One of the big areas of confusion about Gandhi, are his views on technology and machines, and how they relate to his ideals. This angle on Gandhi, like the food-chain, finds building-blocks with duty, varna (social ordering), trusteeship, his vows of non-possession and non-stealing, education, and much more. Indeed, to paraphrase one of our great American sages, John Muiri, it is difficult to pull out a single subject in Gandhi’s thought, without finding that it is hitched to everything else.
For Gandhi, his views on machines were guided by his certainty that:
“God of truth and justice can never create distinctions of high and low among His own children.”ii
At age 55, Gandhi returned to India in 1915, after nearly 27 years abroad in UK and South Africa. Industrialization had dawned heavily in the western nations, noisily processing the spoils of resources and labor from the colonies. His two community experiments in South Africa had shown him the value of communal living in pursuit of high ideals, bodily labor for the common good, simplicity, austerity, and a close relationship with Nature. Continue reading →