Free Essay

Gandhian Liberalism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By dremler
Words 429
Pages 2
Gandhian liberalism
M. K. Gandhi (1869-1948) requires no introduction even to the layman. “The Father of the Nation”,”Bapu”, and numerous other honorifics have long been affectionately applied to him by the citizens of India. His appearance on the Indian political scene in 1915 changed the face of Indian liberalism and made him the most influential and prominent liberal in India and I aim to shed more light on his theory of liberalism in this section of the essay.
Gandhi acknowledged Gopal Krishna Gokhale as his political mentor. He took Gokhale’s strict liberal position and adapted it to fit what he believed to be India’s needs. The most radical departure was that Gandhi believed that the only way to ensure the British acceded to Indian demands was by non-violent protest or what he termed “Satyagraha”, unlike the traditional liberal who strictly adhered to the system and never attempted to work against it. Simply put, the liberals that preceded Gandhi such as Gokhale and Ranade were heavily shaped by western liberal movements and the British Whigs while he was able to provide Indian liberalism with its own distinct ideas.
Gandhi heavily emphasised features of negative liberty in his agenda for the political, social and economic transformation of India. He favoured a government which was minimalistic in nature and occupied itself with maintaining law and order. He strongly believed in the maximum freedom of the individual as well. One distinctive feature of his thinking was his firm belief that the process of law making and legislation should not be abstruse but simple and intelligible to the general public.
Reflecting on his thinking, we realise that Gandhi’s post-independence agenda was decentralisation. He visualised India as an agglomeration of self-sufficient villages (the economic unit) that operate in a three tier system from the local to the national level. The reason he favoured a high degree of decentralisation was to avoid the concentration of political and economic authority. He was however not unreasonable and understood that certain industries would require higher state participation and investment. In a sense he was favouring the equalisation of economic power across villages which he felt would ensure the decline of competition and greed and instead result in a spirit of cooperation and altruism. I think that Gandhi believed that this model would ensure that the rights of individuals would be preserved and prevent the state from exercising undue authority which are prominent aims in a liberal agenda, especially that of a person such as Gandhi who clearly espoused the cause of negative liberty.…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Neo-Liberalism

...inequality, suppression of developing economies and contribution to financial crisis due to destabilizing capital flows. This paper will contrast the implied positive effects of neo-liberalism from a Keynesian perspective against a Marxist analysis which suggests such economic liberalism merely changes the time intervals and severity of inevitable boom and bust cycles of capitalism and as such makes no permanent progression in the global economy. Displacement of the Keynesian welfare state policy approach was embedded in end of the long boom. Rising worker militancy and diminishing productivity gave way to severe cost-push inflation, compounded by oil price spikes leading to criticism of aggregate demand management as policy makers sought a structural solution. Neo-liberal policies, with theoretical origins in individual utility maximization (Mill and Bentham) and Adam Smith’s Laissez-Faire optimality imply a reduced role of government in reliance on the free market to provide the most efficient outcome. Development of a neo-liberal state would then encompass privatization of Government owned enterprises, deregulation of financial markets and redistribution of income from the poor to the rich in attempt to boost private investment and job creation through the trickle-down effect. A Marxist view of neo-liberalism would hold that it is merely a justification for increasing profits and a class struggle between workers and capitalists will always exist. Kalecki holds that the......

Words: 754 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Liberalism Philosophy

...advocates limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, individual liberties including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets Slide 2 Liberalism started as a major doctrine and intellectual endeavour in response to the religious wars gripping Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, up until the cold war • Liberalism as a specifically named ideology begins in the late 18th century as a movement towards self-government and away from aristocracy. It included the ideas of self-determination, the primacy of the individual and the nation, as opposed to the family, the state, and religion, as being the fundamental units of law, politics and economy. • Liberalism first became a powerful force in the Age of Enlightenment, rejecting several foundational assumptions that dominated most earlier theories of government, such as nobility, established religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. • The first notable incarnation of liberal unrest came with the American Revolution, and liberalism fully flowered as a comprehensive movement against the old order during the French Revolution, which set the pace for the future development of human history. SLIDE 3 • The early liberal thinker John Locke, who is often credited for the creation of liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition, employed the concept of natural rights and the social contract to argue that the rule of law should replace absolutism in government,......

Words: 1853 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Gandhian Values

...Gandhian Values and its Relevance to me as a Future Leader : Ajay Dixit (10BEC1007) Amidst the atmosphere of tension, violence, differences of opinion, unemployment and inflation globally, today the question is being raised again and again about the relevance of Gandhian philosophy which is based on truth and non-violence. Anyhow, most of the people who oppose Gandhi's thoughts unfortunately are Indians and not foreigners. These people did not feel the relevance of Gandhian thoughts even when he was alive. This feeling of disagreement with Gandhian philosophy resulted in his assassination. Society is going through a degraded phase which should be revoked so that humanity sustains in this world for centuries. Today when we are surrounded by the forces of darkness, we need a leader like Gandhi, a man of rare courage, character, and charisma, who dares to tell the truth, who can overcome violence with nonviolence, and who shows us the way to light. Gandhi and his twin principles of satya (truth) and ahimsa (nonviolence) are more relevant today than any other time in human history, and the Gandhian style of satyagraha seems to be the only potent and pragmatic, moral equivalent of war in these troubled times. Gandhi not only said but showed us the way that, “nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence,” and the soul-force is far more potent than the brute-force. Gandhi was in favour of using the thoughts against the arms and not the arms against the arms, to fight injustice...

Words: 1146 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Socialism and Liberalism

...Socialism and Liberalism For hundreds of years people have been developing ideas on how governments should function and interact with their citizens. These ideas have run the gamut of possibilities from governments that control every aspect of life to governments with limited power where individual liberty is encouraged. Two ideologies that gained prominence in the 17th and 18th centuries were Liberalism and Socialism. Socialism is an ideology where citizens are best served by policies focused on meeting the basic needs of the entire society rather than by policies focused on serving the needs of individuals as individuals. (Grigsby, 2011) Liberalism arose from the writings of John Locke who believed in a limited government and protection of the rights of individuals, this is known as Classical Liberalism. This theory was expanded on in the 19th century and became known as Modern Liberalism. Modern liberals believe in an interventionist government and expansive liberty. (Grigsby, 2011) In recent years in the United States, some have tried to make these two ideologies synonymous. While they may share some characteristics these two ideologies are not the same. Socialism is not Liberalism and Liberalism is not Socialism. Interventionist government and expansive liberty are the two main points of Modern Liberalism. An interventionist government is government that takes a role in regulating economic and social interactions. (Grigsby, 2011) Expansive liberty is......

Words: 705 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Kanthapura as an Gandhian Epic

...Kanthapuara as Gandhian Epic Name: Joshi Deepti M Roll no: 05        Paper: Indian Writing in English Topic: Kanthapura as Gandhian Epic Submitted to: Heenaba Zala                           Department of English                           M.K.University, Bhavnagar     Kanthapura as Gandhian Epic Introduction: “Gandhi was like a powerful current of fresh air……Like a beam of light that pierced the darkness and removed the scales from our eyes; like a whirlwind that upset many things, but most of all the working of people’s minds” Mahatma Gandhi during freedom struggle time wielded a great influence on the Indian masses. And his struggle for freedom introduced some new trends in Anglo-Indian fiction, and some great writers of all the Indian language produced some masterpiece in novel, poetry, drama and other forms of creative writing. Raja Rao was most celebrated novelist of India in 1930s and 1940s. He had depicted his novels through the usage of Gandhian theme. Kanthapura is best example of how Gandhian ideologies influenced in Indian writing in English.    An Epic is a long narrative poem telling of heroic acts, the birth and death of a hero or of nation’s etc.Kanthapura is also an epic. Kanthapura is a tell of the impact that Gandhi had on the nation. He converted the whole nation into an army of freedom fighters. Gandhi was no less than the hero of an epic. The freedom struggle of India was an epic struggle. Thousands of people sacrificed their......

Words: 1682 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Gandhian Innovation

...1. What is Gandhian Innovation The famous adage by Mahatma Gandhi “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed” forms the basis of Gandhian Innovation. The last couple of decades in India have seen an unprecedented growth of their middle class. There are billions of first-time consumers in India and China who can afford only the cheapest products. Affordability becomes a big driver. Also at the same time, we see a growing interest and attention to sustainability issues especially from the younger generations. Affordability and sustainability are replacing premium pricing and abundance as innovation’s drivers. Gandhian Innovation makes companies make their products and services accessible to a larger number of people by selling them cheaply and developing these products with fewer resources. Gandhi Innovation is mainly affected by two variables: the source of technologies involved and the organisation’s capabilities (competencies, knowledge and skills). At one end of this spectrum companies can disrupt business models using existing capabilities at a lower cost. On the other side of the spectrum they can create completely new capabilities, while in the middle they find the ability of modifying those capabilities. This framework gives birth to three models of Gandhian Innovation. Gandhian Innovation is extremely relevant in the present time where resources are limited and consumers want everything at an affordable price. All......

Words: 431 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Liberalism

...On what grounds have liberals defended constitutionalism? Liberals see constitutionalism as the practice of a limited government brought about by the existence of a constitution. The liberal support for constitutionalism is separated into two forms; external and internal constraints. This is important within liberalism because it allows the individual to be free from restrictions and stop the threat on individual liberty. External constraints limit powers of the government bodies and politicians, usually through legal checks. The most notable of which is a written constitution, this codifies what the government institutions can and cannot do. A written constitutional is written down in one single document, for example the US constitution. Within liberalism protecting the individual is most important aspect. Therefore liberals defends constitutionalism because an external constraint entrenches individual right by providing legal definition about the relationship between the state and the individuals themselves. The US constitution refers to this as the “bill of rights”. If there are no legal constraints, the government could act to benefit themselves at the expense of others. Internal constraints disperse the power among a number of institutions. This in turn creates a network of “checks and balances”. Montesquieu stated that “power should be a check to power”. Liberals defend constitutionalism because it stops the development of absolute authority or dictatorial power......

Words: 356 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Liberalism and Socialsim

...Comparing two Ideologies Liberalism and Socialism Danny Milla Political Science Modern Theory Professor James Stone May 10, 2014 Introduction During the 20th Century the old type of economic system Feudalism, became virtually extinct. At this time two powerful economic systems came to be. First the command economy, which involved more government control of the economy, and second was the market type which believed in free trade and no regulation. This led to a new economic world order which changed the ideologies at the time. Socialism is regarded as the more left wing radicalization of liberalism. Socialism starts on the normative principles that started the bourgeois revolution. Liberal society seeks to embody these ideals of freedom, free trade, and capitalism. Socialism is a more extreme way of pushing forward for liberalism. As Etienne Balibar would say Liberalism’s core values liberty and equality exist in a state of tension with their supposed intentions in the structure of liberal society. This results in a struggle that tends to outrun the limits of liberal capitalism. For Americans socialism and liberalism have a distinct relationship. That binds the economic power into a market, which allows for trade and profit. But after this the ideologies of liberalism and socialism come into effect. Yet for the Europeans especially the left wing for them the idea of a relationship between these two is scandalous. Liberals see socialists as......

Words: 627 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Liberalism

...D’Andrea Coulter Traina Government 2305 09/10/10 Liberalism “If by a “liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without ridged reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “liberal” then I’m proud to say I’m a liberal” – John F. Kennedy Liberalism “is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.” (Girvetz). Liberals stand for the protection of individuals from being harmed by others and who better to protect these individuals then the government. However, they have their cons about government. Liberals notice it’s possible that the government can be a threat to liberty. They believe in the system that makes sure the government protect the citizens of America, but prevents those who governs the people not to abuse their power. The different schools of political thought that fall under the banner of liberalism are that liberals have many ideas that they support such as free and fair elections, private property, civil rights, religion, freedom of the press, sex education, paying taxes, social programs (like food stamps, social security and health care…etc.), and free trade. Liberalism and conservatism make the two major......

Words: 681 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Liberalism

...In 19th century dramatic effects of Industrial Revolution prompted the rise of Classical or "Utilitarian" Liberalism throughout Europe and United States. The foundation of this new social philosophy was the rule of law designed for protecting the freedom of the individual, which required some restrictions placed on the power of the government. The idea of a limited government involvement led to the concept of a deregulated economy, which was supported by the emerging field of political economy, or classical economics. Eventually, by the end of the century, Liberalism evolved into so-called Social Darwinism, which took the principles of small government and economic liberty to their absolute. This new form of liberal thinking argued that the principle of "Survival of the Fittest" was applicable and in fact beneficial to the society as a whole. Apparent ruthlessness associated with such an approach was justified by claiming this to be the only way our society could progress. Overall, the deregulated economic environment of United States in early 20th century ultimately brought forward the Great Depression of 1930s. It was the Great Depression that made Franklin D. Roosevelt's the New Deal a reality. This vast and comprehensive set of policies was the first venture of United States government into the realm of Welfare State, which manifested in government-provided relief and aid targeted at unemployed and distressed citizens. In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson built upon......

Words: 352 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Liberalism

...promotion of constitutional reform. Discuss. (30) Individual rights are at both the centre of liberal philosophy and liberal party politics. From the days of classical liberalism, Locke discussed natural rights. The libertarian strand of liberalism with Nozick focuses on entitlement rights. The modern day Liberal Democrats state ‘the protection of civil liberties are at the heart of our purpose and philosophy’. Human rights help individuals gain freedom and liberty thus liberals must protect them. Also constitutional reform has been long connected to liberalism due to liberals fear of state power and want for individual freedom. Moreover, constitutional reform places balances and checks on government. The lib-dems have kept their loyalty to a more representative voting system within the coalition, shown through their instigation of the AV referendum in 2011. Human rights are rights that everyone is entitled to despite citizenship, for example freedom of speech. Lockes natural rights embodies human rights. Bentham dismissed natural rights as ‘nonsense on stilts’ stating that rights were but the child of law. The Lib-Dems support for Labours Human Rights Act shows protection of human rights/naturals rights but creating legislation. Modern liberals place rights to groups, not only individuals as the classical liberals promote, such as homosexuals in order to achieve equality of opportunity. The Liberals democrat party in the UK has shown its close association with the......

Words: 376 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Liberalism and Change

...Justina Weston Latin American Liberalism and Change After the 1850s, liberals made a major comeback. They jumpstarted the social and economic changes that had been at a standstill during the independence struggle. There was a major upgrade in everything with every day activities. The liberal reaction had people wanting more. Landowners wanted greater export possibilities and urban dwellers wanted public works. With the Industrialization in Europe came increased Latin American markets, a new wave of European investment in Latin America and new ways of transportation such as steam and steel. Steamships replaced the older wood sailing ships. They were faster and were able to hold more cargo. The steam-powered railroad replaced mules and carts for land transports. The steam-powered railroads were able to transport more exportable materials than the mules and carts could. Although the railroads were expensive, they were very valuable. It opened access to new areas and created agricultural booms. Telegraph lines also enhanced means of communication. They carried electricity all around the country. In 1874, the transAtlantic telegraph connected Brazil to Europe. Columbia, Chile, and Central America also joined the Liberal Trend after Europe. Columbia was considered conservative before granted independence. Liberal resurgence happened in the 1850s. Jesuits were expelled again, fuero was removed, tithes were made voluntary and divorces were legalized. Tomas Cipriano de......

Words: 328 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Liberalism

...Part of a series on Liberalism Development[show] Ideas[show] Variants[show] People[show] Organizations[show] • Liberalism portal • Politics portal • v • t • e • 1. • • • • • • • • • • Words such as liberal, liberty, libertarian, and libertine all trace their history to the Latin liber, which means "free". One of the first recorded instances of the word liberal occurs in 1375, when it was used to describe the liberal arts in the context of an education desirable for a free-born man.[13] The word's early connection with the classical education of a medieval university soon gave way to a proliferation of different denotations and connotations. Liberal could refer to "free in bestowing" as early as 1387, "made without stint" in 1433, "freely permitted" in 1530, and "free from restraint"—often as a pejorative remark—in the 16th and the 17th centuries.In 16th century England, liberal could have positive or negative attributes in referring to someone's generosity or indiscretion.[13] In Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare wrote of "a liberal villaine" who "hath...confest his vile encounters".[13] With the rise of the Enlightenment, the word acquired decisively more positive undertones, being defined as "free from narrow prejudice" in 1781 and "free from bigotry" in 1823.[13] In 1815, the first use of the word liberalism appeared in English.[14] In Spain, the Liberales, the first group to use the liberal label in a......

Words: 2991 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Liberalism for Development

...Liberalism for World Development Hubert H. Humprey stated that liberalism, above all, means emancipation - emancipation from one's fears, his inadequacies, from prejudice, from discrimination, from poverty. That could not be further from the truth in the world of economy. Collaboration and agreements among countries are very important in today’s world development. Economies that have remained closed from the rest of the world have not been able to attain and sustain growth. Many developing countries have gained competitive advantages and growth by implementing open market and trade liberalization. Only through liberalism can economic potential be unleashed. Trace back to origin of liberalism, the Italian merchants wanted more freedom and rights and encouraged free trade in order to move towards a more liberal, innovative system. We will show you that free trade and innovation are the only viable and compatible models for development. We will also show that inevitably the world is moving towards embracing the liberal model. South Korea and Chile are two countries that transformed their economies from the poorest to the one of the best performers. They were both politically ruled under authoritarian regime but later on they all adopted liberal economy. In South Korea, post economic reform, their economy went to another level. GDP hits $1 trillion in 2007. South Korea is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, a huge contrast to its northern......

Words: 910 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Liberalism Debate

...Vincent Serrecchia Professor Cruz Latino Politics 28 February 2012 Debate Paper #2 According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of liberalism is as follows, “a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.” The first known use of liberalism in our society was in 1819, and from then on it has always claimed to stand for the greatest social good. As for liberalism being incompatible with identity politics, I disagree. I believe identity politics is compatible with liberalism. Liberalism is considered democracy free while identity politics focus on the self-interest and perspectives of self-identified groups. My first experience with a Latino politics debate wasn’t exactly positive because it made me nervous knowing I had to express my views towards the question that was assigned to our debate. At the beginning of the debate I was a little nervous to speak my opinion because I felt that I did not know enough about the Latino culture, as well as having a hard time understanding the readings. I was afraid that what I was about to say could come off as offending to some of my fellow classmates and, in defense to that, it would cause another debate. However, after having the opportunity to listen to the first debater give their opinion on the question, I felt more comfortable to speak my opinion without the risk of...

Words: 827 - Pages: 4