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mardi, 15 octobre 2019

India’s Civilisational Identity and the World Order

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India’s Civilisational Identity and the World Order

 

Author: Zorawar Daulet Singh

As the neo-liberal world order declines, non-Western powers are uniquely equipped to manage the power transition and contestations over the basic tenets of the emerging system. India’s civilisational ethos of reconciling different ideas will be of immense value in navigating the uncertainty and turmoil at a critical juncture of world history.

Many in India bewail the decline of the so-called liberal world order. Yet, few ask whether India was even a part of that order or actually shared all the norms and values that underpinned it. As a consequence, much of the debate dwells on the assertion that, as a liberal democracy, India’s foreign policy and geopolitical choices must logically follow suit. In practice, this meant that India would share the burden of democracy promotion elsewhere in the world as well as join a camp of other democracies. Yet, that has not occurred as I have discussed previously (Singh 2018). But, for most, India’s choices are seen as pragmatic rather than as a result of a civilisational tradition.

Different from Liberal West

On the surface, India would seem like the ideal candidate for membership in a coalition of democracies. The Indian Constitution, along with a largely uninterrupted period of liberal democratic practice, has laid a normative framework that has been difficult to challenge by any serious political force. On human rights, freedom of speech, equality of opportunity, private property rights, political participation and peaceful transfer of power between competing parties or groups, and rule of law and access to justice, India is very much part of a liberal political tradition.

Yet, when India interacts with the world, other values and beliefs also come into play. This is because Indian thought is constituted by a variety of ideas, and being a liberal democracy is merely one of those identities. The Indian world view is a hybrid one, shaped by a combination of liberalism, a belief in a plural multi-civilisational world order, a unique colonial experience and postcolonial identity, an aspiration for regional leadership with a corresponding geopolitical identity, and Westphalian values of sovereignty and non-interference. Collectively, these have created a distinct world view and a prism through which India perceives and interacts with the world.

The Western tradition could not be more different. As American historian Eric McKittrick put it in the 1950s,

With nothing to push against it, [liberalism]1 thinks in absolutes; the occasional shadows which cross its path quickly lengthen into monsters; every enemy is painted in satanic terms, and it has no idea how it would behave if the enemy were either bigger or different. (Desch 2008: 10)

One study found that, between 1871 and 1965, “Liberal states waged 65 percent of non-major power wars (which almost always are against weaker states).” Another study found a similar pattern, with “Liberal states starting 100 percent of these wars of choice” (Desch 2008: 16). Extending this pattern to the last three decades would reveal a similar conclusion. There was, and still is, an ideological hubris and an ambition to change opposing systems in the Western mind. None of these facets are part of the Indian psyche and world view, and this makes superimposing concepts such as democracy promotion highly problematic in India’s case.

So, what makes India different? India’s social and political journey has been a process of competition, compromise, and adjustment between different ideas. The constitutional commitment to internal diversity and pluralism has shaped the outlook towards international politics too. Coexistence with ethnic, religious, and ideological diversity at home has often meant coexistence with alternative systems abroad. There is an innate illiberalism in American liberalism that does not prevail in Indian culture, which by historical tradition and experience is not so easily threatened or overwhelmed by rival “others.”

The introduction of civilisational values transforms this conversation. The biggest difference between India and the West is that the Western mind assigns little value to nationalism, culture, and civilisation. These are usually seen as anachronisms and obstacles in the path of homogenisation of political communities. Civilisation is seen as regressive and antithetical to the order and modernity that democracy and neo-liberalism are intended to bring. But, for India, it is a core value that enables rather than hinders its domestic order, social stability, and development.

 

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If we are going to address the puzzle of why India’s domestic system as a democracy does not impact its outlook and behaviour towards other states and the world order in general, we must also ask: What impact does India’s longer civilisational history and culture have on its foreign policy? This question needs to be addressed seriously. There might be a strong case to be made that India’s civilisational history allows for a more complex relationship and interplay with rival ideologies and moral frameworks. The prolonged ability to negotiate differences and handle ambiguities conditions Indian political and cultural thought as well as its international relations. It was on this basic foundation that other values and norms have been absorbed into Indian thinking; specifically, the Westphalian concept of sovereignty and India’s unique colonial experience that fostered and further strengthened nationalism and created a distinct geopolitical identity for India.

One key distinction between India and Western approaches is that the latter promote democracy by providing moral, diplomatic, and financial support to individuals and organisations that are openly resisting or challenging the political status quo in a state. India rarely enters into such interference that might defy the ruling regime and undermine the sovereignty of a state. India works with the legitimate government of the day to offer different types of assistance. India’s interventions are in concert with the recipient—to strengthen the recipient state and its people—while the Western approach is fundamentally one of changing the target state and its institutions in concert with a section of the polity. It is about creating or exploiting a divide between the state and the people.

This difference in approaches can only be explained by the absence of a historical determinism in Indian strategic and philosophical thought, which, unlike Western liberal or radical Marxist ideas, has never had a proselytising historical tradition nor an ideological vision of the world that insists on universality as a necessary prerequisite for a world order and geopolitical cooperation. It is no accident that India’s democracy has managed to survive in a region with diverse regimes and political systems. It is also instructive that India was among the first to embrace non-alignment and carve out its own path when confronted with rival ideologies, neither of which were entirely appealing to India’s identity, culture, and ethos. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s multi-alignment is another version of that same philosophy, that India can find common ground and derive stable and mutually beneficial ties with a variety of different civilisational states and political systems.

Changing World Order

For the past decade, it is increasingly clear that the neo-liberal order, or at least the dominant variant of it that we had become familiar with, along with some of its institutions are losing their effectiveness to supply public goods and govern a more complex globalised system. The demands and range of interests of the global South and non-Western world will not only require major reforms of these institutions, but more likely the establishment of new institutions to fill the governance void. The process has already begun. It is also clear that India will be at the forefront of collaboration with other rising powers and some of the traditional great powers in experimenting with new regional institutions and norms to supply public goods and order around Asia.

Only when there is clarity about the type of world we would like to see emerge can we put forward ideas or concepts and practise them in our foreign policy. Do we seek a multipolar polycentric world order where different civilisational states are going to manage the international system in a less hierarchical way, which is another way of saying the democratising of international relations? This is the dominant voice of India. If the central strategic task is transitioning from a unipolar neo-liberal world order for the privileged few to a multipolar interdependent world order with many civilisational states as members of such an open and inclusive international community, then we need a reformed vision to accommodate the diversity and pre-empt the chaos that could ensue from the power transition that is already under way. And, there is no automatic correlation between regime types and this reformed world order.

This is not an abstract insight. All we have to do is look at India’s foreign policy during the phase when its identity as a democracy was at its peak: the post-2000 era. This is the period of deep engagement with the United States and its allies. And yet, when it came to ideas on world order, international security, global governance, reforming the Bretton Woods institutions, etc, India formed partnerships with a variety of rising or re-emerging powers and civilisations, often with different political systems that were unsatisfied with the prevailing order and the position of these states within that order. Over the past decade, this trend has become even stronger: BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are all manifestations of this. These international and regional networks or institutions have been established not because its members are ordered in identical ways internally, but because many of these states had similar ideas of world order, and it made sense to collaborate in transitioning the world towards those images.

The good news is that the basic framework of a liberal international order (as distinct from the ascendance and decline of neo-liberal ideology over the past few decades) is already extensive in its ability to assimilate diverse rising powers with different political systems. The challenge is renewing that basic structure of an open and rule-based system, while making the necessary adjustments to expand the institutional and normative capacity to accommodate a larger swathe of the non-Western world. As Ikenberry (2011: 65) correctly points out, “The world is not rejecting openness and markets; it is asking for a more expansive notion of stability and economic security.” It is neo-liberalism as a global ordering concept that has unravelled and been discredited in the past decade, not just because it failed to address the problem of growth and sustainable development, but also because it sought to negate the self-images of several resurging non-Western civilisations. But, an open global economic order with rules to guide interdependence is still very much a worldwide demand.

The alternatives to an open world order—spheres of influence, closed regional blocs, neocolonial mercantilist networks, or, in essence, a fragmented order—are not appealing to rising powers because they seek wider regional and global access. Having benefited from global interdependence, they want that basic normative framework of an open system to survive. Indeed, one of the deep ironies of contemporary international relations is that rising powers, such as India, China and others, have today become the vanguards or champions for a reformed rule-based economic order that can enable their domestic transformations to continue, while the established liberal great powers have become revisionist and conservative in their orientation.

indiappppppp.pngFinally, a word of caution: India has to be extremely careful about uncritically lapping up the “democracy promotion” discourse, which is often aimed at polarising Asia and the world, and denying many states the flexibility of pursuing more complex foreign policies and balance of power strategies (Singh 2018). In the 1950s, Jawaharlal Nehru went to the extent of instructing his diplomats to avoid phrases such as the “free world,” “iron curtain,” or any politically-charged binary that could let it appear that India was parroting Western Cold War rhetoric that potentially positioned it at a disadvantage vis-à-vis other major powers. Modi’s June 2018 speech at the Shangri- La Dialogue in Singapore echoed this approach (MEA 2018). Rejecting the idea that India has a singular identity that then must automatically place it in one coalition or bloc, the Prime Minister spoke of a multitude of groups and partners where the common link was not democracy or shared domestic political systems, but converging material interests or shared ideas and norms of the world order or overlapping concepts of security.

Again, what allows for such multi-directional interactions and plurality in India’s foreign policy is a civilisational conception of the world order as an open and inclusive community of states. Such a philosophy is anathema for liberal absolutism and its drive for universality, which shapes much of the tragedy of Western geopolitics.

Source: https://www.vision-gt.eu

lundi, 23 septembre 2019

Srinagar ne répond plus

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Srinagar ne répond plus

par Georges FELTIN-TRACOL

Ex: http://www.europemaxima.com

Le 5 août dernier, en séance plénière de la Rajya Sabha, la chambre haute du Parlement qui représente les États et les territoires de l’Union indienne, le ministre fédéral de l’Intérieur, Amit Shah, par ailleurs président du BJP (Parti du peuple hindou) au pouvoir, lisait un décret présidentiel supprimant l’exception constitutionnelle du Cachemire indien.

Malgré la rébellion maoïste naxalite au Bengale-Occidental, au Karnataka et au Bihar, la question du Cachemire demeure le facteur principal de tension entre les trois puissances nucléaires indienne, pakistanaise et chinoise. À l’indépendance en 1947, la partition de l’ancien empire britannique des Indes s’effectue selon le critère religieux, ce qui favorise la formation d’un État musulman, le Pakistan alors constitué de deux territoires bien distincts : le Pakistan occidental, soit l’actuel Pakistan, et le Pakistan oriental qui accèdera à l’indépendance en 1971 sous le nom de Bangladesh.

Au moment de la partition territoriale, des millions d’hindous et de musulmans abandonnent leurs domiciles et s’installent dans leurs nouveaux États respectifs. Plusieurs souverains mahométans dont les sujets sont hindous auraient souhaité intégrer le Pakistan, mais leurs territoires enclavés en Inde furent prestement annexés et démembrés par les autorités centrales indiennes. Le maharadjah du Cachemire, Hari Singh, était lui un hindou régnant sur une population musulmane. Il rêvait d’un État indépendant, mais, face aux manœuvres pakistanaises, il décida finalement d’intégrer la jeune Union indienne, ce qui provoqua en partie la première des trois guerres indo-pakistanaises (1947, 1967 et 1971). Le Cachemire se retrouve depuis divisé. Le Pakistan contrôle le Nord-Ouest, les régions de Gilgit – Baltistan et de l’Azad Cachemire (« Cachemire libre » en ourdou). L’Inde en conserve le Sud-Est qui reçoit en 1950 le statut d’un État fédéré autonome, le Jammu-et-Cachemire. En 1962, au terme d’une guerre-éclair, l’Inde perd la vallée de Shaksgam au profit de la Chine qui la nomme Aksai Chin. Aujourd’hui, le glacier de Siachen est revendiqué par Pékin, La Nouvelle-Delhi et Islamabad. Alliée du Pakistan, la Chine reconnaît à demi-mot les revendications pakistanaises sur l’ensemble du Cachemire à l’exception bien sûr de l’Aksai Chin.

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Le décret du président Ram Nath Kovind, avec l’approbation du Premier ministre triomphalement réélu ce printemps, le nationaliste Narendra Modi, abroge les articles 370 et 35 A de la Constitution. Au 31 octobre prochain, le Jammu-et-Cachemire sera rétrogradé au rang de territoire de l’Union scindé en deux entités différentes : d’une part, le Jammu-et-Cachemire proprement dit avec le Jammu à majorité hindouiste et la vallée musulmane du Cachemire, d’autre part, le Ladakh à majorité bouddhiste. La révocation de ces articles constitutionnels supprime de facto la discrimination légale qui réservait la propriété foncière et immobilière aux seuls Cachemiris. Le gouvernement indien entend faire du Cachemire ce que les Chinois font aux régions rétives du Tibet et Xinjiang ouïghour, à savoir faciliter le peuplement massif des hindous.

Le matin du 5 août, le Jammu-et-Cachemire était coupé du monde : plus de communications, lignes aériennes interrompues, routes bloqués par des barrages militaires, touristes évacués la veille en urgence. La capitale, Srinagar, était soumise à un état de siège informel. La démonstration de force est aisée. L’armée indienne y maintient de nombreuses troupes en raison d’un voisinage conflictuel et du soulèvement indépendantiste plus ou moins islamiste lancé en 1989. Cette insurrection est encouragée et soutenue par les redoutables services secrets pakistanais.

Depuis quatorze mois, le Jammu-et-Cachemire traversait enfin une grave crise politique. En juin 2018, le BJP se retirait de la coalition gouvernementale locale, renversait le gouvernement et rendait l’État fédéré ingouvernable. En l’absence d’un parlement régional suspendu, il revenait dès lors au gouverneur de l’État, le représentant officiel du gouvernement indien, Satya Pal Malik, d’administrer directement la région et d’entériner la décision présidentielle.

Une course de vitesse démographique s’engage désormais. Les musulmans du Cachemire expriment leur impatience; ils pourraient dans les prochains mois ou dans les prochaines années renforcer la révolte séparatiste afin de devenir pakistanais ou d’obtenir l’indépendance. Le BJP veut par cet exemple entamer l’« hindounisation » du pays. Fin août, des milliers d’habitants de l’Assam ont été déchus de leur nationalité indienne. Le réveil national de l’Inde vient de commencer.

Georges Feltin-Tracol

• « Chronique hebdomadaire du Village planétaire », n° 139, mise en ligne sur TV Libertés, le 16 septembre 2019.

mercredi, 11 septembre 2019

L'impuissance militaire américaine dans la zone indo-pacifique

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L'impuissance militaire américaine dans la zone indo-pacifique

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

La zone indo-pacifique, priorité militaire pour le Pentagone

L'auteur de l'article de Strategic Culture cité en référence indique que selon le secrétaire de la Défense américain Mark Esper, le retrait des Etats-Unis du traité INF (Traité sur les forces nucléaires à portée intermédiaire ) n'a pas été motivé par la volonté d'établir des bases américaines dotées de tels missiles aux frontières de la Russie, mais de rassembler tous les moyens militaires disponibles pour faire face à une éventuelle attaque chinoise dans la zone indo-pacifique.

Mark Esper a confirmé que, conformément aux prescriptions du récent rapport sur la stratégie nationale de défense américaine, c'est la Chine et ensuite la Russie qui représentent le plus grand danger auquel sont confrontés les Etats-Unis. Il serait temps selon lui, de se préparer à passer de conflits de basse intensité avec ces deux pays pouvant se prolonger pendant des années à des conflits dits « de haute intensité ». Comme chacun sait, ceux-ci pourraient dégénérer en affrontements nucléaires.

On notera que Mark Esper n'a pas hésité à réaffirmer ceci au moment même où Donald Trump et Xi Jinping envisageraient une atténuation des « sanctions américaines » contre la Chine et des contre-sanctions chinoises. Cette atténuation est vivement souhaitée par les entreprises américaines qui vivent des échanges économiques entre les deux pays. Mais on peut penser que le Pentagone et ses alliés, notamment au Japon et en Corée du Sud, sont de plus en plus préoccupés par les missiles hypersoniques dont se dote actuellement la Chine, avec l'aide de la Russie. Un seul de ceux-ci, comme nous l'avons indiqué précédemment, pourrait s'il était bien placé envoyer par le fonds un porte-avions américain,

Ce qui les inquiète particulièrement aujourd'hui est l'acquisition d'armes anti-aériennes et anti-missiles du type du système anti-missile russe S400 par des pays essentiels à la sécurité américaine tels que l'Inde, la Turquie, la Syrie et même les Emirats Arabes Unis. Les stratèges américains reconnaissent que la supériorité militaire américaine est mise en échec par de tels bases ou navires équipés de ces missiles. Ceux-ci pourraient rendre impuissantes les forces armées américaines dans le Pacifique en seulement quelques heures de conflit.

Mais, comme l'écrit Strategic Culture, les Etats-Unis n'ont pas profité de cette situation pour proposer des accords de coopération avec la Chine et ses alliés. Au contraire, ils voudraient maintenant négocier avec leurs alliés la mise en place d'un Otan du Pacifique. Compte tenu des difficultés que les Américains rencontrent actuellement à utiliser l'Otan nord-atlantique pour établir des relations de coopération entre les membres de cette dernière, on doute que la perspective d'un Otan du Pacifique intéresse beaucoup d'alliés de l'Amérique dans cette zone.

Pour en savoir plus, voir

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/02/america...

L'auteur en est Matthew Ehret, fondateur et responsable de la Canadian Patriot Review et de la Rising Tide Foundation

Note au 05/09

Il convient de relativiser l'impuissance américaine  en mer de chine méridionale. L'US Navy vient de conduire des manoeuvres communes avec les marines de l'ASEAN, comme le relate l'article ci-dessous. Il est vrai que selon cet article, la Chine pratique de son côté de telles manoeuvres.  L'ASEAN ou Association des nations de l'Asie du Sud-Est est une organisation politique, économique et culturelle regroupant dix pays d'Asie du Sud-Est

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/09/article/us-asean-float-...

 

mardi, 25 juin 2019

Le système des castes

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Le système des castes

Koenraad Elst

Dans un débat inter-religions, la plupart des hindous peuvent facilement être mis sur la défensive avec un simple mot : caste. On peut s’attendre à ce que tout polémiste anti-hindou déclare que « le système des castes typiquement hindou est l’apartheid le plus cruel, imposé par les barbares envahisseurs Aryens blancs aux gentils indigènes à la peau sombre ». Voici une présentation plus équilibrée et plus historique de cette institution controversée.

castesindeelst.jpgMérites du système des castes

Le système des castes est souvent dépeint comme l’horreur absolue. L’inégalité innée est en effet inacceptable pour nous les modernes, mais cela n’empêche pas que ce système a aussi eu ses mérites. La caste est perçue comme une « forme d’exclusion », mais elle est avant tout une forme d’« appartenance », une structure naturelle de solidarité. Pour cette raison, les missionnaires chrétiens et musulmans trouvèrent très difficile d’attirer les hindous hors de leurs communautés. Parfois les castes furent collectivement converties à l’islam, et le pape Grégoire XV (1621-1623) décréta que les missionnaires pouvaient tolérer les distinctions de castes parmi les convertis au christianisme ; mais en gros, les castes restèrent un obstacle efficace à la destruction de l’hindouisme au moyen de la conversion. C’est pourquoi les missionnaires commencèrent à attaquer l’institution des castes et en particulier la caste des brahmanes. Cette propagande s’est épanouie en un anti-brahmanisme à part entière, l’équivalent indien de l’antisémitisme.

Chaque caste avait un grand espace d’autonomie, avec ses propres lois, droits et privilèges, et souvent ses propres temples. Les affaires inter-castes étaient résolues au conseil de village par consensus ; même la caste la plus basse avait un droit de veto. Cette autonomie des niveaux intermédiaires de la société est l’antithèse de la société totalitaire dans laquelle l’individu se trouve sans défense devant l’Etat tout-puissant. Cette structure décentralisée de la société civile et de la communauté religieuse hindoue a été cruciale pour la survie de l’hindouisme sous la domination musulmane. Alors que le bouddhisme fut balayé dès que ses monastères furent détruits, l’hindouisme se retira dans sa structure de castes et laissa passer la tempête.

Les castes fournirent aussi un cadre pour intégrer les communautés d’immigrants : juifs, zoroastriens et chrétiens syriaques. Ils ne furent pas seulement tolérés, mais assistés dans leurs efforts pour préserver leurs traditions distinctives.

Typiquement hindou ?

On prétend habituellement que la caste est une institution uniquement hindoue. Pourtant, les contre-exemples ne sont pas difficiles à trouver. En Europe et ailleurs, il y avait (ou il y a encore) une distinction hiérarchique entre nobles et roturiers, les nobles se mariant seulement entre eux. Beaucoup de sociétés tribales punissaient de mort le viol des règles d’endogamie.

Concernant les tribus indiennes, nous voyons les missionnaires chrétiens affirmer que les « membres des tribus ne sont pas des hindous parce qu’ils n’observent pas les castes ». En réalité, la littérature missionnaire elle-même est pleine de témoignages de pratiques de castes parmi les tribus. Un exemple spectaculaire est ce que les missions appellent « l’Erreur » : la tentative, en 1891, de faire manger ensemble des convertis des tribus de Chhotanagpur et des convertis d’autres tribus. Ce fut un désastre pour la mission. La plupart des indigènes renoncèrent au christianisme parce qu’ils choisirent de préserver le tabou des repas entre même tribu. Aussi énergiquement que le brahmane le plus hautain, ils refusaient de mélanger ce que Dieu avait séparé.

L’endogamie et l’exogamie sont observées par les sociétés tribales du monde entier. La question n’est donc pas de savoir pourquoi la société hindoue inventa ce système, mais comment elle put préserver ces identités tribales même après avoir dépassé le stade tribal de la civilisation. La réponse se trouve largement dans l’esprit intrinsèquement respectueux et conservateur de la culture védique en expansion, qui s’assura que chaque tribu pourrait préserver ses coutumes et traditions, y compris sa propre coutume d’endogamie tribale.

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Description et histoire

Les colonisateurs portugais appliquèrent le terme caste, « lignage, espèce », à deux institutions hindoues différentes : le jati et le varna. L’unité effective du système des castes est le jati, l’unité de naissance, un groupe endogamique dans lequel vous êtes né, et à l’intérieur duquel vous vous marriez. En principe, vous pouvez manger seulement avec des membres du même groupe, mais les pressions de la vie moderne ont érodé cette règle. Les milliers de jatis sont subdivisés en clans exogames, les gotras. Cette double division remonte à la société tribale.

Par contre, le varna est la division fonctionnelle typique d’une société avancée : la civilisation de l’Indus/Saraswati, au troisième millénaire avant JC. La partie la plus récente du Rig-Veda décrit quatre classes : les brahmanes érudits nés de la bouche de Brahma, les kshatriyas guerriers nés de ses bras ; les entrepreneurs vaishyas nés de ses hanches et les travailleurs shudras nés de ses pieds. Tout le monde est un shudra par la naissance. Les garçons deviennent dwija, deux-fois nés, ou membres de l’un des trois varnas supérieurs en recevant le cordon sacré dans la cérémonie de l’upanayama.

Le système du varna se diffusa à partir de la région de Saraswati-Yamuna et s’établit fermement dans l’ensemble de l’Aryavarta (du Cachemire au Vidarbha, du Sind au Bihar). Il était le signe d’une culture supérieure plaçant le pays central aryen civilisé à l’écart des pays mleccha barbares environnants. Au Bengale et dans le Sud, le système était réduit à une distinction entre brahmanes et shudras. Le varna est une catégorie rituelle et ne correspond pas pleinement à un statut social ou économique effectif. Ainsi, la moitié des souverains princiers en Inde Britannique étaient des shudras et quelques-uns étaient des brahmanes, bien que ce fût une fonction kshatriya par excellence. Beaucoup de shudras sont riches, beaucoup de brahmanes sont pauvres.

Le Mahabharata définit ainsi les qualités du varna : « Celui en qui vous trouvez véracité, générosité, absence de haine, modestie, bonté et retenue, est un brahmane. Celui qui accomplit les devoirs d’un chevalier, étudie les écritures, se concentre sur l’acquisition et la distribution de richesses, est un kshatriya. Celui qui aime l’élevage, l’agriculture et l’argent, qui est honnête et bien versé dans les écritures, est un vaishya. Celui qui mange n’importe quoi, pratique n’importe quel métier, ignore les règles de pureté, et ne prend aucun intérêt aux écritures et aux règles de vie, est un shudra ». Plus le varna est élevé, plus les règles d’autodiscipline doivent être observées. C’est pourquoi un jati pouvait collectivement améliorer son statut en adoptant davantage de règles de conduite, par ex. le végétarisme.

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Le second nom d’une personne indique habituellement son jati ou gotra. De plus, on peut utiliser les titres suivants de varna : Sharma (refuge, ou joie) indique un brahmane, Varma (armure) un kshatriya, Gupta (protégé) un vaishya et Das (serviteur) un shudra. Dans une seule famille, une personne peut s’appeler Gupta (varna), une autre Agrawal (jati), et encore une autre Garg (gotra). Un moine, en renonçant au monde, abandonne son nom en même temps que son identité de caste.

Intouchabilité

Au-dessous de la hiérarchie des castes se trouvent les Intouchables, ou harijan (littéralement « les enfants de Dieu »), ou dalits (« opprimés »), ou paraiah (formant une caste en Inde du Sud), ou Scheduled Castes [« castes répertoriées »]. Elles forment environ 16% de la population indienne, autant que les castes supérieures combinées.

L’intouchabilité a son origine dans la croyance que les esprits mauvais entourent la mort et les substances en décomposition. Les gens qui travaillaient avec les cadavres, les excréments ou les peaux d’animaux avaient une aura de danger et d’impureté, ils étaient donc maintenus à l’écart de la société normale et des enseignements et rituels sacrés. Cela prenait souvent des formes grotesques : ainsi, un intouchable devait annoncer sa proximité polluante avec une sonnette, comme un lépreux.

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L’intouchabilité est inconnue dans les Védas, et donc répudiée par les réformateurs néo-védiques comme Dayanand Saraswati, Narayan Guru, Gandhiji [Gandhi] et Savarkar. En 1967, le Dr. Ambedkar, un dalit par la naissance et un critique acharné de l’injustice sociale dans l’hindouisme et dans l’islam, réalisa une conversion de masse au bouddhisme, en partie à cause de la supposition (non fondée historiquement) suivant laquelle le bouddhisme aurait été un mouvement anti-caste. La constitution de 1950 supprima l’intouchabilité et approuva des programmes de discrimination positive pour les Scheduled Castes et les Tribus. Dernièrement, le Vishva Hindu Parishad a réussi à faire entrer même les leaders religieux les plus traditionalistes dans la plate-forme anti-intouchabilité, pour qu’ils invitent des harijans dans des écoles védiques et qu’ils les forment à la prêtrise. Dans les villages, cependant, le harcèlement des dalits est encore un phénomène commun, occasionné moins par des questions de pureté rituelle que par des disputes pour la terre et le travail. Néanmoins, l’influence politique croissante des dalits accélère l’élimination de l’intouchabilité.

Conversions inter-castes

Dans le Mahabharata, Yuddhishthira affirme que le varna est défini par les qualités de la tête et du cœur, pas par la naissance. Krishna enseigne que le varna est défini par l’activité (le karma) et la qualité (le guna). Encore aujourd’hui, le débat n’est pas clos pour savoir dans quelle mesure la « qualité » de quelqu’un est déterminée par l’hérédité ou par l’influence environnementale. Et ainsi, alors que la vision héréditaire a été prédominante pendant longtemps, la conception non-héréditaire du varna a toujours été présente aussi, comme cela apparaît d’après la pratique de conversion inter-varnas. Le plus célèbre exemple est le combattant de la liberté au XVIIe siècle, Shivaji, un shudra à qui fut accordé un statut de kshatriya pour cadrer avec ses exploits guerriers. L’expansion géographique de la tradition védique fut réalisée par l’initiation à grande échelle des élites locales dans l’ordre des varnas. A partir de 1875, l’Arya Samaj a systématiquement administré le « rituel de purification » (shuddhi) aux convertis musulmans et chrétiens et aux hindous de basse caste, accomplissant leur dwija. Inversement, l’actuelle politique de discrimination positive a poussé les gens des castes supérieures à se faire accepter dans les Scheduled Castes favorisées.

veer-savarkar-original-imae5skvte8frwzn.jpegVeer Savarkar, l’idéologue du nationalisme hindou, prônait les mariages inter-castes pour unifier la nation hindoue même au niveau biologique. La plupart des hindous contemporains, bien qu’à présent généralement opposés à l’inégalité de caste, continuent à se marier dans leurs jatis respectives parce qu’ils ne voient pas de raison de les supprimer.

Théorie raciale des castes

Au XIXe siècle, les Occidentaux projetèrent la situation coloniale et les théories raciales les plus récentes [de l’époque] sur le système des castes : les castes supérieures étaient les envahisseurs blancs dominant les indigènes à la peau sombre. Cette vision périmée est toujours répétée ad nauseam par les auteurs anti-hindous : maintenant que « idolâtrie » a perdu de sa force comme terme injurieux, « racisme » est une innovation bienvenue pour diaboliser l’hindouisme. En réalité, l’Inde est la région où tous les types de couleur de peau se sont rencontrés et mélangés, et vous trouverez de nombreux brahmanes aussi noirs que Nelson Mandela. D’anciens héros « aryens » comme Rama, Krishna, Draupadi, Ravana (un brahmane) et un grand nombre de voyants védiques furent explicitement décrits comme ayant la peau sombre.

Mais varna ne signifie-t-il pas « couleur de peau » ? Le véritable sens de varna est « splendeur, couleur », d’où « qualité distinctive » ou « un segment d’un spectre ». Les quatre classes fonctionnelles constituent les « couleurs » dans le spectre de la société. Les couleurs symboliques sont attribuées aux varnas sur la base du schéma cosmologique des « trois qualités » (triguna) : le blanc est sattva (véridique), la qualité typique du brahmane ; le rouge est rajas (énergétique), pour le kshatriya ; le noir est tamas (inerte, solide), pour le shudra ; le jaune est attribué au vaishya, qui est défini par un mélange de qualités.

Finalement, la société des castes a été la société la plus stable dans l’histoire. Les communistes indiens avaient l’habitude de dire en ricanant que « l’Inde n’a jamais connu de révolution ». En effet, ce n’est pas une mince affaire.

Traduction du texte anglais publié sur : http://www.geocities.com/integral_tradition/

 

 

11:36 Publié dans Traditions | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : castes, traditions, hindouisme, inde, koenraad elst, koen elst | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

lundi, 27 mai 2019

La réélection de Narendra Modi en Inde réjouit la Chine

NM.jpg

La réélection de Narendra Modi en Inde réjouit la Chine

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

Narendra Damodardas Modi est membre du Bharatiya Janata Party BJP, un parti nationaliste hindou qui se réfère à l'Hindutva, il est Premier ministre de l'Inde depuis le 26 mai 2014.  A la tête du BJP, il a remporté le 21 juin 2019 les élections législatives, pour un second mandat de cinq ans. Il sera donc à nouveau Premier ministre.

On aurait pu penser que la Chine, très grande puissance voisine, aurait considéré ce succès avec circonspection. Modi a longtemps été proche des Etats-Unis et a accepté d'eux des aides militaires importantes. Aujourd'hui encore, il évoque le Cependant, ces dernières années, il s'était rapproché de la Chine, ainsi d'ailleurs que de la Russie, au sein d'une démarche géopolitique commune dans le cadre du Brics. Sa réélection satisfait les commentateurs politiques en Chine.

On y rappelle que Modi avait rencontré dans des sommets informel l'année dernière respectivement Xi Jinping à Wuhan et Vladimir Poutine à Sochi. Ils s'étaient respectivement rendu compte qu'ils pouvaient travailler ensemble de façon constructive. Modi avait par la suite compris qu'il pouvait très bien séparer la coopération économique de conflits politiques éventuels. Ainsi il avait rejoint récemment l'Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank malgré l'opposition des Etats-Unis et du Japon, tout en réaffirmant une politique stricte de non-alignement.

Lors des affrontements récents entre l'Inde et le Pakistan, Pékin avait joué un rôle modérateur apprécié en rappelant aux deux pays qu'ils pouvaient et devaient coopérer dans le domaine du commerce, de l'économie et de la lutte contre le terrorisme islamique, notamment comme membres l'un et l'autre de l'Organisation de Coopération de Shanghai. Le développement constant du commerce entre l' Inde et Chine, Delhi diminuant progressivement son déficit, est un puissant facteur de rapprochement. Il en est de même de leur participation commune au sein du Financial Action Task Force , organisation internationale dont le siège est à Paris et dont l'objectif est de lutter contre le blanchiment d'argent et le financement du terrorisme.

On sait par ailleurs que la Chine et l'Inde partagent désormais des politiques communes de contrôle des naissance, afin d'éviter de voir leur population d'environ 1 milliard de personnes chacun, déjà excessive au regard des ressources actuelles, s'accroître encore. Ceci sera un puissant facteur de rapprochement en terme philosophique et religieux.

Une nouvelle fois, nous devons regretter que les Européens ne cherchent pas suffisamment à développer de liens politiques et économique « gagnants-gagnants » au sein du couple formé dorénavant par Delhi et Pékin. Ceci serait certainement bien accueilli de part et d'autre.


 

dimanche, 26 mai 2019

L’Inde et les Nouvelles routes de la soie

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L’Inde et les Nouvelles routes de la soie

par Solweig Ogereau
Ex: http://geolinks.fr

« Le ciel et l’océan d’Asie sont assez grands pour que le dragon et l’éléphant dansent ensemble, ce qui amènera à une véritable ère asiatique », a dit un diplomate chinois à la Conférence sur les Nouvelles routes de la Soie à Bombay en 2017[1]. Démontrant ainsi l’importance pour la Chine d’une participation indienne qui légitimerait la devise de Xi Jinping : « l’Asie pour les Asiatiques ».   

    
Il y a quelques années, la « One Belt One Road », a pris le nom de « Belt Road Initiative », afin de corriger l’impression d’une route unique qui courrait à travers l’Eurasie et l’Océan Indien[2]. Cette initiative est le plus souvent dénommée « Nouvelles routes de la Soie » en français. Il s’agit en réalité d’un réseau de coopération régional, initié par les Chinois, avec des projets d’envergure mondiale, qui devrait traverser 65 pays. Ces projets de connectivité et d’infrastructure cherchent à connecter la Chine à ses voisins asiatiques, et d’accéder à l’Europe via l’Asie Centrale et l’Océan indien. Pour ce faire, voies ferroviaires, routes et ports devraient être construits ou modernisés. Il s’agit en réalité de rassembler en un grand programme différentes initiatives qui lui précèdent. Pour autant, les discussions se font principalement sur un mode bilatéral[3]


            L’Inde se trouve directement sur les Nouvelles routes de la Soie. Pour certains[4], il s’agit d’une opportunité pour l’Inde, qui serait à même de choisir les projets qui créeraient des bénéfices durables (notamment dans le Nord-Est de l’Inde), tout en rejetant ceux qui seraient entièrement à l’avantage de la Chine. « L’éléphant » serait en effet l’un des rares pays à avoir une économie et un régime politique suffisamment forts pour résister aux désirs hégémoniques du « dragon ».     


            Cette vue n’est néanmoins pas celle de la majorité des hommes politiques indiens, qui s’inquiètent aujourd’hui des conséquences de cette poussée chinoise. En effet, les Nouvelles routes de la Soie menacent directement l’Inde sur son territoire, et semblent se resserrer en étau autour du pays. L’Inde attaque la Chine sur son manque de transparence avec le soutien européen, américain, et asiatique et africain dans une certaine mesure, mais il est peu probable que cela suffise, d’où le lancement d’initiatives indiennes et de coopérations dans la région.

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I/ Un passage controversé par le Cachemire et un encerclement régional

Le projet est particulièrement controversé sur la partie nord-ouest de l’Inde avec le « China Pakistan Economic Corridor » (CPEC). Ce projet de couloir économique est constitué de prêts et d’investissements qui pourraient atteindre la somme de 60 milliards de dollars, sur une distance de 2700 km[5]. Ce réseau est un ensemble d’autoroutes, de lignes ferroviaires, d’oléoducs, de ports, et de parcs de technologie de l’information[6]. Il s’étend de la préfecture de Kashgar (dans la région chinoise du Xinjiang) jusqu’au port de Gwadar (province du Baloutchistan au Pakistan), permettant un accès à la mer d’Arabie. Or, ce couloir passe par un territoire indien et occupé illégalement par le Pakistan depuis de nombreuses années[7]. Si l’on peut considérer, comme le fait Talmiz Ahmad[8], que cela permettra de développer le Pakistan et donc de réduire les causes de l’extrémisme, il n’en demeure pas moins que la souveraineté de l’Inde est mise à mal, et cela renforce la position du Pakistan sur ce territoire. Il ne faut pas oublier que la Chine estime avoir droit au Ladakh, dans la région du Jammu et Cachemire, ce qui rend les Indiens d’autant plus soupçonneux vis-à-vis du CPEC. En outre, et nous y reviendrons, le risque persiste de voir les Chinois transformer ces installations civiles en base navale militaire.

Ce projet a rencontré de nombreuses critiques au sein même du Pakistan, notamment car il risque de réveiller des tensions entre le centre et les unités fédérées, mais aussi au sein mêmes des provinces. Cela est dû aux inégalités que le CPEC risque de causer en ce qui concerne le développement économique et la distribution des ressources[9]. Il est par ailleurs probable que le Penjab pakistanais soit le principal bénéficiaire des projets d’infrastructure et industriels, alors même qu’il s’agit déjà de la province la plus riche et la plus influente du pays sur le plan politique. Mais même là, les Penjabi résisteront sans doute à l’achat de leurs terres par l’Etat. 

            La situation au Baloutchistan semble tout aussi compliquée en raison des sentiments qui y règnent déjà d’une exploitation et d’un abandon de la part du pouvoir central. La province ne recevra en outre aucun des bénéfices directs du port de Gwadar, et la colère des habitants n’en devient que plus plausible, d’autant que la zone devient hautement militarisée et que les locaux sont déplacés et privés de leur lien vital à leurs terres. Le CPEC ne résoudrait donc en rien les problèmes considérés comme à la racine du problème extrémiste, contrairement à ce qu’espère Talmiz Ahmad, puisque cela pourrait, au contraire, accentuer les inégalités.

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            En vérité, le CPEC ne constitue que l’un des aspects de la menace chinoise pour l’Inde à travers ce projet. Six des pays voisins ont ainsi signé des accords avec la Chine : le Pakistan donc, mais aussi Sri Lanka, le Bangladesh, le Népal, la Birmanie, et l’Afghanistan. Il n’est pas surprenant, dans ce contexte, que l’Inde voie d’un très mauvais œil ce projet. Ces pays ont un réel besoin d’infrastructure, et apprécient une aide économique non-conditionnée par des engagements de gouvernance ou de transparence[10].

            L’un des aspects qui inquiètent le plus l’Inde est en vérité la présence chinoise dans l’Océan Indien. Ses agissements en Mer de Chine méridionale, notamment la construction d’îles[11], pourraient être reproduits. Dans la mesure où Beijing a officiellement établi à Djibouti sa première base militaire à l’étranger en 2017[12], ces inquiétudes ont tendance à se confirmer. Ainsi, la crainte de voir le port de Gwadar se transformer en base navale militaire grandit. Des ports sont également construits en Birmanie, à Sri Lanka. Des sous-marins chinois ont même accosté au Pakistan et à Sri Lanka[13]. Le port sri lankais de Hambantota est d’ailleurs le parfait exemple de la stratégie chinoise : son emplacement stratégique, son financement chinois dont le remboursement est insoutenable pour le pays d’emprunt, et finalement la cession du port et de plus de 6000 hectares alentours pour 99 ans en 2017[14]. L’accord avec la Chine aurait en outre inclus un échange de renseignement dès le départ[15].

II/ Le gouvernement de Modi a fait appel au besoin de transparence et d’égalité 

Pour faire face à ce défi, l’Inde a appelé à ce que les projets transnationaux suivent « des normes internationales universellement reconnues, l’Etat de droit, la transparence et les standards internationaux »[16] – une remarque qui fait clairement référence aux Nouvelles routes de la Soie. En effet, il devient évident que les projets sont unilatéraux : non seulement l’endettement envers la Chine n’est pas viable pour les pays ayant contracté des prêts, mais les transferts de compétences semblent inexistants puisque des travailleurs chinois sont envoyés sur place, n’offrant donc aucun emploi aux locaux[17]. En outre, des études de faisabilité au sujet du port sri lankais précité avait estimé que le port ne fonctionnerait pas, et se sont avérées juste puisque 34 bateaux seulement s’y sont rendus en 2012 (contre 3667 dans le port de Colombo, selon le rapport annuel du ministère des Finances cité par Maria Abi-Habib)[18]. Or, tandis que l’Inde avait refusé, la Chine a proposé des prêts, à des taux plus importants que n’importe quel autre prêteur[19]. Ces pratiques sont aussi considérées comme alimentant la corruption (notamment la campagne du président ayant accepté l’accord chinois dans le cas de Ceylan) et les comportements autocratiques dans des démocraties en difficulté[20].

            Les reproches exprimés par l’Inde sont soutenus non seulement par l’Europe, mais aussi par les Etats-Unis, le Japon, et l’Australie. S’il est vrai que l’Italie et les pays de l’Est sont particulièrement courtisés par Pékin, toute l’Union européenne est concernée, et elle essaie actuellement de faire front commun[21].

Ces critiques sont également de plus en plus virulentes au sein des organisations internationales et des pays asiatiques et africains, qui commencent à résister à la Chine. Ainsi, au Bangladesh, China Harbour devrait être interdit de contrats futurs en raison d’accusations de corruption envers cette entreprise, qui aurait tenté de soudoyer un fonctionnaire au ministère des Routes[22]. De la même façon, la société-mère, China Communications Construction Company avait été interdite de participer à des projets de la Banque mondiale pour huit ans en 2009, après des actes de corruption aux Philippines[23].

Les accords avec la Chine commencent même à se retourner contre les gouvernements impliqués lors d’élections. En Malaisie, le nouveau Premier Ministre a été élu après avoir remis en cause les investissements chinois dans la campagne – et a annulé un projet de route ferroviaire à 20 milliards de dollars et plusieurs projets de gazoducs et d’oléoducs d’une valeur de 3 milliards de dollars[24]. Aux Maldives, le nouveau Ministre des Finances a remis en cause la préférence chinoise du Premier Ministre, et s’est tourné vers l’Inde[25]. En Afrique, enfin, certains pays annulent ou ralentissent les projets, à cause des énormes dettes qui les accompagnent[26].

L’aspect environnemental, souvent oublié, doit pourtant être pris en compte, et est source d’inquiétudes pour les ONG comme les think tanks : les projets proposés par la Chine auront en effet un impact considérable sur les zones concernées. Ceci est particulièrement vrai du fait que les principaux corridors d’infrastructure traverseront des espaces sensibles écologiquement, et les routes et voies ferroviaires vont mettre en danger les plantes et les animaux des écosystèmes aux alentours. Plus de 265 espèces en danger seraient affectées, et l’accès à des zones reculées jusqu’ici pourrait augmenter le risque de braconnage[27]. Les nouvelles routes de la Soie seront, en outre, un moyen pour la Chine d’exporter une économie qui s’appuie sur les énergies fossiles[28] – dont on connaît déjà les effets néfastes. Pour autant, le pays produit également nombre de technologies liées aux énergies renouvelables, terrain sur lequel elle est en compétition directe avec l’Inde. Le gouvernement Modi a d’ailleurs imposé des taxes à l’importation des panneaux solaires chinois, mais cela ne suffira sans doute pas, là encore, à contrer son rival.

III/ L’Inde doit, pour faire face au désir d’expansion chinoise, créer ses propres projets de coopération

            Il est évident, au regard du défi qui se pose à l’Inde, qu’elle doit réagir. S’il est vrai que ses voisins cherchent à contrebalancer les deux puissances, ils semblent aujourd’hui se détourner du projet chinois, et cela peut constituer une opportunité pour la République indienne.

            Le Japon, les Etats-Unis, l’Union européenne ou encore les Emirats arabes unis ont démontré un intérêt à travailler avec l’Inde en Afrique, afin de contrer la Chine et d’éviter l’endettement de ces pays[29]. Une coopération avec le Japon, en particulier, semble se développer, à travers le Asia Africa Growth Corridor. Ils pourraient notamment travailler ensemble sur des projets en Birmanie, à Sri Lanka et au Bangladesh[30].

L’Inde pourrait également investir davantage dans le groupe BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation). Etabli en 1997 avec l’intention d’organiser des sommets tous les deux ans, il n’a pourtant vu que trois sommets en deux décennies. Le contexte géopolitique régional a néanmoins relancé une certaine dynamique au sein de ce groupe régional, qui inclue l’Inde, le Bangladesh, le Boutan, la Birmanie, le Népal, Sri Lanka et la Thaïlande. Les secteurs de coopération sont nombreux, puisqu’ils comprennent le commerce, la technologie, l’énergie, le transport, le tourisme, la pêche, l’agriculture, la santé, la lutte contre la pauvreté, le contre-terrorisme, l’environnement, la culture, les contacts entre les peuples et le changement climatique[31]. Des programmes tels la voie ferroviaire trilatérale entre l’Inde, la Birmanie et la Thaïlande et le projet Kaladan, qui permet un accès à la mer pour les États du nord-est de l’Inde via Myanmar, par exemple, doivent encore être finalisés[32]. Il faudra pour cela parvenir à convaincre le Népal et la Thaïlande, qui n’ont pas voulu envoyer plus que des observateurs au premier exercice militaire du groupe afin de ne pas contrarier la Chine[33], que cette coopération est également dans leur intérêt.

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Il est tout aussi crucial pour l’Inde de s’assurer que les régions isolées du sous-continent soient mieux connectées à l’ensemble du pays. En effet, un certain nombre de capitales des États du nord-est ne bénéficient ni de ligne ferroviaire pour accéder à leur capitale[34], ni internet : seule 35% de la population de ces États aurait accès à internet[35]. Ainsi le gouvernement a annoncé en 2017 son intention de construire l’« Himalayan rail-express », une ligne ferroviaire rapide qui devrait relier Leh (Jammu et Cachemire) à Hawai (Arunachal Pradesh)[36]. La région du Ladakh au Cachemire fait elle aussi l’objet d’influences chinoises, par la voie de la restauration de monastères bouddhistes, méthode qu’elle emploie également au Tibet[37]. Il faut noter que la visite du Dalai Lama en Arunachal Pradesh a causé des remous[38], et il n’est pas impossible que ce haut lieu du bouddhisme tibétain (où le sixième Dalai Lama est né) fasse l’objet de tentatives d’actions similaires à celles dévoilées au Cachemire.

Dans un tel contexte de tensions et de jeux d’influence, il est aisé de comprendre les réticences de l’Inde vis-à-vis du projet chinois des Nouvelles routes de la Soie. Cette initiative apparaît de plus en plus clairement comme unilatérale, au seul avantage de la Chine. Il est vrai que cette dernière essaie d’impliquer l’Inde, ce qui lui permettrait d’éviter la confrontation. Mais le rival historique ne semble pas près de se laisser convaincre, pour les multiples raisons que nous avons pu évoquer, et qui concernent sa sécurité sur les plans internes comme externes. Dans ce contexte, la coopération avec ses voisins tout comme avec d’autres puissances semble primordiale pour l’Inde.

Cela ne signifie pas une confrontation directe entre les deux puissances asiatiques – elles auraient toutes deux beaucoup à perdre. Elles travaillent d’ailleurs ensemble sur d’autres projets : c’est le cas en Afghanistan. En octobre 2018, elles ont ainsi lancé un programme de formation pour des diplomates afghans, et cela devrait être suivi d’autres projets[39].


Notes:

[1] AHMAD Talmiz, « India needs to take a fresh look at the Belt and Road Initiative Proposal », The Wire, 2 juillet 2018.

[2] Art. Cit.

[3] BARUAH Darshana M. , « India’s answer to the Belt and Road: A Roadmap for South Asia », Carnegie India, 21 août 2018.

[4] SHAHANE Girish, « India stands to gain the most and risks the least by joining China’s One Belt One Road initiative », Scroll.in, 14 juillet 2018

[5] International Crisis Group, « China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Opportunities and Risks », Rapport n°297, 29 juin 2018.

[6] BARUAH D. M. , art cit.

[7] Ibid.

[8] AHMAD Talmiz, art. cit.

[9] International Crisis Group, doc. cit.

[10] MARLOW Iain, LI Dandan, « How Asia Fell Out of Love With China’s Belt and Road Initiative », Bloomberg, 10 décembre 2018.

[11] COURMONT Barthélémy, « Mais que se passe-t-il en mer de Chine méridionale ? », IRIS, 27 août 2018.

[12] BARUAH D. M. , Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] ABI-HABIB Maria, « How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port », New York Times, 25 juin 2018.

[15] Art. cit.

[16] SIROHI Seema, « India-US-EU Combine Halts China’s Belt and Road Initiative at the UN », The Wire, 12 décembre 2018.

[17] Art. cit.

[18] ABI-HABIB M., art. cit.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] RFI, « L’Europe s’interroge sur sa position face aux ambitions économiques de la Chine », 23 mars 2019.

[22] Art. cit.

[23] Ibid.

[24] MARLOW I., LI D., art. cit.

[25] Ibid.

[26] CHAUDHURY Dipanjan Roy, « Europe, Japan, US, UAE prefer India for joint infrastructure projects in Africa », Economic Times, 24 novembre 2018.

[27] LA SHIER Brian, « Exploring the Environmental Repercussions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative », Environmental and Energy Study Institute, 3 octobre 2018.

[28] Doc. cit.

[29] CHAUDHURY D.R., art. cit.

[30] SINGH Gurjit, « India, Japan and the Asia Africa Growth Corridor », Gateway House, 17 janvier 2019.

[31] India Today Web Desk, « What is BIMSTEC summit? Facts you need to know », India Today, 30 août 2018.

[32] HUSSAIN Nazia, « Can BIMSTEC Finally Become Relevant? », The Diplomat, 2 novembre 2018.

[33] HAIDAR Suhasini, PERI Dinakar, « BIMSTEC embarrassment for India », The Hindu, 11 septembre 2018.

[34] HAIDAR Faizan, « By 2020, capitals of all northeastern states to have rail connectivity », Hindustan Times, 10 mai 2018.

[35] KALITA Prabin, «Northeast states lag behind in internet, mobile connectivity », Times of India, 18 décembre 2018.

[36] BARUAH D. M., Ibid.

[37] PATIL Sameer, « China targets India’s Ladakh », Gateway House, 21 juin 2018.

[38] Press Trust of India, « Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit negatively impacts border dispute, says China », Economic Times, 12 juillet 2018.

[39] MIGLANI Sanjeev, « India, China launch joint training for Afghanistan, plan more projects », Reuters, 15 octobre 2018.

Références

ABI-HABIB Maria, « How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port », New York Times, 25 juin 2018. URL : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/world/asia/china-sri-l.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

AHMAD Talmiz, « India needs to take a fresh look at the Belt and Road Initiative Proposal », The Wire, 2 juillet 2018. URL : https://thewire.in/diplomacy/india-needs-to-take-a-fresh-.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

BARUAH Darshana M., « India’s answer to the Belt and Road: A Roadmap for South Asia », Carnegie India, 21 août 2018. URL : https://carnegieindia.org/2018/08/21/india-s-answer-to-be.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

CHAUDHURY Dipanjan Roy, « Europe, Japan, US, UAE prefer India for joint infrastructure projects in Africa », Economic Times, 24 novembre 2018. URL : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/infrast.... Consulté le 8 avril 2018.

COURMONT Barthélémy, « Mais que se passe-t-il en mer de Chine méridionale ? », IRIS, 27 août 2018. URL : http://www.iris-france.org/116542-mais-que-se-passe-t-il-.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

DEJOUHANNET Lucie, « DP 8109 : L’Inde, puissance en construction », La documentation française, 26 août 3016. URL : https://www.ladocumentationfrancaise.fr/cartes/territoire.... Consulté le 23 avril 2019.

GAUTHE Thierry, « Cartographie. Avec les nouvelles routes de la soie, la Chine tisse une toile mondiale », Courrier international, 14 septembre 2018. URL : https://www.courrierinternational.com/grand-format/cartog.... Consulté le 9 avril 2019.

HAIDAR Faizan, « By 2020, capitals of all northeastern states to have rail connectivity », Hindustan Times, 10 mai 2018. URL : https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/by-2020-capital.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

HAIDAR Suhasini, PERI Dinakar, « BIMSTEC embarrassment for India », The Hindu, 11 septembre 2018. URL : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bimstec-embarrassm.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

HUSSAIN Nazia, « Can BIMSTEC Finally Become Relevant? », The Diplomat, 2 novembre 2018. URL : https://thediplomat.com/2018/11/can-bimstec-finally-becom.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

India Today Web Desk, « What is BIMSTEC summit? Facts you need to know », India Today, 30 août 2018. URL : https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affa.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

International Crisis Group, « China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Opportunities and Risks », Rapport n°297, 29 juin 2018. URL : https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/south-asia/pakistan/297-.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

KALITA Prabin, «Northeast states lag behind in internet, mobile connectivity », Times of India, 18 décembre 2018. URL : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/northea.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

LA SHIER Brian, « Exploring the Environmental Repercussions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative », Environmental and Energy Study Institute, 3 octobre 2018. URL : https://www.eesi.org/articles/view/exploring-the-environm.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

MARLOW Iain, LI Dandan, « How Asia Fell Out of Love With China’s Belt and Road Initiative », Bloomberg, 10 décembre 2018. URL : https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-10/how-as.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

MIGLANI Sanjeev, « India, China launch joint training for Afghanistan, plan more projects », Reuters, 15 octobre 2018. URL : https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-china-afghanista.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères, direction des Archives (pôle géographique), « Asie méridionale », avril 2019. URL : https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/IMG/jpg/asie_meridionale_c.... Consulté le 23 avril 2019.

PATIL Sameer, « China targets India’s Ladakh », Gateway House, 21 juin 2018. URL : https://www.gatewayhouse.in/china-targets-indias-ladakh/. Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

Press Trust of India, « Dalai Lama’s Arunachal Pradesh visit negatively impacts border dispute, says China », Economic Times, 12 juillet 2018. URL : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/dalai-l.... Consulté le 8 avril 2019.

RFI, « L’Europe s’interroge sur sa position face aux ambitions économiques de la Chine », 23 mars 2019.  URL : http://www.rfi.fr/europe/20190322-europe-economiques-chin.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

SHAHANE Girish, « India stands to gain the most and risks the least by joining China’s One Belt One Road initiative », Scroll.in, 14 juillet 2018. URL : https://scroll.in/article/882411/india-stands-to-gain-the.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

SINGH Gurjit, « India, Japan and the Asia Africa Growth Corridor », Gateway House, 17 janvier 2019. URL : https://www.gatewayhouse.in/japan-aagc/. Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

SIROHI Seema, « India-US-EU Combine Halts China’s Belt and Road Initiative at the UN », The Wire, 12 décembre 2018. URL : https://thewire.in/diplomacy/india-china-belt-and-road-un.... Consulté le 5 avril 2019.

dimanche, 19 mai 2019

Aristóteles y Patánjali: la Ética a Nicómaco y los YogaSutras

patanjali2.jpg

Aristóteles y Patánjali:
la Ética a Nicómaco y los YogaSutras

Enrique Bravo Sáinz
Verónica Pagazaurtundua Vitores

Ex: http://www.nodulo.org

Se parte del estudio de la Ética a Nicómaco de Aristóteles para acercarla a los YogaSutras de Patánjali, en un intento de conciliar ambas teorías. Oriente y Occidente ante el camino que conduce a la unión de lo humano y lo divino

A modo de justificación

Según el historiador J. N. Dasgupta (1963){1}, Patánjali, del que se sabe muy poco, fue el compilador o condensador de la filosofía esencial y las técnicas yóguicas que venían existiendo desde tiempos muy antiguos en los conocidos Upanishads{2} del llamado «mundo oriental». Este gramático que vivió en el siglo II a.c., dio origen a un tratado llamado YogaSutras o Aforismos, considerados la base más autorizada sobre la que se orientó la posterior filosofía mística oriental. Los YogaSutras comprenden ocho prácticas para llegar a la perfección del principio humano y unidad con el principio divino. Estos pasos serían:

1. Yama o moderación
2. Niyama o dominio de sí mismo
3. Asana o postura
4. Pranayama o control de la respiración
5. Pratyahara o control de los sentidos
6. Dharana o concentración
7. Diana o meditación
8. Samadhi o contemplación

Las primeras dos etapas son la preparación o requisitos preliminares esenciales que todo individuo ha de observar al emprender el sendero de la perfección. Muchos historiadores han convenido en llamarlas «virtudes». Las tres etapas siguientes atañen a la disciplina del cuerpo y de los sentidos. Las cinco son, pues, una preparación externa para que el ser humano logre ordenar su conducta. Las tres últimas etapas son internas y abarcan los aspectos del control de la mente. El fin último de las ocho es alcanzar la felicidad, que la filosofía yóguica la ha vinculado siempre al encuentro de lo divino, más certeramente, al despertar de lo divino en el hombre. La trascendencia de lo humano y el abrazo con la parte más excelsa en cada uno de nosotros. El reencuentro con lo esencial. El filósofo oriental A. Watts (1995){3} decía que «cada individuo es un disfraz de Dios jugando al escondite consigo mismo a través de la eternidad». Es conveniente aclarar que en el sistema de pensar oriental{4} que nos ocupa, el término Dios tiene muy poco que ver con la dimensión religiosa a la cual está ligada en el conocimiento occidental a partir del nacimiento de Cristo. Para la primera, es mucho más sencillo argumentar sobre lo que Dios no es que hablar de lo que es, mencionándolo como lo indescriptible, lo innombrable, lo esencial... Tan solo cuando una persona transciende lo que no es, consigue vislumbrar lo que es, y eso es Dios.

etiuca.jpgLos hábitos regulares que forman la base moral y ética de la filosofía yóguica se denominan Yamas, a saber: inofensividad, veracidad, honradez, templanza y generosidad, y Niyamas, que abarcan la limpieza, el contento, la austeridad, el estudio de uno mismo y la devoción a un ideal.

Cuando estábamos leyendo Ética a Nicómaco tuvimos la necesidad de dirigirnos a los YogaSutras, que hace tanto tiempo habíamos leído, con la intención de datar, primero, ambas obras y, segundo, comprobar su aparente parecido. Oriente y Occidente. Aristóteles y Patánjali.

Después de cotejar ampliamente los dos textos, entendemos que Aristóteles desarrollará en su Ética a Nicómaco una teoría de la perfección humana que ya venían recogiendo en los Upanishads, y más antiguamente en los Brahmanas{5} y en los Vedas{6}, todos aquellos seres que buscaron la felicidad. Los filósofos –espirituales, místicos, perennes,... simplemente aquellos que se interesaron por el alcance de lo divino– orientales y occidentales caminaron por senderos bien distintos, mas pretendiendo un idéntico despertar.

A modo de introducción. Reinventar la obra de Aristóteles

Cuando Aristóteles escribió su obra, lo hizo posiblemente condicionado por el momento histórico cultural que le tocó vivir. Pero la totalidad cultural se reconstruye permanentemente. Por ello, cuando imaginamos a Aristóteles en este ensayo, la referencia es más a la imagen actual de este filósofo que a lo que él haya podido ser o pensar en función de su tiempo. Nos parece un tanto ingenuo que me plantee cual pudo haber sido el auténtico pensamiento de este gran erudito. El estudio de la Ética a Nicómaco se inscribe en el paradigma cultural de un momento concreto. Hoy y solo ahora podemos hablar de Aristóteles, después de que tantos otros pensadores lo hayan hecho también en su ahora. Sin embargo, a nuestro modo de ver, un gran autor es, precisamente, alguien cuya obra se deja reinventar perpetuamente. Este es el caso que nos ocupa.

El Estagirita creó el texto en el siglo IV a. C. y al hacerlo no debió entrar en sus cálculos dirigirla a una gran mayoría de público, pues su enrevesado y árido estilo difiere del nivel intelectual medio que se supone en esta época. De ahí que el carácter del libro pueda ser considerado ocultista y de proyección privada, para un reducido núcleo de pensadores. De acuerdo a una opinión generalizada, la obra estuvo dedicada a su hijo Nicómaco. Sin embargo, J. L. Calvo Martínez (2001) apunta que este dato es impensable, «ya que tal cosa no era costumbre en la época y era inadecuada para un escrito esotérico»{7}. Y más adelante señala «que tanto el nombre de Ética como los adjetivos se deben a un tercero –al erudito que puso orden en la multitud de escritos de Aristóteles y los organizó en Tratados más o menos unitarios–. Este pudo ser Andronico de Rodas (s. II a. C.) o quizá alguien anterior.»{8}

La Ética a Nicómaco es una reflexión acerca de la consecución de la felicidad a través de la virtud humana. Todos los seres anhelan ser felices, es decir, desplegar y manifestar sus posibilidades inmanentes e innatas. Aristóteles escribe para explicarnos el camino que consideró el más adecuado. Investiguemos juntos este sendero ético.

El sendero hacia la Felicidad en Ética a Nicómaco

Libros I y II

Aristóteles invita a la realización de la virtud como la mejor manera de ser buenos. Estamos ante una ciencia práctica de la conducta humana, no un conocimiento únicamente teórico. La Política sería su nombre y el político quien conoce y se preocupa por los asuntos del alma. La Política es la ciencia que se encarga del Bien Supremo en el hombre, al que llama Felicidad. A ella se accede a través de una vida elevada y perfecta, la vida de la contemplación de la verdad, que es la que siguen los que saben, aquellos instalados en el «ser». La vida del honor la siguen los individuos que se instalan en el «hacer», la vida de la acción. Mientras que los que no saben, la mayoría, se quedan en la vida del placer mundano. Al final del Libro X vuelve a tratar el tema de la vida más elevada, quizás, en la mayor de las enseñanzas que Aristóteles nos transmite y de la que me ocuparé a lo largo del ensayo.

Aristóteles.jpeg

¿En qué consiste la Felicidad para el ser humano?. Es momento de acudir al alma y comprender que sus actividades pueden ser realizadas en base a la máxima excelencia o virtud, las cuales conducen a esa anhelada Felicidad. A partir de aquí, la Ética se afana en el estudio de la Virtud y las virtudes. Nos movemos en terrenos anímicos. Se distinguen dos tipos de virtud o excelencia humana: la moral y la intelectual. La virtud moral es una expresión del carácter y la conducta. Sean buenos y domínense, sean virtuosos y no estarán a merced de sus instintos más bajos. La virtud moral es el punto medio entre dos extremos. Hábitos de acción que se ajustan al término medio y han de flexibilizarse debido a las diferencias entre la gente y otros factores. El medio es el equilibrio. Las virtudes intelectuales se refieren a la vida de la parte racional del alma (Libro VI), que son la función natural del ser humano. Las primeras, morales, se someten a las razones segundas. Ambas son medios destinados a la consecución de la Felicidad.

El estudio de las virtudes se asemeja al conocimiento de uno mismo. Comprobar cuales son nuestras tendencias, hacia qué extremos tendemos y alejarnos de ellos.

Libros III y IV

Estamos ante la responsabilidad moral. La elección humana es determinante. La virtud y el vicio son voluntarios porque dependen de nosotros. A partir de aquí, se acomete el estudio de las diferentes virtudes. Comienza analizando la Valentía y la Templanza para más tarde dedicarse a las virtudes sociales propias del tiempo que se trata en la obra. Aquí comprobamos que la de Aristóteles es una ética elitista. Su discurso condena a los no ciudadanos, los esclavos, la gente pobre, los trabajadores asalariados, las mujeres o los niños, mientras el camino de la Virtud estaba destinado a los varones adultos, acomodados y maduros, ciudadanos de la clase alta.

Libro V

En él se trata íntegramente el tema de la Justicia. Si injusto es aquel que quebranta la ley, el justo será el que la cumple y, por tanto, habrá una justicia general que nos aconseja ser virtuosos y abandonar los vicios. También estaría la justicia particular que consistiría en quedarse con la parte que a uno le corresponde, que es el término medio entre el exceso y el defecto. Aristóteles distingue, dentro de esta justicia particular, entre una pública (reparto de bienes y honores de la comunidad) y otra privada que regula los intercambios entre ciudadanos.

Evidentemente, el interés principal es el análisis de la justicia general, al que va dirigido el libro. La justicia es tomada como la virtud que relaciona armoniosamente a todas las demás, cuando las partes del alma se sitúan en su correcto sitio y cumplen con la misión deseable. El intelecto es quien gobierna. La persona justa, cuya vida está sometida a la razón más elevada, es una persona buena.

Otro tema es el de la Equidad y su relación con la justicia, convirtiéndose en el instrumento sustitutivo de la ley allá donde ésta no llega a los detalles y particularidades concretas. La justicia como cualidad moral que inclina a los seres humanos a practicar lo justo, la equidad se muestra superior a la justicia que corrige.

Libro VI

Desarrollo de las virtudes intelectuales. La virtud es el ejercicio de la parte más elevada del alma: la racional. Si la virtud depende de un acto voluntario, tiene que existir una cualidad en el alma que determine la bondad del fin y de los medios para llegar hasta él. Nos referimos a la Prudencia, que queda convertida en un criterio fundamental en el camino hacia la virtuosidad.

Hay tres elementos del alma que controlan la acción y la verdad: la Sensación, la Razón y el Deseo. Las sensaciones no conllevan al comportamiento excelso. El Deseo y la Razón se aúnan en la inteligencia práctica, como la actividad del alma que se dirige hacia la verdad fundada en un recto deseo. Se exige una educación de la parte del alma que contiene el Deseo. Todo ello es el hombre.

Otras virtudes intelectuales se añaden a la Razón en pos de la búsqueda de la verdad. La Ciencia, el Arte, la Sabiduría, la Intuición y la Prudencia. Cada una guarda una función distinta, si bien Aristóteles hace hincapié en distinguir a la Prudencia de las demás y la define como «excelencia en la deliberación, inteligencia en tanto que capacidad de comprender y consideración o juicio»{9}. De todas formas, es la Sabiduría, como no podía ser de otra forma, la virtud intelectual por excelencia.

Libro VII

Se trata la relación entre la Razón y la Pasión. La importancia de la primera en la virtud de la Continencia y de la segunda en la Incontinencia, vista como cualidad imperfecta. Continencia e Incontinencia, lo racional frente a lo pasional. Si el incontinente desconoce lo que es recto, su elección es moralmente recta y su falta de rectitud no es deliberada, por lo que no puede ser considerada como un vicio. La Incontinencia es incompatible con la Prudencia.

arystoteles-pomnik.jpg

Aparece la Intemperancia, como la falta de dominio sobre el placer. El Placer (Libro X) que todos buscamos, huyendo del sufrimiento. ¿Es bueno el placer?. El placer es actividad y existen tantas clases de placer como actividades, pero existe un Placer puro que es actividad y es fin, que es Felicidad. Virtud y Placer.

Libros VIII y IX

La Amistad. Se distinguen tres tipos de amistad: de utilidad, de placer y de virtud. Las dos primeras son más pasajeras y no se limitan a los individuos buenos. La más imperfecta es la utilitaria. Cuando amistad y virtud caminan de la mano, la actividad es buena. Pero esta última no abunda.

La amistad acompaña a toda relación social y crea el vínculo. Primero en torno a la Justicia, en las relaciones políticas y privadas. Después, la amistad del parentesco familiar y por último las relaciones entre amigos. Se considera al amigo como a un uno mismo semejante y es porque nos amamos a nosotros mismos por lo que podemos ser buenos en nuestro entorno próximo, identificándonos con el prójimo. Amistad y egoísmo. Amistad y benevolencia. Amistad y concordia.

Libro X

El Placer y la Felicidad son tratados con enorme brillantez. Se concilian virtud y placer en la acción que lleva a la Felicidad. El placer acompaña a la acción virtuosa y se identifica con la Felicidad última. El placer supremo va unido a la actividad que ejerce la virtud más elevada, la de los sabios que encuentran el más puro placer en la Contemplación. Esta es la actividad de la parte más elevada del alma. El placer del sabio. Por esto, la vida del intelecto es la más feliz y, por ende, la más placentera, porque la filosofía encierra placeres maravillosos por su pureza y permanencia y es razonable que el transcurso del tiempo sea más placentero para los que saben. La vida del sabio basada en la cercanía a lo divino. Aristóteles, como en toda su Metafísica, defiende la existencia del ser divino. Dios, en su calidad de ser perfecto. La Felicidad de lo divino, de la que desean participar todos los seres. La virtud moral se queda en lo humano y nada sabe de lo divino.

Otras consideraciones que dan fin al libro, abordan la necesidad de practicar la Ética. Si ella es expuesta para un reducido número de gentes maduras, se insta a crear un sistema educativo para los más jóvenes. El Estado se encargaría de su educación. Pero no es tarea fácil, por lo que la autoridad paterna tiene que asumir esta labor.

A partir de aquí, la filosofía que trata de los asuntos humanos debe incluir la Política. Así, el final de la Ética abre la puerta al inicio de la Política.

Hemos creído necesario recoger en este trabajo personal un breve repaso por los contenidos que Aristóteles expone en Ética a Nicómaco, de manera que el lector tenga la oportunidad de situarse y hacer sus propias conjeturas al respecto.

La reflexión que sigue a la profundización
El arte de la Contemplación, Dios y la Felicidad

Patánjali fundamentó un sendero basado en ocho prácticas, mientras Aristóteles abarcó un genial despliegue de virtudes y de perfección en la naturaleza humana. La supremacía de la razón en el estagirita y el control de los sentidos y la mente en el indio. El dominio de uno mismo del oriental y el equilibrio medio del occidental. Dharana o concentración, Dhyana o meditación y Samadhi o contemplación equivalen a la misma Contemplación de la cual habla Aristóteles. Dos senderos para un mismo final. Occidente y Oriente. Muchos aspectos de todas estas corrientes, escuelas y filosofías son, en realidad, perennes o universales, es decir, trascienden épocas y culturas y apuntan al corazón y al alma de todos los seres humanos sensibles a este conocimiento. El alma moderna y el alma antigua. Ahora es cuando podemos reinventar la filosofía de los más grandes pensadores que han existido.

Pero aquí no pueden terminar los planteamientos. Muy al contrario se vislumbra una reflexión mucho mayor que emana de la enseñanza que Aristóteles deja patente en su Libro X y la amplía. A partir de sus palabras:

«Pues bien, ya sea esto el intelecto o cualquier otra cosa que, en verdad, parece por naturaleza gobernar y conducir y tener conocimiento cierto acerca de las cosas buenas y divinas -porque sea ello mismo también divino o la parte más divina de las que hay en nosotros-, la actividad de esto conforme a la virtud propia sería la felicidad perfecta. Y ya se ha dicho que ella es apta para la contemplación... En efecto, ésta es la actividad suprema (pues el intelecto lo es entre lo que hay en nosotros y, entre los objetos del conocimiento, lo son aquellos con los que tiene relación el intelecto)... Y una vida de esta clase sería superior a la medida humana, pues no vivirá de esta manera en tanto que es un hombre, sino en tanto que hay en él un algo divino; y en la misma medida en que ello es superior a lo compuesto, en esa medida su actividad es superior a la correspondiente al resto de la virtud. Y, claro, si el intelecto es cosa divina en comparación con el hombre, la vida conforme a éste será divina comparada con la vida humana...»{10}

Abundando en la visión de Aristóteles, proponemos que la contemplación a la que se refiere, es un estado de conciencia, el único que nos permite acceder a las dimensiones de lo divino. De manera que el ser humano puede experimentar una graduación en sus niveles de conciencia, de acuerdo a la pureza de la actividad que ejecute. El estado contemplativo se correspondería con el más alto dominio consciente en el individuo, aquél que le conduciría a la sabiduría de Dios. Aristóteles asigna al hombre sabio la posibilidad de instalarse en esta virtud suprema de la Contemplación y le señala como el tipo de ser humano más perfecto, capaz de desarrollar la actividad que da acceso a la Felicidad última.

Ya nadie duda de la presencia de algo divino, que poco tiene que ver con intereses religiosos. Pero hay una pregunta que ha rondado nuestras cabezas durante toda la lectura de Ética a Nicómaco: ¿dónde ubica Aristóteles esa realidad última o Dios?. Para él, como para la mayor parte de la filosofía occidental contemporánea al autor, no se encuentra en ninguna parte de este mundo. El Dios de Aristóteles es, a nuestro modo de ver y coincidimos plenamente con las palabras del pensador K. Wilber (1998){11}, esencialmente ultramundano y no se halla en esta Tierra. Curiosamente el autor se pasa todo el libro, y toda su vida, en el estudio intramundano para después resultar ser uno de los ascendentistas arquetípicos de Occidente. Un Dios que no está inmanente en ningún dominio manifiesto. El Dios de Aristóteles es un Dios de perfección pura, que no se ensucia las manos con el mundo de lo relativo, quizás porque ello supondría comprometer su plenitud y delatar una ausencia de totalidad. El Estagirita sitúa a Dios en el mundo finito únicamente como aspiración final, como anhelo imposible. El propio Aristóteles, según el filósofo Salvador Pániker (1989){12} «en sus primeros diálogos (hoy perdidos), parece haberse inclinado hacia el pesimismo órfico-pitagórico», que anunciaba la imposibilidad para el hombre de participar de la naturaleza de lo que es verdaderamente excelente, por lo que hubiese sido mejor para él no haber nacido. Planteamientos que, como observamos en su Ética a Nicómaco, fue ligeramente variando gracias a un exquisito proyecto del intelecto y su actividad; pero esta idea no llega a ser entendida plenamente, pues se aprecia (véase el texto que reproduzco anteriormente) como el autor compara lo divino con el intelecto y éste formaría parte de nosotros, como lo más perfecto y sublime que tenemos. Pese a lo cual, Dios parece seguir allí y nosotros aquí, sin opción a salvar el abismo. Lo Absoluto y lo relativo.

patanjali.jpgPatánjali también nos habla del Dios último y enfoca la vida del hombre virtuoso y bueno en función de la consecución de una unión con lo divino. Cuando I. K. Taimni (1979){13} cita el primer Sutra de la parte referida a la práctica, justo antes de indicar el óctuple sendero que conduce a lo divino, indica que la entrega a Dios (se considere como se considere a este Dios), junto con la austeridad bien entendida y el estudio de sí mismo (que vienen a coincidir con los pilares de la pauta de conducta aristotélica), son los elementos que constituyen la vida yóguica que conduce a la perfección. Sin embargo, se da el matiz de que la filosofía yóguica oriental, jamás ha permitido que Dios se escape de este mundo de acá abajo y es en él en donde lo habremos de encontrar y abrazar, muy lejos de otras dimensiones no humanas. Es una tendencia generalizada en el pensamiento oriental tratar lo divino de la mano de lo humano. La lucha de contrarios Absoluto-relativo queda solucionada, ni siquiera hay lugar a ella.

Tal y como Aristóteles lo plantea, la imagen del cuerpo como un instrumento del alma es una idea nacida en una época y una cultura determinadas, una tradición y un lenguaje. Hoy consideramos superado este dualismo. Tan noble es el cuerpo como el alma. Porque son lo mismo. Es el reconocimiento implícito de que Dios no sólo es infinito sino también finito. Los filósofos occidentales han necesitado muchos siglos para desembarazarse de la idea rígida de la perfección humana (que es la idea tradicional de Dios) y recuperar el origen «sucio» de lo divino, reconciliando lo supra y lo infra, el espíritu con la materia, lo necesario con lo contingente, lo infinito y lo finito. La mayoría de teólogos todavía no se han enterado de este proceso. Nada exclusivamente finito me merece mucho respeto y ahí me declaro más oriental que occidental.

Pero ahora se nos plantea otra importante reflexión. Si somos coherentes y serios con nuestros planteamientos, igualmente hemos de cuestionar las etapas preliminares del óctuplo sendero en la teoría de Patánjali y nos preguntamos si es necesaria la virtud para caminar hacia lo divino. Encontramos escrito en los Upanishads:

«El Alma es lo Eterno. Está hecha de conciencia y mente: está hecha de vida y visión. Está hecha de tierra y aguas. Está hecha de aire y espacio. Está hecha de luz y oscuridad. Está hecha de deseo y paz. Está hecha de ira y amor. Está hecha de virtud y vicio. Está hecha de todo lo que está cerca. Está hecha de todo lo que está lejos. Esta hecha de todo.»{14}

¿No se encuentra Dios en el virtuoso así como en el pecador? ¿En el fango así como en las estrellas? De nuevo lo finito y lo infinito. Lo místico y lo sensual. Arriba y abajo. ¿Y lo divino? ¿Aristóteles y Patánjali? ¿Qué hacer?

En todo esto consiste el filosofar. Sucede que cada cual explora la realidad como mejor sabe y puede. De un lado, los místicos de Oriente, de otro el pragmatismo occidental. Cada observador construye su mundo. Dice Salvador Pániker (2000){15} que uno opta por el Dios-cómplice, o la complicidad divina, porque nos hace sentir en el mundo como en nuestra casa. Cada cual inventa al Dios-cómplice en su soledad. Y no podemos olvidar que la verdad construida por cada uno comporta el respeto a la verdad elaborada por el prójimo. Oriente y Occidente. El mismo fin y diferentes maneras de andar.

Consecuentemente, la Felicidad última de la que tratan Patánjali y Aristóteles, que es Dios, se nos ocurre que podríamos no buscarla fuera de nosotros mismos porque, quizás, ya la tengamos dentro. La hemos tenido siempre a nuestro lado, la entendamos como la entendamos, seamos como seamos. Ella está ahí, esperando paciente que la reconozcamos, que nos convirtamos en ella. Microcosmos y macrocosmos. El disfraz de Dios jugando consigo mismo a través de la eternidad.

Que cada individuo maquine su propia filosofía.

Notas

{1} J. N. Dasgupta, History of Mankind. Cultural and Scientific Development, Unesco, 1963.

{2} Breves textos de naturaleza filosófica, cronológicamente situados más allá del 600 a. de C. Los principales Upanishads son catorce. Los más antiguos escritos en prosa y relativamente largos. Algo posteriores, hacia el 500 a. de C. y más breves aparecen en verso. El lenguaje es clasificado como sánscrito.

{3} A. Watts, El futuro del éxtasis, Ed. Kairós, Barcelona 1995, pág. 170.

{4} Permítaseme generalizar lo «oriental» y lo «occidental» a lo largo de todo el texto, a sabiendas de que cada individuo es un sistema diferente de pensamiento.

{5} Liturgias en prosa de estilo seco, abstrusas y tortuosas con una cronología que se remonta al primer cuarto del primer milenio antes de Cristo.

{6} La escrituras más antiguas de la India, de origen desconocido. El texto védico fue transmitido oralmente durante decenas de generaciones, de ahí el cuidado que se puso en su correcta pronunciación.

{7} J. L. Calvo Martínez, Ética a Nicómaco, Ed. Alianza, Madrid 2001, pág. 8.

{8} Ibíd., pág. 9.

{9} J. L. Calvo Martínez, Ética a Nicómaco, Ed. Alianza, Madrid 2001, pág. 193.

{10} J. L. Calvo Martínez, Ética a Nicómaco, Ed. Alianza, Madrid 2001, págs. 302 y 303.

{11} K. Wilber, El ojo del espíritu, Ed. Kairós, Barcelona 1998.

{12} Salvador Pániker, Aproximación al origen, Ed. Kairós, Barcelona 1989.

{13} I. K. Taimni, La ciencia de la yoga. Comentarios a los YogaSutras de Patánjali, Ed. Rio Negro, Federación Teosófica Interamericana, 1979. Libro Segundo, pág. 129.

{14} Trad. de J. Mascaro, Himalayas of the Soul, Translations from the Sanskrit of the Principal Upanishads, Londres y Nueva York 1938, pág. 89.

{15} Salvador Pániker, Cuaderno Amarillo, Ed. Areté, Barcelona 2000.

mercredi, 24 avril 2019

Modi-Poutine: alliance stratégique ?

Modi_putin_.jpg

Modi-Poutine: alliance stratégique ?

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

L'on avait déjà noté que l'Inde et la Russie s'étaient mises d'accord sur une certaine convergence stratégique, associant d'ailleurs la Chine, au sein du BRICS. Il en résulte que l'Inde ne partage pas vraiment les objectifs américains au Moyen-Orient.
Ceci n'a d'ailleurs pas empêché l'Inde, sous la présidence de Narendra Modi, d'accepter les pressions américaines au plan international et dans le même temps de faire un large appel aux importations d'armes venant du complexe militaro-industriel des Etats-Unis.

Il reste que l'on a été surpris de voir l'Inde accepter un décret de Vladimir Poutine conférant à Modi la plus haute distinction honorifique russe. Il s'agit de la promotion dans l'Ordre de St André l'Apôtre dit en anglais Order of St Andrew the Apostle the First-Called. Cette distinction avait été abolie sous le régime soviétique et rétablie en 1998. Modi est le premier chef d'Etat occidental à recevoir cette distinction. Les observateurs considèrent que cette distinction, loin d'affaiblir l'audience politique de Modi en Inde, contribuera grandement à augmenter ses chances dans les futures « élections présidentielles.

Le décret russe indique que Modi a été décoré pour les services exceptionnels qu'il a apporté au partenariat stratégique entre l'Inde et la Russie, ainsi que pour le développement des relations amicales entre les deux peuples. Modi en retour a remercié Poutine avec une effusion remarquée. « Je suis très honoré de recevoir cette distinction prestigieuse. « J'en remercie le président Poutine et le peuple russe. Les racines de l'amitié entre la Russie et l'Inde sont anciennes et profondes. L'avenir de notre partenariat est brillant. Celui-ci avait déjà apporté à nos citoyens respectifs de nombreuses retombées positives.

Les observateurs extérieurs, notamment à Washington, ont été surpris de voir les témoignages de reconnaissance de Narendra Modià l'égard du président russe. Ils ont été plus encore surpris de voir Vladimir Poutine interférer, certes indirectement, mais d'une façon pouvant être lourde de conséquences, dans le processus électoral intéressant un chef d'Etat extérieur. Il avait toujours tenu a éviter de telles interventions officielles.

Rappelons cependant que Modi avait pris certains risques en acceptant l'acquisition de missiles russes de défense S-400 pour un montant de 6 milliards de dollars. Il négocie actuellement par ailleurs la mise en place d'une devise autre que le dollar pour les transactions avec la Russie.

Image Narendra Modi et Vladimir Poutine en 2018
 

jeudi, 08 novembre 2018

Russia, India & Iran Want to Create Alternative Trade Route to Suez Canal

géopolitique,caucase,iran,inde,russie,canaux,canal de suez,géostratégie,politique internationale,actualité,europe,affaires européennes

Russia, India & Iran Want to Create Alternative Trade Route to Suez Canal

mercredi, 10 octobre 2018

La volte-face de l’Inde anéantit la stratégie «quadrilatérale» anti-chinoise de Trump

paradeiar.jpg

La volte-face de l’Inde anéantit la stratégie «quadrilatérale» anti-chinoise de Trump

Ex: http://www.zejournal.mobi

Un changement de politique étrangère de l’Inde la semaine dernière a désintégré la stratégie de l’administration Trump contre la Russie et la Chine. Le traitement de l’Inde par les médias américains va changer. Le gouvernement indien de Narendra Modi va essuyer un feu nourri d’attaques propagandistes.

Il y a deux semaines, la Revue hebdomadaire de Moon of Alabamas’intéressait à l’accord véreux que Modi, le fondamentaliste hindou qui est président de l’Inde, a conclu sur l’avion de combat Rafale:

En résumé : Le gouvernement précédent avait signé un contrat avec la société française Dassault pour l’achat de 126 Rafales pour 10,6 milliards de dollars. 30% du prix devait être rétrocédé par Dassault à l’avionneur d’État indien HAL pour assembler la plus grande partie des avions.

Modi s’est envolé pour Paris et a changé l’accord à l’insu de son cabinet et de l’armée de son pays. L’Inde n’aura plus que 36 Rafales mais ils lui coûteront 8,7 milliards de dollars. 30% de l’argent sera rétrocédé à une société indienne privée appartenant au groupe privé Reliance, menacé de faillite, pour des projets sans aucun rapport, et sans transfert de savoir-faire.

On ne sait pas encore combien d’argent Reliance, qui appartenait à la famille Ambani, autrefois très riche, devait reverser à Modi et à son parti. Depuis que tout cela a fuité, Il y a des appels à la démission de Modi, mais il est peu probable qu’il le fasse.

Mon article était basé sur le gros travail de recherche du Caravan Magazin et je citais ma source. Aujourd’hui, le New York Times a repris l’histoire : Avec le « douteux » contrat sur les avions de combat, l’opposition indienne parvient à déstabiliser Modi. L’ « article récapitulatif » du New York Times a deux semaines de retard sur la révélation de l’accord véreux par Caravan, qu’il ne cite même pas, et il n’apporte rien de nouveau.

La question est donc : Pourquoi sort-il maintenant ?

Les États-Unis avaient espéré qu’ils pourraient attirer l’Inde, traditionnellement non alignée, dans leur camp et l’utiliser dans leurs guerres stratégiques contre la Chine, la Russie et l’Iran. La Stratégie quadrilatérale d’une alliance indo-pacifique du Japon, de l’Australie et de l’Inde sous la direction des États-Unis a été conclue il y a un an, soi-disant pour mettre en place un « ordre fondé sur le droit » qui permettrait aux États-Unis de décider de ce que la Chine (et les autres pays) auraient le droit de faire dans le bassin indo-pacifique.

Les détracteurs du gouvernement Modi n’ont pas apprécié du tout le rôle subordonné que la fière Inde était censée jouer dans cet accord.

Puis, le Congrès américain, par le biais de la loi intitulée Acte pour contrer les adversaires de l’Amérique au moyen de sanctions (CAATSA), a menacé l’Inde de sanctions si elle achetait les systèmes russes S-400 de défense aérienne. Trump la menace également de sanctions si elle achète de pétrole iranien.

Les critiques intérieures contre la stratégie de Modi se sont intensifiées. Le scandale des Rafales a ajouté à la pression. Après quelques hésitations, Modi a finalement changé de cap.

La semaine dernière, le président Poutine s’est rendu en Inde et a signé un certain nombre de contrats importants. L’Inde achètera 5 exemplaires (40 lanceurs) du système S-400 pour 5 milliards de dollars. En outre, les deux parties ont conclu un accord pour la construction de 6 réacteurs nucléaires supplémentaires par des entreprises russes en Inde. (Deux réacteurs russes sont déjà en service en Inde et deux autres sont en construction). Les réacteurs valent environ 20 milliards de dollars chacun et seront construits au cours de la prochaine décennie. Rosneft a signé un accord de dix ans pour fournir à l’Inde 10 millions de tonnes de pétrole par an. Il y a aussi quelques autres nouveaux accords .

Les allusions que ces dirigeants ont faites, lors de cette rencontre au sommet, au multilatéralisme, ainsi que leur déclaration commune, ont été ressenties par Trump comme un coup de pied au cul. L’ancien ambassadeur indien M. K. Bhadrakumar écrit sur son blog Indian Punchline :

Nous semblons avoir jeté aux oubliettes l’idée du « Quadrilatère » de l’administration Trump, qui était, bien sûr, une tentative à peine déguisée de créer un système d’alliance dirigé par les Etats-Unis dans la région Asie-Pacifique pour isoler la Chine dans sa propre région. L’Inde prend ses distances par rapport à cette entreprise.

Dans un article plus approfondi, Bhadrakumar développe la vision indienne :

Il faut prendre en compte toutes les évolutions internationales pour adapter notre réponse. Il nous faut notamment prendre en compte les progrès de la relation entre la Chine et la Russie plutôt que de les regarder avec scepticisme. L’entente croissante entre ces deux pays signifie que la stratégie américaine visant à les diviser et à les combattre séparément – la Chine sur le champ de bataille du Pacifique et la Russie sur le champ de bataille européen – a échoué. Au contraire, ce qui est en train de se produire, c’est une éviction des États-Unis du Moyen-Orient et de l’Asie du Sud-Est. Washington montre des signes de nervosité. C’est ce qui explique la tentative désespérée des Américains d’attirer l’Inde dans une alliance militaire répondant à ses propres besoins. Ce serait une grosse erreur de croire en un « ordre libéral international » qui n’est, évidemment, qu’un mythe américain. 

Malgré les menaces de sanctions américaines, l’Inde continuera également à acheter du pétrole iranien :

L’Inde achètera 9 millions de barils de pétrole iranien en novembre, selon deux sources dans l’industrie du pétrole, ce qui signifie que le troisième importateur mondial de pétrole continuera à acheter du brut à la république islamique malgré les sanctions américaines qui entreront en vigueur le 4 novembre.

La Chine continuera également à acheter des hydrocarbures à l’Iran. Toutes ces transactions ne se feront évidemment pas en dollars américains, comme autrefois, mais en devises bilatérales ou dans le cadre d’opérations de troc.

Les nouveaux accords indiens avec la Russie, les déclarations prononcées au sommet russo-indien et la poursuite des achats de pétrole à l’Iran constituent d’énormes revers pour les politiques anti-Chine, anti-Russie et anti-Iran de l’administration Trump. La stratégie internationale de Trump pour sauver le « pouvoir unilatéral » des Etats-Unis a échoué à cause de l’indocilité de l’Inde. Et c’est précisément la raison pour laquelle le New York Times attire maintenant l’attention du public sur le scandale de corruption des Rafales et met l’accent sur l’opposition intérieure à Modi.

L’Inde de Modi est maintenant sur la liste américaine officielle des pays maléfiques. Chargez les canons de la propagande ! Il est temps de changer son régime.

Traduction : Dominique Muselet

mercredi, 03 octobre 2018

The Geopolitics of India: A Shifting, Self-Contained World

India_topo.jpg

The Geopolitics of India: A Shifting, Self-Contained World

Ex: https://www.geopolitica.ru

Editor's Note

This is the fifth in a series of Stratfor monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs. It was originally published on Dec. 16, 2008.

The geopolitics of India must be considered in the geographical context of the Indian subcontinent — a self-contained region that includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and, depending how one defines it, Nepal and Bhutan. We call the subcontinent "self-contained" because it is a region that is isolated on all sides by difficult terrain or by ocean. In geopolitical terms it is, in effect, an island.

This "island" is surrounded on the southeast, south and southwest by the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. To the west, it is isolated by mountains that rise from the Arabian Sea and run through Pakistan's Baluchistan province, stretching northward and rising higher and higher to the northwestern corner of Pakistan. There, at the Hindu Kush, the mountain chain swings east, connecting with the Pamir and Karakoram ranges. These finally become the Himalayas, which sweep southeast some 2,000 miles to the border of Myanmar, where the Rakhine Mountains emerge, and from there south to India's border with Bangladesh and to the Bay of Bengal. The Rakhine are difficult terrain not because they are high but because, particularly in the south, they are covered with dense jungle.

The Geography of the Subcontinent

The subcontinent physically divides into four parts:

                        The mountainous frame that stretches in an arc from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal.

                        The North Indian Plain, stretching from Delhi southeast through the Ganges River delta to the Myanmar border, and from the Himalayas in the north to the southern hills.

                        The Indian Peninsula, which juts southward into the Indian Ocean, consisting of a variety of terrain but primarily hilly.

                        The deserts in the west between the North Indian Plain and Pakistan's Indus River Valley.

Pakistan occupies the western region of the subcontinent and is based around the Indus Valley. It is separated from India proper by fairly impassable desert and by swamps in the south, leaving only Punjab, in the central part of the country, as a point of contact. Pakistan is the major modern-day remnant of Muslim rule over medieval India, and the country's southwest is the region first occupied by Arab Muslims invading from what is today southwestern Iran and southern Afghanistan.

The third major state in the subcontinent is the Muslim-majority Ganges delta state of Bangladesh, which occupies the area southeast of Nepal. Situated mainly at sea level, Bangladesh is constantly vulnerable to inundations from the Bay of Bengal. The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan rest on the heights of the Himalayas themselves, and therefore on the edge of the subcontinent. There is also a small east-west corridor between Nepal and Bangladesh connecting the bulk of India to its restive northeastern states and its eastern border with Myanmar. In this region is India's easternmost state, Arunachal Pradesh, whose territory is also claimed by China.

The bulk of India's population lives on the northern plain. This area of highest population density is the Indian heartland. It runs through the area around Lahore, spreading northwest into Pakistan and intermittently to Kabul in Afghanistan, and also stretching east into Bangladesh and to the Myanmar border. It is not, however, the only population center. Peninsular India also has an irregular pattern of intense population, with lightly settled areas intermingling with heavily settled areas. This pattern primarily has to do with the availability of water and the quality of soil. Wherever both are available in sufficient quantity, India's population accumulates and grows.

India is frequently compared geographically to non-Russian Europe because both are peninsulas jutting out of the Eurasian land mass. They have had radically different patterns of development, however.

The Europeans developed long-standing and highly differentiated populations and cultures, which evolved into separate nation-states such as Spain, France, Germany and Poland. Their precise frontiers and even independence have varied over time, but the distinctions have been present for centuries — in many cases predating the Roman Empire. The Indian subcontinent, on the other hand, historically has been highly fragmented but also fluid (except when conquered from the outside). Over fairly short periods of time, the internal political boundaries have been known to shift dramatically.

The reason for the difference is fairly simple. Europe is filled with internal geographic barriers: The Alps and Pyrenees and Carpathians present natural boundaries and defensive lines, and numerous rivers and forests supplement these. These give Europe a number of permanent, built-in divisions, with defined political entities and clear areas of conflict. India lacks such definitive features. There are no internal fortresses in the Indian subcontinent, except perhaps for the Thar Desert.

Instead, India's internal divisions are defined by its river systems: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Narmada and so on. All of India's major cities are centered around one of these river systems, a fact that has been instrumental in the rise of so many distinct cultures in India — Punjabis, Gujaratis, Marathis, Tamils and others — which have manifested in modern times as states within India. That said, Indian nationalism is very strong and counters the separatist tendencies. There is a balance between a strong central governance and substantial regional autonomy.

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What is permanent in the subcontinent is the frame, the mountains, and beyond these the wastelands. We can see this most clearly when looking at the population distribution of the surrounding regions. The subcontinent is isolated as a population center, surrounded by comparatively empty regions. It is not only a question of the mountains around it, although those are substantial barriers; the terrain beyond the mountains in every direction is sparsely populated, and in many ways its resources are insufficient to support a sizable, sedentary civilization. As a result, India has rarely demonstrated an appetite for adventurism beyond the subcontinent. If India can find a way to manage Pakistan and Bangladesh, there is little pressure to do anything more.

India's Geopolitical Imperatives

The geography of the subcontinent constrains the behavior of governments that arise there. If there is to be an independent India, and if it is to be a stable and secure nation-state, it must do the following things:

Geopolitical Imperatives

                        Achieve suzerainty in the Ganges River basin. The broad, braided plains of the Ganges basin are among the most fertile in the world and guarantee a massive population. India must become the premier power in this heartland. This does not mean that such power must be wielded by a unified, centralized authority. A coalition of powers can be functional, and even somewhat hostile powers such as Bangladesh can be tolerated so long as they do not challenge India's authority or security.

                        Expand throughout the core of the subcontinent until it reaches all natural barriers. Forests, hills and rivers aside, there is little else in the confines of the subcontinent that limits India's writ. "Control" of the additional territories can be a somewhat informal and loose affair. The sheer population of the Ganges basin really requires only that no foreign entity be allowed to amass a force capable of overwhelming the Ganges region.

                        Advance past the patch of land separating the Ganges basin from the Indus River basin and dominate the Indus region (meaning Pakistan). The Indus Valley is the only other significant real estate within reach of India, and the corridor that accesses it is the only viable land invasion route into India proper. (Modern India has not achieved this objective, with implications that will be discussed below.)

                        With the entire subcontinent under the control (or at least the influence) of a centralized power, begin building a navy. Given the isolation of the subcontinent, any further Indian expansion is limited to the naval sphere. A robust navy also acts as a restraint upon any outside power that might attempt to penetrate the subcontinent from the sea.

These imperatives shape the behavior of every indigenous Indian government, regardless of its ideology or its politics. They are the fundamental drivers that define India as a country, shaped by its unique geography. An Indian government that ignores these imperatives does so at the risk of being replaced by another entity — whether indigenous or foreign — that understands them better.

A History of External Domination

India's geopolitical reality — relative isolation from the outside world, a lack of imposed boundaries, the immense population and the dynamic of a central government facing a vast region — has created localized systems that shift constantly, resist central authority, and ultimately cannot be organized into a coherent whole, either by foreign occupiers or by a native government. It is a landscape of shifting political entities, constantly struggling against each other or allying with each other, amid an endless kaleidoscope of political entities and coalitions. This divided landscape historically has created opportunities for foreign powers to divide India and conquer it — and indeed, the subcontinent was under foreign domination from the 11th century until 1947.

Externally, the threats to India historically have come from the passes along the Afghan-Pakistani border and from the sea. India's solution to both threats has been to accommodate them rather than resist directly, while using the complexity of Indian society to maintain a distance from the conqueror and preserve the cultural integrity of India. (In a sense, Mahatma Gandhi's strategy of nonviolent resistance represents the foundation of India's historical strategy, although the historical basis for Indian nonviolent resistance has been more commercial than ethical.) But essentially, India's isolation, coupled with its great population, allows it to maintain a more or less independent foreign policy and balance itself between great powers.

Between the 11th and 18th centuries, India was ruled by Muslims. The first invasion occupied the area of what is today Pakistan. Over the centuries — under various rulers and dynasties, particularly the Mughals — Muslims expanded their power until they dominated much of India. But that domination was peculiar, because the Muslims did not conquer the Hindus outright. Except in the area west of the Thar Desert and the Ganges delta, they did not convert masses of Indians to their religion. What they did was take advantage of the underlying disunity of India to create coalitions of native powers prepared to cooperate with the invaders. The urge to convert Hindus to Islam was secondary to the urge to exploit India's wealth. Political and military power was a means toward this end, rather than toward conversion, and because of this, the Hindus were prepared to collaborate. In the end, the Indians' internal tensions were greater than their resentment of outsiders.

European powers followed the Muslims into India en masse. Unlike the Muslims, they arrived from the sea, but like the Muslims, their primary motive was economic, and they sought political power as a means toward economic ends. The British, the most permanent European presence in the subcontinent, used India's internal tensions to solidify their own position. They did not conquer India so much as they managed the internal conflicts to their advantage.

What was left behind when the British departed was the same sea of complex and shifting divisions that had defined India before they came. Most of the regions that were Muslim-majority areas became Islamic entities, eventually dividing into Pakistan and Bangladesh. The rest of India was united under a single government, but in a sense, that government ruled in the same way the British had.

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The Geopolitics of Modern India

Modern India has its origins in the collapse of the British Empire. Indeed, it was the loss of India that ultimately doomed the British Empire. The entire focus of imperial Britain, from the Suez Canal to Gibraltar and Singapore, was to maintain the lines of supply to India. Many of the colonies and protectorates around the world secured by Britain in the 19th century were designed to provide coaling stations to and from India. In short, the architecture of the British Empire was built around India, and once India was lost, the purpose of that architecture dissolved as well. The historical importance of India could not be overestimated. Lenin once referred to it as the supply depot of humanity — which overstated the case perhaps, but did not overstate India's importance to Britain.

The British gave up India for several reasons, the most important of which was commercial: The cost of controlling India had outstripped the value derived. This happened in two ways. The first was that the cost of maintaining control of the sea-lanes became prohibitive. After World War II, the Royal Navy was far from a global navy. That role had been taken over by the United States, which did not have an interest in supporting British control of India. As was seen in the Suez crisis of 1956, when the British and French tried to block Egyptian nationalization of the canal, the United States was unprepared to support or underwrite British access to its colonies (and the United States had made this clear during World War II as well). Second, the cost of controlling India had soared. Indigenous political movements had increased friction in India, and that friction had increased the cost of exploiting India's resources. As the economics shifted, the geopolitical reality did as well.

The independence of India resulted in the unification of the country under an authentically Indian government. It also led to the political subdivision of the subcontinent. The Muslim-majority areas — the Indus Valley region west and northwest of the Thar Desert, and the Ganges River basin — both seceded from India, forming a separate country that itself later split into modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. It was this separatism that came to frame Indian geopolitics.

India and Pakistan, for the bulk of their mutual existence, have had an adversarial relationship. For a long time, the Indian sentiment was that Pakistan's separation from India could have been avoided. This attitude, coupled with Pakistan's own geographic, demographic and economic inferiority, has forced Islamabad to craft its entire foreign policy around the threat from India. As a result, the two sides have fought four wars, mostly over Kashmir, along with one that resulted in the hiving off of Bangladesh.

As noted earlier, the Indian heartland is the northern plain of the Ganges River basin. This plain is separated from Pakistan's heartland, the Indus Valley, only by a small saddle of easily traversed land; fewer than 200 miles separate the two rivers. If India is to have any ambition in terms of expansion on land, the Indus is the only option available — all other routes end either in barriers or in near-wasteland. Meanwhile, the closeness — and sheer overwhelming size — of India is central to Pakistan's mind-set. The two are locked into rivalry.

China and the Himalayan Wall

Apart from this enmity, however, modern India has faced little in the way of existential threats. On its side of the mountain wall, there are two states, Nepal and Bhutan, which pose no threat to it. On the other side lies China.

China has been seen as a threat to India, and simplistic models show them to be potential rivals. In fact, however, China and India might as well be on different planets. Their entire frontier runs through the highest elevations of the Himalayas. It would be impossible for a substantial army to fight its way through the few passes that exist, and it would be utterly impossible for either country to sustain an army there in the long term. The two countries are irrevocably walled off from each other. The only major direct clash between Indian and Chinese forces, which occurred in 1962, was an inconclusive battle over border territories high in the mountains — both in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Kashmiri border region of Aksai Chin — that could lead nowhere.

A potential geopolitical shift would come if the status of Tibet changed, however. China's main population centers are surrounded by buffer states — Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet. So long as all are in Chinese hands, the core of China is invulnerable to land attack. If, however, Tibet were to become independent, and if it allied with India, and if it permitted India to base substantial forces in its territory and to build major supply infrastructure there, then — and only then — India could be a threat to China. This is why the Indians for a long time championed the Dalai Lama and Tibetan independence movements, and why the Chinese until fairly recently regarded this as a major threat. Had a pro-Indian, independent government been installed in Tibet, the threat to China would be significant. Because New Delhi held open the option of supporting Tibetan independence, Beijing saw the Indians as engaged in developing a threat to China.

The Chinese tried to develop equivalent threats in India, particularly in the form of Maoist communist insurgencies. Indian Maoists (Naxalites) and Nepalese Maoists have been supported by Beijing, though that support is no longer what it used to be. The Chinese have lost interest in aggressive Maoism, but they do have an interest in maintaining influence in Nepal, where the Maoists recently increased their power through electoral gains. This is China's counter to India's Tibet policy.

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But for both, this is merely fencing. Neither would be in a position militarily to exploit an opening. Stationing sufficient force in Tibet to challenge the Chinese People's Liberation Army would outstrip India's resources, and for little purpose. Using Nepal as a base from which to invade India would be similarly difficult and pointless for Beijing. At the moment, therefore, there is no Indo-Chinese geopolitical hostility. However, these would be points of friction if such hostility were to occur in the distant future.

Russia, the United States and Pakistan

In the absence of direct external threats, modern India's strategic outlook has been shaped by the dynamics of the Cold War and its aftermath. The most important strategic relationship that India had after gaining independence from Britain in 1947 was with the Soviet Union. There was some limited ideological affinity between them. India's fundamental national interest was not in Marxism, however, but in creating a state that was secure against a new round of imperialism. The Soviets and Americans were engaged in a massive global competition, and India was inevitably a prize. It was a prize that the Soviets could not easily take: The Soviets had neither an overland route to India nor a navy that could reach it.

The United States, however, did have a navy. The Indians believed (with good reason) that the United States might well want to replace Britain as a global maritime power, a development that might put India squarely in Washington's sights. The Indians saw in the United States all the same characteristics that had drawn Britain to India. Elsewhere, India saw the United States acting both to hurry the disintegration of the European empires and to fill the ensuing vacuum. India did not want to replace the British with the Americans — its fundamental interest was to retain its internal cohesion and independence. Regardless of American intent — which the Indians saw as ambiguous — American capability was very real, and from the beginning the Indians sought to block it.

For the Indians, the solution was a relationship, if not quite an alliance, with the Soviet Union. The Soviets could provide economic aid and military hardware, as well as a potential nuclear umbrella (or at least nuclear technical assistance). The relationship with the Soviet Union was perfect for the Indians, since they did not see the Soviets as able to impose satellite status on India. From the American point of view, however, there was serious danger in the Indo-Soviet relationship. The United States saw it as potentially threatening U.S. access to the Indian Ocean and lines of supply to the Persian Gulf. If the Soviets were given naval bases in India, or if India were able to construct a navy significant enough to threaten American interests and were willing to act in concert with the Soviets, it would represent a serious strategic challenge to the United States.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States was facing a series of challenges. The British were going to leave Singapore, and the Indonesian independence movement was heavily influenced by the Soviets. The Egyptians, and therefore the Suez Canal, also were moving into the Soviet camp. If India became a pro-Soviet maritime power, it would simply be one more element along Asia's southern rim threatening U.S. interests. The Americans had to act throughout the region, but they needed to deal with India fast.

The U.S. solution was an alliance with Pakistan. This served two purposes. First, it provided another Muslim counterweight to Nasserite Egypt and left-leaning Arab nationalism. Second, it posed a potential threat to India on land. This would force India to divert resources from naval construction and focus on building ground and air forces to deal with the Pakistanis. For Pakistan, geographically isolated and facing both India and a not-very-distant Russia, the relationship with the United States was a godsend.

It also created a very complex geographical situation.

The Soviet Union did not directly abut Pakistan — the two were separated by a narrow strip of territory in the northeasternmost confines of Afghanistan known as the Wakhan Corridor. The Soviets could not seriously threaten Pakistan from that direction, but the U.S. relationship with Pakistan made Afghanistan a permanent Soviet interest (with full encouragement of the Indians, who wanted Pakistan bracketed on both sides). The Soviets did not make a direct move into Afghanistan until late 1979, but well before then they tried to influence the direction of the Afghans — and after moving, they posed a direct threat to Pakistan.

China, on the other hand, did border on Pakistan and developed an interest there. The aforementioned Himalayan clash in 1962 did not involve only India and China. It also involved the Soviets. India and China were both putatively allied with the Soviet Union. What was not well known at the time was that Sino-Soviet relations had deteriorated. The Chinese were very suspicious of Soviet intentions and saw Moscow's relationship with New Delhi as potentially an alliance against China. Like the Americans, the Chinese were uneasy about the Indo-Soviet relationship. Therefore, China also moved to aid Pakistan. It was a situation as tangled as the geography, with Maoist China and the United States backing the military dictatorship of Pakistan and the Soviets backing democratic India.

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From the Indian point of view, the borderland between Pakistan and China — that is, Kashmir — then became a strategically critical matter of fundamental national interest. The more of Kashmir that India held, the less viable was the Sino-Pakistani relationship. Whatever emotional attachment India might have had to Kashmir, Indian control of at least part of the region gave it control over the axis of a possible Pakistani threat and placed limits on Chinese assistance. Thus, Kashmir became an ideological and strategic issue for the Indians.

Shifting Alliances and Enduring Interests

In 1992, India's strategic environment shifted: The Soviet Union collapsed, and India lost its counterweight to the United States. Uncomfortable in a world that had no balancing power to the United States, but lacking options of its own, India became inward and cautious. It observed uneasily the rise of the pro-Pakistani Taliban government in Afghanistan — replacing the Indian-allied Soviets — but it lacked the power to do anything significant. The indifference of the United States and its continued relationship with Pakistan were particularly troubling to India.

Then, 2001 was a clarifying year in which the balance shifted again. The attack on the United States by al Qaeda threw the United States into conflict with the Taliban. More important, it strained the American relationship with Pakistan almost to the breaking point. The threat posed to India by Kashmiri groups paralleled the threat to the United States by al Qaeda. American and Indian interests suddenly were aligned. Both wanted Pakistan to be more aggressive against radical Islamist groups. Neither wanted further development of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Both were happy to be confronting the Pakistanis with more and more aggressive demands.

The realignment of Indian relations with the United States did not represent a fundamental shift in Indian geopolitics, however. India continues to be an island contained by a ring of mountains. Its primary interest remains its own unity, something that is always at risk due to the internal geography of the subcontinent. It has one enemy on the island with it, but not one that poses a significant threat — there is no danger of a new generation of Muslim princes entering from Pakistan to occupy the Indian plain. Ideally, New Delhi wants to see a Pakistan that is fragmented, or at least able to be controlled. Toward this end, it will work with any power that has a common interest and has no interest in invading India. For the moment, that is the United States, but the alliance is one of convenience.

India will go with the flow, but given its mountainous enclosure it will feel little of the flow. Outside its region, India has no major strategic interests — though it would be happy to see a devolution of Tibet from China if that carried no risk to India, and it is always interested in the possibility of increasing its own naval power (but never at the cost of seriously reshaping its economy). India's fundamental interest will always come from within — from its endless, shifting array of regional interests, ethnic groups and powers. The modern Indian republic governs India. And that is more important than any other fact in India.

vendredi, 04 mai 2018

Rencontre de Wuhan. Étonnant silence des gouvernements européens

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Rencontre de Wuhan. Étonnant silence des gouvernements européens

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu
 
Un événement dont les conséquences géostratégiques, en Asie comme dans le monde, pourraient être très importantes, s'est tenu dans la ville de Wuhan, ( https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuhan) en Chine centrale, les 4 et 5 mai 2018.

Le président chinois Xi Jinping et le premier ministre indien Narendra Modi y ont eu une rencontre de deux jours présentée comme « informelle ». Mais manifestement elle a été prise très au sérieux par les gouvernements respectifs, comme en témoigne les articles citées ci-dessous en référence, et auxquels nous conseillons de se reporter.

On se souvient que longtemps l'Inde et la Chine avaient entretenu de bons rapports, comme en témoigne le rôle qu'elles avaient eu, conjointement avec la Russie, pour la mise en place de l'accord du BRIC. Mais c'en était trop pour Washington. Le maintien de l'Inde dans sa sphère d'influence était, vu l'importance du sous-continent indien, essentiel. Un changement de présidence, très largement favorisé par les dollars et les pressions de la CIA, avait conduit à la présidence Narendra Modi, membre du parti nationaliste hindou Bharatiya Janata Party. Modi, qui devait beaucoup à Washington avait multiplié les gestes de bonne entente à l'égard des Etats-Unis. Il avait aussi, malgré une volonté affichée d'encourager l'industrie indienne, notamment dans le domaine militaire, laissé le complexe militaro-industriel américain récupérer des positions stratégiques, qu'il n'a pas perdues depuis.

Cependant, la montée en puissance de la Chine et l'aggravation des problèmes économiques de l'Inde, notamment dans les domaines agricole, urbain et des infrastructures de transport, a changé la donne. La Chine n'aurait aucun intérêt à annexer en quoi que ce soit l'Inde. Elle a assez de difficultés à résoudre pour son propre compte. Quelques heurts de frontière très grossis par les nationalistes dans les deux pays, ne changeront rien à cela. Par contre l'Inde aura beaucoup à gagner d'investissements financiers et industriels chinois dont ses propres intérêts économiques espèrent devenir partenaires. Quant à la Chine, son principal objectif sera d'éviter que l'Inde ne retombe sous l'influence américaine. Voir le sous-continent devenir un abri pour la marine et l'aviation des Etats-Unis serait catastrophique.

Manifestement, bien que Xi et Modi n'en aient pas dit grand chose à ce jour précis, la rencontre entre les deux chefs d'Etat a permis d'envisager de nombreux domaines de coopération réciproque sur le modèle gagnant-gagnant. La possibilité pour l'Inde de s'intégrer dans le vaste programme chinois dit OBOR, Nouvelle route de la soie, terrestre et maritime, permettra notamment de désenclaver une Inde plus isolée géographiquement qu'il n'apparait à la lecture de la carte.

On comprend dans ces conditions que ni les gouvernements « occidentaux » ni les médias à leur service n'aient guère faits de commentaires à cette rencontre. Si l'Europe reste sous l'influence atlantique, elle perdra l'occasion de s'intégrer avec succès dans le vaste ensemble indo-asiatique en train de se mettre en place. Emmanuel Macron espère peut-être permettre à la France  de jouer un rôle dans cette perspective. Encore faudrait-il qu'il se dégage des intérêts américains qui ont joué un grand rôle dans son élection. 

Références

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2018/05/02/guns-vs-...

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1100289.shtml

* Voir aussi, en français (à lire avec du recul) Le Monde http://abonnes.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/04/3...

 

mardi, 27 février 2018

Iran and India: Belt and Road by Another Name

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Iran and India: Belt and Road by Another Name

Don’t tell the Iran hawks in D.C., isolating Iran won’t work.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi this week and the two signed a multitude of agreements.

The most important of which is India’s leasing of part of the Iranian port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman.  This deal further strengthens India’s ability to access central Asian markets while bypassing the Pakistani port at Gwadar, now under renovation by China as part of CPEC – China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

CPEC is part of China’s far bigger One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR), its ambitious plan to link the Far East with Western Europe and everyone else in between.  OBOR has dozens of moving parts with its current focus on upgrading the transport infrastructure of India’s rival Pakistan while Russia works with Iran on upgrading its rail lines across its vast central plateaus as well as those moving south into Iran.

India is investing in Iran’s rails starting at Chabahar and moving north.

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Just Part of the Much-Needed Rail Upgrade Iran Needs to Connect it to India

Chabahar has long been a development goal for Russia, Iran and India.  The North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) was put on paper way back when Putin first took office (2002). And various parts of it have been completed.  The full rail route linking Chabahar into the rest of Iran’s rail network, however, has not been completed.

The first leg, to the eastern city of Zahedan is complete and the next leg will take it to Mashhad, near the Turkmenistan border.  These two cities are crucial to India finding ways into Central Asia while not looking like they are partaking in OBOR.

Also, from Zahedan, work can now start on the 160+ mile line to Zaranj, Afghanistan.

The recent deal between Iran and India for engines and railcars to run on this line underscores these developments.  So, today’s announcements are the next logical step.

The U.S. Spectre

As these rail projects get completed the geopolitical imperatives for the U.S. and it’s anti-Iranian echo chamber become more actute.  India, especially under Modi, has been trying to walk a fine line between doing what is obviously in its long-term best interest, deepening its ties with Iran, while doing so without incurring the wrath of Washington D.C.

India is trapped between Iran to the west and China to the east when it comes to the U.S.’s central Asian policy of sowing chaos to keep everyone down, otherwise known as the Brzezinski Doctrine.

India has to choose its own path towards central Asian integration while nominally rejecting OBOR. It was one of the few countries to not send a high-ranking government official to last year’s massive OBOR Conference along with the U.S.

So, it virtue signals that it won’t work with China and Pakistan.  It’s easy to do since these are both open wounds on a number of fronts.  While at the same time making multi-billion investments into Iran’s infrastructure to open up freight trade and energy supply for itself.

All of which, by the way, materially helps both China’s and Pakistan’s ambitions int the region.

So much of the NTSC’s slow development can be traced to the patchwork of economic sanctions placed on both Russia and Iran by the U.S. over the past ten years.  These have forced countries and companies to invest capital inefficiently to avoid running afoul of the U.S.

The current deals signed by Rouhani and Modi will be paid for directly in Indian rupees.  This is to ensure that the money can actually be used in case President Trump decertifies the JCPOA and slaps new sanctions on Iran, kicking it, again, out of the SWIFT international payment system.

Given the currency instability in Iran, getting hold of rupees is a win.  But, looking at the rupee as a relatively ‘hard’ currency should tell you just how difficult it was for Iran to function without access to SWIFT from 2012 to 2015.

Remember, that without India paying for Iranian oil in everything from washing machines to gold (laundered through Turkish banks), Iran would not have survived that period.

Don’t kid yourself.  The U.S. doesn’t want to see these projects move forward.  Any completed infrastructure linking Iran more fully into the fabric of central Asia is another step towards an economy independent of Western banking influences.

This is the real reason that Israel and Trump want to decertify the Iran nuclear deal.  An economically untethered Iran is something no one in Washington and Tel Aviv wants.

The Fallacy of Control

The reason(s) for this stem from the mistaken belief that the way to ensure Iran’s society evolves the right way, i.e. how we want them to, is to destabilize the theocracy and allow a new government which we have more control over to flourish.

It doesn’t matter that this never works. Punishment of enemies is a dominant neoconservative trait.

When the truth is that the opposite approach is far more likely to produce an Iran less hostile to both Israel and the U.S.  Rouhani is the closest thing to a free-market reformer Iran has produced since the 1979 revolution.  Putting the country on a stronger economic footing is what will loosen the strings of the theocracy.

We’re already seeing that.  Rouhani’s re-election came against record voter turnout and gave him a 57% mandate over a candidate explicitly backed by the mullahs.

That said, there is no magic bullet for solving Iran’s economic problems, which are legion, after years of war both physical and economic.  Inflation is down to just 10%, but unemployment is at depression levels.  It will simply take time.

The recent protests started as purely economic in nature as the people’s patience with Rouhani’s reforms are wearing thin, not because they aren’t for the most part moving things in the right direction, but because they aren’t happening fast enough.

And you can thank U.S. and Israeli policy for that.  Trump’s ‘will-he/won’t-he’ approach to the JCPOA, the open hostility of his administration has the intended effect of retarding investment.

The country’s current economic problems come from a woeful lack of infrastructure thanks to the U.S.’s starving it of outside investment capital for the past seven years alongside a currency collapse.

With the JCPOA in place the investment capital is now just beginning to make its way into the country.  It’s taken nearly three years for the fear of U.S. reprisal to wear off sufficiently to allow significant deals to be reached, like these.

Last summer President Trump began making noise over the JCPOA and John McCain pushed through the sanctions bill that nominally targeted Russia, but actually targeted impending European investment into Iran’s oil and gas sectors.

It didn’t and France’s Total still signed a $4+ billion exploration deal with Iran.  European majors are lined up to do business with Iran but the sanctions bill is stopping them.  And Trump is too much of a mercantilist to see the effects.  Iran is evil and blocking them is good for our oil companies.

Full Stop.

Don’t forget last year’s announcement of a new Iran to India gas pipeline, in a deal facilitated by Russia’s Gazprom to ensure a part of India’s future energy needs.  This was a pipeline project delayed for nearly two decades as the U.S. (and Hillary Clinton) tried to bring gas down from Turkmenistan, the TAPI pipeline, and cut Iran out of the picture.

Both countries have not benefitted from this mutually-beneficial energy trade for more than fifteen years because of U.S. meddling.

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India’s Future Is Iran’s

What this summit between Modi and Rouhani ultimately means is that despite all attempts at intimidation and control, self-interest always wins.  There are too many good reasons for India and Iran to be allies economically.

And despite our increased military presence in both Afghanistan and Syria beyond all rationality, designed to surround and pressure Iran into submission, in the end it won’t work.  India imports 60% of its energy needs.

And while the two countries have been sparring over particulars in developing the important Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf, Rouhani and Modi seem to have created a framework where the two can get a deal done.

On Farzad-B, [Indian Oil Minister] Pradhan said both sides agreed to reove “all the bottlenecks on capex, return (on indina investments) and timeline. We have decided today to reopen and re-engage on all three issues again.”

The oil deal appears to be the most crucial breakthrough since India had reduced Iranian crude imports by a quarter in retaliation for, what officials described as, Iran’s flip-flop over sealing a deal over Farzad-B.

Those words came after Iran cut a better deal for oil exports to India, up to 500,000 more barrels per day, more than doubling 2017’s 370,000 barrels per day.

If Rouhani’s visit can nail down these deals and build further trust between the two countries, he will have moved the ball way down the field for Iran as it pertains to its improving regional relationships with Russia, Turkey and even China.

Because, by getting India to help stabilize Iran’s energy industry and build its transport infrastructure in the east it’s assisting Russia and China’s goals of opening up the former Soviet ‘Stans as well as give them more leverage to craft a security deal in Afghanistan between the Kabul government and the amenable parts of the Taliban.

lundi, 26 février 2018

India and its Strategic Culture

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India and its Strategic Culture
 
Ex: http://www.katehon.com

More often than not, rules of conduct in the international field are formed by historical, cultural, religious and philosophical principles of the people (the elite), rooted in a certain geographical area. The persistence with which the mistress of the seas can boast creating new colonies far away from the Albion coasts can be seen even today: Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas in Argentina), the Commonwealth member-states; the American Frontier Spirit transformed into a relentless desire to conduct democratic reforms in the world, and keenness on the Leo Strauss’s ideas (the scientist himself claiming the need to use double standards) helped several American neoconservatives to fulfill their ideas; Jewish messianism allowed not only the creation of the State of Israel, but also to place the country on the international level.

India also has its own national strategy which, perhaps, is not quite clear to us because of the Hindu world view, although this huge country has a significant number of not only followers of ancient polytheistic tradition and its branch, but also representatives of other cultures and religions: Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, all kind of Christians and Jews (six different religious Judaic groups live in different parts of India, some of them are autochthonous and adopted it in the second half of the XX century).

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With the use of new analysis of the various doctrinal positions, it is possible to understand India's geopolitical strategy through the prism of the strategic culture of the subcontinent, which affects the entire South East of Asia in some way. Why is it important? The British theorist of international relations Professor Ken Booth gave the answer on the issue in the 1970s: “When thinking about the rational behavior of others, strategists tend to project their own cultural values ​​... but it should be apparent that one can only predict the behavior of a ‘rational man’ if both observer and the observed share the similar logical powers. Ethnocentric perception interferes in this process: they may mean that’s one own values and sense of priorities are projected onto others. By this process, ethnocentricity undermines the central act in the strategy of estimating how others will see and then will see and act.”[i]

For Hindus, the ethnocentric worldview is quite acceptable, as Hinduism is a “closed” religion, only Hindus can profess it, so the adoption of tradition is not possible. The Sikhs, having prominent positions in the government, are natives of Hindustan; the monotheistic religion began from the Islam and Hinduism contact as the response to the conflict issue. The special case is the Parsees, concentrating in the Mumbai, but, it’s interesting that the Zoroastrianism is a closed religion too; the proselytism is not recognized by the Indian Parsees. Indian Muslims and Christians are interesting in a particular way, even for external forces, because the general political strategy of the current Indian leadership is still based on the Hindu worldview in its various forms (epos, philosophy, religion, culture).

Another British geopolitical theorist, Colin Gray, involved in the connection of the cultural layers and the State strategy said: “No one and no institution can operate beyond culture”, and then added that "the nature and function of the strategy are unchanging and universal, and dynamic historical form and content are inescapably cultural".[ii]

It is necessary to try to look at the political culture of the country to understand its actions in the international arena, not only in terms of pragmatism, which mainly focuses on the supply and security of energy resources, but also in terms of the worldview.

Mahatma-Gandhi-2.jpgAfter India became independence in 1947, the country was mainly regarded as pacifist, because of the Mahatma Gandhi strategy toward the British colonialists. A non-resistance to evil with violence was popular in the various anti-war movements in Western Europe and particularly in the USA during the Vietnam War. However, Gandhi used the concept of Satyagraha (insistence on truth) as an instrument of political struggle that was not based on national and popular Hindu tradition, but on the eclectic mixture of reformist Hinduism, the Upanishads and Jainism philosophy, promoting prohibition of the living creature’s murder, including harmful insects. The post-colonial heritage is important too. In the 1980s, А. К. Коul of the University of Delhi said that the whole concept of international law was based on the rationale and justification of the lawfulness of the Third World enslavement and plunder, which has been declared uncivilized.[iii] Such a critical approach sought for new ways to solve problems, and Koul introduced the concept of international law, which aimed at solving the problems of underdeveloped countries. He was supported by the international affairs lawyer R. P Anand, noting that "since international law is now supposed to be applicable to the world-wide community of states, including the new Asian-African states, it needs their consent no less. It must be modified to suit new interests and a new community."[iv] Despite the quite reasonable thoughts, ideas of these scientists were not relevant for the era. But now these concepts may well be applied within framework of BRICS.

If you look at India's political transformation, the Constitutional model was borrowed from the USA, and it was developed considering the cultural characteristics of each region (India has 28 states, 21 official languages, and more than 1,600 dialects). The traditional caste system is preserved in fact, but legally all Indians have equal rights and possibilities, the lower castes representatives in the southern states even formed the Dalit Panthers political movement and gathered foreign assistance (incl. Soros foundation and US organizations) for the promotion of their rights.

vajpayee.jpgThroughout the independent state’s history, within Indian political circles, the fluctuation from secularism to traditionalism was also noticeable. Despite this fact, as Stephen Cohen noted, since Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi’s term and then under the Vajpayee’s Indian People's Party there was antagonism in local cultural issues (the previous ruling Congress was secular, whilst Vajpayee’s Party was culturally nationalistic – Hindutva), the international and defense policy remained the same strategic policy[v]. It is worth noting that the Indian People Party (Bharatiya Janata Party), founded in 1980, received special attention from the American analysts, as, during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee term, the relations with the US were improved. The governing of Jawaharlal Nehru, representing the left wing of the Indian National Congress, called the course to achieve a society based on the principle of continuity and the balance of change, its political program was even named the Neruvianism. It consists of supporting national entrepreneurship, protecting it from foreign competition, private sector state regulation, hard control of financial transactions, and, in the public sector, primary development of main heavy industry sectors.[vi]

However, if we are talking about strategic culture, we need to address the historical heritage of the heroic character whose images attract mass consciousness and the national leader’s thought. Therefore, it is necessary to note the central Indian epos, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The first is the story of the struggle between two clans and an eternal cycle of events where many things are already predetermined, and the second one is about the fight of the gods and their assistants against the demons. It is natural that, as the monuments of national literature, through folklore, celebrations and customs, these imperatives entered the life of the population and the elite. Moreover, the strategy development, especially in state governance and war waging, was affected by the famous work Arthashastra written by a famous Indian thinker Kautilya (IV-III c. BC), which served the interests of the Maurya dynasty. Many Indians and even foreign lawyers quote the book and as a model of pre-Roman legal norms code, the traditional law. According to US analyst Rodney Jones, who wrote a lot of works on the Indian strategy, trying to find out the Hindu code to the international relations lock, Kautilya’s advice to the governors consists of the detailed description of the correct usage of power, espionage and poisons (in modern time, it can be regarded as chemical, bacterial or nuclear weapons)[vii]. According to Kautilya, the region is to face military conflicts, therefore, it needs to be prepared for a plot twist and maybe create military alliances with other states. Naturally, in the XX century, Indian politicians took into account this factor too.

Jones himself is the president of the Policy Architects International Company, and before that he spent a lot of time visiting India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, as he was the son of Christian missionaries sent to the countries. In the USA, before establishing his company, Jones graduated from the Columbia University, and he worked as a professor at Kansas State University, and, in the mid-1970s, he carried out research at the Council on Foreign Relations and worked on the security issues in the Carter’s administration. In addition, he worked on arms control at Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International studies. So, in spite of its Western origin, it has in a sense taken his opinion into account.

Jones identifies a number of items that are in fact philosophical and mythological, but are the fundamentals for the strategic culture of India:

1. Sacred things are a part of the Indian identity

2. Objectives are endless and have no deadlines

3. India gained its status, and did not earn it

4. Knowing the truth is the key to action and power

5. World Order is hierarchical, not egalitarian

6. Instrumental meaning

7. Indian appearance is mysterious

8. Personal interest, expressed externally, is impersonal and absolute

9. The contradictions in real life are natural and confirmed

10. Power has its place, but trick can exceed force

11. Actions have consequences; good intention does not justify offense

12. Standards of law prohibit conventional compromise (it is difficult to find the difference, though not mitigated with the quid pro quo)

13. Compromise can be easily mistaken for an internal loss (ephemeral, truth deformation, lack of sovereignty)

14. Confidence is correct knowledge and actions; it is impersonal and difficult to build or to fill in

15. Security is a sit-down (it covers the geographical situation or way of life)

16. Strategy is assimilating (external is changing, reality is constant).

Based on these provisions, Jones proposes to include such categories as war and peace when considering Indian policies. The conflict is directly related to the strategic culture, according to one of the authors of this concept, Alistair Johnston, and the answers on three important questions is at the center of it: war’s role in international relations, the enemies nature and the threats they may pose, and the use of force.[viii] Jones writes that since the 1960’s, India was preparing a defense on two fronts: against Pakistan and China.[ix] The author also notes that until January 2003, the Indian official policy on the use of nuclear weapons stated it is acceptable only if India does not fire first, it must be a response to an attack. This policy was based on India's nuclear doctrine, published in August 1999. However, in 2003, the “Implementation of the Indian nuclear doctrine” stated that nuclear weapons would be used if chemical or biological weapons are used against Indian troops, and, most importantly, even its troops are located outside the Indian territories.[x] The incident in Mumbai, when Islamic Terrorists had successfully crossed the Pakistan border and made a small "jihad" in the economic capital of India, forced the authorities to think about other measures of deterrence and control, including informational systems.

India-vs-Pakistan_Edited.jpg

However, the Pakistan issue is more or less clear. The enemy image fits in this scheme: the Indian conquerors (I do not mean the mythical Aryan invasion, but a particular Muslim army that built in the the Mughal Empire north of India) came from the current northwest territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They had to fight and subdue not only the followers of Hinduism, but also by the adherents of the new syncretic monotheistic religion of the Sikhism, who have their sanctuary in the Golden temple dozens kilometers from the Pakistani border, in Amritsar. If the Muslims invaded Indian lands, the “white colonizers” arrived by sea: the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British controlled the south of Hindustan one after the other, exploiting its natural resources. The China issue is more complicated. Historically, Chinese emperors did not disturb the Indians because of the natural border, the Himalayan mountain range and the impenetrable jungle in the south. Although now India has several territorial disputes with China, or rather China has more claims on India, including the Tibetan Dalai Lama, whose headquarters where we takes shelter is located in the border region, Himachal Pradesh. India is more concerned about water resources: the sources of the Brahmaputra and the Ganga starts in Chinese Tibet.

However, in India there are different points of view on the problematic relations with its neighbors. Kanti Bajpai noted that after the end of the Cold War, India had three branches of possible strategic development. He calls them Nehruvianism, hyperrealism, and neo-liberalism. Bajpai insists that the hyperrealists have the most pessimistic view of international relations: “Where Nehruvians and neoliberals believe that international relations can be transformed either by means of communication and contact, or by free market economic reforms and the logic of comparative advantage, hyperrealists see an endless cycle of repetition in interstate interactions. In fact Hinduism regards time as an eternal cycle of sequences, human souls endures these too, continually reincarnating from one essence to another, thus Westerners - with their linear understanding of time - do not understand Indian sluggishness. Conflict and rivalry between states cannot be transformed into peace and friendship, except temporarily as in an alliance against a common foe, rather they can only be managed by the threat and use of violence.”[xi] In addition, hyperrealists reject their opponents’ objections to the unrestrained spending on weapons, and expressed doubt on the roles of institutions, laws and agreements. The IR-hyperrealists take into account only power and the strength; everything else is an illusion. Accordingly, the Nehruvianists and the neoliberalist regard war as one of the possibilities that can take place between sovereign states. For Nehruvianists, a natural state of anarchy can be reduced by agreements between states, so that war preparations to the point where the balance of power becomes a central factor of security and foreign policy are wasteful and useless. The neoliberals find that competitive arming, or arms races themselves, are a conditioning factor in the natural state of anarchy among the states, in particular, since they are interdependent. Therefore, they consider that economic strength is the primary goal for a state to be vital, which should be achieved through free markets and free trade abroad.[xii] The hyperrealists have quite a different point of view. Brahma Chellaney notes that war starts when adversaries determine that the other side has become too strong or too weak.[xiii] Therefore, war preparation is a responsible and wise perspicacity, not an instigation. Therefore, aggression against neighbors, if the issue is about a territorial dispute or any other contradictions, are considered not only acceptable, but even necessary by the hyperrealists.

nehru-gandhi.jpgSo, you can extract some conclusions which are quite clear: the Indian hyperrealists can use external forces to justify the escalation of a conflict, while the Nehruvianists would try to reach a consensus, and the neoliberals would resolve issues from the pragmatic (economic) point of view. Russia has a significant advantage. It doesn’t have common borders with India, it has quite a good attitude toward it, that is based on historical experience. India, along with Russia, is part of BRICS, and is ready to participate in the development of new international rules. Russia can interact wisely with the representatives of all three branches of India's strategic culture. The hyperrealists will be extremely interested in Russian weapons, modernization programs and, generally, a wide range of military cooperation. In some cases, Russia can use smart power and send certain signals to countries like Pakistan and China, through the Indian hyperrealists. Parenthetically, Bangladesh and Nepal should not be taken into account, as they don’t have any effect on the regional balance of power. The neoliberal approach can be used from a purely pragmatic point of view: trade, economic, and industrial cooperation. Nuclear energy, as well as research and high-tech, including the aerospace industry, may be quite promising to Russia, and these interests are included in the Nehruvianists’ agenda.

In addition, India's strategic culture can give us another important lesson, which is their economic and market system. These are conducted in such a way that the majority of products and services are oriented towards the domestic consumer, so any financial catastrophe occurring in the external environment, and having a domino effect elsewhere, will not be disastrous for India. If Russia can use a reasonable approach to this issue, such a market model based on the autarky principle (self-sufficiency) may be used in a number of regions of the Russian Federation. On the other hand, external capital flows to India from migrant workers, who settled in other countries: the US, the UK, the Gulf, etc, creates an additional source of revenue for the state.

It should be noted that India is inclined to reconsider its strategies. We are not only talking about the military doctrine of the “Cold Start”, which was recently modified, but also about its strategic culture in general. The National Security Adviser, Shivshankar Menon, believes that it is important to develop a new “vocabulary” and concepts to resolve 19th century issues. According to him, due to the opportunities provided by growth in India, it needs to interact more with the Western world, but the main line of strategic culture of the country will remain unchanged, as it is “'an indigenous construct of over a millennium, modified considerably by our experiences over the last two centuries … Fortunately for us, there is no isolationist stream in our strategy”.[xiv]

Footnotes:

[i] Ken Booth, Strategy and Ethnocentrism. New York: Homes & Meier Publishers, 1979, р 65.

[ii] Colin Gray, Modern Strategy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, р 129.

[iii]КоulА. К. The North-South Dialogue and the NIEO//New horizons of international law and developing countries. NewDelhi, 1983. P. 171.

[iv]Anand R. P. International law and the developing countries. NewDelhi, 1986. P. 107.

[v] Stephen P. Cohen. India: Emerging Power. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 2001.

[vi]Mukhaev R.T. Geopolitics, Moscow, 2007, p. 553

[vii] Rodney W. Jones. India’s Strategic Culture. Defense Threat Reduction Agency Advanced Systems and Concepts Office. 31 October 2006, р.5.

[viii]Alastair Iain Johnston, Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995.

[ix]Rodney W. Jones. Conventional Military Imbalance and Strategic Stability in South Asia. SASSU ResearchPaperNo. 1, March 2005, р. 9.

[x]Ibid. p. 13.

[xi] Kanti Bajpai. Indian Strategic Culture. — South Asia in 2020: Future Strategic Balances and Alliances, Strategic Studies Institute, November 2002, P. 245 — 305.// http://www.stramod. ru/SP_001.html

[xii] Shiv Shankar Menon. K. Subrahmanyam and India’s Strategic Culture. National Maritime

Foundation, 19 January 2012 http://www.maritimeindia.org/article/k-subrahmanyam-andin...

[xiii] On the importance of national power or strength, См. Brahma Chellaney, .Preface,. in idem, ed., Securing India’s Future in the New Millennium, p. xviii

[xiv] India needs to modernise strategic culture. Sify News. Jan 20, 2012. http://www.sify.com/ news/india-needs-to-modernise-strategic-culture-news-national-mbus4jccahb.html

 

mercredi, 14 février 2018

Padmaavat

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Padmaavat

 [1]Bollywood’s latest blockbuster release, Padmaavat, is based on the epic poem Padmavat, a fictionalized account of Alauddin Khalji’s conquest of Chittorgarh in 1303 written by a Sufi poet in the sixteenth century.

According to legend, Alauddin, ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, set out to conquer Chittorgarh upon hearing of the extraordinary beauty of Rani Padmini, or Padmavati, a queen married to Ratan Singh, the Rajput ruler of Mewar. When Chittorgarh fell after a prolonged siege, Padmavati and the other Rajput women committed jauhar (mass self-immolation), choosing death over dishonor.

The Rajputs (from the Sanskrit for “son of a king”) are a subset of the kshatriya caste generally concentrated in northern, western, and central India. Historically they were renowned for their martial prowess; the Rajputs were among the peoples that the British designated as “martial races.” To this day, many Rajputs take great pride in their warrior heritage.

The practice of jauhar originated among the Rajput kingdoms of northwest India and is somewhat analogous to the Japanese custom of seppuku. In the face of certain military defeat, Rajput women would immolate themselves en masse along with their valuables and finery in order to preserve their honor and evade being captured and raped by Muslim invaders. Dying a painful death by fire signaled that they killed themselves not out of fear but as an act of defiance.

Padc.jpg

The film met with violent opposition leading up to its release. Incensed by rumors that the film would feature relations between Padmavati and Alauddin, Hindu nationalist groups such as the Karni Sena staged violent protests throughout the country attempting to halt the production of the film, assaulted the director (Sanjay Leela Bhansali), vandalized film sets, and threatened to behead the lead actress.

It now appears that a faction of the Karmi Sena recently withdrew its opposition to the film and is now promoting it, according to the Times of India.[1] [2] Indeed, there are no scenes featuring Padmavati and Alauddin together beyond a brief scene in which he catches a glimpse of her face obscured behind a cloud of smoke, and the film extols the aristocratic warrior virtues of the Rajputs. Ratan Singh is portrayed as a stoic warrior and a wise ruler and Padmavati as a paragon of loyalty and courage. A Rajput is said to be one who “braves any situation,” “dares to walk on burning embers,” and “fights the enemy till the last breath.” Padmavati exhorts her people to “defend the pride of the motherland” and fearlessly leads the women of Chittorgarh to their deaths at the film’s dramatic climax. By contrast Alauddin (a hypnotic performance by Raveer Singh) is depraved, deceitful, and bloodthirsty almost to the point of caricature.

padgg.jpg

Another testament to Rajput valor occurs after Alauddin kidnaps Ratan (inviting him to his camp under the pretence of offering hospitality) and demands Padmavati in exchange for the king’s freedom. Padmavati agrees to the deal under the condition that her entourage of female servants would accompany her in 800 palanquins. As Padmavati escapes with Ratan through a secret tunnel, Rajput warriors led by Ratan’s brother Gora suddenly burst out from the palanquins and attack Alauddin’s men. They fight to the last man and Gora and his nephew Badan both die in battle.

Like Bhansali’s other films (Devdas [see Trevor Lynch’s review here [3]], Bajirao Mastani), Padmaavat is visually stunning and the cinematography is breathtaking. The film ranks as the most expensive Bollywood film ever produced, and the sets are opulent and grand, ranging from palatial interiors to vast battlefields. In the battle scenes the camera often alternates between being close to the ground, heightening the intensity of the action, and high above, panning across sweeping landscapes. The costumes are also highly ornate.

The visuals (enhanced by a 3D viewing) more than compensate for the characters’ relative one-sidedness and the occasionally lagging plot. (Oscar Wilde: “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”) The film is really a pageant. There are a handful of musical numbers throughout the film, two of them featuring large-scale dances (Alauddin’s “Khalibali” and “Ghoomar,” a Rajasthani folk dance). The soundtrack overall is very effective and draws heavily from traditional Indian music.

padmavati-11.jpg

The pageantry of the film is on full display in the scenes featuring court rituals and religious festivals such as Diwali and Holi. There are references to Hindu mythology throughout. Padmaavat is completely devoid of the irony, insincerity, and superciliousness that pervades Hollywood films, and Hindu traditions are portrayed with reverence and dignity.

Another stark contrast between Padmaavat and the average Hollywood film lies in its portrayal of sex/romance and male-female relations. The film is suffused with eroticism, but there are no overtly pornographic scenes. In place of ham-fisted lewdness, there are merely subtle gestures, such as Padmavati smearing Ratan’s face with saffron, a dimly lit shot of figures behind a curtain, etc. The film also honors traditional sex roles and it is taken for granted that men and women should inhabit separate realms in society. Padmavati is intelligent and strong-willed but does not demand “equality” or infringe upon her husband’s role as ruler of the kingdom.

Much of the controversy over this film surrounds the final scene, in which Padmavati and the other Rajput women commit jauhar. The film glorifies jauhar and extols Padmavati’s decision as an act of heroism. It is telling that feminists are offended by this: prizing self-preservation and bourgeois individualism above all else, most feminists would ultimately opt for a life of subjugation and sexual slavery over dying for higher principles if faced with the choice (one young modern Rajput woman states in the Huffington Post that in Padmavati’s position she would have “compromised and stayed with Khilji” to save her own skin).[2] [4]

Bollywood films are quite different from what most Westerners are accustomed to. Yet for all its exotic trappings, Padmaavat and the Aryan martial virtues it promotes are less alien to whites than the cultural rot pushed by the alien elite at the helm of Hollywood. It is also worth noting that the lead actors are relatively light-skinned and have European-looking facial features. Overall Padmaavat is a breath of fresh air and makes for an incredible viewing experience.

Notes

[1] [5] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/b... [6]

[2] [7] http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2018/01/24/for-these-rajput-... [8]

 

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: https://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: https://www.counter-currents.com/2018/02/padmaavat/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/b69127cb46924eb4b8e975db53d99d63_1280X720.jpg

[2] [1]: #_ftn1

[3] here: https://www.counter-currents.com/2010/07/hooray-for-bollywood/

[4] [2]: #_ftn2

[5] [1]: #_ftnref1

[6] https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/karni-sena-faction-now-okay-with-padmaavat-release-in-rajasthan/articleshow/62764193.cms: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/karni-sena-faction-now-okay-with-padmaavat-release-in-rajasthan/articleshow/62764193.cms

[7] [2]: #_ftnref2

[8] http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2018/01/24/for-these-rajput-women-padmavati-is-now-a-curse_a_23342945/: http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2018/01/24/for-these-rajput-women-padmavati-is-now-a-curse_a_23342945/

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mardi, 30 janvier 2018

De quoi Savitri Devi est-elle le nom?

SD-photo-passport17.jpg

De quoi Savitri Devi est-elle le nom?

Chargé d’enseignement, auteur, essayiste

Propos recueillis par Michel Lhomme

Ex: https://metamag.fr

Michel Lhomme : Après l’Europe et l’éternel débat du fédéralisme européen, nous nous retrouvons pour un livre déroutant venant de votre part, une biographie sur l’indianiste Savitri Devi née à Lyon en 1905, figure connue du monde underground et qui a été la première à considérer Adolf Hitler comme un avatar, un dieu venu sur terre sous forme humaine pour restaurer l’Age d’Or. Alors de quoi Savitri Devi est-elle le nom ? Comment expliquer individuellement cet intérêt porté à une « païenne végan » pour parler comme l’époque ?

savitri-devi-couv.jpgFranck Buleux: Écrire une biographie sur Savitri Devi, c’est surtout avoir la capacité préalable, et nécessaire, d’éloigner de son propre esprit la reductio ad hitlerum dont elle a fait – et fait toujours – l’objet et, il faut bien le dire, dans laquelle elle a baigné de son plein gré. Toutefois, refuser de réduire une personne à un mythe même convenu – et accepté -est l’essence même du respect de la nature humaine, par définition complexe.
Il n’est pas question de nier la proximité de cette femme avec les individus qui composèrent l’Internationale nationale-socialiste après la Seconde Guerre mondiale jusqu’à, et au-delà, de sa mort en 1982. Mais malgré cela, ses rencontres ne se sont pas limitées à des admirateurs du Führer allemand.

Mais comment expliquer individuellement cet intérêt pour une païenne végan pour parler comme l’époque ?

Véritable dépositaire de la défense animale, voire végétale et minérale, Savitri Devi consacra son existence aux être non-humains qu’elle considérait probablement mieux, car meilleurs, que ses propres congénères. Elle déifiait la Nature pour laquelle elle vouait un culte immodéré. Devenue hindouiste, elle n’écartait pas le phénomène de la réincarnation auquel elle n’appliquait aucune hiérarchisation (contrairement à la réincarnation traditionnelle qui privilégie une évolution vers la perfection humaine).
Intriguée aussi par le monde de l’occulte, elle affirma sa proximité avec de nombreuses sociétés secrètes, de la Rose-Croix, qui ira jusqu’à éditer certains de ses travaux sur le pharaon Akhenaton, jusqu’à la franc-maçonnerie en passant par la Société théosophique.
Érudite, titulaire d’un double doctorat, littéraire comme scientifique, cette femme complexe ne fut rien d’autre… qu’une femme libre. Libre à travers le temps et l’espace, née à Lyon, convertie à l’hindouisme en Inde, morte en Grande-Bretagne, inhumée à Arlington, en Virginie…
Elle manifesta cette liberté suprême par la défense des proscrits et des réprouvés.

Une femme libre mais sans enfants ?

Son regret ultime, ne pas avoir pu transmettre. Transmettre à un fils, une fille… à un être qui aurait pu continuer son combat, qui aurait pu tout simplement la comprendre. Mais comment mettre au monde lorsque l’on a pris l’option d’une union chaste ? Comment mettre au monde quand on a découvert des origines que l’on repousse?
Oui, je sais, cette femme solitaire peut susciter des polémiques mais elle ne manquera pas de vous intriguer, de vous déplaire comme de vous émouvoir. C’est ce que j’ai cherché à transmettre par ce court travail. Pour moi, à travers l’ordre établi du monde, Savitri Devi tenta de survivre à contre-temps et à contre-courant dans le monde du kali yuga.

Indubitablement effectivement, dans cette brève mais dense biographie, ni complaisante, ni assassine, vous découvrirez une femme en quête de ses propres repères mais son univers, le monde qui l’entoure n’est-il jamais que le reflet de son propre être ?

Certainement, Connais-toi toi-même et tu connaîtras l’univers et les dieux, cette inscription au seuil du Temple de Delphes reflète pour moi toute la vie de Savitri Devi. Née Maximiani Portas, elle s’était muée en Savitri Devi, tel le papillon abandonnant la chenille. Et la quête qu’elle entreprit, qui la mena jusqu’en Inde, est éternelle. Elle est aussi la nôtre.

SD-780692371947.jpgQue découvrirons-nous alors dans cette biographie ?

Dans cette biographie, vous découvrirez:
– que Savitri Devi quitte l’Europe pour l’Inde avant l’arrivée de Hitler au pouvoir en Allemagne ;
– que Savitri Devi épousa un Brahmane pour éviter d’être expulsée d’Inde ;
– qu’elle fut la préceptrice, à Athènes, d’un futur intellectuel trotskiste ;
– qu’elle rentra en Europe, faute d’avoir pu être reconnue comme elle le souhaitait en Inde ;
– qu’elle eut des amitiés maçonniques avec lesquelles elle partagea des conceptions philosophiques ;
– qu’elle travailla pour l’Éducation nationale française (dont elle fut pensionnée lors de sa retraite) ;
– qu’elle séjourna au cœur de la Normandie chez la nièce de Christian Dior pour rédiger son autobiographie ;
et pourquoi elle ne souhaitait pas d’héritiers biologiques ?

En somme elle n’était pas une femme ordinaire ?

Oui et décidément, Savitri Devi ne fut pas une femme ordinaire. Trente-cinq ans après son départ, il est probablement temps de découvrir, un peu, cette femme qui se situait hors du Temps.

Pour notre part, nous avions lu il y a quelques années la biographie intellectuelle de 336 pages de Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, “Savitri Devi, la grande prêtresse d’Hitler”. Dans cette biographie à l’anglo-saxone, Goodrick-Clarke s’intéressait à la formation intellectuelle de Savitri, au nationalisme hindou, aux réseaux clandestins d’après-guerre, à l’émergeance du révisionnisme, à l’internationale néo-nazie, à l’héritage idéologique de S. Devi au sein de divers mouvements nationalistes, écologistes et au cœur du New Age. Croyez-vous aussi que la doctrine de Savitri Devi soit comme une passerelle entre le mysticisme aryen associé à l’extrême droite et le paganisme du Nouvel Age ? Comment caractériseriez-vous finalement cette doctrine et en quoi peut-elle nous intéresser aujourd’hui ? De quelle religion avons-nous donc besoin ?

Le livre que vous citez est issu d’une thèse universitaire et utilisant une technique relativement attrape-tout, à partir d’un mot-clé, il brode tout en oubliant le sujet principal, Savitri Devi, ce qui lui permet ainsi de « faire des pages ». Pour en revenir à votre question, Savitri Devi cherche la Vérité, c’est-à-dire une théorie absolue et transcendante qui lui permet d’affirmer que la Nature est éternelle s’incarnant dans différents éléments et l’Homme n’est qu’une espèce de parasite éphémère. Sa conception du monde nous renvoie à une prépondérance de Gaïa contre l’Homme, en cela les mouvements écologiques alternatifs (la « deep ecology ») rejoignent la pensée de Savitri Devi. Le politologue Stéphane François l’avait déjà relevé dans son livre “L’écologie politique“, paru en 2012 aux éditions du Cerf.

Il y a une permanence incarnée dans le monde naturel dans la pensée de Savitri Devi qui va bien au-delà de la perception de nos contemporains sur sa propre personne. Sa doctrine est, vous venez de le relever, beaucoup plus religieuse que politique. Ses rencontres, qu’elle n’a jamais rejetées, en firent un archétype de l’extrême-droite la plus radicale mais sa pensée, son mode de vie, la plupart de ses écrits nous ramènent vers un courant traditionnaliste universel en quête d’absolu et de vérité, où l’Homme moderne n’a guère sa place. Ses aspirations anti-modernistes et son apparence indianiste auraient pu faire de Savitri Devi une femme inspirant une dissidence sociale, voire religieuse mais notre époque l’a brusquement abandonné tout près de la jetée. Elle aurait préféré la haute mer. Elle restera donc un rocher contre le Temps, et comme elle s’auto-définissait, une femme « pure, dure, sûre »!

samedi, 20 janvier 2018

Peut-être bientôt une lune de miel entre l'Inde et l'Iran

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Peut-être bientôt une lune de miel entre l'Inde et l'Iran

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

L'excellent chroniqueur politique et ancien diplomate indien MK Bhadrakumar, a signalé dans un article du 14/01/2018, référencé ci-dessous, un phénomène qui a été généralement ignoré des milieux politiques et médias « occidentaux »: l'existence de projets discrets de coopération entre ce que l'on pourrait juger être deux soeurs ennemies, l'Inde et l'Iran.

Tout apparemment paraît les séparer. Au plan politique, on connait l'attraction croissante qu'exercent les Etats-Unis sur l'Inde et plus particulièrement sur son Président, Modi. L'Iran pour sa part a résolument pris la tête du bloc dit chiite dont la Russie est très proche. Par ailleurs, inutile de rappeler que leurs religions dominantes n'éprouvent pas, c'est le moins que l'on puisse dire, de grandes complicités.

Dans un interview du 12 janvier, le ministre iranien des Transports  Abbas Akhoundi et son homologue indien Nitin Gadkari ont pourtant révélé s'être mis d'accord sur un contrat de 2 milliards de dollars concernant la construction d'une ligne de chemin de fer joignant les deux villes iraniennes de Chabahar (port) et Zahedan. Par ailleurs la fabrication de 200 locomotives pour trains de marchandises a été décidée. Celles-ci seront construites à la fois en Iran et en Inde. Enfin les deux pays fabriqueront des éléments de voies pour les chemins de fer iraniens.

Les deux gouvernements considèrent que le développement du port de Chabahar, situé à l'est de l'Iran, permettra d'ouvrir à l'Inde une voie alternative pour ses exportations vers l'Afghanistan et la Russie. Un séminaire irano-indien a discuté à cet égard d'une zone franche et de corridors de transit.

L'OBOR

Il faut retenir de ces décisions que l'exemple donné par la Chine du rôle essentiel des liaisons de transports entre les pays traversé par l'OBOR, ou Nouvelle Route de la Soie, est repris par d'autres pays asiatiques. Ces infrastructures permettront de donner une cohérence économique mais finalement aussi politique à de vastes régions encore séparées par de nombreuses différences, sinon des conflits.

La démarche est toute différente de celle des Etats-Unis qui proposent, comme à l'Inde actuellement, d'acquérir des matériels d'armement américains et de signer les accords de coopération militaire correspondants. Ceux-ci ne peuvent qu'attiser des conflits latents et générer un désordre dont Washington espère profiter pour rétablir une influence déclinante. A une moindre échelle, la leçon devrait aussi être retenue par Israël.

Référence

Why Gadkari is perfect interlocutor for Iran 
http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumara...

 

samedi, 23 décembre 2017

Did The Anglo-British Bomb Japan To Stop Bose?

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Did The Anglo-British Bomb Japan To Stop Bose?

It was more than seven decades ago that the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Japan, obliterating the city of Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people and ushering in a new era of nuclear conflict.

Today President Barack Obama has become the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima. Obama made it clear in his interview with Japan’s public broadcaster NHK that he would not offer an apology and Japan also said it would not seek one.

The majority of Americans have long viewed the two atomic bombings as necessary in bringing the war to an end and therefore saving even more lives, although this argument has been widely queried by historians.

General Douglas MacArthur, Commander of US Army forces in the Pacific, stated on numerous occasions before his death that the atomic bomb was completely unnecessary from a military point of view: “My staff was unanimous in believing that Japan was on the point of collapse and surrender.”

General Curtis LeMay, who had pioneered precision bombing of Germany and Japan (and who later headed the Strategic Air Command and served as Air Force chief of staff), put it most succinctly: “The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war.”

Was Hiroshima Necessary? Why the Atomic Bombings Could Have Been Avoided By Mark Weber from The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 3), pages 4-11.

So why were the bombs dropped on Japan?

To this day no one apart from the GreatGameIndia team have brought to light the connection between the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Subhas Chandra Bose’s plot the bring down the British Empire.

World War II illustration created by the Japanese. Subhas Chandra Bose backed up by Japenese tanks is shown beheading the British Lion feasting on bones of dead Indians.

Although many in India, scholars besides, know about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, we shall include a couple of paragraphs below to put the matter in the context of international geopolitics. In World War II, the case for dropping two bombs on Japan was not an impeccable one, and many reasons are likely to be hidden from the public eye.

Could the equations of the Anglo-British involving a possible defeat in the Indian theater by a Bose-Japan combine have been a part of the decision process?

Bose was able to flee house arrest in Calcutta and go to Germany. Studying the German viewpoint of the international politics gave him an understanding that Gandhi and Nehru may not have had. In a very daring trip he would go further on to Japan, spend a few years there and have an audience with the Premier. He would subsequently land in Burma and take control of the Burmese Indian National Army. Upon learning that Bose had come to Burma and was raising an army, the Indian soldiers of the British army switched sides in favor of their countryman. Bose was thus able to raise an army of about 40,000 strong, equipped with arms from Japan. In addition, the Emperor of Japan committed about 100,000 Japanese troops and some air squadrons for his assistance. With this formidable combine, he stood a good chance of marching on to Delhi. The 100,000 Japanese troops would eventually back down, but Bose resolved to continue the fight. He occupied the Andaman and Nicobar islands, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam and was about to enter Bengal. From the vantage of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Indian National Army had effectively tied up Mountbatten in Ceylon, and he was unable to move.

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World War II illustration created by the Japanese. Subhas Chandra Bose backed up by Japenese tanks is shown beheading the British Lion feasting on bones of dead Indians.

Bose had a brilliant strategy. A main force was to march on to Delhi. This would however be aided by three other forces, each of which would have first performed the task of destroying the British hold over three major ports – Calcutta, Vishakapatnam and Chennai as well as the Dutch control of ports at Machilipatnam and Yanam. The unit landing in Calcutta would join the units from Nagaland and Assam towards Delhi, while the units from Vishakapatnam and Chennai would march towards Bombay.

The conquest of these five cities, to be completed in two weeks, would have effectively ended British rule in India, cutting it off from the sea. But Bose would follow the same moral principle that Napoleon had: “Never my sword against my own people”. Around the end of July 1945 he dropped leaflets over the cities of Madras, Vishakapatnam and Calcutta, requesting citizens to leave so that the INA could bomb these coastal towns prior to landing. He set a two week deadline, after which he would start the attack.

Subhash planned to strike against the British and it is very likely that they would have been unable to face an attack by the INA. On 6 August 1945, before the deadline set by Bose was to expire, Hiroshima would be bombed, and then on 9 August, the second bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki. After the Japanese surrender, Subhash evacuated the Andaman on 15 August 1945, in a plane with Japanese markings. This plane was shot down by American gunners over Manila, en-route to Tokyo. Three POWs were taken in this crash. In accord with the Geneva convention, they stated their rank, name and age. The American captors did not realize who their prisoners were. So they telegraphed the information to the British, who responded “Discard the Baggage”. The Americans GIs refused to obey this instruction. The British advised them to hand over the three prisoners to Stalin’s red army.

Excerpt from the article Bose’s Plot To Bring Down The British Empire.

What follows after Bose’s plane was shot down is explained in detail in our article titled The Heroic Saga: The Escape, Exile & Death Of Bose.

The impact Bose and the INA had on the events in British India has since been downplayed by all the power groups that have controlled India, and not much is taught in modern history about the role played by this very great man.

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Read all articles related to Subhash Chandra Bose here – #NetajiFiles

mercredi, 03 mai 2017

Réactivation du nationalisme hindou en Inde

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Georg Immanuel Nagel :

Réactivation du nationalisme hindou en Inde

La politique d’apaisement face aux musulmans prend fin : les nationalistes hindous font face aux islamistes

Le prêtre hindou Yogi Adityanath, 44 ans, est considéré comme le chef spirituel d’un mouvement politique dénommé « Hindutva », que l’on traduit généralement en Occident comme le « nationalisme hindou ». Sur le plan culturel, ce mouvement entend revenir aux racines de la religion hindoue et lutte contre toutes les influences étrangères. Il vise principalement l’islam mais n’épargne pas le christianisme importé par les missionnaires occidentaux.

L’ « Hindutva » téléguide un parti, le « Bharatiya Janata Party » (BJP). En 2014, lors des élections, il a enregistré un franc succès et a pu s’affirmer contre le parti du « Congrès national indien », d’obédience séculière et social-libérale. Depuis cette victoire électorale, le BJP a pu nommer l’un des siens premier ministre, Narendra Modi, chef du gouvernement. Peu avant le déroulement des élections, Adityanath avait annoncé la couleur : le résultat de ces élections allait, de toutes les façons, sonner le glas de la politique d’apaisement face aux musulmans. Ces fortes paroles furent immédiatement suivies d’actes : on fit ferme plusieurs abattoirs musulmans. Pour les Hindous, en effet, les vaches sont des animaux sacrés et les Hindous sont plutôt végétariens : ils n’admettent pas, de ce fait, l’existence d’abattoirs « halal ».

Adityanath est devenu le ministre-président de l’Etat d’Uttar Pradesh, après avoir provoqué un véritable séisme électoral. Cet Etat de l’Union indienne compte 200 millions d’habitants. Il est le plus peuplé d’Inde. Cette position est considérée comme l’une des plus importantes du pays. Quelque 80% des habitants de l’Uttar Pradesh sont hindous, le reste est principalement musulman. Les adhérents à la religion de Mohammed sont donc en minorité, ce qui ne les empêche pas de se méconduire de plus en plus fréquemment. Là-bas aussi, l’islamisme fondamentaliste, prompt à déchaîner la violence, a le vent en poupe.

En acquérant le titre de ministre-président de l’Uttar Pradesh, Adityanath est sorti de l’ombre pour marcher sous les feux de la rampe. Il a toutefois été longtemps membre du parlement et n’était nullement un inconnu. Ce qui a changé, c’est que le mouvement religieux parapolitique qu’il a présidé ne peut plus être considéré comme une marge sans importance de la vie politique indienne. Le nationalisme hindou connaît diverses tendances. La plus forte de celles-ci était représentée par les libéraux (à degrés divers), parmi lesquels il faut compter le premier ministre Modi. Avec l’accession d’Adityanath au pouvoir dans l’Uttar Pradesh, qui a néanmoins reçu l’appui de Modi, les durs du mouvement donneront davantage le ton dans les années à venir.

Adityanath incarne un type nouveau d’homme politique : celui qui a d’abord été un chef religieux avant d’être un chef politique. Avant qu’il n’ait atteint l’âge de trente ans, il était déjà l’hiérarque supérieur d’un temple de Gorakhpur. Il parvenait à attirer de nombreux sympathisants de sa cause. Leur nombre n’a cessé de croître. Sur le plan religieux, sa principale promesse électorale a été de faire bâtir un temple hindou dédié au dieu Rama, là où, précisément, se trouvait jadis une énorme mosquée que la foule des Hindous avait brûlé de fond en comble en 1992. Mais la politique préconisée par Yogi Adityanath ne se borne pas au symbolisme religieux.

En effet, les médias dominants en Occident aiment à répandre l’idée d’une Inde qui se rapproche des valeurs occidentales, qui glisse lentement mais sûrement vers le libéralisme et la modernité. Ce ne sera plus le cas avec une personnalité comme Adityanath. Il passe pour un religieux radical, pour le représentant des intérêts des Hindous, refusant tout compromis, parce que ces derniers représentent finalement l’immense majorité de la population. Il avait acquis la notoriété dans le pays après avoir organisé des manifestations de masse. Lors de l’une d’elles, il avait eu ces paroles : « S’ils tuent un seul d’entre les nôtres, nous tuerons cent des leurs ».

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En 2002, Adityanath avait créé un mouvement de jeunesse, l’ « Hindu Yuva Vahini », que les critiques libéraux qualifient d’ « extrémiste » et de « militant ». Les nationalistes hindous considèrent toutefois qu’une solide attitude d’auto-défense est nécessaire pour protéger la majorité de la population contre les menées agressives des islamistes, toujours plus nombreuses au fil du temps. En effet, force est de constater que, surtout dans les provinces du Nord, les musulmans s’attaquent de plus en plus souvent aux Hindous, commettent des actes terroristes et des assassinats. On reproche, il est vrai, à des groupes comme l’ « Hindou Yuva Vahini » ou à des organisations similaires de faire usage de la violence. Pour venger des assassinats commis au nom de l’islamisme, des nationalistes hindous n’ont pas hésité à incendier des mosquées et à commettre d’autres actes de représailles. Il n’est pas rare non plus que des batailles rangées se déroulent dans les rues entre les différentes factions.

Adityanath apprécie le président Donald Trump. Il avait notamment apprécié la déclaration du futur président des Etats-Unis qui entendait bannir les musulmans du territoire américain (promesse électorale qui n’a pas été tenue…). Egalement, la volonté de juguler l’immigration en provenance de pays musulmans afin de barrer la route au terrorisme. Toutes ces mesures annoncées plaisaient forcément au leader hindou…

Pour le moment, une seule chose semble certaine : l’évolution politique de l’Inde va dans le sens du traditionalisme hindou et de l’auto-défense de la majorité hindoue.

Georg Immanuel Nagel.

(article paru dans « zur Zeit », Vienne, n°17/2017, http://www.zurzeit.at ).

lundi, 01 mai 2017

Conflits potentiels entre l'Inde et la Chine dans le Sud Himalaya

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Conflits potentiels entre l'Inde et la Chine dans le Sud Himalaya

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu

La récente visite du Dalai Lama à Tawang, organisée par l'Inde dans une région où la présence indienne est contestée par la Chine, a remis en lumière les vives tensions existant entre ces deux puissances nucléaires dans le Sud Himalaya, revendiqué historiquement par les deux Etats (1) Tawang est une petite ville du nord-ouest de l'État d'Arunachal Pradesh (voir ci-dessous) en Inde. Située en Himalaya à une altitude d'environ 3 000 mètres, elle est le chef-lieu du district de Tawang. Elle a toujours été de tradition bouddhiste et la présence du Dalai Lama n'a rien d'anormal. Néanmoins celui-ci est considéré par la Chine comme un agent du séparatisme indien qui s'oppose, dans ces régions et en Chine même, à la politique de Pékin.

Un moment bonnes, sous l'autorité du Premier ministre indien Manmohan Singh qui avait oeuvré pour rapprocher l'Inde et la Chine au sein du BRICS, elles se sont détériorées avec l'élection de l'actuel Premier ministre Narendra Modi. Celui-ci est membre du Bharatiya Janata Party, un parti nationaliste hindou. Il est Premier ministre de l'Inde depuis le 26 mai 2014. Narendra Modi est influencé par le groupe paramilitaire Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh et est considéré comme un leader du mouvement nationaliste hindou.

Par ailleurs, bien plus que Manmohan Singh, jugé à l'époque comme relativement proche de Moscou, il est très largement influencé par Washington, depuis des accords de coopération industrielle et de défense conclus sous Barack Obama.

Il n'est donc pas considéré à Pékin comme un partenaire fiable dans la mise en oeuvre d'actions de coopération et de respect réciproque dans le Sud Himalaya. Il faut rappeler que cette vaste région comporte quatre importantes provinces où l'Inde et la Chine partagent d'importants intérêts. Toutes pourraient être le siège de conflits pouvant éventuellement prendre une forme militaire.

Le Tibet

Le Tibet appartient à la République populaire de Chine. Aussi Pékin prend-t-il très mal le soutien de New Delhi au Dalai Lama, considéré à juste titre comme séparatiste.

L'Inde a reconnu officiellement le Tibet comme faisant partie de la Chine. Mais elle utilise manifestement le leader religieux comme un agent utile pour déstabiliser la présence chinoise. D'où son irritation, le mot n'est pas trop fort, en réaction de la visite de celui-ci à Taiwang.
Le Tibet est la source de 4 grands fleuves asiatiques qui contribuent à permettre une activité agricole dont dépendent plus de 2 milliards de personnes.

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L'Arunachal Pradesh ou Tibet du Sud.

Cette région est également de par sa localisation considérée comme comportant d'importants intérêts géostratégiques, tant pour l'Inde comme un moyen d'intervenir dans les affaires tibétaines que pour la Chine. Celle-ci voit l'Arunachal Pradesh comme un corridor pour influencer l'Etat-pivot de Assam, au Nord-est de l'Inde

Le Népal.

Longtemps sphère exclusive d'influence pour l'Inde, cet ancien Royaume s'est récemment rapproché de la Chine après avoir été accusé par New Dehli d'avoir soutenu injustement des Népalais d'origine indienne, les Mahésis, qui protestaient violemment contre une nouvelle constitution fédérale jugée comme ne respectant pas leurs droits.

L'Inde et la Chine considèrent par ailleurs le Népal comme essentiel au développement de leur influence militaire respective.

Il y a deux ans enfin, la Chine a proposé de connecter le Népal au projet de liaison One Belt One Road (OBOR) à travers une voie ferrée à grande vitesse sous le Mont Everest qui aurait relié le Népal à la province indienne de l'Uttar Pradesh et au port du Ouest Bengale de Kolkate. Présenté par la Chine comme bénéfique pour l'Inde, celle-ci y voit une intolérable immixtion dans ses affaires.

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Le Cashmire

Un projet-phare de l'OBOR, le CPEC ou China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, traverse une région pakistanaise du Cashmir, celle de Gilgit-Baltistan, que l'Inde revendique comme lui appartenant à la suite de son conflit avec le Cashmire. L'Inde voit dans ce projet soutenu par la Chine une façon de réintroduire l'influence pakistanaise dans un territoire contesté. Elle fera sans doute tout pour le faire avorter, aux dépens des intérêts chinois dans l'OBOR. 

1) Voir http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/dalai-la...

dimanche, 19 mars 2017

The Buddha as Spiritual Lawgiver

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The Buddha as Spiritual Lawgiver

Sayings of the Buddha [2]
Rupert Gethin, translator
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008

Anyone who wishes to promote certain values is faced with the challenge of how to maintain those values over time: throughout one’s life, from one generation to the next, and across the centuries. A people’s adherence to values is likely to wane over time, overcome by lower drives, such as the desires for material comfort and personal self-indulgence. We know this well in our own era: the collapse of traditional values has given way to a general slouching into consumerism and individualism. In good times especially, the inner child and the bottomless belly take charge of the soul. The maintenance of values in the face of decadence is no easy thing.

I believe we have much to learn in this respect from the sole ideological systems and spiritual communities which have survived for millennia: the religions. I have personally become convinced that piety, or the religious instinct, plays the critical role in maintaining adherence to values above other impulses. Piety is the only impulse which can be rationally educated. Indeed, that is why I believe the religious instinct – if well-educated – is more valuable than the strictly ethnocentric one: an ethnocentric Frenchman may defend his people, but enter into petty conflicts with genetically very similar neighboring Europeans, whereas a pious European identitarian defends both the French nation and the great European family of nations of which she is a part.

The creed of Siddhartha Gautama, better known as the Buddha, has largely died out in his native India, and yet over five hundred million souls claim to follow his way of life today, mostly in East and Southeast Asia, but increasingly also in the West, where Buddhism has growing appeal to generations of Europeans lost in in an increasingly materialist, relativist, and nihilistic age, looking for spiritual comfort and transcendence.

I am not here judging the content of Buddhist doctrine. What is perhaps the fundamental insight – that one must let go of senses, feelings, the world, all things, indeed the mind itself, for all is flux and vanity – may well be true. But one could also deem this nihilism, and indeed Gautama was accused of this during his own lifetime. What is clear is that Buddhism is evolutionarily maladaptive for its ascetics: the Buddhist monk rejects family life and goes childless. Furthermore, the Buddha explicitly rejected the caste divisions which the Hindus had established to preserve their Aryan blood.[1]

Savitri Devi classes Gautama among the “men above Time” who embody timeless values only by withdrawing from this fallen world, rather than the superior “men against Time” who seek to impose them in this world. Those who wish to see the perpetuation of their people are more likely to be touched by the spirit of the Hindus’ Bhagavad Gita [3], where in the face of the same cosmic oblivion, the Lord commands Prince Arjuna to embrace his duty as a warrior: “Therefore go to it, grasp fame! And having conquered your enemies, enjoy a thriving kingship.”[2]

What I examine here, and what I think is relevant to all who seek to make lasting cultural change, is the Buddha’s practice and advice for sustaining a spiritual community which can survive the ages. (By “the Buddha,” I mean the figure portrayed in the Pali Cannon, which are our earliest records of Gautama’s teachings, as edited by Buddhist disciples generations later. As with other spiritual leaders who left no writings of their own, such as Socrates and Jesus, we are unsure to what extent the Buddha of the scriptures is faithful to the historical Gautama. I will not deal with that question here: I am interested in what the mythical “Buddha” of the scriptures, as established by Buddhist leaders, has to say on what has proved to be a very successful religion.)

I cannot read about Gautama without sensing a certain kinship with our own Western tradition. He was said to have blue eyes and dark hair. He spoke an Indo-European language, descended from the same Aryan conquerors who gave we Europeans most of our languages. Furthermore, though this might appear superficial, I see innumerable parallels between Buddhist insights and practices and those of the Greek philosophical tradition, which began at around the same time. Buddhism and Greek philosophy often wrestle with the very same issues. The early Buddhists debated and bickered about ideas, as one might in a philosophical school. But the parallel between Buddhism and Greek philosophy is most apparent if, like Pierre Hadot [4], we understand that philosophy not as simply a series of ideas or doctrines, but as a way of life cultivating the soul through spiritual exercises.

Like Socrates, the Buddha is more concerned with ethics than metaphysics, and both practiced prolonged meditation (which in Zen Buddhism becomes the central component) and trained themselves in self-control. Like Plato’s Socrates, a fundamental part of the Buddha’s meditation is the contemplation of death, and the Buddhist, like the philosopher, does not fear death.[3] Like Plato, the Buddha is concerned only with the eternal; he polices his own senses and withdraws from this world to the spiritual one. (A difference: Plato’s philosopher-king is reluctantly dragged back into the political world, whereas the Buddha’s seems to withdraw completely.[4]) Like Diogenes, the Buddhist ascetic lives as a homeless beggar, surviving on self-discipline and alms, teaching morals to the people by his example. But whereas Diogenes did so alone and only had isolated followers, the Buddha established not just a philosophical school but a monastic community: the Sangha. Plato’s praise for Pythagoras, the mathematician-mystic who also established a way of life as part of a kind of monastic community, could well be applied to Gautama:

Is there any evidence that, during his lifetime, [Homer] was a mentor to people, and that they used to value him for his teaching and the handed down to their successors a particular Homeric way of life? This is what happened to Pythagoras: he wasn’t only held in extremely high regard for his teaching during his lifetime, but his successors even now call their way of life Pythagorean and somehow seem to stand out from all other people.[5]

For his part, Gautama became, according to the Pali Canon, “a perfect buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, happy, one who understands the world, an unsurpassed charioteer of men to be tamed, teach of gods and men, a blessed buddha.”[6]

Like the Stoics, the Buddha preaches a studious indifference to that which is in flux, a reconciliation with the nature of existence. The philosophers wish to learn about nature, the world, in order to align their ideas and lives with it. For Buddhists, “Dharma” means at once the teachings of the Buddha, the nature of existence, and the Buddhist way of life. Pierre Hadot writes that “despite my reticence against the use of comparativism in philosophy” he cannot resist highlighting the similarities between a Buddhist sutra’s description of the ideal sage and the sage of the Socratic tradition:

Overcoming all
knowing all,
wise.
With regard to all things:
unsmeared. Abandoning all,
in the ending of craving,
released:
The enlightened call him a sage. . . .

The wandering solitary sage,
uncomplacent, unshaken by praise or blame. . . .
Leader of others, by others unled:
The enlightened call him a sage.[7]

The ancient Greeks and Indians did not have the opportunity to interact much in our history. However, it is striking that when Alexander the Great conquered Persia and the two civilizations came into contact, Greco-Indian cultural cross-fertilization proved quite fruitful. The Greeks identified the Indian brahmans (and possibly the Buddhist ascetics) with their own philosophers, calling them “gymnosophists” or “naked sophists.” Evidently, the Greeks were impressed by the yogis’ physical-spiritual exercises. Greek kings ruled parts of India and Afghanistan for only about two centuries after Alexander’s death. And yet, during that time, many of these Greeks embraced Buddhism and created some of that tradition’s finest art with the brief and insufficiently known flowering of Greco-Buddhist culture [5].

All spiritual traditions are confronted with the problem of whether their followers should be householders or ascetics. When should a gifted man dedicate himself to the “distractions” of working and family life, and when should he dedicate himself completely to spiritual exercises? Different traditions give different answers.[8] The Buddha perfected a tradition of young men leaving their household and going childless in order to dedicate their lives as wandering mendicants to meditation. He says in favor of becoming a family-free monk: “It is not easy to practice the spiritual life in all its fullness and purity, like a polished shell, while living in a house.”[9] The monk learns to live with nothing but his ocher robe and his alms bowl, meditating by roots of trees or in deserted houses. That is enough. The monk has nothing he may lose, he is content, having “no desire for joy,” he “applies and directs his mind toward creating a body made of mind.”[10]  He is not a parasitic NEET however, for he is constantly training himself, and serves a useful social purpose: “[H]e brings together those who are divided and encourages those who are united . . . he speaks words that will bring about harmony.”[11]

Much of the appeal of Buddhism is that it requires almost nothing to practice and is far less dependent on speculative metaphysics and fanciful stories than other religions. Buddhism, unlike the long-dead philosophical schools of Antiquity, succeeded in institutionalizing its philosophy and spiritual practice as a religion which endures still today. (I pass over the fact that, obviously, Greco-Roman philosophy was preserved in other senses, e.g. being crystalized in certain Christian practices and doctrines, in inspiring much of the Enlightenment, etc.)

The Buddha created the spiritual community of monks, the Sangha. The state may provide for the Sangha (e.g. alms, donation of parks). However, the spiritual community is independent of the state, the monks ever cultivating their own inner purity. If anything, the state should be informed by the Sangha. The monks honor and revere the great sages who came before them and inspire themselves from their example. The Sangha then moralizes the people towards self-discipline and educates them towards higher truths. One can think of analogous institutions in other traditions.

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The Buddha gives prescriptions not only on how the Sangha may be maintained, but also has advice for householders and statesmen. These precepts are generally conservative and sound. In one sutra, the Buddha describes “the householder’s discipline” in terms which would resonate in all traditional societies. He says there are “six ways of losing one’s belongings” which the householder should not pursue:

  1. being devoted to the recklessness of strong drink and spirits
  2. wandering in the streets at unseemly hours
  3. frequenting fairs” (where one encounters music and spectacle)
  4. being devoted to the recklessness of gambling
  5. being devoted to bad friends
  6. being habitually idle[12]

The Buddha is then obviously, like all true spiritual leaders, hostile to the “spirit of ‘68.” Each way of losing one’s belongings is accompanied by six dangers, a typical Buddhist mnemonic device. The Buddha also advises against friendship with “one who is all talk.”[13]

The Buddha says that the householder’s piety is not expressed through adherence to sacrificial rituals – apparently an attack against Hindu practice – but through one’s way of life. Hindus symbolically sacrifice in six directions during their rituals, in contrast to the Buddhist householder:

These six directions should be seen as follows: the east should be seen as one’s mother and father, the south as one’s teachers, the west as one’s wife and children, the north as one’s friends and companions, the direction below as servants and workers, the direction above ascetics and brahmans.[14]

Furthermore, Buddhist householders are expected to be good family men with the usual adaptive traditional values: parents must educate their children morally, train them for a trade, find them a wife, and give them an inheritance. If one is good to one’s friends, they will “honor one’s descendants.”[15] Without kindness and justice “then neither mothers nor fathers / Win the respect and worship owed them by their sons.”[16]  If Buddhism can be considered maladaptive for ascetics, its precepts for householders are quite healthy. Furthermore, to kill one’s father or mother is considered one of the supreme crimes in Buddhism, akin to wounding a buddha or dividing the Sanhga.[17] Even in Buddhism, as in so many traditional worldviews, one finds a pairing of blood and spirit in the supreme moral rules.

The Buddha’s political advice is similarly traditional. Just prior to his death and his attainment of final nirvana, he is said to have given political and religious advice which may perhaps be taken to be his testament. He describes “seven principles for avoiding decline” which, if maintained, would allow a people (in this case, the Vajji Republic) to “be expected to prosper, not to decline.”[18] These seven principles are:

  1. to meet together frequently and regularly
  2. to sit down together in concord, to get up together in concord, and to conduct their business in concord
  3. not to make pronouncements that have not been agreed, not to revoke pronouncements that have been agreed, but to proceed in accordance with the ancient laws of the Vajjis that are agreed pronouncements
  4. to respect honor, revere, and worship those among them who are their elders, and to listen to what they say
  5. not to abduct and force women and girls of good family into sexual relations
  6. to respect, honor, revere, and worship their ancestral shrines, both those that are central those that are outlying, and not to neglect the appropriate offerings that were given and made in the past
  7. to provide holy men with proper care, protection, and guard, such that those who have not come to their realm are encouraged to come, and those that have come live easily

The Buddha then expresses advice which many would consider sensible: cultivate a spirit of concord and consensus, honor tradition and elders, and respect women and religion.

In this and other sutras, the Buddha and his disciples gives advice on how to have a happy and cohesive Sangha. Some of these are rather amusing, evoking as they do the typical bickering one finds among intellectuals and ideological disciples. The Buddha observes, “[S]ome ascetics and brahmans consume the food offered by the faithful while still addicted to quarrelsome talk.”[19]  Furthermore, the monks must not abuse their position as spiritual leaders by charging fees from superstitious laymen for magic tricks and other “childish arts.”

For a Buddhist monk, excessive talking is a sign of restlessness and of not living the way. One of the Buddha’s disciples calmed monks who were “agitated, uncontrolled, restless, talkative, conversing about this and that; with their minds astray, they were not fully aware, not concentrated; their thoughts wandered and their senses were uncontrolled.”[20]

There was also evidently conflict between monks who specialized in erudition and those who specialized in practice, as a certain Mahacunda said:

Monks who are specialists in the teachings disparage monks who are meditators: “Those meditators, they meditate and meditate, always saying, ‘We are the ones who meditate!’ But what do they meditate for? Why do they meditate? How exactly do they meditate?” . . .

On the other hand, monks who are meditators disparage monks who are specialists in the teachings: “Those specialists in the teachings, who are always saying, ‘We are the ones who are specialists in the teachings!’ – they are agitated, uncontrolled, restless, talkative, conversing about this and their; with their minds astray, they are not fully aware, not concentrated; their thoughts wander and their senses are uncontrolled. But what are they specialists in the teachings for? Why are they specialists in the teachings? How exactly are they specialists in the teaching?” . . .

So, friends, you should train yourselves to think: “As monks who are specialists in the teachings we will speaking in praise of monks who are meditators.” Why must you train yourselves this way? They are remarkable and difficult to find in this world, these people who live having experienced the deathless directly.

So, friends, you should train yourselves to think: “As monks who are meditators we will speak in praise of monks who are specialists in the teachings.” Why must you train yourselves in this way? They are remarkable and difficult to find in this world, these people who reach insight, having penetrated the deep significance of a term by their understanding.[21]

Any spiritual movement will then tend to be divided between scholars and practitioners, and the two must respect each other.

The Buddha also condemned those monks who learn only to better assert themselves in argument, rather than to live better. He likened such “learning” to grabbing a snake without knowing how to hold it properly, and so getting bitten:

Monks, some foolish men learn the teaching – the sayings, chants, analyses, verses, utterances, traditions, birth stories, marvels, and dialogues. Yet after they have learned the teaching they do not use wisdom to consider the purpose of those teachings. And when they do not use wisdom to consider their purpose the teachings don’t succeed in bearing deep reflection: the only benefit those people get from learning the teaching is the ability to argue and counter criticism; the point of their learning the teaching is missed by them.[22]

The Buddha’s most detailed advice for the Sangha, at least in this volume, is to be found in the sutra on his final nirvana, beside his political advice to the Vajjis. Again, the Buddha says that if the Sangha continuously follows these precepts, it can “be expected to prosper, not to decline.”[23] The first seven principles for avoiding decline are:

  1. meet together frequently and regularly
  2. sit down together in concord, to get up together in concord, and to conduct the business of the community in concord
  3. not to make pronouncements that have not been agreed, not to revoke pronouncements that have been agreed, but to proceed in accordance with the precepts that are agreed pronouncements
  4. respect, honor, revere, and worship those monks who are elders, possess the pearls of wisdom, went forth into the religious life long ago, are the fathers and leaders of the community, and to listen to what they say
  5. to not be overcome by the kind of craving that leads to rebirth
  6. to have regard for living in the forest”
  7. individually continue to establish mindfulness, such that well-behaved companions in the spiritual life who have not come are encouraged to come, and that have come live easily

There must then be frequent gatherings of the faithful, respect for consensus, respect for elders, and sticking to the practice (including pride in the austerity of “life in the forest”). This is similar in some respects to the Buddha’s political advice. He provides other advice for monks to preserve the Sangha; among these I highlight:  to not become enamored with pleasure, to avoid bad associates, to “not give up halfway with some inferior achievement,” to maintain the spiritual practices (e.g. mindfulness) and doctrines (e.g. notions of impermanence and illusion of the self), “to show friendliness to their companions in the spiritual life in their acts of body . . . in their acts of speech . . . in their acts of thoughts both in their presence and in private,” to only rightfully own possessions, and to maintain good conduct.[24]

The religious instinct’s power is pervasive in human affairs. This can be so consciously, as with organized religions and certain ideologies, or it can be unconsciously so, as with the hatred of liberal bigots against those who think differently. But that power cannot be denied. I believe more generally that the religious impulse has evolved among humans both as an emotional mechanism to give meaning to their individual lives and as a social mechanism to enforce group norms. Today, the cost of publishing and of spreading memes, at least on a Website, is almost reduced to zero by the wonders of technology. In past ages, the most ancient texts and memes that have survived are typically religious ones, precisely because the religious sentiment is such a powerful drive in ordering human societies and giving meaning to a human life. Only the religions have been able to maintain adherence to certain texts, doctrines, and symbols throughout the millennia.

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We may differ with the Buddha’s apparent contempt for the blood and his withdrawal from the household and the world. Jeremy Turner tells me that with the technology and high standards of living of the modern era, one does not need to reject household life to be a good European activist. But the Buddha’s lessons for how to create and maintain a spiritual community, both within ourselves and as a group, strike me as having enduring relevance. For whatever happens politically, we will need something like a “European identitarian Sangha” independent of the state, training ourselves and perfecting our principles, enlightening the people, and ensuring the prince’s action is righteous. For we all hope for a new spiritual law among the European peoples.

Notes

1. In one story, two disciples report to the Buddha their encounter with high-caste Hindus:

“The Brahman class,” they say, “is the best; the other classes are inferior. The brahman class is fair, the other classes are dark. Only brahmans can be pure, not non-brahmans. Only brahmas are true sons of Brahmá, born from his mouth, coming from Brahmá, created by Brahmá, heirs of Brahmá. You have given up the best class and joined an inferior class, that of those pathetic, shaven-headed, extravagant ascetics, the dark descendants of our ancestor’s feet.” (Gethin, Sayings of the Buddha, Aggañña Sutta [The Origin of Things], pp. 117-8)

The Buddha then rebuts the Hindus.

2. W. J. Johnson (trans.), The Bhagavad Gita (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), Chapter 11, paragraph 33.

3. Nine of the fourteen stages of the Buddha’s meditation for “establishing mindfulness” in the Satipatṭhāna Sutta involve contemplating one’s own body as a corpse in various stages of putrefaction. This grisly embrace of death is something Western Buddhists (and popular yoga practitioners) tend to gloss over.

4. I am thinking of the ideal Buddhist king’s withdrawal from the world into the “Palace of Dharma” in the Mahāsudassana Sutta.

5. Plato (trans. Robin Waterfield), The Republic [6] (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 600b.

6. Gethin, Sayings, Bodhirajakumara Sutta (Dialogue with Prince Body), pp. 192-193.

7. English translation of the Muni Sutta [7] by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Pierre Hadot, Qu’est-ce que la philosophie antique? (English: What is Ancient Philsophy? [8]) (Paris: Gallimard, 1995), p. 351.

8. To name only a few: Socrates was a good soldier and a father, albeit a negligent one, ultimately choosing death and abandoning his family in the name of philosophy; the Emperor Julian argued that Cynicism was meant for true asceticism and the easier Stoicism was meant for householders; Catholic priests do not marry, whereas Protestant and Orthodox ones may; good National Socialists are with few exceptions (mostly notably Hitler himself) expected to beget children.

9. Gethin, Sayings, Samaññaphala Sutta (the Fruits of the Ascetic Life), p. 19.

10. Ibid., pp. 29-30.

11. Ibid., p. 20.

12. Ibid., Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta (the Buddha’s Final Nirvana), p. 131.

13. Ibid., p. 133.

14. Ibid., p. 135.

15. Ibid., p. 136.

16. Ibid., p. 138.

17. Ibid., p. 276.

18. Ibid., Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta (The Buddha’s Final Nirvana), pp. 39-40.

19. Ibid., Samaññaphala Sutta (The Fruits of the Ascetic Life),  p. 22.

20. Ibid., Moggallāna, p. 239.

21. Ibid., Mahācunda , pp. 260-1.

22. Ibid., Alagaddūpama Sutta (The Simile of the Snake), pp. 159-160.

23. Ibid., Mahāparinibbāṇa Sutta (The Buddha’s Final Nirvana), p. 42.

24. Ibid., p. 44.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2017/03/the-buddha-as-spiritual-lawgiver/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: https://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/3-20-17-1.jpg

[2] Sayings of the Buddha: http://amzn.to/2mIx6DQ

[3] Bhagavad Gita: http://amzn.to/2n10eYS

[4] Pierre Hadot: http://www.counter-currents.com/tag/pierre-hadot/

[5] Greco-Buddhist culture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism

[6] The Republic: http://amzn.to/2neNQ9V

[7] Muni Sutta: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.1.12.than.html

[8] What is Ancient Philsophy?: http://amzn.to/2nDB59W

 

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samedi, 03 décembre 2016

L'OCS se diversifie et s'agrandit

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L'OCS se diversifie et s'agrandit

par Jean-Paul Baquiast

Ex: http://www.europesolidaire.eu 

Nous avons vu, dans un article précédent (Offensive de la Chine à l'APEC, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) http://www.europesolidaire.eu/article.php?article_id=2373&r_id=&t=Offensive%20de%20la%20Chine%20%E0%20l%27APEC que face à la déroute de Barack Obama se révélant incapable d'imposer aux Etats asiatiques une Trans Pacific Coopération (TPP) sous le contrôle de Washington, la Chine n'avait pas tardé à exploiter le vide ainsi créé.
 
Sans attendre, elle a entrepris de proposer aux membres de l'OCS (Organisation de coopération de Shanghai), au delà d'une coopération en matière de sécurité et de défense, restée assez timide, un effort supplémentaire d'intégration dans les domaines économiques et financiers.

Durant le quinzième sommet de l'OCS, tenu début novembre 2016, le Premier ministre chinois, Li Keqiang, a proposé à ses membres l'établissement d'une zone de libre échange commercial et la création une banque régionale de développement, qui augmentera l'influence de Pékin et de Moscou sur une région qui, de l'avis des stratèges américains eux-mêmes, définira finalement la capacité de Moscou et Pékin à retirer aux Etats-Unis leur ancienne hégémonie globale.

L'OCS, qui couvre environ 300 millions de kilomètres carrés, 60 % de toute l'Eurasie et abrite un quart de la population mondiale. Elle est composée de la Chine, de la Russie, du Kazakhstan, du Kirghizistan, du Tadjikistan et de l'Ouzbékistan. L'Inde et le Pakistan sont dans un processus d'adhésion qui devrait se conclure au sommet d'Astana, qui se tiendra en juin 2017 

Aujourd'hui, non seulement Washington n'a plus de contrôle sur cette zone, mais les Chinois mènent, avec les Russes, la construction d'un réseau économique et financier majeur concernant tous les pays de la région. Il s'agit comme nous l'avions plusieurs fois signalé, d'établir une zone de libre-échange entre les membres de l'OCS visant l'intégration horizontale des chaînes de production de la région eurasienne. À une époque où la Chine accélère la réorientation de son économie vers son marché intérieur, en vue de réduire la prévalence des investissements à l'extérieur dans son modèle de croissance, il est de première importance pour les autres pays de l'OCS de faire de même. Ils ne veulent plus rester des zones d'exportation de main d'oeuvre à bas salaires et de matière première non transformée, afin de s'orienter vers la production de produits à forte valeur ajoutée.

Par ailleurs l'élimination des barrières tarifaires pourrait permettre aux pays de l'OCS d'augmenter les flux commerciaux et les investissements avec les blocs régionaux constitués par les économies émergentes, l'Union eurasienne économique (UEE, composée de la Russie, de la Biélorussie, du Kazakhstan, de l'Arménie et du Kirghizistan) ou l'Association des nations de l'Asie du Sud-est (ASEAN)

Au cours de la réunion avec ses homologues de l'OCS, Li a promu la mise en service d'une banque régionale de développement, et d'un fonds de crédit spécial. Il s'agirait de répondre aux besoins de financement de la région eurasienne  De telles structures, si elles voyaient rapidement le jour, s'ajouteraient aux institutions financières précédemment mises en place par la Chine, la Nouvelle Banque de développement des BRICS et la Banque asiatique d'investissement dans l'infrastructure (AIIB).

Ces diverses initiatives participent à l'objectif principal de canalisation de l'épargne des pays émergents vers le financement de l'initiative économique internationale la plus ambitieuse, entreprise par la Chine sous le nom de Nouvelle Route de la Soie : « Une Ceinture, une Route », un vaste réseau de transport reliant les pays de l'Est, du Sud, et du Sud-est asiatique avec le Moyen-Orient et l'Afrique du nord jusqu'à l'Europe. Nous avons plusieurs fois souligné l'importance de ce projet. Alors que dans les pays occidentaux, les épargnes provenant des couches favorisées bénéficient non pas à l'investissement productif , mais aux manœuvres spéculatives du secteur financier, le projet de Nouvelle Route de la Soie permettra une intégration des investissements productifs provenant des pays touchés, en vue de réaliser ce que tant l'Amérique que l'Union européenne ont depuis longtemps renoncé à faire.

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On peut espérer que des pays européens comme l'Allemagne et la Grande Bretagne, qui avaient dès le début décidé de coopérer avec ces différents projets eurasiatiques en bravant les foudres d'Obama, ne resteront pas au stade des intentions. La France, malheureusement, obnubilée par un anti-poutinisme radical, n'est pas pour le moment encore en état de suivre cette voie prometteuse.

mardi, 27 septembre 2016

Kashmir, The World’s Most Dangerous Border

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Kashmir, The World’s Most Dangerous Border

After the first India-Pakistan War in 1947, in which the British Indian Raj was divided into Hindu and Muslim-dominated states, India ended up with two-thirds of the formerly independent mountain state of Kashmir, and the new state of Pakistan with a scrubby, poor third known as Azad Kashmir.

Rebellion and attempts at secession have flared ever since in Indian-ruled  Kashmir which has a restive Muslim-majority, and minorities of Sikhs and Hindus.  In fact, the Kashmir conflict is now the world’s oldest major crisis. The UN’s calls for a plebiscite to determine Kashmir’s future have been ignored by India.

A week ago, Kashmiri militants attacked an Indian Army brigade base at Uri that sits near the 1948-49 cease-fire line known as the Line Of Control (LOC). Seventeen Indian regular soldiers died along with four militants. New Delhi rushed 10,000 soldiers to Kashmir, boosting Indian military strength in the mountain state to over 500,000 men.

It is a grave mistake for the world to ignore Kashmir. My first book, “War at the Top of the World,” explored the Kashmir crisis and Indian-Pakistani-Chinese-Tibetan rivalries in the Karakoram and Himalaya  mountain ranges ( a work inspired by my talks with the Dalai Lama).  A decade ago I called Kashmir the ‘world’s most dangerous crisis.’  It remains so today.

India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed states with powerful armed forces and medium-ranged missiles, remain at scimitar’s drawn over Kashmir for which they’ve fought two big wars and innumerable clashes.

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I’ve been under fire twice along the Kashmir Line of Control and another time further north on the ill-demarcated border leading to the 5,000 meters high Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest war.

Most Azad Kashmiris want union with Pakistan (though a minority favor total independence of historic Kashmir, which is roughly the size of England. ) India insists Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union and not open to any  discussion. Making matters even more complex, Pakistan gave a strategic chunk of vertiginous northern Kashmir called Aksai Chin to neighboring China. India claims it back.  China claims Indian-ruled Ladakh, also known as ‘Little Tibet.’

India calls Kashmiri Muslim militants “terrorists” and accuses Pakistan of waging “cross-border terrorism.” Pakistan accuses India of savage oppression in Kashmir that includes extra-judicial killings, kidnapping, reprisals on civilians and widespread torture, charges supported by Indian human rights groups.

This dispute was not of international consequence until India, then Pakistan, developed nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them by missiles and aircraft.  Both states are estimated to have around 100 nuclear devices deployed.

Over the past 20 years, India’s growing economy has allowed it to greatly expand its large military forces, now the world’s third largest.  They now outnumber Pakistan by at least 2.5 to 1 in manpower, warplanes, artillery, and armor. Granted, a portion of India’s military forces are deployed to watch the long Himalayan border with China. In my book, I suggested that the two Asian superpowers would eventually go to war in the Himalayas and over control of Burma (Myanmar).

Even so, India could use its potent armored corps to cut narrow Pakistan in half within days.  As a result, Pakistan developed tactical and strategic weapons to offset India’s crushing conventional superiority. So far, Islamabad’s nuclear strategy  has worked.  India’s government has repeatedly rejected the army’s requests to charge into Azad Kashmir and northern Pakistan Punjab after brazen Pakistani border incursions.

However, another  border clash in Kashmir, such as last week’s attack at Uri, could ignite serious fighting between old enemies India and Pakistan, raising the risk of full-scale war and even intervention by China to rescue its old ally, Pakistan. This week, China conducted a small-scale training exercise in Pakistan, a clear warning to India.

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For the rest of the world, the most frightening aspect of this tinderbox border, the world’s most militarized along with the Korean DMZ, is that both sides have only three minutes warning time of enemy air and missile attack.

That’s at best.  Electronic systems in India and Pakistan are often unreliable and fault-ridden. A false alarm of incoming warplanes and missiles would force a ‘use it or lose it’ response. Risks of accidents are very high.

A nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India would kill or seriously injure tens of millions in South Asia, pollute its ground water for decades or longer, and release clouds of radioactive dust around the globe.

This is not some Hollywood apocalypse. Shooting is a daily event on the Line of Control. The fanatical hatred between India and Pakistan remains constant. Nuclear war is more likely to start between India and Pakistan than anywhere else. Preventing one should be a primary diplomatic goal for the world’s powers.

mardi, 20 septembre 2016

Rightist Critique of Racial Materialism

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Rightist Critique of Racial Materialism

 
Ex: http://www.katehon.com

While France and England gave materialistic, anti-traditional expressions to the concept of “the people” that was taking shape since the French Revolution, German Idealism was a return to a spiritual, metaphysical direction. The German Revolution moved in a volkish direction, where the volk was seen as the basis of the state, and the notion of a volk-soul that guided the formation and development of nations became a predominant theme that came into conflict with the French bourgeois liberal-democratic ideals derived from Jacobinism. Fichte had laid the foundations of a German nationalism in 1807-1808 with his Addresses to the German Nation. Although like possibly all revolutionaries or radicals of the time, beginning under the impress of the French Revolution, by the time he had delivered his addresses to the German nation, he had already rejected Jacobinism. Johann Heder had previously sought to establish the concept of the volk-soul, and of each nation being guided by a spirit. This was a metaphysical conception of race, or more accurately volk, that preceded the biological arguments of the Frenchman Count Arthur de Gobineau. Herder stated that the volk is the only class, and includes both King and peasant, and that “the people” are not the same as the rabble that are championed by Jacobinism and later Marxism. 

Houston Stewart Chamberlain - Occult History Third Reich - Peter Crawford.jpgFrench and English racism was introduced to Germany by the Englishman Houston Stewart Chamberlain who had a seminal influence on Hitlerism. English Darwinism, a manifestation of the materialistic Zeitgeist that dominated England, was brought to Germany by Ernst Haeckel; although Blumenbach had already begun to classify race according to cranial measurements during the 18th century. Nonetheless, biological racism reflects the English Zeitgeist of materialism. It provided primary materialistic doctrines to dethrone Tradition. Its application to economics also provided a scientific justification for the “class struggle” of both the capitalistic and socialistic varieties. Hitlerism was an attempt to synthesis the English eugenics of Galton and the evolution of Darwin with the metaphysis of German Idealism. Italian Traditionalist Julius Evola attempted to counter the later influence of Hitlerian racism on Italian Fascism by developing a “metaphysical racism,” and the concept of the “race of the spirit,” which has its parallels in Spengler, whose approach to race is in the Traditionalist mode of the German Idealists.

Because the Right, the custodian of Tradition within the epoch of decay, has been infected by the spirit of materialism, there is often a focus on secondary symptoms of culture disease, such as in particular immigration, rather than primary symptoms such as usury and plutocracy. “Race” becomes a matter of skull measuring, rather than spirit, élan and character. Hence the character of a civilisation and of a people is discerned via the types of bone and skull found amidst the ruins. History then becomes a matter of counting and measuring and statistics. How feeble such attempts remain is demonstrated by the years of controversy surrounding the racial identity of Kennewick Man in North America, having first thought to have been a Caucasian, and now concluded to have been of Ainu/Polynesian descent. The Traditionalist does not discount “race”. Rather it plays a central role. How “race” is defined is another matter. 

Trotsky called “racism” “Zoological materialism”. As an “economic materialist”, that is, a Marxist, he did not explain why his own version of materialism is a superior mode of thinking and acting than the other. They arose, along with Free Trade capitalism, out of the same Zeitgeist that dominated England at the time, and all three refer to a naturalistic life as struggle. The Traditionalist rejects all forms of materialism. The Traditionalist does not see history as unfolding according to material, economic forces, or racial-biological determinants. The Traditionalist sees history as the unfolding of metaphysical forces manifesting within the terrestrial. Spengler, although not a Perennial Traditionalist, intuited history over a broad expanse as a metaphysical unfolding. Although a man of the “Right”, he rejected the biological interpretation of history as much as the economic. So did Evola.

The best known exponents of racial determinism were of course German National Socialists, the reductionist doctrine being expressed by Hitler: 

“…This is how civilisations and empires break up and make room for new creations. Blood mixture, and the lowering of the racial level which accompanies it, are the one and only cause why old civilisations disappear…” 

The USA provided a large share of racial theorists of the early 20th century, whose conception of the rise and fall of civilisation was based on racial zoology, and in particular on the superiority of the Nordic not only above non-white races, but above all sub-races of the white, such as the Dinaric, Mediterranean and Alpine. Senator Theodore G. Bilbo of Mississippi wrote a book championing the cause of segregation, and more so, the “back-to-Africa” movement, stating that miscegenation with the Negro will result in the fall of white civilisation. He briefly examined some major civilisations. Bilbo wrote that Egyptian civilisation was mongrelised over centuries, “until a mulatto inherited the throne of the Pharaohs in the Twenty-fifth dynasty. This mongrel prince, Taharka, ruled over a Negroid people whose religion had fallen from an ethical test for the life after death to a form of animal worship”. This should be “sufficient warning to white America!” Because Sen. Bilbo had started from an assumption, his history was flawed. As will be shown below, it was Taharka and the Nubian dynasty that renewed Egypt’s decaying culture, which had degenerated under the white Libyan dynasties.  Sen. Bilbo proceeds with similar brief examinations of Carthage, Greece, and Rome. 

julius%20evola%20sintesi%20e%20dottrina%20della%20razza%20heopli.jpegJulius Evola, while repudiating the zoological primacy of “racism” as another form of materialism and therefore anti-Traditional, suggested that a “spiritual racism” is necessary to oppose the forces seeking to turn man into an amorphous mass; as interchangeable economic units without roots; what is now called “globalisation”. 

Evola gives the Traditionalist viewpoint when stating that there “have been many cases in which a culture has collapsed even when its race has remained pure, as is especially clear in certain groups that have suffered slow, inexorable extinction despite remaining as racially isolated as if they were islands”. He gives Sweden and The Netherlands as recent examples, pointing out that although the race has remained unchanged, there is little of the “heroic disposition” those cultures possessed just several centuries previously. He refers to other great cultures as having remained in a state as if like mummies, inwardly dead, awaiting a push “to knock them down”. These are what Spengler called Fellaheen, spiritually exhausted and historically passé. Evola gives Peru as an example of how readily a static culture succumbed to Spain. Hence, such examples, even as vigorous cultures such as that of the Dutch and Scandinavian, once wide-roaming and dynamic, have declined to nonentities despite the maintenance of racial homogeneity. 

The following considers examples that are often cited as civilisations that decayed and died as the result of miscegenation.

Greek

A case study for testing the miscegenation theory of cultural decay is that of the Hellenic. The ancient Hellenic civilisation is typically ascribed by racial theorists as being the creation of a Nordic culture-bearing stratum. The same has been said of the Latin, Egyptian, and others. Typically, this theory is illustrated by depicting sculptures of ancient Hellenes of “Nordic” appearance. Such depictions upon which to form a theory are unreliable: the ancient Hellenes were predominantly a mixture of Dinaric-Alpine-Mediterranean. The skeletal remains of Greeks show that from earliest times to the present there has been remarkable uniformity, according to studies by Sergi, Ripley, and Buxton, who regarded the Greeks as an Alpine-Mediterranean mix from a “comparatively early date.” American physical anthropologist Carlton S. Coon stated that the Greeks remain an Alpine/Mediterranean mix, with a weak Nordic element, being “remarkably similar” to their ancient ancestors.

American anthropologist J. Lawrence Angel, in the most complete study of Greek skeletal remains starting from the Neolithic era to the present, found that Greeks have always bene marked by a sustained racial continuity. Angel cited American anthropologist Buxton who had studied Greek skeletal material and measured modern Greeks, especially in Cyprus, concluding that the modern Greeks “possess physical characteristics not differing essentially from those of the former [ancient Greeks]”. The most extensive study of modern Greeks was conducted by anthropologist Aris N. Poulianos, concluding that Greeks are and have always been Mediterranean-Dinaric, with a strong Alpine presence. Angel states that “Poulianos is correct in pointing out ... that there is complete continuity genetically from ancient to modern times”. Nikolaos Xirotiris did not find any significant alteration of the Greek race from prehistory, through classical and medieval, to modern times. Anthropologist Roland Dixon studied the funeral masks of Spartans and identified them as of the Alpine sub-race. Although race theorists often stated that Hellenic civilisation was founded and maintained by invading Dorian “Nordics”, Angel states that the northern invasions were always of “Dinaroid-Alpine” type. A recent statistical comparison of ancient and modern Greek skulls found “a remarkable similarity in craniofacial morphology between modern and ancient Greeks.”

If miscegenation and the elimination of an assumed Nordic (Dorian) culture-bearing stratum cannot account for the decay of Hellenic civilisation, what can? Contemporary historians point out the origins. The Roman historian Livy observed: 

“The Macedonians who settled in Alexandria in Egypt, or in Seleucia, or in Babylonia, or in any of their other colonies scattered over the world, have degenerated into Syrians, Parthians, or Egyptians. Whatever is planted in a foreign land, by a gradual change in its nature, degenerates into that by which it is nurtured”.

tarn-2.jpgHere Livy is observing that occupiers among foreign peoples “go native”, as one might say. The occupiers are pulled downward, rather than elevating their subjects upward, not through genetic contact but through moral and cultural corruption. The Syrians, Parthians and Egyptians, had already become historically and culturally passé, or Fellaheen, as Spengler puts it. The Macedonian Greeks in those colonies succumbed to the force of etiolation. Alexander even encouraged this in an effort to meld all subjects into one Greek mass, which resulted not from a Hellenic civilisation passed along by multitudinous peoples, but in a chaotic mass from which Greece did not recover, despite the Greeks staying racially intact. Unlike the Jews in particular, the Greeks, Romans and other conquerors did not have the strength of Tradition to maintain themselves among alien cultures. Dr. W. W. Tarn stated of this process:

“Greece was ready to adopt the gods of the foreigner, but the foreigner rarely reciprocated; Greek Doura (the Greek temple in Mesopotamia) freely admitted the gods of Babylon, but no Greek god entered Babylonian Uruk. Foreign gods might take Greek names; they took little else. They (the Babylonian gods) were the stronger, and the conquest of Asia (by the Greeks) was bound to fail as soon as the East had gauged its own strength and Greek weakness.”

Spengler pointed out to Western Civilisation and the current epoch that one of the primary symptoms of culture decay is that of depopulation. It is a sign literally that a Civilisation has become too lazy to look beyond the immediate. There is no longer any sense of duty to the past or the future, but only to a hedonistic present. Polybius (b. ca. 200 B.C.) observed this phenomenon of Hellenic Civilisation like Spengler did of ours, writing: 

tarn-1.jpg“In our time all Greece was visited by a dearth of children and generally a decay of population, owing to which the cities were denuded of inhabitants, and a failure of productiveness resulted, though there were no long-continued wars or serious pestilences among us. If, then, any one had advised our sending to ask the gods in regard to this, what we were to do or say in order to become more numerous and better fill our cities,—would he not have seemed a futile person, when the cause was manifest and the cure in our own hands? For this evil grew upon us rapidly, and without attracting attention, by our men becoming perverted to a passion for show and money and the pleasures of an idle life, and accordingly either not marrying at all, or, if they did marry, refusing to rear the children that were born, or at most one or two out of a great number, for the sake of leaving them well off or bringing them up in extravagant luxury. For when there are only one or two sons, it is evident that, if war or pestilence carries off one, the houses must be left heirless: and, like swarms of bees, little by little the cities become sparsely inhabited and weak. On this subject there is no need to ask the gods how we are to be relieved from such a curse: for any one in the world will tell you that it is by the men themselves if possible changing their objects of ambition; or, if that cannot be done, by passing laws for the preservation of infants”.

Do Polybius’ thoughts sound like some unheeded doom-sayer speaking to us now about our modern world? If the reader can see the analogous features between Western Civilisation, and that of Greece and Rome then the organic course of Civilisations is being understood, and by looking at Greece and Rome we might see where we are heading.

Roman

Another often cited example of the fall of civilisation through miscegenation is that of Rome. However, despite the presence of slaves and traders of sundry races, like the Greeks, today’s Italians are substantially the same as they were in Roman times. Arab influence did not occur until Medieval times, centuries after the “fall of Rome”, with Arab rule extending over Sicily only during 1212-1226 A.D. The genetic male influence on Sicilians is estimated at only 6%. The predominant genetic influence is ancient Greek. The African have a less than  1% frequency  throughout Italy other than in , , and where there are frequencies of 2% to  3% . Sub-Saharan, that is, Negroid, mtDNA have been found at very low frequencies in Italy, albeit marginally higher than elsewhere in Europe, but date from 10,000 years ago. This study states: “….mitochondrial DNA studies show that Italy does not differ too much from other European populations”. Although there are small regional variations, “The mtDNA haplogroup make-up of Italy as observed in our samples fits well with expectations in a typical European population”. 

Hence, an infusion of Negroid or Asian genes during the epoch of Rome’s decline and fall is lacking, and the reasons for that fall cannot be assigned to miscegenation. What slight frequency there is of non-Caucasian genetic markers entered Rome long before or long after the fall of Roman Civilisation. There was no “contamination of Roman blood”, but of Roman spirit and élan.  

declinerome.jpgAlien immigration introduces cultural elements that dislocate the social and ethical basis of a Civilisation and aggravate an existing pathological condition. The English scholar Professor C. Northcote Parkinson, writing on the fall of Rome, commented that the Roman conquerors were subjected “to cultural inundation and grassroots influence”. Because Rome extended throughout the world, like the present Late Western, the economic opportunities accorded by Rome drew in all the elements of the subject peoples, “groups of mixed origin and alien ways of life”. “Even more significant was what the Romans learnt while on duty overseas, for men so influenced were of the highest rank”. Parkinson quotes Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, referring to the Roman colony of Antioch: 

“…Fashion was the only law, pleasure the only pursuit, and the splendour of dress and furniture was the only distinction of the citizens of Antioch. The arts of luxury were honoured, the serious and manly virtues were the subject of ridicule, and the contempt for female modesty and reverent age announced the universal corruption of the capitals of the East…” 

Roman historian Livy wrote of the opulence of Asia being brought back to Rome by the soldiery:

“…it was through the army serving in Asia that the beginnings of foreign luxury were introduced into the City. These men brought into Rome for the first time, bronze couches, costly coverlets, tapestry, and other fabrics, and - what was at that time considered gorgeous furniture - pedestal tables and silver salvers. Banquets were made more attractive by the presence of girls who played on the harp and sang and danced, and by other forms of amusement, and the banquets themselves began to be prepared with greater care and expense. The cook whom the ancients regarded and treated as the lowest menial was rising in value, and what had been a servile office came to be looked upon as a fine art. Still what met the eye in those days was hardly the germ of the luxury that was coming”.

The moral decay of Rome resulted in the displacement of Roman stock, not by miscegenation, but by the falling birth-rate of the Romans. Such population decline is itself a major symptom of culture decay. The problem that it signifies is that a people has so little consciousness left as to its own purpose as a culture that its individuals do not have any responsibility beyond their own egos. Professor Tenney Frank, foremost scholar on the economic history of Rome, also considered the results of population decline, from the top of the social hierarchy downward: 

“The race went under. The legislation of Augustus and his successors, while aiming at preserving the native stock, was of the myopic kind so usual in social lawmaking, and failing to reckon with the real nature of the problem involved. It utterly missed the mark. By combining epigraphical and literary references, a fairly full history of the noble families can be procured, and this reveals a startling inability of such families to perpetuate themselves. We know, for instance, in Caesar’s day of forty-five patricians, only one of whom is represented by posterity when Hadrian came to power. The Aemilsi, Fabii, Claudii. Manlii, Valerii, and all the rest, with the exception of Comelii, have disappeared. Augustus and Claudius raised twenty-five families to the patricate, and all but six disappear before Nerva’s reign. Of the families of nearly four hundred senators recorded in 65 A. D. under Nero, all trace of a half is lost by Nerva’s day, a generation later. And the records are so full that these statistics may be assumed to represent with a fair degree of accuracy the disappearance of the male stock of the families in question. Of course members of the aristocracy were the chief sufferers from the tyranny of the first century, but this havoc was not all wrought by delatores and assassins. The voluntary choice of childlessness accounts largely for the unparalleled condition. This is as far as the records help in this problem, which, despite the silences is probably the most important phase of the whole question of the change of race. Be the causes what they may, the rapid decrease of the old aristocracy and the native stock was clearly concomitant with a twofold increase from below; by a more normal birth-rate of the poor, and the constant manumission of slaves 

While allusions to “race” by Professor Frank are enough for “zoological materialists” to spin a whole theory about Rome’s decline and fall around miscegenation of the “white race” with blacks and Orientals, we now know from the genetics that despite the invasions over centuries, the Italians, like the Greeks, have retained their original racial composition to the present. What Frank is describing, by an examination of the records that show a disappearance of the leading patrician families, is that Rome was in a spiritual crisis, as all civilisations are when they regard child-bearing as a burden. Traditionalists such as Evola pointed out that the “secret of degeneration” of a civilisation is that it rots from the top downward, and as Spengler pointed out, one of the primary signs of that rot is childlessness. That there were Roman statesmen with the wisdom to understand what was happening is indicated by Augustus’ efforts to raise the birth-rate, but to no avail. Of this symptom of moral decay, Professor Frank wrote: 

“In the first place there was a marked decline in the birthrate among the aristocratic families. … As society grew more pleasure-loving, as convention raised artificially the standard of living, the voluntary choice of celibacy and childlessness became a common feature among the upper classes. …”

RomanEmpire_117.svg.png

Urbanisation, the magnetic pull of the megalopolis, the depopulation of the land and the proletarianism of the former peasant stock as in the case of the West’s Industrial Revolution, impacted in major ways on the fall of Rome. A. M. Duff wrote of the impact of rural depopulation and urbanisation:

“But what of the lower-class Romans of the old stock? They were practically untouched by revolution and tyranny, and the growth of luxury cannot have affected them to the same extent as it did the nobility. Yet even here the native stock declined. The decay of agriculture. … drove numbers of farmers into the towns, where, unwilling to engage in trade, they sank into unemployment and poverty, and where, in their endeavours to maintain a high standard of living, they were not able to support the cost of rearing children. Many of these free-born Latins were so poor that they often complained that the foreign slaves were much better off than they, and so they were. At the same time many were tempted to emigrate to the colonies across the sea which Julius Caesar and Augustus founded. Many went away to Romanize the provinces, while society was becoming Orientalized at home. Because slave labour had taken over almost all jobs, the free born could not compete with them. They had to sell their small farms or businesses and move to the cities. Here they were placed on the doles because of unemployment. They were, at first, encouraged to emigrate to the more prosperous areas of the empire to Gaul, North Africa and Spain. Hundreds of thousands left Italy and settled in the newly-acquired lands. Such a vast number left Italy leaving it to the Orientals that finally restrictions had to be passed to prevent the complete depopulation of the Latin stock, but as we have seen, the laws were never effectively put into force. The migrations increased and Italy was being left to another race. The free-born Italian, anxious for land to till and live upon, displayed the keenest colonization activity.” 

The foreign cultures and religions that had come to Rome from across the empire changed the temperament of the Romans masses who were uprooted and migrating to the cities; where as in the nature of the cites, as Spengler showed,  they became a cosmopolitan mass. Frank writes of this: 

“This Orientalization of Rome’s populace has a more important bearing than is usually accorded it upon the larger question of why the spirit and acts of imperial Rome are totally different from those of the republic. There was a complete change in the temperament! There is today a healthy activity in the study of the economic factors that contributed to Rome’s decline. But what lay behind and constantly reacted upon all such causes of Rome’s disintegration was, after all, to a considerable extent, the fact that the people who had built Rome had given way to a different race. The lack of energy and enterprise, the failure of foresight and common sense, the weakening of moral and political stamina, all were concomitant with the gradual diminution of the stock which, during the earlier days, had displayed these qualities. It would be wholly unfair to pass judgment upon the native qualities of the Orientals without a further study, or to accept the self-complacent slurs of the Romans, who, ignoring certain imaginative and artistic qualities, chose only to see in them unprincipled and servile egoists. We may even admit that had these new races had time to amalgamate and attain a political consciousness a more brilliant and versatile civilization might have come to birth.” 

Fall-of-the-Roman-Empire.jpgWhat is notable is not that the Romans miscegenated with Orientals, but that the uprooted, amorphous masses of the cities no longer adhered to the Traditions on which Roman civilisation was founded. The same process can be seen today at work in New York, London and Paris. Duff wrote of this, and we might consider the parallels with our own time: 

“Instead of the hardy and patriotic Roman with his proud indifference to pecuniary gain, we find too often under the Empire an idle pleasure-loving cosmopolitan whose patriotism goes no further than applying for the dole and swelling the crowds in the amphitheatre”. 

The Roman Traditional ethos of severity, austerity and disdain for softness that Emperor Julian attempted to reassert was greeted by “fashionable society” with “disgust”. Parkinson remarks that “there is just such a tendency in the London of today, as there was still earlier in Boston and New York”. These “world cities” no longer reflect a cultural nexus but an economic nexus, and hence one’s position is not based on how one or one’s family unfolds the Traditional ethos, but on whether or how one accumulates wealth. 

Indian

social_pyramid_f02.jpgIndia is the most commonly cited example of a civilisation that decayed through miscegenation, the invading Aryans imparting a High Culture on India and then forever falling into decay because of miscegenation with the low caste “blacks”, or Dravidians. However, Genetic research indicates that the higher castes have retained to the present a predominately Caucasian genetic inheritance.

“As one moves from lower to upper castes, the distance from Asians becomes progressively larger. The distance between Europeans and lower castes is larger than the distance between Europeans and upper castes, but the distance between Europeans and middle castes is smaller than the upper caste-European distance. … Among the upper castes the genetic distance between Brahmins and Europeans (0.10) is smaller than that between either the Kshatriya and Europeans (0.12) or the Vysya and Europeans (0.16). Assuming that contemporary Europeans reflect West Eurasian affinities, these data indicate that the amount of West Eurasian admixture with Indian populations may have been proportionate to caste rank.

“…As expected if the lower castes are more similar to Asians than to Europeans, and the upper castes are more similar to Europeans than to Asians, the frequencies of M and M3 haplotypes are inversely proportional to caste rank.

“…In contrast to the mtDNA distances, the Y-chromosome STR data do not demonstrate a closer affinity to Asians for each caste group. Upper castes are more similar to Europeans than to Asians, middle castes are equidistant from the two groups, and lower castes are most similar to Asians. The genetic distance between caste populations and Africans is progressively larger moving from lower to middle to upper caste groups. 

“…Results suggest that Indian Y chromosomes, particularly upper caste Y chromosomes, are more similar to European than to Asian Y chromosomes.

“…Nevertheless, each separate upper caste is more similar to Europeans than to Asians.”

Citing further studies, “…admixture with African or proto-Australoid populations” is “occasional”. 

The chaos that afflicted India seems to have been of religio-cultural type rather than racial. Despite the superficiality of dusky hues, the Indian ruling castes have retained their Caucasian identity to the present. The genetic contribution of Australoids and Africans was minor. 

Egyptian

Like India, Egypt is often cited as an example of a civilisation that was destroyed primarily by miscegenation, with Negroids. However, despite the myriad of invasions and population shifts, today’s Egyptians are still more closely related genetically to Eurasia than Africa. Migrations between Egypt, Nubia and Sudan have not been extensive enough to “homogenise the mtDNA gene pools of the Nile River Valley populations”, although Egyptians and Nubians are more closely related than Egyptians and southern Sudanese. However, significant differences remain. Even now, today’s Egyptians have primary genetic affinities with Asia, and North and Northeast Africa. The least affinity is to the populations of Sub-Sahara.  The Haplotype  M1, with a high frequency among Egyptians,  hitherto thought to be of Sub-Saharan origin,  is of Eurasian origin.  

Miscegenation with Nubian “slaves” and mercenaries seems unlikely to have caused Egypt’s decay. While a Nubian or “black” pharaoh is alluded to by racial-zoologists as a sign of Egyptian decay, the Nubian civilisation had an intimate connection with the Egyptian and was itself impressive and of early origins. 

Nubian civilisation, with palaces, temples and pyramids, flourished as far back as 7000 B.C. 223 pyramids, twice the number of Egypt, have been found along the Nile of the Nubian culture-region. The Nubian civilisation was of notably long duration surviving until the Muslim conquest of 1500 A.D. The Egyptians have viewed the Nubians either as a “conquered race or a superior enemy”. Hence, Egyptian depictions of shackled black slaves, give a widely inaccurate impression of the Nubian.  Nubians became the pharaohs of Egypt’s 25th dynasty, providing stability where previously there had been ruin caused by civil wars between warlords, ca. 700 B.C. The Nubians were the custodians of Egyptian faith and culture at a time when Egypt was decaying. They regarded the restoration of the faith of Amun as their duty. It was the Nubian dynasties (760-656 B.C.), especially the rulership of Taharqa, which revived and purified Egyptian culture and religion. It was under the “white” rule of the Libyan pharaohs of the 21st dynasty (1069-1043 B. c.) that Egypt began a sharp decline. Ptolemaic (Greek) rule (332-30 B.C.) under Ptolemy IV (222 to 205 B.C.) brought to the rich and sumptuous pharaohs’ court “lax morals and vicious lifestyle” ending in “decadence and anarchy”. Byzantine rule (395 to 640 A.D.) through Christianisation wrought destruction on the Egyptian heritage, which was succeeded by Islamic rule. Of the long vicissitudes of Egypt’s rise and fall, it was the Nubian dynasty that had restored Egyptian cultural integrity. References to Nubians on the throne of the pharaohs tell no more of the causes of Egypt’s decay than if historians several millennia hence sought to ascribe the causes of the USA’s  culture retardation to Obama’s presidency as a “black”. 

kushiteempire1.jpg

We see in Egypt as in Rome, the Moorish civilisation, India and others, the causes of culture decay and fall as being something other than miscegenation. The contemporary Westerner should look for answers beyond this if only because he can see for himself that the West’s decay has no relationship to miscegenation. The number of Americans describing themselves as “mixed race” was just under 9 million in 2010. Of the 3,988,076 live births in the USA in 2014  368,213 were non-white.  The USA did not become the global centre of culture-pestilence because of its mixed race population. What is more significant than the percentages of miscegenation, are the percentages of population decline caused by such factors as the limitation of children, and the rates of abortion. Twenty-one percent of all pregnancies in the USA are aborted. Such depopulation statics are an indication of culture pathology. 

gallery-1431027249-122315523.jpgOf Egypt’s chaos contemporary sages observed, as they did of Rome and India, a disintegration of authority, traditional religion, and the founding ethos and mythos around which a healthy culture revolves. Egypt was often subjected to invasions and to natural disasters. These served as catalysts for culture degeneration. The papyrus called The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage, state that after invasions and what seems to have been a class war, Egypt fell apart, there was family strife, the noble families were dispossessed by the lowest castes, authority was disrespected and overthrown, lawlessness and plunder were the norm, and the nobility was attacked: “A man looks upon his son as an enemy. A man smites his brother (the son of his mother)”. Craftsmanship has become degraded: “No craftsmen work, the enemies of the land have spoilt its crafts”. There is rebellion against the Uraeus or Re. “A few lawless men have ventured to despoil the land of the kingship”. It appears that the foundations of Traditional society, god, monarch, family and land, have been caste asunder. Further, “Asiatics” have seized the land from the ancestral occupiers, and have so insinuated themselves into the Egyptian culture that one can no longer tell who is Egyptian and who is alien: “There are no Egyptians anywhere”. “Women are lacking and no children are conceived”. Evidently there is a population crisis; that perennial symptom of decay. The political and administrative structure has collapsed, with “no officers in their place”. The laws are trampled on and cast aside. “Serfs become lords of serfs”.  The writings of the scribes are destroyed. 

What is being described is not a sudden upheaval, although the allusion to natural disasters and Asiatic invasion would imply this. The breakdown of regal authority, civil authority, depopulation, laws, family bonds, religious faith, agriculture and the social structure, imply an epoch of decline into chaos. The social structure has been inversed, as though a communistic revolution had occurred. “He who possessed no property is now a man of wealth. The prince praises him. The poor of the land have become rich, and the possessor of the land has become one who has nothing. Female slaves speak as they like to their mistresses. Orders become irksome. Those who could not build a boat now possesses ships. “The possessors of robes are now in rags”. “The children of princes are cast out in the street”. 

With this inversion of hierarchy has come irreligion and the degradation of religion. The ignorant now perform their own rites to the Gods. Wrong offerings are made to the Gods.  “Right is cast aside. Wrong is inside the council-chamber. The plans of the gods are violated, their ordinances are neglected… Reverence, an end is put to it”.

Ipuwer’s admonition was not only to rid Egypt of its enemies but to return to the Traditional ethos. This meant the reinstitution of proper religious rites, and the purification of the temples. “A fighter comes forth,” Ipuwer prophesises, to “destroy the wrongs”. “Is he sleeping? Behold, his might is not seen”. The Egyptians await an avatar, the personification of the Sun God Re (which Tradition states was the first of the Pharaohs) an Arthur who sleeps but will awaken, a redeemer that is a universal symbol from the Hindu Kalki, to Jesus in the vision of John of Patmos, the Katehon of Orthodox Russia, and many others across time and place. 

Nefertiti2-Re_158267t.jpgIpuwer avers to Egypt having gone through such epochs, alluding to his saying nothing other than what others have said before his time.

The Pharaoh is castigated for allowing Egypt to fall into chaos, with his authority being undermined, and without taking corrective actions. The Pharaoh as God-king, in terms of Tradition, had not maintained his authority as the nexus between the earthly kingdom and the Divine. The Pharaoh had caused “confusion throughout the land”. Certainty of the social hierarchy, crowned by the God-king, is the basis of Traditional societies. It seems that Egypt had entered into an epoch of what a Westerner could today identify in our time as that of scepticism and secularism. Chaos follows with the undermining of Cosmos.

Nefer-rohu warned Pharaoh of similar chaos. Likewise there would be “Asiatic” invasions, natural disasters, Re withdrawing his light, and again the inversion of hierarchy: 

“The weak of arm is now the possessor of an arm. Men salute respectfully him whom formerly saluted. I show thee the undermost on top, turned about in proportion to the turning about of my belly. It is the paupers who eat the offering bread, while the servants jubilate. The Heliopolitan Nome, the birthplace of every god, will no longer be on earth”.

It is notable, again, that Nefer-rohu identifies the chaos with the breaking of the nexus with the divine, and the social order that has become “the undermost on top”. Also of interest is that Nefer-rohu refers to a redeemer, who has a Nubian mother, uniting Egypt and driving out the Asiatics, and the Libyans (the whitest of races of the region) and defeating the rebellious.  Chaos resulted not from bio-genetic-race-factors but from a falling away of the regal and religious authority. If there is a race-factor it is in regard to Nubians being the custodians of Egyptian culture in periods of Egyptian decay, analogous to the revitalising “barbarians” who wept over the decaying Roman Empire.

Islamic 

Islam had its Golden Age and rich civilisation, centred in Morocco, and extending into Spain.  It is in ruins like civilisations centuries prior.  The cultures that flourished in Morocco, both Islamic and pre-Islamic, were Berber. The Islamic civilisation they established with the founding of the Idrisid dynasty in 788 A. D. was ended by the invasion of the Fatimids from Tunisia ca. 900 A.D. Chaos ensued. Although there was a revival of High Culture during the 11th and 14th centuries, dynasties fell in the face of tribalism.  The 16th century saw a revival initiated by al-Ghalin, several decades of wars of succession after his death in 1603, and continuing decline under Saadi dynastic rule during 1627 to 1659. 

stanlane.jpgCaucasoid mtDNA sequences are at frequencies of 96% in Moroccan Berbers, 82% in Algerian Berbers and 78% in non-Berber Moroccans. The study of Esteban et al found that Moroccan Northern and Southern Berbers have only 3% to 1% Sub-Saharan mtDNA. Although difficult to define, since “Berber” is a Roman, not an indigenous term, the estimate for present day Morocco is 35% to 45% Berber, with the rest being Berber-Arab mixture. The primary point is that the Moroccan civilisation had ruling classes, whether pre-Islamic or Islamic, that remained predominantly Berber-Caucasian for most of its history, whether during its epochs of glory or of decline. Miscegenation does not account for the fall of the Moorish Civilisation. 

The High Culture of Moorish Spain (Andalusia) was brought to ruin and decay not by miscegenation between “superior” Spaniards” and “inferior” Moors but by the overthrow of the Moorish ruling caste. Friedrich Nietzsche had observed this culture denegation with the fall of Moorish Spain (Andalusia). Stanley Lane-Poole wrote of the history of decay:

“The land, deprived of the skilful irrigation of the Moors, grew impoverished and neglected; the richest and most fertile valleys languished and were deserted; most of the populous cities which had filled every district of Andalusia fell into ruinous decay; and beggars, friars, and bandits took the place of scholars, merchants, and knights. So low fell Spain when she had driven away the Moors. Such is the melancholy contrast offered by her history”.

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a well-travelled sage, grappled with the same problems confronting Islamic Civilisation as those Spengler confronted in regard to The West. A celebrated scholar, political adviser, and jurist, Ibn Khaldun’s domain of influence extended over the whole Islamic world. His major theoretical work is Muqaddimah (1377), intended as a preface to his universal history, Kitabal-Ibar, where he sought to establish basic principles of history by which historians could understand events.  His theory is cyclic and morphological, based on “conditions within nations and races [which] change with the change of periods and the passage of time”. Like Evolahe was pessimistic as to what can be achieved by political action in the cycle of decline, writing that the “past resembles the future more than one drop of water another”.

Ibn Khaldun stated that history can be understood as a recurrence of similar patterns motivated by the drives of acquisition, group co-operation, and regal authority in the creation of a civilisation, followed by a cycle of decay. These primary drives become distorted and lead to the corrupting factors of luxury and domination, irresponsibility of authority and decline.

Like Spengler, in regard to the peasantry, Ibn Khaldun traces the beginning of culture to group or familial loyalty starting with the simple life of the rural - and desert – environments. The isolation and familial bonds lead to self-reliance, loyalty and leadership on the basis of mutual respect. Life is struggle, not luxury. According to Ibn Khaldun, when rulership becomes centralised and divorced from such kinship, free reign is given to luxury and ease.  Political alliances are bought and intrigued rather than being based on the initial bonds and loyalties. Corruption pervades as the requirements of luxury increase. The decadence starts from the top, among the ruling class, and extends downward until the founding ethos of the culture is discarded, or exists in name only.

timbre-citation-ibn-khaldoun_les-arabes.pngIbn Khaldun begins from the organic character of the noble family in describing the analogous nature of cultural rise and fall, caused by a falling away of the original creative ethos with each successive generation:

“The builder of the family’s glory knows what it cost him to do the work, and he keeps the qualities that created his glory and made it last. The son who comes after him had personal contact with his father and thus learned those things from him. However, he is inferior to him in this respect, inasmuch as a person who learns things through study is inferior to a person who knows them from practical application. The third generation must be content with imitation and, in particular, with reliance upon tradition. This member is inferior to him of the second generation, inasmuch as a person who relies upon tradition is inferior to a person who exercises judgment.

“The fourth generation, then, is inferior to the preceding ones in every respect. Its member has lost the qualities that preserved the edifice of its glory. He despises those qualities. He imagines that the edifice was not built through application and effort. He thinks that it was something due to his people from the very beginning by virtue of the mere fact of their descent, and not something that resulted from group effort and individual qualities. For he sees the great respect in which he is held by the people, but he does not know how that respect originated and what the reason for it was. He imagines it is due to his descent and nothing else. He keeps away from those in whose group feeling he shares, thinking that he is better than they”.

For Ibn Khaldun’s “generation” we might say with Spengler “cultural epoch”. Ibn Khaldun addresses the causes of this cultural etiolation, leading to the corrupting impact of materialism. Again, his analysis is remarkably similar to that of Spengler and the decay of the Classical civilisations:  

“When a tribe has achieved a certain measure of superiority with the help of its group feeling, it gains control over a corresponding amount of wealth and comes to share prosperity and abundance with those who have been in possession of these things. It shares in them to the degree of its power and usefulness to the ruling dynasty. If the ruling dynasty is so strong that no-one thinks of depriving it of its power or of sharing with it, the tribe in question submits to its rule and is satisfied with whatever share in the dynasty’s wealth and tax revenue it is permitted to enjoy. ... Members of the tribe are merely concerned with prosperity, gain and a life of abundance. (They are satisfied) to lead an easy, restful life in the shadow of the ruling dynasty, and to adopt royal habits in building and dress, a matter they stress and in which they take more and more pride, the more luxuries and plenty they acquire, as well as all the other things that go with luxury and plenty.

“As a result the toughness of desert life is lost. Group feeling and courage weaken. Members of the tribe revel in the well-being that God has given them. Their children and offspring grow up too proud to look after themselves or to attend to their own needs. They have disdain also for all the other things that are necessary in connection with group feeling.... Their group feeling and courage decrease in the next generations. Eventually group feeling is altogether destroyed. ... It will be swallowed up by other nations.

Ibn Khaldun refers to the “tribe” and “group feeling” where Spengler refers to nations, peoples, and races. The dominant culture becomes corrupted through its own success and its culture become static; its inward strength diminishes in proportion to its outward glamour. Hence, the Golden Age of Islam is over, as are those of Rome and Athens. New York, Paris, and London are in the analogous cultural epochs to those of Fez, Rome and Athens. The “world city” becomes the focus of a world civilisation that ends as cosmopolitan and far removed from its founding roots. Our present “world-cities’” – in particular, New York and The City of London - are the control centres of world politics, economics, and mass-culture by the fact of their also being the centres of banking. These world-cities are the prototypes for a world civilisation that continues to be called “Western”, under the leadership of the USA, a rotting centre like Fez and Rome.

The Muslim determination of what is “progress” and what is “decline” has a spiritual foundation:

“The progressiveness or backwardness of society at any given point of time is determinable in relative terms. It can be compared to other contemporary societies [like the Spenglerian method] or to its own state in the past. … for Muslim society although economic progress is not frowned upon, it is placed lower on the order of priorities as compared to other factors; e.g. the acquisition of knowledge or the provision of justice. There is also a tradition (Hadis) of the Holy Prophet that lists the symptoms of society that is in a pathological state of decline. These outward symptoms point to an underlying malaise in the society but can also provide a useful starting point for corrective actions for stopping or reversing the onset of decline”.  The high and low points of Muslim civilisation can be identified as those of a “Golden Age” or of an “Abyss”.

Comparable to the warnings of other sages, in an epoch of decline again there is an inversion of hierarchy, or more specifically here, of character, the Hadith stating that those in such a society would be corrupted, while others might resist within themselves:

“There will be soon a period of turmoil in which the one who sits will be better than one who stands and the one who stands will be better than one who walks and the one who walks will be better than one who runs. He who would watch them will be drawn by them. So he who finds a refuge or shelter against it should make it as his resort”.

Hebrew “Race”

A Traditionalist “race”, conscious of its nexus with the Divine as the basis of culture, endures regardless of contact with foreigners because of its inward strength. This allows it to accept foreigners not only without weakening the cultural organism but even strengthening it; because it accepts foreign input on its own terms. A Traditionalist “race” surviving over the course of millennia without succumbing to the cyclical laws of decay is the Jewish. They are the Traditionalist “race” par excellence. No better example can be had than this People that has maintained its nexus with its Divinity as the basis of cultural survival, whose religion is a race-founding and race-sustaining mythos. 

Phineas.jpgContrary to the beliefs of certain racial ideologues, including extreme Zionists and ultra-Orthodox Jews, this survival is not the result of bans on miscegenation. The Jewish law as embodied in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, is based not on zoological race but on a race mythos. The Mosaic Law demands “race purity” in the Traditionalist sense; that of a community of belief in a heritage and a destiny. 

Bizarrely, some white racists have adopted the Torah commandments as being based on genetic purity, in their belief that whites are the true Israelites. For example the priest Phineas, at the time of Moses is held in esteem by such white supremacists because he speared an Israelite and a Midianite in the act of copulation. At this time apparently the Midianites were seducing Israel away from its God, towards Baal. A purge of Israel took place. However the chapter in its entirety makes plain this was a matter of religion, not miscegenation. The nexus between Israel and the Divine was being broken by the influence of “the daughters of Moab.” Israel’s Divinity is recorded as having threatened wrath because of “my insistence on exclusive devotion.” The Divine nexus was established for eternity with the line of Phineas because he had “not tolerated any rivalry towards his god”.  Moses himself had married the daughter of a Midianite priest, so the issue with the Midianites was clearly religious, and specifically that such foreign influences would break Israel’s nexus with the Divine that renders them a “special people”. Where marriages with Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, et al are prohibited it is because this nexus would be subverted. However, in the same book Deuteronomy, where the Israelite war code is being established, when a city has been defeated the adult males are to be eliminated, and the women and children are to be taken to be grafted on to Israel. The commandments for this type of “scorched earth policy” were based on preventing foreigners from teaching Israel their religions. There are precise laws as to marrying a non-Israelitish captive woman, who after a month of mourning for the deaths of her family, will have the marriage consummated and thereby become part of Israel. 

Jeremiah (ca. 600 B.C.), son of the high priest Hilkiah, was one of the most significant voices against culture-decay, analogous to Ipuwer the Egyptian sage,  Titus Livius, and Cato the Censor, in Rome, and our own Spengler and Evola. He warned that Israel would prosper while the nexus with Tradition and ipso facto with the Divine was maintained; Israel would fall physically if it fell away morally from that Tradition. Jeremiah saw the destruction of the Temple of Solomon and the carrying into Babylonian captivity of Judah. As with the other Civilisations that have fallen, the first symptom had been a subversion of its founding religion. Interestingly, religious decay would be quickly proceeded by an invasion of foreigners, reminiscent of Ipuwer’s warning of Egypt’s invasion by “Asiatics”. Hence, Jeremiah warns that invasion is imminent as a punishment for Israel’s departure from the Traditional faith: “I will pronounce my judgments on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made”. From their self-styled role as a Holy People, they had fallen from the oath of their forefathers, Jeremiah/YHWH admonishing: “The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. ‘Therefore I bring charges against you again,’ declares the LORD. ‘And I will bring charges against your children’s children’”. Jeremiah states that the priesthood has become corrupted, from whence the rot proceeds downward. “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” Specifically, all of Israel had become motivated by greed. The admonition was to stand at the “crossroads” as to what paths to follow, and choose “the ancient paths”. 

“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD. This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’”.

Greed, or what we now call materialism, has been the common factor of the fall of Civilisations, referred to by sages and philosophers up to our own Spengler, Brooks Adams, and Evola. The other common factor, as we have seen, has been the corruption of religion and the priestly caste, the priests and the prophets being condemned by Jeremiah.

The perennial survival of the Israelites is based on their adherence to Tradition. Prophets such as Jeremiah are the Jews’ constant warning to stay true to their “ancient paths” or destruction will result. The Jews worldwide have had, when not a King over Israel, the focus of a coming King-Messiah, Jerusalem, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Temple of Solomon (including the plans to rebuild the Temple as another focus for the future) as their world axial points, and the Mosaic Law as a universal code of living across time and place.These axial points have formed and maintained the Jews as a metaphysical race. Whatever others might think of some of their laws and beliefs their maintenance of a Traditional nexus has allowed them to supersede the cyclic laws of decay perhaps like no other people, to overcome decline and be restored, while paradoxically being the carriers of cultural pathogens among other civilisations (Marxism, Freudianism). 

What the genetics of races shows, past and present, is that miscegenation has not been a cause for the collapse of civilisations. Perhaps dysgenics might cause such a collapse, but hitherto there seems scant evidence for it. By focusing to the point of ideological obsession and dogma on the assume causes of culture-death being that of miscegenation, the actual causes are overlooked. Perhaps civilisation, theoretically, might die through dysgenics, whether racial or otherwise, but it seems that before such a dysgenic process has ever taken place the morphological laws of organic life and death have intervened as witnessed by those such as Livy, Cato, Ibn Khaldun, and in our time Spengler, Evola and Brooks Adams.

vendredi, 08 juillet 2016

L’Inde et le Pakistan entrent dans le Groupe de Shanghai le jour du Brexit

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L’Inde et le Pakistan entrent dans le Groupe de Shanghai le jour du Brexit

Pour le professeur Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, le principal géopoliticien latino-américain, la concomitance de la sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne et de l’entrée de l’Inde et du Pakistan dans l’Organisation de coopération de Shanghai marque le basculement du monde. Désormais, la déglobalisation est en marche.

L’Organisation de coopération de Shanghai représente désormais les deux tiers de la population mondiale. Elle comprend la première économie mondiale (la Chine) et la première puissance militaire conventionnelle (la Russie).

La chute du Mur de Berlin en 1989 avait imposé l’unipolarité stratégique des États-Unis, et la globalisation financière toxique, ce qui a répandu une inégalité monstrueuse, aux niveaux local, régional et global, assortie de chômage massif et d’une austérité asphyxiante. 

Le Brexit, un demi-siècle après l’étape pernicieuse de dérégulation thatchériste, et vingt-sept ans après la chute du Mur de Berlin, ouvre le chemin à une douloureuse déglobalisation  [1] ; cela implique des changements géostratégiques, et accentue le dynamisme de la multipolarité.

Le Brexit constitue la plaque tectonique en mouvement : et cet ébranlement aura des conséquences profondes pour le nouvel ordre global que je qualifie de tripolaire : États-Unis, Russie et Chine.

À court et moyen terme, le Brexit équivaut à la chute du Mur de Berlin.

À plus long terme, à l’échelle du temps long de Fernand Braudel, c’est un anti-Waterloo : c’est un renversement de tendance par rapport à la trajectoire ascendante de la Grande-Bretagne depuis sa victoire militaire décisive, il y a 201 ans, dans l’ancienne Belgique, devenue précisément siège d’une Union Européenne en voie de dislocation.

Pour l’éditorialiste du Global Times chinois, « le futur paysage de la politique globale va probablement conduire des changements d’envergure, comparables à ceux dont on a la trace dans l’histoire géologique avec la fracture de l’ancien super-continent Gondwana il y a 180 millions d’années » [2].

Les pions dispersés de l’UE vont se partager entre la Russie et les États-Unis, la Chine restant à l’arrière-plan.

Dans la façon dont les trois super-puissances racontent la chose, se dessine peut-être le noyau du nouvel ordre global qui va naître du Brexit : les États-Unis disent que c’est la Russie qui a gagné, la Chine assure que c’est le dollar qui a gagné et l’euro qui a perdu, tandis que la Russie assure que c’est la Chine qui a gagné.

De façon prémonitoire, trois jours avant le Brexit, le diabolique méga-spéculateur George Soros —qui a sérieusement contribué au démantèlement de l’Union européenne et de l’euro, en maniant à sa guise migrants et capitaux mobiles—, entrevoyait déjà la Russie comme la puissance globale émergente, dans le mouvement même de la vaporisation de l’Union [3].

LInde-et-le-Pakistan-à-la-frontière-de-Wagah..jpgLe Premier ministre de Hongrie, Victor Orban, avait déjà souligné la responsabilité de Soros, quand il a favorisé la crise migratoire du Proche-Orient afin de faire couler l’Europe [4].

Ce n’est pas par hasard si Soros est déjà l’un des principaux bénéficiaires du tsunami financier causé par le Brexit, pour avoir misé sur l’effondrement de la Bourse et la hausse de l’or [5].

Maintenant, Soros fait le pari d’anéantir la principale banque allemande/européenne, la Deutsche Bank, de façon à avantager les banksters de Wall Street et de la City [6].

Mon article de l’année dernière aura été prémonitoire : « La Grande Bretagne quitte l’Europe pour la Chine : une alliance géofinancière avec hollandisation », tandis que la complémentarité des plus grandes réserves de devises de la Chine avec le savoir-faire financiériste de la City construit l’échafaudage multipolaire pour le nouvel ordre géofinancier du XXI° siècle [7].

Proche de ma façon d’aborder le sujet, c’est Thierry Meyssan, directeur du Réseau Voltaire, qui ajoute que le Brexit, appuyé par la reine d’Angleterre et la réorientation de la Grande-Bretagne vers le yuan chinois, équivaut à la chute du Mur de Berlin et accélère la redistribution des cartes de la géopolitique mondiale [8].

Dans mon article précédent [9], je soulignais la simultanéité géostratégique suivante : le jour même où l’UE commençait à imploser, le groupe de Shanghai (OSC) se réunissait, pour son seizième sommet, à Tachkent (Ouzbékistan), où se sont retrouvés le tsar Vladimir Poutine et le mandarin Xi, et ils approuvaient le protocole d’adhésion de deux grands poids lourds nucléaires : l’Inde et le Pakistan [10]. C’est bien la fin d’une ère [11].

En fait il y a eu deux poussées géostratégiques dans la mesure où, le lendemain du Brexit et après avoir assisté au sommet du Groupe de Shanghai à Tachkent, Poutine a réalisé une visite de deux jours en Chine, pour y approfondir les liens stratégiques avec Xi.

Et ces deux rencontres, celle de Tachkent et celle de Pékin, ont été escamotées par les médias désinformateurs de l’Occident angoissé.

Avec son sarcasme légendaire, le tsar Poutine, sept jours avant le Brexit, admettait, lors de la réunion financière de Saint-Pétersbourg, que les États-Unis « sont encore probablement la seule superpuissance mondiale », au moment où il « se prépare à travailler avec celui qui héritera de la présidence à Washington, quel qu’il soit », sans pour autant « accepter que les États-uniens lui dictent la conduite à tenir » [12].

Le jour même du Brexit, deux puissances nucléaires du sous-continent indien étaient admis dans le Groupe de Shanghai, ce qui veut dire : 110 à 120 ogives nucléaires pour l’Inde [13], et de 110 à 130 ogives pour le Pakistan [14].

Le Daily Times en déduit que l’adhésion du Pakistan est fort significatif, sur la scène géopolitique en plein bouleversement [15].

Avec moins d’enthousiasme cependant que le Pakistan, The Hindu exulte à l’idée que l’Inde et le Pakistan vont être des membres de plein droit de l’OSC ; on peut supposer que la Chine parraine le Pakistan, et la Russie l’Inde [16].

indpakb-11df-a32c-efefa2debf59.jpg

Or tout n’est pas rose dans le Groupe de Shanghai, car, selon Yang Jin, de l’Académie des Sciences sociales de Chine, la « crise financière globale, les prix en baisse des matières premières de première nécessité (staple commodities) et la détérioration des échanges qui découle des sanctions économiques appliquées à la Russie ont exercé des effets négatifs sur la stabilité (sic) et l’économie des membres de l’OCS », alors que « les grandes puissances (autrement dit les États-Unis, et plus précisément le « plan Brzezinki ») sont intervenus en profondeur dans les affaires régionales, perturbant les intérêts conjoints des membres de l’OCS », ce qui « a rendu difficile leur coopération circulaire » ; car à côté du binôme des superpuissances que sont la Chine et la Russie, quatre pays centre-asiatiques (Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tadjikistan et Ouzbékistan) qui en sont membres, se disputent territoires, ressources en eau et ethnicité [17].

L’adhésion de l’Inde et du Pakistan au Groupe de Shanghai va-t-il lui donner un nouvel élan, après seize sommets décevants ?

Le problème de l’élargissement de l’OCS est qu’elle doit définir son objectif principal, la met face à un dilemme : constituer un bloc de sécurité militaire euro-asiatique pour contrecarrer l’Otan, ou intégrer sans plus un vulgaire bloc mercantiliste.

Le rapprochement entre l’ours russe et le dragon chinois, voilà l’évènement. Le People’s Daily affirme que l’association entre la Chine et la Russie sera un tournant implacable (sic) [18], tandis que Cao Siqi explique que la Chine et la Russie fortifient la stabilité globale et ont atteint un consensus contre l’hégémonie US [19].

Dans le Global Times, un éditorialiste considère que la pression des États-Unis resserre les liens entre la Chine et la Russie, alors que Washington est incapable d’abattre le dragon chinois et l’ours russe en même temps [20].

L’ancien régime est mort, vive la nouvelle ère !

Traduction
Maria Poumier

Source
La Jornada (Mexique)

[3] “Soros sees Russia emerging as global power as EU fades”, Andy Bruce & Kit Rees, Reuters, June 20th, 2016.

[4] “Hungarian Prime Minister accuses billionaire investor George Soros of trying to undermine Europe by supporting refugees travelling from the Middle East”, Jennifer Newton, Daily Mail, October 30th, 2015.

[5] “Billionaire Soros Was ‘Long’ on Pound Before Vote on Brexit”, Francine Lacqua & Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam, Bloomberg, June 27th, 2016.

[6] “Soros had Deutsche Bank ’short’ bet at time of Brexit fallout”, Arno Schuetze, Reuters, June 28th, 2016.

[7] « Gran Bretaña abandona a EU por China : alianza geofinanciera con "holandización" », Alfredo jalife-Rahme, La Jornada, 25 de Octobre de 2015.

[8] « Le Brexit redistribue la géopolitique mondiale », Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 27 juin 2016.

[9] “Brexit : ganó el nacionalismo británico/Perdió la globalización/Derrota de Obama/Triunfo de Putin”, Alfredo Jalife-Rahme, La Jornada, 26 de Junio de 2016.

[10] « Ташкентская декларация », Сеть Вольтер, 24 июня 2016.

[11] « "Un nuevo significado, un nuevo peso" : La organización que unirá casi a la mitad del planeta », Russia Today, 24 de Junio de 2016.

[12] « Presidente ruso Putin dice acepta rol de superpotencia de EEUU, diluye elogios a Trump », Grigory Dukor, Reuters, 17 de Junio de 2016.

[13] “Indian nuclear forces, 2015”, Hans M. Kristensen & Robert S. Norris, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, September 1st, 2015.

[14] “Pakistani nuclear forces, 2015”, Hans M. Kristensen & Robert S. Norris, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, September 1st, 2015.

[15] “Pakistan’s entry at SCO significant in changing geopolitical scenario”, Daily Times, June 26th, 2016.

[16] “India, Pakistan become full SCO members”, The Hindu, July 11th, 2015.

[17] “SCO needs to overcome diverse demands”, Yang Jin, Global Times, June 26th, 2016.

[18] “China, Russia pledge "unswerving" partnership”, People’s Daily, June 27th, 2016.

[19] “China, Russia to strengthen global stability”, Cao Siqi, Global Times, June 27th, 2016.

[20] “US pressure spurs closer Sino-Russian ties”, Global Times, June 27th, 2016.