I recently saw the film Outsourced (2006) and I believe it is the sort of film that can teach North Americans about themselves as much as it can about India. The plot revolves around Todd Anderson’s sojourn in India where he must train local call centre staff to perform a customer service/support function. Everything about India seems to irk him: The street food, the lack of personal space, the intrusive conversations, the lack of cheeseburgers ect… In time he realizes that he must not resist India but simply give in; after which he is reborn with a new sense of awareness. The world around him hasn’t changed, only he has; a very Hindu idea.
India itself has been romanticized beyond recognition, a recurring trend in such films. But the movie isn’t about India, it’s about Todd: his journey, his challenges, his trials, and his growing sense of awareness. But I think the film conveys another message, (a somewhat radical one) albeit unintentionally. Throughout the film, Todd’s isolation is emphasized and felt by the viewer. He is isolated when surrounded by people and it isn’t due to the colour of his skin; but rather due to who he is and where he comes from. I can only imagine that many North American whites would feel like minorities when watching this film; not on a national level, but rather on the global level. While Cultural Marxist leftists would cheer the numerical insignificance of whites (within any context) I think that on a global level it is a source of their uniqueness. Mild mannered, courteous, empathetic, and compassionate, Todd Anderson stands out in a nation dominated by people that are boorish, emotional, and opportunistic. He isn’t a minority due to his ethnicity, but rather due to his alien values. He is a product of 3000 years of western civilization and it clearly shows.
The film made me reflect on the power of the individual and his capacity to sustain civilization. In India, people like Todd are a miniscule minority immersed in a society that is ambivalent toward their values. Towards the end of the film the fish returns to his pond and Todd finds himself back in the US. No longer one in a billion, Todd is just another guy here. Western civilization is superior to others primarily because it has produced nations of Todds that are held up to a high moral standard and taken for granted there. Oriental societies rely on a coercive top down approach to maintain order whereas Western societies emphasize order by focusing on a bottom up approach: by building a better individual.