Thoughts on economics and liberty

The average Indian’s way of thinking remains far behind that of the average American 250 years ago


The destinies of our Indian Empire are covered with thick darkness. It is difficult to form any conjectures as to the fate reserved for a State which resembles no other in history, and which forms by itself a separate class of political phenomena; the laws which regulate its growth and its decay are still unknown to us.

It may be that the public mind of India may expand under our system, till it has outgrown the system; that, by good government we may educate our subjects into a capacity for better government, that, having become instructed in European knowledge, they may in some future age demand European institutions. [Sanjeev: indeed, the residual British institutions are what allow India to exist – but India has not generated any innate understanding of such institutions, hence is incapable of reforming them] Whether such a day will ever come I know not. But never will I attempt to avert or to retard it. Whenever it comes, it will be the proudest day in English History.

To have found a great people sunk in the lowest depths of slavery and superstition [Sanjeev: this remains true till today], to have so ruled them as to have made them desirous and capable of all the privileges of citizens, would indeed be a title to glory all our own.

It is genuinely amazing that Indians have NEVER for a moment bothered to investigate their institutions in a logical manner and improve them on a continuing basis.

They continue with EXACTLY WHAT THE BRITISH LEFT BEHIND – and that machine is now rotten beyond belief.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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5 thoughts on “The average Indian’s way of thinking remains far behind that of the average American 250 years ago
  1. Raj

    I’ll be plain about this:

    I find nothing but racist and chauvinist to label a rationale that defines an institution as one’s own.

    We never own reason, we only discover it.

    To demand “European” institutions is something it well might *seem* we are doing. But we might as well have demanded Peruvian or Arab institutions if they were grounded in *reason*.

    One cannot trademark rationality as “European”, it’s hardly half what it’s worth if it wasn’t for reason.

    We must thus strive for RATIONAL institutions grounded in Truth and Justice, regardless of where they come from, even if it means emulating European institutions. And the day European institutions don’t hold the Truth any longer, we must reject them.

    Indeed, it is only worthy of a Man to wish that every single one who resides in this planet finds Truth and peace for themselves.

    I might have been too harsh on McAulay after all, his vision for having Indians as citizens with rights on par with the British was extraordinary ahead in goodwill from the norm of his times. No denying it.

  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Macaulay’s use of “European” was shorthand for a vast reform effort that he both documented in his monumental History of England and participated as a legislator in Britain.

    It goes without saying that while seeds of rationalism are found across the world in the ancient past, it was in Europe that reason began to be applied to this world. Adam Smith is proof enough, but the entire economic science (and all other sciences).

    India has not imbibed even the rudiments of reason so far.

  3. Pawan Kumar

    Perhaps Raj willingly ignored writing on the wall: sunk in the lowest depths of slavery and superstitionhas.

    This is how the moronic argument on SLAVERY under Mugul and British is discussed by the Bhakts (BJP’s Hatemongers).

    Proto-Indo-Europeans did well applying synergy. The ancient Sanskrit Language literature was in consonance with Greek and Latin.

    But post Manu and Shankracharya the grained unchecked rot spread like forest-fire.

    We are burning since ages. Sadly, Macaulay is right.

  4. Joyson Fernandes

    Reason and liberty may be timeless universal values, but that’s because these principles are equally true and valid everywhere.

    However let’s not kid ourselves by claiming that these ideas didn’t originate and spread to the rest of the world through Europe colonialism.

    The cultures of the Muslim world, India, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, etc, were not grounded in rationality and liberty. That’s why they stagnated and ultimately were dominated by the West.

    Rationality and liberty was the sole distinguishing characteristic of the West, and the reason why they grew to become strong enough to colonize and dominate the rest of the world.

    More precisely these ought to be called English institutions, as these were the products of English culture. It was the English who invented liberty, common law, habeus corpus, parliamentary democracy, equality of citizens, abolition of slavery, scientific method, etc. The rest of the world have just copied these English innovations.

    The Greeks might have invented democracy, but didn’t develop it and ultimately voted to abandon it. The Northern Italians may have invented capitalism, but they didn’t develop it and their era of prosperity and glory came to an end. It was the English who adopted these institutions and developed them.

    The world owes the most to the English people, including its colonies such as America.

  5. Raj

    I’d agree with every word Joyson. Except for one: That Liberty wasn’t quite invented, only discovered. :)

    One only needs look within to find the need for Liberty. The soul cries out for it; those who’re brave enough to pay heed will necessarily find it!