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Gandhi's philosophy applied to Colonial America

Gandhi>Bush

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Do you think Gandhi's way(nonviolence) could have been used back in 1776? I certainly think so. The Boston Tea party was a beautiful demonstration of nonviolence. Why couldn't such a movement continue?
 

FinnMacCool

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Violence is fun though!

But seriously I suppose it could've worked but I dunno. Ghandi was one in a billion. There would have to be a leader like him during that time and I don't think there was.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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FinnMacCool said:
Violence is fun though!

But seriously I suppose it could've worked but I dunno. Ghandi was one in a billion. There would have to be a leader like him during that time and I don't think there was.
...Let's suppose there was one.
 

FinnMacCool

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Not if they couldn't control the more radical ones. I mean some of the patriots back then were almost like terrorists really. scary people. But yeah I suppose it might have worked. might have.
 

Calm2Chaos

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I think we would be sipping tea and saying "Hail to the queen".... Or whatever they say.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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Calm2Chaos said:
I think we would be sipping tea and saying "Hail to the queen".... Or whatever they say.
Do you have any other brilliant and mind blowing observations or would you give me a reason?
 

Gandhi>Bush

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FinnMacCool said:
Not if they couldn't control the more radical ones. I mean some of the patriots back then were almost like terrorists really. scary people. But yeah I suppose it might have worked. might have.
What are you talking about? I don't recall anything like that in any history class I've ever taken. The idea of guerilla warfare was at it's most infantile stages. What acts do you percieve as similar to terrorist's?
 

FinnMacCool

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Well it was mostly pre war stuff but they did tar and feather tax collectors and also they beat replicas of these british officials and intimidated them that way. Its true that they didn't use bombs but yeah. . .
 

Tashah

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Gandhi>Bush said:
What are you talking about? I don't recall anything like that in any history class I've ever taken. The idea of guerilla warfare was at it's most infantile stages. What acts do you percieve as similar to terrorist's?
I myself wouldn't classify the principal colonist forces under Washington as terrorist. Perhaps 'asymmetrical for the period' would be a more apt and honest characterization.

However, there were indeed terrorist-like acts committed in the south by rebels against colonists who were British sympathizers. One such incident against a woman was especially heinous... but I prefer not to chronicle the gruesome details here. I would suggest that anyone who is interested in this southern rebel/sympathizer cycle of violence should study the historical backdrop behind Washington's appointment of General Nathanael Greene as Commander of the Southern Army in 1780.


 

SouthernDemocrat

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Gandhi>Bush said:
What are you talking about? I don't recall anything like that in any history class I've ever taken. The idea of guerilla warfare was at it's most infantile stages. What acts do you percieve as similar to terrorist's?
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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SouthernDemocrat said:
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
That's great man, but it doesn't really apply here.
 

Calm2Chaos

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Gandhi>Bush said:
Do you have any other brilliant and mind blowing observations or would you give me a reason?
Because they would have been just as happy to walk in and shoot anyone that stood against them. In any form or fashion. There was no press to outrage the public. It doesn't work IMO as a rule. yes it work for Ganhdi, but no I have no doubt it would have failed with the likes of saddam. We would still be fighting him. We would just be kicking him out of Kuwait first though.
 

Gandhi>Bush

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Calm2Chaos said:
Because they would have been just as happy to walk in and shoot anyone that stood against them. In any form or fashion. There was no press to outrage the public. It doesn't work IMO as a rule. yes it work for Ganhdi, but no I have no doubt it would have failed with the likes of saddam. We would still be fighting him. We would just be kicking him out of Kuwait first though.
We're not talking about Iraq. We're talking about 1776. Here's what Gandhi would do:

How are they getting money? Tea Tax? Don't buy tea. Make your own.
What is their motivation to keep America as a British asset? Taxes? Stop paying taxes.

Massive protest. Massive action. You get your own couriers informing the people in the colonies as well in the mother country(Britian).

Tell me where nonviolence has been applied and failed?
 

Tashah

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It might have worked G>B. But first, let me paint an extended scenario for you. Let's just suppose that the colonists did exactly what Gandhi would have done... what you proposed in the above post. Those rebellious actions would have indeed placed the proverbial ball in the court of the Brits.

Hypothetically now, how would the Brits have responded to these provocations? Seeing as how they eventually resorted to brute force, it is obvious that their desire to maintain control of the colonies was of the utmost importance. I can only hazard a guess here, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if their follow-up response would be to confiscate/destroy the livestock and agri-harvests of the colonists.

This would place the colonists in an untenable position... no food and sustenance for their families. A simultaneous Brit naval embargo would also deny critical hardware supplies and medicinal concoctions. From a purely Brit point of view, they could always replenish the dead and dying colonists with new arrivals from Her Majesty's empire... all carefully vetted for loyalty to the crown before any trans-Atlantic voyage ensued.

Although I love Gandhi dearly... how could he have responded in a non-violent fashion to such a dire scenario? Just some possible alternative history to consider here.



 

Gandhi>Bush

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Tashah said:
It might have worked G>B. But first, let me paint an extended scenario for you. Let's just suppose that the colonists did exactly what Gandhi would have done... what you proposed in the above post. Those rebellious actions would have indeed placed the proverbial ball in the court of the Brits.

Hypothetically now, how would the Brits have responded to these provocations? Seeing as how they eventually resorted to brute force, it is obvious that their desire to maintain control of the colonies was of the utmost importance. I can only hazard a guess here, but it wouldn't surprise me a bit if their follow-up response would be to confiscate/destroy the livestock and agri-harvests of the colonists.

This would place the colonists in an untenable position... no food and sustenance for their families. A simultaneous Brit naval embargo would also deny critical hardware supplies and medicinal concoctions. From a purely Brit point of view, they could always replenish the dead and dying colonists with new arrivals from Her Majesty's empire... all carefully vetted for loyalty to the crown before any trans-Atlantic voyage ensued.

Although I love Gandhi dearly... how could he have responded in a non-violent fashion to such a dire scenario? Just some possible alternative history to consider here.



How much would that cost the British empire? Naval embargo on an entire continent to produce how much of a result? That's alot of money being thrown around there.

Also take into account the standard citizen in Britain. Upon hearing such barbaric rumors about their own military and the lives and nonviolent efforts of their own people and ancestors, how do you think they would respond?

Also take into account the standard soldier. These people are not going bring violence against them. They have openly commited to a cause that vows no killing. Then the soldiers are given orders to starve people who less than a genaration ago were their own countrymen- men they swore to protect. How long before they become disallusioned?

I think that there is a good argument against nonviolence when someone brings up the "monster" factor, but I don't think that's in the cards when you're dealing with the British Empire.
 

Tashah

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Lol... take it easy hun. It was just an excercise in moving a historical rubick's cube around a bit. One not need be so drastic either. Another scenario would be to concentrate all of the colonists in one or two of the least desirable colonies. A forced emmigration to mitigate the theater of contention.

I could do this all day. The underlying point I was hinting at is that there may indeed be geographical locations, political situations, and culture abberations that would preclude a Gandhi response from either being considered or implimented. Although non-violence is always the best policy, one glove does not always fit different 'hands'. Hopefully someday, Gandhi's philosophy will not just be the best philosophy... but the only philosophy.

~Tashah~


 
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