Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gandhi's Anarchy

Mohandas K. Gandhi was as anti-state as your average Rothbardian, but only by adopting pacifism. Pacifists are anarchists in the sense that if they truly oppose all violence, they must reject the state as well. Gandhi understood this.

But he also understood how his religion emphasized individual liberty. How, according to Eastern mysticism, individual liberty and self-ownership are synonymous concepts.

“Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” - Gandhi

The state is static; it tries to form a mold on individuals that are always changing - always spontaneous. Things are always changing, on a fundamental level. Quantum mechanics demands a constant dance; repetitions of intricate vibrational energy. In the truest sense, everything is changing, nothing remains the same. The person that started reading this sentence is not the same person who is now finishing it. The Eastern mystics understand this. Without the use of abstract reasoning, for centuries masses of individuals have been seeking knowledge by experiencing it directly, through meditation. Their teachings have parallels to what physics is now telling us. Likewise, what they taught about individual behaviour and social cooperation has its parallels to Austrian-style anarchism.

Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophy, emphasizes spontaneous action, action without constraint, acting from the heart, doing good, and never forcing virtue. The person who uses force brings chaos. Perhaps these are the reasons Gandhi didn't separate politics and religion. His spiritual worldview is knowledge of a deeper spontaneity that has repercussions on our "macro" world. Repercussions that, when uniquely investigated and dealt with, leave no room for an institution like the state.

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