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Civil Disobedience under Mahatma Gandhi

 
 
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 07:25 pm
For those of you who don't know who Mahatma Ghandi was, then look at this.

WELCOME TO MAHATMA GANDHI ONE SPOT COMPLETE INFORMATION WEBSITE

Gandhi never truely broke the law, however, he was imprisoned many times for acts of civil disobedience. His philosophy was to never use violence, but use his wit and wisdom. He made the British look like jerks, especially through the "Amritar Massacre" event. Children were murdered, men and women beaten. They didn't fight back. Infact, they lined up to get beat down in some instances.

Do you think Gandhi's ways of Civil disobedience leave no room for dignity? How about pride? Were they effective? Discuss.
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kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 07:47 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;127189 wrote:
For those of you who don't know who Mahatma Ghandi was, then look at this.

WELCOME TO MAHATMA GANDHI ONE SPOT COMPLETE INFORMATION WEBSITE

Gandhi never truely broke the law, however, he was imprisoned many times for acts of civil disobedience. His philosophy was to never use violence, but use his wit and wisdom. He made the British look like jerks, especially through the "Amritar Massacre" event. Children were murdered, men and women beaten. They didn't fight back. Infact, they lined up to get beat down in some instances.

Do you think Gandhi's ways of Civil disobedience leave no room for dignity? How about pride? Were they effective? Discuss.


If a someone does not violate the law, then he cannot be a civil disobedient, since he will not be a disobedient. A civil disobedient never uses violence when he breaks the law, for if he does he will not be a civil disobedient. That is what the term, "civil disobedient" means. Someone who violates the law non-violently.
Quinn phil
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 10:32 pm
@kennethamy,
Oh, well than I guess Gandhi did violate the law. But only with such things as sedition, and... Well, I don't know what else. Do you think Gandhi's way of disobedience was effective in bringing independence to India and Pakistan?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Feb, 2010 10:56 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;127318 wrote:
Oh, well than I guess Gandhi did violate the law. But only with such things as sedition, and... Well, I don't know what else. Do you think Gandhi's way of disobedience was effective in bringing independence to India and Pakistan?


I don't know. But it was only because it was the British he was opposing. He would never have gotten away in one piece if it had been the Belgians, or even the French, let alone the Nazis. When he lay on those railroad tracks, the Nazis would have enjoyed running a train over him.
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 08:07 am
@Quinn phil,
It was only effective because the English allowed it to be, as Kennethamy remarked. The concept of civil disobedience is grounded in Western philosophical tradition from Locke to Thoreau.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 10:39 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;127432 wrote:
It was only effective because the English allowed it to be, as Kennethamy remarked. .


And Gandhi knew he was dealing with the British. Of course, he advised the Jews and the British to surrender, and then practice civil disobedience against the Nazis! Whatta guy!
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 03:08 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127477 wrote:
And Gandhi knew he was dealing with the British. Of course, he advised the Jews and the British to surrender, and then practice civil disobedience against the Nazis! Whatta guy!

The sucess of civil disobedience in acheiving your political goals requires a careful analysis of your opponent. It can only suceed against countries who are violating their own moral and ethical precepts and even then may not suceed. It is probably most sucessful against various representative democracies with a long history of supporting fundamental human rights and a record of respect for human life and human dignity. (i.e. not Nazi Germany).
There is some truth to Gandhi's assertion that violence justifies more violence and that even groups with legitimate goals by engaging in terrorism do not advance their cause.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 03:13 pm
@prothero,
prothero;127598 wrote:
The sucess of civil disobedience in acheiving your political goals requires a careful analysis of your opponent. It can only suceed against countries who are violating their own moral and ethical precepts and even then may not suceed. It is probably most sucessful against various representative democracies with a long history of supporting fundamental human rights and a record of respect for human life and human dignity. (i.e. not Nazi Germany).
There is some truth to Gandhi's assertion that violence justifies more violence and that even groups with legitimate goals by engaging in terrorism do not advance their cause.


So the Jews and the British should have taken Gandhi's sage and carefully analytic analysis of their circumstances, and civilly disobeyed the Nazis. Is that what you are saying?
Quinn phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 04:18 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quote:
So the Jews and the British should have taken Gandhi's sage and carefully analytic analysis of their circumstances, and civilly disobeyed the Nazis. Is that what you are saying?

I think the bolded is a gramatical error, unless I'm reading it wrong.

Well, Prothero did just state that Gandhi's ways were most effective to British imperialism, for they have a better reputation, obviously, than the Nazi's. It may not have been human nature that differentiated the British and the Nazi forces, but the country's history and reputation.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 04:22 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;127648 wrote:
I think the bolded is a gramatical error, unless I'm reading it wrong.

Well, Prothero did just state that Gandhi's ways were most effective to British imperialism, for they have a better reputation, obviously, than the Nazi's. It may not have been human nature that differentiated the British and the Nazi forces, but the country's history and reputation.


What has that to do with the idiotic advice he gave the British, and insensitively cruel advice he gave to the Jews?
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 06:41 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127600 wrote:
So the Jews and the British should have taken Gandhi's sage and carefully analytic analysis of their circumstances, and civilly disobeyed the Nazis. Is that what you are saying?

Emphatically NO, that is not what I am saying, intended to say or did say. Quite the opposite, Nazi Germany was precisely the type of state which civil disobediance would likely not be effective against (there was no respect for human life, human dignity or human rights). Most partisan resistance to the Nazis was targeted at military targets and military personel (i.e. it was not terrorism). It was the Nazi's who engaged in terrorist policies (one Nazi is killed twenty villagers are picked randomly and shot). Terrorism usually fails to win the hearts, minds and devotion of the targeted population. Civil disobedience has a history of success in selected circumstances America's civil rights, the British in India, arguably South Africa.
Gandhi was devoted to non violence as a religious principle not as a political or as a pragmatic principle.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 06:52 pm
@prothero,
Given a choice, tyrants prefer civil disobedience over violent revolution.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 07:04 pm
@prothero,
prothero;127693 wrote:
Emphatically NO, that is not what I am saying, intended to say or did say. Quite the opposite, Nazi Germany was precisely the type of state which civil disobediance would likely not be effective against (there was no respect for human life, human dignity or human rights). Most partisan resistance to the Nazis was targeted at military targets and military personel (i.e. it was not terrorism). It was the Nazi's who engaged in terrorist policies (one Nazi is killed twenty villagers are picked randomly and shot). Terrorism usually fails to win the hearts, minds and devotion of the targeted population. Civil disobedience has a history of success in selected circumstances America's civil rights, the British in India, arguably South Africa.
Gandhi was devoted to non violence as a religious principle not as a political or as a pragmatic principle.


So, then, Gandhi was an idiot for advising the Jews and the British to give up an practice civil disobedience against the Nazis. Right. Because it was idiotic to expect civil disobedience to work against the Nazis. Isn't that right? If it was not as a pragmatic or a political principle, then why did he advise the Jews and British to do that?
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 07:29 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127702 wrote:
So, then, Gandhi was an idiot for advising the Jews and the British to give up an practice civil disobedience against the Nazis. Right. Because it was idiotic to expect civil disobedience to work against the Nazis. Isn't that right? If it was not as a pragmatic or a political principle, then why did he advise the Jews and British to do that?
I generally object to such characterizations of people (he was an idiot, he was evil). I do not judge people in that fashion. You can judge individual acts of people or individual ideas which people put forward but I find any individual too complex for me to render such judgements on that person as a whole.

In my view Gandhi was clearly not (an idiot) . His advice to the Jews and the British in their situation I would judge as misguided although well intentioned.
As I clearly stated for Gandhi non violence was a transcendent religious principle ("there are many causes for which I am willing to die, but there is no cause for which I am willing to kill"). Gandhi was a great but not a perfect man.(perfection is not a human trait).
Quinn phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 07:30 pm
@kennethamy,
Deckard;127699 wrote:
Given a choice, tyrants prefer civil disobedience over violent revolution.


Of course, under most cases. But not all.

kennethamy;127702 wrote:
So, then, Gandhi was an idiot for advising the Jews and the British to give up an practice civil disobedience against the Nazis. Right. Because it was idiotic to expect civil disobedience to work against the Nazis. Isn't that right? If it was not as a pragmatic or a political principle, then why did he advise the Jews and British to do that?


Put yourselves in the shoes of Ghandi. You're an Indian political leader who gained independence from Britain, through acts of non-violence. That's a big goal to achieve for one person especially. I would try to apply it to every day life situations if I had such faith in it. Obviously, the Nazi's turned out to be a little different than the British, but like most philosophical questions, I believe that the answer is situational.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 07:38 pm
@prothero,
prothero;127708 wrote:
I generally object to such characterizations of people (he was an idiot, he was evil). I do not judge people in that fashion. You can judge individual acts of people or individual ideas which people put forward but I find any individual too complex for me to render such judgements on that person as a whole.

In my view Gandhi was clearly not (an idiot) . His advice to the Jews and the British in their situation I would judge as misguided although well intentioned.
As I clearly stated for Gandhi non violence was a transcendent religious principle ("there are many causes for which I am willing to die, but there is no cause for which I am willing to kill"). Gandhi was a great but not a perfect man.(perfection is not a human trait).


"Misguided" eh? I suppose anyone else would have been called an idiot. But because it was Gandhi it is "misguided". Fine. As you like it.

---------- Post added 02-12-2010 at 08:41 PM ----------

Quinn;127710 wrote:
Of course, under most cases. But not all.



Put yourselves in the shoes of Ghandi. You're an Indian political leader who gained independence from Britain, through acts of non-violence. That's a big goal to achieve for one person especially. I would try to apply it to every day life situations if I had such faith in it. Obviously, the Nazi's turned out to be a little different than the British, but like most philosophical questions, I believe that the answer is situational.


The Nazis were "a little different from the British"? How little? This isn't a philosophical question. The question is what kind of advice is it to advise that civil resistance be used against the Nazis. The answer is, idiotic. What the motive was is arguable. But Gandhi did not like either the British or the Jews.
Quinn phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 07:46 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127712 wrote:
"Misguided" eh? I suppose anyone else would have been called an idiot. But because it was Gandhi it is "misguided". Fine. As you like it.

---------- Post added 02-12-2010 at 08:41 PM ----------



The Nazis were "a little different from the British"? How little? This isn't a philosophical question. The question is what kind of advice is it to advise that civil resistance be used against the Nazis. The answer is, idiotic. What the motive was is arguable. But Gandhi did not like either the British or the Jews.


Gandhi's not an idiot: the evidence is India and Pakistan.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 08:05 pm
@Quinn phil,
Quinn;127717 wrote:
Gandhi's not an idiot: the evidence is India and Pakistan.


That's evidence? I would have thought that if anythng, that would be evidence that Gandhi was an idiot.
Quinn phil
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 08:20 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127723 wrote:
That's evidence? I would have thought that if anythng, that would be evidence that Gandhi was an idiot.


And if India and Pakistan were still under British control... Well, that would be a sign that Gandhi's a genious of some sort? By your terms, atleast.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Feb, 2010 10:29 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;127712 wrote:
"Misguided" eh? I suppose anyone else would have been called an idiot. But because it was Gandhi it is "misguided". Fine. As you like it..
Well there is something to be said for showing a little respect for people who manage to accomplish great things IMHO. I do not believe in perfect people but I do respect those willing to engage and who try to change the world (the participants as opposed to the spectators, the man in the arena). Gandhi was willing to die for his principles, few others are.
 

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