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Pax GandhianaThe Political Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi$
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Anthony J. Parel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491451

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491451.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Pax Gandhiana

Anthony J. Parel

Oxford University Press

Gandhi is a political philosopher sui generis. This chapter compares him with Machiavelli. The differences between their concepts of politics, the relationship between tradition and modernity, ends and means, virtue and vice, reason of state and state conduct, violence and nonviolence, are examined. Pax Britannica practiced a form of Machiavellism in India. Pax Gandhiana is Gandhi’s response to it. The chapter also analyzes the basic concepts of Pax Gandhiana: It supports neither absolute pacifism nor absolute nonviolence. It supports nonviolence as policy. It is compatible with the state based on the consent of the governed. Finally, it claims that a self-sufficient humanism or absolute secularism does not speak for human nature, adequately considered, but only for what is in fact a construct of modernity.

Keywords:   Machiavellism, Pax Britannica, Pax Gandhiana, ends and means, national interest, reason of state, nonviolence, policy, absolute pacifism

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