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The Modern Roots of Holism

Jan Christian Smuts, "Introduction"

The following is an excerpt from the chapter, “Mystic Spiritualism,” taken from, Walt Whitman, A Study in the Evolution of Personality, a mini-study of the holistic life by the South African prime minister, international statesman, soldier and well-respected author, Jan Christian Smuts. The experimental study was written in 1895 when Smuts was only twenty-four-years-old and in England for his law degree. It was a mere precursor to his second and more famous book, Holism and Evolution (1926). His revelatory first work on the topic of the holistic life, about the iconic American poet, Whitman, predated Smuts' leadership in the Second Boer War in South Africa and World Wars I and II, for which he served alongside Lloyd George and Winston Churchill on the British and Imperial War Cabinets.

In describing the 'developing personality' of Whitman as a reflection of the holistic personality, Smuts wrote:

... through the various stages of naturalism and emotionalism, ... entering the stage of spiritualism. We have seen how, starting from and founding on the real, the actual, the material, his thought rose ever higher till it finally culminates in the idea of the whole. But all that ideal and spiritual superstructure is still based on the real. The spiritual and realistic tendencies, being in fact the same, ... developed together in his mind; and the spiritual thus becomes, as it were, the flowering of the real in his mind.

The italics I've added as a foreshadowing of the upcoming themes which attempt at once, and as a prelude to the second volume, to define Smuts' genius and compassion as well as his failings in implementing the holism of which he must have dreamt at night, as a statesman and politician.

From Chapter Two, "A Young Smuts"

Smuts was a stellar student. His performance in school, which he only went to at age twelve following the loss of his elder brother to typhoid from a culture which traditionally only sent the eldest son to study, is what led him from his sheltered existence on the farm in the African veld, just miles from beautiful Capetown, eventually to England to study law.

His parents held hope all the same he'd rather become a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church like their eldest son intended, but interestingly their expectations were not high given they hadn't recognized the young Smuts' brilliance when he began working on their farm and was often found daydreaming or staring out into the countryside of tall grasses and orchards. Soon after he went away and became absorbed in his studies they began to hear of his successes.

It could be that Smuts early childhood helped develop his creative capacities which lent to his analytical ability. He was always a lover of nature and the South African landscape. As a boy, he could be found sitting by a fire listening for hours to a wrinkled, old Hottentot shepherd who worked for his father and loved sharing tales meant to fascinate about his native folklore and war stories from several kefir border campaigns in which he'd fought.i When Smuts couldn't read or write yet, he'd find pleasure from simply absorbing the world around him while peering out at the rolling waters of the sea or else lush fields of grasses; it would become a lifelong fascination that grew into a love of the mountains and botany. On the family farm at Bovenplaats, he'd purposefully get close to the earth by working with his hands around the animals and amongst the 'coloured' workmen. Even though his parents looked upon him somewhat pitifully then, not giving him too many duties from the first years because of a pallid countenance and he was sickly on and off until about the age of four, perhaps more so than a typical child would he enjoyed the surroundings of wild earth and tracking the phenomenal changes in the seasons and also being of whatever help he could on the farm, with its vistas of green and brown harvests of summertime. Vineyards and fruit trees dotted the farmland as well, adding to its richness.*

Sundays were special days when Smuts with his parents often trekked about five miles away to the neighboring community of Reibeek West, a small village from where the elegant coastal waters could be seen. Here again the land was lined by orchards, vineyards, meandering streams and fields of grains that stretched into open country as far as the eye could see. Depending on what direction a person looked, horizons became filled with either isolated mountains and hilltops, or a majestic mountain range the fruit trees and tall grasslands backed up against.

When he was about four, the family moved twelve miles from the picturesque village to a farm in the veld, Klipfontein, still embroidered with color and texture but absent the same trees and vineyards nearer to the coast. As his health gradually improved, his grandfather took Smuts under his wing training him in ways a full-fledged farmer would be trained. He worked up the ladder from goats, to pigs, to sheep, to cattle, and sadly, for him, when he was about to begin working with bulls he was redirected to handling horses. It was then, with the tragic loss of his brother, he was sent away to study having had only a relatively miniscule amount of education.

After a bit of stumbling in the first months, Smuts developed an intense thirst for knowledge and before long began to matriculate from one institution to another of better repute. As already mentioned, his interests in the great outdoors and farming never waned. In fact, until old age he would keep and maintain in the summers a family farm at Doornkloof, and enjoy romps on Table Mountain. But as a teenager he'd developed at school his passion for studies generally, philosophy and the sciences, and for botany under the direction of a highly regarded South African botanist, Professor R. Marloth. His multiple interests by this time allowed him to begin to blend the many into the idea of the one.

Smuts was a rather good-looking young man, tall, blonde, with high cheek bones, athletic, a bit of a sophisticate. While still at Victoria College (now Stellenbosch University), in South Africa, he met a fellow student, Sibella Margaretha (Isie) Krige, a daughter of a leading local farmer. He befriended her and the two soon became close, Smuts not losing any affection for her by the time he graduated law school.

It was while still at Victoria when Smuts experienced a flowering in terms of his world knowledge, what could be described as a period of expansion. He soaked up books on philosophy as well as the classics by the world's greatest poets, mind you all shortly after having learned in quick progression the lessons and studies he'd fallen behind in when busy working on the farm, while most boys his age were already enrolled in school. Having early mastered his school courses, he found himself also appreciating the long walks through nature he took, sometimes carrying a book with him, other times taking his favorite sidekick, and future wife, Isie, who he also enjoyed tutoring in her studies on occasion. Most likely the couple's relationship and the exposure to the sciences, and to political ideas, at Victoria, held sway over Smuts' eventual decision to study law and not theology. But likely his early interest in politics was the biggest influence.ii

At Victoria, he really only became a close friend to, besides Isie, a Professor Marais of the Theological Seminary, who later also gave Smuts a generous, open-ended loan to help with cost-of-living expenses in England, which Smuts only had to repay after his student days were through. Professor Marais was an early and important mentor, and like Smuts' parents, hoped he'd become a minister. The two nonetheless remained close even after Smuts' decision was made, exchanging correspondences while Smuts was at law school. Beyond these two unusually strong attachments, and the connections to the countryside as well, Smuts maintained mostly acquaintances at school. Later in England, too, there were acquaintances with those who were devoted to their studies as well, but no intimate bonds of which to speak.iii

From beginning to end, Smuts was always a reserved student and with the clearest of intentions, first in Stellenbosch, and later at Cambridge. While he wasn't particularly social, he also focused most of his energy on studies. In fact, from the beginning of his school days, he set out to distance himself via choice of his living quarters from the social activities students typically engage in, Smuts thinking such activities caused young people to stray from “religious and familial obligations.” He was of course also poor compared to his peers, so entertaining and being entertained wouldn't have been easy. But his letters all along express his intent to remain serious. At Cambridge, for example, he wrote how he didn't care for the “lighthearted pranks and occasional drinking bouts” of his fellow students.

The work he'd set out to do in England, writing the book about Whitman, which he wrote he began for his own amusement, must also have preoccupied Smuts.

All the while, in any case, he remained loyal to the Dutch Reformed Church, though he also began questioning it,iv so that upon receiving a double-First degree in literature and science from Victoria College he chose to go on to study law versus theology, at Christ's College in Cambridge. A scholarship from the University of the Cape of Good Hope for his double-First made it so he could set sail for England, where he excelled, receiving first place honors for Parts I and II of Law Tripos, which he took in the same year; and winning the George Long prize in Roman Law and Jurisprudence. He was finally awarded a prize for best examination in Constitutional Law (English and Colonial) and Legal History before being offered a professorship at Christ's College. Smuts, though, decided at that point to turn what looked to be a prestigious European future down, and return to his homeland, South Africa.v vi

One can also only presume that because of his varied early and deep connections to the land and a rustic people, by the time he was a studious young man in England, Smuts also developed a feeling of separation from home and the spirit of kinship he hadn't felt since first leaving the farm for school at twelve.vii viii

It were the multiple dimensions of his earlier years, the farm, his fellow countrymen, his future wife, as well as prospects for applying political ideals he endeavored to unfold from his time in Stellenbosch, namely about a political unity, a Pan Africanism he'd heard about while a member of the college debate team, which ultimately called him home at the end of his law school years.ix

But fortunately, in England, where he was first in Cambridge and then spent time in London (soaking up the all that was housed in the British Museum on Whitman and reading German literature and philosophy outside of reading for his law degree), Smuts found the precious time to complete a first treatise on holism, the book about Whitman's life and works, based on his earliest conceived notion that human personality serves as the highest example of the unity existing in the world. Largely removed from his ties to home and the conservative, Calvinist influence on his upbringing, as well as the demands of any job, he described the potential of “holistic organisms to evolve uninterrupted, balanced and propelled by that by which they are gradually comprised more and more, that spawns a synthesis of naturalism, the rational mind, the spirit or theology, and intellect, which can mold experience, and not only be molded by it.”x xi Writing the book wasn't an attempt to move away from his religious roots, but to creatively integrate the core of those roots into a larger philosophy for living that could be applied universally, which encompassed the sciences not to the exclusion of the organic developments of the evolving personality. But the project did liberate him somewhat nonetheless from what he described as his puritanical roots.

Holism, or the holistic life, meanwhile, doesn't require the sort of academic excellence Smuts pulled off. It was instead Smuts' intelligence combined with his introduction to the English lifestyle, blended with his conservative Dutch Reformed roots, which led him to want to merge some of his earlier experiences in nature and lessons about life with the liberal and intellectual exercises he saw around him in the university setting. Whitman, in turn, as we already saw, was more the creative type, more a student of life generally, while Smuts became a student of the books, with a stronger tendency, in the beginning perhaps, for the creative. As Whitman brought to his experience as poet and essayist the analysis of, for instance, the Reconstruction Era, Smuts was perhaps unique among men, too, as his friend once wrote of him, since he was in reverse of Whitman, analytic, firstly, in his work and thinking, and also creative. He held the capacities steadily, as did Whitman, which helps give rise to the fluid or organic and focused holistic life. This is a manifestation of the idea of merging abstract with associative thought processes.

The result, one might say, is the ability to do what Smuts referred to as, 'mold experience,' meaning a person creates experiences that are genuine reflections of a rich inner Self in touch with the world, which, again, Smuts believed served as an encapsulation of the 'idea of the whole,' the synthesis formed by the personality.

Whitman, for example, didn't bend circumstances to his will but his life experiences were molded from the inside out. When he saw up close what the casualties of the Civil War looked like, and in an earlier time traveled and worked in different parts of the country as a journalist, particularly coming to know and grow fond of Southern culture, he innovated from this breadth of experience a new line of poetry steeped in truth and leaning toward only positive outcomes. The poetry became a 'cosmic' contribution to the world of literature. His contribution was not merely molded by outside influence, however, but it was of the man experiencing the outside world, and the natural growth inherent in the world.

*A young Smuts might have been admired for the intelligence he showed, including sitting for long hours and listening intently to the Hottentot shepherd, learning truth from him, and recognizing the details of nature, its outlines, colors, and textures. Not to mention, his health, if it was weak as a young child, showed stamina and endurance for the remainder of his life, starting already before his teen years, and one is led to believe he was born with a strong constitution. Smuts was arguably self-directed from the time he was very young, always searching for true answers about life's travails, in order to, not ironically, inform truth, and make it more manifest, inspiring goodness. He nonetheless struggled in his pursuits, more than most, particularly at home in South Africa where the ideals of the Commonwealth were not more fully implemented by him.

iJan Christian Smuts, Toward a Better World (New York: World Book Company (War Edition), 1944) 66.

iiKenneth Ingham, The Conscience of a South African, Jan Christian Smuts (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986) 1-15.

iiiW.K. Hancock and Jan van der Poel, Selections from the Smuts Papers: Volume 1, June 1886 – May 1902, (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1966) 4-10/31, Google books, 4 Jun. 2011 <http://books.google.com/books?id=lQKM_

ivF.S. Crafford, Jan Smuts: A Biography, (Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc., 1943) 5, Google books, 9 Dec. 2009 <http://books.google.com/books?id=Cyy1

v“Jan Christiaan Smuts,” South African History Online, toward a people's history, 18 Feb. 2010 <http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/jan-christiaan-smuts>.

viF.S. Crafford, Jan Smuts: A Biography, (Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc., 1943) 12, Google books, 9 Dec. 2009 <http://books.google.com/books?id=Cyy1

viiF.S. Crafford, Jan Smuts: A Biography, (Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc., 1943) 5-9, Google books, 9 Dec. 2009 <http://books.google.com/books?id=Cyy1

viii“Jan Christiaan Smuts,” South African History Online, toward a people's history, 18 Feb. 2010 <http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/jan-christiaan-smuts>.

ixF.S. Crafford, Jan Smuts: A Biography, (Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday, Doran & Company Inc., 1943) 10, Google books, 4 Jun. 2011 <http://books.google.com/books?id=Cyy1

x“Jan Smuts, 24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950,” Biographies, Hall of Fame, Dec. 2010, <http://www.zar.co.za/smuts.htm>.

xiSmuts and McLeod, ed., 12, 39, 26-41.

From Chapter Six, "The Relied Upon International Statesman":

The World War I era was Smuts' most important or influential time in world affairs and would be the basis for all of his future work internationally. English heads of state and members of the royal family utterly respected the South African politician, which allowed him to apply his skills to international governance directly. If Winston Churchill was to die while in office, Churchill and the Queen declared, Smuts should replace him as political head of the Commonwealth.

He'd been invited to the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917 and again in 1939. By 1918, he was instrumental in the creation of the Royal Air Force.

Before the close of World War I, he'd spent two consecutive years in England serving as a key member of the Cabinet after already serving as a General in 1914, the year he put down the Maritz Rebellion, and thereafter with Botha, the two led the South African army into battle, conquering German South West Africa.

Smuts was criticized, however, for a prolonged battle in 1916, led against German East Africa, for using 'flanking movements instead of frontal attacks.' According to his Chief Intelligence Officer, Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, the maneuvers were many times more costly and resulted in thousands of lives lost to disease. As evidenced from his letters, it would move Smuts to consider the merit of holism in practical terms with the utmost sincerity. He was chosen shortly thereafter, by early 1917, for the Cabinet, where he functioned as statesman and strategist. Then again, in the Second World War, 1941, Smuts also became the first South African to hold the rank of Field Marshall for the British Army. That honor he claimed would never mean as much to him as the years he served as General in the Second Boer War and First World War, times about which he at least felt he earned his stripes and would tell stories about to his kids and grandkids.i

At the Paris Peace Conference, in 1919, at World War I's termination, Smuts and Botha, Botha having also been invited to the Cabinet, but who chose to stay in South Africa, each debated tirelessly that Germany shouldn't receive too harsh of reparations at its defeat and should be invited back into the fold via the League of Nations - to keep the former world power from becoming alienated. Its possible the two gained their insight from the close of the Second Boer War, when they negotiated with England concerning what amount of aid the South African Republics, nearly annexed by the British, would be granted for reconstruction, and what amnesty there would be for rebels. The terms eventually received, in that case, were generous. But Botha had to first write an article in The Contemporary Review, “The Boers and the Empire,” describing what benefits would come from a more conciliatory attitude on the part of the British.ii

Given a number of Afrikaners have German ancestral roots, Smuts and Botha might have been more encouraged to look at the whole of the unfolding of events regarding reparations. Both the leaders, on the other hand, were Anglicized and very much on the side of the Allies, so a general sympathy for Germans on their part, is less likely. South Africa, meanwhile, was not as badly beat up as Germany's European neighbors, the war's ultimate victors, and to whom Woodrow Wilson, for his part, went so far as to suggest each side “accept peace without victory.”

Smuts explicitly referred, pertaining to the outcome of World War I peace terms, to the “scandalous Brest-Litovsk Treaty that thoroughly disillusioned and demoralized the German homefront,” as an example of why else not to punish Germany beyond reasonable measures. Brest-Litovsk was an agreement with lasting implications, finalized on March 3, 1918, between Bolshevik Russia and the Central Powers.

On the one hand, negotiations hadn't worked according to the Bolshevik's plans and didn't raise up a worker's revolution, which sidelined the far-leftist Bolsheviks. The treaty simultaneously failed to fully meet the needs of any one side. In due course, Russia lost a quarter of its territory and industry, and precious natural resources and mines, and was forced in the following year to pay hefty reparations to Germany. Much of the lost Russian territory grew into independent states with the later signing of the Armistice with the Allies, on November 11, 1918. Meanwhile, leading up to the Armistice, Germany's Spring Offensive, it was claimed, weakened the plans of Brest-Litovsk. Originally, Germany sent its military to occupy the newly acquired lands at the Western front, causing fear among the Allies, but with the Armistice the military was required to abandon lands gained, and so ultimately pulled out from what were already costly exploits. Perhaps who benefited most from the Treaty in the short-term were the Allies, who also chose to not sit at its negotiating table, leaving Russia to settle matters by herself.

Brest-Litovsk, which Smuts considered a failed treaty, lasted only eight months, with each of the frustrated parties duly abandoning it. The Allies, after witnessing the Germans negotiate harsh terms with Russia, had become ever more determined to defeat the Central Powers to avoid similar measures.iii iv

The suggestion Smuts gave to key attendees at the Paris conference, regarding the risk of alienating Germany, he felt passionate about. But the same advice, which he continued to make in the years following the signing of the Versailles Treaty, was not his greatest contribution.

He made multiple attempts in writing to influence England's Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, and the American President, Wilson, having earned both of their respect and ears, in the months and years before, and for much of the duration of, the conference. In December 1918, Smuts delivered into the hands of George and Wilson the latest and clearest peace proposal, which he'd initially been asked to prepare on behalf of the British Cabinet, in 1917, based on an earlier talk he gave.

It was a sixty-page pamphlet called, The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion.v Passion-filled conversations with the heads of states accompanied his presentations of the subsequent and targeted proposals, and he would still write more notes and amendments in the course of the conference for the more luminary leaders.

The proposal drew from his theorizing about creating a sustainable world peace and plotted in no uncertain terms a course to take in the upcoming negotiations. It, on the one hand, was a compilation of incorporated wisdom from those proposals already circulating in England for a League-like body. But it seems to have by and large held Smuts' signature mark, and contained his own ideas insofar as he might have gone further than most any other man to apply one man's philosophy to the founding documents for the creation of the first world body, with great precedence for what would become the United Nations.

It's interesting to think of how Smuts became the relied upon international statesman, to the extent he did. Dating back to his days in Cambridge, as a law student, he'd been a supporter of Imperial England. He undoubtedly admired Western civilization very much, and more so as the years passed. But Smuts, too, saw the futility of not having a good degree of independence for a native people who had a sincere love, understanding and appreciation, for the land on which they lived, and so he valiantly fought for autonomy and unity abroad. Regarding Britain, he remained tied to her liberal-leaning policies in terms of cultural advances and riches, while his vision was one of many autonomous nations and dominions as members of a well-organized, peacefully, co-existing Commonwealth. In fact, he was responsible, at the Imperial Conference of 1918, for persuading the English they should transition from an Empire with a strong executive to a Commonwealth of nations. The League proposal he presented might be viewed as a further extrapolation of the idea for a Commonwealth, albeit an extension of it included a more complex framework for the purpose of maintaining relations between states, he also thought was based upon the two ideas that were determined must guide the League, “no annexations, and the self-determination of nations.”*

*Smuts' ongoing desire to absorb South West Africa into South Africa, and develop a Pan-Africanism, was arguably remarkably separate from the mandates proposition, which was to avoid direct annexation, that was part of World War I peace talks. South West Africa might have helped Smuts attain to a more fair justice and equity amongst South African people of all races, discouraging exploitation of resources by too hungry of capitalists and potential war-mongering.

Return to Text:

On the latter point, Wilson viewed things differently, and might have begun to inform Smuts' thinking on the subject, “self-determination.” Wilson, unlike Smuts, didn't think in terms of gradual implementation of equality between modern and undeveloped states, in accordance with stages or levels.

Smuts had wanted to pursue the most enlightened mandate system he could dream up, since there was an overwhelming demand for it, but it would still be a plan with shortcomings, which Wilson uniquely envisioned the absence of, as evidenced by his Fourteen Points:vi

Wilson's Fourteen Points

  1. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

  2. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

  3. The removal, of all economic barriers and the establishment of equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

  4. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

  5. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

  6. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

  7. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

  8. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

  9. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

  10. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development.

  11. Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

  12. The Turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

  13. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

  14. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

Smuts' League proposal, which inspired Wilson's Fourteen Points, contains many progressive ideas, the mandate system being perhaps one of its elements Wilson sought to ignore.

Smuts, in the end, is frequently credited with having shared with Wilson many of the ideas Wilson, as chair of the committee to shape the League, incorporated into his speeches, save the unwanted mandate system, which just never met with Wilson's nod of approval.

It took some twisting of Wilson's arm, actually, by Smuts, who Wilson appointed to the committee for the mandate system, to have it included.

Smuts, mind you, was dissatisfied with the final terms written into the Treaty of Versailles, and to a lesser degree with the Covenant of the League tucked into it, and considered abandoning his ministerial post in protest over what he thought was the pettiness of participants in negotiations, though he didn't fault Wilson, who also became sick by the beginning of the peace talks.

Excerpt from Chapter Six, cont'd:

What must guide the League, he'd written in his opening, had already been summed up in the two years before the peace conference as “the general formula of, no annexations, and the self-determination of nations.”i

But it was a delicate tightrope to walk nonetheless to encourage fading empires to transform into a single unified, democratic League of Nations.

He included in his proposal what advances to the political landscape would come from the League forming, trying simultaneously not to insult the world powers so they might contract. He understood and pointed out the importance of having the old powers be an integral part of the whole in order to deter future wars. Probably the most challenging part of his vision lay in his comparison between the British Empire and the future League on the one hand, and the mandates with oversight for countries he and his peers deemed not yet suited to self-government on the other. The mandates were described in such a way that the person reading doesn't know at which point a nation of “barbarians” will be thought able to govern themselves let alone why such seemingly overbearing leadership is considered necessary in the first place. This was the imperialist tendency, to negate the wisdom of the “barbarians,” “coloureds,” “blacks,” or peoples not yet living in industrialized, administratively-run, according to Western-based ideals, societies. An irony in any case was that Smuts felt that for a country like India to come from under the Crown it risked returning to its more barbaric state because it would become again, decentralized, notwithstanding, a central theme of the League was of course decentralization of nations.ii iii

With regard military force, Smuts went so far to agree with a rather popular theme at the time that countries should be denied the right to arm themselves without limits. The rapid comeback in Germany and the rising threat from Russia, in the build-up to World War II, helped change his mind. In retrospect, Smuts felt by the close of World War II the biggest flaw he made in drawing up terms for the League was the emphasis he placed on disarmament, making it a projected important pillar of the new world body.iv Now in the wake of the travesty of World War II, he was more inclined to agree with the defensive posture and a change in tone with regard conscription. The ready use of force initially became a more integral part of the formula of the UN, insofar as the hands of any law-abiding powers who chose to acquire armies would be able to help maintain peace using the balance of powers, including militarily, for defensive purposes and as a deterrent.

Smuts in 1919 wasn't among the authors of the League who believed there could be no military force at disposal. He felt those nations with the greatest strength, at the very least, should maintain a level of their forces. But very much to the aside of this supply of weapons, armies and navies, Smuts had outlined by 1918 a means by which disputes between nations, when they arose, could be carried through series of specified diplomatic steps that had a high probability of bringing about peaceful resolutions and dissuading countries from partaking in war. His suggestions seemed rather full-proof if only because by the time nations would reach the point of having to decide to go to war, according to his scheme, they would have already exhaustively discussed, with the nations of the world as well as the nation who was opposed, alternative options for peace. Albeit, nations still had the option to go to war in the end, but at the risk of becoming alienated and a potential target.

In addition to the use of diplomacy and arbitration tribunals, he suggested a further commitment on the part of all members of the League to impose a total boycott on countries who don't comply, similar to the boycott against Germany in the world war. This would in effect be war of all member nations against a country in fault, using finance and trade sanctions, but it would require that only in a last resort, if the moratorium doesn't work, military and navy force be used.v

In the 1918 proposal, Smuts incorporated into the language that to keep the levels of military growth in the world manageable it would be beneficial for a nationalization of armament factories to occur since, as long as they are private, huge invested interests will grow up around them. Small incidents, he noted, are raised up in order to increase the war atmosphere, driving up the business of war. As a protection against the unlawful accumulation of arms the Council, Smuts wrote, should have full rights of inspection to all arms factories and be furnished periodically with information of weapons traded and transferred between nations. A whole system of comparative values for measuring the strike power of each nation would need to be devised, possibly 'poison gas and disease germs, and similar abominations,' prohibited. The goal should not be to humanize war, but through the limitation of arms, to render 'war difficult, and in the end, impossible.'vi

The level of oversight of military on the part of the League's administration would require appointed representatives be engaged at the national level, through joint committees and liaison with foreign offices, but for the purpose of peace so the 'intervenor' wouldn't be perceived as a potential aggressor and instead would be welcomed to engage in open participation and exchange of dialogue. Same could be said for international, nonmilitary activities, including rapidly evolving industry; finance; trade and sanitation; transit; navigation of riverways; fisheries; communications; private international law; and copyrights, patents and trademarks. The Council could rely on reports of first-hand information, unintrusively gained, being periodically issued it to be used to coordinate between nations only that which was necessary and in fact required coordination.

For the sake of foreign offices and entire nations, at the level of the Council, it would help to gain public confidence and avoid war if as many of the Council votes, proceedings and resolutions that aren't confidential are made public, and, to that point, there's an absence of secret diplomacy, which can become a cause of war.

The League would maintain the right to intervene lawfully in threatening cases where there's non-judiciary arbitration by and between nations that's not first brought to the Council to be put through the process of mediation. Otherwise, nations could submit their complaints early to the League and that would become the first step in a judicial review and negotiation process during an extended period of war moratorium when matters presumably can be settled between individual states before war can erupt. The moratorium would extend beyond the conclusions of an arbitration tribunal or issuing of a report by the Council to allow additional time that might be needed for states to adhere to peace and in the end war between states would only be seen as tolerable, by the League, if either state involved didn't follow the League's recommendations. However, the Council in cases of non-judiciary arbitration is also left the option to issue more than one set of recommendations if the first conclusions arrived at don't remedy the situation. Continued mediation, even of the most contested and dangerous of situations, may delay and even avoid war. Publishing the Council's recommendations after talks have at first faltered and a state has rejected the suggested solution may also influence public opinion in the direction of peace tables. A financial or trade boycott, meanwhile, as already mentioned, by all League member states, would be automatically implemented against the state that breaks a moratorium, and in the decision to go to war in lieu of heeding the advice the League has set out, the Council would be left in a position of likely wanting to assert its authority, possibly via sanctions, or, in the last case scenario, with the use of military force. The emphasis was clearly on tactics that would avoid war outright.vii

Smuts' League proposal described many of the elements that later comprise the United Nations Organization. Smuts also goes to great lengths in the proposal to ensure, in the broad terms he was known for, the eventual autonomy of each nation and people as part of a League of Nations.

iWikipedia contributors. "Jan Smuts." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Jan. 2010. Web. 20 Jan. 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Smuts

ii“Louis Botha,” South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid Building Democracy, from South African History Online, 20 Jan. 2010 <http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/

iiiWikipedia contributors. "Treaty of Brest-Litovsk." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Jan. 2010. Web. 22 Jan. 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_

iv“Treaty of Brest-Litovsk,” United States History, 3 Mar. 1918, 22 Jan. 2010 <http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1341.html>.

vLieut.-Gen. and Rt. Hon. Jan Christiaan Smuts, P.C., The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion, (New York: The Nation Press, Inc., 1919) Google books, 28 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=

vi Wikipedia contributors. "Fourteen Points." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?

Chapter Six, Cont'd:

iLieut.-Gen. and Rt. Hon. Jan Christiaan Smuts, P.C., The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion, (New York: The Nation Press, Inc., 1919) 10, Google books, 21 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=NSAu

iiLieut.-Gen. and Rt. Hon. Jan Christiaan Smuts, P.C., The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion, (New York: The Nation Press, Inc., 1919) 31-35, Google books, 23 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=NSAu

iiiIngham, 83, 125-126, 138-139, 151-152, 170, 217-219, 246.

ivFind source again from online book

vLieut.-Gen. and Rt. Hon. Jan Christiaan Smuts, P.C., The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion, (New York: The Nation Press, Inc., 1919) 55, Google books, 28 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=

viLieut.-Gen. and Rt. Hon. Jan Christiaan Smuts, P.C., The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion, (New York: The Nation Press, Inc., 1919) 43-48, Google books, 28 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=NSAu

viiLieut.-Gen. and Rt. Hon. Jan Christiaan Smuts, P.C., The League of Nations, A Practical Suggestion, (New York: The Nation Press, Inc., 1919) 59, Google books, 28 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=NSAu

From Chapter Eight, "Gandhi, Smuts and Self-Determination"

Smuts' holism, as well as Eastern philosophies, suggest 'determinism' be understood by way of inner transformation. It's discovering Oneness and being able to identify with the Self and at the same time with the Self's purpose in the larger world. It is to find the soul's meaning, and is a journey of universal wisdom.

Individuals not only determine the path they take, or are self-directed, but they realize their path, too, in terms of its totality, or holism, the sum being greater than its parts, and submit to its truth, simplicity and bliss, in the world. Sometimes they are forced to follow instinct that feels true, when the sum is truly greater than its parts. Even if it does, for example, require suffering in a nonviolent stance against injustice, the suffering won't diminish the spirit of having found the Self's true meaning or purpose. People self-realized, or in Smuts' terms, who have fully assimilated the outside world with their personality so that the personality is able to be a positive influence, see the same universal truths, and so find it natural to cooperate or grow alongside one another in the most practicable and liveable means, as in Whitman's “Religious Democracy.” Joy is found in living and from being able to live life according to the idea of the whole.

In Gandhi's set of religious beliefs, there is a background of Hinduism that is very strong. In Hinduism, the Supreme Being, Vishnu, is everywhere, he is in the mountain, the river and the sun, and he is in you. While Smuts with his determined mindset might walk upon a mountain, joyously breathing in the fresh air and taking in the vistas, Gandhi, on the other hand, would walk the same mountain, while enjoying the air and views, and realize he is not walking atop the mountain, separate from it, but that the beautiful earth and vista, and the person, are One. So, to protect himself, he must also protect the earth with which he walks. There is no antagonism in Gandhi's experience, not even hidden in the form of duality that so often lurks beneath the surface of modern human consciousness. The realized soul may be Smuts who realizes he is one with the mountain, yet not its protector, either. The mountain firstly protects him. But it is not generally a Western concept that the mountain and person are One. The 'Holy Spirit' we don't generally think of in these terms, though we could. Gandhi, the mountain, the wind, the plants, the rivers, are one. Everything that exists coalesces into One, and an immense sense of peace resides. From that starting point, decisions about truth and love-force are made.

Now Gandhi may have not always been so at peace, he certainly had his trials and tribulations, which were also transformed with the movement. But he also trained himself because his faith, life experiences and extensive reading, taught him to see only, that is, the potential of love. He surrounded himself, then, by people who would walk in his footsteps, and that way also inspired people to experieince their own growth.

In contrast, Smuts, given his Western and progress-oriented self, was more likely to experience moments of serene bliss, reflective on the one hand of his love of Jesus Christ, when on his hikes that took him away from it all, but an overall feeling of Oneness with and in the world might not have occurred to him, or he might not have had the heart or strength to take what bliss he experienced there either home or with him to his work duties, where political considerations required certain actions that were determined, but not a reflection of what should be his free reign to determine, even though this would be contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Gandhi was practiced in a self-realized mode of thinking and being which allows the Oneness and nonduality of life to exist endlessly, but this he also suggested required discipline that would transcend the modern world's afflictions and attain to a postmodernity that would be wholly realized.

There were different types of discipline to choose from, but Satyagraha might be one representative model.

“Oneness,” which makes it so a person experiences calm, and steadfastness, more than rancor, even at the most subtle fluctuations of the communication channels of the brain and of the body's capacities, or at the most terrible abuses of both, when combined with free will, or reign, perhaps brings about more exceptional resolve and consistency than conventional determinism combined with free will, or reign, can do. But one needs to experience the feeling of Oneness (destiny) combined with free will and reign, and the insight it brings, to know this is true, and is the root of 'actualized' determinism, or self-direction, which motivated Gandhi.

Gandhi's Satyagraha movement projected itself as being against injustice, and it used nonviolence as its means. It was also against the 'system,' importantly, not the man or men who held up the corrupt system.

Gandhi could perceive the different sides to the story and the struggle, but the Oneness of being simultaneously permeated the experience, and the goal was for sides to become outmoded, presumably with those committing injustice upon the other realizing the truth of their way, even as the whole population could arrive at the truth together.

In so doing, one would be learning about their own being, and a peace, or peace terms, could be resolved through actualization or realization. Smuts had the same aims...

It's interesting to test yourself. To stand still for a moment and listen to what your mind is all telling you. It might be twisting and pulling you in many different directions as you try to manage and respond to the actions of Self, and the actions of others, and their interactions. Amidst the many thoughts going through the mind is typically a tug and pull, a defensiveness, irrational fear, unnecessary worry, or possibly, angst, all things that are very bad for you. And often it is the small stuff we are sweating, in addition to more serious concerns, and which cause an initial tug and pull, or restlessness. Much of this has to do with the conventionally determined mindset. We are determined to see to it that things will work out and sometimes we lose our mindfulness about what is truly our role in making things happen.

On other words, we lose our sense of truth that we are all One and there is only nonduality. When we experience nonduality, then all that there is simply is, and life literally transforms into something much lighter and more beautiful to experience. This is because life becomes easier and more meaningful to maintain, because we trust in the world and its holistic workings and in each other. We can still have dreams and build on them, we may still suffer at the hands of evildoers who have themselves yet to transform, but now with the meaning of life before us we see much more clearly, and rather than restlessness all of the time, in order to win an imaginary fight, we are submitting to the truth which is the deepest fabric of our being, which is that we are all One, and life is pure ecstasy.

It's an interesting experiment to embark on, particularly in the morning in the shower, for instance, when preparing, in your mind, for the day. If you try it and experience it for yourself you may right away see how busy your mind is, and then, experience the difference of nonduality, stillness, calm and peace, and continually want more of it. There are no sides when you know nonduality. There is no to and fro. We are all One, in constant connection with each other, which is true. There are no hard edges.

What we become determined to do transforms when we see we are One, and no longer experience restlessness, now steeped in the rich foundation of truth, and forgiveness (which I describe separately as a continual pathway, starting with observation, versus judging, leading to understanding, leading to forgiveness, if it is necessary, so that truth constantly unfolds, as does peace), and universal wisdom.

Following are short excerpts from Ranchor Prime's Vedic Ecology, a beautiful book that in its opening chapters describes Hindu's creation story. The segments here relate Lord Vishnu's, or the Supreme Being's, role in creating the universe and ultimately the spirits that serve as its guides, better known as Devas, or semigods:i

The eternal realm is filled with light that stretches in all directions for infinity. As the light of this world comes from the sun, so the brilliance of that spiritual realm is due to the dazzling rays shining from the personal form of God. That energy of God, called brahman, is the basis of creation, just as the energy of the sun is the basis of life on earth.

In one corner of that never-ending sky, Vishnu, the Lord of all beings, created a cloud. In its shadow condensed a great ocean. From the waters of that ocean this world was made, and so it is called the Causal Ocean. Vishnu lay down to sleep in its coolness. Submerged in the waters of creation, he began to breathe deep, regular breaths. Time came into being and aeons passed.

Then came sound, the basis of the world, from which all other elements develop. From sound came ether and the sense of hearing. The combination of ether and the sense of hearing created texture, which in turn produced air and the sense of touch. The mixing of air and the sense of touch created form, from which came fire and the sense of sight. The combination of fire and the sense of sight created flavor, which in turn produced water and the sense of taste. By the mixture of water and the sense of taste, odor was created, and from it came earth and the sense of taste, odor was created, and from it came earth and the sense of smell. Together these elements made up the ingredients for creation.

A little further along in the story, following the creation of the Devas:ii

...whichever spirits we may perceive within nature, behind and within them lives Vishnu, the Great Spirit who pervades all, whose being is the ground of all existence. It is sung in the Vedic hymns that the oceans are Vishnu's waist, the hills and mountains are his bones, the clouds are the hairs on his head and the air is his breathing. Rivers are his veins, the trees are the hairs on his body, the sun and moon are his two eyes and the passage of day and night is the moving of his eyelids.

Once the world came to life, filled with numberless living beings, Vishnu expanded himself into a third form, entering the hearts of all beings to sit alongside each individual soul as the Supersoul.

The individual soul, called the atma, is the basis of life. By its presence as the self, it gives energy to the body. The world is thus a combination of matter and spirit-innumerable life forms and the souls within them.

Ultimately, Gandhi's Satyagraha drew its great strength from the soul force Gandhi trained people in, it was a spiritual and peaceful force, never weak, embattled or aggressive. He read from the Bhagavad Gita daily, and was deeply inspired, as we know, by the teachings of Jesus, and the tradition of Ahimsa, or nonviolence. The movement, which stood for truth, was not in contrast to God's plan, even though it was a form of activism. It was willful submission to what was natural law, simply, that all people should be treated as equals, and by way of natural goodness.

Excerpt from Chapter Eight, Cont'd.

Gandhi was practicing a form similar to civil disobedience, with his fellow South Africans, before he read Thoreau's famous essay by the same name, and though he didn't totally agree with the semantics of civil disobedience, he nonetheless became Thoreau's great fan, too, calling his essay a 'masterly treatise,' and occasionally, in any case, using the term 'civil disobedience' when addressing European audiences (since the term was well-known to his European counterparts).i

The notion that it's each person's duty to disobey those laws they find unjust, and this way, in the example of refusing to pay taxes because of slavery, not give allegiance to a country if its actions they don't consider 'right and moral,' he agreed with, albeit, with the caveat that Thoreau's civil disobedience had potential to imply what Gandhi would have called violent resistance. In which case, Gandhi also went to pains to continually make clear, the qualities that were inherent in and unique to Satyagraha. He once described Satyagraha as: “a weapon of the strong; it admits of no violence under any circumstance whatsoever; and it ever insists upon truth. I think I have now made the distinction perfectly clear."ii iii

Thoreau's ideals about civil disobedience, and simple living, boiled down to the concept that one can't believe something like slavery is wrong and then do nothing to end it. That would be the same as sustaining and upholding the institution or system you claim to condemn.

He wrote, “I know this well that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name – if ten honest men only – aye, if one honest man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, … {go back and retrieve lost portion of Thoreau quote), it would be the abolition of slavery in America. For it matters not how small the beginning may be: what is once well done, is well done forever.”

To this sort of thinking, Gandhi did agree.

He was forever inspired by the great religions, once his participation in activism began, in 1893, and even predating that, as a student in England where he befriended members of the Theosophical Society.

Theosophists organized in 1875, to disseminate the teachings of universal brotherhood, spending their time studying Buddhist and Hindi literature. Amongst them, Gandhi began reading the Bhagavad Gita, in turn becoming closer to his roots. He also, in this time frame, grew fond of the New Testament, being most moved by the Sermon on the Mount, with its various teachings of Christ, and most especially, the instruction, 'love your enemies.'iv

Meanwhile, the ideals of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity, would all have lasting impressions on Gandhi's life.

His firm belief was the different religions of the world were all equal, they all contained in their seeds, love, compassion, oneness or universality, patience, discipline and forgiveness.

But you can't talk of Gandhi's many influences, without also bringing up his mother, who, as he shipped off to London for college, made him promise to avoid meat, which he experimented with as a youth, wine, and becoming promiscuous.

It was in trying to keep to his word, but while suffering from a bland, vegetarian diet his landlady served him, he'd discovered an area restaurant which linked him to the Vegetarian Society of London. Around the same time, he'd begun meeting with members of the Theosophical Society.

His vegetarianism, which was the first true cause he stood for, had a big impact on the direction his life took, and his mother and upbringing were largely to thank. As a youth, he'd absorbed the religious theme of nonviolence in Jainism, in the spirit of Ahimsa, which neighbors projected onto him. As well, Jainism and his own religion, Hinduism, especially in the Indian state of Gujurati where he was raised, essentially required followers be vegetarian, though he'd broken the rules a few times and eaten meat in his youth.v vi Ahimsa is a core tenet of Hinduism, as well, and is central to Jesus' teachings, too. Nonviolent themes are also interwoven through thousands of years of history in Eastern philosophy, which is grounded in the idea a soul's perfection is obtained through self-realization, the prerequisite for a peaceful state of mind and well-being.

In this highest attainment of spiritual perfection, Gandhi, like many great souls, could only see in God the uniformity in the world's religions, and not their doctrinal differences. He believed so strongly in the idea of a personal connection with god that he also wouldn't support atheism but encouraged atheists who might have been exceptional in all other ways, to find their relationship to God. Without this, Gandhi felt, people were in denial of their true Self, and therefore at risk of becoming lost, without the necessary understanding, in the case that the troubles of the world come tumbling down. Gandhi expressed it this way, 'The fellow-feeling which makes you feel miserable because of your brother's misery is godliness.'vii

He found no disconnect between the capacity to have empathy and carry out morally-principled actions and devotion to God. But in Hinduism, God is literally everywhere, even within you, and within the plant on the ground next to you. In Jainism, Ahimsa, or nonviolence, has a strong emphasis. Both were integral to his understanding of nature. And his relationship with God had continued to develop and mature over years of self-reflection which enriched his life.

He'd been affected by the evil actions of the South African government by his twenties, at a still impressionable age, and this affirmed his belief in the need for faith in order to overcome adversity and injustice via truth-force, Satyagraha.

For Gandhi, to imagine someone could be fully self-realized, and in touch with the divine within and without, without fostering that all-important sense of Oneness, which he termed godliness, was impossible. He felt people should choose what God they liked, but that a relationship to a God was essential.

When asked later in life if he was Hindu, Gandhi answered, "Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew."

Smuts' holism, even while Smuts learned the same lesson as Gandhi, about self-realized souls, and by way of Jesus Christ teaching about transformation, refrained from invoking religion, while it promoted a spiritual superstructure, or spiritual understanding, on top of the use of reason and practice.

Excerpt from Chapter Eight, Cont'd.

Smuts, with his strict Calvinist upbringing, and what he described as puritanical roots, came to believe in a somewhat unique view of the world. His view was that beyond the limitations of an external God people could come to find themselves fulfilled through a series of personal evolutions that would elevate the idea of the whole, resting within each person.

After World War II broke out, Smuts, in his correspondences, briefly harkened back to the teachings of Christ, thinking they were perhaps what was more needed, until it crystallized in his mind that exactly what Christ was seeking was a change of heart in the individual, something Smuts, in his letters, implied holism entailed. Smuts had never abandoned the church but discovered holism to be a tool for self-discovery and progress, and with his career, progress developed more on the international stage.i

Smuts, and his personal assistants, in South Africa, were perhaps the first to ever encounter the genius of Gandhi's Satyagraha, or nonviolent resistance.

One might even deduce Smuts felt intimidated by the presence of such a profound man, from a culture thought to be inferior to one's own. He later went so far as to admit, in a letter to Gandhi, sent in a package containing a returned pair of sandals, the sandals Gandhi made for him years earlier during one of his South African imprisonments, "I have worn these sandals for many a summer (at Doornkloof) ... even though I may feel that I am not worthy to stand in the shoes of so great a man."ii

Gandhi's route to self-realization, of course, was in contrast to Smuts' own. That Smuts came to respect Gandhi despite of cultural differences between the two, we know, too.

Once, the two lawyers standing in opposition to one another, Gandhi and Smuts became friends following Gandhi's departure from South Africa, in 1914, when he returned to his motherland and before long became known as the cherished leader of the Indian Independence Movement.

There might have remained a tenseness in their friendship in light of the fact Smuts remained the overseer of policies that kept Indians from obtaining absolute equanimity, but nonetheless they grew to communicate with each other, both as world leaders, and to even depend on one another.

In fact, in 1931, Gandhi called on Smuts for help in negotiations with the British, and in particular with Ramsay MacDonald. They met several times, and Smuts met separately with MacDonald, too, given Smuts was at the time encouraged by Gandhi's position. Smuts was compelled to work with his old "nemesis," on his efforts, because of his honesty as a man, for one, he noted, and the fact that he, more than any other soul, had great influence over his fellow countrymen in India.

Smuts persevered to help, believing Gandhi had reached a point at which he would make a compromise that could work for England and India. But in the end the talks failed.

Predictably, Gandhi was unable to comply with interests of communalism and independence, at the same time. It's been suggested England intended the conference to fail, by having it be built upon the idea of communalism, and not independence, for which Gandhi, by this time, was fighting.

Smuts, in fact, won his fight for autonomous rule more than twenty years earlier, and since that time, became integral to the Imperial War Cabinet, while struggling to see South Africa embrace more enlightened paths. He effectively partnered with Britain, at the level of the world stage, while also relying on her more liberal policies to affect those of the conservative white majority of his native land. Smuts was prepared to accept for India what he still wouldn't let befit the majority and the Indian minority in his own country, and in all of Africa, Abraham Lincoln's statement for India, that it “can not endure half free and half slave.” He might have, despite everything, even regretted he'd not been able to walk closer to Gandhi.iii

Gandhi now struggled nonviolently for total independence, after the tyranny of inequality left him believing not only complete freedom was required, but that there should be a return to a village republic, too, a cooperative commonwealth, and then ordered anarchy, albeit minus any traces of a caste system. Not so unlike the cities and towns Whitman described would flower under a "religious democracy," a totally free and independent democracy, Gandhi wanted the lives of people living in villages across India to become self-sufficient, purpose-driven and found.

If that meant weaving your own fabric, making your own clothes and sandals, devising unique, informed education plans, as Gandhi had done within the Satyagraha movement, so be it.

Ultimately, Smuts might have learned from Gandhi patience and the nonviolent path toward justice, and Gandhi just might have learned from Smuts the great and terrible compromises people, including enlightened and educated ones, sometimes make when they are not themselves whole and yet wish to be, just like anybody else, complete.

Interestingly, given the inequality between the races that helped define their relationship, Smuts still favored a commonwealth of nations to implement and secure peace, and Gandhi indeed felt that rather than have a charter for human rights there should to be one listing human duties. This was Gandhi's response to an invitation to participate in the preparation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948, shortly after the signing of the first ever international human rights declaration of the same year, the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man or the Bogotá Declaration.*iv (For more details on the human rights declaration and the United Nations Charter, and its reading, with suggestions for its greater utilization and potential, refer back to Chapter Seven, "Signing of the United Nations Charter.")

In his League proposal, Smuts had undoubtedly suggested each people and nation should one day be sovereign, but he left out the details about how and when that would happen. Gandhi had done a major pulling away from the British Commonwealth so to recoup some of the important Indian traditions, and sovereignty of its people.

Up until the end of his life, Smuts' iconic image, which, in addition to projecting him as the superior stateman he was still relayed a false sense of perceived inferiority of the East, remained unchanged, though his respect for Gandhi, the man, had risen, and his rationalism for and with India rose, too.

It had begun as a relationship mired in tragedy.

Smuts regretted, still, that India wanted independence, and too, that upon becoming a republic it was still able to remain under the Commonwealth. This could also spell disaster, in Smuts' view, if South Africa, under leadership of the conservatives, became unaffected by the “liberal” policies of England.

*In addition to the efforts of Virginia Gildersleeve from the United States, the already lasting legacy of human rights defense, stemming from Latin America, and dating to at least the sixteenth century, having a heyday however in the 1940s Americas, during a period of celebration and promulgation of democratic principles, was undoubtedly a major impetus in the establishment of the UN Human Rights Commission and what was then called the “international bill of rights.” The Panamanian- and Chilean-sponsored drafts were invaluable assets to the universality and internationalism of the UN declaration.

Endnotes from Chapter Eight:

iPrime, 41-42

iiPrime, 43-45

Endnotes from Chapter Eight, Contd.:

iSankar Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi, (Bombay: Allied Publishers Ltd., 1991) 73, 17 Feb 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=cS5U

iiWikipedia contributors, "Satyagraha," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Jan. 2010, 17 Feb. 2010 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?

iii“Satyagraha,” The New World Encyclopedia, 26 Feb. 2011, 6 Jul. 2011 <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/

ivSankar Ghose, Mahatma Gandhi, (Bombay: Allied Publishers Ltd., 1991) 72-76, 17 Feb 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=cS5U

v“Gandhi,” The New World Encyclopedia, 14 Nov. 2008, 6 Jul. 2011 <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/

viWikipedia contributors, "Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 Feb. 2010, 18 Feb. 2010 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?

viiGora (Goparaju Ramachandra Rao), “An Athiest With Gandhi,” Chapter III, I Go To Sevagram, Feb. 16, 2010, May 28, 2011 <http://www.positiveatheism.org/india/

Endnotes from Chapter Eight, Contd.:

iJean van der Poel, ed., Selections from Smuts Papers: Volume V, August 1945 – October 1950, (UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007) 802/216 – 804/218 Jan. 2010 <http://books.google.com/books?id=B9W6t

iiRoberta Strauss Feuerlicht, Gandhi a Concise Biography, “Gandhi's Life, Part 7,” The Progress Report, (American R.D.M. Corporation, 1965), Feb. 13 2010 <http://www.progress.org/gandhi/gandhi

iiiIngham, 139.

ivMary Ann Glendon, “The Forgotten Crucible: The Latin American Influence on the Universal Human Rights Idea,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 16, Spring 2003, last modified 30 Oct. 2008, 7 Jul. 2011 <http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/

The Modern Roots of Holism
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