26 August 2015

Modi and Indian Society: The Christian Dilemma

Libertarians are correct in identifying Corporatism with a Fascist tendency. Corporatism seeks to politicise economics and economise politics. Every aspect of society is bent toward the acquisition and growth of power and this is all related to not just money, but the control of it.

What Libertarians fail to realise or understand is that it is the logical outcome, the necessary telos of the Capitalist system. Capitalism necessarily creates winners and losers and will exacerbate already existing social fissures and divisions. The Corporate powers will seek security and stability and thus employ the state to exercise and augment their supremacy and control. The state becomes the representative of their security and they are keen to bend all of the social will toward strengthening and securing the 'system'... which is both their market and its own defense.

In complex highly divided societies this utilization of the state can often mean resorting to unofficial intimidation and paramilitary actions, especially as the Establishment (or an ascendant rival group) seeks to consolidate its power.

India's Modi is all the rage at the moment. India's economy has been growing but not at the transformative rate that we have seen in China. The West and in particular the United States is eager to forge stronger relations with India. The American-Indian relationship has not always been positive and all too often during the Cold War the United States was aligning with its enemy Pakistan due to the Islamic Republic's position vis-à-vis Central Asia and the USSR.

Both modern China and India were formed in the matrix of post-colonialism and the Cold War.  Though the Cold War has ended, the issue of China and its historical and geopolitical place and possible rivalry with the global empire of the United States is still a present reality and danger. Before Nixon, India was used (at times) to counter China and certainly their granting of refuge to the Dalai Lama was a thorn in Beijing's side. India and China have fought several small wars over their disputed borders and now as America seeks to shift toward a new Cold War with China, India can play a vital role and the US has moved to cement this relationship.  

The sometime ally Pakistan has become bitter toward the United States and has worked against it as much as for it. They've been mistreated, used and abused and their historic relationship with China is likely to grow stronger. The US seeks a settlement within Afghanistan. At this point they want stability and have realized they will probably have more success through Market exploitation than seeking stability through political domination. The new Great Game in Central Asia has grown more complicated than it was even in 2001.

India is the new natural ally that will aid the US in its overall regional goals. Modi represents the kind of Indian leadership the US could have only dreamed of in past years. His commitment to Neoliberalism represents a significant shift in India but I continue to find it fascinating how it has been meshed with Hindu Nationalism. This is where the fascism element comes into play.

Hindu Nationalists opposed Mahatma Gandhi and his critique of the religious based caste system and how it affected Indian society and potentiality. His ecumenical political strategy was fine against the British but once the British were leaving the Hindu Nationalists viewed it as subversive and acted accordingly. Modi's BJP is a direct outgrowth of and ally with the RSS militia movement which was directly responsible for Gandhi's assassination.

Modi has argued that neoliberal policy creates an even playing field and eliminates the entrenched caste system, and indeed not a few people have escaped their historic position and attained some wealth.

But Hindu Nationalists will never grant the lower castes a proper status and despite the few exceptions neoliberal policies actually help to economically justify and cement the caste system. Doctrinally it allows Hindus to embrace an indifference to the suffering of those around them. It's like an economic justification of their doctrinal position. Capitalism creates economies of power and of course not a few Protestants have found it to be a useful tool in justifying their supremacist aspirations.

This kind of hyper-nationalism is cancerous, resulting in authoritarian government. Society is dismantled and broken into castes. If the economic reality all but parallels the spiritual ideal, then from their standpoint, so much the better.

But seething discontent and already existent social problems demand a strong hand as well as an excuse to impose fear and project power.  

But shouldn't capitalism allow for more individual freedom? The political 'market' is just like the economic one. The monopoly seeks to control the market, manipulate the audience and compel both the consumer and the supplier of resources.

Contrary to the capitalist argument, consumer choice is not like voting for the best product. The playing field despite all their rhetoric is not level. Advertising sees to that or at least contributes to the manipulation of the 'playing field'. Advertising is not trying to inform the consumer to make an honest choice (or vote). It's quite the opposite. Advertising is an attempt at controlling the market, framing the issue and manipulating the audience so that the market won't work. They don't want an 'honest' choice. They want you to buy their product, believe in their vision or at the very least feel compelled to comply.

Democratic politicking isn't all that different. Instead of marketing, we tend to call it propaganda but often they are one and the same. The monopoly might not even want all the resources that are available but it will surely put forward a narrative that prevents anyone else from thinking to use social resources for some alternate cause. Power is the ultimate goal.

This can actually blend very nicely with Nationalism. Nationalism is all too often the tool of the power-establishment to propagandize the lower classes, the weak and the feeble minded. It is their tool to promote fear and cast their market struggles in terms of social ethics, threat and necessity.

It is the means by which a faction can establish and consolidate power. Nationalism seeks an object of fear and scorn, a threat or an enemy.

Our country is moving in that direction and though many Christian teachers make much of the anti-authoritarian nature of our society, in many ways I find the opposite to be true. I see a society scared and manipulated, heavily propagandised and all but happy to comply and conform.

Modi claims his religion is India. The nation is the religion but it's very easy to put it the other way and say the religion is the nation. Many Christians have fallen into this trap. Hindutva is the reality and as a result Christians being not only non-Hindus but 'bad' Indians are paying a price.

Modi's people, the BJP and the RSS militia no longer want competition. They are moving toward a social monopoly. They have transcended the market as it were and moved into the realm of defining what the market is. The parameters are set to maximize both economic and political 'profits' and efficiency. Not all 'profits' come in the form of money.

The 'bad' Indians must live in silence and fear, under a regime of intimidation, a regime that will continue to consolidate political and economic power.

But in the Capitalist West, Modi and the BJP are heroes. India is an ally and American corporations will continue to invest in the Indian System... the very system which now oppresses the saints, our brethren in the Subcontinent.

Do we want to be party to this? For a start check your portfolio.

Obama has expanded the Bush policy and the Pivot to Asia involves big plans for an alliance with India. Already the US and its allies are moving to consolidate power in Sri Lanka as they seek dominance in the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and the gateway to the South China Sea... the Strait of Malacca.

Pray for the saints. Pray that they be delivered from Hindu Sacralism and Sacralism in all its forms.