Re: Genetic Fallacy

Hi, Ali

Ali Rizvi wrote:

> "This doesn't mean however that the Tibetans in the 21th century, who
> also feel like a nation occupied by a strange army, have any knowledge
> of the becoming of the Dutch state or that you need to know this in
> order to understand what they feel. Many of them even cannot read!"
> Now here, what I think, is missing and this is a glaring omission, is
> the role of imerpialism, the role of agency. The role of imperialism
> and imperial interests in promotion of Tibetian nationalism is missing
> in your account. Promoting and often buying charismatic leaders to
> promote these alien ideas (like nationalism) in the populace who can
> not even read! [just think of promotion Dalai Lama gets in Western
> press]. It is not that some truth of nationalism suddenly reveals on
> these 'illeterate' tibetians out of blue, thruth of nationalism is
> 'created' and promoted among them. It is strange that one can so
> easily despense with the probmlem of agency. This is how liberal and
> secular ideas including nationalism were promoted by British in
> subcontinent (for exmaple). It is all very well documented.
I have been speaking with Tibetans quite a lot and my impression is that
their nationalism is motivated by the Chinese occupation and the cult of
nature deities.

> again i have no problem with what you are attributing to Levi strauss
> but whether this also applies to nationalism is an emprical question.
> And here I think it is hard to deny at least some sort of causal link
> between colonisation and the spread of nationalism and related ideas
> in colonoies afterwards. Here again we come across the question of
> agency and the question of the transformation of identities, which as
> Larry rightly pointed out with reference to Connoly, although they are
> historical thye are never that fulid and floating as it is assumed in
> these days.
Hmm, but what is nationalism exactly? I'm not sure, but I think that the
cult of the nation state with flags and national anthems came up in the
days of Napoleon. Colonism is something else. The Portugese started what
we now call colonies, but they were mainly interested in converting
people, the Dutch only wanted tradeposts and the British wanted a home
away from home. After some time every western country had some territory
in Africa, America or Asia. But this wasn't terribly new because the
Vikings, Ashoka, Alexander, the Roman Emperors, Chengis Khan, the
Khalifs, the Ottomans they all had colonies as well. Power just isn't
very good at limiting itself.

> Well I know many of such Kurds, in fact one of my philosophy teacher
> was Kurd who had all but hate for his Islamic past. I think here again
> you are bit dismissive. Islamic identity, even though it is historical
> and hence contingent, is more deeply entrenched in Islamic societies
> than people often seem to think.
Well, please explain what this identity is, because I've heard this
before, but it seems to me that the words mean something else all the
time. Recent sociological data seem to suggest that in Turkish people
being a Turk is far more important the being a muslim, all though nobody
would ever admit it. Besides, the islam of the Wahabites is not the
islam of Omar Khayyam or Lal Fakir, so what is islamic identity?

> "The spread of western ideas may not be as important as you think.
> Science is western and it spreads because it's can prove itself to be
> effective, but maybe it also spreads, because it can be understood
> from within many ideologies".
> I have no problem with this again, but this again is an empirical
> question and again I think you underestimate the force of western
> ideas and power in the modern world.
The poverty is caused by multinationals, but can you call a
multinational Western? Besides Iv'e seen many indogenious developments
in the last ten years I visited India. Do you think by the way that
nationalism is terribly different from communalism?

> Capitalism and Imperialism is the context and both are based on ideas
> which first originated in the west around its sucessful revolt against
> theology and Christianity and which are universalisable ideas and can
> be adopted and are adopted by the rest of world but these ideas need
> agency for their implementation and spread, both in the west and in
> the rest.
Which ideas do you mean exactly? And if those ideas are so easily
adoptable, is this because of the ideas or because of the cultures who
adopt them? Isn't this a chicken and egg-situation?



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