Thursday, 21 July 2016

Ajay Skaria's Ambedkar- aprois moi le Deleuze Part 2

In Greek, the word 'kairos' means the opportune moment. In Buddhism, 'upaya kausalya' means that 'skill in means' which strikes when the iron is hot- i.e. seizes the right 'kairos'- and thus helps others achieve Enlightenment.

The Bodhisattva is one who can achieve Enlightenment, like the Pratyeka Buddha, but who may postpone this so as to bring other sentient beings in the vicinity to an equal state of 'Nirvana'. Clearly, some times are more propitious than others for this to happen. (Buddhist 'kshana sampatti' or 'Kairos' is distinct from Kala or 'Chronos' though noting exists for more than a second- Time is momentary simply- because it is itself the lightning flash of pure, unmediated, intentionality.)

The same is true of Marxist eschatology such that its final Revolution's Paraclete can't be discerned by any epistemic protocol or ergodic process but depends on some occult 'Kairotic' interessement which however, the delusional, or Deleuzian, pedagogue can ascribe to anybody he likes such that they 'seize' and are 'seized by' by its underlying problematic, though nothing observable changes,- indeed, nothing happens at all- still writing worthless shite is a proof that the pedagogue has achieved a Pratyeka Buddha like status precisely because nobody is Liberated by his schizophrenic word-salad.

Consider this essay by Prof. Ajay Skaria which, he tells us, seeks 'to frame one question'- viz. 'Why does Ambedkar convert to Navayana Buddhism?'
Indians know that Ambedkar, perhaps the most universally respected of the 'Founding Fathers',  is now considered a Boddhisattva. Clearly there was some 'upaya kausalya' in his dramatic conversion. He had 'seized' the kairotic moment with a vengeance. Had it not been for his stipulation that no follower of his Navayana School could grant cognizance to 'Hindu' deities traditionally incorporated into Buddhist worship- e.g. Ganapati as worshiped in Japan and Thailand- Mayawati (at one time a possible Prime Minister) and her henchmen would have converted to Buddhism long ago. In other words, the most populous state in the Union could have had a Buddhist at its head thus greatly facilitating the spread of Ambedkar's neo-Buddhism.
Something like this might yet happen. Ambedkar might well go down in History as the rival of Emperor Ashoka in terms of spreading Buddhism to hundreds of millions of Indian people.

In this context, Skaria is asking an interesting question. Why was Ambedkar's timing of his conversion so efficacious?
Off the top of my head, I might answer
1) Ambedkar chose to follow the footsteps of Iyothee Thass, himself a protege of Col. Olcott. Thus, Ambedkar was linking his native Maharashtra to the South in a manner which put the noses of the high caste Bengali Buddhist's out of joint- a good thing given the ignominious fate of his comrade Jogendra Nath Mandal. He was also putting clear blue water between himself and High Caste, Leftist Buddhists like Acharya Kausambi (a fellow Maharashtrian) and Rahul Sankrityayan- both of whom had stayed in the USSR.
Moreover, the Arya Samaji anti-casteists- whom he knew well- had inherited a feud between the founder of their sect and Olcott and Blavatsky in which Shyamji Krishna Varma had won his spurs denouncing the frauds of the Theosophists.
Interestingly, Acharya Medharthi of Kanpur, initiated into Buddhism by foreign converts, returned to the Hindu fold via the Arya Samaj a short while after Ambedkar's death.
Ambedkar was acting with a fine political instinct in breaking with 'Aryanist' Buddhism and giving his own community a vanguard rather than subaltern role in Buddhism's revival in its birthplace.
Ambedkar saw that Maharashtra and the South could throw off Brahmin domination- or, indeed, influence- much more rapidly than the Hindi heartland- and, it is instructive to recall, it was in the Fifties that the Brahmins sowed the seeds of their own downfall in the South. Ambedkar was ahead of the curve- no question- but that's precisely why the full 'kairotic' potential of his conversion- dismissed at that time as the act of an embittered, un-electable, politician in failing health- could unfold so dramatically.
2) It was in the Fifties that the notion took hold that the Buddhist bhikku, owning no property and 'Atheistic' in theology, had a natural affinity with 'Scientific Socialism'. In subsequent years, the US took fright at the specter of a Radicalized Sangha toppling over a string of Buddhist majority 'dominoes' stretching from Sri Lanka, Burma, (but not Thailand thanks to King Mongkut's timely reforms), to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
It may be mentioned that Stalin's philosophy of language as well as his personal experience of the utter internecine bloody mindedness and intellectual shiteness of Indian Communists militated for Soviet support for a vernacular Buddhist Dalit party as opposed to worthless ideological shitheads of the sort who destroyed Burma.
I do not say that Ambedkar was making a political calculation from which he could personally benefit. Far from it. But, without question, there was a certain 'kairotic' logic or 'upaya kausalya' in his choice of date for his Conversion.
3) Ambedkar's picking Buddhism was 'over-determined'. Sikhism was out of the question because of its own problem with 'Mazhabi' Untouchables, not to mention the sheer craziness of its internal politics. Jainism was never on the table and was too arduous in any case. Islam or Christianity meant loss of reserved seats in Parliament and affirmative action in the Civil Service.
In any case, all Indian intellectuals at that time were attracted to Buddhism- including Nehru himself.
Incidentally, Tan Yun Shan- later an unrivaled servant of Buddhism in India- had successfully served as a go-between for both Chiang Kai Shek and Chou En Lai in their dealings with India. Thus, during that period of 'Panchseel' and 'Hindi-Chini bhai bhai', Ambedkar's embrace of Buddhism was something very positive for our diplomats.
Of course, Ambedkar was concerned with the uplift of his own people by the time honored methods of abstinence from alcohol, avoidance of immorality, increased scrupulousness and trust in in-group transactions, embrace of rational education and free enterprise etc.
Conversion to Buddhism improved life-chances for the emerging Dalit middle class by ridding them of onerous or infra dig reciprocal customary obligations and, since the Buddha had spoken in favor of private enterprise, stopping up their ears against the Siren Song of Gandhian mendicancy or Marxist murderousness- all of which was highly congenial to the Dalit millionaires of Kanpur, who refused to inter-dine with the more uncouth of their caste fellows, as Ambedkar well knew- while simultaneously giving the educated Dalit a soteriological incentive to raise up his brethren, rather than simply suck their blood as other entrants to the bureaucratic or political class were accustomed to do.

If Ambedkar's opting for Buddhism was a foregone conclusion- nevertheless, the type of Buddhism he chose at precisely that time- when (Ambedkar's old Professor) John Dewey's 'A Common Faith' had been enshrined in the U.N Universal Declaration of Human Rights- has all the hallmarks of a kairotic miracle and deserves further elucidation.

Sadly, no such elucidation can be found in Ajay Skaria's essay.
He asks a good question but has no interest at all in answering it. He says-
 'I say ‘frame’ because I will not be able to answer the question. But perhaps framing, reframing and even unframing the question is itself a most necessary task.'
For many Indians like me, understanding why Ambedkar converted precisely when he did is necessary because Ambedkar is our hero. He was smarter than us, had studied Econ and Law and Anthropology etc more deeply than us, spoke sense more often than us, and spent his life in the service of a vital section of the Indian productive class. Thus he has kairotic salience as our Buddhist Paraclete.
Thus most Indians, whether 'Rightists' or 'Leftists' share my belief that Ambedkar is worthy of study and veneration.
However, study proceeds by asking pertinent questions and then uncovering relevant facts.

Skaria, on the evidence of his essay, thinks otherwise. He is monstrously wrong.
Judge for yourself.
He begins thus- (my comments are in bold)
'We could start by reminding ourselves how and why this question becomes a question. As Talal Asad has suggested, ‘religious conversion needs explaining in a way that secular conversion to modern ways of being does not’. '
Talal Asad is the son of a Jewish convert to Islam who once held a high position in Pakistan. He is not important. He has no influence in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia or America. 
By contrast, Dr. Ambedkar is important. India is important. And everybody in India understands why Ambedkar's conversion to Buddhism increased that importance.

Sakaria quotes Asad as saying something silly- viz. 'religious conversion needs explaining' even though the latter was born in Saudi Arabia and knows full well that no such explanation is required or desirable if the alternative is having your head chopped off. By contrast, converting from being a Religious nutjob to an ordinary Secular bloke would involve a long explanation about how it was actually all part of a cunning plan to wage true jihad and please for fuck's sake don't chop my head off.
Asad may have salience for American academics concerned with the Middle East. He has none for those concerned with India.
Sakaria, on the other hand, thinks that if Talal Asad says something silly it is obligatory to take it as Holy Writ even if one is writing about an Indian Buddhist.
'That need and even demand for explanation becomes all the more powerful in the case of Ambedkar, whose radical secularism is exemplified both in his efforts in earlier years to institutionalise a liberal civil society and public sphere through the Indian Constitution, and in the fact that he converts without disavowing his secularism.'
Utterly mad! Ambedkar dismissed his own contribution to the Constitution as 'hack work'. He was a well educated barrister and- though making a couple of crazy suggestions, as did some of the others involved- did a good job.
His avowal of Buddhism and eventual apotheosis as Boddhisattva involved no sacrifice of Secular comforts- he remained married to a Brahman lady. 
Moreover, from the Philosophical point of view, Ambedkar's conversion to a creed which denies the metaphysical possibility of any complex entity- the 'skandha, or aggregate, is delusional and only gives rise to suffering- militates for the 'common sense' view that no dialectical problematic elucidates his trajectory; on the contrary, it is univocal simply.
Sakaria is writing as though Ambedkar suddenly threw up a glittering Secular career, plucked his own hair out by the roots and went off into the Mountains to meditate. Nothing of the sort happened. Ambedkar didn't even proselytize among non Dalits- he was solely concerned that his people improve their life-chances by adopting a strict moral code and a prestigious form of worship. This suggests that no 'skandha' driven 'klesha', deriving from his earlier 'strains of commitment', subsisted to color and render his message complex or deconstructable.
'Moreover the demand (and here I might find myself in disagreement with Asad) is not an ethnocentrism or Eurocentrism; it is not the privileging of some exclusively European considerations of secularity.'
Of course it is! Skaria, in what follows, isn't quoting a single Indian or Asian or African. He refuses to engage with Buddhist metaphysics. Instead he pictures Ambedkar as a sort of sleep-walker. Some contingent circumstance 'compels' him to convert to Buddhism but it is a heteronomous act. He is 'seized' by Buddhism even as he attempts, as a drowning man might clutch at a straw, to 'seize' it. His is a kairos without intentionality only illuminable by a second rate Professor sitting in Minnesota or Minnehaha or somewhere equally shite.
This is a particularly stupid Professor. With the exception of John Dewey, Skaria doesn't mention even a single Anglophone intellectual. No English speaking politician- more particularly a Barrister with Doctorates from Columbia and the LSE- was influenced by adolescent Teutonic sehnsucht because England and America were way ahead of Germany which, in any case, shat itself in so spectacular fashion that all its vaunted political theologies proved to be Satanic in inspiration and the German linguistic habitus itself- as in Eichmann invoking Kant- came to be recognized as the mother tongue of Hell.
But our Professor, posing as the Angela Davis of the Indic hijrat, is unfazed. He confines his references to texts Ambedkar can't have known because they, for good reason, had no currency in the inter-war period.
 'As a young Marx says right at the beginning of the ‘Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right’, ‘the critique of religion is the prerequisite of all critique’. Except, it isn't at all. Marx was only speaking of Germany and, in any case, soon saw he had been barking madly up the wrong tree. And such criticism of religion has often been especially empowering for marginalised groups. Criticism is not critique. Marginalised groups may benefit by throwing off superstitious practices and 'mind forged manacles' of an obviously discriminatory sort, however no one, including Marx himself, ever benefited by indulging in a verbose Hegelian critique of anything. For example, it is precisely by drawing on secular categories that the very category Dalit has been constituted; that upper castes have been held responsible for their violence against Dalits; and that Dalits have simultaneously assumed and universalised the responsibility of struggling against that violence. So when somebody—especially an already secular being—converts to a public religion, this can seem an abdication of the responsibility to question injustice.
What worthless shite! Ambedkar has a theory that the 'Dalit' was constituted NOT by 'Secular categories' but by a wholly spiritual dichotomy viz. that between the Brahman and the Shraman. According to him, the Dalits were the Buddhist ruling class who were a bit tardy in giving up meat eating which is why the Brahmans- who took their Tardean imitation of the Buddhist ban on beef too far- were later able to turn them into pariahs. 

Perhaps, Sakaria thinks Ambedkar was a worthless shithead. But Sakaria is too cowardly to say so in plain terms. That's why he tells us he can't answer the question he says is so important and has to content himself with framing, unframing and reframing it.

The fact of the matter is that Ambedkar, like other Dalit leaders, understood very well that such 'secular categories' as obtained in Indian electoral politics weren't Kantian and involved no problematic.
 No Metaphysics was involved because there was never any 'universalization'- if Dalits get reserved seats this does not mean every oppressed community gets, or ought to get, reserved seats.
Rights were linked to Burkean heritable remedies.
Indian electoral Politics, unlike English or American or German politics, involves the instrumentalization of denumerable and Statutorily designated Castes. Ambedkar, as a Dalit leader, did not throw away a single concession his Caste had been conceded by insisting it be shared with others equally oppressed.  No subsequent Dalit leader, Buddhist or otherwise, has made such a proposal.
If Skaria has evidence to the contrary, why does he not produce it?

'And yet, that demand for explanation is turned upon itself here, for Ambedkar converts to Navayana Buddhism precisely as an act of the greatest responsibility. Here, there is not only a criticism of religion (most of all, Hinduism, but also prior traditions of Buddhism), but also of secularism, and that criticism is articulated moreover as a religion.
Ambedkar converts for his caste and on behalf of it precisely because that caste had no 'secular definition'. It had a legal definition based on a wholly religious, or 'spiritual', historicism which coincided at no point with the secular temporal order. 
A Dalit was only a Dalit because some Pundit or Lama or other religious authority had said so on the basis of some occult supposed 'karmic aashrav' or event in 'antarabhava' which occurred outside anything determinable within Hegemonic succession or seriality.

One might say that Nazi oppression of Jews and Gypsies and so on had a 'secular component' because there was an official 'Race Science' which measured the cranium and proboscis and so on- i.e. there was supposed to be some objective way to tell the 'Aryan' from the lesser breeds.

Nothing of the sort obtained in India.

'So, a first framing: when we ask ‘why does Ambedkar convert to Navayana Buddhism’, we are asking how does his conversion involve a responsibility greater than that which he already exercises s a secular being?
Ambedkar is taking on a greater responsibility- one towards his caste fellows- and this responsibility is not of a 'secular' type but is a moral and spiritual obligation arising from kin selective, 'inclusive fitness' type, esprit de corps.
 As that reframing suggests, I ask the question ‘why’ only on a very limited register.
What sort of 'limited register?' Clearly it is one in which Ambedkar can be depicted as an ignorant fool. Thus-
 I am not for example concerned here with Ambedkar's conscious or unconscious intentions, with the social context of the conversion, or with the Dalit and lower-caste religions and conversions that precede his conversion and provide its genealogy. 
In other words, the fact that Ambedkar was exercising a caste based 'responsibility' in a shrewd and efficacious manner- which is why every Indian political party is scrambling for a portion of his mantle- is the one thing that Sakaria can't concern himself with.
While attention to all these matters is absolutely essential, here I limit myself to the re-figuring of secularism involved in his conversion. This re-figuring, I would suggest, is at least as crucial to Ambedkar's Buddhism as the critique of Hinduism that precedes and suffuses this Buddhism.
It is only crucial if, against all the evidence, you want to stick with the notion that Ambedkar was a stupid ignorant darkie from a worthless shithole of a country who was incapable of gauging the significance of his own symbolic actions.
It is symptomatic of this greater responsibility that Ambedkar converts not only as an abstract individual, nor even as an individual Dalit, but also as a Dalit leader (or, in his early formulations, a Mahar leader), as one whose actions form a collective Dalit or Mahar identity. Thus in his May 1936 speech to the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference, he says: ‘[J]ust as the boatman does not collect luggage unless he gets an idea of the number of passengers boarding the boat, so also is the case with me. Unless I get an idea as to how many persons are willing to leave the Hindu fold, I cannot start preparation for conversion’. He also insists there: ‘If at all you decide in favour of conversion, then you will have to promise me organized and en-masse conversion. If the decision is taken in favour of conversion, and the people start embracing any religion they like individually, I will not dabble in your conversion’.
Ambedkar's religion itself is social—this is why dhamma is both a religion and not quite a religion. The Buddha and His Dhamma notes that while dhamma is ‘analogous’ to ‘what European theologians call religion’, the latter is personal and ‘one must keep it to oneself. One must not let it play its part in public life’. In contrast to religion, he goes on, ‘Dhamma is social. It is fundamentally and essentially so…. [O]ne man, if he is alone, does not need Dhamma. But when there are two men living in relation to each other, they must find a place for Dhamma whether they like it or not. Neither can escape it’.
And if I began by noting a distinctive concatenation of events in 1956, this was in order to indicate the two co-ordinates that frame the question here. First, The Buddha and His Dhamma, published posthumously in 1957. As we know, Ambedkar worked feverishly and obsessively to complete the book. This intense textual engagement suggests, as Simona Sawhney has recently pointed out, that while Ambedkar's conversion is nothing if not deeply political, politicalness cannot here consist of the ‘rational decision to achieve an external or prior end’.
Okay. Ambedkar was not a well man- that's why he married a Brahmin Doctor. He converted to Buddhism and wrote a book to help his own people rise up. The knowledge that one is not long for this world, as Rousseau and Samuel Johnson well knew, concentrates the mind and spurs one to pick up the pen. But why should 'intense textual engagement', more particularly that of a 'deeply political' kind, defeat rational decision making in achieving an 'external or prior end'?
It may be argued that Ambedkar was a stupid wog from a shithole of a country. Thus 'intense textual engagement' was bound to disorder his wits completely. 
Suppose Ambedkar wanted to order a last meal for himself at his favorite restaurant. If he doesn't look at the menu, he can order nice dishes and have a splendid meal. His 'rational decision' to go to the restaurant helps him achieve an 'external or prior end'.
If, however, the waiter gave Ambedkar a Menu before taking his order and if Ambedkar, stupid wog that he was, tried to read the Menu then his 'intense textual engagement' with the Menu would not permit him to order a nice meal. Why?
We don't know. Skaria won't tell us. Instead he points us to an unpublished work or chance remark of some lady called Simona Sawhney- not a smart lady by the look of her writings- which militates to the conclusion that there is something called 'politicalness' which concerns itself not with who gets to eat what (i.e. the essential political question) but with stuff that can't be eaten because it is so wholly immaterial, incompossible and ineffable, that 'rational decisions', in this context, can't achieve an external or prior end- which is why it would be utterly irrational to make them.
'Ambedkar is of course aware of the ‘material aspect’ and even instrumental dimension of conversion.'
Very good of you to say so, I'm sure.
 'His May 1936 speech to the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference describes this aspect as ‘class struggle’ and suggests that those who ignore it are ‘stupid’; conversion will make Mahars part of the larger community and provide them with outside strength in case of a struggle. But this material or calculable aspect is for him itself framed by an incalculable aspect (and the incalculable cannot strictly speaking be an aspect)—the compulsion to respond in a consistent way (which is also to say rationally) to the challenges he faces as he questions the disempowerment and marginality of Dalits.
Nonsense. No one was saying to Ambedkar- 'listen buddy, you've got your people certain rights with Burkean remedies. Now you need to give a Kantian, or Hegelian, justification for these rights.' Such psilosophical notions had no salience in India, or indeed Europe, at the time.
The 'incalculable' aspect of Ambedkar's 'compulsion to respond in a consistent way' was his adherence to the Ayothi Dasan theory of Dalits as ostracized Buddhists. This had no pragmatic pay-off but, as I pointed out at the beginning of this blog post, it had a certain semiological 'dhvani' which was 'kairotic' in the Indian context.

Skaria, however, thinks some 'compulsion' arising out of 'textual engagement' (such as that by which he himself writes nonsense) affected Ambedkar.
This compulsion forces him to convert to Buddhism. Moreover, he does not convert to a pre-existing Buddhism, but to a Buddhism that he receives in the process of writing The Buddha and His Dhamma. If we are to get a sense of the late Ambedkar's politics, we must get a sense of his religion, this Buddhism that seizes him.
So that's how Sakaria is going to work his sleight of hand! Ambedkar may have been responsible and smart and so on, but that doesn't matter. What actually happened was that he was feverishly writing a book and then, because he forgot to chant the write mantra or because a witch put a curse on him, that dastardly Buddhism seized him and his head started spinning and he started vomiting pea-soup and saying 'Fuck me!' to Max von Sydow and shit like that.

Second, to get a sense of this religion, we must attend to his engagement with Marx and Marxism. 
Yes. That's true. The backstory is Ambedkar had got engaged to Marxism but was like saving himself for the Wedding Night and then, like you know how Vampires are into Virgins right?, well, some fucking Vajrayan Vetala seized Ambedkar but, thanks to a protective locket Marxism had given Ambedkar, he was 'turned' not into an evil Vajrayana Vampire but a new Navayana type of Super-hero- like Wesley Snipes in the 'Blade' movies.

Ambedkar's most extended formulations on Marx occur in one very brief essay, ‘Buddha or Karl Marx’, which discerns a ‘residue of fire’ in Marx, and suggests that Buddha and Marx share a great deal. The essay reveals the stakes of this engagement for Ambedkar:
Worthless shite. Marxism was the name of a new type of Slavery which Ambedkar knew about. It wasn't something to get engaged to coz it had shat the bed too many times. There was a 'residue of fire' in Marxism coz of people like Henry Pollit, Harry Browder and Rajni Palme Dutt. But this residue of fire was nothing more than a joss stick to be transferred to the altar of the new Boddhisattva. 
Actually, Ambedkar built better than he knew. His Religion is a viable Tardean vehicle to class power and has been appropriated as such by a hereditary caste. Nothing wrong in that. Lots of other contemporaries of Ambedkar, if they couldn't hold Ministerial office and thus sustain a patronage network, took a Spiritual route. 

''Society has been aiming to lay a new foundation [which] was summarised by the French Revolution in three words, Fraternity, Liberty and Equality. The French Revolution was welcomed because of this slogan. It failed to produce equality. We welcome the Russian Revolution because it aims to produce equality. But it cannot be too much emphasized that in producing equality society cannot afford to sacrifice fraternity or liberty. Equality will be of no value without fraternity or liberty. It seems that the three can coexist only if one follows the way of the Buddha. Communism can give one but not all.'
Both Marxism and his Buddhism work, in other words, towards the promise of a world organised by equality, liberty, and fraternity, with equality as the key term.
So does every other current Political Ideology and Religion. Which Pope or Party Boss says 'we want less liberty, less fraternity and a more unequal Society?'
And Marxism is a particularly intense moment of the striving to keep that promise, even the most intense moment he is familiar with.
Marxism was stupid. Ambedkar knew that it starved peasants and turned the proletariat into either Stakhnovite serfs or canon fodder. However, under Stalin, 'proletarian millionaires' were permitted.
But Ambedkar's most sustained engagements with Marx do not occur when he explicitly reads the latter. They occur rather where Marx's and his responsibilities traverse the same terrain.
Marx had no responsibilities. He wasn't the leader of a caste group. He knew shite from Economics. 
Such a traversal marks especially Ambedkar's thinking of the minor—the figure who is less than equal, but claims equality.
Ambedkar never thought about Deleuze's 'minor' because he never read Deleuze. Had he done so, he'd have recoiled in horror because it was mystical shite analogous to Gandhi's notion that he himself was a Bhangi and thus the proper leader of Ambedkar's caste fellows.
Ambedkar's thinking of the minor re-orients Marx's simultaneous critique, articulated most forcefully in ‘On the Jewish Question’, of religion and secularism.
Ambedkar has a Tardean, that is mimetic, theory of the Dalit. The young Marx had a Left Hegelian theory which he later repudiated after he got to England and discovered how rational people order things. There is no connection at all between these two theories because the one appeals to a Materialistic, empirically testable, transmission mechanism while the other is entirely Idealistic.
That re-orientation occurs in two ways, which are not so much different paths as the flip side of each other.
But only because that 're-orientation' doesn't occur at all.
Gyanendra Pandey and Anupama Rao amongst others have eloquently explored one of these ways. Rao writes how ‘a new political collectivity was constituted by resignifying the Dalit's negative identity within the caste structure into positive political value’.
Nothing has ever been 'constituted' by 're-signifying' a negative value into a positive value. That's also why Magic doesn't work. 
As her writing suggests, the concept of minority that organises the figure of the Dalit is quite different from that which Marx develops, since for the Dalit ‘individual freedom was contingent on the emancipation of the community, rather than separation from it’, or the dissolution of the minor that Marx envisioned.
Whites had their 'European Associations', Muslims had the Muslim League, Brahmans had Brahman Sabhas, Kayasthas had Kayastha Sabhas and so on. Each pointed to their minority status as requiring special consideration and protection. Whites said 'we are a minority. We can't possibly let ourselves be tried by a Judge from the majority population because we will be found guilty'- thus White's got the Ilbert Bill struck down. This sort of politics has been continually practiced for over a 150 years in India. It is based on the Burkean interpretation of the Common Law tradition of which Marx was ignorant at the relevant time. That's why he was stuck in Hegelian darkness.
Here, the Dalit as minority is constituted by a claim to equality that proceeds by secularising religion, or more precisely, by secularising and exploding caste. Both through the Constitution and through political struggles to demand that the state enforce Dalit rights, Ambedkar seeks to shore up the rights of this Dalit minority.
Quite false. Ambedkar's Dalit, as minority, is constituted by a Cokean fiction re. descent from Buddhists. Ambedkar's efforts granted this minority a hereditary entitlement contingent upon their not converting to Christianity or Islam.
Ambedkar was not demanding that Dalit Hindus and Buddhists be brought down to a level of equality with 'Untouchables' from Muslim or Christian communities. Nor was he saying that work that is essentially degrading shouldn't be done by anybody. He just didn't want his own people to do it and one way to stop them doing it was by getting them to sign up to a new and prestigious type of Buddhism. Ambedkar had no objection to Brahmins or Thakurs or Kayasthas doing manual scavenging.
My concern in this essay is with the closely-related concept that Ambedkar intensifies by converting to Navayana Buddhism—that of the minor.
So, you asked a particular question not because you were interested in the answer but because you are concerned with the concept of the 'minor' as in Deleuze. But that concept is best explored in his own work or in a milieu relevant to it. Ambedkar's India has no salience here. You might as well substitute 'Kenyatta' for 'Ambedkar' and 'Properly Cliterodectomised Kikuyu Presybterian' for Dalit- you'd still get the same endless 'framing' and 'reframing' and 'unframing' which can only result in the scribbling of more outright nonsense.
Like this-
 If the minority is conceived in terms of measure, then the minor is conceived in terms of immeasure.
Only one variety of Deleuzian 'minor' is conceived in such terms. This is because Deleuze was aware that Measure theory itself can have a 'minor' in terms of negative probabilities.
Deleuze was a bright guy. He didn't write shite about Gandhi and Ambedkar. There is always an interpretation of his ideas which isn't worthless shite but relates directly to an Open Problem for Mathematics.
The relationship between these two concepts—minority and minor—is excessive, rather than oppositional. To put it in Udaya Kumar's terms, even as the vocabulary of minority invokes measure and quantity, it ‘exceeds them and turns them into signs of an intensive relationship. At the same time, the vocabulary of intensities has a relationship to what it rubs against, the world of measures and units’. Not only is ‘the language of measure…challenged and affected by that of immeasure, but…immeasure nurses in its core a deep relationship to the impulse to measure’.
Oh dear! Is immeasure nursing an impulse in its core? If so, it hasn't a core at all. It's just a Deleuzian 'fog' or 'glare' the more reprehensible by reason of its haecceity as a mrga-trishna.
One might add that what makes the pair ‘minority-minor’ so charged and destabilising, so unlike the pair ‘majority-major’ to which it could be opposed, is that the former is concerned constitutively with claiming equality as a minor.
To claim equality qua inequality, is charged and destabilising because it involves the logical fallacy known as the Principle of Explosion. From Nonsense any and all Nonsense logically follows. 
And since equality is not a transparent term, this claim involves not only thinking about what equality ‘is’, but also nurturing the life of both self and ‘other’ (whereas the pair ‘majority-major’ seeks to extinguish or subordinate the life of the other).
You have made the claim. You provide no evidence that you have thought about what equality 'is' nor that you have nurtured the life, at least the intellectual life, of both yourself and some or any 'other'. There is no evidence that anyone who made a similar claim did so or has done so. Guatarri was a psychiatrist. He cured nobody. He has contributed nothing to the understanding of either Capitalism or Schizophrenia or anything else that actually exists and whose travails can be ameliorated.


One way then of reframing the question could be: why in Ambedkar's writing must the minority of that radically secular figure, the Dalit, be supplemented by this radical religion of the minor, Navayana Buddhism? What is the universal equality that this religion offers, which the French and Russian revolutions have failed to offer?
None. Ambedkar wasn't proselytising converts from other Faiths. He wanted his own people to follow a more prestigious Religion as part of a wider process of upward mobility.
Ambedkar's famous, never-delivered 1936 speech to the Jat Pat Todak Mandal, where he announces his desire to abandon Hinduism, already intimates what he sees as crucial to religion. There, condemning Hinduism as a ‘religion of rules’, he distinguishes between principles and rules:
Rules are practical; they are habitual ways of doing things according to prescription. But principles are intellectual; they are useful methods of judging things. Rules seek to tell an agent just what course of action to pursue. Principles do not prescribe a specific course of action. Rules, like cooking recipes, do tell just what to do and how to do it. A principle, such as that of justice, supplies a main head[ing] by reference to which he is to consider the bearings of his desires and purposes, it guides him in his thinking by suggesting to him the important consideration which he should bear in mind. This difference between rules and principles makes the acts done in pursuit of them different in quality and in content. Doing what is said to be good by virtue of a rule and doing good in the light of a principle are two different things. The principle may be wrong but the act is conscious and responsible. The rule may be right but the act is mechanical. A religious act may not be a correct act but must at least be a responsible act. To permit of this responsibility, Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules it ceases to be Religion, as it kills responsibility which is the essence of a truly religious act'.

By insisting on responsibility as ‘the essence of a truly religious act’, this passage politicises religion in a very distinctive way. As the greatest responsibility, religion must now attend to questions of justice—of how best to accomplish ‘liberty, equality, and fraternity’. Now religion becomes a profoundly public matter, rather than something limited to the private sphere.
Ambedkar wants his own people to adopt a superior morality in dealing with each other. If they do so, their community gains a reputational benefit. Economic theory suggests that more and more outsiders will want to interact with this community and will abide by their mores and modes of adjudication. Consequently, they will prosper as more and more positive sum transactions are intermediated by them.
This is Anglo-Saxon 'Law and Economics' not Kantian crap or Hegelian shite.
Such responsibility requires moreover that religion be organised around the principle. Ambedkar's Buddha tells his followers that they ‘were free to modify or even to abandon any of his teachings if it was found that at a given time and in given circumstances they do not apply. He wished His religion not to be encumbered with the dead wood of the past. He wanted that it should remain evergreen and serviceable at all times’. Even ahimsa is a matter of principle: the Buddha ‘did not make Ahimsa a matter of Rule. He enunciated it as a matter of Principle or way of life’. ‘A principle leaves you freedom to act. A rule does not. Rule either breaks you, or you break the rule’.
In insisting on a religion of the principle, Ambedkar makes a distinctive departure from modern conceptions of religion, and indeed of the principle. At least since Kant's insistence on autonomy, the principle has been a cardinal mark of the Enlightenment: to be principled is to retain the sovereign power of reason, and therefore to be able to modify one's convictions, and act in keeping with new circumstances. As such, the principle both institutes a distinction between the secular and the religious, and works primarily within the realm of the secular—religion, it is presumed, cannot be principled or a matter of public reason; it must be private.
And in the relationship between the secular and the religious, we could say at the risk of some simplification, the principle has worked in one of two ways. First, in its most institutionally influential form, often at work in liberal or republican democracies, the distinction and relationship between the secular and the religious has been organised as one between the immanent and the transcendent. Here, the implicit criterion is the degree to which religion can support the principle. For example, in Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone, Kant, after insisting that ‘for its own sake, morality does not need religion at all’ and can be based on ‘pure practical reason’, goes on to suggest that the ends of religion ‘cannot possibly be matters of indifference for reason’. And so, ‘morality leads ineluctably to religion’. This moral religion moreover has a proper name: ‘[O]f all the public religions which have ever existed, the Christian alone is moral’. Indeed, at this long inaugural moment of the modern concept of religion, as of secularism, for both Kant and Hegel in different ways, Christianity is the highest and most universal religion both because it gives birth to and institutes secularism and the principle in the public sphere, and because it recognises its own realm as that of the transcendent and therefore relegates itself to the private sphere. Here, religion is not opposed to the principle; each operates in its own realm and is complementary to the other.
Second, the more radical secularisms—such as those associated with Rousseau, Feuerbach and Marx—question the distinction between the immanent and the transcendent. They treat religion as always immanent, and consequently regard the immanent–transcendent distinction as itself an ideological mystification. Ambedkar makes this spirit his inheritance.
How can Ambedkar make into his inheritance the spirit of a mischievous availability cascade he, like all sensible 'Law & Econ' mavens, rejected as high falutin horseshit even before he took up a pragmatic political role?
  Thus he insists in the late 1930s: ‘In life and preservation of life therefore consists the religion of the savage. What is true of the religion of the savage is true of all religions wherever they are found for the simple reason that…life and the preservation of life constitute the essence of religion’. Religion is now the realm of ‘rules’. Relatedly, not all religions are equal—they are rather evaluated by the degree of divergence between these rules and those principles that autonomous beings might give themselves.
Skaria provides no quotation to back up this claim. Ambedkar, like other Indian politicians, sometimes said foolish things. But he was a smart guy. He would have understood that, by definition, autonomous beings give themselves rules. Heteronomous beings don't. Assuming entropy prevails or inerrancy is a pipe-dream, it must be the case that where a Religion's rule set coincides with that autonomous beings blessed with logical omniscience would devise for themselves, it must be a canonical solution and dominate others absent Knightian uncertainty.
(In this spirit, Ambedkar also attacks the ‘science of comparative religion’: ‘The science of comparative religion has broken down the arrogant claims of all revealed religions that they alone are true and all others which are not the results of revelation are false…. But it must be said to the discredit of that science that it has created the general impression that all religions are good and there is no use and purpose in discriminating [between] them’. Comparative religion is here anti-colonial in that it refuses the claims of every revealed religion. And yet, anti-colonial relativism is not adequate for Ambedkar; his search for another universalism requires him to abandon not only Eurocentrism but also relativism.)
Ambedkar wasn't so stupid as to 'search for another universalism' like some shithead Professor. He well knew that Woodrow Wilson type pi-jaw had gone hand in hand with chucking Blacks out of Federal jobs. The kariotic aspect of his Conversion was that- as a pragmatist, as a 'Law & Econ' maven, as a Dalit leader solely concerned with his flock and determined to get the best possible deal for them- a Caste based conversion to a new type of Buddhism was tactically and strategically optimal. The 'kerygmatic kernel' here concerns Coasian 'internalization' and Tiebout 'sorting' because Ambedkar was an Economist/Lawyer serving a particular community. He considered Kantian shite and Hegelian Shite and Radhakrishnan shite and Gandhian shite as shite, shite, shite and shite.
But as he makes radical secularism his inheritance, he also infuses it with a distinctive religion—a religion of the principle, or in other words a secular and immanent religion. This religion is difficult to think. It strives after all for the impossible: on the one hand to secure autonomy and sovereignty; and on the other hand to surrender precisely autonomy and sovereignty.
Ambedkar didn't surrender autonomy and sovereignty because it is stupid to do so.
So perhaps our question could also be framed this way: what is the religion of the principle that Ambedkar converts to?
That would be a good question. The answer would illuminate Buddhist texts by means of developments in Anglo Saxon Law & Econ and vice versa. However, Skaria is too ignorant to do any such thing.
What such a religion of the principle involves at its most elemental is indicated in Ambedkar's 1950 essay, ‘Buddha and the Future of His Religion’. The new world needs a religion because ‘[i]n all societies, law plays a very small part. It is intended to keep the minority within the range of social discipline. The majority is left and has to be left to sustain its social life by the postulates and sanction of morality. Religion in the sense of morality, must therefore, remain the governing principle in every society’. Such a religion, he suggests, must be ‘in accord with science’; ‘its moral code must recognize the fundamental tenets of liberty, equality and fraternity’; and finally, it ‘must not sanctify or ennoble poverty’.
Yup. That's Law & Econ right there. The Majority just get on with Coasian internalization of externalities and Mechanism Design in line with Myerson General Feasibility. At the margin, the Law Courts come into play.
This religion of the principle, moreover, has a proper name: ‘If the new world—which be it realized is very different from the old—must have a religion—and the new world needs religion far more than the old world did—then it can only be religion of the Buddha’.
Coz that was the only option on the Menu facing his own people and there is a free market version of Buddhism which valorizes Merchants accumulating Wealth and using it for reputational purposes.
I don't know if Ambedkar read Ninomiya, but those ideas were certainly around at the time.
The impossible bringing together of the principle and religion is signalled again in the closing sentences of the speech that Ambedkar gives in May 1936 to the Bombay Presidency Mahar Conference. Trying to convince them ‘to leave the Hindu religion’, and yet not wanting them to do so ‘only because I say so’, wanting them to consent ‘only if it appeals to your reason’, Ambedkar wonders: ‘What message should I give you on this occasion?’ And then he recounts the message given by the Buddha to the Bhikku Sangha:
‘What does the Sangh expect from me? Ananda, I have preached the Dhamma with an open heart, without concealing anything. The Tathagata has not kept anything concealed, as some other teachers do. So Ananda, what more can I tell to the Bhikkhu Sangh? So Ananda, be self-illuminating like the lamp. Don't be dependent for light, like the Earth. Don't be a satellite. Be a light unto thyself….’
I also take your leave in the words of the Buddha. ‘Be your own guide. Take refuge in reason’.

But of course, this begs the question: if one is a light to oneself, then what need does the principle have for religion? The answer is that Economic activity faces a coordination problem. Religion is a Schelling focal Solution for reasons that David Lewis elucidated in his book on Conventions'.
Why does the principle take refuge in reason? Answer- Defeasibility. See H.L.A Hart. Ambedkar was a Barrister not a Professor of worthless Continental garbage. What is involved in making reason into a religion? Nothing. It doesn't happen. That's just Hegelian shite is all. In that transaction, what happens to reason's autonomy and to religion's surrender? Okay, okay, you win Skaria Sahib! What happens to reason's autonomy is that it gets sodomized by religion's surrender till Deleuze turns up and instructs some miner in how to give it a reach-around. Is that what you wanted to hear? Happy now?

Ambedkar is scarcely the first to strive for a religion of the principle—secular traditions have long fantasised about such a religion.
Very true. I remember meeting the Iraqi secular tradition in 1968. I said, 'Hi there Iraqi secular tradition. Would you like to play cops and robbers with me?'
'Sorry,' Iraqi secular tradition replied, 'I have long fantasised about a religion of the principle. That is why I have gone blind and also why hair is growing out of the palm of my hand. Thus I can't play cops and robbers with you'.
Kant, for example, after insisting that morality does not need religion, also adds: ‘[M]orality finds in the holiness of its laws an object of the greatest respect’. And in the traditions of radical secularism, the famous penultimate chapter of Rousseau's Social Contract describes a ‘civil religion’.
Our question then could also be framed thus: is Ambedkar's religion of the principle a civil or civic religion?
Ambedkar was the leader of a caste. Thus his religion was a caste religion not a 'civil' (i.e. national) or 'civic'(i.e. constitutive of civil society) one. 
The compulsions that produce the conceptual space for civil religion are indicated by the paradoxical relationship between the rights of man and the rights of the citizen. Hannah Arendt suggests in The Origins of Totalitarianism that the Declaration of the Rights of Man ‘meant nothing more nor less than that from then on Man, and not God's command or the customs of history, should be the source of Law’. But even though the rights of the citizen might seem derived from those of man, Arendt notes that the ‘“inalienable rights of man” must nevertheless find their guarantee and become an inalienable part of the right of the people to sovereign self-government’:
In other words, man had hardly appeared as a completely emancipated, completely isolated being who carried his dignity within himself without reference to some larger encompassing order, when he disappeared again into a member of a people. From the beginning the paradox involved in the declaration of inalienable human rights was that it reckoned with an ‘abstract’ human being who seemed to exist nowhere, for even savages lived in some kind of a social order.
Because of this paradox, the ‘Rights of Man, supposedly inalienable, proved to be unenforceable even in countries whose constitutions were based upon them whenever people appeared who were no longer citizens of any sovereign state’. Indeed, ‘we become aware of the existence of a right to have rights’—what she describes as ‘the right of every individual to belong to humanity, [which] should be guaranteed by humanity itself’—‘only when millions of people emerged who had lost and could not regain these rights because of the new global political situation’. All of this is ‘an ironical, bitter and belated confirmation’ of Burke's assertion that ‘human rights were an “abstraction”, that it was much wiser to rely on an “entailed inheritance” of rights which one transmits to one's children like life itself, and to claim one's rights to be the “rights of an Englishman” rather than the inalienable rights of man’. ‘The pragmatic soundness of Burke's concept seems to be beyond doubt in the light of our manifold experiences’.
Responding to the force of that Burkean critique, Arendt in her later work—especially in On Revolution in 1963—emphasises a certain constitutionalism. Here, like Burke, Arendt is more sympathetic to the American Revolution than the French Revolution. But unlike Burke, she recognises that both revolutions are organised around the rights of man, that their divergence lies more in their constitutional histories, and the way these modulate the rights of man. Arendt, it might be said, seeks to conserve the abstract rights of man by making the constitution into an entailed inheritance, which through its publicness and gradualism, will clothe the nakedness of natural man. (As this distinction suggests, Arendt's public sphere, even if transparent, is anything but naked.)
This anxiety over the fragility of the rights of man (which leads to Arendt's emphasis first on the right to have rights, and later on constitutions)—is it not the same anxiety at work in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, striving to institutionalise civil religions? Is not the striving for a civil religion an anxious recognition—analogous to the right to have rights—of the inadequacy by themselves of constitutional rights (those rights that are simultaneously human rights and political rights, but that depend on the political to defend the human)? Civil religion does for its exponents the work of concretising the abstractness of rights of man in a way that still avoids the descent into the particularity of nationalism, that still retains the universality of man. Very briefly, consider John Dewey, one of the two proponents of civil religion who have had considerable influence in twentieth-century India. Dewey (who in Ambedkar's words ‘was my teacher and to whom I owe so much’ ) writes A Common Faith in the 1930s in his effort to articulate a democratic faith. As Robert Westbrook notes, Dewey, unlike his associate William James, is not satisfied with a ‘neutral public sphere, naked of all faith’. Dewey was ‘a democrat and religiously so. And because Dewey believed that supernatural overbeliefs often threaten the democratic beliefs in which he vested his own faith, he tied the fate of democracy to the defeat of supernaturalism, and the growth of a catholic natural piety. His was a fighting faith’.
Through civil religion, Dewey seeks to rescue the rights of man from fragility and abstract nakedness, to enshrine these rights themselves as religious. He works with a distinctive understanding of religion: ‘Faith in the continued disclosing of truth through directed cooperative human endeavor is more religious in quality than is any faith in a completed revelation with democracy’. He also says of his later writings that they ‘are devoted to making explicit the religious values implicit in the spirit of science as undogmatic reverence for truth in whatever form it present[s] itself, and the religious values implicit in our common life, especially in the moral significance of democracy as a way of living together’. By these criteria, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the ‘religion of religions’, as one admirer of Dewey enthusiastically declares in 1950.
There is certainly enough textual warrant to treat Navayana Buddhism as one more moment in this tradition of civil religion. Like Dewey and Arendt, Ambedkar is acutely aware of the potentiality of the rights of man—the Indian Constitution is an extended testament to this. But perhaps even more than them, he emphasises the challenges of working it. Thus, in his Constituent Assembly speech on 25 November 1949, he stresses that ‘however good a Constitution may be, it is sure to turn out bad because those who are called to work it, happen to be a bad lot. However bad a Constitution may be, it may turn out to be good if those who are called to work it happen to be a good lot. The working of a Constitution does not depend wholly upon the nature of the Constitution’. Given this emphasis on the need to bring into being a society that can give force to the Constitution, one cannot rule out the possibility that Navayana Buddhism strives to create, in a spirit similar to and influenced by Dewey's, a civil religion that is also a ‘fighting faith’.
Ambedkar never tried to convert the great mass of High Caste Hindus to his brand of Buddhism. He did not want any type of Buddhism to become the 'civil religion' of India because then his own people would face a Tardean pressure to permit 'Hindu' gods- like Ganapati- a place in their own worship.

(I've omitted some ghastly verbiage )

If we are to briefly indicate how Navayana Buddhism is such a religion of reason, or how reason works when it is not a civil religion but a refuge, perhaps we should attend to Ambedkar's rendering in The Buddha and His Dhamma of the moment when Siddhartha Gautama takes the oath of parivraja or wandering mendicancy and starts on the path that makes him the Buddha. Siddhartha is a member of the Sakya kingdom, which seems marked by at least some of the traits of political emancipation: ‘[T]he Sakyas had their Sangh (association). Every Sakya youth above twenty had to be initiated into the Sangh and be a member of the Sangh’. The sangh moreover privileges fearless speech and truth-telling.
The senapati or warrior head of the Sakyas, the kingdom to which Siddhartha Gautama belongs, calls a meeting of the Sakyasangh to ‘consider the question of declaring war on the Koliyas’, a neighbouring kingdom whose inhabitants had been involved in clashes with the Sakyas over the waters of the river Rohini. Siddhartha opposes this, suggesting that both are at fault, and that the dispute should be settled. The senapati responds (and the spectre of Krishna is evident here) that ‘the Kshatriyas cannot make a distinction between warriors and strangers. They must fight even against brothers for the sake of their kingdom’. Siddhartha replies: ‘Dharma, as I understand it, consists in recognizing that enmity does not disappear by enmity. It can be conquered by love only’. The senapati’s resolution carries the day. At the next day's meeting, the senapati proposes that ‘he be permitted to proclaim calling to arms’ every Sakya between the ages of twenty and fifty. Now ‘the minority who had voted against it had a problem to face. Their problem was—to submit or not to the decision of the majority. The minority was determined not to submit to the majority’.
In this moment, The Buddha and His Dhamma shears away dizzyingly from the problematic of political emancipation. By not submitting to the majority, the minority abandons the protocols of political society and civil society, for these require that the minority must—even if it protests against or criticises the law—also do what the law or political society enjoins. By not submitting, the minority refuses its part in political society, becomes no longer a minority.
But this refusal to submit to the majority carries its own entailments. The sangh can impose a social boycott on Siddhartha's family and confiscate his family lands. Wishing to avoid this, Siddhartha speaks to the sangh: ‘Please do not punish my family…. They are innocent. I am the guilty person. Let me alone suffer for my wrong. Sentence me to death or exile, whichever you like. I will willingly accept it, and I promise I shall not appeal to the king of the Kosalas’. The senapati says that the sangh may face reprisals from the king even if Siddhartha voluntarily undergoes the sentence of death or exile. Siddhartha then suggests: ‘I can become a Parivrajaka and leave this country. It is a kind of exile’.
One must add: but only a kind of exile. Voluntary acceptance of death or exile: this would be to submit to the political community. Because that submission is not possible, Siddhartha becomes instead a parivrajaka, leaves the country. But as aparivrajaka, he submits not to the political community, but to the call to parivraja. If this is an exile, it is so only in the sense that it converges with the exile the sangh as a political community wants. Later in the narrative, moreover, his exile becomes only parivraja—the dispute is resolved, many in the Sakyan kingdom would like to have him come back, but now parivraja has seized him.
Ambedkar's originality here is that he shows his own people that they way they can come up is through a 'Sangha'- like the R.S.S- a 'Union' which permits freedom of conscience because people internalize the strategic dilemmas facing the totality and so don't compromise its effectiveness. In other words, 'principled people' don't need to fuck over the country the way Mahatma Gandhi kept doing because they can use their brains and find a way of exercising their freedom of conscience without betraying the cause and playing into the hands of the enemy.
The Buddha is like the RSS Guru who gives up both family life and outright monastic withdrawal so as to continue to play a useful role which must necessarily remain modest for kairotic reasons.
Ambedkar's own followers can quickly dismiss Deleuzian or Derridan sehnsucht because, as Buddhists, they know 'skandhas' don't exist- there can be no deconstruction because there is nothing to deconstruct; no 'major-minor' exists, there is only a delusion to which one can stop paying attention to because there is nothing which attends.

One must also add: Siddhartha can choose to appeal to the king of Kosala. If he successfully did so, he would re-make the political community, and become the majority. This option becomes even more forcefully available later in the narrative, when the king, Bimbisara, offers Siddhartha his army if necessary to fight foes. But Siddhartha again refuses. His defiance of the majority is in other words accompanied by a refusal to become the majority, or to overcome the existing majority.
In both these senses, Siddhartha Gautama seeks a curious role with the political society he questions. He does not destroy it; he does not have or want a part in it; he participates without a part. This participation without a part, without sovereignty—this is the first statement of the Buddha's religion.
Nope. That's Gandhian mummery, not Buddhist kairos at all.
That first statement must encounter and re-work itself through several questions. For now, in lieu of a conclusion, I wish only to note two. First, Ambedkar is acutely aware of his homelessness, his exile from India. The book is written after all by the man who famously tells Gandhi, ‘Mahatmaji, I have no country’.
Neither did 'Kaiser-i-Hind' medal holder Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Bar-at-Law. Both he and Ambedkar were subjects. They didn't own their own country. Gandhi may have pretended that true 'Swaraj' was to be found by spinning cotton. Ambedkar didn't go in for worthless gesture politics because he genuinely had a caste which he wished to see happier and more prosperous by dint of its own efforts at implementing a better 'rule-set' and thus becoming the focal point for more and more economic activity thus benefiting from 'Tiebout sorting'.

What is the relationship between this exile and the Buddha's parivraja? Second, as one of the authors of the Indian Constitution, Ambedkar writes the protocols of what Marx would call political society, and makes sure the minority has a part in it. What is the relationship between the part which the minority has, and its being minor, or its partless participation in parivraja?

Ambedkar's Buddha was a loyal member of his own Caste Association. Like Arjuna, he experienced 'Vishada', depression or cognitive dissonance, when battle was imminent. He found a way to satisfy his conscience while keeping faith with his clan-fellows in a manner which was optimal for both thanks to a kairotic sensitivity which Ambedkar, as a Dalit leader, has proven to the whole of India (except some die hard Congis)  to have himself possessed.

No fucking Deluezian intoxicated 'seizing' and being 'seized' occurred in this kairos. Buddhism wasn't some beast lurking in the wilderness that suddenly grabbed the Buddha. Nor was he some cunning trapper who captured it. The Sakya Muni was loyal to his Sakya clan and thus had an anchor. We might say that this anchor was in the 'antarabhava'- whose other side is the Tibetan bardo, or Sufi barzakh (from the Zoroastrian burz-axw)- and this 'limit which unites what it otherwise divides' or Platonic 'metaxu'- resolves the underlying sorites problem, yielding ataraxia and kairotic oikonomia.

By contrast, pedagogues teaching worthless subjects, like psychiatrists who are madder than their patients, are alone unable to understand kairos precisely because it is the mood of the Masses that it answers to. Thus, in writing of Ambedkar, Skaria turns himself, and those of his colleagues whom he so brutally quotes, into those very pariahs who are forbidden to slake their thirst even from the dirty dew drops trapped in their own backward footsteps from the dazzling Dawn of Truth's Gangetic strand.

Monday, 18 July 2016

This Shuka & that Turk Shirazi

The Turk has small white fists- soft like the wings of a swan
Her kisses peck like a parrot- tho' her eyes dim the Morn
Vyasa's tear ripened fruit- yours from the start
Break my Hindu rib cage- rage, black, in my heart.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Logic & Dialogic

Eliezer,  univocity in the Sanhedrin's ratio grants it a Skolem normal form
Why not just ask the Shekinah for fellatio, at the Golem's formal prom?
How prefer bat kol to that which stirs the hosed to a son's conception?

Prince! In re. the case of Solomon v. Asmodeus
 Ecclesiastes alone claims a debt truly odious.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Ajay Skaria's Gandhi- apres moi le Deleuze

In 2014 Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. Now, a mere two years later, we are beginning to witness the terrible consequences for our proud tradition of Secular thought.

Ajay Skaria has published a book about Gandhi. 'Nothing unusual in that', you might say. 'He's a Professor in Upsala or Minnihaha or somewhere equally progressive and hygienic. What else are Professors at such places supposed to do? Raghavan Iyer started writing books about Gandhi once he became a Professor at the Uni of Barbaracartland. Fuck you're getting your knickers in a twist for? Get over it.'

My answer will shock you to your core. This Skaria dude, tho' a perfectly worthwhile Professor on an entirely virtuous campus, isn't just writing about Gandhi, he's fucking reading him in Gujerati! 
This is Hindutva gone mad!

What's next? When will this madness end? If Modi is re-elected, will Skaria go on to read stuff Gandhi had to mug up to get through his bar exams?
In that case, he'd end up cognizant of the actual genealogy of 'Liberalism'- thus disqualifying himself from whatever Po Co Catskill shtick he entertains the cows with at Minnesota.

Perhaps I'm overestimating him. A dude who actually reads stuff in Gujerati- and thus ought to be precluded from the Olympian heights of Raghavan Iyer style contentless catachresis- oughtn't to say shite like
'Gandhi is deeply disturbed by this ('modern civilisation's) liberal equality, describing it as an ‘equality of sword’
because he'd know Gandhi had never experienced liberal equality, no Gujerati had- Gujeratis were Colonial subjects of an Imperial autocracy not equal citizens in a liberal democracy.

Still, as a thought experiment, suppose
1) Gandhi was too stupid to notice he was black not white
2)  Skaria had read the lecture notes Gandhi crammed for his Bar exam
then it would also the case that 'equality of the sword' would have the dhvani echo, or equitable collocational context, of 'Vi et armis'- i.e. the legal fiction that action regarding a tort arose out of a violent trespass with 'bow and arrow'.

This raises the question, could Skaria then go on to say this?
'As that phrase ('equality of the sword') indicates, he senses that liberal equality is based on domination.'
No, because torts are blind to intention and consequential merely. Domination can't be relevant because it can be mindless whereas actions Vi et armis or for 'trespass on the case' point to a sort of Universal Mindfulness and Cognisance which is Natural simply and thus not yet subsumed by the 'artificial reason' of blindfold Law.
For Gandhi and his fellow pupils, all this was part of the chthonic Platonism, or Bacchanalian lore, of those notorious Inns where they ate their otherwise dull and dutiful dinners.

Skaria says- ' It became increasingly clear to me that Gandhi’s writing was doing something quite different from what he may have intended it to do.'
Yet, this and nothing else, was the point of those lectures which we know Gandhi actually audited coz he passed the fucking exam. Briefly, there had been an interregnum between regimes, such that intentionality and rules of construction lay on one side of an abyss on the other side of which was Cokean 'artificial reason' and the 'rule of law'.

Indian barristers were very much aware that they practiced in this interregnum. That was what was rubbed in their faces at Temple dinners.

Skaria however is more ignorant than God made him which is why he is a Professor. Thus Skaria can make great play with Deleuze & Guatarri's notion of major (or molar) and minor saying things like- 'His religion thus requires him to ask: how might a subaltern politics not only refuse subordination, but do so by relinquishing autonomy and even sovereignty –which is to say, by becoming minor?
'Such a religion must strive for an equality of and with the minor – an equality that does not make the minor into a major, that remains minor.'

Deleuze, it must be said, relished the sort of 'embedded', rather than critical, texts which preserve intellectual genealogy as opposed to invent it wholesale with a Cokean or coked up reckless disregard.

Thus, if his method to be correctly applied to Gandhi, Skaria would need to identify the underground rhizome French and English share and which finds expressions in things like what Gandhi would have known as the hilarious 'Rule in Shelley's Case' whereby the dialectic of Major and Minor- i.e. the business of tax avoidance- was ludicrously extended to include the Major's enfeoffment of kin contingent on his successive marriage to seven matrons of the parish whom he knew to be already wedded and thus incapable of siring the heirs to whom he had placed himself in a subaltern Minorship fraught with faux yet piteous protestations of Agamben type 'bare existence'.

As Deleuze & Guatarri said-

and thus, under feudalism, a landowner could only 'farm' his own land- i.e. manage it to best advantage- by ensuring that his untimely demise didn't burden it with feudal dues in a manner destructive of what was commercially required. Thus the enfeoffed nobleman became the trembling tenant 'farmer' of his own wee and incompossible heirs so as to emerge from the condition of a 'Nobody', an Odysseus who must protect himself, to that of a 'somebody' piteously seeking protection from mindless Vi et armis trespass, or, by an action in assumpsit, like a deflowered Galatea, seeking honourable amends from a faithless fountain of honour whose streams foresworn Falstaffian 'knights of the post' have already rendered arid.

Equity, after all, as Shiner says, from Aristotle onward is 'epanorthoma nomou, hei elleipei dia to katholou," a correction of law, where law falls short because of its universality."
Moreover, 'The Rhetoric describes the equitable as to para to gegrammenon nomon dikaion," that justice which lies beyond the written law."

In other words, it is a coddling of the Minor only if the Major has thus and very piteously disguised itself to escape that feudal tax by which a Species sustains itself- viz. a surplus of self-assertion arising out of a pooling equilibrium.
To be clear- the 'Majority' are guys who fuck you up if you fuck with them rather than go running to the Polis. This is because Policing is costly. Sure, if you are real wealthy you can devote some income to making out you are actually a neotenous minor or raped maiden or God struck moon-calf or whatever else best protects your assets from the depradations of the Stationary bandit to whom is ludicrously ascribed a universal, or written, law

There is another way, in this context, to read Deleuze- a Sufi, or woolly minded, way- the way delineated in Mehdi Bazargan's thermodynamic theory of Love.

What was it? Well, to put in Hindu terms, 'Anu' can mean atom. 'Anuvrata' can mean a small vow but also the sort of thing that might successfully oppose the Atom bomb.
The 'Anushasana parvana' of the Mahabharata is about the thermodynamics of the 'atomic' Major- not the Maxwell's Demon of Deleuze's Minor.

In the former we see no Laws are Universalizable save as a Red Queen dialogic- in other words, relational merely till baby supervenes.
In the latter, the pretense of Law as 'artificial reason' is kept up so as to excuse hefty Serjeants-at-Law or Knights-at-arms any fucking social duty or fiscal liability other than to pretend to be the wee and helpless bairns of their own wholly incompossible heirs by, not the ten wise virgins, but seven stout matrons of the parish already married to different men.

Fuck it. What am I trying to say?
D'uh! You iz doing a Deleuzian mimesis of a particular thousand plateau rhizome of schizophrenia.
Captain Obvious.
But what was I trying to say?
Love is in the acts of Love, not in some imaginary ipseity seeking its incompossible Levinasian alterity for Netflix & Chill or shit & giggles.

I'm now going to quote Skaria with my comments in bold.

This is to mock my own eagerness to see something positive in a guy who can read Gujerati but, as will now become evident, says stupider things than the maddest Madrasi or most boring Bong.

IN Hind Swaraj, the Editor famously questions the Reader’s nationalist vision of swaraj, describing it as ‘English rule without the Englishman.’ 
This was because the British Raj forbade discrimination on the basis of color or creed.  Nationalists weren't miffed that they got beaten up by White people and thrown out of railway carriages for which they had paid the full price.  That sort of shit didn't go down at all.

The truth is, chauvinistic brown people wanted to get rid of these wonderful White people who turned India into a Kantian Utopia for no good reason. They just wanted Brown people to preside over the same truly Liberal and Egalitarian regime because they had some aesthetic objection to White skin. 

That remark is symptomatic of Gandhi’s questioning of liberal conceptions of freedom and equality. 
Which Brown and Black people enjoyed to the hilt in South Africa and Champaran and Fiji and every where else them nice Whiteys were in charge. Liberal traditions usually conceive freedom in terms of autonomy – as the everyday sovereignty that a rational being exercises by authoring universal law, or law that any rational being would and must freely submit to.Quite false. That's a post-War Kantian availability cascade. During Gandhi's life, Kantian political philosophy justified keeping subject, 'for their own good', large sections of the Human Race on the basis that they were genetically predisposed to heteronomy.  The Jews were 'heteronomous' - as was proved by their lack of true creativity in Music, Mathematics, Physics etc- which is why no great concentration of Jews in any locality was desirable. From time to time they needed to be exterminated or else they would end up poisoning the Public with essentially meretricious Music- like that of Mendelsohn or Mahler- and primitive Mathematical ideas like those of Cantor and Einstein.  As for the wogs, niggers, spics, chinkies and so on- the kindest thing was to engage them in unremitting and ill rewarded coolie work rather than seek to burden their tiny brains with education. Women, on the other hand, should be beaten tenderly and cherished with your dick. 
 Autonomous beings are also equal, and modern republican democracies enshrine this equality in the rights of citizens. Heteronomous citizens have the same rights as Autonomous ones.  There is no way to tell which are which. In any case, Gandhi didn't live in a modern republican democracy. He lived in a racist Empire where brown people were subjects not citizens.
Autonomy is accompanied moreover by a distinction between the public and the private, with the presence of religion in the public sphere being regarded as undesirable – as heteronomy and unfreedom. Really? Sez who? Some guy who started writing long after Gandhi died? Why bring this shite up in connection with the Mahatma? He was a subject of an Empire which had an Established Church. Even two decades down the line, Lord Sinha's son couldn't inherit his title because the House of Lords decided that Hindu marriages are concubinage merely. 
The Reader in Hind Swaraj could well be working within this problematic that affirms the rights of man and citizen. No he could not. Nobody in England did so at that time. Skaria is channeling an availability cascade which simply didn't exist for Morley or Minto or Mukherjee or Momin or any body else the 'Reader in Hind Swaraj' could know about. 
He wants an Indian parliament, and says: ‘What they have done in their own country has not been done in any other country. It is, therefore, proper for us to import their institutions.’
The Reader is saying- Britain is powerful, let us imitate their institutions so as to become powerful. As a matter of fact, some Indian 'Readers' in South Africa at the time had studied law in England. They were aware that the Japanese had mimicked the Europeans, even down to wearing frock coats and top hats in their Diet, and scored a triumph over Tzarist Russia which lacked a similar Parliament.
Gandhi by contrast is critical of both sovereignty and autonomy. No. Gandhi is a loyal to the Crown- though it grants him only subject-hood not citizenship. He ridicules the idea that Indians can become strong because they are demonstrably shit. Even if they aren't, they better pretend to be otherwise they might lose their property or get transported to the Andamans.
In his writing, sovereignty is not exemplified only in the state. Hind Swaraj says there can't be an Indian State because Indians are shite. Sovereignty for Indians can't mean what it does for Whitey coz Indians are shit colored.  Sure they can pretend to be Mahatmas or Parmathmas or Magical Mermaids or whatever. But that's not the only thing Whitey wants. Indians should fucking spin cotton and grow crops and give up on competing with Whitey in the learned professions. Village autarky and Village self-government is what Westminster wants Indians to affirm and pretend to achieve because then the Viceroy can never be guilty of causing or neglecting to ameliorate a famine.  The 'home charge' can keep growing though millions of Indians die of starvation. Rather, every self is deeply fissured, and sovereignty is ubiquitous, always to begin with exercised everyday by the self – for example, in the act of eating – in order to persist in its ipseity, to master the other and return to itself. There! Told you so! Viceroy Lytton was right! Millions of Indians hadn't starved to death because the Brits were bleeding the country dry. No. Their 'self' or 'jivatman' had gotten 'deeply fissured' because, in Ind's magically self-regulating villages, 'sovereignty is ubiquitous' and thus some Indians refrained from 'the act of eating', embracing inedia instead, in order to 'persist in...ipseity, to master the other other and return to itself'

Fuck off Skaria. This ipseity/alterity bullshit is a late Twentieth Century availability cascade. It is worthless. Levinas denied Palestinians getting bombed could be Israel's alterity. To carry on talking this shite shows you got are a provincial little turd of a pedagogue with no sense of reality.
For this everyday sovereignty, his writing has several names, including ‘force of arms’ and asakti (‘attachment’). Gandhi didn't have the concept you ascribe to him and so his writing can't reference it under any rubric whatsoever. In any case, it is a shite concept- not canonical at all- and only had a brief, late Twentieth Century, Rothbardian half-life.
Autonomy becomes here one kind of everyday sovereignty – that exercised over the self through measure and calculation. Gandhi didn't say that. You did. It's a foolish thing to say. Why not speak of the sovereignty exercised by the TV over the digital channel it is displaying? And when autonomy is institutionalized as a social order, as with parliamentary democracy, the violence of sovereignty is intensified in two ways. Gandhi condemned Parliamentary Democracy because he considered it a House of Prostitution. Every few years Parliament gives itself to a new Master- i.e P.M. This is the conduct of a whore. Gandhi thought the fact that hundreds of thousands of British women had got jobs meant they had all become street walking prostitutes. He condemned the Suffragettes for clamoring to participate in the Whoredom of Westminster.

This isn't violence- i.e rape- but bending over and spreading your legs for money- i.e. selling your anal cherry.
First, this order grants equality only to those beings presumed to possess the power to reason and measure, and in this way systematizes domination over all other beings (such as animals or the colonized). You are just making this up out of whole cloth. Unfortunately it is whole cloth on which you were wiping your bum when you got buggered. It doesn't cohere. It is full of holes. No logical argument arises. An order which grants equality to a set of agents who possess a particular property does not 'systematize domination' over another set of agents.
When I was 19, I joined a leading Accountancy firm. Me and my colleagues possessed the 'power to reason and measure'. However no fucking 'order' systematized our domination over heavily muscled football hooligans or Lions in the Zoo or the good folks who reside in the Falkland Islands. 
How fucking stupid are you Skaria?
Second, autonomous beings inflict a massive violence on themselves, for they lose the power to love,
which in Gandhi’s writings requires the surrender of autonomy and even sovereignty. Gandhi told his wife that she was inflicting a massive violence on Maulana Azad by not cooking mutton chops for him coz the Maulana really liked mutton chops and Gandhi wanted to get in good with this crazy wannabe 'Imam ul Hind'. However, because Kantian shite wasn't availability cascaded back then, he never spoke of 'autonomous subjects' or, indeed, the power to love as opposed to its reality- like the battered housewife finally accepting she really was asking for it and black eyes help her see this reality better.
(It is because of this loss that for the Editor the English deserve‘pity’.) Their women are prostitutes. Everybody is a prostitute. As Mohammad al Fayed said to Ali G- all dem posh Brits be bum boys. We gotta pity them coz they aint slaves and thus don't got no proper jobs. 
In both these ways, autonomy institutes a rule of the major. 
Nonsense. Autonomy means the right of exit. Why fucking stick around to be fucked over by the 'rule of the major', if you can arbitrage a better deal by faking being a minor? It's all there in Chudleigh's case and Shelley's rule and every subsequent tax avoidance scheme barristers grow fat on.
Here, freedom and equality is possible only through domination over the minor. Rubbish. Though by no means an impressive figure of manhood, I easily dominated both the itty baby and the little kitty. So what? When wifey came home, she beat seven bells out of me if either appears ill cared for. What fucking 'freedom and equality' are you blathering about? Hierarchies are where one is at home.
What is lost is the possibility of an exit from subalternity that does not participate in domination or majority. Why should this be lost? Instead of being a voiceless coolie, I could discover myself to be Arabella Vere de Vere, only daughter of Lord Greystokes, sired upon a particularly hairy orangutan. My exit from subalternity- i.e. writing shite about Gandhi- need not participate in domination or majority coz Tarzan went to Mars. That's where I'm headed. I suggest Skaria come with me. The fucker is 51. He lives in Minnesota. His book is fantasy. It has less Raptala accessibility to Ind than the Lord of the Apes enjoying a spot of Dangal mein Mangal on the Red Planet.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Karl Polanyi's Pollyanna World- part 1

Karl Polanyi, writing towards the end of the Second World War, thought Nineteenth-century civilization rested on four institutions- those favored by Pollyanna cheerleaders for a prosopic Nixon's perennial Third Term.

1) 'The first was the balance-of-power system which for a century prevented the occurrence of any long and devastating war between the Great Powers. '

China had a Civilization in the Nineteenth Century. No 'balance of power' system was relevant to its trajectory. Indian Civilization, similarly, was entirely unaffected by any such consideration. Africa, between 1880 and 1914 might appear to have been affected but no lasting effect is discernible.

However, it may be argued that Asia and Africa don't have real 'Civilization' for some Hegelian reason. It is certainly true that Asian and African Civilizations declined relative to European Civilization over the course of the Nineteenth Century. Further, it must be conceded that Ottoman Turkey probably gained some respite from Russian aggression thanks to 'Balance of Power' considerations. However, its own Civilization did not rest upon the 'balance of power system' but had a trajectory similar to that of China and India.

Ultimately, though Turkish withdrawal from the Balkans did light the touch paper of general conflagration, it wasn't because the 'Balance of Power' was endangered but because, as Prince Otto Von Bismark said to the Sanjak of Novibazar- niggah pleeze, bitches be krazeee.

What about the White population of North America? They had a rapidly growing Civilization in the Nineteenth Century. Lord Canning said- ' I called the New World into existence, to redress the balance of the Old.'  Does that mean North American Civilization rested on the 'balance of power system'? Nope. Canning was just indulging in grandiloquent Parliamentary piffle in the context of some inconsequential dispute between Spain and Portugal long forgotten by History.

The fact is, during the course of the Nineteenth Century, the U.S., untrammeled by any 'Balance of Power' consideration, developed so markedly superior a technological Civilization that it ultimately was able to intervene on the European Continent to such good effect that European Chancelleries gave up any pretense of geopolitical salience.

What about Europe itself between the Treaty of Vienna and the assassination of the Archduke? Surely, its Civilization did rest on the 'Balance of Power'? After all, but for Metternich and Talleyrand and other such clever diplomatists, surely Europe would have had another hundred years war?
The answer is no. Talleyrand's cleverness caused the British to let Napoleon loose. Second time round, the Allies garrisoned France and only left after collecting huge reparations. There could be no doubt that a third occupation would have resulted in the decimation and enslavement of the population. This was because there was a 'Concert of Europe' consensus that 'Balance of Power' considerations had no place in dealing with Civilizations that had gone utterly bonkers.

'Balance of Power' systems are chaotic. They break down. No Civilization has rested on such a basis. The Etruscans and the Romans aren't holding each other in check on the banks of the Tiber. The Etruscans went under. Their language disappeared though, no doubt, their Civilization contributed something to that which spread to distant lands under the name of Rome.

Why did Europe experience two devastating world wars in the Twentieth Century? The answer is simple. Diplomats did not understand Military Strategy and the Generals were as stupid as shit. France didn't have an offensive doctrine in either war but its Diplomats acted as though it did. Thus its system of alliances were worse than worthless. They meant that Germany could always make short term gains for which it would pay a long term price.

In other words, there was no actual 'Balance of Power' in the sense that a small perturbation set off reactions quickly restoring equilibrium. Polyani thought there was a 'Balance of Power' because he was writing in 1944 and thought that by 1964 Germany would once again be a Great Power, though perhaps with a different set of allies.
Polyani was wrong. The 'Balance of Power' balanced nothing but bombast till bombast turned into bombardment and truth could at last go naked wreathed in the fogs of war.

2) The second (institution upon which Nineteenth Century Civilization rested) was the international gold standard which symbolized a unique organization of world economy.

Was there really an 'international gold standard' in the Nineteenth Century? If you went from London to Peking in the year 1830 or 1880, could you pay your hotel bill with a gold sovereign? Nope. Imperial China was a silver based economy. So, for the most part, was India. Cowrie shells had currency in some upcountry market towns.
There was no 'international monetary standard' in the Nineteenth Century. When Germany got a lot of gold out of France after the War of 1870, it was able to introduce a gold backed currency. Similarly, Japan went on to gold after beating the Chinese and extorting reparations. Going on to Gold, enabled both Japan and Germany to attract investment. However, both countries took a militaristic path in the foolish belief that Wars could turn a profit for their countries. This meant everyone went off Gold during the Great War.

An Economic network, or series of linked markets, may indeed feature a particular form of liquidity. However, a change in the type of liquidity does not destroy that network or those markets. Indeed, liquidity can be endogenously determined on the basis of mutual trust and common knowledge.
If this is the case for purely economic networks, in which agents may not speak each others' languages or even never actually personally interact, how much more must it be the case that a Civilization does not rest on a particular convention re. liquidity.

3) The third (institution upon which Nineteenth Century Civilization rested) was the self-regulating market which produced an unheard-of material welfare.
Markets are not self-regulating. The price mechanism is said to be 'self-regulating' iff markets clear- i.e. no willing buyer or seller is unable to transact at the closing price. But, this can be by means of a correlated equilibrium rather than a Walrasian tatonnement. A set of interconnected Markets which always clear can be called 'self-regulating' under certain highly artificial assumptions.
However, Economists recognize that if there is 'Knightian Uncertainty'- i.e. some things can't be even stochastically predicted- then there will be 'hedging effects' such that any general equilibrium is 'anything goes'- we don't know if if the aggregate outcome is good or bad and thus if some collective reparative action is required.

Polyani might think that Indian or Chinese Civilization, at least those portions of each characterized by 'self-regulating' (i.e. not regulated at all) markets 'produced unheard-of material welfare'. There is no evidence for this. On the contrary, as current Economic theory would predict, the presence of Knightian uncertainty in rain-fed agricultural areas led to highly perverse hedging effects which reduced material welfare all round.

4) The fourth (institution upon which Nineteenth Century Civilization rested) was the liberal state.
It is certainly the case that some Civilizations, experiencing rapid economic growth, develop some liberal (i.e. non coercive) institutions or enclaves which in turn might be said to 'capture the State'. However, that very same Civilization, on the basis of exigent circumstances, might reverse course either tactically or strategically.
It has never been the case that a decision by the State to re-christen itself as 'Liberal', or to import or fabricate non-coercive Institutions towards that end, has, by itself, had any impact on a Civilization.

 This was well known in the Nineteenth Century. King Joseph in Spain did not cause some great convulsion in the mores or mode of production of the country he briefly ruled. Nobody really believed that the Iberian peninsula would turn into a Liberal paradise if the Infanta prevailed over the Carlists anymore than anyone was foolish enough to think that a Tzar who had read Rousseau could change the character of his Empire.
Why can't the State change the nature of the Civilization over which it presides by assuming a 'Liberal' coloring? Why couldn't the British Raj change the nature of Hindu Civilization? My parents generation drank tea, played cricket and pursued middle class English professions- lawyers, accountants, civil servants- not because they were ruled by the British but because people like Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi- who considered tea to be a declasse poison, cricket to be unmanly folly, and white collar professions to be the vilest treachery- had mobilized the masses to chuck out the White Man.

The answer has to do with, not 'embeddedness' (which only applies to people who have grown up in a particular culture and is quickly defeated by mimetic effects featuring quite small exit and entry) but 'incentive compatibility' (which applies equally to all agents with elastic response- and this includes customary mimetic leaders absent an alien countervailing power).
As India gained, first dyarchy, and then 'swaraja'; tea was increasingly marketed by Indians for Indians, cricket was played by Indians for Indians, worthless white-collar drones serviced a Queen Indira not Elizabeth.
 States are Stationary Bandits. They can change their complexion but nothing changes unless they alter the way the finance themselves. If this creates new incentive compatible 'riskless assets' then there is a transmission mechanism to the determinants of the underlying Civilization. Otherwise nothing changes.

Polyani thought otherwise-
Classified in one way, two of these institutions were economic, two political. Classified in another way, two of them were national, two international. Between them they determined the characteristic outlines of the history of our civilization. Of these institutions the gold standard proved crucial; its fall was the proximate cause of the catastrophe. By the time it failed, most of the other institutions had been sacrificed in a vain effort to save it. But the fount and matrix of the system was the self-regulating market. It was this innovation which gave rise to a specific civilization. The gold standard was merely an attempt to extend the domestic market system to the international field; the balance-of-power system was a superstructure erected upon and, partly, worked through the gold standard; the liberal state was itself a creation of the self-regulating market. The key to the institutional system of the nineteenth century lay in the laws governing market economy.

We now know that Polyani was hopelessly wrong. The gold standard has no importance at all. What matters is that international Capital markets clear. For this to happen, it is sufficient that some agents have access to a Futures market in at least one currency or commodity. China isn't on the gold standard. Nor is India. Indo-Chinese commerce has grown hugely because there is always an arbitrageur willing to assume any relevant risk.

The fall of the gold standard did not cause wars. In so far as Germany and Japan were able to use the reparations gained from Wars to go on to Gold, it may be said that the Gold Standard helped cause Europe's two Great Wars because German and Japanese Generals thought winning new Wars would cause the inflow of yet more Gold and that would be a good thing because....urm...that worked out real well for Imperial Spain didn't it? If didn't? Fuck. Why didn't the War College get the memo?

The Gold Standard was not 'an attempt to extend the domestic market system to the international field'. England didn't go on Gold to trade with other countries. It did so because bimetallism is stupid- it increases uncertainty, exogenous monetary shocks, and thus drives up transaction costs. It also fucks up Fiscal Policy. Gold aint magic. It's a solution to a coordination problem. A primitive one. That's why the 'goldbug' on any comments column is bound to be a fucking retard or a senile loonytoons.

Still, I suppose, this explains Polyani's lasting popularity. Goldbugs and paranoid retards and senile loonytoons we will always have with us.

Much reading enstoopidifies. Books written on the basis of much reading enstoopidify so egregiously we end up quoting them- like Emily Dickenson who went ass to mouth on her first date and thus died a spinster with unkissed lips .
I think that's what Plato was really getting at when he spoke of kalokagathia. Incidentally, his 'Parmenides' is but the most spectacular example of the grand tradition of Revenge Porn which stretches back to the Cave paintings of Lascaux.
See what I did just now? It could be called pulling a Polanyi- except there was a Michael Polanyi who was nothing like his idiot brother Karl.