i happened to come across a collection of articles in the op-ed page of my favourite newspaper'the hindu' which had a brilliant canvas.one was about the anthropologist Mary Douglas and her recent lecture in london.the other was about the legacy of fallujah's destruction.the third was about the story of empire not being one of unalloyed shame.all the articles were from THE GUARDIAN.
The theory of Mary Douglas was brilliant and simple.it was about four main types of social organisation in society.four sets of people,one among them being 'the enclave'which provides a sense of belonging for people without a sense of it.the article was by MADELEINE BUNTING.
The second article was about the napalming of fallujah and the breach of the geneva convention.it was about the forces which entered a country presumably to rid it of its evil dictator and his weapons of mass destruction,using similar weapons against the conquered populace and about a general fatigue that ethical action is troublesome which causes such things to go on.the article was by JONATHAN HOLMES.
The third article was about the 400 th anniversary of the founding of jamestown and about the achievement of america.it was by MARTIN KETTLE.
the question that arises is what has been the contribution of the last five hundred years of western influence throughout the world.
was disease prevalent in a major way before 1500.
was mankind in the dark ages till that date.
the possibility that it could have been otherwise seems logical.in the last 500 years,the one thing that stands out has been the attempt to develop theories.it has been the quest of the west to have a theory for everything.
that has resulted in the advances made by science.from newton to edison,discoveries have been made which today are enabling me to be doing what iam doing.
at the same time such fantastic advancements have been achieved,the country where the fruits of all these advancements have been enjoyed the most, invades another country because it wants control over oil resources.the same country that is contemplating missions to mars could not think of a better way to get control over the oil rather than going back to the methods used before 1500.
one of the enabling reasons why this was possible was possibly the belief that the religion of the west was the better religion since the west had made all these advances whereas the religion of the east could not be anything other than second best.
the people living in asia were probably more content than before all these advances were provided to them.
the people living in the oilrich kingdoms probably did not travel comfortably earlier.they now own the modern means of conveyance.what else could be said to have changed profoundly.
the one thing that stands out is that inspite of every technology that has been discovered,man is still not able to sit and reason.man needs to be on the move.man needs action.