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Mahatma Gandhi on Socialism.

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by Ishraqiyun, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    In the current partisan environment here in America the word socialist has become a smear term. If your political opponent doesn't support enough tax cuts you call him or her socialist. It's sad really.

    Anyway... here are some quotes from Gandhi on the subject of socialism. He isn't using it as an empty slur though.

    Equality in Socialism
    Socialism is a beautiful word and, so far as I am aware, in socialism all the members of society are equal—none low, none high. In the individual body, the head is not high because it is the top of the body, nor are the soles of the feet low because they touch the earth. Even as members of the individual body are equal, so are the members of society. This is socialism.


    In it the prince and the peasant, the wealthy and the poor, the employer and employee are all on the same level. In terms of religion there is no duality in socialism. It is all unity.

    Looking at society all the world over, there is nothing but duality or plurality. Unity is conspicuous by its absence. This man is high, that one is low, that is a Hindu, that a Muslim, third a Christian, fourth a Parsi, fifth a Sikh, sixth a Jew. Even among these there are sub-divisions. In the unity of my conception there is perfect unity in the plurality of designs.

    In order to reach this state we may not look on things philosophically and say that we need not make a move until all are converted to socialism. Without changing our life, we may go on giving addresses, forming parties and, hawk-like, seize the game when it comes our way. This is no socialism. The more we treat it as game to be seized, the further it must recede from us.


    Socialism
    Real socialism has been handed down to us by our ancestors who taught: ‘All land belongs to Gopal, where then is the boundary line? Man is the maker of that line and he can therefore unmake it.’ Gopal literally means shepherd; it also means God. In modern language it means the State, i.e., the People. That the land today does not belong to the people is too true. But the fault is not in the teaching. It is in us who have not lived up to it.

    I have no doubt that we can make as good an approach to it as is possible for any nation, not excluding Russia, and that without violence. (H, 2-1-1937, p. 375)
    No man should have more land than he needs for dignified sustenance. Who can dispute the fact that the grinding poverty of the masses is due to their having no land that they can call their own?
    (H, 20-4-1940, p. 97)


    Western Socialism
    I have been a sympathetic student of the Western social order and I have discovered that, underlying the fever that fills the soul of the West, there is a restless search for truth. I value that spirit. Let us study our Eastern institutions in that spirit of scientific inquiry and we shall evolve a truer socialism and a truer communism than the world has yet dreamed of. It is surely wrong to presume that Western socialism or communism is the last word on the question of mass poverty. (ABP, 3-8-1934)



    Socialism was not born with the discovery of the misuse of capital by capitalists. As I have contended, socialism, even communism, is explicit in the first verse of Ishopanishad. What is true is that when some reformers lost faith in the method of conversion, the technique of what is known as scientific socialism was born. I am engaged in solving the same problem that faces scientific socialists.
    It is true, however, that my approach is always and only through unadulterated non-violence. I may fail. If it does, it will be because of my ignorance of the technique of non-violence. I may be a bad exponent of the doctrine in which my faith is daily increasing. (H, 20-2-1937, p. 12)

     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
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  2. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    Just finished reading a book about Mahatma Gandhi so I had to post something about him. I found reading about his life very inspiring. I'm not an incredibly emotional or sentimental person but I have to admit a few points in the book brought a tear to my eye which is something I'm not used to. I'm usually rather stoic lol.
     
  3. Verv

    Verv Senior Veteran

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    Gandhi was an idiot.

    Oh yes, Verv said it: Gandhi was an idiot.
    '
    He is overrated -- the reason why his "non-violence movement" was successful is because there was violence happening to the effect of thousands of people dying, including British soldiers, and there was a total exhaustion on Britain's behalf following WWII. They had no desire to immediately send another generation of young men to die in colonial struggles.

    What you are reading here is Gandhi, a fool in his own right and perhaps even a pedophile, who is now commenting on the idea of socialism.

    WHat was the year? 1950? Oh, what great perspective he must have had from there!

    Personally, I support some aspects of Socialism but I despise Gandhi. He was an idiot. A total fool.

    I bet I know more about the Bhagavad-Gita and Hindu religion that Gandhi does,andI am not even a Hindu.

    Gandhi = Foolish.
     
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  4. szechuan

    szechuan Newbie

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  5. Saving Hawaii

    Saving Hawaii New Member

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    JamesRWright (aka: Verv) is remarkable, isn't he? It's nothing new. He's held disturbing views since the day he showed up on this forum. Nobody's told him to have some decency yet. Welcome to CF.

    (Yes I'm complaining, but there are plenty of good people here. That's why I stay.)
     
  6. Verv

    Verv Senior Veteran

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    This is a cool link to a Penn & Teller video which exposes the racism and the pedophile practices of Gandhi.

    I was aware of both of those aspects prior to seeing this but it is good to have a link to an entertaining video interviewing even Indians on the topic.

    But be aware that the video contains unchristian language.

    Ba-bam
    (I wanted this to be a hyperlink but it automatically became a video)

    Gandhi was no Obama, ain't that for sure?
     
  7. ACougar

    ACougar U.S. Army Retired

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    If a person is required to have lived a perfect life in orer to be a Saint... there would be no saints. I also didn't see anything about Pedophilia in there... even the guy who is attacking him, never implies that anything sexual took place or that the "young girls" were not just women who were significantly younger than Ghandi.

    Gandhi is credited with being a Saint because he led a non-violent movement to liberate his country. He understood the power of non-violence and compassion and while we shouldn't labor under the false assumption that he was perfect, we should be willing to give a lot of credence to what he has to say. He is at the very least the "George Washington" of India... and a George Washington who acheived the same objective nonviolently.

    More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohandas_Karamchand_Gandhi


     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  8. BondiHarry

    BondiHarry Newbie

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    The reality is socialsim trades inequality in prosperity for equality in misery. It creates an idol in goverrnment that people are taught to look to rather than looking to God for what they need. It takes away the incentive to work hard and rewards those who lack that ambition. It substitutes man's wisdom for God's wisdom.

    Europe is already feeling the strains of having immense entitlement obligations and not having the means to meet those obligations with the result that workers are protesting and even rioting demanding that no cuts be made, students are doing the same at the prospect that funding for their 'free' education may be cut back and so on. The United States is already running massive deficits, has a national debt of over 14 trillion dollars and tens of trillions more dollars of obligations in the entitlement programs.

    In short the much vaunted socialism in a span of about a century is bankrupting nation after nation leaving 'the people' dependent on governments that are corrupt and too incompetent to care for them. Statist systems like socialsim are not the answer to man's problems, they only exacerbate those problems.
     
  9. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    Some people don't like non-violence and they get upset when they hear the naughty word "socialism" so they have to resort to attacking him as a pedophile or some other non-sense. They read it on a web page once after all!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  10. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    He wouldn't have said the same about you. That's one of the reasons I admire him. He often behaved in a truly Christ like manner with his political and religious opponents. Much better than I do. He didn't slander them or try to dehumanize them. He wouldn't even legally prosecute the people who wronged him. He forgave the people who attacked him and almost lynched him in South Africa and wouldn't testify against them for example.
     
  11. grasping the after wind

    grasping the after wind That's grasping after the wind

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    Who claims that Gandhi is a Saint? Isn't "Saint' a Christian term reserved for Christians? If I am wrong, then I do not understand the meaning of the word as you are using it so please define it for me.
    Gandhi was instrumental in India's independence movement but has no credentials that make his opinion on socialism any more authoritative than the average person. If you quoted him on independence movements you could state that we "should be willing to give a lot of credence to what he has to say". Socialism, however, is not an area on which Gandhi has shown any expertise.
     
  12. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    The term Saint is often used for people of God who live a life of self sacrifice and service. God isn't "owned" exclusively by Christians. Gandhi was a Saint in my book.

    Mahatma Gandhi had a great love for the Bible and the teachings of Christ He loved the Sermon on the Mount and stressed the need to "turn the other cheek". He often said "I am a Hindu, a Christian, a Jain, and a Muslim". He was also influenced by the Christian pacifist and anarchist Leo Tolstoy.

    Gandhi was also a key influence on one the Christian Saints from the history of our own country as well- Martin Luther King Jr.

    YouTube - ‪Martin Luther King, Jr.- Influence of Gandhi and Nonviolence‬‏
     
  13. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    I think his support of socialism shows that some of the caricatures of Socialism and socialists are are not necessarily valid.
     
  14. BondiHarry

    BondiHarry Newbie

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    That socialists do not have the confidence in their ideas to put them to the test in the free market of ideas but must instead use the coercive power of government to implement them, forcing those who do not agree or consent to submit anyway and to torture the gospel of Jesus Christ to gain moral justification for their ideas says all we need to know about their beloved philosophy of government and economics.
     
  15. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    Is that what Gandhi did?

    Would capitalism as we know it be able to exist and thrive without the coercive power of the state? Without the government (police and military) how would the exploiters protect their assets from the exploited who vastly out number them?

    Is the Gospel actually conservative Republican? Conservative Republicans are just as apt to quote the Gospel in support of their causes.

    I think it may be a case of people simply disagreeing with the meaning of the Gospel in some instances. Sure there are politicians who exploit it without really agreeing one way or the other if it is good exegesis but for many people I think they just honestly disagree. I believe there are people who honestly think socialism would be more inline with the ethics of Christ and others who honestly feel the same about capitalism. Not everyone is a political opportunist.
     
  16. BondiHarry

    BondiHarry Newbie

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    If socialism were an option people could opt out of it would fail rather quickly, it requires the coercive power of government to keep people in it (the productive that is, those who seek gain on their neighbor's dime love it)

    That is not capitalism. What you describe is a mixed economy where the monied elite use government to prevent would be competitors from entering the market. Capitalism is based on free markets, NOT government manipulation.

    The gospel teaches holiness. The good man does not covet, steal from or do any other form of evil to his neighbor, will support his life by his own effort, will be content with such things as he has, will look to God and not man for the things he needs, will have compassion for and help those in need.

    Those who believe that forcibly seizing the bread of another man's labor or making of government something far beyond what God taught may honestly disagree but that comes from not understanding the word of God. Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet, put not your trust in princes and seek first the kingdom of God and His holiness and the things that we need will be added to us cannot be clearer.
     
  17. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    So you think Capitalism could continue on just fine without the state? Are you an Anarcho-Captialist?
     
  18. Ishraqiyun

    Ishraqiyun Fanning the Divine Spark

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    I agree. I don't consider taxation to be theft though. Did Jesus call taxation theft?

    Taxation can certainly be misused. We spend far to much on weapons to police the world with for example. We give countries billions in foreign aid so they can buy weapons from our manufacturers as well. They can also be used for things which can lift up society as a whole and protect the least among us. It depends on how the money is spent really. In a democracy we have taxation with representation. We don't have to elect people who will keep taxes the same or raise them if we don't want too.

    So a rich person should be content with what he has not and not lobby for more tax breaks ? Or does this only apply to the poor?

    On a personal level it is wise to practice detachment but it's also compassionate to work for improving economic conditions for the poor as well.

    I really don't see Jesus as having taught anything about the proper size of government. You might be able to make conjectures based on what He did teach but it's certainly not there in black and white.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  19. BondiHarry

    BondiHarry Newbie

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    If men were holy and still walking in the counsel of God there would be no need for government. With man being fallen and constantly seeking to do evil God saw the need for government (kings and princes) and gave them very specific and very limited responsibilities, to wield the sword against the evil doer and to ensure that justice is done. God calls for kings and princes themselves to be righteous (as the throne is established in righteousness) and sober. For the things that men need however He is clear that we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the things we need will be added to us and He warns us to put not our trust in princes and the son of man in whom there is no help (Psalm 146:3). Godly government however does not get in the way of men walking in God's liberty from living their lives as God directs them, buying or selling etc.
     
  20. Incariol

    Incariol Newbie

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    I must admit, that was rather bizarre.