What leads people to their goals? The world history knows a lot of examples of leaders who used rather different means to achieve their goals which were directed to the realization of their ambitions or to completing the public’s needs. Thus, the ways which can be used for reaching the goal always depend on the character of this aim. Social or religious leaders also have the right to choose between violent or non-violent means for achieving their goals.
It is difficult to discuss the peaceful intentions of those people who are inclined to use violence as the main means. Violence can be considered as an ineffective strategy for achieving goals because violent actions can result only in further violence and the development of conflicts, and it is almost impossible to justify such effects; violent intentions and actions rarely attract those people who are ready to help, violence causes only resistance; violent actions is the way of people with a weak will.
What is the nature of violence? It is in a lack of people’s satisfaction with the aspects of their everyday life, their social position, and state, or the political situation in the country. Many people can think that they can achieve their goals if they use violence as a major means. Nevertheless, violence can affect only more violent actions which will be directed on the person who considers violence as the best means.
Violence is not the most effective method to protect personal or people’s interests. In his “Facing the British in India” Gandhi discusses his vision of the effectiveness of violence, “I felt that violence was no remedy for India’s ills and that her civilization required the use of a different and higher weapon for self-protection” (“Facing the British in India” 104).
Gandhi has discovered such weapons in non-violence as the opposite and more effective way to achieve goals which are also close to people. Violence is too difficult to justify. Moreover, there cannot be such violent actions which require to be justified. To achieve definite goals, people should feel the support of the other persons who are ready to help them.
However, what reaction is expected when people start involving violence in their actions directed on the others on their way toward the goals? Malcolm X in his interview with A. B. Spellman said, “We are non-violent only with non-violent people. I am not-violent as long as somebody else is non-violent” (Malcolm X 33). That is why violence cannot be considered as the right way to achieve the goal and then to wait for the positive reaction of the public.
It is not easy to reach the goals and be satisfied with the results of this way. Thus, people can focus on the quickest, but ineffective ways when they try to achieve the aim. What is the quickest way to influence people and make them do what we want? Violent actions can be thought of as the easiest means on the way to the goal.
In his “Love Versus War and Dictators” Gandhi notes that violence is often used as a mask for weakness, and non-violent actions are the most effective ways to reach the goals and be satisfied with the results (“Love Versus War and Dictators”). Weak people choose violence because they are not ready to face and overcome any difficulties.
When violence is used to achieve the goals it gives birth to a series of other violent actions. Thus, the intentions to succeed can result in using all the energy for realizing violent actions, but not reaching the goal. That is why the position of Gandhi about the idea of non-violence can be discussed as more effective and having philosophical meaning. It is necessary to save energy for the goal, but not for violence.
Gandhi, Mahatma. “Facing the British in India”. The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas. Ed. Louis Fischer. USA: Vintage, 2002. 101-116. Print.
—. “Love Versus War and Dictators”. The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas. Ed. Louis Fischer. USA: Vintage, 2002. 284-295. Print.
Malcolm X. By Any Means Necessary (Malcolm X Speeches and Writing). USA: Pathfinder Press, 1992. Print.