Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

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member_19686
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Re: Western Universalism - what's the big deal?

Postby member_19686 » 17 Jul 2014 18:23

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.

Rudradev tried to correct your "history" which is basically a complete acceptance of obvious Christian propaganda.

Most "persecution" of Xtians was totally made up or even well deserved because Xtians would vandalize temples etc. The same behavior they exhibit in India.

Armenia became Christianized before Rome did and you know how, forcible conversion. There was no Rome there but Xtians exhibited the same behavior they have always done.

There was even a Hindu colony in Armenia which put up stubborn resistance:

http://vajrin.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/ ... f-armenia/

So contrary to your theory, Christians were exhibiting their fanaticism long before they ever became the official religion of the Roman empire and imposed their religion on Armenia by force after converting a section of the elite.

The truth of the matter is:
During the Second Temple Era, Judaism did not stop at mere proselytization, as we can see in these two passages concerning Simon Maccabaeus and his son John Hyrcanus, who reigned as rulers of Judea for almost four decades (142-104 BC):
Soon after his accession Simon sent an army against Jaffa, under the command of Jonathan ben Absolom, with orders to expel the foreigners and secure the port as part of Judea. The fraternal wars in the Seleucid Kingdom provided him with an opportunity to remove the last serious threat to Judea by conquering Gezer, which controlled the road to the coast, and the Acra, which since the time of Antiochus Epiphanes had endangered the security of Jewish Jerusalem. The conquest of these places was made possible by the rapid progress of the Jewish Army in seige techniques. Gezer was invested according to all the rules of that art and attacked with the sophisticated siege engines that were in use in the hellenistic armies. The population was expelled, pagan cults abolished and the city resettled with Jews faithful to their religion. Simon also built himself a palace in Gezer, which became one of the administrative centres of Judea. John Hyrcanus, Simon's son, was appointed governor of the city. An even greater impression on contemporaries was made by the conquest of the Acra, for as long as the citadel was inhabited by hellenists and garrisoned by gentiles Judea's independence could not be assured. On the 23rd of Iyyar in the year 141, Simon's forces entered the Acra .... The day of the citadel's conquest was made a permanent feast day ....
[A History of the Jewish People, Ben-Sasson & Malamat, p. 215]

John Hyrcanus' wars were essentially a continuation of those begun by his father and uncles, but were pursued on a larger scale and, to some extent, by different means. In principle, John's position was the same as that previously formulated by Simon in his reply to the envoys of Antiochus Sidetes -- that the whole of Palestine was the ancestral heritage of the Jewish nation. In that heritage there was no room for foreign cults, as evidenced by the conversion of Idumea and the destruction of the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim. Under John Hyrcanus territorial expansion proceeded in various directions -- south, north and east -- with decisive consequences for the history of the people and the land ....

At the time of John Hyrcanus' death, in 104, the Jews were expanding their borders everywhere in Palestine. His son and heir Judah Aristobulus I, and the latter's younger brother, Antigonus, had been among the chief implementers of their father's policy during his lifetime. Now they completed the conquest of Galilee and defeated the Itureans, who seem to have ruled over part of the Upper Galilee. Like the Idumeans before them and in line with the policy developed by John Hyrcanus, they were converted ....

The conquests of John Hyrcanus and Aristobulus increased Judea to several times its former size. Not only had virtually the entire population outside the territory of the hellenistic cities come under Jewish rule and become part of the Jewish nation ....
[pp. 218-9]

Aristobulus was succeeded by Alexander Jannai, whose reign was "a succession of conquests and wars", and under whom "Hasmonean Judea reached its largest territorial size." [p. 220] Jannai ruled from 103 to 76 BC, and was succeeded by his wife Shelomziyyon (Salome) Alexandra. But when Alexandra died in 67 Judea plunged into literally fratricidal civil war, and within a few years the Kingdom was reduced to an "autonomous" vassal state of the Roman Empire:
The conquest of Judea by the Romans [64 BC] resulted in decisive political changes. Syria became a Roman province, but Judea was granted autonomy, though its territory was reduced and its ruler's authority was dependent on the provincial administration of Syria. The autonomous state of Judea was shorn of all Jannai's conquests and part of those of Simon and John Hyrcanus. It was forced to surrender the entire coastal plain from the Carmel to Raphia including Jaffa; this deprived it of any outlet to the sea, and in that respect the situation reverted to what it had been before the Hasmonean Revolt. In addition, part of Idumea (Marissa) and the bulk of Samaria were detached. As a result, the Jewish population of Palestine was no longer territorially continuous, and contact between Jerusalem and the Jewish centre in Galilee could be maintained only through the Joran Valley. The fact that Pompey freed the large hellenistic cities in Trans-Jordan and Scythopolis from Judean rule was only to be expected; they formed themselves into the Decapolis of Union of the Ten Cities and resumed their life as independent cities. The Greek cities on the coast were also freed. What remained to Hyrcanus II was Judea (including southern Samaria, which had been annexed under Jonathan), most of Idumea, the parts of the Trans-Jordan closely settled by Jews (the Peraea), and Galilee.

The tendency of Pompey and his successors, the first proconsuls of Syria, was to rehabilitate the Greek urban settlements at the expense of the Jewish population, which had so remarkably gained in strength during the period of the Hasmonean Kingdom. But the hands of the clock could be set back entirely, and for many years to come the Jewish population of Palestine was to exceed the gentiles in strength and numbers. The absorption of the gentile population, excluding the hellenized cities and the Samaritan concentration around Mount Gerizim, as a result of the proselytizing policy of John Hyrcanus and his successors, was irreversible.
[pp. 223 - 224]

The point of this is that well before Jesus, let alone Constantine, Judaism had already adopted not only persuasion (proselytism) but also coercion as a mode to be employed in spreading the religion of the One True God. However, the use of coercion was limited to Palestine and its immediate environs, while proselytism went on throughout the Diaspora (especially in urban centers with large well establish Jewish communities).

One interesting wrinkle that is introduced by the reality of Jewish proselytism (and, more generally, the idea of "spreading" Judaism) is that the Apostle Paul is seen in a new light. Usually he is proclaimed as the "Apostle to the Gentiles", and it is claimed, by those who know little about the actual history of the period (and especially about Jewish history), that his eagerness to preach to the Gentiles was Paul's distinctive contribution to early Church history. But the truth is that Jewish proselytism had always been aimed at Gentiles (although there was also internal proselytism on behalf of competing Jewish sects, such as the Pharisees), and this proselytism had, as already noted, roots going back many centuries prior to Paul's arrival on the scene...

http://egregores.blogspot.ca/2009/09/co ... ry-of.html

So it should be obvious where Xtians got their fanaticism from.

This business of blaming Rome & portraying Xtianity as some hippy peace cult before Constantine is pure propaganda.

BTW your "persecuted" poor innocent Christians attacked and beat up Porphyry in public at Caesarea, did you know that?

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

Postby member_19686 » 17 Jul 2014 18:37

abhischekcc, wonder what Rome had to do with this (remember all this was pre-Constantine)?

BTW Zenob himself was a Christian FYI:
Divided into two parts, Book One is an alleged eyewitness account of
the Armenian conversion to Christianity by one Zenob Klag. It is
remarkable for its portrayal of this conversion as a colonial process,
led and controlled by representatives of a new (foreign) religious
movement. Albeit in collaboration with (a subjugated and obedient)
section of the domestic nobility, this foreign Christian religion is
only imposed after fierce battles against the (native) pagan
leadership and its popular supporters. Once masters of the land, this
new Church moves to appropriate the choice portions of the nation's
property and wealth.


The story unfolds in the form of a correspondence between Gregory the
Illuminator in Armenia and his superior Archbishop Leo headquartered
in Ghessaria. Neither is native to Armenia. Yet they talk as if they
own the country and its population with some god-given power to do
with them as they wish.
Their air of confidence is unmistakable, no
doubt sustained by religious righteousness. Preparing to consolidate
their spiritual conquest of the local population, Gregory urges Leo to
`send forth your (priests) in order to reap God's harvest'. (p21)
The
harvest of course was not purely of souls. Control of people's
spiritual life was to be the fertile ground for raising vast amounts
of material wealth through all manner of religious taxes, dues and
gifts.

Gregory's request has an edge of urgency. `We need bishops and
priests in all our (sic!) provinces'. The few that have been `gathered
from here and there' are insufficient to govern `Armenia's 630
lucrative' provinces. (p24) Grasping that the satisfaction of a
spiritual mission alone was insufficient inducement to the settlement
of foreign (Assyrian or Greek) priests Gregory plays to their more
material ambitions. Acting as if he and the newly formed Church have
sole authority over the land, Gregory entices them with the promise
that `if you come I shall put at your service the entire provinces of
Hark and Yegheghyatz' (p25). For those willing to join in helping to
consolidate his grip Gregory, promises that `what (they) find pleasant
and desirable' in Armenia they `can have' (p25). He urges them to
leave behind `the dry and hungry land' they `presently inhabit' and
come to Armenia `where there is plenty', where `the air is sweet, and
the waters flow abundantly'. (p59)

The colonial aspect of the conversion is further underlined in
descriptions of the battles against the pre-Christian Armenian
establishment. Pagan Armenia, in Zenob Klag's account even more than
in that of Agatangeghos, did not lie helpless before the new
religious power. There was no passive succumbing or voluntary
subordination. To become masters of the situation and to impose its
alien religion, the new (foreign) Church had to wage war and inflict
`suffering and torture' until its native victims were `brought to
death's door' (p43). The fighting may have been done by troops
belonging to the converted factions of the nobility, but it was the
Church which was in decided control and command.


In battle, the pagans are neither a small and isolated minority nor are
they cowards. Forces are frequently evenly divided and anti-Christian
resistance is strong and marked by courage. The offensive of the new
religion is directed not just against the pre-Christian leadership but
against broad sections of Armenia's population itself, against the
nation as a whole. In Klag's own account the pagan forces are shown to
enjoy substantial popular support.
In more than one instance the
peasantry/village population is described as joining in `efforts to
trap and destroy' the Christian army. (p39)

To permanently subdue its newly conquered population, the Church, like
colonial powers in all ages, set out to destroy the intellectual and
cultural heritage of pre-Christian Armenia so as to annihilate its
historically developed independent national identity. As a final mark
of arrogance it built its own Churches on `the very ground and with
the very same masonry as that of the pagan temples' it destroyed,
(p43-4) copying even their architecture. (p45-6)
(This point may
clearly be of relevance to literary critics and historians seeking to
uncover and reconstruct aspects of pre-Christian traditions that
survived embedded in subsequent Armenian literature and culture.)

http://www.groong.com/tcc/tcc-20010807.html

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

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Jul 2014 19:54

Pulikeshi wrote: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?
I do not know what is the context of internal consolidation you mention or your smilies? As for the latter, the challenge to the west exists, only if India has it in her to shape her own destiny based on her civilizational narrative. This narrative itself has to be sufficiently "modernized" to factor for changed socio-economic factors along with new tools (instead of just the puraans/smritis), new shastras, yet keeping SD's principles, values and goals intact.

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

Postby RamaY » 17 Jul 2014 20:08

Bharatiya-Universalism can write a Sankaracharya-Purana describing the socio-political contribution of Budhism around the world and how Vaidika Hinduism defeated this asura.

The next Purana can be Prak-Paschima Purana where we cover the Islamic/Christian colonial era on the world and how Vaidika Purusha (pick a women of choice) defeated it.

Time to call current Constitution of India as Ambedkar Smriti and pave way for next Smriti perhaps this time including Hindutva as state ideology (if socialism and secularism can be state ideologies, Hidutva too can be that) and make sure that this smriti claims whole earth as its potential influence area.

The basic idea is to use Indic scripts structure (Puranas and Smritis) and extend them to universal developments and future agendas.

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

Postby Shanmukh » 17 Jul 2014 20:15

@Abhischekcc-ji, @Surasena-ji, @Rudradev-ji,
Here is what Father Origen, the author of Contra Celsum (a work `refuting' the writings of Celsus, a Roman statesman and critic of Christianity - the Christians refuted the criticisms of Celsus for several centuries before settling for burning his writings)

"God interposed His providence on behalf of believers, dispersing by an act of His will alone all the conspiracies formed against them; so that neither kings, nor rulers, nor the populace, might be able to rage against them beyond a certain point. A few engaged in a struggle for their religion, and these individuals who can be easily numbered, have endured death for the sake of Christianity."

– Origen of Alexandria (c184-254) (Contra Celsum)


So - according to the Church bigwig, living in the middle of the third century, there were only a few martyrs for Christianity, and can be easily enumerated.

Here is an interesting look into the number of Christians persecuted by the Roman empire.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/persecutions.html

And, of course, here is what a good Christian theologian thought of persecuting his foes.

"There is a persecution of unrighteousness, which the impious inflict upon the church of Christ; and there is a righteous persecution, which the church of Christ inflicts on the impious ... Moreover she persecutes in the spirit of love, they in the spirit of wrath."

– St Augustine (Letter 185, 417 AD)


Here is dear Tertullian (a third century fanatic)
"You are fond of spectacles. Expect the greatest of all spectacles, the last and eternal judgement of the universe.

How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs, and fancied gods, groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates who persecuted the name of the Lord, liquefying in fiercer fires than they ever kindled against the Christians."


Tertullian was also the man who came up with the idea that anyone who was martyred for Christ would go straight to paradise, and await reunion with his body. The day of martyrdom was supposed to be the martyr's birthday. Third Century Taliban, ca?

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

Postby SanjayC » 17 Jul 2014 20:30

abhischekcc wrote: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.

--------

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.


abhischekcc, you have swallowed church propaganda hook line and sinker. There was zero persecution of Xians. Romans were curious and got the cult investigated -- the conclusion: "Nothing there but rabid bigotry based on laughable superstitions." They did not pay much heed to it, except for the last 12 years when they began to screw them for their subversive activities.

You need to urgently read this: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com, especially the chapter:
Persecution – Holy Mother Church Invents Heroic Origins
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/persec ... actspilate

Christians being thrown to lions by Romans is Church-created atrocity literature, just like "Hindus are persecuting Christians in India."

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

Postby member_19686 » 17 Jul 2014 22:05

@nageshks-ji

Tertullian was also famous for the phrase:

'What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?'

Note how today the West/Christianity has appropriated Greece & Rome as somehow "their" heritage.

Look at for e.g. the following from Wilders and compare it with the honest Christian Tertullian's attitude:
We are not from Saudi-Arabia. We are not from Iran. We come from Rome, Athens and Jerusalem. That makes our civilization special, and certainly worth preserving.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.ca/2008/1 ... salem.html

@Rudradev-ji Gore Vidal's novel is ok but has fictional elements.

The following is the best non fiction work on Julian that I know of:
Julian's Gods by Rowland Smith

https://app.box.com/s/d7c37ed4eef0ecf471a1

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

Postby ShauryaT » 17 Jul 2014 22:12

Surasena wrote:Note how today the West/Christianity has appropriated Greece & Rome as somehow "their" heritage.
A trip to the Vatican would confirm it in spades.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 18 Jul 2014 01:43

The End of Christian Democracy

They essentially sought to constrain the people through institutions such as constitutional courts, make them moral through the teachings of the church, and subject them to a new supranational order: the European Convention of Human Rights, for instance, was the creation of British Tories and continental Christian Democrats. And it was the latter who also became the architects of what today is known as the European Union. After all, Christian Democrats -- like Catholics, internationalists by nature -- placed little value on the nation-state. In fact, in the nineteenth century, it had been newly unified nation-states such as Germany and Italy that had waged so-called culture wars (what came to be known as Otto von Bismarck’s Kulturkampf) against Catholics, who were suspected of putting devotion to the Vatican above loyalty to the state. But the Christian Democrats were also pluralists: they were content with a federalist, legally fragmented European community that resembled a medieval empire more than a modern sovereign state.


Europe’s Christian Democrats could also take a page out of the playbook of American conservatives, refocusing on social issues and waging a Kulturkampf of their own against secularism. Some have already tried: during the last decade, the Spanish Popular Party mobilized the Catholic vote against socialist Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero, who had introduced same-sex marriage. Contrary to the cliché of religious America and irreligious Europe, there remains considerable potential for such campaigns in some southern and eastern European countries. It is telling, however, that Spanish voters ultimately parted with Zapatero for his handling of the eurocrisis.


POPULARITY CONTEST

Christian Democrats face a difficult dilemma. Their policy goals are only marginally different from those of Social Democratic parties on economic questions. Kulturkampf is risky, but becoming too mainstream on social matters creates political space for groups that present themselves as genuinely conservative. Political parties such as Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland, which is mostly focused on opposing the EU but increasingly defends traditional morality, and France’s Front National are the beneficiaries.

Most important, Christian Democrats are under intense pressure from right-wing nationalists and populists. And since they no longer dare to defend ambitious plans for European integration, the erstwhile architects of continental unity are more or less defenseless. Their politics of accommodation does not work as a response to the populists, who thrive on polarization and identity politics. The old class coalition that supported European integration at the polls and benefited from it economically -- the middle class and farmers -- has diminished virtually everywhere. This longer-term transformation makes it unlikely that Christian democracy will ever regain the dominant position it had in the postwar years. That leaves the EU a hollow shell: the ideals that once animated integration have seemingly been forgotten, defended only by small parties such as the Greens.

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

Postby KrishnaK » 18 Jul 2014 09:24

shiv wrote:
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"
There was no *bitterness* in said allegation. However you're right in that I owe you an apology. I apologize.

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

Postby shiv » 18 Jul 2014 13:57

KrishnaK wrote:There was no *bitterness* in said allegation. However you're right in that I owe you an apology. I apologize.

If I hurt your feelings or insulted you, my apologies are due to you too.

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

Postby shiv » 18 Jul 2014 14:27

In 1993 Samuel Huntington wrote a paper (on which he based his book going by the same name) - The clash of Civilizations

Here is a longish quote. read the whole 25 odd page paper
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/fs/pnorris/A ... _Clash.pdf
Almost invariably Western leaders claim they are acting on behalf of "the world community." One minor lapse occurred during the run-up to the Gulf War. In an interview on "Good Morning America," Dec. 21, 1990, British Prime Minister John Major referred to the actions "the West" was taking against Saddam Hussein. He quickly corrected himself and subsequently referred to "the world community." He was, however, right when he erred.

Western domination of the U.N. Security Council and its decisions, tempered only by occasional abstention by China, produced U.N. legitimation of the West's use of force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and its elimination of Iraq's sophisticated weapons and capacity to produce such weapons. It also produced the quite unprecedented action by the United States, Britain and France in getting the Security Council to demand that Libya hand over the Pan Am 103 bombing suspects and then to impose sanctions when Libya refused. After defeating the largest Arab army, the West did not hesistate to throw its weight around in the Arab world. The West in effect is using international institutions, military power and economic resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western predominance, protect Western interests and promote Western political and economic values.

That at least is the way in which non-Westerners see the new world, and there is a significant element of truth in their view. Differences in power and struggles for military, economic and institutional power are thus one source of conflict between the West and other civilizations. Differences in culture, that is basic values and beliefs, are a second source of conflict. V. S. Naipaul has argued that Western civilization is the "universal civilization" that "fits all men." At a superficial level much of Western culture has indeed permeated the rest of the world. At a more basic level, however, Western concepts differ fundamentally from those prevalent in other civilizations. Western ideas of individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church and state, often have little resonance in Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist or
Orthodox cultures. Western efforts to propagate each ideas produce instead a reaction against "human rights imperialism" and a reaffirmation of indigenous values, as can be seen in the support for religious fundamentalism by the younger generation in non-Western cultures. The very notion that there could be a "universal civilization" is a Western idea, directly at odds with the particularism of most Asian societies and their emphasis on what distinguishes one people from another. Indeed, the author of a review of 100 comparative studies of values in different societies concluded that "the values that are most important in the West are least important worldwide."

In the political realm, of course, these differences are most manifest in the efforts of the United States and other Western powers to induce other peoples to adopt Western ideas concerning democracy and human rights.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 18 Jul 2014 16:26

Rajiv Malhotra on Western Univeralism:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRxC2jewXu0

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

Postby ShauryaT » 18 Jul 2014 17:03

shiv wrote:In 1993 Samuel Huntington wrote a paper (on which he based his book going by the same name) - The clash of Civilizations


Shiv ji: This was a seminal and path breaking work especially for the time it was released in when the west was on cloud 9, with the fall of the soviet union, victory in Gulf war I and China under shock of Tiannemen. This work came as a real shocker to many at the time. Huntington, regardless of whether you agree with him or not was a through academic professional with a very brief stint in government. I would recommend another work of his, which you may enjoy. It is called the "Soldier and the State". It dwells into the relationships between these two and is a classic work to understand these dynamics, especially in context of a liberal society. Although American focused, it would have parallels for most states.

Also, if you really want to understand the American people and the state then another one of his "Who we are". After you read this, you will be a veritable expert on all matters American and can then safely bash the NRI's :)

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

Postby johneeG » 18 Jul 2014 18:39

I think Bhestern Universalim cannot be critiqued unless Bhestern science itself is critiqued because Bhestern Universalim uses Bhestern science as its corner stone.

Many of the narratives of Bhestern Universalim are supposed to be supported by Bhestern Science.

In a way, Bhestern Universalim is a secular version of the religion called Bhestern science. Around 1800, X-ism was co-opted. Around 1900, Sunny Malsi was co-opted. And the other creed(which cannot be named) is the driving force of the bhestern universalim.

Bhestern science makes certain assumptions and attitudes:
a) Latest is best or best is latest: this is imbibed from Malsi. Malsi makes the claim that Mo is best because he is latest. In Malsi scheme, it makes sense because the latest news/messenger has higher priority than the earlier news/messenger. However, in Bhestern science scheme, this attitude of latest is best has been extended to all things. Further its corollary has also been invented i.e. best is latest.

b) God does not exist: Its interesting why or how this assumption was made. Because it seems that many of the earlier Bhestern scientists were themselves quite devout and even believed lot of esoteric stuff. Most probably, it is based on Darwin's theory. Darwin's theory itself is based on the theory that best is latest.

c) Natural rules or physical limitations: Since God/Goddess does not exist, then how is the world running? This is explained by the natural rules or physics(chemistry and biology). Basically, there are certain rules that are hardwired into all objects and the world is running according to those strict rules. Of course, there are ample co-incidents and accidents in the process. This means that people don't really have a free will. All creatures are at the mercy of natural rules or accidents/co-incidents.

Bhestern Science makes these 3 assumptions. And these assumptions are carried forward by the Bhestern Universalim.

So, Bhestern Universalim supports Atheism.(The alternative to this atheism is supposed to be X-ism or Malsi. Basically, Atheism is spread by educating people about the dark trackrecord of X-ism and Malsi).

If people believe that there is no God/Goddess to govern the world, then why should people act in a moral manner? One group seems to believe that it is possible to live in a moral manner without believing in any God/Goddess. Another group seems to believe that since there is no god/goddess, one can simply enjoy oneself to maximum. But, most of the people fall somewhere in between these two groups i.e. they believe that morals are possible without believing in god/goddess and yet, they also want to enjoy themselves to maximum immediately.

Since, people want to enjoy themselves to maximum, they will do so in all ways that they can afford to(even at the expense of other people). Drugs, alcohol, smoking, promiscuity, ...etc are indulged by those who can afford to do it. That means the elites of the society start indulging in such activities. Soon, the other sections of society also copy them because everyone copies the example set by the leaders.

There is also a point of step by step evolution in these practices:
a) Lets say that the elite men take to smoking.
b) Soon, the other men also copy the elite men and start smoking.
c) The elites are now used to smoking and it doesn't give them the same kick that it gave them earlier. They want something special. Of course, everyone else is also smoking, so they want to do something that differentiates them from the masses.
d) So, elite women also start smoking. Meanwhile, elite men start drinking.
e) Soon, this is also copied by the masses. Women start smoking and men start drinking.
f) The elites want something special again and want to do something that differentiates them from others.
g) Elite women start drinking while the men start using soft drugs.
h) Soon, rest of the masses also follow the example and do the same.
i) The Elites move on to the next phase
and so on.

The profitability will come at the expense of others.

The promiscuity of sexual type has its own evolution.
Initially, elites go for extra-marital affairs and pre-marital affairs. Then, they move on to p0rn. Once p0rn enters, it can be quite decisive. After a person has had enough of watching it in the routine manner, they get bored of it and move on to some other more adventurous things. This adventurous things get progressively more and more kinky.

It often ends up in some kind of sadism/mutilation/domination or homosexuality. Societies that implement unbridled sexuality end up with this problem of sadism/mutilation/domination or homosexuality. The next step is bestiality.

Societies that try to curb down on sexuality completely also lead to same problems. The only solution seems to be to balance it out. That means sexuality as part of marriage between opposite sexes.

Coming back to the topic of Bhestern Universalim and its views: Bhestern Universalim seems to believe in the rigidity of the world based on natural creation. That means when something is created in a particular manner, it cannot be changed except by the scientists. Scientists are like the priests or Gods with magical powers who can change things. But, otherwise, an object cannot change. Even a living object cannot change(even its sexual orientation) by itself.

That means that frequently, most of the sexual deviations are sought to be explained on the basis that its just the way they are created...not just physically but even mentally.

So, in this scheme of things, a person who has homosexual feelings cannot change himself in anyway because thats the way he is. He has no way to escape his feelings. He can go to the scientists and perhaps change his physical form to suit his sexual orientation, but the sexual orientation itself cannot be changed. Its fixed. By the same token of belief, they see no reason if people are exposed to homosexual public affection. Because they believe that those who are hetrosexual will remain hetrosexual even if they are subjected to lot of homosexual soft p0rn. Similarly, they believe that the sexuality of the children will not be affected in anyway even if they grow up with homosexual people around them. Based on these ideas, the rights for homosexuals is demanded.

The same ideas also lead to the concept of Eugenics and Genetically Modified Crops. Here, scientists try to improve the plants, animals and human beings by playing around with their genetic composition. They get to decide who is better suited to 'evolution'.

Bhestern Science was grappling against the X-ism for mindspace. X-ism came with a complete package.
- It had a theory about how the world was created: The world was created by God.
- It had a theory about what will happen in future: Judgement Day.
- It had a story about the past to trace the genealogy.
- It had many miracles to prove itself.

Showing miracles to prove itself is an important point. X-ism is totally based on miracles. This is directly taken from Buddhism. Buddhism also was miracle based.

Bhestern Science had to find a counter to each of the above points. So,
- It developed a theory about how the world was created: The world was not created by God.
- It developed a theory about what will happen in future: meeting the aliens or going to another planet.
- It developed a story about the past to trace the genealogy: Dinosaurs, Aryans, and perhaps Aliens.
- It had to show miracles to prove itself: nukes and space.

Just as there can be fringe(or esoteric) group in a religious denomination, similarly there can be fringe(or esoteric) group in bhestern science. For example, belief that the world will soon end is considered a esoteric faith of X-ism. Similarly, belief that the aliens rule the world or contact the rulers of the world is an esoteric faith among certain fringe groups.

Today, any theory that is supposedly supported by the bhestern science is accepted by the people. So, this makes the bhestern universalim quite easy for people to accept because it uses the bhestern science as its corner stone.

Since, the latest is best and since the scientists are like magical priests/prophets, they can invent new revelations/research to create/destroy/tweak the narratives. But, the scientists themselves are dependent on the rich and powerful because the rich and powerful control the tools of propaganda.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 18 Jul 2014 19:07

I have an issue with this age of consent (for sex) matter, IMO, it is a linked issue to the issue of, what is to be considered as "Adulthood". While the issue of child marriage is a much talked of "social evil" in context, the related issue of all the social ills that have arisen, especially in western societies and others that have started to follow those norms - to the issue of teenage pregnancies is not discussed. Below is an example.

[url=http://www.cfr.org/peace-conflict-and-human-rights/child-marriage/p32096#!/#age-of-consent]Age of Consent[/url]

Someone should also, research how and why the so called adulthood cutoff was reduced from 21 to 18 in many countries. The age to consume alcohol which is 21 is, higher in Americas or for smoking. There is no perfect science but there is general acceptance that adolescence continuees till the early 20's for many. Age to consent for sex though is lower.

At root, is the flawed concept of the "individual" as the only unit of order and not looking at this individual to be a unit of a larger society wedded to relationships.

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

Postby ramana » 19 Jul 2014 02:16

Surasena, Thanks for the link to the book Julian's Gods.

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

Postby UlanBatori » 19 Jul 2014 02:48

Huntington, regardless of whether you agree with him or not


I cannot agree with Huntington - emphasis is without rancor, it is a literal statement. Many of "us" would perhaps LIKE to agree with Huntington because his "thesis" appears to fit present reality as evident from the actions of certain ppl whom we may not like. Others (desi RNIs esp) read all such cr*p and identify with its proponents on the theory that "WE are more like the Bilayatis than like XXXXXXX". They don't think for a moment that when the Civilized Bhesterners say "Sand Ni*****s" or "Golliwogs" they mean us. All of us. Even the ones with relatively fair skin. Even the ones who can speak Angreji in a perfect Dun School or St. Theresa's Convent or Midwestern accent. Even those who have cut their hair short and don't wear a "bindi" and have shaved inside their bikini lines and wear a 2mm layer of Stucco Cement on their faces, even over the FairNLovely.

Ppl who buy into Huntington's models are ultimately, racist bigots. To cut my story short, I would just remind u of the old saying:

There are two kinds of ppl.
Those who keep dividing ppl into two kinds, and those hu don't.


Huntington is certainly a ppl of the 2nd kind. His thesis is equally usable by those who claim that desis can never be REALLY (fill in the blanks: civilized, believers in a Constitution, honest, respectful of wimmens, disciplined enough to keep their ***** clean, trusted, honest, trustworthy, honest, kind, gentle, considerate of others, observant of civilized etiquette...)

Of course those types don't NEED Huntington's thesis to believe that, but it sure don't hurt.

Huntingtons' thesis is also used to rationalize mass murder. Killing 3 million Iraqis is perfectly OK, since they are not "civilized ppl". Killing 1 million Afghans is OK, ditto. West Pakis (TFTA and therefore RELATIVELY "civilized" killing 3 million East Pakistanis and raping 10 million women in East Pakistan, was perfectly OK "because" the East Pakistanis were not REALLY civilized (read "humans"). Many were HINDUS, far less human than TFTA West Pakis. Nuking Japanese cities was OK (but NOT German cities) because... (same reason: they are not "like" us).

Huntington, of course writes English well. As the old saying by the desi Mantri goes, this is because he is of the Civilized West where
chote-chote bacche bhi achee tarah Angreji main baat karte hain!!


I hold that there is no such thing as "western civilization".

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

Postby Rudradev » 19 Jul 2014 02:56

UlanBatori wrote:
However, ppl who buy into Huntington's models are ultimately, racist bigots.



+10008. In fact a substantial section of the US academy holds that his "civilizations" thesis is bunkum...the modern-day equivalent of eugenics and race theories peddled by 18th-Century German Ubermenschen whose seminal observations relied on comparative measurement of the skulls of Africans and lower primates.

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

Postby ramana » 19 Jul 2014 03:21

UB where were you all these years? Sorely missed your insights.

Dont do that again.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Jul 2014 04:17

UlanBatori wrote:Ppl who buy into Huntington's models are ultimately, racist bigots. To cut my story short, I would just remind u of the old saying: .....

I hold that there is no such thing as "western civilization".
You would not be the first one to hold Huntington guilty of racism and you would be in good company to share the view that there is no such thing as "western civilization". However, for those, who want to understand global events and how nations act and react, the civilizational view is one over arching layer of understanding. Does not mean other factors are irrelevant. Huntington is popular because he put this over arching layer of understanding, his critics notwithstanding the facts speak for themselves.

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

Postby shiv » 19 Jul 2014 07:29

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2 ... d-to-work/
Bolivia legalizes child labor
Bolivia has become the first nation to legalize it from age 10. Congress approved the legislation early this month, and Vice President Alvaro Garcia signed it into law Thursday in the absence of President Evo Morales, who was traveling.

The bill's sponsors say lowering the minimum work age from 14 simply acknowledges a reality: Many poor families in Bolivia have no other choice than for their kids to work. The bill offers working children safeguards, they say.

"Child labor already exists in Bolivia and it's difficult to fight it. Rather than persecute it, we want to protect the rights and guarantee the labor security of children," said Sen. Adolfo Mendoza, one of the bill's sponsors.

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

Postby Arjun » 19 Jul 2014 07:44

UlanBatori wrote:I hold that there is no such thing as "western civilization".

Not sure I understand what your point is.

Are you implying that there is no separate Indic civilization & no Confucian civilization as well - or just that the Westerners don't measure up to the latter two ? Or possibly you mean that the Germanic, Slav, Hispanic and other tribes don't really qualify to be treated as one unit and that they should be separate terms for each ?

Some more specificity would be welcome.

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

Postby KrishnaK » 19 Jul 2014 07:46

ShauryaT wrote: At root, is the flawed concept of the "individual" as the only unit of order and not looking at this individual to be a unit of a larger society wedded to relationships.
I'm sorry to have to chime in. At root is the concept of a disadvantaged individual, who requires protection. The numbers might off or on, but that is very irrelevant.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Jul 2014 07:49

There is another paper from Huntington titled, The West: Unique, not universal, maybe a search will show it, but I have a copy and attached is a relevant abstract.

Many in the West believe the world is moving toward a single, global culture that
is basically Western. This belief is arrogant, false, and dangerous. The spread of
Western consumer goods is not the spread of Western culture. Drinking Coca-Cola
makes a Russian no more Western than eating sushi makes an US citizen
Japanese. As countries modernize, they may westernize in superficial ways, but
not in the most important measures of culture - language, religion, values. In fact,
as countries modernize, they seek refuge from the modern world in their
traditional, parochial cultures and religions. Around the globe, education and
democracy are leading to indigenization. As the power of the West ebbs, the rest
will become more and more assertive. For the West to survive as a vibrant and
powerful civilization, it must abandon the pretense of universality and close ranks.
Its future depends on its unity. The people of the West must hang together, or
they will hang separately.

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

Postby ramana » 19 Jul 2014 08:14

World is Flat by Friedman and Globalization by Kaplan were examples of the shallow thinking.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/arc ... hy/304670/

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

Postby RamaY » 19 Jul 2014 08:17

It is ok to have as many layers of understanding as we want/need and even create new ones as long as our realization doesn't become the layers.

It is ok as long as the protection of the disadvantaged ends at creating equal opportunity or initial conditions and doesn't become a pursuit of creating equal outcomes, which is unnatural.

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

Postby UlanBatori » 19 Jul 2014 08:21

Let me expand on the proposition
There is no such thing as western civilization

Read the quote from Huntington:
For the West to survive as a vibrant and powerful civilization, it must abandon the pretense of universality and close ranks. Its future depends on its unity. The people of the West must hang together, or they will hang separately.


First, what is "western civilization" and who are these people who must "hang together"? I think you will find that Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are part of the "West" per Huntington. Surely these are not "western", New Zealand is about as far east as east can be. Auckland is 175 degrees East Longitude. Will Huntington count New Zealanders as "Easterners"?

What about South Africans?

So now we see that "western" is a code name for "white-skinned", aka "colonialists who killed off the natives". He MAY include the Spaniards and the Portuguese among The West, since they share the same religious rationalization for mass murder, rape, torture, genocide and enslavement as the rest of The West.

When it comes right down to it, what binds Huntington's "The West" together is not a tradition of culture, it is a tradition of genocide and enslavement. Of predatory expansion. These are not signs of "civilization", there's nothing "civil" about raping one's neighbor's daughters or killing their father or enslaving their mother. What exactly is the "culture" and "tradition" that Huntington seeks to protect? It comes down to the Crusader tradition: Sir Galahad downing too many jars of hooch and having a Vision of Da Holy Grail, and setting off after locking the chastity belts on his wimmens and goats, to commit genocide on the peasants of Morocco or wherever.

Shauryaji, I completely understand what you are saying, it is true that reading Huntington's rants is eye-opening for those who don't already understand what passes for "culture" between the ears of many "intellectuals" in "The West". Which is why the term "western culture" is a trigger for me.

Mongol culture, now, now, THAT's culture! The hoss, the steppe, the sword, and pyramids of skulls.. Huntington's "thesis" is exactly what Genghis Khan's minister would have written if he bothered to do such things instead of killing a few thousand more people.

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

Postby MurthyB » 19 Jul 2014 09:07

Good post. The final link to mongolian culture is nice touch.

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

Postby shiv » 19 Jul 2014 09:13

Huntington could well be called Shri Late Lateef. It took him till 1993 to find out and talk about a superior western civlilzation.

In the 1970s my friends and cousins went to America and found out way back then that there was a superior western civilization there and had told me about it. They were all recognized as intelligent and equals in that civilization. Everyone called everyone else by first name and there were no classes, No one called anyone "sir", And they were paid good money to be equals in this melting pot culture that they told me was far superior to what they had left behind.

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

Postby svinayak » 19 Jul 2014 09:48

RamaY wrote:
It is ok as long as the protection of the disadvantaged ends at creating equal opportunity or initial conditions and doesn't become a pursuit of creating equal outcomes, which is unnatural.


+108

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

Postby Arjun » 19 Jul 2014 09:56

KrishnaK wrote: At root is the concept of a disadvantaged individual, who requires protection. The numbers might off or on, but that is very irrelevant.

True. Where the West seems to be falling short is in its (in)ability to understand the notion of a 'disadvantaged culture' that also requires protection.

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

Postby shiv » 19 Jul 2014 10:07

svinayak wrote:
RamaY wrote:
It is ok as long as the protection of the disadvantaged ends at creating equal opportunity or initial conditions and doesn't become a pursuit of creating equal outcomes, which is unnatural.


+108

When the outcomes are unequal, those unequal outcomes become the "initial conditions' for a new quest to create equal opportunity for the disadvantaged. That is the problem with restriction of equality to initial opportunities.

One way to solve this problem is to blame outcomes on karma. One could speculate that Indians in India had equal opportunities maybe 10,000 years ago when India was being settled. But by 1800 the outcomes were all inequality. That inequality was taken up by the Brits and addressed in an attempt to create equality. They created a class of educated people who were almost, but not quite British, but the outcome again led to inequality. The descendants of those people went to America which promised equality. We are now seeing the outcome of that.

Inequality is universal in my view. Better to accept that and stop pretending that equality is feasible via this culture or that method.

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

Postby TSJones » 19 Jul 2014 10:20

shiv wrote:When the outcomes are unequal, those unequal outcomes become the "initial conditions' for a new quest to create equal opportunity for the disadvantaged. That is the problem with restriction of equality to initial opportunities.

One way to solve this problem is to blame outcomes on karma. One could speculate that Indians in India had equal opportunities maybe 10,000 years ago when India was being settled. But by 1800 the outcomes were all inequality. That inequality was taken up by the Brits and addressed in an attempt to create equality. They created a class of educated people who were almost, but not quite British, but the outcome again led to inequality. The descendants of those people went to America which promised equality. We are now seeing the outcome of that.

Inequality is universal in my view. Better to accept that and stop pretending that equality is feasible via this culture or that method.


yeah, we put them in charge of Microsoft and Pepsi and let them own every other hotel in the nation...... :roll:

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

Postby UlanBatori » 19 Jul 2014 18:55

IOW, Huntington COULD be in the KKK, if only he could pass their IQ test... He's surely passed their Civilization and Culture test.

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

Postby A_Gupta » 19 Jul 2014 19:06

shiv wrote:Inequality is universal in my view. Better to accept that and stop pretending that equality is feasible via this culture or that method.


Crime of all kinds is universal, e.g., murder, rape, robbery. It doesn't mean we stop fighting it. Yes, no culture or method has a universal solution to it.
e.g.,
http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2013/0 ... pts-2.html

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

Postby RamaY » 19 Jul 2014 19:44

shiv wrote:When the outcomes are unequal, those unequal outcomes become the "initial conditions' for a new quest to create equal opportunity for the disadvantaged. That is the problem with restriction of equality to initial opportunities.

One way to solve this problem is to blame outcomes on karma. One could speculate that Indians in India had equal opportunities maybe 10,000 years ago when India was being settled. But by 1800 the outcomes were all inequality. That inequality was taken up by the Brits and addressed in an attempt to create equality. They created a class of educated people who were almost, but not quite British, but the outcome again led to inequality. The descendants of those people went to America which promised equality. We are now seeing the outcome of that.

Inequality is universal in my view. Better to accept that and stop pretending that equality is feasible via this culture or that method.


I would present it differently!

If we accept definition of Karma as the initial conditions, then there is no need to 'blame' anything on Karma. It is just the new set of initial conditions for the individual. There will be many such individuals in that state of equilibrium and the individual in this case, by all means, can achieve a better outcome the second/Nth time and move on to an upper equilibrium, making others a bit jealous if they care. Something like - http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer ... _CAT_works No one calls CAT karma!

What is required is a bit of 'understanding' of one's self because one is the best judge of one's choices. Given the equal opportunity, everyone should achieve same outcomes if the other variables are managed properly and cautiously. The real problem is the 'perception' that somehow different outcomes are good/bad on their own. For a rational mind they cannot be because the outcomes are nothing but a function of the individual itself (focus, discipline, hardwork, choices etc - remember the initial conditions are same so we cannot blame others) and one's identity is this very function itself. So how can one deny one's own individual identity? Can RamaY be ever called as Shivji or can he be the same; good or bad, and is it desirable?

Britis did not create any equality, they just sold that dream. Because their equation is not-native, it just appeared as equal initial conditions for all natives; the reality being this equal opportunities themselves are a mirage (some native groups got better success at being British than others). Even if they created 50% of social equality that they promised or some of us claim, then there wouldn't be any need for BR Ambedkar smriti or his reservation system.

On the other hand, Sanatana Dharma offers a different style of universalism. This universalism stems from the universal being that exists in all. It not only creates the equal initial conditions/opportunities to all (not just humans, but all living/non-living beings) based on their karma (function of previous actions, unfulfilled desires, imbalanced temperament and most importantly the innate quest of Moksha) but also offers equal outcome to all, in the form of Moksha. It doesn't stop at that. SD also offers equal understanding of one's true self during the journey as well thru Vedas & Sastras.

Western management theory understood this a little bit as part of their quest to maximize the efficiency of a corporation, which is a microcosm of chaturvarna-system. They called it transaction analysis and emotional intelligence and are failing at it miserably even in such controlled environment.

Added Later:
The modern/western system is no different. Many children go to public schools (1st round of equal opportunity) , but not all get to MIT/Hawahd. Even the people who get into MIT (2nd round of equal opportunity / initial conditions) don't come out as equals. And this process goes on. Not all MIT grads or F500 CxOs get similar wives, children etc., We don't call this inequality, do we?
Last edited by RamaY on 19 Jul 2014 23:06, edited 3 times in total.

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

Postby shiv » 19 Jul 2014 19:58

A_Gupta wrote:
shiv wrote:Inequality is universal in my view. Better to accept that and stop pretending that equality is feasible via this culture or that method.


Crime of all kinds is universal, e.g., murder, rape, robbery. It doesn't mean we stop fighting it. Yes, no culture or method has a universal solution to it.
e.g.,
http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2013/0 ... pts-2.html

Funnily enough this entire discussion is about fighting coercion and promoting free will/choice in opposition to being robbed of choices and freedom.

Of course I am going off into a philosophical line - and I loved the stats on your blog. Earlier in this thread I asked for a definition of "religion".

I also looked at definitions of universalism, and at least on Google all definitions lead to religion, except for links to Rajiv Malhotra - and yes certainly western universalism has come down from religion - specifically Christianity exactly as per the quotes from Balagangadhara that you posted.

If you look for definitions of morality, it is about what is good and what is bad.

Technically the world is full of good and bad. Love is universal. So is cruelty and hate. Kindness and altruism are universal, and as you say murder, rape, robbery are also universal.

It is ONLY morality which demands that the universal values to be cherished should be "good" and not "bad". Who, or what, decides which values should be universal? And who or what decides that the universal values to be cherished and upheld by man are "good" and not "bad"?

If you look at morality, two general statements can be made
1. All cultures have their view about morality
2. Hindu morality exists outside of religion. Christian and Islamic morality are part of religion.

This makes a world of difference as to what values can be cherished as "universally good"

Christian morality technically demands that a particular god and his dictates are the ideals of "universally applicable" morality. If you remove the god (as part of secularization of Christian morality as Balagangadgara points out) you are still left with Christian morality and not universal morality, because in Christianity and Islam, morality does not exist outside the confines of religion. It has always been perfectly moral to rob, loot, kill or ravish immoral people. Immoral people who accept the God would be "forgiven". But those who did not were destined for damnation. In this world or the next.

So when Christian morality gets morphed into "Universalism' it then becomes OK to attack and bomb Vietnam or Iraq to hell. They were the "other" the immoral people who did not accept "universalism" and are therefore anti progress, anti freedom and anti west all values and identites that were carved out of Christian societies and then secularized by the removal of God. The god was booted out but everything else, including "the other" have remained the same.

Secularism is similar. You can boot out God, but if it does not leave you with western universalism, it is not secularism, it is communalism.

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

Postby ShauryaT » 19 Jul 2014 21:48

The strength of a theory lays in the number of things it gets right (certainly not all) and the time the theory lasts the tests of time.

The below is an article by Huntington in 1996, in response to his critics, and I recommend folks who have not read his works to read the whole thing and the book and make your own judgments. For folks who are critics, it is for them to propose an alternative theory and I hope no one here is subscribing to the view that the world is flat!
If Not Civilizations, What? Samuel Huntington Responds to His Critics
A universal civilization can only be the product of universal power. Roman power created a near-universal civilization within the limited confines of the ancient world. Western power in the form of European colonialism in the nineteenth century and American hegemony in the twentieth century extended Western culture throughout much of the contemporary world. European colonialism is over; American hegemony is receding. The erosion of Western culture follows, as indigenous, historically rooted mores, languages, beliefs and institutions reassert themselves.

Amazingly, Ajami cites India as evidence of the sweeping power of Western modernity. "India," he says, "will not become a Hindu state. The inheritance of Indian secularism will hold." Maybe it will, but certainly the overwhelming trend is away from Nehru's vision of a secular, socialist, Western, parliamentary democracy to a society shaped by Hindu fundamentalism. In India, Ajami goes on to say, "The vast middle class will defend it [secularism], keep the order intact to maintain India's-and its own-place in the modern world of nations." Really? A long New York Times (September 23, 1993) story on this subject begins: "Slowly, gradually, but with the relentlessness of floodwaters, a growing Hindu rage toward India's Muslim minority has been spreading among India's solid middle class Hindus-its merchants and accountants, its lawyers and engineers-creating uncertainty about the future ability of adherents of the two religions to get along." An op-ed piece in the Times (August 3, 1993) by an Indian journalist also highlights the role of the middle class: "The most disturbing development is the increasing number of senior civil servants, intellectuals, and journalists who have begun to talk the language of Hindu fundamentalism, protesting that religious minorities, particularly the Muslims, have pushed them beyond the limits of patience." This author, Khushwant Singh, concludes sadly that while India may retain a secular facade, India "will no longer be the India we have known over the past 47 years" and "the spirit within will be that of militant Hinduism." In India, as in other societies, fundamentalism is on the rise and is largely a middle class phenomenon.

The decline of Western power will be followed, and is beginning to be followed, by the retreat of Western culture. The rapidly increasing economic power of East Asian states will, as Kishore Mahbubani asserted, lead to increasing military power, political influence and cultural assertiveness. A colleague of his has elaborated this warning with respect to human rights:

[E]fforts to promote human rights in Asia must also reckon with the altered distribution of power in the post-Cold War world. . . . Western leverage over East and Southeast Asia has been greatly reduced. . . . There is far less scope for conditionality and sanctions to force compliance with human rights. . . .

For the first time since the Universal Declaration [on Human Rights] was adopted in 1948, countries not thoroughly steeped in the Judeo-Christian and natural law traditions are in the first rank: That unprecedented situation will define the new international politics of human rights. It will also multiply the occasions for conflict. . . .

Economic success has engendered a greater cultural self-confidence. Whatever their differences, East and Southeast Asian countries are increasingly conscious of their own civilizations and tend to locate the sources of their economic success in their own distinctive traditions and institutions. The self-congratulatory, simplistic, and sanctimonious tone of much Western commentary at the end of the Cold War and the current triumphalism of Western values grate on East and Southeast Asians.

Language is, of course, central to culture, and Ajami and Robert Bartley both cite the widespread use of English as evidence for the universality of Western culture (although Ajami's fictional example dates from 1900). Is, however, use of English increasing or decreasing in relation to other languages? In India, Africa and elsewhere, indigenous languages have been replacing those of the colonial rulers. Even as Ajami and Bartley were penning their comments, Newsweek ran an article entitled "English Not Spoken Here Much Anymore" on Chinese replacing English as the lingua franca of Hong Kong.› In a parallel development, Serbs now call their language Serbian, not Serbo-Croatian, and write it in the Cyrillic script of their Russian kinsmen, not in the Western script of their Catholic enemies. At the same time, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have shifted from the Cyrillic script of their former Russian masters to the Western script of their Turkish kinsmen. On the language front, Babelization prevails over universalization and further evidences the rise of civilization identity.

CULTURE IS TO DIE FOR

Wherever one turns, the world is at odds with itself. If differences in civilization are not responsible for these conflicts, what is? The critics of the civilization paradigm have not produced a better explanation for what is going on in the world. The civilizational paradigm, in contrast, strikes a responsive chord throughout the world. In Asia, as one U.S. ambassador reported, it is "spreading like wildfire." In Europe, European Community President Jacques Delors explicitly endorsed its argument that "future conflicts will be sparked by cultural factors rather than economics or ideology" and warned, "The West needs to develop a deeper understanding of the religious and philosophical assumptions underlying other civilizations, and the way other nations see their interests, to identify what we have in common." Muslims, in turn, have seen "the clash" as providing recognition and, in some degree, legitimation for the distinctiveness of their own civilization and its independence from the West. That civilizations are meaningful entities accords with the way in which people see and experience reality.

History has not ended. The world is not one. Civilizations unite and divide humankind. The forces making for clashes between civilizations can be contained only if they are recognized. In a "world of different civilizations," as my article concluded, each "will have to learn to coexist with the others." What ultimately counts for people is not political ideology or economic interest. Faith and family, blood and belief, are what people identify with and what they will fight and die for. And that is why the clash of civilizations is replacing the Cold War as the central phenomenon of global politics, and why a civilizational paradigm provides, better than any alternative, a useful starting point for understanding and coping with the changes going on in the world.

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

Postby RamaY » 19 Jul 2014 23:04

There exists a system A. Then system B sprouts in a part X and replaces A. Then system C comes in X as new avatar of B. System spreads to areas Y destroying local As. Then system D comes up in X and tries to expand its coverage in area X, Y and Z.

Fast forward 1000+ yrs and systems B, C, D are yet to makes peace with themselves and within their own group. In the meantime system A continues its existence wherever it can, mostly in area I even after 1000+ yrs of onslaught from systems C & D.

Now a two-bit intellectual comes up in locale Y and claims that only C can be an universal system. Then another two-bit intellectual argues that since systems B, C and D failed to be universal, system A also must be local hence there must exist constant strife between A, B, C and D.

If anyone questions this nonsense, they are not being intellectual because they couldn't propose an alternate theory. This intellectualism accepts theory J as valid just because it questions system A, but if one proposes theory K in support of system A and criticizes theory J they are regressive & narrow-minded. Apparently for an inquiring mind theory J must be good because it got accepted in paid-news for 20-30yrs but system A is bad because it continues to be relevant even after 10000+ yrs.

Well the answer is system A.

System A is not only universal but also can destroy B, C and D for good and remove this millennia of human conflict for few thousand years till another P raises its head, for vanity/rape/murder/jealousy/stupidity are universal.

The problem is not in system A. The problem is in minds who cannot (or worse not willing to) see beyond the layers of B, C and D and one's fear of speaking their true mind.

Individual Intellect moves at its own pace because it is Guna-Karma vibhagina:
Last edited by RamaY on 19 Jul 2014 23:17, edited 1 time in total.


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