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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. V - THE VOICE OF TRUTH > Part II- Section VII : Economic Ideas > Decentralized Economy


41. Decentralized Economy

I suggest that, if India is to evolve along non-violent lines, it will have to decentralize many things. Centralization cannot be sustained and defended without adequate force. Simple homes from which there is nothing to take away require no policing; the places of the rich must have strong guards to protect them against dacoity. So must huge factories. Rurally organized India will run less risk of foreign invasion than urbanized India, well equipped with military, naval and air forces.

Harijan, 30-12-39, p. 391


You cannot build non-violence on a factory civilization, but it can be built on self-contained villages…Rural economy as I have conceived it, eschews exploitation altogether, and exploitation is the essence of violence.

Harijan, 4-11-39, p. 331


I must dissent from the view that the core of planning is centralization. Why should not decentralization lend itself to planning as well as centralization?

The Hindus, 28-6-46


The end to be sought is human happiness combined with full mental and moral growth. I use the adjective moral as synonymous with spiritual. This end can be achieved under decentralization. Centralization as a system is inconsistent with a non-violent structure of society.

Harijan, 18-1-42, p. 5