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Questioning The Matrix

We live, be it in Africa, Asia, or Latin America, in a wholly European (I include the Americas within that term) world.
That truth is so obvious as to be trite.
Yet, few of us realise its enormous significance.
One sub-continent managed, over 400 years , to set its epistemic , and ontic, stamp (which I term EuroModernism or EM)on virtually the entire world.
Only tribal formations remain autonomous, thankfully, and outside its hegemonic spell.
Irony is that even the most stridently anti-colonial regimes nonetheless adhere to its mores, institutions, legal, societal, and political systems.
Parliaments, Courts, Media, Militaries, and Police, are all constituted in the Western mold, virtually everywhere.
This is simply stunning.
Europe managed to inflict a banal homogeneity upon the entire world, as though other cultures, institutions, ideologies, and practices, simply did not exist.
Not all of this was achieved by force and fraud, though most of it certainly was.
Even the erstwhile , adversarial, communist non-European world drew its inspiration from European extant political traditions.

To oppose European dominance, in this or that domain, whilst daily breathing its socio-cultural ethos is a specially otiose undertaking.
The so-called Multilaterals, that administer so much of the world, the UN, World Bank, IMF, WTO, WEF,et. al. are all little more than limpid rubber-stamps for Western agendas.
The axial ideas of Growth and Progress, i.e., perpetual expansion , are quintessentially European ideas: and their consequences have brought the planet to the brink of resource exhaustion.
Marginal, flash in the pan, pushbacks. like Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness notion are few and far between.
No, contrary to the EM liturgy, we do not need to be ‘developed’ or ‘industrialised’ , nor be required to submit to any such set of tendentious, exploitative, ‘macro’ objectives, imposed upon the many by the few that rule over them.

Those are merely the canny slogans of ruling elites who batten , with ever cumulating quanta of wealth and power, upon such specious stratagems.

It is really high time that Non-Europeans recognised their own heritage , legacies, not to mention genius, and drew inspiration therefrom.
Their intellectual slavery borders close to the shameful.
Diversity, we must recall, is the original state of our planet.
It would be good to keep it intact: for all of us.

The prospect of an implacable EM consumerism, with its concomitants of mass society and mass drudgery for the millions, taking over the entire world, is far too dreadful to contemplate.
Yet, it stares us in the face.

Btw it may be instructive to know that the Bushmen(and women) put in, on average, a 2 1/2 day workweek(https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/01/551018759/are-hunter-gatherers-the-happiest-humans-to-inhabit-earth; also, https://stage2.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/kanth-a-400-year-program-of-modernist-thinking-is-exploding).
There exist – and have existed – far saner alternates – for us humans – to making war and making work , endlessly, on an exponentially advancing basis.
It takes but a smidgeon of imagination to realise that.
As I have oft hinted, the greatest human need may simply be to huddle?.
A need-based society would have a very different configuration than a greed-based one.
We need to know/understand who we are, in essence, as anthropic beings, before swallowing the toxic blue pill of EuroModernism(EM).
A little realist anthropology serves as a powerful antidote to many of the delusions of European Modernism.
A little history would help, too: it is precisely in the modern period that Europe carried out, demonstrably, amongst the worst carnages in all of human history: destroying societies, cultures, and habitats, under the gleaming banners of liberte and egalite.
Maybe we might consider such matters before we start fancying our gratuitously complex , modernist, societal arrangements – ever gaining, by the day, in harshness, oppressiveness, and punitiveness – as god’s gift to the anthropic world?
Perhaps, it’s time to think (not even rethink) , for the very first time: there may be not much time left, given the latter-day trajectory of the European world.
Not to become more ‘enlightened’: but to save what remains of the anthropic world from the manic sweep of rapacious greed and implacable paradigmatic despotism -, as exercised by the European template of ‘Progress’, for 400 years.
The constitution of the Lead EM Hegemon adjures one to engage in the pursuit of ‘happiness’: a well chosen word, surely.
Chasing after chimera could be what all of idle EM sloganeering is tantamount to?
More modestly , we may need to accept the plain fact that life may simply be about living: not with doing and becoming, and fulfilling lofty , concocted, idylls dreamed up in the elite salons of avant garde EM philosophers under the generous, even hallucinogenic, influence of free flowing claret.
To repeat: Europe has been the locus, and the fons et origo , of Two Global Conflagrations, and is now, avidly, lusting for a Third, and Last (to finish the job).
Does that not hold any caveats for us all not to tread their unsanguine pathways (this is not Europhobia: I would , equally, oppose Africa , or Asia, or any other continental force, if it indulged in any of the above)?
Peoples , left to themselves, follow their own paths: that option was wrested away, by brute force, when EuroModernists conquered the entire world (barely 10 countries escaped full European colonisation and occupation), and imposed their will upon them.
What remains to be Undone is the on-going colonisation of the minds of the ex-colonials.
Let me state it another way: even if it were to be argued that EM ideas , institutions, and practices, were benevolent, noble, and virtuous, it would still be odious for the world to be compelled to accept and conform to them – by force.

The ultimate, even mordant, irony is that the very system that denied free choice to virtually the entire world, any time it could, now claims to be the sublime paragon of ‘freedom’.


© R.Kanth 2023


Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (A Novel), A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse), and Farewell to Modernism (Political Economy Tract).

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