Fasting in protest

From dKosopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Fasting is a strange yet effective means of protest in which a person drastically reduces or outright refuses to consume food and sometimes drink.

Ghandi demonstrated the power of this technique when he fasted to end rioting between Hindus and Muslims in India.

More recently the Christian mayor of a California town has started fasting and asking others to do the same in protest of gang violence. [1]

The leadership of some authoritarian regimes seems to be sensitive enough to ego interests related to their perception in the eyes of outsiders that they consider it an unacceptable threat to their pretensions to power when prisoners succeed in taking their own lives -- even though these same authorities would be perfectly willing to execute these prisoners. The ego-relative perception is: Who has the power to end this person's life?

The leadership of genocidal regimes may be so cut off from other humans that they would view fasting that endangers death as advantageous to themselves because it would reduce the power of the fasting individuals to resist their genocidal efforts, because the regime would consider any person who eliminated himself or herself as one less person for the overtaxed gas chambers or other killing machines to process.

The success of fasting, as a political tactic, must depend on the awareness of the outside world to their refusal to cooperate with their jailers, the presumption that the fasting individuals must be truly committed to their cause to risk death in pursuing it, etc.

But fasting also has the effect of minimizing the ego awareness and decreasing one's motivation to cater to one's own ego interests. The fasting individual, often in combination with prayer and meditation (deep relaxation), is less subjective in his or her judgments. It may be easier to see any elements of truth or justice in the position of one's opponents, thus leaving one freer to attack them on their genuinely weak or contradictory points. One is also less subjectively concerned about the preservation of one's own life. If given a chance to communicate with the outside world, one's arguments may have stark clarity because of their more perfectly objective nature.

Personal tools