Great Souls

TCT interrupts its usual fare to announce the arrival of this marvelous new book by our friend Niranjan Ramakrishnan:

nr book

The price is steep, but I can assure you the author is as substantial and original on this topic as anybody could be. His parents were involved in the Quit India movement, and actually met Gandhi.  He himself is a Gandhi scholar, and a penetrating social critic.

FWIW, TCT considers the topic of whether nonviolence works better than violence to be right exactly at the center of Socialism 2.0. This book is certainly not limited to that question, but has much to say on it.

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Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Although some of the most important books I’ve ever read I learned about at TCT, this one will probably not be at the top of the list for this year. I’ll certainly read it, but not before the problems it is likely to discuss (judging from the blurbs) show a sign of becoming salient –> the whole discussion of means (e.g., violent vs. non-violent) strikes me as secondary and insignificant given that there is no trace of articulation of ends/goals, and even less trace of group consciousness and organization that would actually have to decide on such issues and strategies.… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Btw, speaking of violence, the current top story of the LAPD cop that murdered his colleagues and is currently on the run is FASCINATING. check out the counter punch take on it (also has a link to Dromer’s letter to “America” explaining why he did it):

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/02/08/american-blowback/

nercules
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nercules

It’s important to distinguish between strategy and tactics. ‘Non-violence’ is a tactic, and one that can be decided on and agreed on before any strategic workings come into play. What Marla seems to be talking about is ‘strategy’, and that’s fair enough, but even the tightest strategy can fall apart with a disagreement on tactics. An understanding of the effectiveness of non-violence, I think, can be enormously effective in terms of unifying a possibly effective strategy. Basically what I would suggest to Marla is that a reading and understanding of the tactic of non-violence can be approached independently of a… Read more »

Marla Singer
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Marla Singer

Right, good points (and I didn’t mean to discount the issue, just thinking out loud, and obviously I’ll get the book, just like most of the rest in TCT store :)). I would imagine that any truly large scale movement would be non-violent. If it is organized well enough, it simply will not have to be violent. That much is clear. However, what’s unclear is the scale and scope of changes that can be expected – the “big” non-violent movements of the recent past (e.g. civil rights) ultimately did not demand that much – what minorities (and women) ultimately got… Read more »

nercules
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nercules

Excellent points, Marla, and well taken. I also despair of the generally ‘reformist’ approach taken within the context of maintaining a systemic status quo.