An Imperialist Ideology

(by the editorial staff of


One of the greater Indian personalities of the second half of the XXth century, Ram Swarup (1920-1998), wrote a book — Islam and Christianity, an Imperialist Ideology — in which he traced a pregnant history of the imperialistic blood that these two civilization have in their veins.
The Judaic God commands his worshippers that when they enter the land of their enemies, they will «destroy their altars, and break their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire» (Bible, Deut. 7.5). Wherever these creeds went, temple-razing followed. Christianity destroyed shrines of the so-called ‘Pagans’ with unparalleled thoroughness and self-satisfaction. When America was discovered, the Benedictine monks destroyed single-handed 170,000 images in Haiti alone. Juan de Zummarage, the first Bishop of Mexico, writing as early as 1531, claimed that he destroyed 500 temples and 20,000 idols of heathens. In India, Jesuit father destroyed many Hindu Temples. “Saint” Francis Xavier, who participated in this meritorious work, wrote back home: «As soon as I arrived in any heathen village, when all are baptized, I order all the temples of their false gods to be destroyed and all the idols to be broken to pieces. I can give you no idea of the joy I feel in seeing this done». Not to speak of the colonization of India by European countries in the XVIIIth century.
Islam did the same, to destroy Hindu pride and self respect, and to remind them that they were zimmis, an inferior breed. Hindus were great temple builders because their pantheon was prolific in Gods and Goddesses and their society rich in schools and sects, each with its own way of worship. The cradle of Hindu culture on the eve of the Islamic invasions included what are at present the Sinkiang province of China, the Transoxiana region of Russia, the Seistan province of Iran and the sovereign states of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh. We all know the atrocities committed by the Islamic invasion of India during the XVIth century. And, recently, the same intolerant fanatism destroyed the two gigantic Buddha statues in Afghanistan. These two giant Buddhas (55 m. and 38 m. high, respectively) stood in the beautiful Bamiyan valley, situated 230 km NW of Kabul at an altitude of 2500 metres. Buddhism was introduced into this area in the third century B.C. by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka. It found fertile soil in the former Gandhara province (nowadays, East Afghanistan and North Pakistan) around the first and second centuries A.D. under the rule of the great Kushan ruler Kanishka. The idea behind the destruction was to take away the soul of the hated image by obliterating, or at least deforming, the head and hands. Although there is no firm evidence the Buddhas were subjected to iconoclasm, this fate was certainly meted out to the frescoes surrounding the Buddhas, namely the numerous religious places and monk’s cells also hewn out of the rock and covered with beautiful paintings. The faces in these were destroyed by one of the many groups of invaders who have passed that way.
Today, these two imperialist civilizations are trying to dominate the whole world. They differ by the methods chosen, for the Christians, after the Second World War, subject themselves to a global lifting, hiding their inherent violence and arrogance by a mask of social order, and codifying a huge mass of economic rules, which became their new and only Bible. And, being the methods used by the Islamics more easy to recognize and to see behind them the malignant plan, here we will concentrate more on the bankruptcy of the Western system, which is more occult but that is even leading the earth to a blind alley. No one of them — the Islamic’ or the Christian’s concept of civilization — can satisfy the real need of the present world situation. On the contrary, they lead humanity — in quite different ways — to self-destruction.
In the XXth century, Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl says that “the Europeanization of all foreign parts of the world is the destiny of the earth”. Yes, of course — God made West in His own image, and now the rest of mankind will be made in the image of West! In 1991, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, a scholar and official of the United States, wrote an essay, The End of History, which was widely discussed. «Many Afro-Asian countries tried to go western in the hope of acquiring the West’s power or even approval, but without success. Some of these countries like Brazil and Mexico failed even in the more external forms. They tried to adopt Western patterns of industrialization but their harvest has been colossal debts, inflation, economic bankruptcy, and great social upheaval. It is clear that whatever the adjustments it is necessary for the non-European countries to make, the path of imitation is hardly the path of their salvation. Thanks to West’s glamour and its technological achievements in many fields, it is not widely and fully realized that Europeanization has also meant the externalization of the Spirit. What will happen if the Afro-Asian countries also become consumers and polluters on the European scale? What the earth, including Europe, needs is not Europeanization, but a new philosophy, a new life-style which is in harmony with man’s spiritual nature and ecological system. Europeanization of the earth may satisfy the West’s ego, but the satisfaction will be short-loved. The West does not realize how deep is man’s including its own, present spiritual crisis».
The West has entirely lost its spiritual moorings. Occidental civilization nowadays is indeed all about the maximization of profit and the optimization of production. Ironically, in the process, human beings are reduced to no more than irritating, irrational factors, likely to mess up production, statistics and cybernetics. Thus, liberated Western man loses his dignity while, supposedly, “realizing himself”. The West, in spite of being in such great trouble, has the nerve to offer itself as the obligatory model for every other nation. Cultures not willing to imitate the West are under threat of being marginalized. This was the true message when Francis Fukuyama, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, proclaimed the «end of history». What he was saying was that the so-called Project of Modernity, also known as the “American Way of Life” or Macdonaldization, is the peak of civilization, unsurpassable for all times.
So, let us hope that the end of our history of pigmies will be the beginning of the real Man. As Narad, the half-divine sage, says in Sri Aurobindo’s Magnum Opus Savitri:

«O Force-compelled, Fate-driven earth-born race,
O petty adventurers in an infinite world
And prisoners of a dwarf humanity,
How long will you tread the circling tracks of mind
Around your little self and petty things?
But not for a changeless littleness were you meant,
Nor for vain repetition were you built;
Out of the Immortal’s substance you were made;
Your actions can be swift revealing steps,
Your life a changeful mould for growing gods.
A Seer, a strong Creator, is within,
The immaculate Grandeur broods upon your days,
Almighty powers are shut in Nature’s cells.
A greater destiny waits you in your front:
This transient earthly being if he wills
Can fit his acts to a transcendent scheme.
He who now stares at the word with ignorant eyes
Hardly from the Inconscient’s night aroused,
That look at images and not at Truth,
Can fill those orbs with an immortal’s sight.
Yet shall the godhead grow within your hearts,
You shall awake into the spirit’s air
And feel the breaking walls of mortal mind
And hear the message which left life’s heart dumb
And look through Nature with sun-gazing lids
And blow your conch-shells at the Eternal’s gate.
Authors of earth’s high change, to you it is given
To cross the dangerous spaces of the soul
And touch the mighty Mother stark awake
And meet the Omnipotent in this house of flesh
And make of life the million-bodied One.
The earth you tread is a border screened from heaven;
The life you lead conceals the light you are.
Immortal Powers sweep flaming past your doors;
Far-off upon your tops the god-chant sounds
While to exceed yourselves thought’s trumpets call,
Heard by a few, but fewer dare aspire,
The nympholepts of the ecstasy and the blaze.
An epic of love and failure breaks earth’s heart;
Her force and will exceed her form and fate.
A goddess in a net of transience caught,
Self-bound in the pastures of death she dreams of life,
Self-racked with the pains of hell aspires to joy,
And builds to hope her altars of despair,
Knows that one high step might enfranchise all
And, suffering, looks for greatness in her sons.»

© September, 2002