Gandhi and the Romans: On the Interrelationships of Cosmos, Memory, Founding Violence, and Freedom in the Pax Gandhiana/Romana

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Rather than separating moral and political virtue through reason of state, the Pax Romana presents a sophisticated moral-political vision of the interrelationships between cosmology, memory, founding, violence, and freedom. Nevertheless, its complex integrative vision is also perilous to humanity, demanding a morality of forbearing the adverse consequences of endless cycles of political violence. Pax Gandhiana presents an alternative integrative vision engaging many of the same concerns as the Romans, such as cosmos, ubiquitous violence, and freedom. By contrast, however, its political vision demands forbearing the adverse consequences of repudiating as opposed to embracing the ubiquity of violence in the cosmos. Hence, Pax Romana and Pax Gandhiana rest on closely related but ultimately very different political visions. Consistent with Gandhi, my objective in this article is to show how the Romans provide us with an object lesson in why we should repudiate such violence, as guaranteeing our downfall into misery, chaos, and even madness.