Evil has Wings

“evil has wings. To build a house takes time. Its destruction takes none. So the railways can become a distributing agency for the evil one only. ”

This seems a concentrated critique around  speed of action.  Are all hasty things evil?  If so, we are in so much trouble.  Internet? evil.  4g?  evil.  This blog post? evil.

I worry that this line of reasoning leads to a “small is beautiful” fallacy, but I don’t think that is what the swaraj is all about.  When I seriously look at my own life, I recognize the slow things, the built things as the most beautiful in the tagorian sense of the word.


2 thoughts on “Evil has Wings

  1. I think there’s a difference between the availability of speed and the use of speed. I’m not sure Gandhi is taking issue with it being possible to build a house quickly or moving things quickly. I think his problem is really with less-than-mindful use of them. All of these tools could be used to the better ends Gandhi advocates, be rarely are. Perhaps the real issue with them is that their speed encourages us to act without thinking, even if it doesn’t necessarily cause them.

  2. I think Colin is mostly right. It’s not the actual speed that Gandhi has a problem with, it’s the impact that sped up lifestyle has on our mindfulness. The problem I have with this is that speedy things are just wonderful. I love convenience and I lie to myself about its seductive power.

    Yesterday instead of taking the bus, I decided to walk 40 minutes to get home from a friend’s house. The walk was nice and it definitely induced a heightened state of mindfulness. When I got home I felt more relaxed than had I taken the bus. However, not only do I not have the time to walk every day, but I do everything to convince myself that this mindfulness isn’t a real thing. Convenience is just so damn seductive that maybe the only way to really get to this state of mindfulness is to explicit absolute abstention from the convenience.

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