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Reply to Naveen re: Cultural artifacts



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<<
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.
>> 

Well, the system of justice in olden India rested again on the notion of
"duty" or role. There is an example from the mahabharat where yudhistir is
asked to judge the punishment for people from the four castes who had
committed a crime of murder. And the judgement from the king is staggered for
all the four, with the most severe punishment going to the brahmin because "he
has failed the most in his duty. Not only should he not have committed the
act, he should have convinced the others not to do such an act." 

On the other hand, someone from the west would judge based on the right to
live and the right to uniform civil code or whatever. The overtly casteist
judgement above would be seen as so biased and bigoted by an individualist;
but once upon a time, it was considered good judgement in India. Many such
mindsets still remain. Not all of them are "wrong" or "right" but they are
there -- and they influence social behavior. 


<<
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.  
>> 

Western paradigms aren't exactly at odds with Indian life. There are many
western paradigms and many Indian ones. Some of them go well with one another
and some of them clash. Capitalism, socialism and democracy are all offshoots
of the industrial revolution, and are based on concepts like materialism and
technology. But technology has hostorically played only a small role in the
Indian society. 

Western thought considers everything as a machine -- consisting of parameters
to be optimized (the technology offshoot of the industrial revolution.) Indian
society and Indian thought (its philosophy, culture, etc.) considers
everything to be a living being having desire, anger, emotions and other such
human traits. 

And perhaps as a consequence, answers to every problems are searched inside
the actors of the system. Indians seem to be much more prone to politics than
the westerners. 

<<
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.
>> 

I don't see much of a problem with globalization. We have *always* been a
globalized world. It is only that the current configuration of globalization
causes economic skews in weaker economic systems that cause them to fail; and
that subsequently causes the stronger system to impose its values as a
solution to these failures. 

And this "current configuration" of globalization that is causing these skews
are, IMO, because of an archaic notion of international monetary exchange that
is no longer relevant in today's information era.. 

Sincerely, 
Srinath 



Ideas for India: Building the future -- together 
http://www.ideasforindia.net/ 

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