Thursday, 16 November 2017

China's religious Nanhai better than India's Secular Nalanda

India's Nalanda International University is a miserable failure. China actually contributed a million dollars to it a few years ago but, it seems, was already constructing its own more splendid version which has now successfully launched with more students than the Indian venture.

India's Nalanda seems doomed to failure. You can't have a post-grad 'soft subject', Research based, University in the middle of nowhere. It is already haemorrhaging students and appears to be shifting to an exam based degrees.

China's Nanhai seems bound to succeed. The local people benefit from value added tourism. The students are likely to be able to work while they study and gain secure employment on graduation, and the State benefits by an increase in 'soft power'. Why is Nanhai the polar opposite of Nalanda in all these respects?
The answer is that China's University is a dedicated, monastic, Buddhist University teaching courses which add value for Buddhist practitioners and Institutions in a manner which creates synergy for the local economy and gives credibility to the tag of 'pure land' used to promote the area.

Nalanda is an imitation Ivy League Research University with no link to the local economy and whose Secular vision is antithetical to the Buddhist associations of its ancient site.

A Buddhist website reports, that the subjects taught at Nanhai for a four year undergraduate degree are-
Chinese Buddhism, Temple Administration and Management, Buddhism and Life Sciences, Social Work and Charity Management, Meditation and Tea, Buddhist Art, and Buddhist Architectural Design and Preservation. In addition, students can follow courses in three languages: Chinese, Pali, and Tibetan. The academy is circumventing Sanskrit—the language which is usually taught in Buddhist studies programs—and replacing it with Chinese.

Clearly the aim is to disintermediate, not just India but Eurocentric Buddhist studies. The new academy will also be useful in creating a comprador Tibetan Buddhist clergy. Eventually, some portion of the Tibetan diaspora might find themselves reintegrated into Chinese Society such that the special Spiritual status of their Language is recognised in return for their loyalty.

Unlike India- where Buddhism lost salience hundreds of years ago- an increasingly affluent China has an almost unlimited ability to absorb and create decent livelihoods for Buddhist monks and upasakas trained at Nanhai Academy or others like it.  By contrast, Western Academic Buddhism can't create livelihoods for actual Buddhists because Academic appointments will go to more or less demented Philologists or Logicians or Po Co theorists.

Nalanda International University was envisaged by Amartya Sen as an autonomous institution where Professors would enjoy diplomatic immunity and thus feel empowered to 'speak truth to power' without fear of India's laws against libel and hate speech. Furthermore, if a Naxalite insurgency once again took root in the region, Leftist Professors and students could play a vanguard role without living in fear of the National Security Act.

Naturally, the Govt of India had little incentive to permit Nalanda to flourish. Nor, to be honest, was the Government of any other country enthused by the prospect of sending students to be indoctrinated in subversive ideologies.

 Asian Buddhist intellectuals had turned against the project earlier.

Dr. Kalinga Seneviratne wrote in 2013- a year before Nalanda opened-
the revival of Nalanda University is seen by many as the restoration of the ancient intellectual exchanges between the two great civilisations of Asia – India and China.

When in 2006, after a symposium in Singapore, a grand scheme to revive the ancient Buddhist university was announced, it was widely welcomed across Asia, especially in Buddhist countries.

Singapore’s then foreign minister George Yeo hit the correct note when he told the symposium that the project was “about Buddhist values and philosophy which have become an integral part of East Asian civilisation”. He added that as Asia re-emerged on the world stage, Asians could “look back to their own past and derive inspiration from it for the future”.

Unfortunately, more than six years later, this inspiration has turned into sourness and deep resentment among Buddhist intellectuals in Asian countries, who see the Nalanda Mentor Group, headed by Nobel Economics laureate Amartya Sen, as a self-appointed group mainly educated in the West and adrift from the Asian Buddhist intellectual community.
Secular curriculum
The resuscitation of Nalanda University has recently been questioned by Buddhist groups across Asia. The biggest lament is that no Buddhist scholars or monks have been elected to its board.

“Why is it that the regeneration of a once great ancient academy is based on a secular curriculum entirely focused on humanities and economics?” asked Lim Kooi Fong, a Malaysian Buddhist and the founder of the Buddhist Channel, the world's foremost Buddhist news website.

“At first glance, it would seem that its hallowed name has been borrowed to entice funders to rebuild a fabled campus,” noted Lim. “What is truly tragic, however, is the revivalists' lack of vision and courage. They totally missed the core philosophy and ingenuity of the original Nalanda.
“If Nalanda were to claim back its glory, it needs to be 'monumentally ahead' of its time, just like its predecessor. More importantly, it needs Buddhist teachings and ideals as its core identity to drive its sense of purpose,” added Lim.

“Why submit a famous academy to mundane courses (where it has to compete with numerous and better endowed institutions) when it has the chance to explore an ancient teaching so radically ahead of its time and create undreamed of synthesis using tools of modern science?”
In a recent article in Sri Lanka’s Daily News, lawyer and Buddhist activist Senaka Weeraratne called for wide-ranging discussion across the Buddhist world on the direction, curriculum and aims and objectives of the Nalanda project.
“There is a huge difference between the scope and direction of the old and the proposed new Nalanda University,” he observed. “There is no Sri Lankan representation on the board [of governors] despite this country’s claim to have the oldest continuing Buddhist civilisation in the world.”

Weeraratne pointed out that most of Sen’s recent comments on the Nalanda project have tried to play down its Buddhist heritage and promote the wisdom and validity of secularism.
“It is tantamount to blasphemy to downsize your own, that is Indian, wisdom and religious heritage merely to display that one is on the right side of intellectual fashion in the West,” he argued.

Nalanda’s Mahavihare education tradition has been preserved and nurtured for centuries by Buddhist universities whose offshoots still exist, such as the Buddhist and Pali University in Sri Lanka – which even has an offshore programme in Singapore – Mahamakut and Mahachulalongkorn universities in Thailand and numerous others in Myanmar and Cambodia, as well as the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara in Nalanda itself.

None of the above have been invited to participate in the new Nalanda project. Nava Nalanda Mahavihara was set up by the first president of independent India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, to ‘revive the great Nalanda tradition’ and it now functions as an autonomous university under India’s Ministry of Culture.
In 2011 it had over 400 students, a quarter of them foreign students, studying in 10 departments. This university has been totally ignored and few seem to be questioning whether it would not be better to help expand this Nalanda rather than build a new one.

Political ballgame
The project itself has become a political ballgame, with its main funds coming from non-Buddhist countries such as Australia, Singapore, India and China after the East Asia Summit in Thailand adopted the project in 2009. It is believed that China’s support is conditional on keeping the Dalai Lama and his supporters out of its way.

As Lim pointed out: “It is inside these walls that much of Tibetan Buddhism as we know it, both its Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions, stems from the late 9th-12th century Nalanda teachers and scholars. Mahayana Buddhism that followed in Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan flourished from the scholarly endeavours of this university.
“Nalanda became the synthesis and fusion centre where new ideas of Buddhist psychology and philosophy were debated, coded and classified. It is here – through inter-disciplinary study, practice [of meditation] and translation – that Buddhism became a global religion.”
There is much scope for modern medicine, bio-ethics, neuroscience, food and agricultural science, information technology and communications to adopt Buddhist principles in developing new courses for the 21st century.

If Nalanda is going to realise its true potential, the challenge facing its initiators is not to make it a clone of Harvard or Cambridge located in Asia with an Asian cover page.
It needs to be developed with an Asian mindset, and many Asian intellectuals with that mindset do not have PhDs from the West. That needs to be acknowledged first and only then will the revived Nalanda University be able to provide a world-class university that is defined by an Asian context.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Spivak's hic Rhodos hic cacas

Spivak says she's a Europeanist and also that she is a Marxist- but does she know anything about either Europe or Marx? Let us see-
Marx presents the proletarian revolution as responding to situational imperatives from the outside, pushed to keep its promise, rather than choose a planned moment.  Marx does this by way of a story which is about not being able to keep a false promise – where the guy in Aesop said he could jump across the Straits of Rhodes and was told Here is Rhodes don’t jump here. This is implicitly to stage the scientific impossibility of a proletarian revolution: who can jump the Straits of Rhodes?
The Straits of Rhodes aint a thing. Aesop never said any athlete claimed to have jumped from Rhodes to anywhere else.  The punch line of the story about the guy who claimed to have jumped a prodigious distance when he was in Rhodes is- 'Here is Rhodes. Jump now.' Stop boasting. If you could do it there, you can do it here. Just jump already.

Similarly, Hegel and then Marx were ridiculing pamphleteers who professed membership of Illuminati type Secret Societies spread across all lands secretly directing the course of History. These shitheads claimed to wield immense power in some shadowy manner and yet could be seen cadging drinks and pimping their daughters from Tavern to Tavern. If these Freemasonries were genuinely powerful, they could effect a Revolution here and now.

Marx is revising a Hegelian passage from the Philosophy of Right which is actually talking about Rosicrucianism and mystical action. He makes some interesting changes. He changes Hic Rhodos hic saltus – this is Rhodes this is where to jump – to Hic Rhodos hic salta– jump in the imperative and then, going back to Hegel in a peculiar way and saying here is the rose dance here. We need to hold onto this metaphor of “dance,” if we are to understand that revolution cannot be formally defined
Marx garbled Hegel but then he was writing in polemical vein. Essentially he was saying proletarian revolutions are different from bourgeois ones because the former are self-critical and complex  and messy and thus like real life whereas the latter are operatic and sublime but more or less unreal.

Bourgeois revolutions, like those of the eighteenth century, storm more swiftly from success to success, their dramatic effects outdo each other, men and things seem set in sparkling diamonds, ecstasy is the order of the day – but they are short-lived, soon they have reached their zenith, and a long Katzenjammer [cat’s winge] takes hold of society before it learns to assimilate the results of its storm-and-stress period soberly. On the other hand, proletarian revolutions, like those of the nineteenth century, constantly criticize themselves, constantly interrupt themselves in their own course, return to the apparently accomplished, in order to begin anew; they deride with cruel thoroughness the half-measures, weaknesses, and paltriness of their first attempts, seem to throw down their opponents only so the latter may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again more gigantic than ever, recoil constantly from the indefinite colossalness of their own goals – until a situation is created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves call out:
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
[Here is the rose, here dance!] [NOTE]


 Why was Marx writing this? The answer is that some Leftists looked to Napoleon III as a Socialist Messiah. They were seduced by the glamour of the dynasty and had got drunk on spurious rhetoric. Marx was saying- 'develop your own strength rather than look to some Dynast. Grapple with real problems. No doubt, you will over-reach yourself and beat a retreat, but you will try again and make a better job of it. Keep going. Keep building up your own strength. In the end, you will be like that athlete who really can make a prodigious jump right here and now.'

No doubt, Marx's stupidity and drunken prolixity militated against his ever saying anything sensible, still this is the only sensible reception of his text.

It isn't Spivak's. She thinks Marx said
1) Proletarian revolutions are pushed from the outside. They don't arise because the proletariat gathers strength by grappling with real problems by itself.

This is nonsense. Marx lived at a time when Europe would unite to crush a proletarian revolution in France. No 'outside push' was feasible. By contrast, the Kaiser was willing to send Lenin to Russia to foment a Revolution.  But, Marx died long before any European power contemplated so drastic a step.

2) Proletarian revolutions are a scientific impossibility. 'Who can jump the straits of Rhodes'?

Marx did not say this because...urm... we're talking about Karl Marx here not Groucho. He was a Communist. Believing in Proletarian Revolution is what he did for a living. The straits of Rhodes don't exist. Spivak invented them. She is a crap Europeanist.

3) Marx had a 'metaphor of the dance' which we need to bear in mind to understand that Revolution can't be formally defined.

This is nonsense. Neither jumping nor dancing are important. What is important is that the proletariat build up its own strength by grappling with practical problems even though this means it will experience a lot of frustration and self-criticism. Still, the only way you get good at jumping or dancing is by actually jumping or dancing. It's no good saying 'I could jump very well in Rhodes' or 'my dancing must remain sub rosa- the world is not ready for my booty shake', because people will think you are a self-deluded booby.

Marx says that the Proletariat refine their definition of Revolution by grappling with messy, real life problems. Spivak thinks the guy was talking about some mystic dance.

She says-
Marx was a formalist in his theory of value – the labor theory of value. Value, which he famously defined as inhaltlos und einfach, regularly translated into English not as contentless inhaltlos but as “slight in content,” thus closing up the possibility for English-readers to understand what Marx was talking about. Value is commensurability – close to data.
Marx was Ricardian in his theory of value. English readers know what Marx meant better than Germans because Marx was a drunken shithead whereas Ricardo was smart.
Essentially, his claim is that- under perfect information, convexity, perfect competition etc.- there may be a steady state equilibrium such that a labour numeraire exists. This labour numeraire would be independent of distribution and technology and thus a pure 'form' with only the minimal content whereby Labour maintains itself.

Spivak can't understand a word of this definition. Instead she fixates on 'inhaltlos' as 'contentless' which, obviously, it can't be because it represents actual human labour not killed or destroyed in the production process. 

Spivak, however, believes she has made a great discovery. Everybody else misunderstood Marx because they were reading an erroneous translation-
If Spivak is right then Marxism endorses industrial processes in which the workers are killed during the production process and holds the commodities they produce to be wholly commensurable with industrial processes which do not kill or otherwise reduce the stock of Labour.

Since Spivak is an 'Europeanist' whereas I'm just a Curry & Chips Cockney soon to be cut off from the Continent by Brexit, perhaps I should give her the benefit of the doubt.

On the other hand, she thinks that the Straits of Rhodes exist on the map. So, though doing a better job than me of shitting on Marx, I am obliged to say that though Marx was stupid he wasn't Spivak level stupid.

In any case, what difference does it make what infelicity of language Marx was guilty off? Economics is a mathematical discipline. What maths has clarified no mere linguist can gainsay.

Spivak is not a mathematican, nor an Economist. She has studied Literature. She must know that any human being who says 'Value is commensurability' must be either stupid or lying. Value is almost always wholly incommensurable. The exception is- under open markets with almost zero income effects, no hedging, no externalities, no learning or addiction type effects, no uncertainty- Values are commensurable provided Time travel is instant and costless. 

Is Spivak channeling Arrow Debreu here?-
The answer is no. She's just being silly. The Labour in the Labour theory of Value is an abstract sort of yardstick or no intrinsic importance. It isn't a Platonic form.  It is a metric- an artificially constructed numeraire. Nobody can actually compute it- but that doesn't matter. Nobody needs to presuppose it. 

It is possible that there is a mediating agent between my poetic genius (which can't appear)  and my neighbor's cat's Nicaraguan horcrux  which must be presupposed in order to grasp the mechanics of the production of the World- or at least that Department concerned with providing or denying Nicaraguan horcruxes for felines in Fulham. But the possibility of that possibility does not establish any exchange or appropriation or surplus extraction. For my part, I'd gladly trade my poetic genius for the cat's Nicaraguan horcrux. What is lacking is not the possibility of a mediating agent, nor the possibility of that possibility, but that agent's actual existence. 

A missing market which possibly might not be missing is still a missing market. It gives rise to a 'second best' solution. Notice in a perfect market with no surpluses, first best solutions could always be non-coercively unwound to get back to the original position. Thus the whole trajectory is 'zero regret' and 'super fair'. It might appear that Spivak isn't just mindlessly applying Derrida's theory of mediation which, in this context, cashes out as denying time reversal for symbolic systems such that the 'origin would be recoverable in all its determinations'. However, if markets or symbolic systems deal with co-evolved processes on an uncertain fitness landscape, then notions like 'zero regret' and 'super fair' and 'complete mediation' which fully recovers an originary position are all quite worthless and not worth bothering with. My point is that Derrida and Baumol and others of that generation were misguided by the fallacies of their age which we feel superior to. In Derrida's case, the problem was Husserl's 'Origin of Geometry' which came out at about the time Turing was using Brouwer choice sequences to establish an 'eidetic' result of the sort Phenomenology had sought in vain. But Derrida didn't know he was barking up the wrong tree. Similarly, Brouwer didn't account for Complexity theory. This does not mean their work is worthless, just that we need to compensate for their ignorance. The same holds true of Hegel and Marx.

Spivak, of course, is no Derrida. Still her web of fallacies is shared in common with other Bengali careerists like Amartya Sen. In particular, they all share some highly mischievous blindspots when it comes to Ethics and Morality. Is it a coincidence that, though they were outside India, their moral imbecility tracks the criminalization of the Academy in India? It must be. The more likely explanation has to do with the equation Bengalis made between the CPM and corrupt hooliganism. Being genuine Socialists, they felt that they too needed to cultivate sociopathy- at least in bookish form.
However, as unconditional ethics must be conditioned when practiced as politics, and democratic freedoms must be bound to particular occasions when practiced, in the same way, we cannot have a revolution unless it is tied to content. And the double-bind, in this particular essay, is preserved by Marx by the concept metaphors of dance, poetry, and the overarching figure of theater. We do not know the form of our revolution today, we look forward to a content that we must be able to project by our flexibility of the imagination to be able to imagine – let us read the whole passage: “The social revolution of the 19th century can only create its poetry from the future, not the past. . . . Here is the rose, dance here!”
Is Spivak mentioning any content at all for a Revolution we can have here and now? Nope. She is talking about a guy who died a long time ago. Has she created any poetry for our future? No. She has written cacophonous claptrap.

Marx thought Hegel calculated everything for the mind. therefore for the heterogeneous dialectic of knowing and doing, we go not to The Science of Logic, as Lenin had suggested, but to “The Beautiful Soul” in The Phenomenology of the Spirit, which Lacan describes as metonymic of psychoanalysis.[1]
If Spivak believes that 'Marx thought Hegel calculated everything for the mind' then, since Value-as-Labour represents a heterogeneous dialectic, it can't have a formalist or mathematical definition. Spivak is not deconstructing herself here. She told a lie and then showed the truth in another context. Her mention of psychoanalysis is telling. She is explaining why she has produced nothing but worthless shite and why she thinks producing more and more worthless shite is somehow 'Revolutionary' more particularly if that worthless shite damages minds inside the teaching machine.
You see, she thinks Hegel's 'Beautiful Soul'- which produces nothing but catachrestic pseudo-ethical shite- is actually something desirable. She herself incarnates it- a subaltern Saint like Amartya Sen-who is referred to as the Mother Theresa of Economics, not because he cares for the poor but because he garnered fame by fucking them over.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Spivak 'On Revolution'.

Spivak's speech 'On Revolution' can be found here.  My comments are in bold.
I begin with the Rohingyas being plowed down mercilessly in Burma.  
Begin what?  Discoursing 'on Revolution'? Why? Would a Revolution in Myanmar end this 'merciless plowing down?' Nope. The Burmese Communists were more not less genocidal than the Army. So why begin a talk 'on Revolution' by mentioning suffering people who will be worse off if a Revolution occurs?

 We are of course asking in the short range for a safe zone protected by UN peacekeeping forces.  Why? Such forces are known to be useless. 

But the real requirement is a revolution in consciousness, required by UN peacekeepers whose alleged record for rape is scary, and, of course, by all ethnic cleansers – extreme identitarians – around the world.  
Oh! So you're saying 'we need a Revolution in the hearts of bad people so they stop doing naughty things.' 
And, given the upsurge of right-wing sentiment among the student body, I think we need to recognize that the university also requires a revolution in consciousness even as it undertakes to save the world. It's not just bad people who must immediately have a revolution inside their consciousness but also students need to have a revolution in their consciousness otherwise they might think I'm silly and have nothing to say. We have forgotten that a university is a mind-changing machine rather than merely an instrument of upward class mobility leading to entrepreneurial success. So Gayatri forgot, when she borrowed money to go to Uni in America, that she was supposed to have her mind changed for her rather than merely rise up through meretricious careerism and the entrepreneurial success of her speculations in Derrida futures

Why does Gayatri think anybody would want to subject themselves to a 'mind-changing machine'? The answer is she has a bizarre belief concerning 'Revolutions'.
I believe a revolution – indicating a systemic change — can only be lasting if there is a constant attempt to create a will for social justice; Why hold this belief? It is foolish.  If, 'A will for social justice' can effectuate social justice, it would exist if people wanted it. If not, the 'constant attempt to create it' is either otiose or bound to have zero impact.  a constant attempt to produce the subaltern intellectual required to counteract the incessant subalternization required by the self-determination of capital within globalized capitalism. 
WTF? Who is 'constantly attempting to produce the subaltern intellectual'? Nobody. We know that subaltern intellectuals are shite. Spivak is an example. Who is 'constantly attempting' to produce more worthless blathershites like her? Not even Spivak.
Why? Well, obviously, the subaltern intellectual can't counteract 'the incessant subalternization required by the self-determination of capital' anymore than being born can counteract the birth process. Spivak may think that the 'self determination' of Indian Capital within Globalised Capitalism has rendered it subaltern. This isn't true. Indian Capital migrates across borders- because that is what Globalised Capitalism means. Its 'self determination' could be to become metropolitan with equal likelihood to being confined to B.P.O type stuff lower down the supply chain.
There is nothing stopping an Indian capitalist becoming an American capitalist just as there is nothing stopping an Indian Professor becoming an American Professor. Indeed, sexual harassment might be less penalized there than back home.
Anyway, it turns out, Spivak herself doesn't understand what point, if any, mention of the subaltern, could possibly make.
And I am stumped by the subaltern, even as I am altogether unconvinced by top-down philanthropy or class-continuous reverse racism; I am also stumped, in another way, by gender. 
Well, no big surprise- it was always clear that Spivak wasn't really engaging with gender or development but merely talking self regarding, meretricious, mendacious tripe.
I do not have the time to engage myself with the final problem of how to think revolution if one agrees with M. N. Roy-Bukharin-Mao, that the dictatorship of the proletariat is for the Western world and the agricultural sector is for the rest;
This is rubbish. Bukharin and Roy and Mao advocated fucking over the peasants. Mao succeeded. Bukharin was killed by Stalin but rehabilitated by Gorby who, quite foolishly, under the spell of mathematical economists like Abel Aganbegyan, destroyed Communism by disintermediating the Party from control of the Soviet Economy. Roy ran away to a nice jail cell in British India and then became some sort of Integral Humanist like Deendayal Upadhyaya.
 if one considers Marx’s letter to Zasulich,
Why consider it? Lenin settled its hash long ago. The fact is it was Mensheviks who, during the Kerensky interregnum, laid the foundations for GOSPLAN. But the thing was blindingly obvious. There was a 'scissors crisis' at the start and the end of the Leninist project. But, there was never any suggestion that Marx or Bukharin or Roy differed from Lenin in thinking that ultimately Land was a factor of production similar to Capital. Marx thought the 'Mir' might play a positive role in the short run but he was no Narodnik. Roy, too, wasn't enraptured by some 'do bigha zamin' peasant utopia. Rather, his humanism was tactical merely. So was that of the Left Front as Spivak knows very well. That's why it came crashing down post-Singur.
 if one attends to Teodor Shanin, The Late Marx and the Russian Road
Why attend to Shanin? His family wasn't of peasant origin. He only took up the subject under protest in Britain. But his famous insight re. Vietnam was worthless. Irma Adelman, by contrast, pointed out the obvious- viz. Vietnamese peasants would have to pay back rent if the landlords came back and that's why they sheltered the Vietcong. Shanin is a brave guy but he's spent his life barking up the wrong trees.
I am not quoting the actual Roy-Bukharin slogan, but many of you would be able to reproduce it. 
There was no 'Roy-Bukharin slogan'. Roy wasn't important. Bukharin was but he failed to predict that there would be another scissors crisis. It's all very well telling peasants to 'enrich themselves' but they still won't transfer surpluses gratis to the urban proletariat. Bukharin fell because he was stupid. So did Gorbachev.
As I say, I have material in the agricultural sector that would require going back to square one and not just talk Marxism and ecology. Maybe another time.

Rubbish. Spivak has no 'material in the agricultural sector'. She is an ignorant fool. She has been saying she doesn't have time to explain why she has something to say for as long as she has been pretending she doesn't have nothing to say and doesn't know shite about History or Economics or Politics or even Bengali literature.
I notice that, although the title of this 13/13 was changed from “revolution” to “uprising,” we are still generally thinking “revolution.” I will move with that tenaciousness of the first word.  The texts of Marx and Engels distinguished between Umwälzung (=upheaval, curiously enough cognate with Aufhebung=sublation) and Revolution, following the German classical philosophical habit of using the Latin word for something more systemic.  
Nonsense! Marx and Engels were perfectly aware of the full English title of the Anti Duhring. It was not the Latin word, but its French usage which was important. But Aufhebung could be translated just as well, as Derrida pointed out, as 'révéler'. Indeed, Spivak isn't really calling for any sort of social upheaval. Just a quiet 'revolution' inside the hearts of U.N peace-keepers and nasty people and also students who don't understand that University is a machine for, if not cranial surgery, then some crude form of 'mind-changing'. 
  
I have no definition of revolution but we may want to keep the difference between uprising (tamer than upheaval) and revolution in mind.
This is sheer dishonesty. Spivak knows that an uprising- like the Arab Spring- is not tamer than an upheaval- like that concerned with #me too which is shaking things up in Hollywood and Ivy League and so on- on the contrary, it is a lethal business.
I was initially asked to speak on Gandhi. I am not an Indianist, only an Indian. Of course as such I have an opinion of Gandhi, but for the occasion, the better analysis of how he fitted into a global consideration of revolution would have been offered by a historian or political theorist of modern India, whatever color. As it happen, Columbia is fortunate to have Akeel Bilgrami, who is both Indian and a specialist on Gandhi, although I am not absolutely sure that he would comment on Gandhi’s lugubrious gender politics.
Okay, Spivak can't talk about Gandhi because she isn't an 'Indianist'. But neither is Bilgrami.  His training is in Western academic philosophy of a particularly narrow sort. And if he won't comment on 'Gandhi's lugubrious gender politics' why should we listen to him at all? Spivak doesn't tell us.

I mention this because identity politics lays waste the democratic possibility of achieving flexibility of the imagination toward others. And I began with an example of how violent extreme identitarianism can become.
Why mention your inability to talk about a founding father of your country's democracy if your point is that 'identity politics' is what makes such 'flexibility of the imagination' impossible? Spivak has an identity as a 'Europeanist' not an 'Indianist'. Thus, she says she can't talk about Gandhi. Clearly her identity has constrained her capacity for political discourse. Equally clearly, it does not constrain Bilgrami. Why? The answer is he's not an 'Americanist' or a 'Europeanist'. He's just a Philosopher. So his identity doesn't constrain him with respect to speaking of Gandhi. On the other hand, perhaps, his gender does constrain him. Wow! It appears that identitarianism is only really a problem in the Academy where an Indian can't speak about India because she is a 'Europeanist'.
This is of course a double bind. No it isn't. It's stupidity, nothing more.  As I have pointed out in my recent response to Daniel Dennett for Philosophie magazine: “he is unable to appreciate the fact that he speaks from the privileged class, the privileged gender and the privileged race, so he imagines that his concerns are those of the world. His own position in the world dictates what he perceives as truth.” 
How utterly fucked up and shitty must Spivak's place in the world be if she feels she herself can't about Gandhi whereas Bilgrami, Davidson's student, can talk about him? 

Yet we must not let supremacists transform us into identitarians.
Spivak, you are an identitarian of an abject sort. You say your identity as a 'Europeanist', not an 'Indianist', disqualifies you from talking about Gandhi. No 'Supremacist' forced you into so abject a position. You did it to yourself.

 Gauri Lankesh, assassinated on September 5, 2017, invoked “universality” as the goal of people marked by caste oppression. 

Nonsense! Gauri Lankesh wanted caste based reservations and other entitlements- not universal needs-based cash transfers.
This way of understanding “we,” claiming the subject of Marxism through the affirmative sabotage of “universalism” – not simply proposing fantasmatic counter-universals with the global South as center – may be a way out of claims to identity in intellectual work. 
This is not a way of understanding 'we'. Either we all 'give according to our ability and receive according to our need' or else we just get factionalist rent contestation and worthless self-publicists posing as the champion of some surd and silent subaltern.

Affirmative sabotage of universalism may sound good if you are told that your particular identity class will gain at the expense of some other class. Unfortunately, bitter experience has shown that this is a honey-trap. You may get into a better college thanks to your identity class but face fiercer competition in useful subjects and so end up with a worthless degree. Okay, you may be able to parley your social network into a rent-seeking niche but, meanwhile, the kids who went to second rate schools but learned useful things are powering ahead of you. Ultimately sabotage is just a type of stupid wrecking of machinery which served a useful purpose.

Du Bois recommends a synthesis between race loyalty and opposition to segregation.  We recommend negotiating the double bind every moment of each day. Du Bois spoke sensibly. Spivak is making a foolish recommendation. Double binds and 'logic-bombs' are things to be avoided. They paralyze. They don't empower. Don't think about worthless shite for even a moment of the day. If you find you are thinking about something every moment of each day you are suffering from psychosis. Get help. Do it now.
I support  Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar rather than Gandhi in the matter of the Indian Constitution and will touch on the fact that he interpreted caste in his esrly days as the difference between the treatment of surplus women and surplus men (as opposed to Gandhi’s poor gender politics) and that he thought learning without ethical reflex is dangerous.  
Oh dear! Spivak said she wouldn't talk about Gandhi because she wasn't qualified to do so but, a few minutes later, she is perfectly happy to reveal herself to be a bare faced liar.
What Spivak is saying here is sheer nonsense. Ambedkar never pretended that he got his way with the Constitution describing his labors in that respect as 'hack work' but then neither did Gandhi. Nobody ever 'interpreted caste' as 'the difference between the treatment of surplus women and surplus men'. Which Indian leader ever said 'learn but don't bother about ethics'? None. What on earth is this idiot blathering about?

Let us also keep in mind that Ambedkar devoted all his energies to securing constitutional subjectship for all rather than engaging in identity politics as an outcaste. 
Utterly absurd. Ambedkar fought very hard for reservations for his caste fellows. On several occasions he demanded that the Forward Caste Hindu majority receive a minority of votes in Legislative and other Assemblies. Ambedkar wasn't very successful as a politician but his 'maximalism' in this respect is what makes him a towering figure.

 And, I am embarrassed to report that, the first time around, I had not noticed that caste was nowhere mentioned in Guha’s introductory essay to the first volume of Subaltern Studies, published in 1982. 
Guha is a Kayastha and talks up Kayasthas and denigrates Brahmins. Of course there is caste in Subaltern Studies. But it is factionalist in nature and dissembles its careerism by pretending to be Leftist.
Achyut Chetan’s dissertation will provide information on the contribution of women to the making of the Indian constitution.
No it won't. The guy isn't a lawyer. America isn't important, Da Valera's Ireland is. A guy who teaches Eng Lit is bound to fuck up in a technical field like this. As for the contribution of women- you'd have to have a good reading knowledge of a dozen Indian languages to do justice to the theme. 
As regards this Gandhi/Ambedkar intervention, let me point out that national liberation, in spite of many uprisings, is not a revolution.

That's why America is still ruled by the Queen. There was no American Revolution.
National liberation is not a revolution – formally, a systemic change? – because it is generally brought about by the progressive bourgeoisie (Lenin’s too well-known phrase) on an orientalist model of the nation being liberated and the national population are neither epistemologically nor politicaly continuous with it.  
Sheer stupidity! Spivak thinks only a particular kind of Communist Revolution counts as a Revolution. Why? Genuine Communists hold no such belief. They refer to the French Revolution and the Algerian Revolution and so on. 
Also, there is often another problem for a revolution to occur.  As Marx and Engels learnt from their experience of 1871: the beneficiaries of liberation cannot simply occupy the ready made state-machine, and set it in motion for its own purposes.”

What experience did Marx and Engels have in 1871? Where in the world where there any 'beneficiaries of liberation'? Is Spivak speaking of the Paris Commune? Is she utterly mad? Does she think the Prussian army was an agent of liberation? 

Spivak says she's an 'Europeanist'. What sort of Europeanist believes that there were any 'beneficiaries of liberation' in 1871 for whom 'a ready made state-machine' was conveniently vacant and ready to be re-purposed.
In that very document, the 1872 edition of the Communist Manifesto, where they made this comment, Marx and Engels also remarked that the progress of big business in the last 25 years have made the sections on revolution in the Manifesto outdated. 
Yes. They weren't stupid. What they did not say is what you, Spivak, say- viz. that the Parisians were 'beneficiaries of liberation'. On the contrary, they were the victims of Prussian aggression.
 In other words, revolutionary strategy is connected to the regulation of capital, whatever revolution might be.  
Nope. Only the military side of things matters.
On one side, epistemological engagement of the entire population for systemic change.  On the other, regulation of capital.
Spivak says the entire population wanted systemic change. But Capital too is regulated by members of the population. French capitalists bought French bonds and paid off the Prussians to end the occupation. If this 'epistemological engagement of the entire population' had indeed obtained, nothing was stopping those same Capitalists from becoming People's Commissars managing their factories and railways and plantations for the purposes suggested by that univocal 'epistemological engagement'.

  Both of these requirements for systemic change are absent in the general culture of a network society where economic growth is implicitly development. 
It is not necessary to believe the same thing for systemic change to occur. Indeed, it is an impossible condition to fulfill. Economic growth is explicitly defined as Development. There is nothing 'implicit' about it.
 I can hear the young voice at the diasporic convention in Ghana as I am hiding in the confines of the decrepit Du Bois library:  “We are no longer seeking freedom.  We are seeking economic growth.”  

Why is Spivak hiding? Perhaps, if she did not have her head in the sand she would realize that Ghana became free long ago. Young voices are saying 'stop pretending we're still ruled by Whitey so everything is their fault. Shut the fuck up about Liberation. We want jobs. That means Economic Growth you worthless shitheads.'

Over against this the wisdom of our colleague, the co-author of the Global Competitiveness Index, speaking to me about the non-connection between economic growth and social inclusion.  “I can tell you about economic growth,” said Xavier Sala I Martin, “but you,” pointing at me now, “are in charge of social inclusion.”
So, a Columbia Professor is polite to another Columbia Professor. Neither has any power or influence. Still, they are entrepreneurs in a globalised market for shite books and sound-bites. 

Still, say what you like, putting Spivak in charge of 'social inclusion' is hilarious. She would start by excluding herself because of her claim to be a Europeanist and end up excluding everyone else because they have less crazy views about Europe than she does and thus are probably Europeanists too.
As I have mentioned above, the general answer to social inclusion in our context is top-down philanthropy or class-continuous reverse-racism.  Why doesn’t it work?  Because the impatience of development, inserting the poor into the circuit of capital, does not come with the painstaking care to the re-arrangement of desires that might be able to generate capital for social use.
Wow! Poor people who get jobs and a bit of money are so fucking subaltern that they don't know they ought to be buying Spivak's worthless books rather than food and clothes and smartphones. 

Spivak is giving a new version of the Sen-Dobb thesis which was that the working class needs to take a cut in standard of living so that investment in Capital goods, and thus Development, can occur. Amartya Sen didn't notice that Indian workers needed to have a higher standard of living in order to raise productivity.
Similarly, Spivak -who thinks the poor must first be brainwashed (or subjected to a 'mind-changing' machine) before they can be allowed to spend their first pay-packet- hasn't noticed that the people paid to teach worthless drivel like hers, themselves spend money on food, and clothes and smartphones while going through the motions.

  And this work does not necessarily imply regulation of capital.  
Of course not! Why should it? It is based on machines for mind-changing. All we need to do is subject everyone to such a machine and there won't be any need for any regulation of anything at all.
Moreover, not much follow-up care is taken to ensure that the general politico-economic culture of the nation-state within which this global philanthropy is at work will tolerate the development of the deserving poor.
No follow-up care can be taken to do something which is not just stupid but physically impossible. Take the case of Malawi. Its poor are deserving. Did the politico-economic culture of Malawi lack tolerance for their development? Nope. It was just that a bunch of corrupt goons shot a whistle blower and that disrupted the AID gravy train. 
  In other words and simply, if national liberation is not revolution, global development is no harbinger of revolution, used in the loose sense of systemic change, either.
Nothing is the harbinger of revolution- according to you, dear Spivak- except some fucking 'mind changing' machine which will make everybody have exactly the same 'epistemological engagement'.
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, I had a public conversation in Calcutta with an eminent historian.  I was startled by her confidence in the passing of good laws; as much as I am by my colleague, ally and friend Joseph Stiglitz’s insistence that, if the developing countries do not take good advice, the advice should be enforced in the juridico-legal.  There can be no doubt of the absolute goodwill of these colleagues.  Yet we must insist, if we are thinking of revolution, that law is not enforcement.
Successful Revolutions enforce laws they have themselves made. If they fail to do so and it is is the old laws that are enforced then no Revolution has occurred. The American Revolution meant that some slaves whom the British had set free reverted to servile status. Some gentlemen were proscribed and lost their estates. Such laws as carried over from one regime to the others were considered autochthonous.
 Law is also not a matter of developing a will to social justice. 
Quite true. However laws promulgated after a successful Revolution do consider themselves to originate from a will to social justice of a particular sort. This may mean that some slaves who were freed, or minorities who were prospering, experience a reversal of fortune.
The law is separated from yet related to justice by what Derrida has called a relationship without relationship.
The law says that Derrida's comments have no legal force or authority. It is a separate, protocol bound, discourse. 
  One might say that the letter of the law is to be rigorously embraced as a grounding error, not to be confused with the fuzzy concept of the spirit of the law.  
One might only say that if one was as stupid as shit. Don't embrace the letter of the law- akrebeia is a torment not conducive to the proper management of affairs. Why would anyone confuse 'a grounding error' which, outside the Electrician's specialist field, is just meaningless babble, with anything at all? 
A society where this can be maintained is close to a post-revolutionary society.
Nonsense. Imagine a society composed of devotees of Derrida who obey Spivak's injunction. Would this society be 'close to a post-revolutionary society'? Nope. It would just be a collection of people united by a bizarre shibboleth of a meaningless sort. 

It's like saying 'If all the Brits and booted Hessians in America just said they were American patriots and that King George III was a Red Indian, then America would have come close to becoming what it did after the Revolution'. 
The thing is nonsense.
Close, for the revolution is never over, can never claim a “post,” as colonialism abundantly can.  
In which case, Spivak's claim is meaningless.
When an Ambedkar pushes for the establishment of a general constitutional subject, it can be shown that this is roughly his goal; a society where law is “easy,” as we used to say in the sixties. 
Ambedkar wasn't pushing, he was co-opted and dismissed his contribution to the Constitution as 'hack-work'. 
People were stupid and ignorant in the Sixties. They said stupid things- at least in Spivak's vicinity because she was stupid and ignorant and was studying a worthless subject.
 This is why law is to be defined, of course by the possibility of perjury, but also by its iterability.
Nothing can be defined by either the possibility of perjury or by iterability. Error-correction and Recursivity matter the Law is not wholly defined in those terms.
 The idea that law is defined by interpretability is too humanistic.
Nope. It is ignorant nonsense.
 The revolutionary must now reckon with the post-human.
Why? Is the post-human going to lock him and torture him to he gives up the names of his network? 
Anyone with leisure enough to reckon with the post-human isn't a revolutionary but rather a swindler of some obviously foolish stripe.
 The post-human can nestle in the Marxian Realm of Freedom, where no social engineering is possible, in an extra-moral sense. But so can unicorns with rainbows coming out of their butts. Like gender in another way, it brings in the incalculable. The incalculable is already at the heart of Economics in the Problem of Value and the impossibility of a non Dictatorial Social Welfare Function.
When asked to speak on Gandhi I proposed Du Bois as an alternative and Bernard and Jesus were altogether chagrined that room could not be made for him.   
Spivak vomiting on Gandhi is one thing, her shitting on Du Bois is taking intellectual affirmative action too far because it is not clear that Bengalis suffered anything comparable to the epistemic violence meted out to African Americans.
I had hoped to bring out Du Bois’s rewriting of the general strike and relate it to Rosa Luxemburg revising Marx and Engels. 
Du Bois actually helped his people. Rosa fucked up hers. Bengali leftists fucked up leftist Bengal. African American sociologists and economists aren't worthless shitheads. That's why few African Americans study worthless subjects at Uni. They prefer to serve their community and their country by achieving worthwhile things.

Monday, 13 November 2017

#Metoo- I was sexually harassed by Dipesh Chakraboty.

I like to read in the loo. My then g.f disliked this habit of mine and substituted Dipesh Charkraboty's 'Provincialising Europe' for my Spider Man graphic novel in the hope of speeding up my ablutions.

Chakraboty- a Po Co hack- writes like shit and thus, by a species of sympathetic magic, speeds up bowel motions. I assumed Charkraboty, like others of his ilk, writes appallingly because he is stupid and ignorant. I didn't realise that his inability to frame a coherent thought was a defensive mutation enabling him to retain plausible deniability in the event of a sexual harassment suit.

Consider the following passage-
The idea of “abstract labor” also leads us to the question of how the logic of capital relates to the issue of historical difference. As is well known, the idea of “history” was central to Marx’s philosophical understanding of “capital.” “Abstract labor” gave Marx a way of explaining how the capitalist mode of production managed to extract from peoples and histories that were all different a homogenous and common unit for measuring human activity. “Abstract labor” may thus be read as part of an account of how the logic of capital sublates into itself the differences of history. In the second part of this chapter, however, I try to develop a distinction that Marx made between two kinds of histories: histories “posited by capital” and histories that do not belong to capital’s “life process.” I call them History 1 and History 2, and I explore the distinction between them to show how Marx’s thoughts may be made to resist the idea that the logic of capital sublates differences into itself. I conclude this chapter by trying to open Marxian categories up to some Heideggerian ruminations on the politics of human diversity." 
Either this is ignorant shit- 'abstract labor' is such as arises by derived demand and can't be sublated by anything at all- or else it is a coded way of saying 'I wanna show you my needle dick. Please don't report me to H.R. I'll give you an A on your Coursework.'

The reference to Heidegger, who shagged Hannah's Aunt in the stationary cupboard, is the giveaway.

Heideggerian ruminations on the politics of human diversity means, asking “are you looking for sexual pleasure” while (a female student) hands in her final paper.

To be fair, the student in question was sporting a sticker declaring 'Sexual Pleasure is not a Crime'. Still, Dipesh was greatly remiss in not simply whipping out his needle dick as a counter-example.

Still, it must be said, the only way to rescue Post Colonial theory from irrelevance is by making Dipesh exhibit his needle dick to all and sundry.






Sunday, 12 November 2017

Nalanda University- from White Elephant to RSS stronghold

The Scroll reports-
Rashmi Shetty and a classmate quit the university in early September, at the start of their second year of Buddhist Studies at Nalanda. About 40 students had enrolled in the two courses of History and Buddhist Studies in 2016. “Ours was the first batch,” she said.
Explaining her decision to quit, Shetty said: “We were short of teachers. At the time of admission we interacted with Max Deeg [from Cardiff University] and were told he would be the dean. He took a few classes but never joined full-time and left. Three new faculty members we were promised at the time of admission never joined and even an acting dean disappeared after a few weeks.”
Max Deeg is a proper Teutonic philologist with a deep love for Buddhism. I imagine, if Nalanda's promise had been kept, he'd have enjoyed interacting with East Asian savants and might well have set up an innovative new Research Program in collaboration with them.  Of course, a man of his standing could not relocate to Rajgir- but, thanks to modern technology- he would certainly have been able to shape its future for the better.
Scholars like Deeg can scarcely be blamed for the administrative shambles created by the Nalanda Mentor Group.  Consider the very different trajectories of two Govt. funded multilateral Universities- the South Asian University (S.A.U) in Delhi and Nalanda International University.

S.A.U was run by the economist and former V.C of J.N.U, G.K Chadha. It offers courses in worthwhile subjects like Maths and Bio-Technology. No scandal attaches to its name and it appears to be on track to burgeon on its new campus.
By contrast, the Nalanda Mentor Group was all 'Chiefs and no Indians'- it featured economists like Lord Desai and Amartya Sen but nobody with practical experience of institution building. Sen had a bee in his bonnet about 'autonomy' which he thought meant that the Govt. should just hand over cash without questioning how that cash was being spent.  Unfortunately, the V.C Sen chose for Nalanda- with the backing of the PMO- proved incompetent and politically controversial. Still, she can scarcely bear all, or even much, of the blame. Indeed, had the show been properly run by an experienced bureaucrat, as the nodal Ministry had suggested in 2014, she would have been free to act as a sort of roving Ambassador for Nalanda- highlighting its liberal credentials and commitment to gender equality- more especially in the context of the harm caused to India's image by the Nirbhaya atrocity which might well have put off female students from applying to study there.

Unfortunately, things worked out quite differently. Amartya Sen monopolised the media coverage of Nalanda but in a manner which harmed his own image. It turned out this 'Mother Theresa of Economics' was endorsing a White Elephant project which had grabbed land from hungry peasants. 

Still, even White Elephants have their admirers. The problem with Nalanda was that it wasn't an Elephant and wasn't particularly clean or safe- indeed, the last acting V.C, Pankaj Mohan, had to resign over charges of covering up a case of sexual assault.

For many students, Shetty explained, Nalanda had been a “risky choice”. She herself had completed a Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University and chose to study Buddhist Studies at Nalanda over job offers.
“Everyone is too tired and scared to fight now,” said the history student. “My parents are telling me to just keep my head down, finish and get out.”
Foreign students are affected worse, Shetty said. “There are students from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Peru and Japan at Nalanda who cannot simply leave,” she added. “People have left their jobs to study here.”
Still, a student from Romania did leave after “having her money stolen and being dragged by the neck on campus”.
Students have been demanding investigation into cases like the assault on the Romanian student as well as more visits by doctors and psychiatrists, speedier recruitment and clearing of scholarships, and better communication.
Will Nalanda survive? To answer this question we must consider why a student might want to go and study in such a backwater. There is only possible answer. Many students are allergic to exams. A place where you can get M.As and PhDs without passing exams can seem attractive. The problem is that Research is not univocal. What one Professor considers profound may be dismissed as puerile nonsense by another. But, turnover of Professors in a small Indian cow-town is going to be high, so the University will have to switch from Research based learning to Examination based Credentials.

several teachers have left. As a result, many specialised courses advertised by the university that students hoped to study within the disciplines offered by the School of Historical Studies and the School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions are no longer available. Consequently, many students have had to abandon their original research plans and take up new ones. Nalanda has even reneged on the promise of running research-only master’s programmes. It has also reintroduced examinations from this year.

Once an educational institution goes down the road of 'chalk and talk' and compulsory examinations, Students are bound to exercise a countervailing influence over the curriculum so that the exams become more and more similar to those used for screening purposes by Bureaucracies.  This in turn will undercut the 'International' pretensions of the College.

I suppose one way forward is to allow Nalanda to become an RSS stronghold. No doubt, there are ideological allies for Hindutva in Korea and Japan and so forth. But this would mean the end of my own dream of getting a PhD from Nalanda based on my research into Ecological elements in Buddhist iconography in relation to the cult of Shasti- the cat god. I have already done a lot of research- which consists of sketches of cats saying nice Buddhist things to the Environment- and all I need is a Professor who will validate my Research and give me a PhD. My plan was to visit Nalanda surreptitiously and lock some Professor into the latrine till the fellow signed off on my Research. Now, because of the brutal thugs of the RSS, this dream of mine has turned to dust.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Spivak's Rani of Sirmur

Gayatri Spivak believes that, in the late eighteenth century, there was a Mughal Emperor and a 'Pathan King of Delhi' whose proxy was the 'Nazim' of Sirhind. She says so repeatedly- first in a paper dated to 1985 and then in her big book in the Nineties under the Chapter Heading 'History'.


The Sikhs of the Punjab and the Gurkhas of Nepal were real enough. The Mughal Emperor was a pensioner of the British. There was no 'Pathan King of Delhi'- we would have to go back to the time of Sher Shah Suri to find one- and no such creature as a 'Nazim' ever existed. Perhaps she means a 'Nizam'. But Sirhind had a Wazir, not a Nizam, who was killed in 1710. It was incorporated into the Kingdom of Patiala and therefore was under Sikh rule.

Spivak is writing of Sirmur whose weak ruler had invited the Gurkha's in but couldn't get rid of them. His wife, the Guleri Rani, showed great astuteness in using the British against the Gurkhas and her other rivals. She threatened to commit suttee- because her weak-minded husband was still alive and making trouble for her- so as to wring further concessions from the Brits, who appreciated her talents and social position, and so built up her kingdom and passed on a solid inheritance to her son.

This is not Spivak's own view. She thinks there was some imaginary 'Pathan King of Delhi' who, along with the Mughal Emperor, represented 'distant 'paramount powers'. The reality was quite different. The Brits were pushing back the Gurkhas but weren't ready for a trial of strength with the Sikhs. They were a paramount power by virtue of the Mughal Emperor being their client.

Why does Spivak not know as much history as any 14 year old child at a decent school in India? How is it that no one has pointed out her extraordinary ignorance? Her book is much cited by academics. Are they all as ignorant as her?

An Israeli academic- Arik Moran has written an essay showing that Spivak gets everything wrong about the Guleri Rani. But, he is too polite to mention that Spivak is so ignorant that she thought Delhi had a Pathan King while the Mughal Emperor resided somewhere else busily exercising 'paramount powers'.

Why is the Israeli able to give us accurate information about the Guleri Rani while the Indian, despite visiting her palace 5 times, can give us no information- not even her name? The Israeli looks at Indian texts- including the Royal archives of the Sirmur Principality. Spivak doesn't.

What does she do?
So, an Indian woman writing about another Indian woman, can 'construct her as an object of knowledge' only through the archives of a non Indian entity staffed by males. Wow! How shite are Indian women?
Very very shite indeed, according to Spivak-

Spivak can't demonstrate her conviction for the simple reason that the Guleri Rani, thanks to her prestige and political astuteness, put her son in a position to enlarge his inheritance with British help. Spivak is so ignorant that she doesn't understand that 'Guleri' is not a personal name but the name of a powerful and prestigious Rajput Royal House. Why is Spivak so ignorant? The answer is she hasn't looked at Indian sources. Why? How come an Israeli man doesn't find it beneath his dignity to talk to Indians and read Indian archives whereas an Indian woman refuses to soil herself in any such way?

Was she just lazy? No. It appears she set off to London to find out if the Rani committed suttee.

Why did Spivak not ask the Indian High Commission in London? They have a Press & Information section and were used to helping scholars. The case of the disputed Sirmur gaddi had a political dimension because the socially and  politically very influential Jaipur Royal family was involved.

Later, it seems, she makes many trips to the Rani's palace. But somehow she fails to learn that the Guleri Rani was a great force for good for her dynasty and her people. Come to think of it, she was commemorated in the 'Golden Book'- the equivalent of Burke's Peerage- of the Indian nobility in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
But, by now, Spivak is in love with her own image as the indefatigable researcher trying and failing to establish a connection with a poor forgotten woman across the centuries.


So, it seems, Rajput women were strong and brave then just as they are strong and brave now. It is true, that- like Roop Kunwar in 1987- they might commit suttee so as to gain glory for themselves and their descendants. But, far more often, they live courageous and useful lives. They speak for themselves. They change the fortunes of their families and their people. They were unfazed by British imperialism and adapted to Democratic politics. They are wholly unlike Spivak herself who can speak only ignorant worthless nonsense.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Julian Go reconciling Social Theory and Post Colonial thought- 1

Social Theory is either the name of of a specific academic availability cascade which has been universally ridiculed for many decades or else it is something everybody has always done in every society that has ever existed.

Colonisation- unless it involves the extirpation or complete indoctrination of a subject population- does not mean that one Social Theory necessarily replaces another. On the contrary, Colonialism might mean the abandonment of a 'metropolitan' Social Theory in favour of the pragmatics of one which is indigenous.

Julain Go disagrees. He says-

This is nonsense. It is not the case that Imperial Portugal or Spain developed any 'Social Theory' at all. Germany, on the other hand, had a lot of Social Theory before it had any colonies.  Britain had a big Empire but that Empire was administered through pre-existing indigenous institutions except in its comprador enclaves. No doubt, at the elite level, there was a type of negotiation which appealed to the tropes of metropolitan Social Theory. However, Imperialists refused to grant any moral or ideological legitimacy to such negotiations unless it suited them to do so. Why? Because the underlying Social Theory was not indigenous and had no genuinely vernacular pedigree or expression. This meant that deracinated barristocrats discarded their Saville Row suits for native costume. But then the American Colonists had dressed up as Red Indians to stage the Boston Tea Party. Thus the 'Indianism' (i.e. corrupt influence of the East India Company) or Westminster, which Edmund Burke descried as a greater threat to the polity than Jacobinism, was defeated by 'Red Indianism'. Gandhi, Jinnah, Nehru, even Bandarnaike, who suddenly turned Buddhist in the Fifties, gained salience by this 'Red Indianism'.

Social Theory flourished after Imperialism ceased to be economically viable during a period when there was a massive expansion in Higher Education made possible by 'Wagner's Law'- i.e. the State's ability to retain a higher proportion of GNP. However, by the Seventies, this had led to 'stagflation'. Meanwhile Social Theory had degenerated into paranoid fantasy based upon the imminence of some imaginary orgasmic Revolution. Sociology became a joke subject- fit only for budding Parole officers or stupid bureaucrats bucking for promotion. Economics turned its back on Institutionalism, 'Verstehen' based dirigisme, and dropped the foreign language requirement for PhDs substituting Maths and Stats instead. Indeed, neoclassical economics derives from statistical physics. Gossen, Walras, Pareto, Menger, Marshall- not a single Marginalist had any interest in Colonies. Why? They don't matter in themselves. You don't have to turn African people into Europeans to secure a market for your cheese. Make good cheese. It will find its own market. Indeed, the only thing that matters is that, irrespective of who governs what, there is a burgeoning of Trade of a sort which leads to  Technologically innovative Capital formation and knowledge based Social Development.

Thus Marshall warned a brilliant Indian student of his that only a small minority of Indian entrepreneurs were committed to technological progress in the manner of the Tatas. Sadly, India chose a ressentiment based 'swadesi' dirigisme which gave a prominent role to 'Socialists' as enabling a corrupt, rent seeking, 'license permit Raj'. In this context, 'Social Theory' was the legitimating ideology of a semi-feudal type of Crony Capitalism. Thus, Professors would pretend to be Marxist so as to escape a beating and draw their salary while knowing full well that the son of the Marxist C.M was getting very rich without any effort.

Elsewhere, if foreigners or minorities owned profitable assets, stealing those assets for the benefit of a kleptocratic clique motivated a wholly fraudulent 'second wave' anti-colonialism. Thus ambitious young South African Rhodes Scholars might find it useful to pose as 'decolonisers of the mind' tweeting 'Rhodes must fall' because they hope to grab property belonging to minorities. However, they will run the enterprises they seize into the ground and then whine about how the IMF isn't giving them free money to avert the resulting famine.

In India, Post Colonial theory and 'subaltern studies' was nothing but a credentialist fraud or Ponzi scheme, whose reward was emigration to some Western Ivory tower. Ranajit Guha set the trend by taking British citizenship even before Niradh Chaudhri. He is now holed up in Austria- a great centre of resistance to neo-colonialism.

Julian Go, who was enraptured by Dipesh Chakravarty, Gayak Spivak and Homi Bhabha as a Post Grad in the early Nineties, takes a different view. He says-

Postcolonial means 'after colonialism'. What is the point of being against colonialism after it has disappeared? This isn't thought- it is stupidity. Mugabe may pretend that he is defending his people from the return of the British colonist. But it is mere pretence.

What of this notion of 'persistent legacies'? In the case of India, we know that no such legacies obtain. Why? India, like Ireland, has a doctrine of constitutional autochthony. Smart people- like Ambedkar- didn't just know more Social Theory any of Go's stupid professors, none of whom can write a single cogent sentence, they actually put Social Theory into action on a grand scale.

Go asks-
 Can social theory and postcolonial thought be reconciled?
In other words, he is admitting that postcolonial thought has no grounding in social theory. It is wholly irrational.
The task is to consider the possibilities of articulating social theory and postcolonial thought, to see how they might fruitfully engage.
Why perform the task of reconciling paranoid nonsense with a rational discourse? What 'fruitful engagement' will result?
One part of the task is to explore how postcolonial thought might benefit from a direct engagement with social theory. Can it learn anything at all from it?
Wow! Even a brain damaged sociopath can learn something useful if medicated properly. Go questions whether Poco thought can rise even to the level of a retarded maniac.
The other part of the task is to see how social theory might be enlightened by postcolonial thought. How might social theory, and indeed the social sciences more broadly, be reconstructed and reworked in order to better suit the intellectual challenge that postcolonial thought poses to it?
Oh! So Go is asking how a rational discourse can be made user friendly to intellectually challenged nutjobs.
This question is especially vexing for, as we will see in chapters to come, the intellectual challenge to social theory posed by postcolonial thought is potentially insurrectionary. What anticolonial revolutions were to empires, postcolonial thought is to social science. Postcolonial thought is the intellectual equivalent of the anticolonial movements of the twentieth century that birthed it. Hence the question: How might social theory survive the invasion?
Wow! Substitute the word 'Black' for 'anticolonial' and one begins to understand why Go has written this book and why White people teaching worthless subjects might buy it.  Economics, however, is safe. Gerschenkron, at the beginning of the Sixties was worried that the Niggers entering the Ivy League would eat their teachers unless they were properly dosed with German. But, Maths did a way better job. African American Economists have produced some of the best work in the subject in a consistent manner decade after decade- though, as with female Economists, they have often been ignored or condescended to. Maths weeds out the lazier and more egregious types of stupidity. Social Theory does not.
Go's own writing amply demonstrates this.
Consider the following passage- (my remarks are in bold)
In the late nineteenth century, social theory took on an institutional form as disciplinary sociology, nestling within the emerging social sciences in the metropoles of the United States and Europe. So, Social Theory is something which exists in the ether and which takes on different forms. Why? How? Go won't tell us. Dance is something which exists. In recent years, it 'has taken on institutional form' in so far as you can do a degree, or even a PhD, in Dance at some Institutions of Higher Education. So what? There is nothing sinister about this. If people are willing to pay for a degree in Dance, or Astrology or Alchemy, so what? Who cares? We wont watch a dance performance just because the dancer has a PhD. We will, however, start busting out Gangnam style moves at the Christmas party.  
It is here (at Universities) where sociology as we know it today was hatched, and it is here where the imperial origins of social theory become clearer. Go is wrong. Sociology arose out of the expansion of the metropolitan bureaucracy and the manner in which this impacted rent contestation within the governing class. Its most significant contributors were not academics. Imperialism did have a relationship with antropology which retained a certain cachet which Sociology never attained. Thus, it was permissible for the Prince of Wales to study Anthropology but not Sociology which was distinctly plebeian.
For it is precisely at this moment that Anglo-European imperialism began to reach its pinnacle. So what? It could only 'rise to a pinnacle' because the foundations had been laid long before Sociology became a thing.  Increased Wealth meant more bullshit degrees could be marketed. That's all that happened here. 
This was the moment of the “new imperialism” or “high imperialism” (as it would later be called)—the unleashing of violent power as nations like England, France, Germany, the United States, Belgium, Italy, and others mounted new territorial assaults upon Africa and Asia. By 1900, the new empires were ruling 90 percent of Africa, 56 percent of Asia, and 99 percent of the Pacific. By the First World War, imperial powers occupied 90 percent of the entire surface area of the globe (Andersson 2013; Young 2001: 2). Sociology was institutionalized through and within this imperial moment (Connell 1997; Go 2013d; Mantena 2012). America also started awarding degrees in things like Journalism and Physical Education and, a little later, Theater studies and so forth. They had a more market driven educational model and one must admit that it was superior to the European model. American Sociology, at one time, seemed a good handmaiden for big Corporations, and, later on, for overblown Federal Agencies, but that time passed long ago. Why? Because tax payers revolted. They weren't interested in why Society had a moral duty to spend much, much, more money on non-tax payers so that they could become more delinquent yet.  
Sociology abandoned its original mission- which was about using  empirical findings about collective behaviour to run things more cheaply and efficiently- and turned into antagonomic whining.  It was no longer about linking cause and effect, preferring to base itself on seeing paranoid patterns in all things.
In 1893, the first Department of Sociology was established at the University of Chicago and the first doctorate in sociology in the United States was awarded at Cornell. But just as this was occurring, the French were colonizing the Ivory Coast, Laos, and Guinea; the British South Africa Company was invading Matabeleland in current-day Zimbabwe; and Queen Liliuokalani was surrendering her Hawaiian kingdom to the United States.
1893 was the year the Independent Labour Party had its first meeting. This proves that it was complicit in British imperialism in South Africa.
A year later, the same year that Franklin Giddings was appointed chair and professor of sociology at Columbia (marking the first full professorship in sociology in the United States), England took Uganda as a protectorate, France seized Madagascar, and the Sino-Japanese War erupted.
Fuck you Giddings! Why did you make the Japs and the Chinks fight each other? Shame on you!
In 1895, as the American Journal of Sociology published its very first issue, Japan seized Taiwan, Britain turned Bechuanaland into a protectorate and raided the Transvaal Republic against the Boers, and the Cuban rebellion against Spain was unleashed. In 1901, the year that the Sociology Department at the University of Minnesota was established, England was adding Tonga and Nigeria to its empire, and the U.S. government was violently suppressing an anticolonial insurgency in the Philippines, occupying Cuba, and solidifying its colonial regimes in Samoa and Puerto Rico (Go 2013d).
1895 was also the year in which Le Petomane gained world wide fame.  This proves that farting is complicit in the Imperialist episteme. Some years later, Le Petomane was disgraced because he sharted during the course of public performance. That's also what happened to Social Theory. It shat its pants when it took the stage.

Go recognises that Du Bois was a Professor of Sociology. He is not so foolish as to claim that Du Bois was a racist swine. Instead he says Du Bois was the exception that proves the rule. Why? Because Du Bois was marginalised. Why was he marginalised? D'uh- the man was Black in the era of Jim Crow. Also he wrote well and had something sensible to say. He was much more than a pedagogue.

Go thinks a Racist type of Imperialism was inevitable. We wouldn't be where we are today without it. He says-
 Empire—and related processes of colonialism or racism—has been foundational for metropolitan societies as well as colonized societies....it has been crucial for the making and remaking of modernity
There is absolutely no justification for this view in either Economic theory or empirical data.  Nineteenth Century Radicalism, of the Cobden & Bright & the later Manchester Guardian type, continually refuted the notion that 'Trade follows the Flag'. Political Corruption caused the Flag to go where it could capture rents for the ruling class. This meant that Trade could not burgeon because of pure drain. The Empire was castigated a vast system of outdoor relief for the Aristocracy. Indian born writers like Thackeray & Saki continually made fun of the system whereby Colonial Governors were appointed. British Colonies were getting a declining share of Investment and Trade compared to independent countries. Pax Brittania was the peace of the Grave for dynamic businessmen. Shaw and Wells popularised a message which the Fabians painstakingly researched and documented.

Portugal and Spain were a stark reminder of the manner in which Imperialism throttled Modernity. Suddenly, Scandinavia- Ibsen, Strindberg &c- were showing the way for Shavian Man and, more importantly, Shavian Woman.

Consider the LSE. It was far more important than the Uni of Chicago. In what way was its 'episteme' complicit or contaminated by the Imperial project? One could find a genealogy for the LSE in Florence Nightingale and Arthur Hugh Clough's efforts in the 1860's to reform the War Office. Nightingale lived to bless the Indian National Congress and act as guardian, together with Jowett, to Cornelia Sorabjee.

Go is not stupid. He knows all this. Why is he writing such worthless shite? The answer is that he feels that non-stupid people like himself may at any moment be carjacked or cannibalised by stupid nutjobs. He says-
Whereas gender theory treats gender relations as foundational, and Marxist theory treats capitalism as foundational, postcolonial theory treats empire and colonialism as foundational.
Who gives a fuck about gender theory? Certainly not any sane woman not actually paid to peddle that shite.  Marxist theory failed. Get over it. Postcolonial theory is just a self aggrandising academic careerism on the part of deracinated shitheads playing the Race card. Why give them the time of day?

Imperial Power is not about 'Episteme'. It is about firepower and logistics and abstract mathematical financial engineering.  It is not based on any 'Social' process at all. If it is, it ceases to be 'Imperial' and gives way to Creole power contestation.

Sociology had nothing to do with the change in Naval doctrine we associate with A.T. Mahan and with the rise of 'infant industry' Protectionism as an Economic theory. It wasn't infected with anything save pedagogic stupidity.

Go says-
The early sociologists’ own words and concepts bespeak this imperial context of sociology’s institutionalization. Franklin Giddings, who later served as President of the American Sociological Society and was the first full professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Columbia University, declared in 1911 that among the pressing questions of importance to sociologists were the questions of “territorial expansion and of rule over alien peoples” (Giddings 1911:  580–81). Meanwhile, many of these leading sociologists often affirmed imperialism, heralding it as the necessary and desirable outcome of the “race struggle” and social evolution.
Giddings had a complicated theory of a thermodynamic type such that human beings gravitated to types of reciprocal consciousness which released more 'work'. Marxists may trace this type of thinking to the 'baronised Yankee' Count Rumford. However, for India- where Giddings book 'Democracy and Empire' was read by votaries of 'Harbhat Pendse'- what was really important was its last chapter titled 'The Gospel of non-resistance'. Karl Pearson's theory of 'extra group struggle' showed the utility of in group non-resistance and making common cause against an external enemy. Gandhi's genius was to discover a way to turn even conflict with that enemy into something potentially mutually beneficial and productive.

Go thinks America having Sociology professors is very important. But India had better Sociologists- because they were well versed in Mathematics and Statistics- at that time. Indeed, as the great E.J Hannan states in his memoirs, Indian scholars were ahead of American scholars till the late Fifties. Gokhale was and is important. Giddings is not. Gokhale, being a mathematician, could marshal information and present so cogent a case that he won over a select committee at Westminster. No doubt, American Sociology can claim similar achievements but only in domestic contexts. Imperialism has nothing to do with Social Theory. It lives and dies on the basis of purely military and economic considerations.

Go thinks otherwise-
Sociology in this sense has imperial origins: not necessarily because it was in the direct service of empire (though in some cases it was), but because it was formed in the heartland of empire, crafted in its milieu, and was thus embedded in its culture. 
If Go is right then Modern Dance has imperial origins. So does baseball and chewing gum and breakfast cereal and the electric light-bulb and the Gramophone record and so on.

Phrenology was once considered an academic discipline. It was very popular in Edinburgh at precisely the time that Britain was consolidating its Indian Empire. Thus phrenology must have been embedded in British culture. Yet it disappeared without a trace because it proved to be worthless shite. The same thing might not have happened to Sociology but smart people don't go in for it anymore. It keeps its place only as a soft subject for retards.

Go admits as much-
  It (Social Theory) was part and parcel of the imperial episteme. It was dependent upon and shared empire’s way of looking and thinking about the world, even when  it did not directly contribute to it.Sociologists have been among the first to assert that ideas are shaped by the social environments in which those ideas are generated (Camic, Gross, and Lamont 2011). If they believe their own theories, it should not be too difficult to acknowledge the context of empire within which their discipline was founded and their founding ideas forged.
Sociologists don't believe their own theories because their own theories predict that Sociologists have shit for brains and are incapable of uttering anything save a schizophrenic word-salad derived from some essentially evil episteme that pervades everything.

One goal of this book is to explore how this imperial context more precisely shaped the content of sociology and social theory—and whether it still does today.
The Sociologists Go speaks of had only a second hand and imperfect knowledge of Imperialism. Thus the discipline was shit from the get go because it was far removed from the scene of the action.  But, if Sociology was ab ovo shite then the discipline was adversely selective and every succeeding cohort of Credentialised Sociologists were even more worthless.
Does social theory bear the imprint of its imperial origins? Has social theory extricated itself from this earlier imperial entanglement? How are sociological concerns, categories, frameworks, and research shaped by empire?
Sociologists- like Go- are too stupid to understand that Imperialism ceased to be viable a long time ago. Thus they are incapable of ever 'extricating' their subject from anything. Its concenrs, categories, frameworks and research didn't make any contribution to empire but were passively shaped by it at second hand. It is wholly worthless but Go is not dismayed.
Surely, the explicit racist claims of the early sociologists are not to be found in contemporary theory and research. And few sociologists would praise imperialism as a social good. But as we will see, the legacies of sociology’s early imperial origins persist in subtle yet powerful ways—just as the legacies of empire in our world persist. There are important differences between social science today and social science in the era of high imperialism. But there are also continuities. In chapters to come, we will see how social science still works within an imperial episteme whose pervasive power we have underestimated.
 Algebraic Topology gained salience at about the same time as Sociology. But it weeds out stupid shitheads and so helps create and shape a genuine episteme- not some fake paranoid bullshit about how like Language thinks us dude and we gotta go back and read some shite some Dead White second rate pedagogue wrote a long time ago.

If Sociology- or what Go understands by the term- has always been shite, what of 'Post Colonial Thought'?

Go says-
The earlier first wave of postcolonial thought included writers and activists such as Frantz Fanon (1925–1961), Aimé Césaire (1913–2008), Amilcar Cabral (1924–1973), W.  E. B.  Du Bois (1868–1963), and C.  L. R.  James (1901–1989) among many others. These are the same thinkers in whom the second wave found inspiration. And they wrote amidst the throes of anticolonialism and decolonization in the mid-twentieth century.
This is sheer nonsense. Anti-colonial thought existed from the inception of Colonialism. Moreover, it was thought accompanied by action- not worthless drivel.  India was independent by the time Fanon started writing. He was a French trained Psychiatrist- i.e. utterly fucked in the head. He didn't know Arabic. Only idiots read him. Amie Cesaire wrote some good poems. Cabral was an utter shithead who fucked up his own country down to our own day. Du Bois was a good man but his context was domestic. James was silly but wrote well about cricket. Benoy Kumar Sarkar, whom Go mentions elsewhere, was a promising scholar who is all but forgotten- probably because he favoured industrialisation based on f.d.i and denied any real difference between colonised and coloniser- despite writing voluminously in numerous languages. His Bengali travelogues were quite popular at one time.  Perhaps he had some influence on the Ananda Marg- but the Marg was viewed as just a crazy cult, nothing more. The truth is, none of the people Go mentions had any real importance or political significance. It is useless to pretend otherwise.

By contrast, Edward Said- who could write well and who did have some standing with the P.L.O in its heyday- did have some impact because America genuinely does have a Zionist lobby which in turn influences a particular Israeli political party which sometimes acts mischievously. Indeed, level-headed Jewish American diplomats and statesmen have themselves blown the whistle on some of their crazier shenanigans.
Unfortunately, Said- a Christian peeved that the Episcopalians had turned their backs on their co-religionists in Palestine and Egypt- did not understand the politics of his own part of the world. History marginalised him just when a voice of sanity was required. But then, sanity wasn't exactly his strong suit.
Go thinks Bhabha and Spivak were 'picking up the mantle' from Said and that they constitute a 'second wave'. This is crazy. Bhabha, poor fellow, was stuck at Essex University and, purely by way of camoflage, started writing in an obscure manner. He was a nice Bombay boy- but a Parsee without any deep roots or connection to the sub-continent. Spivak, by contrast, was entrepreneurial and didn't let ignorance stop her rushing in where angels might fear to tread. She took up Subaltern shite in the manner in which she'd taken up Derridan shite. While the Left Front ruled her native Bengal it paid for her, as it paid for Amartya Sen, to appear some high brow sort of Commie without expending any intellectual effort on trying to try to make sense of that brand of tripe. Many Marxists in India and elsewhere faced a similar challenge. However, in obedience to Adam Smith's invisible hand, they retained their Professorships in worthless subjects and devoted themselves to writing incestuous shite.

Thus, there was no actual 'second wave'. There was only opportunism and careerism- Dipesh Charabarty actually has an Ahmedabad MBA!- and a small Globalised niche market for retarded whining about the occult hegemony of long dead white males.
It was the sedulous apes of this 'second wave' which fastened on Go's 'first wave' which had no previous existence.
True, Go mentions something called the Tricontinental Conference held in 1966. But it was an obvious Communist front- Kim Il Sung published an article in its journal!- and had zero impact.

Go doesn't care. He says-
Postcolonial thought, then, was born not only of anticolonial movements seeking national independence and political equality but also of attempts to chart entirely new ways of being and human belonging.
Utter rubbish! It was about a small delusional coterie, some paid by the Soviets, pretending to be intellectuals on the one hand, and, on the other, a bunch of semi-literate retards slogging away to get tenure in worthless Departments. These guys didn't chart 'entirely new ways' of being worthless shitheads. They were fraudulent careerists or adventurers, nothing more.
 This is why their writings—and the scholarly enterprise they helped to spawn— is rightfully referred to as post-colonial thought.
By whom? Nobody reads these shitheads except shitheads teaching worthless subjects. There is no thought going on at all. In the old days, before the internet, it was possible for people like Homi Bhabha, or Gayatri Spivak, or Leela Gandhi (who claims that Becky Sharpe rejected Jos Sedley as a suitor!) to write stupid lies without a young reader being able to immediately confirm, using a Google search, that this bunch of shitheads are pathological liars with zero I.Q. Also, in the old days there was a sort of 'Aesthetic affirmative action' whereby White people were required to be nice to stupid ethnic nutjobs. Now, Brown people can verify for themselves that stupid nutjobs are worthless whatever their colour.
The word “postcolonial” does not connote that the legacies of colonialism are actually over. It does not designate a historical reality after colonialism.
Wow! These guys are too stupid to understand that Colonialism is over! No wonder they can't contribute to the 'historical reality' of their native countries!
In the early 1970s, some scholars had, indeed, used the term “postcolonial” to refer to the historical phase or period after decolonization (Alavi 1972). “To describe a literary work or a writer as ‘postcolonial’,” notes Neil Lazarus (2011: 11), “was to name a period, a discrete historical moment, not a project or a politics.
Nonsense. Dirigiste regimes begging for IMF money spoke of 'neo-colonialism'. This in turn meant that 'post colonial' thought had a particular purpose. However opposition to 'neo-liberalism' was a better bet because it could rely on bad Economics- a discipline which has gained in status through mathematizaion- rather than shite Sociology.

Go is not ignorant of the historical background. He writes-
Not only were many dictatorial regimes propped up by metropolitan countries, neoimperial forms of intervention through the mechanism of finance and institutions like the International Monetary Fund were underway and being perfected: new types of global discipline imposed upon fledgling Waves of Postcolonial Thought. All of this served to squash some of the utopian or at least liberatory visions and hopes of radical decolonization movements. “Postcolonial studies [of the second-wave],” Neil Lazarus (2011) suggests, “emerged as an institutionally specific, conjuncturally determined response to these global developments” (Lazarus 2011: 9–10).
 What Go is not saying is that dictatorial regimes- like Suharto's- were toppled by the IMF, greatly to the ire of people like Stiglitz who thought senile kleptocrats should be given money to provide their subjects with bread and circuses for ever and ever and ever coz that's like Human Rights innit?

However, people like Bhabha and Spivak and Leela Gandhi weren't motivated by opposition to 'neoliberalism' at all. They were careerists simply seeking to minimize their expenditure of intellectual effort while maximising their returns from parodic scholarship and worthless pedagogy.
The meaning of “postcolonial” in phrases such as postcolonial thought, postcolonial theory, or postcolonial studies is different. It refers to a loose body of writing and thought that seeks to transcend the legacies of modern colonialism and overcome its epistemic confines. It refers to a relational position against and beyond colonialism, including colonialism’s very culture. As Gandhi (1998: 4) notes, postcolonial studies is “devoted to the academic task of revising, remembering and, crucially, interrogating the colonial past,” but it only does so in order to overcome the legacies of that past. Postcolonial thought critiques the culture of empire in order to cultivate new knowledges, ways of representing the world, and histories that circumvent or transcend rather than authorize or sustain imperialistic ways of knowing.
What new knowledges has Leela Gandhi produced? Saying Becky Sharpe refused to marry Joss Sedley because he worked for the East India Company is not knowledge. It is ignorance. Similarly, when Gayatri Spivak says India is named Bharat because Bharat was Rama's younger brother, she is not producing new knowledge. She is displaying extraordinary ignorance. It is true that these guys have become Professors at Ivy League. But only in shite subjects. They have destroyed the prestige of the Departments they populate. Their political impact is less than zero. They don't add value to any bandwagon they jump on. They subtract value.

This is not to say that some post-colonial thought has not had a political effect. Rajiv Malhotra type shitting on Western Indologists has raised helped secure technocratic recruits and NRI funds for the Sangh Parivar. But Malhotra and his ilk aren't relying on 'Social Theory'. Rather, they fight (and lose) their battles on the basis of philology and archaeology and DNA studies.

At one time, it might have appeared that Po-Co theory was contributing to Global Literature. This was before it became apparent that Salman Rushdie was just a Public School boy on the make, cracking wise about towel-heads to get 'em good & riled. Now Rushdie is writing shite books about America- which he does know something about- the game is well and truly up.

Go concludes his worthless tome thus-
 As the center of global gravity shifts away from the previous Anglo-European centered empires and toward other ones, and as voices from across the Global South rightfully demand to be heard, social science must cast off the legacies of the imperial episteme lest it crater under the oppressive weight of its own provinciality.
The center of global gravity shifted a long time ago from Western Europe. America wasn't really an Imperialist country. Some 'Social Sciences'- like Economics increased in prestige by adopting mathematical methods. Sociology didn't and turned to shite. There are no voices 'from the Global South' demanding to be heard by professors of a wholly discredited subject. There may be some economic migrants from Africa or Asia who are too stupid to get a proper job and thus want to secure a berth in a worthless Department. So what? Sociology has already cratered because it was adversely selective of stupid shitheads. It didn't get any legacy from 'the imperial episteme' because Imperialism was a business not a charity for the mentally retarded.
Social science neglects the postcolonial challenge at its own peril. At the very least, if postcolonial thought is not the only way to globalize social theory, rejecting it outright forces social science to run afoul of its own self-stated mission to apprehend critically the world that confronts us. This not only would bode ill for social science, it might also be the death knell for postcolonial thought, whose future vitality could very well depend upon the very social science that some of  its proponents mistakenly have underestimated.
In other words, Sociology is shite and will disappear unless it allies with PoCo shite which will also disappear because it is actually Sociology's shite and never had anything to do with 'the Imperial episteme' (stuff to do with Naval doctrine and global specie flows) in the first place.
Although postcolonial thought and social theory emerge from distinct historical genealogies and social contexts, their continued relevance today and into the future requires not their persistent mutual opposition but rather their synthetic elaboration:  a rising third wave of critical post-colonial knowledge that draws upon and elevates both.
 That needful 'rising third wave' will occur when Universities pull the flush on the two equally worthless turds Julian Go describes.