Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Moral Individual - iv

As an individual progresses in life, there would be many instances where s/he finds her/himself guilty of harm to another person or a group of persons (and vice versa but focus is on the morality of the individual here). This harm was not initiated by the person him/herself but because of  cultural norms was part of the life. The perpetrator and the victim both were unaware of this relationship and the perpetrator always imagined a noble ring or a mutually enjoyable act in the way s/he associated with the other person.

The perpetrator realizes this(harm) as s/he acquires greater knowledge about the long term implications in the form of emotional or physical or one feeding the other harms to the other person. Let us consider this person has developed empathy because of self-pity. How would s/he respond to this situation?

Let's consider the worst case scenario, where the perceived normal relationship has been highly beneficial to his/her emotional or physical needs. In this case, a radical change in the relationship is difficult. In this situation, the crystal clear knowledge of the harm s/he has caused or s/he is going to cause in the long term gets blurred. S/he develops a new self-pity in the eventuality of conceding his/her fault.

A new self-pity on his/her perceived struggle without the psychological or physical fulfillment of his/her needs would make him/her to go slow on his/her own determination to change. It also develops a cynical rationalization that the permanent harm could have been done already before s/he acquired the knowledge of it and any change on his/her part would anyway make no difference.

A society with the burden of many cultural and ritualized practices which deny human rights to individuals or ask them to perform acts with a self-serving reason that those are 'common', cannot hope to correct itself by individuals' goodness. The individual goodness is strongly dependent on the empathy based on the self-pity and the self-pity can develop with the loss of privilege which in turn redirects the empathy requirement on the perpetrators themselves. In such cases, a non-individualistic action called justice which only seeks to correct the wrong done on individuals disregarding perpetrator individual empathy is the only true morality.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Random Thoughts - Love_Lust

This article on Asexuals is inline with the previous findings that love and lust are mutually independent feelings. According them, asexuals can be divided into 'romantic asexuals' and 'aromantic asexuals'. An asexual can fall in love with other person.

As implied, sexuals are defined by the presence of 'lust' and asexuals by the lack of it, not only that, both sexuals and asexuals can be defined by the presence or absence of 'love'.

So, humans can be;
- Sexually romantics
- Asexually romantics
- Sexually aromantics
- Asexually aromantics

However, a sexual individual's orientation could be any of these combinations based on the person s/he meets.

If I think about it there could be persons who lack the feeling 'love' completely just as some people lack 'lust'. I think these people are yet to 'come home'. So, when I talked about presence or absence of love in the beginning it's about mutual phenomenon. But lack of love can be a self phenomenon just like lack of lust.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Communism and Kerala - VI

I'm reading George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. I have finished around 150 pages and I find it difficult to read further. The initial excitement at his description of a totalitarian system has been vaporized by a  colligated romantic story.

It could be said that even in his imagination of a totalitarian society he had been helped by the existing systems elsewhere and had taken it to the logical conclusion. However, it was his female characters that one would feel a total letdown.

I'm not mixing my thoughts here. A totalitarian society is created by a collection of people. Females are individuals. One can stereotype a totalitarian society and still get it right because it is not  individualistic. However, a person's experience of females cannot be stereotyped because at  the end of the day he's dealing with any female as an individual. Here I found Orwell had caricatured females.

Both Katherine and Julia are stereotyped females. One has obedience in her bones; the other has rebellion. I get the feeling that neither of them grew into their selves with some kind of irrational or rational logic. They just happened to be like that. On the other hand, Winston is trying to piece together the situation rationally.

He pities himself for his physical limitations. However, the character is confident of its intellectual capabilities. Altogether, I get an impression of an intelligent rational with masochistic tendencies. That makes neither of the females as his equals. It's beyond comprehension how self pity reduces Winston to Julia's equal. George Orwell could be limited in his imagination of a rational woman.

However, that is not the reason I started writing this entry. I wanted to discuss 'newspeak' that he describes. Newspeak is a short hand language with no antonyms and no words for many concepts which are deemed anti-establishment. It's a way to make people think in a very restricted way thus eliminating any thoughts of rebellion from their mind. Eliminate the words that articulate the opposition to the establishment thus eliminate the opposition itself.

Anyway, many Indians can intuitively identify 'newspeak' with 'castespeak'. The Indian languages were/are vehicles of castiest and slavish mentality. However, somehow communism in Kerala has been able to turn Malayalam, the worst castespeak, as a revolutionary tongue. It has achieved it by bringing Sanskritized Malayalam to common people.

My Malayalam(the Kasaragod variant) has a very limited number of Sanskrit words (probably the percentage of Prakrit words could be higher). At family level conversation this has  been sufficient as far as I could see. I find it difficult to follow Sanskritized Malayalam of my relatives (with humble background). Sometimes I find it difficult to believe they can utter those words with a straight face. I'm fairly aware of many Sanskrit words, since I studied in Kannada medium. Still I find it difficult to follow some of the known words used by native Malayalis. Probably because they take some of the obscure meanings (or the meanings which aren't dominant in Kannada literature). In any case, if I use some "grand" Sanskrit words while speaking in Kannada, I could become a laughing stock."Sakhav" (comrade in Malayalam) type of words can only be used in Yakshagana in Karnataka. I feel Malayalis are immune to such thinking.

Sometime back I mentioned about a study that found that among the students completing their primary education, Kerala students had the best grasp of Malayalam, whereas, Kannada and Tamil students had the least of their mother-tongues. I wonder whether the communist movement enabled common people to get used to a vast vocabulary in Sanskrit to express many concepts which in turn helped their children to grasp the language better. The school books would invariably use Sanskrit words in vernacular languages to express many concepts.