PT Barnum – Seven Pillars of Western Wisdom
Sanitize and smuggle
With passage of time, the real harm to the Indian society by some of the foreign rulers is forgotten. For instance, the Mughal period saw the impoverishment of the Indian farmer, due to uncertainty over land title, whimsical tax regimes – and not the religious agenda, which has been ‘sold’ to Indians. By latter colonial rulers, the British.
We may see a repeat of the same phenomenon, this time, seeing the colonial rule through rose-tinted glasses. Colonialism was an unmitigated disaster – and should be clearly remembered as such.
We may see attempts to cover up the colonial misrule, by ‘academics’ whose motives are not always obvious or in the open. One such ‘academic’ is Kishore Mahbubani.
H.E.Professor Dr.Kishore Mahbubani, of the National University of Singapore, Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy has recently written a book.
In an interview with The Times Of India he opined, a cloying, subservient and ignorant view of the modern history. “Asia has benefited immensely from the western seven pillars of wisdom — free market, science and technology, meritocracy, pragmatism, culture of peace, rule of law and education” says Mahbubani.
On Mahbubani, comments The Economist, very patronisingly, “Kishore Mahbubani makes some sensible recommendations.” Strangely, The Economist, says this is “an anti-Western polemic, designed to wake up Americans and Europeans by making them angry. In that goal, it will certainly be successful.” Reportedly, The Economist, has decided that Kishore Mahbubani is an “Asian Toynbee preoccupied with the rise and fall of civilisations.”
Echoing The Economist, is The Shanghai Daily, which pronounces “Singaporean author Kishore Mahbubani has been likened to an Asian Toynbee”. Joining the fray, The Deccan Herald chips in with “Kishore Mahbubani is the ultimate foreign policy guru.” Niranjan Rajadhyaksa of The Mint (a HT-WSJ publication) intones,“Asia has both suffered and learnt a lot from the West … Mahbubani has been extremely fair.”
I tried disagreeing. I thought I had overwhelming evidence. But after the Mahbubani experience, with liberal doses of assistance from St.Barnum’s (patron saint of propaganda), I must admit, I was enlightened.
And I also want to know, who your PR agency is, Kishorbhai!
1. Free Markets
I was a non-believer in Western commitment to free markets. After reading Kishore Mahbubani, I realized, I was reading too much propaganda about how Indian mangoes could not be exported to USA for the last 18 years – because of pesticide residues.
India, (wrongly) disallowed imports of allegedly, ‘over-priced, gas-guzzling, polluting’ Harley-Davidson motorcycles. USA, in turn taught India a thing or two about free trade. After a sufficiently, enlightened India, lifted restrictions on imports of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, pesticide residues disappeared, and the US allowed imports of Indian mangoes again.
I am sure that Indian farmers, with some devious trickery, ensured that pesticide residues vanished.
For the last 300 years, the West restricted imports of fabrics and garments. Dhaka’s de-urbanization due to this in the 1800-1900 is written into history – wrongly. The last law was the MFA agreement which created a quota-based regime for textiles, in the West.
Agricultural subsidies of nearly US$20 billion dollars by USA and EU, to their farmers are also in the spirit of free trade. For the benefit of the starving Rest, the West is giving these subsidies to Western farmers, to lower food prices. How does it matter that the agricultural economy of the recipient nations gets destroyed!
Indian applications for ‘equivalence’ certificates have been pending with EU for the last 7-8 years – and not processed for the last 7-8 years due to lack of manpower. Interim annuals approvals are given instead – in the spirit of free trade, after some ‘concessions’.
Of course, the Western zeal for free trade extends to enforcing opium trade (just ask the Chinese). Kishorebhai, I only wish, ignorant Easterner that I am, is that we in India can enforce ‘free trade’ in opium today in USA and the Europe.
When the ignorant East, did not see the benefits of Western invention of free trade, the West was compelled to use force (remember Commodore Perry? For more details, ask the Japanese).
Mahbubani’s assertions are right. These ‘facts’ above are like a bikini. What they reveal is indicative, what they conceal is vital! In this case, the Western spirit of free trade. How can the ignorant East, question Western wisdom – or ethics, integrity, motives? Of course, all these cases and incidents are a conspiracy to defame the West.
2. Science & Technology
Before Western invention of Science and Technology, what did the East know?
Zilch. Zero. Sifr. Shunya. That is all. This claim about India inventing the zero and infinity is probably right. Because they had infinite knowledge about Zero – and nothing else. All their books about geometry (Aryabhatta, Bhaskara) are just figments of Eastern imagination. Eastern knowledge about eclipse prediction has now been proved wrong by Kishore Mahbubani’s expose. Indian shipbuilders and steel technology was just puffery – as demonstrated by Kishore Mahbubani.
Of course as Hegel said, there is no African history. I realize after reading Kishore Mahbubani’s interview that there is only Western Science and Technology. It must have been some Westerners behind the ‘achievements’ of China, Africa and India.
How ignorant I was before being enlightened by Kishorebhai!
PT Barnum adds - Are you not forgetting the option of crediting aliens?
They were always mislead by their leaders. The only place in the world that they could find equity, was in the West. If the West had not ‘bought’ these poor ‘Blacks’ and allegedly ‘enslaved’ them, they would have still have been in Africa – and lost the benefits of the Western meritocracy. Some Black leaders are today claiming that they have even contributed to Western technology.
The sheer audacity!
Similarly, if the Gypsies had not left India, (supposedly) a thousand years ago, they would have lost all the benefits of Western civilization. Early Punjabi settlers in USA did not properly understand their position in Western society. They were basically inferior people who demanded equality to their White masters.
This mis-perception, of course, created misdirected protests. These ignorant immigrants from the East did not properly understand Western meritocracy.
The Wisdom Of St.Barnum - If Japanese and Chinese immigrants faced discrimination in the USA, it was their fault – why did they have to look different?
I agree that the West is truly pragmatic!
Dr.RA Mashelkar, a senior scientist and administrator, writes:
“A recent study by an Indian expert group examined randomly selected 762 US patents, which were granted under A61K35/78 and other IPC classes, having a direct relationship with medicinal plants in terms of their full text. Out of these patents, 374 patents were found to be based on traditional knowledge …”
After annihilating the Australian Aborigines, the Australian Government decided to apologize. What more does the world expect? This apology from the magnanimous West was as pragmatic as anyone can get! Kishorebhai, we have a saying in India, about cats going on a pilgrimage after killing a hundred rats. In this case, of course, the West went one better. They killed millions of humans – and apologized for that!
Western practice of Pragmatism at its best!
St.Barnum sez - What could be more pragmatic? I agree with Kishore Mahbubani!
5. Culture Of Peace
The Native Americans were wiped out – nearly the entire race! Today they are a relic – a tourist attraction! Like rare animals in a zoo!
Aborigines in Australia have similarly been annihilated. Two world wars in a space of 40 years. The entire Jewish population of the world has been reduced to 10 million – by the West.
But, Kishore Mahbubani says, the Western civilization is about peace! And he is right!
These wars were forced upon the West – and were fought to bring peace on Earth. Now since there are no Native Americans and Aborigines, how can there be a war with the Native Americans and Aborigines. Similarly, if there are no Jews, there cannot be a war with the Jews. The West is also trying to cleanse the earth of all Muslims. Then there cannot be a war with Muslims also.
St.Barnum pays a tribute to Kishore Mahbubani - Kishorebhai, you concept of culture of peace is stunning to say the least. Hats off.
6.Rule of Law
Completely true and a matter of fact!
Consider the Western laws on slavery! And those related to minorities! Or current laws in the UK and US to deal with terrorism.
The disenfranchisement laws came into effect by the 1890’s – that continue till today. This ensured that the disproportionate numbers of ‘Blacks’ could not vote – and George Bush became the President of the USA for the 2nd time. After some 60,000 ‘Black’ Voters were disenfranchised, George Bush technically, won by less than 1000 votes (most of the disenfranchised voters were expected to vote against George Bush).
Petty crime (where poor) ‘Blacks’ were convicted in higher ratios were grounds for disenfranchisement. These laws ensured that 10 times higher number of ‘Blacks’ were disqualified compared to Whites. If that is not bad enough, it continues till now. Such tactics continue to be used to limit Black participation in democracy.
In 1904, the US pressured Tomas Estrada Palma, a ‘puppet’ Cuban President, to sign the Platt Amendment. This allowed US intervention in Cuban affairs, if ‘vital’ US interests were at risk (meaning at US will) – finally modified only in 1934. The many laws which made Gypsy hunting legal – like laws which made hunting animals legal. The latest news in that Italians are going to crack down on Gypsies – as per a EU law.
St.Barnum confirms - Yes, Kishore Sir! The West believes in laws.
I must admit, that Western education does achieve its goals!
West does produce leaders, generation after generation, who relentlessly execute the same agenda. The annihilation, the massacre, the pogroms – against natives in America and Australia, minorities like Gypsies, Jews and various Christian sects. The kidnapping of Aboriginal and Gypsy children. The massacres in Africa – from Roman times to 20th century. And now the specter of Islamic Demonization.
St.Barnum adds - This degree of continuity and consistency is missing with others. There is something about Western education Mr.Mahbubani, I agree.
Country Model of the West
Nothing more and nothing less. And their strategy to ‘white wash’ this – propaganda. With Kishorebhai’s plausible sincerity, I am not quite able to decide if Kishorebhai is an innocent and ignorant victim of Western propaganda or a part of the propaganda.
Either way, his book and his ideas are trash – and this post is a case of intellectual slumming.