Term Paper: Post-Cold War Era, Far

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¶ … post-cold war era, far from making the "end of history" and the triumph of the western ideal, will be characterized by increased global fragmentation and the "clash of civilizations" based on ethical, cultural and religious distinctions. Cultural identity has replaced any shared ideology that had existed as the dominant global perspective in world affairs. To a great degree nationalism, be it exclusive or inclusive of cultural minorities has become the driving force behind many world decisions and the many lessons of diversity, taught over the last 50 plus years have congealed into the pride of ideological difference that is created by the borders of ones nation and the culture of the people within it. The catch twenty-two of diversity has become fragmented ideologies of exclusion of diversity rather than inclusive of difference and equality. Within this collective there are many forces at work that create exclusion, the most influential being religious ideology, be it by representation alone, or by true religious cohesion.

The end of colonialism and especially that of western colonialism marked the beginning of the modern era, where the recognition of the need for independence, well fought and deserved ended in the end of global governmental dominance but also resulted in fragmentation and religious and cultural rebellion. One example, among many being the end of the British RAJ in India and Asia.

Independent India has proven to be one of the most effective yet exclusive countries in the world, as the division of culture and diversity has been created by the development of the independent nation of Pakistan, almost solely based upon national pride and religious differences. Nationalism has even doned the name of the dominant faith in many regions and India is no exception, as Hindu nationalism is formed around the cohesion of a strict faith.

The name 'Arya Samaj' translates as 'The Society of Aryans' or, in contemporary usage, as 'The Society of Nobles'. The oscillation in the meaning of the term arya from indicating an 'ethnological' or 'racial' concept to indicating a quality of noble virtuousness is worth noting. Dayananda believed that the Aryans were the original human inhabitants of the world, living first in Tibet and then, after separating from the ignoble, unvirtuous, lowly and ignorant dasyus, moving to uninhabited India or Aryavarta, the best nation in the world.

Bhatt 16)

The best nation in the world then becomes that which should rule not only itself but other nations, including but not limited to those surrounding it, such as Pakistan, Tibet and others. The strict adherence to this ideology, clearly demonstrates the ideas of xenophobia as an outgrowth of national and religious pride.

The Aryans then established an empire that ruled the world until the advent of the Mahabharata war. This idea of primordial humanity arising first in Tibet and migrating to India and then the rest of the world was prevalent in Europe in the eighteenth century and was accepted, by among others, Immanuel Kant (Poliakov 1971:186). The quality that defined the Aryans, according to Dayananda, was two fold. The arya was one who had knowledge, virtue and was noble, and the arya was one who worshipped only one God and had accepted the Vedic religion (Dayananda 1970). This ideal of virtue, knowledge and especially nobility is not strictly a racial conception, but nevertheless has strong territorial, environmental and xenological aspects

Bhatt 16)

Regardless of many attempts to create and ideology of inclusion and secular acceptance of diversity, in faith and otherwise the conflicts of the original division of any nation under the lines of faith are inherent.

India, although originally partitioned by the British along religious lines, has from its beginnings officially recognized the separation of religion and state, respect for religious pluralism, and a government and Constitution organized on Western (largely U.S. And British) models. India, in short, under the leadership of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, defined itself as a modern, secular democracy. At the same time, India has experienced great religious-political tension.

(Allen and Bowden 3)

The issue of poverty can also be seen as a dividing force in the nation, as those who are members of the dominant faith tend to be allowed more opportunity, by virtue of their familial past or by virtue of a discriminatory system. Poverty is one of the most obvious social situations present in today's South Asia as millions of people live on next to nothing, while thousands live opulently, allowing western education for their children and many other advantages, like exclusive governmental rule, never dreamed of by the majority.

Though much of this is contrary to the visionary Gandhi, as his desire and his teachings allow for a much more inclusive society where the oppressed are not still oppressed by the divisions of the dominant culture, dominant by virtue of their collaboration and assistance to the colonial powers that shaped their modern governmental institutions and infrastructure, stemming from modern greed caused by modern culture.

Gardezi 263) the dismantling of colonialism in South Asia has not therefore proven simple and can be seen as very infantile in reflection of the creation of the governmental system that among other things recognized religion as a dominant force in division of nations and fundamental division of people, ideology and culture.

Though Gandhi did believe that through the reinvigoration of faith and the personal demands of religion, including not excluding personal tolerance of difference India and all of South Asia would be freed of the colonial modernity. His own emphasis on respecting the lessons of tolerance and peace in faith, rather than the divisiveness of the xenophobia would triumph, this has not proven the case, despite his quintessential role in the creation of independence.

The impact that the "modern culture" so devalued by Gandhi has had on the whole of the colonized societies is marked and hard to escape as the real enfranchisement of the modern has taken place all over the world. Nations are dependent upon modern processed and goods to determine their place in the economic and cultural elite that determines so much wealth and privileging for so many. Simplicity is no longer valued as the demands of a modern lifestyle require the demonstration of the ability to create and generate modern wealth.

On 19 November 1980 the Japanese government issued a statement in which it noted that it 'welcomes the increasingly close relations between Japan and the European Communities... recently witnessed in both political and economic fields. It is the intention of the Government of Japan to further promote such close relations from the perspective of consolidating the co-operation between industrialized countries sharing the common basic philosophy of respect for freedom and democracy.' 75 Cumulative encounters now were seen to be based upon shared fundamental principles.

Gilson 32)

Japan and other East Asian nation recognize the need for the collaborative efforts with those nations they and others so vehemently rejected, as a villain force in colonial rule. Even China with its emphasis on connections with the communist influence of Russia sees the need to establish and maintain relations with the wealthier nations in the world, who just happen to be those of the western world. The creation of ASEAN (Association of South- East Asian Nations) is proof of just such recognition as the need to create trade and cultural exchanges symbolizes the reliance of the region on the collective bargaining of economic collaboration to survive in the modern world, many would say at the expense of culture, it is through this collaborative effort the rather small nation of Japan has become the Asian giant. The transformation of Japan is seen as a western triumph, while culturally there has been a whitewashing of tradition and simplicity, that once marked the whole of the region. Yet, some would argue that traditional Japanese religion has led to their great and rapid modernity:

It has been often said that the Confucian ethic of diligence, self-discipline, frugality, loyalty, and dedication to the family enhanced the performance of Japanese workers and facilitated Japan's progress toward becoming a highly industrialized nation. Some observers even argue that the Confucian ethic was essential for the modernization of East Asia, just as the Protestant ethic was for Europe. It goes without saying that these moral values are important for a successful society; however, they are not exclusive to Confucianism or even necessarily derived from it. Nevertheless, the norms and ethic of preindustrial societies in China and Japan that contributed to their subsequent stability and prosperity are often labeled as Confucian.

Kamachi 29)

This assumption is a very western one and is discounted by many as simplified and reaching as the west searches for yet more ways to deify their position as the modernizers of their pride, Japan. The divisions of faith and religious practice have nearly always conflicted with the goals of modernity, as seen by westerners as the end all be all to human existence. Though Japan has in some sense been the picture of collaborative religious culture.

Most Japanese accept Shinto… [END OF PREVIEW]

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