Sunday, June 7, 2009


I suppose I should christen this blog before it sets sail in the blogosphere.

Its name is actually two, avinash and aravind, both from Sanskrit. Scholars often translate avinash as indestructible, but that buries the connotations it evokes all but completely. It comes from vinaaze, meaning not only destruction, but decay, ruin, or dissolution. In short, it means preservable, salvageable, something that can or perhaps even will avoid the unfortunate consequences of the laws of thermodynamics. Something that can continue indefinitely.

Aravind is a much less complex translation but an even richer meaning. On its face, it means lotus, but leaving the meaning there is quite inadequate, as the lotus occupied a role of importance within ancient Indian culture more central than roses, lillies, carnations, and daisies combined for Western Civilization, and rivalled only by the obsession of certain East Asia countries for cherry blossums. Brahmanical India had mistakenly concluded that the landmasses of the world followed the lead set by the Indian subcontinent and were arranged in an alternating pattern of peninsula and gulf, in the manner of a lotus blossum. The lotus was more than a symoblic epitome of natural beauty, but also the pivot of the earth's very shape. It was believed that eating the lotus' root would embark great wisedom, from ingesting the base of the plan of the universe. Aravind was both beauty and basis of existance, as well as the physical manifestation of worldly knowledge.

Neither personal taste nor random decision fully dictated the choice of the name avinasharavind. The first project on this blog will examine the modern era's avinasharavind, democracy, that which must not perish and forms both the pinnacle of human acheivement and the source of structure without our modern world. A recounting of democracy's founding is not necessary at this time, but rather defense of its worth. Throughout the world, the past decades have seen the rapid growth of despotic movements, from the establishment of Islamic, Christian, and Hindu hegemons to the continual abuse of human rights at the hands of secular dictatorships sprinkled across the world. Democracy is avinash, it will rise again, like a phoenix, from the ashes of oppression, but we have the choice of deciding if it must fall only to slowly rebuild or whether it can continue its reign without interruption.

Therefore, in the manner of the Slacktivist for the Left Behind franchise, and Cleolinda on Twilight and its sequels, I hope to pick apart Amy Chua's World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability page by page, hoping not to refute her experiences and her studies, but to address her fear of democracy decaying into mob rule. Her novel has enjoyed limited popularity outside of politico insiders in the United States. Still, as the right wing in that leader of the "free" world increasingly entrench themselves in bitter identity politics, often using her work as justification, we need to examine her work with an open mind, less mocking and condemning than my two predecessors. After all, her thesis gives us a choice between democracy or a "free market economy", leaving us with several choices, only one of which is a rejection of democracy. My intention is to enrich her work, addressing both the validity of her thesis as well as the various topics it touches on.

So, please join me next Saturday for the first installment of this dissection of Amy Chua's World on Fire.

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