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Author Topic: India: Market Capitalism Eroding Caste System  (Read 1368 times)
Frodo
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« on: December 22, 2011, 01:17:37 am »
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Say what you will of the shortcomings of capitalism (and they are many), but it does have its uses  in aiding the government in overcoming the monstrosity that is the caste system:

Scaling Caste Walls With Capitalism’s Ladders in India

By LYDIA POLGREEN
Published: December 21, 2011


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“This is a golden period for Dalits,” said Chandra Bhan Prasad, a Dalit activist and researcher who has championed capitalism among the untouchables. “Because of the new market economy, material markers are replacing social markers. Dalits can buy rank in the market economy. India is moving from a caste-based to a class-based society, where if you have all the goodies in life and your bank account is booming, you are acceptable.”

Milind Kamble, a Dalit contractor based in the city of Pune in Maharashtra State, said that out of the 100 or so members of the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in his city, only one was in business before 1991.

“We are fighting the caste system with capitalism,” he said.

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Dalits still lag behind the rest of India, but they have experienced gains as the country’s economy has expanded. A recent analysis of government survey data by economists at the University of British Columbia found that the wage gap between other castes and Dalits has decreased to 21 percent, down from 36 percent in 1983, less than the gap between white male and black male workers in the United States. The education gap has been halved.

Another survey conducted by Indian researchers along with professors from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard showed that the social status of Dalits has risen as well — they are more likely to be invited to non-Dalit weddings, to eat the same foods and wear the same clothes as upper-caste people, and use grooming products like shampoo and bottled hair oil.

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Sbane
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2011, 03:06:43 am »
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Yup, I have been saying this for a while now. Caste doesn't matter much anymore, though social status still matters more than it should. At least it's not based on your birth anymore.
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2011, 03:10:23 am »
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The idea that there is a meaningful or important difference between a class system and a caste system is one of the primary deceptions of capitalism.
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phk
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2011, 03:32:08 am »
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Every NY Times article on India reads like it came out of the Cato Institute.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2011, 09:30:52 am »
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why is this a surprise?  just an echo of the breaking down feudal processes in Europe a few centuries ago.  I'd have 'rooted' for the bourgeois over the Church and landlords in the 1800s too.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2011, 11:26:26 am »
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Yes! I never liked that system.
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Beet
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2011, 02:28:00 pm »
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence. Compared to it, even Islam has redeeming features because in Islam, all the faithful are theoretically equal spiritually. But for the untouchables, even if the shadow of an untouchable falls on a brahmin, the brahmin must wash himself afterwards or they are considered polluted.
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2011, 05:04:23 pm »
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence. Compared to it, even Islam has redeeming features because in Islam, all the faithful are theoretically equal spiritually. But for the untouchables, even if the shadow of an untouchable falls on a brahmin, the brahmin must wash himself afterwards or they are considered polluted.

Beet, please stop posting.
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2011, 05:26:03 pm »
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Eh. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
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Beet
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 01:52:21 pm »
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence. Compared to it, even Islam has redeeming features because in Islam, all the faithful are theoretically equal spiritually. But for the untouchables, even if the shadow of an untouchable falls on a brahmin, the brahmin must wash himself afterwards or they are considered polluted.

Beet, please stop posting.

Which major religion has a more regressive message than the idea that one's station in life as one was born is the deserved fate of one's action in past life, cannot be altered for all life, and must be fatalistically accepted, as part of a rigid social order?
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 02:02:27 pm »
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence. Compared to it, even Islam has redeeming features because in Islam, all the faithful are theoretically equal spiritually. But for the untouchables, even if the shadow of an untouchable falls on a brahmin, the brahmin must wash himself afterwards or they are considered polluted.

Beet, please stop posting.

Which major religion has a more regressive message than the idea that one's station in life as one was born is the deserved fate of one's action in past life, cannot be altered for all life, and must be fatalistically accepted, as part of a rigid social order?

None, as the caste system wasn't an integral part of Hinduism (whatever "Hinduism" is) until the middle of the 19th Century (indeed, if it is an integral part of it now..) - where it was in part a creation of British census officials modifying and often manufacturing contemporary social groups. Essentialism about Religion is dumb.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 02:12:00 pm by Pensando en volver »Logged



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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
Sibboleth
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2011, 03:03:45 pm »
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Essentialism is dumb.

FYP
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
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« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 03:11:40 pm »
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence. Compared to it, even Islam has redeeming features because in Islam, all the faithful are theoretically equal spiritually. But for the untouchables, even if the shadow of an untouchable falls on a brahmin, the brahmin must wash himself afterwards or they are considered polluted.

Beet, please stop posting.

Which major religion has a more regressive message than the idea that one's station in life as one was born is the deserved fate of one's action in past life, cannot be altered for all life, and must be fatalistically accepted, as part of a rigid social order?

None, as the caste system wasn't an integral part of Hinduism (whatever "Hinduism" is) until the middle of the 19th Century (indeed, if it is an integral part of it now..) - where it was in part a creation of British census officials modifying and often manufacturing contemporary social groups. Essentialism about Religion is dumb.

I think you're reading more 'essentialism' into my original post than intended. In order to communicate certain ideas, it is often necessary to express them in broad, general terms, but that does not mean not to allow certain caveats or footnotes. The British certainly helped solidify the caste system, but they did not create it. Hinduism is diverse, but it can certainly be spoken of as a single religion. And the caste system and Hinduism are certainly connected.
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2011, 04:06:55 pm »
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence. Compared to it, even Islam has redeeming features because in Islam, all the faithful are theoretically equal spiritually. But for the untouchables, even if the shadow of an untouchable falls on a brahmin, the brahmin must wash himself afterwards or they are considered polluted.

Beet, please stop posting.

Which major religion has a more regressive message than the idea that one's station in life as one was born is the deserved fate of one's action in past life, cannot be altered for all life, and must be fatalistically accepted, as part of a rigid social order?

None, as the caste system wasn't an integral part of Hinduism (whatever "Hinduism" is) until the middle of the 19th Century (indeed, if it is an integral part of it now..) - where it was in part a creation of British census officials modifying and often manufacturing contemporary social groups. Essentialism about Religion is dumb.

I think you're reading more 'essentialism' into my original post than intended. In order to communicate certain ideas, it is often necessary to express them in broad, general terms, but that does not mean not to allow certain caveats or footnotes. The British certainly helped solidify the caste system, but they did not create it. Hinduism is diverse, but it can certainly be spoken of as a single religion. And the caste system and Hinduism are certainly connected.

Excuse me, while I roll my eyes for a brief second....

To quote from the horses mouth:
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Hinduism is one of the most regressive major religions in existence.

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Which major religion has a more regressive message than the idea that one's station in life as one was born is the deserved fate of one's action in past life, cannot be altered for all life, and must be fatalistically accepted, as part of a rigid social order?

Yes those clearly aren't broad, sweeping ridiculous statements about the "hindoos" more worthy of a particularly reactionary gin-soaked 19th Century British district commissioner than someone trying to have an educated opinion (though then again it seems to be obligatory in the United States for conservatives to confuse the two...).

Catholics are lazy and always drunk, Presbyterians are money-obsessed killjoys, Blacks are stupid... see, isn't this fun?

While I don't know enough history to really comment fully (Xahar?, Sbane?, Lewis? Where are ye?) this article from the New Statesman is worth a read. Can't comment on the full thesis, but there is certainly some truth in it. So much for religion 'guiding' the character of a 'people'.
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2011, 04:43:20 pm »
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I see what you mean, but as "broad, sweeping, ridiculous statements", comparative statements are actually one of the most conservative type of statement. It doesn't actually say anything absolute, only in a relative sense. After all, one of the relatively few number of major world religions must be the most regressive. If I say Timmy is shorter than Jack, am I actually saying anything about Timmy's height? Not really. There's no comparison to statements like "Catholics are lazy and always drunk, Presbyterians are money-obsessed killjoys, Blacks are stupid... ", all of which are not only absolute statements, but characterize millions of individuals in an absolute way. Besides that, I won't comment further on this.
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Tetro Kornbluth
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2011, 04:58:53 pm »
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I see what you mean, but as "broad, sweeping, ridiculous statements", comparative statements are actually one of the most conservative type of statement. It doesn't actually say anything absolute, only in a relative sense. After all, one of the relatively few number of major world religions must be the most regressive.

Errr... You are being essentialist again. I think you have missed my point.

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If I say Timmy is shorter than Jack, am I actually saying anything about Timmy's height? Not really.

Ummmm... What?

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There's no comparison to statements like "Catholics are lazy and always drunk, Presbyterians are money-obsessed killjoys, Blacks are stupid... ", all of which are not only absolute statements, but characterize millions of individuals in an absolute way. Besides that, I won't comment further on this.

How so?
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Keith R Laws ‏@Keith_Laws  Feb 4
As I have noted before 'paradigm shift' is an anagram of 'grasp dim faith'
anvi
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2011, 09:42:05 pm »
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Every NY Times article on India reads like it came out of the Cato Institute.

Indeed.
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