Civil disobedience as a tool to ensure public safety: the nonviolent struggle in representations of G. Toro, L. N. Tolstoy, M. Gandhi and M. Luther king
Material posted: Publication date: 26-06-2013

The overview contains information about the theory of nonviolent resistance. Analyzes the views of leading thinkers of non-violence, their impact on modern technique of political struggle. The author believes that in modern conditions the idea of nonviolent resistance is anarchic in nature.

In the twenty-first century religious and philosophical doctrines (new or inherited by inheritance), claiming absolute truth, contain the ideas of non-violence. And it has a reasonable justification, freed from mysticism.

First, the attractiveness of non-violent struggle stems from her love of freedom, the desire spiritually and financially emancipate the individual from the claims of the political superstructure.

Secondly, non-violence, as a system of values, ethical and social concept that was used by religious leaders to overthrow traditional values of the past, retaining its dominance through a powerful repressive apparatus.

A striking example is the role of early Christianity in pagan Rome disorganization: the first followers of Jesus Christ with resistance were persecuted, and even deprived of life, they, in the language of L. N. Tolstoy, naratiwas to evil by violence, thus increasing the flock of the Universal Church. Even then, nonviolence was given its first dividend for an individual: the commandment "thou shalt Not kill" and "thou shalt Love thy neighbour as thyself", was a major imperatives by which a believer was to "eternal life", free from sin.

From a historical point of view, modern people, regardless of their religious and ethnic affiliation, rebels against social institutions, against the state for which he fought and which he served from the late middle Ages. Paradoxically, but in times of Tolstoy and Gandhi, nonviolence gradually acquires its original appearance, which lured his strength and external shape of the first Christians. Globalization and Informatization of international relations, made possible by technical innovations in the field of communications, and world wars, inflict a crushing blow to the government and the Church, about which so dreamed of Thoreau, Tolstoy and Gandhi.

As the strategic concept of non-violent resistance are able to either overthrow the government or to protect. It all depends on the goals and objectives of political actors, the degree of their professionalism and motivation. Speaking about the ideas of philosophers and politicians, about which we narrate in the present work, their success lies in the fact that nonviolence applies to human conscience, the torment which is often more effective than instilling fear. Violence, fear affects the human psyche is brief, requiring constant replenishment from the authorities in the form of various kinds of repression.

Anarchic nature of the violence that accompanies world civilization from the time of its Foundation, remain unchanged. Thoughts and practical activities of G. Toro, L. N. Tolstoy, M. Gandhi and M. Luther king were imbued with the struggle against the system of state coercion – violence. In total, the years spent by these people, from Thoreau to M. Luther king, is a period just over one hundred and fifty years. Times not the easiest to nation States, is gradually integrated into the world market: capitalism is increasing the pace of development, increasing numbers of the working class, the degree of its exploitation. It is no coincidence that in the late nineteenth century Lenin will be to expose "the planetary aspirations of imperialism" and to anticipate the coming world war and the revolution.

In this situation, two anarchist Tolstoy and Gandhi – do not leave a choice, and they declare total war against the state-centric order, inspiring group of his followers around the world. They will acquire a brilliant experience G. Toro, his revolt against the domination of the state, and will provide food for thought bright Baptist preacher - M. Luther king, which will be destined to comprehend Evangelical thesis about the equality of people. Henry Thoreau (1817-1862.)

Oddly enough, the idea of non-violent resistance, in their modern interpretation, are developed not in the East, has given mankind the majority of religious systems, and in the West, in the United States. The main reason lies in the following: in America, first half of the nineteenth century, still poorly affected by urbanization and industrialization, involving, for example, millions of Europeans in the new social reality (free from religious dogma), the non-violent ideals of Christianity remained attractive for most citizens. The ideologue of nonviolence became an American thinker and writer Henry David Thoreau. Under the influence of R. W. Emerson he imbued with the ideas of transcendentalism, consisting in the criticism of modern civilization and return to nature in the spirit of J. J. Rousseau.

The creativity of Toro is a turning point in the history of civil disobedience. In one form or another the idea of civil disobedience was announced and even implemented for at least 2400 years. But never before she did not become a subject of such great public attention, has never enjoyed such broad support, as for a century past with Toro in the intellectual form explained why people should be guided in their actions by justice and not of legality [19, p. 6].

In 1845, G. Thoreau lived in a hut on the shore of the pond Boldinskogo, independently providing themselves with everything necessary for life. This experiment in solitude from the society he described in his book "Walden, or Life in the woods" (1854), has made it popular. Refusal from payment of state fees and taxes was for Thoreau a kind of form of protest against government policies, which encouraged slavery and started a war in Mexico (1846-1848.). The prisoner in July 1846 in prison for this reason, the philosopher does not despair and sits at the writing of the treatise, which gives an overarching moral-political characteristics of the relationship of the individual and the state. So, this creative idea is being implemented first in the lecture "resistance to civil government" and later in the essay "On civil disobedience" (1848), which had a later effect on L. N. Tolstoy, M. Gandhi and M. L. king. As a abolitionist, Thoreau championed the rights of African Americans. As a means of combating it offered individual non-violent resistance to social evil, the source of which believed the state: "When a sixth of the nation, professed to be the refuge of liberty, remain slaves, and the whole country is won and raspravlyaetsya by the invading army and managed according to military laws, I think now is the time for an honest man to resist, and disobedience" [12]. It is no coincidence that Thoreau begins his famous essay with the motto of Emerson: "the government that governs the least". The line below it radically paraphrase the idea: "That government is best which governs not at all"[12]. A statement worthy of the Marx, who had by that time come to hate the government of Prussia for comprehensive power over society, violence against them.

A law based on coercion, the American hermit refers to as unfair, citing the example of soldiers, "marching in orderly rows across mountain and valley to war against their will". Here is how he describes the mood: "each of them has no doubt that the case they are forced to do disgusting, because peacefulness is a natural property of man" [12]. Ahead of his time, Thoreau lays the Foundation of modern non-violent political technologies, the success of which depends entirely on, not to provoke the army to violence, to peace-loving play on the strings of human consciousness. The functioning of the state, the philosopher compares with the machine, "which produces oppression and robbery" at the same time stressing that "the duty of man is not part of the eradication of any, even the most heinous of evil", "but you must at least wash our hands, if we step back from the fight, at least not to support (italics mine – S. T.) evil" [12]. The verb "to support" here is key, because it is the collective will of the citizens depends on the capacity of the state; the lack of consent of the masses - the "Achilles heel" of each political regime, turning power in ephemeral and incapable substance.

American thinker is the most important principle of civil disobedience consists in non-recognition States, the refusal of society from interacting with them. Toro demonstrates the power of the idea by the example of the failure of evasion: "Directly, face to face, I meet with the Federal government or the state government not more than once a year, in the person of their representative, the tax collector; this is the only time we all have, of necessity, to meet him. The government expressly States: "Admit me." So here's the simplest and most effective in the circumstances, a necessary way of handling it is, having a minimum of joy and gratitude, to deny this to him" (italics mine – S. T.) [12]. Ie Toro offers a single person to disassemble the communication and interaction with government, thereby denying the latter in subjection.

Formula American philosopher, conceding the depth of Machiavelli himself: "a Minority is powerless while it agreed with most, but it is invincible when prevents anything all your desires...the Power of government is absolutely insufficient if it does not have the support and consent of the governed" [12]. Without knowing it, Toro lays a bomb under a sovereign state, which in the age of television and the Internet will live out the last years of their independent and stable existence. Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910.)

From the point of view of the Christian paradigm, a reinterpretation of the tenets of G. Thoreau on civil disobedience started the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, author of unique religious and philosophical teachings. At the basis of Tolstoy's philosophy – "quest for the meaning of life, the development of the new true religion of universal love, kindness, non-violence" [9, p. 517-519].

In the late 1870 – 1880s, Tolstoy creates a number of religious-philosophical works: "Confessions", "what is my faith?", "The Kingdom of God is within us," "About life", "So what are we to do?" etc. This time of spiritual revolution, which occurred as a result of the rethinking of Western and Eastern philosophy as well as Christianity and other world religions. The influence of the ideas of J.-J. Rousseau on Tolstoy was perhaps the most important (by his own admission, in 15 years he wore around his neck a medallion with a portrait of Rousseau instead of a cross). Throughout his life, Tolstoy founded their beliefs on the Evangelical precepts, and toward all men, - "the brothers among themselves and the children in front of the infinity, or God." The last period of life and creativity of Leo Tolstoy can be defined as "preaching" (late 1880s). In these years formed the doctrine of Leo Tolstoy as a religious and social movement. In editorials thinker sharply criticizes the state and Church as institutions of violence over people, a person's personality and creativity [9, c. 517-519].

In his opinion, the Central idea of Christianity is concentrated in the fourth commandment is "resist Not evil". Understanding these three simple words encapsulate the essence of the teaching of the gospel restored at the time Tolstoy lost the meaning of life, brought him simultaneously from an ideological impasse. Ancient law, condemning evil and violence in General, admit that in certain cases they can be used for good — as just retribution by the formula "an eye for an eye". Jesus Christ cancels the law. He believes that violence cannot be good never, under any circumstances, to help of violence should not be used even when you are beaten and hurt ("But whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" - Matt. 5:39). The ban on violence is absolute. Not just on one good turn deserves another. And evil should meet with good. Understood in this direct and literal sense of the word nonviolence, nonresistance to evil by force - mark the correct direction, the height that faces the modern man on the endless way of his moral ascent [6, c. 218]. Tolstoy teaches: "Recognition of every human life sacred is the first and only basis of all morality" [10, c. 246].

The author of "War and peace" - a rebel, not recognizing right of state and Church to lead human minds and destinies, Christian anarchist, calling for absolute freedom. However our hero is not limited to criticism of the status quo, he directly appeals to the conscience of the people: "Who made thee a nurse of this crumbling building? Neither society nor the state, nor all the people never asked you about that you supported this took, took their position not with the dedicated purpose of supporting the necessary for the good of the people order of life, and for himself: his personal gain, popularity, ambition, his laziness, cowardice. If you didn't want this position, you would not do anything that permanently you need to do to hold his position. Just try to stop doing those difficult, cruel, treacherous, and dastardly deeds that you continuously do to keep his position, so now you will lose it" [10, c. 286-293]. Tolstoy treats the state as an organ of suppression of the personality, resulting in the need for, but which subsequently became the instrument of deception and violence. Withdrawal from participation in state violence — military, judicial, ideological, economic, etc. - is, on a thick, powerful means of improving society [9, p. 518]. Tolstoy deplores the irresponsibility of man, his desire to hide from his own conscience behind the others: "Men, committing the most awful deeds, do not see their responsibility for them... Some are required, others are, others have confirmed, the fourth proposed fifth reported, ordered the sixth, seventh performed"[10, c. 250-251]. In this sense the state, as a system built on mutual obligations of individuals, is the bearer of evil — of violence: "No General or soldier without discipline, oath and war will not only kill hundreds of Turks or Germans, and not ruin their villages, but would not dare to hurt a single person. All this is only possible thanks to the complicated machine of government and public, the task of which is to split the responsibility of committed wickedness so that no one felt these unnatural actions" [11, p. 332].

Tolstoy is not limited to philosophy, he offers a new social structure – religious and philosophical commune, which should change the state with its apparatus of violence and coercion. For the beginning of the XX century, this principle of organization seemed daunting, but it refers prophetically to the future: in our time, armed with social networks, covering most of the planet, the influence of religious-philosophical communes, it is difficult to overestimate. Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948.)

From a historical point of view, it would be somewhat remiss to overestimate the influence of G. Toro at the worldview of Mahatma Gandhi. Very famous Hindu wrote that borrowed from Thoreau, the term "civil disobedience" (сivil disobedience) only "in order to be understood by English audiences" [15, p. 87-88]. This is not true with the works of Leo Tolstoy. In parallel with practice in advocacy and Gandhi intensively studied the works of Leo Tolstoy, not ceasing to admire the attractiveness of his views: ""a Brief gospel", "So what are we to do?" and other writings made a great impression. I deeply understood the infinite possibilities of universal love" [4, p. 233]. After reading Tolstoy's "the Kingdom of God is within us," Gandhi (in his own words), being the earliest advocate of violence", "cured of scepticism, and is a staunch supporter of Ahimsa" [4, p. 256].

Just like Tolstoy, representing the violence as a collective action, embodies Gandhi Ahimsa with the "unity of all life at all." In this interdependent system, "the mistake made by one person, cannot but have consequences for all, which means that a person cannot completely free itself from himse"; "while he is a member of the society, he can not participate in the Hims, which generates the very existence of society" [4, p. 247]. No wonder, one of the autobiographical works of Gandhi is called "All men are brothers". All-encompassing love of neighbor is what can save man from sin and evil. The abstracts, which would envy even the American theorists of globalization and complex interdependence.

The ideologue of the Indian national liberation movement develops the ideas of non-violence in the concept of "Satyagraha" (translated from SKT. - "perseverance in truth"), developed during the stay in South Africa. For Gandhi, nonviolence appears to be "the only fundamental truth" [14, p. 31], based on non-cooperation and civil disobedience. Their importance he backs up a convincing thesis: "Political and economic dependence of India from England — the result of her collaboration with the colonizers" [13]. And if the Indians will abandon the rules of the game imposed by the regime, it paralyzes his actions. Gandhi "repeatedly stressed that not a "British" won "us" and "we" called them the dominance of their own depravity" [7, c. 323]. He also "used appeals to British liberalism for the conquest of political sympathies in the UK and neutralize the objections of the British rulers against the independence of India" [1, p. 198]. Trying to persuade the British to make concessions, Gandhi, who early in his career an active part in the life of the Indian community in South Africa, even organized a hospital for the British army (which worked), giving the freedom movement of moral character.

For Gandhi, nonviolence is "not just a philosophical category, it is the law and the essence of life" [4, p. 249]. The truth boils down to the following formula: "Not violence and lies, and nonviolence and Truth — law of the Supreme being"[4, p. 250].

Unlike the modern techniques of a coup, implemented quickly with the help of information technology, the Satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi a long way, requiring internal self (Swaraj). So, the last campaign called "salt March", he spent in 1930: from 12 March to 5 April, along with his followers, he walked way from the city of Ahmedabad (Gujarat, Western India) to the village of Dandi on the Arabian sea coast. There, defiantly breaking the colonial salt monopoly, the protesters three weeks evaporating salt from sea water, causing a wave of civil disobedience across India. Thus, Gandhi "inspired his countrymen and the newly revived nationalist movement in the country", "taking its origins from the sepoy mutiny 1857-1859" [2, c. 306 – 308], and of "famine from which India suffered between 1860 and 1908, which claimed thirty million lives" [2, c. 308, 311].

"Non-violent revolution, says Gandhi, is not included in the programme of "seizure of power". This program changes the relationship, which ends with the peaceful transfer of power" [5, c. 559]. The roots of our hero's non-cooperation with the British not in hatred, but in love: "For my nestrugina is always a compelling desire to cooperate on the slightest pretext even with the worst of my foes" [4, p. 252], explains Gandhi.

Despite what Gandhi called "nonviolence is the law of our species, as violence is the law of beasts" [3, p. 29], British colonialism using military force to suppress national liberation movements, "does not cause damage to the human species, but only its consequence, though he has greatly exacerbated this damage by planting "the monster of modern civilization" in all its manifestations – from railroads and machine production to scientific medicine and a multiparty system [7, c. 338].

However, the philosophy of Gandhi's universal and can be applied in every corner of the planet, saving humanity from bitterness and destruction: "Without this pair – of truth and non-violence – mankind would be doomed... doesn't scare Me that the world seems to be moving in the opposite direction. So, the moth, approaching its doom, whirling faster and faster until it burns out. Perhaps India cannot escape the same crash. But my duty to the last breath, to save India and through it the whole world from this fate" [5, c. 569]. This Patriotic mission, he will perform until the end: even on the day of his death – 30 January 1948 - before you leave this world which he defended, Gandhi forgive his killer. To do something worthy of a real teacher who not only preached nonviolence, he lived them. Martin Luther king (1929-1968.)

In the 1950-1960-ies to non-violent resistance appeals to the Baptist preacher Martin Luther king to lead the US civil rights struggle of the African-American population. Like L. Tolstoy, M. Luther king believed that the principles of non-violence is widely reflected in Christianity; saw them as "the instrument that conquers without wounds" that "seeks not to humiliate and defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding" [18]. Following the prescriptions of his influential teachers, Luther king sees in love is a tool that can revitalize social movement.

Being a talented organizer, a Baptist preacher offers a plan of action for nonviolent social change, which contains six points: 1. the data collection method to determine the parameters and timing in which to apply non-violent pressure; 2. education – development of leaders, knowledgeable about the problems and challenges facing their audience; implies a broad outreach across all media channels; 3. personal contribution – external and internal part in non-violent protester of the campaign in the short and long run; 4. negotiation is the art to combine the views of the opposing sides to resolve the conflict; 5. direct action – is carried out in case of failure of the negotiation process; 6.reconciliation – the final stage of the operation when both sides celebrate their victory and ensure joint implementation of social change [17].

At the root of our approach puts the human rights activist non-cooperation, about which so much thought G. Toro, L. N. Tolstoy and Gandhi. Social boycott sees Luther king the best measure to prevent "economic and political institutions of the state, perpetuate evil in the society" [17]. The efficiency of this method Luther king determines its duration: "the boycott must be maintained in the next few weeks and months" [16]. In 1957, he organized the "pilgrimage of freedom" March on Washington, which was attended by 27 thousand Americans. In 1961 he performed "flight of freedom". Each participant of these shares was to adhere to the following rules: "don't answer blow for blow and insult for insult. Refrain from ridicule. Always behave politely and friendly... Remember love and non-violence" [8].

M. Luther king believed non-violent resistance by the method of "physically non-aggressive, but aggressive with a spiritual perspective", "a tool that can awaken a sense of shame from the oppressor" [18]. He advocated racial revolution in America, which can only be non-violent in nature. As an example illustrating the effectiveness of these measures Luther king leads "sit-ins 1960, taken by African American students in protest against the deprivation of their right to eat at the diner", which, in turn, "caused a great resonance in society," "scared," according to a Baptist preacher, "many white buyers and amounted to a clear threat to business activity in the city" [16].

In a broad sense, the growth of cities and urban population, followed by revolution in the field of mass communications, has made nonviolence a powerful tool for social change, allowing M. Gandhi and M. Luther king to fight for the freedom of its adherents. Global urbanization and industrialization, pulled the man from the measured rural life, strengthened his reliance on such elements of urban infrastructure such as the electricity, communication channels and transportation. The loss of rural collectivism among the citizens is due to the communication through different kinds of roads (educational or professional) that allows them to gradually merge into a universal commonality. This circumstance favors the fact that non-violent action, blocking communication arteries of the city, better armed methods of struggle; from now on nonviolence can paralyze the activities of not only individual soldiers or police officers, but also of the state and its tangible and intangible sources of power.


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