In re-reading these pieces, I was struck by how much the use of Charkha was seen by Gandhi as a form of resistance, as opposed to a form of truth-seeking (satyagraha) on its own.
I wonder how Gandhi would perceive the use of technology in a world where there wasn’t an obvious oppressor. Would he see the use of Charkha as an inherently meditative, self-sufficient practice? Or, would he see value in labor-saving devices that allow human beings the freedom to pursue other, potentially spiritual, interests, as long as they were equitably distributed, and operated at the right scale?
Similarly, how would he perceive individual choice in such a world. In his time, British colonial rule provided an obvious foil – requiring collective action on a massive scale. How would his views play out in an independent India, or more precisely, in a nation of independent princely states, like the one Gandhi was supposedly in favor of reverting to? Would Gandhi think that democracy is necessary, or would he agree with Plato’s notion of Philosopher Kinds, obviously with the right of the people to pursue their own satyagraha?
Finally, I am also intrigued by what Gandhi would have thought of communication and media technologies. On one hand, they have issues of scale and coercion. On the other hand, they allow us to understand perspectives and share experiences with others very different from ourselves. With his prolific efforts in writing and publishing, he must have had at least some thoughts on the matter.