Man, Woman, and Machine — Part 3

Man, Woman, and Machine — Part 3
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Part 1 can be read here, and Part 2 can be read here


Readers who have read this earlier essay1 of mine have a sense of what I mean when I use the term Tech-State. It represents the totalizing impulse of Western Modernity, when high-technology, global corporations, and willing nation-states form a nexus of totalitarian control over the lives of individuals and communities. In return, it offers us addictions that serve as distractions and the annual week-long holiday at the beach. We are all so steeped in this version of reality that we find it hard to recognize or question it. While it has us, men and women, fighting over rights, responsibilities, alimony, and patriarchy, the truth of what is happening to us is very different indeed, which I will come to shortly.

It is this worldview of the Tech-State that has been institutionalized and propagandized for more than a century now by the Western system that many of us now pass through:

“The new proceduralized organizations of the 19th-century industrial city further increased demand for human capital of the industrial type. This necessitated mass schooling, which tried to proceduralize some of the same cultural and physiological shock experienced when entering an industrial city.”2
— Samo Burja, The End of Industrial Society, 2021

Today, most of us believe implicitly that we are freer, that our lives are infinitely better than those of our ancestors, and that the high-tech world we live in is an inherent good. We also tacitly acknowledge that though the journey to this place was littered with immorality, it was all worth it, because it was for the ultimate common good of humankind. By taking to heart this sentiment, we have become the zombies of “progress”. To us, the slavery of Africans, the genocide of Native Americans, the re-education camps for the Aborigines of Australia, the theft of entire continents through manifest destiny, the pillaging of entire countries through colonialism, the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust, and the rape of Bhu Devi that made it all possible are merely the “normal” course of history, a “phase” we had to go through. We assume that we have “outgrown that period of adolescence” and that we will never have to pay an emotional/spiritual price for that journey.

Today, the results of this pernicious sequence of events (that has resulted in the high-tech corporatized world we live in) are so ubiquitous that the worldview they represent has been fully universalized, even in our minds, not just as the brutal history of the West, but as the history of all humankind. When the word “civilization” is used in casual conversation, we implicitly mean Western civilization. And indeed, the longer we unquestioningly feed from the bowl of goodies that this immoral history has made available, we too become complicit in its actions (though our own ancestors were its victims) and will face its karmic consequences. The Hopi people refer to this current condition of ours as Koyaanisqatsi or “world out of balance”.

As heirs to other civilizations and ways of being, we cannot limit ourselves to merely being satisfied with running in the white man’s race and aiming to do better than him (as China aspires to); it is important that we find a reasonable way to incorporate our traditional life patterns as a major part of our lives even as we find a way to participate in Western Modernity while shaping it from within, away from its genocidal roots, and towards a genuine Dharmic end, so as to ensure that all that suffering was not in vain.

This, in my opinion, is the only possible justification and course of action we Dharmics can adopt that is even halfway noble and honest.

Man, Woman, and Tech-State

A recent reference to Child Rights in a conversation got me thinking about “rights” in general. I had already been thinking along these lines by the time I wrote this essay3 and my thoughts have since been further clarified. Despite what our brainwashed minds are led to believe in today’s world, there is, in fact, no such thing as a “right”. There is the God-given world and that’s all there is. Everything else has been made up by us. In the traditional way of seeing things, we have duties that we perform in gratitude and reciprocity for having been graced with life. When we perform our duties, we gain the respect of our peers, and social privileges are accorded to us by our fellows. This was basically how the world functioned for a hundred thousand years at least.

All of a sudden, less than three hundred years ago, under the influence of industrial surplus, the idea of “rights” started to gain traction. But it is only in the last seventy years (post the Nuremberg Trials) that this strange idea has come to be universalized. In fact, it is through the idea of rights that Western society attempts to come to terms with the horror of its own depravity and institutionalized rapaciousness. Rights are a mechanism by which the state is supposed to protect us, ordinary citizens, from the excesses of the industrial behemoth we live within. Unfortunately, this idea of rights that was supposed to protect us from the excesses of the industrial system is today used undemocratically to take down what little remains of our “regressive” traditions and communities, while the state itself is unabashedly hand in glove with the military-industrial complex it is supposed to maintain a check on. This lens for viewing our predicament is, unfortunately, almost non-existent in India, and the idea of rights is now second only to the Indian Premier League (IPL) in its hold over people’s minds. Today, no matter where in India one goes, one will be faced with the idea that people have rights, and when those rights are denied, revolution is a legitimate response.

A serious person has to ask two questions:

  1. Where did these rights come from?
  2. What are the underlying values that determine the nature of those rights?

Robert Bork writes in his 2003 book, Coercing Virtue:

“This book, however, will concentrate on what seems to me the single most powerful influence aiding and abetting all other forces: the recent ascendancy almost everywhere of activist, ambitious, and imperialistic judiciaries. Oddly enough, the role of courts in displacing self-government and forcing new moralities has not triggered a popular backlash. Courts have been and remain far more esteemed than the democratic institutions of government, even though the courts systematically frustrate the popular will as expressed in laws made by elected representatives.”

“It is apparent even to a casual observer that, everywhere, democracy and indigenous moral traditions are in retreat. Even as more nations adopt democratic forms of government, reforms are undermined by other internal developments. This is particularly noticeable in older, advanced democracies. Increasingly, the power of the people of Western nations to govern themselves is diluted, and their ability to choose the moral environment in which they live is steadily diminished.” 4

Imagine, if this is how Western Conservatives feel about their current state of affairs (knowing full well that the undemocratic laws they are subject to are an off-shoot of their very own historical and religious evolution), how much more pathetic must the situation of the traditionalist citizens of countries such as India be, who far from being able to articulate an intellectual response to the internationalization and liberalization of law, are unable, in their illiteracy, to even understand the consequences of the constitutional values that have been foisted upon them.

So then, where do these rights come from?

The obvious answer is that they come from the entity (usually the government administration) that is willing to enforce the maintenance of those rights (we can call this entity the patriarch). So, what is that entity in modern times? It is the centralized Tech-State. We are now left with the conclusion that the centralized Tech-State is our patriarch in modern society. This super-patriarch will obviously accept no upstarts who challenge its diktat, whether individual men or women (in families) or community leaders (in communities).

And what is the nature of that Tech-State? Apart from being technological, centralized, and prone to surveillance of individuals, the overwhelming feature of the Tech-State is its propensity for “liberalism” and “universalism”. It stands against the particular, the organic, the human, and the humane. It stands against tradition and community. It stands against culture and identity itself.

Again, Robert Bork provides an explanation:

“It may not be immediately obvious why the New Class should be overwhelmingly liberal in outlook. Perhaps the best explanation was offered long ago by Max Weber – Intellectuals characteristically display a strong desire for meaning in life, and for them meaning requires transcendent principles and universalistic ideals. These qualities were once conferred by religion, but religion is not an option for intellectuals; the only alternative is the utopian outlook of the Left. Once the hard-core varieties of the Left were put out of favor by World War II and the Cold War, the intelligentsia turned to the softer and eclectic socialism of modern liberalism.”

“As a political and cultural philosophy or impulse, conservatism or traditionalism offers no comparable transcendentalism, no prospect of utopia. Conservatism is infrequently an option for the intelligentsia; the New Class despises the few conservatives to be found in its ranks more than it does those whom it regards as the retrograde “unwashed”-the general public. Conservative pragmatism, especially its concern with particularity-respect for difference, circumstance, tradition, history, and the irreducible complexity of human beings and human societies-does not qualify as a universal principle, but competes with and holds absurd the idea of a utopia achievable in this world.” 5

I guess this is all old hat for people in the social sciences but for my own clarity let me recap:

The entity that is willing and able to enforce the maintenance of Rights can be called the patriarch. The super-patriarch in modern times is the Tech State. The Tech State is fundamentally liberal and universal in nature. It uses high technology, surveillance, and an increasingly centralized bureaucracy to disintegrate traditional communities and the local economy while maintaining its stranglehold on atomized individuals by controlling the airwaves, providing pleasurable distractions, and establishing its value system through the rights-based discourse. The rights-based discourse is interesting in that it gives people the impression that they are being cared for and their interests are being protected while in fact, the entity that is doing the protecting is the one undermining our communities, surveilling our actions, breaking our local economies, and indoctrinating our children. It’s a bit like the Tamil Nadu government providing free home appliances to women subsidized by the money it makes from selling booze to their husbands. It’s a sleight of hand, that at first glance looks like a win-win situation, but in fact, is a lose-lose situation. Eventually, the realization hits that the entity which is willing to enforce the maintenance of rights has (ultimate) ownership over people who accept those rights.

In the case of children, this matter is the most unresolved. Now that patriarchy is defined around the idea of maintenance of rights rather than the performance of duties, are we actually saying that the state, as super-patriarch and the entity willing to enforce the maintenance of rights, has more ownership over our children than parents themselves (who perform the duties)? If the answer is yes, it represents a tectonic shift in how humans have thought about the nature of human life and human relationships. Even if not stated in such clear terms, the existence of governmental institutions such as Child Care Services in the West makes clear what the tacit assumptions of the Tech-State are that parents are merely guardians of their children and the state reserves the right to claim ownership6 over them at any time based on an alien value-system of its own making.

Now, we ask some hard questions.

Is it better that the “ownership” of people resides with other people who are capable of compassion and with whom we have a symbiotic relationship, i.e., the community? Or is it better that it is exercised by a non-human and indifferent entity over whom we have zero emotional control? If there needs to be a system in place to serve as a check against the worst forms of human debasement (violence, trafficking, rape, etc.) is it not better for the long-term benefit of the human soul that these checks and balances are provided by a community and not the state? That’s exactly how our ancients imagined society – individual excesses are checked by the family, family excesses are checked by the community, and community excesses are checked by a multi-community panchayat, and only after that does the state come into the picture.

Today, American conservative voters nod in agreement as Vivek Ramaswamy’s war cry resonates across city halls: “The nuclear family is the best form of governance known to mankind”. But what Vivek fails to do is to extrapolate this maxim further to include community and super-community, all of which are responsible for bringing stability, peace, prosperity, continuity, and well-being. This was the matrix that classical Bharat developed – Kutumba, Kula, Jaati, Sampradaya, Varna, all of which were free from direct state control. We have been schooled to see these social formulations as constraints, when in fact they are the guarantors of our liberty and the guardians of our identities. Making a promise may well be the work of an individual, but very often, the keeping of that promise is a community’s work.

Hawley reiterates the paradoxical wisdom, common to both the classical tradition and historic Christianity, that freedom and restraint aren’t enemies, but friends. Or as he puts it, that ‘order and self-command are not opposite to liberty but are liberty’s prerequisites. Freedom and character go hand-in-hand’. 7

This idea of liberty being linked to community and duty, ties in directly with what has come to be known as “women’s rights”. Women today derive their rights from the state, not from their community or tradition. There is a sense among women that they have been freed from the control of men and society. But this is a shallow reading of the situation. They have traded a certain type of intimate and symbiotic relationship with their men and their communities for an indifferent and mechanical relationship with the state. Is this what they want? Do they want to live in a patriarchy of this unfeeling, “un-human” entity? Have we come to such a pass that we trust the state (with its foreign values) to be more just that our communities and families?

Men of course have no rights because men are supposed to make their own way in the world. In fact, an optimistic reading of this arrangement is that those groups who have no rights are groups that are free. The state may mess with them, but they are, in fact, free (in limited but real ways). Any group that demands rights or is given rights by the state are groups that are expected to surrender their autonomy to the state. They start behaving like vassals of the state who will never rise up against it because they derive their personhood from it. One can see this all over rural Bharat. Formerly fiercely autonomous groups today behave like puppy dogs seeking governmental favors, unwilling to even raise a finger to fix the roads and drains in their own villages. Their entire raison d’etre now is no longer their traditional work, the upholding of tradition, or the upkeep of their sacred spaces, but the search for the latest holy grail — the governmental job with incentivized laziness and perpetual pension.

In recent times (with the widespread availability of appropriate high technology), the Tech-State apparatus has realized that this is an easy way to quell dissent. This is why the state is constantly trying to expand its sphere of influence by dishing out dole, subsidies, and special privileges to more and more groups whom it chooses to define as “victims”. This is the way it subjugates us, this is the way it buys our loyalty, our votes, our compliance, and our silence. Of course, this process is two-way — the more the state subsidizes and incentivizes victimhood, the greater the tendency there has been among human groups to claim victimhood status.

Thinking (and feeling) women need to reconsider this situation. If it is liberty (in the original sense) they want, it must be earned in conjunction with, and by making a fresh compact with men. What they have now is not liberty, it’s a gilded cage erected by a mechanical master who will not even ask their name, let alone love them or give their lives for them.

Perhaps women are not interested in true liberty and find that they prefer the distant tyranny of the state better than the sometimes, intimate tyranny of men.

Even if this is the case, we have to ask what the state stands for. Why should Hindu women agree to be the subjects of an entity that stands for Western values built on the backs and blood of our Hindu ancestors? On the colonization of our lands, on the enslavement of our ancestors, on the genocide of entire continents worth of people, on the violence of the World Wars, on the skeletal remains of Jews killed in Germany? Is this the nameless entity our women want to side with?

The centralized Tech-State is an entity that functions to privilege two fundamental principles – Machine and Market. All women (and men) who align with it will find themselves pulled into its slipstream, slaves to efficiency and money, willing to sell and be sold, with none of the uplifting, human, humane, divine impulse of a Savitri or a Nachiketa.

Our shift from the natural communal world to the world of laws and systems has not just changed our physical and institutional life, it has caused an epistemological upheaval. Who are we? Who do we owe loyalty to? Who do we protect? Who do we turn to for protection? Whom do we love? Who do we bring up? Where does our life force come from? How do we imagine ourselves in connection with each other and the universe?

“We need to re-imagine marriage as the smallest possible unit of resistance to overwhelming economic, cultural, and political pressure to be lone atoms in a market. Households formed on this model can work together both economically and socially on the common business of living, whether that’s agricultural, artisanal, knowledge-based, or a mix of all these. This is an essential precondition for the sustainable survival of human societies. Our biggest obstacle is an obsolete mindset that deprecates all duties beyond personal fulfilment, and views intimate relationships in instrumental terms, as means for self-development or ego gratification, rather than enabling conditions for solidarity.

“What looks from one vantage point like progress mostly seems that way because you’re ignoring the costs. We’ve grown immeasurably richer and more comfortable in the last three hundred years, for example. But we did so on the backs of plundered, colonized, and enslaved peoples, and at the cost of incalculable environmental degradation.

“And we’re not powerless. We don’t have to stumble blindly into an age of technological upheaval with a worldview shaped by a set of industrial-era memes that are now making things worse. Just as we have in the past, we can and must once again re-evaluate how men and women can be human together.” 8

We have entered and are entering a radically new and “un-human” way of being with each other if we surrender our sovereignty to the nameless state. We need to think of rights and restrictions again, if need be, but also the nature of the entities that will enforce them. We need to humanize those entities. In the old days, that system was called community and family, and the restrictions were called samskaras and promises — of humans, for humans, and by humans.

“Our freedom is not realized in the possibility that we might do anything, but in doing what we have said we will do. Human freedom is consummated in the voluntary self-limitation of the promise made and fulfilled.” 9

The global Tech-State has long passed beyond the pale. It is too humongous, too homogenous, too indifferent, too disloyal (as COVID has shown) to represent us for anything essentially human.

A clarification: People who are not very familiar with my work may conclude that by advocating against the idea of “rights,” I am a supporter of a world where Matsya Nyaya prevails. That is not what I intend. As Hindus, we need to draw a distinction between the Western idea of rights granted to us by a supervising authority (thereby becoming a force against liberty and community), and the Sanatana vision of a human/humane society that has been passed on to us by our ancestors and received directly from our civilizational archetypes. It is by asking ourselves — “What would Sri Rama do?” “What would Sita Mata do?” “What would Sri Krishna do?” and “What would Durga Mata do?” “What would a Mahaperiyava advise?” “What would a Raja Bhoja have done?” — that we generate ethical action. Our ethical failures in recent times are not because our culture is rotten (as our rivals are keen to imply), but because the threads that bind us to our archetypes have grown thinner and thinner over the last three hundred years. I have covered some of these matters in this essay. 10

The Hindu response to the liberal, globalized rights-based order is in fact a deeply civilizational state. Without that, we literally do not have access to our indigenous ethicality.


Man, Woman, and Machine

Very simply, the industrial dynamic describes a turn in human affairs when the vast majority of human activity changed from cyclical to linear. Our age-old impulse to maintain was replaced by an impulse to progress. Our fundamental ontology shifted from balance and contentment to imbalance and disruption, and our self-perception from divinity to materiality, with the world no longer alive to the breath of the Gods but to the scream and buzz of the Machine.

Men were the first to fall into the slipstream of this paradigm. High on crude oil, they imagined it was they who controlled the machines of their own making, little realizing that as the machines grew in sophistication, they were replacing men altogether. All the special powers of men were superseded in one dramatic century. Man’s physical capability, his analytical capability, and his navigational capability were all superseded by machines, ironically of his own making. Men now have the power of the Gods at their disposal, but they are no more than pushers of buttons. No longer useful in any primal way, no longer spiritual in any essential way, men is unable to exercise their God-given agency. And if he does not have a job as a pusher of buttons, he lies around like an obsolete piece of machinery, no longer valued, sometimes exploited, sometimes ignored, and always growing in resentment. This is what we find in vast swathes of the discontented masculine world today. The world no longer needs men as men.

“There are plenty of articles out there about the mental health crisis among men, but invariably the prescription is that men should behave more like women and then perhaps they’d be less miserable. That’s getting it completely backwards. The reason men are miserable is because they are told not to socialise like men…. Unless women are prepared to take a step back, and let men have their own spaces where they can just be themselves, men are going to get more miserable, lonelier, more resentful, and then more hostile towards women. There is, I think, a strong feminist case for women just stepping back. Otherwise, we don’t stand a chance of ever recovering solidarity between the sexes, which is a vital precondition for surviving cyborg theocracy together, as embodied human persons.” 11

The age of the machine was no doubt birthed by men. But these men were not men in the traditional sense. They no longer saw themselves as protectors of a world in balance, making vows and performing deeds dedicated to the Gods. Instead, human history witnessed the emergence of a peculiar kind of man who aimed to be a God by stamping his authority over a defeated Bhu Devi. From the traditional point of view, it would not be accurate to label such a creature as man. A man is not merely his biological self, but also his cultural self. So, let us call this new creature Machine-Man. And in the Machine-World, Machine-Man is but a sub-set, a cog, a resource… but he accepts his lot because he is offered seemingly limitless surplus (of exploitative origin) in exchange.

The story of women is a little different but ultimately the same. For a brief while (in the West) women found themselves closeted in their husband’s homes, cut off from the sorority of agrarian, communal life that existed earlier and unable to join the exterior fraternity of Machine-Men. This is the Jane Austen phase of Western history. This unsustainable and unnatural situation boiled over and women too slowly, but steadily started streaming into the imbalanced world of machines. It certainly did not make sense that Machine-Men had a limitless surplus at their command, while women were expected to live a life of domesticated limits.

This entry by women into the exterior Machine-World had important consequences.

  1. Women became Machine-Women.
  2. The old world of balance and the idea of equality as equivalence was rendered extinct.
  3. The old type of communal sorority and femininity as we knew it was over.
  4. The empowerment of women in a world of increasing technological sophistication was underway. As machines grew in sophistication, all of the men’s special powers were neutralized by machines, thereby creating a level playing field for women in the exterior world. After all, anyone, regardless of sex, could be a button-pusher.
  5. Women, who still had their special powers (birthing, nurture, intuition, relational intelligence, dexterity) intact, began to believe that they had won the battle of the sexes, or at least could sense that victory was near, and that they would soon rule both the interior world and the exterior world. “Women have won, and men just need to learn to deal with it” screams the feminist on Twitter.

But have they really?

Consider first the paradox of women’s entry into the Machine-World. It was the emergence of the Machine-World that helped create a level playing field for women in the exterior world. It is also due to that Machine-World that the old world of balance and the communal, feminine world of the interior was lost. The Machine-World is therefore, ironically, simultaneously responsible for both the apparent emancipation of women and the simultaneous obliteration of woman-ness. As it happened with men, women too will become Machine-Women. And since there is no apparent difference between Machine-Men and Machine-Women, we can simply say that men and women have been replaced by Machine-People.

Consider too the trajectory of technological growth. As the 20th Century was the graveyard for the special powers of man (physical, analytical, and navigational), the 21st Century will be the graveyard for the special powers of women. Birthing, nurture, human relational intelligence, and dexterity will all be superseded by the coming machines of biotech and AI. External wombs are already being tested12 as are conversational AI and companion robots.

When these technologies finally take off, later this century, we will know that neither men nor women have won. We would have both lost and the Machine-World would have won.

Only two options remain, for human-minded people:

  1. A return to a low-tech world of balance; or
  2. A conscious effort to bring balance into the Machine-World by setting limits, figuring out roles, and creating space for the use of our sex-specific special powers.

If the Machine-World is not consciously humanized and bi-genderized, it will dehumanize and asexualize us all.

Within the Machine-World, honorable men and women have abandoned balance and surrendered all their special powers to the machine. They are now, literally, equal. That modern saying that “boys and girls are the same” has actually come to pass. We are all equal button pushers. The arrival of this stage of modernity has had some very interesting physical and physiological effects. Human fertility has dropped13. Homosexuality has risen14. Transgenderism has risen15. A culture of hermaphroditism is slowly metamorphosizing into a hermaphrodite species. This entire process of transformation is catalyzed by machine consciousness. The hermaphrodites need the machine because they have lost all their special powers. They can now no longer survive without the Machine-World. This turn is expectedly enshrined in the value system of such a society. Technological progress is deified. Babies themselves will be made either through cloning or incubated in artificial wombs with their genes adjusted for equal IQ and equal beauty16. The line between man and woman grows dimmer just as surely as the line between human and machine grows dim.

“What I mean by ‘cyborg theocracy’ is the moral and political order which emerges from the belief that we are most emancipated when our condition of freedom is underwritten by technology.”

“So, what I see happening in the cyborg era is a series of efforts to abolish human nature altogether through technology. This hasn’t actually succeeded in abolishing human nature at all, but has merely reordered human nature to the market, frustrating it in the process, leaving it neutered and commodified.”

“Ground zero of the cyborg theocracy is the abolition of any possible integration with our own bodies. That’s exactly what the whole transgender phenomenon is about. It’s not a malign conspiracy. They’re more like canaries in the coalmine: people so radically dissociated from their own bodies that they’ve come to believe that they can only reach any sense of fulfilment by remodelling their bodies to bring them in line with identities which they imagine they’ve concocted ex nihilo, but which more often than not are the products of some f*cked up online Girardian mimesis.” 17

Decades ago, Wendell Berry was already describing this phenomenon, albeit from a slightly different starting point:

It is obvious how much skill and industry either partner may put into such a household and what good economic result such work might have, and yet it is the kind of work now frequently held in contempt. Men in general were the first to hold it in contempt as they departed from it for the sake of the professional salary or the hourly wage, and is now held in contempt by feminists. Thus, farm wives who help run the kind of household economy that I have described are apt to be asked by feminists with great condescension, “But what is it that you do?” By this they invariably mean that there is something better to do than make one’s marriage and household and by better they invariably mean “employment outside the home”.

To ask a still more obvious question, what is the purpose of this technological progress? What higher aim do we think it is serving? Surely the aim cannot be the integrity or happiness of our families, which we have made subordinate to the education system, the television industry, and the consumer economy. Surely it cannot be the integrity or health of our communities, which we esteem even less that we esteem our families. Surely it cannot be love of our country, for we are far more concerned about the desecration of the flag than we are about the desecration of our land… The higher aims of technology and progress are money and ease. And this exalted greed of money and ease is disguised and justified by an obscure cultish faith in “the future”. A good future is implicit in the soils, forests, grasslands, marshes, deserts, mountains, rivers, lakes and oceans that we have now, and in the good things of human culture that we have now. We have no need to contrive and dabble at “the future of the human race”; we have the same pressing need that we have always had – to love, care for & teach our children. 18

Obviously, a person such as Wendell Berry advocated a rejection of the industrial logic altogether and a return to the logic of agriculture and the idea of “equality” as “equivalence”. Given that such an outcome is never going to happen in the medium term, we must ask what strategies we can use to bring the idea of “balance” into the Industrial Age. It is funny that the same question that I have been asking with regard to economics and the environment should find expression again when I am thinking about man-woman relationships. Ultimately, it is all about what is sustainable and what type of human behavioral patterns are aligned with sustainability (economic, cultural, and wellbeing).

It is in the presence of natural limits the idea of roles and the honoring of difference appear to us to be decent, beautiful, balanced…and indeed, equal. In the absence of those natural limits, set adrift in a world of apparent limitlessness, those same constraints start to appear oppressive, obscene…and unequal. And within the morality of this apparently limit-free world (the morality of surplus as I’ve called it before), humans start to seek equality in homogeneity, in the erasure of difference, in the abandonment of their roles and identities.

“We are equally free from constraints,” and “we are equally oppressed” are the grand themes of the Machine-World’s zeitgeist.



“Do not allow mere ideas to supersede the sanctity of your vision. You must do what it takes to achieve your vision, and generally, it calls for sacrifice. This is an ancient understanding of the world that pervades all human endeavors including marriage. And marriage is also the building block of culture and civilization all of which are visions too. Damage to the vision of family and marriage causes damage to the grander vision as well.” 19

In this vivid call to action, we see a reflection of how our ancients saw swadharma as that sacrificial fire where the dictates of the ego and the desires of the body are offered to appease the transcendental principle of the ultimate reality. In Hindu thought, real is not that which ‘materially exists’ but is ‘that which is eternal and immutable’. Therefore, even in our time here on Bhu Devi, society is organized to point towards, celebrate, and mimic that higher reality. The long term is always given precedence over the short term. That which is stable is always given precedence over that which is fickle. That which has wide benefit is always given precedence over that which benefits the few. Actions that lead to the extinguishment of our egos and the emotional roller-coaster are given precedence over actions that fan those flames. It is in this perspective that we, as Hindus, must view marriage. Vivaha is a force for stability, a place of security for children to grow up in, a vehicle for the performance of specified rituals that provide purpose and sharpen resolve, a crucible where the couple’s commitment to the idea of commitment is tested, a metaphorical space where a man and a woman not only bring forth new life but also aim to establish, here on Bhu Devi, over multiple lifetimes if need be, that which exists in Kailasa and Vaikuntha.


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  2. Burja, S. (March 24, 2021). ”The End of Industrial Society,” Palladium,
  3. Maragatham (June 21, 2022). “No Branches without Roots – Na Understanding of Hindu Social Structure from the Outside In – Part 1,” India Facts,
  4. Bork, R. H. (2003). Coercing Virtue:The Worldwide Rule of Judges. Washington, D.C: The American Enterprise Institute Press.
  5. Bork, R. H. (2003). Coercing Virtue:The Worldwide Rule of Judges. Washington, D.C: The American Enterprise Institute Press.
  6. Sen, U. July 31, 2022). “Cradle. Snatched,” The Telegraph,
  7. Ahmari, S. (May 09, 2023). “A Nation in Search of Men,”(Paraphrasing Josh Hawley, Manhood: The Masculine Virtues America Needs, 2023), The American Conservative,
  8. Harrington, M. (May 01, 2023). “Counting the Cost of Progress,” Plough,
  9. Blake, N. (March 08, 2018). “The Romance of Ordinary Marriage,” Public Discourse,
  10. Maragatham (August 12, 2021). “The Hindu Traditionalist (II): Culture, Morality, and Reform,” India Facts,
  11. Morello, S. (March 26, 2023). “The Reactionary Feminist fight against Cyborg Theocracy: In Conversation with Mary Harrington,” The European Conservative,
  12. Cardoso, I., & Teixeira, F. (February 08, 2022). “What if Women never had to give Birth Again?” BBC,
  13. Davis, N. (November 15, 2022). “Humans could face Reproductive Crisis as Sperm Count declines, study finds,” The Guardian,
  14. Schmidt, S. (February 24, 2021). “1 in 6 Gen Z adults are LGBT. And this number could continue to grow,” The Washington Post,
  15. Ghorayshi, A. (June 10, 2022). “Report Reveals Sharp Rise in Transgender Young People in the U.S.” The New York Times,
  16. Cyranoski, D. (February 26, 2019). “The CRISPR-baby Scandal: What’s next for Human Gene-editing,” Nature,
  17. Morello, S. (March 26, 2023). “The Reactionary Feminist fight against Cyborg Theocracy: In Conversation with Mary Harrington,” The European Conservative,
  18. Berry, W. (2003). “Feminism, the Body and the Machine,” in The Art of the Commonplace,
  19. Unfortunately, I’ve lost the attribution to this quote. I can’t find it anywhere on the Internet either. There is a possibility that it may be something I myself wrote earlier (given that this essay has been three years in the making), but upon reading it, some of the word choices are a little bit off my style.


Maragatham returned to Bharat after earning an engineering degree in the US. He moved to a farm in rural Madurai District. Working with rural communities in both farming and construction brought him face to face with the untruths of universalist Western education resulting in his conscious ghar wapsi to Dharma, Hinduism, and the ways of his ancestors. His self-published books include, “Light In The Forest: A Dharmic Landscape for Hindu Kids and their Parents,” and “It's Not For Nothing That We Stand For Something: Basic Intellectual Self-Defence for Hindu Parents”. He tweets at @bhoomiputraa, and writes under a pseudonym to protect his family from left-liberal attacks.