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Freedom Without Violence$
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Dustin Ells Howes

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199336999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336999.001.0001

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Nonviolent Political Freedom

Nonviolent Political Freedom

Chapter:
(p.162) 8 Nonviolent Political Freedom
Source:
Freedom Without Violence
Author(s):

Dustin Ells Howes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199336999.003.0009

Although individuals maintain the capacity for freedom, nonviolent political freedom involves the exercise of collective power. Articulating robust alternatives to defending and expressing freedom with violence, this chapter develops a concept of nonviolent self-rule. In the overlooked philosophy of Étienne De La Boétie, he describes how every government relies upon the consent of the governed. Civilian-based defense and restorative justice programs offer underutilized alternatives to military defense and carceral punishment. Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, Immanuel Kant, and Mahatma Gandhi each describe self-rule as marginalizing or eliminating the need for violence. The strengths and weaknesses of their approaches complement one another. A conception of nonviolent political freedom brings together the various movements examined in this project under the banner of human freedom. Nonviolent political freedom emphasizes moderation, self-sacrifice, and self-control. The creative free wills of individuals can both resist current forms of oppression and come together to practice nonviolent collective self-rule.

Keywords:   Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin, Immanuel Kant, Mahatma Gandhi, Étienne De La Boétie, civilian-based defense, restorative justice, swaraj, self-control, nonviolent political freedom

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