Self-Governance and World Community

–by Mahatma Gandhi  (Mar 16, 2017)

Gandhi continuously stressed the importance of self-governance, specially at the personal level. That’s why when a journalist asked him: “Do you prefer English people as governing race to other races?”, he replied:

I have no choice to make. I do not want to be governed except by myself.”

Was Gandhi an Anarchist? Gandhi’s “nationalism” stood to disband the Congress Party upon independence:

Its task is done. The next task is to move into villages and revitalize life there to build a new socio-economic structure from the bottom upwards.” […]

“Political power, in my opinion, cannot be our ultimate aim. It is one of the means used by men and women for their all-round advancement. The power to control national life through national representatives is called political power. Representatives will become unnecessary if the national life becomes so perfect as to be self-controlled. It will then be a state of enlightened anarchy in which each person will become her and his own ruler. They will conduct themselves in such a way that their behavior will not hamper the well-being of his or her neighbors. In an ideal State there will be no political institution and therefore no political power. That is why Thoreau has said in his classic statement that government is the best which governs the least.”

At a prayer meeting Gandhi addressed the concerns of a correspondent who asked: “Now that [the place of the Earth we call] India has been partitioned how can you call yourself a citizen of united India? Now what belongs to one dominion cannot belong to the other.” His response was this:

“Whatever the legal pundits may say they cannot rule the hearts of men and women. Who can prevent the correspondent from saying that she or he is a citizen of the world? Legally that is not the case and some countries have laws that would prevent them from entering those countries. But if one has not been reduced to an automation, as some of us have not been, what does it matter to one what one’s legal status is? So long as we are morally on the right path we do not have to worry. What we have to take care of is that we do not nurse enmity towards anyone.” […]

“The very right to live is only afforded to us if we fulfill our duty as citizens of the World. Nationalism is not the highest concept. The highest concept is a World Community.”

–Mahatma Gandhi. Excerpts from the from the newsletter My Life Is My Message (World Citizenship and Enlightened Anarchy). [Cloth mural “World Without Borders” made by families of elementary school Manzanita SEED in East Oakland. Illustration offered as an anonymous gift :-)]

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About Pancho

To live in radical joyous shared servanthood to unify humanity.
This entry was posted in ahimsa, anarchism, anarchy, ARTivism, astrobiology, Awakin Oakland, education, fearlessness, meditation, natural philosophy, noncooperation, nonviolence, Peace Army, satyagraha, Shanti Sena, soulforce, WednesdaysOnFridays and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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