Non-Western Worldview

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ramana
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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2012 03:10

sudarshan, Anti -semitism was a regular and pervasive phenomenon in all Christian states. In middile ages they used to massacre the Jews to celebrate coronation in Londomium. Read up on King Richrad the Lion Heart's accession. After the Black Death and the Church Reformation where in the state and religion got separated the pogorms reduced and stopped.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Pranav » 06 Jun 2012 07:32

sudarshan wrote:Wonder how this gels with the anti-semitism that Russia was renowned for? The word "pogrom" is of Russian origin, and more Jews were persecuted in Russia (and Poland) than in Nazi Germany. One Tsar even tried to segregate all the Jews in Russia into a single province (Birobidjan, also known as the Evreijskij - tr: Jewish - province). In general, the source of the EJ menace is restricted (kind of) to northern/central Europe, N./S.(?) America, and Australasia. Russia mostly seems refreshingly free of proselytizing sentiment, but why such hatred for the Jews?

Sudarshan

Edit: I might have put up my ignorance for display on Birobidjan - seems like it was a Soviet phenomenon, and rather more benign in intent than "segregating the Jews." However, Russia certainly was anti-semitic to a large degree.


It was the use of Jewish tax collectors by the corrupt Polish Monarchy that led to the Cossack rebellions in the 1600's. In more recent times, the Bolshevik revolution, funded by New York and London bankers, has been a cause of resentment against Jews. Several of these details are in the thread viewtopic.php?f=24&t=5525

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby vishvak » 06 Jun 2012 08:16

Just throwing my 2 paise, but how many Jews are amongst top 100 richest people in the world and why would people fail to see this? It is not hidden so it is ignored on purpose. No one will stand up and point fingers at co-religionists.

What would resentment against Jews do to help clear the problems at hand? Nothing much at all.
Last edited by vishvak on 06 Jun 2012 21:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 06 Jun 2012 19:58

Pierre Lizée - A Whole New World: Reinventing International Studies for the Post-Western World
Published: 2011-08-16 | ISBN: 0230280390 | 288 pages |


The consequences of the rise of emerging powers like China and India is becoming the most important topic of debate in international studies. This book focuses on the impact that these changes have on the way we study international politics: if international politics is changing, should we also change international studies?


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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby sudarshan » 06 Jun 2012 22:02

ramana wrote:sudarshan, Anti -semitism was a regular and pervasive phenomenon in all Christian states. In middile ages they used to massacre the Jews to celebrate coronation in Londomium. Read up on King Richrad the Lion Heart's accession. After the Black Death and the Church Reformation where in the state and religion got separated the pogorms reduced and stopped.


True. Just wondering, because of the specific claim that Xtianity wasn't forced on Russia, therefore they are more tolerant to Buddhists, Muslims, etc. In that case, why not tolerate Jews also?

Pranav wrote:It was the use of Jewish tax collectors by the corrupt Polish Monarchy that led to the Cossack rebellions in the 1600's. In more recent times, the Bolshevik revolution, funded by New York and London bankers, has been a cause of resentment against Jews.


That makes sense. So it was more money-related.

Mainly an academic question, but I do have some thoughts on dealing with the EJ menace, which are kind of related. Will post in an appropriate thread once my internalization is complete.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby svinayak » 13 Jun 2012 02:18

http://www.livefyre.com/profile/4018597/

Some discussion from east asian point of view

racyDomenica

“Cultural arrogance meets sexism”! Well, I like the girls in the picture and tried to be funny. I guess I have failed on both accounts. In fact I am a big fan of Angela Merkel. I don’t say it just to exculpate myself, but let’s propound that you may have judged me harshly. My sentence that “Merkel would be 10 times more popular….” need be withdrawn.

The West has prevailed with their ideas and political system. The East has not only accepted the superiority of the Western civilization but also is the process of digesting the Western values and ideas. It does not mean that The East would be like The West. In fact we will be different from the West no matter how much we absorb the Western values; nevertheless, the degree and scope of the differences will be much smaller and lesser than, let’s say, a hundred years ago. I am an avid reader of Chinese and Japanese histories. Our ancient political, social and economic ideas and systems are no longer recognizable. Even though we aspire to a political system conceived by American founding fathers and to a society of affluence enjoyed by most Westerners, we don’t say we want to be just like Americans or Germans.

Emperor Meiji, in responding to fierce internal opposition to his Westernization campaign under Meiji Restoration beginning in the year of 1868, said something like this, “There is no need to fear our learning Western ideas and customs. Anything we learn and adopt from the West will always be ours. We will always be Japanese.” The West made their contributions to the East. I am not saying the West have been 100% right or good. There is no such thing as the decline of the West. The West would however lose their influence only when the West has nothing more to offer.

I can descry massive conversion of South Koreans to Christians and the changing thinking in South Korean culture and attitude, but it is true that I have no hard evidence to assert that Christianity contributes to the success of SK. I can only surmise the correlation. One thing I know for sure is that Koreans are very different from Americans.
3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/16/tk
Reply
The whole world has been westernized. The East is long dead and is working hard at rebirth with largely Western nutriment. The decline of the West is a silly concept. China has great economic development, but offers morbid political model and ideas. Chinese Communist Party pampers itself with its harriedly-invented socialist splendor for which few around the world show envy or admiration.

South Korea is the most Christianized nation in Asia. (The Phillippines is an exception, an Asian country with scant Asian heritage and culture to brag about.) SK government demonstrates admirable restraints and canny diplomatic skills in handling a series of crises with North Korea. The long-term planning and investments of SK businesses paid off handsomely in the international market.


Germany is coming back in a very big way. Germany and Angela Merkel would be 10 times more popular and beloved if Merkel only has to look like the two German girls in the picture.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/16/tk

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2012 02:26

Acharya, Taking the long view Western European colonization, continued by US dominance have essentlially reversed the East to West invasions, migrations that Europe suffered over three millenia. It has made the Orient, Occidental! However from the comments, its still an Occidental Orient.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby svinayak » 13 Jun 2012 03:20

Watch the movie Prometheus
They thought they have reversed the tide but the barbarians from the east have joined together.
They also have an Indo Aryan speaking PIE language. No Kidding!


One alien survives and heads to Earth to destroy it.
We went to discover our origin but they came to destroy us.
http://screenrant.com/prometheus-movie- ... nk-175781/
While Prometheus delivers a sci-fi experience and story that is nearly unmatched in a modern movie theater experience, its connection to the Alien films is, from time to time, a bit heavy-handed or awkwardly handled – and worst of all, far less compelling than the new storyline unfolding in this film. As a result, Prometheus is going to offer a different experience depending on who is watching it. Both casual audiences and Alien fans should enjoy the core narrative (and breathtaking visuals); however regular moviegoers will likely be confused by some of the time spent addressing Alien universe mythos, and conversely, hardcore fans may be at times equally befuddled by some of the answers provided.

Ignoring any pre-conceived notions about xenomorphs, the Prometheus story follows a pair of archaeologists, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and her partner Dr. Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), who discover a series of ancient cave drawings (from different cultures, separated by thousands of years) that point to a single location in space: a distant moon, LV-223. Shaw and Holloway believe that LV-223 is home to an ancient truth about humanity’s origins – a belief that is also championed by billionaire Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), CEO of the Weyland Corporation. After hearing their findings, Weyland agrees to send the pair – along with a fifteen-person crew – to LV-223 aboard the spacecraft Prometheus. However, when the team arrives on LV-223, it quickly becomes clear that Shaw and Holloway underestimated the implications of their expedition, as age-old questions are answered and new horrors are brought to light – horrors with Earth-shattering consequences for humanity.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Yayavar » 16 Jun 2012 05:26

Acharya -- I'm lost. Can you please explain what you mean? btw, the movie was not much.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby member_20317 » 16 Jun 2012 17:15

Indians go over to west to look for a good future, which they hope to fashion into a better past at some point in future. West gives them something with which to destroy India and by extension their own sense of self esteem.

The way the 2nd generation of NRIs and subsequent generations of RIs behave will determine the way to the future.

Viv ji, it would make sense only if you were there on OIT thread (right now on 31st page).

Acharya ji, strange hein ji. Truth has a way of working itself into every single aspect of human perception. It is only the humans that perceive aspects. Truth is pretty well rounded carrying all aspects all the time. Even the west knows how much of an Alien it is for outsiders. These movies are a cue into their own understanding of the world around them. Aliens do work in singles even in the movie, hein ji.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Yayavar » 17 Jun 2012 04:07

^^ thanks for the tip.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Yogi_G » 17 Jun 2012 09:25

Can the Slavs be categorized under "whites"? I think they are just about as "white" as the Arabs, the Mediterraneans (Greece/Turkey/Cyprus) etc and do not fit into the "west". The Anglo Saxons had to appropriate Greek and Roman history as their own was pretty much a rudimentary hunter gatherer one.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 29 Jun 2012 01:23

The trading world in 870 AD.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Radhanites2.png

Radhanites A gorup of jewish merchants in that period. Before the Crusades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radhanite

The activities of the Radhanites are documented by Abu'l Qasim Ubaid'Allah ibn Khordadbeh, the Director of Posts and Police (spymaster and postman) for the province of Jibal under the Abbasid Caliph al-Mu'tamid (ruled 869–885), when he wrote Kitab al-Masalik wal-Mamalik (Book of Roads and Kingdoms), probably around 870. Ibn Khordadbeh described the Radhanites as sophisticated and multilingual. He outlined four main trade routes utilized by the Radhanites in their journeys; all four began in the Rhône Valley in southern France and terminated on the east coast of China. Radhanites primarily carried commodities that combined small bulk and high demand, including spices, perfumes, jewelry, and silk. They are also described as transporting oils, incense, steel weapons, furs, and slaves (in particular, the Slavic Saqāliba).




Yogi_G please note.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Rony » 16 Jul 2012 17:56


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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Yogi_G » 17 Jul 2012 21:51

ramana wrote:The trading world in 870 AD.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Radhanites2.png

Radhanites A gorup of jewish merchants in that period. Before the Crusades.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radhanite

The activities of the Radhanites are documented by Abu'l Qasim Ubaid'Allah ibn Khordadbeh, the Director of Posts and Police (spymaster and postman) for the province of Jibal under the Abbasid Caliph al-Mu'tamid (ruled 869–885), when he wrote Kitab al-Masalik wal-Mamalik (Book of Roads and Kingdoms), probably around 870. Ibn Khordadbeh described the Radhanites as sophisticated and multilingual. He outlined four main trade routes utilized by the Radhanites in their journeys; all four began in the Rhône Valley in southern France and terminated on the east coast of China. Radhanites primarily carried commodities that combined small bulk and high demand, including spices, perfumes, jewelry, and silk. They are also described as transporting oils, incense, steel weapons, furs, and slaves (in particular, the Slavic Saqāliba).




Yogi_G please note.


Thanks Ramana garu, the map of the trade routes is a subtle psy-ops job though. Shows Kashmir as a separate entity, not sure if because Kashmir was a major power center in those times or if its part of the west-Islamist scheme to somehow show Kashmir to have always been distinct from India.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 17 Jul 2012 22:04

I was alluding to your comments about Slavs.

The Radhanites were the first to trade them as slaves.

Lets leave Kashmir out of it for now. Its a pre-modern world view map.
The idea of nation-states is only a couple of centuries old despite the Treaty of Westphalia being signed in 1648.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 29 Jul 2012 00:41

The Ruins of Empire by Pankaj Mishra




The ruins of empire: Asia's emergence from western imperialism

The central event of the modern era is Asia's emergence from the ravages of western imperialism. In Britain, meanwhile, Niall Ferguson is an ardent 'neo-imperialist'. Why can't we escape our narcissistic version of history, asks Pankaj Mishra

The British empire, George Orwell wrote, was "despotism with theft as its final object". So what has made imperialism an intellectual fashion in our own time, reopening hoary disputes about whether it was good or bad? After five years as a colonial policeman in Burma, where he found himself shooting an elephant to affirm the white man's right to rule, Orwell was convinced that the imperial relationship was that of "slave and master". Was the master good or bad? "Let us simply say," Orwell wrote, "that this control is despotic and, to put it plainly, self-interested." And "if Burma derives some incidental benefit from the English, she must pay dearly for it."

{We should present a copy to PMO for MMS to read!!!}[i]

Orwell's hard-won insights were commonplace truisms for millions of Asians and Africans struggling to end western control of their lands. Their descendants can only be bewildered by the righteous nostalgia for imperialism that has recently seized many prominent Anglo-American politicians and opinion-makers, who continue to see Asia through the narrow perspective of western interests, leaving unexamined and unimagined the collective experiences of Asian peoples.

Certainly, as Joseph Conrad wrote in 1902, "the conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much." Two years after Conrad published Heart of Darkness, Roger Casement, then a British diplomat, revealed in a report that half of the population of Belgian-ruled Congo – nearly 10 million people – had perished under a brutal regime where beheadings, rape and genital mutilation of African labourers had become the norm. Such overt violence and terror is only a small part of the story of European domination of Asia and Africa, which includes the slow-motion slaughter of tens of million in famines caused by unfettered experiments in free trade – and plain callousness (Indians, after all, would go on breeding "like rabbits", Winston Churchill argued when asked to send relief during the Bengal famine of 1943-44).

The unctuous belief that British imperialists, compared to their Belgian and French counterparts, were exponents of fair play has been dented most recently by revelations about mass murder and torture during the British suppression of the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the 1950s. Nevertheless, in one of the weirdest episodes of recent history, a Kipling-esque rhetoric about bringing free trade and humane governance to "lesser breeds outside the law" has resonated again in the Anglo-American public sphere. Even before 9/11, Tony Blair was ready to tend, with military means if necessary, to, as he put it, "the starving, the wretched, the dispossessed, the ignorant" around the world. His apparently more intellectual rival Gordon Brown urged his compatriots to be "proud" of their imperial past. Sensing a sharper rightward shift after 9/11, many pith-helmet-and-jodhpurs fetishists boisterously outed themselves, exhorting politicians to recreate a new western imperium through old-style military conquest and occupation of native lands.

Embracing such fantasies of "full-spectrum dominance", American and European policymakers failed to ask themselves a simple question: whether, as Jonathan Schell put it, "the people of the world, having overthrown the territorial empires, are ready to bend the knee to an American overlord in the 21st"? After two unwinnable wars and horribly botched nation-building efforts, and many unconscionable human losses (between 600,000 and one million in Iraq alone), the "neo-imperialists" offering seductive fantasies of the west's potency look as reliable as the peddlers of fake ****. Yet, armour-plated against actuality by think tanks, academic sinecures and TV gigs, they continue to find eager customers. Of course, as the historian Richard Drayton points out, the writing of British imperial history, has long been a "patriotic enterprise". [i]{Not to mention the history of India by sepoy historians of Thaparite school in India}[i]Wishing to "celebrate" empire, Michael Gove plans to entrust the task of rewriting the history syllabus to Niall Ferguson, one of the "neo-imperialist" cheerleaders of the assault on Iraq, who now craves "creative destruction" in Iran and whose "skilful revision of history" the Guardian's Jeevan Vasagar asserted last month, "will reverberate for years to come".

Clearly, it would help if no Asian or African voices interrupt this intellectual and moral onanism. Astonishing as it may seem, there is next to nothing in the new revisionist histories of empire, or even the insidious accounts of India and China catching up with the west, about how writers, thinkers and activists in one Asian country after another attested to the ravages of western imperialism in Asia: the immiseration of peasants and artisans, the collapse of living standards and the devastation of local cultures. We learn even less about how these early Asian leaders diagnosed from their special perspective the political and economic ideals of Europe and America, and accordingly defined their own tasks of self-strengthening.

Asian intellectuals couldn't help but notice that Europe's much-vaunted liberal traditions didn't travel well to its colonies. Mohammed Abduh, the founder of Islamic modernism, summed up a widespread sentiment when, after successive disillusionments, he confessed in 1895 that: "We Egyptians believed once in English liberalism and English sympathy; but we believe no longer, for facts are stronger than words. Your liberalness we see plainly is only for yourselves, and your sympathy with us is that of the wolf for the lamb which he deigns to eat."

In 1900, British atrocities during the Boer war and the brutal western suppression of the Boxer rising in China had provoked the pacifist poet Rabindranath Tagore to compare, in one unusually violent image, such bards of imperialism as Kipling to mangy dogs. "Awakening fear, the poet-mobs howl round / A chant of quarrelling curs on the burning-ground." Writing in 1907, the Indian nationalist Aurobindo Ghose was even harsher on lachrymose claims about the white man's burden. As Ghose saw it, previous conquerors, including the English in Ireland, had been serenely convinced that might is always right. But in the 19th century, the age of democratic nationalism, imperialism had to pretend "to be a trustee of liberty … These Pharisaic pretensions were especially necessary to British imperialism because in England the puritanic middle class had risen to power and imparted to the English temperament a sanctimonious self-righteousness which refused to indulge in injustice and selfish spoliation except under a cloak of virtue, benevolence and unselfish altruism."

There is something to Ghose's tirade. Free-traders and freebooters may have found merely convenient the idea that Asia was full of unenlightened people, who had to be saved from themselves. But many European and American intellectuals brought to it a solemn sincerity. Even John Stuart Mill, the patron saint of modern liberalism, claimed that "despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, if the end be their improvement." By 1900, such views had hardened into propaganda, and a mania for imperial expansion, drummed up by the press and politicians, had become part of the political life of European societies.

Scrambling to catch up with Europe, even the United States embraced the classic imperialism of conquest and occupation, expelling Spain from its Caribbean backyard and flexing its muscles in east Asia. In 1903, Liang Qichao, China's foremost modern intellectual and a major early influence on Mao Zedong, was visiting America when Washington manipulated its way into control of Panama and its crucial canal. It reminded Liang of how the British had compromised Egypt's independence over the Suez canal. Liang feared that original meaning of the Monroe doctrine – "the Americas belong to the people of the Americas" – was being transformed into "the Americas belong to the people of the United States". "And who knows," Liang added in a book he wrote about his travels, "if this will not continue to change, day after day from now on, into 'the world belongs to the United States'".

"In the world," Liang concluded bleakly, "there is only power – there is no other force … Hence, if we wish to attain liberty, there is no other road: we can only seek first to be strong." A whole generation of Chinese leaders and intellectuals grew up sharing Liang's social Darwinist belief "in the present-day international struggles in which the whole citizenry participate (and compete) for their very lives and properties, people are united as if they have one mind". No less a "westerniser" than Deng Xiaoping would uphold the primary imperative of national self-strengthening even as he broke with Maoism in the late 1970s and supervised China's transition to a market economy: "Our country must develop," Deng declared, using words emblazoned on billboards across China and still guiding the Communist party's politburo. "If we do not develop then we will be bullied. Development is the only hard truth."

Liang described the endless struggle between peoples enjoined by global capitalism as extremely dangerous. The first world war, which almost all European nations entered with great jingoistic fervour, following a period of hectic expansion, confirmed these anxieties. The poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal, who had spent three rewarding years as a student in Europe in the first decade of the 20th century, now wrote satirically of his old inspiration: "The West develops wonderful new skills / In this as in so many other fields / Its submarines are crocodiles / Its bombers rain destruction from the skies / Its gasses so obscure the sky / They blind the sun's world-seeing eye. / Dispatch this old fool to the West / To learn the art of killing fast – and best."

"European imperialism, which does not disdain to raise the absurd cry of the Yellow Peril," the Japanese art historian Kakuzo Okakura had written in 1906, "fails to realise that Asia may also awaken to the cruel sense of the White Disaster." In the wake of the first world war and the Paris peace conference, which inflicted cruel disappointments on India, China, Turkey, Egypt and Iran, many thinkers and activists in the east began to reconsider their earlier dalliance with western political ideals. Modernisation still seemed absolutely imperative, but it did not seem the same as westernisation, or to demand a comprehensive rejection of tradition or an equally complete imitation of the west. Freshly minted movements such as revolutionary communism and Islamic fundamentalism, which promised to immunise Asian countries against western imperialism, began to look attractive.

[i]{True origns of rise of twin totalitarian systems:Communism and Islamism was the disappointment after the Paris peace conference to remake the world order}


Europe's capacity and willingness for overseas expansion would be further diminished by an empire manqué – Germany – gone mad in its midst. Hitler turned out to be lethally envious of the British venture in India – what he called "the capitalist exploitation of the 350 million Indian slaves" – and hoped that Germany would impose a similarly kleptocratic despotism on the peoples and territories it conquered in Europe, while avoiding what he saw as Britain's lax racial segregation in India. "Nazism," Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, shrewdly diagnosed in 1940, anticipating Hannah Arendt and other analysts of 20th-century European politics, was the "twin brother" of western imperialism, the latter functioning "abroad in colonies and dependencies, while fascism and Nazism functioned in the same way" within Europe.


{I would add it was a new European Christianity divorced from Hebrew and Jewish origins}

For many people in Asia, the two world wars were essentially conflicts between Europe's rival empires rather than great moral struggles, as they were presented to European publics, between democracy and fascism – indeed, the long experience of imperialism made Asians experience the 20th century radically differently from their European overlords. Chafing at their degraded status in the white man's world, they were uniformly thrilled – Mohandas Gandhi, then an unknown lawyer in South Africa, as well as a young Ottoman soldier called Mustafa Kemal (later, Atatürk) – when in 1905 Japan defeated Russia. For the first time since the middle ages, a non-European country had vanquished a European power in a major war. And Japan's victory sparked a hundred fantasies – of national freedom, racial dignity, or simple vengefulness – in the minds of those who had sullenly endured European authority over their lands.

Gandhi correctly predicted that "so far and wide have the roots of Japanese victory spread that we cannot now visualise all the fruit it will put forth." Thirty-six years later, Japan struck the decisive blow to European power in Asia. In about 90 days beginning on 8 December 1941, Japan overran the possessions of Britain, the US and the Netherlands in east and south-east Asia, taking the Philippines, Singapore, Malaya, Hong Kong, the Dutch East Indies, much of Siam and French Indochina, and Burma with bewildering swiftness to stand poised at the borders of India by early 1942.

Shortly before Singapore fell to the Japanese in early 1942, the Dutch prime minister-in-exile, Pieter Gerbrandy, confided his anxiety to Churchill and other Allied leaders that "Japanese injuries and insults to the White population … would irreparably damage white prestige unless severely punished within a short time". After a long, hard struggle, the Japanese were finally "punished", fire- and nuclear-bombed into submission. The Japanese themselves behaved extremely brutally in many of the Asian countries they occupied. And yet, in the eyes of many Asians, the Japanese completely destroyed the aura of European power that had kept the natives in a permanent state of fear and political apathy.

{I guess the double atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a blow by the new leader of the West to the one who unseated the West in the East}

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding father, recalled the lessons learnt by his generation of Asians: "that no one – neither the Japanese nor the British – had the right to push and kick us around". Accustomed to deferential natives, European powers mostly underestimated the post-war nationalism that the Japanese had both unwittingly and deliberately unleashed. They also misjudged their own staying power among populations unremittingly hostile to them. This led to many disastrously futile counter-insurgency operations and full-scale wars, especially in Indochina, which still scar large parts of Asia. Nevertheless, the speed of decolonisation was extraordinary.

Burma, which barely had a nationalist movement before 1935, became free in 1948. The Dutch in Indonesia resisted, but Indonesian nationalists led by Sukarno finally threw them out in 1953. Postwar chaos plunged Malaya, Singapore and Vietnam into prolonged insurgencies and wars, but the European withdrawal was never in doubt. A calamitous partition of the Indian subcontinent, which condemned two new nation-states to endless conflict, marked Britain's half-panicked departure in 1947; the following year, a similar combination of skulduggery and dereliction of duty in Palestine radically shrank the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East.


{Instead of innocent half panicked departure it could be a deliberate poisoning the wells by Perfidious Albion. The British were well known in this aspect. For every Bertrand Russel they have hundred Clives and Dyers}

Still, formal decolonisation, often accompanied by revolutions, transformed much of Asia and Africa in the 1950s and early 60s. Such leaders as Nehru, Mao, Nasser and Sukarno initially enjoyed great popularity and prestige, ostensibly engaged in the gigantic task of postcolonial consolidation – in Nehru's words, "What Europe did in 100 or 150 years, we must do in 10 or 15 years."

In contrast, "Europe," as Jean-Paul Sartre claimed in his strident preface to Franz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth, seemed to be "springing leaks everywhere". "In the past we made history," Sartre asserted, "and now it is being made of us." Watching Churchill's funeral in 1965, VS Pritchett felt an "undertone of grim self-pity" and premonitions of a "mean" future in which Britain would become to the larger world "one more irrelevant folk culture". But by the late 1960s, the massacre of communists in Indonesia, the intensified American assault on Vietnam, the overthrow of Nkrumah in Ghana and, finally, the election of Richard Nixon had made Hannah Arendt conclude that the "imperialist era", which seemed "half-forgotten", was "back, on an enormously enlarged scale".

The cold war, in which whoever was not with us was against us, had already distorted western views of Asia and Africa. The press of the "free world" was usually eager to assist the cold warriors define new enemies and allies. As Conor Cruise O'Brien described it, anti-communist liberals who dealt with the "sparse" news of brutal western puppets in Asia with "calm agnosticism" were prone to get very worked up over any signs of independent thinking among Asians. Indeed, as early as 1951, the New York Times had written off, in an editorial titled "The Lost Leader", the non-aligned Nehru as one of the "great disappointments to the post-war era".


In his book The Myth of Independence (1969), the Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto warned his postcolonial compatriots that their "power to make decisions radically affecting the lives of our peoples" was being "curtailed by the cannons of neo-colonialism". Overthrown and murdered by a pro-American military despot, Bhutto was himself to exemplify what Ryszard Kapuscinski described as the tragic "drama" of many well-intentioned Asian and African leaders. Kapuscinski focused on the "terrible material resistance that each [leader] encounters on taking his first, second and third steps up the summit of power. Each one wants to do something good and begins to do it and then sees, after a month, after a year, after three years, that it just isn't happening, that it is slipping away, that it is bogged down in the sand. Everything is in the way: the centuries of backwardness, the primitive economy, the illiteracy, the religious fanaticism, the tribal blindness, the chronic hunger, the colonial past with its practice of debasing and dulling the conquered, the blackmail by the imperialists, the greed of the corrupt, the unemployment, the red ink. Progress comes with great difficulty along such a road. The politician begins to push too hard. He looks for a way out through dictatorship. The dictatorship then fathers an opposition. The opposition organises a coup. And the cycle begins anew."

The incompetence, corruption and brutality of many postcolonial leaders had become apparent by the end of the 1960s. Exhorting China to catch up with Britain's industrial output in less than a decade, Mao Zedong exposed tens of millions to a catastrophic famine, and then forced its exhausted survivors into a "cultural revolution". The extensive disorder of the postcolonial world, in which coups and civil wars became commonplace, made the age of European empires, when the unpoliticised natives knew their place, look peaceful in comparison.

Recoiling from absurd infatuations with third-worldism, even Maoism, on the left, many writers and intellectuals in Anglo-America began moving to the greener grass on the political right. A bien-pensant reaction to the 1960s also gathered strength (it was to culminate in our time in Sarkozy's and Blair's assaults on the decade's evidently dangerous "radical" consensus). In one sign of the reactionary climate of the 70s and 80s, Conor Cruise O'Brien, originally known for his exposé of western neo-colonialism in Africa, turned into a near-hysterical defender of apartheid in South Africa and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. It was also during these decades that VS Naipaul's withering accounts of "half-made" postcolonial societies came to be hugely influential.

Tracing Conrad's journey through the Congo, Naipaul claimed to see little difference between the imperialist and post-colonial eras. As he described it, the nihilism of Kurtz had been supplanted by "African nihilism, the rage of primitive men coming to themselves and finding that they have been fooled and affronted". Naipaul ignored cold-war machinations in the Congo just as he would later scant the brutal rule of Iran's shah in exchange for broad musings on the innate defects of Islam. Though quickly credited with ethnographic as well as literary authority, Naipaul offered mostly culturalist and pseudo-psychological generalisations – "Islam", for instance, was to blame for the incorrigible backwardness of Muslim countries, India was a "Wounded Civilisation" and of course "African nihilism" had done Africa in. These reductive accounts actually helped entrench, among even liberals, an ahistorical outlook on the non-west while confirming the western supremacist disdain for it. Speaking in 1990 to a rightwing think tank in New York, Naipaul evoked a widespread post-cold-war triumphalism by hailing the "universal civilisation" created by the west, which he claimed would blow away all rival ideologies and values.

Such was the aggressively self-congratulatory mood between the end of the cold war and 9/11: western-style democracy and capitalism stood poised not only to abolish the particularities of religion and culture but also to terminate history itself. Not surprisingly, al-Qaeda's attacks provoked yet more minatory readings of Islam as the irreconcilable foe of benign western liberalism rather than the long-delayed reckoning with the history of the west in the non-west and the divergent political and economic journeys of postcolonial countries.

As the Arab spring and its troubled aftermath shows, the long-delayed release from illusion and falsehoods in that part of the world will proceed from within; and it will be a long and arduous process. However, a similar effort to cleanse the west of imperial-age dogmas and attitudes has barely begun, as the recrudescence of a bellicose neo-imperialism in our time shows.

Could it be that Europe's abandonment of formal empire failed to provoke a cathartic revision of grandiose old notions of national and racial superiority? Certainly, projecting military force deep into Asia and Africa, Blair and Sarkozy seemed overly eager to borrow macho postures from the 19th century. Public nostalgia for the imperial era in Britain also continues to be tickled by patriotic historians, and "may appear", Drayton warns, "to be an innocent kind of solitary vice".

But the last decade of neo-imperialist "creative destruction" ruined, almost invisibly to its perpetrators and cheerleaders, millions of lives in remote lands. It is now obvious, as Drayton writes, that the intellectual "narcissism which orders the past to please the present" can also find "violent external expression in war and in an indifference towards the destruction, suffering and death of others".

Moreover, a narcissistic history – one obsessed with western ideals, achievements, failures and challenges – can only retard a useful understanding of the world today. For most people in Europe and America, the history of the present is still largely defined by victories in the second world war and the long standoff with Soviet communism, even though the central event of the modern era, for a majority of the world's population, is the intellectual and political awakening of Asia and its emergence, still incomplete, from the ruins of both Asian and European empires. The much-heralded shift of power from the west to the east may or may not happen. But only neo-imperialist dead-enders will deny that we have edged closer to the cosmopolitan future the first generation of modern Asian thinkers, writers and leaders dreamed of – in which people from different parts of the world meet as equals rather than as masters and slaves, and no one needs to shoot elephants to confirm their supremacy.

• Pankaj Mishra will be talking about his book From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia at the LSE on 30 July at 6.30pm.

More information at

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents.



* © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.



Niall Fergusson is Shakuni mama to American Kauravas feeding them neo-imperialism of the new world order.

Imperialism is the anti-thesis of the American experiment which was the first non-feudal state after the end of the Dark Ages in Europe.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby paramu » 29 Jul 2012 00:48

They need the power of the US military and global reach to actually execute the neo imperialist agenda.

Hence they are trying to create a new image of America for this century with a new elite. Neo Conservatives were the first version of this change

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 29 Jul 2012 01:09

Yet they resent he rise of America on their embers.....


http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/ju ... view/print


From the Ruins of Empire by Pankaj Mishra – review

What did Asia's thinkers make of western colonialism, asks Julia Lovell


Debates about the rise of the modern west (and corresponding decline of the east) remain a fertile source of historical polemic. Such oppositional historiography – the idea of a head-on clash of civilisations, with a clear winner and loser – seems to hold a perennial appeal in terms of both its simplicity and its drama of antagonism. Last year, Niall Ferguson – in his pugnaciously titled Civilization: The Six Ways the West Beat the Rest – brought the subject back into sharp media focus. "The rise of the west," he argued, "is the pre-eminent historical phenomenon of the second half of the second millennium after Christ. It is the story at the very heart of modern history. It is perhaps the most challenging riddle historians have to solve."


To condense two extremes of a now venerable argument, the old school contended that somewhere in the early modern period a progressive and free-trading Europe surged ahead through innate superiority of character and government, while ancient superpowers such as China turned complacently in on themselves. A newer, postcolonial school places the "great divergence" rather later, arguing that until 1800, the Chinese empire largely kept up with Britain, the most prosperous and vigorous of the European economies. Early in the 19th century, however, Britain began to nose ahead, through sheer good fortune. Easy access to coal and Caribbean sugar fuelled the steam-power and workforces of the industrial revolution. New World calories, timber and silver (paying for tea, coffee, textiles) in turn liberated millions of European arable acres for other productive purposes, permitting the industrial revolution to generate firepower that, by the 1840s, was trouncing the great non-European conquest empires.

{The large scale cultivation of opium and systematic introduction as a systemic drug to China was a major factor}

In From the Ruins of Empire, Pankaj Mishra turns his attention to the other side of the story: to attempts by Asian thinkers (in Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Turkey) to rebuild their cultural and political identities after collisions with the imperialist west. His account begins in the first half of the 19th century with the west already approaching ascendancy in east Asia, India and the Muslim world. It spans Asia's steady disillusionment with western modernity through two world wars, then ends with the rise of China, India and global Islam, and the much-rumoured decline of the west. Too often, Mishra has argued elsewhere, these [b]non-western voices have been mute in anglophone accounts of the east-west clash, as if intellectual dynamism and creativity had lain solely with the modern west.[/b] Asian state-builders such as Sun Yat-sen are mocked (or ignored) for their jarring juxtaposition of admiration for the west with passionate, anti-colonial patriotism. We perhaps tend to see successful Asian leaders as relevant only to their immediate contexts: to view men such as Mao Zedong or Ho Chi Minh as cunning military strategists rather than as political thinkers with bigger ideas that might traverse regions and eras. Moreover, Mishra has no time at all for big, broad-brush accounts of western success contrasted with eastern hopelessness. Instead, he is preoccupied by the tragic moral ambivalence of his tale. There is here no triumphal sense of "eastern revenge" against the 19th century's "white disaster", but rather one of self-doubt, inconsistency and virtuous intentions gone badly wrong.

Mishra sets the scene for western hegemony with Napoleon's 1799 invasion of Egypt. From here, he moves swiftly through the "slow battering of India and China" with trade wars and opium. Europe's dramatic scramble for control of the non-western world prompted Alexis de Tocqueville to wonder at how "a few million men, who a few centuries ago, lived nearly shelterless in the forests and in the marshes of Europe will, within a hundred years, have transformed the globe and dominated the other races".


{Kudos to Acharya for bringing out the importance of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt to the rise of English Empire.}

The trauma of this collision exposed some of Asia's most educated, thoughtful men – Persia's Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, China's Liang Qichao, India's Rabindranath Tagore – to an unprecedented crisis of intellectual, moral and spiritual confidence. This was a conquest "which left its victims resentful but also envious of their conquerors and, ultimately, eager to be initiated into the mysteries of their seemingly near-magical power". From the Ruins of Empire gives eloquent voice to their curious, complex intellectual odysseys as they struggled to respond to the western challenge. All were forced to look far beyond home-grown traditions: Liang Qichao attacked Chinese antiquity as an internal cancer and wrote paeans to Washington and Napoleon; al-Afghani was one of the first Muslim thinkers to realise that "history was working independently of the God of the Koran"; Tagore became internationally renowned for his English-language poetry (he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1913 for his "beautiful verse, by which … he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English works, a part of the literature of the west").

Yet all three of them, in turn, were disappointed by "western civilisation" and turned back to native resources. Al-Afghani, though only superficially devout, reinvented himself as a religious zealot to forge a potent blend of nationalism and pan-Islamism, advocating violent struggle against the west. To the end, however, he remained capable of searing criticism of his fellow Muslims, and conscious of the perils of Asian tyranny and fanaticism: "The entire oriental world," he once remarked, "is so entirely rotten and incapable of hearing the truth … that I should wish for a flood or an earthquake to devour and bury it." Buried in an unmarked grave in 1897, he was reclaimed as a great Muslim patriot by Iranians and Afghans after the second world war. Liang Qichao's youthful worship of the west's parliaments and newspapers faded in middle age into melancholy observation of the "gratuitous western vandalism" that climaxed (in his own lifetime) in the first world war. Tagore, who developed a certain tendency towards eastern mysticism in later years, was at the same time well-attuned to feelings of colonial humiliation; in 1919 he relinquished his British knighthood in protest at the imperial administration's massacre of protesters in north India.

{Jallianwala Bagh massacre and Gen Dyer being awarded a pension for this gross human rights abuse}

Luminous details glimmer through these swaths of political and military history: the Indian villagers who named their babies after Japanese admirals on hearing of Japan's epochal defeat of Russia in 1905; the curious history of the fez, a deliberately reformist piece of headgear that became an international symbol of Muslim identity; the touching naivety of Ho Chi Minh, so convinced that Woodrow Wilson would make time to meet him in Paris in 1919 that he hired a morning suit for an encounter that never happened; Nehru's fanatically anglophone father, rumoured to have sent his shirts for dry-cleaning in Europe. There are shocking reminders of the double-dealing hypocrisy of the great powers during the first world war and at the Versailles peace conference: the squalid secret treaties agreed between Britain, France, Japan and Italy, news of which Wilson tried to suppress; the exclusion of many non-European peoples from the conference; the racist jokes openly cracked by the Australian and British prime ministers. The betrayal of racial equality at Versailles opened the door to an Asian move towards communism, with all its pernicious consequences, as Comintern agents scattered across a receptive China, India, Iran and Turkey.

The book concludes by tracing the painful legacies of Asia's responses to the west: Japan's near-genocidal pan-Asian revenge for earlier imperial slights; Maoism's disastrous pursuit of a post-imperial modernity; the violent anti-westernism of global Islam. {Would add the huge Partition massacres to this attempt to create a Westphalian nation-state instead of the existing state of nations in the Indian sub-continent the consequences of which we are still seeing over 60 years later}Despite widespread western admiration for the contemporary Asian miracle, Mishra sees in China a country in which some "stand up, while most others are forced to stand down, and the privileged Chinese minority aspire for nothing higher than the conveniences and gadgets of their western consumer counterparts". He hails India as a democracy in which "numbers of the disenchanted and the frustrated" are growing, along with a huge sense of hopelessness among landless peasants. And to those who read China's and India's embrace of capitalism as a comforting sign of their reconciliation with western ways, he offers a warning. Environmental apocalypse, he anticipates, will be the final consequence of these centuries-old collisions between Europe and America, and Asia: "the bitter outcome of the universal triumph of western modernity, which turns the revenge of the east into something darkly ambiguous, and all its victories truly Pyrrhic".

Julia Lovell's The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China is published by Picador





Vande Mataram!

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby RajeshA » 01 Aug 2012 16:35


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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Sushupti » 17 Sep 2012 00:12

A post by Rajiv Malhotra

The strategic objective of a growing segment of Western scholars, an objective that is usually not stated explicitly, is to show that classical Indian traditions lack coherence. The key word here is COHERENCE. Lacking coherence means there cannot be a legitimate civilization built on such a foundation. This is achieved in many ways by many scholars, including:
"There is no such thing as Hinduism. This was a modern construction by Brahmins as part of nationalism against the British." This is a very common genre - starting with Brian Penington's book "Was Hinduism Invented?" Peninngton will be one of three speakers at this years AAR in Chicago in a special panel to discuss BEING DIFFERENT.
In the name of "diversity of dharma", what many scholars are selling is the incoherence of dharma. They do it in such a manner that many Hindus find it to be a complement, failing to read between the lines. The goal is to emphasize how one dharma system refutes another, how one caste fights another, how one social organization commits violence against another. This internal fragmentation is emphasized as endemic and inherent in dharma, not as something caused by historical events that had nothing to do with dharma.
Those who demonstrate the unity of dharma are accused of constructing homogeneity. Hence, they are totalitarian and this gets conflated with modern social violence as something they cause.
My purpose in starting this thread is to educate the folks at a level deeper than what meets the eye. This particular western scholar might be a small fry today, but his candidness in speaking out is revealing (and hence useful in debate), whereas the more experienced ones are far more sly and can (and do) fool our people. Even in dealing with this scholar, I am told that the Sanskrit folks at JNU have no clue how to respond intelligently. Some go bombastic and emotional - an instant checkmate, and a bad example to students in class. Others join such incoherence theories, seeing some weird glory in them. Yet others prefer to tune out because they lack the skills of purva paksha of the West.

I have been through numerous such encounters for 20 years or longer. BD's strategy was designed based on those encounters. Even those westerners who do lip service to the idea of reversing the gaze cannot tolerate it beyond a point. (There are some exceptions I know.)

The reason is that in BD the West is shown to lack coherence. It is a synthetic construct, the result of centuries of violence against others and digestion of others. It also shows that digestion is the process by which the west establishes its own coherence and simultaneously dismantles the coherence of its prey. So the civilizational discourse thus far has often been a war to establish which side is coherent and which side is not. My thesis is seen as outrageous and dangerous to Western Universalism. It has to be attacked.

Such attacks will come from some persons. But there are also many other Westerners who agree with BD's approach and see it as taking the debate further than ever before on Indian terms. On the other hand, I constantly face Westernized Indian elites (including many who are very Hindu in their personal lives) who debate me from the Western camp. So stage-5 of the UTurn - in which WU gets re-exported back to India and planted there as the gospel truth - has been very successful.

Stay tuned. It is going to get more interesting.....
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RajivMalh ... ssage/3487



and followed by a comment from our own Rajesh Ji

BRILLIANT!

I found this dissection of the Western strategy simply brilliant. In some ways it is still the divide and rule strategy at a philosophical level.

1) Deny Single Identity to the Other.
2) Exaggerate the Differences making them into Fault-lines.
3) Describe Other's Reaction to such Divisiveness as Predatory and Homogenizing!

If I be allowed some cheesiness, we as Indians have to let them know, that we will remain White Light with all the color of the rainbow embodied in it, and they will not be able to split the colors for their own benefit.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RajivMalh ... ssage/3488

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 04 Oct 2012 21:50

viewtopic.php?p=1346760#p1346760

AnandK wrote:The Arab invasions of Egypt, Western Roman Empire, Persia and Chinese Central Asia resulted in a lot of literature which discussed the religious zealotry and an analysis in their own theological terms. The Copts saw the Arabs as instruments of deliverance from Chaldean Church, the Roman church saw it as a punishment for human sins and the Persian sources explicitly mention the religious aspect. The invasion followed the heels of two devastating plagues and a terrible war with Sassanids.... so it fitted with apocalyptic views of Semitic faiths. The Buddhists OTOH also came up with some interesting Mahakal literature; fringe sects but still significant. IIRC the Mihirakula campaign against the Buddhists did produce some texts which discusses the religious zealotry but did the Turk scourge which swept Buddhism away from Kabul to the Meghna produce such analysis?

Similarly, is there any detailed analysis by Hindu sources on the foreign zealotry..... if not by the Arabs, the Turks at least? I mean, in a religious and social perspective? Someone must have noted the new "drives" and the fact that the invaders have mixed demographics and distinctly different social classes (versus their own caste dominated armies)? I mean, it is generally accepted that by the 7th century AD caste system had lost a lot of flexibility...

PS: What did the Jews of 7th-8th centuries think of the Muslims..... I mean, theologically. They were a diaspora by then and did not need to cast them as another Nebuchadnezzar, but still......




Good question and research angle to pursue.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby brihaspati » 05 Oct 2012 05:06

^^^The Jewish reaction is very interesting. They are almost a copy of modern Indian elite reactions.

(1) The contemporary (of the founder) Jewish reactions are either lost or destroyed by Muslims+Christians (who for example collaborated with Muslims when they invaded Palestine after defeating the Byzantines - to eliminate as many of the Jews as possible), or followed the same pattern of silence so much shrilly shouted about by Thaparites for the Indian parallel.

(2) There is indirect indications through the mouth of supposed Jewish origin "converts" to Christianity - like doctrina Jacobi (Greek sources), who bash the "prophetic" claims of early Islam - and are held to be contemporary to the founder.

(3) The lack of contemporary "trauma" records from the Jewish side, is usually put up now by European/Christian/anti-Semitic/pro-Islamic scholarship as proof of lovey-dovey treatment by Muslims of the Jews. Some even try to claim that in paralle to similar lack of "trauma" records from victim-side in case of alleged Roman atrocities - the few Judaic records of trauma at Roman hands were actually trauma memories from Babylonian atrocities, it is the same "earlier" folk "reconstructions" of trauma that have been transferred on to Muslims in medieval Jewish writings.

Note however that the Jews are supposed to have only suffered trauma at Babylonian hands but not at Roman or Muslim hands, and are supposed to have been recycling the same trauma memories. However the same argument is not to be rolled back to Egyptian trauma, since then the Babylonian memory could become questionable [as a reconstruction of actual Egytian atrrocities]. Egyptians were good people under the pharaohs, Romans were good too, Christians good too, and Muslims good too - onlee the Babylonians were big bad daddies of atrocities. Pharaonic - especially Akhenatenic culture is a big part of the modern European mediterranean imperial myth, Romans too [who treated everyone else like animals but not the Jews onlee], Christian establishment of course, and Muslims no doubt - are part and parcel of the same myth - which cannot be tarnished in any possible way.

(4) the surviving narratives - or those that have been allowed to survive or be public perhaps - show a splitting of Judaic scholarly thinking. They are however concerned over whether Islam represents a heresy - idolatry - or not. This is important for the halakhics, who dominated the eastern med and Gulf among the Abbasid Jews. So a lot of literature exists on whether wine touched by Muslims is kosher or not. The bowing to kaaba, and the founder - in Islam - is compared to the "idolatry" of Christianity - in some cases.

(5) Maimonides group propound the "survival" route within Islam, while the opponents prefer "martyrdom" to "conversion". Thus Maimonides doctrine was interpreted by some tactically to be what is called crypto-Jews - Jews at heart and secretly following Judaic rituals while publicy proclaiming Islam.

One should be able to see "hindu" elite reactions in the Judaic too. One section is ready to lick any boots to survive with power, and of course there is the uncompromising sector too.

My hypothesis is that the uncompromising ones resist violently to violent imposition and are killed off, perhaps even in collaboration by the crypto-collaborators and the "invaders", so those who would have an incentive in keeping records for posterity are dead, and those who would like to hid etheir role in betrayal would remain silent. The surviving portion of the non-compromisers are too busy surviving, and hence some time is needed for them to attain sufficient security again to devote to historiography. Hence we have a time lag of formal recording of trauma from actual events.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 07 Oct 2012 09:25

Thanks to ShauryaT for the link

Indo-European Encounter: An Indian Perspective by Ram Swarup...

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Gandhi resisted ‘digestion’ by the West; we must too

Postby member_23677 » 08 Oct 2012 07:45

by Rajiv Malhotra

In my recent book, Being Different – An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism (HarperCollins India, 2011), I discuss the phenomenon of the Western appropriation of the cultural and civilisational fruits of non-Western cultures, plucking these from their context and feeding them into the West’s own grand narrative, strengthening it, while leaving the former uprooted or disabled.

This process, one that I term “digestion,” might start out innocuously enough, but once a cultural artifact has been digested its contours and intent may bear no resemblance to the original. The culture that bears those fruits is denied not just credit but also the potential to produce future harvests. Collectively, the world is denied the diversity of intelligence and the evolution of new paradigms.

Take the example of yoga in American popular culture and its complete severance from its Hindu roots. The insistence on viewing yoga as merely a physical practice with some spiritual/mental benefits by the vast majority of Americans, or even refashioning it into “Christian Yoga”, is the “digestion” that I’m referring to. While all yoga practitioners derive many of its benefits, neglecting the distinct and rich metaphysics that undergirds yoga asanas is a rejection of the real prize – the spiritual union of human consciousness with the divine. To deem yoga as Christian is to miss the point altogether, given how fundamentally at odds mainstream Christian and Hindu philosophies are. (In a previous blog, I’ve described what these differences are).

2 October being Gandhi’s birthday, it would be worth reflecting on his courageous quest to retain his cultural distinctiveness. AP
Attempts to clarify and assert the Hindu roots of yoga in recent blogs have been met with resistance and animosity by many ardent American yoga practitioners. This resistance points to the “Western Universalism” that I also discuss in my book: a deeply ingrained view that the entire world system’s nature and evolution is shaped by the West’s experience and worldview. Along with geographically and historically derived cultural memes, Western Universalism is deeply intertwined with the Judeo-Christian narrative. To embrace yoga’s Hindu roots would fundamentally challenge Western identity. “Digestion” – keeping yoga but dumping Hinduism – is the means of containing that challenge.

If yoga’s Hindu roots create such anxiety by challenging Western religious pre-eminence, then how might Gandhi, who successfully challenged Western Universalism, leading and winning India’s fight for independence non-violently, fare in the West? Already we see attempts to co-opt Gandhi. A recent bizarre incident uncovering Gandhi’s posthumous baptism by the Mormon Church is an example of one such attempt of laying claim to him. (Gandhi himself deplored the practice of conversion by Christian missionaries in India).

Most Western authors on Gandhi will emphasise the influence of the New Testament on Gandhi. Indeed Gandhi spoke favourably of many passages in the New Testament and of Jesus, but never as passionately or as extensively as he did of the faith to which he belonged. In fact, Gandhi was being entirely true to his pluralistic Hindu beliefs in his respect for all faiths and not just his own.


In Peace Education studies in American universities, Gandhi’s success is attributed largely to the “context” – the apparent benevolence of British colonists in providing the fertile field on which he could exercise his non-violent agitation. (Gandhi himself had said that non-violent resistance could work in most situations, albeit with great sacrifice). Gandhi is routinely discussed in virtual isolation from his followers, the large and diverse group of eminent thinkers, and the Indian masses who very early embraced Gandhi’s non-violent practices spontaneously.

If Gandhi led, then millions of Indians, similarly inspired, agreed wholeheartedly and followed. Keeping Gandhi, but dumping his Hindu influences is already being attempted in Western scholarship.


Fortunately, Gandhi, a prolific writer documented his own life and struggles quite extensively. Moreover, as his writings record, he dove deep into Indian culture, drawing upon it to frame the Indian independence struggle in terms that would resonate with his countrymen. His autobiography reveals that his moral life was anchored in his Hindu faith. In my view, Gandhi (and his ideas) resisted digestion because, quite cannily, he used Sanskrit words to give voice to India’s struggle and demands. Words like satyagraha, swadeshi, swaraj, ahimsa, sva-dharma became an integral part of the lexicon of the Indian freedom struggle. By using these words and not their English equivalents, Gandhi preserved the complete range of their complex meanings, their dharmic origins and their cultural context.
{This is something very important and must be followed by posters here}

Even as the West refers to Gandhi’s methods as non-violent, Gandhi himself used the words ahimsa, and satyagraha as the character of his movement. The term ahimsa is more than non-violence. Himsa translates to “harm” and ahimsa is not just non-violence, a narrow and incomplete translation, but more accurately “non-harming”. “Non-harming,” therefore, precluded all forms of harm – cultural genocide, environmental degradation and animal slaughter.

Satya-graha or “truth-struggle” implied that India’s freedom fight would have to be conducted in a manner that befits the bearers of truth. Holding on to the Sanskrit terms became his way of resisting colonisation and safeguarding dharmic knowledge.

2 October being Gandhi’s birthday, it would be worth reflecting on his courageous quest to retain his cultural distinctiveness. How might Western scholarship on Gandhi affect his legacy? How is Gandhi studied in Indian universities? What could be the implications for a multipolar world today? To consider these and other questions is one way of paying tribute to the father of our nation on Gandhi Jayanti.

Rajiv Malhotra’s journey started in physics in St Stephens College and went to computer science in the USA, and further on to telecom, corporate strategy, management consulting and entrepreneurship. He took early retirement, and for the past 20 years has reinvented himself as writer, speaker and public intellectual in philosophy, international relations and current affairs.

Edited by Kaajal Ahuja


http://www.firstpost.com/world/gandhi-r ... 76166.html

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 09 Oct 2012 02:17

PB we have a whole thread for Gandhiji in the GDF.

ramana
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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 09 Oct 2012 02:26

shiv wrote:Cross post from OIT thread
narmad wrote:I am not sure how relevant this is..
Did Krishna exist?

It is relevant over many threads because of the way Indian views have been dismissed:
From the above link:
I think that a mixture of the post-colonial need to conform to western ideas of Indian civilisation and an inability to stand up firmly to bizarre western ideas are to blame. Also, any attempt at a more impartial look at Indian history is given a saffron hue.


Michael Witzel from
http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/EJVS-7-3.pdf
The list of such internet and printed publications waxes greatly, by the month. There now exists a closely knit,
self-adulatory group, members of which often write conjointly and/or copy from each other. Quite boringly, they
also churn out long identical passages, in book after book, sometimes paragraph by paragraph, all copied in
cottage industry fashion from earlier books and papers; the whole scene has become one virtually
indistinguishable hotchpotch. A 'canonical' list would include, among others: Choudhury 1993, Elst 1999,
Danino 1996, Feuerstein, Kak, and Frawley 1995, Frawley 1994, Kak 1994, Klostermaier (in Rajaram and
Frawley 1997), Misra 1992, Rajaram 1993, 1995, Rajaram and Frawley 1995, 1997, Rajaram and Jha 2000, Sethna
1980, 1981, 1989, 1992, Talageri 1993, 2000. Among them, Choudhury stands somewhat apart by his extreme
chauvinism. -- These and many others frequent the internet with letters and statements ranging from scholarly
opinions and prepublications to inane accusations and blatant politics and hate speech; such ephemeral 'sources'
are not listed here; I have, however, been collecting them as they will form interesting source material for a study
of the landscape of (expatriate) Indian mind of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.


The jpeg below is a series of quotes from a book showing how the Western world view changed from being self satisied from their old Biblical/Greek history to feeling threatened by findings from elseahere. After that scholarship has focused on trying to prove Western ascendancy
Image

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby member_23677 » 09 Oct 2012 07:49

ramana wrote:PB we have a whole thread for Gandhiji in the GDF.

I am aware of that Ramanaji, It's just that the points made here are more suited here than in Gandhi thread. The topics deal with how western universalism is happily gulping down other's works and innovations something that they have done for the last 2-3 centuries. Also, it is a nice lessons for the Macaulites who lurk and comment in this very forum.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 18 Oct 2012 23:35

X-Posted...
johneeG wrote:
shiv wrote:quote="RajeshA"
the question is whether languages like Celtic and Germanic were also a product of the dispersion of R1a1a1 (M417) or whether they have a different carrier gene! The R1b influence is somewhat unclear to me.

/quote


In my mind I have different picture, although I was not going to make this post just yet. This is not about conquest. The western mind imagines that conquest is necessary to spread language, but conquest often does not lead to language change.

It could be that a lot of wise mean learned in the Vedas attracted foreigners who came to India to learn and went back. Perhaps the Vedas went all the way to Eastern Europe with M17 and people learned from there.

If you look at what Socrates and his student Plato (500 BC and later) said - both had some inkling of the nature of reality and the soul as one would acquire from the Upanishads that predated them even by AIT Nazi dates. Socrates also argued strongly in favor of maintaining an oral tradition of learning at a time when Greeks has started writing a lot.

The word Deva was widespread in pre-Christian eastern Europe along the distribution of M17.

So there are some very old and very deep links. This was probably not about this vulgar horse and chariot conquest, but knowledge of the Universe, life and spirituality spread in a guru-shishya fashion. Vedic words were picked up and borrowed into local languages and gradually corrupted. Germany probably had very old Basque genes but the people were influenced by the Sanskrit learned men of the east (Europe).


+108.

Following excerpt from Ram Swarup's 'Hinduism: Reviews and Reflections', deal with the same issue:
India and Europe opens with the "Philosophical View of India in Classical Antiquity", or India in the old Greek tradition. It assumes that Classical Greece provides Europe's antiquity and that the two are related in some special way. It is a debatable point but it has been assumed here as axiomatic. The fact is that at the time when Greece represented a living culture, it did not know Europe, nor Europe of that time knew Greece.
The Greeks knew themselves as Hellenists, not Europeans. And whenever they sought the origins of, or influences upon, their own philosophy and religion, they thought of Egypt, Chaldea and India, not of Europe. They received little from Europe and they bequeathed not much to it, at least at the time when they represented a living culture. In fact, Christian Europe as it was taking shape first grew in opposition to and later in forgetfulness of Greek culture. Christian Europe in its early period used Greek language and Greek philosophy to establish itself; then it attacked ferociously Greek culture; it destroyed Greek literature, its schools and libraries.2 The work of destruction was so complete that even the memory of Plato and Socrates was obliterated and for a thousand years Christian Europe grew in complete ignorance of what it calls its classical antiquity.
When Greek learning revived again, it was too late for it to exert a living influence on anyone. It had died as a living tradition and it was now a thing belonging to museums and libraries and was a topic only for learned dissertations. But even in this form, it began to invite fierce opposition. The Reformation was a revolt against the classical Renaissance, a "reaction of backward minds", or a "protest of antiquated spirits", as Nietzsche saw it. The call to go back to the Bible and to Jehovah was in a very deep sense a repudiation of the Greek tradition, whether spiritual or intellectual. Today what Europe calls the Greek learning is not the learning as it was seen by the Greeks, but as it is understood by the Europeans through their own categories of thought. To the Greeks, Homer and its Gods were great realities, part and parcel of their lives; to Europeans of the Renaissance period, they were legends and interesting tales.
Even earlier, during the first centuries of Christianity, it was clear that the Greek and Christian approaches to the life of the spirit were incompatible and Christianity waged a relentless war against the Greco-Roman approach; and when the Greek learning revived again, the old incompatibility was still there undiminished. But if the Greek learning still found a certain receptivity the reason was that by this time, it was totally misunderstood and misconceived. For any truly classical revival, Christian soil was very inhospitable indeed.
This however does not mean that modern Europe had no link with old Greece. An unknown link connected the two intimately and the link was established when Sanskrit was discovered. When this discovery was made, it became obvious that India, Greece, Rome and Europe had great linguistic, spiritual and ethnic affinity and even a common ancestry derived probably from India and Sanskrit. But this suggestion was soon resisted by rising European colonialism. To counter such a suggestion, it postulated on the other hand a third, conjectural source still more remote in time and also far removed from India. But according to all the testimony available at present, the old affinity between these regions and peoples, particularly in its spiritual dimension, is still best represented by India. The Christian interlude in Europe and the Muslim interlude in Iran are merely distorters or aberrations of this old affinity.
But while one need not subscribe to Professor Halbfass's unproved assumption that old Greece represents modern Christian Europe's classical antiquity, there should be no difficulty in readily agreeing that the author's treatment of the subject of "India in Greek Tradition" is able and competent. It brings together many traditions on the subject within the confine of one chapter and it is useful for interested readers. One could of course still point out some obvious omissions. For example, Apollonius of Tyna, the great sage of the Greek world who is reputed to have come to India to meet its sages, is mentioned just to be told that his biography by Philostratus is "legendry". There is nothing improbable in a saint of the Greek world visiting India, but even if the biography is legendry, it is known to have been written by 220 AD, and even as a legend it is a good witness and tells us where India stood in the estimation of Greek sages and philosophers of an early date. It tells us that the Pythagoreans of Greece and the Naked Philosophers of Egypt had derived their doctrines from the "Wise men of India".
Professor Halbfass follows a scholar's methodology in determining the extent of Indo-Greek contact. He is determined to find a document, some written mention, some journey relating to this contact before he would admit it, but by their very nature such evidences can only be very rare considering the time that has lapsed and the changes that have been wrought. But if Professor Halbfass had followed a more inward method or criterion of looking at Greek literature, he would have easily found plentiful evidence of a living Indo-Greek contact, particularly at the deeper level of the spirit. Both shared a common spiritual approach; both intuited man and his world in the same way; both expressed their spiritual intuition in the language of Gods; both taught âtma-vâda, and the theory of Two Selves and Two Ways; both taught the theory of karma, rebirth and moksha. In fact, the Greece of Pythagoras, Plato and Plotinus has more in common with Hindu India than with Christian Europe.

III
Then a long period of more than a thousand years intervened - a period of triumph and consolidation of Christianity in Europe. Already Christianity had successfully fought Greek as well as several Eastern spiritual influences in the shape of Mithraism, Gnosticism, etc. An ideological iron-curtain fell on Europe and its spirit underwent a process of systematic Semiticization. Thanks to this sustained conditioning, the European spirit became incapable of appreciating and understanding Indian spirituality. This spiritual impediment was reinforced by a physical one when Islam triumphed in the Middle East and swayed over the sea and land routes connecting the Mediterranean with India.
During these long years of lost contact, India became a legend. But contact was resumed when a new route to India was discovered and Vasco da Gama landed in 1498 at Calicut with soldiers, missionaries and traders. Thus the first modern contact was military-cum-missionary-cum-commercial, and any subsequent academic intellectual interest grew out of this and it contained the qualities of the first encounter.
India and Europe includes a very interesting chapter on the "Missionary Approach to Indian Thought". Most missionaries had a very dim view of Hinduism which they regarded as unmitigated evil. St. Xavier thought that Brahmins, a highly revered class, stood between Christianity and the heathens and that this class should be destroyed. He requested the king of Portugal to use the secular arm for the conversion of the Hindus.
But there were certain missionaries who had a livelier idea of the difficulties and their situation. They proposed the strategy of using Hinduism against Hinduism, a strategy which has its Biblical precedent in the practice of St. Paul. Robert Di Nobili, representing this school, made a distinction between the social customs of the heathens and their religious ceremonies. He preached that while the former could be accepted, only the latter should be opposed. He also pointed out that the Brahmins were mainly teachers and priests and their function was social and educational and not religious; and therefore they need not be opposed but only neutralized and, in fact, the respect accorded to them could be used to promote Christianity. He himself pretended that he was a Romanic Brahmin and the teacher or Guru of a lost Veda, Jesurvedam, which he offered to teach to his fellow-Brahmins in India.
While most missionaries saw Hinduism as a handiwork of the devil, some also saw in it the remnants of an old monotheism, probably borrowed from Christian and Judaic sources, but now distorted and defaced beyond recognition. B. Ziegenbalg (1682-1719), a Lutheran missionary, wrote back to his patrons in Europe about this original monotheism which had been subsequently lost because Hindus "allowed themselves to be seduced by the devil and their ancient poets into believing in a multitude of gods".

IV
These reports reaching Europe had an unintended effect; they were used to support a very different line of reasoning - a line of reasoning which was even anti-Christian. In order to understand this, we shall have to understand the Europe of those days.
After the Crusades came to nothing, Europe was in an intellectual ferment and was learning to question some of its cherished ideas and dogmas. A pamphlet "On the Three Impostors" (Moses, Jesus and Muhammad) came out in 1598 and had a wide clandesting circulation When the Greek learning was revived, stoicism, the old Greek religion, was also rediscovered. Many advanced thinkers saw that it was deeply religious and highly ethical, and yet it had no revelation and no mediator; it also spoke in the language of reason and conscience and it had a universality of approach quite unknown to Christianity.
Under these new influences, a school grew in Europe which spoke of a "natural religion" and "natural theology". It said that man's "reason" and "conscience" were enough to account for God and morality and they needed no revelation and no mediators. Thomas More (1478-1535), an English statesman and author, expressed this idea of a "rational religion" and "natural theology" in his famous Utopia.
This view also agreed with man's enlightened commonsense. Therefore, when reports reached Europe from the Far East of a religion - Confucianism - which had no heaven-mongering and yet was highly ethical and humane, it had a warm reception in certain highly intellectual circles. Leibnitz (1646-1716), the German philosopher and mathematician, thought that Chinese missionaries should visit Europe in order to instruct the Westerners about the questions of "natural theology" and commonsense.
It was at this time and in this climate that India entered Europe. India was already known for its natural theology. Quite early even Shahrastani (1086-1153) in his Kitb al-Milal wa'n-nihal had noticed that prophets were unknown to the Brahmins and that they tended towards a kind of rationalism which does not depend on revelation.
India not only taught high morals like the Chinese, but unlike them it also did not neglect the metaphysical dimension. Some, like Schopenhauer, were in search of a "philosophy which should be at once ethics and metaphysics". India did not disappoint them. Schopenhauer (1788-1860) found it in the Upanishadic tat tvam asi, "that thou art". Earlier J.G. Herder (1744-1803) had found that Indians' morals were "pure and noble", and their concept of God "great and beautiful". Indian thought satisfied those who sought spiritual transcendence without an anthropomorphic God who is always thundering, threatening, and promising and also an ethics embodying man's innate moral nature and not arbitrary commandments from an external agency. This thought, in one of its lower expressions and movements known as Deism, made a wide appeal in Europe. It even affected many European administrators and residents abroad. William Carey, a Baptist missionary, complained that "India swarms with Deists".

V
Original Home of All Religions
It did not take long for the question to acquire another dimension, the dimension of time. India gave a religion which was not only rational but was also prior to all other religions. In 1760, Voltaire acquired a copy of Ezourvedam, a forgery of the Jesuits (most probably of Di Nobili). But even this served an unintended purpose. Voltaire with his acumen saw even in this document the voice of an ancient religion. While he praised Brahmins for having "established religion on the basis of universal religion", he also found that India was the home of religion in its oldest and purest form. He described India as a country "on which all other countries had to rely, but which did not rely on anyone else". He also believed that Christianity derived from Hinduism. He wrote to and assured Frederick the Great of Prussia that "our holy Christian religion is solely based upon the ancient religion of Brahma".
This view was held by many European thinkers and writers. F. Majer (1771-1818) said: "It will no longer remain to be doubted that the priests of Egypt and the sages of Greece have drawn directly from the original well of India." And again: "Towards the Orient, to the banks of the Ganges and the Indus, it is there that our hearts feel drawn by some hidden urge - it is there that all the dark presentiments point which lie in the depths of our hearts... In the Orient, the heavens poured forth into the earth."
J.G. Herder also saw in India the "lost paradise of all religions and philosophies", the "cradle of humanity", the "eternal home", the "eternal Orient ... waiting to be rediscovered within ourselves". This is high praise, indeed, but it does not mean that he ever thought that India supplanted the West. Any such thought was far from his mind. What he meant was that India represented humanity's childhood, its innocence, as Hellenism represented its "adolescence" and Rome its "adulthood". Similarly, while Indians were "the gentlest branch of humanity", Christianity was the religion of "purest humanity".
The thesis of Indian origins of Christianity found a warm reception in many quarters and it continued to be propagated by Rosicrucians, Theosophists and individual scholars and philosophers like Schopenhauer, L. Jacolliot, A. Lillie and F. Nork.
But the traditional Christianity did not yield easily and it argued furiously for the primacy of the Mosaic-Christian Revelation. A. Dacier, J. Bouchet and Th. La Grue argued for the priority of Biblical Chronology. Even Newton was involved in the controversy and argued for the primacy of the Biblical Chronology. But the growing knowledge of history and older civilizations was against them.
Orthodox Christians took recourse to another line of argument. While yielding a certain chronological priority to India they upheld Christianity's moral and spiritual primacy. They said that even if India had known some kind of religion at an early date, its essential truths were badly corrupted and it needed the living waters of Christianity to revive them. To them, India offered a classic example of a tradition that had been unable to safeguard its original purity against its pagan superstition and priestly fraud, and disgusting barbarism - a warning and reminder to others. An article on "Brahmins" in Encyclopaedia says that a Christian could not fail to see the 41 effect of divine wrath" in such decay and deprivation. Professor Halbfass informs us that India's example was often cited to illustrate the theme of the eclipse and suppression of "natural light" through superstition and ritualism, and that this theme enjoyed a great popularity among thinkers of the Enlightenment.


VI
A New Phase
Soon the Indo-European encounter entered a new phase. Indian texts began to be translated into European languages. Works of Roger, Dow, Holwell, Wilkin's translations of the Bhagavad Gita and the Hitopdesha and W. Jones' Shakuntala created a taste for Indian thought. Western scholars read in translations such things as: "Vishnu is in you, in me, in all beings"; or "See all men in your own soul"; or "Banish the delusion of being different". Though later on, the missionary writers tried to dismiss such teachings under the label of "pantheism", many Western thinkers heard such sublime thoughts and ethics for the first time and were deeply stirred. The stir was Europewide, but it was most conspicuous in Germany. F. Schlegel, one of the pioneers of the Oriental Renaissance, wrote about India: "Here is the actual source of all languages, all the thoughts and poems of the human spirit; everything, everything without exception comes from India." Later on, of course, he changed his views when he became a Roman Catholic and not to India but to Biblical Mesopotamia gave the palm of being the "cradle of mankind", but his contribution to the Oriental Renaissance remained outstanding.
Another great name belonging to this movement was that of Schopenhauer. His interest in Indian religion was first aroused by reading Anquetil Dupperon's Latin translation of Oupnekhat (1801-1802), itself a translation from a Persian version. He was deeply moved and he found its reading "the most rewarding and edifying", and its philosophy "the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death". After this he continued to take a deep interest in India. In Indians, he found the "most noble and ancient people", and their wisdom was the "original wisdom of the human race". He spoke of India as the "fatherland of mankind", which gave the "original religion of our race" and "oldest of all world view". He thought of the Upanishads as the "fruit of the most sublime human knowledge and wisdom", documents of "almost superhuman conception" whose authors could "hardly be thought of as mere mortals". He expressed the hope that European peoples "who stemmed from Asia ... would also re-attain the holy religions of their home" (Italics added).

Sanskrit
Europe's discovery of Sanskrit also worked in the same direction. F. Sassetti had observed as early as the second half of the sixteenth century that Sanskrit and Europe's classical languages were related in some way. Jones also saw the basic similarities between these languages and soon some basic concepts of linguistics and history were revolutionised. The discovery of Sanskrit proved a great event in Europe's intellectual history. It upset Europe's self-image; it showed that its Semitic association and identification were brief and accidental and that its linguistic and, therefore, its philosophic, religious and cultural roots lay elsewhere. Europe's close affinity with India could no longer be a matter of speculation; it was written all over in the languages of Europe, classical or modern. J.G. Herder asked himself. "All the peoples of Europe, where are they from?" And he answered: "From Asia."
Sanskrit was found to be the oldest of all Aryan languages and therefore also their ancestor. Hegel, no admirer of India, admitted: "It is a great discovery in history - as of a new world - which has been made within rather more than the last twenty years, respecting the Sanskrit and the connection of the European languages with it. In particular, the connection of the German and Indian peoples has been demonstrated." German Oriental Renaissance was erected on Bopp's linguistic foundation.
The enthusiasm for Indian culture was widespread. Amaury de Riencourt in his The Soul of India tells us that philosophers like Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Schleiermacher, poets such as Goethe, Schillar, Novalis, Tieck and Brentano, historians like Herder and Schlegel, all acclaimed the discovery of Indian culture with cries of ecstasy: "India, the home of universal religion, the cradle of the noblest human race, of all literature, of all philosophies and metaphysics." And he adds that "this enthusiasm was not confined to Germany. The entire Romantic movement in the West put Indian culture on a lofty pedestal which the preceding Classical Movement had reserved for Greece and Rome."
Tolstoy, a late-comer, was also deeply influenced by Indian religious thought. Like Wagner, his introduction to it was through Burnouf and Schopenhauer. Beginning with his Confessions, there is no work of his "which is not inspired, in part by Hindu thought", to put it in the words of Markovitch quoted by Raymond Schwab in The Oriental Renaissance. He further adds that Tolstoy also "remains the most striking example, among a great many, of those who sought a cure for the western spirit in India".
Thus we see that India's influence was widespread throughout Europe, but it was the greatest in Germany. In fact' Germany was called "the India of the Occident". Hugo said that "Germany is to the West what India is to the East, a sort of great forbear. Let us venerate her". These words (September 1870) might have been said though in order to flatter Germany in the hope that she would spare Paris which her armies had besieged.

Importance of Indian Influence
While the Oriental Movement expanded the West's intellectual horizon and influenced it at a deeper level, it was also used in the current controversies and polemics of the day. Some used it in support of the forces of Enlightenment and rationalism to give themselves an example of high-minded religion and ethics which did not depend on revelation and dogmas; others used it against the naive rationalism of the eighteenth century.
Some found that the Bible's Hebraic tradition with its narrow-mindedness, intolerant monotheism, its coarse materialism and lack of mysticism had a corrupting influence on European culture and they found their answer in Indian religious culture which was both rational and mystical.
Oriental Renaissance was also used against classical Renaissance, particularly in Germany. For long, Germans had been accused, particularly by Latin people, of being Teutonic barbarians who destroyed the great Mediterranean culture. In return, the Germans by identifying themselves with the more ancient Indian culture rejected the cultural superiority of the Latin races and especially of French Classicism. Thus by identifying themselves with ancient India and by claiming a new lineage, the Germans restored their self-respect and equality with their accusers.

VII
Opposition
Thus the Oriental Renaissance came to tread over too many toes and its results were disturbing even to many Orientalists who had intended their labour to yield a different kind of harvest. For example, H.H. Wilson, a celebrated Indologist, Boden Professor, translator of the Rg Veda and the ViSNu PurâNa, speaking at the University of Oxford in 1840, said that the objects of Indian studies were "to contribute to the religious enlightenment of a benighted, but intelligent and interesting and amiable people"; another object was "to confute the falsities of Hinduism". Earlier William Carey had said that the purpose of translating Sanskrit texts was to show they were "filled with nothing but pebbles and trash". But the results were just the opposite. Many of the best minds of Europe thought that these texts were sublime, and the possessors of those texts could not be benighted and needed no foreign aid in religious enlightenment. Some also used these texts to show the inadequacy of Christianity.
Oriental Renaissance began to invite opposition. Missionaries were one obvious source of it. Another source was Imperialism. European powers were becoming self-conscious imperialists and they could not rule with a clean conscience over peoples who were proud possessors of great cultures. Therefore they opposed views which exalted the ideological status of their colonies. Another source, a natural result of Imperialism, was growing Eurocentricity. Europe became less and less inclined to believe that anything worthwhile could be found anywhere outside of Europe. Therefore, the Oriental Movement began to be downgraded. It was called "romantic", and even "fanatic"; its fascination for India was a form of "Indo-mania". Others dealt with it in a more intellectual, but equally hostile way. They admitted a certain antiquity and even priority for Indian people and their culture, facts which could no longer be denied, but they saw in it no reason for departing from their low estimate of India. Hegel, for example, admitted that India "was the centre of emigration for all the western world", but he said that it was merely a "physical diffusion". "The people of India have achieved no foreign conquests, but have been on every occasion vanquished them-selves."
Similarly, though he admitted the fact of India's cultural spread arguing that Sanskrit lies at the foundation of all those further developments which form the languages of Europe Greek, Latin, German - but he also found in this cultural diffusion only "a dumb, deedless expansion", which "presented no political action". No wars, no forcible conversions, no cultural impositions; therefore, worth nothing much, nothing creditable! :eek:
Others dealt with the problem in other ways. They retained old facts but gave them a new rendering; or they retained some facts and changed others and offered a new combination. For example, Indians were allowed to possess the Vedas, the oldest literature of the Aryans, but the Aryans themselves were made to migrate, this time from Europe to India as conquerors. Thus the tables were turned. Migration remained but its direction changed. India which was hitherto regarded as the home of European languages and people now became the happy hunting ground of the same people who came and conquered and imposed their will and culture on India. The theory of Aryan invasion was born. History was written in support of the new hegemony and power relations.
Other scholars made other kinds of attempts. Considering that Europe's religious and philosophical tradition was a late corner, some European thinkers had derived it from India, a common enough practice in the academic field in such matters. But William Jones now offered the hypothesis of a third unknown source. He said that India was not the original home of the religious and philosophic tradition of the West, but itself represented an old offshoot of an original source common to both East and West. "Pythagoras and Plato derive their sublime theories from the same fountain with the sages of India", he said. As the attitude in Europe changed, the hypothesis was lapped up and it was accepted as fact.
The hypothesis of a third lost source began to be applied to many fields but more particularly to linguistics. Some scholars even began to reconstruct this common source and invented "Indo-European roots". These roots were a logical construct and the already existing Sanskrit roots could have done as well, but possibly a psychological motive was at work. Though Sanskrit had the oldest literature, the idea that it could have some sort of a primacy in the Aryan family of languages was not acceptable. Therefore they accepted the next best hypothesis that both Sanskrit and European languages had a common source still more ancient but now lost. To own a filial relationship with India was no matter of pride for Europe; so the next best thing under the circumstances was to make this relationship collateral and push it as far back in the past as possible. Things may change and India's social status may improve after its political and economic status improves.

Hegel
Europe, at the head of a far-flung empire, had to assert its superiority at all levels: military, commercial, religious and philosophical. It could not countenance a view which exalted the peoples of the Orient in any way Missionaries were always on the war-path but on the level of philosophy, Hegel led the attack and his attack was as unsparing and ungenerous as that of the former. But while the missionaries used the language of theology, Hegel used the high-winded language of intellectuality, or just sheer "confused, empty verbiage", according to Schopenhauer.
Herder had thought that India represented man's living past, his innocence, but Hegel believed that the World-Spirit (Weltgeist) moved from East to West, and in the Oriental tradition, Europe faces, in a sense, its own petrified past. He believed that the Occident had already superseded the Orient and the Orient has to be "excluded from the history of philosophy". In fact, Hegel himself gave us a "philosophy of history", a scheme which brought non-European cultures and thought in historical subordination to Europe. After Hegel, many European scholars have engaged in this labour and in Marx it touched new heights and achieved much concrete, political results.
According to Professor Halbfass, Hegel and others "reflected Europe's historical position at the beginning of the 19th century. It claims intellectual, moral and religious superiority over the rest of the world." The author tells us that Hegel "even tries to justify the historical necessity of Europe's colonial activities". In his The Philosophy of History, Hegel praises the British for undertaking "the weighty responsibility of being the missionaries of civilization to the world".
Following Hegel's lead, though the lead was hardly necessary, Indian philosophy began to be berated. Professor Halbfass writes a whole chapter entitled "On the Exclusion of India from the History of Philosophy". But there is nothing surprising about it. In the same spirit and with the same level of understanding, Indian religion, art, sciences and technology, social and political thought were also either omitted or berated. But what is really incomprehensible is that India's own elites under the spell of Europe have shown no appreciation and commitment to their country's intellectual and creative contribution.
In a sense, this omission is no deprivation but in fact a blessing. Exclusion does no harm and inclusion brings no honour. In fact, inclusion is far worse than exclusion. The fact is that Europe is not spiritually prepared to take Indian higher thought into its purview and, therefore, it is better that it is left out altogether. But on occasions when Europe does speak about it, it speaks vaguely about something it does not comprehend. For example, take Hegel himself. Speaking about Yoga, he says that the "ascent to Brahman is brought about by utter stupefaction and insensibility". The comment is simply laughable. Similarly, he often speaks, probably more than any other European philosopher, of consciousness; but he does not seem to be aware, even conceptually, of a state of consciousness which is liberated from its own images, thoughts, stored impressions, its opacity, duality and ego, a state of consciousness about which Indian Yogas speak. In this state, the consciousness is joyful (viSoka), and luminous (jyotishmatî), truth-bearing or truth-filled (ritam-bharâ), and those who attain it live on truth (rita-bhuj), and dwell in truth (rita-sad).



VIII
India entered Europe as a widening and deepening force and it was looked upon with respect and admiration by some of its greatest thinkers like Voltaire, Schelling and Schopenhouer, But the vested interests and forces of narrowness and obscurantism were powerful and they banded together and made a determined stand. Eventually the Euro-Colonial-Missionary forces triumphed, represented by soldier-scholars like J.S. Mill, Hegel, Macaulay, Marx and many others. They were thoroughly Eurocentric and they looked at India and other countries of the East with contempt and condescension. But they became popular not only in the West but in India and Asia as well. They taught several generations of Indians how and what to think of themselves and of Europe. The Indian elites began to look at their country and people through European eyes and European categories. They even borrowed the West's contempt for their own people. Traditional India, during its recovery and reaffirmation, finds itself most fiercely opposed by these elitist forces at home. These forces have intimate intellectual, organizational and financial links with the West.

Neo-Hinduism
This anti-Hinduism of the Hindus, their Missionary-Macaulayite-Marxist view of themselves, their own culture, religion and history, is the most powerful legacy the European contact has left behind. But Professor Halbfass does not discuss this at all. On the other hand, he discusses, in the second section of his book, what he calls Neo-Hinduism, a Hinduism shaped by and during the presence of Europe but which is not anti-Hindu and which, in fact, defends Hinduism though not in its native idiom but in the borrowed idiom of Europe. According to Professor Halbfass, Neo-Hinduism took shape "in a historical setting created by Europe", and it "has difficulties speaking for itself"; it "speaks to a large extent in a European medium".
To some extent, this is true; but the limitation is not all on the side of Neo-Hinduism. If it is to engage in a dialogue with the West, it must speak in the idiom best understood by the listener. Though the West is an acute linguist and it has mastered many languages but it is not so nimblewitted in understanding the peoples who spoke them.
Moreover, Neo-Hinduism does more than justify Hinduism; it also justifies Christianity, Islam and many other non-Indian cults. As it uses Western categories to defend Hinduism, in the same spirit it uses traditional Indian categories to promote Semitic religions. In its insatiable desire for "synthesis" and similarities, it seeks and finds Vedânta in the Bible and the Quran and in Das Kapital too; it says that Jesus and Muhammad and Marx all are incarnations and Rishis, and that they all say the same thing. The net result is that Semitic prophets are as popular among the Hindus as their own. Western Rationalism had rejected Christianity not only for its miracles but even more so for its exclusive claims which offend rationality, but it is now coming back under Hindu auspices and promotion.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 26 Oct 2012 20:48

An ancient Greek account of the Indian Ocean region in 1 century BC. Trade and peoples. Note the plethora of Sanskrit words migrating to Greek.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periplus_o ... hraean_Sea

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 27 Oct 2012 22:39

One long view of the US bogged down in Iraq and Af-Pak is an indictment of the global mercantile empire in decline.

Kargil 1999 was the first move of this long decline. It was to provide the first step of the NWO to intervene and launch new color revolutions.
When India didn't allow it, it recoiled like a viper and bit its master.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby member_23677 » 28 Oct 2012 04:47

I really didn't wanted to break the flow of the argument here,but here's another nice book about Oirope's rise and Africa's downfall
"How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" by Walter Rodney written in 1973. I just read a few pages and it seems interesting
http://www.blackherbals.com/walter_rodney.pdf

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 28 Oct 2012 08:03

We are trying to get a Non Western Prespective and all points are welcome. However one has ti understand even Marxist is a Western presepective.

The case for Africa can be made without the Marxist lens!

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby D Roy » 28 Oct 2012 16:28

Africa unlike India has produced great writers in the post-colonial period who have really turned the gaze outwards.

India at the moment has no equivalent of Chinua Achebe and the great Ngugi Wa thiong'o.

My salute to our African brothers for bearing the torch of intellectual freedom far more boldly and honestly than many of my own countrymen.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Atri » 28 Oct 2012 16:58

ramana wrote:One long view of the US bogged down in Iraq and Af-Pak is an indictment of the global mercantile empire in decline.

Kargil 1999 was the first move of this long decline. It was to provide the first step of the NWO to intervene and launch new color revolutions.
When India didn't allow it, it recoiled like a viper and bit its master.


I did not get it saar. Could you elaborate?

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby ramana » 28 Oct 2012 23:53

At the outset I am not alleging Conspiracy Theory.

In 1999 this was the world & India situation:

NATO intervention in Kosovo eventually led to demise of Yugoslavia
NDA govt suffers no confidence vote and is a caretaker govt
US bombing of Beijing Embassy and massive PRC protests
Almost same day the Lt Kalia patrol goes missing in Kargil
Soon TSP intrusion and occupation of Kargil posts in high mountains is revealed
India decides to not cross the border but clear the intruders out with massive force
Soon TSP leadership starts withdraw their soldiers
Leads to a coup in October 1999
2000 US elections brings in a new President taking power in 2001
Sept 9/11 attack by Muslim terrorists based in Af-Pak and having TSP gov agency non state actors
By Dec 2001 US occupies Afghanistan
Soon after Iraq war planning and the rest you know.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby Prem » 29 Oct 2012 00:14

In 1999 NATO came up with doctrine that they have the right to Militarily Intervene anywhere in the world. Nato's Spanish Secretary Joker Javier Solana was going all over the world touting this new imperialism, overriding the sovereignty of many small nations.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby brihaspati » 29 Oct 2012 01:17

Clinton changed overnight to have the Kosovan/croatian Islamists as freedom fighters from terrorists. Prior to this, the ground was prepared by a well-known Saudi transnational financial institution to spread into Yugoslaia. People have also alleged connections and links between the Saudis and the Clintons - biz wise.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby JE Menon » 29 Oct 2012 10:29

>>People have also alleged connections and links between the Saudis and the Clintons - biz wise.

Not just the Clintons. The Saudi elite has been hand in glove commercially with virtually every US admin over past several decades... "The American House of Saud" by Steven Emerson is a worthwhile read (heavily biased, with sensationalism, unwarranted linkages, logical disconnects etc... but also some very useful facts).

The Euro-American mercantile machine is certainly on the decline in the sense that it share of the global markets pie is shrinking or set to shrink in the decades ahead. However, I'm skeptical that Kargil was the first move that set this process in motion... It's more likely been a slow process that got its first impetus with the collapse of the Soviet Union, which triggered the moral focus away from the easy black and white dynamics of bipolarity to a more complex one of "doing the right thing" in a capitalist milieu - a much more nuanced situation where black and white are simply two unrealistic poles and where much of life in fact plays out in chaotic technicolour between violet and red.

And in such a situation Euro-America and their actions, shorn of the balancing polar extreme that was communism, is facing increasing scrutiny in an internetworked world - it is becoming increasingly apparent that the models that have been holding sway hitherto are not quite as robust as they seemed, when the comparison was only to the fragile shell that is communism. The steady stream of large and small economic crises - internet bubble, real estate bubble and the derivatives scam, as well as the EU's loan based long siesta - is axing away at the credibility of these countries and their internal systems...

Meanwhile, a large number of medium and large size countries in the "3rd World" were getting their systems organised, and their populations are getting more and more sophisticated in terms of developing worldviews on economics, politics, technologies, etc - and they're more than willing to share on the internet.

One way lectures on the way in which economies should be run are becoming more and more difficult for the Euro-American combine... That does not mean, however, that the Euro-America civilisational edifice is about to collapse. There's a way to go, and it may not be peaceful.

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Re: Non-Western Worldview

Postby member_19686 » 13 Nov 2012 01:56

Following are some assessments by Japanese intellectuals of Christianity and the West over the years from the early Edo period to just before the Meiji period. I will post more as I come across them:
They (the padres) are always telling people to be humble because pride is the root of all evil and humility the foundation of all good; but even the King of devils cannot match their own pride, be it their national propensity, or whatever. Because of this pride, secular folks better steer clear when they struggle for power and quarrel with other Bateren (padres) ... and because they are such arrogant men, they don’t even think Japanese human.

The[ir] first commandment says: “Love your God above all else”. You must therefore place him above both sovereign and your parents if they are not in agreement with the will of God. Is this not proof that they desire to destroy the religions and state of Japan?

- Jesuit Japanese apostate Fabian Fukan (1565 – 1621)

The ones they call Christians, disguising themselves as merchants, come and bewitch the stupid masses with their heretic arts. Thereby, worldly people pursing the profits of the trading ships, mix with the jabbering barbarians, talking and interacting with them freely.

- Hayashi Razan (1583 – 1657)

People of the late Ming, in discussing the demise of their state, list Christianity as one of the causes. So we see that our country’s decision to strictly ban this teaching was not an excessive measure.

-Tenshukyo taii by Arai Hakuseki (1657-1725)

I have heard that when the Westerners want to take a country, they consider the use of arms to be simplistic. When they want to take a country they first use gold, silver, grain and silk to help the weak, relieving poverty, they use medicines to save the sick, they use tricks to confuse the senses of the people, and finally employing the Christian doctrine of the three worlds they move the hearts of the people, making them think they are no different to their sovereigns and fathers. Seeing that they have drawn the people to their own will, they complete the job by simply bringing an army which under such conditions cannot fail to succeed in one stroke. ... They are the greatest enemies of Japan. ... I have heard the Westerners are currently moving into the northern reaches of Ezo [Hokkaido]. Our nation must occupy the north.

For example, south of China there is in the midst of the sea an island called Takasago [Formosa]. The Hollanders had already taken it, but at the end of the Ming Dynasty they were driven out by Cheng Ch'eng-kung. They went further south to an island called Carapa, where they leased land and, on the pretext of warding off pirates, built a fortress. They then distributed trinkets among the natives and waited for them to rise to the bait. Finally they succeeded in taking territory as far as Java and establishing traffic among these various countries ... In former times, the Occidentals, desiring to take the island of Luzon, first infested it with missions, and in the course of time it easily fell into their hands. Japan, being a land of much gold, silver, and treasure, had long been the object of their covetous desires ... Once, when I was visiting Keiho [Nagasaki] , Yoshio Kogy'u told me that the Occidentals had recently succeeded in taking northern Ezo by these very means, and that the nation should be vitally concerned for its northern areas. The commotion made in our country about Jesus is part of the same scheme. Although several hundred thousand murders and executions have taken place in connection with the suppression of Christianity, the nation is coolly indifferent to it, but the scheme is obvious.

-Samidare- sho (Rainy Season Talks) by Miura Baien, 1784 CE

Furthermore, they [Westerners] use Christian heresy to recommend themselves to the stupid masses. Stuffing them with candied words, they tell them that by acting in self-interest they can overcome hunger and cold. The stupid masses have nothing to say, people who look at self-interest and have no understanding of righteousness, they might in the end throw down their weapons and give in.

-Seimeiron by Fujita Yukoku, 1791

In order to weaken the effect of the sovereign’s commands on our common people, in other words in order to ‘subdue the enemy without resorting to battle’, they employ the barbarian creed [Christianity] to entice our common people. In other words this is the policy [by which they achieve] ‘the best outcome of taking the country in its entirety’.

This, their [the Western barbarians’] so-called religious doctrine [Christianity], is both shallow and evil, and at its core not worthy of even discussing. However, its basis is simplistic, its vocabulary is vulgar, and that is why it easily beguiles the masses. With pretty words it pretends to respect Heaven by forcing [meaning on] Heaven. It pretends to represent human ethical enlightenment by forsaking the Way of humanity.

-Shinron by Aizawa Seishisai (1781-1863)

Its [Christianity’s] end is to exterminate the sovereign, to exterminate the father. This is the meaning of the Way of the barbarians.

-Sokkyohen by Nariaki, 1860

The poison of this witchcraft should be described in its full extent. It is a barbarian heresy that would disorder the minds of men and steal their countries. It is a depravity of an earlier age. Nevertheless, under Otomo Sorin’s influence, Oda Nobunaga became involved with this religion. Later, Nobunaga realized its depravity and sought to ban it but could not. When Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu took up the responsibility of suppressing the barbarians [became shogun], however, the first thing he did was to strictly ban the religion. His successors Tokugawa Hidetada and Tokugawa Iemitsu continued this policy. Their successors continued this policy through the ages, burning their ships when they came.

-Sokkyohen by Nariaki, 1860

The foreign barbarians who call themselves Christians improperly enter the country and stealthily do damage to the Kingly Way, they wantonly attack it and thereby cause confused delusions among the stupid masses.

In the Keicho era [1596-1615], Tokugawa Ieyasu perceived the depravity of this religion and strictly prohibited it. He employed laws to sweep aside this heresy and correct the people’s minds.

-Hekijakankenroku by Tetsujo, 1861


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