2ndlook

Country Model Of The West

Posted in Current Affairs, European History, Feminist Issues, Gold Reserves, History, Media, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on February 7, 2008

Chinese R & D SpendsThe Myth Of Western Technology

In the last 50 years, after WW2, the rise of Japan, Korea and China in manufacturing and technology and the Indian software success, have taken away the sheen from the myth of Western technological prowess. Post colonial revisions in history are eroding the euro-centric version of biased history.

Failed Westernisations

For some time, the easy way out seemed to be ‘copycat’ westernisation. One of the first ‘copycat’ states was China. China, led by Sun Yat Sen, (original name Sun Wen and started calling himself Yat-sen; Chinese call him Sun Zhongshan), was the first major power which tried going down the western path. The Japanese invasion of Manchuria sounded the death knell of the Chinese Republic and Monarchy.

China – Mao & Sun

Sun Yat Sen decided to westernise and make China into a Republican democracy. Chinese were made to cut their queue – pleated hair braids. This diktat was enforced in 20 days time. Sun Yatsen and later Mao Ze Dong made the Chinese change their dress styles too. The effect of this westernisation – an enduring sense of being followers. The Chinese add a western name to their Chinese one – Michael Tang, Bruce Lee, Jerry Yang, Tommy Tang, Tommy Chi.

In Hong Kong and Macao, white tourists are royalty. Chinese companies routinely parade White, Western investors – and the Chinese investors follow. Western marriage ceremony, Chinese couples think, is very romantic. The Christian Church wedding is common in China.

Not that Indians are too far behind – consider Steve Sanghi, Paul Parmar, or the best of them all, Bobby Jindal.

Mustafa Kemal AtaturkAtaturk’s Turkey

Turkey – led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the next ‘copycat’ attempt at westernisation. After WW1, the victorious allied powers dismantled the Ottoman Empire. Turkey was reduced to a rump state.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was ‘installed’ by Western powers. Thereafter, Turkey has lurched from crisis to another. Post WW2, it has mostly been ruled by military dictatorships. From an arbiter in Europe, it has become a supplicant, begging for entry into EU. Instead of the queue in China – it was beards in Turkey. Atatürk enforced a new dress code on the hapless Turks – and the traditional fez was banned. Stop wearing the fez or else …

Russia – Westernising Since Peter The Great

Peter the Great, (of the Naryshkin family) co-ruler of Russia, (along with Ivan of the Miloslavsky family) ruled from 1682-1725. For more than 40 years, his agenda was to create Russia in the Western mould. His travels to Germany, Britain, Sweden (before becoming a Tsar) shaped this agenda.

One of the first things he did after becoming a Tsar was to ask his boyars (Russian nobility) to shave their beards! Catherine The Great continued this during her reign from 1762-1796. For the next 125 years, Russia vacillated between a medieval country and modern western country.

Now, the imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky takes pains to show how Russia is a western nation and should be democracy. Khodorkovsky, who at one time nursed political ambition, says, “…I’m convinced that Russia is a European country, it’s a country with democratic traditions …”

How Every US Dollar Is SpentThe Anglo-Saxon Country Business Model

These Turkish and Chinese failures down the western garden path is to mistake the trees for the forest. There are five major features of the Anglo-Saxon country model which these countries did not copy. Not that I am recommending that they be copied.

The Use Of Corporations

The use of the British East India Company was an eye opener for the rest of the West. After Vasco da Gama’s discovery of trade route to India (for Europeans) round Africa, the British were the first of the block – with the English East India Company formed in the 1600.

The Dutch started soon after with the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Co.) in 1602. The Danish Opperhoved initially started in 1616 and was reborn in 1732, as Asiatisk Kompagni. The Portuguese organised themselves as chartered company in 1628. The French came with the French East India Co. in 1664. The Swedes joined the rat race in 1731 with Svenska Ostindiska Companiet. The Italians came in as the Genoa East India companies. The Hanseatic League had its own operations.

In North America, the Hudson Bay Company (Compagnie de la Baie d’Hudson in French) was given a Royal Charter in 1670 by Charles II. It practically owned Canada when the Dominion of Canada was formed – and is the oldest surviving company in North America. It monopoly ended only in 1870 – a few years after the Indian Independence War of 1857.

Anglo-American Oil Company (subsidiary of Standard Oil) of Iran plotted the the assassination of Iran’s Prime Minister Haj Ali Razmara and the overthrow of the Mohammed Mossadegh regime. Thereafter, it was the puppet regime of Shah Of Iran which terrorised Iran for 30 years that paved the way for return of Ayatollah Khomeini – and Iran’s regression to medieval times. And who was leading this campaign – Kermit Roosevelt (Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson).New Clues to JFK’s Murder?

In South America

In 1997, the CIA de-classified papers which admitted it planned and executed the coup in Guatemala – something that was known all along. This was done to protect the interests of the United Fruit Company – which owned large tracts of agricultural land in South America, used South American labour and shipped out fruit to America. Guatemalan farmers were run out of the market.

When Guatemala proposed land reforms so that Guatemalans could prosper in Guatemala, the Government of Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown. By the way, the term Banana republics came into being from the frequent intervention of the US into South American countries – and then ridiculing these countries for instability. To obtain US Governmental intervention, the United Fruit Company engaged services of Edward Louis Bernays (Sigmund Freud’s nephew) as PR front man.

Good ole DaysThe last 100 years saw the use of these companies as a means to economic dominance. ITT was used in South America for installing and removing dictators

… ITT papers published by Jack Anderson in March 1972, and in the hearings on these papers conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a year later. This material establishes that offers of financial aid aimed at stopping Allende were made by ITT president Harold S. Geneen to the CIA in July 1970 and to Henry Kissinger’s office in September” (Foreign Affairs; January 1974).

Had Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger not responded to International Telephone & Telegraph and Pepsi-Cola by overthrowing Salvador Allende, Chile “would have found a less violent, more constitutional way out of its conundrum.” writes Stephen Kinzer in his book Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq.

To gain control of the Panama Canal Company, the operator of the Panama Canal, US engineered the secession of Panama from Colombia. With a puppet Government in place, The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty allowed the U.S. to build the Panama Canal. Subsequent interventions to advance Western oil interests in Colombia and the Canal interests in Panama have reduced Governmental authority in these countries. Drug cartels, kidnapping and ransom now control the economy of these countries.

Nearer home, of course, the next ruler of Pakistan (military or otherwise) is decided by US – at least for now.

First Gold Discovery In AustraliaThe Cornering Of Gold Supplies

For the last 150 years, the ABC countries (America, Australia, Britain, Canada) comprising the Anglo-Saxon bloc (countries, colonies and companies) have controlled 90% of the world’s gold production. Till (a large part of) India was a British Colony, they also controlled more than 50% of the above-the-ground gold reserves. This gave them absolute liberty to print depreciating currency and flood the world pieces of paper(called dollars and pounds), manipulate the world financial system and keep other populations poor and backward.

Enslavement & Annihilation Of The Natives

They could capture gold supplies by the annihilation of native populations in America and Canada (‘Red Indians’ are tourist attractions now), killed the aborigines in Australia (and apologise now).

Till the middle of 19th century, raw slavery continued. By mid 19th century new forms of slavery was introduced – indentured labour, share cropping, etc. They re-invented slavery (in the 20th century again) and renamed it as apartheid which made native populations into slaves. They could, of course, truthfully claim that great Anglo-Saxon frontiersmen discovered gold and settled empty continents – in ‘hostile conditions’.

https://i0.wp.com/img219.imageshack.us/img219/2897/koreausaflagmashupob5.gifThe Creation Of Client Sates

Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, most of South America – have been reduced to the situation of client states. The basic position is Uncle Sam knows best – or else! These states have become production centres for the USA, cheap labour will be given an ‘opportunity’ to serve the ‘master’ states.

All these states also have significant military presence of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc which is a matter of concern for India.

Elephants in the room

Western models, which have evolved through the prism of slavery, colonialism, genocide, concentration of power are an end-of-life model. To use end-of-life products may seem like a low cost solution in the short run. The bigger issue in most cases is the  lock-in effect that these legacy systems impose on the ‘buyers’ – e.g. Singapore.

The western model of (natural and people) exploitation has runs its course – for instance, in India even salt was made into a high-tax commodity. It is a dead-end model. Parts of this model, have been used successfully by other countries – Japan with its keiretsus and Koreans with their chaebol. But obviously, this is a model that the West is an expert in – and what others copy, the West has finished with. Copycat models allow the west to predict the next steps easily and taken competitive actions with certainty. The answer for others is to create another country model. The only country which has tried this is India.

The Alternate Model

Bharat-tantra, the Indic political system that depends on local justice, low-policing, non-state free-coinage /gold-as-currency, absence of religion, property rights for all, low-tax systems, free-labour (as opposed to slave labour), enterprise instead of employment, wealth-and-property distribution instead of concentration, is the model that has a future – and a record of past success.

India, where non-State reform has played a very major role in crime, policing (JP’s dacoit reform), land reform (Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement), political change (JP’s Sampoorna Kranti movement). After the economic buffer from Bombay High oil discovery in 1974, the Indian State has certainly, steadily shed various aspects of its colonial legacy. More importantly, India did not go through the slavery-colonialism-capitalism route at all.

It has instead inching towards a republican, (largely) market-driven, democratic, declining role of State, multi-ethnic-religion-linguistic political model which is unique in modern history. What India needs to do is to one decrease the colonial inheritances further. Deliberate amnesia by historians, has obscured Bharat-tantra. India is today slotted as a socialist country – where as it has been reducing the features of a socialist State.

The underestimated and undermined political leadership in India, has worked at renewing  the Indian model – which is non-exploitative, stable and can bring equity and growth. It is this model that before others, India (and Indians) should believe in – and beat a modern path for the world to follow.

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India’s Biggest Success – Gandhiji

Posted in British Raj, Desert Bloc, History, India by Anuraag Sanghi on January 16, 2008
Gandhiji With His Grandson

Gandhiji with his grandson

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Gandhiji

The Jewish Question

Before WW2, news filtered to Gandhiji,  about Hitler’s persecution of the Jews – from Anglo Saxon sources. Gandhiji had put the British colonialists on the defensive – and the British colonialists attempting to show themselves as betters – compared to Hitler’s Germany, the French or the Dutch colonialists.

Gandhiji’s advice was simple

“… a war against Germany … would be completely justified … But I do not believe in any war … pros and cons of … war is … outside my … province … If I were a Jew … born in Germany … I would claim Germany as my home … as the tallest … German may, and challenge him to shoot me or cast me in the dungeon; I would refuse to be expelled or to submit to discriminating treatment … I should not wait for the fellow Jews to join me in civil resistance but would have confidence that in the end the rest are bound to follow my example. If … Jews … cannot be worse off than now … no … sympathy … in the world outside Germany can (help)… even if Britain, France and America were to declare hostilities against Germany … the calculated violence of Hitler may even result in a general massacre of the Jews …” (ellipsis and bold italics mine).

Jewish Frontier, a New York magazine, riddled Gandhi’s proposal in March, 1939, and sent him a copy. He quoted at length from the attack.

“I did not entertain the hope… that the Jews would be at once converted to my view,” Gandhi replied. “I should have been satisfied if even one Jew had been fully convinced and converted… It is highly probable that, as the [Jewish Frontier] writer says, ‘A Jewish Gandhi in Germany, should one arise, could function for about five minutes and would be promptly taken to the guillotine.’ (from Soul Force By Mahatma Gandhi, Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi)

Gandhiji At A Public Meeting

Gandhiji at a public meeting

Gandhiji’s reply was “… The method of violence gives no greater guarantee than that of non-violence…”

After Hitler’s death, Louis Fischer mentioned the Jewish death-toll to Gandhiji in 1946. Gandhiji response was,

“Hitler, killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”

Gandhiji gave similar advice to the Palestinians. Both, the Jews and Palestinians ignored his advice. The rest is history. More than 10 million Jews and Palestinians killed till date – and the killing continues.

Nelson Mandela in traditional tribal dress  circa 1950. Originally named Dalibunga; family and close friends refer to him as Madiba  |  Image source & courtesy - dailymail.co.uk  |  Click for larger source image.

Nelson Mandela in traditional tribal dress circa 1950. Originally named Dalibunga; family and close friends refer to him as Madiba | Image source & courtesy - dailymail.co.uk | Click for larger source image.

100% Success

For all those who claim that Gandhiji’s success was unique should look at history again.

Martin Luther King used Gandhiji’s ideology – and the African Americans have made more progress in the last 30 years than in the previous 300 years. Nelson Mandela’s success is too recent and well known for me to repeat. But his neighbour Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkome did not follow Gandhiji – and Zimbabwe’s state of affairs is well known. Lech Walesa’s success in Poland is there for all to see.

For all those who claim that Gandhiji’s methods required benign despots (like the British colonialists?!) are mistaken. The blood spilled by the British colonialists in Kenya, Malaysia, Rhodesia, South Africa is unparalleled.

The myth of benign British rule in India is a carefully crafted propaganda – aided and abetted as much by India’s Congress Party and the British themselves. Similar whitewash of British colonialism and genocide has been successful in Malaysia and Kenya.

The 200 years of American history of legal, institutionalised white bigotry is unprecedented in scope and magnitude. The White Apartheid regime was no less brutal than Hitler. The Communists brooked no dissent and the totalitarian hold on power was defeated by a Union leader.

Looking at the success of Gandhi-ist struggles the world over, the chances of LTTE success, even if they win the battle against Sri Lankan Government, is dim. Can a nation born out of killings, bombings, terrorism remain peaceful thereafter? Violence begets violence. Success using Gandhiji’s methods are more likely against the Sri Lankan Government.

Lech Walesa

Afghanistan’s descent into Talibanic regression was certain. The imprisonment of the Gandhian Pathan /Pashtun leader, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan by Pakistan – an American client state left Afghanistan with shallow, uni directional non-leaders. After the deposition of Zahir Shah, the vacuum in leadership did Afghanistan in.

Hindraf, is going down the ‘external sympathy’ path that the Jews used and failed. Hindraf, talk to your fellow Malaysians. The Queen is too decrepit an institution to help you.

The One Success

Ho Chi Minh.

Like Haitian generals, time and again, Ho Chi Minh, drove back Western colonials – each time they went back on their word. The French had promised freedom and de-colonialisation after WW2. Thereafter, they tried wriggling.

The French created a mess – before leaving in 1956. Just like Britain did in India (by creating a Pakistan and Kashmir) in Malaysia by dividing Singapore and Malaysia. US decided that they could ‘clean up’ – and make Vietnam into another client state like the other SEATO (now ASEAN) members. 20 years later, the US admitted defeat and decided to slink away. The Chinese decided to take swipe.

Same story.

Ho Chi Minh from Time MagazineThree of the five permanent members of the Security Council, (supposed Super Powers or mini-Super Powers) tried their hand at Vietnam. All failed. And after defeating these ‘Super Powers’, the Viets did not flex their muscles with any of their neighbours.

Ho Chi Minh’s quiet leadership, his frugality, his unblemished personal life inspired the Viets to take on the world – and win. After becoming President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, he lived in a gardener’s cottage and then a peasant house built on stilts beside a pond. Just like Gandhiji, he died just before seeing his dream came true. Ho Chi died in 1969 – a few years before the last of the colonialists was thrown out.

His was the kind of war that Gandhiji always believed in – ethical, moral. Without hate, rancour, ill-will or subjugative ambitions. Ho Chi Minh was truly the second coming of Gandhiji – the predicted Kalki.

Lage Raho Munnabhai

The commercial success of Attenborough’s Gandhi (made with Indian Govt. financial help) proved the international appeal and power of Gandhiji’s message. Gandhiji’s relevance to the modern world was well interpreted in the movie Lage Raho Munnabhai. It’s commercial success further bolsters Gandhiji’s enduring message.

Much like Gandhiji said, ahimsa and satyagraha require strength. Few have the strength.

Post Script

A few months after this post, (Summer 2008), the Harvard International Security, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Summer 2008), pp. 7–44, published a ‘study’ – ‘Why Civil Resistance Works’ report by Maria J. Stephan and Erica Chenoweth.

Gandhiji at his spinning wheel - Photo - Life magazine

Gandhiji at his spinning wheel - Photo - Life magazine

Amazingly, this ‘report’ does not mention the Haiti’s War of Freedom (even once) which defeated all the European superpowers (France, Britain, Spain) of the time. Of course, the report has an excuse that the period under review is from 1900 onwards – but the most important, significant, freedom war of the last 200 years cannot be wished away.

What about Ho Chi Minh? Not mentioned even once. Vietnam is mentioned in a citation- and not once in the main report. Gandhiji is mentioned once – in the passing. And another time in a reference. Lech Walesa, who started the unwinding of the Russian East European Empire is not mentioned even once. Mandela is not mentioned even once. Martin Luther King is mentioned once.

But the Catholic Gusmao, who received help from the West, is taken as an epitome of non-violent success – is mentioned 9 times. The two successes that they talk about happened in ‘Catholic’ countries – East Timor and Philippines. The one failure that they analyse is Buddhist Burma.

Interesting.

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