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Historical overview of nonviolence
Precursors of nonviolence
up until Gandhi
Étienne Godinot
Translation : Claudia McKenny...
Precision
The images selected in these slides have
been provided by a variety of sources.
As we cannot certify they are no...
Historical overview of nonviolence
Among the slides on this website, 5 historical overviews can
be found :
1 -Thinkers and...
Historical overview of nonviolence
This classification in 5 families, although it presents
practical reasons, is of course...
Historical overview of nonviolence
This suite of brief portraits is presented by order of birth.
It also contains portrait...
Abraham
(1900 B.C). Probably more symbolical than historical, this
important figure, is patriarch of the Hebrews and fathe...
Abraham
Goes to Canaan. Develops the conviction, with his
people, that God cannot stand and refuses human
sacrifices.
In b...
Moses
(-1392 -1272 BC). Biblical character, first prophet of Judaism,
considered as legendary or symbolic by the vast majo...
Zoroaster
(or Zarathustra), thinker, sage and prophet, founder of Zoroatrianism,
lived, according to studies, between the ...
The first Isaiah
“ Isaiah ” is the name of three prophets in Judeo-Christian
history, whose texts were written in three ce...
The first Isaiah
“ That man of action is most probably the first one who was
haunted by the dream of a peaceful humanity, ...
K’oung Fou Tseu
(Latinised by missionaries in the 16th Century, he is now
known as Confucius).
Chinese philosopher (552-47...
K’oung Fou Tseu
“ Here is certainly the maxim for love : do not do to others
what you would not want others to do to you ”...
Laozi
(“the old master”), Chinese philosopher (considered by some as a
symbol), contemporary of Confucius.
His doctrine, T...
The third Isaiah
Name given to men who proclaimed what is abusively called
“the word of God” after the exile of the people...
Buddha
Siddharta Gautama (566-486 BC), known as Buddha (“the
enlightened one”), Nepalese prince from warrior tribe Sakya.
...
Socrates
(470-399 BC), Greek philosopher, one of the first political and
moral philosophy thinkers.
Left no writings, but ...
Ashoka
(circa 304-232 BC), third emperor of the Indian Maurya
dynasty, acceded power by assassinating his brothers and 99
...
Ashoka
Puts an end to animal sacrifices in Brahman rituals.
First sovereign in the world to make of nonviolence a
principl...
Jesus of Nazareth
Yeshua (“the de-strangler”) (circa – 6, + 35), Palestinian of Jewish
religion. In his brotherhood, at le...
Jesus of Nazareth
Fights prejudices, fear, religious superstition, hypocrisy,
dogmatism and ritualism.
Sentenced to death ...
Jesus of Nazareth
“ Go forward you who are humble, humiliated, hungry and thirsty for justice,
pure hearted, peacemakers, ...
Nagarjuna
Between 150 and 250. Indian Buddhist monk, philosopher and
writer.
His doctrine leads to universal responsibilit...
Patanjali
Between 300 and 500.
Indian founder of yoga philosophy. His teaching is contained
in the Yoga Sutras, a short te...
Francis of Assisi
Giovanni di Pietro Bernardone (1182-1226), citizen of Ombria,
leads until 1206 a life of pleasures. But ...
Moheïddine Ibn ’Arabî
(Born 1165 in Spain, died 1240 in Syria).
Arab Andalusian theologist, lawyer, poet, metaphysician an...
Djalal ud-Din Rumi
(1207-1273), Spiritual and mystical Sufi Muslim, he founds the
Dervish brotherhood.
Develops in his mon...
Niklaus von der Flüe
(1417-1487), Swiss farmer, soldier then officer, municipal
counsellor and later judge. In 1467, fathe...
Erasmus
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1469-1536), Dutch theologist
and humanist, writer, letter writer and pedagogue.
In...
Thomas More
(1478-1535), English lawyer, historian, philosopher, humanist,
theologist and politician. In his book Utopia, ...
Bartolome de Las Casas
(1484-1566), Spanish Dominican, coloniser for 10 years in the
New World. After the massacre of the ...
Menno Simons
(1496-1561), Dutch priest from Frise. Converts in 1536 to
Anabaptism, which affirms the absolute impossibilit...
Étienne de la Boétie
(1530-1563), French lawyer and writer. Starts already in 1548 the
Discourse on voluntary servitude, w...
George Fox
(1624-1691). English craftsman and preacher, dissident of
the Anglican Church, non-conformist within his purita...
Baruch Spinoza
(1632-1677), Dutch philosopher, son of a Jewish Portuguese
family that fled the persecutions of the Catholi...
William Penn
(1644-1718), English, follower of George Fox. Imprisoned for that
reason in the Tower of London from December...
Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre
(1658-1743), French writer, diplomat and academician,
precursor of the Enlightment p...
Emmanuel Kant
(1724-1804), German philosopher, born from a Scottish father.
Mathematics, physics, moral, theology and anth...
Henry-David Thoreau
(1817-1862), American writer of French and Scottish
descent, amateur naturalist, disciple and friend t...
Henry-David Thoreau
• “ It is not distant enemies I wish to quarrel with, but with those
who, very close, cooperate with t...
Henry-David Thoreau
“ I believe we should first be Men, and then subjects. We should
not cultivate the same respect for la...
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolaïevitch Tolstoï (1829-1910), Russian writer and
count, author of novels (War and Peace, Anna Karenin...
Leo Tolstoy
Activist for slave emancipation, founds a school where methods
for nonviolent resolution of conflicts are taug...
Jane Addams
(1860-1935), American reformist, sociologist, philosopher
and writer. Created in 1898 a house for the poor in ...
Romain Rolland
(1866-1944), French, history of art teacher, historian, writer. Looks
for peace “above the fighting” during...
Emily Balch
(1867-1961), American, professor in economy and sociology,
trade unionist.
Leads the campaign against the USA ...
Carl von Ossietzky
(1889-1938), German journalist, founder of the League of
Human Rights in his country.
Anti-Nazi activis...
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History and actors of nonviolence. — 01. Precursors up until Gandhi

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History and actors of nonviolence. — 01. Precursors up until Gandhi

  1. 1. Historical overview of nonviolence Precursors of nonviolence up until Gandhi Étienne Godinot Translation : Claudia McKenny-Engström .05.05.2016
  2. 2. Precision The images selected in these slides have been provided by a variety of sources. As we cannot certify they are not object of a copyright, we kindly ask their authors to contact us if they wish them not to be used.
  3. 3. Historical overview of nonviolence Among the slides on this website, 5 historical overviews can be found : 1 -Thinkers and actors of nonviolence + Annex on “Righteous amoung the nations” 2 - Thinkers and actors for economic alternatives 3 - Thinkers and actors of ecology and alter-growth 4 - Thinkers and actors of societal change 5 - Meaning seekers (or spirituality) since 1850
  4. 4. Historical overview of nonviolence This classification in 5 families, although it presents practical reasons, is of course, slightly unsatisfying. Each one of the figures presented could belong to several families at once. An alphabetical index allows to look for each one in any family, starting with that person’s name and date of birth.
  5. 5. Historical overview of nonviolence This suite of brief portraits is presented by order of birth. It also contains portraits of people who do not refer to nonviolence (the word is hardly used before Gandhi), but can be considered as precursors of the idea and practice of nonviolence. The selection made between many researchers, thinkers and actors, and the content of this presentation (roughly exposed, in vast majority, only on one slide) was decided according to criteria obviously tainted with subjectivity.
  6. 6. Abraham (1900 B.C). Probably more symbolical than historical, this important figure, is patriarch of the Hebrews and father of the three monotheist religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Chief of semi-nomadic pastoral tribe, he is said to have lived in High Mesopotamia, in Ur and later Haran. Not far away, sanctuaries were erected in honour of the fertility gods, but these tribes and their chiefs soon developed the certainty of a single God. Photo : Ziggurat of Ur in Chaldea (Tiger and Euphrates valley), Sumerian era ../..
  7. 7. Abraham Goes to Canaan. Develops the conviction, with his people, that God cannot stand and refuses human sacrifices. In biblical tradition, he is invited by God to not immolate his son Isaac, and replaces him on the altar with a ram. “ God’s messenger then called him on God’s behalf : “Abraham ! Abraham ! (…) Do not touch the child, do not harm him ” Genesis, 22, 11 Painting : Laurent La Hire, 1650. Abraham sacrificing Isaac.
  8. 8. Moses (-1392 -1272 BC). Biblical character, first prophet of Judaism, considered as legendary or symbolic by the vast majority of archaeologists, philologists and other scientists specialised in the Bible and biblical places. In biblical tradition, son of Amran and Jocabed, leads the people of Israel out of Egypt, writes down the 10 Commandments (Decalogue) on Mount Sinai, dictated to him by God, including the 6th: “You will not kill”. André Chouraqui’s translation “ You will not assassinate ” gives another interpretation of this commandment that does not take into account homicide in time of war, legitimate defence or death pronounced by a tribunal (death penalty). Photos : - Moses before the tables of law, by Marc Chagall - The 10 commandments in Hebrew on a parchment.
  9. 9. Zoroaster (or Zarathustra), thinker, sage and prophet, founder of Zoroatrianism, lived, according to studies, between the 15th and 11th Centuries , or the 7th and 6th BC, in north-east Iran. He reformed Mazdeism on the basis of three principles, “Good thoughts, good words and good actions”, an ethical process and a clear awareness with the aim of reaching spiritual plenitude. Fighting animal sacrifices, considers all men and women on an equal foot, independently of their beliefs and opinions, ethnical or racial belonging. Not only are his ideas not liked, but most of all, they call into question established power. Chased out by the people, he is forced to run away to save his life. “ Happiness comes to those who give happiness to others ”. Zoroastrians were the victims of persecution, particularly by Muslims. Those who fled India are now known as Parses. Photo above : the Farvahar, symbolising Fravashi, guardian angel of an individual, infinite universe (great central ring), wisdom and love (the little ring), moving forwards to bring man to progress, rectitude, happiness.
  10. 10. The first Isaiah “ Isaiah ” is the name of three prophets in Judeo-Christian history, whose texts were written in three centuries between 750 and 400 BC. The prophet is the one who reminds, throughout time, moral requirements. “ No one will take the sword and shield and war shall not be taught. And with their swords, will forge plough blades, and with their javelins, billhooks ”, Isaiah, 2, 4 “ The wolf will live with the lam; the tiger close to the kid. The calf, the lion cub will be fed together, and a child will walk them ”, Isaiah, 11, 6. Photo : The blacksmith transforms the sword in plough blade. Statue given by the USSR the UN in 1959, it is in front of the UN building in New York ../..
  11. 11. The first Isaiah “ That man of action is most probably the first one who was haunted by the dream of a peaceful humanity, who imagined the defeat of injustice, war (…) and who announced a cosmic transformation. He was shocked not only by the violence of men, but also in nature. Marx, Lenin and Mao, wrote André Chouraqui, did they ever have like him their sleep troubled by the fight between species in the jungle ? He is the first, and maybe the only revolutionary in history ”. Pierre de Beaumont, The Bible, Fayard-Mame, 1981, p. 428. Photo : André Chouraqui
  12. 12. K’oung Fou Tseu (Latinised by missionaries in the 16th Century, he is now known as Confucius). Chinese philosopher (552-479 BC), contemporary of Buddha, Nabuchodonosor and Pythagoras. Civil servant, school teacher, town governor and later public works supervisor in Zongdhu province. Exiled, he wanders during 14 years and then comes back to his homeland. He established a social moral grounded on humanity’s virtues, equity and respect of cultural rituals. He wanted to apply moral to politics. The five major virtues are : courtesy, magnanimity, good faith, diligence and kindness. ../..
  13. 13. K’oung Fou Tseu “ Here is certainly the maxim for love : do not do to others what you would not want others to do to you ” Analects XV, 23 “ The attack of little countries by big ones, pillage of the weak by the strong, oppression of minorities by the majority, fooling the simple one with a trick, disdain of the noble for the humble are some of the world’s calamities (…). Which law of the sky do we obey ? We obey the one that tells us to love all men universally ”. Mo Zee, first disciple of Confucius (470-391 BC). Photo : Mo Zee
  14. 14. Laozi (“the old master”), Chinese philosopher (considered by some as a symbol), contemporary of Confucius. His doctrine, Taoism, is condensed in 5 000 characters, the Book of Virtue and Justice, (or Tao Te King). He would have written his masterpiece during a long voyage west, on buffalo, last known episode of his life. “ I treat with kindness those who are kind. I treat with kindness those who are not. And thus I gain kindness”. Aphorism of the wise man, Tao Te King, ch. 49 “ Kindness in words brings trust. Kindness in thought brings deepness. Kindness in giving brings love ”.
  15. 15. The third Isaiah Name given to men who proclaimed what is abusively called “the word of God” after the exile of the people of Israel in Babylonia, from 538 to 520 BC, and whose writings are compiled in 56-66 Chapters of Isaiah’s book. “ You tyrannise those who struggle for you, fight, quibble over nonsense (…). Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him ? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord? (…) The fasting I believe in is different : untie unjust ties, free the oppressed, seize the yoke and break it (…). If you banish from your country the accusative finger, the word of fraud, exploitation of your brothers (…), the obscurity within you will become light ” Isaiah 58, 6 to 10 Photo : Isaiah (Church of Souillac).
  16. 16. Buddha Siddharta Gautama (566-486 BC), known as Buddha (“the enlightened one”), Nepalese prince from warrior tribe Sakya. At the age of 29, he runs away from the Palace in quest for truth, which he discovers after a life of wandering and hard ascetism. Existence is suffering, and suffering finds its origin in desire, which can never be satisfied. Wisdom therefore consists in defeating that desire by meditation, compassion, distance with happiness and sadness, and to be aware of impermanence. “ Do not hurt another in way that would hurt you ”. “ Have only one passion : the happiness of others (…). All those who are unhappy are so because they have been looking for their own happiness. All those who are happy are so because they looked for other people’s happiness ”.
  17. 17. Socrates (470-399 BC), Greek philosopher, one of the first political and moral philosophy thinkers. Left no writings, but his thought and reputation are transmitted by indirect testimonies (Plato, Xenophon, Aristophan and Aristotle). Exemplary citizen, he opposes the demagogy that reigns in the city of Athens. In discussions with people of Athens, he answers by questions to questions, pushing each one to surpass the level of truth provided by good sense and to go out on a quest for true knowledge. Rebellious to tyrant Citrias’ power, he refuses to leave the city following his trial. He drinks the hemlock that will kill him. “ One should not answer injustice or harm another, whatever he has done ”. “ If I had to commit an injustice or suffer under one, I would rather suffer under one than commit one ”.
  18. 18. Ashoka (circa 304-232 BC), third emperor of the Indian Maurya dynasty, acceded power by assassinating his brothers and 99 members of his family. Becomes the master of a huge empire. Undergoes a deep moral crisis because of the horrors of the Kalinga war (- 261). After talking with his Buddhist nephew Nigrodha, he converts to Buddhism during his travels to Bodhgaya, retreats in a monastery for one year. His behaviour and politics are then inspired by nonviolence and compassion : war is abolished, civil servants have the duty to guarantee justice and religious tolerance. ../..
  19. 19. Ashoka Puts an end to animal sacrifices in Brahman rituals. First sovereign in the world to make of nonviolence a principle of political organisation. After his death, after 37 years of reign, his children share his empire and traditional rules of social and political life are re- established… “ To civil servants : let’s win men’s affection ”. “ The king, friend of the kind Gods, wants all schools of thought and religions to be able to reside anywhere. Because all want to master senses and purity of the soul ”. Sayings carved on a rock. Image: The three lions overseeing the columns in the empire, became the symbol of the Indian Republic.
  20. 20. Jesus of Nazareth Yeshua (“the de-strangler”) (circa – 6, + 35), Palestinian of Jewish religion. In his brotherhood, at least 4 brothers and 2 sisters. Was so close and trustful of God he called him Abba (Father). Preaches for inclusion and kindness, joy and hope, nonviolence and forgiveness, freedom and responsibility. Asks that we do not respond to evil by evil and to love our enemies. In a saintly wrath, he rises up against sacrificial religion by chasing, along with Temple vendors, the animals destined to be sacrificed away. Photo : The Christ by Georges Rouault, stained glass, Cleveland museum.
  21. 21. Jesus of Nazareth Fights prejudices, fear, religious superstition, hypocrisy, dogmatism and ritualism. Sentenced to death by High priests, tortured and crucified by the Roman occupant. Died not to atone worldly sins, but to speak out God’s nonviolence. Present after his death in the heart of his disciples, “helped mankind take the biggest step towards the divine” (Ernest Renan). “ The one who says “I love God” when he has hate in his heart for his brother is a liar ! ” “ Shabbat is made for man, and not man for Shabbat ” “ Love you enemies, take care of those who hate you ”. “ Conceal your sword, for whoever uses a sword will die by the sword ”. Painting : The return of the prodigal son, Rembrandt
  22. 22. Jesus of Nazareth “ Go forward you who are humble, humiliated, hungry and thirsty for justice, pure hearted, peacemakers, persecuted because of justice ”. “ I have not come to bring peace (tranquillity), but the sword (the words that shake up) ” “ If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also ” * “ Woman, time has come when you shall not love the Lord neither on this mountain** nor on in Jerusalem (…). Time has come, now, when the true believers will love the Lord in spirit and truth. ” *i.e. : not answer violence with violence, break the escalation of violence. ** the Garizim, holy place for Samaritans close to Nablus. Actualisation : not in Benares, Lhassa, Jerusalem, Rome, Mecca… Photo : Jesus and the adultery woman, Lucas Cranach the Old
  23. 23. Nagarjuna Between 150 and 250. Indian Buddhist monk, philosopher and writer. His doctrine leads to universal responsibility and compassion, respect of sensitive beings and environment. Condemns torture refuse the death penalty, he preconizes treating prisoners to rehabilitate them. Advocates legal equality and social solidarity that will allow to evolve individually and differentiate according to one’s will. Preconizes free association of persons who wish to free themselves from suffering.
  24. 24. Patanjali Between 300 and 500. Indian founder of yoga philosophy. His teaching is contained in the Yoga Sutras, a short text composed of 19 aphorisms. Nonviolence (ahimsa), respect in thought, words and action of the life of all living being, is the first ethical requirement for Man. “ Nonviolence, truth, disinterest, moderation, refusal of useless possessions (…), being independent from way of existence, place, time, circumstances”. What disturbs Man’s existence, are his thoughts. “Those thoughts, like violence, whether it is lived, provoked or approved, are caused by impatience, anger and error ”. “ If someone is installed in nonviolence, around him hostility disappears”.
  25. 25. Francis of Assisi Giovanni di Pietro Bernardone (1182-1226), citizen of Ombria, leads until 1206 a life of pleasures. But a life changing event leads him to turn to a life in poverty, prayer and charity in respect to creation. According to St Bonaventura’s hagiographic texts, brings peace to the town of Arezzo in 1217, threatened by civil war. In September 1219, during the 5th Crusade and the siege of Damietta, crosses enemy lines with a brother to meet Sultan Al Khami and talk with him. In 1223, demands the citizens of Perugia to give up their weapons. Prayer for peace ‘”Lord, make me your instrument of peace”, which became in half a century one of the most famous prayers in history, appeared, anonymously, in 1912 and was wrongly attributed to him in 1925.
  26. 26. Moheïddine Ibn ’Arabî (Born 1165 in Spain, died 1240 in Syria). Arab Andalusian theologist, lawyer, poet, metaphysician and spiritual master. Travels and make important encounters from 1196 : Fes, Mecca, Mosul, Cairo, Qonya, Armenia, Bagdad, Alep, dies in Damas. Considered by Henry Corbin as “ one of the greatest and visionary theologists of all time ”. Contrary to the scission drawn by Averroes (or Ibn Rosd, 1126- 1198) between faith and reason, Ibn Arabi’s profound understanding rests on the meeting point between intelligence love and knowledge. Intellectually, he follows Mansur Al-Hallaj (857-922) whom he quotes repeatedly. First, in the Muslim world, to condemn death penalty.
  27. 27. Djalal ud-Din Rumi (1207-1273), Spiritual and mystical Sufi Muslim, he founds the Dervish brotherhood. Develops in his monastery in Konya a collective way of life, poor, nonviolent, happy and laborious. Scandalises fundamentalists by welcoming women in sacred concerts, or by becoming friends with the Jews and Christians to find, with them the path to God. Demonstrates a tender compassion not only towards children, drunks and prostitutes, but also towards animals and plants. Wanted to transform the little jihad in the Koran (holy war against the unfaithful) in big jihad (spiritual fight for self- elevation).
  28. 28. Niklaus von der Flüe (1417-1487), Swiss farmer, soldier then officer, municipal counsellor and later judge. In 1467, father of 10, he leaves his family with the consent of his wife, and becomes a hermit. In spite of his illiteracy and poor experience of the world, his art of meditation and sincere love for peace make of him a conciliator between rural and urban cantons. During Diet of Stans (1481), which will lead to the war of Bourgogne, he intervenes on the conflict on the topic of Fribourg’s and Soleure’s admission into the Confederation, entries dreaded by the rural cantons. In his message, of which the exact content is unknown, he establishes the basis of a legal agreement that will solve the problem. One of the main unifiers of his country, he is canonised in 1947 and declared patron of Switzerland. “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”
  29. 29. Erasmus Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (1469-1536), Dutch theologist and humanist, writer, letter writer and pedagogue. In the name of the Gospel, denounces clergy behaviour and the Pope, but does not encourage Protestant reform. Engaged for peace in Europe : “ The World is homeland to us all ”. “ What I teach, is never to start a war, unless all other attempts have made it inevitable. The reason is that war is such a pernicious thing in its nature that, however just a prince’s behaviour has been, it generally generates more evil than good ”. »
  30. 30. Thomas More (1478-1535), English lawyer, historian, philosopher, humanist, theologist and politician. In his book Utopia, advocates for tolerance and discipline in the service of freedom. Member of the Parliament from 1504, he rises against the taxes ordered by Henry VII to pay the war in Scotland. Chancellor of the Kingdom, friends with Catherine of Aragon, first wife to Henry VIII, does not attend Anne Boleyn’s coronation, second wife to Henry VIII who sees that as an insult. Refuses to support the king on religious matters. Sentenced to high treason, he was decapitated on 6th July 1535. Model for Man and as political leader, fin the name of truth, he would rather die than reject his beliefs.
  31. 31. Bartolome de Las Casas (1484-1566), Spanish Dominican, coloniser for 10 years in the New World. After the massacre of the Amerindians by the Spanish in Cuba in 1514, fights for the rights of indigenous people through publications, interventions and remonstrance. Procurator de los Indios in 1516, Bishop of Chiapas and member of the colonial Council under Charles Quint rule. During the Controversial of Valladolid in 1547, he opposes Juan Gines de Sepulveda, canon of Cordoba who holds Indians don’t have the same soul and can be enslaved. He on the other hand believes it is never permitted to enslave anyone, that Indians have natural rights, that the only weapons of the Christians is kindness and persuasion.
  32. 32. Menno Simons (1496-1561), Dutch priest from Frise. Converts in 1536 to Anabaptism, which affirms the absolute impossibility for a Christian to make war, forbids to swear oath, reserves baptism to adults, and non-intervention in the State in theological debates. Almost all the strands of nonviolent Anabaptism are Mennonit. A strong Mennonit migration happened towards the United States of America during the 19th Century (Amish, Houtterian). There are circa 1 300 000 Mennonits in the world, living in their own communities, often engaged in nonviolent movements and with populations struck by war.
  33. 33. Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563), French lawyer and writer. Starts already in 1548 the Discourse on voluntary servitude, which he most probably writes during his bachelor in law in Orleans in 1552-53. Councillor at the Parliament of Bordeaux, befriends Montaigne. Translates and publishes Greek philosophers. Dies from the plague. The Discourse, assimilated to anti-monarch pamphlets is solemnly burnt after Bordeaux Parliament decision. It is re- published by Lammenais in 1835. “ Decide to stop serving (the tyrant) and you will be free. I do not want you to hurt yourselves or fall, but only that you stop supporting him and you will see him, like a big colossus whose base was removed, fall under his own weight and break ”.
  34. 34. George Fox (1624-1691). English craftsman and preacher, dissident of the Anglican Church, non-conformist within his puritan movement. Founds in 1647 the Society of Friends, more known under the name Quakers (who quake in name of God), travels to develop it in Great-Britain, Europe and North America. Rejects the recourse to weapons whatever is at stake, vanity, waste, critique of dogma and theological concepts, discrimination against women, religious hierarchy, excess of rituals. Imprisoned several times for trouble to public peace (non authorised preach, irreverence to authority, refusal to swear oath, etc.).
  35. 35. Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), Dutch philosopher, son of a Jewish Portuguese family that fled the persecutions of the Catholic Church. Excommunicated by the Synagogue due to his opinions on the Bible, affirming most of its stories (Genesis flood, Red Sea, etc.) are myths and not historical truths. This results in his loss of many friends, escaping from an attempted murder. He earns a living as lens polisher for glasses and microscopes. He asserts that the greatest servitude in life is to our own passions : the human being is not born free, but becomes free following an effort to rationalise his/her knowledge of emotions and ideas, and reorienting his desires. The universal law of life is effort (conatus), generating a deep joy, the individual than persevering to perfect him/herself in his/her being and increase his/her vital potential (potentia). According to him, a viable State would be a secular Republic where total freedom of thought and speech would be the law of citizens united in a social contract.
  36. 36. William Penn (1644-1718), English, follower of George Fox. Imprisoned for that reason in the Tower of London from December 1668 to July 1669. Flees the persecution of Quakers and, thanks to the money he inherited from his father, gets a territory in North America from Charles II, the province of Pennsylvania. The Quakers found in 1682 the capital Philadelphia (fraternity love), create a society without death penalty and permanent army, grounded on tolerance and freedom of thought. Signs in 1701 in Shackamaxon a treaty of friendship and cooperation with Tamanend, Chief of Indian tribe in Delaware. A century later, Whites massacre Red Skins during the conquest of the Far west …
  37. 37. Charles-Irénée Castel de Saint-Pierre (1658-1743), French writer, diplomat and academician, precursor of the Enlightment philosophy. Negotiates the treaty of Utrecht (between France and the UK, 1712), which ends the succession war in Spain. Is inspired by these difficult negotiations when writing Project for perpetual peace in Europe, treaty in 3 volumes. Suggests States renounce violence, settle their disagreements pacifically in assemblies gathering State representatives. This work, which inspired Jean-Jacques Rousseau and is the first vision of a unified Europe, seems to have inspired the creators of the Society of nations. In 1718, during the Regency, publishes La Polysynodie ou la pluralité des conseils, work in which he glorifies the Regents rule and openly criticizes the politics of late king Louis XIV, whom he qualifies as despot. He is therefore excluded from the Académie Française.
  38. 38. Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804), German philosopher, born from a Scottish father. Mathematics, physics, moral, theology and anthropology teacher. Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Literature in Berlin. All his life is characterised by austerity ad extreme regularity, turned towards meditation, study and teaching. His three main lines of thought are theoretical philosophy (What can I know ?), practical philosophy (What should I do ? What should I hope for ?) and art. Author of a philosophical essay Towards perpetual peace (1795) in which he states that permanent armies must be removed with time. “ Act as you treat humanity, as much with yourself as with any other, always as an end, and never as a means ”. “ Act so as to erect the maxim of your will as universal moral law ”. After René Descartes who compared animals to machines, he assimilates them to potatoes…
  39. 39. Henry-David Thoreau (1817-1862), American writer of French and Scottish descent, amateur naturalist, disciple and friend to Ralph Waldo Emerson, influenced by mystical Hindus and idealist Germans. Resigns from his position as teacher because opposes corporal punishment, and opens a private school. Will later become pens and ink producer, and then geometer. Refuses to pay part of his taxes to protest against slavery and the wars in Mexico led by his government. After having been imprisoned for one night, he writes in 1849 his Essay on the Duty of civil disobedience. Criticises industrial economy and societies. ../..
  40. 40. Henry-David Thoreau • “ It is not distant enemies I wish to quarrel with, but with those who, very close, cooperate with them, execute their orders, and without whom these enemies would be inoffensive (…). There are thousands of people who, by principle, are opposed to war and slavery, but who to nothing to end it. If the government machine is of such nature that it requires you to be an instrument of injustice towards your brother, the, I tell you, disobey it. May your life be dedicated to countering this machine. Under a government that imprisons whoever unlawfully, the true place of the just Man is in prison. (…). The only place Massachussetts has planned for those free spirits is State prison (…).” Photos : - Gandhi in prison read Thoreau - José Bové in front of Thoreau’s reconstructed cabin in Walden Pond.
  41. 41. Henry-David Thoreau “ I believe we should first be Men, and then subjects. We should not cultivate the same respect for law and good. The only obligation I must accept is to do at all time what I deem just.” “ Even voting for what is just is not doing anything for justice. It is only expressing the desire to triumph.” “ All Man is right against his neighbour already has a majority of vote.” “ The fate of the country does not depend on the way in which you vote in elections – even the worst man can play that game – it does not depend on the bulletin you drop in the urn, but of the man you are at the moment you leave your house in the morning”.
  42. 42. Leo Tolstoy Lev Nikolaïevitch Tolstoï (1829-1910), Russian writer and count, author of novels (War and Peace, Anna Karenina, etc.), theatre, short stories and newspapers, which all adds up to 90 volumes. In 1869, confronted with the perspective of death, he discovers faith in God, but progressively split with the orthodox church whose dogmatism and close mindedness he opposes, but especially reproaches it of misinterpreting a nonviolent gospel. Contesting Jesus’ divinity, he is excommunicated in 1901. He rebels against the russo-japanese war and against death penalty, calls to refuse taxes and military service. ../..
  43. 43. Leo Tolstoy Activist for slave emancipation, founds a school where methods for nonviolent resolution of conflicts are taught, organises solidarity actions, defends human rights. Shortly before his death, corresponds with Gandhi and supports the young Indian lawyer in his struggle for minorities in South Africa. “ Love – that is the aspiration to harmony of human souls and action that result from this aspiration – Love is the superior law, unique in human life (…). This law was proclaimed by all the wise men of the universe, from India to China, in Europe, by the Greeks and the Romans. And I believe it was clearly expressed by the Christ when he says it alone “ contains all the law and prophets” (…). The sons of the Christin world have accepted this law while allowing violence ”. 3rd and last letter from Tolstoy to Gandhi, 7th September 1910.
  44. 44. Jane Addams (1860-1935), American reformist, sociologist, philosopher and writer. Created in 1898 a house for the poor in Chicago, and later social services. Is involved in the movement demanding women’s right to vote. Nobel Price for Peace in 1931 with Nicolas Butler for his actions in the field of education and health. President of the Women’s International League for Peace and freedom (WILPF) from 1915 to 1935, member of the American International Fellowship for Reconciliation.
  45. 45. Romain Rolland (1866-1944), French, history of art teacher, historian, writer. Looks for peace “above the fighting” during and after the First World War. Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. Founder of the review Europe in 1923. He struggles between his humanist ideal and his quest for a nonviolent world, admires Tolstoy. For 30 years, cultivates a privileged relationship with India. In 1924, his book about Gandhi contributes to getting the Mahatma known, he who qualified Romain Rolland as the “ most wise man in Europe ” and meets him in 1931 in his house by Lake Geneva. “ You can be proud to possess this great soul. Europe has none a like it ! ” M. K. Gandhi
  46. 46. Emily Balch (1867-1961), American, professor in economy and sociology, trade unionist. Leads the campaign against the USA entering the First World War, is excluded for that reason from the University of Wellesley. Becomes publisher of The Nation, liberal newspaper. Member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) Participates in the creation of the Society of Nations, starts an international summer school. During the Second World War, she is involved in helping refugees, namely Jews. Nobel Prize for Peace, 1946.
  47. 47. Carl von Ossietzky (1889-1938), German journalist, founder of the League of Human Rights in his country. Anti-Nazi activist, publishes in 1929 an article on clandestine German air force trial centres. Sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in 1931 for high treason. Nobel Prize for Peace in 1935. Died due to his detention. On 11th July 1991, Berlin Court of Appeal refused to revise his trial, such as asked by his family. The decision is signed by judge Egbert Weiss, the same who in 1968 had found not guilty a member of Nazi “ people’s tribunal ” responsible for 231 death sentences in 1944… ■

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