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genin
12-15-2011, 09:55 AM
Has anyone ever compared these two men? I find it very interesting how similar they were. Both men grew up in the same era (within a generation of each other), lived long lives, started spiritual movements, and practiced what could be considered non-violence. Even the meaning of their names are similar-- Mahatma "Great Soul" and O'Sensei "Great Teacher." Both men were meek in appearance, even frail looking. Yet these were probably two of the most spiritually powerful men in all of human existence, aside from Christ himself.

What has drawn me to these individuals is the desire to attain that level of power. It amazes me how Ghandi was able to manipulate MILLIONS of people and break the crushing grip of the British Empire simply through inaction and starvation. Being able to control people through non-physical means is clearly far superior to any other method. Out of necessity, Ghandi used his spiritual clout to acheive political gains. However, O'Sensei developed his spirituality in the pursuit of peace and universal harmony.

I just find it really interesting how interconnected these two individuals seem to be in that regard, and I'm trying cultivate a practical application of these philosophies in my own life. Easier said than done.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-15-2011, 10:05 AM
I didn't find them too similar.

And this

Yet these were probably two of the most spiritually powerful men in all of human existence, aside from Christ himself.

Serious business you're going into.

LinTal
12-15-2011, 11:41 PM
Okay, I think you'll want to hit me or something for saying this! :D but...

I've got a feeling that you only get that kind of power when you don't actually go looking for it.

Sincerity of total passion for a goal seems to attract more single-minded followers than anything else. And everyone wants the world to work the way they think is best, so perhaps influence is quite independant from goodness of spirit.

Interesting note, you know how down the bottom there's a list of related links? It just turned up this (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10388).

Janet Rosen
12-15-2011, 11:53 PM
Oh jeez where to start...I'm not even going to riff on idealizing humans but will restrict myself to...
OSensei meek and frail in appearance?! You never saw the commonly available photo of him shirtless with a staff in his hands in his 70s.

LinTal
12-16-2011, 12:23 AM
Ooooh, cool! It makes sense that he was strong (or at least used to be in his youth) because he did so much farming and soldiering but I've never seen that photo, the closest I could find with google is this (http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQjt0WUphpYlkoiioe_WhpnZ3-giUIT96dOF8Oic_6ODlvL-gGTTbA75BiP) (and I'm not even sure it's him). Any idea where to find it?

Walker
12-16-2011, 01:38 AM
Tyler: "If you could fight any historical figure who would it be?"
Narrator: "I'd fight Ghandi."
Tyler: "Oooh, good answer."
Fight Club

And now for an edifying photo.

Carsten Möllering
12-16-2011, 02:49 AM
Has anyone ever compared these two men?
I don't see too much similarities.

graham christian
01-01-2012, 11:09 PM
Both men of peace. Both men of universal love. Both following their true path. Brothers.....

Regards.G.

lbb
01-02-2012, 11:53 AM
It's funny, and more than a little disturbing, how history lays a veneer of simplistic saccharine over historical figures that we've decided are "good". Mohandas Gandhi was a revolutionary -- revolution, not peace, was his goal and his ambition. He was committed to using nonviolent means of achieving this goal, and he certainly wasn't against peace, but his goal was revolution.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-02-2012, 03:00 PM
Both men of peace. Both men of universal love. Both following their true path. Brothers.....

Regards.G.

Back to regular schedule.

Happy new year.

Kevin Leavitt
01-02-2012, 05:50 PM
I agree with you Mary. I think that his methods were a means to the end and not the end itself, which is an entirely different agenda or value system than is sometimes subscribed to him these days.

graham christian
01-02-2012, 06:56 PM
It's funny, and more than a little disturbing, how history lays a veneer of simplistic saccharine over historical figures that we've decided are "good". Mohandas Gandhi was a revolutionary -- revolution, not peace, was his goal and his ambition. He was committed to using nonviolent means of achieving this goal, and he certainly wasn't against peace, but his goal was revolution.

What's wrong with peaceful revolution? That is precisely what 'good' people do It fits him perfectly.

Fits O'Sensei too. Both casted off the old ways as did other great figures. The choice of word is a good choice Mary.

Better than insurrection or rebellion. Any change for the better away from the oppressive or despotic or domination orientated norm, done peacefully is revolution.

Sounds like Aikido to me.

Regards.G.

graham christian
01-02-2012, 06:57 PM
Back to regular schedule.

Happy new year.

Yes, and happy new year to you too my brother.

G.

lbb
01-02-2012, 08:02 PM
What's wrong with peaceful revolution? That is precisely what 'good' people do It fits him perfectly.

Fits O'Sensei too. Both casted off the old ways as did other great figures. The choice of word is a good choice Mary.

Better than insurrection or rebellion. Any change for the better away from the oppressive or despotic or domination orientated norm, done peacefully is revolution.

Sounds like Aikido to me.

Yes, well, to you, anything that you consider nifty is aikido, and anything that you consider not so nifty is not aikido. Humpty Dumpty couldn't change reality, though, and Gandhi was quite thoroughly involved in insurrection and rebellion.

mathewjgano
01-02-2012, 09:00 PM
Bold added by me:
I agree with you Mary. I think that his methods were a means to the end and not the end itself, which is an entirely different agenda or value system than is sometimes subscribed to him these days.

I haven't read up on "Mahatma" in a long time, but my understanding is that it could be described as a bit of both. Surely he didn't adopt a non-violent method purely for the sake of "winning," did he? I thought he also held the value of peaceful actions somewhat for their own sake...or, perhaps at least as much as anything can be said to be done for its own sake.
...that is to say that he had a kind of hierarchy in which peaceful efforts were considered to be more innately "good" than non-peaceful ones.

mathewjgano
01-02-2012, 10:47 PM
It's funny, and more than a little disturbing, how history lays a veneer of simplistic saccharine over historical figures that we've decided are "good". Mohandas Gandhi was a revolutionary -- revolution, not peace, was his goal and his ambition. He was committed to using nonviolent means of achieving this goal, and he certainly wasn't against peace, but his goal was revolution.

After a (very) casual refresher on MKG:
Doesn't saying that his goal was revolution and not peace over-simplify too? His revolution seems to have included peace/peaceful things as both a means and an end. It seems more correct to say his goals were non-violence, truth, and individual autonomy, more than revolution; (pacifistic) revolution was a means to this end.

sorokod
01-03-2012, 06:43 AM
It's funny, and more than a little disturbing, how history lays a veneer of simplistic saccharine over historical figures that we've decided are "good"

History doesn't lay veneers. People do and for very specific purposes. In India as in Japan as everywhere else.

graham christian
01-03-2012, 07:33 AM
Yes, well, to you, anything that you consider nifty is aikido, and anything that you consider not so nifty is not aikido. Humpty Dumpty couldn't change reality, though, and Gandhi was quite thoroughly involved in insurrection and rebellion.

Not really. Just peaceful, non-violent, harmony promoting stellar figures like Ghandhi, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, not forgetting the stellar religious figures also from Jesus to Buddha etc.

All shining stars on the heavenly path of peace. All bringing their light to bear on change for the better.

Non-violent change for the better.

Spiritual.

G.

lbb
01-03-2012, 07:41 AM
After a (very) casual refresher on MKG:
Doesn't saying that his goal was revolution and not peace over-simplify too? His revolution seems to have included peace/peaceful things as both a means and an end. It seems more correct to say his goals were non-violence, truth, and individual autonomy, more than revolution; (pacifistic) revolution was a means to this end.

In that order? Was non-violence the goal of Gandhi's political activism in South Africa?

mathewjgano
01-03-2012, 11:13 AM
In that order? Was non-violence the goal of Gandhi's political activism in South Africa?

Not necessarily in that order, no, and your second question leads me to think "probably not" but the Great Oracle of Truthiness, Wikipedia, suggests "yes." Certainly, non-violence was part of his means in South Africa:
Gandhi adopted his still evolving methodology of satyagraha (devotion to the truth), or non-violent protest, for the first time. He urged Indians to defy the new law and to suffer the punishments for doing so. The community adopted this plan, and during the ensuing seven-year struggle, thousands of Indians were jailed, flogged, or shot for striking, refusing to register, for burning their registration cards or engaging in other forms of non-violent resistance. The government successfully repressed the Indian protesters, but the public outcry over the harsh treatment of peaceful Indian protesters by the South African government forced South African General Jan Christiaan Smuts to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi. Gandhi's ideas took shape, and the concept of satyagraha matured during this struggle.

And I would guess the hierarchy I suggested wouldn't have been fixed for every circumstance, particularly earlier on in his life/"development", but it does seem to be a kind of rule of thumb, doesn't it? It seems to have become more important to him later in his life.

genin
01-03-2012, 11:20 AM
The goal was to acheive equality, and non-violence was the means to acheive it. I don't believe that Gandhi felt non-violence was something all people should aspire to simply for the sake of doing so. Especially when at certain points in his life he actually condoned violence.

mathewjgano
01-03-2012, 12:24 PM
The goal was to acheive equality, and non-violence was the means to acheive it. I don't believe that Gandhi felt non-violence was something all people should aspire to simply for the sake of doing so. Especially when at certain points in his life he actually condoned violence.

Perhaps it depends on what part of his life we're looking at, but I'm pretty sure he felt non-violence was something all people should aspire to...particularly when you consider his idea that the UK and European Jews should let Hitler have what he wants and walk to the slaughter-house willingly.
I share a very similar view about non-violence and antagonism in general. When someone does harm to another, the basic impulse is to do harm back. I've seen it in one form or another my whole life that when violence or perceived violence is perpetrated, it tends to create a lowest common denominator approach. Spiteful qualities suddenly pour into the equation under the notion that it's now justified to be as low-handed and dirty as the other guy. When the towers fell, for example, many many people suddenly didn't care at all for their those who were associated with the violent people who made it happen. Suddenly collateral damage is more acceptable than it might have been before. If we fly a bomb into the home of an evil man, but kill the neighbor's child, suddenly that neighbor, who might have been otherwise sympathetic to our intent, is our enemy. I'm very closely aligned with Gandhi's sacrificial sentiments, but if someone killed my sons it would be hard for me not to feel a reckoning was in order, regardless of the circumstances.
This is why violence is so dangerous; why war should be taken so much more seriously than it is. When violence becomes the normal situation, peace can feel wierd, requiring more effort than before to act peacefully.
This is, in my opinion, the genius of Gandhi. I don't think he suggested doing anything purely for its own sake and I submit anyone who does is short-changing the non-violent methodology. Strictly speaking I am not a pacifist; I will not walk willingly to my death in the hopes that my enemy will eventually change his mind. However, escalation is the seed all violence plants, and I try to keep that in the forefront of my mind as I weigh any situation.
O Sensei, I believe, was of a similar mindset. I believe he recognized that fighting quickly spirals into exponential proportions if not checked, and that the chaotic nature of fighting/violence demands a powerful peaceful force to balance or the best you can hope for over a long enough timeline is mutual destruction.
An eye for an eye quickly makes the world blind.
Interestingly enough, the greatest commonality I see between Gandhi and Ueshiba O Sensei was the idea of self-mastery and a reliance on the concept of innate truth (i.e. "natural" power).

genin
01-03-2012, 01:03 PM
I look at non-violence as being a combat tactic, like any other. In nature, animals defend their bodies with scales, shells, horns, poisons, camouflage...even by playing dead. Non-violence is the equivalent of playing dead when attacked. The idea is that a complete lack of resistance will result in less harm than any other employable means. Again, it's not a lack of combat. It's just an unconventional approach to combat/defense (which I argue is not that unconventional anymore).

Personally, I would use the technique that I felt gave me the best results. Trying to fight off a drunk guy and his buddies at a bar may not be as good a strategy as standing there and letting them hit you and then having the fight quickly broken up by bouncers and having them all arrested. Conversely, punching a bully in his nose after he demands your lunch money might be a much quicker and more effective solution rather than telling on him to faculty and parents who may not be able to control him.

Which brings us back to O'Sensei whom I believe preferred peace, but understood the yin and yang relationship that peace can not exist without violence. And that you should be a master of both.

lbb
01-03-2012, 01:46 PM
Not necessarily in that order, no, and your second question leads me to think "probably not" but the Great Oracle of Truthiness, Wikipedia, suggests "yes." Certainly, non-violence was part of his means in South Africa:

The word I used was "goal". Not "means".

And I would guess the hierarchy I suggested wouldn't have been fixed for every circumstance, particularly earlier on in his life/"development", but it does seem to be a kind of rule of thumb, doesn't it? It seems to have become more important to him later in his life.

IMO, later in life -- after he had succeeded in his goal of revolution -- non-violence was the means to a different goal, that of the survival of the new nation as a pluralistic state.

Let's also not forget that Gandhi's opponent was arguably the most formidable military power of its time. Using violent means against a stronger opponent...well, sometimes it works, for some definition of "works". But contrast India with Ireland, if you will. Gandhi went up against the same empire and came to a different conclusion about what would be the most effective technique. Again, modern fuzzy-thinkers put Gandhi in a nice warm-fuzzy basket with all the people we're taught to admire without knowing anything about their actual history, but why does the Indian flag has a spinning wheel on it. Why did Gandhi wear homespun? Think about it...

mathewjgano
01-03-2012, 03:03 PM
The word I used was "goal". Not "means".
I know, but how does this address my understanding of the Wiki text? I added that I think non-violence was a means to his goals in South Africa because you seemed to suggest it wasn't.

IMO, later in life -- after he had succeeded in his goal of revolution -- non-violence was the means to a different goal, that of the survival of the new nation as a pluralistic state.
Ok, but he also used it before the revolution goal would have been accomplished...it was an ongoing (very reoccuring, at least) means, streching from South Africa to India, which he suggested ought be applied to other situations than that of Indian independance. To me this suggests he viewed non-violence as a thing which should be applied to all situations...the caveat being, as much as possible...or at least, that he felt that way later in life.

Again, modern fuzzy-thinkers put Gandhi in a nice warm-fuzzy basket with all the people we're taught to admire without knowing anything about their actual history, but why does the Indian flag has a spinning wheel on it. Why did Gandhi wear homespun? Think about it...
I would say that modern fuzzy-thinkers stop "thinking" beyond the warm-fuzzy feeling. There is a logic involved that Gandhi employed which I think those you're rightfully critiquing are missing. In a sense, he was a fighter, though in a perhaps subtle, roundabout, way.
His primary goal seemed to be Indian independance, but this shouldn't take away from the value he seemed to hold for non-violence as a means of handling disputes in general.

mathewjgano
01-03-2012, 03:27 PM
Which brings us back to O'Sensei whom I believe preferred peace, but understood the yin and yang relationship that peace can not exist without violence. And that you should be a master of both.

I think I agree with the essence of what you're describing. Strictly speaking, I disagree that peace cannot exist without violence; the concept stands out more readily when compared to violence, but the two cannot exist at the same place and time.
...kind of like Einstein's remark about how we cannot prepare for war and peace at the same time. In preparing for war we are not preparing for peace; in preparing for peace we are not preparing for war. We can prepare for war as a way of THEN preparing for peace, but I think that's a dangerous route too many people are too quick to adhere to: "If I could just get rid of my enemy everything would be better." Maybe; maybe not.

mathewjgano
01-03-2012, 03:44 PM
Sorry, Mary, i think I'm seeing what you mean a bit better now. My case is that non-violence was his ideal end-state and thus a goal. I know he advocated for violence at times, but I get the feeling that this was a means toward a non-violent state (of existence). I've been getting confused by the means-goals dichotomy because to me they're often the same thing, particularly when we view things in terms of a continuum...One goal is a means to the next. Sorry about that, and thank you for the conversation! I always appreciate how you force me to think hard about my pre-existing notions (and, sadly, point out the flaws in my choice of language and other "understandings").

genin
01-03-2012, 04:27 PM
Matt,

Peace and violence are distinctly different yet completely inseparable from one another. Hence yin and yang. It will never be hot on a cold day, nor will it be cold when it's hot out. Hot and cold are two parts of the same spectrum. I posit that peace and violence are also of the same spectrum. They can't exist at the same time together, true. But you will always have to deal with one or the other, which is why you need to master both.

The warrior who only knows violence will die a warriors death. The pacifist who only knows non-violence will find no peace in a violent world. Perhaps being a master of both is how you would achieve the "middle way" (which is common in the teachings of enlightenment.) While I hate to say "This is what O'Sensei meant", I do feel that is true. I mean, how else can you explain creating a martial art of bone breaking and body throwing, then saying that peace is it's foremost focus? In the context of the middle way it makes sense, but without that context, it seems contradictory and borderline hypocritical.

mathewjgano
01-03-2012, 05:41 PM
Peace and violence are distinctly different yet completely inseparable from one another. Hence yin and yang. It will never be hot on a cold day, nor will it be cold when it's hot out. Hot and cold are two parts of the same spectrum. I posit that peace and violence are also of the same spectrum. They can't exist at the same time together, true. But you will always have to deal with one or the other, which is why you need to master both.
Which is why I said I essentially agree. As concepts they are inseperable; descriptions which are essentially opposite qualities. I commented as I did because I've heard this conceptual relationship put forward as a way of justifying the existence of violence...as if we couldn't appreciate, or in some way "really" have a peaceful situation without the existence of violence somewhere. And to be clear, I didn't think you were saying those things.

The warrior who only knows violence will die a warriors death. The pacifist who only knows non-violence will find no peace in a violent world. Perhaps being a master of both is how you would achieve the "middle way" (which is common in the teachings of enlightenment.) While I hate to say "This is what O'Sensei meant", I do feel that is true. I mean, how else can you explain creating a martial art of bone breaking and body throwing, then saying that peace is it's foremost focus? In the context of the middle way it makes sense, but without that context, it seems contradictory and borderline hypocritical.
I agree except that I can see how a pacifist might enjoy a sense of peace in a violent world, even assuming said pacifist were hypothetically unable to resolve said violence being brought to bear. In other words, violence can be handled with non-violence, but it's harder sometimes.
I agree with your view of O Sensei with regard to the "middle way" of peace and violence; martial and non-martial ability. In order to serve as an intermediary it's best to learn both...and without learning a bit of both, any aparent success is probably a lucky happenstance.
I would say that learning a martial art (i.e. anything which addresses "martial" matters) is a good example of preparing for war to then prepare for peace, assuming it also includes something about peace, of course.

Kevin Leavitt
01-03-2012, 06:07 PM
I think someone that is enlightened can be at peace and realize it even in the most austere and violent conditions. Victor Frankl's story comes to mind.

A big part of the issue is that we need to consider that enlightenment and "peace" in this sense is a individual process, whereas societal peace is a completely different concept and criteria in which to judge peace.

I think in the sense of society, peace and violence are relative to one another and we place ethics, morality, and values against a perceived quality of life.

You can have what you call societal peace, and still have a bunch of greedy needy unenlightened beings running around screw each other behind their backs while drinking a Starbucks looking down on the rest of the world saying "too bad those guys don't have the kinda peace or quality of life we do".

I think Martial Arts or Budo is really a "12 step program" that teaches us to live in amongst this mess of society. I think we can understand the process of peace, the mechanisms of both peace and violence...and maybe get some skillz to deal with violence along the way.

Not really sure what it all has to do with englighenment really, which is really about you and your relationship with yourself and how you choose to deal with the world around you.

Janet Rosen
01-03-2012, 06:12 PM
Yep and yep.....

I think someone that is enlightened can be at peace and realize it even in the most austere and violent conditions. Victor Frankl's story comes to mind.

A big part of the issue is that we need to consider that enlightenment and "peace" in this sense is a individual process, whereas societal peace is a completely different concept and criteria in which to judge peace.

I think in the sense of society, peace and violence are relative to one another and we place ethics, morality, and values against a perceived quality of life.

You can have what you call societal peace, and still have a bunch of greedy needy unenlightened beings running around screw each other behind their backs while drinking a Starbucks looking down on the rest of the world saying "too bad those guys don't have the kinda peace or quality of life we do".

I think Martial Arts or Budo is really a "12 step program" that teaches us to live in amongst this mess of society. I think we can understand the process of peace, the mechanisms of both peace and violence...and maybe get some skillz to deal with violence along the way.

Not really sure what it all has to do with englighenment really, which is really about you and your relationship with yourself and how you choose to deal with the world around you.

lbb
01-04-2012, 09:33 AM
Sorry, Mary, i think I'm seeing what you mean a bit better now. My case is that non-violence was his ideal end-state and thus a goal.

I hear what you're saying, but I still haven't seen any evidence that this is more than supposition and an outgrowth of the modern take on Gandhi. To see the merit in this argument, I'd want to see historical evidence.

I've been getting confused by the means-goals dichotomy because to me they're often the same thing, particularly when we view things in terms of a continuum...One goal is a means to the next.

I think it's important not to confuse the concept with the instance. "Goal" and "mean" are completely different. An example of a goal may also be an example of a mean. "Nonviolence" may be either or both, but that does not make goals and means the same thing. My take on it is that Gandhi adopted nonviolence as the only (possibly) viable method for successful revolution against a much more powerful opponent, and after using it for some time, discovered that it was also the only viable way to build a new society.

mathewjgano
01-05-2012, 11:32 AM
I hear what you're saying, but I still haven't seen any evidence that this is more than supposition and an outgrowth of the modern take on Gandhi. To see the merit in this argument, I'd want to see historical evidence.
Well, I generally trust your scholarship more than my own half-assed attempts.

My take on it is that Gandhi adopted nonviolence as the only (possibly) viable method for successful revolution against a much more powerful opponent, and after using it for some time, discovered that it was also the only viable way to build a new society.
I can see how this could be true. I've been inferring my view based on memories of the books I read as a wee lad (hardly complex in their presentation), the movie, and the handful of reading I've done recently thanks to this thread. How do you view the following quotes ascribed to him?

"There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for."

...in 1940, when invasion of the British Isles by Nazi Germany looked imminent, Gandhi offered the following advice to the British people (Non-Violence in Peace and War):[75]

"I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions...If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them."

Although, there does seem to be a bit of a contradiction to his suggestion to England, given his non-cooperative behaviors in both India and South Africa. I suppose he could be saying to his opponant, you should just give up (it would be easier for us to withstand you in india).
Whatever the case, I do think Gandhi at least showed there are more options to handling struggle than the all-too-often-employed brute force. The American example proved brute force could work (albeit with the help of The Other Superpower, merci), but I think O Sensei would agree (gotta try to tie this back somehow:blush: ) it's generally not good to fight a superior force head-on.

genin
01-05-2012, 01:39 PM
I think that Gandhi was close to being correct with his suggestion to the European Jews. The reason is because they had no ability to withstand the Nazi's by using violent resistance. When you look at instances where Jews did use violence, the Nazi reprisals resulted in even further massacres. In addition, we saw in hindsight that the Jews died by the millions any way, so an act of sacrifice would've at worst only produced the same results. At best, it would've influenced the world precisely as Gandhi predicted it would, thus ending the conflict.

This confirms my position that it is best to use violence when a forceful approach is likely to produce swift results. And it is best to use non-violence when a forceful approach is unlikely to produce desired results.

mathewjgano
01-05-2012, 03:20 PM
I think that Gandhi was close to being correct with his suggestion to the European Jews. The reason is because they had no ability to withstand the Nazi's by using violent resistance. When you look at instances where Jews did use violence, the Nazi reprisals resulted in even further massacres. In addition, we saw in hindsight that the Jews died by the millions any way, so an act of sacrifice would've at worst only produced the same results. At best, it would've influenced the world precisely as Gandhi predicted it would, thus ending the conflict.

This confirms my position that it is best to use violence when a forceful approach is likely to produce swift results. And it is best to use non-violence when a forceful approach is unlikely to produce desired results.

I have mixed feelings about this. At best it would have worked; at worst it would have made the Nazi's job easier...and really, most of the Jews did what they were told and were led to slaughter. I agree that in terms of life lost, it might have made little difference, but I think there's value to be had in not doing the dirty work for that proverbial bad guy. What Gandhi seems to be suggesting is that people sacrifice themselves in order to cause other people to change the situation (whether the agents of destruction or their friends and neighbors). I disagree with that idea because it strikes me as leaving to others what I could work toward myself. That isn't to say there is never a time for such sacrifice, but I would rather people try to stick around and solve the problems than make a bold act and then disappear.

genin
01-05-2012, 03:24 PM
I have mixed feelings about this. At best it would have worked; at worst it would have made the Nazi's job easier...and really, most of the Jews did what they were told and were led to slaughter. I agree that in terms of life lost, it might have made little difference, but I think there's value to be had in not doing the dirty work for that proverbial bad guy. What Gandhi seems to be suggesting is that people sacrifice themselves in order to cause other people to change the situation (whether the agents of destruction or their friends and neighbors). I disagree with that idea because it strikes me as leaving to others what I could work toward myself. That isn't to say there is never a time for such sacrifice, but I would rather people try to stick around and solve the problems than make a bold act and then disappear.

The idea of self-sacrifice for the greater good is a difficult concept for the individual to embrace. But for a population as a whole it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense for a person to speak on the behalf of an entire population, particularly when he himself will not be effected by course of action for which he is suggesting.

Marc Abrams
01-05-2012, 03:36 PM
I think that Gandhi was close to being correct with his suggestion to the European Jews. The reason is because they had no ability to withstand the Nazi's by using violent resistance. When you look at instances where Jews did use violence, the Nazi reprisals resulted in even further massacres. In addition, we saw in hindsight that the Jews died by the millions any way, so an act of sacrifice would've at worst only produced the same results. At best, it would've influenced the world precisely as Gandhi predicted it would, thus ending the conflict.

This confirms my position that it is best to use violence when a forceful approach is likely to produce swift results. And it is best to use non-violence when a forceful approach is unlikely to produce desired results.

Roger (or is it buck- I forgot),

This post is beyond the pale of even the slightest understanding of the history of that period of time. Jewish resistance during that time period took many forms and saved many lives. It is obvious to me that you have little real-life experience in most areas that would enable you to have any kind of mature understanding of most things. I would recommend that you practice the virtue of silence in this area.

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
01-05-2012, 03:45 PM
The idea of self-sacrifice for the greater good is a difficult concept for the individual to embrace. But for a population as a whole it makes perfect sense. It also makes sense for a person to speak on the behalf of an entire population, particularly when he himself will not be effected by course of action for which he is suggesting.

Generally speaking, I quite agree.

genin
01-05-2012, 04:25 PM
Roger (or is it buck- I forgot),

This post is beyond the pale of even the slightest understanding of the history of that period of time. Jewish resistance during that time period took many forms and saved many lives. It is obvious to me that you have little real-life experience in most areas that would enable you to have any kind of mature understanding of most things. I would recommend that you practice the virtue of silence in this area.

Marc Abrams

Buck???

Anyway, what about the 20,000 to 50,000 civilians killed in Wola and Ochota as a result of the Warsaw uprising? Or the 10,000 Jews killed in Lidice as a direct result of jewish assassins killing Reinhard Heydrich?

I assume that Abrams is a jewish name, hence your indignation surrounding my post.

Marc Abrams
01-05-2012, 05:18 PM
Buck???

Anyway, what about the 20,000 to 50,000 civilians killed in Wola and Ochota as a result of the Warsaw uprising? Or the 10,000 Jews killed in Lidice as a direct result of jewish assassins killing Reinhard Heydrich?

I assume that Abrams is a jewish name, hence your indignation surrounding my post.

Roger,

Is Abrams a Jewish name? Got me on that one. My indignation has to do with an expressed ignorance regarding the issues that you profess to have any idea about. Namely, violence, the holocaust, the list of topics go on and on. I would love to introduce you to some people with some personal experiences regarding these issues, but you would not do well in any kind of encounters with them. Precisely why I talked about the virtue of silence. Quoting numbers without the context of the larger picture simply clarifies the profound lack of knowledge about areas that you attempt to claim some knowledge about. When you broach areas that are highly sensitive areas for some people, you are best off keeping your mouth closed, rather than display a lack of understanding that could result in some significant misunderstandings and conflicts.

Marc Abrams

Cady Goldfield
01-05-2012, 09:20 PM
"The Gandhi error - Peace works against democracies. Peace doesn't work against tyrants."

"if Gandhi had been Jewish, we would have never heard of him. Gandhi's passive resistance was a testament to British morality, not to peace as a weapon because Hitler never would have stopped to listen. Gandhi's tactic worked because the British are basically good people. Same with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

http://markhumphrys.com/peace.html#gandhi

Carsten Möllering
01-06-2012, 06:29 AM
... , hence your indignation surrounding my post.
Or maybe it's simply because of the crude logic you use?
Or maybe because you clearly show a lack of knowledge?

You shouldn't concentrate on the name of your discussion partner but pay attendtion to his words.

Bitter to read your thoughts.

genin
01-06-2012, 07:36 AM
"The Gandhi error - Peace works against democracies. Peace doesn't work against tyrants."

"if Gandhi had been Jewish, we would have never heard of him. Gandhi's passive resistance was a testament to British morality, not to peace as a weapon because Hitler never would have stopped to listen. Gandhi's tactic worked because the British are basically good people. Same with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

http://markhumphrys.com/peace.html#gandhi

Another Godwin'd thread....

There were only three possible courses of action the Jews could've taken. One was violoent resistance. One was non-violent resistance. And the other was acquiesence. For the most part, the Jews acquiesced to the Nazis. Many of them died as a result. When they fought back, many died as a result of that as well. However, no one actually knows what might have happened had they sacrificed themselves through non-violent protest. It's all speculation.

It's not really my position to sit here and say that they should have sacrificed themselves. All I am doing is pointing out Gandhi's reasoning, and how history corresponds with what he was saying. If that is an offensive topic, I would reccomend ignoring the thread, or create a forum rule that holocaust discussions are prohibited.

Peace only working against democracies is an interesting concept. I would say that the British Empire has been as much a tyranny throughout history as it has been a democracy (having committed massacres in India).It's true that peace will probably have more of an impact on peaceable people, but it could also work against any enemy, provided the circumstances were right.

Carsten Möllering
01-06-2012, 11:05 AM
There were only three possible courses of action the Jews could've taken. ...
If at all, this sentence only applies to some certain situations.
It clearly does not apply to the lives of millions of Germans (of Jewish belief) over some four or five decades.
It is completely impossible to condense the situation in this way.

When they fought back, ...
There are only few scholars who worked about the Jewish resistance during the "Third Reich". This aspect has been completely faded out until about two decades ago. There still is much to learn about what happened "when the fought back" and how this was done.
But we know by now that there was much more resistance than most people imagine.

However, no one actually knows what might have happened had they sacrificed themselves through non-violent protest.
There are well know examples of persons or groups who did so. (Not only jews.)
Jehovah's Witnesses are one example. The Mennonites are another one.

... All I am doing is pointing out Gandhi's reasoning, ...
And exactly his behavior and reasoning conerning the situation in Germany is one known reason to critisize him.

genin
01-06-2012, 11:44 AM
There's this writer/activist named Derrick Jensen who is really into the idea that the Jews who resiststed the Nazis faired better than those that went along willingly. He is very much a supporter of violence as a means of political, enivronmental, and social reform. His argument is that they were going to be exterminated either way, and some of those who resisted were able to make it out alive. But many Jews made it out alive any way. Armed resistance was not the only way to save themselves.

I might also add that if there had been a way to arm all the Jews, then a collective attack would probably be a much better option than a group sacrifice.

graham christian
01-06-2012, 08:28 PM
On this thread for all those who posted you may like this video.

http://7liveonline.com/video?id=8027981

Regards.G.

lbb
01-07-2012, 02:23 PM
What is the point of this speculation? It neither proves nor disproves the merits of nonviolence, or of violent resistance, as efficacious strategies. Moreover, it's skating close to the edge (where it hasn't plunged headlong over it) of blaming the victim.

kewms
01-09-2012, 06:36 PM
Peace only working against democracies is an interesting concept. I would say that the British Empire has been as much a tyranny throughout history as it has been a democracy (having committed massacres in India).It's true that peace will probably have more of an impact on peaceable people, but it could also work against any enemy, provided the circumstances were right.

England was a democracy at the time of the Indian independence struggle. It was precisely the conflict between the democractic values of English citizens and the undemocratic actions of the Empire that made Gandhi's approach effective.

The US was a democracy at the time of the civil rights movement. It was precisely the conflict between the values of most US citizens and the actions of anti-civil rights protestors that made King's tactics effective.

In both cases, non-violent protest inspired outside forces to intervene on the side of the protestors.

Katherine

sakumeikan
01-10-2012, 08:01 AM
Has anyone ever compared these two men? I find it very interesting how similar they were. Both men grew up in the same era (within a generation of each other), lived long lives, started spiritual movements, and practiced what could be considered non-violence. Even the meaning of their names are similar-- Mahatma "Great Soul" and O'Sensei "Great Teacher." Both men were meek in appearance, even frail looking. Yet these were probably two of the most spiritually powerful men in all of human existence, aside from Christ himself.

What has drawn me to these individuals is the desire to attain that level of power. It amazes me how Ghandi was able to manipulate MILLIONS of people and break the crushing grip of the British Empire simply through inaction and starvation. Being able to control people through non-physical means is clearly far superior to any other method. Out of necessity, Ghandi used his spiritual clout to acheive political gains. However, O'Sensei developed his spirituality in the pursuit of peace and universal harmony.

I just find it really interesting how interconnected these two individuals seem to be in that regard, and I'm trying cultivate a practical application of these philosophies in my own life. Easier said than done.

Hi Roger,
O Sensei frail looking? As a young man he was built like a tank.Short , but stocky built.Hardly frail.cheers, Joe

genin
01-10-2012, 08:11 AM
Hi Roger,
O Sensei frail looking? As a young man he was built like a tank.Short , but stocky built.Hardly frail.cheers, Joe

It was probably incorrect to characterize these men by physical appearance. In their 80 year lifespans, a lot can change.Yes, O'Sensei looked much different at 20 then he did at 80.

RuteMendes
01-23-2012, 03:45 PM
Wow! You read my mind! I always though about it too!
Just 1 diffrence: Gandhi defended the resistance agaisnt the power, O'sensei defended the non-resistence agaisnt the enemy! But if we see, it would be basically with the same principle: universal peace and equality :)
I'm pretty sure that if they would have known each other (i don't know if they did or not), they would get along very well! ^^
:D

genin
01-24-2012, 10:13 AM
I'm pretty sure that if they would have known each other (i don't know if they did or not), they would get along very well! ^^
:DI'm sure O'Sensei heard of Gandhi, but I don't know if Gandhi ever heard of O'Sensei. Politics and martial arts aren't exactly intertwined.