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

Written and published on 8 March 2011; revised on 16 May 2018

The strongest expression of helping is being. –Alice B. Clagett

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 … or truth force — is a particular form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance. The term satyagraha was coined and developed by Mahatma Gandhi …

“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 …

“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 …

“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’ ….

“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 …” — from Link: “Satyagraha,” in Wikimedia … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha … CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

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

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MORE INFORMATION

Link: “Thomas Merton and Non-Violence” …  https://www.smp.org/dynamicmedia/files/9ec3aba21077233511f35de0a7d3ee3d/TX002045-2-Article-Thomas_Merton_and_Nonviolence.pdf … from Citation: “The Social Thought of Thomas Merton: The Way of Nonviolence and Peace for the Future,” by Rev. David W. Givey [Winona, MN: Anselm Academic, 2009] … Copyright © 2009 by Rev. David W. Givey. Used with permission of Anselm Academic.)

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

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

Here is Wikipedia on the Occupy movement, which protests economic and social inequality …

Link: “Occupy Movement,” in English Wikipedia … https://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 Citation: “The Red Lily,” by Anatole France, 1917, public domain

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

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