Thursday, July 09, 2009

Local creativity vs. Comparative hermeneutics

[Re: The Resonant Soul: Gaston Bachelard and the Magical Surface of Air by Robert Sardello Debashish Tue 07 Jul 2009 02:08 PM PDT Here's where the Integral Yoga demands a framework of comparative hermeneutics to extend its perception if it is to arrive at a universal epistemology. A universal epistemology cannot be a monolithic metaphysics but a burgeoning cross-cultural dialog. Bachelard's "reverie" can map interestingly into Sri Arobindo's phenomenology of knowledge. "Aurobindonians" who remain stuck in the vocabulary of Sri Aurobindo too readily dismiss any such alternate formulations as irrelevant, but in the process deny themselves the benefit of a practical approach to certain possibilities of consciousness as well of course of the sheer poetic delight of a mystic enjoyment.]

[Re: Towards a Postcolonial Modernity: AsiaSource Interview with Partha Chatterjee Debashish Sun 05 Jul 2009 08:32 AM PDT In fact this is what Chatterjee is addressing in that it is important for grassroots emergence of these constituents and their accomodation at the local level itself rather than abstractly at the state level. For their emergence education is necessary, but such an education should come from the development of creative expressions from below rather than the state based engineering as you point out. The subaltern studies movement began with a study (by Ranajit Guha) of adivasi involvement in nationalist politics through the Birsa Munda led revolt. This revolt had its own ideas and strategies developed from within and not imposed by the mainstream middle-class nationalism. Chatterjee is pointing out that this had been possible during the anti-colonial period, it should be possible again today in the post-colonial period. Some catalysts and some education is needed, but the creativity has to come from below and first seek its own identity at the local level where it can be accomodated within the lived culture of its habitus. It is when local identities are abstracted and made into state level categories that monolithic and exclusionary divisions occur, such as with the national politicization of religion and caste. DB]

[Re: Towards a Postcolonial Modernity: AsiaSource Interview with Partha Chatterjee
Debashish on Sun 05 Jul 2009 12:14 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link
When Chatterjee uses the term "local," he is using it in distinction from the term "regional" or "national." "National" implies an imagined community being given a common identity based on state definitions, "local" implies a lived community united by a cultural history which is adapting and changing. By "local," Chatterjee does not mean "native" - it is a territorially limited and socially initimate idea. What he is saying is that locally, cultures have adpated to new ideas and practices of constituents flexibly, but states at the national level have to invent group identities for the larger national whole if they are to be identified and controlled. These state level identities are invented based on income but also on cultural definitions provided by existing constituents. If new groups can define themselves and claim rights from the state in terms of their self-defined identities, a pluralist state can accomodate them. This is the politics of adjustment he is talking about. The question of education and welfare at the local levels is an important one, as you point out. But here one must be careful that a western liberal education forming post-Enlightenment subjects disciplined to produce and consume the ideological and material products of global capitalism would defeat the possibility of any alternate postmodernity. To develop mediational pedagogies which enable local populations to engage creatively in the realm of ideas with the mainstream and become the producers of alternate definitions of human becoming and ideological and material products which can intentionally modify or transform global modernity is the possibility towards which Chatterjee is pointing. (I believe this is also the social aspect of Sri Aurobindo's ideal for his ashram or the Mother's for Auroville). But in the final analysis, it is not so much education from above but local creativity which Chatterjee points to as the necessary component. DB]

[Having just spent some time reading Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit and parts of his Phenomenology of Spirit, I found it the Pope’s point about the need “to operate in a climate of freedom” to be in great continuity with Hegel’s thought. For example, in the section on “Objective Spirit” in Hegel’s Philosophy of Spirit, he explores the concrete institutional structures that promote human flourishing. According to Hegel, political institutions-those which over time have developed various traditions and customs-are the conditions required for the possibility of human advancement and flourishing. Though I in no way agree with Hegel’s narrative regarding the details of the master/slave dialectic, he does claim that this dialectic must be overcome through recognition of our mutual rationality and freedom-that is, the other must be recognized not as my tool but as an “I” who has the ability to step back from the causal matrix and act as a free being... In short, both Hegel and Benedict emphasize the importance of human freedom, the formative role of concrete institutions and tradition, and the need to appeal to common, shared truths available to all apart from revelation Caritas in Veritate and Promoting Authentic Human Development
from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen]

[the Left's anti-imperialism was insufficient, in the sense that it did not extend to the formulation of an alternative economic policy... Reflections on the Left Jul 1st 2009, Prabhat Patnaik - In India, since the adversity of workers, peasants, agricultural labourers and petty producers, under globalization, has been accompanied by high growth rates, and rapid increases in incomes and opportunities for the urban middle class, a degree of pro-imperialism among this class which includes intellectuals, media persons and professionals, and hence a degree of exasperation with the Left's continued adherence to old ''anti-imperialist shibboleths'', is hardly surprising. The Left's error that accounts for its loss in the recent elections can be located here. As long as the urban middle class in India is not hit by the adverse consequences of globalization, it will continue to remain sympathetically disposed towards imperialism. Anti-imperialist ideological appeals alone, though they must continue to be made, will not sway it much.]

[India has not yet heard the message of Sri Aurobindo. We need good leaders who can take us forward to that unique destiny. Every country is important to us because we are not only Indians but also part of the whole world. Let other countries fulfill their destinies and we ours. Only by sacrifice can purity come and not by indulgence. We need to sacrifice to see a better world. Every individual and country matters in this world. India can rise when we can give minimum freedom for our citizens in terms of speech, education and health to individuals. When we start thinking of our society . One of the poorest in the world live in our country. We see it but we do not do anything. If individual shakti's are not allowed to express themselves how are we going to see the nation shakti awaken? We need to give greater oppurtunity to our poor citizens. The shakti is suppressed under poverty, hunger and ignorance. Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part E Mirror of Tomorrow
by rakesh on Thu 09 Jul 2009 11:56 AM IST Profile Permanent Link]

[Aspiration Comment by Jordi Valero
Nationalism is not a out of time idea, a ridiculous least yet. the future of humanity will see the brotherhood among human beings and the disappearance of nations, but not yet. This will be tomorrow, not today. I belong to Catalan Nation. It is a nation that fight to become a reality among the free nations around the world... Comment by
Jordi Valero
Catalan people are, as a rule, people with a global thought. As a rule, as I've said, we are talking about one folk that lives opened to the world. But we need be as a nation, we need to realize our colective soul...But we have a problem called Spain and its castilian vision. We are called by them "primitive people" and "people who wants speak a minority language". But, perhaps, we will be a free nation...into a big world. One day, I hope.]

[Jul 8, 2009 *Create Your Own Economy*, special offer
from Marginal Revolution by Tyler Cowen Buy the book here.
As an economist I believe in the power of incentives.]

That "local creativity" evolve "comparative hermeneutics" for "cross-cultural dialog" is a tall order, especially when the vernacular is just a notch above illiteracy in India. [TNM]

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