Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Jul 2014 03:06

Rudradev wrote:
Things are more sophisticated in the modern world, of course, but the fundamental dynamics still hold. We in India, particularly the Hindus, have a weak sense of civilizational narrative-- savagely wounded by our colonial experiences. We also completely lack any intellectual apparatus to aggressively propagate our civilizational narrative, even amongst ourselves and our children, let alone the world. The West not only has 2000 years' worth of techniques evolved specifically to advance its History Centric objectives, but superior economic-military weight as well. We cannot rely only on matching their economic-military and demographic strength with a counterweight... that is a dangerous route. Even the Chinese are belatedly realizing that this is not enough, that they must wage constant and rigorous intellectual warfare to regain control of their civilizational narrative and challenge Western universalism in that sphere.

In fact, the economic and military weight can be viewed as only ancillary or support elements in the intellectual battle against Western universalism.


+100000

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 06:40

KrishnaK wrote:what bothers me is exactly what you claim I should be doing is instead not being practiced by you. It doesn't matter what people find acceptable or unacceptable. Neither does it matter what the west and people that push there "ideals" will learn.

Congratulations. You have almost got it right.

I am not claiming that YOU should do anything. All I am saying is that Indians need not follow the snake oil that the west is pushing as "universalism". Only coercion can make them do that - but I will address the method of coercion below because it has a bearing on something that Rudradev has said - for which I will post a separate reply

If you study your own statement quoted above, you are stating unequivocally that you find it unacceptable that I am coercing you to follow what I do not myself follow, Although I have done nothing of the sort, you have exactly indicated the sentiment that one feels when one is coerced to follow a standard that is unacceptable


Let me cross post two statements you have made. I agree with you 100 % that you have accurately summed up the sentiment that makes the west push its universalism. I am not really going to argue with YOU personally because you subscribe to those view and I don't. What matters to me is the accuracy and transparent honesty of the sentiment behind Universalism


1.
KrishnaK wrote:What matters is whether those that don't understand those principles will learn or not. It would be unfortunate to not have them participate in the global economy as equals.



2.
KrishnaK wrote:A material advantage. If you assume two societies both of the same number and say close cultures (or whatever other variables there might be), one which educates and employs it's women much better than the other, will gain a material advantage.

You have stated that there is a material advantage in following Universalism and a chance for people to join the "global economy"

The way I see it is as follows. I will post the less important (in my view) argument first

The less important argument I make is that the material aspect is vitally important for India because of gross poverty and deprivation. But India is not going to reach the level of material wealth of the west, ever. There just are not enough resources in the world. That apart there is a definite altruistic bent in Indian society where material wealth is not admired as the end goal by everyone. Many Indians, surprising as it may seem, simply jump out of the material race after a stage.

More important is the question of "Whose material advantage is aided by India adopting western Universalism?" The argument that is made is that this will have a global benefit. The west also gains and Indians also gain by this "standard approach". I have a much more selfish view of the world. I think the west has enough and needs much less material wealth and can do with some non material wealth. In any case there are not enough resources in the world to make India as materially rich as the west - so when anyone says "India gains materially and so does the west" it only means that the material wealth gradient between India and the west will be maintained.

My view is that this gradient should be damaged - and one way to do it is to ensure that India gets materially wealthier and the west gets materially poorer. We will give them spirituality in exchange and teach them how to make do with less.

I believe that western universalism is simply a (justifiable) western desire to keep the world as the west likes it. My view is that this order needs to be broken down. Killing off the justifications for universalism (which is snake oil in my view) is an essential part of this.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby abhischekcc » 16 Jul 2014 07:48

A_Gupta wrote:
Rudradev wrote:
Things are more sophisticated in the modern world, of course, but the fundamental dynamics still hold. We in India, particularly the Hindus, have a weak sense of civilizational narrative-- savagely wounded by our colonial experiences. We also completely lack any intellectual apparatus to aggressively propagate our civilizational narrative, even amongst ourselves and our children, let alone the world. The West not only has 2000 years' worth of techniques evolved specifically to advance its History Centric objectives, but superior economic-military weight as well. We cannot rely only on matching their economic-military and demographic strength with a counterweight... that is a dangerous route. Even the Chinese are belatedly realizing that this is not enough, that they must wage constant and rigorous intellectual warfare to regain control of their civilizational narrative and challenge Western universalism in that sphere.

In fact, the economic and military weight can be viewed as only ancillary or support elements in the intellectual battle against Western universalism.


+100000


I disagree with the bolded parts. In fact, it is military power that enables the west to maintain financial power, and financial power in turn allows it to hire and promote (in the media and academic circles) intellectual prostitutes like Amartya Sen, FOIL/FOSA types, etc. Intellectual power flows from economic power, which flows from military power. (Brahmin power based on Vaishya power based on Kshatriya power)

In India, due to overflowing of Dharma juice, we have kept these castes separate, and therefore these three powers do not collaborate with each other. Do you think that renown of people like Ram Swarup and Sitaram Goel would be restricted to only a few small circles if Hindus had control over their own media?

Before we challenge the west's narrative, we need to integrate our own castes/power structures and make them cooperate with each other. And that begins with financial/military power first.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 08:00

Rudradev wrote:In fact, the economic and military weight can be viewed as only ancillary or support elements in the intellectual battle against Western universalism. "Military" hardly matters at all... the Global Firepower Index rates India as #4 in the world, but how often does the aam Indian see his military in triumphant and decisive action? Does the memory of 1971 or 1999 make him less likely to become the apologetic, self-loathing fool that Western Universalism invariably inculcates?


No. Here i my take on this.

Western universalism is pushed by material and military wealth, and it would be a mistake to fail to recognize the Titanium fist behind the coercive evangelism that western Universalism represents.

The "intellectual argument" for universalism has been made by KrishnaK where he speaks of the material advantages to everyone and a chance for people to join the global economy.

One needs to ask what moral choices have got to do with joining the global economy. Everything actually.

For Indians, Macaulay actually started off the process. Here is a quote from Macaulay's 'minute". Macaulay was arguing against the funding of Sanskrit and Arabic books and schools - seeking to break (at least in the case of Sanskrit) a tradition that was over a thousand years old. Note the word "universal"
The question now before us is simply whether, when it is in our power to teach this language, we shall teach languages in which, by universal confession, there are no books on any subject which deserve to be compared to our own, whether, when we can teach European science, we shall teach systems which, by universal confession, wherever they differ from those of Europe differ for the worse, and whether, when we can patronize sound philosophy and true history, we shall countenance, at the public expense, medical doctrines which would disgrace an English farrier, astronomy which would move laughter in girls at an English boarding school, history abounding with kings thirty feet high and reigns thirty thousand years long, and geography made of seas of treacle and seas of butter.


To Macaulay the benefits of reaching English were economic "material benefits"
In India, English is the language spoken by the ruling class. It is spoken by the higher class of natives at the seats of Government. It is likely to become the language of commerce throughout the seas of the East. It is the language of two great European communities which are rising, the one in the south of Africa, the other in Australia, --communities which are every year becoming more important and more closely connected with our Indian empire.


The value of language and personal tastes on commerce and in the creation of new markets for English products was not lost on Macaulay
We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern, --a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect


Let me point out that the first blow for western universalism and against Indian knowledge and tradition was military, not intellectual. It was the military domination of India and the formation of a British Indian government that allowed changes to be made in Indian education and economy.

What we are talking about today is simply a continuation of something that started over 150 years ago. In other words we have accepted and internalized western Universalism already - to a very large extent, and what we speak of now is simply a desire to push it further to accommodate changes in western mores in the last 150 years.

Even today the "intellectual arguments" from the west come with a coercive fist behind them. In fact the entire opposition to "Hindutva" and the way Modi was roundly criticized and continues to be attacked appear like "intellectual arguments". But less visible are the coercive element where western nations who are using the carrot of "aid", "seats for people in their universities" have the stick of sanction against nations that do not follow certain norms of human or religious rights. Hindutvavadis strike their own path and are a threat to universalism. Universalism is the path for continued western domination of the moral sphere and the material benefits of that domination

There is a military economic aspect that we would be wrong to ignore. Friedman was right in pointing out that MacDonnell Douglas sits just behind MadDonald's.

So what does the west gain from promoting western Universalism? is the west promoting this simply out of altruism because they believe that it is a "good" thing for everyone to follow these norms - because these "good norms" are what made the west the greatest. Anyone who believes this is totally naive. Ultimately, implementing a "Universal model" that is based on a western model ensure that the west will perpetually remain the fountain and source of all things that people should need or desire. The commericial agenda backed by a hidden coercive force is the fundamental driving force behind this faux "universalism"

Western characterizations of India being #4 or #2 in the military arena do not mean much. They are simply sweet nothings - they can be used as a "tool" to ask why India wants to get more powerful when it is already among the most powerful.

India needs the economic and military means to discourage opponents from taking effective coercive action when India opposes some dictates of Universalism We are not there yet. As someone said - when you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 08:02

abhischekcc wrote:I disagree with the bolded parts. In fact, it is military power that enables the west to maintain financial power, and financial power in turn allows it to hire and promote (in the media and academic circles) intellectual prostitutes like Amartya Sen, FOIL/FOSA types, etc. Intellectual power flows from economic power, which flows from military power. (Brahmin power based on Vaishya power based on Kshatriya power)

+1
You have summed up in a few words what I made a whole long post about above.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 08:59

Here is a morality question. This is not the first time I have asked this and I ask because it is an inconvenient question that goes against all that we are taught about morality. The answers to such questions should tell us why we think something is moral and why something is not moral

Why is it necessary for all people to have the same amount of nutrition?

I will use an expression that makes people nowadays howl in protest - "natural order'

it is the natural order that all people do not get the same degree of nutrition. There is no naturally occurring mechanism to ensure that all humans (or living beings of any kind) get the same amount of nutrition that leads to all the benefits that a standard, pre-set nutrition recommendation is said to bring.

However, when you decide to impose equal nutrition on everyone, you have to upset the "natural order". You first have to produce a lot more and distribute it a lot better. All this generates new economic activity, but it's all "worth it" because of all the benefits of equal minimum nutrition for all.

What happens to all these healthy children who grow up and add to a swelling population of people of standard "above average" size and equal brainpower and IQ gained from equal nutrition? If you believe "Horlicks" adverts, they all become doctors or engineers. But here again, that is not the "natural order" of things. When you get equal sized young adults of approximately equal IQ, they do not all become doctors or engineers. Some do. Some become accountants and lawyers or pilots. Others become watchmen, autorickshaw drivers. Others become washermen. Some become drug addicts. Some go into a life of crime. Some become perverts.

The natural order comes back to bite humans and make sure that equal nutrition for all does not translate into equal benefits for all. What if we had simply allowed the natural order to persist. Some children would have become big and strong anyway. Some would become doctors, engineers or generals. Others would still be washermen, perverts, drug addicts, beggars.

The point I am making here is that achieving some goal that is claimed to have "universal benefits" often does not have universal benefits. It does have economic implications. If India never achieves the standard goals of infant nutrition it would make little difference to the outcomes of a a lot of lives, but driving India to achieve those goals demands an application of resources in some areas. It is economically advantageous to some commercial enterprises to ask for goals that are promoted as "ideals". There are some goals that india will never reach - and maybe that is a good thing, but I digress

I realize that I am creating a controversy about "good" and "bad" that few people would like to join - but if we do not think about what we are achieving in any goal that appears to be morally driven, we are not thinking of what we would like to achieve for our society and why.

These same inconvenient questions can be applied to everything that is pushed as a "desirable goal". Attitudes to homosexuality are probably of the least consequence other than as a tool to bash people who can be accused of deviating from the narrow moral path imposed by western universalism.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby KrishnaK » 16 Jul 2014 10:31

A_Gupta wrote:
KrishnaK wrote:Difficult answer. The bar should be based on experimentation and science however iffy. At least there is a rational argument to it. That there is an age, at which point a majority of children become capable of giving consent. There is no way to have it be very accurate, but at least some effort must be made to figure the right age. It could even be different for different cultures. That doesn't take away from the fact that it *should* be based on some rationale, not what some prophet did.


Just curious - yes, Indians have had a low age of consent, etc., etc., -- but when was it ever justified by what some prophet did? Why do you think it might not have been based on experimentation and rational arguments, however iffy?
Just curious - why do you think I was talking about Indians :D I assume you refer to hindus when you mean Indians.

Added later, fyi, the age of consent in India is 16. Very much in line with most of europe. I have no quibbles with it, never had. I was merely comparing the arguments made on this forum with arguments our Paki brothers are wont to make. They're very close. That said, it is very heartening to see Rudradev go back the the puranas to explain the Indian position. Sirs, the Indian position is very sensible. It is so, solely because it wasn't based on the past, whether the puranas or the one holy book.
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby KrishnaK » 16 Jul 2014 10:48

shiv wrote:
KrishnaK wrote:what bothers me is exactly what you claim I should be doing is instead not being practiced by you. It doesn't matter what people find acceptable or unacceptable. Neither does it matter what the west and people that push there "ideals" will learn.

Congratulations. You have almost got it right.

I am not claiming that YOU should do anything. All I am saying is that Indians need not follow the snake oil that the west is pushing as "universalism". Only coercion can make them do that - but I will address the method of coercion below because it has a bearing on something that Rudradev has said - for which I will post a separate reply

If you study your own statement quoted above, you are stating unequivocally that you find it unacceptable that I am coercing you to follow what I do not myself follow, Although I have done nothing of the sort, you have exactly indicated the sentiment that one feels when one is coerced to follow a standard that is unacceptable
Pretty much no. I never thought you were coercing me, just that you were inconsistent in your statements.


The less important argument I make is that the material aspect is vitally important for India because of gross poverty and deprivation. But India is not going to reach the level of material wealth of the west, ever. There just are not enough resources in the world.
Boss you're making absurd predictions here. Like out of musharraff quality. As time has progressed, science has managed to support more people at better standards of life. What was the population of the earth and life expectancy in 1000 AD and what is it today ? We have only gotten better.

That apart there is a definite altruistic bent in Indian society where material wealth is not admired as the end goal by everyone. Many Indians, surprising as it may seem, simply jump out of the material race after a stage.
Equally laughable. Check this out Gates alone has spent more on fixing health care in India. WTF would he have to do that, if there were so many altruistic people in India ? Again I'm not claiming there aren't people of altruistic bent in India. Clearly there aren't enough though.

More important is the question of "Whose material advantage is aided by India adopting western Universalism?" The argument that is made is that this will have a global benefit. The west also gains and Indians also gain by this "standard approach". I have a much more selfish view of the world. I think the west has enough and needs much less material wealth and can do with some non material wealth. In any case there are not enough resources in the world to make India as materially rich as the west - so when anyone says "India gains materially and so does the west" it only means that the material wealth gradient between India and the west will be maintained.
:rotfl: Cannot be the case saar. Both China and India have only reduced the gap. This with China nowhere near democracy. Wealth distribution will never be completely equal, but India and China will definitely get there. That is because the *only* resource that matters is humans. It is only by and for humans that all other resources even exist. Humans will end up making resources out of thin air. The more humans you can educate and employ profitably, the richer you. That is all there is to it.

My view is that this gradient should be damaged - and one way to do it is to ensure that India gets materially wealthier and the west gets materially poorer. We will give them spirituality in exchange and teach them how to make do with less.

I believe that western universalism is simply a (justifiable) western desire to keep the world as the west likes it. My view is that this order needs to be broken down. Killing off the justifications for universalism (which is snake oil in my view) is an essential part of this.
I'm sorry that you keep thinking of it as snake oil. No point continuing this discussion any further. It is pointless, given the absurd claims you make.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby member_20317 » 16 Jul 2014 11:54

shiv wrote:More important is the question of "Whose material advantage is aided by India adopting western Universalism?" The argument that is made is that this will have a global benefit. The west also gains and Indians also gain by this "standard approach". I have a much more selfish view of the world. I think the west has enough and needs much less material wealth and can do with some non material wealth. In any case there are not enough resources in the world to make India as materially rich as the west - so when anyone says "India gains materially and so does the west" it only means that the material wealth gradient between India and the west will be maintained.


I should have remained silent on a vs. kind of idea. But at times it becomes too much to not intervene.

On the larger point debated between Rudradev ji and others. Wherein

Rudradev ji says:

In fact, the economic and military weight can be viewed as only ancillary or support elements in the intellectual battle against Western universalism.


&

Others posit exactly the opposite.

My 2 cents are that it is entirely possible for both to be right simultaneously given a going concern principle. But there is simply no way that only the second point comes up tops in complete disregard of Rudradev ji’s point, given the same going concern principle.

IMO what we are seeing is the west’s ability to create an infrastructure of shahi-tukde and dependence (hierarchy). Everything dovetails this central need. The rights exist as against somebody else. So the first person and the second person can always be ‘managed’ by an ‘enforcement’ of 'duties' on the second. Soon and so forth.

Indics had forever had the purush-prakriti principle in place and even the withering away of Hindus will not be able to shift the balance of existential rationale in this regard. This principle will perforce place the rights and duties within the same person. And because of the deep roots, this principle and its votaries will take back the whole of what is Indic again before anybody can do anything about it.

Both systems can and do live under the going concern principle but with different tools of the trade and additionally, because of the differing starting points & different mid game, the end result will be different.

From Indic side one of the benefits of Indic system is the Longevity of the commune (besides the others). Now the short of the long is that the gradient is under there whims at least for the time being and everything they do is towards maintaining it. The riches that the jingos wish for are not going to come easy, ceteris paribus. Likewise it makes sense for us not to hand over our best to them. Why would anybody wish longevity on the west. Does the present state of affairs, mean that we should allow the absence of Krishna from our camp or presence of Krishna in their camps, merely for a few extra akshauhini.

At the end of the day the west and east cannot meet for a good reason. Why fight against reason?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby abhischekcc » 16 Jul 2014 12:52

Rudradev wrote:What economic-military and demographic weight did the early Christians have against the Roman Empire? Yet, by this one expedient of targeting influential people and seizing authority over prevailing self-narrative, they conquered the Roman Empire during the reign of one monarch, Constantine. Then they consolidated their grasp by recasting the entire way in which the Roman Empire saw itself, the world, its past history, and by projection its future destiny. JohneeG ji has written of the disastrous results for all of Europe in his new thread.


Again, wrong way of reading history.

Xtians were highly persecuted by the Roman empire. After many centuries, it was made a partner along with two other religions - European Sun worship and Persian religion of Mithraism.

Much later, due to Constantine getting a sun stroke, seeing a cross in his delirium, and then winning the next battle - he became convinced of the power of the 'cross'.

Then Xtian religion was made official religion of Roman empire, and then using it as pretext - Rome attacked everything not Xtian. This is how Xtian religion became the sole religion of Europe - when a military power decided to use Xtian religion for political purposes.

Otherwise the CHurch fathers' were nothing more than Sunday lunch for lions at the circus.

Only after this was the Church able to indulge in inquisitions, witch hunts, and other such happy activities.

Remember even in this sequence, it was the Roman military power that subsumed Xtian Church to its own purpose, and not the other way round.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Jul 2014 16:49

abhischekcc wrote:I disagree with the bolded parts. In fact, it is military power that enables the west to maintain financial power, and financial power in turn allows it to hire and promote (in the media and academic circles) intellectual prostitutes like Amartya Sen, FOIL/FOSA types, etc. Intellectual power flows from economic power, which flows from military power. (Brahmin power based on Vaishya power based on Kshatriya power)


Dr Shiv just wrote that India will never achieve the material welfare -- and hence financial power - that the West has, there are simply not enough resources in the world for that.

Therefore we always will be on the losing side. On the other hand, Adi Sankara won - in shaping India for centuries to come - without any substantial financial backing or armies behind him.

Further, I would say that the feedback loop the Europeans entered since the Renaissance was more intellectual power --> financial, military power. It is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem I agree, but I think the feedback loop begins with intellectual power. To paraphrase British military historian Philip Mason, until the Industrial Revolution really took hold, Indians were equally well-armed, just as courageous and had probably higher standards of military training than the Europeans; what Indians lacked was not putting sufficient thought into how to use their advantages to win wars. Even military power comes from intellectual power. In this day of hi-tech warfare, that is even more true.

PS: The Arab oil states are a good example of how lot of wealth does not lead to anything permanent. Whatever military and financial power they have by dint of controlling petroleum has not really increased their intellectual standing in the world; and if the oil runs out, they are mostly done for.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby pradeepe » 16 Jul 2014 17:21

RamaY wrote:Those who have questions on Indian Democracy should check this chart: http://democracyranking.org/?page_id=14

Do an experiment please. Select Top5 and compare India with them. Add Uk/US. Add Singapore. Add Pakistan.

Watch the fun. (Zakir Naik voice) Indian democracy is closer to Pakistani democracy than Singapore democracy and all these browns are much much lower than white UK/US and they too are worse than top 5.

Is it worth getting tizzy about such a nonsense?


The panchayats of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark are the top 5. Cool!

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby abhischekcc » 16 Jul 2014 17:48

A_Gupta ji,

The British won in India because of genocide - something that we were not prepared for either mentally or morally. The socially manipulative policies (Macaulayism, racism, creation of INC, etc) was done AFTER the military victory in 1857-58.

Check the sequence of events. Yes there is a feedback loop involved in all cases.

But when you check the relationship between hard power and soft power - it is easy conclude that hard power is the active partner - hard power shapes soft power - the reverse is almost never true.

------------

Regarding the idea that India/China will never attain the living standards of the west - that remains to be seen. If our military power is allowed to grow to defend our legitimate interests in India and abroad - there is no reason why we cannot do it.

Of course, the financial crisis in the west is not fully resolved.

---------

Though experiment :

1. Which is the largest pool of energy in the world - ME
2. Which is the largest military power closest to ME - India

Think about it - over a period of 30-40 years.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 18:22

A_Gupta wrote:
Dr Shiv just wrote that India will never achieve the material welfare -- and hence financial power - that the West has, there are simply not enough resources in the world for that.

Arun I did not say that, and you have given me the opportunity to clarify

A brief Google hunt tells me that The US's per capita consumption of:
    Energy is 25 times more than that of India
    Oil is 11 times more
    Energy is 16 times more
    Food is 5 times more

Since India's current population is 4 times that of the US, India's total energy consumption has to go up by 100x (10,000%), total Oil consumption by 44 times (4400%), or total food consumption by 2000% to equal the US per capita

But the world is not just India and the US alone. As India increases its demand China, Brazil and Russia as well as other nations including Pakistan, Indonesia. Malaysia etc are also going to increase their demands.

I don't think the world has the resources to allow all these nations to equal to consumption level of the US.

All this does not mean India will be economically or militarily weak. We will definitely get to top spot of second highest - probably in my lifetime. But while I am making projections and predictions, let me make another one.

From the 1950s India has been on a continuous chase to catch up with a forever moving goalpost in relation to birth rate, literacy, nutrition, per capita income, per capita consumption, toilets per capita etc. I do not foresee india "catching up" with the highest ranked nations of today even in the next 50 years. I will surely be dead in less than 50 years, so although India's economy may be at the top India's so called "human development" parameters will not be at the top and serve as a continuous target of criticism.

I think we need to be realistic about what can be done and how far we are going to follow other people's dicates and standards and delude ourselves that if we behave like "them" we will become like "them"
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jul 2014 18:39

A_Gupta wrote:On the other hand, Adi Sankara won - in shaping India for centuries to come - without any substantial financial backing or armies behind him.
Bad example. Adi Shankara's formidable efforts to propound a version of Brahma gyan, which may have borne fruit in the spiritual domain, did squat to stem the onslaught of the Islamic armies or the ability to unify the disparate monarchies under a common umbrella or to meet the intellectual and organization rigor required to acquire Arthic power that would have been able to defeat the onslaught of the British.

The question is not if intellectual knowledge is an essential component to acquire Artha - it clearly is and attested so, within our teachings Vidya underpins Viveka. Artha Mulam Dharmyam, says Kautilya, i.e.: the root of Dharma is Artha. Adi Shakara was not able to establish Dharma (in the temporal domain) for his teachings had largely nothing to do with Artha, kama or Dharma in the land mass he propagated his teachings in. Dayananda Sarasvati of the Arya Samaj has diagnosed it right. There is an over emphasis of Moksha and Brahma gyan amongst our Acharya and Sants and this has come at the expense of the other three purusharthas.

There are many examples of the central/west asian region to act as major power bases for many centuries and the Ottoman and Persian empires come to mind. How will this current lack of geopolitical power in the region, pan out in the future is anyone's guess. If you ask me, the lack of a "core" state in the region is the reason for the mess they are in and the key lesson for us to keep them that way.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RamaY » 16 Jul 2014 18:42

^

1/ The whole premise of resource consumption as a basis/benchmark for HDI can be thrown out.
2/ In past 20yrs India improved its HDI by 0.2 without significantly increasing its Eco-footprint. However China improved its HDI by 0.2 points in the same period but increased its Eco-footprint by 100%

I have pointed out this fallacy of catching up to West as the required and necessary condition for India to be the world leader.

Some more thoughts here: http://bharata-bhuti.blogspot.com/2014/ ... india.html

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jul 2014 18:50

KrishnaK wrote:Added later, fyi, the age of consent in India is 16. Very much in line with most of europe. I have no quibbles with it, never had. I was merely comparing the arguments made on this forum with arguments our Paki brothers are wont to make. They're very close. That said, it is very heartening to see Rudradev go back the the puranas to explain the Indian position. Sirs, the Indian position is very sensible. It is so, solely because it wasn't based on the past, whether the puranas or the one holy book.
KrishnaK: Do you know what is the SD view on this matter and why so, its benefits and pitfalls or you do not care and subscribe only to the west's view of individual choice as the sole determinant of the matter. Have you considered both sides of the view?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 19:12

KrishnaK wrote:This with China nowhere near democracy.


Well there it is. A self goal from you. You have yourself pointed out how western universalism is hardly necessary for material benefits or to join the global economy. China has done that by cocking a snook at democracy and human rights - the very principles that western Universalism claims to stand for.

KrishnaK wrote:out of musharraff quality

Interesting expression, and very apt , considering what you have written about humans and gas
KrishnaK wrote: Humans will end up making resources out of thin air.

:rotfl: Tell me another one

KrishnaK wrote: No point continuing this discussion any further. It is pointless, given the absurd claims you make.

We could have ended by agreeing to disagree, but you make this bitter allegation that I am making "absurd claims". It only reinforces the hollowness of your claim that western universalism is going to benefit all if universally "applied"

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 19:21

Age of consent
13 years: Spain
14 years: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia
15 years: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, France, Greece, Iceland, Monaco, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden

Most African nations have a higher age of consent.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jul 2014 19:52

Rudradev wrote:Likewise, "economic" might (as even China has realized) is useful only up to a point. For example, a Bengaluru that looks like Switzerland is more helpful than a Bengaluru that looks like Swaziland, but only as a means to reinforce the aam Indian's faith in his own civilizational narrative. But if that narrative has not been rigorously constructed, if space has not been made for it by relentless and precise attacks on the Western Universalism that denies space to indigenous narratives of other civilizations... then there is nothing to reinforce. Which is why this remains, first and foremost, an intellectual war. "Ideology" may or may not be a tool employed to fight it, and indeed many ideologies can be used to fight it from various standpoints... but the intellectual aspect is primary to the conflict itself.
A weak China was forced to use a foreign ideology, which a local leader used to shape his own rule. A strong China reverts to the native systems of the land. It is Arthic power that makes the difference.

Added: To emphasize - China started to grow only AFTER they started to junk the foreign ideology and its war on the local precepts. They still have some ways to go. What you have today is a traditional Chinese state under the formality of a communist brand. Jack Welch - an ex CEO of GE, rates the Chinese as one of the most entrepreneurial people he has met and other studies confirm the same.

Eager to fill the vacuum left by the fading of Maoist ideology, the party in recent years has been championing Confucianism as a national code of conduct, with special emphasis on tenets like ethical behavior, respect for the elderly, social harmony and obedience to authority. Since 2004, the government has opened more than 300 Confucius Institutes around the world to promote the country’s “soft power.” Last year, one of the most breathlessly hyped state-backed films was “Confucius,” a biopic about the philosopher that starred Chow Yun-Fat, perhaps best known in the West for his role in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” (The film, timed to the Communist Party’s 60th anniversary in power, was a box-office and critical dud.)

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 16 Jul 2014 20:43

Here are some runaway effects of "freedom" and how western society has been experimented on with no concerns about outcomes. One has to be very choosy about what one takes out of the west.

I was brought up to think that people are still children at age 13 or 14 and sex at 14 is paedophilia. But if the "law" says 14 is Ok who am I to express any concern?

But I digress.

Effects of pjornography on children
A rigorous metaanalysis of 46 studies provides clear evidence confirming that pjornography exposure is one important factorcontributing directly to the development of sexually dysfunctional attitudes and behaviours. The adverse effects of pjornography exposure identified include: developing sexually deviant tendencies; committing sexual offenses; experiencing difficulties in one’s intimate relationships; and accepting rape myths


So freedom of expression, freedom of choice, freedom of information, freedom of the press etc does this to kids

Then we have this:
http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/public ... nger-teens
(an old paper)
The sexual activity rate among younger teens is increasing. Among males who turned 20 between 1970 and 1972, 20 percent had had sexual intercourse by age 15, compared to 27 percent of those who turned 20 between 1985 and 1987. Of females who turned 20 between 1985 and 1987, 10 percent had initiated sexual intercourse by age 15, compared to 4 percent of those who turned 20 between 1970 and 1972.2


What is being set up here is a self-feeding cycle. The free availability of pjornography affets children's minds and increases the incidence of children having sex. Then, because children are having more sex, the age of consent for sex is lowered to an age that is well below the age that is considered a mentally mature age - eg age for driving, voting or drinking

These are not ideals that should be followed under the blind headings "freedom of choice" or "freedom of information" or "Government should not impose morality by stopping pjornography"
Last edited by shiv on 16 Jul 2014 21:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby johneeG » 16 Jul 2014 21:02

abhischekcc wrote:
Rudradev wrote:What economic-military and demographic weight did the early Christians have against the Roman Empire? Yet, by this one expedient of targeting influential people and seizing authority over prevailing self-narrative, they conquered the Roman Empire during the reign of one monarch, Constantine. Then they consolidated their grasp by recasting the entire way in which the Roman Empire saw itself, the world, its past history, and by projection its future destiny. JohneeG ji has written of the disastrous results for all of Europe in his new thread.


Again, wrong way of reading history.

Xtians were highly persecuted by the Roman empire. After many centuries, it was made a partner along with two other religions - European Sun worship and Persian religion of Mithraism.

Much later, due to Constantine getting a sun stroke, seeing a cross in his delirium, and then winning the next battle - he became convinced of the power of the 'cross'.

Then Xtian religion was made official religion of Roman empire, and then using it as pretext - Rome attacked everything not Xtian. This is how Xtian religion became the sole religion of Europe - when a military power decided to use Xtian religion for political purposes.

Otherwise the CHurch fathers' were nothing more than Sunday lunch for lions at the circus.

Only after this was the Church able to indulge in inquisitions, witch hunts, and other such happy activities.

Remember even in this sequence, it was the Roman military power that subsumed Xtian Church to its own purpose, and not the other way round.


The stories of X-ists persecution before 325 seem to be myths created much later. Infact, it seems that the first organized persecution of X-ists was arranged by none other than Constantine himself. It was constantine who systematically persecuted the Arrians(a X-ist sect which was popular among the Germanic tribes and Africa). Infact, it seems that the Arrian sect had much more followers than the Nicean creed at 325 CE. So, Arrians were seen as a threat to the dominance of Nicean creed by Constantine.


abhischekcc wrote:A_Gupta ji,

The British won in India because of genocide - something that we were not prepared for either mentally or morally. The socially manipulative policies (Macaulayism, racism, creation of INC, etc) was done AFTER the military victory in 1857-58.

Check the sequence of events. Yes there is a feedback loop involved in all cases.

But when you check the relationship between hard power and soft power - it is easy conclude that hard power is the active partner - hard power shapes soft power - the reverse is almost never true.

------------

Regarding the idea that India/China will never attain the living standards of the west - that remains to be seen. If our military power is allowed to grow to defend our legitimate interests in India and abroad - there is no reason why we cannot do it.

Of course, the financial crisis in the west is not fully resolved.

---------

Though experiment :

1. Which is the largest pool of energy in the world - ME
2. Which is the largest military power closest to ME - India

Think about it - over a period of 30-40 years.


a) Having a largest pool of energy is not enough, it must be cheap and affordable.
b) So, the question is what is the most cheapest and largest source of energy?
Sun, Air, Water, ...etc. If and when these alternate sources of energy are viable, most of the world can live quite comfortable life(I would say better than the life of present bhestern society).

What is the present bhestern society's standard of living:
a) One starts working from a very young age(about 22-24) till atleast the age of 54.
b) Both genders work.
c) Marriages break and children live with only one of the parents.
d) Abortions.
e) Many people are under debts and are working incessantly to clear those debts.
f) old people can't depend on their children to take care of them, so they have to arrange for the life after retirement.

I think its possible for most of the world to live in a much better society where all these above problems are considerably reduced by people.

Bhest seems better because there is massive poverty in rest of the world. The massive poverty in rest of the world is actually helping the bhest stay marginally richer. Its a circle.

The only thing which the bhest had going for them was: employment. Of course, they also have good propaganda tools: media and movies.

In one of the texts of Santhana Dharma, they say that the true Lakshmi is not currency but sun, air, water, ...etc, people, ...etc. When I first heard that I thought it was just some morality lesson. But, the more I think of it, it seems that this is the real truth. The true wealth is not currency. Truly wealth is natural resources(including human resource). If a person does not have water to drink, its completely useless for him even if he has all the currency in the world under his control.

Middle-east is a desert. It needs extensive amounts of hardwork to sustain a settled living in a desert. To sustain such a living, massive amounts of money has to be poured. Its an unsustainable system. The only proper mode of living for them is nomadic. Nomadic lifestyle is possible for two types of people: traders or pirates.

Therefore we always will be on the losing side. On the other hand, Adi Sankara won - in shaping India for centuries to come - without any substantial financial backing or armies behind him.


It seems that according to the biography of Adhi Shankara, even He needed the support of the King Sudhanwan to suppress a sect of violent Paashupathas.

The Acharya continued his travels winning in argument over various scholars including Jains, Madhyamikas, Lingayats and followers of Bhatta Bhaskara. Some of them took to violent physical means, to put down which King Sudhanva with his army fought them.


Link

Even Kumarilla Bhatta had engaged in a debate(and later miracle contest) to prove the superiority of Santhana Dharma to a King so as to get the support of the King. Soft Power cannot be sustained without Hard Power. However, even Hard Power cannot be sustained without Soft Power.

ShauryaT wrote:
A_Gupta wrote:On the other hand, Adi Sankara won - in shaping India for centuries to come - without any substantial financial backing or armies behind him.
Bad example. Adi Shankara's formidable efforts to propound a version of Brahma gyan, which may have borne fruit in the spiritual domain, did squat to stem the onslaught of the Islamic armies or the ability to unify the disparate monarchies under a common umbrella or to meet the intellectual and organization rigor required to acquire Arthic power that would have been able to defeat the onslaught of the British.

The question is not if intellectual knowledge is an essential component to acquire Artha - it clearly is and attested so, within our teachings Vidya underpins Viveka. Artha Mulam Dharmyam, says Kautilya, i.e.: the root of Dharma is Artha. Adi Shakara was not able to establish Dharma (in the temporal domain) for his teachings had largely nothing to do with Artha, kama or Dharma in the land mass he propagated his teachings in. Dayananda Sarasvati of the Arya Samaj has diagnosed it right. There is an over emphasis of Moksha and Brahma gyan amongst our Acharya and Sants and this has come at the expense of the other three purusharthas.

There are many examples of the central/west asian region to act as major power bases for many centuries and the Ottoman and Persian empires come to mind. How will this current lack of geopolitical power in the region, pan out in the future is anyone's guess. If you ask me, the lack of a "core" state in the region is the reason for the mess they are in and the key lesson for us to keep them that way.


johneeG wrote:
venug wrote:OT:
JohneeG garu,

Why should Sri Sankara oppose Udayanacarya when he himself argues for the existence of Ishvara? I can understand his "punga" with Mimamsakas like Kumarila Bhatta, but with Udayanacarya? why?


Think of it as a philosophical and theological restoration after the Buddhist hiatus(which introduced various corruptions). This is a slow process with various stages. At each stage, some aspects of previous stage are also taken down. For example, when you build a house, you set up many supporting structures. Once you build the house, you take out all these supporting structures.

Another example, when you perform a surgery to cure a problem, you also take care that the surgery itself does not lead to infection. For this purpose, some medications are given to cure the effects of surgery.

The same thing happened to restore Hindhuism philosophically and theologically. Shri Shankara was the final stage of this restoration. He took care to rectify all the previous stages of the restoration along with the original malaise.

But, what is noteworthy is that this kind of restoration did not take place with respect to other aspects of society. For example, social structure(including caste), war-sciences(which includes physics, bio and chem along with Maths)...etc.

And before that restoration could take place, jihadi invasion started. So, till now, there has not been a social restoration of India to pre-Buddhist stage. So, essentially, Indian is socially organized according to Buddhist times. Then, the jihadis added their own twist. This was not taken out either after the jihadis lost power. On the top of this, EJs and colonialists added their own layer. This was not corrected after independence. After independence, commies and 'secularists' added another layer of social narrative.

That explains why there is so much confusion and contrast in desh. Because social engineering of previous regimes/ideologies was never corrected from the time of Buddhists and continue to co-exist creating disharmony.


Link to post

----
KrishnaK,
what is wrong if a view is based on 'one holy book' or 'prophet' or 'guru'?

----
Rudradev saar,
the story of Bruhaspathi and Thara seems to be some kind of an astronomical allegory. It seems that one point of time in human history, the marriages were open(i.e. men and women could still have sexual relations with others even after marriage), but this method seems to be a divergent one that was followed at one point in time. This practice was later abandoned and people returned to the original practice of staying away from extra-marital affairs.

At another point in time, large number of males were killed off in a war(Parashu-Raama) episode and women had fertilization from the left over men.

Yes, its clearly spelled out that the child belongs to the person who marries the mother of the child. However, when such things should be understood in larger context. It is the entire system. The child belongs to the mother for first 16 years. (One can see this in Bheeshma's case where his mother took away along with her).

Generally, for most of the human history(including Hindhuism) the women did not even venture out of their homes leave alone having affairs. Atleast from the time of Shri Raama, women having any affair with another man are shunned. Swayambhuva Manu also says the same thing. So, somewhere in between Manu's time and Raama's time, this divergent practice was followed for sometime. But, it soon given up. So, the idea that people should not have extra-marital affairs is common. For a brief period, this rule was over-turned for some reason. But, soon people returned to the proper mode. There is nothing biblical or victorian about such ideas.

----
The basis of Bhestern Universalism is the idea of linear progression of human beings.

johneeG wrote:
why we try to fit Puranic stories in linear time framework?. Aren't Puranic characters eternal and "Annadi", existing in human psyche (Chitta)?.


+1, Sushupti ji.

I think frequently people mix the western linear time concept and Indian circular time concept. And create new interpretations. The best thing is to keep the 2 things separate.

We shouldn't try to fit Vedas and Puranas into the linear time frame(or linear human development) model of West. It just doesn't fit. The same applies vice versa also.

The modern science(influenced by christian west) has a model. According to it, the human civilization started as barbaric(nude, living under the trees and hand to mouth). Then, from there, it slowly developed into a civilization. The epitome of this civilization is represented by the western countries. The human civilization will continue to develop in this manner, led by the west, until by some incident the human civilization becomes extinct. This is a linear time frame model and linear development model.

The ancient India had a diametrically opposite model. According to it, the first human beings were exceptionally civilized and perfect. As the time passed, the civilization eroded due to the spiritual degradation. This degradation will continue until it reaches a low point, when the whole system will be reset. It is a cyclical model. According this model, ancient India represents the epitome of the civilization.

As we can see, both the models just do not agree with each other. So, there is no point in trying to fit the narrative of one model into another. Because it gives rise to weird interpretations.

The choice is simply to accept the model or reject it.

Link

The idea is that the human beings started out from a primitive origin and are getting better and better. So, by this idea, the people of today are better than the people of yesterday. The kingdoms and empires of today are better than the kingdoms and empires of yesterday.

There is an interesting evolution to this idea. It seems that this idea is actually based on Malsi.

Mo claimed that he is better than all the previous prophets. He is a more advanced version and that his views become superior to the views and rules of all the previous prophets. Malsi claimed superiority on this basis.

X-ists were told that they were inferior because their prophet or godson had come too early. Mo was superior to their prophet and godson because Mo was more latest. So, the idea that the latest is best was first created by the Malsi.

This idea seems to be copied by the Bhest when it was grappling Malsi. Many Malsic ideas seem to have been copied and incorporated by the Bhest during this time.

These ideas were used by a section of society to counter the power of the church which had become too powerful. During crusades, it seems that some sections had become rich and powerful due to loot. This loot was used to finance(loans) the royalty to prop them up against the church. Renaissance may also have been funded by this group. Many ideas gained from Malsi were used during renaissance. Nudity was used in Renaissance. Malsi itself had learnt many of its ideas from Cheen, Bhaarath and Greece.

The science in bhest was developed when it spread from Malsi. Malsi learnt its science from Cheen, Bhaarath and Greece. So, Bhestern science adopted the ideas from Malsi into itself. This force was against X-ism. So, Bhestern science adopted the idea that the 'latest is best'.

In 1800s, it seems there was a curious phenomenon. The church was defeated. So, X-ism was co-opted into this system. Now, the X-ism and science would act as two opposing forces, but their elite supporters are same.

It was and is accepted that the human beings are the best. So, it was postulated that human beings are better because they are latest(in evolution). This is simply a corollary of the idea that 'latest is best'. If latest is best, then the best must be latest. Since, human beings are better than other animals, they must be the latest in evolution.

Another twist was that the Oirope managed to create a colonial model by inspiration from jihadhi model. Once, they managed to set up their own empires, they had more interest in claiming that their empires were better than the previous empires. Infact, they claimed that since they are the latest, this represents the heights of human existence. They claimed that they achieved something that no one has ever achieved.

Then, this same narrative is continued by Amirkhan and commies. Both claim that they are the best because they are the latest. Since, the latest is greatest, they are the best and greatest. All this is based on Malsi's ideas that the latest is best.

The idea of Santhana Dharma is that the oldest is best. Till Malsi, everyone believed that oldest is best. Everyone was claiming themselves to be the oldest. When you couldn't claim oldest, then you had to find some other way of establishing your credentials.

Now, generally one believes that arts, science and religion develops without caring for politics. But this seems to be a completely baseless idea. Infact, it seems that politics is at the very heart of the development of science, arts and religion. Politics selectively supports or suppresses the ideas and narratives based on whether it is convenient to them or inconvenient to them.

The the science that developed during colonial times was convenient to the powers of colonial times. It incorporated and supported the narratives that the colonials wanted to push.

Similarly, today's science incorporates and supports the narratives that the powerful of today's world want to push. The funding for research, popularizing a research, rewards and awards, ...etc are all controlled by the rich and powerful. The scientists are dependent on them for all these facilities. Basically, science is not rational or independent entity with its own mind. Science like religion or arts is controlled by the rich and powerful directly or indirectly.

Bhestern Universalim uses the science as its corner stone to push for its pet agendas.
X-ism and Malsi are presented as other competing ideologies. However, these two seem to be part of the same set-up.

Questioning the Bhestern science of today can be as jolting to most people as question X-ism would have been during the times of renaissance for the people of Oirope.
Last edited by johneeG on 16 Jul 2014 21:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jul 2014 21:04

shiv wrote:These are not ideals that should be followed under the blind headings "freedom of choice" or "freedom of information" or "Government should not impose morality by stopping pjornography"
There is case law of the US Supreme court, where the SC specifically over ruled objections to ***** material in video tapes at kid stores - under the "right to expression" reasoning. My 10 year old was asked to write an essay on "right to expression" and used this case as an example. This example serve to reiterate my point a "rights" only framework is only a half way house if not offset by duties and obligations. However, the other side of the picture also is not pretty, where conservatives will seek to uphold existing law, citing precedent. Taken to its extremes essential change with changing needs of society gets stifled - often under the garb of "spiritual reasonings" as happened to our own smritis, especially as it relates to women, varnas and ashramas.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Rudradev » 16 Jul 2014 21:49

ShauryaT wrote:
Added: To emphasize - China started to grow only AFTER they started to junk the foreign ideology and its war on the local precepts. They still have some ways to go. What you have today is a traditional Chinese state under the formality of a communist brand. Jack Welch - an ex CEO of GE, rates the Chinese as one of the most entrepreneurial people he has met and other studies confirm the same.



That is precisely the point. The intellectual exercise of junking the foreign ideology came FIRST, under Deng. It was only after 1979 that China began the process of transforming itself into Communist-In-Name-Only, and a major infusion of Confucian and other self-identity was brought in as the basis for deep-state narrative. This was the fountainhead for government policies that in turn led to economic and military strength. Had they stayed true to the foreign ideology, would they have accumulated that degree of strength?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 16 Jul 2014 22:07

Rudradev wrote:
ShauryaT wrote:
Added: To emphasize - China started to grow only AFTER they started to junk the foreign ideology and its war on the local precepts. They still have some ways to go. What you have today is a traditional Chinese state under the formality of a communist brand. Jack Welch - an ex CEO of GE, rates the Chinese as one of the most entrepreneurial people he has met and other studies confirm the same.



That is precisely the point. The intellectual exercise of junking the foreign ideology came FIRST, under Deng. It was only after 1979 that China began the process of transforming itself into Communist-In-Name-Only, and a major infusion of Confucian and other self-identity was brought in as the basis for deep-state narrative. This was the fountainhead for government policies that in turn led to economic and military strength. Had they stayed true to the foreign ideology, would they have accumulated that degree of strength?
Yes, but not to argue with the west but to reconcile with their own people. Once they have the necessary Arthic power they may seek to use this power to propagate their soft power.

IOW: Modi should care less for western values, opinions and systems and should move away from these western systems WITHIN India - even under the garb of a formal western democracy and focus and concentrate on Arthic power. Once this is achieved to a sufficient degree, we can look to propagate BUT not before. The sequencing is important.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Jul 2014 22:54

abhischekcc wrote:A_Gupta ji,

The British won in India because of genocide - something that we were not prepared for either mentally or morally. The socially manipulative policies (Macaulayism, racism, creation of INC, etc) was done AFTER the military victory in 1857-58.


Macaulay was in India 1834-38. The introduction of English displacing Sanskrit and for a while even vernacular education began immediately after his infamous 1835 minute. So that at least was one thing done before 1857-58.

The East India Company long had a policy of disallowing or discouraging Christian Missionaries in India. This got overthrown in 1813 by act of British Parliament. To me that was one of the significant socially manipulative policies, and that is 44 years before 1857-58.

FYI, (a total distraction) I put up some of the 1813 debate on my blog:
http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2013/0 ... ndoos.html

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Pulikeshi » 16 Jul 2014 23:05

A_Gupta - Very much appreciate ur quotes, links, etc.

ShauryaT wrote:Yes, but not to argue with the west but to reconcile with their own people. Once they have the necessary Arthic power they may seek to use this power to propagate their soft power.


China (her intellectuals) have argued for the Chinese "Chinese Harmonious Society" as a Local Specialisation based on Confucian principles... Literally the idea of selecting super smart "mandarins" who know what is best for the people etc, cannot be applied Universally even if Chinese intellectuals were to try attempt it... That is, in practice current "Confucian Harmonious Society" has been very widely parodied by the mango human in China as a naked attempt to show the softer side of the state to the mangoes to mask the harsh oligarchic regime that runs in a communist garb.
This too is a lesson we can learn from the Chinese.

Soft Power has a specific technical meaning that may be ill suited for what India should pursue.
No human can think intellectually whilst in poverty! India today has plenty of intellectuals :-)
If the argument is that Artha -> Kama (desire to change the world) then what is the change we seek?

Localised internal consolidation - one could argue the opposite of China - hard alignment internally to help support a weak Democracy :mrgreen: but seriously, a consolidation internally....?
OR
A robust Indian Universalism that the West suspect and perhaps even fear as a potential challenger?
If so what is it?

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 16 Jul 2014 23:10

Also maybe a distraction, but some of what Philip Mason wrote I put up on my blog.
http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2010/0 ... feats.html

I'm sure this will be controversial, one reason for putting this stuff up in public is to provoke reactions and to get past what is written to (hopefully) greater truths.

The truth was that Indians had not really given thought to the problems of war; no one had really cudgelled his brains as to how to concentrate the maximum possible fire on a given section of the enemy's line; no one had given attention to the point that practice for the crew could turn a gun that fired four rounds an hour into one that fired eight.


PS: further distraction - the impact of British education on India
http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2013/0 ... itish.html

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Rudradev » 16 Jul 2014 23:27

ShauryaT wrote:
A_Gupta wrote:On the other hand, Adi Sankara won - in shaping India for centuries to come - without any substantial financial backing or armies behind him.
Bad example. Adi Shankara's formidable efforts to propound a version of Brahma gyan, which may have borne fruit in the spiritual domain, did squat to stem the onslaught of the Islamic armies or the ability to unify the disparate monarchies under a common umbrella or to meet the intellectual and organization rigor required to acquire Arthic power that would have been able to defeat the onslaught of the British.



It's a question of necessary vs. sufficient. Adi Shankara's efforts in the intellectual realm were not *sufficient* to stem the Islamic onslaught by themselves, but were certainly *necessary* for Hinduism to survive the 1000 years of ravages that followed in their wake (while the indigenous belief systems of virtually every other ancient civilization were driven to extinction by Abrahamic onslaught in the same +/- 500 year period.)

For sufficiency, economic and military power would also have been required. Yet, absent the intellectual structure grounded in an indigenous civilizational narrative, economic and military *assets* DO NOT translate to economic and military *power*.

Shiv is not seeing the whole picture when he says:

Let me point out that the first blow for western universalism and against Indian knowledge and tradition was military, not intellectual. It was the military domination of India and the formation of a British Indian government that allowed changes to be made in Indian education and economy


Let's look at the question of "military supremacy". By what token did the British have military supremacy over the kingdoms of India? When William Hawkins arrived at Jehangir's court, he had never seen anything like the Mughal army anywhere in Europe... lakhs of infantry, cavalry, elephants, artillery marching in columns 15 miles long. Even the greatest military expeditions of the West upto that point, the Crusades, involved less than 20% of the total standing army strength of just the Mughals (leave aside all other Indian kingdoms). The total number of Britishers living in India during the Raj days was never more than a fraction of that one Mughal army.

For centuries thereafter, the British suffered defeat after defeat at the hands of various Indian kingdoms... from the Sircars to Shivaji at Surat to Tipu in Mysore to the Sikhs in Punjab to the Marathas in the Deccan. The British forces did have certain domain-specific advantages: better artillery, more disciplined training, and naval superiority (though even in this sphere they were given a bitter fight by the Maratha's Kanhoji Angrey on many occasions). However, they were by no means an asymmetrically superior force for the majority of EIC's military experience in India.

So the typical pattern of Indian-British military confrontation is one in which the British lost many battles to an Indian side, followed by a final battle that the British decisively won (such as Plassey or Poona). In many cases, even those "victories" were the result of some kind of treachery or politicking rather than head-to-head military superiority. Yet, they proved sufficient for the British to consolidate a long-lasting and tremendously profitable colonial empire upon.

What does it tell us that only the British victories, and never the Indian ones, turned out to be decisive in shaping the subcontinent's history? Was this a matter of military superiority as Shiv suggests? Or was it something else?


What does it tell us that the British stuck around despite losing many battles, and kept fighting battles until they won? What does it tell us that a significant loss in one battle was all it took for a significant Indian centre of resistance to fold up and call it a day, yielding vast assets to the British and causing tremendous long-term losses to Indians for decades or centuries thereafter? Does this have to do with military "weight" or "strength" or "assets"? Or does it have to do with military and governmental culture, civilizational identity and narrative... things that derive completely from the intellectual strength we are talking about?


And economy? Even in 1750, after centuries of purely extractive, non-developmental Muslim rule in much of India... we were either the largest or second-largest economy in the world by far. India and China between them accounted for 25% of the world's GDP. One can only imagine what the differential must have been in Skanda Gupta's time... far more, I would wager, than the US has ever reached with respect to the rest of the world in its history.

But all these were not representative of economic and military *power*... they were economic and military *assets*. There was no underlying dominant civilizational narrative that provided an intellectual basis for the concerted, coordinated use and deployment of these assets towards Indian interests. That is the crux of the matter. Until we have that it doesn't matter what our GDP is or what SSBNs, 5th-gen fighters or anything else we have. What is the use of having a very powerful armed force when it takes its orders from people like Sonia Gandhi or Manmohan Singh? What is the use of huge masses of wealth concentrated in the hands of business houses who benefit from a corrupt and extractive system?

If we don't have the intellectual prowess to define our identity and articulate our civilizational narrative, all these economic and military assets mean exactly nothing. If I don't have a good understanding of who I am, I can neither teach it to my children or my countrymen, and I neither have anything worth defending nor the motivation to defend it.
Last edited by Rudradev on 17 Jul 2014 01:31, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Rudradev » 16 Jul 2014 23:40

ShauryaT wrote:
Rudradev wrote:
That is precisely the point. The intellectual exercise of junking the foreign ideology came FIRST, under Deng. It was only after 1979 that China began the process of transforming itself into Communist-In-Name-Only, and a major infusion of Confucian and other self-identity was brought in as the basis for deep-state narrative. This was the fountainhead for government policies that in turn led to economic and military strength. Had they stayed true to the foreign ideology, would they have accumulated that degree of strength?
Yes, but not to argue with the west but to reconcile with their own people. Once they have the necessary Arthic power they may seek to use this power to propagate their soft power.
.


The point of argumentation is NOT only to "argue with the West" or propagate our civilizational narrative outside... if we haven't shaped that narrative and universally accepted it ourselves in India, then obviously there is nothing to propagate outwards!

The intended audience of such arguments against Western universalism, at this stage, are NOT Westerners but Indians. Argumentation and intellectual debate are the primary tools of reconciling with our own people about the need for an indigenous-ideology-based narrative rather than a foreign one... because by default, the foreign narrative of Western universalism is the one that our "educated" Indians adopt.

First the space must be created for the seed to be planted. For that, argumentation is necessary. Deng Xiaoping himself took a lot of risks and was sidelined for many years during the Cultural Revolution, because he constantly posed intellectual challenges to the foreign Marxist doctrine of the CCP. Famously he declared "it doesn't matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice it is a good cat!" This was viewed as absolute intellectual heresy by his orthodox marxist detractors, who tried repeatedly to do away with him. The intellectual adoption of a Chinese civilizational narrative and indigenously-based doctrine did not come without years and decades of internal struggle.

When Deng argued against Marxism he was not trying to spread Chinese universalism outside, nor was he trying to make Soviet or other Marxists accept the errors in their worldview... his primary purpose was to gain currency for his point of view WITHIN the CCP itself. That is why arguing against Western universalism is an absolute necessity for an Indo-centric civilizational narrative and worldview to take root amongst Indians-- by default, the mindspace where an indigenous narrative could exist is already occupied by Western universalism, and Western universalism is constantly and aggressively campaigning to maintain its hold on that intellectual turf.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby Rudradev » 17 Jul 2014 01:24

abhischekcc wrote:
Rudradev wrote:What economic-military and demographic weight did the early Christians have against the Roman Empire? Yet, by this one expedient of targeting influential people and seizing authority over prevailing self-narrative, they conquered the Roman Empire during the reign of one monarch, Constantine. Then they consolidated their grasp by recasting the entire way in which the Roman Empire saw itself, the world, its past history, and by projection its future destiny. JohneeG ji has written of the disastrous results for all of Europe in his new thread.


Again, wrong way of reading history.


Actually, your post quite clearly reveals whose version of "history" you have been reading.

Xtians were highly persecuted by the Roman empire. After many centuries, it was made a partner along with two other religions - European Sun worship and Persian religion of Mithraism.


As JohneeG points out, there is little evidence to show that Xtians faced any particularly harsh degree of persecution. It is manufactured nonsense to claim the mantle of victimhood and justify their later excesses. Many have written, for example, that the fire of Rome under Nero's reign was arson deliberately conducted by Xtian terrorists themselves.

Also, the story hardly adds up does it... the Xtians were supposedly persecuted en masse, thrown to the lions for two centuries, then all of a sudden the same evil oppressive Romans said "hello Xtians, let us make you a partner along with Mithraism and Apollonism as one of our Empire's Great Religions"?

Much later, due to Constantine getting a sun stroke, seeing a cross in his delirium, and then winning the next battle - he became convinced of the power of the 'cross'.


This is one of those absurdly reductive apocryphal stories that the West selectively accepts as "historical fact" when it is convenient to their worldview. A nice little fairy-tale to cover up the sort of machinations, bribery, blackmail, assassinations and what-not that actually drove the adoption of Xtianity as a Roman state religion.

Similar stories abound by the thousand in Hindu folklore, about various rulers being influenced by this or that omen to take a particular decision. Yet if we tried to incorporate our own folklore into our own historical narrative, it would be under immediate, vicious and relentless attack as "superstition", "chauvinism", "majoritarianism" etc. from our OWN brown saheb leftist academics. Such things wouldn't be allowed into our school curriculum even with the caveat that they are folklore. Yet, note that the West uses exactly this type of narrative to conceal the darker corners of early J-C expansionist history.

Remember even in this sequence, it was the Roman military power that subsumed Xtian Church to its own purpose, and not the other way round.


I think you need to look harder at the sequence.

Look at the timeline of maps showing the extent of Roman imperium over the period 390 BCE to 500 CE here:

http://www.timemaps.com/history/ancient-rome-200bc

The Roman Empire expanded steadily to its maximum sphere of influence, as a unitary state, under Septimus Severus in 200 CE. Non-Xtian.

When Constantine took over in 306 it was already beginning to slip from this pinnacle. After accepting Xtianity one of his first, tactically brilliant moves was to PARTITION the Roman Empire into two independently administered sections, Western (ruled from Rome) and Eastern (ruled from Byzantine), effectively destroying the unitary nature of its cultural identity. That sowed the seeds for its physical destruction over the era that followed.

By 476 the "Empire" was a fragmented shambles. Western Europe belonged to the Franks, Visigoths, Vandals and Britons... Rome ITSELF was ruled by a foreigner, the German Odoacer, and what called itself "Roman Empire" was basically Byzantium and its surrounding principalities.

This is the state it reached just 150-odd years after the adoption of Xtianity as a State Religion by Constantine. As compared to 600 years of steady expansion, relative economic stability, and radiant cultural influence before the adoption of Xtianity.

Within 150 years "Rome" as it had existed was gone... its civilizational narrative and unique identity utterly lost. Since then the shell of imperial infrastructure it left behind served only one "winner"... the Xtian Church... by providing a skeletal support system for the so-called "Holy Roman Empire". In cultural terms the Classical Age was replaced by a centuries-long Dark Age all across Europe. Xtianity was the only winner... Rome was the corpse after the parasite had devoured it.

So please tell me again, who subsumed who to its purpose?

Added Later: The grand-nephew of Constantine, Emperor Julian, recognized (though too late) that a Christianized Roman Empire was doomed in a way it had never been before. He (guided by a few supportive thinkers, such as Libanius of Antioch and Priscus of Panium) recognized that Judeo-Christian Universalism would inevitably undermine the traditions of Hellenistic belief that stitched together the people, soldiers, administrators and rulers of the Roman Empire, and which provided an indigenous and culturally-grounded rationale for the ascension and authority of the Augustus.

Julian did his best to overthrow the JC-universalist mafia who had come to dominate the intellectual, cultural and therefore political/military discourse in Rome after Constantine. The Christians assassinated him.

Please read "Julian" by Gore Vidal for a historically accurate and detailed exposition of these events.
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Jul 2014 01:50

Rudradev wrote:It's a question of necessary vs. sufficient. Adi Shankara's efforts in the intellectual realm were not *sufficient* to stem the Islamic onslaught by themselves, but were certainly *necessary* for Hinduism to survive the 1000 years of ravages that followed in their wake (while the indigenous belief systems of virtually every other ancient civilization were driven to extinction by Abrahamic onslaught in the same +/- 500 year period.)
If credit goes to any movement within Hinduism for the resistance to the onslaughts in the middle ages then it is certainly not to Shankara's Advaita, which was/is largely restricted to southern India as a movement with Vidyaranaya in Vijaynagara as its anchor. This credit would go to the various Bhakti movements in India from Madhavacharya in the South, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the east, Nanak in the North and sants like Namdev, Tukaram and Dnyaneshwar in the west. Along with a hardening of social structures at local levels to create tight bonds within communities. The interactions between Islam, Christianity and Bhakti is a story in itself.

What they did not achieve is organizational unity for a state or an alliance of states or ideological unity across the many rashtras. Neither did ANY of the SD movements of the era focus on Artha, Kama and Dharmas. This is the reason why come independence there were NO credible alternatives on the table to a western constitution(s). The price for over emphasis on Brahma gyan was the subjugation of India. I know these are harsh words but we will have to clearly understand, where we went wrong.

Many are content to praise these Bhakti movements as great saviors but it is like saying, as you know, I am a Hindu Sindhi - from a refugee family. My family may have saved their butt and survived but our entire community lost a home land. I survived so i won! Few sindhis even realize the loss anymore. Essentially after the kshatriyas of Sindh were co-opted it was the end of story for Sindh. Similar is the case for west punjab. Anyways, all this is slightly OT to the main point that a resurrection of our shatras and systems to balance ALL the objectives of the pursharthas is essential.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Jul 2014 03:29


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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby ramana » 17 Jul 2014 04:00

A_Gupta wrote:Remembering Emperor Julian:
http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... or-julian/



We lost a good member due to invectives here.

But the world gained a scholar.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 17 Jul 2014 06:26

Rudradev wrote:What does it tell us that the British stuck around despite losing many battles, and kept fighting battles until they won? What does it tell us that a significant loss in one battle was all it took for a significant Indian centre of resistance to fold up and call it a day, yielding vast assets to the British and causing tremendous long-term losses to Indians for decades or centuries thereafter? Does this have to do with military "weight" or "strength" or "assets"? Or does it have to do with military and governmental culture, civilizational identity and narrative... things that derive completely from the intellectual strength we are talking about?


Rudradev - while I have many minor quibbles with you on this issue - including the fact that the British came here as a minority in wooden sailboats and stuck on I do agree that it was the ability to stick on - that is having the courage of one's conviction that triumphed. In that sense it was an intellectual failure in India - and this topic has come up time and again.

Shourie has alluded to this in his rhetorical question about whether a fence will be any good if the core is eaten by termites

Naipaul in his own way pointed out that by the time the Islamic invaders came (let alone the British) India had gone sufficiently far down the line of intellectual self-satisfaction and sloth - "they already had all the answers and needed to do nothing more"

But this gives me a little insight into a major fundamental difference between what was brought in by the British under the guise of "universalism" versus what we are trying to define as Indian universalism.

Western universalism is more like Islam - that is - to use an analogy I have used before on BRF - they are "you farted" doctrines. they are introduced with the premise "I am right. You are wrong". And they are given the label "universalism" not because they are really universal values - but they are called universally applicable values in the sense "I am great. I am victorious. Therefore my victorious values are applicable to all". In fact Islam itself is as much a form of universalism and western universalism. Islam claims universalism using the same justifications and moots the same coercion. But unlike western universalism, Islam is not in ascendancy now.

Indian thought has always sought more intellectual honesty in terms of what is actually universal. But worse than that (for India), Indian thought has always shunned forcible application on others and leaves enlightenment to personal study and reflection. For such a system to work - there has to be no external coercion. Avoidance of external coercion requires coercive military strength which India had ignored in the past.

My point was only to speak of the future. If anything Indian is to cling on or thrive, it cannot do so in the absence of military/economic power to prevent Indian thought from being swamped by coercive yet faulty doctrines that are speciously labeled "universal". Indian intellectual legacy by itself differs greatly from Islam and western universalism by shunning coercion. So it cannot survive without active protection of Indian thought centers and an accompanying blind insistence that Indian intellectual legacies should not be discarded willy nilly. The Indian model was to leave the intellectual progress to the Brahmin class but they were protected and fed and allowed to sit in their "gurukula-universities" and do their job. The concept of "God's soldiers" or pious killers is Christian and Islamic. It is these onslaughts that defeated the rulers in India and blew away the universities that harboured Indian thought.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby RamaY » 17 Jul 2014 06:39

JMHT: Advaita can be the most potent strategy in formulating an assertive national policy & to over emphasize all aspects of Purusharthas; especially the non-Moksha ones (because you are already in Moksha so do whatever you want to ensure there is no exclusivist ideology a.k.a dwaita).

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 17 Jul 2014 09:43

6 pages into this thread, let me post Wiki definition of Universalism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universalism
Universalism refers to religious, theological, and philosophical concepts with universal application or applicability. Universalism is a term used to identify particular doctrines considering all people in their formation.

In a broad sense, universalism claims that religion is a universal human quality. This can be contrasted with non-universalist religions. Religion in this context is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.[1]


As a subset of this, from the same page is "Hindu Universalism" that you can read here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universalism#Hinduism

I am not sure I agree with plenty of stuff on that page.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 17 Jul 2014 09:48

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_Civilizations
Huntington suggests that in the future the central axis of world politics tends to be the conflict between Western and non-Western civilizations, in Kishore Mahbubani's phrase, the conflict between "the West and the Rest." He offers three forms of general actions that non-Western civilization can take in response to Western countries.[9]

1.Non-Western countries can attempt to achieve isolation in order to preserve their own values and protect themselves from Western invasion. However, Huntington argues that the costs of this action is high and only a few states can pursue it.
2.According to the theory of "band-wagoning" non-Western countries can join and accept Western values.
3.Non-Western countries can make an effort to balance Western power through modernization. They can develop economic, military power and cooperate with other non-Western countries against the West while still preserving their own values and institutions. Huntington believes that the increasing power of non-Western civilizations in international society will make the West begin to develop a better understanding of the cultural fundamentals underlying other civilizations. Therefore, Western civilization will cease to be regarded as "universal" but different civilizations will learn to coexist and join to shape the future world.

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby A_Gupta » 17 Jul 2014 15:41

shiv wrote:From the 1950s India has been on a continuous chase to catch up with a forever moving goalpost in relation to birth rate, literacy, nutrition, per capita income, per capita consumption, toilets per capita etc. I do not foresee india "catching up" with the highest ranked nations of today even in the next 50 years. I will surely be dead in less than 50 years, so although India's economy may be at the top India's so called "human development" parameters will not be at the top and serve as a continuous target of criticism.

I think we need to be realistic about what can be done and how far we are going to follow other people's dictates and standards and delude ourselves that if we behave like "them" we will become like "them"


Yes, but India should catch up with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, no? I hope saying so is not "psy-ops".
http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicat ... y=bd:in:lk

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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby shiv » 17 Jul 2014 15:59

A_Gupta wrote:
Yes, but India should catch up with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, no? I hope saying so is not "psy-ops".
http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/indicat ... y=bd:in:lk

No one in his right mind can say more toilets are not required. It is the catching up with X or Y that poses a problem that we Indians don't seem to be able to parse

If you look at Sri Lanka figures for population and toilets in 1990 and now - you find that their improvement from 70% to 92% has been achieved by building toilets for just 1 million more people

Look up similar figures for India

Indian improvement from 18% to just 34% has come from building toilet facilities for over 250 million.

In other words India has, since 1990 built enough toilets for any nation in the world except India or China and we are still only at 34%

I think some sense must be made of comparisons.

The universalism business may demand toilet facilities for 1.2 billion but even by building toilets at a furious pace (250 times faster than Sri Lanka) we are still not going to get to any "ideal" figure for another 40-50 years. The absolute numbers tell a more accurate story than percentages. But India is bashed on percentages and outliers. Only Indians need to look at what has been done and point that out rather than getting bashed and staying apologetic and bashed.

India needs to decide what it develops and what pace that can be done rather than saying "Look - xyz has done this - why aren't you matching xyz?" This is only a way of bashing India. Not helping development


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