POL 161: Gandhi Notes
POL 161: Gandhi Notes POL 161.001
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hailey True on Friday April 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL 161.001 at Illinois State University taught by Jakeet Singh in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Political Theory in Political Science at Illinois State University.
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Date Created: 04/29/16
Gandhi Notes Background o Gandhi is associated with liberation of India from British Colonial rule o Reject modernity o Nonviolence method and philosophy of nonviolence Civil disobedience Breaking unjust, immoral laws Book o Passive resistance for fighting for political goals and beliefs nonviolently India selfrule Locke and Marx; use of force for change, changes comes bottomup through violent revolution Overcome oppression and tyranny For Locke: new economic structure For Marx: new government Even argues that Nazis and Hitler should have been met with nonviolence Morally and strategically better to fight with nonviolence o Main points (chaps. 16 & 17) Politics of Love Force instead of brute force Starts with discussion of two levels of force o Love force is a real force in universe/ in our lives Not usually paid attention to o Politics; changing things takes force, but we have a choice of which kind of force Love force (soulforce) holds us all together o Human relationships Brute force is a force of division and hatred o History is a record of wars of the world If this is all that happened in the world, the world would have ended by now If humans were naturally waring/conflicting people No one would be left alive The fact that we are still here tells us something deeper than physical violence is at work The greatest/ most impeachable evidence of love force is that the world still lives on despite all of the violence/wars o Love force is more natural o Can harness to create social change Obedience is conscious/truth over the law Does not mean Gandhi thinks you should never obey the law o Pg. 83: how you use love force is simply by withdrawing your obedience and cooperation o Pg. 89: how can you advocate disobeying the laws? Gandhi response: whether I go beyond them or not is a matter of no consequence to either of us. We simply want to find out what is right and act accordingly. When we not like certain laws, we do not break the heads of law makers Mamade laws are not necessarily binding. Laws are not significant to someone who obeys their conscience and God. They must accept the punishment for disobeying laws. Compare: should the fully moral person be involved in politics? Is the law always to be obeyed? Why should we accept the punishment for our disobedience? o Whether a moral person should be involved in politics Socrates: Should not be involved in politics because you will be killed. Your commitments to doing what is right will get you killed. Philosophical work should be done in private Gandhi: says you should do what is moral and using love force in politics to fight for social change. Morality should jump right into politics. o Disobedience and accepting the punishment Socrates: disobedience to humans that were doing illegal things He never argued you should disobey the law Receive punishment because of law; obligation to the law (Locke also says to accept the punishment because your second obligation is to laws) Gandhi: there will be both immoral people and laws. You can and ought to disobey them You should accept the punishment because of the importance of suffering for your beliefs (key to love force) Consistency of means and ends over separation of means and ends Be the change you want to see in the world o You cannot fight (means) to bring about a result (ends) if you do not live it yourself (means). o Ex: question of war and peace Does violence create peace? Machiavelli and Lo both think violence will create peace Marx: violence of proletariat will bring about a peaceful end (communism) Gandhi: you reap what you sow. If means are violent then the ends cannot be peace. Cannot use satanic means to reach a Godly end. o Ex: how to deal with a thief o pg. 79: your belief (means) = seed; ends = tree, same connection. To use satanic means to achieve Godly ends does not work. Selfsuffering over infliction of suffering In passive resistance you do not inflict suffering onto others. You take on suffering onto yourself. o Accepting the punishment for disobedience o Punishment is part of how passive resistance works o Selfsuffering is redemptive and transformational (pg. 88) The attackers/oppressors see how strong you are and how strong your beliefs are. It will start to weigh on their mind and beliefs and change their morals. It plants a seed in their mind that you are right and they are wrong. Heavily influenced by Christianity Accept suffering out of love Certain level of humility Similar to Socrates: seeking the truth but you don’t know if you really ever have it Gandhi: if you turn out to be wrong, only you have suffered for your belief. Others have not suffered for your mistake. Shows humility and fallibility, rather than certainty Courage over fear Overcoming fear is important to passive resistance Gandhi thinks in modern life we have become obsessed with bodily comfort; pathetic. o Redevelop our courage; no one can control us. Fear is used for control (Machiavellian) o You have power when you are courageous and exert your love force onto the ‘rulers’ o Courage of passive resistors much greater than those who are going to go to war Pg. 91: physical force men are strangers to courage, more courage needed to suffer yourself Willingly, happily accepting violence onto yourself A men devoid of courage could never be a passive resistor. o This courage takes your power back and does not allow others to control you through fear Conversion and persuasion over outward conformity/compliance Result of passive is much better than brute o Brute force only achieves outward conformity and compliance o Passive genuinely converts them. Much stronger than working of brute force. Pg. 76: what is gained under fear can only be retained as long as the fear lasts. Fear is not reliable Contradicts with Machiavelli Loc : Limits of violence o Good for compliance but does not cause actual change o Violence is not useful to religion because violence/fear does not change inside (hearts/minds), only outward change Force is effective for politics, but not religion