කතෘ:යුතුකම     5/28/2016   No comments

-Prof. Susirith Mendis- 

The title may sound as facile and false as“The End of Historyand the Last Man”(1992) of Francis Fukiyama.Contrary to this idea, Samuel Huntington talked of a continuation of history with a “Clash of Civilizations”. In 1993, he postulated that in the post-cold war new world order, wars will continue to be fought - but between cultures rather than between competing and conflicting nations. He predicted that Islamic extremism will be the main threat to the existence of the Western world; and argued that Fukiyama’s claim of the final victory of capitalism and Western liberal democracy was a feeling of false euphoria created by the imagery of the ‘fall of the Berlin wall’.

Edward Said in his Mef Lecture on “Myth of the Clash of Civilizations” critiqued Huntington saying that Huntington was extending the same cold-war concepts using different phrases and clichés.

Of course later, several commentators - including the French philosopher Alain Badiou in “The Rebirth of History” and Seumas Milne in his collection of essays “The Revenge of History” – have obviously opined that“history” is certainly on the move once again.

When we now look around, yes, it seems that history is very much on the march again. We see a world in crisis; in chaos in fact. A witch’s brew on the boil.Almost the whole of the Middle East is in turmoil and in flames. And in turn, capital cities in Europe are facing an enormous national security crisis. The Paris Bombings in November last year and the Brussels bombings more recently, bear testimony to this with telling effect. The political analyses and theories of a decade ago seem so badly in error. The influx of refugees into Europe from Syria and other ‘failing states’ in the region is rudely yankingthe EU from its complacency andcomfort zones.

Some even wonder whether Huntington was right after all. Is this the beginning of a mighty clash of civilizations?

How did this come about?

I mean, how did the present crisis come about? Can we try and locate a possible starting point? Is the origin in anyway linked to Western culture and civilization being recognized as the locus or centre around which the other cultures and civilizations revolve today?

Western civilization traces its roots back to Europe and the Mediterranean; it is linked to the Greco-Roman intellectual traditions and Medieval Western Christendom, the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Age of Enlightenment. The ensuing Industrial Revolution and advances in Western Science paved the way for a surge in economic, political and military power.

Colonialism and Imperialism

Inevitably, the surplus in economic, political and military power had to overflow the borders of those powerful Western nations. Imperialism and its implementation as colonialism was the natural outcome. Edward Said argues that "imperialism involved 'the practice, the theory and the attitudes of a dominating metropolitan center ruling a distant territory', while colonialism refers to the implanting of settlements on a distant territory.” Almost all powerful Western nations, using their military power extended their authority to far away nations – the global colonial enterprise. Britian, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy led the way. The scramble for the land and wealth of Asia, Africa and Latin America was carried out in a frenzy.

Modern colonialism, began in the 15th century led by the Portuguese and Spanish in the Americas, the coasts of Africa, the Middle East, India and East Asia. The Spanish and Portuguese empires were the first global empires in the modern era. They were the first to stretch across different continents, covering vast territories around the globe. It was first the Spanish Empire and not the British, “on which the sun never set". With ‘colonial competition’ in the 16th and 17th centuries fromthe English, French and the Dutch,the whole of ‘the rest of the world’ was up for grabs. By the 18th century, the ‘sun never set’ on the British Empire. Sri Lanka faced the brunt of it enduring 450 years when colonialists rampaged through our towns, our cities and our country-side destroying the artifacts and monuments of our ancient culture and civilization,includingthe engineering marvels of an eco-friendly agrarian economy.

The colonialist enterprise was a multifaceted one. The world’s history is strewn with death and destruction where the Bible accompanied the sword and the gun. Wherever the gun went, the Bible was not far behind. The Western imperialist mind was focused on the twin ideology of plundering the wealth of nations as well as ‘civilising the barbarians’. They are likely to have paid scant regard to the thought that must have been crossing the minds of peaceful cultures and people who realized that ‘the barbarians were indeed at their gates’.

Western colonialism was implemented as a joint public-private venture. Examples are many. Profit a fundamental and ultimate motive. That was the driving force that impelled the funders of the colonial enterprise; both State and Non-State. Power was second. Queen Isabella of Spain and Queen Victoria of England and theEast India Companywere not the exception, but the rule.

Ignoring the religious mass killings - the Crusades and the Inquisition and the other ‘tribal wars’ of medieval Europe - we can assess the body count (it is called ‘necrometrics’) of colonialism proper. No, we can’t. Not easily. Because the information is scanty, dispersed and not collated. We cannot get it from any single source. Is this coincidenceor accident? Or is it deliberate? You guess is as good as mine.

Here are a few samples of the estimates that I list just to make my point:

(1) The Inca population in South America is variously estimated to have been about 20-35 millions. A count of those killed by the Spanish invaders does not seem to be available as it is claimed that they died mostly from small pox (an European disease for which they had no immunity) conveniently ignoring the cannons, gunpowder and guns. But it is admitted that the Spanish destroyed their culture and their advanced agriculture. The same fate befell the Aztecs and the Mayans.

(2) AmareshMisra, in his book “War of Civilisations: India AD 1857” estimates that in the Indian Mutiny of 1857 alone (which he calls the ‘Secret Holocaust’), the British pursued a murderous decade-long campaign to wipe out about 10 million people who dared to rise up against them.

(3) In the “African Holocaust”, AlikShahadah estimates that 40-100 million people were directly affected by slavery via the Atlantic, Arabian and Trans-Saharan routes; that those who died on the arduous march to coastal slave marts and those killed in slave raids, exceeded 65–75 million; that over 10 million died as direct consequences of the Atlantic slave trade alone. But no one knows the exact number.

(4) King Leopold II of Belgium, killed over 10 million people in the Congo. Britannica, claims that "Congo Free State" population declined from 20-30 million to 8 million; A 1904 report by Roger Casement estimated that as many as 3 million Congolese died since 1888; Peter Forbath in his “The River Congo” (1977) claims that at least 5 million were killed; John Gunther in his “Inside Africa” (1953) estimates 5-8 million deaths; Adam Hochschild in “Leopold's Ghost” estimates 10 million killed (half the original population) from 1885 to 1920; Fredric Wertham, in “A Sign For Cain: A Exploration of Human Violence” (1966) estimates that the population of the Congo dropped from 30 million to 8.5 million - a loss of 21.5 million.

(5) The torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the French during the Algerian War (1954-62) is too expansive to enumerate here. Suffice to say that torture was used from the beginning of the colonization of Algeria, initiated by the July Monarchy in 1830. The conquest of Algeria was marked by the "scorched earth" policy and the use of torture, which were legitimized by a racist ideology. They included a systematic use of tortureon combatants and civilians, illegal executions and forced disappearances. General Jacques Massu, who in 1957 was in charge of the notorious 10th Parachute Division, and his deputy, General Paul Aussaresses, then director of the French secret service in Algiers, admitted in an interview in Le Monde that the over 3,000 prisoners who were considered to have "disappeared" at that time had in reality been executed. It is estimated that by 1962, 1.7 million French soldiers had fought in the Algerian war. Over half a million Algerians were estimated to have been killed.

(6) The more recent US misadventure in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos where the ‘American Killing Fields’ was brought to the American living rooms, caused the death of over 2.0 million combatants as well as non-combatant civilians (not counting the death by the highly toxic ‘Agent orange’ that has continued to kill tens of thousands today; the consequences of this environmental toxin makes the ‘Necrometer’ keep ticking in Indo-China even now,as I write).

(7) We know of the aftermath of the Uva Rebellion in Sri Lanka. The genocide committed by the British to quell the uprisings between 1818 and 1822 by slaughtering every man, woman and child “including babies suckling at the breast” in Wellassa were British crimes against humanity. They confiscated the properties of the people and killed all cattle and other animals, burnt homes, property and even the salt in their possession during the repression. Paddy fields in the area and irrigation systems were systematically destroyed - the British version of the “scorched earth” policy. They also massacred the male population of UvaWellassa above the age of 18 years. The exact total death toll is unknown as it seems to have been expunged from the records by the British Government.

The list of colonial atrocities, of pillage, plunder, murder and mayhem is endless. All in all, it is quite obvious that the death toll and human suffering as a result of the conquests, plunder and death due to colonialism is of great magnitude. The total killings during the colonial era easily exceed 100-150 million. The death toll from the two world wars seems insignificant in comparison.

Decolonisation – and a newly emergent consciousness

Decolonisation, perhaps began with the American Revolution and its independence from Britain in 1776. Latin America too commenced their process of decolonization after the disasters of the Napoleonic wars in Europe. But it was only after World War II that there was a rapid decline in the colonial control of distant states. This process continued until the middle of the 1970s. The blatant plunder of the wealth of nations was ending. But it was the beginning of a more subtle and less bloody neo-imperialist strategy. With the decline of the British Empire, the now powerful USA took leadership of this adventure.

Korea, Vietnam and Indochina, most of the Latin American and African continents were the flashpoints. The US, without the slightest embarrassment, bolstered repressive and murdurous military dictatorships all over Latin America. Not only that, when Chile democratically elected a socialist President, he was overthrown by the machinations of a hardly covert CIA operation and a repressive military dictator was installed in his place; the ‘Contra’ component of the ‘Iran-Contra scandal’ that hit the Reagan administration in the mid 1980’s just symbolized that era. The Cold War was played out in these countries and 100 thousands were killed and continued to be killed.

But something else was also happening. Most nations were liberated from the deathly grasp of colonialism by armed ‘liberation movements’. The liberation struggle was given cohesion through an emergent new consciousness generated by the socio-politico-cultural developments in the colonial and post-colonial conditions. One aspect of this consciousness was that citizens of the newly emergent post-colonial countries who were mentally deracinated by their colonial experiencebegan to migrate in droves to the colonial ‘mother’ countries. Franz Fanon referred to some of them in his seminal work “The Wretched of the Earth” (1963) as those who have“stuffed their mouths with high-sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to their teeth”. He had postulated a cause for this servile psychology of their consciousness in his previous work “Black Skin White Masks”(1952). In Sri Lanka, we has this same class. Educated at Oxbrudge mouthing “high-sounding phrases”. Unfortunately, fossilized remains of some of them still walk our political stage even today - 67 years after nominal independence from the colonial yoke.

Perhaps, acollective subconscious was impelling people who suffered plunder and ravage for centuries that was the cause of the impoverishment of their native countries, and now who had become “The White Man’s Burden”, (but strengthened by the white man’s education) to want some return by enjoying the affluence in the colonial countries; the affluence which was the result of the pillage of centuries. The influx of immigrants from the post-colonial nations the world over was increasingly becoming a matter of concern to the affluent West. Greater vigilance was needed including a tightening of immigration laws. Whereas the more liberal, social democratic governments had a conciliatory attitude towards the increasing influx of people from newly liberated independent nations, the conservatives and the ultra-nationalists in the West cautioned restraint. The Neo-Nazis opposed it vehemently.

But the pillage of nations continued without abatement. The Bretton Wood twins set the tone and ground rules for a more sophisticated and subtle strategy that was put in place to replace previous blatant colonial plunder. [Read this short selection: “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” by Eduardo Galeano (1971); “The Pillage of the Third World” by Pierre Jalée (1968); “How the Other Half Dies: The Real Reasons for World Hunger”by Susan George(1976);“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins (2004);“The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Kline (2007); “Bananas: How United Fruit Company Shaped the World” by Peter Chapman (2007);“The Untold History of the United States” by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick (2012); “The Sins of Empire: Unmasking American Imperialism” by Jason Hirthler(2015); and the latest – “The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins (February, 2016)].

The First Nail? - The Middle East

Coveting Black Gold.In the hunt for the control of oil resources. From the deposing of Mohammad Mossadegh, (The Iranian nationalist politician and prime minister who led the movement for the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian oil companies - a coup that was engineered by the US and the installation of a dictator in the Shah of Iran), until the present times, it has been one continuous story of the deathly machinations of the US and its Western allies in the greed for oil and control of fast depleting energy resources of the world as a necessary element of long-term‘national security interests’.

They first installed and/or strengthened the murderous dictatorships of the Shah of Iran, then Saddam Hussein and other repressive fiefdoms in the Middle East. Then came the Israeli-US collusion in the ‘Six-Day War’ in May 1967 after which the Egyptian President Nasser lost his popularity and was gradually ‘deposed’ by the first ‘Arab Spring’ of 1968(he was too much of a socialist for US liking. The initiator of the United Arab Republic (UAR) – the precurdor to a possible equivalent of the EU in the Middle East. That would have been disasterous for the US-European plans to control the Middle East.); the US backing and armament supportto Anwer Sadat and Saddam Hussein(which included several billion dollars' worth of economic aid, the sale of dual-use technology, non-U.S. origin weaponry, military intelligence, Special Operations training, and direct involvement in warfare) during the Iraq-Iran war (it is alleged that the US supplied Saddam Hussein with mustard gas and tabun nerve agent which was used against Iranian troops); the CIA funding of the Taliban, the Arab Mujahideen and Al Quida in the years of the Russian misadventure in Afghanistan; the trapping of Saddam Hussein by egging him on into the invasion of Kuwait which gave them the ‘casus belli’ for the Iraqi war; the consequent total destruction of Iraq - one of the more affluent, developed, secular and religiously moderate states in the Middle East - which is estimated to have caused the death of half a million Iraqis; the killings in Libya range from 15-25,000 during the uprising (Muhammar Gaddafi had to be got rid of even if he was the epitome of democracy - one of the over 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department, contains damning evidence of Western nations using NATO as a tool to topple Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi - as he was planning to establish a Middle Easter currency - a gold-backed Dinar ‘Gold Dinar’ (like the Euro) with oil being priced in ‘Gold Dinar’); the UN estimates of the Syrian war is 250,000 dead and counting; and the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people which is continuing unabated with massive military and financial support from the US. This sequential chain of US foreign policy in action has lead to the political chaos and humanitarian disaster we are witness to today.

The Middle East was relatively peaceful except for the sporadic violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The Bush administrations (with the Bushes having personal interest in the oil industry and their special secret relationships with Saudi Arabia) coveted the oil resources in the Middle East – in particular the second largest oil resources that were in hostile Iraq. The plot to oust Saddam Hussein was hatched. George W. Bush’s intelligence briefer,former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morelladmitted publicly that Iraq WMD “intelligence” was a lie. As stated before, this was just a ‘strategic lie’ for the Bush administration to pursue their military and imperialistic objectives, but a ‘deadly expensive lie’ for the Iraqi people. Over 500,000 Iraqis lost their lives (which the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said was “worth it”)and that once prosperous nation is now in ungovernable chaos. But it was also a ‘highly lucrative lie’ for Halliburton, Dick Cheney and‘Black Water’ (see “Blackwater: the Rise of the world's most powerful mercenary army” by Jeremy Scahill (2007)) - and other arms merchants and specially hand-picked defence contractors. They made billions.

The ‘Arab Spring’ that was fomented by the West in consequence, brought in a deathly winter of not only discontent and disaster, but also death, murder and mayhem; the funding and arming of Muslim fundamentalist by the CIA and MI6 - that included not only “non-lethal assistance”, but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale” - where arms were transferred from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime; the ‘caesarian’ birthsof Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS who ended up becoming a deadly collection of Frankenstein’s monsters; the civil war in Syria engineered to remove the only influence of the Russians in the Middle East, collectively brought upon an unmitigated humanitarian disaster on the whole of the Middle East.

European Fear

It is this humanitarian disaster created by the West and their allies that has caused the massive migration of refugees into Europe. Over a million Syrians (49%), Afghans (21%) and Iraqis (8%)and others are moving into Europe seeking asylum. They came not only from the Middle East, but also from South Asia, Africa, and the Western Balkans.Hundreds are dying on the way and drowning in the seas. Men, women and children, malnourished, ill, sick and sickened, bedraggled, walking, slowly walking, for miles without end; the imagery was, perhaps, heart-rending, shocking and frightening. A kind of flashback to the scenes of the 1968 iconic movie by George Romero - “The Night of the Living Dead” -which has become a genre in modern American-Hollywood cinema.Was this the cause for the fear that has been generated in Europe? The fear of the‘living dead’ walking slowly onto the lands of their former colonial oppressors?

The humanitarian crisis facing Europe is the worst since World War II. The EU countries have been compelled to take drastic measures that go against UN Conventions on Human Rights and treatment of refugees. Recipient countries’ capacity to respond to the humanitarian challenge is causing security, political, and social concerns in those countries. The decision of the Danish government contrasts with that of theGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel. She has put her political future on the line. The waning of her popularity is coincident with a surge in the fortunes of ‘nationalist’, racist and neo-Nazi political groupings who were politically and electorally marginalized before.Angela Merkel’s open-door refugee policy is leading to widespread discontent. Her political position is “becoming weaker,” says the Financial Times. It is even said that Merkel “represents the spirit of a different age”. Once the most popular leader in Europe, if not the world, Ms. Merkel is now the “Lady for Whom Time Stopped”. She is an anachronism from a more optimistic era, “when people believed in free trade, democratic government, and ever-rising prosperity”.

Right across Europe and the US, the politicians getting the most enthusiastic support are those who urge closing borders, restricting trade, and looking to protect themselves from all that is threatening, different, or new. They are riding on a wave of fear - ‘The barbarians are again at their gates’!

Demographic Trends

The Anglo-Europeans have been worried about European demographics for some time now. The serious concerns include the demographic trends that are changing fastin Europe - in particular, in the capital cities of Europe; that the Muslim share of Europe’s total population has been increasing steadily; that in recent decades, the Muslim share of the population throughout Europe grew about 1% a decade, from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010; that this pattern is expected to continue through 2030 and beyond, when Muslims are projected to make up over 8-10% of Europe’s population.

Furthermore, the fertilityand birth rates of the indigenous Anglo-Europeansare much lower than the immigrant Muslim population and other nationalities across the world; the minimum fertility rate required for a culture to not decline in the long term is 2.11 children per mother; and this minimum cut off is much higher than most of the rates in the Europe countries.By 2060, there will be only about 68-73 million people in Germany, according to current predictions by the country's statistical office - compared with about 81 million now.But the % of Muslims will be higher. This scenario is frightening for the indigenous Europeans.

But there is also the argument that Europe needs an infusion of young immigrants to counter the rapidly aging population of indigenous Europe and the predicted severe labour shortage in the near future. There seems to be a premise among many economists that importing the Muslim world ‘en masse’ into Europe is mutually beneficial as the mean age of the immigrant is 32 years -8 years younger than the median for all Europeans. For decades, the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe has been labeled "enrichment".This can explain the pragmatic economic basis of Angela Merkel welcoming the influx of refugees with open arms. It is estimated that Europe needs one million young labour to maintain its economy and that most of them will have to be immigrants.One of the ironies about Europe’s state of panic about migration across the Mediterranean is that for a number of years policymakers have been warning that Europe’s population is ageing and, in many countries, shrinking. The EU’s total fertility rate is just over 1.5 - the long-term implications are obvious. If it weren’t for migration, the EU’s working-age population would already be shrinking to proportions that would make their economies unsustainable.

It needs to be noted that the significant majority of the new refugee immigrants are Muslims – whether they are from Syria, Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq Pakistan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo or Montenegro. That is the ‘bullet’ that European leaders have to inevitablybite.

As of 2010, the European Union was home to about 13 million Muslim immigrants. The foreign-born Muslim population in Germany is primarily made up of Turkish immigrants, but also includes many born in Kosovo, Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Morocco. The roughly 3 million foreign-born Muslims in France are largely from France’s former colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. In 2013, Germany reported the largest number of immigrants (692.700) followed by the United Kingdom (526.000), France (332.600), Italy (307.500) and Spain (280.800) totaling 1.7 million. Since 2015, these figures have increased alarmingly.

The Paris and Brussels Bombings – An emerging ‘Fear Psychosis’?

Thefearhas turned to near panic in the Anglo-European populace following the bombings in Paris and Brussels. As much as there has been an influx of ISIS terrorists, this fear and panic has given cause to the emergenceof a counter culture of right-wing extremism among young native Europeans.It is already raising its ugly head. The Western media and the security establishment are underplaying this emergent phenomenon by referring to these right wing groups euphemistically as “Hooligans” and also requesting the media not to use the word “Rape” to refer to ‘sexual molestations’ of native European females by the new immigrants. The facetious theory being – if you ignore that a crisis exists, it doesn’t!

Is the constituency of this ‘Rise of the Right Wing’ Christian? Is this fear not an expectedreaction? Is it a consequence of an atavistic fear of the Saracen invasions of the 8th century? Of the Umayyad conquest of Hispania?The Umayyad invasion of Gaul? Is this being seen as the 21st century equivalent of those conquests and invasions? Is the tensions created, a confrontation between Christian and Muslim extremism? Is this a symbolic reflection of an evolving Christian-Muslim power struggle? Is it Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ after all?

Across the Atlantic

The ‘fear in Europe’ has crossed the Atlantic. There is scare mongering even in the US where the demographics are of a different nature. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is gaining votes not only from the Bible belt, the born again Christians and Middle America, but also from a swathe of more cosmopolitan Eastern States. His promise to stop immigration of Muslims to the US has struck a subliminal responsive chord in the US voter. A ‘fear psychosis’ is being stirred up; a feeling of helplessness at the ‘encirclement’ by hostile forces is being generated. The Trump ‘clarion call’ to build ‘The Wall’ across the Mexican border epitomizes this psychology. The sense of ethnic insecurity so engendered seemsalmost like a psychological throwback to the encircling of General Custer’s 7th Cavalry and the total annihilation of Custer and his 221 men in 1876. This is said to have left a lasting scar on the White American psyche ever since.The near-150 year-old scab on that scar of that wounded psyche is coming off. Hence, it is not difficult to understand the unexpected popularity of a presidential hopeful who is labeled, by even some conservatives, and the Republican establishmentas an “egomaniacal madman” who must be stopped (“Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first makemad” – said Euripides/Sophocles/Longfellow).

As I write, the crisis is escalating in Europe. The Europeans are getting the same vibes of ‘encirclement’. To add to its woes, the EU is in the throes of being splintered. The supporters of Brexit are gaining in the polls in spite of both the Tories and Labour campaigning to remain in the EU; Cameron is under pressure to resign - his integrity in shreds after the ‘Panama Papers’ disclosures; TATA is pulling out of Port Talbot and other TATA-owned Steelworks which is possibly causing irreparable damage to Britain’s Steel Industry whichwas their pride for generations. The irony of it all is that these decisions have been taken after a board meeting in Mumbai; the irony of ex-colonial wallahs wagging the might of the British economic bulldog.

Christine Lagarde, the President of the IMF says that Brexit risks severely damaging the global economy. Is the once great colonial power of the last century, ready to self-destruct together with the global economy like the suicide bombers in Paris? Is this part of the self-destructive psyche that is compelling Western civilization towards its gradual demise?

What has caused this psyche of fear and panic of ‘invading hordes’? Is it an atavistic admission and acceptance of retributive justice for crimes committed against humanity during the ‘colonial centuries’? Is it a surfacing of the ‘collective guilt’ of the old colonialists for the murder of millions of indigenous people across the world – a world where the sun never set on their military politico-cultural hegemony? Is an old ghost (older than that of 1883) haunting their present-day Europe?

Birth and death of civilizations

All human civilizations have had their heyday of power and wealth and the glory that comes with it. Whether it is the earliest – Sumerian/Assyrian, Egyptian, Harappanor Chinese –or the later Greco-Roman which is the precursor to today’s Judeo-Christian Western Civilization or the pre and post-Islamic Arabic civilizations, or across the Atlantic, the Mayan, Inca and Aztecs, they all had their zeniths and then faded away.

Beginning, arguably, 1500 years ago, Western civilization has come to its predominance today as a result of themilitary, economic successes of the colonial enterprise of five centuries.

Why do civilizations fall? There are many reasons. The history of human civilizations shows that all have had reached great heights before their decline. Some declines have been gradual occurring over centuries. Others have been rapid, occurring over the course of a few years. War, drought, natural disaster, disease, over-population, economic disruption; any one of these or in any combination of these events can bring about the collapse of a civilization. Internal causes (political struggles and internecine wars) can combine with external causes (invasive wars) to bring about a collapse. The Sumerians collapsed under the strain of recurring invasions in the second millennium BC. The Mayan civilization, failed after the 16th century Spanish invasion brought warfare, disease and a foreign culture intent on spreading its own systems of faith and governance. The Roman Empire fell because of external threats by the ‘barbarians’ as well as internal decay and decadence. What does this mean for today’s predominant Western civilization?

There is a ‘stream of consciousness’ among the creative and the innovative that a crisis in Western civilization is looming. The science-fiction moviemakers depict fearful visions of the collapse of Western civilization and with it the world as we know it. The soothsayers and the dooms-dayers are in their element. The ‘end of the world’(meaning mainly, the ‘end of Western civilization) scenarios are many, including the very popular takeover of the world by apes. Was it a futuristic metaphor for the eventual takeover by ‘migrating barbarian hordes’?

Having stated the foregoing, I am arguing that there is adequate evidence that themultifaceted multiplicity of internal crises of the Western, Eurocentric, Anglo-Saxon political culture have converged at present that make its future seem, at best, uncertain. The emergence of alternate centres of economic and cultural power -with China and India as the economic superpowersof the future (“Let China sleep. When it wakes, the world will tremble.” said Napoleon.); the repeated economic crises and contradictions faced by capitalism; the slowly, but surely changing demographic ‘face’ of Europe that has been accelerated by the peaceful and subtle ‘invasion’ of ‘alien people and alien cultures’; the resultant unprecedented desperation in the demagoguery, vituperation and the vocabulary of the European ‘nationalists’ and Republican US presidential debates; and the polarization seen in the political discourse in the US presidential race are some indicators of an end of an era.

Furthermore, I am arguing that the ‘collective guilt’ of colonial pillage, plunder, murder and mayhem is weighing in on the collective psyche of colonialist, imperialist and neo-imperialist nations and its peoples. This collective guilt has subsumed the Western psyche in small quanta through the past centuries, and in particular, the five preceding decades, to erode, considerably, their will to overcome and survive. This collective guilt and the atavistic fear that centuries of accumulated colonial crimes against humanity will unleash retributive forces for those crimes committed; that this collective call for retributive justice from all colonized people has climaxed in the unexpected form of ‘the walking dead’ slowly walking into Europe and overwhelming and swamping their prevailing socio-economic and cultural equilibrium; that all these factors are merging at this juncture in the history of the Western civilization has caused a ‘collective existential fatigue’.Is it the fear thatthe ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’ have been unleashed and are riding into Europe?

We hope that the fall of Western civilization, as it must eventually fall, will be gradual and slow; that alternate civilizations will have time to take its place. And we wish that those alternatives will be able to preserve the best from it – the Da Vincis and Michealangelos and Raphaels; the Rembrants and Mozarts; the Van Goghs, Beethovens and Bachs; the Monets,Chopins, Schuberts andTchaikovskys and so many others who have enriched the human experience and the human spirit and who are part of the great human heritage and tradition bestowed by Western civilization.

But we hope thatthe alternative civilizations to be, will be evolutionarily exalting. One that is humane and truly humanistic, in the widest sense of those words, than the rapacious Western civilization that has been.

(Information and data cited in this article have been derived from many internet sources, booksand documents.) 

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ෆේස්බුක් ගිණුමක් නොමැතිවත් මෙතනින් ඔබේ අදහස පළ කළ හැක .


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1505 2015 BBS NGO Theory අනගාරික ධර්මපාල අනුර කුමාර අමරසේකර ආචාර්ය දයාන් ජයතිලක ආමන්ඩ් ද සූසා ඉන්දු ලංකා ඊළාම් ඊළාම්වාදී එජාප කවි කවි විචාර කාලය කෙටි කතා ගම්මන්පිල ගැමුණු චම්පික චිත්‍රපට විචාර චින්තනය ජනපතිවරණය ජනාධිපතිවරණය ජයග්‍රහණය ජවිපෙ ජාතික බලවේග ජාතිකවාදය ජාතිය ජිනීවා තිස්‌ස තී‍්‍ර රෝද රථ ත්‍රීකුණාමලයේ ආනන්ද දකුණු අප‍්‍රිකානු දහතුන දේශපාලන නසරිස්‌තානය නිදහස නෝනිස් පොත් ප්‍රකාශකයන් පොදු අපේක්‍ෂයා බම්බුව බලු කතා බුදු දහම බෙංගමුවේ නාලක බෙදුම්වාදය බෙදුම්වාදී බෞද්ධයා භාෂාව මරක්කල මහ නාහිමි මහින්ද මහින්ද රනිල් මානව හිමිකම් මුස්‌ලිම් මෛත්‍රිපාල යටත්විජිතකරණය රණ විරුවා රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ රන් කරඬුව රාජතාන්ත්‍රික රාජපක්‍ෂ ලේකම් වහාබ් විජේවීර විධායක බලය විමුක්ති වනිගසේකර වෙනස සැපද සංගීතය සජින් සමාජ විචාර සරච්චන්ද්‍ර සාහිත්‍ය හා විචාර සිංහල සිංහල බුද්ධාගම සීපා ස්වර්ණ පුස්තක හෙළ උරුමය

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