If Caesar could be torn, from Christ's womb unborn
Diakonia is Dialectics; Metanoia, Maiuetics
Yet, to Alethia, who assent, doesn't
Coz Daddies die but Mummy musn't
Talk to Relief Workers, Chandpur, November 7, 1946So what this cretin is saying is either fight back by forming a paramilitary Hindu organization, in which case you will get slaughtered, or get slaughtered anyway under my banner. A superior alternative was to migrate to a Hindu dominated area, join a paramilitary outfit there and kill Muslims and grab their property. Gandhi could not endorse this because then Muslims would disappear and thus being in touch with Dalits could not be cancelled out by passing on the pollution to those meat eating Mlecchas.
Gandhiji: What goes against my grain is that a single individual can be converted or a single woman can be kidnapped or raped. So long as we feel we can be subjected to these indignities, we shall continue to be so subjected. If we say we cannot do without police or military protection, we really confess defeat even before the battle has begun. No police or military in the world can protect people who are cowards.
Today you say thousands of people are terrorising a mere handful, so what can the latter do? But even a few individuals are enough to terrorise the whole mass, if the latter feel helpless. Your trouble is not numerical inferiority but the feeling of helplessness that has seized you and the habit of depending on others. The remedy lies with you. That is why I am opposed to the idea of your evacuating East Bengal en masse. It is no cure for impotence or helplessness.
A worker: East Bengal is opposed to such a move.
Gandhiji: They should not leave. 20,000 able-bodied men prepared to die like brave men non-violently might today be regarded as a fairy tale, but it would be no fairy tale for every able-bodied man in a population of 20,000 to die like stalwart soldiers in open fight...I will proclaim from the housetops that it is the only condition under which you can live in East Bengal.So, the men should get killed and the women should remain to be raped and to work as slaves. This is like Gandhi's advise to the German Jews- just fucking die already.
You have asked for Hindu officers, Hindu police and Hindu military in the place of Muslim. It is a false cry. You forget that Hindu officers, Hindu police and Hindu military have in the past done all these things – looting, arson, abduction, rape. I come from Kathiawar – the land of petty principalities. I cannot describe to you to what depths of depravity human nature can go. No woman’s honour is safe in some principalities and the chief is no hooligan but a duly anointed one.Don't come to India. We will rape your women. At least, the good people of Kathiawar will do so. Trust me on this. My Daddy and his Daddy before him worked for Kathiawari Rulers. They lived to rape.
Worker: These are cases of individual depravity. Here we have got this on a mass scale.Kathiawaris are beasts. Their little States exist solely for the purpose of facilitating rape. Please don't ask us to do anything for you. We are rapists. But we are sedentary in our habits. We can't come all the way to you for the purpose of raping your women. Also don't come to us. At least not to Kathiawar coz of all the extra raping our 'duly anointed' rulers will have to do.
Gandhiji: But the individual there is not alone. He is backed by the machinery of his little State.
Worker: He is condemned even by his compeers. Here such acts are not condemned by the Muslims.Predictably, he left a few months later when the Muslims told him to fuck off.
Gandhiji: I have heard nothing but condemnation of these acts from Shaheed Suhrawardy [the Chief Minister of Bengal] downwards since I have come here. Words of condemnation may tickle your ears, but they are no consolation to the unfortunate women whose houses have been laid desolate or who have been abducted, forcibly converted and forcibly married. What a shame for Hindus, what a disgrace for Islam!
No, I am not going to leave you in peace. Presently you will say to yourself, “When will this man leave us and go?” But this man will not go. He did not come on your invitation and he will go only on his own, but with your blessings, when his mission in East Bengal is fulfilled.
Is Scroll.In trying to show Gandhi was a false prophet?
Worker: It is a part of their plan for Pakistan.
Gandhiji: It is midsummer madness and they [the Muslim League] have realised it. They will soon sicken of it. They have already begun to.
Worker: Why do not they come here then and set this right?A liar is not the vile man he is imagined to be. Tell a big enough lie and you will win the admiration of cruel and hard-hearted people because your lie absolves you of all obligation. Suppose I ask you to repay a loan. You reply, 'money is a curse. I will never be responsible for your incurring the pollution of receiving money. This is the true debt I owe to you.' I beat you and take my money. You whimper about having been robbed. I return and kick your head in. You mutter that I'm being unreasonable.
Gandhiji: That stage will come. Sickness only marks the crisis. Convalescence must precede cure. You see I am a nature-curist....There is not a man, however cruel and hard-hearted, but would give his admiration to a brave man. A goonda is not the vile man he is imagined to be. He is not without his noble traits.
Worker: A goonda does not understand reason.It does take courage of a certain sort to stick to a lie.
Gandhiji: But he understands bravery. If he finds that you are braver than he, he will respect you.
You will note that for the purposes of our present discussion I have not asked you to discard the use of arms. I can’t provide you with arms. It is not for me to provide arms to the Chittagong Armoury Raid men [Bengali militants who raided a government armoury during the 1930s; they were part of the crowd that Gandhi addressed]. The most tragic thing about the Armoury Raid people is that they could not even multiply themselves. Their bravery was lop-sided. It did not infect others.This cretin does not get that those who were infected were killed or incarcerated.
Worker: ...I am myself an Armoury Raid man.Gandhi was lying. Unlike kamikaze pilots, Armoury Raid men- and women- lived to tell the tale because the Brits didn't kill them all. Some were sent to Jail but released later on. A few went underground. This guy may have been an Armoury Raid man. Or, like Gandhi, he may have been bullshitting.
Gandhiji: You are no Armoury Raid man or, you should not have been here to tell these things.
That so many of them should have remained living witnesses of the things that have happened is in my eyes a tragedy of the first order.Gandhi was very sad that some Revolutionaries weren't killed. For him this was the greatest tragedy.
If they had shown the same fearlessness and courage to face death in the present crisis as they did when they made that raid, they would have gone down in history as heroes.Not if Gandhians got to write the history books.
As it is, they have only inscribed a small footnote in the page of history.Coz books stuffed with stupid lies are the only things which matter. Gandhi got what he wanted. Stupid, lying, history books praising him for fucking over the Independence movement and then holding back independent India's ability to feed and defend itself.
You will see I am not, as I have already said, asking you just now to unlearn the use of arms or to follow my type of heroism. I have not made it good even in my own case. I have come here to test it in East Bengal.A test he failed. He left a few months later when the Muslims told him to fuck off.
I want you to take up the conventional type of heroism. You should be able to infect others – both men and women – with courage and fearlessness to face death when the alternative is dishonour and humiliation.Again with the 'infection' metaphor! What is going on here? The answer is that if Hindus develop martial qualities then they become 'untouchable'. So if you are in touch with them, you should cancel the pollution by tagging the Muslims. Hopefully they will kill off these new 'Dalits'.
Then the Hindus can stay in East Bengal, not otherwise. After all, the Mussalmans are blood of our blood and bone of our bone.But have become untouchable coz they eat meat.
Worker: Here the proportion of Mussalmans and Hindus is 6 to 1. How can you expect us to stand against such heavy odds?Nonsense! Gandhi himself had blamed his own ancestors for siding with the Brits. These Hindus were saying 'side with us. Then we'd have a chance.' Gandhi is saying 'fuck off. If, like the Brits, you succeed then we will come under your rule and complain about you and go to jail to protest your hegemony. We will demand poorna Swaraj from you.
Gandhiji: When India was brought under British subjection, there were 70,000 European soldiers against 33 crores of Indians.
Worker: So we are to fight with arms anyhow?Why butcher people whom it would be more profitable to enslave? Even an old guy may have skills. We are speaking of a depreciating, but still fungible, asset.
Gandhiji: Not anyhow. Even violence has its code of ethics. For instance, to butcher helpless old men, women and children is not bravery but rank cowardice. Chivalry requires that they should be protected even at the cost of one’s life. The history of early Islam is replete with such instances of chivalry and Islam is all the stronger for them.
Worker: Would you permit the Hindus to take the offensive?This cretin was providing camouflage for the anti-cow slaughter offensive in Bihar which was highly organized and which the Brits were powerless to stop. The Bihari Muslims accepted cow protection as a quid pro quo for Khilafat a short while later. But Khilafat was mere hypocrisy. By contrast, Cow Protection (which Gandhi supported) prevailed. It is a Directive Principle in the Indian Constitutions. Hundreds of Muslims and Dalits have been killed in the name of Cow Protection in every decade since 1917.
Gandhiji: The people of Bihar did and brought disgrace upon themselves and India. They have set the clock of India’s independence back. I have a right to speak about Bihar. In a sense I feel closer to Bihar than to Bengal as fortune enabled me to give a striking demonstration of the non-violence technique in Champaran.
Sheer idiocy. The minority can't play a game in which they are immediately stomped to death.
I have heard it said that the retaliation in Bihar has “cooled” the Muslims down. They mean it has cowed them down for the time being. They forget that two can play at a game.
Bihar has forged a link in the chain of our slavery.Unlike Kathiawar where Rulers kept raping every woman in the vicinity.
If the Bihar performance is repeated or if the Bihar mentality does not mend, you may note down my words in your diary: Before long India will pass under the yoke of the Big Three with one of them probably as the mandatory power.Scroll.In wants its readers to understand that Gandhi was a cretin.
The Independence of India is today at stake in Bengal and Bihar.This cretin knew that the Brits were keen to bring forward the date of their departure. He also knew that neither America nor Stalin wanted to take charge of a shithole. Why? Because its people were very shitty- at least this was Stalin's impression of the Indian Communists who kept turning up to lick his arse.
The British Government entrusted the Congress with power not because they are in love with the Congress but because they had faith that the Congress would use it wisely and well, not abuse it.Nonsense! Congress won elections in some provinces. Then, in 1946, the Muslim League won elections in some provinces. The Brits passed on power to whoever commanded popular support and could form a Government they could do a deal with. This strategy was very successful in India but failed in Burma.
Today Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru finds the ground slipping from under his feet. But he won’t let that happen. That is why he is in Bihar. He has said he is going to stay there as long as it may be necessary. Biharis have behaved as cowards.Nehru threatened to send air-planes to bomb the Biharis! He was a deeply silly man. The High Caste, Hindu dominated, Congress Party was content with establishing its hegemony in Bihar. Henceforth Muslims would wield no power and act as a pliant vote bank.
Use your arms well, if you must. Do not ill-use them. Bihar has not used its arms well. If the Biharis wanted to retaliate, they could have gone to Noakhali and died to a man.Gandhi does not get that a retaliation fails if it ends with your death, not any injury to the adversary.
But for a thousand Hindus to fall upon a handful of Mussalmans – men, women and children – living in their midst is no retaliation but just brutality.Brutality is a retaliation for brutality.
It is the privilege of arms to protect the weak and helpless. The best succour that Bihar could have given to the Hindus of East Bengal would have been to guarantee with their own lives the absolute safety of the Muslim population living in their midst.This was Jinnah's 'hostage theory'. It was foolish. Biharis had no great love for Bengalis. Nor, for that matter, did Kathiawaris like Gandhi.
Their example would have told. And I have faith that they will still do so with due repentance when the present madness has passed away. Anyway that is the price I have put upon my life if they want me to live. Here ends the first lesson.So this guy thought he was the Messiah. But Christ actually died on the Cross. He didn't leave Jerusalem after Caiaphas dropped a polite hint that he should make himself scarce.
He'd outstayed his welcome in Bengal, so he left. He would soon leave Bihar as well. In Delhi, Sardar Patel was responsible for his security. Yet he got shot. An American grabbed the assassin. Even in death, Gandhi proved the superiority of the WASP over the wog.
Harijan, 1-12-1946 (93: 1-4)
Not entirely sure if he had managed to heal divisive hearts, Gandhi left Bengal and travelled to Bihar. He had resisted visiting that site of violence, since he had heard that the Congress government that was in power there was handling matters rather well. When reports to the contrary reached him, he immediately set out for Bihar.
Speech at Prayer Meeting, Patna, March 5, 1947Why did the fucker not demand that Congress politicians responsible for the violence be prosecuted- or at least be expelled from the Party.
... This Bihar of ours has today committed a heinous crime. The atrocities perpetrated on a handful of Muslims have no parallel, so say the Muslims, in the annals of history. I too have read some history. I know that the world has witnessed greater brutality by man on man. But it is no use repeating them here. We must not compete in doing evil and that too against whom? Those who cry for avenging Noakhali in Bihar do not know the meaning of vengeance. Is it manliness to return barbarism for barbarism?
We ought to overcome violence by love...It had been reported to me that some Congressmen had a hand in these crimes. It would be wrong even today to say that there was not a single Congressman involved in the mad upheaval. In India the Congress has to accept the responsibility for the misdeeds of all communities and all individuals. I had claimed in London on your behalf that the Congress represented the whole of India by right of service. Hence any sin committed by India comes to the door of the Congress.
You who are listening to me may not have done any evil, yet you have to accept the responsibility.Yes, if you listen to a cretin you have to accept responsibility for encouraging that imbecile to talk worthless shite.
I have become hard-hearted now. I have not come here to shed tears or to make you cry. I would rather wish to steel your hearts. I could make you cry if I chose. But I do not wish to do so. We should not disown responsibility by saying that our hands are clean. India consists of many communities…The way to achieve independence consists in all Indians saying with one voice that unless they gave to the whole world all that was good in them, their survival would be meaningless. Are we going to compete in [making] atom bombs? Are we going to match barbarism with even more barbarous acts?Yes. Peace has achieved by having a sufficient threat point. Talking shite helps nobody.
India has placed before the world a new weapon...Nonsense! Gobshittery is nothing new.
We have been insisting that we will attain independence through nonviolence.In a thousand years- sure. Sadly, Hitler & Tojo made Imperial Defense unaffordable for war-weary, bankrupt, Britain. So they did a deal to protect their investments and keep India within the Sterling Zone. This enabled Britain to recover from the War more rapidly.
I do not claim that all Indians have accepted non-violence as a matter of creed. But even when we accept anything as a matter of policy, it becomes our duty to act upon it...Then why was this stupid cretin telling the Hindu Bengalis to fight? Why he did not promise to bring tens of thousands of Satyagrahis to sacrifice their lives? Why did he himself not die but rather quietly leave when the Muslims lost patience with him?
Those who are under the illusion that Bihar has saved other people by committing these barbarities are talking nonsense.But it was equal nonsense that Gandhi had saved anybody.
This is not the way to attain freedom.Yet freedom came nonetheless. Gandhian methods may have retarded the process by twenty years. But it could not prevent the calamity Gandhi dreaded. He was killed soon after.
If Muslims believe that they would annihilate the Hindus or if Hindus believe that they would annihilate the Muslims, I should like to ask them what they would gain thereby? Muslims will not serve Islam if they annihilate the Hindus; rather they would thereby destroy Islam.Muslims annihilated whatever 'pagan', polytheistic, religion had existed during 'Jahiliyat'. So did Christianity and Buddhism and, to a lesser extent, Gandhi's own 'Sanatan Dharma'.
And if the Hindus believe that they would be able to annihilate Islam it means that they would be annihilating Hindu dharma...The way Islam had been annihilated at the moment of its inception.
All religions are equal and they are founded on the same faith...All people wear the same pair of underpants. Titties are many, Nipple is one. If one man wanks, all men jizz in their pants. Yea, I say unto you, if you suck off the cock of the least of my bretheren, you swallow my jizz and owe me money coz my jizz is much sought after- or ought to be.
Scriptures have said that one who condemns other religions, condemns one’s own religion…No they haven't. Gandhi is just making this shit up.
We should not gloat over the massacre of Muslims by Bihar Hindus…Nor should we sleep naked with our great-nieces coz that will sure help all those vulnerable innocents.
The Hindus of Bihar have committed a grave sin.Some Hindus had committed cognizable offences. Did this ex-barrister try to get those fuckers prosecuted? No. That is why the Bihari Muslim had no confidence in Congress Raj. India lost smart, skillful, people to Pakistan who enabled that country to grow rapidly. The Brits had some pi-jaw merchants. Their Churches were packed on Sundays. But the rest of the time they did their jobs and upheld the law. That is why India has followed the lessons of its Victorian Governess save when it didn't give a shit- as for example when Muslims or, under Congress, S.Cs or S.Ts, were involved- in which case it contented itself with Gandhian gobshittery.
They will raise the head of Bihar much higher if they do honest reparations, greater in magnitude than their crimes...But what will raise the head of Gandhi-giri? In any case what would be the point of it shitting yet higher than its arsehole?
Gandhijike Dukhe Dilki Pukar: I, pp. 1-6, and Harijan, 23-3-1947 (94: 74-75)
Gandhi held several public meetings during his stay in Bihar, as he had done in Bengal, where he spoke of matters that had been brought to him, or of letters he had received with regard to the rioting and violence.So, he wasn't really doing anything helpful. He was just camping in a place, receiving adulation and donations, and giving shite sermons of an increasingly manic sort.
Speech at Prayer Meeting, Patna, March 8, 1947Look at the cheek of this politician, who is trying to teach duty to the subjects of a Ministry formed by the Party he presides over, but who refuses to do his own duty which was to purge his Party of the people he himself says he knows were responsible for heinous crimes.
... I have received a telegram from a Hindu brother. It says that I must not condemn the Hindus in Bihar. It warns me that due to my influence over them I may mislead them and prevent them from taking revenge. Look at the cheek of this gentleman who is trying to teach me my duty! He calls himself a Hindu but does not act like one...
We have committed a dirty crime and I have come here to cleanse the dirt and brighten the image of Hinduism.No. Gandhi's party had committed a dirty crime. It was ruling Bihar. It had not caught and prosecuted the criminals, because as Gandhi says, it was itself responsible.
Am I going to flinch from my duty if someone beats me up or abuses me for doing it?Yes. Gandhi got out of East Bengal sharpish as the mood towards him changed. He was soon to leave Bihar. In Delhi, Life left him. Ambedkar reflected the popular mood when, in a letter to his wife, he said he thought that, politically, the thing was providential. It didn't hurt that some innocent Pune Brahmans paid for the crime of a Chitpavan nutter.
It is my duty to speak out the truth and if I withhold it, I shall be disloyal to Hindus, to Muslims and to India. I shall therefore advise you not to listen to those who incite and misguide you. I wish to tell you one thing more.Gandhi had done nothing incite and misguide Indians since his return from South Africa.
…The Hindus in Bihar…should do their duty by contributing to a fund for the relief of Muslims by way of repentance.Did Gandhi cut down expenditure on his money-pit Ashrams and other crackpot schemes in order to help Refugees? Of course not. Don't be silly.
No one should think that he need not lift his little finger since there is already a Congress ministry with a Congress majority here, which will do everything that needs to be done…I did not beg for money in Noakhali because I received unsought about three lakh rupees.Aha! Now we know why he went there. Like other charlatans of his sort, the man would move on once money stopped coming in.
Today I thought I should hold out the begging bowl here and awaken the conscience of the people…I can only remind you of your duty. I cannot perform your duty. Hence you must contribute generously to the Bihar fund.So 'duty' means 'give me money'. But I won't do anything in return. My duty is to simply talk shite and collect money.
A Muslim child must feel entirely safe in a Hindu locality and the Muslims should be convinced of this change of heart. A friend came to me and asserted that there was a time in Bihar when Hindus and Muslims lived together and called each other uncles. Today it is no longer like that. We must atone for this ...By giving this fucker money. If Muslim kids are unsafe somewhere, Gandhi turns up with his begging bowl. There is a well known story in Hindi by Bhagvaticharan Verma called 'Prayaschit' (Repentance). It concerns the daughter-in-law of a wealthy family who throws a utensil at a thievish cat. The cat dies. Immediately, crooked Pundits turn up demanding huge sums of money for a ceremony of expiation. Luckily, the cat wasn't really dead. It got up and ran away.
Gandhijike Dukhe Dilki Pukar: I, pp. 136, and Harijan, 30-3-1947 (94: 85-86)Gujeratis have always been prejudiced against Biharis. They don't think a Bihari ceases to have Bihari proclivities just because his name is Ram not Rahim. The truth, however, is Kathiawar could show plenty of door-frames broken by the minions of Rulers who were rounding up women for him to rape.
Speech at Prayer Meeting, Patna, March 12, 1947
... Today I visited a village where Hindus had caused great damage. An old Muslim showed me his own house and those of his relations with broken door-frames where bricks were removed from the doorsill. I was shocked and shaken to see that the Hindus had caused these depredations.
I had wept when I saw the ruins caused by Muslims in Noakhali. Today also I might have wept. But my tears cannot render any succour to the sufferers. What I witnessed today does not behove human beings. We are all responsible for this vandalism so close to the city of Patna. Even if you did not participate personally in the loot, you cannot escape the charge of abetting the marauders. A mosque was also damaged in the village Kumarahar…Those who desecrated the mosque were not men but devils; because mosques, temples or churches are all houses of the Lord.Nonsense! They were criminals. By saying they were devils or beasts, Gandhi was evading his responsibility as the Leader of the Party ruling the Province to uphold the Law and catch and prosecute criminals. Gandhi himself says he knows Congressmen were guilty. Why did he not initiate proceedings against them?
I have come here today to convey to you my grief. You may perhaps be smiling and thinking that whatever happened was all very good. But I assert that this is potent injustice. I am grieved when I hear that Muslims have desecrated a temple. Should I retaliate by damaging a mosque? How can such damage save the temple or benefit the Hindu religion?Gandhi's duty was to get his Party to 'retaliate' by capturing and prosecuting the criminals. Turning up with sermons and a collection plate was the act of a scoundrel.
If Muslims are about to desecrate a temple, it becomes my duty to prevent them from their vandalism, irrespective of my not being an idol-worshipper. I should hug the idol and request them not to demolish the temple.Then why did the imbecile not actually do so?
I should lay down my life to protect the idol but refuse to hand it over to them.This cretin also said Hindus should lay down their lives for 'Khilafat'? Why did he not himself die
My entreaties will impress them, they will realise that I mean no harm to them and then they will become my friends...They will also give you their grand-daughters to sleep naked with.
Gandhijike Dukhe Dilki Pukar: I, pp. 23-5, and Harijan, 30-3-1947 (94: 102-03)
Discussion with Relief Committee Members, March 15, 1947Remember this question is being asked of the leader of the Ruling Party. It was his duty to say- 'yes. I have ordered that any Congress Member who doesn't help in this will be summarily expelled from the party. Their political career will be over. Criminals will be rounded up and prosecuted. Known troublemakers will be placed under Preventive Detention. The provisions of DORA will be applied. 'Iron Man' Sardar Patel will transfer and demote any police official or magistrate who drags his feet in this matter'.
Will you advise Muslims to return to their villages in the prevailing disturbed conditions?
If you have the courage and if you have the requisite faith in God, I shall advise you to return to your villages.But if you have faith in God, you won't listen to a stupid charlatan.
I do realise that it is a difficult task. If I had under gone such harrowing experience, perhaps I myself would not have been able to go back; it would have made me a raving lunatic. The memory of murdered men and women would have haunted me. But I aspire to reach a stage when I shall have such abiding faith in God that I would go and stay in the midst of people who had become my enemies.But you'd still ask them for money and would move on if they didn't give it to you.
If there is no change of heart in the majority community, what should the suffering minority do? Should they live in small pockets or leave the province forever?Hearts don't matter. What matters is whether the Law is upheld. You run away from an area where you are deeply loved but where everybody keeps raping and robbing you and the police say 'have faith in God. Submit cheerfully to having your ass pounded. Over the course of decades, your tormentors may experience a change of heart. At the very least, they may transfer their attentions to a younger person with a tighter anal sphincter'.
If you do not return and since it was the fault of the Hindus, the Government is bound to compensate you for the loss of your property.A blatant lie. Indian law had no such provision.
But I do not understand your demand that the Government should allot land somewhere else.Because the guy was a shite lawyer. It is perfectly proper for an exchange of assets between two collectives to be mediated by the Courts and the Administration.
Well, if you can arrange mutual exchanges, no one can prevent you. But if the Government arranges this, it will not lead to a purification of hearts.Lawyers may not be nice people but they can be useful. Shitheads who want money to bring about 'purification' are useless. Anyway, everybody already knew how the thing would work. If Muslims touch your heart, immediately pass that pollution on to the Dalits. Start gassing on about their suffering. If they protest against being massacred, turn the conversation to the plight of the Muslims. In the old days, how this would all end would be in a shower of abuse directed at the British. But those guys had escaped the shithole.
Many people are talking of pockets. I simply do not understand this. If those villages where the Muslims are in majority welcome you, who can prevent you from going there? Similarly, no one can prevent you from leaving the province if you decide to go in spite of my promises of affection…Land was scarce so Hindus would turn on any locality where Muslims were becoming concentrated. In any case, Muslims in Muslim majority areas were bound to own land. So they were a target worth going after. Of course, ethnic cleansing was an inefficient solution if you could collect protection money instead. This was more particularly true if you couldn't gain legal title to the land of those you hack to pieces. Your labor wasn't properly recompensed. It was this realization which disincentivised ethnic cleansing by Hindus. You do the work and some fucking Kayastha or Bania gets the property. On top of that, to add insult to injury, they talk Gandhian shite and collect lots of money as 'prayaschitam' payments.
Should or should not those who have committed murder, rape, arson and other heinous crimes receive appropriate punishment? If you think they should, how will you advise the Government of Bihar?This is the crux of the matter. Gandhi's Congress had no right to call itself a government. But Gandhi did not care. That is why he took no action.
Of course, those responsible for devilish deeds must be punished. The Government of Bihar has not abjured the principle of punishment. There is no such government anywhere in the world today. When such a government comes into being, I shall listen to their argument. But a government which believes in the theory of crime and punishment but does not punish the criminal has no right to call itself a government…
How will it be possible to make good the historical, cultural, social and religious damage done by the madness of the majority?Why had there been no such 'holocaust' in countries under the rule of law where people had violent religious differences? The clue is in the phrase 'rule of law'.
This has been a cruel and terrible tragedy. Such holocausts have shaken the world earlier and will do so even in the future. Only when we are reformed and tolerant enough to realize that all religions lead to the same God called by various people by various names, will the world change for the better.
Till then the earth not be a habitable place. Till that change comes about, it is impossible to prevent such barbarity and the irreparable losses resultant from it.Yet, everywhere we look, the earth is increasingly habitable precisely because it is easy to 'prevent barbarity'. You pay your taxes and call the police if you see or hear of anything untoward. That's it. That's the whole story. You don't need Mahatmas doing Satyagraha or Maharishis teaching 'yogic flying' which causes 'peace rays' to permeate the global atmosphere and thus prevent Nuclear Holocaust.
What should be done with those officers who openly helped the rioters and deliberately helped one side against the other?Proved by whom? The Government. But Gandhi's Congress Government had no interest in doing this. Gandhi wasn't even pretending to bring his rogue party members to book. Any ordinary politician would say 'we have ordered an inquiry. Steps are being taken.'
Those officers against whom such charges can be proved can have no place in the government.
What do you propose to do to prevent the repetition of riots at places where the Muslims have suffered? Even now the houses and properties of Muslims are being damaged.But he had a long history of saying that and then neither dying nor doing anything useful.
I am doing my best to prevent a repetition. I shall continue to stay here till I succeed in my effort. I have already declared that I shall do or die.
God will either grant me success or put an end to my life.So Gandhi's God was Godse.
I believe that a change of heart is essential if I am to succeed. As I have been telling the Hindus in Noakhali, this is not a work where the army or police can be of much help. You must gather courage and fear no one except God. I shall advise the Ministers to frame a law making Hindus responsible for the safety of the Muslim minority. Such laws will not in fact be needed where hearts have been purified.So, instead of useful laws which mean something, you will have useless laws which mean nothing.
Can the cruelties and injustices meted out to us detain you for long in Bihar? Your prolonged presence is needed for the help of the refugees.By April, Nehru had conceded Pakistan. Bihari Muslims could stay as second class citizens. Many continued to leave. A few were killed. What had begun with the cow agitation in 1917, when Gandhi was in Champaran, ended in 1947 with the final defeat of not just the Muslims, but the Rule of Law. Barrister Gandhi can't be blamed for this. But the Kayastha lawyer politicians and Firangi Mahal type Ulema fucked up that part of the world to lasting effect.
You need not worry on that account. I shall not leave Bihar so long as Hindus and Muslims do not jointly allow me to do so on the basis of their brotherly feelings.
Will you call them Congressmen who organised and led the recent riots? If not, what action will be taken against them to preserve the prestige of the Congress?Because they were members of the Indian National Congress. Some held high office in consequence.
How can those who participated in riots be called Congressmen?
Before condemning them, I must listen to their versions of the story. I am a devotee of truth and shall lay down my life in serving truth.Gandhi was always laying down his life for one lie or another. This helped him sleep easier with naked little girls.
But he fucked off to Delhi and the comforts of the Birla Mansion soon enough.
Gandhi called Congress workers to a meeting, where he interrogated their alleged role in the rioting.
Discussion with Congress Workers, Bir, March 19, 1947
... Is it or isn’t it a fact that quite a large number of Congressmen took part in the disturbances? I ask this question because people are making this allegation. But the Congressmen assembled here can themselves tell the truth. How many of the 132 members of your Committee [district Committee of the Congress party] were involved? It would be a very great thing if all of you assert that none of you was involved.
But this assertion cannot be made…I wish to ask you, how could you live to see an old woman of 110 years being butchered before your eyes? How could you tolerate it? I do not wish to talk about anything else. I have vowed to do or die. I will not rest nor let others rest. I would wander all over on foot and ask the skeletons lying about how all that had happened. There is such a fire raging in me that I would know no peace till I have found a solution for all this.
You know what happened when I reached Sodepur [in Bengal, where Gandhi was until he hurried to Bihar]…I had not gone there for rest. I proceeded to Srirampur. It was a predominantly Muslim area with only a sprinkling of Hindu houses which had been burnt down. The Muslims welcomed me. Even then I hurried from there and wandered from village to village. I am afraid I will have to go through the same ordeal in Bihar. If I find that my comrades are deceiving me, I will be furious and I shall walk barefoot on and on through hail or storm.The British upheld the Rule of Law. Hindus and Muslims lived happily side by side. They do so in any country with competent rulers are interested in getting richer and more secure.
...When Muslims in Noakhali taunted me to go to Bihar, I used to feel hurt. Some Muslims look upon me as an enemy of Islam. Some people expressed doubts whether I could achieve what I wanted to in Noakhali. But I had no doubts…The work in Bihar this time is far more difficult and significant. This time it seems I will have to strive to the utmost to prove that Hinduism and Islam can exist side by side.
This is being put to the test today. Many people believe that they cannot and one will have to remain subordinate to the other.Everyone has to be subordinate to the Law which itself may reflect the preferences of the hegemonic majority. The alternative is Lebanon.
I do not think so…There are people today who declare that I am out of date and that I should give up all politics. I do not agree with this. This region is teeming with Hindus. We will not rely upon the police for our work although they are our police. We must do this work ourselves...Gandhi had said he would set up a parallel system of Nationalist Courts and Colleges on the Sinn Fein model. This initiative failed as did his Khaddar and Nai Talim and so forth. After his death, Vinobha Bhave had an even more useless 'Bhoodhan' movement. Suppose the INC had done some worthwhile 'grassroots' work. It would never have turned into a dynastic shambles.
The Government here have also deployed the police. I ask them, what is the police for? Muslims are not going to kill me here; the Hindus may probably think of doing so. That is why I wish that the task of establishing peace should be undertaken by you all and not only by the Government although it is our Government. You should either achieve success in your mission or die in the attempt.Dying is not a problem. We all do so and the thing is perfectly legal. Killing crazy nutjobs however is illegal unless you are a policeman going about your duties in a lawful manner. Gandhi's 'voluntarism' was simple stupidity.
But, after moving back, they may still get killed by militants. That's what happened to the Kashmiri Pundits. Unless your neighbors have a reputation for shooting nutters, you aren't any safer just because they too get killed when the mobs come.
Gandhi felt that one could not talk enough about forgiveness and repentance. His Bihar prayer meetings are singular in this respect.
Speech at Prayer Meeting, Chorhuan, March 21, 1947
... You should go to the Muslim brethren and tell them to forget the past, that it will never be repeated and persuade them to return and live peacefully as before. Tell them that their misery is your misery, that you are their brothers, that both Hindus and Muslims are sons of the same soil, both eat and drink from the same source and breathe the same air, hence there should be no ill will between them. Tell them that you will not get any peace of mind until they return to their homes.
It is possible that the Muslims may turn round and ask how they can go back and live in the houses where their kith and kin have been done to death. They will be justified in saying so. But if the guilty persons go to the Muslims with truly penitent hearts, I am sure, they will be persuaded. Human hearts melt before love. When the murderers themselves go to them in sackcloth and ashes and promise them never to repeat such deeds, even a stony heart will melt.
You should not depend on the Government to do this work. The Government will of course lend a hand. But it is mainly your task. The Government can give you tools and materials; but the cleaning has to be done by you.Cleaning can be done by hired cleaners. The Law can only be upheld by the Government.
Amidst this mad upheaval there were some Hindus, like oases in a desert, who risked the wrath of the violent mobs and saved the lives of many Muslims and gave them shelter.How were they able to do so? The answer is that they had a ferocious reputation. The mobs moved on to find easier targets.
They deserve congratulations though they do not need any…Since we have become strangers to human sentiments these days, we are impelled to congratulate any evidence of human love. Those who gave shelter to Muslims did not do so from any selfish motives.That may be, but it is also the case that it had a reputational benefit. It showed you and your sept were mean motherfuckers.
If I have not gone to meet them, let them not think that I have no regard or respect for them. I would love to meet them and know how they saved the lives of Muslims. I have been unable to go to them in spite of my admiration because I have come here like a physician who goes only to those who are suffering. I have come to lighten the sufferings of Muslims in Bihar.And collect money and then move on once again without fixing anything.
I have been told that the Hindus have also suffered in the riots at some places. If there are any such Hindus, they too will be given relief. But I pay more attention to Muslims because there are quite a few of them here who are willing to help the Hindus...Gandhi also claimed to pay special attention to Dalits. What he didn't pay special attention to was the thing he had gone to England to study. The Rule of Law. If India had developed indigenous institutions for conflict resolution and contract enforcement and the punishment of torts and crimes then it would not have needed British officials to keep the peace. Gandhi's methods prevented India developing this indigenous capacity. Thus Independence was a gift from the British and, in so far, as it did not descend into anarchy, it was thanks to a somewhat unimaginative use of the Institutions which the British had left behind.
The question of what links medieval to modern antisemitism is one of the most controversial topics in modern history.Why should this be? Certain medieval institutions continued to exist in modern times. They continued to propagate anti-semitic ideas as did some new institutions which had not previously existed.
Among the most thought-provoking arguments about the matter is a lecture that the renowned Jewish historian Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi delivered in 1982: ‘Assimilation and Racial Anti-Semitism: The Iberian and the German Model’. Yerushalmi’s argument is not entirely convincing, but rests on a compelling analogy. For him, baptism was to medieval Europe what legal equality is to modern liberal societies.This is utterly foolish. A baptized Christian could be Excommunicated. There was no 'legal equality' whatsoever. 'Benefits of Clergy' were reserved for those with a certain level of education. Similarly, the rights of an Aristocrat were quite different from those of a serf.
In theory, baptism and citizenship eliminated all discrimination against Jews. In reality, they gave rise to new fears that, even as their distinctiveness disappeared, Jews would remain fundamentally different.But there were even greater fears about 'heretics' of various types. Being a Cathar was probably more dangerous than being a Jew.
This imagined difference, no longer marked as apostasy to Christianity or disloyalty to the state, suffuses what Theodor Adorno in 1951 called ‘the rumour about Jews’: a conspiratorial mentality that sees Jewish people as invisible and yet ubiquitous, as capable of pulling the strings of power from behind the scenes.This is silly. The plain fact is that a high proportion of Communist nutjobs were actually Jewish. It was also true that a German Jewish Wall Street Investment Bank had lent Japan the money which enabled it to thrash Tzarist Russia in 1905, thus setting the wheels in motion for the Bolshevik Revolution. At any rate, Henry Ford came to believe this conspiracy theory during his absurd 'peace mission' to Europe. He funded its dissemination and many 'respectable' people were convinced that it was a case of 'no smoke without fire'.
Yerushalmi used the analogy between baptism and citizenship to contest the opposition between a medieval, religious anti-Judaism and a modern, secular and racialised antisemitism.But the analogy is fatuous. A slave can be baptized and remain a slave. A citizen can't be deprived of life, liberty or property save by due process of Law.
But there are more and different lessons to be drawn from his insight.Rubbish! No 'insight' can be gleaned from a stupid lie.
One of these lessons concerns the penchant of learned and popular authors, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, for linking capitalism to Jews.Hilarious! The fact that many successful Capitalists were Jewish had nothing to do with this!
This durable and protean connection has nothing to do with any historical role played by Jews in the development of European capitalism.So, if no Jews had been Capitalists they would still have been castigated as Capitalists. Why stop there? Why not say, even if Israel did not exist, Anti-Zionists would target Jews as somehow being responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians? Furthermore, suppose Seinfeld and Larry David and every other Jewish hero of comedy had never made anyone laugh, people like me would still marvel at the ethical quality of 'Jewish humor'.
It has everything to do with the social transformation and uncertainty that accompanied the advent of capitalism, especially finance capitalism.But India and China and Africa experienced that same 'social transformation and uncertainty'. In India and China, there were successful Jewish Capitalists- like the Sassoons. But there was no anti-semitism- save that of the Persian or, later, the anti-Zionist sort.
More than 500 years before the industrial revolution, finance capitalism, represented by paper instruments, enabled new kinds of commerce over long distances and generated new wealth.But Caliph Uthman had this type of wealth 1400 years ago. But it had existed even at the time of the Buddha.
But this wealth was increasingly disconnected from the production and exchange of material goods.Nonsense! These pieces of paper corresponded to a claim on material goods or assets.
It overturned traditional economic models and threatened the established social order.How did the Indian 'hoondi'- or Bill of Exchange- 'threaten the established social order'? Why was there no anti-Jain sentiment in India despite the fact that this small minority probably controlled half the mercantile wealth of Upper India? Jains have always been seen as upholding the social order.
The more capitalism became intangible, the more the rumour about Jews spread.This is nonsense. 'All that is solid' was 'melting into air' for Karl Marx at precisely the time when the British Establishment was at its most philo-semitic. Disraeli and Rothschild were heroes for securing the Suez Canal for Queen & Country by some sort of financial trick or swindle. A Rothschild heiress ensured her charming but stupid husband succeeded Gladstone as Prime Minister.
Finance capitalism dates back to the commercial revolution of the Middle Ages (1100-1348) and matured during the economic expansion of the 16th century, when Europe began to exert its domination over the rest of the world.But Indian merchants lent the Brits the money they needed to take India over. The 'compradors' had had financial capitalism for thousands of years- when Brits were still dying themselves with woad.
What does the baptism of Jews have to do with finance capitalism?Nothing at all. In some parts of Europe, it is true, baptism may have been necessary to hold high office in the State. But 'finance capitalism' is about a 'high trust' in-group. Small, persecuted, minorities can excel at it. Look at the Quakers. Barclays Bank is still one of the biggest high street banks. Wikipedia says 'According to a 2011 paper by Vitali et al., Barclays was the most powerful transnational corporation in terms of ownership and thus corporate control over global financial stability and market competition'
To answer this question, we must begin by noting that, according to Christian theology, baptism – the rite of passage necessary to enter the Christian covenant – is a sacrament dispensed individually that renders all those who receive it equal to each other and in the eyes of God.Till the Church decides to excommunicate you. Popes have put entire countries under this ban. The thing has been meaningless since the Reformation.
It is a radically levelling act.It is mere mummery. Women got baptized. Did they find themselves accorded equal treatment? Of course they did! That is why the Pope is a woman.
The specific beliefs and practices adopted by various Christian denominations are less important than the core idea articulated by Paul, in 1 Corinthians 12:13: ‘For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.’Paul went on to encourage women to lead church services. What's that? He said 'I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." ? Well, maybe true equality means not being equal at all.
Paul’s precept, there is no difference between someone who is born into, baptised and raised in a Christian family, and someone who converts or descends from a family of converts. In practice, Christians have not always observed the spirit of Paul’s assertion. Medieval Iberia, Yerushalmi noted, was the site of the first major crisis in the Christian theology of baptism. After a wave of deadly attacks in 1391-92, thousands of Jews, hoping to escape further violence, asked to be baptised. In 1492, the Spanish crown gave those who had continued to live as Jews only two choices: convert or leave. In the wake of these mass conversions, as Yerushalmi put it: ‘The traditional mistrust of the Jew as outsider … gave way to an even more alarming fear of the Converso as insider.’But there was also a fear of various different types of heretic as well as a fear of former Muslim converts.
The fear that ‘Conversos’ were crypto-Jews passing as Christians inspired secular and ecclesiastical law. Around 1450, new municipal statutes in Spain, the so-called statutes of the purity of blood, forbade anyone who had been baptised recently (or whose ancestors were found to have been Jewish) from holding public offices and entering religious orders on the assumption that they were still Jewish at heart. A new, all-powerful inquisition, created in 1478, prosecuted these recent converts – not just baptised Jews (Conversos) but, after 1502, former Muslims (Moriscos) as well. Inquisitors launched large-scale genealogical enquiries aimed to determine who was a scion of ‘new Christian’ lineages.So the thing wasn't about Judaism. It was about having flourished under Muslim rule and perhaps hankering for its return.
Yerushalmi regards the 15th-century statutes of the purity of blood and the activities of the Spanish inquisition as the roots of modern racism and a prelude to the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.Is this a reasonable view? Spain's influence declined spectacularly over the course of the Seventeenth Century. In the Eighteenth Century, the Bourbons did sponsor a limited 'Enlightenment' and prejudice against 'Marranos' declined. But Spain was a backwater. It had little influence, save that of a retrograde type in parts of Italy, in Europe.
Scholars continue to debate whether these 15th-century anti-Jewish sentiments and legislation qualify as modern racism. The issue is important, but so is a different, related and equally prolonged historical problem: the parallels that medieval and modern European authors frequently drew between the threat posed by baptised Jews and the fears engendered by the growth of the financial economy. A negative portrait of both Jews and capitalism nourished most of these parallels.Yet, they equally applied to former Muslims and persisted in the absence of Capitalism.
Which aren't phenomena at all. They are stupid lies.
To appreciate how this analogy between baptised Jews and finance capitalism could take hold of people’s imaginations, we need to see the connection between three apparently independent historical phenomena.
First, medieval Iberia was not the only time and place where people grew apprehensive about Jews’ supposed invisibility.Nobody ever got apprehensive about the invisibility of Jews. Witches, maybe. Warlocks- okay. The reason I don't shower more regularly is because lascivious Iyengar maidens may use a magic ointment to make themselves invisible. They may seek to feast their eyes on my naked form.
When, in the 16th and 17th centuries, Conversos fled Iberian persecution and settled in pockets of western Europe, they adopted the habits of the local mercantile elites and mingled with them in the course of doing business. In these locales too, including Venice, Livorno, Hamburg, Amsterdam and especially Bordeaux, both educated scholars and regular folks often associated Jews and Conversos with the excesses of finance.Why? Because persecuted minorities bound together by a spiritual practice which demands high literacy and numeracy and scrupulosity in observing sacred law, develop 'high trust' internal networks. In other words, they create Credit. That's what Capitalism is about. As for 'excesses of finance'- what does that mean? Usury? The solution is more competition.
Second, an Anglo-Protestant and anti-Catholic reading of Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) helped to popularise the notion that the medieval Church condemned all forms of profit.But nobody read that crackpot's book. It was his wife who popularized it after he died- perhaps out of remorse for not letting him consummate the marriage. It was the Roman Church which popularized the idea that it had condemned profit rather than looting everybody and raping all the little boys it could safely get its hands on.
In fact, the Roman Church always recognised the value of industriousness and touted the benefits of international trade. Clergymen were engaged in a much subtler, if often acrobatic and ultimately doomed, enterprise: namely, to trace the line between honourable and disreputable merchants, between rightful and usurious credit practices.So, what the author is saying is that some stupid guy made a bad analogy. We can get insight into that bad analogy because of another cretin's stupid lie. What's next? Will this lady start babbling about David Icke and shape changing Lizard People from the Planet X?
Third, after c1200, when pursuing this elusive goal, ecclesiastical and lay writers often castigated Christian merchants whose credit practices were dubious but difficult to pinpoint by calling them ‘Jewish’. The Jewish usurer became a capacious allegory, the symbol of the economic malpractice not only by Jews but also by Christians that proved particularly difficult to pin down and punish.Who gave a shit about these 'ecclesiastical lay writers'? People killed Jews so as to rob them. This may have been inconvenient for the King, but at some point he found it worthwhile to expel the Jews rather than repay money they had lent him. This is a story about a 'Stationary Bandit' who fattens up the Jew or Venetian or Florentine or Templar so as to roast him up for a fine banquet.
As a result, whenever finance reshaped social and political relations among the Christian majority, when commerce eroded existing legal hierarchies, and the modalities of conducting trade and credit grew more complex and more opaque, anti-Jewish sentiments spiked.Very true! The mark of the anti-semite, then as now, has always been high erudition in matters of 'ecclesiastic' law and a mastery of the more abstruse elements of Econophysics & its FinTech applications.
Such was the case during the period from the 12th century until the Black Death (1348), which historians call the medieval commercial revolution.They are speaking of Italy where Jews suffered little over any prolonged period. True a particular Pope- like Innocent III- might persecute them but his successor would see sense- or at least the color of money.
The Jews became a stand-in for the negative, destructive features of nascent finance capitalism.But Jews, who had been direct subjects of the King for 200 years, were expelled en masse from England in 1290. Finance Capitalism wasn't 'nascent' then. It was non-existent. Serfdom was a casualty of the Black Death. 1381, the year of the Peasant's Rebellion, is the salient date in this connection.
The medieval commercial revolution saw the simultaneous rise of both international trade and antisemitism.But both preexisted this supposed 'revolution'.
After centuries of stagnation and the dominance of agriculture, the urban economy began to flourish, especially in northern-central Italy and Flanders.There was an anti-semitic outrage in Brussels in 1370. Two priests had used a Jewish middleman to get round the usury laws. The allegation was made that a rich Jew had tried to desecrate the Eucharist or something of that sort. So the mob went crazy. This has nothing to do with 'nascent capitalism'. It is some crazy shit about how eating a wafer means you are actually eating God.
Merchant-bankers ascended to rule Venice, Florence, Bruges and other city-states. They formed partnerships to trade textiles and spices from as far as Alexandria and the Black Sea. To facilitate these commercial advances, they devised new credit instruments, including marine insurance and bills of exchange.Negotiable instruments and marine insurance and so forth have always existed. No doubt a particular group- e.g. the Lombards- might be associated with a particular form but, in commerce as in literature, there is nothing new under the sun.
During the medieval commercial revolution, the Papacy emanated several decrees to limit all social interactions between Jews and Christians. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council issued a notorious order requiring Jewish men to wear a distinctive sign (usually a hat of a specific shape or colour) and codified the crime of Jewish usury. Around the same time, Christian artists slowly began to depict Jews not only as carrying recognisable headgears or beards, but as people with peculiar and repulsive physiognomic traits. The new rules demarcating Jewish space and new stereotypical representations of Jews emerged in the same period when a booming urban economy undermined time-honoured feudal hierarchies.Yet, these hierarchies returned when urban centers ceased to flourish. Christians, for religious reasons, may have wanted to picture Jews as repulsive and artists did whatever they were paid to do.
This was a turning point in the history of Europe: as wealth became more movable than ever before and upended long-standing social relationships, the forces responsible for these changes were not necessarily self-evident.Here is the problem. History can't be said to have turning points if it fails to turn for centuries. The ancien regime in France did not end till 1789. Other European countries waited longer. The Church, speaking generally, resisted this. Reactionaries banded together out of self-interest. Anti-Semitism was 'populist'- it was the 'Socialism of Fools'- but, more importantly, it represented orthodoxy in Religion.
The world appeared more unstable because it was.Where? Only in places without 'natural frontiers'. Germany was a battleground. England wasn't. Russia wasn't. France only became so briefly by its own folly. Spain might tear itself apart for internecine reasons. Italy was held back by its Popes and the Emperors who protected those Popes.
In this turmoil, people turned to the figure of the Jews as a stand-in for the negative, destructive features of nascent finance capitalism.But they did so where there was no nascent finance capitalism whatsoever. The thing would come many centuries later.
During the 16th century, the growth of the paper economy continued and the fear of Jewish invisibility deepened. Even as Europe’s colonisation of the Americas and commercial expansion in the Indian Ocean relied on great violence, the new paper economy aided the expansion and growth in trade, in Europe and around the world.The author is being silly. Anyone can have a big paper economy. I personally can issue Bills of Exchange to the amount of ten gazillion dollars in return for a half pint of beer. Where trade grows, its paper trail grows. Sure, there can be a bubble in traded derivatives. But 'Tulip booms' can occur even in subsistence economies. If you rent my land- which I previously used to grow wheat- to grow tulips promising to pay me with a larger sack of wheat and a lot of other people do the same thing, then there could be a famine. Doing stupid stuff at the macro level means 'austerity' no matter what type of economy you have. Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' failed. Don't do stupid shit. It's bad for the economy. That's the arrow of causation here.
Merchants and bankers established credit or settled debts by the stroke of a pen.So what? They could have matched tally sticks just as easily. Why focus on the stroke of the pen, or the very sinister fact that people are shaking hands? What's important is whether the transaction they made was smart or stupid.
Their accounting and credit techniques became more efficient. But, compared with payments in hard specie, they rendered transactions ever more abstract.Very true! Erudite Savants like our esteemed author would not write worthless shite if they were paid in gold and silver. The fact that their salary is transferred into their bank account by a Computer is something they can't understand. The thing is too abstract. Have they actually been paid to write something sensible? Or is it rather the case that money has been taken from them as punishment for not writing some worthless nonsense about Finanz Kapital and Neo Liberalism and how Karl Polanyi wasn't an utter cretin who knew shite about Econ and who kept gassing on about how Dahomey was a paradise because of all the slaves it shipped across the Atlantic.
One particular financial instrument, the bill of exchange, epitomised the promise and peril of the swelling paper economy.In India this was called a 'hoondi'. China has had several different terms for private bills which have been circulating since the Tang dynasty. The thing does not represent any 'promise or peril'. It corresponds to an exchange of physical goods and services which is audited or otherwise verified.
No one, not even the most conservative Catholic theologians, could deny the achievements of bills of exchange.Rubbish! Theologians could, and did, say stupid shite like 'money is the devil's dung'. Promissory notes were impermissible because it was impious to promise anything save obedience to God. Anyway, the World is going to end next Tuesday. Consider the lilies of the field. Fuck you want to go in to work for?
Thanks to them, merchants no longer placed sacs of coins on board a ship that could sink or fall prey to pirates, or on the back of a horse that could be seized.Rubbish! Bullion was transferred after transactions were netted out. Pirates and Highway men could make a good living- unless a concerted effort was made to catch and hang them.
Bills of exchange allowed merchants to transfer funds abroad simply by scribbling a few words on a piece of paper.But, if the country had a current account deficit, bullion had to be physically transferred.
For Catholic theologians, however, bills of exchange raised the spectre of usury. Each bill was a loan that also performed a currency conversion. A merchant would use local currency to purchase a bill of exchange. That bill was then made payable at a future moment in time, in another location, and in a different currency. The interest rate charged by the lender was not recorded but rather subsumed under the currency-exchange conversion. Visa and Mastercard used the same trick until litigation required them to disclose foreign transaction fees on customers’ statements.This problem still arises in connection with 'Islamic' banking. Why not simply say 'theologians- then as now- are as stupid as shit? They aren't happy till they have fucked up the economy and the polity and national security and everything else under the sun.' The problem here is that most academic economists are theologians in mufti.
In the course of the 16th and 17th centuries, bills of exchange grew more widespread, and more arcane. They could be endorsed and passed on to a new creditor, a procedure that increased their circulation.Negotiability has always existed. However, for mercantilist reasons, States sought to limit this. Ultimately, this would happen because the real economy contracted or rents got captured directly.
At financial fairs held in Lyon and other cities, the upper crust of commercial society gathered to buy and sell bills of exchange, speculating on currency arbitrage. These financial fairs represent the first instance of financialisation.According to some stupid Eurocentric historian who doesn't know enough about Roman, or earlier Phoenecian, practices of a similar type.
Understood as a separation between commodity markets and money markets, financialisation confounded even sympathetic observers.Coz they were ignorant and stupid. They believed in magic- like how going to Mass means you get to eat God's own flesh and drink some of His blood.
Economic abstraction reached its highest form at these fairs: fortunes were made and lost without any goods passing hands.How silly is this author? Fortunes were made and lost at the gaming table. But unless the winner could take control of your gold and land and house and furniture, nothing had in fact been lost. If goods don't change hands there is no 'economic abstraction'. There is just a silly game.
As during the medieval commercial revolution, in the 16th and 17th centuries financial innovation developed alongside heightened fears about the mixing of Jews and Christians.Who expressed those fears? Jews? Or was it stupid Theologians or crazy Pontiffs?
In the 1590s, the Republic of Venice and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany offered safe havens to baptised Jews escaping the inquisition in Spain and Portugal. They had to live as Jews in Venice or Livorno but, when they conducted their commercial and banking activities, they enjoyed the same privileges as Christians. In Amsterdam, Iberian Jews achieved an even greater degree of economic equality. In all these port-cities, as in Hamburg and London, they also dressed like the well-to-do Christian bourgeois with whom they traded. Jewish acculturation in Europe had never been so pronounced.It was more pronounced before the spread of Christianity. Josephus was more 'acculturated' than Spinoza.
In one region, the Southwest of France, conversion, not just acculturation, revived older fears about Jewish invisibility. In 1394, the king of France had expelled all Jews from his lands. In 1550, however, as the descendants of former Jews were seeking to flee Portugal, King Henry II of France invited ‘merchants and other Portuguese known as New Christians’ to come and live in Bordeaux and its surroundings. Everyone understood what his words meant: the Southwest of France became the only place in Europe where crypto-Judaism was tolerated as an open secret. Only in 1723 was the worship of Judaism permitted in the region, and even then, prejudice did not vanish.After the fall of the Roman Empire, there appears to have been substantial Jewish participation in the 'Radhanite' trade network which ran from France all the way to China and India. In other words, there was continuous flux in these matters till Western Europe gained Oceanic mastery and, following the industrial revolution, Society was transformed by the growth of an urban proletariat and 'enlightened' bourgeois class. This marked the advent of the 'Secular' age which fundamentally changed the nature of anti-Semitism.
Recognised as subjects of the crown, ‘Portuguese merchants’ in the Southwest of France were free to move, conduct any economic activity, and bequeath their assets. Life was not easy for these immigrants. The clergy remained hostile to them. The local population suspected them of being not only religious enemies but also political traitors every time a war broke out between France and Spain – and there were many wars. Baptised former Jews intermarried and socialised with native and foreign traders. Some merchants, wine producers, insurance underwriters and bankers denounced them as unfair competition. But the king, who valued their economic ties to the rest of the diaspora, shielded them from the worst outbreaks of antisemitism, and even their opponents relied on their work.But, this had been true for a thousand years. It was the repetition of a familiar pattern.
A century after France granted these ‘Portuguese merchants’, or baptised Jews, protection to live and trade in Bordeaux, a 1647 book asserted that medieval Jews invented marine insurance and bills of exchange. This novel idea linking Jews and capitalism was printed in a collection of maritime laws titled Us et coustumes de la mer (‘Usages and Customs of the Sea’). Its author, Étienne Cleirac, was a lawyer with extensive experience adjudicating disputes involving credit obligations, mariners’ wages, freights and shipwrecks. He was also a devout Catholic and loyal monarchist, eager to offer the king and his officials a tool to assert their power in the arena of international trade and diplomacy. Today virtually forgotten, Us et coustumes de la mer was a remarkable success. It made four centuries of maritime law available in vernacular to statesmen, lawyers and writers of all matters economic, just when the subject garnered increasing attention. Cleirac’s text also included extensive annotations, most of them useful and accurate. Yet it was his wildest comment that sealed his fame.Cleirac was quite important. His book was translated into English. It represents the Mercantilist Doctrine in vogue in the Seventeenth Century and, as such, was of interest to Land Lords who viewed the noveau riche of the Cities with suspicion. Jefferson had a copy of Clierac's work.
Cleirac wrote that medieval Jews expelled from France had invented marine insurance and bills of exchange in order to salvage their properties. There is no ground whatsoever for this claim. No single individual or group invented marine insurance or bills of exchange, byproducts of the commercial revolution of the Middle Ages and later improvements. However, Cleirac’s story struck a chord because it offered a seemingly persuasive answer to the question of the day: how to demarcate the proper place of private finance?
Since Richlieu had triumphed over Marie de Medici, Cleirac obviously knew which side his bread was buttered on.
Cleirac refers to Jews harshly, accusing them of ‘execrable crimes’ and calling them ‘malicious men lacking public confidence’ or ‘people without a conscience’ who felt no allegiance to non-Jews. Cleirac, however, uses the Jews as a prop to set up his ultimate target: ‘Lombards’. The Lombards were Christian bankers from northern Italy who had taken up the position of Jewish moneylenders in foreign countries from which Jews had been expelled. In Cleirac’s account, Lombards were ‘imitators’, ‘disciples’, ‘apprentices’ and ‘wretched clerks’ of Jews, from whom they learned how to extort usurious rates from naive Christian debtors. For Cleirac, Lombards were even more dangerous than Jews. Jews, he writes, ‘were hated, despised as impertinent fellows, and continuously ridiculed’. Lombards, in contrast, could pass as reputable Christian merchants.
The 17th century produced many illustrious enemies of commerce and merchants. Cleirac was not one of them. He was a proponent of credit, in moderation. He was also not interested in Jews as such. Rather, Cleirac found the figure of Jews useful to reprimand the most cunning merchants who used bills of exchange purely for personal gain and to trick gullible borrowers. By portraying these bills as a Jewish creation, he did not deny that good Christian merchants could utilise them for the benefit of Christian society, which depended on trade for its necessities. Nor did he point to a particular economic crime for condemnation. Accusing those who misused bills of exchange of trading ‘like Jews’ was effective in good part because of the inherent imprecision of the accusation.The French resented the fact that their King's father had been poor and that his Medici wife had brought with her a large fortune which she used for their benefit.
Cleirac led his readers to draw parallels between the facility with which Jews traversed geopolitical borders – and could even, when called ‘Portuguese merchants’, be treated like Christians – and the immaterial quality of bills of exchange, which had no intrinsic value and yet moved wealth across vast distances. Written in coded words on thin slips of paper, these bills were as hard to decipher by those who didn’t handle them professionally as Jewish rituals seemed to Christians. Worse: those coded words could hide something deceitful, in the same way as converted Jews were presumed to be insincere Christians.So, 'cunning Jew' stands in for 'scheming Italian bitch'.
Rather than fading into insignificance, Cleirac’s misguided analogies gave birth to a veritable legend. A crucial step forward took place in 1675, when Jacques Savary summarised Cleirac’s story in his Le parfait négociant (‘The Perfect International Merchant’), the most widely reprinted, cited, imitated and plagiarised bestseller of the European merchant literature. From then on, until well into the 20th century, renowned authors such as Montesquieu and myriad lesser-known ones repeated the idea that Jews invented bills of exchange, usually to demonise and sometimes to praise capitalism’s tendency to trespass all boundaries.This is Mercantilism pure and simple- i.e. the ignorant notion that gold must never leave the country. It must flow inward but never outward.
The French background against which the legend of the Jewish invention of European private finance came into being gave it particular poignancy. Not only was the presence of Jewish converts an everyday reality in Bordeaux, but more than 100 years before the French Revolution abolished feudalism in 1789, the sacrosanct barrier separating merchants from aristocrats began to break down.There was no such barrier. The great merchant Jacques Coeur was ennobled in the middle fifteenth century. Then the King turned on him and plundered his wealth though he was a Christian and his son was an Arch Bishop. After some years in captivity, Coeur was able to flee to Rome where he was well received by the Pope because of his connections in the Levant. But he died soon afterwards. There were several other noble families whose origins were in trade. Equally a number of aristocrats by birth lost that status because they were unable to keep up an 'honorable' way of life- i.e. they had to work for a living.
Hoping to enhance France’s stature in global commerce, the crown invited noblemen to invest in overseas trade. To do so, it had to introduce small but significant revisions to the anti-commercial laws and ideology that, for centuries, had nurtured the legitimacy of its feudal regime.Or it could simply ignore those laws.
The baseless attribution of the invention of bills of exchange to medieval Jews appeared at a moment when the demands of private finance eroded the culture of inheritable aristocratic honour at a faster pace than ever before.But it had no practical effect whatsoever. That is why Economic Historians don't bother with this Cleriac dude.
After 1673, noblemen who signed bills of exchange were brought before a merchant-judge in case of infractions.Yeah right! Like you'd bring Pablo Escobar before a 'merchant-judge' in case he bounced a check on you! Guys who can have you killed don't appear before judges. Laws don't matter very much where enforcement is difficult.
This rule was a major departure from centuries of noblemen’s superiority over commoners.But the nobleman could still procure lettres de cachet to have you thrown in the Bastille. Better still, he could get his bravos to slit your throat.
Yerushalmi, one of the great 20th-century historians of Jews and Judaism, was too quick to draw a straight line connecting medieval to modern antisemitism.There is a straight line- the Roman and, to a lesser extent, the Lutheran Church.
The persecution of Jews (and Muslims) who were coerced into being baptised in medieval Iberia cannot be equated with the pseudo-racist ideology and extermination structures of Nazi Germany.But they can be equated with the Islamic Caliphate was getting up to.
But Yerushalmi was right to stress that fears of Jewish invisibility long preceded the granting of civil and legal equality to Jewish men in France in 1790-91. What he neglected to take into account is that those fears were not unique to medieval Iberia. Elsewhere too, and particularly in the Southwest of France, the local population resented the presence of converted and assimilated Jews.As was the case in Germany, Poland, Russia etc.
That resentment became a way of expressing the angsts associated with financialisation and the crisis of social legibility that financialisation brought about.No. Some people like killing people whom they can also rob. What stops them is the fear of being killed or thrown in jail.
A great deal has been written about Jewish usury in the Middle Ages and about how, beginning in the 19th century, both the Left and the Right have mobilised violent anti-Jewish imagery to demonise capitalism, especially international finance. Missing from this portrait is the new figure of the Jewish usurer that emerged in the 17th century: one that did not symbolise the outright rejection of commerce and capitalism, but rather filled the void created by the collapse of the legal and cultural norms about what constituted good and bad behaviour in ever more intricate financial markets. The invisible Jew, not the invisible hand, was the prevailing metaphor that European authors used to debate the proper place of finance in politics and society before, and even after, Adam Smith.Why? Because these cretins were Mercantilists. They thought having lots of gold was what made a country rich. They didn't get that the thing was inflationary and had ruined Spain. Why did Mercantilism survive so long? It permitted the capture of rents by vested interest groups. It was a type of stupidity which protected the wealth of chinless wonders who in turn were willing to throw a few crumbs to Grub Street hacks in return for their writing hateful, ignorant, nonsense.