Thursday, November 5, 2015

Marxism is not an approach based upon reason or cultural sensitivity

05-11-2015 - DR DAVID FRAWLEY - @davidfrawleyved - How following great yogis like Sri Aurobindo made me a "fascist" opened my eyes as to how Indian Marxists deal with dissent. I soon discovered that historical studies in India were dominated by the far left, which had its own investment in power. I learned that other scholars who challenged Marxist historians in India were subject to the same type of personal attacks.

Marxist politics of history
Marxist scholars in India like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib have, until recently, controlled the interpretation of ancient India at an institutional level. Being Marxists, there is naturally little of yoga or dharma in their views, and not much regard for any indigenous tradition of India. Chinese communists similarly rejected the Dalai Lama and Chinese Buddhism as fascist.
Marxists dictated historical studies in communist and socialist countries like the Soviet Union and China, using history for propaganda to promote class warfare, which became caste warfare in India. Today Marxist historians have been removed from power in Russia, which has gone back to honouring its Tsars, and the Chinese are taking up Confucius and Buddhism. It is time for India's Marxist historians to go the way of history as well.
Marxists have rejected such scholarly views that opposed their historical theories primarily on political grounds, not owing to their own research in archaeology or geology. Almost every scholar, in the East or West, who has questioned the Marxist view of ancient India has been subject to political, if not personal defamation by the same leftist scholars who today portray themselves as the victims of intolerance. They have not been the victims but rather the perpetrators of intolerance for decades.
Marxism is not an approach based upon reason or cultural sensitivity but puts political ideology above the pursuit of knowledge. It lacks the deeper insight necessary to understand India's great civilisation and its dharmic traditions.

Behind the charge of intolerance
So when Indian Marxists speak of intolerance, particularly relating to historical issues, we must take a good look at their own biases and their efforts to suppress evidence and inhibit any scholarship that does not agree with them.

Also read: Irfan Habib needs an SRK the way a Romila Thapar needs a Deepika Padukone

The Pinocchio Theory - Accelerationism Without Accelerationism - Here is my review of Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams’ INVENTING THE FUTURE. Cross-posted from The Disorder of Things. Steven Shaviro

The term accelerationism was coined by Benjamin Noys in 2010, in order to designate a political position that he rejected. In Noys’ account, accelerationism is the idea that things have to get worse before they can get better. The only way out of capitalism is the way through. The more abstract, violent, inhuman, contradictory, and destructive capitalism becomes, the closer it gets to tearing itself apart. Such a vision derives, ultimately, from the famous account of capitalism’s inherent dynamism in the Communist Manifesto. For Marx and Engels, capitalism is characterized by “constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation… All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned.” Far from deploring such developments, Marx and Engels see them as necessary preconditions for the overthrow of capitalism itself. [...]

But it still remains that they — like nearly all “Western Marxists” over the course of the past century — are a bit too quick in making the leap from economic matters to political ones. Still, I don’t want to end my comments on such a negative note. The greatest strength of Inventing the Future, to my mind, is that it does indeed turn our attention towards the future, instead of the past. A big problem for the left today is that we have too long been stuck in the backward-looking, defensive project of trying to rescue whatever might be left of the mid-twentieth-century welfare state. While it is perfectly reasonable to lament our loss of the safety net that was provided by mid-twentieth-century social democracy, the restoration of those benefits is not enough to fuel a radical economic and political program. Looking nostalgically towards the past is far too deeply ingrained in our habits of thought. We need to reclaim our sense of the future from Silicon Valley and Hollywood. 

Related books:
  • C. J. Townsend, The Singularity & Socialism: Marx, Mises, Complexity Theory, Techno-Optimism and the Way to the Age of Abundance (Rancho Cordova, CA: Createspace Independent Publishing, 2015).
  • Paul Mason, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (London: Allen Lane, Penguin Books, 2015).
  • Edward F. Kelly, Adam Crabtree and Paul Marshall, Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015). 
  • David Harvey, Justice, Nature, and the Geography of Difference (Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell Publishers, 1996).  

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