The spiritual gift of India to the world has already begun. India's spirituality is entering Europe and America in an ever increasing measure. That movement will grow; amid the disasters of the time more and more eyes are turning towards her with hope and there is even an increasing resort not only to her teachings, but to her psychic and spiritual practice. -- Sri Aurobindo (from the message broadcast on the eve of August 15, 1947)

Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Resurgence of Asia

Conference on Inter-Asian Connections II: Singapore - December 8-10, 2010
Co-organized and co-sponsored by The Hong Kong Institute for Humanities and the Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
CALL FOR WORKSHOP PAPERS - DEADLINE: Monday, May 31, 2010
The Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) (the Organizers) are pleased to announce an open call for individual research paper submissions from researchers in any world region, to participate in a 3-day thematic workshop at an international conference, “Inter-Asian Connections II: Singapore.”
To be held in Singapore, December 8-10, 2010, the conference will host concurrent workshops, coordinated by individual directors and showcasing innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines. Workshops will focus on themes of particular relevance to Asia, reconceptualized as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia and South Asia, to East Asia.
The conference structure and schedule have been designed to enable intensive ‘working group’ interactions on a specific research theme, as well as broader interactions on topics of mutual interest and concern. Accordingly, there will be a public keynote delivered by Dr. Ackbar Abbas (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California - Irvine) and a number of plenary sessions in addition to closed workshop sessions. The concluding day of the conference will bring all the conference participants together for a public presentation and exchange of research agendas that have emerged over the course of the conference deliberations.
Individual paper submissions are invited from junior and senior scholars, whether graduate students or faculty, or researchers in NGOs or other research organizations, for the following five workshops. For the full Calls for Papers and detailed descriptions of the individual workshops, click below.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Markets induce us to cooperate rather than plunder

Over at the Fraser Institute's "Ask the Professor" feature, my essay for this month is on Mises's Human Action 
The revival of free market thinking and, at least until recently, the increasing economic freedom across the world both owe a huge debt to Mises and Human Action.  It is in this book that we find the most complete statement of the whole economic vision underlying the case for free markets, including the importance of individual choice, the centrality of entrepreneurship, the irreplaceable role played by genuinely competitive market prices in helping us solve problems of production and consumption, the ways in which capitalism has improved the well-being of all by promoting peaceful social cooperation and, finally, how government intervention can undermine all of these benefits.

Like his student Hayek, Mises saw competition in particular as a kind of “discovery process” by which producers responded to the demands of consumers by first figuring out what they wanted and then how to produce it at the lowest cost.  The answers to those questions were not simply “given” to market participants, nor were they automatically discovered by maximizing utility or profit functions.  They were the result of conscious entrepreneurship involving active appraisals of both the present and the various possible futures in a world of pervasive, but not debilitating, uncertainty.   Mises argued that in order to figure out what consumers want, entrepreneurs need to make use of prices generated by genuine free market competition.  Engaging in calculations of prospective profit and loss would guide entrepreneurs in their attempts to push back at the uncertainty of the future.  And actual profits and losses would tell them after the fact whether their choices were good ones.  In this way, Mises saw free markets as indispensible for figuring out what to produce and how to produce it.
More generally, what markets made possible was nothing less than human social cooperation and civilization as we know it.  For Mises, the division of labor and the specialization/exchange process of the market is not only the source of economic growth and the improvement of billions of human lives, it is the source of deeper human bonds.  A finer division of labor means more narrow specialization and relying more on exchange for all we want to acquire.  This means that humans become more deeply interdependent, which in turn removes the incentives to violence and war. Mises called this progressive process “the Law of Association:”   markets induce us to cooperate rather than plunder, and in so doing, help to create peaceful civilizations.  
Mises’ grand vision of economics and its place in society were very much at odds with the trends in economics of his day.  Mises was part of the “Austrian school of economics.”  The Austrians historically rejected the mechanical and overly mathematical treatments of economics that had begun to comprise the mainstream of the discipline by the 1920s and 30s. Instead, the Austrians took an evolutionary approach that built up from the subjective choices of individuals toward an understanding of the unintended order they produce.  This approach is echoed throughout Human Action and its insights.

Dictatorship of the professional elite

A. BARTON HINKLE TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST: May 25, 2010
Justice demands equality before the law. Fairness requires evenhandedness. But while equality and evenhandedness are necessary, they are hardly sufficient. […] 
The second thing worth noting is that, while liberals find inequality across race and gender classes invidious, many seem to find nothing wrong with an inequality between the enlightened few and the great unwashed. Large swaths of the knowledge class seem almost wistful about the idea of a dictatorship of the professional elite to oversee the lumpen proletariat.
Hence the English professor who thinks he knows where insurance rates should be set. Hence the architect who has the answer to energy policy. Hence the journalist who thinks he should write the rules for stockbrokers. Hence Woody Allen, musing that it would be good if Barack Obama "could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly." Hence Thomas Friedman contending in The New York Times that one-party autocracy can "have great advantages," when it is "led by a reasonably enlightened group of people."
They mean well, of course. But then so did John C. Calhoun, when he argued that slavery was not a necessary evil but a positive good… Contact A. Barton Hinkle at (804) 649-6627 or bhinkle@timesdispatch.com
C I Issac vijayvaani.com 27 May 2010
He ignored the universal fact that hitherto all accredited works in history are tailor-made [9] to fit the occasion or the interest. […] 9] “… history is what the historian makes”. E. H. Carr, What is History? Harmondsworth, UK, 1977, p 26. [...] 
He was well aware of the drawbacks of our present textual history. “Even the British period is distorted with the object of glorifying British rule and British virtues. Very slowly a more correct perspective is developing. But we need not go to the past to find instances of the manipulation of history to suit particular ends and support one’s own fancies and prejudices. The present is full of this, and if the present, which we have ourselves seen and experienced, can be so distorted, what of the past?” [33]. ... 33] Jawaharlal Nehru, Discovery of India, V [edn], 1948, op cit, pp 76, 77.        
34] “The histories of India that most of us have had to read, chiefly written by Englishmen, are usually long apologies for the panegyrics of British rule and barely veiled contemptuous account of what happened here in the millenniums preceding it”. Ibid.
35] “Many competent historians are at work now, but they often err on the other side and their work is more a meticulous chronicle of facts than living history. But even today it is strange how we suddenly become overwhelmed by tradition and the critical faculties of even intelligent men cease to function. This may partly be due to the nationalism that consumes us in our present subject state. Only when we are politically and economically free will the mind function normally and critically”. Ibid, p 75. The author is a retired Professor of History, and lives in Trivandrum 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sri Aurobindo is neither an impotent moralist nor a weak pacifist

He doesn't seem to be much of a fan of Hitler. He believes René Guénon is the most interesting person of our time. (I don't believe this always, but often I do. Although I consider Aurobindo Ghose more “perfected.”)15 Very well read, ...
as a liaison between other Congress politicians and Aurobindo Ghose in Pondicherry. ... Placed under house arrest in 1940, Bose escaped to Europe, met Mussolini and Hitler, and eventually became the leader of the Indian National ...
The vital world has descended upon the physical in Hitler as well as Stalin. He even dwelt on overmind consciousness, though briefly, in the form of ... Since 1970, inspired by Sri Aurobindo, I started working on the hypothesis ...
However, Sri Aurobindo, Gandhi's contemporary, recognized that such a movement of what Gandhi called ... plea to the British to surrender arms beforeHitler: I want you to fight Nazism without arms . . . or with non-violent arms. ...
efforts and sufferings of the intelligentsia failed to achieve. It is his coming which has been the precipitative agent for the reshaping of the modern world. If a Lenin, a Mussolini, a Hitler have achieved their rapid and almost ...
de Gaulle, Hitler, Stalin, Mandela; scientists like Einstein, Edison; thinkers like Bertrand Russell, Sri Aurobindo; and the hosts of inventors, and Nobel prize winners that have characterized mostly the Western Hemisphere. ...
M. N. Roy (1887-1954), un révolutionnaire indien et la question de ... Michel Naumann - 2007 - 187 pages M. N. Roy fut, avec Gandhi, l'homme politique le plus remarquable de l'Inde, mais il est de nos jours peu connu.
If a Lenin, a Mussolini, a Hitler have achieved their rapid and almost stupefying success, it was because this driving force, this response in quick acting mass was there to carry them to victory —a force lacking to their less fortunate ...
Thus, typically, Hitler:1 From a dead mechanism (the state) there must be formed a living organism. (1962, p. 398) Aurobindo: (A nation) ... is an organism which grows under the stress of a principle of life within. (Mukherjee, 1964,p. ...
When the Second World War broke, Sri Aurobindo declared himself publicly for the allied powers, and warned that Hitler was controlled by hostile forces, powers of darkness, and that a Nazi victory would mean a terrible slavery for ...
1977), we interpreted the revolutionary behavior patterns of Hitler, Lenin and Sri Aurobindo as constituting a struggle ... Hitler wishes to be "one" with Germany; Lenin wishes to be one with "the people." Each of them idealizes the ...
Für Aurobindo ist das Leben, in all seinen Dimensionen einschließlich der schrecklichen, die Entfaltung des Göttlichen, ... ist sein »spirituelles Wörterbuch«, >eine 1 Dazu RN Minor, Sri Aurobindo (S. 229, Anm. 1), S. 86. ...
On the side of the Luciferians comes Hitler, shouting, “I am going to reveal the secret ... renovated Hinduism, Pauwels stated, “The master of the Ashram from Pondichery, one of the greatest thinkers of New India, Sir Aurobindo Ghose, ...
controversial word—with an expression that could have come off the pens of FWH Myers, Sri Aurobindo, or Michael Murphy, that is, as “the study of the supernormal. ... Poland when Hitler put a price on his head for prophesizing the
(whose sister Moina was a leader of the Golden Dawn); the twentieth-century Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo; ... Hitler is said to have been obsessed by the idea of the superman or "new man": "The new man is living amongst us now! ...
It is well known that when this being would possess Hitler he would go into a convulsion of sorts, writhing on the carpet, even trying to chew it, uttering seeming inanities, terrified and subdued, only to come out of it and take the ...
He encouraged Gandhi to support the British in the war against Hitler, though Candhi declined. 95 Note various biographies of Aurobindo like Sri Aurobindo and the Mind of Light by Satprem. * His Hymns to the Mystic Fire contains ...
Tilak, and Aurobindo, looked for a definition of 'Hinduism' (Hindutva).37 In order not to propagate hollow words ... Indo- European heritage, often in harmony with a sympathy towards Hitler, the ally against colonialist Britain. ...
In the Life Divine written by Sri Aurobindo, it has been pointed out that man may reach the supramental stage or enter ... At the same time, we find Hitler and Mussoline. Thus, the man manifests himself in various ways and lifestyles. ...
In the Life Divine written by Sri Aurobindo, it has been pointed out that man may reach the supramental stage or enter ... At the same time, we find Hitler and Mussoline. Thus, the man manifests himself in various ways and lifestyles. ...
Aurobindo was next to impossible after the mid-1920s except to a closed circle of initiates. The Master, closely guarded by an inner coterie, appeared in public only ...Aurobindo was convinced that Hitler and his followers represented ...
Holmes of the Raj - Page 320 Vithal Rajan - 2006 - 217 pages
When the Second World War broke out, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother came out openly on the side of the Allies because Hitler represented the forces of darkness. He who had fought the British earlier now put his full support and spiritual ...
Sri Aurobindo - Page 111 Purnima Majumdar - 2005 - 122 pages
1914: Arrival of Shri Ma in Pondicherry and her meeting with Aurobindo. Publication of the periodical ... that Aurobindo had predicted the destruction on the same tunes as in World War 1 if Hitler would come to power in future and ...
The Second World War had its own impact on the ashram. 'One can say that Hitleris not a devil but is possessed by one/ said Sri Aurobindo. Mother said: 'He was a medium, a very good medium. Besides, he became possessed during seances ...
nationalist politics: today Hitler, their joint heir, has brought the whole movement to its demonic consumation" (p. ... an idea which, as Sri Aurobindo (1985) tells us "did not arise from a primary vital need, but from a secondary or ...
Revista de occidente José Ortega y Gasset – 2004
A Hitler le gustaría la resistencia pasiva de Gandhi: es lo que él quería. Hitlerestaba obsesionado con el demonio. Para Aurobindo, y también para Stockhausen, «guerra y destrucción» eran «no sólo un principio universal de nuestra vida ...
Have we not seen in our own times how the Nemesis of Karma has violently overtaken the fates of Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo and their compeers in misdeeds, in their present life itself. If we rummage through the pages of history books, ...
Maghreb 119; Poland 182; reunited 164; scholarship 28; Shantung 119 Ghana 8, 158, 233 Ghose, Aurobindo 87, 90-1, ...  Hitler, Adolf 118, 222 Ho Chi Minh 6,...
Ghose, Aurobindo, 244 Gilliland, JH, 171 Gini, Dr Hirji, 215 Goculdas, Narottam Morarji, 215 Gokhale, Gopal Krishna, 214 Goldsmith, ... 30 Hitler, Adolf, 272, 275, 276 Hobbes, ...
Aurobindo Ghosh. He proceeded to England in 1919 and earned a place to read a tripos in moral sciences at Cambridge ... Having secured the support of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), dictator of Nazi Germany, Bose then traveled to ...
While some of the literature was imported from the West such as the works of Karl Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, ... Among the later writers were Iqbal and Sri Aurobindo and the celebrated Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore. ...
Antinomies of modernity: essays on race, orient, nation - Page 50 Vasant Kaiwar, Sucheta Mazumdar - 2003 - 353 pages
This view originated, as noted, with Friedrich Schlegel, was incorporated byAurobindo Ghose into the Indian militant nationalist ... Much as Hitler identified the Jews as the constant outside threat to Aryan civilization in Germany, ...
In his retirement Sri Aurobindo kept a close watch on all that was happening in the world and in India and actively ... At the beginning he did not actively concern himself with it, but when it appeared as if Hitler would crush all the ...
"Hitlerism is the greatest menace that the world has ever met. If Hitler wins, do they (the ... Munshi made the following remarks in 1951: Sri Aurobindo " saw into the heart of things ... His perception of the political situation in ...
However, Aurobindo does not go on to try to elaborate ethical principles, a definition of the human good, ... for example, to Hitler and his men as "vital beings". However, Aurobindo's writings do not seem to offer much assistance in ...
In June 1950, a few months before his departure, Sri Aurobindo wrote in a note to KD Sethna on the Korean War: "The whole affair is as plain as a pike-staff. It is the move in the Communist plan of campaign to dominate and take ...
This would have been the case of General Rommel, who thought Adolf Hitler was unethical. ... evolving ethical values from the Indian perspective is that of Aurobindoas described by him in The Yoga of Divine Works — Karma Yoga (1986). ...
Sri Aurobindo is neither an impotent moralist nor a weak pacifist. The rule of confining political action to passive ... 23 No doubt Hitler would have been delighted had Britain followed such advice, just as Duryodhana would have been ...
El genio de la India - Page 180 Guy Sorman - 2002 - 278 pages
Del mismo modo que el hombre desciende del mono, Aurobindo nos dice que el superhombre descenderá del hombre y llevará una vida digna en la ... la fuerza maléfica de Hitler. Tomé nota, pero mi interlocutora no se tragó mi discreción. ...
Sri Aurobindo himself showed the way: "Politics is the outer expression of the working of forces which are always ... although he had fought the British during his nationalist days, was the only yogi to tell the world that Hitler was an ...
Sri Aurobindo took the spirit seriously. He took seriously the idea of progress, of spiritual evolution and involution. ... We join to this the racial state of Hitler. The Holocaust became possible. I see in Sri Aurobindo's words a ...
SRI AUROBINDO: That is very simple. I used Savitri as a means of ascension. I began with it on a certain mental ... written from one's own yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative.21 [1936:] SRI AUROBINDO: Hitler and his ...
dynamic power which ... is greater than any other and more effective'57 which Sri Aurobindo used particularly on two occasions during the Second War. ... when it appeared as if Hitler would crush all the forces opposed to him ...
all evil in the past century; he was the being by whom Hitler was possessed.19 Who were the human instruments? ... "There are a group of people . . . who want to create a kind of religion based on the revelation of Sri Aurobindo. ...
Indian Political Thought - Page 92, Urmila Sharma, S.K. Sharma - 2001 - 416 pages
While some of the literature was imported from the West such as the works of Karl Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, ... Among the later writers were Iqbal and Sri Aurobindo and the celebrated Nobel prize-winner Rabindranath Tagore. ...
Sri Aurobindo, thus, keenly observes the behavioural peculiarities of the cat and discovers in it the presence of ... The beastly hordes of Hitler, ironically enough, claim to be the "supermen dreamed by the sage" (23) and proudly ...
Selected essays and talks of Nirodbaran Nirodbaran, Supriyo Bhattacharya - 2001 - 271 pages
"In the last letter the topic of Hitler is raised. Andre asks the Mother if it was a question of a dangerous bluff or ... We catch here an echo of Sri Aurobindo and her. . for the moment. We catch here an echo of Sri Aurobindo's voice. ...
On the other end of the spectrum are super wicked beings, like for instance a Hitler, a Saddam Hussein — totally ... one could place people who are suffering from manic depression, which according to Aurobindo, represents an acute form ...
The genius of India, Guy Sorman - 2001 - 232 pages
descended from the ape, Aurobindo said the superman would descend from man and live a divine life on earth. ... appeared in the twentieth century because it was necessary for a beneficial force to neutralise the evil force of Hitler. ...
"there is no trace in Nehru of that inwardly turned rage of an Aurobindo or Vivekananda, political intellectuals who strove to purge ... we have the reality of the Shiv Sena supremo, Bal Thackeray, who lists Hitler among his models. ...
The Mother: the story of her life, George Van Vrekhem - 2000 - 545 pages
'Unfortunately, in the Ashram itself there were some who wished for Hitler's victory, not for love of Hitler but because ... Besides, had not Sri Aurobindo himself been one of the foremost freedom fighters? 'Many, especially in
India, ...
"At the beginning he did not actively concern himself with it, but when it appeared as if Hitler would crush all the ... The retirement of Sri Aurobindo from active politics was not due to any feeling of helplessness of disappointment. ...
Recognising the services rendered by the language Sri Aurobindo further says: It has been elastic enough in the past to ... his own, when forces like Hitler had yet been reigning supreme he could see the beginning of a new era when "the ...
When the Second World War broke, Sri Aurobindo declared himself publicly for the allied powers, and warned that Hitler was controlled by hostile forces, powers of darkness, and that a Nazi victory would mean a terrible slavery for ...
In the context of the executive action which was absolutely essential in the urgency of time Sri Aurobindo called this ... had taken complete possession of Hitler and had found in him his perfect instrument in the gruesome task of the ...
The first three examples use the Second World War, and the moral grounds that justified the eventual American participation in the war against Germany and AdolfHitler, as reasons for rejecting particular policies. ...
Sri Aurobindo habló de ello y no dudó en afirmar que tras Hitler y el nazismo se hallaban las Fuerzas Oscuras que trataban de impedir el avance de la humanidad. Por ello hizo pública su condena del mismo y la necesidad del combate, ...
Selected Works of M.P. Pandit: The world, Madhav Pundalik Pandit - 1998 - 522 pages
universalisation, as Hitler did, as some other political leaders did in the West or even in
India at some time in history. ... But that is not what is meant when Sri Aurobindo speaks of a universal man or a cosmic man ...
While Aurobindo lived in seclusion for the final third of his life, he broke his silence on two occasions. During World War II he saw Hitler and the Nazi forces as the expression of pure evil in the world and appealed to all Indians to ...
A house in Pondicherry, Lee Langley - 1995 - 275 pages
Aurobindo, the ex-fugitive, the man in the long- forgotten iron cage, had come to different conclusions: the mystic who had renounced violence saw Hitler as a force of evil who should be fought in every possible way. ...
The Dwarf Napoleon HITLER, OCTOBER 1939 Behold, by Maya's fantasy of will A violent miracle takes sudden birth, The real grows one with the incredible. In the control of her magician wand The small achieves things great, the base things ...
The Humanist way, N. Innaiah, G. R. R. Babu - 1994 - 197 pages
Aurobindo believes in a special spiritual role for India. For she "alone had been the grand workshop of spiritual ... It inspired fascists like Hitler. But when spiritual significance is added to it, the self -righteousness of its ...

India beyond today & tomorrow: dialogues on the future of India ..., Samyak - 1993 - 359 pages

British colonialism was weakening at that time. If Fascism h id triumphed, there would have been no democracy left and no freedom. It is interesting that Sri Aurobindo also took this line in the course of the war, saying that Hitler and ...

A secular agenda: for saving our country, for welding it, Arun Shourie - 1993 - 376 pages
"One World" notions: these were a good solvent for the nationalism thatAurobindo and Tilak and Gandhi were stoking up. ... It is entirely true of course that nationalism can become xenophobia, that under Hitler what started as ...

Guru, the search for enlightenment, John E. Mitchiner - 1992 - 146 pages

Aurobindo never fully abandoned his comments on political life; he claimed that he used his yogic powers to oppose Hitler and the Japanese, and on India's independence in 1947 his message for her spiritual destiny was broadcast on ... [Traditions of the Seven Rsis]

The vision and work of Sri Aurobindo, Kaikhushru Dhunjibhoy Sethna - 1992 - 238 pages
Now that 
Hitler is past history we are liable to forget the true significance of those six years of sweat and tears and blood ... That extreme decisiveness coming from a master of spirituality like Sri Aurobindo pointed to a vision of ...

Gandhi, saint or sinner?, Fazlul Huq - 1992 - 112 pages

the leading activists, Aurobindo Ghosh, as early as 1893 criticized the Bengal Congress for "dying of consumption". ... The Muslims were to Bankim Chandra what the Jews were to Hitler. All his books containing venom of Muslim hatred ...

Nationalist pursuit, Dattopant Bapurao Thengadi - 1992 - 300 pages

Shri Aurobindo said the same, adding that a vast country like Bharat needed a 'government of interests'. ... Hitler was an instance in point. Britain's parliamentary history has examples of the trickery to which a government with a thin ...

The Betrayal of Krishna: vicissitudes of a great myth, Krishna Chaitanya - 1991 - 556 pages

"It was Sri Krishna who sat there, it was my Lover and Friend who sat 11 there and smiled." But, mercifully, he did not see a smiling Krishna in Hitler. He supported the Allies in World War II and even made a contribution to the ...

Memorable contacts with the Mother, Nirodbaran - 1991 - 190 pages

Sri Aurobindo replied, "Mother never said anything of the kind about you. On the contrary she has always approved of his going to you because ... Hitler in his 'handsome Adolf days was not less pagla or prettier, so there is a chance. ...

The meeting of science and spirit: guidelines for a new age, John Warren White - 1990 - 288 pages

The images drawn from this theme vary in form and purity, ranging from the inspired visions of mystics such as Sri Aurobindo to the deranged fantasies of madmen such as Adolf Hitler. Nietzsche's Das Ubermensch or Overman was distorted ...

Psychoanalysis of Racism, Revolution and Nationalism (Koenigsberg, 1977), we interpreted the revolutionary behavior patterns of Hitler, Lenin and Sri Aurobindo as constituting a struggle against passivity. I would now view their patterns of ...