August 17, 2018

Gustavo Esteva Quote


I was in the streets and I was participating in the reactions against the killings. But, still, I was very puzzled with a very intense moral conflict inside myself. I rushed to my Gandhi, the guy of non-violence, to read again and to try to understand myself. I discovered something that I had not read before. There is an interview with Gandhi and he talks with his son. There has been an attempt against Gandhi. And his son asks Gandhi, “Father, what should I do if there is a guy trying to kill you, comes against you and tries to kill you? Should I preach non-violence? Should I passively observe the situation? Or should I use my violence against him to stop the killing?” And Gandhi smiled and said, “Well, the only thing you must not do is to do nothing because if non-violence is the supreme virtue, to be cowardly is the worst of vices and you must not be a coward. You must do something. Passive resistance is not the best. Perhaps it is the only resource of the weak but the weak also have violence and they can use the violence as the last resource if they are the weak.” “Non-violence is for the strong,” said Gandhi. “It would be criminal if I preach non-violence to a mouse on the point of being devoured by a cat. If I am preaching non-violence to the Hindu it is because I don’t see why 300 million people are afraid of 150,000 British. Because they are strong, they should use non-violence.”

- Gustavo Esteva

[From Interview with Gustavo Esteva: The Society of the Different.]


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