PHILOSOPHY > THE MIND OF MAHATMA GANDHI > The World of Tomorrow
The World Of Tomorrow
PERHAPS NEVER before has there been so much speculation about the future as there is today. Will our world always be one of violence? Will there always be poverty, starvation, misery? Will we have a firmer and wide belief in religion, or will the world be godless? If there is to be a great change in society, how will that change be wrought? By war, or revolution? Or will it come peacefully?
Different men give different answers to these questions, each man drawing the plan of tomorrow's world as he hopes and wishes it to be. I answer not only out of belief but out of conviction. The world of tomorrow will be, must be, a society based on non-violence. That is the first law; out of it all other blessings will flow. It may seem a distant goal, an impractical Utopia. But it is not in the least unobtainable, since it can be worked for here and now. An individual can adopt the way of life of the future-the non-violent way-without having to wait for others to do so. And if an individual can do it, cannot whole groups of individuals? Whole nations? Men often hesitate to make a beginning because they feel that the objective cannot be achieved in its entirety. This attitude of mind is precisely our greatest obstacle to progress-an obstacle that each man, if he only will it, can clear away.
Here we come to perhaps the most vital question connected with the shaping of tomorrow's world. How is this equal distribution to be brought about? must the wealthy be dispossessed of all their holdings?
Non-violence answers no. Nothing that is violent can be of lasting benefit to mankind. Forcible dispossession would deprive society of many great gifts; the wealthy man knows how to create and build, his abilities must not be lost. Instead, he must be left in possession of his wealth so that he may use what he reasonably requires for his personal needs and act as trustee for the remainder, to be expended for the benefit of society. There have been and are such men. To my mind, as soon as a man looks upon himself as a servant of society, earns for its sake, spends for its sake, then his earnings are good and his business venture is constructive.
Change In Human Nature
The structure of a world federation can be raised only on a foundation of non-violence, and violence will have to be totally given up in world affairs. (GCG, 1942-44, p. 143)