Posted by: Gray | September 17, 2020

Gandhi’s Dialogical Truth Force

Chapter 15 from Gandhi and the Contemporary World, et. Sanjeev Kumar, Routledge, 2020

“Gandhi’s Dialogical Truth Force:

Applying Satyagraha Models of  Practical Rational Inquiry to the Crises of Ecology,  Global Governance, and Technology”

The central thesis of this chapter is that Gandhi’s model of rational inquiry provides the key to addressing the existential crises that are being created by the dominant, current models of  economic, political and technological reasoning.  Part one sketches defining features of the current models of reasoning and the problems they have. It argues that: A.) they are monological (and so exclude data and voices that are essential to understanding reality) and B.) they presuppose a value “free” or “neutral” conception of reason (and so are committed to a moral relativism which means bribe, coercion and violence are the only ultimate sanctions to secure agreement in practical affairs).  Part two sketches the principal features of Gandhi’s satyagraha showing it is a dialogical process of  practical rational inquiry which can discover emergent objective moral truth and bear witness to it in ways that are effective in securing rational consent and enforcing rational, moral norms in non-violent ways. As such, it provides ways to solve the problems of the current dominant models. Part three develops some examples of the ways in which satyagraha can and should be applied to the three existential crises focused on in this paper. It offers general sketches of the Gandhian alternatives to our current  “civilized” forms of economic, political and technological rationality. It also offers some specific proposals for initiatives that might be undertaken to develop and institutionalize these in systematic ways at the global level as part of a genuinely civilized global culture of peace. The proposals include resource allocation initiatives that could fund the change, legal strategies that could provide a basis for institutionalizing principals of  moral truth as the foundations for an international system of justice, and legislative strategies for incarnating morality in the artificial intelligence systems and corporations that increasingly dominate our planet.

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