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Many years ago, during one of my professional voyages, I visited the temple of Borobudur in central Java. It was back in the '80s. There were no tourists there and the thick jungle with its noisy denizens was incumbent on the monk-cells, the columns and on the several stupas. The temple was discovered for the West by the Dutch colonisers in the early 19th century. It is a Buddhist construction on an original and decrepit Induist ruin. The two religions seemed to meld together in that abandoned site. At least in those days, Borobudur was solitary and impregnated of Indian culture.

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Of course Buddha was Indian and in many ways his message remains Indian even though his philosophy spread way-out east of his worldly meanderings. But the temple, contemporary to the Cambodian Angkor, was built well after Indonesia had been converted to Islam. Besides, the conversion of the archipelago was operated by Indian Sufis from Gujarat. Islam did not use the sword to convert Indonesia. Nor Islam ever reached its Eastern tip at Bali.
The reason I bring this old memory up is because Borobudur struck me, at the time, as a compelling example of the cultural presence of India (from Angkor to Borobudur) in SW Asia, as well as an example of its pervading influence.

If the root-name of India is current in the regional toponomastic (Indonesia, Indochina…) it is because of the very large Indian presence in the peninsula. From Thailand to Singapore all countries have very large Indian minorities with strong ethnical, linguistic and cultural ties. I could also add religious ties since most of SE Asia follows the "Small Vehicle" Buddhism, by far more ancient and closer to its Indian origin than the "Grand Vehicle" as practiced in China.
As for the Economic ties, of course in today’s globalised world these are to be found everywhere. India is by far more technologically advanced than most SE Asian nations. Their IT, chemical and pharmaceutical products are certain to be found from the Philippines to Brunei.

Furthermore, it is interesting to remember that the “Opium War”, waged against China by the British in the 1850s and ‘60s, was all about Indian-Chinese trade. London tried (and succeeded) to force the import of Indian opium to the Chinese harbours of Hong-Kong and Shanghai.

The war left a pervading scar in Chinese counterculture, but resentment was with the West, not with the vast subcontinent whence the opium originated.


More specifically, economic instability/the loose ends left by WWI led to militarism.


After WWI, Germany was subjected to heavy reparations payments and other measures which crippled its economy. There were also a lot of political changes. Relatively quickly, the Great Depression came along, which only worsened the issues. Then, along came Hitler, a populist who scapegoated several groups (Jews, Eastern Europeans, liberals, Communists, socialists, leftists, etc.) and took every opportunity to talk about how the Germans had been betrayed, the Germans were the superior race, the Germans needed to take what was theirs (i.e. Europe, in a concept known as lebensraum), and so on.

Italy did not get what it wanted in the Treaty of Versailles following WWI and had a lot of economic troubles, just like Germany, which led to a populist leader, Mussolini, taking power, who, much like Hitler, blamed groups for the current instability and urged people to militarize and recreate the Roman Empire. One of the central tenets of fascism is military conquest for the glory of the state, actually.

Again, in Japan, economic instability made the people jittery. And Japan's existence has been a balancing act of maintaining Japanese culture while conforming to Western culture since the early 1800s. In order to secure that and to respond to the economic crisis, militarism slowly swept over the Japanese government until Hideki Tojo, former Minister of War, was appointed Prime Minister a bit more than a year before Pearl Harbor.


That is the case with most Revolutions.


Revolutions, by definition, are a means "to go back to" (re-volvere), with the idea of starting things up again. In the general acceptance a Revolution implies the uprooting of an existing system to install a new one.
Revolutions have not existed since the dawn of organised society. In fact they are a fairly recent means of expressing popular discontent.
Prior to, say, the "Glorious Revolution" and the various Jacqueries of the XVII century, people could only count on riots, rebellions, mutinies, brawls and turmoil to obtain some sort of satisfaction from the ruling classes.

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la révolution guidant le peuple (Delacroix)

These agitations had limited drive, limited scope and (most significantly) little ideology. Generally they did not demand a rehashing of Society, but a larger share of the available pie. They could easily be contained by government through force or persuasion.

To create the very concept of “Revolution” a new parameter was needed: a class of people who was simultaneously affluent, well-educated, but lacking influence and political clout. Such class of citizens (the bourgeoisie) did not make its appearance on the economic exchequer before the XVIth century. But when they came to maturity, they had the knowledge and the genius to formulate an ideology, the means to sustain a confrontation and the urge to reshuffle the system to impose the laws needed to further their scope

Their determination, not the need of the abject masses, brought the Old World to an end and initiated the new one armed of a new powerful weapon.

Hence, the reason why Revolutions (like the Latin American ones) tended not to succeed in their stated goal is that they were generally fought by the wrong people for the wrong cause.
The initial moving force might be popular need or hunger, but the actual driving force is power. The clamouring masses may be crying for bread and work. But the leaders who enliven them from the pulpits seek to bring down the sitting rulers and take their place leaving the masses essentially where they were.

That was the case with the French Revolution (a popular revolt turned by the Convention into a bourgeois structure), of the October Revolution (a militia uprising turned by Communism into an apparatchik system), of the Chinese Revolution (a peasants’ rebellion turned by opposing nationalists into a Civil War and into a monolithic party system). This was also the case for most Latin American revolts where the leading criollos had no interest in common with the native semi-enslaved (yet fighting) population.

The one exception is the American Revolution, and the explanation for such case is that, for once, the motives of the fighting masses were the same as the ideal of the leading intellects.
The American colonists never asked for bread and work like the French peasants, the Russian mugiks or the Mexican peones. The continent had a rich soil and they had as much land as they could take. They wanted to choose their officials as they had always chosen their church leaders, they wanted to trade with whomever they wanted and pay their taxes to their own purse. Which was not different from what demanded the Jeffersons, the Washingtons and the Paynes.

The concomitance of needs and ideology brought together by cohesive circumstances was the force of the American Revolution. Possibly the sole example in the last two or three hundred years, of a popular uprising that actually attained its goal.


The great Schism was a very minor factor as a cause of the First Crusade.


The Pope may have felt that the Crusade to retake Jerusalem from the Seljuk Turks might help heal the Schism between the Roman Catholics and the Greek Orthodox Christians.

The main cause of the Crusade was the aggressive actions of the Seljuk Turks. The Turks had taken over large segments of Turkey that had been part of the Eastern Roman Empire. They had also conjured Syria and Israel including Jerusalem that had been part of Fatimides Islamic caliphate.

When the Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem they tried to turn Jerusalem into a Holy City like Mecca where only Muslims were allowed. This angered the Western Christians sparking the Crusades.

The Eastern Roman Empire felt that the Crusades would restore their control over the Middle East. The Western Catholic armies however did not return the conquered lands to the Eastern Roman Empire but craved out kingdoms for themselves.

The Crusade rather than doing anything to heal the Great Schism only increased the divide between the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.


The 2 attitudes are whether one is a slave by unfortunate circumstances or that one is a slave because they are naturally inferior. Whether this is a "European" or "African" trait is debatable.


Early Classical views on slavery and those in Africa were often based on the fact that the slave was often a prisoner of war, or someone who owed money or had other legal difficulties, rather than by heritage a slave.

American views were often based that most slaves were children of slaves and there were very few people that were newly slaves as their importation was often restricted.

The Koran encouraged wage labor and the freeing of slaves so slavery was a not a passed on to the next generation. The bible was split by interpretation and could be used to justify slavery as the heritage of an inferior people or to justify the equality and brotherhood of all

It is difficult to assign these views necessarily to "Europeans" or "Africans" since the largest market for slaves was the new world and not in Europe. Most slaves came from Africa. Both Europeans and many Africans were willing participants in the Slave trade. Certainly slave owners were often of European heritage and slaves of African Heritage.

Slaves became a necessity to exploit the resources of the new world their perceived inferiority of heritage developed over time. High numbers of deaths often contributed to this view.


The North Koreans justified their attack on the South by the desire of the Korean people to be independent and unified.


Korea had been ruled harshly by Japan since 1904. The Korean people felt that with the defeat of Japan in World War II their country would finally be free and unified.

The political and ideological conflicts between the Western powers and the communists powers frustrated the Koreans desires for one country free from foreign domination.

At the end of the fighting in World War II the Russians took control of the northern part of Korea while the US took control of the southern part. The division of the country made the Koreans unhappy.

The United Nations tried to solve the problem by declaring that there should be an election. The US promoted Rhee a nationalist that had fled Japanese controlled Korea in 1907. The Russian refused to allow the northern Koreans to vote.

The South elected Rhee by 80%. Communist agitators in the south were arrested and imprisoned. The North refused to recognize the electrons in the south and decried the "oppression of the illegitimate election in the south.

With the withdrawal of US forces after the election the south looked easy to conquer. The Russians supplied the North with tanks armored vehicles and training.

The Northern Korean forces attacked to " unified the Korean peninsula

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