Short Answer 6 & 7

Gandhi’s view on violence was very different from many others of his time and the times before his, his reaction to violence was non-violence. Gandhi would go on to define non-violence as doing so in the moment, when someone else is inflicting violence upon you. He wanted those who were being violent to see very clearly the inhumanity that they were portraying onto another by the other person not reacting at all. By taking the violence, Gandhi said that it didn’t mean that you didn’t have a backbone, it meant that you were giving your perpetrator a moment to see wrong that they are doing when you take their violence without returning it. Gandhi presented this non-violence state of mind, but with it came some problems that, especially in America, many had a hard time coming to terms with. It starts with individual rights that people have, and the thought that we all have these rights as our own person to say what we want and how we feel and even act on them as long as it is not infringing on the rights of others because that is how we see personal freedom. Gandhi recognizes all as individuals but that they shouldn’t be following those rules of the State power that seems to control everyone. His non-violence ways also challenge the way that national sovereignty works, in particular on the borders and territory. As referred to in the lecture, when a country sees other coming in unwelcome on their territory, it is typically seen as war and that violence in the only answer to defense. Another challenge that is faced is this idea of justice that seems to be instinctual to us as humans—a retribution of violence if it is brought upon us first. But Gandhi says we are just supposed to take the violence and not react on it and that can be hard for many people and feel unfair, as though they are not gaining anything. All of these states of mind are ingrained in us as we have grown up in a violent society. As much as I would like to think that our society could grow into such a well thought out plan of non-violence, even the recent history of our world shows that violence is “answer.” Sadly the governments and military’s around the world hold great power and tend to use a lot of that power on decisions that involve violence, holding Gandhi’s non-violent tactic as perhaps a silly Utopia idea that will maybe happen in years from now.

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