I want both the Hindus and Mussalmans to cultivate the cool courage to die without killing. But if one has not that courage, I want him to cultivate the art of killing and being killed rather than, in a cowardly manner, flee from danger. For the latter, in spite of his flight, does commit mental himsa. He flees because he has not the courage to be killed in the act of killing.
My method of nonviolence can never lead to loss of strength, but it alone will make it possible, if the nation wills it, to offer disciplined and concerted violence in time of danger.
My creed of nonviolence is an extremely active force. It has no room for cowardice or even weakness. There is hope for a violent man to be some day non-violent, but there is none for a coward. I have, therefore, said more than once….that, if we do not know how to defend ourselves, our women and our places of worship by the force of suffering, i.e., nonviolence, we must, if we are men, be at least able to defend all these by fighting.
— Between Cowardice and Violence by Ghandi
Many people are surprised that Gandhi would explicitly say that violence is preferable to cowardice. Gandhi is often cited by those denouncing ‘violent’ opposition to injustice. But Gandhi did not have some strict deontological opposition to violence. Gandhi believed that non-violence was the best way to win the struggle against injustice. And that the society that results from non-violent revolution would be superior to the result of violent revolution.
In spite, however, of the madness and the vain imitation of the tinsel of the West, the hope lingers in me and many others that India shall survive this death dance and occupy the moral height that should belong to her after the training, however imperfect, in nonviolence for an unbroken period of thirty-two years since 1915.
An India reduced in size but purged in spirit may still be the nursery of the nonviolence of the brave and take up the moral leadership of the world, bringing a message of hope and deliverance to the oppressed and exploited races. But an unwieldy, soul-less India will merely be an imitation, and a third-rate imitation at that, of the Western military States, utterly powerless to stand up against their onslaught. I have no desire to outlive the India of my dreams.
— India and the Violent Way by Ghandi
Never the less, Gandhi’s conception of non-violence was quite expansive. He believed in radical criminal justice reform. It is much harder to support a principle if you don’t truly think it works. Gandi believed in an India free of both colonialism and internal oppression. He thought non-violence was the best way to achieve his dream.
Anyone else concerned that US politics has suddenly collapsed from civil arguments over redistribution amounts & mechanisms (left vs right) to street violence between rival gangs?Polite order is my ingroup. Civil unrest is my outgroup. This rapid transformation and the loss of shared anti-violence culture horrifies me. The threat to the lives of the urban underprivileged from a collapse of civil order is VASTLY greater than the minuscule number of unjust murders by police. These rioting fools are ignoring the history of failed state body counts.— Patri Friedman, Facebook
It seems to me that consistent supporters of freedom should be ecstatic about Black Lives Matter. The USA incarceration rate is truly ridiculous. We incarcerate at rates 6.3 times higher than the EU. The white incarceration rate is four times and the Black rate is twenty-two the EU average. About a third of black men have a felony conviction. This represented a truly enormous loss of human freedom.
A serious obstacle to change is that the police were considered rather trustworthy and honest by the public. In 20019 54 percent of people said the police had high or very high honesty and integrity. Of course, police lie all the time. Police also take more property than robbers. In many circles, the famous Don’t Talk the Police video is considered common-sense advice. We know the police cannot be trusted, it would be better if the wider public knew. BLM is starting to change the public perception of the police. We cannot protect our rights until the public becomes much more skeptical of the police. Even if you are not concerned about racism you should enthusiastically support BLM if you truly prioritize freedom.
You can only serve so many masters, perhaps just one. In theory, Patri is in favor of human freedom. But it seems to me his true master is ‘polite order’. It is clear how Patri will side if freedom trades off against order and property rights. You cannot model people based on what they abstractly support. You need to know which masters they serve.