In 1932 Carl Jung, the famous Swiss psychiatrist, had the chance to interview the Amerindian Chief ‘Mountain Lake’, in New Mexico; concerning the European immigrants who had occupied his land, the chief had this comment to make:
‘See how cruel they look, their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression; they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? They always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are all mad.’
When Jung asks why he thinks they are all mad, Mountain Lake replies, ‘They say they think with their heads.’
‘Why of course,’ says Jung, ‘what do you think with?’
‘We think here,’ says Chief Mountain Lake, indicating his heart.
All this followed Jung’s concern about the problem of the “busy mind” which seems to be largely a product of the Western culture.
The above interview may give us a clue to the present Western conservative elite’s mind.
When Glasnost and Perestroika became reality in the ex-Soviet Union in the late 80s and as India and China made the jump for world markets – some critic in the West wondered: “Are all these people going to ask for a TV and a fridge in each household?” He was living under the illusion that this was the prerogatives of the West.
After the Second World War, the sun had started setting several times on the British Empire. Europe was in shatters, the Eastern Bloc was yet to assert itself – so the West was relieved that the USA would take the lead as the superpower and protector of the world — especially after it had shown its might after exploding the two H bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As communism was anathema to them, it was natural that they did their best to dismantle that other superpower that the Soviet Union had grown into. They succeeded; after all, who would like to be a communist and acquiesce to forget the past and become a pure materialist.
As long as power was in the West, everyone was happy.
But when China raised its head and Mao Zedong had realized that power lies in the barrel of a gun, another force gathered momentum far from the Western shores. With one billion mouths to feed, the Chinese communists did not care for human rights, much to the scorn of the civilized West which never failed to pillory them on that issue. After the Cultural Revolution of the sixties, life was still difficult for the communist regime in the ‘L’Empire du Milieu’. But unlike the Russians, the Chinese soon realized: why not liberalize only the economy, while maintaining a rigid totalitarian political regime to control the mass? Overnight, millions of Chinese were happy to get down to business, get richer and more food – while relegating freedom for a later date. And it worked, so much so that soon they grew rich beyond expectation; their cheap labour and hard work helped them capture almost all the markets around the world.
And the Western countries made a U-turn and started queuing up to outsource their products, while conveniently forgetting their qualms about human rights in China which, meanwhile, had emerged as a second world power. While all other advanced countries are getting together to build a fusion power plant, China has decided to go solo – just to let it be known how powerful she has become; and to play that superpower role to perfection she is already mimicking the others; she helped subversively the Sri Lankan government to wipe out the Tamil Tigers revolt, played a role in the overthrow of the last government in Maldives and gave unconditional support to the totalitarian regime of North Korea. China has learned her lessons too well.
Meanwhile people in the West, becoming ultra-liberal and idealist by electing an Afro-American to the White House, went along for some time; but 8 years later, some ultra conservatives were wondering whether they should tolerate that man who has relegated the English Churchill’s bust to a corner of the White House and replaced it by that of the American Martin Luther King’s; the retaliation was not late to come.
Donald Trump (DT) was elected; Winston Churchill regained his place. Soon, the new president and his populist electorate were secretly worried that world power — economic and military — is shifting from West to East; can they stand by and play second fiddle? So, it was no surprise that DT targeted China, while ranting to dismantle its economic importance, and aiming to rebuild the Western empire and its past glory. No question of sharing power with the East; it was better to team up with Vladimir Putin, for the time being, to contain the Chinese influence.
And the inevitable is happening – the businessman in the White House wants to militarize his defense; he has his war mongering cronies’ industries to protect. Is the Cold War back? Or should we now call it the “Cool War” – for it will now be incorporating a lot of electronic know-how – to spy over the enemy? The domino effect is already in.
Six decades ago it was the same type of mentality in White Hall which looked down on small states like Mauritius. The British needed Diego Garcia to build a military base, with the connivance of the USA; they browbeat our leaders — who were small fries on the world political scene; they lied, as they did before going after Saddam Hussein, saying there were only part time labourers on Diego Garcia who could be uprooted from Diego without any consequences.
And now some French political Eelites, the like of Marine Le Pen — the unconditional fan of Trump — are convinced that Tromelin is a French territory. But H. Marimootoo tells us in a weekly that, by the 1814 Treaty of Paris, they had ceded Tromelin to the British government of Mauritius after the Napoleonic Wars.
And what was British territory became Mauritian at the time of our Independence. It is those same French people who would come now and pontificate to us about “Egalité, Liberté and Fraternité”. So, we must beware that they do not deal us the Harold Wilson’s card of 1965 of Diego Garcia once again.
Some people in the West want to acquire as much of the world’s riches for themselves as possible (8 individuals are as rich as 3.6 billion poor people of this planet, so said Oxfam) — that’s what the Amerindian Chief Mountain Lake had noticed on the colonialists’ face and eyes, decades ago.
He had seen right, because his people had finally lost most of their territories to the immigrants — more so as nowadays Trump intends to build new gas pipelines across their reserved land, even at the expense of the environment and lifestyle.
“Chief Mountain Lake had shown Jung the other face of his own civilization: it was ‘the face of a bird of prey seeking with cruel intentness for distant quarry…”
And history keeps repeating itself – the rich, thinking with their head, are all powerful. And the meek, thinking with their heart and hoping to inherit the earth, keep waiting — in vain.