Chanakya's Arthashastra

Discussion in 'Military History' started by civfanatic, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Mad Indian

    Mad Indian Proud Bigot Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Exactly the problem with the question!
     
  2. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Not diverting the train is also an action!
     
  3. Abhijat

    Abhijat Regular Member

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    But , why should I be responsible to kill some one ? It is not morally right.

    I believe in principal of determinism. :smile:
     
  4. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Inaction is also action my friend.

    Probably, I will throw a dice to choose!
     
  5. Abhijat

    Abhijat Regular Member

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    Sir, I am justifying on grounds of personal morality.

    But, if we have to go by human ethics , then utilitarianism i.e choosing 5 over 1 is justified.
     
  6. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I am not sure 5 people have more utility!

    - 5 old woman vs one young woman able to bear a child
    - 5 illiterate people vs one Einstein
    etc.

    It all boils down to your definition of utility.
     
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  7. Abhijat

    Abhijat Regular Member

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    Completely agree with you on that.

    It's personal choice of defining "utility" , which I took in this case as a "life", as no other characteristic was mentioned.
     
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  8. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    Actually this question itself shows the difference between Indian and Western/Abrahmic morality. Almost all of us have heard the refrain - One innocent killed is like killing a whole country/civilization. Sure enough comes from the peoples for whom killing is the SOP.

    And @Abhijat, I would not blame you for your choice because there are enough pros and cons for both choices.

    I could equally well say that the other 5 guys don't deserve to be saved if they could not even take enough care not to fall into that situation, in the first place. So let the 1 man live.

    But then again as I said your choice is not exactly wrong either.

    The problem from the Indian perspective will allow for at least 2 solutions (yours and mine) and more too. Point being at some point we have to take ownership and actually deliver (dharmsthapan), or die trying (tapas). Since the choice is mine only to make. People on the tracks do not even know what is coming their way and it hardly matters what they get. Their life is perfect actually whether any of them lives or dies. For those who are tied, its already determined that the train will come and cut them (God put them there - deal with it - though they can spend last few minutes wishing for God to change their fortune). For the one who did not know anything (God put him there and God may equally likely decide to take away his chances at living on - his wish for his rights/choices/guarantees do not matter). It is only human stupidity to believe that birth and death are decided by god but in between he has choices/guarantees/rights.

    So for your choice you have to after you have saved those 5 idiots make sure that you do not ever face a situation where you have to save idiots. Also drill some sense into those idiots, if its possible.

    In my case I have to find the bastard who put those 5 men on the track and do something about that man. Off course the 1 man I save would be better advised to join in else he finds himself on that track someday.

    So from the Indian perspective its a mithya choice. The real choice starts after you have decided (completely dependent on your instincts).
     
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  9. Abhijat

    Abhijat Regular Member

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    @Yumdoot , so Sir, it seems Indian choice is going towards pre-determined path i.e every thing which needs to happen , happens. We are inconsequential in play of things.

    This is where I argued, if we have to actually make choice , then morality i.e one's personal categorisation of right and wrong(which itself holds no meaning in terms of Dharmic philosophy) vs ethics comes to play .

    I would rather not contribute in death on 1 person by my action(or inaction), but leaves 5 other to die as it is pre-determined , due to path that had been followed.
     
  10. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    The death of 5 is not pre-determined. They have the choice to keep praying to god. Unfortunately that may be just as chancy as the train killing or not killing the one guy who did not give one thought about the train as he ambled onto the tracks for sair sapata. For both the whole affair is quite entirely upto chance.

    Ok, for the time being ignore your own problem of choice and give choice to the to those who are temporarily going to benefit from it. Then add the dimension of time and further choices down the road to both.

    Do the choices now look:
    1) more real lifelike and action oriented which is what a human reality really is, ie. before his death; or
    2) do they look like manicured, study-able, argument worthy but action disorienting, normalized subject scientific study.

    In fact I would say the choice is fake even if the 1 guy is a child or a child bearing mother or an unfairly to be cutletified muslim :biggrin2:. Choice arises in Time not in Space. In space, so long as you are alive, with your all too human choices, you have to follow the principle of - 1 object not being at 2 places at 1 time (or 2 objects not occupying 1 place at 1 time) or the train simply disappearing :p.

    Let me put it like another way. If the 5 gents had been smart and exercised their choices at the right time they would never have ended up tied to the rails. Does that make you feel better :p.
     
  11. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    There is a theory (I do not have a link to it right now) which says that we make a decision first and then try to invent an argument to justify and in several cases "glorify" our decision/action.

    Morality is subjective and it has got no Natural basis. Morality is a product of social training, which conditions us to be more successful as part of a group.

    During my Engineering course I took both Sociology and Psychology and one of the important facts I learned was that "Emotional people" are more likely to commit crimes. That is because emotions are more natural than "self-control" which is taught by the society (e.g. a child is potty trained). An emotional person is more likely to follow his/her instincts.
     
  12. Yumdoot

    Yumdoot Regular Member

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    That is strange. I never did engineering but I never had to take sociology or psychology either. Escaped the fate.

    But then again being emotional is not antithetical to being able to exercise self-control. In any given population there are likely to be larger number of potty trained slaves than imagination capable emotional people capable of pushing boundaries.

    But then yet again this is all english and english is an invaders language with no real meaning to it. :pound:
     
  13. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    Emotions are natural, self control comes from training and experience. Morality is not Natural it is a set of social norms fed to us as "Absolute Truth", but the real motive behind teaching morality is to turn us into functional "social" beings.

    Imagination capable people won't shit in their dinner plate, they do practice self-control, while imagination capable kids can without suffering from any sense of guilt.

    None of these boundaries are applicable either on a state or the statesman. State and Statesman are capable of wielding absolute power. They are capable of displaying extreme brutality and selfishness. They are not bound by any moral issues, their actions are controlled by "what can they do and what they can't do".

    There is an old saying: Emotional armies loose battles. or something to that effect. Do search for it. That is because an emotional person is likely to forget his/her training and go into self-preservation mode when faced with mortal danger. An emotional commander is likely to choose short term gains (hasty decisions) over long term, again the natural instinct comes into play.

    Same is true for an egoist person, who is less likely to break social/legal norms compared to a "survivor" who is capable of doing just anything.
     
  14. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I think being less emotional allows one to have disconnect to look at the picture rationally. And it probably helps take better decisions.

    Just to add caveat: rationality does not always help in achieving short term goals. For eg. Sometimes a heavily outnumbered force wins the battle due to sheer camaraderie and love for some abstract concept. Both of these are positive emotions and can trump rationality- which would suggest backing off in a battle with 20% chances to win.
     
  15. Abhijat

    Abhijat Regular Member

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    Sab upar se nikal gaya......:confused1:

    Maybe I will experience it some day and , will then express about the choice I made. :notsure:
     
  16. VaghaDeva

    VaghaDeva sum gai

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  17. dodo

    dodo New Member

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    Kautilya was a proponent of a welfare state but definitely encouraged war for preserving the power of the state. Kautilya's Arthashastra is a book of 'pure' logic, not taking any religious aspect into account. It deals with the various subjects directly and with razor-like sharpness. The Arthashastra totally contains 5363 Sutras, 15 books, 150 chapters, and 180 Sections. The 15 Books contained in the Arthashastra can be classified in the following manner: Book 1, as a book on 'Fundamentals of Management', Book 2 dealing with 'Economics', Books 3, 4 and 5 on 'Law', Books 6, 7, 8 describes Foreign Policies. Books 9 to 14 concerns subjects on 'War'. The 15th book deals with the methodology and devices used in writing the Arthashastra.

    What is interesting to note is that the topic of war is the last subject in Arthashastra. War is always the last option. However, a war in certain cases is unavoidable, hence, preparation and maintenance of the army, the right moves in the battlefield and warfare strategies all are essential in the defense of a country, subjects which Kautilya tackles with the extrasensory precision.


    Kautilya thought that the possession of power and happiness in a state makes a king superior hence a king should always strive to augment his power. Kautilya propounded that war is natural for a state. He said that "Power is strength and strength changes the minds".Economic power has helped shape statecraft. This element of power is very flexible. This aspect of the power is one which Arthashastra concentrates on and has highlighted 'Artha', the economics of the state in the pursuit of power. The quest for power is driven by the satisfaction of the king and his subjects in all the spheres of material well being and social acceptance. This can be achieved by a progressive and robust economy. A corollary to this fact is that the economics of a state can be used to progress the influence of the state over international issues and also used to augment the war waging potential of the state.
    Whether a nation has a large or small military, its leadership does understand economics. Economics is a great tool to create conditions for further action or force a nation to change behavior. There are constraints prevalent in the pursuit of sound-economy to further the war waging capability of a state and in turn achieve the power. the resolution of these constraints is the enigma which Kautilya unraveled through Arthashastra.

    2. Kautilya presents that for a King to attain these three goals he must create wealth, have armies and should conquer the kingdoms and enlarge the size of his state. This is quite interesting because he in a way does believe that a state's superiority is in its military and economic might which is what later philosophers and rulers have followed. In the case of war, Kautilya advocates the King to be closely involved in the science of war.

    3. Classifications of War. Kautilya advocated three types of war: Open war, Concealed war, and the Silent War.In Open-war he describes as the war fought between states, concealed war as one which is similar to guerrilla war and Silent war which is fought on a continued basis inside the kingdom so that the power of the King does not get diluted. He believed that there were three types of kings who go into warfare and it is important to understand the distinction between the types of kings and the appropriate warfare strategy to be selected.

    4. Kautilya propounded that state is not considered a massive entity but as one which combines various internal constituents – the king, the fortified city , the countryside, the treasury and the army. The power with which a state can promote its own interests over other states in the neighborhood depends on how close to ideal the internal constituents are. The four devices Kautilya used for deriving practical advice were: relative power, deviations from the ideal, classification by the type of motivation and the influence of the unpredictable. This is the core what Arthashastra addresses as the endeavor is to resolve all the constraints that arise in the quest of the state to gain ascendancy and enhance its power.

    5. Warfighting tactics. Kautilya was also very harsh in narrating the exact methods of fighting a war and use of various tools to reduce the strength of a state. Kautilya wrote in detail explaining the war strategy because he was a strong proponent of social structure. He vehemently defends the state and believes that religion and morals are supposed to serve the state. In Kautilya's concept of war, chivalry does not have any place and he is a realist. Kautilya in his Arthashastra and believes that war is a means to an end for wealth and stability. He provided the understanding to resolve all the constraints which emerge to achieve the ends. Kautilya has argued that the primary constraint that a state faces is the economic constraints and many a war has been lost for want of resources. The Arthashastra has guided the king in eliminating the constraints, primarily the economic constraints in the furtherance of its interests. The use of economic strength as a means of states' power has also been highlighted by Kautilya.

    6. Kautilya also took the societal structure and King's power as given and never challenged it. His focus was not on war per-se but on the strategy and tactics of war which elaborates in his work. In describing his opinion on war, he has been very right in saying that a state which seeks power is in war all the time and economy is the most definitive aspect which governs the quest of the state for power.
     
  18. Bornubus

    Bornubus Chodi Bhakt & BJPig Hunter Senior Member

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    chanakya-quotes-for-Narendra-Modi-Indian-Pm.png-indian-politics-Bharat.png



    ===================================
     
  19. dodo

    dodo New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Arthashastra's manuscript Source: Wikimedia Commons

    Kautilya was a proponent of a welfare state but definitely encouraged war for preserving the power of the state. Kautilya's Arthashastra is a book of 'pure' logic, not taking any religious aspect into account. It deals with the various subjects directly and with razor-like sharpness. The Arthashastra totally contains 5363 Sutras, 15 books, 150 chapters, and 180 Sections. The 15 Books contained in the Arthashastra can be classified in the following manner: Book 1, as a book on 'Fundamentals of Management', Book 2 dealing with 'Economics', Books 3, 4 and 5 on 'Law', Books 6, 7, 8 describes Foreign Policies. Books 9 to 14 concerns subjects on 'War'. The 15th book deals with the methodology and devices used in writing the Arthashastra.

    Economics in Statecraft and War
    . Kautilya thought that the possession of power and happiness in a state makes a king superior hence a king should always strive to augment his power. Kautilya propounded that war is natural for a state. He said that "Power is strength and strength changes the minds".Economic power has helped shape statecraft. This element of power is very flexible. This aspect of the power is one which Arthashastra concentrates on and has highlighted 'Artha', the economics of the state in the pursuit of power. The quest for power is driven by the satisfaction of the king and his subjects in all the spheres of material well being and social acceptance. This can be achieved by a progressive and robust economy. A corollary to this fact is that the economics of a state can be used to progress the influence of the state over international issues and also used to augment the war waging potential of the state.
    Whether a nation has a large or small military, its leadership does understand economics. Economics is a great tool to create conditions for further action or force a nation to change behavior. There are constraints prevalent in the pursuit of sound-economy to further the war waging capability of a state and in turn achieve the power. the resolution of these constraints is the enigma which Kautilya unraveled through Arthashastra.

    2. Kautilya presents that for a King to attain these three goals he must create wealth, have armies and should conquer the kingdoms and enlarge the size of his state. This is quite interesting because he in a way does believe that a state's superiority is in its military and economic might which is what later philosophers and rulers have followed. In the case of war, Kautilya advocates the King to be closely involved in the science of war.

    3. Classifications of War. Kautilya advocated three types of war: Open war, Concealed war, and the Silent War.In Open-war he describes as the war fought between states, concealed war as one which is similar to guerrilla war and Silent war which is fought on a continued basis inside the kingdom so that the power of the King does not get diluted. He believed that there were three types of kings who go into warfare and it is important to understand the distinction between the types of kings and the appropriate warfare strategy to be selected.

    4. Kautilya propounded that state is not considered a massive entity but as one which combines various internal constituents – the king, the fortified city , the countryside, the treasury and the army.The power with which a state can promote its own interests over other states in the neighborhood depends on how close to ideal the internal constituents are. The four devices Kautilya used for deriving practical advice were: relative power, deviations from the ideal, classification by the type of motivation and the influence of the unpredictable. This is the core what Arthashastra addresses as the endeavor is to resolve all the constraints that arise in the quest of the state to gain ascendancy and enhance its power.

    5. Warfighting tactics. Kautilya was also very harsh in narrating the exact methods of fighting a war and use of various tools to reduce the strength of a state. Kautilya wrote in detail explaining the war strategy because he was a strong proponent of social structure. He vehemently defends the state and believes that religion and morals are supposed to serve the state. In Kautilya's concept of war, chivalry does not have any place and he is a realist. Kautilya in his Arthashastra and believes that war is a means to an end for wealth and stability. He provided the understanding to resolve all the constraints which emerge to achieve the ends. Kautilya has argued that the primary constraint that a state faces is the economic constraints and many a war has been lost for want of resources. The Arthashastra has guided the king in eliminating the constraints, primarily the economic constraints in the furtherance of its interests. The use of economic strength as a means of states' power has also been highlighted by Kautilya.

    6. Kautilya also took the societal structure and King's power as given and never challenged it. His focus was not on war per-se but on the strategy and tactics of war which elaborates in his work. In describing his opinion on war, he has been very right in saying that a state which seeks power is in war all the time and economy is the most definitive aspect which governs the quest of the state for power.

    Source: Defence Studies
     
  20. HariPrasad-1

    HariPrasad-1 Senior Member Senior Member

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    I had read the book a long time ago. At that time what most impressive part I found was the use of various vegetable to use enemy army temporray blind, to use arrows dipped into donkey blood with some herbs to use on enemy army to rabies in enemy soldiers and they will bite others and they too will have it.

    Other part I found interesting was if a price becomes outlines and becomes adict of girls and wine, how to bring him ofn track and if he does not improve, how to kill him. How to kill a king if he becomes incompetent and who should replace him etc etc. When to make war and when to make peace.

    How to administer internal matters. How much profit margin should be on perishable and non perishable goods etc. How to administer brothels. How to build forts and from where to bring elephants and train them. How to make palaces fire proof. What sort of utensil a king should use to get warning of poison. He should always eat food after offering it to dogs and birds so that poison can be detected. How should there be shaving and barber must not be allowed to enter with his own instruments and cloths as he can cut the throat of king of apply poison on it and kill king. How king should beheave with queen. He should always called queen to his room and should not go to queens's room as there can be a plan to kill king there. What should of advisors a king should appoint. etc etc. If an high rank officer is charged with corruption, how a king should deal with it. how to stop corruption and fraud etc etc.

    It is a great book on political science and administration and all the aspects are touched in great detail.

    What I found odd is some punishments of cutting various parts of body as a punishment or heavy monitory penalty inplace amputation.
     
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