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Lecture

POLI 231 - Gandhi


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 231
Professor
Arash Abizadeh

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Gandhi
Truth → sincerity in speech and action
Satyagraha → seeking to eliminate antagonisms without harming antagonists
themselves; arming individual with moral rather than physical power. Uses civil
disobedience and non-cooperation as tactics. Believes endurance of suffering
is a means to an end.
Ahimsa → doctrine of nonviolence
How these are manifest:
1) Use of reason
speak truth in order to persuade
2) Use of self-suffering
reason not sufficient; one must persuade hearts of others
3) Civil Disobedience
non-cooperation, non-violence → acceptance of legal punishments
this either moves the oppressor, or moves the oppressed masses, which will
undermine the power of the oppressor
Presuppositions To This Doctrine
humans are spiritual and physical beings
physical reality makes it impossible to be completely non-violent
humans should minimize violence (ahimsa)
Gandhi believes God is necessary to be able for individuals to sacrifice all.
Criticisms
non-violence, non-cooperation is the doctrine of the weak
unable to match power of the state
should one use violence they would be blown away
strategy vs. morals
Gandhi: satyagraha must be a moral action
non-injury is morally required for the attainment of higher form of being
however, Gandhi does believe that this leads to the best outcomes, even if
that's not the reason he gives for taking such action.
Believes Satyagraha comes from a position of strength
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