Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Which Person Do You Admire Most?

This man, though deceased, is known right across the world and is still both admired and revered. Though a lawyer, one who could have made a lot of money, Gandhi instead dedicated his life to ridding his country of the British colonialists who kept his people in a state of servility while they bled it economically.

He did it without employing force and instead used non-violent civil disobedience as his method. He adopted a meagre lifestyle so that most folk in India could identify with him. He spun the cloth for his own clothes, lived austerely, ate simply, and certainly nothing that he did contributed to global warming. His iconic legacy will live forever.

This man, Rupert Murdoch is one of the world's richest and most powerful men. Born in Australia into a publishing family he proved to be a formidable businessman. Seeking a larger stage he moved to America and, taking out American citizenship, via Fox he has pursued interests all around the world in television and the print media. No one knows just how big his already massive empire will end up or how rich he will finally be when he dies.

Government are frightened of him because of the power he can exert through the media and other media tycoons watch him carefully. He lives in a 14 million dollar house and enjoys all the trappings that immense wealth brings. He and his enterprises definitely contribute a great deal to global warming. He embodies the capitalist dream and is, for some an icon.

Two famous but entirely different men driven by two completely different motives: one by a selfless, deep concern for his country and his people; the other perhaps purely by self-interest and greed.

Both have their admirers. Both have achieved much. How do you rate them?

P.S. Look carefully at the two faces. They are like a mirror!


Damian Zerek said...

Hello and excellent post I must say!

Daniel said...

Damian, it's great that you called by. Hope the Festive Season is kind to you.

Take care.

Roverstar said...

I agree with Damian - it's a very good post.

If only the people in Palestine would follow Ghandi's example of non-violence they might have a chance at winning a bit more sympathy for their cause. The rocket attacks and suicide bombings carried out by terrorist groups win them few friends.

Imagine what the world would do if the Palestinian people took Ghandi as their model and embraced non-violence. No one could then claim that the IDF was provoked into action and no one could argue that any civilians killed were 'collatoral damage' as there would be no military target to hit in the first place. Both sides would be forced to negotiate with words and paper instead of guns and bombs.

Ghandi never won a Nobel Peace Prize but I believe the Palestinian who convinces his people to embrace Ghandi's non-violent resistance would be a worthy winner in his place.

Daniel said...

Following along your line of thinking, Roverstar:

if only the Israelis when they came to Palestine had adopted Gandhi's non-violent approach and had paid the Palestinians compensation for their land and not pushed them into refugee camps all over the Middle East but welcomed them as brothers and given them equal rights and shared the land and not tried to make Israel exclusively for Jews.

If only the Israelis hadn't occupied the West Bank and Gaza and taken more of the Palestinian land to build settlements on and had not built nuclear weapons and concrete walls and checkpoints and were not trying to take all of Jerusalem or build a Greater Israel in which to worship their fanatical, anachronistic religion, etc, etc!

If only...

Roverstar said...

Non-violence seems very out of fashion these days.

Daniel said...

It certainly is Dylan, especially for countries that make arms (USA, Britain, Israel) or who seek to profit from both imperialism and war.

Roverstar said...

Rudd is leaning towards less intervention (at least outside of the Asia-Pacific region) but that is not quite the same thing as non-violence.

One of the loopier Republican nominees for President is also promoting a foreign policy of non-intervention and what seems very close to isolationism but, again, this is not (necessarily) non-violent. The Democrat nominees don't look particularly non-violent, either. Maybe Kucinich, but he's got no hope of the nomination.

Is it really possible for a country to be both non-violent and powerful? The recourse to violence and the legitmacy of using violence in some situations would seem to be staples of international politics.

Daniel said...

The world is locked into a tired, futile paradigm, Dylan, one that ultimately will lead to the demise of the naked ape.

Gandhi showed that it is possible for humans to think outside the square, to control their own savagery and primitiveness, even to be noble and altruistic. He was one in a billion.

Murdoch can't. He worships power and money and control as do most humans. His fame, such as it is, will die with him.

Roverstar said...

Hmmm...I remain a little more optimistic than you on the future of the 'naked ape'. Humans have got through most everything the world has thrown at them (including each other) for 10's of thousands of years and have flourished. I know it basically boils down to a "she'll be right, mate" argument but I reckon we'll keep pushing through whatever crisis - whether of our own making or not - comes next.

I'm guessing here but I get the impression you also hold out a bit of hope for the species. If you didn't you wouldn't be blogging about how you think things could be better, holding examples of people you think others could/should emulate or trying to convince people to change their ways.

Daniel said...

Never thought I'd hear an intellectual like you putting forward a 'she'll be right' argument, Dylan.

Perhaps you've got a positive streak too! Cheers.

Follower of Ghandi said...

Daniel, Ghandi was someone I thought you would despise.. You after all, being a man with no brief for Religion.
Ghandi was a Hindu, who admired Christ! He was RELIGIOUS!
He often quoted the words of Christ.
In response to a question from missionary E. Stanley Jones
he said "Oh. I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Anonymous said...

Ghandi was a moron.

He proposed that the Jews suffering under Nazi genocide basically take what's coming to them. Try talking sense to Hitler. And good luck. Just make sure the will is done first.

As Orwell pointed out, supreme pacifism is in fact OBJECTIVELY PRO-FASCIST.

Can't imagine what fate Ghandi would today abandon the people of Darfur to.....

A spinless character indeed.

Daniel said...

Dear Follower, Mother Teresa it seems had extreme doubts about religion but managed to do good works. Gandhi did good works while being a believer.

The Israelis are supposedly religious but their actions are comparable to those of the Nazis. And those who conducted the cruel Spanish Inquisition were full of religious zeal.

Even an atheist like me can accord praise to genuine good works of believers.

Anonymous, I published your comment not because of its merit but more to show just how silly some people are! And Gandhi was not a spinless character. He used to spin all his own cloth!

Anonymous said...

Great post but where does admiration get us?

Daniel said...

We humans need a positive role model to look up to, Anonymous, otherwise we tend to disintegrate morally. Cheers.