Gandhi a Bit Overrated

Gandhi is one of those historical figures of which one begins with a high impression but of which the more one finds about the harder that high impression becomes to maintain (yet it does not peter out completely). JFK is another such figure.
And this happens even when you ignore what you unfortunately know about their personal lives.

Fred Thompson in explaining why Gandhi’s way isn’t the American way notes the man’s recorded views of the Holocaust. As I like to say, Gandhi deserves our praise for showing us the optimal way to approach certain situations that in reality arise less often than some people think. Churchill showed us the way to approach the rest of them. Ergo I can respect Gandhi a little and I can respect Churchill a lot.

(reference at Dean’s World)

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3 responses to “Gandhi a Bit Overrated

  1. Gandhi’s tactics were formed from his views of life, and there is nothing wrong with using such as a basis for policy. However, his tactics worked for a few reasons which are actually isolated to his particular circumanstances.

    First was the size of the indigenous population. There was no way that 250,000 UK officials/soldiers and bureuacrats could maintain control in governing 750,000,000 Indians if they refused to be governed. Also, the relative military/industrial/economic power of the UK made a military insurrection distasteful given the opposite factors of India. It would have been a bloodbath of the first order in world history.
    Finally, the nature of the UK in a relatively liberal nation from the perspective of human rights, civil liberties and a free press made change possible. Had this been a dictatorship’s colony, the results of civil disobedience would have been one sided violence, and not effected a solution.

    Different circumstances require a different strategy. If the Islamic radicals “wanted to be effective” they would endorse a non-violent approach in the Mid-East region. Can you imagine the response in the US if in Isreal Palestinians were being shot at with tear gas, or real weaponry while singing the Arabic equivalent of “We Shall Overcome”. Significant pressure by the US would almost guarantee that the Palestinians would have a favorable agreement within a year.

  2. Pingback: Gandhi's Way, Not the American Way, What about ROP Trying it? « A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

  3. This is very nice and informative post. I have bookmarked your site in order to find out your post in the future.

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