March 26, 2004

Eliminating the Habits of Defeat

Blacks, Indians, Romanians, (among many others) all seem to have the habits of defeat imprinted on their souls. For blacks, it is the legacy of slavery and the distortive culture war they had between Du Bois and Washington, Indians (which the article linked above about them started this whole note but I didn't want to pick on them or have others think I was) are both distorted through conquest, in India's case the twin conquests of Britain and the Muslims while the Romanians have the multiple conqueror problem of the Ottomans, the Russians, the Hungarians, the Austrians, and even the Serbs.

All of these issues leave highly dysfunctional habits behind them, embedded in the culture and persistent across generations. Surviving multiple generations of conquest as a viable culture is incredibly distorting. Head bowed and on your knees are a necessity of survival but so is stubbornness in maintaining your separate culture and not just being absorbed into the conqueror's society.

In this sort of intellectual construction, jews are the ultimate victim, though a very odd one as they chose which conqueror to live under and culturally resist over the course of thousands of years. The creation of Israel is the ultimate post-colonial society, in a way as the people now on top (jews) have the longest history of repression and subjugation of any member of the United Nations. It certainly seems to have inherited the chip on the shoulder against its former masters, but the world used to be the master of jews until they got their own land, annoying but true.

Anyway, back to the Indians:

One of them said You dont know what problems your country is causing the rest of the world. After listing many countries that are by our side and have no problems with our actions, I suggested to them that this is just a simple matter of bringing murderers to justice, so what is the problem with that? Another answered We dont have the ability to protect ourselves. We cant just go into another country and root our terrorists. This is the first time I have heard this line of reasoning. It sounded to me like they feel forced to be nice to murderers so the wont be targeted by them. They are afraid we stirred up a hornets nest and are cowering in wait of the sting. Am I wrong?

Taken aback, I had trouble responding to them. In the final analysis, Im thinking we pay a certain price for justice sometimes, and these folks I played laser tag and bowled with all afternoon have no heart to pay that toll.

I think that it is impossible for India to rise to true great power status until they get their heart straightened out and create a culture capable of "paying the toll" of justice. They may have everything else (and if they don't have it already, they're rapidly getting it) but they'll always be vulnerable to old wounds and manipulable by their history until they work this out and reconcile themselves to it.

Posted by TMLutas at March 26, 2004 08:53 AM