Our triumph consists again in being imprisoned for no wrong whatever. The greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory.
As it is, this Government is cowardly. We are afraid of imprisonment. The Government takes advantage of our fear of gaols. If only our men and women welcome gaols as health-resorts, we will cease to worry about the dear ones put in gaols which our countrymen in South Africa need to nickname, His Majesty's Hotels.
We have too long been mentally disobedient to the laws of the State and have too often 'surreptiously evaded them, to be fired all of a sudden for civil disobedience. Disobedience to be civil has to be open and non-violent.
Complete civil disobedience is a state of peaceful rebellion a refusal to obey every single State-made law. It is certainly more dangerous than an armed rebellion. For it can never be down if the civil re- sisters are prepared to face extreme hardship. It is based upon an implicit belief in the absolute efficacy of innocent suffering. By noiselessly going to prison a civil resister ensures a calm atmosphere. The wrongdoer wearies of wrong-doing in the absence of resistance. All pleasure is lost when the victim betrays no resi- stance. A full grasp of the conditions of successful civil resistance is necessary at least on the pan. of the repre- sentatives of the people before we can launch out on an enterprise of such magnitude. The quickest remedies are always fraught with the greatest danger and require the utmost skill in handling them. It is my firm conviction that if we bring about a successful boycott of foreign cloth we shall have produced an atmosphere that would enable us to inaugurate civil disobedience on a scale that no Government can resist. I would therefore