Pages

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

On Winter’s Reading Binge

To detoxify my mind from the clutter of information, analysis, and chatter, I kept away from cable TV, all print newspapers and magazines, video streaming services, and Internet during the last 20 days (December 19, 2019 to January 7, 2020). While I held on to my mobile device, I didn’t use it to browse social media, news sites, or to send emails. I used this period to read the following books:

1. The Roots of Romanticism, by Isaiah Berlin
2. New Science, by Giambattista Vico
3. The Decline of the West (Volume I), by Oswald Spengler
4. In the Shadow of the Sword, by Tom Holland
5. Classical Indian Metaphysics, by Stephen H. Phillips
6. Free Will, Agency, and Selfhood in Indian Philosophy, Edited by Matthew R. Dasti and Edwin F. Bryant
7. The Collected Essays of Bimal Krishan Matilal (Volume 1), Edited by Jonardon Ganeri

These books (especially the first four) have enabled me to solidify my view of the relation between culture and politics. Culture, and not ideology, is the fountainhead of a good society. The 20th century movements—communism, socialism, liberalism, and libertarianism—have failed because they are too ideological and utopian; what they lack is cultural roots. Every culture has its own possibilities of self-expression; the good political and economic ideas get implemented in nations whose culture is ripe for accepting such innovations. A political community (nation) is culture unadulterated.

3 comments:

Ajit R. Jadhav said...

Oh, you are alive!

I thought you were dead! Just like Bill Gates!! (And the NRI's HE pays and employs!!!)

Anyway, welcome back from the land of the...

Anyway, welcome back, and keep us [me!] informed before the next time you go dead.

Hmmmm?

You don't always write very much any sense [you love that Kant], but still, it's important that you are [kept] alive.

And change that photo of yours, will you?


Best,

--Ajit

Anoop Verma said...

Good to see you here Ajit. I hope you are doing well. I will try to change the picture soon.

Ajit R. Jadhav said...

Hey thanks, Anoop, for not taking any offence.

Anyway, *that* precisely was the way a few friends used to "greet" me back in the college days. ...Somehow recalled it. ... A feeble attempt to introduce some humour in life, by remembering better moments, it was---a jobless guy that I have become (once again!).

On a more serious note: I many times don't agree with you (not even your emphases), but I do appreciate the range of books and topics you cover, the kind of quotes you give. Impressive!

Anyway, thanks again, and bye for now.

Best,
--Ajit