Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Thompson Goes After Gandhi

Hugh Hewitt points us to this fine discussion of this recent piece by Fred Thompson in National Review. I like it. In it he is making an explicit statement about what it means to be an American. It goes against the first impulse that most people are inclined to have at the mention of Gandhi. It is, therefore, brave of him to say it. He must know that he will be called upon to explain it further and the fact that he said it anyway means he must feel himself up to the task. Good. This is a discussion long overdue.

Discussions - 8 Comments

If Gandhi was a German in 1930’s Third Reich , he would have quickly disappeared into the horrid maw of a Bergen-Belsen, Dachau or Aushwitz.

The same if he was a Russian; only to decend into Stalin’s

Gulagand not be heard from afterward.

Maybe Fred can turn his bravery up another notch, and go after Jesus. Nothing American about turning the other cheek, love and forgiveness.

I can see why his appeal grows.


is, or is not Gandhi, a sacred cow?

Was, or was not Gandhi, playing softball against the British?

Fung, what precisely was Hitler’s advice to Lord Halifax concerning Gandhi? Do you recall what it was?

If not, allow me to refresh your memory. Hitler told Lord Halifax to, quote, "shoot Gandhi."

Halifax laughed, not realizing that Hitler MEANT it, meant it literally.

Had Gandhi not enjoyed the distinct advantage of playing softball against our British cousins, he would no doubt have ended up some nameless corpse in some long forgotten mass grave.

The totalitarians of the left, be they of the international variety, such as the Marxists, or the national, such as the National Socialists German Worker’s Party, the totalitarians of the left shot people like Gandhi without giving it so much as a second thought. Scores of millions of them.

"Had Gandhi not enjoyed the distinct advantage of playing softball against our British cousins, he would no doubt have ended up some nameless corpse in some long forgotten mass grave."

Dan, I presume you agree with Thompson that playing softball is not the way to go. And I presume you would�ve preferred that our British cousins NOT played softball against Ghandi, the same way that they should not have played softball (in your view) against the Iranians recently. So, would you have preferred that Ghandi "ended up some nameless corpse in some long forgotten mass grave"? I guess then America would have one less sacred cow to contend with.

In his short essay Thompson makes the simple point that Gandhi’s way of mass, non-violent resistance most likely would not have worked against such tyrants as Hitler and Stalin. It does not follow that military force need be used against them, only that they may be deterred by nations ready and willing to use such force.

Gandhi’s writings point to an important difference, perhaps in principle but surely in emphasis, between his stance and that of Christian non-resistance. Gandhi is more politically ambitious. He expects to win, in this world, however long it may take, and whether or not he personally will live to see the victory. The Indian nation will govern itself someday, he repeatedly predicts. Although for Christians the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, Christians expect Christians to win in this world only after Jesus returns. This seems to me to correspond roughly to the difference to a religion that worships a Creator-God, separate from His creation, and a religion that holds divinity to be immanent in all things and gradually working its way through the course of things.

Does no one else reading "this fine discussion" detect a shade of an earlier Swift’s "A Modest Proposal?"

Honestly, I thought we were all making fun of ol’ Fred, but I guess I was wrong.

It's about time someone took that baldheaded pissdrinking freak down a few pegs.

Rita, it depends on who you are playing.

Gandhi chose the right method against our British cousins. He appealed to fundamental decency, knowing that the British valued decency, {and still do}.

What would I have done if I were in charge of British policy on India in the interwar years?

I would have played a delay game. I would not have granted them independence. They were not ready for it yet. And they demonstrated as much by the millions slaughtered after receiving their independence. What Gandhi brought upon the Indian people is NOT anything for anyone to be proud of, least of all him, and his supporters. If you see the movie Gandhi, [from which many gain their SOLE understanding of the man and his work} you come away with the thought that ALL OF INDIA was behind Gandhi. That was FAR FROM the case. In fact, it was an entire falsehood. Gandhi enjoyed the support of the Indian Congress. Beyond that, his support rapidly dwindled to nothing. The British were dealing with an elite strand of well educated, well spoken Indians who went through British schools, learned British values, played British games, {rugby, cricket, crew...]. And understood the British system. But they were idealists, at least most were, {some of the muslims..., not so!}. And like idealists, they were likely to lead tens of millions of people into a disaster. Not to mention most of them were Socialists. Indian independence positively hindered, hamstrung the economic growth of India. The Indian Congress PROLONGED GRINDING poverty for the Indian masses. They did not help the Indian people. They helped themselves, they made a name for themselves, they carved a path through history for themselves, ALL AT THE EXPENSE of the Indian people. The reason that India was a member of the non-aligned movement during the Cold War was the deep hostility that members of the Indian Congress held for capitalism, and thus the champion of capitalism, the United States.

I would have supported Churchill in his staunch efforts to hold India within the Empire. I am not uncomfortable with the notion of Empire. I am not one of those breathing hostility for the British Empire. That Empire accomplished a great deal of good. And if we are going to lament anything about the Empire, it should be to lament that it is not around today.

Take a look at the situation around the world, the British used to take care of little regional dilemmas that popped up. Now? Now it is up to us, Uncle Sam, the good ole' U.S. of A. A TEMPERAMENTALLY ill equipped to deal with the challenges of global authority, to deal with the challenges of Empire. And when we do nothing, millions get carved up by machetes. Such as Rwanda, such as Darfur and Rhodesia, now termed Zimbabwe. It would have been far better for the whole world had the British continued in their task of civilizing portions of the world not particularly desirous of becoming civilized. Look at Africa!Just take as an example that single Continent.

There is hardly a single African country whose independence did not inaugurate the types of suffering more likely to be described in Dante's Inferno. Independence only left them vulnerable to the Majors, the Colonels, the Generals, the Marxist mass-murderers and a return of the Cannibals. Yes! That too. Within the last two years, the UN released a report on the incidence of CANNIBALISM in West Africa. And it concluded that it is RISING! It would have been better for the African people had the British handled that entire Continent, because if they had, then those people would have been more than ready for GENUINE self-government by now. It wouldn't have taken much more Colonial rule by the way. It is not like we are talking centuries here. Hardly a half century would have sufficed. But the Left, the Marxists, the Socialists, the anti-Christian, the anti-Western, they did what they always do. Namely, they screeched, they agitated, they rallied, they paraded all around with their pathetic placards, chirping about "justice," when all they were doing was consigning MILLIONS OF PEOPLE into protracted misery and worse. They denounced, they went off and morally strutted about. What a fricken joke, what a sick joke.

But that is all past history. And today, we have genocide popping up sporadically, here, there, everywhere. And nobody does anything about. AND ALL THE WHILE, in colleges across this country, instead of blasting the savagery and the genocide, THEY BLAST THE BRITISH, who never would have tolerated any of this rot on their watch.

It's a case of anti-intellectuals prattling about with the veneer of intellectuals. It's a sad, sad social commentary.

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