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Re: Cultural artifacts



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In a message dated 8/21/00 3:45:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time, srinaths@usa.net 
writes:

<< Western society is based on a notion of "rights." Rights result from an
 individualist mindset; and so do associated paradigms like democracy, 
economy,
 etc.>>

I'm not so sure that "rights" necessarily result from an individualist 
mindset.  I think rights arise from the need to have a universal system of 
Justice.  In other words, rights are concepts that protect individuals from 
exploiting others and society.
 
 <<Indian society, on the other hand is historically based around a notion 
called
 "duty" or "dharma." The paradigm is much more entrenched into the Indian
 mindset than we might acknowledge.>>

This is true.  Although I think it would be erroneous to conclude that 
democratic socialism finds its odds with Hindu paradigms of altruism and 
communalism.  ALthough the authors of democratic socialism would find their 
roots in the west, the concept has been practiced for centuries in India, 
only now learned by the west.  

<<Almost every business activity in India moves around a family paradigm. A 
boss is considered a leader who shows the way for his team members, not only 
on the job, but also off it. A boss/teacher is always a boss/teacher.>> 

I think it would also be safe to say that before British Imperialism over 
India, business and much of the economy, was run by family businesses and 
family initiatives, which were competitive, and suppressed monopolies through 
local guilds etc.  Family interests served as the motivation for "progress" 
and the community itself was a close-knitt family.  Hence everything evolved 
with need and from inside and local economies flourished for this reason.
 
<<Come to think of it, we have heard far too little analyses of the Indian
 culture, the social setup, etc. in IPI. We have only been hearing economics 
in
 terms of capitalism vs socialism; that too put forth in the American
 perspective. It might not be too wrong to say that money as a measure of
 success, does not motivate a huge number of Indians at all. They live along a
 completely different set of norms. 
  >>

Well said.  To add to that... Since India is filled with so much diversity, I 
think true progress and elimination of indigence can only happen with 
returning to strengthening local economies and allowing for local economies 
to become active through self-reliance.  Globalization is the exact opposite 
of such a proposal which proposes to destroy family businesses and introduce 
a system of Western homogeneity.

Peace,

Naveen


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