Archive for the ‘history’ Category

Ukraine—with its rich black soil that would help it become a major grain producer—was continually carved up by competing powers. As a result their nationalism has two sides. Janus-like one looks towards the past and the other to the east.
Let us trace its history in a few sentences. In the ninth century, Ukraine, known as Kievan Rus, was becoming the early seat of Slavic power and the newly adopted Orthodox religion. But Mongol invasions in the 13th century curtailed Kiev’s rise, with power eventually shifting north into Russia to present-day St. Petersburg and Moscow. In the 16th century major swaths of the country were under the control of Poland and Lithuania, with Cossack fighters patrolling Ukraine’s frontier with Poland.
In the 17th century, war between the Tsardom of Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth resulted in more internal divisions. Lands to the east of the Dnieper River fell under Russian imperial control much earlier than Ukrainian lands to the west of the Dnieper. The east became known as “Left Bank” Ukraine and a center of industry and coal. Lands to the west of the Dnieper, or “Right Bank,” were to be ruled by Poland. A small part in the west, called Galicia, was allotted to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the last 19th century. The Austro-Hungarian empire ended at the end of World War I, but that small part of western Ukraine remained outside the Russian empire and was incorporated into the U.S.S.R. only as a result of the Second World War.
After the communist revolution of 1917, Ukraine was one of the many countries to suffer a brutal civil war before becoming a Soviet Republic in 1920. In the early 1930s, to force peasants into joining collective farms, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin orchestrated a famine that resulted in the starvation and death of millions of Ukrainians. Afterward he imported large numbers of Russians and other Soviet citizens—many with no ability to speak Ukrainian and with few ties to the region—to help repopulate the east. The fault lines dividing thus between east and the west we might say that the crisis in Ukraine was waiting to happen.
Tailspin: Nationalism in a sense is an impossibility considering its domino effect. By the same standards ethnic minorities on their cultural identity, belief shall demand their own spheres of control. We have seen it in Balkans demand for Khalistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Inversion principle determines such breakdown no matter how you set up nations.

(ack: National Geographic Magazine)

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 The year 1848 can be considered as the beginning of the modern Europe.
In an obscure German paper Karl Marx published
the Communist Manifesto. It was a challenge to the entrenched order
that was at best benevolent but despotic and exploitative.

It all began with violent
changes across the channel. In England was the Chartism and in Franc
Louis Philippe had been removed from the French throne in February 1848,
and revolutions
were soon to convulse other European capitals.

In early 1848
none of the greater states of Europe
functioned as democracies. Britain, where
about one-in-five adult males (in England) had voting rights,
and France, where voting rights
were allowed to very wealthy men, amounting to about
of all adult males, were the least undemocratic.

The other greater states
of Éurope – the “Austrian” Habsburg Empire, Prussia and Russia
operated as absolute monarchies
where such Assemblies of Notables, Congregations or Diets,
as were
authorised to convene were understood
to have administrative or consultative roles
rather than political or legislative powers.


The European Revolutions
of 1848 represent a widespead emergenc
of situations,
across much of Europe, where populist
human aspirations variously sought constitutional,
liberal, nationalist or socialistic changes
in society often at the cost of
traditionally influential dynastic
or religious authorities.

In February 1948,
the British historian Lewis Namier (1888–1960) delivered
a lecture commemorating the centennial
of the European Revolutions of 1848.

In this lecture Namier presented facts
about the historical developments and themes evident in 1848
and reached the conclusion that:-

1848 remains a seed-plot of history. It crystallized ideas
and projected the pattern of things to come;
it determined the course of the following century.”

Heartened by the French example
a national revolt under the legendary Lajos Kossuth
demanding a parliamentary government for Hungary
and constitutional government for the rest of Habsburg Empire.
As a result number of revolts sent Metternich out of power
and ripples as far as Italy. The movement for Hungarian Independence
lost by two reasons.
Austria and Prussia despite their long running feud
closed their ranks
to protect the divine rights of their rule,
Secondly the Czechs ,Romanians and Serbs
within the empire resisted thus proving the ethnic minorities
were the Achilles heel in the body of Nationalism.
Cluster principle shows how impossible
Nationalism is at heart. How can one divide mankind into labels?
If Nationalism goes about
to create a nation instantly there shall be
cluster of divisions by the same argument
that shall be on ethnic, sectarian lines.
Here we see a paradox that works even this day.
Hungarian nationalism of Kossuth was generously liberal;
in combating the national feelings of the Slavs and other minorities
in their midst the Hungarians were as illiberal
as nationalists elsewhere.

the Enlightenment and the French Revolution
had declared the rights of man.
“Men are born and remain free and equal in rights.”
But it was another principle that spurred the Nationalism.
“The principle of all sovereignty resides
essentially in the nation. No body or
individual can exercise authority, if it does not
take its origin from the nation.”
This is what Hitler as
der Fuehrer demanded
from the Germans and got.The exaltation of nationalism had set
a conflagration in order to create great catastrophes.
Shall Putin treat Ukraine as Hitler did in his time?(ack: age of the sage.org)




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Prussians after routing the French Army at Sedan headed towards the city of Paris. They were methodical and French towns were notified in advance of their route and requirements at each place. The list included one-and-a-half pound bread per soldier,one pound meat and one-quarter pound coffee, to five cigars and either a pint of wine and a pint of beer for soldier. Towns that didn’t  come up with the required supplies were burned to the ground.

News reached the Parisians and the city was in panic. To the pervasive beating of drums that relentlessly went on citoyens drilled in the streets days and nights men and boys alike, even at nights under the gas jets. Some 40,000 oxen and 250,000sheep were brought in from all directions to pasture in the Bois de Boulogne. Foods were packed into warehouses to prepare the city for siege. Rumor mill went on and every foreigner was suspect. Most foreigners had left Paris by August.

After the surrender of the Emperor the Government of National Defense had taken over the promise,’Not an inch of our soil will we cede, not a stone of our fortress.’ The US wanted Bismarck to lift the siege and also sent Civil War Generals, Sheridan and Burnside and Leonard Jerome(Churchill’s maternal grandfather).

The three envoys found the city starving. Warehouses were emptied long ago and so were the horses in the Bois de Boulogne. Some two months before Christmas menu at a Paris restaurant had listed:soup from horse meat,mince of cat,shoulder of dog with tomato sauce,roast donkey and potatoes, mice on toast.

According to one ‘sewer rats were considered far more delicate than young chickens. One gourmet found rat tasted like a mixture of pork and partridge.

Dogs sold for four francs a pound when it was available, compared to horse at 40centimes a kilogram. Cats were a delicacy and the price was 20 fr. per pound. According to Chronique de Siege the Parisians had eaten 25,523 cats not counting alley cats. Wen the zoo was closed elephant trunks went around eight dollars a pound. Camel kidneys were much cheaper. Bread seems to have been made from panama hats picked up from gutter and a piece of bread was the selling rate for a prostitute.

The only plentiful food was mustard and champagne. The prolonged siege made crush of starving men and women throwing at the Prussian soldiers for food. It angered Bismarck who wanted the troops to fire on the citizens.  When someone pointed out that the Prussian soldiers may not do that the Iron Chancellor was sure that the soldiers ought to be punished for disobedience. He seemed to have remarked ,’I  attach no great importance to human life, because I believe in another world.’ Concluded.
(ack:i)Napoleon II-and his carnival empire/John Murray-1988/John Bierman.ii)Jennie/The life of Lady Randolph Churchill/Signet,1970/Ralph G. Martin)

Tailspin: The terrible misery that visited Germany during the Hyperinflation and Paris under siege are two sides of the same coin. Integration principle works slowly but sets man’s inhumanity to one another on the same yardstick.


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Franco-Prussian war was more or less Bismarck’s war and he went after it on the conviction,’We could not have set up the German Reich in the Middle of Europe without having defeated France.’ His fame and place in history was laid on North German Confederation for which he had so vigorously followed as the Chancellor and in his calculation it was simple: Germany can only grow at the cost of France.

Napoleon did not want another war after the disastrous Mexican War but his Empress wanted it and so did the Court. The French Army could only muster 300,000 in the field with no reserves. The Prussians on the other hand hd 500,000 men and large reserves. When the Iron Chancellor was ready he precipitated a war crisis and to which he sent a doctored telegram from the French government. Kaiser William on reading it sent back a reply that Bismarck would qualify as ‘a red rag to the Gallic bull.’

If by optimism alone a war could be won how would have the Parisians celebrated it! Unaware of realities of war they celebrated the coming war night after night. If their optimism was all that needed the war would have taken Berlin in a flood.
The Germans crossed the border into Alsace on Aug.4,1870.

For the Emperor the tragedy was soon to come and it was at some seven miles from the Belgian frontier at a sleepy village called Sedan. The farce of his Imperial grandeur as a cuckoo compared to his illustrious uncle who was truly the Eagle,  had already sickened him. He was exhausted sick and much in agony with stones in bladder  In a way it was a release for him and the Second Republic was finished. (continued)  

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In 1928 at Neidenburg in the East at the local elections Nazis got only 2.3% of the votes cast. After the Great Depression the Nazis did not have a party office there. Neither did Hitler visit the place to drum up support. By 1933 the Nazi party got 53 % in Germany( actual figures I cannot vouch for.I am quoting this secondhand-b).

Nazi Manifesto was still the same as at the time of its founding and in 1933. People in Germany were dejected with the economy and disruptive Communists were for rejecting democracy. In such a flux energy of each German was in ferment and was ready for taking.


Energy of individual is in full flow when he sells himself to an idea. Look at the post-war Germany what with the hyperinflation and political chaos man on the street was waiting for one father figure who would guide him out of the woods. Defeated and humiliated German had already sold to fall in and Adolf Hitler seized the chance. Having got so much energy from so many Hitler like the Piedpiper of Hamelin led Germany to ruin.

Integration principle shows the pernicious influence of Nazi cult surviving even though National Socialism as a political movement was finished. Its evil has worked its way into the pores of the national life. Neo-Nazis for example.

Here are two principles at work:

How come the first Woodstock festival was a roaring success while the second music-fest was a colorless affair?The natural outgrowth of social changes of 69 was energy that each participant brought there. It is like a flash flood that made a path upturning the whole social landscape. The youth had laid claim to have a say in their destiny that let old fogeys who represented the Establishment give in. Eastern philosophy, music and a new moral order that experimented with multiple lifestyle choices connected to give the social changes its structure. It was natural while the music fest at the Woodstock 30 years later was organized. The first demonstrated Integration principle in creating something new from many influences already in flow.


A similar phenomena we see in the founding of the Church. When John the baptist began his ministry people were agog with expectation. Coming of Messiah had gripped all. Similarly there was a great gathering on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem and all those who were there because their master had promised them an outpouring witnessed something extraordinary. Holy Spirit came down in many tongues.


 A Church that is organized is like a man with an idea seeking counsel from PR man. He simply kills the spontaneous fire in his soul to get so many on the bandwagon! It happened to Christianity where the Church of Rome became a power unto itself. The originality of the teachings of Jesus became diluted with passage of time. Within the first fifty years the Early Church was busy wrestling with the question of how best it could reconcile the gentile and Jewish converts into its hold.

Integration principle must trade off with Inversion principle.



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 How far chance plays a role in the history of nations? Let me recall the story I had posted some time ago.


Blind Chance

Agastya, a householder from Tulu desam, who lived in the middle of two constantly fighting neighbors Ambu and Subbu, had enough of his life. He went to Kailas to meditate. He received in due course enlightenment and his mentor asked him to choose a gift. He chose a deity in gold as large as a man’s palm.

“Chance it is called.” The mentor commented.

“It is a good gift to make my going back to my folks worth remembering.” Before he reached his home he came along a river where one man was about to make a hole in the river. “Don’t,” Agastya ran up to him. “It is chance which brought me to save you.” To his great surprise he was Subbu, his neighbor.

Yogi Agastya gave him his image and said,” Remember Chance has saved you.” Not long after Subbu went on a journey and he carried his image for his protection. While passing through a forest he was waylaid by robbers and was killed for the gold he carried.

As soon as news reached his home Ambu the other neighbor went to the Yogi and fell at his feet and said “Chance which you brought was for my rescue. Was it not?”

Chance has to be explained in terms of total interaction of life-forms. Certainty is settled by actions. Certainy of any ony one set of events in turn is on its own and must take its chance with others. History as with individual plays with larger groups and on a wider scale but the principle is always the same.



In Cosmos certainty of any action creates its own chains of events which create chance for a new player. Thus the war on terror in 2003 deposed Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Consequences of US intervention seems to have strengthened the hegemony of Shi’ia faction in the Middle East. So the Sunni faction whips up an opposition to cut the role of Iran in the region. Syria’s ability to withstand the opposition is a proof of Iran’s growing clout in the region. In a 4-D world of certainty chance is in the flattened down 3-D version of reality.












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Historians are not agreed upon the origin and meaning of the famous name

of Rome. One version tells us that after the capture

of Troy some fugitives obtained ships, were carried by the winds to the

Tyrrhenian or Tuscan coast, and cast anchor in the Tiber. There the

women, who had suffered much from the sea voyage, were advised by one

who was accounted chief among them for wisdom and noble birth, Roma by

name, to burn the ships. At first the men were angry at this, but

afterwards, being compelled to settle round about the Palatine Hill,

they fared better than they expected, as they found the country fertile

and the neighbours hospitable; so they paid great honour to Roma, and

called the city after her name.

 Take Two:

Some say that Roma, who gave the name to the city, was the daughter

of Italus and Leucaria, or of Telephus the son of Hercules, and the wife

of Aeneas, while others say that she was the daughter of Ascanius the

son of Aeneas. Since these versions are disputed re is And even those who follow the most reasonable of these legends, and admit that it was

Romulus who founded the city after his own name, do not agree about his


Take Three:

Some say that Romulus was the son of Aeneas and Dexithea the

daughter of Phorbas, and with his brother Romus was brought to Italy

when a child, and that as the river was in flood, all the other boats

were swamped, but that in which the children were was carried to a soft

bank and miraculously preserved, from which the name of Rome was given

to the place.

Take Four:

Others say that Roma, the daughter of that Trojan lady,

married Latinus the son of Telemachus and bore a son, Romulus.

Take Five: 

In the house of Tarchetius, the king of the Albani, a cruel and lawless

man, a miracle took place. A male figure arose from the hearth, and

remained there for many days. Now there was in Etruria an oracle of

Tethys, which told Tarchetius that a virgin must be offered to the

figure; for there should be born of her a son surpassing all mankind in

strength, valour, and good fortune. Tarchetius hereupon explained the

oracle to one of his daughters, and ordered her to give herself up to

the figure; but she, not liking to do so, sent her servant-maid instead.

Tarchetius, when he learned this, was greatly incensed, and cast them

both into prison, meaning to put them to death. However, in a dream,

Vesta appeared to him, forbidding him to slay them. In consequence of

this he locked them up with a loom, telling them that when they had

woven the piece of work upon it they should be married. So they wove all

day, and during the night other maidens sent by Tarchetius undid their

work again. Now when the servant-maid was delivered of twins, Tarchetius

gave them to one Teratius, and bade him destroy them. He laid them down

near the river; and there they were suckled by a she-wolf, while all

sorts of birds brought them morsels of food, until one day a cowherd saw

them. Filled with wonder he ventured to come up to the children and

bear them off. Saved from death in this manner they grew up, and then

attacked and slew Tarchetius. This is the legend given by one

Promathion, the compiler of a history of Italy.(Parallel Lives by Plutarch)

Founding of Rome belongs to the past. Who is funding her now?



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