Ananta Kumar Giri has been furrowing in the frontier regions of contemporary sociological theory. He and a most admirable group of social theorists and philosophers from several countries find that even their frontier worlds are pervaded by mutual challenges between power-craving princes and freedom-seeking sages…. Giri has assembled here 29 cutting-edge essays and much-needed wise reflections on vitally important topics such as development ethics and poverty, the power of non-violent movements, and the moral dimension in world history. - Thomas Pantham, Former Professor of Political Science, M.S. University of Baroda Ever since the Renaissance in the thirteenth century, the 'prince' has been the dominant archetype of 'being' and 'becoming'. Power and politics have provided the modern world with determinant frames of self-constitution and social emancipation, along with a singular definition of 'freedom'. In this context, The Modern Prince and the Modern Sage: Transforming Power and Freedom is concerned with rethinking and transforming the concepts of 'power' and 'freedom' in discourse, society and history. This work draws from various sources-traditional, philosophical, religious and spiritual-in discussing 'power' and 'freedom', and also in bringing together voices of struggle from different parts of the world. It is a highly recommended reading for scholars of humanities and social sciences and can be used as a textbook of social and political theory in departments of sociology and politics. It will also be an invaluable supplementary reading resource for students and researchers of development studies, philosophy and religious studies.
Chapter 22: Gandhi and Empowerment
Gandhi and Empowerment
The idea of empowerment as a motivation for social/political action is a modern idea. I think it even has a post-modern tinge about it— at least a post-Marxian change of emphasis. Marx talked about the dictatorship of the proletariat and not about the empowerment or enfeeblement of the proletariat. Of course, Marx can be interpreted in such a way as to suggest that the very basis of the Marxist framework of understanding human reality is the notion of empowerment and its opposite, that is, enfeeblement. But the talk of empowerment, which has not become a part of our moral political vocabulary, really derives its spirit from a more recent popular Western ideology; and this ideology in turn derives its strength ...