals. Then came a time when they were fed up with cannibalism and they began to live on chase. Next came a stage when man was ashamed of leading the life of a wandering hunter. He therefore took to agriculture and depended principally on mother earth for his food. Thus from being a nomad he settled down to civilized stable life, founded villages and towns, and from member of a family he became member of a community and a nation. All these are signs of progressive ahimsa and diminishing himsa. Had it been otherwise, the human species should have been extinct by now, even as many of the lower species have disappeared.”
Gandhi presents his vision of the nonviolent nation, and nonviolent man, in almost Christian terms, and explains, “I saw that nations like individuals could only be made through the agony of the Cross and in no other way. Joy comes not out of infliction of pain on others but out of pain voluntarily borne by oneself.” Knowing man is at heart a violent animal, Gandhi believes he nonetheless has a gentle soul: “Prophets and avatars have also taught the lesson of ahimsa more or less. Not one of them has professed to teach himsa. And how should it be otherwise? Himsa does not need to be taught. Man as animal is violent, but as Spirit is non-violent.” And, Gandhi believes, resting his transformative theory of satyagraha in this faith, that “the moment he awakes to the Spirit within, he cannot remain violent. Either he progresses towards ahimsa or rushes to his doom. That is why the prophets and avatars have taught the lesson of truth, harmony, brotherhood, justice, etc., all attributes of ahimsa.”
To Gandhi, the great schism is between the Hobbesian beast, the animal man, and the gentle, seemingly Christian spirit, and his vision for a new political order to emerge from the final synthesis, aims to restore man to a godlike kingdom akin to the Christian visionaries who saw beyond the secularism of Rome to something deeper, a spiritualism that emerged in the footprint of Rome, and which sought to beckon man to construct a new, moral order and overcome, and reject, the secular, physical realm that had become perverted under Nero. (Ironically, this new moral order would ultimately become perverted, and this perversion would inspire Hobbes to restore order with his secular Leviathan.) To get back to this promised land of a moral political universe, Gandhi counsels patience: “In the application of satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For, what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to another. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on one’s self.” Again, Gandhi errs on the side of self-suffering rather than to court the sin of inflicting violence on another, and this tilt seems to be what enables nonviolence to work in our real world. Patience means tolerating violence upon oneself as the price of the asymmetry that separates the dueling opponents, and patience can be taxing, but that does not mean it is unachievable:
In this age of wonders no one will say that a thing or idea is worthless because it is new. To say it is impossible because it is difficult, is again not in consonance with the spirit of the age. Things undreamt of are daily being seen, the impossible is ever becoming possible. We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt of and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of non-violence.
On a similar note and harkening back to the start of our discussion of ends and means, Gandhi seeks to separate man from his deeds, and thus leave some hope for moral action. “Man and his deed are two distinct things. It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself. For we are all tarred with the same brush, and are children of one and the same Creator, and as such the divine powers within us are infinite. To slight a single human being is to slight those divine powers, and thus to harm not only that being but with him the whole world.” Only though nonviolence can we act without slighting the divine, and thus redress injustice. Even when faced with violence, the practitioner of nonviolence must stay the course, no matter the cost: “Non-violence is a universal principle and its operation is not limited by a hostile environment. Indeed, its efficacy can be tested only when it acts in the midst of and in spite of opposition. Our non-violence would be a hollow thing and nothing worth, if it depended for its success on the goodwill of the authorities.” Gandhi rejects the advice of his friends who told him “that truth and non-violence have no place in politics and worldly affairs. I do not agree. I have no use for them as a means of individual salvation. Their introduction and application in everyday life has been my experiment all along.” He explains that nonviolence is:
a method of securing rights by personal suffering; it is the reverse of resistance by arms. When I refuse to do a thing that is repugnant to my conscience, I use soul-force. For instance, the government of the day has passed a law which is applicable to me. I do not like it. If by using violence I force the government to repeal the law, I am employing what may be termed body-force. If I do not obey the law and accept the penalty for its breach, I use soul-force. It involves sacrifice of self. Everybody admits that sacrifice of self is infinitely superior to sacrifice of others. Moreover, if this kind of force is used in a cause that is unjust, only the person using it suffers.
Noting that “men have before now done many things which were subsequently found to have been wrong,” Gandhi believes that “no man can claim that he is absolutely in the right or that a particular thing is wrong because he thinks so, but it is wrong for him so long as that is his deliberate judgments. It is therefore meet that he should not do that which he knows to be wrong, and suffer the consequence whatever it may be. This is the key to the use of soul-force.” To critics of the efficacy of nonviolence as a tool of liberation, Gandhi replies,
You might of course say that there can be no non-violent rebellion and there has been none known to history. Well, it is my ambition to provide an instance, and it is my dream that my country may win its freedom through non-violence. And, I would like to repeat to the world times without number, that I will not purchase my country’s freedom at the cost of non-violence. My marriage to non-violence is such an absolute thing that I would rather commit suicide than be deflected from my position. I have not mentioned truth in this connection, simply because truth cannot be expressed except by non-violence.
Gandhi further explains that:
the accumulated experience of the past thirty years, the first eight of which were in South Africa, fills me with the greatest hope that in the adoption of non-violence lies the future of India and the world. It is the most harmless and yet equally effective way of dealing with the political and economic wrongs of the down-trodden portion of humanity. I have known from early youth that non-violence is not a cloistered virtue to be practiced by the individual for the peace and final salvation, but it is a rule of conduct for society if it is to live consistently with human dignity and make progress towards the attainment of peace for which it has been yearning for ages past.
As such, Gandhi believes “non-violence is a power which can be wielded equally by all-children, young men and women or grown up people-provided they have a living faith in the God of Love and have therefore equal love for all mankind,” and that “when non-violence is accepted as the law of life it must pervade the whole being and not be applied to isolated acts.” Nonetheless, Gandhi accepts that “perfect non-violence is impossible so long as we exist physically, for we would want some space at least to occupy,” and physical being, the very corporeal reality of our being, makes the attainment of pure, true nonviolence an impossibility, a realm only for Gods. Even Gandhi admits his inability to reach such a high level of purity. Yet, while “perfect non-violence whilst you are inhabiting the body is only a theory like Euclid’s point or straight line,” something “we have to endeavour every moment of our lives,” while unattainable, it is still a viable vision to guide us toward a novel social structure predicated upon a gentle nobility that rejects violence in the world. Indeed, Gandhi admits that “we are helpless mortals caught in the conflagration of himsa,” and that “the saying that life lives on life has a deep meaning in it. Man cannot for a moment live without consciously or unconsciously committing outward himsa. The very fact of his living eating, drinking and moving about-necessarily involves some himsa, destruction of life, be it ever so minute.” As such, Gandhi concludes: “A votary of ahimsa therefore remains true to his faith if the spring of all his actions is compassion, if he shuns to the best of his ability the destruction of the tiniest creature, tries to save it, and thus incessantly strives to be free from the deadly coil of himsa. He will be constantly growing in self-restraint and compassion, but he can never become entirely free from outward himsa. Then again, because underlying ahimsa is the unity of all life, the error of one cannot but affect all, and hence man cannot be wholly free from himsa. So long as he continues to be a social being, he cannot but participate in the himsa that the very existence involves.”
Yet even if unattainable in its purest form, nonviolence as a vision of a more noble order may nonetheless guide us to a better world, a world of moral order and without as much moral chaos and compromise, rooted in man’s “instinctive horror of killing living beings under any circumstances whatever,” a repugnance so strong that it rejects the fundamental compromise of Hobbes’ realism, and strives to render chaos into order without the imposition of Leviathan. Life based on fear predicated on violence is unacceptable. Death, given freely, in order to avoid violent action, is preferable to Gandhi. Death that comes from nonviolence is akin to euthanasia, since it prevents that ultimate moral sacrifice so inimical to Gandhian thought. As Gandhi explains,
For instance, an alternative has been suggested in the shape of confining even rabid dogs in a certain place and allowing them to die a slow death. Now my idea of compassion makes this thing impossible for me. I cannot for a moment bear to see a dog, or for that matter any other living being, helplessly suffering the torture of a slow death. I do not kill a human being thus circumstanced because I have more hopeful remedies. I should kill a dog similarly situated because in its case I am without a remedy. Should my child be attacked with rabies and there was no helpful remedy to relieve his agony, I should consider it my duty to take his life. Fatalism has its limits. We leave things to fate after exhausting all the remedies. One of the remedies and the final one to relieve the agony of a tortured child is to take his life.
But sometimes, the tortured child need not die—if it can be rescued by love, by the power of ahimsa. “In its positive form, ahimsa means the largest love, greatest charity,” and “if I am a follower of ahimsa I must love my enemy. I must apply the same rules to the wrong-doer who is my enemy or a stranger to me, as I would to my wrong-doing father or son.” Gandhi believes such an “active ahimsa necessarily includes truth and fearlessness. As man cannot deceive the loved one, he does not fear or frighten him or her. Gift of life is the greatest of all gifts, a man who gives it in reality, disarms all hostility. He has paved the way for an honourable understanding.” But Gandhi pointedly observes that “none who is himself subject to fear can bestow that gift. He must therefore be himself fearless. A man cannot practice ahimsa and be a coward at the same time. The practice of ahimsa calls forth the greatest courage.”
Some critics of idealism—and rejecters of nonviolence—believe that Gandhi’s vision is one of weakness, not strength, a poor man’s strategy lacking the resources of not only conventional might but even of guerrilla ingenuity or even artful terror, the weapon of the weakest of warriors. But their rejection is based on the misconception that Gandhian nonviolence is in any way about weakness when in fact it’s all about strength: a purified strength that can endure pain, yet will never inflict it. It can endure death, but will never take life. As Gandhi explains, “Having flung aside the sword, there is nothing except the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me. It is by offering that cup that I expect to draw them close to me. I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man, and believing as I do in the theory of rebirth, I live in the hope that if not in this birth, in some other birth, I shall be able to hug all humanity in friendly embrace.” To Gandhi, “Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable,” and only through love can “the hardest heart and the grossest ignorance must disappear before the rising sun of suffering without anger and without malice.” Indeed, Gandhi believes nonviolence: “is not a resignation from all real fighting against wickedness; On the contrary, the non-violence of my conception is a more active and real fight against wickedness than retaliation whose very nature is to increase wickedness. I contemplate a mental and therefore a moral opposition to immoralities. I seek entirely to blunt the edge of the tyrant’s sword, not by putting up against it a sharper-edged weapon, but by disappointing his expectation that I would be offering physical, resistance. The resistance of the soul that I should offer would elude him. It would at first dazzle him and at last compel recognition from him, which recognition would not humiliate but would uplift him. It may be urged that this is an ideal state. And so it is.”
For nonviolence to achieve its maximal impact, it requires the fusion of mind and body, a dedication that is rooted in thought and belief as opposed to mere action. “Non-violence to be a potent force must begin with the mind,” as “non-violence of the mere body without the co-operation of the mind is non-violence of the weak or the cowardly, and has therefore no potency.” Gandhi thus believes that “if we bear malice and hatred in our bosoms and pretend not to retaliate, it must recoil upon us and lead to our destruction. For abstention from mere bodily violence not to be injurious, it is at least necessary not to entertain hatred if we cannot generate active love.” And similarly, just as nonviolent action decoupled from nonviolent thought will lead to the practitioner’s destruction, the use of violence to achieve an end that is good is similarly destructive—that is why Gandhi so strongly and deeply objects to violence, “because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent. I do not believe that the killing of even every Englishman can do the slightest good to India. The millions will be just as badly off as they are today, if someone made it possible to kill off every Englishman tomorrow.” Indeed, Gandhi believes that the “responsibility is more ours than that of the English for the present state of things. The English will be powerless to do evil if we will but do good. Hence my incessant emphasis on reform from within.” Gandhi cautions that “from violence done to the foreign ruler, violence to our own people whom we may consider to be obstructing the country’s progress is an easy natural step,” and that “whatever may have been the result of violent activities in other countries and without reference to the philosophy of non-violence, it does not require much intellectual effort to see that if we resort to violence for ridding society of many abuses which impede our progress, we shall add to our difficulties and postpone the day of freedom.” Even after practicing a lifetime of nonviolence, Gandhi admits that even he has far to go—and writes: “I have been practicing with scientific precision non-violence and its possibilities for an Unbroken period of over 50 years. I have applied it in every walk of life-domestic, institutional, economic and political. I know of no single case in which it has failed. Where it has seemed sometimes to have failed, I have ascribed it to my imperfections. I claim no perfection for myself. But I do claim to be a passionate seeker after Truth, which is but another name for God. In the course of that search the discovery of non-violence came to me. Its spread is my life mission. I have no interest in living except for the prosecution of that mission.”
He adds, ever humbly, “I am but a weak aspirant, ever failing, ever trying. My failures make me more vigilant than before and intensify my faith. I can see with the eye of faith that the observance of the twin doctrine of truth and non-violence has possibilities of which we have but very inadequate conception.” And yet on the other hand, his ambition is grand: “When I have become incapable of evil and when nothing harsh or haughty occupies, be it momentarily, my thought-world, then, and not till then, my non-violence will move all the hearts of all the world.”
Gandhi is aware that mortal man cannot achieve pure nonviolence, noting that “in life, it is impossible to eschew violence completely,” and observes that “the question arises, where is one to draw the line? The line cannot be the same for every one. For, although, essentially the principle is the same, yet everyone applies it in his or her own way. What is one man’s food can be another’s poison.” That is why, to Gandhi, “meat-eating is a sin” but “for another person, who has always lived on meat and never seen anything wrong in it, to give it up, simply in order to copy me, will be a sin.” Indeed, Gandhi continues:
If I wish to be an agriculturist and stay in a jungle, I will have to use the minimum unavoidable violence, in order to protect my fields. I will have to kill monkeys, birds and insects, which eat up my crops. If I do not wish to do so myself, I will have to engage someone to do it for me. There is not much difference between the two. To allow crops to be eaten up by animals, in the name of ahimsa, while there is a famine in the land, is certainly a sin. Evil and good are relative terms. What is good under certain conditions can become an evil or a sin, under a different set of conditions. Man is not to drown himself in the well of the shastras, but he is to dive in their broad ocean and bring out pearls. At every step he has to use his discrimination as to what is ahimsa and what is himsa. In this, there is no room for shame or cowardice. The poet had said that the road leading up to God is for the brave, never for the cowardly.
For Gandhi, there is an essential need for balance, not extremism—and as such, he views good and evil not in absolute but relative terms. This is partly because he see “the relation between the body and the mind” as something “so intimate that, if either of them got out of order, the whole system would suffer.”
Gandhi admits to being “an irrepressible optimist” and notes his “optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop non-violence. The more you develop it in your own being, the more infectious it becomes till it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might over sweep the world.” The power of thought, Gandhi believes, when magnified in the minds of millions, can thus transform a landscape more powerfully and more lasting that a landscape transformed by the imposition of Leviathan’s will. Perhaps this is why the architects of Prague Spring and a generation later the Velvet Revolution danced beneath Leviathan’s nuclear shadow, believing that their nemesis, the occupying Red Army, would no longer have the will to inflict pain, or to escalate to war, to crush their infectious spirit of nonviolence. They were correct in their assessment; the Soviet Leviathan was no more, its will all but gone. A few years prior, the Chinese communists sent tanks to crush their own children’s uprising, but even then they acted with measured restraint, seeking to deploy the symbols of their might without resorting to the full use of their crushing military power, hoping instead to crush the spirit with a surgical attack of the corporeal bodies of only the most stubborn of protestors on Tiananmen Square who refused to yield. And yet it is the image of that lone worker who stood bravely before an approaching tank, without fear, stopping in its tracks, then trying to maneuver around him, but when unsuccessful, its driver climbing out, in an effort to negotiate with this brave soul whose will could not be broken. That is why, even all these years later, his history remains oppressed by Beijing, his resistance the most worrisome to the Party leaders.
The Soviets were unprepared to go even as far as the Chinese Communists, and rejected even a precise, surgical application of their military power in the streets of Eastern Europe, so unprepared were they to unleash their fury, and defend their unloved Empire. The Soviets knew what the British knew in Gandhi’s time: that they had over-stretched the natural boundaries of Leviathan’s reach, and as such could not defeat the centrifugal forces of nonviolent rebellion on their flank—lest they betray the fraternal benevolence of their imperial aspirations with a malevolence that they, in the end, denied. Indeed, after the satellite nations rebelled from Moscow’s control, the multinational republics that composed the interior of the Soviet Union themselves rose up, revealing to the Moscow bosses that even their internal empire was a fiction, that Soviet man had never outgrown nationalistic man, and thus the fracturing process continued, with minimal reaction from those with the most to lose. Like the British, surrendering to the aspirations of a nonviolent rebellion in India, the Soviet Union bid adieu to its satellites, and then let itself fracture, unable to resist the infectious logic of nonviolence that Gandhi knew would transform the world.
‘Nonviolence is Not Passive’
“Passive resistance is regarded as the weapon of the weak, but the resistance for which I had to coin a new name altogether is the weapon of the strongest. … But its matchless beauty lies in the fact that, though it is the weapon of the strongest, it can be wielded by the weak in body, by the aged, and even by the children if they have stout hearts. . . . The question is one of drawing out the limitless power of truth.”
Narrator (Ed Norton): If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?
Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt): Alive or dead?
Narrator: Doesn’t matter. Who’d be tough?
Tyler Durden: Hemingway. You?
Narrator: Shatner, I’d fight William Shatner.
Tyler Durden: Ok, any historical figure?
Narrator: I’d fight Gandhi.
Tyler Durden: Good answer.
—Scene from Fight Club
Gandhi asserts that nonviolence is anything but passive, and his historic actions prove that to be the case beyond any possible doubt; indeed, strategic nonviolence can be such an active force that not even a vast empire, armed with a superior arsenal of military power, and various diplomatic and economic levers, can succumb to the purity of its power. Just as Napoleon unlocked the totality of war in part through his levee en masse, Gandhi unlocked the purity of that power, tapping into its root popular core in a fashion Napoleon would have recognized but channeling it in a decidedly nonviolent fashion, without recourse to war. As Gandhi writes, “non-violence is not passivity in any shape or form. Non-violence, as I understand it, is the most active force in the world,” and as such it is “the supreme law. During my half a century of experience I have not yet come across a situation when I had to say that I was helpless, that I had no remedy in terms of non-violence.” Gandhi reiterates his conviction that nonviolence is an active force for change and not at all passive: “Never has anything been done on this earth without direct action. I reject the word ‘passive resistance’ because of its insufficiency and its being interpreted as a weapon of the weak.” Indeed, Gandhi believes that “non-violence presupposes the ability to strike. It is a conscious, deliberate restraint put upon one’s desire for vengeance,” and if “vengeance is any day superior to passive, effeminate and helpless submission,” then “forgiveness is higher still. Vengeance too is weakness. The desire for vengeance comes out of fear of harm, imaginary or real. A man who fears no one on earth would consider it troublesome even to summon up anger against one who is vainly trying to injure him.” Gandhi thus affirms that his “creed of non-violence is an extremely active force. It has no room for cowardice or even weakness. There is hope for a violent man to be some day non-violent, but there is none for a coward.” Gandhi adds that “if we do not know how to defend ourselves, our women and our places of worship by the force of suffering, i.e., non-violence, we must, if we are men, be at least able to defend all these by fighting.”
Gandhi explains that all governing power is rooted ultimately in popular consent: “Even the most despotic government cannot stand except for the consent of the governed which consent is often forcibly procured by the despot. Immediately the subject ceases to fear the despotic force, his power is gone.” Gandhi thus believes that “no man loses his freedom except through his own weakness.” Gandhi notes “most people do not understand the complicated machinery of the government,” nor do they “realize that every citizen silently but nonetheless certainly sustains the government of the day in ways of which he has no knowledge. Every citizen therefore renders himself responsible for every act of his government.” Gandhi accepts that it’s “quite proper to support it so long as the actions of the government are bearable,” but adds that “when they hurt him and his nation, it becomes his duty to withdraw his support.” Gandhi believes that “there is no bravery greater than a resolute refusal to bend the knee to an earthly power, no matter how great, and that without bitterness of spirit and in the fullness of faith that the spirit alone lives, nothing else does.” Indeed, Gandhi recalls how:
the people of a village near Bettia told me that they had run away whilst the police were looting their houses and molesting their womenfolk. When they said that they had run away because I had told them to be non-violent, I hung my head in shame. I assured them that such was not the meaning of my non-violence. I expected them to intercept the mightiest power that might be in the act of harming those who were under their protection, and draw without retaliation all harm upon their own heads even to the point of death, but never to run away from the storm centre. It was manly enough to defend one’s property, honour, or religion at the point of the sword. It was manlier and nobler to defend them without seeking to injure the wrongdoer. But it was unmanly, unnatural and dishonourable to forsake the post of duty and, in order to save one’s skin, to leave property, honour or religion to the mercy of the wrong-doer. I could see my way of delivering ahimsa to those who knew how to die, not to those who were afraid of death.
As Gandhi explains, “My non-violence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice.” He can thus “no more preach non-violence to a coward” than he can “tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. Non-violence is the summit of bravery. And in my own experience, I have had no difficulty in demonstrating to men trained in the school of violence the superiority of non-violence. As a coward, which I was for years, I harboured violence. I began to prize non-violence only when I began to shed cowardice.” Gandhi views nonviolence as the ultimate expression of bravery, and notes that “non-violence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance.” As he explains:
A helpless mouse is not non-violent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could, but he ever tries to flee from her. We do not call him a coward, because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does. But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbours violence and hatred in also heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to non-violence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature. Before he can understand non-violence he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him farther away from non-violence. Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind non-violence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which non-violence is made, many have honestly ,believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one’s life. As a teacher of non-violence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.
Adds Gandhi, “No matter how weak a person is in body, if it is a shame to flee, he will stand his ground and die at his post,” sacrificing himself with the same bravery as future generations of suicide bombers dispatched on “martyrdom operations” would, as we saw most dramatically on 9/11. Gandhi roots strategic nonviolence in bravery, quite in contrast to Hobbes’s more desperate solution conceived during more desperate times, which rests upon ubiquity of fear. Gandhi views such a self-sacrifice in act of nonviolent action as a fusion of “non-violence and bravery.” This contrasts with he who defends himself with violence, and who “will use what strength he has in inflicting injury on his opponent, and die in the attempt. This is bravery, but not non-violence.” Gandhi holds such resistance, even using violence, as morally superior to cowardly flight: “If, when his duty is to face danger, he flees, it is cowardice. In the first case the man will have love or charity in him. In the second and third case, there would be a dislike or distrust and fear.” Gandhi writes that “it is the acid test of non-violence that in a non-violent conflict there is no rancour left behind, and in the end the enemies are converted into friends. That was my experience in South Africa with General Smuts. He started with being my bitterest opponent and critic. Today he is my warmest friend.”
And that is precisely what happened when Britain quit India in the end, leaving a friend behind. In our time, when the Soviet Union surrendered to the new logic of its own inevitable demise, it chose instead to become friends with its once-captive satellites, and with its disillusioned citizenry, and for a time even turned to its nemesis, the West, for friendship. It chose love over fear and in so doing, had to accept surrender to the unleashed power of nonviolence. It could have chosen fear instead of love, like Machiavelli counseled, and had it done so, it may well have crushed the velvet revolutions that rippled across the unraveling Soviet empire, and waded into the crucible of civil war. But then its continued rule could have been sustained only through fear, and that fear would have in turn given birth to a new generation of hate. When Gorbachev chose friendship over enmity, he had to walk the path the British walked in India, which was a path of surrender—not to fear, but to
Gandhian Realism: The People as the Core Strategic Pillar
“There is something wrong in this constant inquiry as to whether to bear arms or not. People have to learn to be naturally independent. If they will remember the central teaching, namely, that the real, effective resistance lies in non-violence, they will mould their conduct accordingly. And that is what the world has been doing, although unthinkingly. Since it has not the highest courage namely, courage born of non-violence, it arms itself even unto the atom bomb. Those who do not see in it the futility of violence will naturally arm themselves to the best of their ability.”
—Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, The Last Phase, I, 327
Gene Sharp is one of the first theorists to recognize in Gandhian strategy a strong connection to the realist conception of power politics. This point was well made in Sharp’s anthology of essays, Gandhi as a Political Strategist, and also cogently explained in many of his articles. For instance, Sharp deftly rebuts a common realist critique of Gandhian nonviolence, “that Gandhi’s nonviolent action is incapable of wielding effective political power, and is hence irrelevant for practical politicians. This view frequently presumes both naïveté on Gandhi’s part and that the kind of action he proposed was impotent and posed no real threat to a political opponent. Neither of these presumptions is borne out by the facts.” Sharp notes that some of Gandhi’s comments at the start of the 1930-31 civil disobedience campaign “are enlightening,” and cites Gandhi’s observation that the “British people must realize that the Empire is to come to an end. This they will not realize unless we in India have generated power within to enforce our will;” “It is not a matter of carrying conviction by argument. The matter resolves itself into one of matching forces. Conviction or no conviction, Great Britain would defend her Indian commerce and interests by all the forces at her command. India must consequently evolve force enough to free herself from that embrace of death;” “I was a believer in the politics of petitions, deputations and friendly negotiations. But all these have gone to dogs. I know that these are not the ways to bring this Government round. Sedition has become my religion. Ours is a nonviolent battle.” And so, Sharp concludes, “Rather than being ignorant of the need to wield political power, Gandhi sought to exercise it in ways which maximized the Indian strength and weakened that of the British. By withdrawing the cooperation and obedience of the subjects, Gandhi sought to cut off important sources of the rulers’ power. … In a most revealing address to both Houses of the Indian Legislative Assembly in July 1930, the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, declared: ‘Apparently the political ‘realist’ who has dismissed Gandhi and his technique has some rethinking to do.’”
Reading Gandhi, one can almost feel his connection to the realist tradition, and his gentle, scolding rebuttal of some of its major tenets. For instance, as if rebutting Hobbes’ dark outlook, Gandhi writes, “The strength to kill is not essential for self-defense; one ought to have the strength to die. When a man is fully ready to die, he will not even desire to offer violence. Indeed, I may put it down as a self-evident proposition that the desire to kill is in inverse proportion to the desire to die. And history is replete with instances of men who by dying with courage and compassion on their lips converted the hearts of their violent opponents.” Gandhi also reiterates his belief that “non-violence and cowardice go ill together. I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a coward. Possession of arms implies an element of fear, if not cowardice. But true non-violence is an impossibility without the possession of unadulterated fearlessness.” It is true that Hobbes also roots man’s violence in his fear, and his resort to arms as an effort to address this fear, and redress any physical asymmetry in power found in nature. Clearly Gandhi rejects the heroic, martial image of the man of war and sees the armed man as the cowardly man, afraid. But he does share with Hobbes an appreciation of the depth of fear that man is capable of knowing in a world of chaos, and as such their starting point is the same. As Gandhi further reflects:
In this age of the rule of brute force, it is almost impossible for anyone to believe that anyone else could possibly reject the law of the final supremacy of brute force. And so I receive anonymous letters advising me that I must not interfere with the progress of the non-co-operation movement even though popular violence may break out. Others come to me and, assuming that secretly I must be plotting violence, inquire when the happy moment for declaring open violence is to arrive. They assure me that the English will never yield to anything but violence, secret or open. Yet others, I am informed, believe that I am the most rascally person living in India because I never give out my real intention and that they have not a shadow of a doubt that I believe in violence just as much as most people do. Such being the hold that the doctrine of the sword has on the majority of mankind, and as success of non-cooperation depends principally on absence of violence during its pendency, and as my views in this matter affect the conduct of a large number of people, I am anxious to state them as clearly as possible.
I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. Thus when my eldest son asked me what he should have done, had he been present when I was almost fatally assaulted in 1908, whether he should have run away and seen me killed or whether he should have used his physical force which he could and wanted to use, and defend me, I told him that it was his duty to defend me even by using violence. Hence it was that I took part in the Boer War, the so-called Zulu Rebellion and the late war. Hence also do I advocate training in arms for those who believe in the method of violence. I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should in a cowardly manner become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonour. But I believe that non-violence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier. But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature. A mouse hardly forgives a cat when it allows itself to be turn to pieces by her. I, therefore, appreciate the sentiment of those who cry out for the condign punishment of General Dyer and his ilk. They would tear him to pieces if they could. But I do not believe India to be a helpless creature. Only I want to use India’s and my strength for a better purpose.
Let me not be misunderstood. Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. An average Zulu is anyway more than a match for an average Englishman in bodily capacity. But he flees from an English boy, because he fears the boy’s revolver or those who will use it for him. He fears death and is nerveless in spite of his burly figure. We in India may in a moment realize that one hundred thousand Englishmen need not frighten three hundred million human beings. A definite forgiveness would, therefore, mean a definite recognition of our strength. With enlightened forgiveness must come a mighty wave of strength in us.
Gandhi’s mirror-image of Hobbesian realism does not negate the logic of Hobbes, but it does beckon us to reach beyond Hobbes and to look inward, at our inner core, for salvation, and not to the over-arching Leviathan. Hobbes was understandably obsessed with forging order out of chaos, and doing so full well knowing that man was unable at that time to lift himself out of the darkness of civil strife. To Hobbes, it was man’s ability to kill his fellow man that defined the danger of the state of nature, its anarchy of blood. To Gandhi, it was man’s ability to die, to accept death without fear, that would propel him to that next level and provide for lasting security, a solution more noble, more idealistic, than the mutual selfishness and fear at the heart of Kantian idealism and even Waltzian neorealism. Writes Gandhi, “Passive resistance is an all-sided sword; it can be used anyhow; it blesses him who uses it and him against whom it is used. Without drawing a drop of blood it produces far-reaching results. It never rusts and cannot be stolen.” The price of success, of course, can be high: “It is a law of satyagraha that when a man has no weapon in his hands and when he cannot think of a way out, he should take the final step of giving up his body.”
Echoing Mao, Clausewitz and Machiavelli, those students of war who tried to wrestle with its chaos and define for us principles of order to tame the beast, Gandhi writes about the challenge inherent in understanding, and practicing nonviolence—as if the very same forces of friction come into play. As Gandhi writes, “Non-violence is not an easy thing to understand, still less to practice, weak as we are. We must all act prayerfully and humbly and continually asking God to open the eyes of our understanding being ever ready to act according to the light as we daily receive it.” Gandhi sees a connection between his nonviolence and the tradition of moral action and self-sacrifice inspired by Jesus, Daniel and Socrates, writing:
Jesus Christ, Daniel and Socrates represented the purest form of passive resistance or soul-force. All these teachers counted their bodies as nothing in comparison to their soul. Tolstoy was the best and brightest (modern) exponent of the doctrine. He not only expounded it, but lived according to it. In India, the doctrine was understood and commonly practiced long before it came into vogue in Europe. It is easy to see that soul-force is infinitely superior to body-force. If people in order to secure redress of wrongs resort to soul-force, much of the present suffering will be avoided.
Gandhi also sees a connection to Buddha, noting “Buddha fearlessly carried the war into the enemy’s camp and brought down on its knees an arrogant priesthood,” not unlike how “Christ drove out the money-changers from the temple of Jerusalem and drew down curses from Heaven upon the hypocrites and the Pharisees.” Gandhi finds that
Both were for intensely direct action. But even as Buddha and Christ chastised, they showed unmistakable gentleness and love behind every act of theirs. They would not raise a finger against their enemies, but would gladly surrender themselves rather than the truth for which they lived. Buddha would have died resisting the priesthood, if the majesty of his love had not proved to be equal to the task of bending the priesthood. Christ died on the cross with a crown of thorns on his head defying the might of a whole empire. And if I raise resistances of a non-violent character, I simply and humbly follow in the footsteps of the great teachers.
It is interesting that Gandhi looks to Socrates and Jesus for inspiration, as both sought elevate man from the dark cave of fear, and with philosophy and Faith as their guide, rescue man from his darkness. Gandhi was thus inspired by two historical templates for strategic change: the Philosopher King, as imagined by Plato in honor of his teacher Socrates, the founder of western philosophy; and the King of Kings, as imagined by the founders of Christianity, who similarly used their teacher’s martyrdom as the starting point of a mass-movement unlike anything hitherto seen. The former offered feuding, bickering Greece a way out of its chaos (but was in the end defeated by its chaos); the latter presented a blueprint for rebellion against Rome’s might, succeeding and redefining the very fundamentals of political order in Europe. At the helm, metaphorically and perhaps even historically, are the self-sacrificing Socrates and Jesus. Both came back to haunt their accusers, and through the millennial impact of their words, had an enormous influence over the thoughts of those who followed. Gandhi, two millennia later, walked along the same path, and it is interesting to note that he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet—becoming a martyr to the cause of nonviolence, his work incomplete. Yet India was free, even if broken in two, and Gandhi’s blueprint became a modernization of that presented by the rebel Jesus who took on the might of Rome.
Gandhi’s vision rejects the power of the sword, having found a more powerful weapon in the human heart when augmented by the enormous mass of humanity. Gandhi describes himself as a “practical idealist,” but I prefer to think of it as “Gandhian realism,” a more hopeful articulation of the very same strategic realism that extends back to ancient days. As Gandhi writes:
I am not a visionary. I claim to be a practical idealist. Religion of non-violence is not meant merely for the rishis and saints. It is meant for the common people as well. Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute. The spirit, lies dormant in the brute, and he knows no law but that of physical might. The dignity of man requires obedience to a higher law, to the strength of the spirit. I have ventured to place before India the ancient law of self-sacrifice. For satyagraha and its offshoots, non-co-operation and civil resistance, are nothing but new names for the law of suffering. The rishis, who discovered the law of non-violence in the midst of violence, were greater geniuses than Newton. They were themselves greater warriors than Wellington. Having themselves known the use of arms, they realized their uselessness and taught a weary world that its salvation lay not through violence but through non-violence.
Non-violence in its dynamic condition means conscious suffering. It does not mean meek submission to the will of the evil-doer, but it means putting of one’s whole soul against the will of the tyrant. Working under this law of our being, it is possible for a single individual to defy the whole might of an unjust empire to save his honour, his religion, his soul, and lay the foundation for that empire’s fall or its regeneration. And so I am not pleading for India to practice non-violence because it is weak. I want her to practice non-violence being conscious of her strength and power. No training in arms is required for realization of her strength. We seem to need it, because we seem to think that we are but a lump of flesh. I want to recognize that she has a soul that cannot perish and that can rise triumphant above every physical weakness and defy the physical combination of a whole world .... If India takes up the doctrine of the sword, she may gain momentary victory. Then India will cease to be the pride of my heart. I am wedded to India because I owe my all to her. I believe absolutely that she has a mission for the world. She is not to copy Europe blindly. India’s acceptance of the doctrine of the sword will be the hour of my trial. I hope I shall not be found wanting. My religion has no geographical limits. If I have a living Faith in it, it will transcend my love for India herself. My life is dedicated to the service of India through the religion of non-violence which I believe to be the root of Hinduism.
Gandhi’s vision for nonviolence went beyond the liberation of India from colonial rule: he envisioned a transformation of the entire planet, a Hegelian synthesis where mankind achieves global order, and fear and chaos came to an end. His ambition rivals the universal peace of either Kant or Hobbes, the communal utopia of Marx and his many disciples like Lenin, Mao, Ho and Castro. As Gandhi confesses, “I must continue to argue till I convert opponents or I own defeat. For my mission is to convert every Indian, even Englishmen and finally the world, to non-violence for regulating mutual relations whether political, economic, social or religious,” and adds, “If I am accused of being too ambitious, I should plead guilty. If I am told that my dream can never materialize, I would answer ‘that is possible’, and go my way. I am a seasoned soldier of non-violence, and I have evidence enough to sustain my faith. Whether, therefore, I have one comrade or more or none, I must continue my experiment.”
Gandhi admits that “if India makes violence her creed, and I have survived, I would not care to live in India. She will cease to evoke any pride in me. My patriotism is subservient to my religion. I cling to India like a child to its mother’s breast, because I feel that she gives me the spiritual nourishment I need. She has the environment that responds to my highest aspiration. When that faith is gone, I shall feel like an orphan without hope of ever finding a guardian.” Had Gandhi lived to see India’s fratricidal wars with Pakistan, and its emergence in the 1990s as a nuclear power ready to engage its neighbor in atomic warfare, he would surely feel sorrow: Gandhi considered the emergence of the bomb to be the ultimate tool of violence, and felt compelled more than ever to continue his experiments in truth, in the hope that his practical idealism could defuse the danger it presented mankind with.
Indeed, Gandhi watched the outbreak of violence in post-independence India with a deep sadness. As he commented:
The partition has come in spite of me. It has hurt me. But it is the way in which the partition has come that has hurt me more. I have pledged myself to do or die in the attempt to put down the present conflagration. I love all mankind as I love my own countrymen, because God dwells in the heart of every human being, and I aspire to realize the highest in life through the service of humanity. It is true that the non-violence that We practised was the non-violence of the weak, i.e., no non-violence at all. But I maintain that this was not what I presented to my countrymen. Nor did I present to them the weapon of non-violence because they were weak or disarmed or without military training, but because my study of history has taught me that hatred and violence used in howsoever noble a cause only breed their kind and instead of bringing peace jeopardize it. Thanks to the tradition of our ancient seem, sages and saints, if there is a heritage that India can share with the world, it is this gospel of forgiveness and faith which is her proud possession. I have faith that in time to come, India will pit that against the threat of destruction which the world has invited upon itself by the discovery of the atom bomb. The weapon of truth and love is infallible, but there is something wrong in us, its votaries, which has plunged us into the present suicidal strife. I am, therefore, trying to examine myself.
When Gandhi heard about man’s first atomic attack, he recalls responding: “I did not move a muscle, when I first heard that an atom bomb had wiped out Hiroshima. On the contrary I to myself, ‘Unless now the world adopts non-violence, it will spell certain suicide for mankind.’” Indeed, Gandhi viewed the advent of mankind’s nuclear wizardry as a compelling motivator to follow the nonviolent path:
It has been suggested by American friends that the atom bomb will bring in ahimsa, as nothing else can. It will, if it is meant that its destructive power will so disgust the world, that it will turn it away from violence for the time being. And this is very like a man glutting himself with the dainties to the point of nausea, and turning away from them only to return with redoubled zeal after the effect of nausea is well over. Precisely in the same manner will the world return to violence with renewed zeal, after the effect of disgust is worn out. Often does good come out of evil. But that is God’s, not man’s plan. Man knows that only evil can come out of evil, as good out of good.... The moral to be legitimately drawn from the supreme tragedy of the atom bomb is that it will not be destroyed by counter violence. Mankind has to go out of violence only through non-violence. Hatred can be overcome only by love. Counter hatred only increases the surface, as well as the depth of hatred.
Gandhi juxtaposes his nonviolent soul-force with the atomic violence of nuclear force, explaining that “Ahimsa is soul-force and the soul is imperishable, changeless and eternal. The atom bomb is the acme of physical force and, as such subject-to the law of dissipation, decay and death that governs the physical universe. Our scriptures bear witness that when soul-force is fully awakened in us, it becomes irresistible. But the test and condition of full awakening is that it must permeate every pore of our being and emanate with every breath that we breathe.”
Gandhi’s envisions a global transformation, extending the love that defines family law beyond the family to the nation, and beyond the nation to the planet. As global a vision as that proffered by communism, Gandhi’s nonviolence not only a tool for just political change, but a vision of a world transformed, a self-maintained anarchy held together by the glue of mutual respect and love, and an absence of fear of any other man or any other nation and united by a fear only of God. Nonviolence, in theory, works to elevate mankind, with the spiritual gain of one individual spilling over to others through the “essential unity of man.” As Gandhi writes:
I do not believe that an individual may gain spiritually and those that surround him suffer. I believe in advaita. I believe in the essential unity of man and for that matter of all that lives. Therefore I believe that if one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him and, if one man falls, the whole world falls to that extent. . . . There is not a single virtue which aims at, or is content with, the welfare of the individual alone. Conversely, there is not a single moral offence which does not, directly or indirectly, affect many others besides the actual offender. Hence, whether an individual is good or bad is not merely his own concern, but really the concern of the whole community, nay, of the whole world.
Gandhi believes that love can thus extend beyond the family to the nation and beyond the nation to the world: “Though there is repulsion enough in Nature, she lives by attraction. Mutual love enables Nature to persist. Man does not live by destruction. Self-love compels regard for others. Nations cohere because there is mutual regard among individuals composing them. Some day we must extend the national law to the universe, even as we have extended the family law to form nations—a larger family.” That is why Gandhi believes that his “mission is not merely brotherhood of Indian humanity. My mission is not merely freedom of India, though today it undoubtedly engrosses practically the whole of my life and the whole of my time. But through realization of freedom of India I hope to realize and carry on the mission of the brotherhood of man.” Gandhi elaborates:
My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount upon the distress or the exploitation of other nationalities. The conception of my patriotism is nothing if it is not always, in every case without exception, consistent with the broadest good of humanity at large. Not only that, but my religion and my patriotism derived from my religion embrace all life. I want to realize brotherhood or identity not merely with the beings called human, but I want to realize identity with all life, even with such things as crawl upon earth. I want, if I don’t give a shock, to realize identity with even the crawling things upon earth, because we claim descent from the same God, and that being so, all life in whatever form it appears must be essentially one.
Gandhi’s conception of order, not unlike the global communist movement, sees nationalism as something of an atavism, an anachronistic remnant from an earlier, more violent era in human development but one that is nonetheless an essential precursor to the transformation he imagines for the world. Indeed, he writes that “it is impossible for one to be an internationalist without being a nationalist,” as “internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man. It is not nationalism that is evil, it is the narrowness, selfishness, exclusiveness which is the bane of modern nations which is evil. Each wants to profit at the expense of, and rise on the ruin of, the other.” Thus, Gandhi explains, “I am a humble servant of India and in trying to serve India, I serve humanity at large. . . . After nearly fifty years of public life, I am able to say today that my faith in the doctrine that the service of one’s nation is not inconsistent with the service of the world has grown,” as it’s “a good doctrine” whose “acceptance alone will ease the situation in the world and stop the mutual jealousies between nations inhabiting this globe of ours.”
Writing years before political scientists began to speak of “interdependence” in international politics, Gandhi presents a powerful theory of interdependence that challenges Hobbes’ vision of man locked in conflict with man, and by extension nation in conflict with nation—and echoes the more collaborative vision of man depending upon man imagined by Rousseau’s more benign state of nature, where something like the mythical stag hunt can occur. As Gandhi writes:
Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without inter-relation with’ society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality. If man were so placed or could so place himself as to be absolutely above all dependence on his fellow-beings he would become so proud and arrogant as to be a veritable burden and nuisance to the world. Dependence on society teaches him the lesson of humanity. That a man ought to be able to satisfy most of his essential needs himself is obvious; but it is no less obvious to me that when self-sufficiency is carried to the length of isolating oneself from society it almost amounts to sin. A man cannot become self-sufficient even in respect of all various operations from the growing of the cotton to the spinning of the yarn. He has at some stage or other to take the aid of members of his family. And if one may take the help from one’s own family, why not from one’s neighbours? Or otherwise what is the significance of the great saying, ‘The world is my family’?
Gandhi explains that “duties to self, to the family, to the country and to the world are not independent of one another,” as “one cannot do good to the country by injuring himself or his family” just as “one cannot serve the country injuring the world at large.” Indeed, Gandhi finds that in “the final analysis we must die that the family may live, the family must die that the country may live and the country must die that the world may live. But only pure things can be offered in sacrifice. Therefore, self-purification is the first step. When the heart is pure, we at once realize what is our duty at every moment.” His view does not seem to be so different from Hobbes’ view, except that Hobbes believes we must surrender to the superior power of Leviathan, and Gandhi believes we can achieve the same end result on our own. With a pure heart, old obstacles to international harmony will fade away, or as Gandhi writes, “The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family as one. He who distinguishes between the votaries of one’s own religion and those of another miss-educates the members of his own and opens the way for discord and irreligion.”
Gandhi’s vision for a free and independent India is for it to serve as a guide for the rest of the world, a blueprint for transformation to a world free of hate and violence. Gandhi explained: “I live for India’s freedom and would die for it, because it is part of Truth. Only a free India can worship the true God. I work for India’s freedom because my Swadeshi teaches me that being born in it and having inherited her culture, I am fittest to serve her and she has a prior claim to my service. But my patriotism is not exclusive; it is calculated not only not to hurt another nation but to benefit all in the true sense of the word. India’s freedom as conceived by me can never be a menace to the world.”
He and his followers “want freedom for our country, but not at the expense or exploitation of others, not so as to degrade other countries,” and even in the throes of a rebellion against English rule, Gandhi was quite clear in saying, “I do not want the freedom of India if it means the extinction of England or the disappearance of English-men. I want the freedom of my country so that other countries may learn something from my free country, so that the resources of my country might be utilized for the benefit of mankind.” Gandhi reiterates his Darwinistic view of patriotism, explaining, “Just as the cult of patriotism teaches us today that the individual has to die for the family, the family has to die for the village, the village for the district, the district for the province, and the province for the country, even so, a country has to be free in order that it may die, if necessary, for the benefit of the world. My love therefore of nationalism or my idea of nationalism, is that my country may become free, that if need be, the whole country may die, so that the human race may live. There is no room for race-hatred there. Let that be our nationalism.”
Gandhi adds that “there is no limit to extending our services to our neighbours across State-made frontiers,” noting “God never made those frontiers.” His goal, he explained, “is friendship with the whole world and I can combine the greatest love with the greatest opposition to wrong.” That’s because Gandhi viewed his patriotism to be “the same as humanity,” and that he was “patriotic because I am human and humane. It is not exclusive, I will not hurt England or Germany to serve India. Imperialism has no place in my scheme of life.” Indeed, Gandhi’s concept of victory over the English required that there remain no enmity with India: “Our non-cooperation is neither with the English nor with the West. Our non-co-operation is with the system the English have established, with the material civilization and its attendant greed and exploitation of the weak.” Thus, Gandhi’s non-cooperation was “a refusal to co-operate with the English administrators on their own terms,” as if “we say to them: ‘Come and co-operate with us on our terms and it will be well for us, for you and the world.’ We must refuse to be lifted off our feet. A drowning man cannot save others. In order to he fit to save others, we must try to save ourselves. Indian nationalism is not exclusive, nor aggressive, nor destructive. It is health-giving, religious and therefore humanitarian. India must learn to live before she can aspire to die for humanity.’” That is why Gandhi believed the “mere withdrawal of the English is not independence,” and that true independence will only come with the awakened “consciousness in the average villager that he is the maker of his own destiny, he is his own legislator through his chosen representative.” Gandhi looks to the English with empathy, knowing their asymmetry in numbers forces their hand to a large degree:
I do not blame the British. If we were weak in numbers as the British are, we would perhaps have resorted to the same methods as they are employing. Terrorism and deception are weapons not of the strong but of the weak. The British are weak in numbers, we are weak in spite of our numbers. The result is that each is dragging the other down. It is common experience that Englishmen lose in character after residence in India and that Indians lose in courage and manliness by contact with Englishmen. This process of weakening is good neither for us two nations, nor for the world. But if we Indians take care of ourselves the English and the rest of the world would take care of themselves. Our contribution to the progress of the world must, therefore, consist in setting our own house in order.
As such, Gandhi views the liberation of India as a win-win-win—for India, for England, and for the world. Indeed, for the mutual benefits of India’s liberation to be realized, it was essential that England and India part company as friends. Gandhi thus insisted:
I do not want England to be defeated or humiliated. It hurts me to find St. Paul’s Cathedral damaged. It hurts me as much as I would be hurt if I heard that Kashi Vishvanath temple or the Jumma Masjid was damaged. I would like to defend both the Kashi Vishvanath temple and the Jumma Masjid and even St. Paul’s Cathedral with my life, but would not take a single life for their defense. That is my fundamental difference with the British people. My sympathy is there with them nevertheless. Let there be no mistake on the part of the Englishmen, Congressmen or others whom my voice reaches, as to where nay sympathy lies. It is not because I love the British nation and hate the German. I do not think that the Germans as a nation are any worse than the English, or the Italians are any worse. We are all tarred with the same brush; we are all! members of the vast human family. I decline to draw any distinction. I cannot claim any superiority for Indians. We have the same virtues and the same vices. Humanity is not divided into watertight compartments so that we cannot go from one to another. They may occupy one thousand rooms, but they are all related to one another. I would not say: ‘India should be all in all, let the whole world perish.’ That is not my message. India should be all in all, consistently with the well-being of other nations of the world. I can keep India intact and its freedom also intact only if I have good will towards the whole of the human family and not merely for the human family which inhabits this little spot of the earth called India. It is big enough compared to other smaller nations, but what is India in the wide world or in the universe?
Gandhi’s roadmap to independence was thus a roadmap toward achieving his millennial goal of international peace. And if India could liberate itself from British colonialism while maintaining friendship with the English, perhaps his strategic vision was prudent, more akin to classical realism than some might otherwise think? As Gandhi wrote, “Not to believe in the possibility of permanent peace is to disbelieve in the godliness of human nature,” and that
methods hitherto adopted have failed because rock-bottom sincerity on the part of those who have striven has been lacking. Not that they have realized this lack. Peace is un-attained by part performance of conditions, even as a chemical combination is impossible without complete fulfillment of the conditions of attainment thereof. If the recognized leaders of mankind who have control over the engines of destructions were wholly to renounce their use, with full knowledge of its implications, permanent peace can be obtained. This is clearly impossible without the Great Powers of the earth renouncing their imperialistic design. This again seems impossible without great nations ceasing to believe in soul-destroying competition and to desire to multiply wants and, therefore, increase their material possessions.
Gandhi thus hoped that his theory of nonviolence would flow upward from the individual satyagrahi to the family to the nation, and from the nation to the world; and he believed his “doctrine holds good also as between States and States,” with the potential to reorder international politics. But just as Gandhi had to lead India to freedom by training India in the practice of nonviolence, Gandhi knew one nation among the family of nations would likewise have to show the way to the other nations of the world: “It would be found that before general disarmament in Europe commences, as it must some day, unless Europe is to commit suicide, some nation will have to dare to disarm herself and take large risks. The level of non-violence in that nation, if that event happily comes to pass, will naturally have risen so high as to command universal respect. Her judgments will be unerring, her decisions firm, her capacity for heroic self-sacrifice will be great, and she will want to live as much for other nations as for herself.” Otherwise, Gandhi feared, “if the mad race for armaments continues, it is bound to result in a slaughter such as has never occurred in history. If there is a victor left the very victory will be a living death for the nation that emerges victorious. There is no escape from the impending doom save through a bold and unconditional acceptance of the non-violent method with all its glorious implications.”
Gandhi never loses sight of cause and effect, and realizes that nonviolence can only be accepted if greed and inequality are overcome: “If there were no greed, there would be no occasion for armaments. The principle of non-violence necessitates complete abstention from exploitation in any form.” Indeed, he believes that “immediately the spirit of exploitation is gone, armaments will be felt as a positive unbearable burden. Real disarmament cannot come unless the nations of the world cease to exploit one another.” That is why Gandhi’s vision of liberation is also a vision of social transformation, as holistic as that of communism less the sword that imposed communism like Leviathan upon the face of Europe, so that the internal divisions that divide a nation can be swept away, and so that an enlightened nation can step up to the plate and lead the family of nations down the same path of purification. Alas, Gandhi succeeded in liberating India—but was sorely disappointed that India did not lead the world to the next level but soon found itself at war with its neighbor and one-time countrymen. Part of the problem is that India became divided, and when partition came, it imposed a festering symbol of division that sapped the nonviolent spirit of the newly independent India, resulting in violent civil strife as the two feuding nations borne of partition faced off against the artificial line that now divided them. Gandhi once said, “I would not like to live in this world if it is not to be one world.” And as things turned out, Gandhi would face not just a world divided, but a nation divided. India was free, but broken—a source of deep pain to Gandhi, and profound disappointment.
The vortex of violence that engulfed a free but divided India is thus, to Gandhi, a reflection of Gandhi’s personal failure, and an admission that his “technique is faulty.” The failure of Gandhi and his followers “to prove the truth in their own lives” could thus be attributed to personal failure, but not a breakdown in the “eternal law” of nonviolence. Gandhi’s self-critical evaluation is reminiscent of Machiavelli, would-be counselor to the Prince, whose maxims became a rationalization of dictatorship, twisted in application to betray their inherent truth. Or Hobbes, who conjured up Leviathan only to see its application crush the spirit out of European man, over-emphasizing security, and whose compelling logic led to the nuclear order of the Cold War, with all its contradictions. Great ideas, and noble visions, which in application spun dangerously out of control in the hands of fallible man. And so it was with nonviolence, which, at the national level, lost its cohesion, showing that a free India, broken in two, would turn on itself with a wrath and venom on par with the world’s most violent and tragic conflagrations. Gandhi’s vision was successful as a tool of liberation, but not of lasting order—and once India was free, Gandhi’s vision ceased to assert as prominent a guiding influence on the world stage, in part because of Gandhi’s untimely death by assassination, and in part because the independent India and Pakistan became so very violent in their relations. But at the grassroots, sub-state level, advocates of nonviolence made tremendous gains, from America’s civil rights movement, to the collapse of communism and the re-discovery of people-power as a national and international force.
In contrast, Mao’s successful communist insurgency resulted in the complete transformation of Chinese society, remaking it in the image of Mao’s vision, whereas Gandhi’s successful nonviolent insurgency did not—though Gandhi’s ideals did live on as tools of protest and of revolutionary change, reappearing throughout history. Interestingly, Gandhi predicted that European man would embrace nonviolence—as he did in 1989, when he stood up en masse against Soviet imperialism:
I feel that fundamentally the disease is the same in Europe as it is in India, in spite of the fact that in the former the people enjoy political self-government. . . . The same remedy is, therefore, likely to be applicable. Shorn of all camouflage, the exploitation of the masses of Europe is sustained by violence. Violence on the part of the masses will never remove the disease. Anyway up to now experience shows that success of violence has been short-lived. It has led to greater violence. What has been tried hitherto has been a variety of violence and artificial checks dependent mainly upon the will of the violent. At the crucial moment these checks have naturally broken down. It seems to me, therefore, that Sooner or later, the European masses will have to take to non-violence if they are to find their deliverance.
It is indeed intriguing, if not altogether coincidental, that Gandhi’s truth weapon emerged at the very same time as the nuclear Leviathan, two weapons—one powered by love and the other fear (or, one powered by the fear of God and the other the fear of man.) This corresponds harmoniously with the moral division that divides the classical realist tradition from the classical idealist tradition (and the Christian movement that dominated the West after Rome’s fall), where fear of man, and the quest for physical security, defined the former and fear of God and the quest for spiritual security, defined the latter. As mankind crossed the nuclear chasm and became capable of inflicting extinction-level destruction, Gandhi emerged as if to mock our science and technology, and the Pandora’’ box of danger they unlocked. Gandhi saw in our dependence upon machinery and modern technology a weakness, not a strength, one he brilliantly exploited in his quest to free India from British rule. This would mirror subsequent campaigns, in later generations, against technologically-dependent powers by opponents that appeared far weaker, but which in the end demonstrated tremendous strength, movements like Al Qaeda’s struggle against the West and in particular American power, and even the internal campaign by the lone terrorist, Theodore Kaczynski, better known to posterity as the Unabomber, who declared war on technology itself, as if acting out a Terminator film, and fighting back against the very weakness that he believed would ultimately cause mankind’s demise, as artfully explained in his manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future.
Man, Machine & Technology
Part and parcel of Gandhi’s strategic vision was his rejection of man’s dependence on technology, such as that which has defined the West and which, over time, has driven a wedge between man, nature and community. Gandhi saw in India a great tradition of rural villages, each living self-sufficiently, each offering British-ruled India a vision of independence that could come from self-reliance. Gandhi saw the inexorable drive by the western powers to control the resources of developing nations to feed their expanding economies, and he sought to chart a different path, one that reflected the self-reliance of India’s villages and rejected the techno-dependence of the modern state and its insatiable industrial hunger. Interestingly, Gandhi, like Mao, found the path to liberation in the spirit of self-reliance in the rural villages of their homelands. Maoist guerrilla strategy thus sought to capture the mass, untapped people-power of the villages and to, in essence, lay siege to the cities, which depended upon these self-reliant villages for their food and sustenance. Gandhi, seeing the English overlords vastly outnumbered, and concentrated in the trading centers of India, saw the same potential—but instead of using guerrilla warfare to lay siege by force of arms the urbanized colonial centers, he sought to use nonviolence and symbolic campaigns of noncooperation to remind the English how precarious their rule was, how dependent they were on the consent of the governed. For all the technology and machinery of power, whether tools of war or tools of industry, of the occupying powers of both India and China, the real power was dispersed among the hundreds of millions who toiled in the fields, the army of peasants upon whom both the British and the Japanese depended for their imperial visions to succeed. Both Mao and Gandhi levied armies from the raw mass of the peasantry: Gandhi’s became nonviolent soldiers, the self-sacrificing satyagrahis whose dissent was expressed by the burning of cloth and the making of salt, symbolic actions that showed their independence. Mao’s became guerrilla soldiers trained in the art of war, who had to face off against a conventionally more advanced opponent, one less likely to welcome symbolic displays of nonviolent noncooperation with restraint.
Interestingly, both Gandhi and Mao recognized that victory was possible in spite of the technological asymmetries they faced. To each, the techno-power of their foe was a sign of weakness and dependence and not strength, something America, today, should consider in its war on terror as it struggles to defeat a foe that has similarly freed itself from technological dependency, or which has smartly turned our technological dependence back upon us as a vulnerability and not a strength. Gandhi’s strategic vision thus considers the place of technology, and the dangers of becoming too dependent upon machinery: “I would categorically state my conviction that the mania for mass production is responsible for the world crisis. Granting for the moment that the machinery may supply all the needs of humanity, still, it would concentrate production in particular areas, so that you would have to go about in a roundabout way to regulate distribution, where-as, if there is production and distribution both in the respective areas, where things are required, it is automatically regulated, and there is less chance for fraud, none for speculation.”
Gandhi was not opposed to machinery per se, just the inequality that resulted from the emergence of industrial centers: “Mass production takes no note of the real requirement of the consumer. If mass production were in itself a virtue, it should be capable of indefinite multiplication. But it can be definitely shown that mass production carries within it its own limitations. If all countries adopted the system of mass production there would not be a big enough market for their products. Mass production must then come to a stop.” In place of mass production, Gandhi preferred self-reliance, and thus advised his followers to spin their own cloth as he did, and to shun factory-produced cloth made in the textile mills of England. “What is the cause of the present chaos? It is exploitation, I will not say, of the weaker nations by the stronger, but of sister nations by sister nations. And my fundamental objection to machinery rests on the fact that it is machinery that has enabled these nations to exploit others.” He so opposed the modern, industrial world that he used most decidedly harsh language to make his point: “I would destroy that system today, if I had the power. I would use the most deadly weapons, if I believed that they would destroy it. I refrain only because the use of such weapons would only perpetuate the system, though it may destroy its present administrators. Those who seek to destroy men rather than manners, adopt the latter and become worse than those whom they destroy under the mistaken belief that the manners will die with the mere They do not know the root of the evil.”
It is interesting to note that Nelson Mandela, who started out as practitioner of nonviolence in his struggle to end Apartheid, came to advocate sabotage against South Africa’s industrial infrastructure, using weapons to destroy the machinery of Apartheid. He later evolved beyond sabotage to become a practitioner of guerrilla warfare, as the evil of Apartheid continued to fester, though at heart, Mandela radiated a spirit of nonviolence that to this days remains reminiscent of Gandhi’s strategic vision. In reading Gandhi’s thoughts on the relationship between man and machine, one encounters a blueprint for a post-technological world, one where mankind is liberated not only from exploitation and inequality, but the dehumanization that came along with industrialization.
Ironically, these ideas are reminiscent of the anti-technology vision of the Unabomber, who waged a one-man campaign of terror against America’s dependence upon advanced technology, and whose anti-technology, anarcho-primitivist vision spoke to the more militant activists in the anti-globalization movement, as well as the Islamist extremists who filled the ranks of the Mujahideen that fought and defeated Soviet imperialism in Afghanistan, and later the Al Qaeda terror-cells that targeted America and the West. It also bears an eerie similarity to the vision of the Taliban regime, which it implemented with its strictly orthodox Islamic theocracy in Afghanistan, as well as the anti-modern vision of the Khmer Rouge, which sought to exterminate all remnants of Western influence in Cambodia through its brutal politicies. Gandhi’s anti-technology vision, as an element of his anti-colonial struggle, would find a welcome place in the ideologies of liberation practiced by many revolutionary movements for independence and national renewal and purification. But Gandhi was no anti-technology extremist, and thus showed a pragmatism not seen among more extremist anti-technologists. As Gandhi wrote:
Machinery has its place; it has come to stay. But it must not be allowed to displace necessary human labour. An improved plough is a good thing. But if by some chance one man could plough up, by some mechanical invention of his, the whole of the land of India and control all the agricultural produce and if the millions had no other occupation, they would starve: and being idle, they would become dunces, as many have already become. There is hourly danger of many more being reduced to that unenviable state. I would welcome every improvement in the cottage machine, but I know that it is criminal to displace hand-labour by the introduction of power-driven spindles unless one is at the same time ready to give millions of farmers some other occupation in their homes.
Gandhi’s opposition was not to the machinery but the spirit of technological-dependence that he called the “craze for machinery.” As Gandhi described:
What I object to, is the ‘craze’ for machinery, not machinery as such. The craze is for what they call labour-saving machinery. Men go on ‘saving labour’ till thousands are without work and thrown on the open streets to die of starvation. I want to save time and labour, not for a fraction of mankind, bat for all; I want the concentration of wealth, not in the hands of a few, but in the hands of all. Today machinery merely helps a few to ride on the back of millions. The impetus behind it all is not the philanthropy to save labour, but greed. It is against this constitution of things that I am fighting with all my might. The supreme consideration is man. The machine should not tend to make atrophied the limbs of man.
Gandhi did not oppose scientific knowledge, and admits to admiring the West’s advanced knowledge. However, Gandhi opposed the methods used to acquire knowledge, particularly the use of vivisection and experimentation on the “lower creatures.” As a vegetarian opposed to the taking of life, he opposed the use of living creatures in laboratory experiments, the foundation of much of the West’s knowledge. Gandhi wrote: “I am not opposed to the progress of science as such. On the contrary, the scientific spirit of the West commands my admiration and if that admiration is qualified, it is because the scientist of the West takes no note of God’s lower creation.” Gandhi added, “I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. I detest the unpardonable slaughter of innocent life in the name of science and humanity so-called, and all the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence. If the circulation of blood theory could not have been discovered without vivisection, the human kind could well have done without it. And I see the day clearly dawning when the honest scientist of the West will put limitations upon the present methods of pursuing knowledge.”
When Gandhi looked to India’s villages, he did not see its past, but instead its future. He believed that “that if the village perishes, India will perish too. India will be no more India,” and that “her own mission in the world will get lost. The revival of the village is possible only when it is no more exploited. Industrialization on a mass scale will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the villagers as the problems of competition and marketing come in. Therefore we have to concentrate on the village being self-contained, manufacturing mainly for use.” Indeed, Gandhi allows that “provided this character of the village industry is maintained, there would be no objection to villagers using even the modern machines and tools that they can make and can afford to use. Only they should not be used as a means of exploitation of others.” Gandhi placed technology firmly within his matrix of ends and means, and would only accept appropriate technology that respected the scale of village life and did not threaten its inherent self-reliance. Gandhi’s distrust of machinery was closely correlated to his distrust of capitalism, which he grew to distrust as a central element of British imperialism, and the inherent exploitation of the imperial economy. Gandhi thus viewed nonviolence as a weapon against capitalism, which to Gandhi was an exploitative force of imposed globalization:
By the non-violent method, we seek not to destroy the capitalist, we seek to destroy capitalism. We invite the capitalist to regard himself as a trustee for those on whom he depends for the making, the retention and the increase of his capital. Nor need the worker wait for his conversion. If capital is power, so is work. Either power can be used destructively or creatively. Either is dependent on the other. Immediately the worker realizes his strength, he is in a position to become a co-sharer with the capitalist instead of remaining his slave. If he alms at becoming the sole owner, he will most likely be killing the hen that lays golden eggs.
Gandhi thus viewed nonviolence as a conversion not just of hate to love and violence to nonviolence, but of capitalism to a more equitable village communism:
Every man has an equal right to the necessaries of life even as birds and beasts have. And since every right carries with it a corresponding duty and the corresponding duty and the corresponding remedy for resisting any attack upon it, it is merely a matter of finding out the corresponding duties and remedies to vindicate the elementary fundamental equality. The corresponding duty is to labour with my limbs and the corresponding remedy is to non-co-operate with him who deprives me of the fruit of my labour. And if I would recognize the fundamental equality, as I must, of the capitalist and the labourer, I must not aim at his destruction. I must strive for his conversion. My non-co-operation with him will open his eyes to the wrong he may be doing.
Unlike Mao, who viewed capitalists and landlords as a class of parasites deserving of annihilation, Gandhi viewed them as partners who could be converted through persuasion and noncooperation, just like the English. As he explained:
I do not believe that the capitalists and the landlords are all exploiters by an inherent necessity, or that there is a basic or irreconcilable antagonism between their interests and those of the masses. All exploitation is based on co-operation, willing or forced, of the exploited. However much we may detest admitting it, the fact remains that there would be no exploitation if people refused to obey the exploiter. But self comes in and we hug the chains that bind us. This must cease. What is needed is not the extinction of landlords and capitalists, but a transformation of the existing relationship between them and the masses into The idea of class war does not appeal to me. In India a class war is not only not inevitable, but it is avoidable if we have understood the message of non-violence. Those who talk about class war as being inevitable have not understood the implications of non-violence or have understood them only skin-deep.
Rejecting Mao’s violent solution to the inequality of village life caused by capitalism, Gandhi wrote that “exploitation of the poor can be ‘extinguished not by effecting the destruction of a few millionaires, but by removing the ignorance of the poor and teaching them to non-co-operate with their exploiters. That will convert the exploiters also.” Gandhi “even suggested that ultimately it will lead to both being equal partners. Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or, other will always be needed.” Gandhi expected “those who own money now” to “behave like the trustees holding their riches on behalf of the poor,” and while “absolute trusteeship is an abstraction like Euclid’s definition of a point, and is equally unattainable. But if we strive for it, we shall be able to go further in realizing a state of equality on earth than by any other method.”
Gandhi’s pragmatic approach to capitalism, and his effort to harness it and maintain an appropriate scale for village life, has left him ideologically in no man’s land, neither socialist, nor communist, nor capitalist. His vision of nonviolence as a means of liberation does not provide a coherent blueprint for socio-economic order, rather it provides broad principles of equality and justice without an ideological framework to harness and focus those principles. Gandhi saw nonviolence as both means and end: the means to liberation, and the embodiment of that liberation. As such, Gandhi writes that his “notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest that can never happen except through non-violence.” He adds:
I have always held that social justice, even unto the least and lowliest, is impossible of attainment by force. I have believed that it is possible by proper training of the lowliest by non-violent means to secure the redress of the wrongs suffered by them. That means is non-violent non-co-operation. At times, non-co-operation becomes as much a duty as co-operation. No one is bound to co-operate ii) one’s own undoing or slavery. Freedom received through tile effort of others, however benevolent, cannot be retained when such effort is withdrawn. In other words, such freedom is not real freedom. But the lowliest can feel its glow, as soon as they learn the art of attaining it through non-violent non-co-operation.
Because of Gandhi’s linkage of ends and means, and his belief that nonviolence was a reflection of the convergence of ends and means, he opposed the use of violence to achieve democracy, and as such would have opposed both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as inappropriate uses of violence to impose democracy, though earlier in life he did accept Britain’s right of self-defense, and thus its participation in wars whose ends were just. But he later modified his view, especially as he prepared to sever his lifelong tie to Britain and its empire. As Gandhi came to believe, “True democracy or the swaraj of the masses can never come through untruthful and violent means, for the simple reason that the natural corollary to their use would be to remove all opposition through the suppression or extermination of the antagonists. That does not make for individual freedom. Individual freedom can have the fullest play only under a regime of unadulterated ahimsa.” As he explains, “I believe that true democracy can only be an outcome of non-violence. The structure of a world federation can be raised only on a foundation of non-violence, and violence will have to be totally given up in world affairs.” Even in an effort to redress the inequalities of capitalism, Gandhi believes violence is inappropriate, indeed cancerous: “It is my firm conviction that if the State suppressed capitalism by violence, it will be caught in the coil of violence itself and fail to develop non-violence at any time.”
Many theorists of world order, themselves borne of chaos, dream of a new order and use theory to catalyze the formation of an alternative social edifice. Yet Gandhi believes these moments of chaos and war that incubate their visions are an aberration to the otherwise peaceful flow of history. So even though history is punctuated by warfare and violence, he sees these punctuations as the exception and not the norm, quite in contrast to the standard Hobbesian vision of a world always at war, locked in a conflict borne of anarchy. Gandhi rather sees a world largely at peace, and as proof of this worldview he points to the endurance of so many millions of people who are still alive. As he explains:
The fact that there are so many men still alive in the world shows that it is based not on the force of arms but on the force of truth or love. Therefore, the greatest and most unimpeachable evidence of the success of this force is to be found in the fact that, in spite of the wars of the world, it still lives on. Thousands, indeed tens of thousands, depend for their existence on a very active working of this force. Little quarrels of millions of families in their daily lives disappear before the exercise of this force. Hundreds of nations live in peace. History does not and cannot take note of this fact. History is really a record of every interruption of the even working of the force of love or of the soul. Two brothers quarrel; one of them repents and reawakens the love that was lying dormant in him; the two again begin to live in peace; nobody takes note of this. But if the two brothers, through the intervention of solicitors or some other reason take up arms or go to law-which is another form of the exhibition of brute force their doings would be. immediately noticed in the press, they would be the talk of their neighbours and would probably go down in history. And what is true of families and communities is true of nations. There is no reason to believe that there is one law for families and another for nations. History, then, is a record’ of an interruption of the course of nature. Soul-force, being natural; is not noted in history.
Gandhi’s viewed democracy to be a transitional stage on the road to true self-governance, and once man achieves victory through soul-force, government itself becomes unnecessary, and can fade away—much the way communism envisioned the state disappearing with the arrival of universal socialism. Accordingly, Gandhi wrote: “To me political power is not an end but one of the means of enabling people to better their condition in every department of life. Political power means capacity to regulate national life through national representatives. If national life becomes so perfect as to become self-regulated, no representation becomes necessary. There is then a state of enlightened anarchy. In such a state every one is his own ruler. He rules himself in such a manner that he is never a hindrance to his neighbour. In the ideal State, therefore, there is no political power because there is no State. But the ideal is never fully realized in life. Hence the classical statement of Thoreau that that government is best which governs the least.” Indeed, the state, to Gandhi, must wither and die, lest we remain captive to its predisposition to violence, from whose forge it emerged: “The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.
Indeed, to Gandhi, self-governance means liberation from government and reflects the “continuous effort to be independent of government control whether it is foreign government or whether it is national. Swaraj government will be a sorry affair if people look up to it for the regulation of every detail of life.”
Gandhi recognized that people had different levels of skill and intelligence, and as such, equality was more about equality of opportunity than of capability. He thus accepted some inequality within society, not unlike Plato who structured his ideal state on the rule of the intellectuals, whose superiority of capability destined them to govern over those with fewer intellectual faculties. As Gandhi explains:
My idea of society is that while we are born equal, meaning that we have a right to equal opportunity, all have not the same capacity. It is, in the nature of things, impossible. For instance, all cannot have the same height, or colour or degree of intelligence, etc.; therefore in the nature of things, some will have ability to earn more and other less. People with talents will have more, and they will utilize their talents for this purpose. If they utilize kindly, they will be performing the work of the State. Such people exist as trustees, on no other terms. I would allow a man of intellect to earn more, I would not cramp his talent. But the bulk of his greater earnings must be used for the good of the State, just as the income of all earning sons of the father go to the common family fund. They would have their earnings only as trustees. It may be that I would fail miserably in this. But that is what I am sailing for.
Gandhi further elaborates:
We have long been accustomed to think that power comes only through legislative assemblies. I have regarded this belief as a grave error brought about by inertia or hypnotism. A superficial study of the British history has made us think that all power percolates to the people from parliaments. The truth is that power resides in the people and it is entrusted for the time being to those whom they may choose as their representatives. The parliaments have no power or even existence independently of the people. It has been my effort for the last twenty-one years to convince the people of this simple truth. Civil disobedience is the storehouse of power. Imagine a whole people unwilling to conform to the laws of the legislature and prepared to suffer the consequences of non-compliance! They will bring the whole legislative and the executive machinery to a standstill. The police and the military are of use to coerce minorities however powerful they may be. But no police or military coercion can bend the resolute will of a people, out for suffering to the uttermost. And parliamentary procedure is good only when its members are willing to conform to the will of the majority. In other words, it is fairly effective only among compatibles.
Gandhi hoped to create a new kind of government, one that was “not based on coercion even of a minority but on its conversion,” and as such, were it only “a change from white military rule to a brown, we hardly need make any fuss. At any rate the masses then do not count. They will be subject to the same spoliation as now, if not even worse.” Gandhi thus wanted to transform the social fabric of India, to rid it of the festering inequality the allowed for any elite minority to govern over an exploited majority. He was “not interested in freeing India merely from the English yoke” but was instead “bent upon freeing India from any yoke whatsoever. I have no desire to exchange ‘king log for king stork’. Hence for me the movement of swaraj is a movement of self-purification.” Indeed, Gandhi feared that an indigenous tyranny would be even worse than British colonial rule, admitting,
Our tyranny, if we impose our will on others, will be infinitely worse than that of the handful of Englishmen who form the bureaucracy. Theirs is a terrorism imposed by a minority struggling to exist in the midst of opposition. Ours will be a terrorism imposed by a majority and therefore worse and really more godless than the first. We must therefore eliminate compulsion in any shape from our struggle. If we are only a handful holding freely the doctrine of non-cooperation, we may have to die in the attempt to convert others to our view, but we shall have truly defended and represented our cause. If however we enlist under our banner men by force, we shall be denying our cause and God, and if we seem to succeed for the moment, we shall have succeeded in establishing a worse terror.
Gandhi believed democracy required discipline and selflessness:
A born democrat is a born disciplinarian. Democracy claim to be a democrat both by instinct and training. Let those who are ambitious to serve democracy qualify themselves by satisfying first this acid test of democracy. Moreover, a democrat must be utterly selfless. He must think and dream not in terms of self or party but only of democracy. Only then does he acquire the right of civil disobedience. I do not want anybody to give up his convictions or to suppress himself. I do not believe that a healthy and honest difference of opinion will injure our cause. But opportunism, camouflage or patched up compromises certainly will. If you must dissent, you should take care that your opinions voice your innermost convictions and are not intended merely as convenient party cry value individual freedom but you must not forget that man is essentially a social being. He has risen to his present status by learning to adjust his individualism to the requirements of social progress. Unrestricted individualism is the law of the beast of the jungle. We have learnt to strike the mean between individual freedom and social restraint. Willing submission to social restraint for the sake of the well-being of the whole society enriches both the individual and the society of which one is a member.
To Gandhi, democracy was all about mutual toleration, a respect for diversity, and thus not an imposition of the will of the majority over the minority. As he explains, “The golden rule of conduct, therefore, is mutual toleration, seeing that we will never all think alike and we shall see Truth in fragment and from different angles of vision. Conscience is not the same thing for all. Whilst, therefore, it is a good guide for individual conduct, imposition of that conduct upon all will be an insufferable interference with everybody’s freedom of conscience.”
As such, Gandhi believed that “differences of opinion should never mean hostility,” realizing that “if they did, my wife and I should be sworn enemies of one another. I do not know two persons in the world who had no difference of opinion, and. as I am a follower of the Gita, I have always attempted to regard those who differ from me with the same affection as I have for my nearest and dearest.” Gandhi thus rejected the mathematics of democratic power, and came to realize he did “not believe in the doctrine of the greatest good of the greatest number,” as “it means in its nakedness that in order to achieve the supposed good of 51 per cent the interest of 49 per cent may be, or rather, should be sacrificed. It is a heartless doctrine and has. done harm to humanity. The only real, dignified, human doctrine is the greatest good of all, and this can only be achieved by uttermost self-sacrifice.” To Gandhi, it was “slavery to be amenable to the majority, no matter what its decisions are,” and that real democracy was not a “state in which people act like sheep” but rather one where “individual liberty of opinion and action is jealously guarded.”
Indeed, an essential ingredient in Gandhi’s armory of nonviolent methods was that set of tools we call civil disobedience—the willful violation of an unjust law. Gandhi successfully deployed this tool in his struggle for equal rights in South Africa, and later unleashed it upon India’s British overlords. But behind the tactical use of civil disobedience by Gandhi is a deeper appreciation of the place of conscience in politics, and the central role of conscience in guiding political leaders. Gandhi says he expects “those who claim to lead the masses must resolutely refuse to be led by them, if we want to avoid mob law and desire ordered progress for the country,” and that “leaders must act contrary to the mass of opinion if it does not commend itself to their reason.” In a democracy, a leaders must obey his conscience, lest he becomes “useless” by acting “the prompting of his own conscience, surrounded as he must be by people holding all kinds of views. He will drift like an anchorless ship, if he has not the inner voice to hold him firm and guide him.” Gandhi places conscience above law, and believes that “in matters of conscience the law of majority has no place.” Thus Gandhi believes that “the true democrat is he who with purely non-violent means defends his liberty and, therefore, his country’s and ultimately that of the whole of mankind.” Indeed, a democracy that remains “disciplined and enlightened is the finest thing in the world,” whereas “a democracy prejudiced, ignorant, superstitious will land itself in chaos and may be self’-destroyed. A democracy without conscientious leadership, uncommitted to nonviolence, will inevitably result in tyranny. As Gandhi explains, “Democracy and violence can ill go together. The States that are today nominally democratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to become truly democratic, they must become courageously non-violent. It is a blasphemy to say that non-violence can only be practised by individuals and never by nations which are composed of individuals.” At both the individual and the national level, Gandhi says, suffering is the price we must pay for noncooperation:
What then is the meaning of non-co-operation in terms of the law of suffering? We must voluntarily put up with the losses and inconveniences that arise from having to withdraw our support from a government that is ruling against our will. ‘Possession of power and riches is a crime under an unjust government, poverty in that case is a virtue,’ says Thoreau. It may be that in the transition state we may make mistakes; there may be avoidable suffering. These things are preferable to national emasculation. We must refuse to wait for the wrong to be righted till the wrong-doer has been roused to a sense of his iniquity. We must not, for fear of ourselves or others having to suffer, remain participators in it. But we must combat the wrong by ceasing to assist the wrong-doer directly or indirectly. If a father does injustice, it is the duty of his children to leave the parental roof. If the headmaster of a school conducts his institution on an immoral basis, the pupils must leave the school. If the chairman of a corporation is corrupt, the members thereof must wash their hands clean of his corruption by withdrawing from it; even so if a government does a grave injustice the subject must withdraw co-operation wholly or partially, sufficiently to wean the ruler from wickedness. In each case conceived by me there is an element of suffering whether mental or physical. Without such suffering it is not possible to attain freedom.
Gandhi recalls that upon becoming a “satyagrahi, from that moment I ceased to be a subject, but never ceased to be a citizen,” as “a citizen obeys laws voluntarily and never under compulsion or for fear of the punishment prescribed for their breach. He breaks them when he considers it necessary and welcomes the punishment. That robs it of its edge or of the disgrace which it is supposed to imply.” While Hobbes and likeminded classical realists believe that Leviathan must suppress the individual in the interest of social order, lest anarchy and violence ensue, Gandhi believes that the individual and his right to dissent, and to exercise morally-guided civil disobedience, must never be submerged—and that unlike criminal disobedience, civil disobedience never leads to such chaos: “Civil disobedience is the inherent right of a citizen. He dare not give it. up without ceasing to be a man. Civil disobedience is never followed by anarchy. Criminal disobedience can lead to it. Every State puts down criminal disobedience by force. It perishes if it does not. But to put down civil disobedience is to attempt to imprison conscience.” This is partly because nonviolence brings with it discipline, which is conducive to social order. Gandhi notes, “discipline has a place in non-violent strategy, but much more is required. In a satyagraha army everybody is a soldier and a servant. But at a pinch every satyagrahi soldier has also to be his own general and leader. Mere discipline, cannot make for leadership. The latter calls for faith and vision.” As such, Gandhi, explained:
Complete civil disobedience is rebellion without the element of violence in it. An out-and-out civil resister simply ignores the authority of the State. He becomes an outlaw claiming to disregard every unmoral State law. Thus, for instance, he may refuse to pay taxes, he may refuse to recognize the authority in his daily intercourse. He may refuse to obey the law of trespass and claim to enter military barracks in order to speak to the soldiers, he may refuse to submit to limitations upon the manner of picketing and may picket within the proscribed area. In doing all this he never uses force and never resists force when it is used against him. In fact, he invites imprisonment and other uses of force against himself. This he does because and when he finds the bodily freedom he seemingly enjoys to be an intolerable burden. He argues to himself that a State allows personal freedom only in so far as the citizen submits to its regulations. Submission to the State law is the price a citizen pays for his personal liberty. Submission, therefore, to a State law wholly or largely unjust is an immoral barter for liberty. A citizen who thus realizes the evil nature of a State is not satisfied to live on its sufferance, and therefore appears to the others who do not share his belief to be a nuisance to society whilst he is endeavouring to compel the State, without committing a moral breach, to arrest him. Thus considered, civil resistance is a most powerful expression of a soul’s anguish and an eloquent protest against the continuance of an evil State. Is not this the history of all reform? Have not reformers, much to the disgust of their fellows, discarded even innocent symbols associated with ‘an evil practice?
Religion, Truth & Order
Gandhi’s soul-force, his weapon of nonviolence, reconnects politics and religion in a manner unseen since the rebellion led by Jesus and his followers against the corruption and secular power of Rome. While Mao followed in the Marxist tradition that considers religion an “opiate of the masses,” Gandhi viewed religion as a pillar of identity and a leading moral force, bringing order to a vast, multi-ethnic nation like India. Just as Christianity instilled its faith so that believers could withstand the full force of Roman repression, Gandhi hoped to empower the masses in India to rise up without fear against British power—and asked India to fear only God, but neither the pain nor suffering brought to bear by England. Religion is thus a unifying force in Gandhi’s strategic vision, a restoration of the central guiding values of religion to dull the edge of the colonial sword. Whereas Hobbes viewed religion as the source of civil conflict, Gandhi looked to religion as the antidote to colonial power, the solution and not the problem. In religion, Gandhi found tolerance—something in short supply during Hobbes’ time. Gandhi thus used religion as a sort of liberation theology long before the phrase was current, much like the activist priests who led oppressed Central American peasants in their uprising against the corrupt oligarchies of Central America in the 1980s. Religion brought strength and courage to resist in a way that ideology could not. Across the Americas, people found strength to stand up to injustice because of religious Faith, yet the ideologies of rebellion were, at least rhetorically, secular visions, a fusion of Maoist and Marxist influence, refined by Castro’s successful 1959 revolution in Cuba. It was the Church and the sanctuary it provided that created an environment where resistance could take root; and it was the Church which provided the moral inspiration to face martyrdom in the name of justice. The communist slogans uttered by guerrilla leaders were far less successful as motivators in the struggle against Central America’s corrupt dictatorships. A half-century earlier, Gandhi made a similar discovery, seeing in religion a blueprint for rebellion against colonial authority, a celebration of indigenous traditions, and a source of inspiration to reclaim one’s heritage from a colonial occupier. As Gandhi wrote:
To me God is Truth and Love; God is ethics and morality; God is fearlessness. God is the source of Light and Life and yet He is above and beyond all these. Cod is conscience. He is even the atheism of the atheist. . . . He transcends speech and reason. . . . He is a personal God to those who need His personal presence. He is embodied to those who need His touch. He is the purest essence. He simply is to those who have faith. He is all things to all men. He is in m and yet above and beyond us. . . . He is long-suffering. He is patient but He is also terrible. . . . With Him ignorance is no excuse. And withal He is ever forgiving for He always gives us the chance to repent. He is the greatest democrat the world knows, for He leaves us ‘unfettered’ to make our own choice between evil and good. He is the greatest tyrant ever known, for He often dashes the cup from our lips and under the cover of free will leaves us a margin so wholly inadequate as to provide only mirth for Himself.
Gandhi did not prefer any one religion over another, and instead saw in all religions an essential truth and an inherent tolerance, and wrote how “after long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that (1) all religions are true; (2) all religions have some error in them; (3) all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one’s own close relatives.” He added that his “own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible.” Gandhi believed that “God has created different faiths just as He has the votaries thereof,” so he was forced to ask, “How can I even secretly harbour the thought that my neighbour’s faith is inferior to mine and wish that he should give up his faith and embrace mine? As a true and loyal friend, I can only wish and pray that he may live and grow perfect in his own faith. In God’s house there are many mansions and they are equally holy.” Gandhi added that it was his “conviction that all the great faiths of the world are true, are God-ordained and that they serve the purpose of God and of those who have been brought up in those surroundings and those faiths,” and that “religion is one tree with many branches. As branches, you may say religions are many, but as tree, religion is only one.” Indeed, the unifying theme that binds all religions together is the communal act of praying to God:
The prayer has saved my life. . . . In spite of despair staring me in the face on the political horizon, I have never lost my peace. In fact, I have found people who envy my peace. That peace comes from prayer. I am not a man of learning, but I humbly claim to be a man of prayer. I am indifferent as to the form. Everyone is a law unto himself in that respect. But there are some well marked roads, and it is safe to walk along the beaten tracks, by the ancient teachers. I have given my personal testimony. Let every one try and find that as a result of daily he adds something new to his life.”
Gandhi is aware that mankind, being fallible, cannot achieve true enlightenment, and can only strive toward it. Trapped, as if in Plato’s cave, in a world of darkness and imperfection, man needs guidance to be lifted up. Plato believed a Philosopher King was required to be man’s guide. Later, Machiavelli thought that by whispering wisdom into the ear of the Prince, he could similarly guide man out of darkness. Hobbes, seeing true darkness, simply engineers man’s acquiescence to the higher authority of Leviathan, which evolved into the enlightened monarchs that embodied the young nation-states of Europe and later into the military dictatorships and communist regimes that came to power in the twentieth century. But Gandhi aims to free us from Leviathan, which became ever more perverted and distorted as the power of the western state grew, and overwhelmed so many developing nations both inside and outside of Europe. He turns to religion as a liberating force, much like Jesus did at the start of the common era. But Gandhi seems well aware of the dangers of abusing religion for unjust rule, writing, “I know of no greater sin than to oppress the innocent in the name of God.” But he nonetheless turns to God, and the idea of Truth, as a necessary counterbalance to the asymmetrical power of the state, and in particular, the colonial administration of British India. As Gandhi writes:
If we had attained the full vision of Truth, we would no longer be mere seekers, but have become one with God, for Truth is God. But being only seekers, we prosecute our quest, and are conscious of our imperfection. And if we are imperfect ourselves, religion as conceived by us must also be imperfect. We have not realized religion in its perfection, even as we have not realized God. Religion of our conception, being thus imperfect, is always subject to a process of evolution. And if all faiths outlined by men are imperfect, the question of comparative merit does not arise. All faiths constitute a revelation of Truth, but all are imperfect, and liable to error. Reverence for other faiths need not blind us to their faults. We must be keenly alive to the defects of our own faith also, yet not leave it on that account, but try to overcome those defects. Looking at all religions with an equal eye, we would not only not hesitate, but would think it our duty, to blend into our faith every acceptable feature of other faiths. Even as a tree has a single trunk, but many branches and leaves, so there is one true and perfect Religion, but it becomes many, as it passes through the human medium. The one Religion is beyond all speech. Imperfect men put it into such language as they can command, and their words are interpreted by other men equally imperfect. Whose interpretation is to be held to be the right one? Everybody is right from his own standpoint, but it is not impossible that everybody is wrong. Hence the necessity of tolerance, which does not mean indifference to one’s own faith, but a more intelligent and purer love for it. Tolerance gives us spiritual insight, which is as far from fanaticism as the North Pole from the South. True knowledge of religion breaks down the barriers between faith and faith.
Ultimately, Gandhi rejects secular politics, turning his back on the secular ideal of Rome that Machiavelli hoped to revive, and which became the mighty Leviathan as modernity arrived. Gandhi, borne of colonialism, aims to reunite politics and religion, since on the periphery of European power, in the colonized hinterland of the developing world, European power became a secular, and soulless, tyranny. To overcome it, Gandhi decided it was time to reunite Church and State, long separated. As he explains: “For me, politics bereft of religion are absolute dirt, ever to be shunned. Politics concern nations and that which concerns the welfare of nations must be one of the concerns of a man who is religiously inclined, in other words, a seeker after God and Truth. For me God and Truth are convertible terms, and if anyone told me that God was a God of untruth or a God of torture, I would decline to worship Him. Therefore, in politics also we have to establish the Kingdom of Heaven.” Indeed, Gandhi adds that:
Truth is the first thing to be sought for, and Beauty and Goodness will then be added unto you. That is what Christ really taught in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus was, to my mind, a supreme artist because he saw and expressed Truth; and so was Muhammad, the Koran being the most perfect composition in all Arabic literature-at any rate, that is what scholars say. It is because both of them strove first for Truth that grace of expression naturally came in and yet neither Jesus nor Muhammad wrote on Art. That is the Truth and Beauty I crave for, live for, and would die for.
At heart is Gandhi’s desire to restore truth to politics, knowing that to different faiths, different beliefs, Truth is defined differentially: “Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth.” As Gandhi explains: “What . . . is Truth? A difficult question; but I have solved it for myself by saying that it is what the voice within tells you.”
How then, you ask, different people think of different and contrary truths? Well, seeing that the human mind works through innumerable media and that the evolution of the human mind is not the same for ail, it follows that what may be truth for one may be untruth for another, and hence those who have made these experiments have come to file conclusion that there are certain conditions to be observed in making those experiments..... It is because we have at the present moment everybody claiming the right of conscience without going through any discipline whatsoever that there is so much untruth being delivered to a bewildered world. All that I can in true humility present to you is that Truth is not to be found by anybody who has not got an abundant sense of humility. If you would swim on the bosom of the ocean of Truth you must reduce yourself to a zero.
Gandhi looks to history and finds a long and proud legacy of strong moral leaders, who like generals, stood alone, ahead of their followers, pointing the way out of the cave. They may have stood alone, but Gandhi says they were never lonely, being part of a just and righteous cause: “In every great cause it is not the number of fighters that counts but it is the quality of which they are made that becomes the deciding factor. The greatest men of the world have always stood alone. Take the great prophets Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, they all stood alone like many others whom I can name. But they had living faith in themselves and their God, and believing as they did that God was on their side, they never felt lonely.” Indeed, Gandhi joins this select elite of moral leaders who stood alone, one step ahead of mankind, offering us an alternate vision of order, one rooted in faith in our inner goodness and our moral strength, in contrast to the realist tradition of man fearing man. As Gandhi notes, “My work will be finished, if I succeed in carrying conviction to the human family that every man or woman, however weak in bodies, is the guardian of his or her self-respect and liberty.”
Realism & the Human Heart
Such was the ambition of Mohandas Gandhi, who was as much a strategic theorist as he was a political actor. Gandhian political theory assumes, contrary to Hobbes and Thucydides, that man is at heart good, and that he should be driven by love and truth in his political behavior. He should persuade, and not coerce, and should renounce violence and engage only in nonviolent action in order to persuade and not coerce. In British-colonized India, Gandhi put forth a quintessentially Socratic theory—that it is better to suffer evil than to commit it. But beneath his discussion of Truth and love, he was very much talking about power, finding the ultimate and purest source amongst the people, as Etienne de la Boetie did four hundred years before in France. The Boetian theory of popular power, at the heart of democratic theory, was primarily concerned with domestic politics and the revolutionary politics of removing tyrannical rule and replacing it with democracy. Yet Gandhi went beyond de la Boetie by claiming that his theory worked well in international relations; that his popularly-rooted nonviolent politics effectively deterred a Japanese invasion of India; and that ultimately love can indeed turn swords in to ploughshares.
Silly? Some may think so. But Dr. Gene Sharp, inspired by Gandhi since the 1940s, has elaborated upon Gandhian philosophy, extracting from it tactics and strategies that apply to domestic and international conflict, presenting stratagems for change in his internationally influential handbook of nonviolent revolution, From Dictatorship to Democracy, available in dozens of languages and dialects, in printed and electronic form. As Sharp’s colleague and executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, Jamila Raqib, wrote on the organization’s website in December 2007 in a statement titled “Confronting False Allegations,”
One publication in particular, From Dictatorship to Democracy, has been an important factor in the worldwide dissemination of these ideas in recent years. This publication, originally written at the request of a Burmese dissident in 1993, is a serious introduction to the use of nonviolent action to oust dictatorships. Since its original translation into the five languages of Burma, the publication has spread almost completely on its own, with almost no funding available to assist its promotion, translation, or printing. To date, it is available in translated form in thirty languages.
Another publication, The Anti-Coup, contains important recommendations for dealing with another type of threat: coups d’état against democratically elected governments. It details measures that civilians, civil society, and governments can take to prevent and block coups d’état and executive usurpations.
And in 1983, several years before the Cold War came to its nonviolent conclusion, Sharp presciently articulated a civilian-based defense strategy for Europe, which called upon the use of Gandhian concepts as both an effective deterrent and adequate means of defense. In Making Europe Unconquerable, which was introduced by the architect of containment, George F. Kennan, Sharp offers a Gandhian solution to the problem of European security, one that may well have inspired East Europeans to stand up to Soviet tanks, and to topple the Communist Leviathan. Sharp’s other books include his 1960 Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power with foreword by Albert Einstein; his 1973 The Politics of Nonviolent Action with an introduction by strategic theorist and Nobel laureate Thomas C. Schelling; his 1979 Gandhi as a Political Strategist was introduced by Coretta Scott King (and the 1999 Indian edition included a foreword by UNESCO director-general Frederico Mayor); his 1980 work, Social Power and Political Freedom with an introduction by Senator Mark O. Hatfield; his 1990 Civilian-Based Defense: A Post-Military Weapons System used by the newly independent Baltic states to craft their post-independence defense strategies; and in 2005 Sharp published Waging Nonviolent Struggle: 20th Century Practice and 21st Century Potential, with a new dictionary of nonviolence nearing completion.
In Chapter 12 of his 1979 Gandhi as a Political Strategist, Sharp roots Gandhian nonviolence firmly in the realist tradition noting, “Almost everyone—except those adhering to ‘other worldly’ creeds—is primarily concerned to live in this world and to face and solve its problems and crises in a practical way,” and with conflict an element of real life in which “important issues of both principle and human welfare are often at stake” then “the exercise of power of some kind is unavoidable in such situations unless one is to abdicate responsibility for influencing the outcome of those conflicts.” Moreover, Sharp adds, “ultimately such power involves and at times depends upon the application of some kind of sanction or means of struggle,” and, that “[m]ost people recognizing these realities have not believed that all situations and crises could be faced without resort to the threat or use of some type of violence when other efforts had failed to solve the problem satisfactorily.” And thus, “[d]espite the moral imperatives to nonviolence contained in widely accepted philosophies and religions, most people have been unable to accept them as universally valid because they have seen those imperatives to be impractical and inapplicable in crisis situations and in face of political dangers. Violence has thus often been deliberately chosen (or at least has been continually accepted) as an ultimate sanction and course of action because of this attitude.” Sharp concludes that it “has thus been—not the wickedness or perverseness of people, but—the absence of confidence in an effective nonviolent course of action which could in place of violence achieve or defend social and political ends as well as moral principles, which explains why most people continue to accept violence and reject the moralist nonviolent outlook.” Sharp’s hope, like Gandhi’s, has been that were “an equally effective nonviolent technique of action applicable in such crises existed and were believed to exist, many people might gain new insights into beliefs to which they have hitherto paid only lip-service, and the most important single reason for continued acceptance of major political violence would disappear.”
Sharp engages E.H. Carr, who many credit with the restoration of realism to a position of supreme influence in the academy during the interwar years, noting that “Carr contrasted two approaches to politics, ‘utopianism’ and ‘realism,’” with the former “reject[ing] the existing order, whether in economics, politics, or international relations,” and concentrating on “almost entirely on the end which ought to be.” Their prescription is thus based “not upon analysis and thinking, but upon aspiration, wishing, and imagination. There is little critical analysis of the means to be used to achieve that goal, nor of the existing order as it is and as it functions.” Sharp adds that realism instead “stands in contrast to this. It is the reaction against utopianism. Machiavelli, said Carr, was the first important realist in the field of politics. He pointed to the peril of ignoring the existing political facts in one's desire to create a better society. Machiavelli's three basic tenets remain the foundation of the realist political philosophy: (1) The course of history is determined by cause and effect—not by the ‘imagination’ of Utopians; (2) It is practice which creates theory, not vice versa; (3) Ethics are a function of politics, not vice versa; morality is the product of power.”
Other realist thinkers like Hobbes “followed Machiavelli,” rearticulating his basic tenets and updating them to their own times, “but these principles remain. Morality and ethics are thus seen to be determined by politics and the search for an independent ethical norm outside politics is thus futile.” Adds Sharp, “One must, says the realist, accept these facts and adapt oneself to them. What should be is thus deduced from what is. Theory becomes the codification of practice, and there is no direction or standard for political behavior except conformity to the existing forces. There becomes no other good except to understand and accept reality.” And so Sharp proceeds to understand a dimension of reality often overlooked by theorists of war and strategy: that nonviolent, popular resistance to tyranny and injustice has a long, and in many cases successful, history worthy of study, from which we can greatly learn. Gandhi recognized this, and looked to the past for inspiration, and from these lessons developed his experiments in truth that shook the very foundation of the British empire with the full force that America’s war of insurgency did over a century before. Sharp, like Gandhi, has digested the lessons of the past in order to elucidate the principles of nonviolent action, rejecting the myth of its passivity and showing that strategic nonviolence was at times a powerful and effective agent of change, one that was rooted in a realist conception of power and leveraged the people as a core pillar of the realist conception of political order. Sharp places Gandhi within the very tradition that Machiavelli became infamous for; like Lenin and Foucault in their inversion of Clausewitz’s dictum (war is a continuation of policy by other means, which they flipped upside down to become politics is a continuation of war by other means), Gandhi and later Sharp have successfully upended Machiavelli’s simplified overstatement, the ends justify the means, showing that it was just as true that the means justify the ends, and with nonviolence this was especially true.
Sharp addresses Gandhi’s approach to the ends/means balance, of which the Machiavellist position is famous for suggesting ends justify means—at least in so far as state foundation goes (but thereafter, the more balanced ethics of a republic kick in)—and to which Gandhian strategy offers an antithesis, asking if nonviolent action as a method is “separable from belief systems which stress nonviolence as a moral principle,” something Gandhi came to believe in his effort to foster a nonviolent levee en masse, knowing that the belief systems of individuals across India varied greatly, but that tactical success was something that could unite believers and nonbelievers under a bigger tent. Sharp recounts how “at a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee in January 1942 (at which the proposal that the Congress offer the British support in the war in exchange for independence was discussed), Gandhi insisted with no regrets on the political nature of nonviolent action as he had presented it to India and rejected the views of those who would dismiss his policy as being ‘religious.’” He cites Gandhi, who stated, “I placed it before the Congress as a political method, to be employed for the solution of the political questions. It may be it is a novel method, but it does not on that account lose its political character ... As a political method, it can always be changed, modified, altered, and even given up in preference to another. If, therefore, I say to you that our policy should not be given up today, I am talking political wisdom. It is political insight. It has served us in the past, it has enabled us to cover many stages toward independence. … It is hardly fair to describe my method as religious, because it is new.”
And even though Gandhi was dissatisfied with the way nonviolent was practiced in Indian, “he did not revert to a ‘fellowship of true believers’ who would save the world, but instead affirmed the importance of corporate and mass action by which people could themselves achieve a sense of their own strength and power … A ‘perfect’ satyagrahi was not possible, and in any case was not the desirable means of solving political problems. Instead, Gandhi presented the means by which ‘millions’ could act in order to ‘solve their own difficulties.’ This emphasis on the political relevance of nonviolent action, and the desirability of mass action, clearly excluded in Gandhi's thinking any retirement into purism as a way of meeting the problem of how to combine the nonviolent ethic with the technique of action.” Sharp notes that “[b]ehind the usual formulation of the tension between the ‘ethical’ and the ‘practical’ is the assumption that they are not necessarily identical, and even may be opposed to each other,” but that “Gandhi's view of the relationship between ethical action and practical action is that when fully understood the two types of actions are in the long-run identical. This view, if accepted, opens the way for a different solution to the problem.” Indeed, Gandhi’s solution restores not only an ends-means balance, but suggests that the ends are largely determined by the means, and that the use of force or violence would subvert the objective, which in the case of Gandhi’s movement was the independence of India from British rule.
This harmonization of ends and means, most clearly evident in Gandhi’s campaign, is visible in realist thought back to the beginning; indeed, one can see in Thucydides’ many famous juxtapositions the enormous erosion to Athenian security that resulted from Athens’ imperial hubris and use of excessive violence in its effort to maintain empire; in the case of Athens, its recklessness and overly violent methods ultimately led to its loss of empire, and its strategic defeat during the long war with the Spartans. Despite the many virtues of the democratic politic built by the Athenians, their foreign and military policies were perceived to be brutal, and at heart a violation of the very principles for which they stood. Their ends-means polarity thus contributed to the loss of their political power and the collapse of the political order they had fought so hard to preserve. Fast forward to Machiavelli’s time, and we witness perhaps the least apologetic articulation of realpolitik to emerge in the realist canon, forever staining the reputation of the Machiavel, so much so that even the future warrior king who would later modernize Prussia and expand its boundaries by means of his strategic genius, Frederick II, felt compelled to denounce Machiavelli’s wisdom in his own idealistic treatise, Anti-Machiavel, written under Voltaire’s tutelage. But a fuller reading of Machiavelli’s work shows him to be a more nuanced theorist, a republican at heart and not the enabler of tyranny that so many who limit their reading to his Prince might otherwise conclude. Even the nuclear architects whose bipolar world order rested upon a pillar of threatened Apocalypse hoped that the means they helped to justify, thermonuclear weapons, would never be used, knowing in their hearts that the ends/means balance would be broken irreparably.
And so Gandhi, in his articulation of ends-means harmony, and his belief that nonviolence as a practical tool of war without violence, proved itself on the battlefields of history, clearly was articulating a realist theory of strategic change, one fully consistent with the realist canon back to Thucydides. Gandhi hoped to create a synthesis, a unification of ends and means so that the dialectic of ethical and practical could be resolved without contradiction. As Sharp brilliantly explains,
The very term ‘satyagraha’ has connotations of the union of ethical and practical action. ‘Agraha’ means ‘holding fast,’ ‘adherence,’ or ‘insistence.’ ‘Sat’ or ‘Satya,’ also from the Sanscrit, means ‘Truth,’ but Truth here connotes ‘essence of being.’ Thus ‘satyagraha’ may be interpreted as clinging to, holding fast to, adherence to, or insistence upon ‘Truth.’ With ‘Truth’ having connotations of essence of being, ‘satyagraha’ means that in one's action one holds to the essence of being or ultimate reality. Action thus in harmony with the nature of existence and reality must in the final analysis be action which ‘works’ and is "’practical.’
Gandhi’s realism suggests that it is simply “inconceivable that action in order to ‘work’ had to go contrary to the nature of existence and the ‘laws’ of life. The principles or ‘laws’ of ‘God’ or ‘Truth’ were believed by Gandhi to be universally valid and operative,” or as Gandhi’s secretary Mahadev Desai explained, Gandhi “dared to experiment [with] the method of Nonviolence on the mundane plane” because he “refuses to make any distinction between the mundane and the ‘other-worldly’ plane so far as the moral and physical laws which govern them are concerned. For him the outside universe is but a reflection of the inside universe.” Thus, Gandhi believed that “satyagraha is, as a matter of fact and in the long run, the most expeditious course,” and later in his life said that if “any action of mine claimed to be spiritual is proved to be unpractical it must be pronounced to be a failure. I do believe that the most spiritual act is the most practical in the true sense of the term.” Gandhi thus unified ends and means, and in so doing, helped to restore realism to a more harmonious and balanced path, one that Thucydides long ago aspired to but which those who conflate his theory with the words of the most bellicose of characters in his history have misunderstood, much that way the more nuanced Machiavelli has also been misunderstood in the polarization that so often takes place in academic discourse, where the Machiavel is misunderstood to reflect the spirit if Machiavelli himself.
Sharp cites Gandhi as stating that “Means and end are convertible terms in my philosophy of life,” and Sharp adds that in “Gandhi's view the end which is actually achieved grows out of means which are used in the effort to achieve the intended goal. ‘The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. He termed the common view that there is no connection between the means and the end ‘a great mistake,’” adding that “[t]hrough that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom.” He also cited Gandhi’s explanation that, “I have therefore, concerned myself principally with the conservation of the means and their progressive use. I know if we can take care of them attainment of the goal is assured. I feel too that our progress towards the goal will be in exact proportion to the purity of our means. This method may appear to be long, perhaps too long, but I am convinced that it is the shortest,” and that “As the means so the end. There is no wall of separation between means and end. Indeed the Creator has given us control (and that too very limited) over means, none over the end. Realization of the goal is in exact proportion to that of the means. This is a proposition that admits of no exception.” Adds sharp, “This view of the relationship of means to ends led Gandhi to reject violent means to achieve desirable goals,” as the “use of violent and unjust means in an effort to ‘hurry up’ the achievement of a certain goal would in his view prove disastrous and prevent the achievement of the desired end in a recognizable form.” As Gandhi put it, “for over 50 years I have trained myself never to be concerned about the result. What I should be concerned about is the means.” As Sharp explained, Gandhi “maintained that action which is determined on the basis of ethical or moral standards turns out in the final analysis to be the more practical course than that determined by short-term expediency for achieving the desired goal,” and as a consequence, his embrace of nonviolence enabled him to fully mobilize the massive Indian populace, unlocking the full potency of popular power, effectively withdrawing India’s consent to be governed by Britain and leaving the British raj outnumbered, surrounded, and unable to effectively govern its empire—all without firing a single shot.
Operationalizing Gandhian Nonviolence: 198 Methods
Sharp codifies Gandhi’s methods into a detailed taxonomy of nonviolent tactics, doing for nonviolence action what Jomini and others have done for war itself, as elaborated in great detail in the second volume of his classic, three-volume treatise, The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Here he identifies, and elaborates in great detail, the 198 methods of nonviolent action. (See Appendix 1: The 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action, below.)
In so doing, Sharp has updated Gandhi’s efforts for the contemporary world, and it seems to be no coincidence that the use of nonviolent means has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, as witnessed during the collapse of Soviet power and more recently in such powerful if not strategically victorious displays of strategic nonviolence as the Saffron Revolution in Burma in 2008, and the Green Revolution in Iran in 2009 and 2010. Sharp’s efforts have helped to consolidate a secure spot within the realist tradition for practitioners and theorists of nonviolence, no easy feat and one that has earned Sharp a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. As Sharp explains, he is challenging the “presumed necessity of violence,” and in so doing has demonstrated the continued utility of nonviolence as a method for not only toppling dictators but upending the existing order, replacing it with a more sustainable and balanced articulation.
Sharp explains that in order to “be politically effective and ‘responsible,’ to be able to influence the course of social and political events, to be able to cope with regimes and forces whose aims and policies are regarded as most undesirable, it is necessary at some stage to wield power. This power may sometimes be effective merely by the possession of the capacity to wield it, and at times it must be applied in open struggle, but it must be present. …This recognition of power and the need for it is not, however, the error. The error lies in the assumptions which are usually made about the nature of power.” Sharp recounts that E.H. Carr “spoke of ‘that uneasy compromise between power and morality which is the foundation of all political life,’” and that “‘we can neither moralise power nor expel power from politics.’” As Sharp explains, “the departure in politics from strict adherence to nonviolent beliefs, and the consequent major moral difficulties, are seen to arise from the presumed necessity of using a technique of violent action to wield power and to deal with crises. It is the presumed absence of an effective power-wielding technique of nonviolent action in politics which thus ‘requires’ the departure from the religious and moral norms requiring abstention from violence, and thus produces the moral difficulties and dilemmas.” Sharp notes that “[b]oth the ‘prophet-ultimate ends-utopian’ approach and the ‘reconciler-responsibility-realist’ approach are in different ways therefore inadequate because both have accepted that politically effective power must in the last analysis include violence, and neither has seriously explored the existence or development of politically effective nonviolent power.”
Sharp remedies this with his life’s work, exploring in detail and for over half a century both the existence and development of politically effective nonviolent power, modernizing the art of what we might think of as nonviolent warfare that Gandhi so successfully put into action during India’s independence movement. As Sharp explains, the “existence of a nonviolent technique of action—capable of wielding and meeting power effectively in times of crisis in defense and in furtherance of moral principles, ways of life, democratic societies, freedom, justice, and the like, so that reliance on violence would no longer be necessary to achieve political effectiveness—would thus pave the way for the union of morality and politics, the union of action with moral principles and the union of nonviolence and political effectiveness.” He adds that it “has been my contention for some years that such a technique of action exists and has been for several decades in the process of refinement and increasing application under a wide variety of political and historical circumstances. It is true that our knowledge still is highly limited. It is true that there are immense practical difficulties still involved in the possible substitution of this type of action for violence (as war and violent revolution) in difficult political and international circumstances. It is also true, so basic has the role of violence been to politics and international relations as we have known them, that it is not an easy matter to replace such violence with nonviolent sanctions and means of struggle. A rethinking of politics and international relations is clearly required along with experimentation and research.” And, adds Sharp, “despite all these difficulties, there is already sufficient knowledge of the technique of nonviolent action to make possible the challenging of the categorical assumptions about the necessity of violence in politics (violence is today often clearly impractical and irresponsible and nonviolent action often clearly has practical advantages).”
Sharp, sounding much like Carr in his effort to foster a synthesis between the utopian and realist perspectives, argues that “there is no necessary reason why the ‘practical’ person should categorically reject a ‘moral’ approach or course of action simply because it is ‘moral.’ Conversely, there is also no reason why a ‘moral’ person should categorically reject a ‘practical’ approach or course of action because it has been developed or adopted from consideration of ‘practical’ reasons. Does the ‘moral’ person not believe that his or her system of morality and principles are in harmony with the nature of reality and life? And if they are, is not the practical approach—when deeply understood—fully consistent with the moral approach, just as moral behavior in society is often believed to be ultimately the highest form of practicality?” Sharp suggests that “if humanity is to survive, people must quickly give up reliance on violence to solve conflicts,” and that “[m]illions of people must be willing to do this who will never become believers in nonviolence as a moral principle, but who could well come to see the practical advantages of a substitute technique to use in place of violent revolution and war.”
One could look at the people-power revolutions that simultaneous encircled and collapsed Europe’s communist regimes much the way Mao’s peasant army brought defeat to the better-armed, better-funded urban-based Nationalists: a practical application of power ideally suited to the human terrain of their struggle. In the largely disarmed Soviet bloc countries, it was impossible for the people to rise up in arms unless the armed forces had defected from the ruling coalition first; but the people disarmed could still rise up, at great risk, against the tyrannies that ruled in their name. Their bravery resulted in the rapid-fire collapse of the entire system across half a continent in just a few short weeks in the magical winter of 1989/1990, as the people’s armed forces sided ultimately with the people and against their corrupted one-party dictatorships that ruled in the people’s name – a process that replayed a generation later in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011 and which continues to spread across the region, albeit with uncertain outcome as of this writing. With the armed forces and the people united against the state in the old East Bloc (and now, again, in Tunisia and Egypt0, their governments ceased to govern, their power all but gone. Within a year, communism as a worldwide force was all but eradicated. History did not end, but nonviolence, as a tool in the war chest of the realist constructive realist seeking to transform his strategic environment, was now well established—and Sharp’s goal largely achieved.
Interest in Sharp’s ideas has spread around the world, taking root in zones of conflict as the sweeping victories of people-power movements, from the original Velvet Revolution to the more recent Orange, Rose and Tulip Revolutions (and now with the stunning success of both the Jasmine and Nile revolutions) have generated renewed interest in his theories, and with the Internet and the prolific translation of his work helping to widely disseminate his ideas, with media exposure to his ideas in the Wall Street Journal, Sharp’s work is now available in over forty languages: Amharic; Arabic; Azeri; Belarusian; Burmese; Burma; Burma; Burma; Burma; Chinese; Danish; Dutch; English; Estonian; Farsi; French; German; Hebrew; Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Khmer; Korean; Kyrgyz; Latvian; Lithuanian; Macedonian; Norwegian; Pashto; Polish; Portuguese; Russian; Serbian; Spanish; Swedish; Tamil; Tibetan; Tigrigna; Thai; Ukrainian; and Vietnamese.
Prominent media articles have also helped broaden Sharp’s influence as well—including a Wall Street Journal article on Sharp titled “American Revolutionary: Quiet Boston Scholar Inspires Rebels Around the World” by Philip Shishkin on September 13, 2008; a Boston Phoenix article titled “The Dictator Slayer” by Adam Reilly on December 5, 2007; and a feature story in the Ohio State University Alumni Magazine, “The Most Influential Man You Don’t Know” by Charlie Euchner, in its November-December 2007 edition. More recently, Sharp has been the subject of articles profiling his work and impact on nonviolent revolutions around the world, in publications as varied as the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN’s Parker Spitzer, Toronto Now, The Daily Beast, Politico, Scientific American, Commentary, Small Wars Journal, and The New Yorker.
Sharp’s influential theoretical and historical analysis, and the continued successful application of Gandhian precepts in the field by activists for change worldwide, has also fueled a backlash to his ideas from the very dictators threatened by Sharp’s strategic-theoretical work, with critical remarks being made by leaders in both Venezuela and Iran. As Sharp noted in an open letter titled “Inaccurate Information: An open letter from Gene Sharp to President Hugo Chavez,” posted on his organization’s website on June 12, 2007:
Dear Mr. President,
I have viewed and listened to your address on Sunday June 3, 2007. I fear that someone has provided you with inaccurate information about myself and the Albert Einstein Institution that found its way into your speech. Unfortunately, for those persons who are familiar with my life and work and that of the Albert Einstein Institution, these inaccuracies, unless corrected, will cast doubts on your credibility. A responsibility for those errors also lies with the person or persons who were the source of information provided to you. . . . The Albert Einstein Institution is a small nonprofit institution for research, policy analyses, and education on the nature and generic potential of pragmatic nonviolent action in relation to the problems of oppression, injustices, war, and genocide.
Nonviolent action is a technique for conducting conflicts, as is military warfare, parliamentary government, and guerrilla warfare. This technique uses psychological, social, economic, and political methods, and has been used for a variety of objectives, both “good” and “bad” ones. It has been used both to change governments and to support governments against attacks. The Albert Einstein Institution neither creates conflicts, nor becomes a participant in a conflict once one exists. Nor does it take ideological sides in conflicts. It simply conducts research, generic policy studies, and education.
And, in an open letter titled “Who Is Afraid of Nonviolent People?” also posted on his organization’s website, Sharp observed how,
In recent years and weeks, several persons, publications, and regimes have been spreading half-truths and outright lies about the Albert Einstein Institution and myself. We receive no instructions or funding from any government or intelligence agency. These lies have doubtless been aimed to discredit our work. Who is it now who so fears nonviolent people? There are persons, groups, publications, and regimes who fear nonviolent people with knowledge of nonviolent alternatives to self-defeating violence and passive submission to oppression.
We who have been falsely accused could spend all our time attempting to deny the lies and thereby be silenced about this important knowledge that people can use for nonviolent self-liberation. That would make those who spread falsehoods successful. We choose not to give them that victory. Instead, we choose to persist as best we can to learn more about these means of action and to make them available to people who believe they need nonviolent means of self-reliant empowerment.
And so, more than half a century after Gandhi’s innovative strategic vision led India to freedom, and planted a seed that continues to flower as people-power movements topple dictators around the world, the power of nonviolence has been persuasively demonstrated.
Like Mao’s strategic vision, which empowered the masses through guerrilla warfare, Gandhi’s satyagraha unleashed the power of the masses in an efficient, and decidedly nonviolent, manner, providing a powerful counterargument to Hobbes on the necessity of surrendering to Leviathan, in all its manifestations. Gandhi, like Mao, brought independence to hundreds of millions of people, adapting realist principles to their unique cultural and physical geographies, responding to the capabilities and limits of their opponents. Each imagined and articulated a successful strategic blueprint that was dynamic, adaptive, and innovative, and each has inspired strategic action in other countries, against other opponents, with varying degrees of success.
Their ideas endure, not just because of their strategic victories, but because of the theoretical and philosophical elegance of their ideas, placing them within the pantheon of great realist thinkers who have struggled to use their words and ideas to bring a measure of order to a frustratingly complex, and at times exceedingly dangerous, world.
Appendix 1: 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action
THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT PROTEST AND PERSUASION
1. Public Speeches
2. Letters of opposition or support
3. Declarations by organizations and institutions
4. Signed public statements
5. Declarations of indictment and intention
6. Group or mass petitions
Communications with a Wider Audience
7. Slogans, caricatures, and symbols
8. Banners, posters, and displayed communications
9. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books
10. Newspapers and journals
11. Records, radio, and television
12. Skywriting and earthwriting
14. Mock awards
15. Group lobbying
17. Mock elections
Symbolic Public Acts
18. Displays of flags and symbolic colors
19. Wearing of symbols
20. Prayer and worship
21. Delivering symbolic objects
22. Protest disrobings
23. Destruction of own property
24. Symbolic lights
25. Displays of portraits
26. Paint as protest
27. New signs and names
28. Symbolic sounds
29. Symbolic reclamations
30. Rude gestures
Pressures on Individuals
31. "Haunting" officials
32. Taunting officials
Drama and Music
35. Humorous skits and pranks
36. Performances of plays and music
40. Religious processions
Honoring the Dead
43. Political mourning
44. Mock funerals
45. Demonstrative funerals
46. Homage at burial places
47. Assemblies of protest or support
48. Protest meetings
49. Camouflaged meetings of protest
Withdrawal and Renunciation
53. Renouncing honors
54. Turning one's back
THE METHODS OF SOCIAL NONCOOPERATION
Ostracism of Persons
55. Social boycott
56. Selective social boycott
57. Lysistratic nonaction
Noncooperation with Social Events, Customs, and Institutions
60. Suspension of social and sports activities
61. Boycott of social affairs
62. Student strike
63. Social disobedience
64. Withdrawal from social institutions
Withdrawal from the Social System
66. Total personal noncooperation
67. "Flight" of workers
69. Collective disappearance
70. Protest emigration (hijrat)
THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: (1) ECONOMIC BOYCOTTS
Actions by Consumers
71. Consumers' boycott
72. Nonconsumption of boycotted goods
73. Policy of austerity
74. Rent withholding
75. Refusal to rent
76. National consumers' boycott
77. International consumers' boycott
Action by Workers and Producers
78. Workmen's boycott
79. Producers' boycott
Action by Middlemen
80. Suppliers' and handlers' boycott
Action by Owners and Management
81. Traders' boycott
82. Refusal to let or sell property
84. Refusal of industrial assistance
85. Merchants' "general strike"
Action by Holders of Financial Resources
86. Withdrawal of bank deposits
87. Refusal to pay fees, dues, and assessments
88. Refusal to pay debts or interest
89. Severance of funds and credit
90. Revenue refusal
91. Refusal of a government's money
Action by Governments
92. Domestic embargo
93. Blacklisting of traders
94. International sellers' embargo
95. International buyers' embargo
96. International trade embargo
THE METHODS OF ECONOMIC NONCOOPERATION: (2)THE STRIKE
97. Protest strike
98. Quickie walkout (lightning strike)
99. Peasant strike
100. Farm Workers' strike
Strikes by Special Groups
101. Refusal of impressed labor
102. Prisoners' strike
103. Craft strike
104. Professional strike
Ordinary Industrial Strikes
105. Establishment strike
106. Industry strike
107. Sympathetic strike
108. Detailed strike
109. Bumper strike
110. Slowdown strike
111. Working-to-rule strike
112. Reporting "sick" (sick-in)
113. Strike by resignation
114. Limited strike
115. Selective strike
116. Generalized strike
117. General strike
Combination of Strikes and Economic Closures
119. Economic shutdown
THE METHODS OF POLITICAL NONCOOPERATION
Rejection of Authority
120. Withholding or withdrawal of allegiance
121. Refusal of public support
122. Literature and speeches advocating resistance
Citizens' Noncooperation with Government
123. Boycott of legislative bodies
124. Boycott of elections
125. Boycott of government employment and positions
126. Boycott of government depts., agencies, and other bodies
127. Withdrawal from government educational institutions
128. Boycott of government-supported organizations
129. Refusal of assistance to enforcement agents
130. Removal of own signs and placemarks
131. Refusal to accept appointed officials
132. Refusal to dissolve existing institutions
Citizens' Alternatives to Obedience
133. Reluctant and slow compliance
134. Nonobedience in absence of direct supervision
135. Popular nonobedience
136. Disguised disobedience
137. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse
139. Noncooperation with conscription and deportation
140. Hiding, escape, and false identities
141. Civil disobedience of "illegitimate" laws
Action by Government Personnel
142. Selective refusal of assistance by government aides
143. Blocking of lines of command and information
144. Stalling and obstruction
145. General administrative noncooperation
146. Judicial noncooperation
147. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents
Domestic Governmental Action
149. Quasi-legal evasions and delays
150. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units
International Governmental Action
151. Changes in diplomatic and other representations
152. Delay and cancellation of diplomatic events
153. Withholding of diplomatic recognition
154. Severance of diplomatic relations
155. Withdrawal from international organizations
156. Refusal of membership in international bodies
157. Expulsion from international organizations
THE METHODS OF NONVIOLENT INTERVENTION
158. Self-exposure to the elements
159. The fast
a) Fast of moral pressure
b) Hunger strike
c) Satyagrahic fast
160. Reverse trial
161. Nonviolent harassment
168. Nonviolent raids
169. Nonviolent air raids
170. Nonviolent invasion
171. Nonviolent interjection
172. Nonviolent obstruction
173. Nonviolent occupation
174. Establishing new social patterns
175. Overloading of facilities
178. Guerrilla theater
179. Alternative social institutions
180. Alternative communication system
181. Reverse strike
182. Stay-in strike
183. Nonviolent land seizure
184. Defiance of blockades
185. Politically motivated counterfeiting
186. Preclusive purchasing
187. Seizure of assets
189. Selective patronage
190. Alternative markets
191. Alternative transportation systems
192. Alternative economic institutions
193. Overloading of administrative systems
194. Disclosing identities of secret agents
195. Seeking imprisonment
196. Civil disobedience of "neutral" laws
197. Work-on without collaboration
198. Dual sovereignty and parallel government
Source: Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973).
1. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi’s Answer: Neither Peace nor War but Nonviolent Struggle,” A Paper Prepared for the Peace, Non-Violence, and Empowerment: Gandhian Philosophy in 21st Century Conference, New Delhi, India, January 29-30, 2007, sponsored by the Indian National Congress, 1, http://www.aeinstein.org/lectures_papers/INDIA_GANDHI_ANSWER.pdf. Sharp is citing the following sources: i. Gene Sharp, Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, 1960), 52; Young India, January 23, 1930, 28; ii. Gene Sharp, Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power, 67; Bhogaraju Pattabhi Sitaramayya, The History of the Indian National Congress I (1885-1935) (Madras: Working Committee of the Congress, 1935), 638.; Gene Sharp, Gandhi Wields the Weapon of Moral Power (Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, 1960), 64; Congress Bulletin, No. 5, March 7, 1930.
2. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi's Political Significance,” Pace e Bene, January 18th, 2006, http://paceebene.org/nvns/nonviolence-news-service-archive/gandhis-political-significance.
3. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi’s Answer: Neither Peace nor War but Nonviolent Struggle,” 1., http://www.aeinstein.org/lectures_papers/INDIA_GANDHI_ANSWER.pdf. Citing Krishnalal Shridharani, War Without Violence: A Study of Gandhi’s Method and Its Accomplishments. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1939. London: Victor Gollancz, 1939. New York: Garland, 1972. Revised edition: Bombay, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1962.
4. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), Introduction, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
5. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), Introduction, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
6. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), Introduction, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
7. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 2, “Childhood,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
8. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi's Political Significance,” Pace e Bene, January 18th, 2006, http://paceebene.org/nvns/nonviolence-news-service-archive/gandhis-political-significance.
9. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 5, “At the High School,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
10. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 6, “A Tragedy,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
11. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 6, “A Tragedy,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
12. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 6, “A Tragedy,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
13. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 7, “A Tragedy (Continued),” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
14. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 10, “Glimpses of Religion,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
15. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 10, “Glimpses of Religion,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
16. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 11, “Preparation for England,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
17. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 11, “Preparation for England,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
18. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 13, “In London at Last,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
19. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 23, “The Great Expedition,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm..
20. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 23, “The Great Expedition,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
21. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), I, 24, “‘Called’ – But Then?” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
22. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 27, “How I Began Life,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
23. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 29, “The First Shock,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
24. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 33, “On The Way to Pretoria,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
25. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 30, “Preparing for South Africa,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
26. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 33, “On The Way to Pretoria,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
27. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 37, “Seeking Touch with Indians,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
28. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 37, “Seeking Touch with Indians,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
29. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 37, “Seeking Touch with Indians,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
30. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi’s Answer: Neither Peace nor War but Nonviolent Struggle,” 1, http://www.aeinstein.org/lectures_papers/INDIA_GANDHI_ANSWER.pdf.
31. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi’s Answer: Neither Peace nor War but Nonviolent Struggle,” 1, http://www.aeinstein.org/lectures_papers/INDIA_GANDHI_ANSWER.pdf.
32. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 38, “What It Is To Be A ‘Coolie’,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
33. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 39, “Preparation for the Case,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
34. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 39, “Preparation for the Case,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
35. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 47, “Comparative Study of Religions,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
36. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), II, 51, “Two Passions,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
37. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), IV, 114, “To Meet Gokhale,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
38. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), IV, 115, “My Part in the War,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
39. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), IV, 115, “My Part in the War,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
40. Mohandis K. Gandhi, An Autobiography, or The Story of My Experiments with Truth (Ahemadabad: Navajivan Trust, 1927), IV, 116, “A Spiritual Dilemma,” http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/autobio/autobio.htm.
41. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Duties in the Midst of World Wars,” Selections from Gandhi, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/twelve.htm.
42. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Duties in the Midst of World Wars,” Selections from Gandhi, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/twelve.htm.
43. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Duties in the Midst of World Wars,” Selections from Gandhi, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/twelve.htm.
44. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Duties in the Midst of World Wars,” Selections from Gandhi, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/twelve.htm.
45. Selections from Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, “Mahatma Gandhi’s One Stop Information,” Gandhi Book Centre, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap01.htm.
46. Selections from Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, “Mahatma Gandhi’s One Stop Information,” Gandhi Book Centre, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap12.htm. Gandhi further salutes Tolstoy: “Much has been often sought to be made of the so-called inconsistencies of Tolstoy’s life; but they were more apparent than real. Constant development is the law of life and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself to a false position. That is why Emerson said that foolish consistency was the hobgoblin of little minds. Tolstoy’s so-called inconsistencies were a sign of his development and his passionate regard for truth. He often seemed inconsistent because he was continuously outgrowing his own doctrines. His failures were public, his struggles and triumphs private. The world saw only the former, the latter remained unseen probably by Tolstoy himself most of all. His critics tried to make capital out of his faults, but no critic could be more exacting than he was with regard to himself. Ever on the alert for his shortcomings, before his critics had time to point at them, he had already proclaimed them to the world magnified a thousand fold and imposed upon himself the penance that seemed to him necessary. He welcomed criticism even when it was exaggerated and like all truly great men dreaded the world’s praise. He was great even in his failures and his failures give us a measure not of the futility of his ideals but of his success. The third great point was a doctrine of ‘bread labour’, that every one was bound to labour with his body for bread and most of the grinding misery in the world was due to file fact that men failed to discharge their duties in this respect. He regarded all schemes to ameliorate the poverty of the masses by the philanthropy of the rich, while they themselves shirked body labour and continued to live in luxury and ease, as hypocrisy and a sham, and suggested that if only man got off the backs of the poor, much of the so. called philanthropy would be rendered unnecessary. And with him to believe was to act, So in the afternoon of his life, this man who had passed all his days in the soft lap of luxury took to a life of toil and hard labour. He took to boot-making and farming at which he worked hard for full eight hours a day. But his body labour did not blunt his powerful intellect; on the contrary it rendered it all the more keen and resplendent and it was in this period of his life that his most vigorous book—What is Art?—which he considered to be his masterpiece, was written in the intervals saved from the practice of his self-chosen vocation.”
47. Selections from Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, “Mahatma Gandhi’s One Stop Information Website,” Gandhi Book Centre, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap12.htm. Gandhi further salutes Tolstoy: “Much has been often sought to be made of the so-called inconsistencies of Tolstoy’s life; but they were more apparent than real. Constant development is the law of life and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself to a false position. That is why Emerson said that foolish consistency was the hobgoblin of little minds. Tolstoy’s so-called inconsistencies were a sign of his development and his passionate regard for truth. He often seemed inconsistent because he was continuously outgrowing his own doctrines. His failures were public, his struggles and triumphs private. The world saw only the former, the latter remained unseen probably by Tolstoy himself most of all. His critics tried to make capital out of his faults, but no critic could be more exacting than he was with regard to himself. Ever on the alert for his shortcomings, before his critics had time to point at them, he had already proclaimed them to the world magnified a thousand fold and imposed upon himself the penance that seemed to him necessary. He welcomed criticism even when it was exaggerated and like all truly great men dreaded the world’s praise. He was great even in his failures and his failures give us a measure not of the futility of his ideals but of his success. The third great point was a doctrine of ‘bread labour’, that every one was bound to labour with his body for bread and most of the grinding misery in the world was due to file fact that men failed to discharge their duties in this respect. He regarded all schemes to ameliorate the poverty of the masses by the philanthropy of the rich, while they themselves shirked body labour and continued to live in luxury and ease, as hypocrisy and a sham, and suggested that if only man got off the backs of the poor, much of the so. called philanthropy would be rendered unnecessary. And with him to believe was to act, So in the afternoon of his life, this man who had passed all his days in the soft lap of luxury took to a life of toil and hard labour. He took to boot-making and farming at which he worked hard for full eight hours a day. But his body labour did not blunt his powerful intellect; on the contrary it rendered it all the more keen and resplendent and it was in this period of his life that his most vigorous book—What is Art?—which he considered to be his masterpiece, was written in the intervals saved from the practice of his self-chosen vocation.”
48. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi's Political Significance,” Pace e Bene, January 18th, 2006, http://paceebene.org/nvns/nonviolence-news-service-archive/gandhis-political-significance.
49. Selections from Gandhi: His Relevance for Our Time, “Mahatma Gandhi’s One Stop Information Website,” Gandhi Book Centre, www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/g_relevance/chap28.htm.
50. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ends and Means,” Selections from All Men Are Brothers, “Mahatma Gandhi’s One Stop Information Website,” Gandhi Book Centre, www.mkgandhi.in/amabrothers/chap03.htm.
51. Mohandis K. Gandhi, The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap21.htm.
52. Mohandis K. Gandhi, The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap52.htm.
53. Mohandis K. Gandhi, The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap52.htm.
54. Mohandis K. Gandhi, The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap52.htm.
55. Mohandis K. Gandhi, Hind Swaraj, or Indian Home Rule, available online at: http://www.success-and-culture.net/articles/hindswaraj.shtml.
56. Mohandis K. Gandhi, Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: ttp://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap50.htm.
57. Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi.in/amabrothers/chap03.htm.
58. Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi.in/amabrothers/chap03.htm.
59. Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi.in/amabrothers/chap03.htm.
60. Mohandis K. Gandhi, The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap33.htm.
61. Mohandis K. Gandhi, The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap22.htm.
62. Mohandis K. Gandhi, All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
63. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Discipline for the Realization of Truth,” Selections from Gandhi, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/two.htm.
64. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
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76. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “The Gospel of Nonviolence,” The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, available online: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap21.htm.
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78. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
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96. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion vs. No Religion,” Gandhi’s Views on Religion, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_religion_religionvsnonreligion.htm.
97. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion vs. No Religion,” Gandhi’s Views on Religion, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_religion_religionvsnonreligion.htm.
98. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion vs. No Religion,” Gandhi’s Views on Religion, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_religion_religionvsnonreligion.htm.
99. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Self-Discipline,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap05.htm.
100. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
101. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
102. From the script of Chuck Palahniuk’s film, Fight Club, 1999, available online at: http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Fight-Club.html
103. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
104. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
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106. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
107. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Gospel of Freedom,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap64.htm.
108. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Gospel of Freedom,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap64.htm.
109. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
110. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
111. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
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123. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi's Political Significance,” Pace e Bene, January 18th, 2006, http://paceebene.org/nvns/nonviolence-news-service-archive/gandhis-political-significance. 56 of 6783 total words.
124. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi's Political Significance,” Pace e Bene, January 18th, 2006, http://paceebene.org/nvns/nonviolence-news-service-archive/gandhis-political-significance. 148 of 6783 total words.
125. Gene Sharp, “Gandhi's Political Significance,” Pace e Bene, January 18th, 2006, http://paceebene.org/nvns/nonviolence-news-service-archive/gandhis-political-significance. 166 of 6783 total words.
126. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
127. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
128. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
129. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
130. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
131. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi, 58.
132. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
133. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
134. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
135. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
136. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
137. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
138. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “When Freedom Came,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/fourteenth.htm. Gandhi writes of his struggle to provide “an answer to a question which has been addressed to me from more than one quarter of the globe. It is: How can you account for the growing violence among your own people on the part of political parties for the furtherance of political ends? Is this the result of the thirty years of non-violent practice for ending the British rule? Does your message of non-violence still hold good for the world ?” His response: “I have condensed the sentiments of my correspondents in my own language. In reply I must confess my bankruptcy, not that of non-violence. I have already said that the non-violence that was offered during the past thirty years was that of the weak. Whether it is a good enough answer or not is for the others to judge, It must be further admitted that such non-violence can have no play in the altered circumstances. India has no experience of the non-violence of the strong. It serves no purpose for me to continue to repeat that the non-violence of the strong is the strongest force in the world. The truth requires constant and extensive demonstration. This I am now endeavoring to do to the best of my ability. What if the best of my ability is very little? May I not be living in a fool’s paradise? Why should I ask the people to follow me in the fruitless search? These are pertinent questions. My answer is quite simple. I ask nobody to follow me. Everyone should follow his or her own inner voice. If he or she has no ears to listen to it, he or she should do the best he or she can. In no case, should he or she imitate others sheeplike. One more question has been and is being asked. If you are certain that India is going the wrong way, why do you associate with the wrongdoers? Why do you not plough your own lonely furrow and have faith that if you are right, your erstwhile friends and your followers will seek you out? I regard this as a very fair question. I must not attempt to argue against it. All I can say is that my faith is as strong as ever. It is quite possible that my technique is faulty. There are old and tried precedents to guide one in such a complexity. Only, no one should act mechanically. Hence, I can say to all my counselors that they should have patience with me and even share my belief that there is no hope for the aching world except through the narrow and straight path of non-violence. Millions like me may fail to prove the truth in their own lives, that would be their failure, never of the eternal law.”
139. Gandhi as cited in “Terrorism: Counter Violence is Not the Answer,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/articles/counter%20violence.htm . Mahatma Gandhi, The Last Phase, II, 808.
140. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Atom Bomb and Ahimsa,” Gandhi’s Views of Nonviolence, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_nonviolence_atombombahimsa.htm
141. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Atom Bomb and Ahimsa,” Gandhi’s Views of Nonviolence, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_nonviolence_atombombahimsa.htm
142. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
143. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm.
144. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
145. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
146. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm ..
147. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
148. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
149. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
150. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
151. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
152. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
153. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
154. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
155. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
156. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
157. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
158. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
159. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
160. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
161. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
162. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
163. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
164. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
165. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
166. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
167. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
168. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “International Peace,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap06.htm .
169. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm
170. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Man are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm.
171. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm.
172. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm..
173. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm..
174. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm..
175. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm. Gandhi further explained that he “would make intelligent exceptions,” noting the many benefits to humanity of the Singer Sewing Machine: “Take the case of the Singer Sewing Machine. It is one of the few useful things ever invented, and there is a romance about the device itself. Singer saw his wife labouring over the tedious process of sewing and seaming with her own hands, and simply out of his love for her he devised the sewing machine in order to save her from unnecessary labour. He, however, saved not only her labour but also the labour of everyone who could purchase a sewing machine. It is an alteration in the condition of labour that I want. This mad rush for wealth must cease, and the labourer must be assured, not only of a living wage, but a daily task that is not a mere drudgery. The machine will, under these conditions, be as much a help to the man working it as to the State, or the man who owns it. The present mad rush will cease, and the labourer will work (as I have said) under attractive and ideal conditions. This is but one of the exceptions I have in mind. The sewing machine had love at its back. The individual is the one supreme consideration. The saving of labour of the individual should be the object, and the honest humanitarian consideration, and not greed, the motive. Replace greed by love and everything will come right.”
176. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
177. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Ahimsa or the Way of Nonviolence,” All Men Are Brothers, available online at: http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap04.htm.
178. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm..
179. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Man and Machine,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap07.htm..
180. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Poverty in the Midst of Plenty,” All Men Are Brother, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap08.htm
181. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Poverty in the Midst of Plenty,” All Men Are Brother, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap08.htm
182. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Poverty in the Midst of Plenty,” All Men Are Brother, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap08.htm
183. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Poverty in the Midst of Plenty,” All Men Are Brother, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap08.htm.
184. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Poverty in the Midst of Plenty,” All Men Are Brother, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap08.htm
185. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Poverty in the Midst of Plenty,” All Men Are Brother, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap08.htm
186. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
187. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
188. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
189. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
190. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
191. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
192. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
193. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
194. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
195. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
196. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
197. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
198. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
199. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
200. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
201. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
202. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
203. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
204. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
205. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
206. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
207. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
208. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
209. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
210. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
211. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
212. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
213. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
214. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm.
215. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Democracy and the People,” All Men Are Brothers, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/amabrothers/chap09.htm. Gandhi further explained, “When a body of men disown the State under which they have hitherto lived, they nearly establish their own government. I say nearly, for they do not go to the point of using force when they are resisted by the State. Their ‘business’, as of the individual, is to be locked up or shot by the State, unless it recognizes their separate existence, in other words bows to their will. Thus three thousand Indians in South Africa after due notice to the Government of the Transvaal crossed the Transvaal border in 1914 in defiance of the Transvaal Immigration Law and compelled the government to arrest them. When it failed to provoke them to violence or to coerce them into submission, it yielded to their demands. A body of civil resisters is, therefore, like an army subject to all the discipline of a soldier, only harder because of want of excitement of an ordinary soldier’s life. And as a civil resistance army is or ought to be free from passion because flee from the spirit of retaliation, it requires the fewest number of soldiers. Indeed one perfect civil resister is enough to win the battle of Right against Wrong.”
216. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Gandhi’s Quotations on God,” MKGandhi.in, http://www.mkgandhi.in/God/new.htm
217. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Mahatma Gandhi’s Discovery of Religion,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/articles/discovery.htm.
218. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion and Morals,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/seventeenth.htm
219. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion and Morals,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/seventeenth.htm
220. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Epigrams from Gandhiji,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/epigrams/r.htm.
221. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Prayer: The Food of My Soul,” Gandhi’s Views on God, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_god_prayerfoodsoul.htm; also see: “Essential Quotes of Mahatma Gandhi,” GandhianPeace.com, http://www.gandhianpeace.com/quotes.html . As Gandhi adds, “Without it [prayer], I should have been a lunatic long ago. I had my share of the bitterest public and private experiences. They threw me in temporary despair. If I was able to get rid of that despair, it was bemuse of prayer. It has not been a part of my life as truth has been. It came out of sheer necessity, as I found myself in a plight where I could not possibly be happy without it. And as time went on, my faith in God increased, and more irresistible became the yearning for prayer. Life seemed to be dull and vacant without it. I had attended the Christian service in South Africa, but it had failed to grip me. I could not join them in it. They supplicated God, I could not; I failed egregiously. I started with disbelief in God and prayer, and until at a late stage in life I did not feel anything like a void in life. But at that stage, I felt that as food is indispensable for the body, so was prayer indispensable for the soul. In fact food for the body is not so necessary as prayer for the soul. For starvation is often necessary to keep the body in health, but there is no such thing as prayer starvation. You cannot possibly have a surfeit of prayer. Three of the greatest teachers of the world-Buddha, Jesus and Mohammed-have left unimpeachable testimony, that they found illumination through prayer and could not possibly live without it. Millions of Hindus, Mussalmans and Christians find their only solace in life in prayer. Either you call them liars or self-deluded people. I will say that this ‘lying’ has a charm for me, a truth-seeker, if it is ‘lying’ that has given me that mainstay or staff of life without which I could not live for a moment.” Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Prayer: The Food of My Soul,” Gandhi’s Views on God, http://www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_god_prayerfoodsoul.htm. Gandhi believed that his strategic vision and its use of nonviolence would help man to realize God’s vision: “Man’s ultimate aim is the realization of God, and all his activities, political, social and religious, have to be guided by the ultimate aim of the vision of God. The immediate service of all human beings becomes a necessary part of the endeavour simply because the only way to find God is to see Him in His creation and be one with it. This can only be done by service of all. And this cannot be done except through one’s country. I am a part and parcel of the whole, and I cannot find Him apart from the rest of the humanity. My countrymen are my nearest neighbours. They have become so helpless, so resourceless, so inert that I must concentrate on serving them. If I could persuade myself that I should find Him in a Himalayan cave I would proceed there immediately. But I know that I cannot find Him apart from humanity.” Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Fundamental Beliefs and Ideas,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/three.htm.
222. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Essential Quotes of Mahatma Gandhi,” GandhianPeace.com, http://www.gandhianpeace.com/quotes.html.
223. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion and Morals,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/seventeenth.htm. Also available in: Gandhi, Truth is God: Gleanings from the Writings of Mahatma Gandhi Bearing on God, God-Realization, and the Godly Way, Compiled by R.K. Prabhu and originally published by Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, India, 1955, 51.
224. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Religion and Politics,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap18.htm. Also available in: Gandhi, Truth is God: Gleanings from the Writings of Mahatma Gandhi Bearing on God, God-Realization, and the Godly Way, Compiled by R.K. Prabhu and originally published by Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, India, 1955, 106.
225. Mohandis K. Gandhi, ”Truth and Beauty,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap11.htm. Also available in: Gandhi, Truth is God: Gleanings from the Writings of Mahatma Gandhi Bearing on God, God-Realization, and the Godly Way, Compiled by R.K. Prabhu and originally published by Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad, India, 1955, 79.
226. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Introduction to Truth,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/Truth/articles_on_truth.htm.
227. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Introduction to Truth,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/Truth/articles_on_truth.htm.
228. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “Introduction to Truth,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/Truth/articles_on_truth.htm.
229. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “The Life of the Satyagrahi,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/sfgandhi/sixteenth.htm.
230. Mohandis K. Gandhi, “I Know the Path,” MKGandhi-sarvodaya.org, http://www.mkgandhi-sarvodaya.org/momgandhi/chap03.htm.
231. Jamila Raqib, “Confronting False Allegations,” Albert Einstein Institution Website, Aeinstein.org, December 2007.
232. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 256.
233. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 256.
234. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 256-57.
235. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 257.
236. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 257.
237. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 260-61.
238. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 261.
239. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 261.
240. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 261.
241. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 261.
242. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 285.
243. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 286.
244. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 286.
245. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 286-87.
246. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 287.
247. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 288.
248. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 288.
249. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 288.
250. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 288.
251. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 289.
252. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 289-90.
253. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 290.
254. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 290.
255. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 290.
256. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 290.
257. As posted on the website of the Albert Einstein Institution, http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations103a.html; from Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Vol. 2: The Methods of Nonviolent Action (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1973).
258. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 265.
259. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 266.
260. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 266.
261. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 266.
262. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 267.
263. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 267.
264. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 268.
265. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 269.
266. Gene Sharp, Gandhi as a Political Strategist (Boston: Porter Sargent Publishers, 1979), 269.
267. Gene Sharp, “Inaccurate Information: An open letter from Gene Sharp to President Hugo Chavez,” The Albert Einstein Institution Website, June 12, 2007, http://www.aeinstein.org/Chavez.pdf.
268. Gene Sharp, “Who is Afraid of Nonviolent People?” The Albert Einstein Institution Website, http://www.aeinstein.org/GS_nonviolent_people.pdf.