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Monday, December 20, 2021

What Are The Right Questions?

Why do we believe that the Pyramid of Giza and Mount Rushmore symbolize different kinds of political ideals? The purpose of both monuments was deification of the ruling elite—the ancient Egyptians wanted to venerate their pharaohs; the Americans wanted to venerate their presidents. The Americans have not mummified their founders but it can be argued that in a spiritual sense, they have—they have spent a massive amount of financial and intellectual resources on deifying the founders and transforming them into a modern counterpart of the ancient pharaohs. 

Why do we believe that the West, which came into being when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Americas, is founded on Ancient Greek philosophy? There is no connection between Greek philosophy and the West. The idea that the two are connected was developed in the eighteenth century (the so-called Age of Enlightenment) by French philosophers who were embarrassed by the barbarity with which the conquistadors, imperialists, slavers, colonizers, and settlers had won the Western empire. So these philosophers started claiming that the West had nothing to do with colonization and was founded on Ancient Greek philosophy. This was their rationalization, their propaganda, their myth—this has nothing to do with reality. 

Why do we believe that the philosophy of Ancient Athens is unique—that this kind of philosophical argumentation did not happen anywhere else? The German philosopher Karl Jaspers has written that all the major schools of philosophy and politics seem to have sprouted, apparently independently, in Persia, India, China, and Greece in the same period. He called this period the Axial Age (from 800 BC to 300 AD). During this period there was the rise of Zoroaster in Persia, the Vedics, the Buddha, and other thinkers in India, Confucius and Lao-Tse in China, and Pythagoras in Greece. All the important questions of philosophy and politics that we are deliberating to this day were conceived in this period. 

Why do we believe that the West, which venerates its political elites like Egyptians venerated their pharaohs, would be devoted to liberty, individualism, and property rights? In the last 500 years, the West has been the biggest violator of human rights and property rights. The notion that the West is founded on Ancient Greek philosophy enables the Western leaders to justify their destructive foreign policy. The Western elites are able to argue that since their way of life is more than 2000 years old, it is the best. In the twentieth century, America has repeatedly used its military power to impose Western culture on other nations. The choice that the Americans gave to the Middle Easterners, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Koreans, Africans, and South Americans was simple—become like us, hand over your natural resources to us, or we will destroy you.

Why do we believe that the European conquistadors and imperialists who committed genocides, plunder, rapes, and slavery on an world-historical scale, and wiped out several ancient cultures, were from an “enlightened” civilization which was motivated by the ideals of liberty, peace, human rights, and individualism? Between 1519 and 1526, Hernan Cortes wrote five letters (the English translation of these letters have been published in the book Five Letters of Relation) to the Spanish monarchs. Cortes has described his journey through the valley of Puebla where he interacted with several Native Indian city-states. About the city-state called Tlaxcala, Cortes said: It had a population of 150,000; in its markets, more than 30,000 people were involved in buying and selling; it had farms which measured thirty leagues in circumference. 

The Tlaxcala army was on the verge of wiping out Cortes and his tiny band of conquistadors. But Cortes managed to convince the Tlaxcala that they should grant him an audience. The Tlaxcala did not have an European style monarchy—they were being governed by a group of elders. In his letters, Cortes seems to be amazed that such a large community, with extensive agricultural and manufacturing economy, could function smoothly without a monarch. The Tlaxcala used to decide after public debate (in the style of Athenian democracy). Cortes has given a basic description of the debates which happened before the Tlaxcala agreed to accept the help of the conquistadors for defeating their ancient enemy, the Aztecs. 1000 Spaniards did not defeat the Aztecs—the Tlaxcala army of more than 20,000 native warriors was there to do the fighting. 

The Native Indian city-states of the Americas had much more liberty and individualism than the European nations from which the conquistadors and imperialists had arrived. The case can be made that the Europeans learned about liberty and individualism through their interaction with the native American tribes. It is the Western lies and propaganda which prevent us from seeing the truth that the Western culture is tyrannical, violent, and nihilistic—it is antithetical to rationality, liberty, morality, and individualism. To have the right answers we have to begin by asking the right questions. Everything that the West symbolizes can be and ought to be questioned.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

On the Dark Ages, Slavery, and Work Ethic

The institution of slavery vanished from Europe during the Dark Ages, which followed the fall of the Roman Empire. Why did slavery come to an end in the Dark Ages? 

Some historians have suggested that Christianity might have something to do with the end of slavery in the Dark Ages. That could be the case but the Christian thinkers were never explicitly against slavery. After the fifteenth century, the conquistadors (who were Catholic), and the imperialists (who were both Catholic and Protestant) practiced slavery on an unprecedented world-historical scale in the Americas and other colonies. 

It seems that the abolition of slavery in Europe happened due to the rise of feudal system of managing agriculture. Despite the attitudes of the major religious leaders, intellectuals, and monarchs of that time, the European feudal lords and the masses were opposed to the idea of having slaves. Instead of slaves, the feudal lords used local labor to manage the agriculture work of their vast land holdings. 

Why did the end of slavery lead to the Dark Ages in Europe? Is it possible that the Europeans are not capable of creating a powerful empire unless they have access to the labor of a massive number of slaves? If they are left without slaves, then they become trapped in the Dark Ages. 

After the fifteenth century, the rise of Europe as a global power has coincided with the rise of slavery. Around 1850, when European power was at its peak, the institution of slavery was also at a peak. The European slavers had transported between 12 to 18 million people from Africa to work as slaves in the Americas and in other colonies. The plantations, which were almost entirely dependent on African labor, were the backbone of the European economy in the Americas. 

Before the Africans arrived, the European settler population in the Americas was starving—the average life expectancy of the settlers was just 25 years. Most settlers used to die within five years of arrival in the Americas due to disease, bad living conditions, and starvation. The irony is that the Africans, with their capacity for hard work, saved the European population in the Americas and made the colonization of North America possible.

We read in history books that the West has won in the last 300 years because of the “Western work ethic.” The German philosopher Max Weber has talked about the “Protestant work ethic” being the cause of the success of Western capitalism. If the Europeans had a better work ethic, then why did they need millions of slaves in their colonies? Perhaps Max Weber was wrong. Perhaps he had overestimated the role played by the Protestant work ethic.

In the twentieth century, the USA and Europe had to transfer much of their agriculture production to South America and Africa, and their major industries to China, Japan, and other Asian countries. Perhaps this was because the work ethic in the non-European parts of the world was much better than the European work ethic. If Weber was exposed to the culture of Asia, I am certain, he would have praised the Asian work ethic.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Europe’s Four Conquests in 300 Years

In the last 300 years, the Europeans have conquered the world four times:

—the first time through their conquistadors, imperialists, slavers, and settlers who committed plunder, rapine, and genocides in an unprecedented world-historical scale, wiped out ancient tribes, nations, and civilizations, and colonized entire continents. 

—the second time through their utopian ideologies—religious fundamentalism (crusades and other movements), monarchism, communism, capitalism, nazism, racism, and fascism. These ideologies have caused (and are still causing) wars, insurgencies, revolutions, coups, massacres, social dislocations, and cultural alienations. 

—the third time by spreading European languages—primarily English, French, and Spanish—and European cultural and political norms. 

—the fourth time through the powerful military bureaucracies which are armed with weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear weapons), financial institutions (banking, insurance, and currency related entities), legal institutions (the UNO, the WHO, the IMF, and the World Bank), intellectual institutions (academia, mainstream media, movie industry, and think tanks), and the digital and electronics behemoths. 

Till the seventeenth century, Europe was the world’s backwater—so for the Europeans to conquer the world four times in the last 300 years is a remarkable turnaround. However, it would be foolish to claim that in all the four instances, Europeans did everything on their own. The other civilizations have contributed massively—especially in the second, third, and fourth instances. 

The question is: Where does European civilization go from here? Their four methods of world domination have by now been exposed, countered, compromised, and captured by other civilizations. Either the Europeans will come up with a fifth way of domination or they will lose their pole position in the world. The later outcome is likely. 

I believe that Europe and North America will come under the hegemony of the people of non-Western origin in the next 20 to 30 years—and that will probably be a good thing for mankind. The fall of the European powers could be as decisive and complete as their rise.

Friday, December 17, 2021

The Failing Bureaucrat: James Bond

James Bond is loyal to the state; he has charisma; he has access to secrets; he is an expert; he has the license to kill. These qualities and powers make James Bond the ultimate Western bureaucrat. He is the mythical symbol of Western power. 

Max Weber has defined the state as an institution which claims monopoly on the use of legitimate violence within a given territory. After winning the Second World War in 1945, America inherited the legacy of the British empire. The American establishment was convinced that it was their manifest destiny to Westernize and dominate the world, through trade and diplomacy if possible, and through violent means if necessary. 

James Bond was qualified to be the hatchet man for the American and British establishments. He possessed the necessary bureaucratic and militaristic skills. There are several books which accuse James Bond of being involved in nefarious activities: coups, revolutions, insurgencies, assassinations, corruption, political blackmail, torture, acts of mass terror, kidnappings, coercion of free press, and stolen elections. 

The rule of history is—no matter how badass you are, you will at some point of time encounter someone who will be nastier and tougher. In the twenty-first century, the non-Western powers have developed their own bureaucracies that are as secretive and lethal as the Western ones. The Western strategists are proving incapable of countering the rising power of the rival bureaucracies. The age of James Bond is over.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Empires Versus the Colonies

Most empires have vanished into the pages of history books after they were captured by their former vassals or colonies. 

The Persian Empire was captured by its former vassals, the Macedonians (led by Alexander the Great). The Roman Empire was captured by its former vassals, a coalition of Central Asian and European barbarian tribes led by the Visigoths. The last traces of the Byzantine Empire were captured by the Ottomans, who were once the vassals of the Byzantine Emperors. The Arab movements, which ruled Southwestern Europe (the Iberian Peninsula—Spain and Portugal) for almost six hundred years (711 to 1492), were initially being supported by the Byzantine Emperors and the political establishment in Italy. The Zangid Empire was replaced by Saladin’s Ayyubid dynasty (the Zangid ruler Nor ad-Din was responsible for the rise of Saladin). Ayyubid dynasty was replaced by the forces led by their former slaves, the Mamluks, who established the powerful Mamluk dynasty. The Mongol Empire was captured by the powers that arose in their former colonies of Russia and China. The Ottoman Empire was dismembered, between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, by a series of coalitions in which its former vassals and colonies played an outsized role.

If this trend of history holds in our time, then the American Empire, which has been dominating the world after 1945, could be captured by political forces dominated by the people of South American, African, and Middle Eastern origin. The European colonial powers—Spain, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—could be captured by the forces from North and South Africa, the Middle East, China, Russia, and even South Asia. These transformations in world power are likely to happen in the next 50 years. Already we are seeing the trend of the people of non-European origin (whose ancestral roots lie in the former colonies) playing an outsized role in the local and national politics of most Western countries. The legacy of imperialism will come to an end when the colonial powers get colonized by the people from the colonies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

A Tale of Three Currencies: Ruble, Pound, Dollar

Soon after the 1917 Revolution, which brought the Bolsheviks to power in Russia, the Ruble collapsed. For ideological reasons, Lenin and Trotsky had sabotaged the Ruble by flooding the Russian economy with a massive amount of newly printed Rubles. They believed that once the Ruble became a worthless currency, due to inflation, they would have the power to create a communist society that was free of the taint of money. They planned to replace money with a rationing system based on coupons. Every citizen would get a certain number of coupons which they could use to procure their essential needs: food, housing, clothing, education, and other things. By 1921, it became clear that a nation without money could not function, and the Bolshevik government was forced to institute a new currency system.

The British were watching the Bolshevik experiment with interest. They decided to do away with the gold standard which had hitherto governed the monetary system of the Bank of England. The Bank of England had come into being in 1694 (four years after Britain’s defeat in the Battle of Beachy Head) when a consortium of English bankers gave a loan of 1.2 million pounds to the British Monarch at 8 percent interest. In return for the loan, the bankers were granted the monopoly on issuing banknotes. The bankers now had the right to monetize and circulate the royal debt. Thus, the British pound, which was based on the gold standard, was born. It went on to become the most stable currency in the world. In 1931, the British government stopped using the gold standard, and in 1946 the Bank of England was nationalized. 

The Americans were inspired by the Soviet and British experiments with paper currency. In 1933, they partially unpegged the dollar from the gold standard. In 1971, they unpegged the dollar fully. Since then all currencies of the world have become part of the global floating fiat currency regime. The greedy British and American establishments had thought that by unpegging their currencies from the gold standard, they would be able to transfer their inflation to other countries. They had underestimated the political and financial acumen of the Asian countries. While accepting massive tranches of American and European inflation (through their paper currency), the Asian nations managed to pull in a large number of American businesses. The result was that America lost most of its industries and the Asian nations became an industrial powerhouse. 

In the third decade of the twenty-first century, the endgame of the currency wars is being played. At the center of the battle is the American dollar. Since the dollar is the world’s most heavily traded currency, the American government has little control over its value in comparison to other currencies. Since 1933, the dollar has been fluctuating freely but its long-term trend is of continuous decline. Any geopolitical or economic crisis could lead to a stampede from the dollar. The American government will not be able to stabilize their currency. The dollar will die (so will many other paper currencies), and this will mark the end of America and the West. In the last twenty years, most major economies in Asia (and even the large multinational corporations) have been making extensive preparations for a post-dollar and post-America world.

The fall of America (and the West) will create new opportunities for mankind.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The False Terminology of History and Philosophy

Question: What is the common feature in the following terms which we often encounter in history and philosophy books: “State of Nature,” “Primitive Barter Society,” “Noble Savages,” “Primitive Cannibal Society,” “Aryan Invasion,” “the Fertile Crescent,” “the Classical Age,” “the Renaissance,” “the Scientific Revolution,” “the Enlightenment,” “the Dark Continent,” “Aryan Race,” “Classical Liberal Society,” and “Capitalist Free Market Society.”   

Answer: Each of these terms represents a myth—they represent intellectual hoaxes and blatant European propaganda. No historian or explorer has discovered the kind of people, societies, or movements that these terms seem to represent. There is no evidence that such people, societies, or movements ever existed. In many cases, the nature of the society, movement, or cultural system is fundamentally different from the impression that the term attributed to it creates. 

When you come across such terms in any book, the questions that you ought to ask are: Who created these terms? When did they create these terms? What was their political ideology? What was their political agenda? Why did they select this particular term? Why not some other term? Is it possible that they selected a particular term because they wanted to prejudice the reader by planting a certain kind of impression in his mind?  

A few of these terms were created by European scholars in the late eighteenth century but most were created in the nineteenth century, which was the climax of European colonialism. These terms must be seen as the virulent symptoms of the biased historiography which was propagated around the world during the Age of Imperialism. 

The purpose of these terms was not history and philosophy but geopolitical propaganda and psychological warfare aimed at establishing European supremacy. The European intellectuals wanted people in all parts of the world to believe that Europe was always supreme, that the Europeans were mankind’s apex achievers, that they were fit to rule all of humanity. They wanted to propagate the idea that Europe was the cradle of modern civilization and the non-European cultures were full of primitive and barbaric people.  

After 1950, overwhelming historical evidence became available and it became impossible for historians and philosophers to pretend that these terms were not founded on false premises. Most serious works of history and philosophy, written after 1970, tend to avoid the usage of such terms. 

However, the books written by propagandists (and their foolish followers) continue to use such terms—among such books, I would rank Steven Pinker’s racist book Enlightenment Now. Pinker argues that all good things have come from Europe. He claims that the Europeans have brought prosperity for all and made the world far less violent and cruel. He ignores the plunder, destruction, and genocides that the European powers have committed in rest of the world. He creates the impression that the annihilation of whole civilizations in the Americas, Africa, and Australia was of no consequence. 

For most of the time before 1450, Europe was lagging behind North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. As I pointed out in my earlier article, the only reason European history and philosophy seems so rich is because the European governments became very rich (thanks to the plunder from the colonies) after the 16th century. They could invest in building new universities and institutions which pursued a propagandist kind of historical research.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Locke’s Philosophy and the Eviction of the Natives

Why did the American founders use Locke’s philosophy to develop their principle of property rights? Because by using Locke’s philosophy they could make the argument that only the European population was entitled to have rights, and that the native Indians were savage beasts who did not deserve rights. In his Second Treatise of Government (1690), Locke has argued that property rights are derived from labor. Those who work on the land—by farming, building infrastructure, and setting up industry—have rights. Those who are living in a State of Nature have no rights. 

Here’s a line from Locke’s Second Treatise of Government: "Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labor with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.” 

The American founders asserted that the native Indians were living in a State of Nature, since they got their essential needs through activities like forging, hunting, fishing, herding, and they were not radically transforming the landscape by building large plantations, towns, and industries. The Americans claimed that activities like forging, hunting, fishing, and herding did not amount to “mixing one’s labor with the land.” The lazy natives, the Americans argued, were not “improving landlords” who would make optimal use of the land, so they had no legal claims to own the land. Thus, the land in which the natives had lived for thousands of years was deemed vacant, and was opened up for the settlement of the rising European population.  

It was not true that the natives were lazy or were not working on the land. They were operating successful farms and fisheries for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived. They had built several cities the ruins of which exist till this day. They were responsible for clearing forests and building dams. All this was ignored by the American political elite—they continued to insist that the “merciless Indian savages,” who lived in a State of Nature, must be thrown out of North America and their land should be given to the European farmers and industrialists. Between 1776 to 1900 a significant part of the native population in the USA was either killed or evicted.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

The Battleground of History and Philosophy

Why is European history and philosophy so rich? Because the European governments have been very rich in the last 500 years. Much of the wealth that the conquistadors and imperialists plundered from the colonies was wasted by the European governments on fighting wars, building palaces and cathedrals, and enabling a lavish and dissolute political culture. A small part of plundered booty went into building new universities and learned societies which started pursuing historical and philosophical research. The history and philosophy that these institutions pursued was intended to propagate the supremacy of the European people and their culture. 

During the age of colonialism, the European intellectuals were promoting their own history and philosophy as mankind’s apex achievement because they wanted to represent the European population as the master race. They wanted the world to believe that the Europeans had the right to rule because their past was glorious. This was false propaganda. 

25,000 years ago, South Asia (the Indian subcontinent) became the world’s most crowded region—about 80 precent of humanity was living in this region. How can anyone believe that the region where 80 percent of humanity has thrived for thousands of years had no history and culture? Such a huge population could not have survived in South Asia unless there were political movements capable of maintaining political stability. Till 1450, India and China were the world’s biggest economies. In the 17th century, the Indian economy was about 25 percent of the world economy. The legendary riches of India made it a target for invaders from the Middle East and Europe. The Industrial Revolution would not have happened in Britain if the British had not colonized a significant part of India.

Much of Ancient Greek philosophy that is available today is a modernist interpretation—it was written after the seventeenth century. Greek philosophy, we are told, stands for liberty and individualism. But Ancient Greece was a slave society. In Ancient Athens 70 percent of the population was slaves and 10 percent were metics. The quality of life was so bad in Ancient Greece that there were more Greeks living in the Persian Empire than the population of Athens, Sparta, and Corinth. 

In the colonial age, the conquistadors and imperialists were not liberty-minded; they were not individualists; they were united under the banner of “One God and One Monarch.” They committed brutal genocides and they were notorious slavers. 

Freedom and individualism have never been European values—they are non-European values. Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and all the empires of the European Middle Ages were hierarchical, tyrannical, and warlike. There was much more liberty and individualism in the native tribes of the Americas than in Europe. Most tribes of the Americas did not have a hereditary ruling class and a powerful priestly class; the tribal chiefs had little control over the tribal population. The Europeans managed to conquer the Americas because they were totally united, while there was no unity between the natives. The natives were wild, free, and individualistic. No tribal chief could bring them together to fight the European invaders. 

In the middle of the twentieth century European colonialism came to an end and other cultures became free to pursue history and philosophy in their own land. The Europeans have had a 500-year head start in the area of history and philosophy. But the scholarship of other cultures has started catching up and it is becoming clear that the past of places like North Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, China, and some parts of the Americas was very complex—perhaps more complex than the history and philosophy of Europe.

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Fake Empire of Paper Currency

“The history of paper money issued by a government belongs indubitably to the Americans.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith in Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went.  

For thousands of years, money used to be “hard” (i.e., linked to gold or silver). Till the early decades of the twentieth century most nations were using some kind of hard currency. The credit for making money “soft” (i.e., fiat), goes to America. In the 1970s, American president Nixon passed a series of orders which transformed the dollar, which had become a Global Reserve Currency in the 1940s, into a fiat currency. The fait dollar (the paper dollar) had the potential to accommodate unlimited borrowing at low rates and prevent corporations from going bankrupt. 

The rise of the paper dollar led to an unprecedented debt-financed boom in America and Western Europe. Some Asian and South American countries also benefited from the boom. But this boom was not based on a rise in economic productivity—it was a fake boom. It was based on massive debt that had become possible with paper currency. This debt should have led to high inflation in America, but the Americans were able to take advantage of the dollar’s status as the Global Reserve Currency to transfer a significant part of their own inflation into other economies.

In the post-gold standard world, the dollar became America’s most lucrative export. The Americans were making massive amounts of money by printing money. Making money by minting or printing money is the world’s oldest scam, and American capitalism prospered from it. But an empire built from paper currency is a “paper tiger”—it cannot survive for long. While paper currency can fuel the domestic economy for a few decades, it has a pernicious impact on the nation’s values and culture.

By the end of the twentieth century it was clear that the debt culture fueled by paper currency had led to a decline in America’s work ethic and moral values. Why should the Americans work hard, take risks, and live morally, when they could make money by printing dollars and using them to raise debt from every part of the globe?  Instead of productivity, debt became the fuel of American capitalism. The Americans started believing that they could keep borrowing and spending and that the rain of paper dollars would never end.

The decline in work ethic and moral values has had an impact on American wars and industry. Since 1973, the Americans have not won a single war. Their economic competitiveness has declined. The Asian countries—Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and India—have made economic progress, often at the cost of the American economy. American manufacturing and research has moved into Asian countries, and since 2008, the paper dollar has been showing signs of strain. America’s paper currency empire could collapse in 10 years.

The fall of America might be a positive event for mankind. The Americans are responsible for much of the political and economic woes of the world. Once America falls, the world would have a chance of going back to the hard currency model. I don’t think there is another nation that possesses the power to transform its own currency into a Global Reserve Currency. The nations will be forced to use hard currency to manage their international and domestic trades. With hard currency the wealth of the generations who have worked and saved will be protected.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Thatcher’s False Slogan: “There is No Alternative”

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher popularized the slogan: “There is no alternative” (TINA). She was not the first Western politician to promulgate her own worldview as the only possible way for all of mankind. For 500 years, the West has been veritably obsessed with brainwashing people in all parts of the world to make them believe that there is no alternative to the Western way. 

When Columbus, Cortés, Pizarro, and other European conquistadors and imperialists were rampaging in the Americas, they were telling the natives something similar to what Thatcher was telling the world in the 1980s: There is no alternative to European religion and European power. When the Europeans were dragging millions of Africans across the Atlantic to labor as slaves in the American colonies, they were telling the Africans: Accept your fate because there is no alternative to slavery. When the British were expanding their dominion in India, during the eighteenth century, they were telling the Indians: There is no alternative to British rule. In the nineteenth century, the British were telling the Chinese: There is no alternative to British opium. In the 1950s, the Americans were telling the world: There is no alternative to American global bureaucracies—UNO, IMF, World Bank, GATT (WTO),  and other institutions. From 1960 till this day, the Americans have been massacring people in wars after wars to hammer home the message: There is no alternative to American capitalism. In the 1970s, when Nixon abolished the gold standard, he told the world: There is no alternative to America’s paper currency, the dollar. In the 1980s, Reagan joined Thatcher in declaring: There is no alternative to the Western way. In 1991, when the Soviet Union fell, the Western ideologues declared that the “end of history” had arrived and that henceforth there would be no alternative to Western rule.

“There is no alternative”: this Western slogan is bullshit. This slogan is totalitarian and genocidal, and it amounts to a war on imagination. The Western establishment does not want people in non-Western countries to put their imagination to work and think of a way of life that is better than the Western way. They want people everywhere to believe that the non-Western ideas just don’t work; only the Western ideas work. The truth is that the Western way is terrible and a better way is possible. There is always a better way. Once America falls, and Western power comes to an end, I am hopeful that the human imagination will become freed once again and we will be able to imagine hundreds of new systems which could be better than the Western way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

America: The Empire of Bureaucrats

The history of the twentieth century is generally read as a battle between America and the Soviet Union. But the greatest battle of the twentieth century was between America and Germany. By 1900, it was clear that the British Empire was dying—both America and Germany were in a race to capture the legacy and power of the British. During the Second World War, the American generals delayed the allied advance through Western and Central Europe. This gave the Soviet troops the time to race through Eastern Europe and capture half of Germany. 

With Eastern Germany going under Soviet control, Western Germany was too weak to challenge American hegemony. Thus, America became the sole inheritor of the British Empire—it became the leader of the West and a superpower. 

The Americans claim that they are individualists, that they are capitalists, that they are against big government. But they are the most profoundly bureaucratic people in history. No nation in the last 2500 years has created as much bureaucracy as America. The British Empire was never as good at bureaucracy as the American Empire has been. President Reagan has said: “The nine most terrifying words in English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” This is typical rightwing hypocrisy from Reagan—while he was in power, he made no attempt to reduce the size of the government. The American politicians (even the rightwing populists like Reagan) understand the importance of American bureaucracy.

America’s first official act after gaining global power, towards the end of the Second World War, was to create a bunch of global bureaucratic institutions in the United Nations and at the Bretton Woods Conference which was held from from July 1 to 22, 1944, at Mount Washington Hotel, situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The Bretton Woods Conference led to two outcomes: first, the creation of three American bureaucratic institutions—the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and GATT (which became the WTO in 1995); second, the elevation of the US dollar as the Global Reserve Currency. 

The Americans piously proclaimed that they were not an empire—but they went much further than the British imperialists who had either conquered or traded with other nations. With the creation of the United Nations institutions and the Bretton Woods institutions, the Americans had the power to meddle in the internal politics and economy of every nation. They could influence the foreign policy of other nations and manipulate their currency. With the dollar becoming the Global Reserve Currency, they had the power to transfer their inflation to other nations. They could bribe their allies with unfair trade and currency related privileges. 

American capitalism is not a self-regulating free market system—it needs an army of bureaucrats to keep the American capitalist system going. In whichever country, the Americans gain influence, they create a bloated bureaucracy. The British Empire was an empire of brutal warriors; the American Empire is an empire of shrewd bureaucrats.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A Tale of Two Debtors: America and Haiti

“If you owe the bank a hundred thousand dollars, the bank owns you. If you owe the bank a hundred million dollars, you own the bank.” ~ the core principle of American banking. 

If we take the world as a giant bank, then America is the largest debtor of this bank. Total national debt of America is close to $27 trillion. With such a massive debt, America owns the world. When the American economy goes down the drain, which is likely to happen soon, the $27 trillion debt will be worthless and there will be an unprecedented global financial crisis. $22 trillion of the American debt is held by the public; $6 trillion is held by foreign governments. Japan holds $1.3 trillion in American debt. China holds $1.1 trillion.  

When the public and the nations buy American debt, they know that they will never get their money back. They treat the amount that they give to America as a “tribute.” The powerful empires always manage to extract tribute. The Roman Empire, the Hun Empire, the Mongol Empire—they used to demand gold and silver from their subjects and foreign governments as tribute. The only reason the public and the foreign governments do not ask the Americans to return their money is because they treat these payments as “tribute” and not “debt.” 

The world is unfair. There is one law for America and another law for countries like Haiti. Haiti was founded by plantation slaves who fought for their independence against the colonial power France. They even managed to defeat the army sent by the European strongman Napoleon. Infuriated by the loss of Haiti, the French government insisted that the new republic owed it 150 million Francs for the plantations that had been expropriated from the French owners. 

The French and other European colonial powers were responsible for kidnapping millions of Africans and bringing them to Haiti and other places in the Americas to work as slaves. So many kidnapped slaves had been brought to Haiti that in 1804, when the country won its independence, about 90 percent of its population consisted of former slaves. These slaves were treated with great brutality—they were not given any legal way of gaining freedom. 

The vastly inflated sum of $150 million Francs that the French were demanding from Haiti was ten times the amount that the Americans had paid for the Louisiana purchase. The USA supported the French demand. President Jefferson was horrified by the news of slaves fighting for independence and taking control of Haiti. He feared that this kind of slave rebellion could happen in the American colonies. He worked to isolate Haiti diplomatically and politically. American ships collaborated with European ships in placing an embargo on Haiti. 

In July 1825, French King Charles X, sent warships to force Haiti to pay the amount. The American navy supported the French. To save its independence, Haiti’s fledgling government was forced to take a loan at a massive interest from a French bank. In today’s dollars, the Haitians have paid the French close to $30 billion. This was nothing more than a mafia-type extortion by the French, and their European and American allies. 

Since the USA possesses a mighty military, no nation dares to send warships to American shores for placing an embargo on this country and forcing it to clear its $27 trillion debt. If any other country had borrowed trillions of dollars and wasted it on pointless wars, inflated bureaucracy, and madcap social sector schemes, as the Americans have done, by now its economy would have collapsed and disappeared from the face of earth. Colonial imperialism came to an end in the 1940s, but financial imperialism by America continues till this day.

There is one way of ending financial imperialism: the gold standard. The biggest roadblock in the way of the gold standard is America. The Americans don’t want the gold standard because paper currency allows them to pile up debt and transfer their inflation to other countries. Once the American economy falls, the world will have a chance to move towards the gold standard. The fall of the American economy will cause great pain in all countries—but that is the price that we must pay for gaining independence from America.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Western Warfare and Western Trade

“Trade cannot be maintained without war, nor war without trade.” ~ Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the most ruthless and successful conqueror of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) in the seventeenth century. 

In a single line, Coen has described the two pillars of Western success in the last 500 years: warfare and trade. Since the fifteenth century, Western trade and Western warfare have marched hand in hand. Without the genocides, enslavements, rapes, mass murders, mass evictions, drug smuggling, and destruction of whole civilizations—visited on the world by the European powers—the West would not have raced ahead of all other civilizations. History of the West in the last 500 years is not a fairytale of progress. It is also a horror story of barbarity and violence.   

Only a naive and ignorant person would accept the “remarkably arrogant theory” that the ideals of freedom, equality, and democracy are an outcome of the Western philosophical tradition. Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, and Smith are not the fountainhead of Western success—ruthless imperialists like Jan Pieterszoon Coen are. Before Thomas Jefferson and other founders could announce their Declaration of Independence in 1776, the land of North America had to be conquered and tamed. Who did that? Answer: The conquistadors, enslavers, and imperialists. 

The case can be made that to a significant extent the Europeans learned about the ideals of freedom, equality, and democracy from the colonies that they had conquered. Many of the colonies had a far better political, agricultural, industrial culture than most places in Europe. The Industrial Revolution would not have happened in Britain in the eighteenth century if the British had not colonized a significant part of India.

The Age of Imperialism was over by 1950, but America continued to wage wars to preserve Western hegemony. By the 1960s, American troops were stationed in 64 countries—America had defense treaties with most of them. Between 1946 to 2015, the Americans used military force overseas more than 370 times. They were involved in several coups to install their puppet regimes in geopolitically important countries. Most of the American wars and coups were for ensuring the supply of cheap petroleum and other natural resources, and for safeguarding trade interests.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Civilization Versus the Noble Savages

The words “polite,” “politics,” and “police” are derived from the Greek word “polis,” which is a modern understanding of city-state. This could imply that a polite society stands on the two legs: a good political establishment and an efficient system of law enforcement (policing). The Latin equivalent of “polis” is “civitas,” from which the words “civic,” “civility,” and “civilization” are derived. 

The suppression of base instincts and freedoms is a necessary condition for the creation of a powerful society or civilization. The civilized men, those who live in a powerful society, can never be free. They must live within the framework of the laws passed by the political establishment and enforced by the system of policing. The bigger or more powerful the society or civilization, the more numerous are the regulations and restrictions, the more efficient is the policing system, and greater are the constraints imposed on the citizens. 

The notion that our ideal of liberty is the product of the “people of the polis,” or the civilized people, would have surprised the Enlightenment thinkers like Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau—they believed that the savages (the noble savages) enjoyed the greatest liberty.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Spanish and the Treasures of the Americas

Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492—after that it took the Spanish about 30 years to discover the major locations of gold and silver that the native Americans had accumulated. The Spanish looted Tenochtitlan, the great capital city of the Aztec Empire, in 1521. After that they stormed into Central America and plundered the treasures of the Chibcha people of Columbia (this was probably the original El Dorado). In 1530, they arrived in Peru and captured the Inca Empire. When the major centers of population in South America had been plundered, the lust for gold and silver drove the Spanish into North America. 

The Spanish used to immediately melt the gold and silver that they got from their conquests for transforming them into ingots which were easier to transport by ship to Europe. They saved a few of the unusual pieces to enable the Spanish Monarchs to have a glimpse of the culture of the Americas. The chroniclers in Europe have written about the giant sun made out of gold, and the gold and silver plants, which were originally in the garden of the Inca emperor. These artifacts too were melted to mint coins after they had been exhibited to the Spanish elite. 

The Spanish (and other European powers) took steps to keep the wealth that they were getting from the colonies a secret. Lot of scholarly effort had to be spent in examining the financial records of this period. Based on these records, it has been estimated that from 1492 to 1800, between 145,000 to 165,000 tons of silver was shipped. The amount of gold shipped was between 2,739 and 2,846 tons. When the Spanish ran out of rich Indian nations to conquer, they started their mining operations. From 1500 to 1800, the mines in the Americas were providing 70 percent of the world's gold output and 85 percent of silver.

Those were the times when paper money was not introduced—so the financial impact of such massive quantities of gold and silver on the European economy was several times their monetary value. The European powers became flush with wealth which they could spend on creating new infrastructure and on vastly improving their military and naval might.

Friday, December 3, 2021

The Fall of the West and a New Age for Mankind

“High office teaches decision making, not substance. It consumes intellectual capital; it does not create it. Most high officials leave office with the perceptions and insights with which they entered; they learn how to make decisions but not what decisions to make.” ~ Henry Kissinger in his book White House Years. 

Kissinger’s saying is true not only for individuals but also for nations. When a nation has captured the world’s highest geopolitical office—and has become a superpower—it has the capacity to take quick decisions on a range of geopolitical issues but it is bereft of the capacity to create new intellectual capital. It loses the capacity to learn from past mistakes and its political culture becomes ossified. The more powerful the nation, the greater is the decline in its intellectual capabilities. Absolute power not only corrupts absolutely, it dumbs absolutely. 

Ten years as a superpower is enough to make a nation corrupt, insecure, and intellectually feeble. What kind of decisions can we expect from a superpower that is at the zenith of its power? These decisions will be of the calibre of the inept decisions that Emperor Caligula made for the Roman Empire during his reign of just four years (16 March 37 – 24 January 41).

After winning the Second World War in 1945, America became the world’s superpower. In the same period, America started losing its capacity to create new intellectual capital. The quality of American decision making has been steadily declining since 1945. America was the fountainhead of some of the worst political, economic, environmental, and medical ideas which have plagued the world after 1970. Instead of creating peace, prosperity, and freedom, America’s decisions have led to the rise of new conflicts and tyrannies. 

The biggest nightmare for the Americans is not communism or terrorism—what they really fear is that some nation, in some non-Western part of the world, will become more developed than the West. What they really want is perpetual geopolitical power. They intend to maintain Western hegemony perpetually. After 1970, most of the geopolitical decisions that the Americans have made have led to disastrous outcomes, especially in the non-Western parts of the world.

For the American establishment power is an aphrodisiac. (Kissinger has famously observed, “Power is an aphrodisiac”). While the Americans relish their aphrodisiac, their bad decisions destroy the lives of the folks in poor and developing countries. A nation that lacks the capacity to create new intellectual capital cannot survive for long. When America goes down—it inevitably will—it will drag the rest of the West down with it. The fall of the West, which has dominated the world for almost 500 years, will usher a new age for mankind.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Is the Pacifism of Germany and Japan Permanent?

Germany and Japan were the world’s most violent and warlike nations during the first half of the twentieth century. The two populations were convinced that they were the ultimate masters of mankind, and that it was their destiny to rule the world. They were transformed by their defeat in the Second World War and became utterly pacific.

Germany was broken into two parts—the Eastern part went under Soviet control and the Western part under American control. While Japan was not broken up, two of its industrial cities were nuked and other cities were extensively firebombed. After 1960, both nations have made an amazing economic and political recovery. In 1968, Japan became the world’s second largest economy, after the USA—it retained this status till 2010, when China raced ahead to become the second largest economy. The two halves of Germany were united in 1990, and the reunited country became the driver of European politics. Neither of the two nations has so far made an attempt to rekindle their violent and warlike character. They continue to be pacific, preferring to use diplomacy, not military power, to resolve their geopolitical issues. 

The transformation in the national culture of Germany and Japan, after the Second World War, was too sudden. Such sudden cultural transformations are generally short-lived. Pacifism might not be as deeply rooted in the German and Japanese mind as it is in the Indian (Hindu) mind that has been exposed to pacifist ideologies and religions (Buddhism, Jainism, and other movements) for more than 3000 years. A violent and warlike nature could be simmering beneath the surface in the German and Japanese societies, waiting for a reason to erupt. In the 21st century, these two societies could undergo another sudden cultural transformation. They might discard their pacifism and become heavily militarized.

On America's Aspiration to be the World's Professor

In the last two centuries, the American political establishment has taken its ideal of manifest destiny seriously—more seriously than it takes the ideals of democracy, liberty, and free markets. They believe  that they are the good guys and that it is their manifest destiny to be the professor of the world. But that requires all humans to be the obedient students of the American political establishment.

Monday, November 29, 2021

In Defense of Tribalism

A tribal society has a poor reputation because tribalism is incompatible with the modern capitalist or communist state (the leviathan, in the words of Thomas Hobbes), in which social order is maintained through an establishment consisting of big government (the bureaucratic institutions), large crony-capitalist companies, the military and police apparatus, and intellectual institutions (academia and the mainstream media). Since both capitalism and communism aspire for total power, they have vilified tribalism by spreading false propaganda.

In tribalism, social order and adherence to egalitarian principles is achieved through a very small government. Instead of police and law courts, the tribal elders use moral and religious teachings, and the notion of loyalty to traditions, to persuade their people to behave in an orderly manner. Those who break the tribal norms are punished by a committee of tribal elders. In good tribal societies, justice is swift and exemplary. People in tribal societies (at least, the men) are mostly armed, both men and women understand the tribal way of life, and they are capable of acting to defend themselves and their tribe. The tribal societies can be individualistic without devolving into anarchism and nihilism. When a society discards the tribal way of life, then the alternative is some form of capitalism or communism (welfare state). 

A good society should have elements of both—tribalism and a constitutional system of governance. In large democracies, every aspect of life does not have to be under the control of a centralized government. When some areas of society are under tribal control, it will ensure that the bureaucratic and intellectual establishments do not become too large, insular, and ossified. Even in matters of foreign policy, the government can be guided by tribal aspirations. There are several areas of social life, in which people can find much better resolution for their problems by coordinating with each other at a tribal level.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The West’s Totalitarian Mission to Promote Capitalism

Why did the capitalist mission (led by America and Britain) to build a pro-Western democratic paradise in central South America, the Middle East, and Africa fail? 

It failed because the mission was totalitarian—it was a brainchild of the Western political establishment. This establishment called itself capitalist; they claimed that they wanted to create a democratic and capitalist paradise. But they were after total control. Their real agenda was to create a global geopolitical order which they could dominate. The people of central South America, the Middle East, and Africa refused to accept Western hegemony. 

In capitalist societies, the government is as totalitarian (especially in the areas of foreign policy and warfare) as the governments in communist countries. Why do capitalist governments launch so many covert military operations in foreign countries? Because they know that their military operations do not enjoy public support. If they told the masses the truth about what they were doing in foreign countries, they would lose the next election. 

The masses in capitalist countries are brainwashed by academia and the 24/7 media—they are ignorant, naive, divided, and lacking in political skills. They are incapable of taking united action to force their government to change its policies. The capitalist academia and media are part of the political establishment. They endeavor to keep the attention of the masses focused on irrelevant issues. The important issues are never analyzed and debated. 

The political weakness of the masses, gives the capitalist governments a complete monopoly on power. They are free to commit any atrocity anywhere in the world and they are not answerable to any institution or to the voters. The irony is that the erstwhile Soviet Union’s foreign policy was more transparent and non-violent than the foreign policy of the so-called bastions of democracy and capitalism, the USA and Britain.

Friday, November 26, 2021

The Four Stages of Capitalism

Capitalism has not made man a better being—it has only made him a better killer and plunderer. The philistines in earlier times were armed with swords, spears, and clubs. The philistines in our times, thanks to capitalism, are armed with tanks, fighter planes, missiles, and nuclear weapons. By bringing the power of technology to the philistines, capitalism has worsened the state of humanity. The capitalists of our time might be dressed in Armani suits, they might have college degrees, they might be capable of sophisticated speech, but at the mental level they are no better than Genghis Khan’s Mongol warriors who smashed into several kingdoms, massacred millions, and conquered the largest land empire in history. 

Looking at the history of North America in the last 500 years, it can be surmised that a capitalist society passes through four stages:

First stage: Dominated by conquistadors, imperialists, warlords, and enslavers.

Second stage: Dominated by demagogues, robber barons, expansionists, technocrats, and conservatives.

Third stage: Dominated by fascists, democrats, liberals, hippies, libertarians, neoconservatives, and multinationals. 

Fourth stage (the final phase which is yet to arrive): Dominated by Crusaders, Nazis, Stalinists, or some new type of totalitarians. 

The number one capitalist country in the last 120 years, the USA, is now on the verge of reaching the fourth or the final stage of capitalism. This country has already lost a lot of its civil liberties and in the next 10 to 25 years, it will be under a tyrannical regime. Try to imagine the kind of destruction that a tyrannical regime can unleash once it gains control over the politics of the USA. The military infrastructure that American capitalism has created will fall into the hands of tyrants. In the initial days of the fourth stage, most Americans would not realize that they were living in a tyranny because their intellectuals and  24/7 media would convince them that their government was democratic. By and by, when the violence would start, they would realize that they had lost everything—by then it would be too late for them to oppose the regime. 

It is possible that the USA might get weakened by a series of civil wars, revolutions, and counterrevolutions—if this happens then the Chinese, Middle Eastern, South American, and Russian forces might try to capture slices of American power. Once the religious and demographic character of America is transformed then that will lead to similar transformations in Western Europe. No one can predict how the world will be in the post-capitalist phase. One thing is certain, it will be unlike the world that we had in the modern age (last 400 years). The entity called “the West” could vanish forever into the pages of history books.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Problem of Great Art

“Art is what you can get away with.” ~ Andy Warhol (1987)

It is clear from Warhol’s work that he got away with a lot (a lot of nonsense). But that is true of all famous artists. The world hails them as famous artists because they could get away with a lot. Good art can never be defined. What is good art for one person might be thrash to another. Why do people claim that the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is great art? There is no scientific or mathematical way of proving that the Mona Lisa is great art. A lot of propaganda and marketing has happened in the last 500 years to emblazon on mankind’s collective consciousness the idea that the Mona Lisa is great art. Without propaganda and marketing no work of art can be great.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Imperialism, Racism, and the Human Genome

“Imperialists, calling upon Darwinism in defense of the subjugation of weaker races, could point to The Origin of Species, which had referred in its subtitle to The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. Darwin had been talking about pigeons, but the imperialists saw no reason why his theories should not apply to men… Had not Darwin himself written complacently in The Descent of Man of the likelihood that the backward races would disappear before the advance of higher civilizations.” ~ Richard Hofstadter in Social Darwinism in American Thought

Ethnic prejudice could be as old as civilization itself. Most societies of the past have used derogatory labels like “barbarians” and “philistines” to describe people of other ethnicities, but the modern notion of “racism” is of recent origin. The word “racism” appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1910. The idea of racial superiority was developed in the nineteenth century when Europe had colonized a large part of the globe and the European intellectuals were under pressure to come up with a moral justification for the domination of people of other races. 

Can it be true that the Europeans are racially superior? In the areas of politics, warfare, and technology, they were probably superior. I use the past tense “were” because they were not always superior. Their superiority manifested itself from the fifteenth century to 1950. There could be genes which determine performance in politics, warfare, and technology—perhaps the Europeans had evolved a dominant form of those genes. According to geneticists, about 14 percent of the human genome has changed in the last 30,000 years. Many changes in the human genome have happened in the last 5000 years. 

Being superior in the areas of politics, warfare, and technology does not make the Europeans morally, religiously, and intellectually superior. Some of history’s worst wars, massacres, genocides, enslavements, and civil wars have happened in lands that were under European domination. European societies are easily corrupted by wealth and power. Nihilism, anarchism, and utopianism are a much bigger problem in European populations than in Asian populations. Since 1950, European civilizations have been on the decline.

On Capitalism and Communism

Western capitalism must commence with an enormous act of conquest and theft. Those who want to create a capitalist paradise must be prepared to kill or evict those whose land and wealth they plan to steal. The same must be said about communism (and socialism). Both capitalism and communism are extremely violent and tyrannical Western ideologies. They never lead to the creation of liberty and free markets for all classes of people. The contest between capitalism and communism is a myth propagated by the Western ideologues and politicians. The truth is that these two ideologies thrive by feeding on each other. The communists win support by narrating the stories of the capitalist atrocities, while the capitalists win support by narrating the stories of the communist atrocities. Both ideologies must be rejected.

Monday, November 22, 2021

On The Brahmi Script

The Brahmi writing system was being used in the Indian subcontinent in the third century BC. It was probably created through the efforts of Emperor Ashoka of Mauryan Dynasty who ruled from 268 to 232 BC. He was the first emperor to rule over almost the entire South Asia—a densely populated area as large as Western Europe, stretching from present-day Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east, and covering much of central India. He ruled from Pataliputra (present day Patna), and had provincial capitals in Taxila (a city in present day Pakistan) and Ujjain (in Madhya Pradesh). 

Several of Ashoka’s rock edicts, which are spread throughout modern-day Pakistan and India, are written in Brahmi script, which has influenced the Sanskrit-based languages that are currently being used in North India and the four Dravidian languages that are being used in South India. The languages in Southeast Asia are also influenced by Brahmi. However, over the centuries, these languages have transformed so much that their connection to a common Brahmi language is not easily detected. The Brahmi script was deciphered in the 1830s by James Prinsep.

There are a number of theories about the origin of the Brahmi script. Some scholars have suggested that the Brahmi script was developed from the Semitic script via Aramaic. But there are other scholars who insist that the Brahmi script comes from Indian sources. Several attempts have been made to connect the Brahmi script with the Indus script, but the connection between the two writing systems is not clear, since the Indus script remains undeciphered. The theory that I find plausible is that Brahmi was created when Ashoka ordered his officials to create a writing system based on the existing sources in India. His officials could have used the system of record keeping then used by Indian merchants to develop the Brahmi script.

The sounds in Brahmi script match the sounds of Pali and other popular Indic languages which are founded on Sanskrit. Pali is the language in which Buddha has preached. A number of Ashoka’s rock inscriptions are in Pali.

On Eric Hoffer’s View of Holy Cause

“Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for the lost faith in ourselves.” ~ Eric Hoffer in The True Believer.

This statement by Eric Hoffer is not logical because he fails to define the term “ourselves.” How do we recognize ourselves? A consciousness cannot focus on itself. The only way a man can become conscious of himself is by becoming conscious of something else. The term “ourselves” does not represent a vacuum—it represents our worldly experiences, including our experiences of the causes that we see as “holy.” 

Who are we? We cannot know ourselves without considering the causes that we see as holy. A man without faith in a holy cause will be a man without a self. He will be a faceless and causeless stranger to himself and to the world. In my opinion, faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a sign of faith in ourselves.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

On the Sintashta-Arkaim Culture

An eastward migration from the Poltavka culture (an outgrowth of the Yamnaya culture) gave rise to the Sintashta-Arkaim culture during the Middle Bronze Age (2100 BC to 1800 BC). This culture was located east of the Ural Mountains in the northern steppes. 

The archeological evidence seems to indicate that the Sintashta were highly militaristic—they created extensively fortified settlements, 23 of which have been found. The weapons found on their sites include spearheads, trilobed arrowheads, chisels, and large shaft-hole axes, It is not known why the Sintashta created such fortified settlements which are unusual in the nomadic steppe culture. Against what enemy were they defending their settlements? 

The funerary complexes located outside the Sintashta sites contain the remains of extravagant sacrifices, including whole horses. They also contain the remains of some of the earliest chariots. Some scholars have theorized that there are parallels between the funeral services in the Sintashta sites, and the funeral rituals described in the Rig Veda. They suggest that the Sintashta might be the inventors of the chariots with spoked wheels. 

The word “asva” (horse) occurs in the Rig Veda 792 times, and the word for chariot, “ratha,” is equally numerous. In the verse 1.162.22 of the Rig Veda a prayer that accompanies a horse sacrifice is described—in it, it is said: “May this Steed bring us all-sustaining riches, wealth in good kine, good horses, manly offspring.” 

Did the people who built these strongholds [Sintashta fortifications] invent chariots? And were they the original Aryans, the ancestors of the people who later composed the Rig Veda and the Avesta? These two questions are asked by David W. Anthony in his book The Horse, the Wheel, and Language.

There is a problem with the thesis that seeks to connect the Sintashta with the creators of the Rig Veda: There is not a shred of evidence that the Sintashta spoke an ancient version of Proto-Indo-European which is supposed to have led to the development of Sanskrit and several other languages. We don’t know what the language of the Sintashta was.

Friday, November 19, 2021

The Problem of History: Emic and Etic Perceptions

“History is the memory of states.” ~ Henry Kissinger in A World Restored. In a simple six-word sentence, Kissinger has divulged the truth about Western historiography. He has revealed that the history written by Western historians is essentially a memory of the Western states. 

History is of two types: Emic and Etic. Emic history gives you the perceptions of the people from within the civilization or social group. Etic history gives you the perceptions of the people from outside the civilization or social group. Since much of world’s history has been written by Western scholars, when you read a book on the history of the West, you generally have an emic perspective (the perceptions of insiders, the Westerners), but when you read a book on the history of Asia, the Americas, and Africa, you generally have an etic perspective (the perceptions of outsiders—the Western view of other civilizations).

The history of the conflicts between the Ancient Greeks and the Persian Empire, comes mostly from the records of the Greek elites. Quality of life was much better in the Persian Empire as compared to the Greek city-states which were plagued with violence and poverty—that is why the Persian Empire was home to more Greeks than the combined population of Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, and Argos. The Greek city-states had a huge slave population (in Athens and Sparta 75 percent of the people were slaves). The Persians and the Greek slaves did not leave self-glorifying records. The Greek elites did that and they have a stranglehold on history.

We know little about the people that the Romans (during the Roman Empire) described as barbarians. We have no information on the Hun Empire, even though in the third and fourth centuries, the Huns were a significant empire in Eurasia. We know about the Western view of the Mongol Empire but we know little about the Mongol perspective. When you read the history of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, you are reading how the European imperialists (Columbus, the conquistadors like Hernán Cortés, the Catholic preachers, and the European settlers) viewed the Arawaks, the Aztecs, the Incas, and the Native Indians. 

After reading the books based on the accounts of the Spanish conquerors, people become convinced that when Columbus and the conquistadors arrived, the Americas were a land of philistines, savages, and cannibals. The Western historians do not tell you about how the Arawaks saw Columbus, the Aztecs and Incas saw the conquistadors, and the Native Indians saw the European settlers.   

We know little about the towns and cities that existed in North America before the Spanish, British, and the French arrived. We know little about the culture that existed in Africa before the Dutch and the British arrived. We read the history of the Boer Wars mostly from the perspective of the British and the Dutch—we know little about the view of the Africans in whose land this war was being fought. We know how the British, in the nineteenth century, viewed the Chinese but we know little about how the Chinese viewed the British. When we read the history of India, we read mostly about the perceptions of the British imperialists and their Indian devotees.

History shows the West in good light, not because they have always been the best, but because they have written most of history. In his novel 1984, George Orwell said: "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” The non-Western civilizations will have no control over their present and future as long as the West controls the past (history).

Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Yamnaya Migrations and Lactose Intolerance

The closest ancestors of modern humans first appeared 200,000 years ago in Africa. It seems that for 97 percent of the period of their existence, the human populations were lactose intolerant— they could not consume dairy products. In Southern Africa lactose intolerance is still fairly high but the country with the world’s highest lactose intolerance is South Korea. In his book The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, David W. Anthony writes: “Recent genetic research on the worldwide distribution of the mutation that created lactose tolerance, which made a dairy-based diet possible, indicates that it probably emerged first in the steppes west of the Ural Mountains between about 4600 and 2800 BCE…”  

This means that the Yamnaya could be the world’s first lactose tolerant population. Historians believe that they spoke a late Proto-Indo-European language which they implanted in all the regions where they migrated: Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. David W. Anthony conjectures that since the cows give more milk than any other herd animal (twice as much as the mares and five times more than goats), the Yamnaya developed the religious practice of revering their cows. In their culture, cows symbolized prosperity and the blessings of the divine. The Yamnaya probably counted their wealth in cows—those of high social status would maintain large herds. The Sintashta and the Andronovo cultures are also identified with the Yamnaya culture. 

One of the implications of this finding is that the religious practice of revering the cow did not originate in South Asia (India) but somewhere in the Central Steppes. In my opinion, the problem with this thesis is that it is based on genetic research that is centered on European populations. The only reason the Yamnaya were intensely investigated by the geneticists is because they had a European connection. The Yamnaya invaded (or migrated) into Europe about 5000 years ago, and they completely replaced Europe’s original population of native hunter-gatherers. Hardly any trace of Europe’s population, before the Yamnaya arrived, can be found. Currently the lactose intolerance level in Europe is between 18 percent to 26 percent.  

The genome of the ancient populations of the non-European populations has not been extensively studied. There could be other ancient populations which became lactose tolerant at the same time or before the Yamnaya did. 

The Yamnaya arrived in India around between 2000 and 1600 BC. They mingled with the population in North India. This has resulted in higher lactose tolerance in the North Indians as compared to the South Indians. A recent study shows that lactose intolerance was 27.4 percent in a sample group taken from New Delhi, while it was 66.6 percent in a sample group taken from two South Indian centers at Trivandrum and Pondicherry. In East Indians lactose intolerance is higher—this is because of their mingling with the East Asian populations which are generally lactose intolerant. These conjectures have been made by the study of samples taken from a few urban centers. The countryside was not a part of the study. 

Some Indian scholars have conducted astronomical calculations by using the star and planetary alignments described in the Vedas and other ancient Hindu texts. They hold that Vedic culture became rooted in India several millennia before the Yamnaya arrived in North India. They place the Rig Veda between the sixth and eighth millennium BC.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Funeral of the Western Empire

“Knowledge advances, funeral by funeral.” ~ Paul Samuelson

Samuelson is right. Most intellectuals, especially those who occupy influential positions in universities, research institutions, and think tanks, tend to extreme conservatism. They stick to their theories with the tenacity of bloodsucking leeches sticking to their prey. They use their influence and power to prevent the analysis of new evidence and the acceptance of new theories. Until they die, and a new generation takes over, the advancement of knowledge is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. 

The phenomena of advancement happening funeral by funeral applies to the empires too. It is the fate of all empires to become ossified and decadent—they lose their zeal to conquer, build new infrastructure, conduct scientific research, create new technological marvels, organize new philosophical movements, and create new institutions to transform the global economy and politics. There is decline in their moral values, work ethic, and political and artistic standards. 

When such ossified and decadent empires accumulate too much geopolitical power, they have a pernicious impact on the entire planet—because they use their military and technological might to hinder progress and push humanity deeper into the abyss of tyranny and nihilism. The decline of such empires is generally in the long term interests of mankind, as this clears the space for the rise of new empires which could prove to be more energetic, creative, and innovative. 

I see the West (primarily America and Britain) as an ossified and decadent empire. Since the eighteenth century, the West has been exercising a disproportionate amount of power on global economy and politics. The Western empire started declining after 1930. Between 2030 and 2050, I expect it to fall. Until the West falls, or is radically transformed, there will be no further progress. The funeral of the West will be the biggest event of this century—just as the fall of the Soviet Union was the biggest event of the last. 

The post-Western world will be a new world—I believe, a better world.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Genes, Race and Human History

“Analysis of genomes from around the world establishes that there is indeed a biological reality to race, despite the official statements to the contrary of leading social science organizations.”

“Racism and discrimination are wrong as a matter of principle, not of science. Science is about what is, not what ought to be. Its shifting sands do not support values, so it is foolish to place them there.” 

~ Nicholas Wade in A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History

If you want to accuse someone (or something) of racism, then you should begin with the human genome which is the fountainhead of all races. The difference between the capacities of various races are so clear that only a politically correct intellectual could ignore or evade it. In his book, Nicholas Wade accuses the community of academicians and scientists of suppressing the scientific truth about the significant racial differences among human populations. 

The Ashkenazi Jews have won a disproportionate number of Nobel Prizes (about 100 times the world average). Since 1980, every finalist in the 100-meter race at Olympic games has had a West African ancestry. The Tibetans and Andean highlanders are suited for living at high altitudes. Some populations are lactose tolerant. In some populations there is a high incidence of certain devastating diseases. Some populations have high average IQ. The East Asians score around 105 on IQ tests—this makes them intelligent but intelligence does not imply morality. 

Wade notes that there are three principal races: East Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koreans), Africans (those living south of the Sahara), and Caucasians (Europeans and the people of the Near East and the Indian subcontinent). The first modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago, and it took them 185,000 years to settle down in different geographically isolated communities. The races that we see today were created in the last 15,000 years through a process of natural selection in the three primary racial groups. 

The most troublesome argument that Wade makes is that “genes and culture interact.” The orthodox academicians prefer to see genes and culture as entirely separate realms. Wade writes: “Each of the major civilizations has developed the institutions appropriate for its circumstances and survival. But these institutions, though heavily imbued with cultural traditions, rest on a bedrock of genetically shaped human behavior.”

This means that economic systems, political institutions, and moral norms are not easy to transfer from one culture to another. “American institutions cannot be successfully implanted in Iraq, for instance, because Iraqis have different social behaviors, including a base in tribalism and a well-founded distrust of central government, just as it would be impossible to import Iraqi tribal politics into the United States.”

We are free to ignore the revelations that genetic science is making but that will not make the differences between the populations vanish. The troublesome truth is that race is not a human invention. The differences between the populations are biological. Biology creates the races and the races create their culture—having said this, I will argue that the differences are not insurmountable. Within populations, some people do well. If some can do well in certain kinds of activities, then why can’t the rest?

There are sections in Wade’s book which are speculative. In his discussion of human behavior, he talks about an “inbuilt sense of morality,” which is not convincing. It is understandable that he has included the speculative sections. Concrete information is not available. The human genome was decoded just eighteen years ago—in 2003. In the next twenty years more information will become available. Overall, Wade has given a fine explanation of the role that genes play in creating the races and driving history.

Monday, November 15, 2021

The Battle for the Rig Veda and Sanskrit

The Europeans possess the great talent for weaponizing anything that catches their eye. In the late eighteenth century, they became aware of the Rig Veda, and within a century they had weaponized some of its verses and its language: Sanskrit. The Rig Veda has been revered as a holy text by the Hindus (most people living in South Asia before 1000 AD) for more than 3500 years. The Hindus never thought of weaponizing its verses and language—the Hindus were never as warlike as the Europeans have been in the last 400 years. 

The story of the European weaponization of some of the verses of Rig Veda and Sanskrit begins in 1783 when Sir William Jones, a British judge in India, decided to learn Sanskrit. By 1786, he had reached a startling conclusion, which he expressed in a line that is often quoted: 

“The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists.” 

Jones had concluded that Sanskrit had originated from the same ancient parent language (Proto-Indo-European) which gave rise to Greek and Latin. He added that Persian, Celtic, and German too were probably linked to the same parent language. But who were the people who spoke this language? Where did they live? Where was the Rig Veda composed? Germany was in the middle of an intense Romantic movement in those days—and many German scholars proclaimed that Germany was the home of the ancients who spoke the parent language. 

The Rig Veda talks about the Aryans who are people of divine virtues and great abilities. In Europe, the term “Aryan” was appropriated to refer to the ancient European master race who brought civilization to mankind. In his 1916 book The Passing of the Great Race, American author Madison Grant claimed that the Nordic people (British, Scots, Irish, and German) were the descendants of the original Aryans, and that America was meant to be an Aryan homeland. (This book was a bestseller in America and Europe, and was praised by Hitler.) 

The Europeans associated the term “Aryan” with racial purity even though the Rig Veda does not preach racial purity. The Rig Veda’s verses are on cosmology, history, moral values, and the right ways of performing prayers and sacrifices. Some supremacist groups in Europe and America still call themselves Aryans. 

Grant warned against the weakening of the superior American (Aryan) bloodline by interbreeding  with inferior races. In the category of inferior races, he included the Jews, Czechs, Poles, and Italians. When the Nazis acquired power in Germany, they made an absurd connection between the Rig Veda’s conception of Aryans and Plato’s discussion of Atlantis. They said that the German Aryans were the original inhabitants of the Platonic Atlantis and the original speakers of the ancient language which had given rise to Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and other languages. 

The Nazis desecrated the symbol of Swastika by appropriating it as a symbol of their version of the Germanic Aryan race. The Swastika has served as a Hindu symbol for divinity and spirituality since 1000 BC. It is often used in Hindu marriage ceremonies. In the Vedas, the word “Swasti” occurs frequently. The Swastika is mentioned in Pāṇini’s Ashtadhyayi and several other Hindu texts. The Buddhist and Jain movements use the Swastika for their religious ceremonies. 

It is certain that the Sanskrit language, the Rig Veda, and other Vedic and Puranic texts were created by the people who were the ancestors of today’s Hindus. It is likely that these ancients lived in South Asia—in the region stretching from Persia to North India. The Rig Veda was probably composed in the region of Punjab. The Europeans and Americans are not the Aryans. They have been very successful in the last 350 years, but that does not imply that they have been the masters of the world for thousands of years.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

On Political Power and Biracial Couplings

A significant theme in the biracial couplings which took place during the age of imperialism has been the coupling of European men (who were politically powerful) with non-European women (who were often powerless). The Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors coupled with native women and created a new people—the mestizos. The word “mestizo” comes from the Spanish word “mestizaje,” which means miscegenation. 

The most famous biracial coupling of the eighteenth and the early nineteenth centuries was between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, a black slave girl. They began their relationship in 1787, not long after the American constitutional convention, when Jefferson was in France on some political business. There was a thirty-years age difference between them—Jefferson was 44 and Sally was 14. They had six children together. Their relationship was disputed by some scholars but a genetic study conducted in 1998 confirmed a Y-chromosome match between the male-line descendants of Eston Hemings Jefferson (Sally’s youngest son) and the male-line descendants of Jefferson’s paternal uncle. 

Jefferson was a very powerful and wealthy man—he was one of the founding fathers of America and later on he became the president. He owned a large plantation in Virginia, a state where 40 percent of the population was enslaved. Sally, being his slave, was dependent on him. In France, slavery was illegal. Sally could have continued to live in France as a free woman. According to their son, Madison Hemings, she agreed to return to America with Jefferson on the condition that their children would eventually be set free. 

Sally was biracial, since she had three European grandparents. She continued to be a slave because, under Virginia law, the status of a slave was maternally inherited. There was a reason why Virginia had this law. Almost all the biracial couplings in America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were between European men and African women. There were hardly any African men uniting with European women. By linking the status of a slave to the maternal line, the state of Virginia was ensuring that power remained in the hands of European men. 

The genetic pattern of the present day African Americans shows that the Jefferson-Sally kind of biracial couplings were replicated a number of times. The contribution of European men in the genetic makeup of the present day African American population is four times higher than the contribution of European women. In the time of slavery, the sex bias would be far greater than this. The civil rights movement, and the cultural transformation and sex revolution after 1960, resulted in an increase in the number of couplings between African men and European women. 

Throughout the history of mankind, men in positions of power have spread their seed on women from weaker sections of society. We have the example of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan and his descendants. Between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, they conquered the largest contiguous land empire in history. A 2003 study on the places where the Mongols had ruled shows that a significant part of the population had descended from one ancestor: Genghis Khan. The powerful men of the past have left an extraordinary impact on the subsequent populations. They have influenced our religion, politics, culture, and the genetic character (DNA) of our species.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

On Reagan’s Naive War on Communism

"I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." ~ Ronald Reagan

This is such a naive statement by Reagan. Communism is not a sad, bizarre chapter of human history, as he asserts—it is a fundamental feature of the Western civilization. He and Margaret Thatcher tried to make the case that communism was a Russian phenomena, and that once the Soviet Union was defeated, communism would vanish. They failed to remind their people that communism was a Western ideology—conceived and propagated between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries by white intellectuals and politicians based in England, Germany, France, and America.

In the time of Reagan, communist doctrine was thriving in the American government, universities, media, entertainment industry, and big businesses. It was thriving on a much higher scale in Western Europe. There is some truth in the statement which the communist intellectuals, who feel frustrated by the fall of the Soviet Union, often make:  “The Soviet Union was not real socialism.” Western liberty and capitalism are a myth—in 1991, when the Soviet Union was dying, “real socialism” was thriving in the USA and Western Europe.  

If Reagan and Thatcher were serious about fighting communism, they would have done something to reform the intellectual, financial, and political establishments in their own nations. They did nothing of that sort. Being conservatives they found it easier to put the blame on outsiders—the Asians, in this case. It is hard for the Western conservatives to introspect and examine the flaws in their own character, history, and culture. They prefer to blame the outsiders for every woe that bedevils mankind.  

To defeat the Soviet Union, Reagan’s government trained, financed, and armed the religious fundamentalist forces in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa, and South Asia. America’s flawed “war on communism” was the progenitor of America’s equally flawed “war on terror” which is still raging in several parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Reagan destabilized South America by authorizing the intervention in Nicaragua and other South American countries (in the name of stopping communism and the war on drugs).

The irony is that 42 years after Reagan’s presidency, communism continues to be the world’s most powerful ideology and political movement, while America is a spent force—some analysts say that the “last pages of the American Empire even now are being written.” In the twenty-first century, America represents the last stand of the Western civilization, which has dominated the world since the sixteenth century. After America, there won’t be another Western power. When America falls, the Asian countries will have a chance of asserting themselves in the world.

Is Man the Highest Product of Evolution?

Man is the last of the great species to emerge—the Darwinian theory takes this idea as a proof that man is the highest product of evolution. But it is not necessary that the highest product should come at the end of any process. A glitch in the process of evolution could have led to a steep downfall in the quality of species being churned out. What if the highest product of evolution was created tens of thousands of years or even millions of years ago? We might not be the last of the great species. The best outcome of earthly evolution might be lost in the mists of the past. We might never know about that earthly being who was smarter than us.

Friday, November 12, 2021

On The Yamnaya Migrations

The Yamnaya civilization emerged five thousand years ago (around 3300 BC) in the region between the Southern Bug, Dniester, and Ural rivers (the Pontic steppes). In his book Who We Are and How We Got Here, David Reich says that the Maikop culture or the people who preceded them made a genetic contribution to the Yamnaya population. Maikop technology of horse-drawn wheeled carts, and their way of raising mounds of earth and stone over graves, which are known as Krugans, was passed on to the Yamnaya. 

The Yamnaya spoke a late Proto-Indo-European language. About 46 percent of the world’s population (3.2 billion people) speaks an Indo-European language as their first language. They could be biologically related to the Yamnaya. There are striking parallels between the Yamnaya and Europe’s Corded Ware culture—both could have descended from genetically similar pre-Yamnaya populations. The presence of Corded Ware culture is seen as evidence of the Westward expansion of the Yamnaya.

In his book The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, David W. Anthony says that Yamnaya were more efficient in managing their resources than their predecessors, the Maikop culture and others, and they replaced the population of any area that they came to dominate. Genetic studies show that the Yamnaya started dominating Europe in 3000 BC, and their descendants reached South Asia in a thousand years (between 2000 to 1800 BC). They transformed the demography of Europe and several parts of Asia.

Britain is separated from the rest of Europe by the English Channel, but the Yamnaya found a way of moving into the British Isles. 90% of the people who built the Stonehenge no longer exist. They were replaced by people who have Yamnaya ancestry.

Genetic studies show that the present day population in North India has a strong connection with the Yamnaya. The period between 2000 and 1800 BC, when the Yamnaya are believed to have arrived in North India coincides with the fall of the Harappa Civilization. It would be simplistic to hold the Yamnaya responsible for the fall of the Harappa Civilization. The Harappans were not a warlike people. Historian Gordon Childe found the Harappa civilization to be unique in its lack of attention to weapons of war. 

The ruins of Harappan towns and cities show no sign of external attack. Most buildings are well-preserved and seem to have been abandoned. People probably migrated to other parts of India. Disease, environmental factors, and sudden decline in trade (due to the fall of the Mesopotamian civilization) might have something to do with the fall of the Harappa civilization. 

Many historians believe that the branch of Yamnaya civilization which arrived in North India spoke Vedic Sanskrit and they could be the primary creators of several ancient Hindu texts (particularly the early texts). After 1800 BC, Vedic Sanskrit started taking root in North India. Some scholars have posited that the present day Tamil language has some similarities to the Harappa script. If this is true, then it might be surmised that as the Yamnaya spread their dominance in North India, the Harappans migrated to the South.

The Harappans were acquainted with horses and chariots but the Yamnaya could have played a major role in popularizing the use of horse-drawn wheeled chariots for transportation and warfare. The Harappa script has not been deciphered, and there is a lot of controversy about Harappan religion and politics. We don’t know if there is any connection between Yamnaya and Harappan religious and political thinking. The word “Yamnaya” means related to pits (or graves) in Russian, but in Sanskrit, it points towards “Yama,” the Hindu god of Death and Justice. 

The Harappa civilization extends back to 3300 BC, which is the same period when the Yamnaya civilization came up in the Pontic steppes. Perhaps there was a connection between the Harappans and the Yamnaya from the early days of both civilizations. But I have not found this being suggested in the work of any historian.