Every Indian of this age should read this book. Little extract as a teaser for reading the book. THE CASE FOR INDIA FOR INDIA By Will Durant. Book Source: Digital Library of India Item aracer.mobi: Will aracer.mobiioned. Barcode - Title - The Case For India. Subject - HISTORY. Author - Will Durant. Language - english. Pages - Publication.
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Case for India [Will Durant] on aracer.mobi *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers . An insightful examination of the condition of India under British occupation. Shelves: read, non-fiction, information, history, ebook, indology In , he published The Case for India while he was on a visit to India as part of. The famous American historian Will Durant presents before us unflinching. by British government for the controversial content, 'The Case For India' has now.
The result of this is that a reader is able to comprehend in a much more visual manner, the extent of brutality inflicted upon India by the British Raj. I know that a reasonable portion of my school history curriculum did cover the British Raj in India and the atrocities that came with it. The exorbitant salaries and pensions paid out to British officers serving and retired respectively , which further bled the country were not even mentioned, although these constituted a significant and steady drain on the country.
Even people with the best of intentions do have their own unacknowledged biases. And to that extent is understandable that people are a product of their times.
One tends to overlook these relatively minor details though, given that the author spoke from a very genuine place, and with the intent of furthering the truth in the face of misinformation and blatant whitewashing of facts.
The presentation of Gandhi as a public figure is romanticized to a certain degree. However, Gandhi probably came across as the most accessible or relatable to the Western figures, who ended up documenting much of the history of the times. His willingness to repeatedly negotiate with the British even when they had proved themselves untrustworthy of negotiations , his articulate English - a result of his British education, and the fact that his 'non-violent' resistance was likely to have resonated with dearly held Western Christian beliefs — all probably contributed to making him the most relatable among the public personalities in India at the time.
The latter part of the book also summarizes the case that the British officers made for their continued rule over India. Durant presents this argument in an uninterrupted passage, and follows it up with a point-by-point refutation of several claims and justifications.
He seems to have gone first to Egypt; and was somewhat shocked to hear from the priestly class which ruled that land, that Greece was an infant-state, without stabilizing traditions or profound culture, not yet therefore to be taken seriously by these sphinxly pundits of the Nile. But nothing so educates us as a shock; the memory, of this learned caste, theocratically ruling a static agricultural people, remained alive in Plato's thought, and played its part in writing his Utopia. And then off he sailed to Sicily, and to Italy; there he joined for a time the school or sect which the great Pythagoras had founded; and once again his susceptible mind was marked with the memory of a small group of men set aside for scholarship and rule, living a plain life despite the possession of power.
Twelve years he wandered, imbibing wisdom from every source, sitting at every shrine, tasting every creed. Some would have it that he went to Judea and was moulded for a while by the tradition of the almost socialistic prophets; and even that he found his way to the banks of the Ganges, and learned the mystic meditations of the Hindus. We do not know. He returned to Athens in B. He had lost a little of the hot enthusiasms of youth, but he had gained a perspective of thought in which every extreme was seen as a half-truth, and the many aspects of every problem blended into a distributive justice to every facet of the truth.
He had knowledge, and he had art; for once the philosopher and the poet lived in one soul; and he created for himself a medium of expression in which both beauty and truth might find room and play -- the dialogue. Never before, we may believe, had philosophy assumed so brilliant a garb; and surely never since. Even in translation this style shines and sparkles and leaps and bubbles over.
The difficulty in understanding Plato lies precisely in this intoxicating mixture of philosophy and poetry, of science and art; we cannot always tell in which character of the dialogue the author speaks, nor in which form; whether he is literal or speaks in metaphor, whether he jests or is in earnest.
His love of jest and irony and myth leaves us at times baffled; almost we could say of him that he did not teach except in parables. These dialogues, we are told, were written by Plato for the general reading public of his day: by their conversational method, their lively war of pros and cons, and their gradual development and frequent repetition of every important argument, they were explicitly adapted obscure though they may seem to us now to the understanding of the man who must taste philosophy as an occasional luxury, and who is compelled by the brevity of life to read as he who runs may read.
Therefore we must be prepared to find in these dialogues much that is playful and metaphorical; much that is unintelligible except to scholars learned in the social and literary minutiae of Plato's time; much that today will seem irrelevant and fanciful, but might well have served as the very sauce and flavor by which a heavy dish of thought was made digestible for minds unused to philosophic fare.
Let us confess, too, that Plato has in sufficient abundance the qualities which he condemns. He inveighs against poets and their myths, and proceeds to add one to the number of poets and hundreds to the number of myths.
He complains of the priests who go about preaching hell and offering redemption from it for a consideration -- cf. The Republic, , but he himself is a priest, a theologian, a preacher, a supermoralist, a Savonarola denouncing art and inviting vanities to the fire. He acknowledges, Shakespeare-like, that "comparisons are slippery" Sophist, , but he slips out of one into another and another and another; he condemns the Sophists as phrase-mongering disputants, but he himself is not above chopping logic like a sophomore.
Faguet parodies him: "The whole is greater than the part? Therefore, clearly, philosophers should rule the state? The best of them, The Republic, is a complete treatise in itself, Plato reduced to a book; here we shall find his metaphysics, his theology, his ethics, his psychology, his pedagogy, his politics, his theory of art.
In the group are Glaucon and Adeimantus, brothers of Plato; and Thrasymachus, a gruff and excitable Sophist.
Socrates, who serves as the mouthpiece of Plato in the dialogue, asks Cephalus: "What do you consider to be the greatest blessing which you have reaped from wealth? Socrates, after his sly fashion, asks him just what he means by justice; and therewith lets loose the dogs of philosophic war. For nothing is so difficult as definition, nor anything so severe a test and exercise of mental clarity and skill.
Socrates finds it a simple matter to destroy one after another the definitions offered him; until at last Thrasymachus, less patient than the rest, breaks out "with a roar": "What folly has possessed you, Socrates? And why do you others all drop down at one another's feet in this silly way?
I say that if you want to know what justice is, you should answer and not ask, and shouldn't pride yourself on refuting others For there are many who can ask but cannot answer" Socrates is not frightened; he continues to ask rather than answer; and after a minute of parry and thrust he provokes the unwary Thrasymachus to commit himself to a definition: "Listen, then," says the angry Sophist, "I proclaim that might is right, and justice is the interest of the stronger The different forms of government make laws, democratic, aristocratic, or autocratic, with a view to their respective interests; and these laws, so made by them to serve their interests, they deliver to their subjects as 'justice,' and punish as 'unjust' anyone who transgresses them I am speaking of injustice on a large scale; and my meaning will be most clearly seen in autocracy, which by fraud and force takes away the property of others, not retail but wholesale.
Now when a man has taken away the money of the citizens and made slaves of them, then, instead of swindler and thief he is called happy and blessed by all.
For injustice is censured because those who censure it are afraid of suffering, and not from any scruple they might have of doing injustice themselves" This, of course, is the doctrine which our own day more or less correctly associates with the name of Nietzsche. They distribute praise and censure with a view to their own interests; they say that dishonesty is shameful and unjust -- meaning by dishonesty the desire to have more than their neighbors; for knowing their own inferiority, they would be only too glad to have equality But if there were a man who had sufficient force enter the Superman , he would shake off and break through and escape from all this; he would trample under foot all our formulas and spells and charms, and all our laws, that sin against nature He who would truly live ought to allow his desires to wax to the uttermost; but when they have grown to their greatest he should have courage and intelligence to minister to them, and to satisfy all his longings.
And this I affirm to be natural justice and nobility. But the many cannot do this; and therefore they blame such persons, because they are ashamed of their own inability, which they desire to conceal; and hence they call intemperance base They enslave the nobler natures, and they praise justice only because they are cowards.
This justice is a morality not for men but for foot-men oude gar andros all' andrapodou tinos ; it is a slave-morality, not a hero-morality; the real virtues of a man are courage andreia and intelligence phronesis.
Perhaps this hard "immoralism" reflects the development of imperialism in the foreign policy of Athens, and its ruthless treatment of weaker states.
What is justice? How does Socrates -- i. At first he does not meet it at all. He points out that justice is a relation among individuals, depending on social organization; and that in consequence it can be studied better as part of the structure of a community than as a quality of personal conduct.
If, he suggests, we can picture a just state, we shall be in a better position to describe a just individual. Plato excuses himself for this digression on the score that in testing a man's vision we make him read first large type, then smaller; so, he argues, it is easier to analyze justice on a large scale than on the small scale of individual behavior.
But we need not be deceived: in truth the Master is patching two books together, and uses the argument as a seam. He wishes not only to discuss the problems of personal morality, but the problems of social and political reconstruction as well.
He has a Utopia up his sleeve, and is resolved to produce it. It is easy to forgive him, for the digression forms the core and value of his book. For a moment he gives his imagination reign: First, then, let us consider what will be their way of life Will they not produce corn, and wine, and clothes, and shoes, and build houses for themselves?
And when they are housed they will work in summer commonly stripped and barefoot, but in winter substantially clothed and shod. They will feed on barley and wheat, baking the wheat and kneading the flour, making noble puddings and loaves; these they will serve up on a mat of reed or clean leaves, themselves reclining the while upon beds of yew or myrtle boughs.
And they and their children will feast, drinking of the wine which they have made, wearing garlands on their heads, and having the praises of the gods on their lips, living in sweet society, and having a care that their families do not exceed their means; for they will have an eye to poverty or war Of course they will have a relish -- salt, and olives, and cheese, and onions, and cabbages or other country herbs which are fit for boiling; and we shall give them a dessert of figs, and pulse, and beans, and myrtle-berries, and beechnuts, which they will roast at the fire, drinking in moderation.
And with such a diet they may be expected to live in peace to a good old age, and bequeath a similar life to their children after them Observe here the passing reference to the control of population by infanticide, presumably , to vegetarianism, and to a "return to nature," to the primitive simplicity which Hebrew legend pictures in the Garden of Eden. The whole has the sound of Diogenes the "Cynic," who, as the epithet implied, thought we should "turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self-contained"; and for a moment we are likely to classify Plato with St.
Simon and Fourier and William Morris and Tolstoi. But he is a little more sceptical than these men of kindly faith; he passes quietly on to the question, Why is it that such a simple paradise as he has described never comes? He answers, because of greed and luxury. Men are not content with a simple life: they are acquisitive, ambitious, competitive, and jealous; they soon tire of what they have, and pine for what they have not; and they seldom desire anything unless it belongs to others.
The result is the encroachment of one group upon the territory of another, the rivalry of groups for the resources of the soil, and then war. Trade and finance develop, and bring new class-divisions. A mercantile bourgeoisie arises, whose members seek social position through wealth and conspicuous consumption: "they will spend large sums of money on their wives" These changes in the distribution of wealth produce political changes: as the wealth of the merchant over-reaches that of the land-owner, aristocracy gives way to a plutocratic oligarchy -- wealthy traders and bankers rule the state.
Then statesmanship, which is the coordination of social forces and the adjustment of policy to growth, is replaced by politics, which is the strategy of party and the lust for the spoils of office. Aristocracy ruins itself by limiting too narrowly the circle within which power is confined; oligarchy ruins itself by the incautious scramble for immediate wealth.
In either case the end is revolution. When revolution comes it may seem to arise from little causes and petty whims; but though it may spring from slight occasions it is the precipitate result of grave and accumulated wrongs; when a body is weakened by neglected ills, the merest exposure may bring serious disease But even democracy ruins itself by excess -- of democracy. Its basic principle is the equal right of all to hold office and determine public policy.
This is at first glance a delightful arrangement; it becomes disastrous because the people are not properly equipped by education to select the best rulers and the wisest courses Mob-rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course.
The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so "hungry for honey," that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the "protector of the people" rises to supreme power Consider the history of Rome.
The more Plato thinks of it, the more astounded he is at the folly of leaving to mob caprice and gullibility the selection of political officials -- not to speak of leaving it to those shady and wealth-serving strategists who pull the oligarchic wires behind the democratic stage. Plato complains that whereas in simpler matters -- like shoe-making -- we think only a specially-trained person will serve our purpose, in politics we presume that every one who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state.
When we are ill we call for a trained physician, whose degree is a guarantee of specific preparation and technical competence -- we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one; well then, when the whole state is ill should we not look for the service and guidance of the wisest and the best? To devise a method of barring incompetence and knavery from public office, and of selecting and preparing the best to rule for the common good -- that is the problem of political philosophy.
Therefore we need not expect to have better states until we have better men; till then all changes will leave every essential thing unchanged. Are they not as good as a play, trying their hand at legislation, and imagining that by reforms they will make an end to the dishonesties and rascalities of mankind -- not knowing that in reality they are cutting away at the heads of a hydra? Let us examine for a moment the human material with which political philosophy must deal. Human behavior, says Plato, flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.
Desire, appetite, impulse, instinct -- these are one; emotion, spirit, ambition, courage -- these are one; knowledge, thought, intellect, reason -- these are one. Desire has its seat in the loins; it is a bursting reservoir of energy, fundamentally sexual.
Emotion has its seat in the heart, in the flow and force of the blood; it is the organic resonance of experience and desire. Knowledge has its seat in the head; it is the eye of desire, and can become the pilot of the soul. These powers and qualities are all in all men, but in divers degrees.
Some men are but the embodiment of desire; restless and acquisitive souls, who are absorbed in material quests and quarrels, who burn with lust of luxuries and show, and who rate their gains always as naught compared with their ever-receding goals: these are the men who dominate and manipulate industry.
But there are others who are temples of feeling and courage, who care not so much what they fight for, as for victory "in and for itself"; they are pugnacious rather than acquisitive; their pride is in power rather than in possession, their joy is on the battle-field rather than in the mart: these are the men who make the armies and navies of the world. And last are the few whose delight is in meditation and understanding; who yearn not for goods, nor for victory, but for knowledge; who leave both market and battle-field to lose themselves in the quiet clarity of secluded thought; whose will is a light rather than a fire, whose haven is not power but truth: these are the men of wisdom, who stand aside unused by the world.
Now just as effective individual action implies that desire, though warmed with emotion, is guided by knowledge; so in the perfect state the industrial forces would produce but they would not rule; the military forces would protect but they would not rule; the forces of knowledge and science and philosophy would be nourished and protected, and they would rule.
Unguided by knowledge, the people are a multitude without order, like desires in disarray; the people need the guidance of philosophers as desires need the enlightenment of knowledge.
The producer is at his best in the economic field, the warrior is at his best in battle; they are both at their worst in public office; and in their crude hands politics submerges statesmanship.
For statesmanship is a science and an art; one must have lived for it and been long prepared. Only a philosopher-king is fit to guide a nation. This is the key-stone of the arch of Plato's thought. We must begin by "sending out into the country all the inhabitants of the city who are more than ten years old, and by taking possession of the children, who will thus be protected from the habits of their parents" We cannot build Utopia with young people corrupted at every turn by the example of their elders.
We must start, so far as we can, with a clean slate. It is quite possible that some enlightened ruler will empower us to make such a beginning with some part or colony of his realm. One ruler did, as we shall see. In any case we must give to every child, and from the outset, full equality of educational opportunity; there is no telling where the light of talent or genius will break out; we must seek it impartially everywhere, in every rank and race.
The first turn on our road is universal education. For the first ten years of life, education shall be predominantly physical; every school is to have a gymnasium and a playground; play and sport are to be the entire curriculum; and in this first decade such health will be stored up as will make all medicine unnecessary.
Our present system of medicine may be said to educate diseases," to draw them out into a long existence, rather than to cure them. But this is an absurdity of the idle rich. And if anyone tells him that he must go through a course of dietetics, and swathe and swaddle his head, and all that sort of thing, he replies at once that he has no time to be ill, and that he sees no good in a life that is spent in nursing his disease to the neglect of his ordinary calling; and therefore, saying good-bye to this sort of physicians, he resumes his customary diet, and either gets well and lives and does his business, or, if his constitution fails, he dies and has done with it" We cannot afford to have a nation of malingerers and invalids; Utopia must begin in the body of man.
But mere athletics and gymnastics would make a man too one-sided. We do not want a nation of prize-fighters and weight-lifters. Perhaps music will solve our problem: through music the soul learns harmony and rhythm, and even a disposition to justice; for "can he who is harmoniously constituted ever be unjust?
Is not this, Glaucon, why musical training is so powerful, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul, bearing grace in their movements and making the soul graceful? Music moulds character, and therefore shares in determining social and political issues.
There are some diseases which can be treated only through the mind Charmides, : so the Corybantic priest treated hysterical women with wild pipe music, which excited them to dance and dance till they fell to the ground exhausted, and went to sleep; when they awoke they were cured.
The unconscious sources of human thought are touched and soothed by such methods; and it is in these substrata of behavior and feeling that genius sinks its roots.
Plato passes on to a remarkable anticipation of "psychoanalysis. Dreams may give us a clue to some of the subtle and more elusive of these dispositions.
Certain of the unnecessary pleasures and instincts are deemed to be unlawful; every man appears to have them, but in some persons they are subjected to the control of law and reason ["sublimated"], and the better desires prevailing over them, they are either wholly suppressed, or reduced in strength and number; while in other persons these desires are stronger and more abundant.
But when a man's pulse is healthy and temperate, and he goes to sleep cool and rational, In all of us, even in good men, there is such a latent wild beast nature, which peers out in sleep Music and measure lend grace and health to the soul and to the body; but again, too much music is as dangerous as too much athletics.
To be merely an athlete is to be nearly a savage; and to be merely a musician is to be "melted and softened beyond what is good" The two must be combined; and after sixteen the individual practice of music must be abandoned, though choral singing, like communal games, will go on throughout life.
Nor is music to be merely music; it must be used to provide attractive forms for the sometimes unappetizing contents of mathematics, history and science; there is no reason why for the young these difficult studies should not be smoothed into verse and beautified with song.
Even then these studies are not to be forced upon an unwilling mind; within limits a libertarian spirit must prevail. The elements of instruction Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind.
Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement; this will better enable you to find out the natural bent of the child With minds so freely growing, and bodies made strong by sport and outdoor life of every kind, our ideal state would have a firm psychological and physiological base broad enough for every possibility and every development.
But a moral basis must be provided as well; the members of the community must make a unity; they must learn that they are members of one another; that they owe to one another certain amenities and obligations. Now since men are by nature acquisitive, jealous, combative, and erotic, how shall we persuade them to behave themselves?
By the policeman's omnipresent club? It is a brutal method, costly and irritating. There is a better way, and that is by lending to the moral requirements of the community the sanction of supernatural authority. We must have a religion. Plato believes that a nation cannot be strong unless it believes in God.
But a living God can do all this, and can stir or frighten the self-seeking individualist into some moderation of his greed, some control of his passion. All the more so if to belief in God is added belief in personal immortality: the hope of another life gives us courage to meet our own death, and to bear with the death of our loved ones; we are twice armed if we fight with faith.
Granted that none of the beliefs can be demonstrated; that God may be after all only the personified ideal of our love and our hope, and that the soul is like the music of the lyre, and dies with the instrument that gave it form: yet surely so runs the argument, Pascal-like, of the Phaedo it will do us no harm to believe, and it may do us and our children immeasurable good. For we are likely to have trouble with these children of ours if we undertake to explain and justify everything to their simple minds.
We shall have an especially hard time when they arrive at the age of twenty, and face the first scrutiny and test of what they have learned in all their years of equal education.