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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

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Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion...

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Churchill was right on India.

Gandhi was no saint.

by StFerdIII

The most emotional topic for Churchill, with regards to empire, was of course India. As a potent sensitivity the Raj and British rule in India surpassed even Churchill's odd and in my opinion quite weird affectation for French 'civilization' premised on a romantic, yet historically inaccurate view of France as a paradigm of civilized progress. Churchill was unbalanced about France. He was extremely emotive about India.

During the 1930s when Churchill was out of office he was fed secret information by his supporters and informers in the government about the Nazi threat and the build up German arms. Though he tended to exaggerate the data Churchill's basic theme stated stridently from 1934 onwards, was true and valid - Europe and England were at risk from a likely future war with the Nazi's. The German cult was clear in its intent of reconstituting German war making power and expanding the Reich to other lands; and its leader had written a blueprint of German territorial demands in Mein Kampf. But for a society which has just exited from the horrors of the First World War, Demosthenic railings against foreign powers fell largely flat. Peace at any costs was the desire.

Most historians agree that Churchill's warnings about Nazi Germany were diluted by his rantings [as most would brand it], on India and Indian self-government. This is only partially true. It is accepted wisdom that Churchill fought a 'rearguard' action against any form of Indian independence, especially outside of the Empire. Whilst true that the India question did indeed cloud over the Nazi threat, it is mistaken to believe the revisionist view that Churchill's stance on India was irrational. Indeed much of his objection would appeal to a wide swathe of socialist-Marxist opinion today, steeped as they were [ostensibly at least], in appeals for fairness, female rights, equality, better living conditions and the political reality of Moslem-Hindu tension and rights to self-determination. Churchill objected to Indian independence outside of the Empire for 5 good reasons;

  1. India was much better off with British rule since it was the British who had the power, the capital and the technology to keep the various parts of India together peaceably.

  2. India's caste system needed to be reformed before self-determination could exist. Churchill objected to the '60 millions' of Untouchables, and the second-class status of women within Hindu and Moslem society.

  3. An independent India under Gandhi's rule would repudiate trade and close it markets. Gandhi's financial backers were rich mill owner's and they had no interest in the British Imperial system of trade [an internal tariff free bloc with external tariffs].

  4. The British white paper plan on Indian statehood [1931-2] were too complicated, and would never in any event satisfy majority or national opinion. [This was a very potent argument in fact and quite true since the white paper, supported by Gandhi and his extremist nationalist group, planned first for local and provincial reforms and autonomy, but for not a federal government which would only follow at some indeterminate future date. It was an unlikely idea and workable.]

  5. In the event of another global war India would be indispensable to the British for both manpower and raw materials. British power would likewise be indispensable [as it turned out to be], if India itself was threatened by a foreign power [Japan in the case of WW2].

These are all rational objections to Indian statehood and even Dominion status within the empire. But today the view is that 'Gandhi' and his supposed plurality in India were 'right'. Gandhi was never a saint but a man beholden to 'capitalist' interests and one who never represented a majority of either Hindu and certainly never, Indian Moslem opinion. His group never had more than a significant, though small minority support of Indians. Gandhi's ignorant policies of self-reliance, where India would reject all Western methods, technologies and trade; and in which villages would become self-sufficient, was the stuff of a puerile mind totally incapable of dealing with the complexity of a modern political-economy. It would consign India post-independence to some 40 years of abject miserable socialist failure in which literally millions of people would die of starvation and hundreds of millions more would be mired in a deformed, impoverished existence. So much for Gandhi and sainthood.

Unlike Gandhi Churchill was concerned about the average Indian and the population at large. Gandhi was in the main a political servant to his rich mill owning masters. This must surely offend his revisionist claim to saint-hood forwarded by the pious socialist. Churchill was a politician and a statesman, serving himself but in so doing, needing to serve others. This must also offend the earnest communalist. Churchill rightly saw that Indian independence would only be achieved if the general living conditions of the average person in India could be improved and broad representation, premised on the British model, enacted. Autarchy, rejecting investment, ejecting British capital and institutions would be the quickest road to penury. As well, as Gandhi must have known but rejected, a precipitous British withdrawal would lead to a civil war between the Hindus and Moslems, which did indeed happen in 1947 killing and injuring millions.

The 'India episode' of the 1930s did much to damage Churchill's reputation. Contemporary rivals, the media and revisionist Marxist historians have had a gleeful time feasting on this carcass. But there is little in the debates over India, which substantiate their claims that Churchill was a reactionary imperialist coveting unlimited power to order hundreds of millions of 'brown people' around like pawns on a chessboard. Churchill aptly sums up his rational defence of the British Raj:

Dominion status can certainly not be attained by a community which brands and treats sixty millions of of its members, fellow human beings, toiling at their side, as 'Untouchables', whose approach is an affront and whose very presence a pollution. Dominion status cannot be attained while India is prey to fierce racial and religious dissensions and when the withdrawal of British protection would mean the immediate resumption of medieval wars. It cannot be attained while the political classes in India represent only an insignificant fraction of the three hundred and fifty millions for whose welfare we are responsible.” [Daily Mail article November 1932]

Entirely correct. Churchill on a few occasions had met with Indian leaders of various parties and representatives of various interests including Gandhi who never represented more than a fraction of the Indian polity. He always assured the Indians, and there is no reason to doubt his veracity on this topic, that Indian independence would eventually be achieved once certain conditions in the political-economy and in social welfare had been met. There is nothing 'reactionary' in such observations. It is only common-sense.

While Churchill's attitudes to India were emotional and complex, they were not detrimental to Indian interests. His enemies, various Indians with self-interests such as Gandhi and his acolytes, revisionist Marxists and racialists who conflate white with evil; do not make a convincing case that Churchill wanted to dominate India and use it for British purposes; or that he never assented to Indian self-determination. His warnings about Gandhism and its destructive outcomes were never taken seriously. Indeed the violence unleashed by Gandhi's pacifism took his own life and generated a war in which millions were killed and wounded and in which the fundamentalist Moslem state called Pakistan was formed – a force for destabilization and uncivilized regression if there ever was one. These facts apparently do not impress themselves on the preening revisionsts and the do-good socialist commentators. Maybe Churchill was right after all.

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