Quote of the day–Mahatma Gandhi

I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancour. You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain.


Mahatma Gandhi
Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, vol.LXXXVII, p.394-5
[This was brought to you via email from Ry who was reminded of it via my Philosophy Questions.


The pacifist, or anyone, who claims, “Violence never solves anything.” Or, “Violence is never the answer” enables the murder or enslavement of themselves and/or their followers. Gandhi was smart enough to realize the principles he adhered necessitated this outcome.


The principles of Gandhi do have application in many situations but not in all. The consequence of not having a viable “Plan B” if non-violence fails in the face of violent oppression is the extinction of your society and perhaps your species. In the long run the pure pacifist guarantees the occupation of their place in history and the elimination of their existence in the future.


I am of the opinion there exist certain conditions which trigger a more Heinlein like approach to the situation. The Second Amendment guarantees we have the option available when it is needed.—Joe]

9 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Mahatma Gandhi

  1. Most people I know who think they are pacifists really just want others (e.g. government agents) to do violence on their behalf so they don’t have to get any yucky stuff on their paws.

  2. “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.”
    –Mahatma Gandhi

    Funny that no one on the Left cares to remember that particular quote…

  3. The thing about what Gandhi did, is it never would have worked with the Russians or someone like them. It only would work with the British. He made them out to be the bad guy by living up to their principles.

  4. +1 Rob. If the British Empire had been as cold and calculating as the Soviet Empire, or the Nazi Empire, or the Khmer Rouge, “Mohandas Gandhi” would be as much as a household name as the Karen Rebel leader in Burma that a friend who does missionary work over there told me about, but for the life of me I couldn’t even dig up his name in Google.

    The British had the power, and the means to Wipe Gandhi and his followers off the face of the map, and from the pages of all but the most academic history books. The fact that they didn’t says more about the British than it does about Gandhi.

    Of course none of my above words are meant for any disrespect to Mr. Gandhi’s heroic work. I respect his accomplishments, and his goals. I just don’t respect his methods, and I believe he was lucky.

  5. “The Second Amendment guarantees we have the option available when it is needed.”

    No, it doesn’t. The government feels free to ignore, subvert, and restrict it all the time. The only thing that guarantees that we have the option is our willingness to actually use that option with whatever tools we have. Said willingness doesn’t really seem to be that high, from where I’m sitting.

  6. It’s a paper guarantee. It’s like a restraining order. It has to be enforced. Most of the time this is done by the courts and via elections. But ultimately it is enforced by the people who exercise it.

  7. On the other hand…

    The Dalai Lama: “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”

  8. When I read your comment the first thing I thought of was Robert Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”. It is about the same issues but man is it incredible.

    I sometimes wonder what the U.S. would do if the Taliban etc. who we are fighting in Afghanistan used non violence on us. Its funny really how quickly we would fold.

    That would be true asymmetric warfare or lack of warfare.

    If anyone has not read “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” it is a easy read and just brilliant. A page turner. It also won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, designed to honor classic libertarian fiction, from the Libertarian Futurist Society. I would say that was a great choice.

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