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The Anarchy

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Has anyone else been listening to this last week? https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b4q0/episodes/player

    "William Dalrymple's new book tells the story of how the East India Company transformed itself from a small trading company into a powerful colonial force that used its financial prowess and military might to subdue India. What emerges is a cautionary tale about global corporate power. In today's episode, humble beginnings lead to bold enterprise as circumstances conspire against India's emperors."

    It's compelling listening. I understand from the book reviews that once started, it's difficult to put down.

    Here he is giving a talk about the East India company, likening it's ruthless power to that of modern corporations.

    TCSC47 and sbkrobson like this.
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Now we jest about our former colonial powers and embrace our foreign friends... *cough, cough... no wait...
    TCSC47 likes this.
  3. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Does anyone know why the book is called "The Anarchy"? I do hope it's not the pejorative use of the word, frowned upon now, apparently, by modern historians when the Victorians dubbed some war in the dark ages in England with this title because it represented the lack of law and order, which anarchy certainly isn't.
  4. Toomuchtooyoung

    Toomuchtooyoung Occasional commenter

    Haven’t listened but will give it a go thanks. My problem with audio stuff is I often drop off half way through.
  5. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Duke ,you should hve watched the series on TV all about the E.I. company, its rise and demise.
    It like a book only with moving pictures lol
  6. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    What is this? No interest in the book, or no interest in the possible misuse of the word anarchy. Does no-one here know why the book is titled so, or is the author a mainstream statist - this word I have picked up from anarchist websites to describe anyone who is not an anarchist and only uses the word anarchy in its pejorative sense.
  7. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    The one with Tom Hardy? Fab!
  8. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Ah well, I will go back into the shell of my depression. I was looking forward to a discussion here, but I guess you are all statists, and along with the author of this book only use the word anarchy in its pejorative sense, that is, the absence of law and order.
    Actually, I did not particularly want a discussion about anarchy, which would have hijacked the thread, I just wanted to know why the author used the word for his title?
  9. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    You'll need to read the book, or listen to precis in the links I gave, @Mathsteach2, if they are available where you are and draw your own conclusions.

    Mine are that the East India Company was able to run roughshod over the expectation of British society, for a number of reasons.

    For a start, they had the support of QE1 when the company was inaugurated and their initial profits came from piracy. They went on to usurp government influence by buying politicians. They built up a private army that was twice the size of the British army, so not much chance of stopping them doing whatever they chose to.

    Their history of how they treated India and other Asian nations is appalling. No different from having a gang of yobs terrorising a neighbourhood that the police are frightened to visit.

    Yet because of their political influence, the fact that the British Empire was growing to the extent that the sun never shone on it and at the time the East India Company was pillaging India of its wealth, along with the fact that it took six months for news of its attrocities to find their way back home to be questioned, this private company literally got away with murder to profit from it in monetary terms, to bring their shareholders fabulous wealth, without a care for the cultural damage they were doing.
  10. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Absolutely nothing to do with anarchy then, @Duke of York. Thank you for your brief description of the horrors perpetrated by an authoritarian (in this case capitalist) regime.
  11. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Possibly, maybe probably, but only so far as how we interpretret what anarchy means.
    Who can tell what the descendants of the Indians who were affected by the East India Compant's occupation of their land might make of your interpretation of the word?

    If I'm honest, I'm struggling to comprehend what a Christian anarchist actually is myself.
  12. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Isn't Christian anarchy where Christians believe they should not submit to the authority of e.g. governments because the only authority they have to submit to is that of God?
  13. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    So do I.
    Is it something to do with the British removing the existing hierarchical structures and not replacing them? Doesn't quite fit.
    Or is it that the company allowed its officials to do what they liked?
    It certainly needs explaining.
  14. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    @Lalad. A discussion on Christian Anarchism really needs its own thread. However, for the record, you are correct, and there is no chaos or absence of law and order. The law is, of course, God’s Law, as expressed by Jesus in The Sermon on the Mount, and order comes from a total rejection of man's inhumanity to man, and to love one's neighbour as oneself. God bless.
    @T34. Thanks.
    oldsomeman likes this.
  15. SparkMaths

    SparkMaths Occasional commenter

    What is always missing in these discussions is what these places were like before and what the people did after.

    India had already been taken over by the Mughal Empire and had their own set of barbaric cultural practices which the East India Company just replaced with our own barbaric cultural practices. They didn't go back to that after independence, they chose to keep a lot of the western system.

    Every country has taken over or been taken over by another country, every culture has barbaric practices. This includes us. It's best to leave this stuff where it belongs in the past rather than getting annoyed by it.
  16. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I just don't buy any argument like this. We can go right back to dealing with little kids ( as we have all had to ) when we are trying to explain to them what they have done wrong. "Two wrongs don't make a Right"!
  17. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    I have been catching this excellent program but not read the book. Through my Asian friends I was aware of the dreadfulness and inhuman exploitation by the East India Company and it is something we should all acquaint ourselves with as we ignorantly take advantage of the somewhat unjustified luxury of modern day Britain bequeathed us by the criminals of the Victorian British Empire.
  18. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Is this what you are rabbiting on about Mathsy?

    From Wiki -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy
    "The word originally meant leaderlessness, but Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his 1840 treatise What Is Property? to refer to anarchism, a new political philosophy which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations.

    In practical terms, anarchy can refer to the curtailment or abolition of traditional forms of government and institutions. It can also designate a nation or any inhabited place that has no system of government or central rule. Anarchy is primarily advocated by individual anarchists who propose replacing government with voluntary institutions."

    The bit about "abolition of traditional forms of government" and being replaced with something akin to a cross between Woolworth's and Saddam Hussein?
  19. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    It isn't so much about getting annoyed by it as learning the lessons from it. This review sums up the revisionist history that The Anarchy tells us, along with the lessons that ought to have been learned before it was necessary to bail out other corporations who became too big to fail; and more recently the banks. https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/09...t-it-was-a-supreme-act-of-corporate-violence/

    When I was at school, I was taught about Clive of India in terms that he was a national hero, rather that just a thug and a theif.
    TCSC47 likes this.
  20. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    Too late to edit but I should have said just British Empire instead of Victorian British Empire.

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