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Chris Li
02-16-2007, 08:09 PM
Did O'Sensei ever have to physically defend himself with any of the martial techniques he practiced? I know he did in some of what could be fairy tales, but howabout in reality? I'm curious.

Drew

You mean did he ever get into any fights? Sure - but you have to realize that by the time he was really professing "peace" he was well into his 60's, so that kind of thing really wouldn't have been an issue. I do know for a fact that many of his young students got into brawls while under his tutelage, with his knowledge.

Also, Japanese are often more comfortable with seemingly incompatible positions than westerners are. For example, several of his young students after the war got into a brawl with members from another dojo. After scolding them severely he went up to one of the students and said something along the lines of "OK, so how many did you get?".

Kisshomaru, FWIW, stated flatly that his father was not a pacifist.

Best,

Chris

Suru
02-16-2007, 08:53 PM
Kisshomaru, FWIW, stated flatly that his father was not a pacifist.

Best,

Chris

He didn't have to state that. Any pacifist either lives an extremely sheltered, anonymous life or dies young. What I would like to know is whether O'Sensei ever used ikkyo, shihonage, or the like on an actual attacker. Again, this is not something I need to know, I'm just curious.

Drew

Chris Li
02-17-2007, 11:19 AM
He didn't have to state that. Any pacifist either lives an extremely sheltered, anonymous life or dies young. What I would like to know is whether O'Sensei ever used ikkyo, shihonage, or the like on an actual attacker. Again, this is not something I need to know, I'm just curious.

Drew

A specific technique? I don't know - but Shioda certainly did. Others too, but I mention him because he documented it in writing.

Best,

Chris

graham
02-18-2007, 02:47 PM
He didn't have to state that. Any pacifist either lives an extremely sheltered, anonymous life or dies young.

Do you mean, like the sprightly Gandhi, Desmond Tutu or Andre Trocme?

Suru
02-18-2007, 05:25 PM
Do you mean, like the sprightly Gandhi, Desmond Tutu or Andre Trocme?

The word pacifist has many connotations and definitions. Search them all, and you'll surely know what I mean.

Drew

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2007, 08:20 AM
Any pacifist either lives an extremely sheltered, anonymous life or dies young.

Followed by a few examples of pacifists who did not have short lives...I'll add MLK Jr., who while relatively young, lived a fairly long life considering the odds at the time.

Followed by:
The word pacifist has many connotations and definitions. Search them all, and you'll surely know what I mean.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pacifist

searched, but did not find what you mean. Would you care to elaborate??

Best,
Ron

mriehle
02-28-2007, 11:27 AM
searched, but did not find what you mean. Would you care to elaborate??


Well, I'm not him, but I have a perception that some people have a certain loading on the word pacifist that I don't necessarily agree with. The definition of pacificist is pretty clear, I think. The question is more about motive and action.

Pacifism is a belief. A belief that peaceful resolution of conflict is correct resolution of conflict.

People who I think of as anti-pacifists often (though not always) think that the motive behind pacifism is cowardice. Not being willing to stand up for your rights. I personally believe that's kind of wrong-headed itself since pacifists often have to put up with a lot of abuse in order to defend their own belief.

But, in general, I think it's a mistake to read too much of a person's motive for belief from the belief itself.

The action resulting from pacifism is more salient, I think. Being opposed to conflict necessarily means that you will avoid conflict when it is possible. But a realistic pacifist will realize that not everyone is a pacifist and that it is therefore necessary to resolve violent conflict sometimes. When someone throws a punch at you, you need to do something about it. Standing there and taking the punch might not help (I was going to say "doesn't help", but I know of at least one situation in my own life where it *did* help, so...).

I think another mistake that both pacifists and anti-pacifists make is believing that pacifism and passiveness are synonyms. I really believe this may be the source of a lot of confusion on the subject.

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2007, 11:47 AM
I don't really suffer from that delusion...look at Ghandi and MLK Jr...they both were all about conflict, confrontation, etc. The difference was in HOW they did those things...and WHAT they did when those conflicts and confrontations led to violence by others.

Best,
Ron

mriehle
02-28-2007, 12:01 PM
I don't really suffer from that delusion

Yeah, I didn't mean to imply that you did. Sorry if it seemed that way. The comments about those delusions were pointed a different direction altogether. Well, actually, they were more being waved about indiscriminately than pointed, really. ;)

Good thing it wasn't a firearm. :eek:

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2007, 12:13 PM
Lol :)

B,
R

MikeLogan
02-28-2007, 01:19 PM
Excellent post, Michael, a perfect or as near perfect parsing out of people's confusion on the topic of pacifism and passiveness.
The following is from Bronson Diffin's signature, it is my favorite line on the topic:"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."

And in this quote from another pacifism thread:1) Morihei Ueshiba trained with weapons daily until the end of his life.
2) Kisshomaru Ueshiba stated specifically that his father was not a pacifist. See this posting by Ellis Amdur:

"I recall a presentation 2nd Doshu gave to the Japan Martial Arts Society in the 1980's, and someone raised his hand as asked just when it was that Osensei became a pacifist. After the translation, Doshu looked rather puzzled, and asked for clarification, and the question was asked again. Doshu seemed to be suppressing giggles, and said, in effect that his father was never a pacifist, nor was aikido a pacifist practice. "After all, it is a martial art," he said. He then continued on to say, vaguely but accurately that his father created something new, that was outside the dualism of violence and non-violence."I wonder how likely it may be that something got lost in translation. Heck, even english speakers may not hear the spoken words 'passivism and pacifism' as distinguished from one another. There is barely consensus on what pacifism means in our culture, and since it is so closely related on how to deal with disagreement, what happens when you disagree on it's very meaning?

Anyhow, Good Post!

michael.

cguzik
02-28-2007, 01:44 PM
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. Forgiveness adorns a soldier...But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature.... But I do not believe India to be helpless....I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature....Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.


- Mahatma Gandhi, August 11, 1920

Tony Wagstaffe
02-28-2007, 01:45 PM
Who was it that said something like "A true pacifist is someone who, with skill and knowledge, can kill in the blink of an eye yet choose not to"
Brilliant quote:cool: :straightf

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2007, 01:48 PM
Yukiyoshi Takamura ...from about 3 posts up...

;)

B,
R

Kevin Leavitt
02-28-2007, 03:29 PM
Here is something to think about from a book I am reading.

Nonviolence is not the same thing as pacifism, for which there are many words. Pacifism is treated almost as a psychological condition, It is a state of mind. Pacifism is passive, but nonviolence is active. Pacifism is harmless and therefore easier to accept then nonviolence, which is dangerous. When Jesus Christ said that a victim should turn the other cheek, he was preaching pacifism. But when he said that an enemy should be won over through the power of love, he was preaching nonviolence

From a book called "Nonviolence"by Mark Kurlansky 2006

Based on this: Ghandi, MLK and the others in this category would be practicing nonviolence, not pacifism.

Pacifism would be practiced by some like the Amish who choose to turn the other cheek and choose not to participate in the social structure that supports their lifestyle. That is, the choose to not playball and be non-active.

Nonviolence confronts violence, it does not avoid it.

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2007, 03:35 PM
Interesting quote...and viewpoint. Is there anything in particular about Mark Kurlansky that would add validity to his opinion?

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
02-28-2007, 03:53 PM
Dali Lama wrote the Forward to the book??

The Dali Lama had this to say in the last paragraph of his foreward:

It is my hope and prayer that this book should not only attract attention, but have a profound effect on those who read it. A sign of success would be that whenever conflict and disagreements arise, our first reaction will be to ask ourselves how we can solve them through dialogue and discussion rather than through force.

So I assume, that the Dali Lama agrees with this definition/concept.

Does that help Ron?

Ron Tisdale
02-28-2007, 04:10 PM
Not really...I guess I was hoping for a better idea of the writer...guess I should read the book! :D

B,
R

Kevin Leavitt
02-28-2007, 04:31 PM
I don't think he is anyone special in this field per se.

He has essentially written a bunch of books (nonfiction) that he has researched and written. Like "Salt: A world history" or "The Basque History of the World".

Here is an Amazon link to the book.

http://www.amazon.com/Nonviolence-Lessons-History-Dangerous-Chronicles/dp/0679643354/sr=8-1/qid=1172701700/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-4288572-7776933?ie=UTF8&s=books

Kevin Leavitt
02-28-2007, 04:38 PM
Ron, I think conceptually I agree with him. Although I suppose that would depend on your definition/parameters of pacifism vice nonviolence.

I can see validilty in his separation point based on action (nonviolence) versus no action (pacifism).

I would tend to label aikido philosophy in the nonviolent realm vice pacifism.

Aikido is not about avoiding violence, but approaching it skillfully.

pacifism based on this definition is one in which aikido could not even exsist as a concept as it would be no-action...or simply standing their while you are attacked.

I do think it is a key concept to discuss and understand.

I had this conversation just yesterday with one of my Captains that works for me. He could not understand and thought I was hippocritical I suppose for being a Vegetarian, that believed in nonviolence, yet I was in the military.

I had to explain the concept of pacifism versus non-violence.

MikeLogan
03-01-2007, 01:02 AM
Ron, I think conceptually I agree with him. Although I suppose that would depend on your definition/parameters of pacifism vice nonviolence.

I can see validilty in his separation point based on action (nonviolence) versus no action (pacifism).To sum up my first post, it seems to continually boil down to nomenclature. To-may-to versus to-mah-to.

And aside from that, in the strictest logical/gramatical treatment of the words involved: Pacifism VS Non-Violence; only pacifism actually allows for violence to occur, non-violence by logic implying the negative of violence. But yet again, one can argue that both terms represent a means for the negation of violence,

The "no-action" category in which Kurlansky places pacifism, as far as I identify it (and, perhaps, Mr Riehle), would better contain the idea of passivism. English is rather screwy.

My idea of pacifism is a state from which one is willing&able to enact will/force toward some end with only the violence necessary to resolve an event. e.g. no curb-jobs

Kurlansky's idea of pacifism seems more to the point of simply screaming "Please, just not in the face! Not in the face!"

I guess I'll have to read up on the origin of pacifism as a popular term.

michael.

P.S. Weren't the Marines partially founded by a Quaker, who are generally considered pacifist, if only because they've been around far longer than the term "non-violent".

Rupert Atkinson
03-01-2007, 04:00 AM
Quote From above: A sign of success would be that whenever conflict and disagreements arise, our first reaction will be to ask ourselves how we can solve them through dialogue and discussion rather than through force.

But the reality is that this only happens once the balance of power that prevents voilence necessitates discussion.

Tony Wagstaffe
03-01-2007, 08:33 AM
Yukiyoshi Takamura ...from about 3 posts up...

;)

B,
R

Ta mate! Must get myself some better specs or improve my speed reading:eek:
Tony

George S. Ledyard
03-01-2007, 08:56 AM
A Pacifist is one who believes in Peace rather than War. Of course everyone says he believes in Peace, but if that were really true, we wouldn't run willy nilly into conflicts at the drop of a hat, which mankind clearly does.

The number of wars like WWII in which there is a clear demarcation between good and evil are few. Most wars are the result of maneuvering for position and influence in defense of the riches belonging to the top stratum of the societies in question (like WWI) and have no function or benefit to the poor folks involved. Sorry if this sounds very "Lefty"... so-called Socialist or Communist governments haven't been any better about this than anyone else so it's not really a left - right issue.

In the words of Maj General Smedly Butler, the most decorated Marine in Corps history, "War is a racket". (He wrote an article by that title which can be found on-line.
http://www.lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm
This is pretty much my view on War and that would make me basically a Pacifist.

Dirk Hanss
03-01-2007, 09:31 AM
Followed by a few examples of pacifists who did not have short lives...I'll add MLK Jr., who while relatively young, lived a fairly long life considering the odds at the time.

Followed by:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pacifist

searched, but did not find what you mean. Would you care to elaborate??

Best,
Ron
And they (the dictionaries) are all wrong: pacifist derives from pax (peace) and facere (to make), so a pacifist is not someone who refuses to engage, but someone who makes peace. There is no reason for a pacifist to be not-self-defensive or not-protective. While you can find examples in personal violence to be pacifistic and defensive, it is hard to find the line in a war, which nation could have ever been making peace by de-escalation and not enforcing the own victory. While you might find single people, who tried their best to do so.

Best regards

Dirk

roswell1329
03-01-2007, 10:53 AM
I cannot profess to know what O'Sensei's position was on pacifism, but I feel with regard to Aikido, it's a moot point. Aikido isn't necessarily about the peaceful resolution of conflict -- it's about eliminating conflict completely. If someone lunges at you with malicious intent, Aikido doesn't teach you to meet his intent with an equal or greater intent of love and peace, does it? That indeed would be a conflict, similar to any pacifist meeting aggression with civil disobedience (in my mind, this would be aggravating a conflict). Doesn't Aikido teach to align yourself with that aggressive intent and then lead that intent away from a conflict, thus neutralizing the intent entirely? I don't feel this is the same thing as pacifism.

jonreading
03-01-2007, 01:18 PM
Non-vioence and pacifism are not the same. Pacifism is a state of mind dedicated to the preservation of peace. Non-violence is an action (or series of actions) that induces conflict without violence.

I do not believe in the duality of pacifism and non-violence. Non-violence is a tool used by individuals (or groups) to create conflict in a constructive manner. Obviously, one cannot create conflict and be opposed to conflict at the same time.

Aikido teaches us when to promote peace, and when to promote conflict.

Kevin Leavitt
03-01-2007, 01:21 PM
I think the whole problem stems NOT from what the definitions are, but it is defined by action/no action.

In any given situation you will have a stimulus and response. In between that you have choice.

You can make a choice to do nothing to stop harm.

OR

You can make a choice to do something to stop harm.

To me, pacifism would mean that you believe in peace at ALL cost, and choose to not take any action against violence presented, even if that means that someone or others will commit harm/violence. You choose to not participate.

Non-violence means that you believe in peace, however, you confront violence in the most skillfull way possibly by responding with something, yet it is not the same violence that you are presented with.

Ghandi, for example, could have chose a path of pacifism and retired to a ashram or community and set up a etopia and avoided violence and let the British continue on their present in India.

However, he chose to confront it, fully knowing that it would cause conflict and bring it to the surface, that people would be hurt and die for this cause.

He could have made two basic choices within the context of confronting violence.

1. He could have met it with active resistance, (violence with violence).

2. He could have met it with passive resistance (nonviolence against violence).

Fred Little
03-01-2007, 02:14 PM
He could have made two basic choices within the context of confronting violence.

1. He could have met it with active resistance, (violence with violence).

2. He could have met it with passive resistance (nonviolence against violence).

Kevin --

I'd take that a good bit further.

It is a simple matter to divide your first item into:

1.a. Violence against property or facilities used to perpetrate violence against people or groups of people.

1.b. Violence against individuals or groups perpetrating violence against people or groups of people.

1.c. Violence against individuals or groups directing individuals or groups to perpetrate violence against people or groups of people.

Item 2 should be parsed as well:

2.a. Civil Obedience. In union situations, this is sometimes called a "work to contract" job action.

2.b. Civil Disobedience. This can take either passive or active forms ranging from a wildcat strike or refusal to perform routine actions to intentional non-violent obstruction of the routine actions of others. Modes of obstruction include both:

2.b.i non-compliance

2.b.ii passive resistance

2.c.iii active non-violent resistance

The above is far from exhaustive. Suffice it to say that the distinctions between pacifism, non-violence, civil disobedience and so forth that have appeared in this thread are all exceedingly cursory descriptions that are of limited utility.

Anybody seriously looking at these issues would do well to undergo a weekend of non-violent civil disobedience training, simply to get a sense of the ground, whether one intends to adopt the methods of non-violence as one's own or not.

There is, however, one great similarity between the highest technical principles and ideals of budo and those of non-violence -- in both cases, what is being attacked is ultimately the intention of the opponent.

"Non-violence" as a tactic can do extraordinarily violent things to the self-image of one's opponent, particularly an opponent who begins with a sense of him or herself as a moral or ethical being. The "non-violent" quality of one's actions does not relieve one of the responsibility for the foreseeable effects of those actions.

It is my view that this last point bears the most careful examination and personal introspection

Kevin Leavitt
03-01-2007, 02:25 PM
Good points Fred, I will have to think about these a little further for sure!

You do bring up a good point with your last paragraph.

For instance, it would be highly unethical possibly for Doctors to walk out of a hospital as a form of non-violence in an attempt to persuade their organization to change at the expense of life and limb of their patients.

Again, I will have to think about this some more for sure!

But, I think you drive the point home that in all cases we have to consider the magnitude (karma) of our actions and the third order effects of them.

It might be more ethical to use a bullet to stop one person from killing 100 people, than to take no action at all, even though we would be committing an act of killing.

I think sometimes we want to rank order violence and nonviolence with nonviolence always being the better, more ethical choice.

As you point out, I think it can be situational dependent.

How does this relate to the concept of pacifism? Again, to me this means I choose to not participate in violence at any cost.

That might be the right answer in some cases, in others it may not?

Good discussion.

MikeLogan
03-01-2007, 03:28 PM
Kevin, before even reading your post, I wanted to reply with another quote that said it better than I, but you go ahead and say it for me:It might be more ethical to use a bullet to stop one person from killing 100 people, than to take no action at all, even though we would be committing an act of killing.But in the spirit of breaking the bonds of attachment to ideology, the practice of the precept not to kill goes much further in Buddhism. A person caught in a doctrine or a system of thought can sacrifice millions of lives in order to put into practice his theory, which he considers the absolute truth, the unique path that can lead humankind to happiness.
With a gun in hand, a person can kill one, five, or even ten people.
But holding on to a doctrine or a system of thought, one can kill tens of thousands of people. Therefore, unless the precept not to take life is understood in terms of breaking the bonds of attachment to ideology, it is not truly the precept taught by the Buddha.
--Thich Nhat Hanh, Thundering Silence
(Parallax Press, 1993)
I wanted to ask whether non-violence is simply the conscious detachment from a fixed idealogy of pacifism. Is it the 'new&improved' pacifism? Which of us is thinking of the life-giving sword? I'm betting all of us.

michael.

Kevin Leavitt
03-01-2007, 03:42 PM
I think you get into a whole macroscopic/microscopic view of things.

microscopic is concerned with eaches...that is in any given situation what is the cost/benefit of killing. (my example of 1 life to save 100).

In a macrosocopic view, from a karmic standpoint, what are the reprecussions of the killing of the one person. Might it have been better to let the 100 die? What events set all this in motion anyway?

Another way to put it is long term versus short term gain.

violence is violence for sure and violence will beget more violence.

Hence we end up with the Koan: Do no Harm, Stop Harm.

I think ideologically we do need to live our lives as close as we can to reduce or prevent violence as much as we can. Ideally, we would live in such a way to make violence obsolete.

I think many pacifist would say this is the reason for their practice right?

I think today, however, that it is necessary to evolve in this process, and in some way we must confront violence or try and understand it in order to reduce or eliminate.

Aikido I believe is one such practice that can help heal and understand our violent nature.

As far as the life giving sword...I don't know about that.

I mean you also have the saying "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword."

Might it be better to put the sword down all together (pacifism).

It certainly is easy to justify your actions as being moral when you live by the life giving sword.

I think this is a very complex subject! Making my head hurt right now.

Don_Modesto
03-02-2007, 10:29 AM
- Mahatma Gandhi, August 11, 1920
Thanks for this, Chris. Hadn't known he'd spoken like this.

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 07:15 PM
- Mahatma Gandhi, August 11, 1920 There's always a difference between the dream/ideal and reality, though.... and for some reason only a few are able to keep this in mind:

For those who know Gandhi only by reputation or by the hagiographical film, I recommend the incomparable 1983 review/essay by the late, great Richard Grenier: "The Gandhi nobody knows." Professor David Schaefer has summarized Gandhi's thoughts well, as has Larry Arnn. Both Schaefer and Arnn are worth reading. No one, however, has captured Gandhi's thoughts more stylishly than Grenier. Here is Grenier's summary of Gandhi's World War II-era pensées:

I am under the embarrassing oligation of recording exactly what courses of action the Great Soul recommended to the various parties involved in that crisis. For Gandhi was never stinting in his advice. Indeed, the less he knew about a subject, the less he stinted.

I am aware that for many not privileged to have visited the former British Raj, the names Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Deccan are simply words. But other names, such as Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, somehow have a harder profile. The term "Jew," also, has a reasonably hard profile, and I feel all Jews sitting emotionally at the movie Gandhi should be apprised of the advice that the Mahatma offered their coreligionists when faced with the Nazi peril: they should commit collective suicide. If only the Jews of Germany had the good sense to offer their throats willingly to the Nazi butchers' knives and throw themselves into the sea from cliffs they would arouse world public opinion, Gandhi was convinced, and their moral triumph would be remembered for "ages to come." If they would only pray for Hitler (as their throats were cut, presumably), they would leave a "rich heritage to mankind." Although Gandhi had known Jews from his earliest days in South Africa--where his three staunchest white supporters were Jews, every one--he disapproved of how rarely they loved their enemies. And he never repented of his recommendation of collective suicide. Even after the war, when the full extent of the Holocaust was revealed, Gandhi told Louis Fischer, one of his biographers, that the Jews died anyway, didn't they? They
might as well have died significantly.

Gandhi's views on the European crisis were not entirely consistent. He vigorously opposed Munich, distrusting Chamberlain. "Europe has sold her soul for the sake of a seven days' earthly existence," he declared. "The peace that Europe gained at Munich is a triumph of violence." But when the Germans moved into the Bohemian heartland, he was back to urging nonviolent resistance, exhorting the Czechs to go forth, unarmed, against the Wehrmacht, perishing gloriously--collective suicide again. He had Madeleine Slade draw up two letters to President Eduard Benes of Czechoslovakia, instructing him on the proper conduct of Czechoslovak satyagrahi when facing the Nazis.

When Hitler attacked Poland, however, Gandhi suddenly endorsed the Polish army's military resistance, calling it "almost nonviolent." (If this sounds like double-talk, I can only urge readers to read Gandhi.) He seemed at this point to have a rather low opinion of Hitler, but when Germany's panzer divisions turned west, Allied armies collapsed under the ferocious onslaught, and British ships were streaming across the Straits of Dover from Dunkirk, he wrote furiously to the Viceroy of India: "This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing; if you persist, it will only result in greater bloodshed. Hitler is not a bad man...."

Gandhi also wrote an open letter to the British people, passionately urging them to surrender and accept whatever fate Hitler had prepared for them. "Let them take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds." Since none of this had the intended effect, Gandhi, the following year, addressed an open letter to the prince of darkness himself, Adolf Hitler.

THE scene must be pictured. In late December 1941, Hitler stood at the pinnacle of his might. His armies, undefeated anywhere ruled Europe from the English Channel to the Volga. Rommel had entered Egypt. The Japanese had reached Singapore. The U.S. Pacific Fleet lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor. At this superbly chosen moment, Mahatma Gandhi attempted to convert Adolf Hitler to the ways of nonviolence. "Dear Friend," the letter begins, and proceeds to a heartfelt appeal to the Fuhrer to embrace all mankind "irrespective of race, color, or creed." Every admirer of the film Gandhi should be compelled to read this letter. Surprisingly, it is not known to have had any deep impact on Hitler. Gandhi was no doubt disappointed. He moped about, really quite depressed, but still knew he was right. When the Japanese, having cut their way through Burma, threatened India, Gandhi's strategy was to let them occupy as much of India as they liked and then to "make them feel unwanted." His way of helping his British "friends" was, at one of the worst points of the war, to launch massive civil-disobedience campaigns against them, paralyzing some of their efforts to defend India from the Japanese.

Here, then, is your leader, 0 followers of Gandhi: a man who thought Hitler's heart would be melted by an appeal to forget race, color, and creed, and who was sure the feelings of the Japanese would be hurt if they sensed themselves unwanted. As world-class statesmen go, it is not a very good record.

Kevin Leavitt
03-03-2007, 05:04 AM
I will have to go and read more about this for sure as there is always two sides to every story.

War, history and politics are always complex, and revision is always present it seems, as well as perspective.

I have no issue with much of what Gandhi says to be honest. He was an idealist and naturally his idealist thoughts would be contradictory and hippocritical at times. Also he was a human, quite capable of making mistakes and being contradictory.

What matters is that if he learns, evolves and can say "I was wrong".

Embrace your enemy and love him is a noble idea.

Abandon and let go of your material possessions another one.

Certainly it would seem a horror to suggest that he would recommend to the Jews to willingly go to their deaths and love HItler.

On a philosophical level I can understand it.

the challenge is trying to make the idealist/philosophy mesh with the nature of reality.

A big challenge.

Thanks for the perspective Mike. I will definitely read more about this perspective!