2ndlook

David Hume on British character

Posted in European History, History, India, Media, politics, Religion, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on November 10, 2010
The Philosophy of death and genocide - (Cartoon title - Kant_Hume_Hobbes by Bob Row; uploaded on August 20, 2009; courtesy - toonpool.com). Click to enlarge.

The Philosophy of death and genocide - (Cartoon title - Kant_Hume_Hobbes by Bob Row; uploaded on August 20, 2009; courtesy - toonpool.com). Click to enlarge.

On British character

Indian attempts to show imperial British character as exploitative fail on one count. Apart from adjectives and inferences, there is usually little else. The terminal narrative is to a large degree propaganda – forethought and afterthought.

Been there and done that

David Hume (1711-1776), whose historiography shaped British outlook for the next 200 years, sheds some light on events during this period. Hume’s  influence provoked a latter-day philosopher to note that “Hume is our Politics, Hume is our Trade, Hume is our Philosophy, Hume is our Religion.” (statement by 19th century British idealist philosopher James Hutchison Stirling).

Hume’s argument about the ‘progress’ that British brought to the colonies lives in the colonial narrative even today. In the context of Ireland Hume wrote, “A more than equal return had been made [the slothful and barbarous Irish], by [the planters] instructing the natives in tillage, building, manufactures, and all the civilized arts of life”

Hume’s views on White superiority persist till date. Hume wrote,

I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action or speculation. No ingenious manufactures amongst them, no arts, no sciences. On the other hand, the most rude and barbarous of the Whites, such as the ancient Germans, the present Tartars, have still something eminent about them.

Thoughts and ideas that were later echoed by Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

A testimony to British ‘character’

To David Hume, an investor in slave trade, Britishers from East India Company in India ‘manifested the immense superiority of the British character’. This British ‘character’ according to Hume, of ‘the servants of this company of merchants [was] formed in a great degree by the habits and conditions of the masters’. Hume says, it was this British ‘character’ that was the reason why

a mercantile company, in less than ten years, [could] acquire by war and policy, more extensive  possessions, and a richer revenue, than those of several European monarchs.

Proudly, Hume described ‘British character’. What Hume said, Indians experienced, first hand. Hume described how Britishers of East Indian Company

David Hume was spot on regarding British (and European, too) behaviour!

David Hume was spot on regarding British (and European, too) behaviour!

considered, in every transaction of war, peace, or alliance, what money could be drawn from the inhabitants. … Before they planned aggression, they calculated the probable proceeds, the debts that they might extinguish, and the addition, on the balance of accounts, which they might make to the sum total. They considered war with the natives, merely as a commercial adventure: by so much risk encountered, a certain quantity of blood spilt, and a certain extent of territory desolated, great sums were to be gained. (read more via The history of England: from The history of England: from the invasion of Julius Cæsar, to the revolution in 1688 – Volume 12 By David Hume).

Having assured supplies of gunpowder from India, numerical superiority in navy based on Indian shipyards, Britain  started a blood-soaked 200-year military campaign in India – and the world.

For Pete’s Sake

Posted in Current Affairs, European History, History, India, Islamic Demonization, Media, politics, Religion, Satire by Anuraag Sanghi on September 5, 2010
Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren, an Swedish model and the ex-wife of Tiger Woods enacshed on her insecurity. (By Mike Lester, The Rome News-Tribune - 6/30/2010 12.00:00 AM; ©Copyright 2010  Mike Lester.).

Elin Maria Pernilla Nordegren, a Swedish model and the ex-wife of Tiger Woods encashed on her insecurity. (Cartoon By Mike Lester, The Rome News-Tribune - 6/30/2010 12.00:00 AM; ©Copyright 2010 Mike Lester.). Click for larger image.

Iran in Stone Age

On the Islamic side of the world, in Iran, courts reopened a 2005 adultery case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. After the trial, it was decided that Sakineh would be stoned to death for her ‘crime’.

This would have been just another case of Desert Bloc justice, till the French First Lady, Carla Bruni sprang to the ‘defence’ of this ‘victim’. The case become more high profile, after Brazil’s President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, offered asylum to Sakineh – which Iran rejected.

Iran has reportedly sentenced Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani – the 43-year-old Iranian woman who faces execution after being convicted of adultery – to 99 lashes in prison for “spreading corruption and indecency” after allowing an unveiled picture of herself to be published in a British newspaper.

The claim, which could not be confirmed, comes from her family and a lawyer representing Mohammadi Ashtiani, based on reports from those who have recently left the prison in Tabriz where she has been held for the last four years. (via Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani to be lashed over newspaper photograph | World news | guardian.co.uk).

The "Free' Press had a gala time with a 'free' victim. Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 4/16/2010 12.00.00 AM

The "Free' Press had a gala time with a 'free' victim. Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 4/16/2010 12.00.00 AM. Click for larger image.

On the other side

In the USA, over the last 12 months, we have a modern-day spectacle – The Hounding of Tiger Woods.

His crime?

Tiger Woods had sex with willing women. With a lot of willing women. No pedophilia, no rape or forced sex, no violence.

Just simple sex.

OK. May not be simple sex. Maybe in complicated ‘kamasutra‘ positions, in unusual locations, with varied partners. But does all this, change the issue. Make it  any different.

Guys, he just had sex.

Nothing more than sex. How can consensual sex be a sin, immoral, crime, shameful, and all that baggage of guilt? If there is an injured party, I can only see Tiger. All those willing and able women quite ‘enjoyed’ both the kissing, and the telling. Not to forget the money they made for both the kissing and the telling!

What exactly is it that Tiger Woods did? Cartoon by Mike Smith from the Las Vegas Sun.

What exactly is it that Tiger Woods did? Cartoon by Mike Smith from the Las Vegas Sun.

Mebbe …

Coming from the land of kamasutra, where काम kaam (desire, including sexual) is my right, probably I am under-developed. Maybe these advanced, monotheistic Desert Bloc religions and societies are more advanced than the primitive culture I am from! Maybe, the social system of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has ‘corrupted’ me.

Who can object

Not Elin Nordegren.

She made US$400 million (or is it US$500 /600 /750 /1000). For her insecurity. That Tiger may abandon her and the children, while he is chasing all these women. A fear that is fair and legitimate. For a mother to two of Tiger’s children.

Not a bad deal. Or is there something more? Am I missing something?

Jesus tried, God knows! (Cartoon By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 9/4/2008 12.00.00 AM; cartoon courtesy - politicalcartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Jesus tried, God knows! (Cartoon By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 9/4/2008 12.00.00 AM; cartoon courtesy - politicalcartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

What’s the difference

Now.

I really don’t see a difference between Iran’s stoning of Sakineh and the American stoning  of Tiger Woods.

Except that the stones are different. The US and world media has tried to kill Tiger with stones made of words, ill-will and smear, imputations, cans of tar and brushes. All of them, ganged up, against one man. One lonely man.

Just because a married man had sex with a few women!

Now Iran is doing much the same thing as the stoning of Tiger Woods. Only the stones in Iran are different. The Western world has made Desert Bloc ideals of shariat into Liberal-Christian dogma.

Did the world have to hound him for having sex? Cartoon by Christo Komarnitski, Bulgaria - 4/9/2010 12.00.00 AM

Did the world have to hound him for having sex? Cartoon by Christo Komarnitski, Bulgaria - 4/9/2010 12.00.00 AM

Although the West has become ‘educated’, ‘advanced’, ‘developed’, ‘civilized’, rich – they have not given up. Stoning people.

Jesus tried, God knows.

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