Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gandhi's ecological concerns

From CWMG (electronic volume 43):

[Before December 20, 1928]
God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the West. The economic imperialism of a single tiny island kingdom (England) is today keeping the world in chains. If an entire nation of 300 millions took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts. Unless the capitalists of India help to avert that tragedy by becoming trustees of the welfare of the masses and by devoting their talents not to amassing wealth for themselves but to the service of the masses in an altruistic spirit, they will end either by destroying the masses or being destroyed by them.
Young India, 20-12-1928
So Gandhi is "anti-modern".  He associated imperialism with industrialism (given that the Industrial Revolution might have been greatly delayed but for the subjugation of India, that may not be so off the mark.) Today, industrialism is no longer associated with imperialism, but is nonetheless implicated in a heavy burden on the environment.

 In any case, it is too late, there is no going back, 6+ billion people cannot be supported without the use of high technology (for instance, nature does not fix enough nitrogen to provide sufficient protein).  The only slim hope is that technology advances sufficiently to allow us to give all a good life as well as keep from an ecological collapse.