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A Postindustrial Prelude to Postcolonialism: John Ruskin, William Morris, and Gandhism Author(s): Patrick Brantlinger Source: Critical Inquiry,

Vol. 22, No. 3 (Spring, 1996), pp. 466-485 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1344018 . Accessed: 02/05/2014 09:41
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A PostindustrialPrelude to Postcolonialism: John Ruskin,WilliamMorris, and Gandhism

Patrick Brantlinger

India. thathasimpoverished It is machinery (1909) -GANDHI, HindSwaraj of vilonly in the simplicity We can realisetruthand non-violence lagelife. Nehru(1945) -GANDHI, letterto Jawaharlal imperialisms-indeed, theoryof hybridity, to HomiBhabha's According streetsand more.' Kiprelations are alwaystwo-way all master/slave Finn,is emHuckleberry Kim,a sortof Anglo-Irish-Indian ling'shybrid, blematicof the countlessracialand culturalmixingsthat characterize of contactwith India.Any touristwho sees the four centuries Britain's governmentbuildingsin New Delhi, or journeys on Indian really, in English or talksto waitersor shopkeepers Anglo-Indian-railroads, Except on the subcontinent. influence at least,of Britain's getsa glimpse, see not may in London a tourist restaurants, tandoori numerous for buttheyaretherenoneon Britain, influence manyovertsignsof India's Mosquein BrickLane to suchAnglotheless,from the JammeMasjid andloot.2 curry, pundit, bungalow, thug, Indianwordsaspajamas,
I wish to thank The origin of this essaywasan MLApaper on Morrisand imperialism; FlorenceBoos for inviting me to take up that topic and PurnimaBose for promptingme to expand it. 1. See Homi K. Bhabha, "SignsTaken for Wonders:Questions of Ambivalenceand Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817," Critical Inquiry 12 (Autumn 1985): 144-65; rpt. in Bhabha,The Locationof Culture(New York,1994), pp. 102-22. see Henry Yule and A. C. Burnell, 2. For these and many other Anglo-Indianisms,
22 (Spring1996) lnquiry Critical All rightsreserved. of Chicago.0093-1896/96/2203-0002$01.00. 1996by The University (C)

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and socialism late-Victorian between HereI explorethe interchange Indian emergent and hand, one the on the arts and craftsmovement British on the other.I beginby askinghow two prominent nationalism aesfor important both Morris, John Ruskinand William intellectuals, and politics Indian to responded thetictheoryand for Britishsocialism, Inprominent two how explore also I artsand crafts. Indiantraditional reCoomaraswamy, Ananda and Gandhi Mahatma dian intellectuals, a involved interchange sponded to Ruskinand Morris.This cultural OrienWestern or at leastdestabilized thatchallenged hybridity creative fromthisconjuncture Furthermore, mimicry. and allegedEastern talism withthe ideaof an together emergedthe conceptand termpostindustrial, in some thirtyyearsbeforeIndianindependence Marxism,"' "'inverted geneAnglo-Indian the the significance by considering 1947.I conclude culmighthave for currentworkon postcolonial alogyof postindustrial turesand politics.

to UntoThisLast on the trainfromJohannesburg ReadingRuskin's In hisautobiography, a conversion. experienced in 1904,Gandhi Durban with [Rusto changemy life in accordance Gandhisays"I determined Of all the booksthat he had read,"theone thatbrought kin's]ideals." in my life wasUnto transformation and practical aboutan instantaneous (thewelit Sarvodaya entitling it laterintoGujarati, ThisLast.I translated in utopianism anti-industrial Ruskin's fare of all)."Gandhisummarizes threemainlessons: in the goodof all. is contained 1.Thatthe goodof theindividual inasworkhasthe samevalueas the barber's, 2. Thata lawyer's much as all have the same right of earningtheir livelihoodfrom theirwork. i.e., the life of the tillerof the soil and 3. That a life of labour, is the life worthliving.3 the handicraftsman,
Etymologtcal, and Phrases,and of KindredTerms, of Anglo-IndzanWords A Glossary Hobson-Jobson: and Dtscursive,ed. William Crooke (1886; London, 1985). Historscal,Geographical, with Trlhth, The Storyof My Expertments 3. Mohandas K. Gandhi, Gandhi'sAutobiography: trans. Mahadev Desai (Washington, D.C., 1960), pp. 364, 365.

is of Englishat IndianaUniversity, professor PatrickBrantlinger, 1830-1914 andImperialism, Literature British the authorof Ruleof Darkness: ( 1990),and andAmerica in Britain Studies Cultural Footprints: ( 1988), Crusoe's 1694-1994. Britain, in and Credit Culture of State: Fictions the forthcoming

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andIndia Morris, Ruskin,

Ruskinfor the Indiancontext,,butother Ruskinians, Gandhireframes were in the artsand craftsmovement, and his followers Morris notably context.WhatGandhi to the European lessons theseandsimilar applying precapitalwashisanti-industrial, bothmostvaluedin Ruskin andMorris with identified thatGandhi the sortof communalism ist communalismutodream-vision Morris's lifeandthatinforms Indianvillage traditional (1890).4 Nowhere from pia,News have arrivedat the three mainlessonshe Gandhiwouldprobably Lasteven if he had neverreadit. He saysthathe This drawsfrom Unto had alreadyponderedversionsof the first two lessons.Also,all three influence thanRuskin's Rather lessonscanbe foundin India'sreligions. on Gandhiand hence on modernIndia,I wishto stressthe ironiesof MarxRuskin-inflected andalsoof Morris's to Ruskin attraction Gandhi's moveartsandcrafts boththe European-led ism,as the latterinfluenced and art philosopher mentin Indiaand the workof the Anglo-Sinhalese Coomaraswamy. historian, as a wasas mucha Toryimperialist becauseRuskin One ironyarises hisviewson Indiawerethoroughly socialism; of late-Victorian precursor to Marxist fromPre-Raphaelite evolution Also,whileMorris's Orientalist. to Indiathan andfarmoresympathetic of imperialism madehimcritical or escapedfrom Indianindependence he neveradvocated wasRuskin, Gandhi,on the other hand,seemsnot to some versionof Orientalism. someof his biographers prevented thoughthathasn't havereadMorris, or homeof khaddar; in his advocacy influence fromfindinga Morrisean manuof British his rejection whichinvolved spuncloth,andof swadeshi, explicitly chief Indiandisciple,Coomaraswamy, factures.But Morris's aestheticand politicalideas to the Indiancontextin appliedMorris's Morris. waysthatclarify art brilliant sermonby an eccentrically Lastis a monologic This Unto In thissermonon true criticwho neverceasedbeinga Toryimperialist. or India,but saymuchaboutimperialism doesn't or value,Ruskin wealth wasatbesta fallible thatitsauthor mighthavetaughtGandhi one passage manutheme,thatamongthe "national repeatsa favorite guru.Ruskin oughtto be of a good quality" "souls nation-state of a virtuous factures" to India, withdirectreference continues, Ruskin the leadingproduct. hour,I canevenimagine andyet undreamt-of Nay,in somefar-away wealthbackto the maycastall thoughtsof possessive thatEngland barbaricnations among whom they first arose; and that, while
often carriesa utopianmeaning,but in Indian discourseit is also often 4.Communalism used as a synonymfor sectarianstrife,violence between Hindus and Muslims,and so on. A Strugglefor For examples of this latter,negative usage, see PrabhaDixit, Communalism: India (New Delhi, in Modern and Bipan Chandra,Communalism Power(New Delhi, 1974), I reserve to identify a self-conscious The best alternativeword, communitarianism, 1984). politicsaiming at communalismin the utopiansense.

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mayyet stiffenthe of Golconda the sandsof the Indusand adamant of the slave,she, and flashfromthe turban of the charger, housings mayat lastattainto the virtuesand the treamother, as a Christian andbe ableto lead forthher Sons, suresof a Heathenone [Christ], saying,-"Theseare MYJewels."5 Accordingto this complexlyironic passage,Britain,as a "Christian enoughto partwithits empirein mayone daygrowChristlike mother," powerandgloryareformere"barbarians" allbutan idealsense.Worldly woulddo in The Theoryof Veblen AsThorstein like Indians. and "slaves" witha "barwealth" "possessive identifies the LeisureClass (1899),Ruskin Britainis or shouldbe outgrowing stageof socialdevelopment; baric" thisstage. is reacting Ruskin from 1857forward, In this passageas elsewhere have or, as Marxand variousIndiannationalists Mutiny" to the "Great to Marx,RusIn contrast warof independence."6 "first viewedit, India's not becausethe pathto utopiafor non-Western kindefendsimperialism but becausethose and industrialization societieslies throughcapitalism raceswhoneedto be ruledfortheirowngood. of inferior consist societies criticizes sometimes Ruskin of imperialism, critics Likemanyotherpartial whatthe Britishare doing in, say,India largelyby upholdingan ideal barbarmodelof whattheyshouldbe doing,of the rightwayto discipline mutiny. . . everyterror,and every can declarethat"every ians.Ruskin out of arisesdirectly under . . . our Indianlegislation, crime,occurring This soundslikea call desireto live on the loot of India."7 our national But, notjust to quitlootingIndiabut to quitIndiaaltogether. to Britain meansso hardly Ruskin fromUnto ThisLast demonstrates, as the passage (he does not quitesayemthe desirefor "loot" dissociates much.Ruskin India. with"barbaric" it instead andassociates pire)froman idealBritain a formof blamingthe victim,of courserationalizes This displacement, of the subcontinent. domination imperialist the continued as he Ruskinoften advocatesan idealized,chivalricimperialism, or democratic, also-while damningmodern,industrialized, sometimes terms.This is the gist of Ruswarin chivalric masswarfare-advocates A Knight'sFaith:Passagesin theLife of Sir HerbertEdwardes kin'smonograph
ed. Clive Wilmer Writings, and Other ThisLast" 5. John Ruskin,UntoThisLast,in "Unto 1985), p. 189. (Harmondsworth, 6. As Marx noted, BenjaminDisraelifirst posed the question of whether the Indian revolt."'He and Engels agreed with Disuprisingor a "'national mutiny was a mere sepoy on the part of its leaders,at least, raeli that it was much more than a militaryinsurrection; it was an attempt to oust the British and gain "nationalindependence"(Karl Marx and 1857-1859 [Moscow,1959], pp. 48, of Independence, FriedrichEngels, TheFirstIndianWar TheIndian 135).The title of this anthologyseems to come from VinayakDamodarSavarkar, 1857 (1909; New Delhi, 1986). of Independence War (CamofAbundance ortheAmbiguities Ruskin, 7. Quoted in James ClarkSherburne,John bridge, Mass., 1972), p. 205.

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Morris, andIndia Ruskin,

Faithis Ruskin's most sus(1885).Alongwith The TwoPaths,A Knight's and India.Ruskin saysthathis tainedcommentary on bothimperialism own memoirof his military purposein commenting upon Edwardes's soldier exploitsin the Punjab in the late 1840sis to show"howa decisive of the wildestraces,subandbenevolent governor canwin the affection of dissolutenadue the treachery of the basest,and bind the anarchy butwiththe livingrootsofJustice tions,-not withwallsof fortor prison, hero worship and Love."8 So A Knight's Faithis an exercisein Carlylean illustrating the rightinsteadof the wrongwayto go aboutwarsof conover"dissolute nations." questand to extendimperial domination and artistic Indiain TheTwo The contrast betweenartlessScotland beliefin an idealimperialism thatit Pathsfurtherdemonstrates Ruskin's nation" likeIndia.First wasimperative Britain exerciseovera "dissolute Pathsclearly published in 1859,the yearbefore UntoThisLast, TheTwo expressesthe racisthysteria arousedby the mutiny."Sincethe race of Ruskin declares, "nothing has manbeganits courseof sin on thisearth," of all bestial,and lowerthanbestial everbeen done by it so significative of the degradation, as the actsof the Indianrace"in 1857.These "acts to itsfiercest against the gentle Indianmutineer" equal"cruelty stretched festered to its loathsomest."9 The paraandunoffending, andcorruption of art,"in contrast to the dox is, however, that Indiansare also "lovers claims-is theirtartankilts.The dour Scots,whoseonly art-so Ruskin to produceanyart;the IndiansproScotsare too puritanically virtuous beautiful art,butit is, Ruskin believes, ducemuch"subtle" andseemingly degradedand unnatural. "Outof the peatcottagecomefaith,courage, else is fruitfulin the work self-sacrifice, purity, and piety,and whatever cruelty, cowardice, of Heaven;out of the ivorypalacecome treachery, in the workof Hell." ' idolatry, bestiality,-whatever else is fruitful Paths,"The Ruskin originally presentedthe firstsectionof TheTwo Artover Nations," as a lectureon Deteriorative Powerof Conventional
ofJohn 8. Ruskin,A Knight'sFaith:Passagesin theLife of Sir HerbertEdwardes,in The Works Ruskin, ed. E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn,39 vols. (London, 1903-12), 31:384. of John R1lskin See also Ruskin's lecture "War," The Crownof Wild Olive, vol. 18 of The Works

and his idealizationof the soldieras the model for all the professions(and hence, for value) in "AdValorem," Unto This Last, pp. 20s28. 9. Ruskin,The TwoPaths, in "Sesame and Lilies," "TheTwoPaths," "TheKing of the Golden River" (London, 1965), pp. 89, 90. 10. Ibid., p. 90. In his 1870 Slade inaugural lecture, Ruskin explains that Britain's in contrast,"thepartlysavageraces ineptnessat "design" is due to its advancedcivilization; Lectureson Art, in The Works of . . . excel in decorativeart"(Ruskin,"LectureI: Inaugural," John Ruskin, 20:28). Earlier,in ModernPainters, Ruskinhad mused upon the artlessnessof peasantsin the SwissAlps. Surroundedby sublime beauty,the peasantsneverthelessdid not reflect that beauty in their daily lives. In contrastto the puritanismof the Scots, the Swiss peasants,Ruskinthought, were merely brutish.See Ruskin,Modern Painters, in The Works ofJohn Ruskin, 6:385417. I owe both of these points to ElizabethHelsinger.

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Museumin 1858. These the Indianexhibitsat the South Kensington in the Great by the EastIndia Company had been displayed artworks of 1851, and until the mutinythey were a sourceof much Exhibition wereparticiAmongtheadmirers forIndianartefacts. admiration British and bothMorris including movement, artsandcrafts pantsin the British amongthe firstto who "was father, Kipling,Rudyard's John Lockwood based on trainingin native advocatethe revivalof Indianhandicrafts Intoward attitudes whichrenderedRuskin's The mutiny, techniques.''ll had no sucheffecton eitherMorris schizophrenic, dian art thoroughly Kipling. orJohn Lockwood of Pathsis an extremeexpression in TheTwo discourse racist Ruskin's But beyond inflectedby his earlyevangelicalism. his Torychauvinism, that Edthat, Ruskinexpressesa versionof the definingcontradiction fascinachildhood Kipling's wardSaidand othersfind in Kim:Rudyard it with color, tion with and love for India, whichled him to associate versushis energyandbarbarism; and artbut alsowithirrational beauty, of civilization, and the progress burden" adultbeliefin "thewhiteman's and bothbarbarism eradicate felt,wouldeventually which,he obscurely entraps himself (as he does, art.l2Ruskin,like Kipling,rhetorically by siand elsewhere) of Venice in TheStones thoughusuallyless violently, identiandnostalgically (orEngland) civilization valorizing multaneously and, in this case, with a fying art or beautywith medievalbarbarism In damningIndiansbecauseof the mutiny, (Indians). "race" diabolical that he oftenelsecivilization imperial sideswiththe industrial, Ruskin ugly. and unremittingly exploitive, deceitful, wheredamnsas barbaric, Scotland identifies PathsRuskin Thisis not to suggestthatin TheTwo that role belongsto England. process; of the civilizing as the vanguard roles Scotsplayedvaliant virtuous Buthe goeson to notethatthe artless, India.He does not saythatthe reartfulbut mutinous in reconquering race of Indiawill rescuethe world'smostdiabolical newedsubjugation terms,will civilizeIndians.But from damnation-or, in less hysterical
11. MahrukhTarapor,'John LockwoodKiplingand BritishArt Educationin India,"
Studies24 (Autumn1980):78. GivenRudyardKipling'sreputationas "thelaureate Victorian

uncle), to EdwardBurne-Jones(Rudyard's of empire,"his father'sties to Pre-Raphaelitism, arts and crafts movement are, to say the least, anti-industrial and to the anti-imperialist, ironic. See the opening of Kim for an evocation of the Lahore Museum, or "Wonder House," where John Lockwood Kipling was curator (RudyardKipling, Kim [New York, Writings, of Myself"and OtherAutobiographical 1901], p. 1), and chap. 1 of Kipling,"Something ed. Thomas Pinney (Cambridge, 1990) for childhood memories of Uncle Edward and "UncleTopsy" that is, Morris. 12. See EdwardSaid, Cultureand Imperialism(New York, 1993), pp. 132-62. In the nostalgicKim, India'sart and color are, sadly,giving way to Britain'sindustryand science, Survey"(Kipling,Kim, p. 173). The sur"Ethnological representedby ColonelCreighton's through espionage the surveillance vey is a front,of course,for the imperialgovernment's discoversIndia'sart and color. which Kim/Kipling

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insofar as Indians arediabolical, Ruskin believes that"artful" thoughthey are (orbecause theyare "artful"?), theymustbe conquered and ruledfor the world's as wellas for India's good. 2 Gandhicould not have guessedwhatRuskinthoughtaboutIndia just fromreadingUntoThzs Last.However, Ruskin's greatest British disciple, WilliamMorris,must have had difEculty reconciling the utopian, quasi-socialist, and at timesanti-imperialist Ruskinwiththe authoritarian, imperialist, racistRuskin. Fromhis earliestpolitical activism for the EasternQuestionAssociation in 1877, Morrisbattledvaliantly against British "jingoism" and warmongering. E. P Thompson declares thatoppositionto imperialism led Morris to socialism.l3 AndSaidnamesMorris along with WilfredScawenBlunt as two late-Victorian intellectuals "whoweretotallyopposedto imperialism," although"farfrominfluential." 14 Saidis rightaboutBlunt's lackof influence, but it is not clearthat Morriswas "far from influential." Morrishad a major impact on an anti-industrial side of British socialism, alsoexemplified in the 1890s by Robert Blatchford's bestsellingMerrzeEngland (1894). This antiindustrial socialism, including theguildsocialism advocated byAlfred Orage,Arthur J. Penty, G. D. H. Cole,and othersfromabout1906into the 1920s, influencedLabour politiciansincluding RamsayMacdonald, Clement Attlee,andAneurinBevin. 15 It is alsonot clearthatMorris was"totally opposedto imperialism," as Saidclaims. As in everymatterof ideology, thereare shadesand degrees of anti-imperialism. Morris advocated home rule for Irelandand vehemently opposednew European incursions in Africa and elsewhere, but he said little or nothingaboutwhatBritainshoulddo with India. This vagueness contrasts sharply with HenryMayers Hyndman's many articlesand bookson India. Drawingon Marxand also on Dadabhai Naorojiand other earlyIndiannationalists, Hyndman arguedthat the British were"draining" Indiaof its wealthand thereby causing unprecedentedpovertyand famines.Fromthe 1870sonward,he preachedthe immediate dismantling of the BritishRajin favorof home rule under Indianadministrators. Similarly, Charles Bradlaugh tookup the causeof
13. See E. P Thompson, William Moms:Romantic to Revolutionary (New York, 1977), p. 631. 14. Said, Culture andImper7alism, p. 241. 15. Of course Morriswas a majorinfluence themajorinfluence-upon the arts and craftsmovement,and thence upon modern art and architecture.But Said is talkingabout whetheror not his socialismand anti-imperialism were influential.For Morris'simpacton Labourpoliticians,see Martin J. Wiener,English Culture andtheDecline of theIndustr7al Spir7t, 1850-1980 (Cambridge,1981), pp. 118-26.

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Indianhomerulefromhis electionto Parliament in 1886untilhis death in 1891-a championing that influenced Annie Besant,who in one of her later avatars, aftermetamorphosing throughTheosophy, presided over the Indian NationalCongress.Meanwhilethe Fabiansocialists adopted the liberalimperialism (that phrase isn't an oxymoron)expressedby Shawin Fabianism andtheEmpire. 16 I amnot suggesting thatMorris waffled vaguely between Hyndman's anti-imperialism andthe Fabians' imperialism. It seemslikelythatMorris agreedwithhis quondam comradeHyndman; thereare a few briefarticlesin Morris's Socialist League journalCommonweal thatcomecloseto Hyndman's position. The mostnotableis "British Rulein India" by the old Chartist turnedsocialist John Sketchley, whodamnsthe Rajas nothing morethan"thesuppression of liberty, to facilitate the workof wholesale plunder.''l7 But Sketchley fails to say and this is true of the few other articleson India in Commonwealwhat Britainshould do next aboutIndia.He alsoignoresthe stirrings of Indiannationalism thatwere contemporaneous withthe rise of Britishsocialism, stirrings thatby the late 1880swereat leastas wellpublicized in Britain as in Indiaand that had the goal of Indianhome rule (HindSwaraj,or Indianself-rule, as Gandhicalledit) paralleling Irishhome rule.But whileCommonweal has muchto sayaboutIreland,muchof it by Morris, it has littleor nothing to sayaboutIndianindependence.l8 Morris apparently believedthatIndiawasso steepedin poverty and superstition, albeitas a resultof British "forceand fraud,"that he could not imagineit achievingimmediate home rule, as he did for Ireland.And home rule in eithercasedid not necessarily meanfullindependence fromBritain. Besides, wouldn't inde16. On Britishsupportfor Indian nationalism and "homerule,"see HarishP.Kaushik, TheIndianNational Congress in England,1885-1920 (New Delhi, 1972), and Briton Martin, NewIndia,1885:Br7tish Official Policy andtheEmergence of theIndianNational Congress (Berkeley, 1969), pp. 197-240. ChushichiTsuzuki,H. M. Hyndman and British Socialism (Oxford, 1961), sees Hyndmanas only graduallygiving up a Tory-Radical imperialismfor support of full Indian independence. But as early as his TheBankruptcy of India (1878), Hyndman advocated"genuineIndian rule throughoutHindustan,"albeit"underlight Englishleadership"and withinthe emergingBritishCommonwealth framework (Henry MayersHyndman, TheRecord of an Adventurous Life[New York,1911], p. 161). For Shawand the Fabians on empire, see GarethGriffith,Socialism andSuperior Brains: ThePolitical Thought of Bernard Shaw(New York,1993), pp. 65-70. 17.John Sketchley, "BritishRule in India,"Commonweal, 21 Apr. 1888, p. 124. 18. In one of his "Notes on News,"Morriswrites,"we are a hated garrisonin India, and hold it by means of force and fraud for the advantageof the robberclassin England." British rule is "Britishtyranny"(WilliamMorris,"Notes on News,"Commonweal, 8 June 1889, p. 177). But he does not say that Britainshould quit India. And in other "Noteson News"he focuses on Europeanincursionsin Africa.Moreover,"Socialism from the Root Up," coauthoredby Belfort Bax, which appearedas a series in Commonweal in 188S87, is thoroughlyEurocentric. Brief mention is made of Britishcompetitionwith the Frenchand Dutchin the seventeenthand eighteenthcenturiesfor Americaand India,but that is about all except for an allusionto Marx'scommentson colonizationat the end of vol. 1 of Capital.

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pendencespeed the industrial development-that is, degradation-of India?Perhaps Morrispreferredan India left undisturbed in whathe sawas barbarian innocence, just as he explicitly preferred an Africa left n a stateot prlstlnezarzarlsm. Morriswrote and spoke extensivelyabout the general economic forcesthatresulted injingoism andterritorial aggrandizement. Imperialism wasthe resultof"commercial war," basedon a continuum between classwar at home and warfareamong rival nationsfor new markets abroad and leadingto the imperialist cannibalization of weaker societies by stronger ones. "Competitive Commerce," Morris says,"isdistinctly a systemof war,"extending from rivalryamong individuals to rivalry amongbusinesses and classesand ultimately to "thewarsbredby Commercein search of newmarkets." It is on thisglobal levelthatimperialism produces its destructive effects; it has "ruined India,starved and gagged Ireland,and torturedEgypt.''l9 Morris's analysis of"commercial war" foreshadows J. A. Hobson's Imperialzsm: A Study, the 1902bookoftencited as the starting pointfor modern,economic theoriesof imperialism.20 In "HowWe Liveand How We MightLive,"Morrisdeclaresthat the destruction of weaker societies by imperialism is
. ,. . . .

whatcommercial warcomesto when it has to do with foreignnations.... Thatis howwe live nowwithforeignnations, prepared to ruinthemwithout warif possible, withit if necessary, let alonemeantime the disgracefulexploiting of savage tribes and barbarous peopleson whomwe forceat onceour shoddywares andourhypocrisyat the cannon's mouth.2l These and manysimilar passages Marxhimselfmighthavewritten.Yet thereare aspectsof Marx's theoryof imperialism that Morrisprobably couldn't accept. A cluelies in Morris's condemnation of "shoddy wares," entailingthe aesthetic qualities of the productsof humanlaborand of entiresocialsystems. ForMarx, by contrast, afterthe 1844manuscripts, aesthetic concernsmoveto the background; they are implicitin everythingthathe wrotebut theyaren'ta dominant featureof the Grundrisse or of Capital. Aesthetic concerns wereof coursedominant for Morris becausehe wasan artist,but alsobecause, besidesMarx,Ruskin wasa majorinfluence on his socialtheories. Yet,as we haveseen,Ruskin is highlycontradictory aboutimperialism, and his differences fromMarxare manyand acute.The key difference is thatMarxon one levelis as thoroughgoing
19. Morris,"Art and Socialism," Stories in Prose, Stories in Verse, Shorter Poems, Lectures and Essays, ed. G. D. H. Cole (1934; New York,1978), pp. 636, 637, 645. 20. SeeJ. A. Hobson,Imperialism:A Study (1902; London, 1965). 21. Morris,"How We Live and How We Might Live,"Stories in Prose,Stories in Verse, Shorter Poems, Lectures andEssays, pp. 568, 569.

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an advocate of industrial modernization as, say,ThomasMacaulay; Ruskinisjust as thoroughgoing an antimodernizer. But Marxis alsoan antiimperialist, whereas Ruskin expresses a Torypaternalism that,extended to India,equalsimperialism. ForMarx, imperialism, whichhe condemns on the level of practical politics as horrendously unjustand destructive, is on the world-historical levelpartof thejuggernaut of progress leading throughcapitalism to communism. ThusbothMarxand Ruskin, though for oppositereasons,rationalize imperialism in waysthat Morrismust havefoundrepugnant. In his writingson India, Marxarguesthat though imperialism is ruthlessly destructive of Oriental despotism anditscorollary, the "idiocy" of Indian"rural life,"it is onlythroughthatdestruction thatthe pathof Indiansalvation lies.22 Thisis one versionof thinking progress anddisaster together, dialectically, as Marxinsistsis necessary, and thereare versionsof suchthinkingin Morris. Revolution is a termthatexpresses this thought: progress, liberation, or utopianrealization canonlycomeabout throughviolence,especially coupsd'etatlike the American and French Revolutions or the short-lived ParisCommune of 1871that Morris elegizesin his 1885narrative poem,ThePilgrzms of Hope.23 In News fromNowhere,such a revolution initiatesthe utopiansocietyof the future.But Marxalsowritesaboutthe "fundamental revolution in the socialstateof Asia"that Britishimperialism is stupidly, viciously, but necessarily producing a revolutionsynonymous with what is nowadays called economicdevelopment or modernization. It is precisely revolution in this second,economicand industrial sense that Morris, with his "hatred of moderncivilisation," hatedat leastas passionately as did Ruskin.24 And this is also why,in NewsfromNowhere, the political and socialrevolution is not identifiedwith a modernizing revolution in the economicmode of production. Mostof what Morrishas to say aboutIndia is containedin a few
22. Marxwrites, England,it is true, in causinga socialrevolutionin Hindustan,was actuatedonly by the vilestinterests,and was stupid in her mannerof enforcingthem. But that is not the question. The question is, can mankind fulfil its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state of Asia? If not, whatevermay have been the crimes of England she was the unconscious tool of history in bringing about that revolution. [Marxand Engels,TheFirstIndian Warof Independence, 1857-1859, p. 20] For Marxon the "idiocy" of Indian "rurallife,"see MichaelAdas,Machinesas theMeasureof Men: Science,Technology, and Ideologiesof Western Dominance(Ithaca,N.Y., 1989),p. 238. Adas offersa succinctaccountof the viewsof the VictorianBritishon the role of industrialization in "civilizing" India;see pp. 223-28. See alsoAijazAhmad,"Marx on India:A Clarification," In Theory:Classes,Nations, Literatures (London, 1992), pp. 22142. 23. See Morris,The Pilgrimsof Hope, in Storiesin Prose, Storzes in Verse, ShorterPoems,Lecturesand Essays, pp. 355408. 24. Morris, "How I Became a Socialist," Storiesin Prose, Storzesin Verse,ShorterPoems, Lecturesand Essays, p. 657.

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passages of his lectures andessays condemning the destruction of Indian artsand crafts by industrial capitalism. This includes whathe saysabout forcing "shoddy wares" on barbarian peoples; themec-hanically produced itemsflood the markets and undersellartistically superiorones handmadeby indigenous craftspeople. In contrast to Ruskin, Morris clearly does not regardIndianartworks as evilor dissolute; he regards themas beautiful, worthy of imitation, andsuperior to mostWestern equivalents. But whileMorris condemns the destruction of Indianartsand crafts by civilization (thatis, by imperialism and industrialism), he does not spell out an alternative. The twomainirreconcilable alternatives presented by his two chief precursors, Marxand Ruskin,were deeply problematic. Morris couldnot acceptMarx's viewthatthe "social revolution" in Asia had necessarily to forgeits violentroadinto the futurethrough capitalist industrialization. Neitherdid he acceptRuskin's racistauthoritarianism, according to whichgood Christian soldierslike Sir HerbertEdwardes hada positive dutyto imperialize dissolute "races" suchas the Indians.25 So Morris wasleftwithinconsistent or unsettled ideasaboutIndia,which weakened his otherwise forthright but generalanti-imperialism. 3 According to ThomasMetcalf, the British-inspired arts and crafts movement in turn-of-the-century Indiawas patronizingly imperialistic. Perhaps it wasso in a Ruskinian direction, but not clearly in a Morrisean one. Metcalf writes, "inthe placeof the liberal visionof an empirebased on Englisheducation, socialreform,and individual enterprise, the arts and craftsmovement [supported a] . . . conception of empire. . . [based on] England's mission[to preserve] India's'traditional' society." Metcalf adds thatbecauseof Morris's "preservationist" sympathies with India's preindustrial artsand crafts,sucha patronizing imperialism musthave seemedmore acceptable to him thanThompsonallows.26 But I see no evidencein Morris's writingsof his "preservationism" attachedto any
. ,.. . *

verslon

ot lmperla

lsm.

25. In the case of GeneralGordon, supposed "martyr" of Khartoum,Morrisdamned "thatmost dangerous tool of capitalistoppression, the 'God-fearingsoldier"'(quoted in Thompson, WilliamMoms, p. 718). 26. Thomas R. Metcalf, An ImperialVision:Indian Architecture and Brztain's Raj (Berkeley, 1989),p. 154. Metcalfadds, Although,as a socialist,Morrisopposed the aggressiveand militarist aspectsof imperial expansion, which he saw as an element in the destructivegrowth of capitalismand commerce,where empire alreadyexisted, as in India, it could advancehis "preservationist"objectives.Historianshave generallyfailed to notice this latter,more sympathetic side in Morris's viewsof empire. [E 271 n. 29]

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Nevertheless, Morris drewmuchof hisknowledge of Indianartsand crafts fromthe museum workandwritings of SirGeorgeBirdwood, who alsoinfluenced JohnLockwood Kipling. "ToMorris's visionof a 'decorative, noble,popular'orderof thingsin life and art, Birdwood brought the realityof India'spreindustrial culture,threatened by Britishcommercialism but not yet destroyed."27 Birdwoodauthoredthe official Handbook totheBrztzsh Indian Section for the ParisUniversal Exhibition of 1878,whichservedas the basisfor his 1880 TheIndustrzal Artsof India. The latterbecamesomething of a biblefor the artsandcrafts movement and helped inspireCoomaraswamy's work.28 LikeMorris,Birdwood is Ruskinian withat leastone majorexception: he doesn'texpressRuskin's racistanimosity towardIndia.Thoughthe Anglo-Indian Birdwood isn't anti-imperialist, he is anti-industrialist in twoways: bydeclaring that"machineryshouldbe the servant and neverthe master of men"andby condemningthe destructive impactof mechanical productionon Indian villagelife (I, p. 136).The textilemillsof both Lancashire and Bombay have, Birdwoodargues,caused Indian "hand-weaving" to "languish" (I, p. 135).If machinery were gradually introduced into Indiafor the manufacture of its greattraditionalhandicrafts, there would ensue an industrialrevolution which,if not directed by an intelligent andinstructed publicopinion and the generalprevalence of refinedtaste,wouldinevitably throw the traditional artsof the country into the sameconfusion . . . which hasfor threegenerations been the destruction of decorative artand of middle-class tastein England, . . . Europe,and the UnitedStates of America. [I, pp. 13W35] Birdwood declares that "inIndiaeverything is handwrought, and everything, downto the cheapest toyor earthen vessel,is therefore more or lessa workof art" (I,p. 131).Although Indian"decorative" artis not to be ranked withEuropean "fine" art,Indiais nonetheless theconsummate conservative society, "theonlyAryancountrywhichhas maintained the continuity of its marvellous social,religious,and economical life, from the earliestantiquity to the presentday"(I, p. 45). Its nonprogressive
27. Tarapor, ':John LockwoodKiplingand BritishArt Educationin India,"p. 72. 28. See George C. M. Birdwood,The IndustrialArts of India (London, 1880);hereafter abbreviated I. That Morriswas familiarwith Birdwood'swork is evident in the letter that he and other artistscosigned and publishedin the Birdwood-inspiredJournal of Indian Art (later entitledJournal of Indian Artand Industry). Dated 1 May 1879, the letter encourages Birdwoodto continue defending Indian arts and craftsagainstthe inroadsof Britishcommercialismand mechanization.Among the other cosigners were Burne-Jones, Walter Crane,John EverettMillais,and RichardRedgrave. John LockwoodKiplingoften contributed to the lavishlyillustrated Journal of Indian Artand Industry and accordingto Tarapor may have edited it for awhile.

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andIndia Morris, Patrick Brantlinger Ruskin,

of herediderivesfromits system art,moreover, in decorative perfection by its villageeconomy. tarycraftguilds,supported ... its own affairs and manages is a littlerepublic, Eachcommunity effectual for the purperfectly institutions rudemunicipal [through] withthe centralGovernposesof self-government....Its relations and its internaladministration by a headman, ment are conducted watchof an accountant, consisting officers, by a staffof hereditary barber, shoemaker, smith,potter,carpenter, man, money-changer, including,in some villages,a and other functionaries, astrologer, [I, p. 44] dancinggirl,and a poet or genealogist. When they can'tsupplytheir own needs, the villagesare suppliedby citiesof from "thetrade guildsof the great polytechnical craftspeople of a guild may be of differentcastes;the India"(I, p. 138). Members quality officerswho maintain of each guild, by hereditary governance is similarto that of and providefor the welfareof their subordinates, the villages. is perhapsmild comanti-industrialism guild-oriented Birdwood's fashionhe contendsthat once but in quasi-socialist pared to Morris's, to its properplace machinery hasrelegated taste" "theforceof cultivated is so thatindustrialism in Britain, no longerallowedto intrudeinto the domainof art manufactures socithroughout diffused willbecomemoreequally . . . [then]wealth of their influence throughthe elevating classes, ety;andthe working position, dailywork. . . willriseat once in social,civil,and political raisingthe wholecountry. . . with them;and Europewill learnto in life whichis to be still tastesome of thatcontentand happiness foundin the paganEast.[I, pp. 136, 137] of contentedand utopiandescription offersa virtually Here Birdwood of Rusreminiscent life a description Indianvillage happypreindustrial but even and elsewhere, in "TheNatureof Gothic" kin'smedievalism Afterdeof News fromNowhere. communitarianism closerto the aesthetic of thejewellersand "brass potter," the workof "thehereditary scribing or threeloomsat withtheir"two and of the weavers andcoppersmiths," the acacia between hanging andgold,the frames workin blueandscarlet of whichdropfaston the websas theyarebeing trees,the yellowflowers of the evening, activities goeson to listthe communal Birdwood woven," and the music. . . and . . . the songs. . . sungfromthe Ra"thefeasting andthe next mornsunrise He thendescribes or Mahabharata." mayana ng, wlthltS
* . . .

in the open air before performed and adorations simpleablutions India the houses.... Thisis the dailylife goingon all overWestern

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amonga peoplehappyin of the Dakhan, in the villagecommunities and frugalwayof life, and in the culturedetheirsimplemanners rivedfromthe grandepicsof a religionin whichtheyliveand move and havetheirdailybeing.[I, pp. 135, 136] Indianvillageculturewithits of preindustrial portrayal Birdwood's art musthaveapworksof (decorative) beautiful craftguildsproducing (thatis, utowho perhapsinferredthat,if"nowhere" pealedto Morris, in the presentinsteadof in the medievalpastor pia)existedanywhere of India future,then thatplacemightwellbe the villages the communist MorBesides industrialization. capitalist by undamaged as yet thatwere a number contains Nowhere from News poet," Persian of "the ris'smention and of Indianartsand of traces,at least,of the influenceof Birdwood dreamerMorris's what concern these of The-most important crafts.29 the about and "banded-workshops" about learns protagonist,Guest, and industrialization by culture village of destruction prerevolutionary makepottery Guestvisitsa craftshop wherethe workers urbanization. (N, p. 38), explains his guide and glass.This is a "banded-workshop," in similarto the craftguildsthat had regulatedmanytrades medieval ascapitalstilldid so in India.30Just madeclear, and,as Birdwood Europe European the had destroyed and urbanization ism, industrialization, guildsandweredoingthe sameto Indianguilds,so theyweredestroying villageculturein both Europeand Asia.As old Hammondtells Guest, artsof lifewhichonceadded the smallcountry "'all beforethe revolution of countrypeoplewerelost"'(N, p. 60). But after to the littlepleasures repopulatpeoplebeganto flockbackto the countryside, the revolution, handicrafts. traditional and resuming ing the villages and reformof villageculture,basedon guildsand The restoration his career. wereto be mainthemesfor Gandhithroughout handicrafts, imperientailing is . . . a curse" "industrialism as for Morris, ForGandhi The of local autonomy.3l and the destruction alism,classexploitation, the industricouldnot comefromimitating problems solutionto India's whatwassoundin the Westbut ratherfromrestoring alized,imperialist (EG,p. 295). of India's"sevenhundredthousandvillages" traditions whosebasic Indiato becomea democracy Gandhiwantedindependent
29. Morris, Newstrom Nowherf, ed. James Redmond (London, 1970), p. 180; hereafter abbreviated N. The "Persian poet" is Omar Khayyam. 30. Apart from Ruskin's quixotic Guild of St. George, which was not primarily a craft organization, arts and crafts guilds included Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Co.; William Lethaby's Art Worker's Guild; and Charles Ashbee's Guild of Handicraft. After coming to England in 1907, Coomaraswamy was closely associated with Ashbee and the Guild of ClassMovement, Handicraft. For guild socialism, see Cole, A ShortHistoryof theBritish Working 1789-1947, rev. ed. (London, 1952), pp. 321-27, 405-8, and Niles Carpenter, Guild Socialism:An Historicaland CriticalAnalysis (New York, 1922). and Ideas, ed. Louis Fischer (New York, 31. Gandhi, The EssentialGandhi:His Life, Work, 1983), p. 287; hereafter abbreviated EG.

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wasto "reinThe obviousplaceto begin,moreover, unitswerevillages. while rejectingall state the ancientcottageindustryof handspinning" otherdycloth(EG,p. 288).Throughkhaddar; foreignand factory-made production wouldrevive(seeEG,p. 225).Mass ing villageartsandcrafts the urgentneed wasto meantless workand less wealthfor the masses; formsof laborto the masses."When nonalienated restoremeaningful, of the West we willnot wantimitations we havebecomevillage-minded, tastein but we willdevelopa trulynational products, or machine-made starvation keepingwiththe visionof a new India,in whichpauperism, on "nastress (EG,pp. 299-300).Gandhi's willbe unknown" andidleness Rusnote;in his lecture"Traffic," againsoundsa Ruskinian tionaltaste" morality."32 . . . is the ONLY that"taste declared kinfamously 4 had littleto sayaboutIndia,it can'tbe provedthat BecauseMorris or even Indianvillagelife in mindwhenhe wrotehis he had Birdwood in one and Birdwood withRuskin But contextualized utopianromance. News fromNoin another, andCoomaraswamy andwithGandhi direction This term, thatcan be calledpostindustrial. a resonance acquires where listofpostwordsdatingfromthe 1960s(postmodernism, one of the growing and so on) was coined by Coomarapostcolonialism, poststructuralism, Pentywrites, guild-socialist In his 1922bookPost-Industrialism, swamy.33 connotesMedievalism, Fromone point of view,PostIndustrialism But in any Marxism." fromanotherit couldbe definedas "inverted of Incaseit meansthe stateof societythatwillfollowthe break-up be used to coverthe speculations and mighttherefore dustrialism, The needof somesuch is doomed. Industrialism of allwhorecognize to coverthe ideasof thosewho,whilesyminclusive termsufficiently withthemin theirattiyet differed withthe . . . Socialists, pathizing haslongbeenfelt.34 Industrialism tude towards . . . to Dr.A. K. Pentyadds that he owes the term "Post-Industrialism bothmeanby "PostWhatPentyandCoomaraswamy Coomaraswamy."35 echoes Morrisin ways that Marxism"' and "'inverted Industrialism" readingsof News ratherdismissive the standard, should problematize for nostalgia romantic of Victorian asjust anotherinstance fromNowhere
Last,p. 234. UntoThis 32. Ruskin,"Traffic," see Anne McClintock,"The 33. For variouspost terms in relation to postcolonialism, SocialText10 (Spring 1992): Angel of Progress:Pitfallsof the Term 'Post-Colonialism,"' 84-98. (New York,1922), p. 14. Pentyhad used the term 34. ArthurJ. Penty,Post-Industrialism State(London, 1917). of thePost-Industr7al for New:A Study earlierin OldWorlds p. 14. 35. Penty,Post-Industr7alism,

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of the ideaof postindustrihybridity Ages.The Anglo-Indian the Middle and by Ruskin shared attitudes thatthe antimachinery alismalsosuggests WieMartin what only not affected Coomaraswamy and Morris Gandhi, but the declineof in Britain spirit" ner calls"thedeclineof the industrial elsewhere. and India in imperialism British makeclear, on postindustrialism Yet,as morerecentcommentarws Forthe declining. not increasing, is industrialism of the globalhegemony relative the and "post-Fordism" means perhaps West,postindustrialism butit alsomeanscomputerizaheavyindustries, declineof the traditional and "the regime of flexible corporations, tion, robotics,transnational revoluindustrial call now the"third thatsomeeconomists accumulation" euphemisms "development" and "modernization" Meanwhile tion."36 that,as earlyas 1965, Kwame for the continuedeconomicexploitation are the order of the day in India called"neo-colonialism" Nkrumah elsearoundthe globe.37 everywhere and apparently "theterm in regardto postmodernism, remarks As TerryEagleton so."38 only as usual, more at all,meansbusiness 'post,'if it hasanymeaning so more and means, by other is industrialism postindustrialism Currently the because thanever.This is not exactlythe casewithpostcolonialism, II, starting War sinceWorld havedisintegrated empires European formal of develideology of the in 1947.Butas critics withIndianindependence world the of opmentpoint out, the recentlydecolonizednation-states centheir dependenton the Westin partbecause remaineconomically purhave relentlessly bourgeoisies and comprador tralizedgovernments countries,the In most non-Western sued industrialdevelopment.39 hasaccelerated to industrialize to raisethecapital of borrowing syndrome Buttafter ratherthanprosperity. debtsandnewcyclesof poverty national what regimes, andSovietsocialist European of the eastern the dissolution
of Cultural intotheOrigins AnEnquiry of Postmodernity: 36. See DavidHarvey,TheCondition (Oxford, 1989), pp. 141-72. As early as 1970,Japanese scholarswere interpreting Change in terms of a "thirdindustrial optimistically, Daniel Bell's theses about postindustrialism neither historynor ideNeedless to say,paceboth Bell and FrancisFukuyama, revolution." has ended. ology, much less industrialism, (New York, TheLast Stageof Imper?alism 37. See Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-Colonialzsm: 1965). (Oxford, 1990), p. 381. of theAesthetzc 38. TerryEagleton,TheIdeology (New York,1974),CherylPayerwrites, World TheIMFandtheThird Trap: 39. In TheDebt and Indonesia In the 1950s it was hoped that countries like India, Yugoslavia, would lead a genuine "ThirdWorld"whose developmentwould avoid both the evils of capitalistexploitationand the hard labourand bittershortagesof socialistautarchy. Today that dream is dead, and all of these nations are more deeply dependent than they were at the time they gained their politicalindependence. [P.xii] India,"pp. 16S83. David Ludden of 'Socialist' See also her chapter,"TheTransformation has shown how independent India's "developmentregime"mirrorsthe culturaland ecofrom the eighteenthcenturyforbasicto Britishimperialism nomic logic of modernization ed. and Culture, ward. See David Ludden, "India'sDevelopment Regime,"in Colonialism NicholasB. Dirks(AnnArbor,Mich., 1992), pp. 247-87.

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nationshave except sodo the so-calledunderdeveloped alternatives onlyin the sensethatit is the latest, perhaps calledlatecapitalism "late" placesof the earthto gain ecodecolonized lastchancefor the recently andMarxto repeat,Marx Besides, andprosperity? nomicindependence just anticapitalist. ismwereneveranti-industrialist, or postindustrialismever a Was Gandhiananti-industrialism with its attento more and biggerindustrialization, alternative realistic degradation? environmental and exploitation of economic dantscourges India postcolonial of emergence the Wasthere ever a momentduring after Even option? a viable life was village of traditional whena renewal on nonviobased India a new of vision in 1948,Gandhi's hisassassination violent, ratherthanon centralized, communitarianism lent, decentered Sarvodaya the motivate has continuedto or capitalism state socialism orland-redistribution Bhoodan, Bhave's withVinoba associated movement in SriLanka.Gandhian and withthe workof A. T.Ariyaratna program, movementand also informsthe environmentalist communitarianism DespiteGandhiand Ganboth withinand beyond India.40 "Greens" Nehru forwardthe CongressParty dhism, however,fromJawaharlal andbig technology TataSteel,Air centralization hasfavored leadership disasterat Bhopal, India,nuclearpower.But the 1984 Union Carbide the downside two yearslater,dramatizes meltdown like the Chernobyl seemsto entail."Tochangeto indusprogress so-called thatall industrial (EG,p. 287).4l "isto courtdisaster" warned, Gandhi trialism," and some otherrecent collective Studies the Subaltern Nevertheless, includingAijazAhmadtakewhatcan only be calleda Indiantheorists viewsGanThus ParthaChatterjee stancetowardGandhism. skeptical
as If People Economics Is Beautiful: alternativeeconomicsin Small 40. E. F. Schumacher's (New York,1973) is as much Gandhianas Buddhist.See also the last paragraphof Mattered (London,1993), and HermanE. DalyandJohn Shiva,Ecofeminism MariaMiesand Vandana theEnvironment, Community, toward theEconomy Redirecting Good: B. Cobb,Jr., FortheCommon Future (Boston, 1994),pp. 159-68. On Gandhi'scontinuinginfluenceboth anda Sustainable ed. John Hick and Lamont C. for Today, Significance in India and elsewhere, see Gandhi's Hempel (New York,1989). The essaysby SugataDasgupta,"The Core of Gandhi'sSocial "The GandhianMoveand EconomicThought"(pp. 189-202), and GeoffreyOstergaard, ment in India Since the Death of Gandhi"(pp. 203-25) are especiallyrelevantto my argument. 41. Nehru portraysGandhi as growing more amenableto the idea that some largescale industriesare necessaryand desirableas long as they are state-owned.Nehru also insiststhat the Indian NationalCongress"has. . . alwaysbeen in favorof the industrialization of India, and at the same time has emphasizedthe developmentof cottage industries of India,ed. RobertI. Crane[Garden Nehru, TheDiscovery and workedfor this"(Jawaharlal City,N.Y., 1960], p. 325). But, while agreeing that machinerycould sometimesbe useful, He can and state centralization. Gandhi consistentlyopposed large-scaleindustrialization economy and envibe consideredan advocateof appropriatetechnologyfor a sustainable that, insofaras possible, ronment and would have agreed with Penty and Coomaraswamy workers exercising local, democraticautonomy should decide what machinery (if any) should be used for specifictasks.

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antithetias a moralessentialism communitarianism dhi'santi-industrial cal to historicism,"the dominant thematic of post-Enlightenment "the 'nain consolidating Also, Gandhiwas instrumental thought."42 antiGandhi's claims, and,Chatterjee the 'modern,"' by decrying tional' thathashelped wasmerelythe antithesis of capitalism critique industrial in (N1;p. 51). ForChatterjee, capitalism the thesis,industrial to promote thatwhichGandhi precisely hashelpedto spawn otherwords,Gandhism as little anti-industrialism And AhmadtreatsGandhi's most abhorred. But by viewing Orientalism."43 more than a Ruskinian"Romantic and Chatterjee andromantic, as naive,essentialist, utopianism Gandhian that Ahmadseem implicitlyto affirmthe course of industrialization the EnlightIndiahaspursued.Do theymeanalsoto affirm postcolonial emphasizperspective, A "subalternist" of modernity"? enment"project historicalagency, might instead be ing peasant and working-class by and Coomaraswamy, expectedto echo Gandhi,and also Birdwood "cottage valuingaspectsof Indianvillageculturewithits arts-and-crafts Bombayor to life in modernizing that remainpreferable industries" NewDelhi.44 perhapsit is alhas limitations; No doubtthe utopianimagination But, as Andre Gorzconbackward-looking. waysromantic,nostalgic, diXerentsocietycan no tends, "thosewho propose a fundamentally realism On the contrary, in the nameof realism. longerbe condemned has reacheda stage that 'industrialism' now consistsof acknowledging of its own making."45 blockedby obstacles whereit can go no further, of it (lessdismissive anti-industrialism on Gandhian perspective Another of pre-or a renewal mightaskwhether andAhmad) thanare Chatterjee villageculturemay not be a viableeconomicalternative, postindustrial nation-states that modernizing and not just for India an alternative pursuitof aroundthe globehaveburiedin the ruinsof theirrelentless pathThe ideaof suchan alternative "themirageof modernization."46
Discourse? World: A Derivative andtheColonial Thought 42. ParthaChatterjee,Nationalist repeatsthese points NT.Chatterjee (1986; Minneapolis,1993),p. 97; hereafterabbreviated (Princeton, Histories andPostcolonial Colonial andItsFragments: aboutGandhismin TheNation NJ., 1993). p. 237. 43. See Ahmad,In Theoty, of Gandhismin relagroup'sinterpretation Studies 44. For a samplingof the Subaltern agency,see the essaysby Gyanendra tion to their dominanttheme of peasantor "subaltern" Gandhias Signifier," Pandeyand ShahidAminunder the generalheadingof"Nationalism: Spivak (Oxford, Studies,ed. RanajitGuha and GayatriChakravorty Subaltern in Selected 1988), pp. 233-348. Chatterjeegoes so far as to make Gandhism,if not Gandhi himself, of the subalternclasses"into the new hegemony estabresponsiblefor the "appropriation bourgeoisie(NT,p. 100). Ahmad is not part of the lished by the post-1947 industrializing Studies collectiveand is criticalof its work,but his positionon Gandhismis similar Subaltern to Chatterjee's. trans.MalcolmImrie (BosWork, OntheLiberationfrom toParadise: 45. AndreGorz,Paths ton,l985),p.1. (New York,1995). of Modernization TheMirage 46. See Boris Kagarlitsky,

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communitardemocratic, decentralized, nonviolent, the nonindustrial, imagpaththatMorris sustainable andecologically ian,andeconomically ined and that GandhiwantedIndiato follow mayturn out to be the more wassurely In anyevent,Gandhi forsurvival. blueprint onlyrational and AhmadacthanChatterjee aboutthe crisisof modernity insightful "India willperish declared, Gandhi "Ifthe villageperishes," knowledge. such villages," too"(EG,p. 291).Fora landof"sevenhundredthousand seemsself-evident. a prognosis periodthatcanbe called,however If the Westhas entereda critical postcolonial,and postmodern,for the postindustrial, inadequately, toIndiamaybe at the end ofA Passage statement World" the Sky's "Third MariaMiesand In Ecofeminism, apt:"'No,not yet . . . no, not there."'47 for Indiaand the up development" Shivaarguethat"catching Vandana continworldis a mirage,in partbecause restof the "underdeveloped" worldis a expansionfor the "developed" ued economicand industrial and elseLatinAmerica, in India,Africa, Whilegovernments mirage.48 in Britain-once discourse muchcurrent to industrialize, wherestruggle in the vanguardof both empire buildingand industrialism is now glumly focused on "the decline of the industrialspirit"and "deBritain to industrialize, The firstmodernnation-state industrialization." wateracross the "to return nation-state postmodern be the first mayalso British in the postmodern Postindustrialism shed of industrialisation."49 context is hardly a hopeful, utopian prospect it is instead usually as and barbarism, to anarchy regression of a dystopian treatedin term-s filmTheLastof England(1987). apocalyptic Jarman's in Derek the discourse, currentdecline-and-fall Giventhe gloomof Britain's and Penty for Coomaraswamy utopian promiseof postindustrialism seemsveryremote.But whetherthe Westor the Restis enteringor can orbit,the taskof postcolonial finally postcapitalist, entera postindustrial, history seemsmoreurgent to (post?)contemporary alternatives imagining we still and Ruskin; we stillneed Morris thanever.WestillneedGandhi; hope ErnstBloch's need Marx,onlymoreso. Wealsoneed the radical of hope" that utopianthinkingexpresses,and we need to "principle the utopiantraidentifies Coomaraswamy seriously.50 takesuchthinking of tradition" withwhathe callsthe "inspired literature ditionin Western
A Passageto India (New York,1952), p. 322. 47. E. M. Forster, 48. See Miesand Shiva,Ecofeminism,pp. 55-90. 49. Andrew Gamble,Britain in Decline: EconomicPolicy,Political Strategy,and the British State (London, 1985), p. 37. See Wiener,English Cultureand theDecline of the IndustrialSpirit, OrganizedbytheNational Papersand Reportof a Conference 1850-1980, and De-Industrialisation: (London, 1979). Instituteof Economicand Social Research,ed. FrankBlackaby 50. See ErnstBloch, ThePrincipleof Hope, trans.Nevill Plaice,Stephen Plaice,and Paul Mass.,1986). Knight(Cambridge,

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Republic, CitingPlato's the world'sgreatreligions,includingHinduism. he writes,

in work-shop is . . . a kindof co-operative Thusthe idealsociety is ... for use and not for profit.... The artsare whichproduction but theirobject. . ., and of anything not directedto the advantage in a a humanneed ... [thusservinghumanity] thatis.... to satisfy wheregoodsaremadefor saleratherthanfor waythatis impossible ratherthanquality.5l use, and in quantity as wellas The fromNowhere aboutNews mightbe writing Coomaraswamy he seemsto sum up both Morris's Is Civilisation?" In "What Republic. and also whathe and Pentymeantby "Postutopianism, and Gandhi's that no longer (or a Marxism Marxism"' and "'inverted Industrialism" or insiststhateverysocietymustbe forceproduction machine valorizes "development"): throughthe needle'seye of capitalist marched and quantitive competition ambition, rejects The inspiredtradition is basedon the notionsof [but]our modern"civilisation" standards; and free enterprise(deviltake the hindmost) socialadvancement, man'sneeds,whichare The one considers in quantity. production his wants,to whichno the otherconsiders "butlittlehere below"; by multiplied is artificially limitcanbe set,and of whichthe number an evermust. . . create forprofits The manufacturer advertisement. expandingworldmarketfor his surplusproducedby those whom men."It is . . . the incucalls"over-occupied Schweitzer Dr.[Albert] to a "curse "civilisations" busof worldtradethatmakesof industrial conceptof progress... that and from the industrial humanity," modernwarshavearisenand willarise;it is on the sameimpoverishedsoilthatempireshavegrown.52 that andGandhi, Penty, Morris, as do Ruskin, concludes, Coomaraswamy but the deisn'tprogress, productof industrialism the mostimportant of of the verypossibility of civilization thatis, the destruction struction in whichbothjusticeandbeautyprevail. a socialformation

EsandOther Is Civilisation?" 51. Ananda Coomaraswamy, "What Is Civilisation?" "What says,ed. Seyyed Hossein Nasr (New Delhi, 1989), p. 6. See also Roger Lipsey, His Lifeand (Princeton, NJ., 1977). vol. 3 of Coomaraswamy Work,
52. Coomaraswamy, "What Is Civilisation?" p. 7.

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