Feb 13, 2013

Human command potentials and roles in Civilization

The following is an attempt to abstract certain cultural and political memes that can be used to analyze the condition of a nation that is a civilization's "core state", and its consequent positive or negative value for the planet as a whole. Consider a diagram of concentric circles, each representing a degree of concern and ability to affect (or be at cause over) one's self and the environment.

Below is my understanding of some characteristics of these, along with some memes I can discern from the RgVeda. Corrections, additions, etc, are welcome.

In a "Vedic" sense of scales of "knowingness", an integral planetary civilization spectrum would also include a 'cleft' between its core and a deracinated periphery, or a subversive current, or even an outright antithetical ideology. That tension is part of what keeps it evolving through technological and ideological iterations.

Because genetically, culturally and in other ways India is a microcosm of humanity and a confluence ('sangam') of sorts, this also applies to pan-Indian civilization. Perhaps Indian civilization would actually encompass all of these -- but in a particular balance in its optimal condition. Therefore, it would be an interesting exercise to apply the above table to India - probably the most diverse and yet unified civilizations of all time, with a recorded cultural continuity to boot.

But what constitutes the 'core' (#1 in the table) of a civilization? Is it the ruling dispensation at any point in time? Definitely not. Every civilization has a soul, a presiding presence through time that has a defining keynote purpose and value for itself, the rest of humanity and the global environment.

Thus, one would have to first agree on what is the 'core' culture of a civilization before one can use the table. For it is possible that #3 is not at the commanding heights of political power, and is in fact in retreat or cornered on its own turf. In that case #3 may look like the subversive #5, but that is not the case. Rather, it is the opposite, where #5 is part of the dispensation, its agent in society, and a vested interest that uses the dispensation to continue to make inroads or to feed itself parasitically. And the true #3 is the party on the backfoot, or a network surviving by compromise.

Corruption, underhanded deals and treacherous extra-national alliances are a feature of such a situation, where the parties in #5 are vested interests in the ruling dispensation and #3 is cornered in his own home. Therefore, this macro view of India or any other nation as a civilizational building block is important in order to analyze root causes in the various anti-corruption movements today.

It is also especially interesting to discuss the table w.r.t. the current political-cultural dispensation in India, since it appears to be on the cusp of a new civilizational iteration now. Which way this iteration goes could be decided by howmany of us understand where we are coming from, what our purpose is, and what is at stake for us and for humanity as a whole.

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