gandhi prompts a shift in framing india’s predicament under english rule
The English have not taken India; we have given it to them. They are not in India because of their strength, but because we keep them. [..] If I am in the habit of drinking bhang and a seller thereof sells it to me, am I to blame him or myself?
in some ways, this is an extreme libertarian standpoint – it places ultimate responsibility with the individual
confer with gandhi’s later quote,
To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. So doing, we know ourselves. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means “good conduct”.
(1) is gandhi’s conception of civilization a vision of individual rule as much as it is a vision of home rule? (2) can passive resistance be seen as a form of libertarianism? that is, is force is unethical because it tampers with the free will of the opponent?
join me in the following thought experiment: we, some ten thousand years ago, awaking as strange and hairless apes, reject the constraints of natural order and seek to replace them with our own. civilization-capitalism emerges. technology is the means by which this new order comes to be.
that is, we —
usurp the function of the Godhead and indulge in novel experiments
is technology intrinsically focused on conquest? of nature, of others? (like the railroads gandhi evokes, does it, like evil, “have wings”)? or is there a way of conceiving of technology in the self-directed, social, or ethical sense of civilization – civilization as “good conduct”?
another way of asking the same question – can technology only perpetuate the “trance” or “sleep” of civilization, or can it awaken us also?