What does God have to do with foreign policy? Historically, countries influenced by Christianity or Islam have developed an impulse to spread their views and convert people to their faith. That missionary spirit is evident in the foreign policy of countries as diverse as Britain, the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. In the case of Britain and the United States, perhaps because they have been so powerful, the Protestant sense of purpose at the core of their foreign policies has made a deep mark on global affairs. China, in contrast, may never require a similar sense of destiny. Simply being China, and becoming a world power, in a sense fulfills its historical purpose. It doesn't need to spread anything to anyone to vindicate itself. So when Beijing seems bloodless in its stance on human rights, it is not simply that the regime is oppressive or takes a ruthlessly realpolitik view of its interests -- though that certainly plays a role. The Chinese see these issues differently, not with a set of abstract rights and wrongs, but with a sense of the practical that serves as a guiding philosophy. pg. 112
Hinduism is not really a "religion" in the Abrahamic sense of the word but a loose philosophy, one that has no answers but merely questions. The only clear guiding principle is ambiguity. If there is a central verse in Hinduism's most important text, the Rig Veda, it is the Creation Hymn. It reads, in part,
Who really know, and who can swear,
How creation came, when or where!
Even gods came after creation's day,
Who really knows, who can truly say
When and how did creation start?
Did He do it? Or did He not?
Only He, up there, knows, maybe;
Or perhaps, not even He.
Compare that with the certainties of the Book of Genesis.
So what does this mean for the real world? Hindus are deeply practical. They can easily find an accommodation with the outside reality. Indian businessmen -- who are still largely Hindu-- can thrive in almost any atmosphere that allows for trade and commerce. Whether in America, Africa, or East Asia, Indian merchants have prospered in any country they live in. As long as they can place a small idol somewhere in their home for worship or meditation, their own sense of Hinduism is fulfilled. pg. 155-156
~ The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
Just some stuff I found interesting! Any thoughts, questions, observations?