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“THE OTHER” in the Politics of Relatedness between Developing and Developed Nations(1).
Gouranga P. Chattopadhyay

[Published in Socio-Analysis, Vol. 5, December 2003, Melbourne, 14-35.]


I have been thinking and writing about the politics of relatedness between Developing and Developed Nations since 1985. Until 1993, my hypotheses about this relatedness were based on my understanding of what Klein wrote about the mechanisms of splitting and projection, and Bion's explanation of those two mechanisms in the context of the relationship between the individual and the group.

According to Klein (1975), the presence of an "other" is required for every individual in order to grow and develop. While the person is very young and weak, the ego also remains comparatively weak. As a result managing the process of receiving innumerable stimuli from the external world and dealing with those becomes very difficult. The little person cannot accept oneself as incomplete and full of weakness and aggression.

The need then arises to rid oneself of those inner attributes that one cannot accept, i.e. cannot admit into one's conscious, one's memory. Through the attempt at ridding to buy the rather temporary feeling of goodness, to temporarily rid oneself of inner tension, one splits those unacceptable attributes and the associated feelings from the wholeness of one's being and projects those on to one or more persons, who are the "others". This process becomes easier as the other is perceived as different, distant and alien. As a person becomes psychologically more and more mature, the intensity of this need goes down.

However, once this unconscious process starts in infancy, it continues, like most other unconscious processes, in one's adult life as well. The nature and intensity changes contextually and varies from individual to individual, largely depending on their degree of psychic maturity.

Bion (1961) explains how these processes operate when a person becomes part of a group. Coming together in a group creates a kind of regressed mental condition in which one identifies oneself with the group and feels secure. Some parts of the self then feels small and dependent, like when one was as a very young person. The consequence in the case of most, if not all, groups, is that individuals forming the group from time to time mentally regress, giving rise to what Bion calls the basic assumptions (ba). In the grip of a ba, the group operates on fantasies (unchecked unconscious assumptions) that threaten their togetherness, threaten their very existence, albeit in their mind.

One of the things that a group needs in order to preserve this sense of togetherness is a common enemy. The existence of such a group helps the process of splitting, supports the feeling of self-righteousness and aids the group in submerging its internal tensions. The common enemy acts as internal glue and the process of rallying towards a common goal operates, whether that goal is healthy for the group or otherwise.

To be sure this also means that societies, which are in fact very large groups, show an amount of immaturity in going through these processes. Both historical and contemporary evidence is that such immaturity tends to exist in all societies and from time to time they act those out with great vehemence.
In such situations the tendency to use the mechanism of projection gets strengthened. All the societal processes that are devalued as bad, aggressive, ugly or downright evil are then projected on to the other group, which has assumed the role of enemy. According to Bion this process expresses a human need that goes so deep that it takes place without any examination of reality and regardless of facts and truth. This process of division into good and bad intensifies in situations of uncertainty, threat and anxiety. Then the process of division is accompanied by a simultaneous process of creating a barrier against examining facts about the other group, the other society, the other nation, so that the process of development of fantasies regarding the badness of the other continues unhindered by reality.

These processes to which Bion refers at a socio-psychological level have led others to take a look at the process of collective unconscious, which Jung (1933) describes as “the sea upon which the ego rides like a ship". Hopper (1996) in doing so points out the existence of a "social unconscious", or an unconscious social process, which he defines thus:

"The concept of the social unconscious refers to the existence and constraints of social, cultural (values, norms, beliefs, attitudes, etc.) and communicational arrangements of which people are unaware."

Thus Hopper creates a new dimension of interpretation of societal process in which he takes into account processes that happened in the entire society since the individuals' early childhood. These processes are unconscious and take place in the society without the individual being aware of them and of their influence on the individual. An example of this would be, as I understand the process, a major problem faced by a majority of people in those newly independent countries like India and Tanzania that did not achieve independence through an all out gory war (like for e.g. Vietnam). Instead  these countries had achieved freedom through sustained freedom fight by an enlightened minority. After independence these minority groups established themselves as political elite in their respective countries. As I shall show later in this article, in India such an elite had taken on the mantle of rulers instead of the legitimate role of people democratically elected to govern the country and the citizens seem to have assumed the role of subjects. It is as if since the majority of the population even remotely did not have anything to do with achieving independence, they have psychologically remained dependent subjects of the ruling elite. The unexpressed contempt on the part of the freedom fighters for those who had accepted British rule passively and those who had acted as the lackeys of the imperial masters by helping them suppress and oppress their fellow countrymen, and the guilt of those who became citizens of a free country piggy backing on the minority freedom fighters have resulted in the split and projection within the nation of unexpressed feelings leading to this ruler-subject syndrome instead of the relationship of State and Citizenship. Examples of this process has been given later on in this article.

Hanna Biran and I have in an article (1997, and later supplemented by Chattopadhyay : 1999) described how the processes of the fear of allowing legitimacy to the other, the need to flock with those who are perceived as like oneself, the need to view the other as inferior in some way, the need for some kind of an enemy were acted out in the Global Event of the First International Group Relations Conference held in Lorne, sponsored by the Australian Institute of Socio-Analysis ("Social Analysis" at that time) in 1993. Evidence of those processes can be found in every nation in the relationship between the State and the citizenry. Specifically, many laws and the machinery and methods for enforcing those laws to bring to the nation what is considered as order by the government are experienced as tyranny by its citizens, who are thus partly terrorized by the state into abiding by those laws. However, this experience of terror is seldom if ever articulated in the consciousness. Neither does either party consciously feel that the other party is an enemy. But on many occasions this comes out in "government bashing" sessions within groups that are felt to be safe, like among friends. Lawrence (1979) has described this phenomenon of privately articulating what are most likely issues of national concern as “privatisation of public issues”. This notion follows from his formulation that modern welfare societies are actually half welfare and half garrison. The garrison aspect obviously also points to a picture of enmity between the State and its citizenry, which remains cheek by jowl with the welfare aspect.

In every country such appendages of the State as the Internal Revenue Department, the Police, etc. give rise to mixed feelings in the citizenry. On the one hand they know that welfare activities, keeping law and order, ensuring justice etc. depend on raising tax, which also ensures to some extent reasonable distribution of resources. Therefore they appreciate the necessity for tax collection and police action. However, simultaneously they feel bad about having to part with hard earned money by paying taxes of various kinds, not to speak of the unexpressed envy about the others perhaps getting more of the national resources (Lawrence: 1979). Further, police is okay while they protect one's interests but, suddenly they become not okay even if one is hauled up for a traffic offence. The very power of the State expressed through its tax collection and police and judiciary actions thus simultaneously create a sense of security and resentment. This latter feeling makes the State, symbolised by some of its appendages, the enemy for the people. For the State the people become enemy whenever they break some law or try to bypass some law and create "disorder" for the State machineries. This is openly stated in such notifications of legal cases that start with "State versus XYZ".

I shall come back to this notion of social unconscious and its impact on the politics of relatedness between Developed and Developing Nations later on in this essay. Meanwhile I shall refer to my publication of 1985 (reproduced in Chattopadhyay1999a).

In that article I had raised the question of how the imperialist nations of Europe (later described as the Developed Nations) had rationalised the savagery that they had unleashed in the colonies conquered by them and why despite such experience the former colonies (described as the Developing Nations) have retained friendly relations with their erstwhile exploiters (See note 2). I had also discussed the issue of how United States of America too has unleashed savagery in other continents and rationalised the phenomena to defend against their internal savagery.

The savagery of the early English royalty to subdue the Scots and later incorporate into the kingdom both Scotland and Wales is recorded in history. The savagery unleashed on the Irish to create the first colony of the United Kingdom, deporting criminals who were guilty of serious crimes as well as boys of 13 or 14 who were guilty of such offence as stealing a loaf of bread when hungry and freedom fighters too to Australia under some of the harshest conditions of living, unleashing genocide in Tasmania to kill the entire aboriginal population there, are all recorded in history written by Western scholars. Some of the things that are not recorded are such acts in the Indian sub-continent as forcing peasants with the threat of death to cease cultivating food grains needed for survival in order to produce indigo for export in the 18th Century and cutting off the thumbs of all muslin (extremely fine hand woven cloth) weavers to create a market for cloth exported to the Indian subcontinent from the Lancashire mills in 19th Century. Or, for example, in order to punish the people of the coastal district of Midnapore for producing many well known freedom fighters, as late as in 1942 the head of the local British bureaucracy, the District Magistrate, was ordered to suppress information about an approaching cyclone. It hit the coast with a record 12 feet high tidal wave that carried away people, animals and property living in an area of several hundred square miles. One of the last acts of savagery was the act of forcibly acquiring the rice of an entire season from the major rice belt of eastern India for the British army in 1943 that left 4.3 million Bengalis dead in a man made famine. (In fact all the four examples cited above are from Bengal alone and many other atrocities could be cited from other parts of India).

All these savage acts that led to the comfortable economic situation of Great Britain in which there exists an exemplary welfare system for its citizens were justified as the Whiteman's Burden of bringing justice, law and order in the name of a Christian God to the pagans who apparently believe in a false God or gods.

I have mentioned only the example of U.K., but one could look for examples in many erstwhile colonies in Africa, the North and South Americas and Asia, occupied by other European nations. In fact one could go as far back in history as the  to 16th Century when the Golden Papal Bull was issued that divided the countries outside Europe, countries that were known and that were to be discovered, into two halves and each half was "given over" by the Pope (!) to Spain and Portugal respectively, to conquer and convert the heathens to save their souls, or put them to sword if they refused since heathens were considered as akin to animals. This belief in the heathens outside the white Christian world being akin to animals persisted for a very long time. For example there exists a British “scientific” document that records the sighting of human beings with tails in islands in the Bay of Bengal (cit. Chattopadhyay: 1998). Another example is the treating of sick African slaves in the Southern States of America by veterinary doctors till the abolition of slavery, as late as in the middle of the 19th Century.

American savagery (see note 3) began with the killing of aboriginal population and herding the survivors in the reservations, as also in bringing slaves from Africa. Later it continued with such acts as destroying soldiers and civilians alike and crops as well in Vietnam by using, among other weapons of mass destruction, napalm jelly and the notorious "Agent Orange", the presence of which in large numbers buried in the soil even today hang as the Sword of Damocles over the people of that country. All that as well as armed intervention in Korea were done by USA as the self appointed guardian of the world against communism!

Then of course there is the latest act of aggression in Afghanistan where to capture or kill the Al Quaida, the US Government felt obliged to take on the entire Taliban regime, which in the first place was their creation. This aggression with its carpet-bombing has led to the death of a large amount of the innocent civilian population. The death of those people has been rationalised as "collateral damage". (See note 4.)

Finally, there are the carcinogenic pesticides, insecticides, paints etc. and medicines banned in Europe and America that are continued to be dumped in Asian and African countries (See note 5). Also, for a long time these countries have provided a ready market for arms of mass murder sold by various European nations and the USA.

What I have so far presented is the evidence of the hypothesis that there is a need for the so-called Developed Nations to have a very different and alien world of the so-called Developing Nations to receive its projections. This very different and alien world is supposed to be so full of savagery that the majority of the citizens of the Developed Nations need neither to look at the savagery built in their own culture nor what they are unleashing on some others. The assumption of pagan savagery of the Developing Nations has also led to the creation of a scale to evaluate nations. According to this scale of evaluation the Developing Nations  have been classified as  belonging to something called  the "Third World" (as opposed to presumably some nations belonging to the second and the first worlds!)..Since the bases of this scale of evaluation is rather unclear, it creates the opportunity for individuals to fantasise what all go inside the first and the third worlds. This allowed in the past and continues to allow now most of the citizens of the Developed Nations to ignore the twin processes mentioned above.

The corollary hypothesis that I had presented in the earlier paper referred to above (1999a) is that the majority of people of the erstwhile colonies had developed a degree of immaturity of the psyche in order to cope with the degradation felt as virtual slaves (see Note 2). There is no doubt that they were considered as some kind of slaves by the imperial masters, as may be seen from the simple example of the derogatory value attached to the term "native" (as though there were no natives in Europe) and the word "vernacular" that was used to describe the mother tongues of the people of various colonies. (The word "vernacular" appears in various earlier editions of the Oxford Twentieth Century dictionary as derived from a Latin word - vernaculous - which means the tongue of the slave.) This immaturity was further ensured through the education system as introduced by the imperial masters. This system of education fed the minds of the young and old with glorification of the super race of the imperial masters, simultaneously implying that the vanquished people were intrinsically less worthy by removing from the text books material that could make the people proud of themselves for their past glory as well for the achievements of the contemporary great minds of their country.

To a great extent this cultural immaturity seems to have been very strongly internalised and as a result it continues to remain in the psyche of the independent nations that were colonies in the past. One of the results is the extent of unquestioned acceptance of the superiority of almost every thing that comes from the so-called Developed Nations.

This cultural reality of savagery and its associated feelings harboured by the powerful European and American nations have been  projected on the nations known as Developing.

The so-called Developing Nations, on their part, have internalised the erstwhile imperial powers that had colonised them as the aggressors in the mind, which is a kind of primitive identification, as described by Freud. I have discussed this phenomenon in the Indian context in an article in 1985 (reproduced in Chattopadhyay:1991) in which I have described the process as the "Invader in the Mind" in Indian metaculture. The latest example of this internalisation is the Indian Prime Minister's description of the Chief Minister of a State (and by extension the Prime Minister of the country) as a ruler and citizens of the Republic of India, the world's most populated democracy, as the subjects! In order not to pay attention to this reality of having internalised the aggressor, which has led to, for example, India remaining in the Commonwealth without getting any political or economic advantage and joining U.K. in supporting America's carpet bombing of Afghanistan, there is a preoccupation among all politically powerful groups about the spread of decadent Western culture (apasanskriti is the term that is used) in India. Songs of and by Western pop groups, dances such as the shake and the twist have been dubbed as elements of decadent culture. This is an example of the Developed Nations also projecting on the alien and different world of the Developed Nation. The most destructive examples of apasanskriti are the phenomena of acting out introjections that are the result of receiving projections from the Developed Nations. These need not be looked at so long as love for some types of western songs and dances can be attacked as decadent culture forms.

Of late some of the fundamentalist organisations have even started campaigns to stop women from wearing Western clothes (while numerous campaigning males remain garbed in trousers or jeans and shirts!) and attacking shops selling Valentine Day cards. The idea is to establish that modern India is against absorbing the decadent elements of Western culture. Such smoke screens obscure facts like even today, over half a century after gaining independence, the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service continue, quite unconsciously, to pursue the same primary task that their predecessors had done under British rule (Chattopadhyay: 1999b). Worst of all, the Divide and Rule policy of the erstwhile British Government in the Indian sub-continent seems to have blossomed in to a very destructive divide in which the Hindus and the Moslems are becoming the feared and hated "Other" for larger and larger segments of the population.

I will not go into the evidence of how the other so-called Developing Nations are acting out the internalised aggressor. One blanket evidence will have to suffice.

All Developing Nations have been accepting what is known as aid from various so-called Developed Nations. It is estimated today that the amount of total annual interest (politely known as servicing the debt) collected on the aid by all the aid giving nations together amounts to more money than the annual aid given now. Thus this phenomenon of aid is actually a form of usury, comparable to what was earlier practised by landed gentry of many countries to eventually virtually rule over the debtors. It is by now well established that either aid is given to build roads to facilitate arms movement, such as in Vietnam, or notwithstanding a few successful schemes, large sums of money have been and are being wasted in the name of aid because these come with strings attached. Unfortunately the nature of the strings are based on the aid giving nation's lack of understanding of both the priorities and the nature of the economic inefficiency that have to be changed and the nature of the weak infrastructure that has to be strengthened.

Two examples only will be offered here to limit the length of the article. The first example comes from my personal experience.

In order to improve the health of a particular rural population in India, a large amount of money as aid was poured in to construct sanitary latrines. However, there was no arrangement for running water in the area selected by the experts from the donor agency. So eventually the villagers used the concrete slabs with the oblong hole to pound their dirty clothes after soaping the lot beside the village tank!

The second example is from Rwanda, recorded by Uvin (2002). Uvin highlights both how colonialism fostered structural conflict and how after independence “western development programme and concepts fortified this entrenched structural conflict brought about by colonialism and led to terrifying bloody violence.” (KKS & IMS: 2002).

Thus far in this essay I have presented the idea that the concepts of Developing and Developed Nations continue to exist because it has become an unconscious defense mechanism against exploring and doing something about their internal processes that are likely to be found as abhorrent for the majority of the citizens of both groups of nations.

I now turn to another aspect of the relationship between the Developed and Developing Nations.



We have offered two hypotheses that are relevant here in an article that is awaiting publication (Viswanath & Chattopadhyay : Forthcoming in 2005).  The first is that a process through which currently India, as well as numerous Developing Nations, are unconsciously going through is one of surrender to a market force. The global power figures, representing the aggressor-in-the-mind  , have declared as the inevitable aggressor the phenomenon known as GLOBALIZATION. This perceived inevitable aggressor is currently haunting the Developing Nations.

The second hypothesis is obviously related to the first one, which is actually a more refined version of the hypothesis already stated. This hypothesis is that the terms Developed and Developing Nations coined by the Developed Nation economists, are the tips of a massive iceberg of projections.  The economists, to be sure, are acting out the process on behalf of the cluster of nations, which consider themselves to be developed. In other words, these terms represent the face of the defense against exploring what the Developed Nations are projecting on the Developing Nations, i.e. what internal realities of the former are considered by them as bad or even evil, (see Biran & Chattopadhyay, 1997) and therefore to seek relief, those are sought to be projected on the Developing Nations. The basis of this assumption, we suggest, is that it is difficult to define a state, which can be called developed in the context of any nation. This is because most nations are continually developing in terms of both culture and technology. If a nation becomes static in terms of its culture and technological achievements, it will be one that is ready to start a downward journey. This is because no culture ever remains static, particularly in today’s world where culture contact takes place in an unprecedented scale. Further, in a globalized market economy, no nation can make economic progress or even retain its economic standard without continuous technological development. It is therefore hypothesized that the notion of a developed state involves feeling omnipotent in order to repress feelings of guilt based on the reality of unleashing vast machines of subtle to crude control over weaker nations in order retain hold on the right end of the stick.

In that connection consider, for example, George Bush's idea spelt out initially on April 28 of attacking Iraq with a huge ground force to "eradicate" terrorists' nests and the positive reception of such a news by many of the European nations, by the Australian defense ministry and perhaps some of those of you who are reading this paper. Then think of how you would react and try to imagine how the world would react if India announced her decision to invade Pakistan to wipe out the camps of the so-called militant outfits who regularly cross over the border in Kashmir and kill Indian citizens and destroy property. India's logic in that case will be similar to that of USA. Just as USA gave herself the permission to invade Afghanistan to wipe out terrorist organisations flourishing in that country and now is planning attack Iraq, India too could give herself the permission to invade Pakistan since the Pakistani military dictator Musharraf has so far done nothing about destroying terrorist organisations that send militants across the border to India. Nor for that matter Pakistan has stopped shelling India across the northern border and attacking Indian positions from time to time, which results in India killing or capturing Pakistan army personnel within Indian territory.
It is also possible that there  simultaneously exists a feeling of impotence in the unconscious of the Developed Nations around the competition for achieving a state of hegemony over the rest of the world.  The process of globalization may well be considered as a tool for establishing more control over the economically weaker nations as a first step towards establishing permanent worldwide hegemony in order to seek relief, albeit unconsciously, from this feeling of impotence.

It seems to me that the presence of both the needs in the psyche of the Developed Nations were acted out during the “Global Event” of the First International Group Relations Conference held in Lorne, Australia, in 1993. During that particular event the “countries represented” in the Conference were allocated different territories. Although rooms were available, for reasons not explained Israel and India were allocated the same territory. This was very likely done without conscious thought because while India was a British colony in the past, Israel was created under what was known as the British Mandate. Further, it was a territory that could not be “guarded” by closing doors, as was possible for several other territories that the present author visited during the event. This possibly reflected the vulnerable borders of both the nations.

Initially three persons occupied the India-Israel territory. They were an Indian male, an Israeli female and an Australian male. It so happened that while both the Indian and the Israeli  were black, the Australian was a white who was born in India where his father used to work as a British civil servant. He declared that he had decided to visit his country of birth. Before any work could be done by the three to understand the dynamics of the trio, a white woman joined them who had dual citizenship of Israel and USA.  Thus, there was something going on about whose territory it was. At first the Australian who was born in India seem to tip the balance in favour of India, since legally he could claim Indian citizenship by birth any time he chose to do so. Then it was neutralised by the by the woman with dual citizenship.

Then came a German to that territory. He declared himself as a refugee. All the other Germans in the territory meant for them had dual citizenship in USA and had moved to the US territory. Presence of the German "refugee" tipped the balance in the territory in favour of white people since there were now one white woman and two white men in contrast to a black woman and a black man.  Soon after that a white German Jew from the territory allocated to the USA came to the India-Israel territory and announced that the Jews with US citizenship (all White) had decided to convene a meeting in the territory meant for Israel. Thus at one stroke India’s right to a territory was denied and Israel was declared as a country over which white Jews of USA had absolute right. It was a unilateral decision and despite our protest a number of White Jews invaded the territory. But thereafter they did not seem to have any agenda other than the necessity to invade. Given the reality of the Global Event, this demonstration of the might of the so-called Developed Nations over the so-called Developing Nations was enough evidence also of using brute force for exploitation.

The new hypothesis that I want to now add to try to discern the process is that in view of a reality not quite recognised by the average citizen of Developed Nations, Developing Nations have to be contained from doing much productive work. This is where the earlier mentioned Hopper's notion of a social unconscious comes in. If the so-called Developing Nations actually keep developing at a fast pace, there is the possibility that in the life time of many present day citizens of the so-called Developed Nations there may not remain enough economically and militarily weaker nations to exploit by keeping alive the divide. In fact the situation would have the possibility of a massive confrontation between the two groups of nations. This possibility derives from the fact that “for every person in the world to reach the present U.S. level of consumption would require four more planet Earths” (Wilson : 2002). That is to say, unless a number of Developed Nations, with U.S.A. leading the list, cut down on their quantity of consumption of earth’s resources by about 75%, the other nations will have little probability of actually developing beyond a point much below some of the more affluent Developed Nations.

Therefore for many Developing Nations to greatly improve their socio-economic standard there would be the need to force many Developed Nations to cut down on their rate of consumption of resources. Force is likely to be required for that because it is quite unlikely for those nations to make the magnanimous gesture of giving up access to resources. This probability, however remote, could well produce paranoid feelings in many Developed Nations, albeit in their unconscious. This could well be behind three contemporary situations and a long standing phenomenon. These are, one, the brutality with which the U.S. Government bombed the entire population of Afghanistan to eliminate a terrorist group. The paranoia was so great that in the more recent months of 2002 one of their units mistook Canadian armed forces personnel and another unit mistook an Afghan marriage party as terrorists and eliminated both (See note 4).Two is the threat of war against Iraq based on so far unconfirmed assumption, which amounts to panic based on rumour, about Iraq developing biological and chemical weapons. And three, U.S. and its ally Australia rescinding and flouting most international treatise seeking to contain the damages of global warming, climate change, maintaining biodiversity, protection of natural areas such as rain forests and coral reefs, developing alternate fuels, etc.

This paranoid feeling would very likely further increase because for years now a number of Developed Nations are earning money by selling arms and ammunitions to numerous Developing Nations(6).

Further, the problem would then arise around the need to openly confront and deal with  the internal savageries of the present day so-called Developed Nations.

These two factors point towards the strong possibility of their being an unconscious need in the mind of the citizens of the Developed Nations to contain the so-called Developing Nations in whatever state or stage of development they are in at present.

 Citizens of various Developed Nations joining the India-Israel territory unconsciously acted out this probability in the Global Event of 1993. This they did by first  coming as individuals and then by pouring in as an invading group, replicating the history of European nations’ invasions into Asian, African, North and South American and Australian continents over several millennia. Rising neo-Nazi and Fascist movement in Europe and the hatred projected on the immigrants from the Developing Nations is further evidence of this unwillingness to examine what all are being projected on the concept of  “developed” and ‘developing” in the context of nations. These phenomena also reflect the anxiety of the Developed Nations to “contain” growth of the Developing Nations as the “other”.

May be, it is also time we understood what developed means and how this term is defined in economic GDP, social development, human development terms. In the recent years organisations working on surveying and publishing human development in various nations have evolved and expanded definition to cover many indicators beyond the earlier primarily economic one. However, environment consciousness, spiritual development, levels of stress, mental health, disorder related to modern living, index of Happiness (which a survey said was highest in Bangladesh and lowest in Japan!!) may also be ways in which we should understand development.

One may raise here the point that Israel is considered as a Developed Nation, hence the hypothesis based on the Global Event mentioned above does not quite hold. But in that context I would like to point out that Israel receives an annual grant of several million dollars (according to the BBC World News broadcast of April 28, 2002, it is to the tune of 6 million dollars per year) from the United States for shoring up the countries defense. One would like to ponder whether Israel would have joined the ranks of Developed Nation if it had to spend those six million dollars on defense from its national income, and if this fact was also being acted out in the 1993 Global Event invasion of the India-Israel territory by the white Jews with US citizenship.

To sum up, let me quickly go over why is it necessary for the Developed Nations to contain the Developing Nations, and what does “containing” mean in this context.

It appears that there are three reasons why the Developed Nations feel that they have to contain the Developing Nations.

So long as various European nations could rule over their colonies, they had a steady source of national income. That this income was made largely by ruthlessly exploiting the colonies was sought to be hidden from view by rationalising the situation as bringing justice and the word of God to anarchic pagan societies.

From about the middle of the twentieth century the situation began to change. Bled to the bone by the prolonged Second World War the European nations had to pull out of their colonies in the face of strong freedom struggles.
But by then a new political idea had been instilled in the minds of the educated leadership of these colonised countries. Prior to colonisation without exception the continents of Asia and Africa were divided into very large number of small, independent states. These states were conquered one by one and eventually large tracts were put together to form parts of various European empires. Thus, for example, the British Empire in south Asia was formed into what was called an Indian Empire with a Viceroy to preside over the administrative and judiciary machineries. This vast region was divided into three sub-regions named as India, Burma and Ceylon. It seems that the educated leadership who were at the forefront of freedom movement of all the three sub-regions internalised the notion that somehow historically too independent nations called India, Burma and Ceylon existed. Therefore this leadership not only could sell this idea to their "countrymen", but also acted as such at the point of British pullout.

The entire seemingly unending problem between India and Pakistan stems from it. While Indians believe that something called Mother India was truncated and the Pakistanis took away what belonged to them, the Pakistanis believe that the Indians got away with the major share of the sub-continent. One of the overt actions of Pakistan following from this feeling was attacking India soon after the country became a republic in 1952.

This act of becoming the Republic of India was followed closely by asking the erstwhile so-called "Native States" (the territories within the sub-continent that were allowed to be administered by Maharajas, Rajas and Nawabs under the protection and supervision of the British Raj through a Resident Agent in each territory) to join the Indian Republic in exchange of an annual privy purse for the royal families. At that point of time the choice faced by the Maharajah of Kashmir was to opt for either Pakistan or for India since the State sat on the border.

The Maharajah chose to opt for India and the Pakistani army overnight crossed the order and came almost up to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. In a dramatic rescue operation a civilian Indian pilot flew out the Kashmiri royal family to Delhi even before the Indian army could mobilise itself to engage with the invading Pakistani army. But soon after the Indian army began to push back the invaders. However, before it could secure the entire erstwhile kingdom of Kashmir that had seceded to the Indian Republic, the might of the Developed Nations came into force and the Security Council of the UN forced India to stop at a position which is today known as the Line Of Control. The Kashmiri territory on the Pakistan side has been dubbed by Pakistan as Azad Kashmir or Free Kashmir, which ostensibly they feel morally bound to defend from India's "imperialistic notions". Had the Indian army been left alone at that time, it would have, as seen from the way it had succeeded in pushing back the Pakistani army, recouped the entire Kashmir that legitimately belonged to India at that point of time. Pakistan then would not have had any excuse to invade Kashmir without declaring open war against India, which it did later on in the Punjab front, south west of Kashmir, and lost.  By this creation of the Line of Control Pakistan and India seem to be forever at each other's throat, necessitating huge defense budgets for both the nations, which in its turn keep them from spending adequate money on education and other developmental activities. This is thus an excellent example of the nature of containment of two so-called Developing Nations out there. Examples may be cited from other nations too, but that would serve the purpose of only increasing the bulk of this paper without adding anything new. 

Now add to this formula for containment the introduction of Globalisation. As has been recently demonstrated, power determines its meaning. United States of America, the champions of the idea of Globalisation, and the European Union, through massive subsidies can defend their agriculture from the international market forces. But other less powerful countries cannot do so. Presumably in such contexts, the powerful nation is acting wisely while its stupidity is projected on the less powerful Developing Nations!

This is how the territories that have become independent can be continued to be fleeced in future too without drawing too much attention to the internal dynamics of the richer countries. One definition of “containing” is this process by which the state of neo-colonisation can be continued(7).

The second process is that of using the Developing Nations as the receptacles of projections of those internal processes taking place in the Developed Nations that are not admitted in the national psyche because those are considered as bad to evil.

I have already given several examples of this in this paper. I shall here deal with those at some length to end with suggesting positive action choices before the so-called Developed Nations.

The American nations and Australia must explore the nature of injustice that has been done to the autochthons of those continents in the name of bringing civilisation and setting up modern governments in order to act honestly. No one can undo what has been going on for several hundred years, but one can fully acknowledge the damage done and come to a reasonable method for compensating for the past evil done.

Europe must explore the hypothesis that the Jews must have been originally darker skinned than the west Europeans since they came from the regions now known as Asia Minor and the Middle East. Yet unlike the other migrants from these regions to Europe they some how became White. As a result the prejudice prevalent against dark skinned people (Blacks) all over Europe could not be extended to the Jews. Blacks in Europe are “kept in their place” by denying them opportunities that they merit by virtue of their skills. Since they can be identified easily by their skin colour, this is not a difficult task. However, the Jews having some how become white, had to be treated differently and for that purpose Pogrom was invented. But since the Jews withstood pogroms for several centuries and yet prospered, the White Christian world unconsciously set up Hitler and his Nazi Party with the mandate to totally liquidate the Jews. This process did not entirely happen because Hitler changed the unconscious primary task of annihilating the Jews to one of conquering the whole of Europe, at least for starters. Hence Israel had to be created.

Creation of Israel entailed several acts. First, two myths were created and sold to the world. One, the Jewish religion was also made into a race. Two, a territory occupied by Jewish refugees from Europe was accorded the status of a nation by dispossessing Arab families of their land, hearth and home, who had been living there for ages. This was an act that ensured enmity between the Arabs and the Jews that would create an excuse for the intervention of USA and some of the Europeans nations that earlier controlled all the oil interest in that region. Thirdly, a combined operation of European and American armies that has terrorised the local Arabs has been turned on its head and the Palestinians are being called the terrorists.

If Europe and America owe it to Israel to defend its interests, equally they owe it to compensate the Arabs for destroying their homes in the region created as Israel. But here again since the Arabs are the weaker party, they are the “other” who are to blame for whatever is happening in Asia Minor today and this issue too needs to be explored by the Developed Nations of Europe and America.

It is quite fascinating that the UN World Conference against Racism and all other forms of Discrimination (WCAR) in Durban in September 2001 almost collapsed due to irreconcilable and bitter differences on the following issues:

  • African states demanding reparation for slavery from the colonisers;
  •  Israel taking umbrage (and walking out of the conference and America expressing her solidarity with this act of Israel) at the Palestinian demand to declare as genocide Israel’s act of sustained hostility against Palestine.


Thus, what I am presenting before you is a picture of powerful nations projecting the evil in their midst that they cannot admit on the weaker peoples all over the world. The latter continue to act out the projection as a result of holding the powerful nations, who were the imperial powers of the past that had colonised the weaker nations through military conquests, as the aggressors in the mind. The situation is somewhat like what Nietsche had fantasised long ago when he had said that in future super masters and super slaves would live with each other in lyrical ecstasy!

Only this ecstasy comes from some kind of almost demented pursuit of the programmed presence of the aggressor-in-the-mind's primary task.

Thus, again for example from south Asia, today all the five independent countries that had formed the South Asian British Empire are engaged in vicious fights with the “other” within. In Sri Lanka (erstwhile Ceylon) the fight is between the Tamils and the Sri Lankan government, which in the minds of the Tamils is not so much the government but the Sri Lankans. In Myanmar (erstwhile Burma) the fight is between a military government that had come to power in a coup several decades ago by gunning down the entire cabinet headed by Aung San, father of the present leader of the opposition, and toppled a democratically elected government. In Pakistan the fight is between Shias and Sunnis, as also between the forces of democracy versus fundamentalism and military dictatorship. In India fundamentalist Hindus and Moslems are forever circling each other like gladiators in a ring, engaging in minor skirmishes at times with two major brutal confrontations in the recent past. One was around demolishing the Babri Masjid in the state of Uttar Pradesh and the demand to build a temple on that site. The second one was in Gujarat state in 2002 in the shape of a genocidal attack on Muslims and the party in power’s vow not to allow any Moslem to be elected to the state legislature in the forthcoming election (which the Election Commission of the Government of India in its wisdom has pushed for postponement for normalcy to return).
What I have sought to present before you are some of the probable and possible intra-national and international dynamics, or processes if you will, that go on beyond the awareness of the members of the societies in those nations. These are processes that create layers of envy, anger, rage and fear that remain suppressed and oppressed in the societal unconscious. As a result much of the differences with the "other" experienced as alien, whether the "other" is a different nation with different kinds of societies, or the "other" is a different kind of group within the same nation, remain beyond the pale of understanding, and therefore also beyond the pale of negotiation of any kind.  Further, the passivity of the majority in all or most societies then lead to violent outbursts by people known as urban guerillas and those who are known as terrorists in the world today, since, it has been hypothesised that, these minority groups act out the suppressed and oppressed negative feelings on behalf of the vast passive majority (Lawrence: 1979).

As the contemporary world has experienced and continues to experience, the terror is what Osama bin Laden has demonstrated. He has demonstrated that it takes one mad man with enormous financial resource and a band of equally psychotic followers to so easily take the world to the brink of disaster. In order to create a climate of working with perceived and experienced differences with the "other" when the other is as large as a nation or a group of nations, or even an almost unending list of very large groups like Hindus and Moslems in India, Catholics and Protestants in United Kingdom, Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, Christians and Moslems in the Balkans, Jews and Palestinians in Israel etc., it seems to me, it is for us who are engaged in psychoanalytic studies for understanding organisational dynamics to bring to the focus of the world unconscious national and international dynamics through articulating in such media as are readily available to the public in general rather than limiting our talks and writings within our small circle.

I shall end by reminding you that it was Carl Gustav Jung who believed that the general public would never understand his ideas and thoughts on unconscious dynamics. So all his life he had resisted writing popular articles. But shortly before his death, after refusing to allow even others to edit a popular book on his ideas, he dreamed of speaking to a hall full people who were not his fellow scientists, but who were such people as his barber and washerman. Being a man of integrity, he accepted this message from his unconscious and began the work of writing a book for the uninitiated (Jung: 1968). He died before he could complete it, but fortunately for all, some of his younger colleagues did bring out the book after adding several chapters. I do hope that some of us here will not wait till we are at death's door before we start "going public".


1. This article is a revised version of the paper presented at the Annual Symposium 2002 of International Society for Psychoanalytic Study of Organisation (Theme: Negotiating Difference: Psychoanalytic explorations of working with the “Other” in Organisations) in Melbourne during June 20-22, 2002.

2. Among many studies that could be cited to highlight this phenomenon, one of the best is the series of  Subaltern Studies. I shall quote here from Rukun Advani’s “A subaltern editor squeaks” (The Telegraph, 7 September, 2002, P.12) :

“I knew the dictionary meaning of ’Subaltern’: a subaltern was a junior officer, a second lieutenant, or a fellow even more subaltern than that, a general dogsbody who was made to fetch and carry and who spent his life saluting his thanks for the pleasure of being kicked about………..

“The series editor of the first volume was outlining a new agenda for the directions that Indian history must take. In layman’s language, Ranjit Guha was saying that the colonial period was not just a prolonged physical battle between them goras (slang for whitemen in several Indian languages, writer) and us kaloos (slang for blackmen, also in several Indian languages, writer), it was also an intellectual battle in which them goras had convinced us kaloos about our inferior history and culture…….We had all become subalterns…..saluting them….for the joy of being kicked around, supinely grateful that they gave us The Telegraph and The Railways, swallowing their propaganda that these were civilizing rather than exploitative agencies.

 “The Vincent Smiths and their ilk in the colonial period and their more sophisticated Oxford successors, who were all stamped upon and then stamped by a notorious Seal made in Cambridge, had swamped the early colonial admiration for India in the work of William Jones and his Asiatic Society friends, and made us believe in our subalternity.”

But the fact that such studies have not helped numerous former colonies, which are also the Developing Nations, to get together in order to confront the Developed Nations about their sophisticated forms of exploitation that continue to be there, point towards the deep seated unconscious phenomenon of the internalised aggressor.

3. It is intriguing to note that Bill Clinton, the former US President, seems to have said something very similar recently, albeit in a different language. The following is an extract from his speech, down loaded from the Internet:

WASHINGTON: An introspective Bill Clinton has said terror has existed in America for hundreds of years and that the nation is "paying a price today" for its past mistakes.

The former US president, who received a warm welcome from a 1000-strong audience at his alma mater Georgetown University on Thursday, said: "Here in the United States, we were founded as a nation that practised slavery".

"This country once looked the other way when a significant number of native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human. And we are still paying a price today," he said.

“International terrorism”, Clinton said, “has only just reached the United States but dates back thousands of years.
"In the first Crusades, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was a Muslim on the Temple Mount. I can tell you that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it.

"…………….And then we have to be smart enough to get rid of our arrogant self-righteousness so that we don't claim for ourselves things we deny for others", he said.
( PTI ).

  • (An email message that is going around in the inertnet):


Dear Friends,
> > The following was sent to me by my friend Tamim Ansary. Tamim is an Afghani-American writer. He is also one of the most brilliant people I know in this life. When he writes, I read. When he talks, I listen. Here is his take on Afghanistan and the whole mess we are in.
> > -Gary T.

Dear Gary and whoever else is on this email thread:
I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done." And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

  • I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.
  • But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats’ nest of international thugs holed up in their country. > >
  • Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, and incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan--a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.
  • We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already.

Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering.

  • Level their houses?Done.
  • Turn their schools into piles of rubble?
  • Done.
  • Eradicate their hospitals?
  • Done.
  • Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care?
  • Too late. Someone already did all that.
  • New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time
  • So what else is there? What can be done, then?
  • Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in
    there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout. It's much bigger than that, folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first.
  • Will other Muslim nations just stand by?
  • You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West. And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants. That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It's all right there. He really believes Islam would beat the West. It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the West wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the West would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but
  • Who has the belly for that?
  • Bin Laden does.
  • Anyone else?

Tamim Ansary.

5. The latest in this process is dumping of toxic material from the debris of the New York’s Trade Centre Twin Towers.:

“Beyond 9-11.
Trading in Disaster : World Trade Center scrap lands in India : <hhtp://>
The fate of thousands of tons of steel that formed the World Trade Center might seem like a tangent to the tragedy of September 11th. More than 30,000 tons of steel scrap – possibly contaminated by asbestos, PCBs, mercury and dioxine – has been exported to India and other parts of Asia. The U.S. has the obligation to ensure that toxic contamination from the World Trade Center is not exported to other nations. So far officials have been silent.
Feb. 2002, Greenpeace, Toxic Links, Corporate Watch.”

(Part of comments and material offered by Rosemary Viswanath on an earlier draft of this article).

6. Quoted from The Age, Tuesday, June 25, 2002, P.10 (; Melbourne):

“An Amnesty International report, released yesterday before this week’s G8 summit, warns that western governments are undermining their “war on terror” by massive arms sales to developing countries….
“The human rights organisation points out that international terrorism and promoting stability in Africa are high on the agenda of the Group of Eight meeting, which begins tomorrow in Canada, yet these same countries are responsible for more than four-fifths of all new weapons reaching the developing world.

“The report says that much of the more than $US29 billion of arms sold each year to developing states by G8 nations – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States – are destined for unstable regions…………

“The US, the world’s largest arms trader, exported more than $US 14 billion of military equipment to developing countries in 2000. As recently as last year, Osama bin Laden’s supporters bought American-made missiles and small arms…….

“Amnesty International’s UK director, Kate Allen, said, ’G8’s proliferating trade in arms and military aid undermines fundamental human rights and sustainable development.” 

7. Rosemary Viswanath offered some valuable comments on an earlier draft of this article. While some of those have been incorporated in the body of the article, I am quoting below one of those  in full:

“Another process has been that of International or global institutions that have been set up post World War II. Perhaps the forced dismantling of the more obvious forms of colonisation have led to these new and sophisticated forms of colonising in the form of IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation – to name the terrible three. What they have managed to do is emasculate more democratic institutions like the United Nation’s various bodies and ride roughshod over national sovereignty, peoples processes and democratic institutions, using the twin mantras of capitalist free market and trade liberalisation. The result has been devastating with national economies crashing and the lives of ordinary people in shambles. Deeper analysis reveals that financial institutions or major corporations in the western developed world gain each time. The process of decision making in the World Trade Organisation – on paper by consensus of its 143 member countries – is in reality arm twisting, blackmailing, threats or plain and simple chicanery and cheating by the big powers like the QUAD countries who have everything to gain by a one sided definition of trade liberalisation. The inability of Developing Nations to get together and expose these undemocratic processes has perhaps something to do with the internalised “Divide and Rule”, “the Aggressor in the Mind” and the “Invader in the Mind”.


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