Gandhian Perspectives on Conflict and Peace – Hindu University, FL USA
Gandhi was born 2 October 1869, was killed 30 January 1948 by a Pune brahmin, Godse. I was a 17 years old boy in Norway who cried when hearing the news. Something unheard of had happened.
But I did not know why I cried, and wanted to know more. Who was Gandhi? So I became a Gandhi scholar as assistant and co-author to the late Arne Næss in his seminal work of extracting from Gandhi’s works and words his Gandhi’s Political Ethics as a norm-system.
Gandhi was for need, modernity for greed; Gandhi for local self-reliance, modernity for unlimited trade; Gandhi for building on own identity, modernity for americanization as neo-nirvana; Gandhi for nonviolent conflict resolution, modernity for police, military, war.
The Gandhi Conflict Norms
- GOALS AND CONFLICT
N11 Act in conflicts!
N111 Act now!
N112 Act here!
N113 Act for your own group!
N114 Act out of identity!
N115 Act out of conviction!
N12 Define the conflict well!
N121 State your own goal clearly!
N122 Try to understand your opponent’s goal!
N123 Emphasize common and compatible goals!
N124 State the conflict relevant facts objectively!
N13 Have a positive approach to conflict!
N131 Give the conflict a positive emphasis!
N132 See conflict as opportunity to meet the opponent!
N133 See conflict as opportunity to transform society!
N134 See conflict as opportunity to transform yourself!
- CONFLICT STRUGGLE
N21 Act non-violently in conflicts!
N211 Do not hurt or harm with deeds!
N212 Do not hurt or harm with words!
N213 Do not hurt or harm with thoughts!
N214 Do not harm the opponent’s property!
N215 Prefer violence to cowardice!
N216 Do good even to the evil‑doer!
N22 Act in a goal‑consistent manner!
N221 Always include a constructive element!
N222 Use goal‑revealing forms of struggle!
N223 Act openly, not secretly!
N224 Aim the struggle at the correct point!
N23 Do not cooperate with evil!
N231 Non‑cooperation with evil structure!
N232 Non‑cooperation with evil status!
N233 Non‑cooperation with evil action!
N234 Non‑cooperation with those who cooperate with evil!
N24 Be willing to sacrifice!
N241 Do not escape from punishment!
N242 Be willing to die if necessary!
N25 Do not polarize!
N251 Distinguish between antagonism and antagonist!
N252 Distinguish between person and status!
N253 Maintain contact!
N254 Empathy with your opponent’s position!
N255 Be flexible in defining parties and positions!
N26 Do not escalate!
N261 Remain as loyal as possible!
N262 Do not provoke or let yourself be provoked!
N263 Do no humiliate or let yourself be humiliated!
N264 Do no expand the goals for the conflict!
N265 Use the mildest possible forms of conflict behavior!
- CONFLICT RESOLUTION
N31 Solve conflict!
N311 Do not continue conflict struggle forever!
N312 Always seek negotiation with the opponent!
N313 Seek positive social transformations!
N314 Seek human transformation!
‑ of yourself
‑ of the opponent
N32 Insist on the essentials, not on non‑essentials!
N321 Do not trade with essentials!
N322 Be willing to compromise on non‑essentials!
N33 See yourself as fallible!
N331 Remember that you may be wrong!
N332 Admit your mistakes openly!
N333 Consistency over time not very important!
N34 Be generous in your view of the opponent!
N341 Do not exploit the opponent’s weaknesses!
N342 Do not judge the opponent harder than yourself!
N343 Trust your opponent!
N35 Conversion, not coercion!
N351 Always seek solutions that are accepted!
‑ by yourself
‑ by the opponent!
N352 Never coerce your opponent!
N353 Convert your opponent into a believer in the cause!