[Marxism] How successful was/is Gandhian peaceful civil disobedience?
jncatron at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 00:05:32 MDT 2015
With respect to the delicacy of the topic, I think you're reading something
into Gandhi's advice to German Jews that simply wasn't there. The clear
intent of "The Jews in Palestine" is anti-Zionist, not pacifist: "Palestine
belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English
or France to the French."
He doesn't discourage violent resistance. As far as I know, that was never
really his shtick: "I do believe that, where there is only a choice between
cowardice and violence, I would advise violence," etc., etc.
Rather he encourages some kind of resistance, and of course suggests his
own preferred form of it. And why not? Without the benefit of much
expertise, I think history vindicates him: any mass refusal to acquiesce to
the Holocaust, whether a simple refusal to board the cattle cars peaceably,
or a broader armed struggle in the vein of the Warsaw ghetto uprising,
would have at least slowed the genocide, if not necessarily brought it
grinding to a halt.
Besides, he wrote it in 1938, when the Holocaust hadn't even kicked off and
few outside Germany saw it coming. (Neville Chamberlain had given his
"Peace for our time" speech two months earlier.) But I don't think that's
even necessary to defend Gandhi's perspective.
"Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen
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