17 Mar

Personalist and Impersonalist Societies

There is one fundamental cultural difference between the West and India—the West is a flat, egalitarian society, while India is still, to an extent, a hierarchical society. In the stereotyped view of the West, children do not respect parents, students do not respect teachers, and citizens do not respect politicians. In the stereotyped view of India, children respect their parents, students respect their teachers, and citizens respect their politicians.  Note that these are stereotypes, not true in every case. But the stereotypes exist due to a cultural class divide between “higher” and “lower”. Unlike the West which is culturally (although not economically and politically) flat, India is culturally hierarchical (and the social divides are thus even higher). This post explores the cultural differences and their genesis in personalist and impersonalist philosophies.  

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14 Mar

Dialectical Materialism and Sāńkhya

The world around us is filled with dualities or oppositions. There are two main resolutions of this duality as we have seen earlier—(1) finding the relation between the opposing ideas and the next “higher level” idea from which these oppositions were created, and (2) finding a quantitative balance between the opposing ideas at the “same level” such that the opposing ideas become mirror images of each other. And yet, for the most part in modern society, we don’t see either of these approaches being applied. We rather see one of the following two attempts: (1) destroy one side of the opposition to have the other side win, or (2) destroy both sides of the opposition and therefore diversity itself. In a world produced through duality and oppositions, destroying any side effectively destroys both sides, so the two solutions widely employed have the same result. This post discusses the origins of Dialectical Materialism which recognized opposites as the basis of material nature, and how this idea must be enhanced to deal with oppositions.

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26 Jan

The Varna System of Social Organization

Several of my previous posts articulated the conceptual basis of an economic system different than the one that presently exists. These foundations include: (1) the real economic value lies in the objective properties of matter rather than in its human perception, and an economic system when organized around this objective value tends towards stability, (2) the problems in the current economic systems—both socialism and capitalism—arise from the existence of middlemen either in the form of global corporations or governments, and (3) the economy and government should be localized in a geography to administer the exchange of goods and services, while the exchange of knowledge—ideas and methods—must be globalized, thus creating two different kinds of trades: the local trade exchanges goods while the global trade exchanges ideas. This post will use these foundations to describe the Varṇa System of social organization, illustrating how this system is grounded in the previous insights about the nature of economic systems, as well as on a theory of matter and cosmic structure.

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