Thoughts on Nonviolent Activism … by Mahatma Gandhi … referral by Alice B. Clagett ..

Revised; originally published on 8 March 2011 

The strongest expression of helping is being. –Alice

Dear Ones,

Here are some thoughts I love on the topic of Mahatma Gandhi’s theory of non-violent activism …

 

 

 

“Satyagraha … loosely translated as “insistence on truth” (satya “truth”; agraha “insistence” or “holding firmly to”) or holding onto truth[1] or truth force — is a particular form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. The term satyagraha was coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi.[2]

“Gandhi described it as follows: ‘I have also called it love-force or soul-force. 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 compassion. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself.[9]‘ …

“Gandhi rejected the idea that injustice should, or even could, be fought against “by any means necessary” – if you use violent, coercive, unjust means, whatever ends you produce will necessarily embed that injustice. To those who preached violence and called nonviolent actionists cowards, he replied: “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise 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 nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment.”[16] 

“When using satyagraha in a large-scale political conflict involving civil disobedience, Gandhi believed that the satyagrahis must undergo training to ensure discipline. He wrote that it is ‘only when people have proved their active loyalty by obeying the many laws of the State that they acquire the right of Civil Disobedience.’[20]

“He therefore made part of the discipline that satyagrahis:

  1. appreciate the other laws of the State and obey them voluntarily
  2. tolerate these laws, even when they are inconvenient
  3. be willing to undergo suffering, loss of property, and to endure the suffering that might be inflicted on family and friends[20].”  (1)

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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FURTHER READING

Thomas Merton and Non-Violence: See http://www.smp.org/dynamicmedia/files/9ec3aba21077233511f35de0a7d3ee3d/TX002045-2-Article-Thomas_Merton_and_Nonviolence.pdf .. Thomas Merton’s book “Theology of Resistance” maybe be purchased at amazon.com ..

“On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, 1849, http://www.ibiblio.org/ebooks/Thoreau/Civil%20Disobedience.pdf … public domain

“1934, 1935: What Is Right Action?” by Jiddhu Krishnamurti, http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/1934-1935-what-is-right-action/jiddu-krishnamurti-what-is-right-action-33

Here’s Wikipedia on the Occupy movement, which protests economic and social inequality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupy_movement

Anatole France on law and justice: “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” –from “The Red Lily,” by Anatole France, 1917, public domain

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FOOTNOTE

(1) from “Satyagraha,” in Wikimedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha … This text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

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CC4.0
Except where otherwise noted, “I Am of the Stars: Awakening with Planet Earth” by Alice B. Clagett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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non-violence, social change, Mahatma Gandhi, Satyagraha, non-violent activism, civil disobedience, social issues,

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