Gandhi as Spiritual Godfather of the Indian Independence Movement
Critics of Gandhi and the Conservative Hindu Backlash
Early Life and the Beginnings of Gandhi’s Radicalism
Mohandas K. Gandhi originated from India’s business caste and grew up amidst Vaishnovite and Jain influences. From youth onward, he was a devout vegetarian and even belonged to an association for vegetarians during his time studying law in London. Gandhi began his adult life as an Anglophile, once referring to Great Britain as “the land of poets and philosophers”. His radicalization began when he went to practice law in South Africa and experienced the discrimination against the Indian community to be found there.
He became active in the struggle for Indian civil rights, initially arguing that because Indians were British subjects, they were entitled to the “full rights of Englishmen” recognized by British law. After beginning his struggle in South Africa, he moved his efforts to India itself and began organizing poor farmers and workers against oppressive taxation and discrimination. Following the massacre at Punjab, Gandhi came to believe that Indians would require full independence from Great Britain in order to be assured of their human rights. Over time he would completely abandon his initially favorable view of the West, eventually remarking that Western civilization “would be a good idea,” implying that he regarded Westerners as barbarians.
Satyagraha and the Philosophy of Non-Violence
Gandhi’s views on non-violence are widely misunderstood, particularly among Westerners. The evidence refutes the ideas that Gandhi was a conventional pacifist, as pacifism is commonly understood. Indeed, Gandhi was highly critical of efforts by the British to deprive Indians of “the right to bear arms”. His support for the British war effort in World War One was justified in part by his desire to see the right of Indians to possess arms restored. As he stated in his autobiography:
In the Ottoman Empire, a millet was a separate legal court pertaining to “personal law” under which a confessional community was allowed to rule itself under its own system. After the Ottoman Tanzimat reforms, the term was used for legally protected religious minority groups, similar to the way other countries use the word nation. The word Millet comes from the Arabic word millah and literally means “nation”. The Millet system of Islamic law has been called an example of pre-modern religious pluralism.
Todd Lewis is joined by Keith Preston, Right Ruminations and Swithun Dobson to discuss the strategic and cultural impact on the USA of historic recruitment methods divided roughly into three periods: amateur volunteer forces (1607-1861); conscripts (1861-1973); Professional Volunteer forces (1973-Present).
For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.
At present, the United States (the mother country of a world empire that is the most expansive and powerful in history) is in a position that might be considered a very minor league version of what the Europeans faced in the early modern period. From the fourth century through the fifteenth century, the Catholic Church dominated Western Europe with roughly the same level of pervasiveness that the Communist Party now dominates China (minus the technological capabilities, of course). The Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Radical Reformation, Age of Exploration, market revolution scientific revolution, and the Enlightenment had the effect of ushering in several centuries of conflict between rival religious communities, feudal overlords, royal dynasties, and insurgency bourgeoisie for hegemony. The consequences were fun episodes such as the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War, among many others.
The ATS masthead contains the slogan “Pan-Anarchism Against, Pan-Secessionism Against the Empire” which is merely an expression of a very simple concept, and which is predictably misunderstood by many people (because many people are dumbasses).
Paul Gottfried provides a pretty good overview of US political history at the beginning of this. I don’t entirely agree with Halsey English’s paleonconnish/paleolibertarianish interpretation of US political history, but he’s correct with his observation that the traditional US republic is largely moving toward integration as province into a UN/EU-like global system.
One of the ruling class’s greatest achievements has been its ability to completely co-opt the “cultural revolution” that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s (by giving the American civil religion a new multicultural gloss) while not only preserving but strengthening capitalist class rule, strengthening the state, and expanding the empire.
It is not uncommon to encounter political theorists and pundits who insist that political centralization is a boon to economic growth. In both cases, it is claimed the presence of a unifying central regime—whether in Brussels or in Washington, DC, for example—is essential in ensuring the efficient and free flow of goods throughout a large jurisdiction. This, we are told, will greatly accelerate economic growth.
In many ways, the model is the United States, inside of which there are virtually no barriers to trade or migration at all between member states. In the EU, barriers have been falling rapidly in recent decades.
The historical evidence, however, suggests that political unity is not actually a catalyst to economic growth or innovation over the long term. In fact, the European experience suggests that the opposite is true.
Why Did Europe Surpass China in Wealth and Growth?
A thousand years ago, a visitor from another planet might have easily overlooked European civilization as a poor backwater. Instead, China and the Islamic world may have looked far more likely to be the world leaders in wealth and innovation indefinitely.
Why is it, then, that Europe became the wealthiest and most technologically advanced civilization in the world?
Looking at the origins and history of the Holy Roman Empire, assessing the claim by Voltaire that it was not holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, and finally looking at the complex hierarchical political structure of the empire.
The Holy Roman Empire is not only an ironic concept, it’s also weirdly complicated. Learn how many titles the rulers needed to see how cool they were trying to be or why the Emperor’s rule was only semi-optional.
Another Black History Month comes and another Black History Month goes. The 29 dreary days of the year when we reduce the history of the people who built this country beneath the weight of the whip to extra crunchy peanut butter. I’m not a black person, so every word of this rant may very well come across as politically incorrect and racially insensitive, but I am a history nerd, and as quite possibly the queerest person on this side of the rainbow, I do know what it’s like to have my tribe’s history hijacked and commodified by the same capitalist cunts who once conspired to have us annihilated. Truth be told, growing up as a freak, I often found it a hell of a lot more easy to relate to black historical figures than white ones. Malcolm X may have peed standing up but something tells me he knew more about being the straight man’s faggot than the Kennedy’s.