Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Would Gandhi Do?

This is the title of an opinion piece in the NYT by historian Ian Desai. He thinks the efforts of the “occupy” movement to evoke Gandhi’s faith in nonviolent resistance are slightly misleading. With reference to the central slogan of the protesters, he says: “Gandhi would reject the division between the 99 percent and the 1 percent. Gandhi did not believe in enemies: he worked on the premise that solutions emerged only from cooperation.” Indeed, Gandhi was quite consistent in this regard. For example, he advised Britain to bite the bullet and surrender to Hitler, and he thought the Jewish people should resist the Nazis only in nonviolent ways.