Toward a non-European Socialist Vision




We need to distinguish between EuroSocialism and Socialism. In Eurosocialism, there is an avowed belief that culture is formed by economic development. Whilst that is in part true, we have to realise that culture is not thoroughly formed in the west as it might in other parts of the world like India and China.

European socialism is more 'technical'.  It deals with the body, not the mind or spirit.

However, when these 'techniques' are infused with the eastern spirit of profound and spiritual passion and vigour, or humility in the face of Gods that remind us that no matter how perfect we think we are, our thinking is far from perfect,
it can add that modicum of spirit to the entire scheme of things that can make it go even further than can be imagined by the technically-inclined and Marx-abiding European Socialist.


In these parts, culture, rather than 'being formed' by economic development, can instead be used to interpret economic development or even challenge it, like Buddhism did more than 2000 years ago in the face of the growth of the capitalist tendency in parts of India.

One could even state plausibly that Buddhism was the world's first Socialist movement. Even Japan had to get rid of Buddhism in its efforts to westernise and 'capitalise' itself in the face of western colonial imperialism. That is why many Buddhist temples were burnt down and monks incarcerated, and the relatively value-free Shintoism brought in as the state religion. European socialist intellectuals have ignored all these facts in their development of socialism, and which explains, in part, why socialism has largely failed in the south-east.

Secondly, Eurosocialism is, in part, a legacy of western colonial imperialism, in that European socialists tend to position themselves at the helm of global socialist perspectival development. They do not take on board contradictory views from non-Europeans and expect the global socialist body to take their cue from European socialist intellectuals.

The problem with European socialist intellectuals, including Marx, is that they do not consider how culture can be used to, complement, reinforce, and flower the development of the socialist tendency in other parts of the world. To discard culture as just an elitist legacy betrays their ignorance of the fact that in many parts of the world, culture can be a product of a people despite elitism. It is, in other words, a culture formed from the ground up - India is a prime example.

A turn of a clockwork key might be sufficient to propel a mechanical mouse, but it is not enough to motivate the human spirit.

Hence, to just abide by the dictates of the Europeans in socialist development is to ignore the fact that culture forms an integral part of non-European societies, and that to shrug it off leads to losing the incorporation of many to the socialist cause.  A turn of a clockwork key might be sufficient to propel a mechanical mouse, but it is not enough to motivate the human spirit.


Marx made sense in lots of things, but there is much that he couldn't understand. He, in fact, used the European model of historical development as the model for understanding the development of world history. Whilst he might have gotten his observable facts correct - i.e. feudal societies, monarchism, etc - the MEANING of these facts is variable according to various cultures and climes.

What we need is the production of socialists who include their own cultural knowledge and histories in the development of socialist traditions that can actually deliver results in their particular cultural climes whilst exorcising it off those elite-supporting elements that compromise its socialist spirit. To discard their cultures is to discard the people. And where would socialism be in those countries without the people?

Asian socialism, when it successfully breaks away from the perspectival hegemony of European socialists, can be a far more vibrant and profound movement when they incorporate their own religious and social philosophies, whether it be from the rich philosophies of the Chinese during the period known as 'A Hundred Schools of Thought' before the ascension of Qin Shih Huang Ti in 221 b.c. or the philosophies of the many Indian sages and religious and Vedic traditions that go back thousands of years.

European socialism is more 'technical'.  It deals with the body, not the mind or spirit. However, when these 'techniques' are infused with the eastern spirit of profound and spiritual passion and vigour, or humility in the face of Gods that remind us that no matter how perfect we think we are, our thinking is far from perfect, it can add that modicum of spirit to the entire scheme of things that can make it go even further than can be imagined by the technically-inclined and Marx-abiding European Socialist.

We need the rise of Hindu Socialism, Buddhist Socialism, Jain Socialism, Taoist Socialism, Aboriginal, African, amongst others, and the fusion of these to form a Socialism that includes not only the political and economic infrastructure - as European socialists talk about - but the Human Atman (soul) (Hindu, that refers to transcending material reality and historical circumstance to identify our true selves via self-knowledge) and Ren (Confucian, referring to the good feelings engendered when being altruistic).


OM



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