Chapter

Introduction

Anthony J. Parel

in Pax Gandhiana

Published in print September 2016 | ISBN: 9780190491451
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190491475 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491451.003.0001
Introduction

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Gandhi is a political philosopher sui generis. This chapter compares him with Machiavelli. The differences between their concepts of politics, the relationship between tradition and modernity, ends and means, virtue and vice, reason of state and state conduct, violence and nonviolence, are examined. Pax Britannica practiced a form of Machiavellism in India. Pax Gandhiana is Gandhi’s response to it. The chapter also analyzes the basic concepts of Pax Gandhiana: It supports neither absolute pacifism nor absolute nonviolence. It supports nonviolence as policy. It is compatible with the state based on the consent of the governed. Finally, it claims that a self-sufficient humanism or absolute secularism does not speak for human nature, adequately considered, but only for what is in fact a construct of modernity.

Keywords: Machiavellism; Pax Britannica; Pax Gandhiana; ends and means; national interest; reason of state; nonviolence; policy; absolute pacifism

Chapter.  4777 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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