Friday, July 31, 2009

Chandrabhan Prasad celebrates capitalism, consumption and globalization

[For Indian women, globalisation has generally done good. It has brought them into the workforce, and done so in large numbers. Earlier, working women in India were either the elite or the poor. This picture has now changed with women of many classes choosing to work both before and after marriage. But there is a downside to this. Despite obvious class differences between women working in factories or call centres and in managerial jobs, tensions are perceptible and palpable in most families and in society at large. Men (and in-laws) are happy that daughters, sisters and wives are bringing home incomes but are not fully reconciled to them venturing out of the house. Work and independent incomes enable women to try out new freedoms. On offer are choices and an escape from the stifling confines of parental or marital homes.
TOP ARTICLE Clouded By Confusion - Editorial - Opinion - The Times of India Ravinder Kaur 14 February 2009 The writer is a professor of social anthropology, IIT Delhi. 4:09 PM]

[Flight to Freedom: Travel Through Dalit Villages Posted by: Aditya Nigam June 10, 2008 media politics dissent Kafila
“Do you eat piglets?” he asked as our car moved through the long road from Lucknow, via Barabanki, Faizabad, Akbarpur towards Azamgarh. “We can have roast piglets and whiskey when we end our day’s work” This was our ‘tour sponsor’, Chandra Bhan Prasad, well known now as the maverick intellectual who celebrates capitalism, consumption and globalization and who was the first to advocate a Dalit-Brahmin alliance against the Sudra (OBC) castes. Thus it was to be. We were to spend our first night in the poorvanchal on 4 June 2008, eating and drinking.]

[Economic activity by private individuals is as natural and ancient as the desire to mate. The government has no business stepping in and taking it over. As for "accumulation", I am not sure what Nigam means by that. If by that, he is referring to the profit-maximization motive, then yes, I agree it is central to the idea of capitalism. But then what is point of trading in markets, and engaging in entrepreneurial activities if not making profits? Indeed, it is opportunities to make profit that have led to the relative prosperity that Nigam witnessed in Poorvanchal. I also want to talk about private ownership, or property rights, a pet issue of mine. Although left-liberals rightly champion the cause of the victims of Sardar Sarovar, Nandigram, Singur, etc, I have not heard a single one of them demand that the right to property be restored as a fundamental right in the Indian constitution. That will solve all these land-grabbing problems in one go, and ensure that they are not repeated.]

[The tenable patriot RANJIT HOSKOTE
As we approach the 60th anniversary of our independence, it appears that some Indians can claim to be born citizens by virtue of belonging to the Hindu majority, while others must remain citizens-on-probation all their lives. Despite legal equality, members of minority communities are repeatedly subjected to a cricket-match or a national-song test of loyalty.
The Hindu Sunday, Dec 03, 2006. On this account, some Indians are landlords by birth (Hindus, in M S Golwalkar's constipated and ahistorical definition of that category); other Indians are guests, tenants or squatters, transients on permanent probation, to be tolerated, made to pay exorbitant rents, or evicted by force if necessary, depending on how well they behave (the minorities).]

[It was a birthday party organized by Chandrabhan Prasad, Dalit intellectual and activist, who hails Macaulay as the Father of Indian Modernity, for it was after the introduction of his English system of education in 1854, that Dalits got the right to education, he says.
As sodas popped and the whisky poured (aptly called, Teacher’s Scotch) Prasad led his guests - a motley mix of Dalit poets, singers, academia, a sprinkling of the international media, social scientists Ashish Nandy, Gail Omvedt - to the centrepiece of the party’s action. The unveiling of a portrait, English, the Mother Goddess, painted by Dalit artist Shant Swaroop Baudh.
Happy Birthday Lord Macaulay, thank you for ‘Dalit empowerment’ Vrinda Gopinath Tags : Posted: Thursday , Oct 26, 2006 at 0122 hrs New Delhi, October 25]

If globalization is good for Chandrabhan Prasad, it should be so for the rest of us. [TNM]

People-to-people contact should be our primary concern

Re: India’s Independence and the Spiritual Destiny: Part F
Tusar N. Mohapatra on Fri 31 Jul 2009 10:20 AM IST Profile Permanent Link

Regardless of what The Mother & Sri Aurobindo have said from time to time during the last Century, can we agree on certain policies at present as regards Pakistan?

 That it is a nation apart and we respect its sovereignty,
 We should not be unduly interested in its internal affair; and
 Bilateral trade and people-to-people contact should be our primary concern. [TNM] Reply

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Goods and services could neither be called just nor unjust

[My basic perspective on technology is that it must be understood on many registers... As for Heidegger, I empathize with the idea that we can embrace neither technofetishism nor luddism... Here I find McLuhan's invitation to investigate the properties of specific technologies to be liberating... not to mention a hell of a lot clearer! ... (As a sidenote, McLuhan does take things too far when he insists that the content of media doesn't matter) anotherheideggerblog Tuesday, July 28, 2009 Interview with Ian Bogost//anotherheideggerblog Thursday, July 23, 2009 Interview with Levi R. Bryant (Larval Subjects)...
technology studies have been pushed back a great deal as a result of his moralizing and Luddite attitude towards enframing.
1:26 PM]

[Thus you have right and left Hegelians. You have all sorts of different appropriations of Deleuze. You have hundreds of different versions of Marx. There is something about the style of these thinkers, its gaps, its allusiveness, its suggestiveness, and so on that makes it highly fit for cultural circulation.
Larval Subjects July 28, 2009
Design Ontology Posted by larvalsubjects]

[So is the hope that we can strive towards some higher level in which the fundamental conflicts of culture are resolved a pipe dream? Chris Bloor talks to Charles Taylor, one of the world’s leading living philosophers. Philosophy Now Jul/Aug 2009
Yeah. That’s a pipe dream. It’s a beautiful dream, but it’s not something we can possibly hope for. It’s a pipe dream in the kind of sense that Marxism in its original form contained. This means that Marxism’s a tremendously interesting philosophy to read, because it holds out an important definition of the main cultural contradiction – as opposed to its error of thinking that we can resolve it. It’s just as bad not even to see the contradiction – to have this bland neo-liberal view that there are no major cultural contradictions at all, and things will all go swimmingly, that we’ll all just globalise. This is the absolute nadir of blindness. Those neo-liberals have to be put to read Marx – and if they totally convert to Marxism, then maybe they’ll have to be corrected by a dose of reality!]

[But globalism's outsourcing in India today has produced a large population of cyber-coolies and call center operators who form the standing reserve for the world market. They are richer than Indians before, but their lifestyles are mostly pre-packaged. Their richer cousins are the software engineers whose lifestyles are hardly any less pre-packaged. This is what I meant by saying that modernity offers us liberty in one hand and insignifcance in the other. Re: The Violence of the Global by Jean Baudrillard Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
by Debashish on Mon 27 Jul 2009 11:26 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link //Globalization kneads world humanity into a semblance of unity - but this is the unity of determined proceses, of lowest common conditioning. It claims absolute adherence from each individual in the name of liberty, and sticks the pretense of a name tag and a smiley on each shirt front while injecting with the lethal drug of comfortable anonymity. by Debashish on Tue 28 Jul 2009 06:05 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link]

[The welfare statists, led by Amartya Sen, want “distributive justice.” To them The Market is unjust. They call upon The State to correct these perceived injustices. My point is this: Amartya Sen’s “vision” is an exact replica of Jawaharlal Nehru’s “socialistic pattern of society.” The idea is an economic egalitarianism achieved by State force. This is the very same vision that India has chased for over 60 years – and which lies in tatters. The Hayekian vision is of a Great & Open Society: a society of numberless individuals interacting freely in markets, exchanging goods and services peacefully among themselves. This is a “catallaxy,” not a “community.” The individuals who engage in market exchanges usually do not even know one another – and it doesn’t matter. There cannot be economic equality in such a Great Society. As in a free forest, where there are tall trees, short grasses, bushes and shrubs, and vines, so too with the Great Society. Just as each living creature finds a “niche” in the jungle, so too with The Market – we all find “niches.” This is the “social division of labour.” Rewards are uncertain for all. The socialists and welfare statists want to replace a freely growing forest with a landscape of uniformly trimmed hedges - with their Supreme Leader doing the trimming. Further, the Great Society is one in which there is Competition. There are rewards for those who serve their customers best; and there are punishments for those who do it the worst. Without this “minimum pressure” the catallaxy cannot work. After all, the entire idea is that the Consumer is King. The welfare statists want to eliminate this minimum pressure. Their ideas only create a culture of dependency. They do not encourage enterprise. Amartya Sen has never supported Economic Freedom. Or Free Trade. The Debate On Amartya Sen Continues
from ANTIDOTE by Sauvik
Hayek is indispensable to this debate. And
Chandra has provided the most appropriate quote:
Justice has meaning only as a rule of human conduct, and no conceivable rules for the conduct of individuals supplying each other with goods and services in a market economy would produce a distribution which could be meaningfully described as just or unjust. Individuals might conduct themselves as justly as possible, but as the results for separate individuals would be neither intended nor foreseeable by others, the resulting state of affairs could neither be called just nor unjust.]

[Also keeping in mind :-) that the mind itself is in a process of developmental change, a mind that is continually consulted in its growth, (that is a person who constantly engages and broadens out in self-reflection) would eventually lead one to the plane of the Supermind. Re: Sri Aurobindo's Integral Education in Contemporary Higher Education Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
by Bindu on Wed 29 Jul 2009 11:56 PM PDT Profile Permanent Link]

[Common Sense [1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution... Paine begins this section by making a distinction between society and government. Society is a “patron,” “produced by our wants”, that promotes happiness. Government is a “punisher,” “produced by wickedness,” that restrains vices. Paine then goes on to consider the relationship between government and society in a state of “natural liberty.” Paine tells a story of a few isolated people living in nature without government. The people find it easier to live together rather than apart and thereby create a society. As the society grows problems arise, so all the people meet to make regulations to mitigate the problems. As the society continues to grow government becomes necessary to enforce the regulations, which over time, turn into laws. Soon there are so many people that they cannot all be gathered in one place to make the laws, so they begin holding elections. This, Paine argues, is the best balance between government and society. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

[Secularism is thus a political doctrine and not a social one. It cannot be counterposed against communalism as communalism is a social doctrine. It is not true that a communally tolerant population is automatically secular. Indian secularism - Place of religion in human life - The Statesman S K Chaube 21 January 1997 8:12 PM]

[I think liberty in Smith’s terms is more important than democracy as represented by mere elections which may be held regularly but are often, across the world, well short of being open, transparent, and an accurate reflection of the free choices of independent electors ( see Iran recently, as an example). Liberty expressed by free speech, an independent judiciary, trial by jury, Habeas Corpus, rights of assembly, policing as a service - not a force of the politics of the government, and personal rights codified in law, is rare enough (as it has always been), and when its lack is covered up by farcical elections it is a disappointment for optimists for the human condition and a comfort for cynics and oppressors. Liberty More Important than Democracy
from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy]

Directing the flux of society while flowing and growing within it is the greatest folly the Leftists are fond of conjuring. [TNM]

Stamping children into religion

[One of the biggest dangers in Integral Yoga/Education as currently practiced (and I have experienced this) is in the realm of vital education: Here, subjective notions of say, Beauty, in our current state of Avidya, are interpreted and privileged by those in power, with unfortunate consequences that greatly restrict the freedom of artists in a community of Integral Yoga practitioners. Re: Sri Aurobindo's Integral Education in Contemporary Higher Education Bindu Wed 29 Jul 2009 11:56 PM PDT]

['Parents impose their belief system on children' Times of India 29 July 2009
As president of the Indian chapter of the Centre for Inquiry, Innaiah Narisetti has come up with the controversial thesis that children's rights should include complete freedom from religious belief or conditioning. He talks about the rationalist movement with Manoj Mitta: Your latest book, Forced into Faith, has a rather provocative subtitle: 'How religion abuses children's rights.' How do you justify that? Child
marriages are prohibited. Voting rights are denied to kids. The same restraint is, however, not observed when it comes to stamping children into religion. Parents treat their children as property and impose their belief system. It's time parents refrained from indoctrinating their children into their religious beliefs so that they have the freedom to adopt or reject religion when they become adults. The conditioning they suffer in their childhood renders them incapable of exercising choice in the matter. Why do you argue for a UN convention on what you describe as the religious abuse of children? The UN convention on children's rights adopted in 1989 is observed more in the breach. Though the UN has come out against child abuses like genital mutilation of girls and deploying children in wars, it is shy of holding religion guilty of polluting the minds of children with retrograde beliefs. Children accept without question whatever the parents dictate. They carry that habit into their adulthood. Leaders practising superstitions set a bad example. It was sad that somebody like Abdul Kalam, when he was president, thought it fit to touch the feet of Sathya Sai Baba. That to my mind was more outrageous than his being frisked at an airport for security reasons despite his former office.]

Without agreeing with all that the rationalist movement stands for, Savitri Era Religion supports Narisetti's "thesis that children's rights should include complete freedom from religious belief or conditioning." [TNM]

Love & Death in desert

[Mike said... September 22, 2007 1:41 PM
As for Hegel, the Introduction (NOT the preface) to the Phenomenology of Spirit is a good place to start, probably after reading his early writing on "Love," which gives you a flavor of what he's working through (you can find the latter in The Hegel Reader). 6:20 PM]

[Jack Reynolds deals with the aporetic ambiguities in Derrida's thought between the irredicible difference of the Other and the raidcal singularity of the Other... I see Derrida's aporetic undecidability between the Other of difference and the Other of singluarity as the Vedantic tension between the Known, the Unknown and the Unknowable... In excavating this conundrum in his late work The Gift of Death, Derrida draws on the fertility of the Judaic story of Abraham's decision regarding the sacrifice of his son to God. Re: The Other of Derridean Deconstruction: Levinas, Phenomenology and the Question of Responsibility by Jack Reynolds Debashish Wed 29 Jul 2009 06:20 AM PDT]

[In this respect, Derrida opened my eyes in ways I will always be grateful for (as I will for the influential American deconstructionists I had the benefit of studying under), but once my eyes were opened, I didn't know what I saw. Nothing. A blank vista. A desert. //philosophy an eternal Easter egg hunt in search of shiny, cubed ovoids to be worshiped over red wine. anotherheideggerblog Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Interview with Ian Bogost]

[My basic perspective on technology is that it must be understood on many registers... As for Heidegger, I empathize with the idea that we can embrace neither technofetishism nor luddism... Here I find McLuhan's invitation to investigate the properties of specific technologies to be liberating... not to mention a hell of a lot clearer! ... (As a sidenote, McLuhan does take things too far when he insists that the content of media doesn't matter) anotherheideggerblog Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Interview with Ian Bogost]

Love & Death in desert! [TNM]

Nice Rice

[Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954) is a professor, diplomat, author, and national security expert. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of President George W. Bush to hold the office. Rice was the first black woman, second African American (after her predecessor Colin Powell, who served from 2001 to 2005), and the second woman (after Madeleine Albright, who served from 1997 to 2001 in the Clinton Administration) to serve as Secretary of State. Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999. During the administration of George H.W. Bush, Rice served as the Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor during the dissolution of the Soviet Union and German reunification.
When beginning as Secretary of State, Rice pioneered a policy of
Transformational Diplomacy, with a focus on democracy in the greater Middle East. Her emphasis on supporting democratically elected governments faced challenges as Hamas captured a popular majority in Palestinian elections yet supported Islamist militants, and influential countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt maintained authoritarian systems with U.S. support.]

Condoleezza Rice was instrumental in introducing unprecedented trust and parity into the bilateral relationship between the two largest democracies. This was a path-breaking initiative flowing from her sagacity and austere vision. People of India will always remember her contributions in forging an alliance of far reaching impacts. [TNM]

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nostalgia is now the only industry in Kolkata

[In 19th c. Calcutta, the subjection of Indians under British colonialism spawned the bhadralok population, which did not remain entirely determined by their colonizers but developed their own sophisticated critiques of the Enlightenment, whose potential has still not fully been played out. Sri Aurobindo himself is part of this counter-culture. Re: The Violence of the Global by Jean Baudrillard Debashish Mon 27 Jul 2009 11:26 PM PDT]

[Distance lends enchantment to the bhiew. "Cal' nostalgia is a major industry in this mushy 'Mitra Mandal'. In Kolkata, of course, nostalgia is now the only industry. Home > Nostalgia~ gently simmered By: mid-day Date: 2001-12-23]

Long live nostalgia! [TNM]

The aesthetics of offering prayers or flowers

[Indian secularism - Place of religion in human life - The Statesman S K Chaube, 21 January 1997
In the great debate on secularism in India a number of cultivated myths abound even among well intentioned people bearing no malice against other communities. "Indian society is secular", "Hindu society is secular", "The Indian Constitution is secular" and "The Indian State is secular" are some of them.
The myths are raised to a theoretical plane by asserting that "Our secularism is different from secularism in the West". From this absurdity one moves to the confusing array of "our definitions" of secularism and exchange of abuses like communalism and pseudo-secularism...
Secularism is thus a political doctrine and not a social one. It cannot be counterposed against communalism as communalism is a social doctrine. It is not true that a communally tolerant population is automatically secular... S.K. Chaube is Professor of Indian Politics in the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. 8:12 PM]

The Mother & Sri Aurobindo expressly refused to be affiliated to any of the past religions and Savitri Era Religion emerged by default. The Sanatan Dharma/Perennial philosophy line of argument, therefore, is alien to a 21st century faith like Savitri Era Religion.

Body and biology being intrinsic part and determinant of man’s religious behavior, it is futile to expect brand new rites and rituals. Savitri Era Religion has internalized a set of rituals over the years which will obviously evolve and refine with time.

The spiritual school promoted by secularists, rationalists, and nihilists privileging meditational practices is basically a recoil from form. The aesthetics of body, though overemphasized in the arena of sport and art, remains underappreciated in the realm of offering prayers or flowers either singly or collectively.

Man is too puny to make sense of his place in the Cosmic merry-go-round and The Mother, therefore, has given us a simple formula: Remember and Offer. Realist philosophies, however, are yet to problemitize this crucial conundrum of consciousness: Who remembers and why. [TNM]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The democracy in India is in a bad shape

[Alternatives to politics vs alternative politics
Election 2009 is a small but vital step towards turning our disenchantment with politicians into forging an alternative kind of politics, writes Yogendra Yadav
The Hindu Monday, May 04, 2009. Secondly, there were many organisations that took up the difficult task of making a direct intervention, by putting up candidates. The boldest and best known of these initiatives was that of the Lok Satta party in Andhra Pradesh. Led by former bureaucrat Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, the energy, the organisational seriousness and public transparency of this party has set an example for future attempts at alternative politics.
Some other attempts did not figure at all in the national and regional media as they were more localised and did not have a media-savvy middle class face. Karnataka Sarvodaya, an extraordinary political party that has emerged from Dalit and farmers’ movements, put up four candidates in Karnataka. The Samajwadi Jan Parishad, a political formation born from the grassroots, fielded seven candidates in Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. The performance of its candidate in Bargarh Assembly constituency in Orissa merits close attention. The Tamil Nadu Women’s Front and the Jharkhand Ulgoolan Party have put up two candidates each. Several ‘lok ummeedvar’ (peoples’ candidates) have been fielded by groups in U.P. and M.P. Many of these groups have come together under a national umbrella called the Lok Rajniti Manch.
These parties and candidates may not appear ‘successful’ when votes are counted on May 16. Their success or failure should be measured by the extent to which they succeed in responding to the paradox of political participation.
The growing lack of political choices cannot be countered by celebrity candidates or high-profile media or NGO campaigns. Attempts to look in this direction can only deepen a sense of frustration and helplessness. The real challenge is to turn disenchantment with politics and politicians into a creative force for an alternative kind of politics. Election 2009 is a small but vital step in that direction.
Yogendra Yadav is a Senior Fellow at CSDS and is associated with the Lok Rajniti Manch and the Samajwadi Jan Parishad mentioned in this article]

[Pursuit of justice can be much enhanced by open and well-aimed public discussion
Amartya Sen's story of justice Times of India - 26 July 2009 Rashmee Roshan Lall - ‎In an exclusive interview with The Times of India, the Nobel laureate speaks about his most ambitious book yet. 10:48 AM]

The democracy in India is in a bad shape. Many pitfalls stem from the Constitution but most are perpetuated through bad practices and precedents. These are forgotten after the elections. They must be talked about instead. [TNM]

Friday, July 24, 2009

India is the fulcrum now

[Towards a World-Centric Moral Sensibility
from integral praxis by BrightAbyss~
We're at a unique moment in history, says UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the TED Talk below. Brown believes that we can use today's interconnectedness to develop our shared global ethic -- and work together to confront the challenges of poverty, security, climate change and the economy.]

[I consider India a global power: Hillary Clinton Times of India - Arnab Goswami - ‎Jul 18, 2009‎
A: I consider India not only a regional power but a global power. I think India has the opportunity to resolve problems regionally and work with other ...
'Obama, Hillary differ in courting India'
Hindu - Washington (IANS): Suggesting a foreign policy rift between President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Forbes columnist says her trip to India "is Clinton's way of literally and figuratively distancing herself from Mr. Obama".
"She left the U.S. amid reports of intense infighting with a White House intent on marginalising her role," said Gordon G. Chang, a columnist of the U.S. business magazine.
Experts: Clinton India Visit Very Successful in Style and Substance Voice of America]

India is the fulcrum now. [TNM]

If this is she of whom the world has heard

[Mirra Alfassa, later Mirra Morisset and Mirra Richard (February 21, 1878 - November 17, 1973), also known as The Mother, was the spiritual partner of Sri Aurobindo.
She was born in
Paris to Turkish and Egyptian parents and came to Sri Aurobindo's retreat on March 29, 1914 in Pondicherry to collaborate on editing the Arya. Having to leave Pondicherry during the War, she spent most of her time in Japan...
Mirra (or Mira) Alfassa was born in
Paris in 1878, of a Jewish Turkish father (Maurice, a banker), and a Jewish Egyptian mother (Mathilde Ismaloun). She had an elder brother named Matteo. The family had migrated to France the year before she was born.[4] For the first eight years of her life she lived at 62 boulevard Haussmann... In 1897 she married Henri Morisset, a student of Moreau. They lived at Atelier, 15 rue Lemercier, Paris, and Mirra became a part of the Paris artistic circles, befriending the likes of Auguste Rodin and Monet.[10] From Wikipedia
After having many spiritual and occult experiences of her own,
she left for Algeria in 1906 to learn occultism more thoroughly, under the guidance of the little-known adept Max Theon and his wife Alma. Kheper Home]

The unmatched integrality The Mother represents will entice the inhabitants of all continents in a not far off future. [TNM]

Hutchinson should eschew negativism

[Fundamentalism and the Future from Science, Culture and Integral Yoga™ by Rich A two-day conference will be held Friday, September 11 and Saturday September 12 on the topic “Fundamentalism and the Future.” The conference will be at the California Institute of Integral studies in San Francisco, hosted by the Department of Asian and Comparative Religions. Registration is free. For details on the conference, location, and registration, please see Organizers are Debashish Banerji, Rich Carlson, and David Hutchinson.]

[Introduction Bio Data Hutchinson, David
David Hutchinson is a registered nurse at the UC Davis Medical Center, California, where he works in the technology field, implementing a large-scale electronic medical record. He has participated actively in the founding and maintenance of various Integral Yoga online community initiatives, including the Miraura Web site ( and the auroconf discussion group. He served as president of the Sri Aurobindo Association for several years, edited the journal Collaboration, and has hosted two AUM conferences (1998, 2008).]

David Hutchinson, from his deliberations, appears to be a sincere devotee. It is surprising, therefore, why he associates himself with negative activities like organizing this Conference. [TNM]

Put one foot in any non-Western tradition, just to make your world larger

[For American students of continental philosophy in particular, it’s also important not to get too sucked into Europhilia. The world is a lot bigger than France and Germany, rich though their intellectual traditions obviously are. It’s a good idea to put one foot in any non-Western tradition, just to make your world larger. Interview with Graham Harman Tuesday, July 21, 2009 anotherheideggerblog 11:59 AM]

[There’s a very real sense in which the possibilities of Continental philosophy have exhausted themselves and the time for something new has arrived. This exhaustion isn’t simply to be located in the dearth of research possibilities in academia afforded by traditional orientations of Continental thought, but more importantly by the situation we face in the world today... We need conceptual tools that will allow us to more effectively think these things... The best philosophical work of the last century has been done outside of philosophy in sociology departments, literature departments, media studies departments, etc. These people are encountering the real in a way that provokes the development of theory. We seldom see philosophical innovation coming from within philosophy departments themselves because these are places where philosophy has been divested of its others and therefore is only able to comment on texts and highly codified problems that have evolved into language games... Blogging is genuinely a new form of writing, thinking, and intellectual engagement when done properly. Interview with Levi R. Bryant Thursday, July 23, 2009 anotherheideggerblog 12:37 PM]

[Jul 21, 2009 (title unknown) from enowning by enowning Critchley, B&T, week 7. The inauthenticity of blogging. "for Heidegger, inauthentic life is characterised by chatter – for example, the ever-ambiguous hubbub of the blogosphere." 6:04 PM]

Let an East-West synthesis emerge from the "hubbub of the blogosphere." [TNM]

A political epistemology of interdisciplinarity

[ “It’s development, stupid !” or: How to Modernize Modernization by Bruno Latour
Debashish on July 23, 2009 04:26PM (PDT) Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Bruno Latour (1947-) is Professor and vice-president for research at the Institut d'études Politiques de Paris. Latour is a leading and very influential anthropologist of Modernity whose major contribution may be called holistic politcal epistemology. This, for Latour, is not a form of idealism, but what, following William James, he calls "radical empiricism." Latour is (in)famous for his pronouncement "We have never been modern." By this he means that the overarching hubris of modernity for human autonomy and mastery is a sub-narrative in a larger embeddedness in holistic properties which is only beginning to make its imperative critical demands on human attention. This emergence depends on the recognition of a change of telos and and a political epistemology of interdisciplinarity which takes humanity beyond itself into the fullness of global embodiment. In this essay, he reflects on environmentalism, society, technology and theology. - db more » Leave Comment Permanent Link]

[An informed critique of modernity and its discontents, of neo-liberalism, neo-colonialism, technology and culture, globalization or post-national capitalism, patriarchies, superpower politics and ecological imbalance in the light of the revolutionary vision and teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the power to offer and shape solutions to the critical evolutionary crisis of our times is not much in evidence among the alumni of this institute. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga by Debashish on Mon 20 Jul 2009 09:00 AM PDT Permanent Link SRI AUROBINDO’S INTEGRAL EDUCATION IN CONTEMPORARY HIGHER EDUCATION Debashish Banerji] [Life Divine Colloquia via Skype SCIY Home of Debashish Banerji]

[Towards the Ideal Society: India and Europe: The Lesson of Antiquity and the Middle Ages—by Paulette
Mirror of Tomorrow Fri 24 Jul 2009 04:31 AM IST
Permanent Link Cosmos And this is where Sri Aurobindo departs from the vision of the German historian K Lamprecht (1856-1915), from whom he had borrowed the postulate of the historical cycles of society, but also from Marx, whose ultimate vision is anarchy: no State, no police, no social classes, no family etc. True, Marx foresaw that this may happen without the need for any outward revolution, believing that capitalism will collapse destroyed by its own intrinsic contradictions. We seem indeed to be getting close to that fatal point. But what Marx failed to point out was that only a profound change from within can free humanity from greed, ambition, ruthless struggle for power and inhuman exploitation. Unless this radical change takes place all attempts to change society, by whatever means and political system, are doomed to fail.]

Primacy of politics forces on us. [TNM]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

English is sacred

[Yes, India is one of the great economic stories for the century. Most people agree that it has the potential to grow fast for a very long time, maybe for the next 20 years or so. Its population is young and energetic. And there’s no question that India’s appetite for roads, bridges, ports, schools, hospitals and energy will continue until all Indians have a chance to lead a life of dignity.
It’s also true that there are very few countries that offer India’s blend of democracy, courts, diversity and demographics. By sheer chance, India was colonized by the British and not, say, by the Dutch or the Portuguese. That chance happening made sure that many Indians speak and write English, something that’s useful when English has become the dominant language for science, technology and business.
But that’s the long term story,
Too much, too soon? ET Abheek Barman Tuesday July 21, 2009]

[Supreme Court teaches Karnataka the virtues of English There is bad news for regional language chauvinists. 21 Jul 2009 The court refused on Tuesday to stop private unaided schools in the state from introducing the English language. SC frowns at states' anti-English policy Times of India - ‎Jul 21, 2009‎
the bench told the Karnataka government for its decision to impose Kannada language as a compulsory medium of instructions for Class 1 to 1V.
Kannada: SC says can't ignore English Indian Express Apex court disapproves of Karnataka's language policy SamayLive Language row: SC order a setback to Yeddyurappa govt The Statesman... the Bench observed: “Parents are ready to pay Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for getting their children admitted in English medium schools. This is the real state of affairs. They do not want to send them to schools of their mother tongue. It should be left to the parents.” ... “They are unable to get even clerical posts. It is easy to say things. How do we survive in the world?”‎]

That English is receiving support within India at least on economic grounds is a great solace. For Savitri Erans, however, English is sacred. [TNM]

Heehs may upgrade his rating of Sri Aurobindo

[Sri Aurobindo, whose vision was enlarged not only by the classics in English and French, but also the Greek, Latin and German literatures would point out that one should not stick to modern standards, and modern measuring rods of moral and spiritual perfection for the Avatar. The ancient avatars, in his view, were representative cosmic men who were instruments of a divine intervention for fixing certain things in the evolution of the earth-race. Karunanidhi, Ramayana and Rationalism Vamanan's Sight
Posted by VAMANAN at
8:10 AM]

The same logic should apply on Sri Aurobindo himself and Heehs be exonerated provided he upgrades his rating of Sri Aurobindo as avatar. That should be a small price to pay in order to escape the current inconveniences. [TNM]

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shape solutions to the critical evolutionary crisis of our times

[Section III
What are the lessons? First, we need to strengthen the academic/intellectual side of the Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education. We must fashion out a way of intellectual training of the young students and critics that fits into Sri Aurobindo’s injunction about the office and limitation of Reason, expounded in Human Cycle and elsewhere. The Mind, Sri Aurobindo says, most emphatically, has to be developed as an instrument, and open itself to higher Truths of Life. If we do not do this, we cannot blame others who are not attuned to this approach, from taking over and filling the void, as it has regrettably happened now. In this regard, we must be prepared to take the help of the ex-students of the Ashram who have had considerable training in this regard in the outside world. We must remember that either we move forward or go backward. There is no third alternative. - Sachidananda Mohanty]

[Again, though the factors mentioned above make the ashram habitus ideal for the social practice of Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s Integral Education, the insular and insulated nature of such a setting tends to distance the faculty from contemporary currents in thinking, having an effect of making the courses anachronistic and ahistorical, thus diluting the potential for students emerging from such a system to become creative agents for civilizational change in the contemporary world. An informed critique of modernity and its discontents, of neo-liberalism, neo-colonialism, technology and culture, globalization or post-national capitalism, patriarchies, superpower politics and ecological imbalance in the light of the revolutionary vision and teaching of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and the power to offer and shape solutions to the critical evolutionary crisis of our times is not much in evidence among the alumni of this institute. Science, Culture and Integral Yoga by Debashish on Mon 20 Jul 2009 09:00 AM PDT Permanent Link SRI AUROBINDO’S INTEGRAL EDUCATION IN CONTEMPORARY HIGHER EDUCATION Debashish Banerji] [Life Divine Colloquia via Skype SCIY Home of Debashish Banerji]

Both camps are unanimous at least on one concern. [TNM]

Against academic hierarchy & homogeneity of discourse

[Open access can help solve much of this problem. So can streamlining various procedures as both and zerO are doing, each in its own way. an obvious problem with traditional publishing
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek. And ultimately, this is going to be one of the big threats to the academic world as we have known it, because a surprising amount of academic hierarchy is closely tied to the prestige pecking-order of various publishers. Carefully controlled admission to book publishing, with manuscripts often vetted by the same handful of experts in every field, led to much homogeneity of discourse. Things will also change once the major market for academic books is no longer academics, as I think is starting to happen… There are so many highly educated people these days working well outside academia who want to read philosophy books. Once philosophy publishing isn’t dominated by and for professors, it will also start to be written less with professors in mind, which presumably means a clearer and more provocative style will be in the offing, less dominated by the technical language and professional caution that is a natural feature of the academy. Philosophy books will start to look more like philosophy blogs, or at least the successful books will.]

[Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics
by Graham Harman This book is the first treatment of Bruno Latour specifically as a philosopher.
Reading Hegel: The Introductions
by G.W.F. Hegel (edited and introduced by Aakash Singh and Rimina Mohapatra)
Hegel’s brilliant Introductions, provided all together here, offer a panoramic overview of his grand system. 5:53 PM]

Open access philosophy books, like blogs, will obviously be a blessing. [TNM]

Are we identifying the correct ideal?

[Satī and Sāvitrī are ideal Hindu women. Agreed. But are we identifying the correct ideal when we talk about them? Are we drawing the right lesson from their lives? ... In the case of Sāvitrī, it is exemplified in her resolve to bring back her husband even from the land of the dead. This then is the kind of love and loyalty Hindu wives should display towards their husbands... In the case of Sāvitrī, her father asked her to find a groom for herself, as people felt too intimidated by her for him to find a husband for her. Interestingly, Manu says that if the father cannot find a husband for her, the daughter should find one for herself. And she does.
This raises two points for us to consider: (1) Should not the ideal of Sāvitrī be construed as suggesting that women should be encouraged to choose their husbands for themselves, rather than let the parents do so, and (2) Is it possible to be so devoted to one’s husband as Satī and Sāvitrī were, if one does not choose one’s husband on one’s own?
42.) Satī and Sāvitrī as Ideal Hindu Women
from Indological Provocations by arvindsharma]

It might be difficult for Sri Aurobindo's Savitri to confront such politically inconvenient questions. [TNM]

Symbols and paradoxes; pseudonym, irony and masks

[Re: The Melodrama of Difference Science, Culture and Integral Yoga
Debashish on Thu 16 Jul 2009 09:03 AM PDT Profile Permanent Link ...the languaging of the Vedas and Upanishads as holding a power of revelation in their symbols and paradoxes...
Postmodernism follows a similar trajectory in language constellation. At the head of this transformation stands Nietzsche with his aphoristic intuitive thinking, but the theory of such languaging receives it genealogical disclosure in Heidegger. Similar to Sri Aurobindo, Heidegger points to the turning away from the Other initiated in Greek thought from the Philosophical cycle begun with Socrates. He thus draws attention to the utterance of the Pre-Socratic thinkers, which may be, both in time and content, allied to that of the late Upanishads. The subsequent languaging of postmodern thinking follows this "clearing" opened up by Heidegger. DB

[Part I: Kierkegaard’s Socratic Task from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen
A guest post by Eric Lee, Doctoral Student of Theology, University of Nottingham
A warm thanks to Cynthia for inviting me to write a series of guest posts on Søren Kierkegaard. It is a welcome opportunity to serve as a kind of ‘midwife’
[1] to a Kierkegaardian text that usually does not receive very much attention.[2] ... If it was not already apparent through Kierkegaard’s continual use of irony and masks throughout his pseudonymous works-and even though Kierkegaard declares Socrates a “hero” in his Concept of Irony[15] dissertation before beginning his official authorship with Either/Or-Kierkegaard reminds us at the end of his life in The Moment and in his journals of the utmost importance of the person of Socrates for his work.]

Although Banerji begins with Nietzsche, it may be examined whether Kierkegaard can be credited. [TNM]

Racing round the universe riding on a mouse

[Jul 21, 2009 (title unknown) from enowning by enowning
Critchley, B&T, week 7. The inauthenticity of blogging.
"for Heidegger, inauthentic life is characterised by chatter – for example, the ever-ambiguous hubbub of the blogosphere. Conscience calls Dasein back from this chatter silently. It has the character of what Heidegger calls "reticence" (Verschwiegenheit), which is the privileged mode of language in Heidegger. So, the call of conscience is a silent call that silences the chatter of the world and brings me back to myself."]

The meditative mode of blogging, on the contrary, can play a cathartic role too. [TNM]

No rupture in Bachelard’s popularity

[Jul 21, 2009 brief note on Bachelard’s popularity from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek
Every now and then I check Amazon to see how Prince of Networks is doing. On good days it’s fairly high on the metaphysics list, with mostly New Age and popular physics books ahead of it. But here’s the interesting thing… Sometimes it’ll jump ahead even of Descartes, but the one philosophy book on the list that is impossible to outsell is Bachelard’s
Poetics of Space. Obviously there is a wide potential readership for that book in many different fields, but it’s a nice surprise to see Bachelard continuing to do so well after so many years. We don’t speak too much about him anymore.]

[Gaston Bachelard: poet/philosopher of the imagination and epistemological rupture
Bachelard was a philosopher/poet of the imagination and poetic reverie. While his works on poetics and phenomenology are classics of the genre, the concepts he developed in the philosophy of science such as the epistemological rupture were taken up and developed both by Thomas Kuhn and Michel Foucault.
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga™ - Jul 6, 2009 The Resonant Soul: Gaston Bachelard and the Magical Surface of Air by Robert Sardello]

[Thomas S. Kuhn used Bachelard's notion of "epistemological rupture" (coupure or rupture épistémologique) as re-interpreted by Alexandre Koyré to develop his theory of paradigm shifts; Althusser, Georges Canguilhem (his successor at the Sorbonne) and Michel Foucault also drew upon Bachelard's epistemology.]

[many familiar with Kierkegaard will know the phrase “the moment” (Øieblikket in old Danish, augenblick in German)[3] from his Philosophical Fragments[4] to define that moment of decision at which something absolutely new enters the picture such that it changes everything for the reception of a moment of transformation... Part I: Kierkegaard’s Socratic Task
from Per Caritatem by Cynthia R. Nielsen
A guest post by Eric Lee, Doctoral Student of Theology, University of Nottingham

No rupture in Bachelard’s popularity. [TNM]

Conspiracy of silence

[That’s what I was trying to get at in a weird conference paper last year that drew together Gramsci and Schmitt’s writings on Roman Catholicism with Laclau and Agamben: the pope is a unique political actor insofar as he never has to do anything. In the division Agamben posits between glory and governance, the papacy is pure glory.
That makes the papacy very interesting for political theory...
Further thoughts on papal strategy from An und für sich by Adam Kotsko]

The Managing Trustee (of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry), on the other hand, does many things ostensibly maintaining a dignified silence. [TNM]