- In Viceroy’s House it’s shown that Churchill promised Pakistan to Jinnah back in 1945 in exchange for Pakistan’s favor of British Oil interests in Gulf of Oman and their access to the Karachi port and to cut off Soviet Union’s access to the region.
- Winston saw that Pakistan would be easier to influence than an unruly India with its socialist leanings. The movie claims Mountbatten was an unwitting pawn, manipulated by Winston Churchill as part of a secret plan drawn up years earlier.
- The border in fact was made by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India October 1943-March 1947, in 1945 (Breakdown Plan) which was later given to Radcliffe to present as his impartial assessment of the partition line.
- Churchill deliberately misled our American allies as to the proportion of Muslims in the Indian army when the US were lobbying for Indian independence. Playing on American self-interest, he stressed the need to keep the Muslims ‘on side’ in the war against Japan; something it would be harder to do if they felt they were fighting for a Hindu-ruled India.
- the role of British strategic interests in the region; a continuation of the ‘Great Game’ of keeping Russia out of the subcontinent, in order to safeguard the oil fields of the Middle East, the ‘wells of power’. Thus the Viceroy, Lord Wavell, put forward a plan as early as February 1946 for the creation of a Pakistan which would accept British military requirements when it was uncertain whether a new India under the Congress Party would even be in the Commonwealth.
- Churchill worried that if he handed India back as promised they were handing the whole of Asia to the Soviet Union. Stalin had already said he was going to create the biggest country in the world. He had huge manpower and natural resources, but Russia’s two ports both froze over in winter. He wanted a warm water port he could use 365 days a year and the British feared he had his eye on Karachi, which was strategically placed by the Suez Canal and the oil supplies in the Persian gulf
- the riots and growing violence between different religious groups in India was orchestrated by the British to convince Mountbatten that the only option was to divide the country.
- Mountbatten remained in India for 18 months after Indian independence, visiting many of the refugee camps with his wife Edwina, a devoted member of the Red Cross rumoured to be having an affair with Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Indian prime minister.
- The rush to split the country into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan on August 15, 1947, left millions stranded on the wrong side of the new border and sparked the largest migration in history. Nearly 14 million refugees fled their homes as entire villages were butchered. One million died. And 70 years later, the two countries still struggle for control of disputed regions like Kashmir, where more than 50,000 people have been killed by extremists on both sides in the last 20 years.
- Shadow Of The Great Game, by Narendra Singh Serila
- Summary from Amazon.com: “Historians and political analysts have not paid enough attention to the crucial link between India’s partition and British fears about the USSR gaining control of Central Asia. Realizing that Indian nationalists would not play the Great Game against the Soviet Union, the British settled for those willing to do so, using Islam as a political tool in pursuit of their objectives. How this operation was conceived and carried out forms the theme of this untold story of India’s partition. Narendra Singh Sarila unearths top-secret documents which throw new light on several prominent political figures of the era, while bringing out little-known facts about the pressure that the US exerted on Britain to grant India her independence.The author also traces the roots of the present Kashmir imbroglio in this fascinating account.”
- Comedians want to get to the real truth. That’s what comedy is
- Comedy is about anger, fear, insecurity and self denigration
- The jokes that work are racial and that don’t are racist
- Diversity in comedy is a reflection of the diversity in the country
- Comedians look at society from outside. They’re racial referees.
- Comedy comes from pain and the darkest times of one’s life.
- Any time you’re upset, there’s a joke there. So, the more frustrating something is, the more rife its for humor.
- A comedian’s intention is to present something that you’re going to think about and laugh at, at the same time.
- Comedians show you your ideologies.
- If you can take a prejudice to the most ridiculous degree and make somebody laugh with it, then it’s not a prejudice anymore and eventually you wipe it out
- When you’re fighting a power/ideology that you cannot defeat, you’ll find other outlets, one of them being humor
- Comedians feel an urge to make people laugh so that they stop talking about him.
- The more of an outsider a comic is, the more perspective he gains
- The more fearless/raw/real a comedian is, the more powerful he is
- Laughter is a way to deal with the pretentiousnss of the society and temporarily bust the stress that arises from keeping on the face that one does in society
- A comedian uses people’s biases against them to make the comedy work
- Any comedic situation has to be about problem solving
- Racism comes from the fear of the unknown, and with the comedian presenting the “other” via jokes, making the “others” familiar, they aren’t very scary anymore.
- Not everybody can be moved by a rousing speech, but everybody is moved by something that makes them laugh
- Humor is a way to diffuse things, to take the air out of a tense situation
The Big Bang: Crash Course Big History #1
- All but a billionth of the matter created by the big bang instantly interacted with antimatter and was annihilated. All the matter we see in the universe is hence one billionth of the matter created by the big bang
The Modern Revolution: Crash Course Big History #8
Collective Learning, which relies on population numbers and connectivity to produce new ideas, grew by leaps and bounds with the introduction of agriculture. By the year 1400, the human population had advanced magnificently, but the world was still divided into four isolated world zones: The Americas, Australasia, the Pacific, and Afro-Eurasia. From a Big History perspective, what makes the European explorations worthy of a place in an episode called “Modern Revolution” is that they eventually united all four world zones into a global system. An increasingly connected network of potential innovators was great for collective learning. But why did the Europeans feel so motivated to expand? Well, a lot of reasons. One, Ottoman dominance of overland trade routes with Asia, particularly after the conquests of Constantinople in 1453, made Europeans seek alternative routes to the populous and rich lands of the East. Two, European states were fairly small compared to some of the vast empires of Asia, and needed to compete for more resources to fuel their almost constant wars. And three, the fruits of exploration undoubtedly had positive effects. Whether it be the many advanced inventions and consumer goods imported from China, or the spices of India and Indonesia, or crops from the Americas. That last one should not be underestimated. Crops like the potato, which earned the nickname Ready Made Bread” because it was easy to prepare combined with maize, and squashes, and tomatoes, and various yams allowed farms in Europe to support more people. This was also good for Asia where these crops were introduced in the 17th century. And, let us not forget about the vast amounts of silver that the Spanish “acquired” from the Americas, or the many cotton, tobacco, and sugar farms that Europeans bolstered their economies with. The unification of world zones also had many, many negative effects. For instance, it was terrible for people who worked on those cotton, and tobacco, and sugar farms. Europeans increasingly relied on African slaves, the first of whom were granted to the Portuguese by African rulers, and then you know, several centuries of horror ensued with an incomprehensible number of African slaves dying in the appalling conditions of the Atlantic crossing. Life was also pretty miserable for the slaves that survived the journey, and generations of their descendants. Also, because Afro-Eurasia was a modestly connected, thriving cesspool of disease, Europeans had developed many immunities. When they started arriving in the previously isolated Americas in the late 1400’s and 1500’s, the indigenous inhabitants had no immunity to those diseases. This resulted in one of the most horrific events in human history. A cocktail of various European diseases — most notably smallpox — killed off an estimated 50 million people in the Americas in little over a century. A similar tragedy played itself out in Australia when Europeans started arriving there in the 18th century. Now, along with all this horrific stuff, the unification of the world zones was, nevertheless, a good thing for collective learning — which would eventually prove our salvation in many ways. And this global system continues to increase in complexity and connectivity today. Which is why people can now look at THIS on their smartphone. Anyway, the unification of the world zones did not in itself lead to a breakthrough in the way humans harvested matter and energy. The last major shift happened with the arrival of agriculture ten thousand years prior. The colonizing European societies of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries remained agrarian. But the explorations did allow for a network of exchange that eventually did lead to a major breakthrough in how humans harnessed more energy and produced more and more cultural complexity, The Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, as they’ll be happy to tell you, in the 18th century, but it was a global revolution involving collective learning shared across the global system. But a number of innovations that kick-started industry originated in Britain, like the more intensified use of steam engines, or the use of coke to refine metals. Not that Coke, yeah, that coke. Also, they invented many textile machines, and Britain had lots of coal and it was relatively easy to mine. Thank you trees that died hundreds of millions of years ago, we’re going to turn you into industry, and smog. But all those British breakthroughs wouldn’t have been possible without a huge global network of trade that supplied raw materials, like cotton, and that opened new markets where Britain could sell its goods. And it wouldn’t have possible to expand that network of trade in the first place without gunpowder, and the compass, which both came from China. The methods of porcelain manufacture that were important to the industrial revolution in Britain also came from China via Germany, and the improved methods of farming which freed up many British farm workers for industrial wage labour in the cities came from Flanders, in the Netherlands. Early designs for steam engines came from 18th century France, and much of the designs for these machines depended on mathematics preserved and transmitted by Islamic and Hindu civilizations. So up until the end of the 18th century virtually all production in human history was propelled by human or animal muscle power, or else, by wind and water power. But it turned out that coal and oil had stored energy from the sun that had built up over hundreds of millions of years, and using those resources dramatically increased the energy that humans could harness. Huge numbers of goods could be produced by factories at relatively low prices which meant that over many decades goods that had previously been seen as luxuries by common people, were suddenly viewed as necessities. By the 1900s most Europeans enjoyed a standard of living higher than the kings of the middle ages. Coal and oil also allowed mechanization of agriculture, which raised the carrying capacity, increasing the population. And new modes of connectivity beginning with the telegraph and then later the telephone increasingly bound the human species together allowing for swift and rapid exchange of ideas.A new skill or trait open up new ways or ‘niches’ to extract energyfrom the environment, evolutionary change can proceed very quickly. In the Cambrian Explosion that evolutionary change was biological. In The Industrial Revolution that increased pace of change was culturalBecause a slight tweak in modes of production (coal aka dead trees) in the 18th century and the adoption of fossil fuels led to an explosion of productivity and invention in the 1800’s and 1900’sIn the beginning of innovations for bicycles a huge number of designs filled all of the available niches. Eventually those designs started competing with each other and a few forms won out. You got the road bike and the mountain bike and the BMX bike. Just a little bit different variations of the same thing. Another example is the adaptive radiation of electronics. Take a look at all the stuff you needed in the 1980’s to do what your average cellphone can do today. And that was only a few decades ago. Many new ideas sparked an increase in the human standard of living, in the complexity of societies, in tons of different ways.The explosion of cultural evolution that started 200 years ago has yet to cease. The Cambrian Explosion went on for millions of years. The Agricultural Revolution proceeded for thousands of years. We’re still right in the middle of the Modern Revolution; maybe only at the beginning. The huge shift in human activity and a rise in complexity may continue long after our grandchildren’s lifetimes. That is, so long as we don’t do something stupid, which, you know with homo sapiens is always a distinct possibility. And let’s not forget about the rise in complexity that’s been happening since the beginning of the universe 13.8 billion years ago. A star is essentially a pile of hydrogen and helium. It’s extremely simple. By comparison, a brain that arose via biological evolution is an intricate network of billions of connections and building blocks. Industrial society is an immense whirring global network of millions upon millions of brains, more closely connected than ever before. The products of this society raised complexity even further. Bottom line is this: if the first part of this series, which looked at the vastness of the universe, made you feel insignificant, just remember that now at the tremendous heights of technological progress humanity is, in terms of networks and building blocks, the most complex system that we know of in the universe. And there’s currently no end to the potential for rising complexity in sight. This brings us to a longstanding historical question: “Why did The Industrial Revolution happen in Britain?” Great Britain was certainly uncommonly well-positioned. That said, so was China. So why didn’t The Industrial Revolution happen in, say, Song Dynasty China, between the 10th and 13th centuries? So we know the two main drivers of collective learning are population numbers and connectivity, and China has had both for a long time. The medieval Chinese had much more advanced agricultural methods than Europe; they paid attention to weeding and growing crops in rows, and frequently used tools like the seed drill. And they were doing it all centuries before that stuff was even heard of in Europe. In the 900’s, the spread of wet rice farming in Southern China raised the carrying capacity even further because rice fields simply produce more food. They are more efficient. Also, rice is easier to prepare than the laborious European process of turning wheat into bread. So, during the 10th and 11th centuries, the Chinese population increased from about 50 or 60 million to about 120 million. That’s a lot of new innovators. So many, in fact, that Song China came close to having a modern revolution of its own. I mean, coal was used to manufacture iron, production increased from 19,000 metric tons per year around 900 CE to 113,000 metric tons by 1200 CE. The Song Dynasty was the first to invent and harness the power of gunpowder, and then later, in the 15th century, Zheng He conducted overseas explorations decades before Columbus. Textile production showed the first ever signs of mechanization in ways similar to the European Spinning Jenny. But. China had dry coal, while the British needed to pump water out of their coal mines in order to mine coal, which led the British to build steam engines. So, why didn’t the modern revolution start in China around 1000 CE? Well, it might have been the cultural and political climate, and a shift away from innovation and commerce at the end of Song China in 1279. Possibly because they hadn’t united the world zones in a network of trade and unified collective learning. And possibly because the right combination of cultural innovations required to launch a Cambrian style explosion of growth just didn’t happen. The point is that collective learning is such a powerful force that from the explosion of the world population from only 6 million people 10,000 years ago to 954 million by the end of the Agrarian era, the right combination of ideas that led to the industrial explosion might have happened almost anywhere. So long as there are brains to think and exchange ideas, so long as there are energy flows on the earth, humanity has a tremendous potential for rising complexity. The modern revolution was accompanied by explosive growth in human population. It took 250,000 years for humanity to achieve its first billion people. By 1900, the world’s population was billion. Today, there are over 7 billion potential innovators who are now connected by the lightning speed of the internet, and collective learning is more powerful than ever. Humans now have unprecedented control and power over the Earth’s biosphere, which has prompted some scientists and scholars to claim that the Holocene is over and we now stand on the threshold of a new era: the Anthropocene. During this age, we may continue to raise complexity in our little pocket of the universe to wondrous new levels, hopefully to the growing benefit of all humans rather than just a privileged few. Thanks to collective learning, our potential is awesome. Unless, that is, we hit a wall like agrarian societies did every few centuries when their population growth outstripped their rates of agricultural innovation. We are now in an era of immense danger, where the modern global system of humanity might exhaust the resources of the Earth, in the same way that agricultural societies often exhausted the resources of the field. More on that next time. English
Why the Evolutionary Epic Matters: Crash Course Big History #203
- Lenin believed in the clash of classes, and this idea exists in most communist systems in history. The basic idea is to kill around 10% of the population upfront, based on class justification, but in reality, the people being persecuted are the ones objecting to the new communist system and those that are leaders in their fields.
- This cleansing allowed for the communist system to recreate the society and economy afresh, the way oligarchs want, and also will scare the people keeping them in check.
- Once any system is setup, the sole motive of the system is to continue to exist, and so the agenda of the communist govt. like any other form of govt. is to keep the masses fearful and docile and struggling for basic necessities so that they can never think of rebelling against the govt.
- Also, have secret police to deal with the people who’re speaking against the govt. immediately, before it becomes a problem.
- When Ukraine was looking to become independent in 1933, lenin cut off their food supply and starved 7 million people.
- Those systems (like hitler’s national socialism or lenin’s communism) which have the ideology of creating a “New Man” by definition don’t agree with Human nature as it is. They are at war with Human Nature. This is root of Totalitarianism.
- Nazism is hence an Ideology based on False Biology and Communism is based on False Sociology. Both lead to millions dead (stavics in USSR and Jews in Germany).
- Marx himself wrote about class clash being inevitable when socialism is first established, coz the transition to socialism will be natural for capitalist societies, whereas the other cultures who haven’t seen the problems of capitalism won’t be able to be lifted up to the ideas of socialism and hence won’t be revolutionary
- Marxism was as much about equality in rewards as about equality in effort ie everyone pulling their weight and hence advocated the weeding out of the unfit and idle people ie killing off the parasites and leeches within society who were not contributing anything meaningful. Marxism was based on Work setting your free and being an honor.
- Strictly speaking only USSR practiced true Marxist Socialism, exterminating only those people who were class enemies, whereas Hitler’s extermination of Jews on basis of religion was frowned upon by socialists.
- Stalin even ordered the orphan children of the exterminated parents to be shot coz they were roaming the streets begging for food.
- Hitler got the idea for holocaust directly from Stalin’s tactics in 1930s
- Stalin signed the pact with Hitler in 1939 to not oppose him and instead divide Europe between USSR and Germany, coz Stalin wanted Hitler to first destroy and destabilize Europe and then Stalin with his Red Army would later fight Hitler and become the great liberator of Europe. But instead, Hitler later broke the pact in 41 and attached Russia, later spoiling Stalin’s plans.
- In 1939 Germany and USSR attacked poland together and divided the country b/w themselves, under the justification of fighting Fascism in Poland
- Moscow also labelled Finland Fascist and attacked it in 1939, but finland fought back and USSR lost half million troops.
- Hitler on the other side of the Baltic Sea, had easily defeated and occupied Denmark, Belgium, Luxemberg and Holland.
- Next for Hitler was Norway, which he defeated with help from USSR in form of Naval Base at Murmansk. Soviet also sent Resources and Food to Hitler while people were starving in their own country.
- USSR even reached out to communist parties all across Europe to support Hitler. They made speaking against Nazism illegal in USSR and even warned US to not intervene. This is coz they knew that Hitler’s ideology was based on their own and any Hitler’s enemies would turn to become their enemies after Hitler was defeated.
- In 1940, Hitler crushed France, while USSR defeated Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
- Britain was the only country left now.
- USSR maintained it’s public image as being anti Hitler and anti Fascism and hence Jews seeked refuge there, but were captured and returned to Hitler’s Gestapo.
- Coz USSR doesn’t own upto their secret pact with Hitler or any support to Hitler, all the carnage of WW2 is put on Hitler’s head, but in reality USSR’s acts were much worse.
- WW2 left over 27 Million Soviet Citizens dead, but the Soviet Govt. which was a criminal entity was responsible for most of these killings
- More than a million Soviet soldiers joined the Nazi side to escape from hellish Soviet tactics like removal soviet tags from uniforms of it’s dead soldiers
- Stalin did his hellish war crimes under the assumption that no one would judge the vanquisher of hitler in the future.
- Even post the defeat of hitler in 1945, Stalin continued to use the concentration camps and in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, exiled civilian men of the families to Siberia so that russian men could take over their families and hence russians will be in majority, decreasing chance of future rebellion from these Baltic Nations.
- Europe today is dependent on Russian Gas and Oil resources and hence doesn’t investigate USSRs real acts during and after WW2.
- Only German Nazis were tried for their war crimes after the war and nothing more has been done ever since.
- In fact, the existance of Marxist political parties in Eurpoean countries shows the support of some for the ideas that persecution of inferior nations isn’t a crime, coz it makes way for more advanced nations to build a better life and future.