Duty of Disloyalty

Gandhi also took issue with the fact that just a handful of administrators and bureaucrats could rule over hundreds of millions of people and in turn negate their will. Gandhi wrote: “In these days of democracy there is no such thing as active loyalty to a person. You are therefore loyal or disloyal to institutions. When therefore you are disloyal you seek not to destroy persons by institutions.” Gandhi added: “The present State is an institution which, if one knows it, can never evoke loyalty. It is corrupt. Many of its laws governing the conduct of persons are positively inhuman. Their administration is worse. Often the will of one person is the law.” 

Gandhi noted that these administrators and bureaucrats “combine in their own persons the executive as well as the judicial functions.” In turn: “Though their acts are supposed to be governed by laws in themselves highly defective, these rulers are often capricious and regulated by nothing but their own whims and fancies. They represent not the interests of the people but those of their foreign masters or principals.” Gandhi added: “These (bureaucrats) form an almost secret corporation, the most powerful in the world. They are required to find a fixed minimum of revenue, they have therefore often been found to be most unscrupulous in their dealings with the people. This system of government is confessedly based upon a merciless exploitation of unnumbered millions…”

It is a system which through “terrorism” ends up rendering the people “incapable of resisting corruption.” In turn, loyalty to such a system which terrorizes its own people and is thoroughly corrupt “is a sin” and on the flipside “disloyalty is a virtue.” In short, and as Gandhi rightly suggested: “The spectacle of three hundred million people being cowed down by living in the dread of three hundred men is demoralizing alike for the despots as for the victims.” Gandhi added: “It is the duty of those who have realized the evil nature of the system however attractive some of its feature may, torn from their context, appear to be, to destroy it without delay. It is their clear duty to run any risk to achieve the end.” 

Thus, there is no choice or option except for “non-cooperation” with the system and perhaps even civil disobedience and resistance albeit in a non-violent manner and if the circumstances permit. Gandhi argued: “You assist an administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil administration never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil.” In turn, such conditions foster the environment for the “revolutionary current” that is in the air at the moment in many places, including in the United States. 

Add to this “revolutionary current” in the air the fact that the market as it stands cannot meet the expansion of Western goods and products in addition to the rise of China, and what you have is nothing short of a recipe for disaster in the Western world. As Karl Marx wrote: “Under these circumstances, as the greater part of the regular commercial circle has already been run through by [Western] trade, it may safely be augured that [China] will throw the spark into the overloaded mine of the present industrial system and cause the explosion of the long-prepared general crisis, which, spreading abroad, will be closely followed by political revolutions on the [European] continent.” Marx quipped: “It would be a curious spectacle, that of China sending disorder into the Western world while the Western Powers, by English, French, and American war-steamers, are conveying ‘order’ to Shanghai, Nanking and the mouths of the Great Canal.” 

Time is therefore a mere illusion when we take into account how circumstances and events in the past can manifest in the present moment and preserve the same essence and themes which existed in the past, albeit manifest themselves in the present moment through different appearances, different forms, and different characters and personalities. 

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