Breaking Hinduism from inside – religions as commodities in some voices of the Hindu Right.

Posted on August 31, 2017. Filed under: Christians, economics, Hindu, History, India, Islam, Islamic propaganda, religion, Roman, Uncategorized |

R Jaganathan has written a piece in Swarajyamag  (will-breaking-up-hinduism-into-its-parts-preserve-it-better-than-trying-to-keep-it-as-one) proposing allowing what he dubs “Hindu” “castes” to centrifugally evolve independently of any commonality of “Hinduism” and even if it leads to – towards new religions.

Let us look at the key building blocks of this thesis:

“The reason why caste has remained stubbornly invulnerable to reform – efforts have been on since the time of the Buddha – is because it has two dimensions, one good, one bad. On the one side, there is exploitation and oppression; on the other side, there is a beneficial dimension. As many people have pointed out in the past, caste is a form of social capital. This is why deras exist. And, in a first-past-the-post democracy, caste has become even more important, for it is the numbers you bring to a coalition that decide your position in the political power structure. All political parties thus seek dera support, or that of caste groups.”

Jaganathan is here starting with the first fundamental weakness of his thesis: he proclaims that there is both a “good” and “bad” side to “caste”, and the primary reason he thinks that “caste” has been persistent from Buddha’s times in spite of repeated attempts at “reform”.  Even in the subsequent development of his thesis, and the solution he proposes – is “allowing” castes to “separate” if necessary from “Hinduism” which however he does not recognize as an integral whole. Apart from the confusions and contradictions implied in his alternate portrayal of Hinduism as a single entity or concept (“greater than sum total” of components or as an entity from which a caste can distinguish or exclude itself) and as something impossible or infeasible to be a “whole”, he calls to “allow” such separation – implying thereby that there exists a super-authority latent in “Hinduism” that has the power and should do so. He fails to recognize that this in turn implies that “castes” on their own have no benefit in separating, and an external authority to caste has to take the initiative to jettison the castes from implied “main”-body.

Since so far, by his own claim, castes have benefited from being “castes”, or “minorities”, and therefore persisted in remaining “castes”, his alleged “bad” side – that of exploitation, must therefore be deemed by castes to be more than compensated for by “benefits” – so much so that they had so far not had any incentive to move away from their “minority” status. Thus Jagantahan wants a divorce enforced by one party in a marriage which he himself acknowledges as being more beneficial than exploitative to the other party so that the other party has not taken initiative to file suit.

Having started with this explanation of “bad and good” Jaganathan then sets out to elaborate on what he thinks are the “bad” side to build a case for “divorce”.

“Two major forces – urbanisation and capitalism – are autonomously working to lower caste inequities. Both ensure mobility between trades and professions. But the process is slow and difficult to manage in the context of electoral democracy. The net result is thus a preference for sub-optimal solutions like increasing reservations based on caste, and a non-merit based system of job-creation that delivers poor outcomes.

Worse, the existence of caste involves a constant demonisation of all Hindu denominations, since anyone claiming to be Hindu is deemed to be favouring casteism. This leaves all Hindus stuck with guilt, again making us less than confident in our dealings with others.”

Thus Jaganathan’s fleshing out of the “bad”, adds basically the following three aspects:

(a) capitalism and urbanization driven “mobility” that reduces “caste” based inequities are hampered by electoral democracy which gives advantage to leveraging identity to extract benefits disproportionate to contribution.

(b) caste based claims of “reservation” hampers merit-based job-creation in turn negatively affecting the economy.

(c) existence of caste apportions “guilt” to and demonizing of all “Hindus” and psychologically hampers confident Hindu engagement of “others”.

For (a) Jaganathan somehow fails to catch the significance of his own observation earlier that existence of caste is not jeopardized even when Indians went out of Hinduism as in Islam or Christianity – which he points out as having failed to create spaces for groups he terms “Dalits” and “shudras”, and that these non-Hindu religions still push for “caste-based” reservations even for those converted “out” of Hinduism. Thus by his own earlier observation, electoral democracy providing advantages to being “minority” will not stop “casteism” suddenly simply because a “caste” has separated from “Hinduism”.

For (b) since Jaganathan is apparently a pro-capitalist – if non-merit based job-occupation negatively impacts the economy, then in a hopefully free-market “capitalist” economy, the market itself will build up pressures to adopt merit-based recruitment, as otherwise a capitalist venture will lose out in competition to one that is able to recruit more merit. Thus here again the answer is then not jettisoning “caste” but allowing greater freedom to the market to decide employment.

For (c), confident dealing with “others” does not seem to have been much of a problem for Swami Vivekananda – at a period when “casteism” was likely more overt and rampant. Moreover, in the current period – the bulk of Hindu population does not really have to engage with the “other” on theological or religious questions unless they are going abroad or are specifically engaged in fields where other religions and ideologies hold the sway. Even here, the lack of confidence probably comes more from a lack of knowledge of and willingness to confront the “others” with their own respective “inequities” and historical or continuing inequities and injustices such as racism, sectarianism, oppression of minorities and dissent, and social exclusion.

 “It does not matter if castes become separate religions, retaining only a loose link with Hinduism; it does not matter if groups that are currently identified with Hinduism want to break away, and seek minority, non-Hindu status, as some groups within the Lingayats want to do. If the Ramakrishna Mission wants to be treated as a non-Hindu denomination, why not allow it to do so? It will not actually become less Hindu because of this nomenclature change. In fact, it could become more innovative and grow faster.

Here’s the point: As long as Hinduism remains a very loose aggregation of incompatible castes and groups, it cannot move or change very fast. It is easier for even a slow running to win if he runs alone; three-legged races are tougher to win.”

It is here that Jaganathan’s underlying thought process starts to expose the memes he is using to drive his thesis – he is converting religions or faiths into consumer products on offer in a marketplace of ideologies and belief systems. His liberal use of market terminology tells us that once he makes the equation of religions to commodities on a market, he abandons any lingering concern about the nature of religions modeled as commodities or whether religions can at all be realistically commoditized. Once Jaganathan makes the equation he forgets this possible incompatibility between religions and commodities and switches to thinking entirely in terms of inanimate commodities in a market. Thus he freely talks of “innovation” and “growing fast”, assumes there are producers of new “innovative” commodities of religions within existing caste groups who can outpace other manufacturers.

There are many problems with the religion-as-commodity-in-a-free-market model. To explore this one needs to check up as to what exactly can be the “commodity” nature if any, in a religion, and what then will compose the competing “other” manufacturers of religion and the “market” in which that competition happens.

(a) To compete, two different manufacturers of religions must be satisfying the same needs in the “buyer” of “religions”. Is there a common set of needs satisfied by all “religions” or do different religions address different needs in the same buyer or different buyers? Does Islam and “Hinduism” satisfy the same needs?

(b) what is the currency of exchange in the market of religions? for any such market must develop a unit of comparison and this is something that the buyer gives up to the seller? is it people, following, material contribution to increased manufacturing? If following or numbers is a measure of valuation – how can the author dub the current versions of Christianity or Islam as T.Rex? for they have succeeded more than Hinduism in that currency and without much innovation.

(c) what makes a buyer change his or her preference for one religion as commodity to another? does that change follow free-market rules? Historically almost every known religious innovation had to be shoved down unwilling throats by state sponsored coercion. Islam from its foundation was raiding and pillaging until it could militarily subdue northern Arabian tribes and then spread its “commodity” further into the Levant and Persia by war. Christianity did not make much of a headway until a “minority” faction found it to be useful for imperial power consolidation in Rome and even after that its spread into much of Europe had to be by military conquest. The first claimed “monotheistic” innovation by Akhenaten is assessed now to have been imposed by royal authority and violence.

The peak of this commodity-market model in author’s mind surfaces here:

In the corporate world, when companies become too unwieldy, they demerge to create faster growth for the demerging parts. Hinduism should allow its constituent units to demerge, and this will make each one stronger. A looser and voluntary federation works better for Hinduism than trying to create a large agglomeration that circumscribes the freedom of movement for each of the parts.

This comparison is interesting, for it implies that in Jaganathan’s mind he is totally switched into and focused on real world commodities and their prices and profits to corporate models. He conveniently forgets that the “demergers” are supervised by an authority external to the market – a state, ostensibly to encourage competition to the benefit of the consumer. What authority external to “Hinduism” is going to supervise this “de-trustification” of “Hinduism”? How is that authority going to determine what is of benefit to the consumer in the absence of clear-cut market mechanisms and prices? Is this authority also going to apply the same principles of “anti-trust” to non-Hindu religions too?

In Hinduism, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Hinduism is thus served best by freeing its parts from the whole so as to create new wholes that will work more coherently. Whether these mini-Hinduisms will survive or perish depends on how fast they are able to adapt to change and modernise themselves for the new age.

Some of the demerging parts will become new religions, and possibly better ones. Some will deal with caste better than others. Some castes could become religions too. And some will regress and perish. But Hinduism as a whole will be alive in spirit in vibrant new ideas.

Even politically, trying to pretend that 80 per cent of Indians are Hindus of one kind is counter-productive. It denies benefits that minorities get by being small. Small is beautiful.

Here Jaganathan drives the final logical nail into the “coffin” of his own thesis: if being “small” and “in the minority” is beneficial then that presumes the existence of a “big” and “in the majority” in contrast to which the “small” can remain “small” and the “minority” can remain a “minority”. By pushing the “small” and the “minority” out of the  “majority” framework of Hinduism, Jaganathan is actually condemning them – by his own logic – to losing all the benefits of being “small” and “minor”.

This is the age of the start-up, not megaliths. Remember T-Rex did not survive evolution. It is unlikely that religions organised like T-Rexes – most of the Abrahamic religions fit this description – will survive an era of fast change.

Jagnathan forgets that in the age of startups it is a few megaliths that dominate – the Google or Apple or Microsoft or Amazon – who by their sheer size and structural incorporation of ever increasing variety of capabilities to satisfy needs in turn gobble up most other innovative startups, and these megaliths have virtually no competition because they already satisfy what at least currently are the basic consumer needs from that sector.


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United States of Elite versus Donald Trump : Sunni-Saudi-Anglo-Euro-Jihadi axis towards war.

Posted on August 23, 2017. Filed under: Afghanistan, Arab, Army, China, Communist, economics, economy, Egypt, Hindu, History, India, Iran, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Jihad, Muslims, Pakistan, religion, Roman, Russia, Saudi, Shia, Sunni, Syria, Taleban, terrorism, Trump, UK, Ulema, US Presidential elections, USA, Wahabi |

Postulate One: European consumption levels could historically be only maintained by exploiting resources and productivity outside the self-defined territory of Europe (as in Roman expansion dependent on Egyptian grain and “barbarian” slave labour and fecundity).

Postulate Two: USA is an extension of western Europe as shaped in British state form revised under imagined and reconstructed Roman Republic with perceptions and constructions of both what is “European” and what is not – based on cumulative claims of history, both regional and global.

Postulate Three: Europe prioritizes consumption of its elite over ideology.

Most of what is happening now in the USA, in its politics, its legislative bodies, its government and state institutions – all the way to its attitudes towards and handling of or engagement with Islam, Middle East, and Asia can be deduced from the three postulates.

The Roman Republic generated several interesting phenomena that is rarely put in perspective when analyzing modern-day politics of the “western” world. The contest between the Plebs and the Patricians was a contest for power and say in state affairs between the increasingly self-aware Plebs (stemming from their co-option into the armies under people like Marius the uncle of Caesar in turn driven by elite hunger for land and slaves in the ever-expanding “periphery”) and the “Patri-cians” claiming descent from leading founding fathers of the historical Roman colony in Italy and who thereby had hogged the material and monetary benefits of the state formation exercise over the centuries. The Romans went through a phase of submission to non-Roman “rule” as well as “kingship” to finally overthrow “dynastic royalty” but evolving or recasting a new form of authoritarianism legitimized by representative bodies of people – closely followed in essence in the process of formation of USA.

All these are pretty well-known in standard history lessons: what is less discussed is how Roman institutions also institutionalized politico-financial corruption together with formation of well-organized coteries that infiltrated, and manipulated the Roman state institutions for combined business, political and power benefits – running almost as “organized crime”. In fact the model of “mafia” now popularized by Hollywood, typically labeled as originating in remnants of old Roman empire in the medieval such as “Sicily” or “Naples”, had their roots in the system of Roman knights/captains put in charge of various zones/districts of historical Rome. The blurred lines between ambitions of impoverished Patricians like that of the Caesars or the still wealthy Patrician Sulla, the stinking rich Crassus, or the yuppie military genius of a country bumpkin-from-peasant-north maternal uncle of Julius – Marius : they all formed a politically-financially-incestuous vicious competition of various groups of “mafia”.

Thus it is crucial to drop the Hollywood imagery of the “Godfather” and expand it in the reality of US politics on the more historical Roman “mafia” of the Republic and transition-to-empire phase of Rome. Such an “extended” mafia can be both “criminally organized” and “patriotic” or more “transnationally minded” just like the ancient Roman “mafia”.

The current phase can be thus understood as a phase of competition between two domestic groups of “mafia” (in the extended “Roman” sense I am using) where one side has grown close to the Sunni-Saudi interests over a cold-war, and inheritance of Indian Ocean geostrategic burdens of defunct British “political” empire (as in every mature and jaded “empire”, the formal fall of empire-state leaves behind a network of transnational finance and elite of ex-colonies connected firmly to an integrated shared “interests” with the ex-empires successor). This means this side shares the political and hence even religious biases of the Saudi Sunni axis which grew up under British imperial patronage as a supposed barrier to restrict the Ottoman grasp over the “passage” to India. This in turn led to panic scramble by then Russia and Europeans powers wary of the British to try and gain access to Indian Ocean aligning a veritable rivalry between “western” (France/UK) and “eastern” (Germany/Russia) Europe to push to the Persian Gulf. However the ancient contest for supremacy between the west and east of Euphrates that had once ended the Greeks and Cyrus’s house allowing Rome to grow, and similarly exhausted Byzantines and Parthians to allow Islamic jihad to flourish in the “frontier” no-mans land between the two sides – continued in the Arab versus Iran contest, and was used by the completely emasculated remnants of Arab tribes to reassert claims against the “east” and try to repeat their 7th century success using the British and French need to secure the Gulf.

Discovery of oil has gradually shifted the balance of power within the front of  Sunni-Saudi-“western” axis, and WWII drew up an extended “frontier” of two hostile “fronts” running roughly North-East – South-West from Balkans through Syria-Iraq into Persian gulf.

The “western” Anglo fear of Russian breakthroughs in this sector combined with Arab jealousy of the more pre-Islamic nationhood retaining Iran with all consequent better human capital not destroyed as much as in Saudis under mullahcracy – drove the US attempt at wooing Communist China away from USSR, in return China extracting economic entry into global capitalist flow, and an attempt to ring-fence Iran and central-Asian routes from Russia down south by encouraging Islamism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

However even if this strategy largely succeeded in weakening USSR and led to its overthrow, two problems had been created for US “mafia”: the immensely financially networked with US Saudi lobby’s growing influence among the “mafia” and China’s capture of the US consumer market using its totalitarian state economy and control over Chinese labour. After US had to necessarily engage in the mop-up operations consequent to fall of USSR and Sunni-Saudi lobby’s grasping the opportunity to expand its long-held jihadi ambitions to revive Caliphate style re-conquest of the Middle East, and beyond, parts of US mafia must have realized the growing threat of China’s economy.

However during the long cold-war era, Sunni-Saudi axis had been allowed to become politically entrenched in influencing US foreign policy and thus in the US state institutions and its political class as well as in the instruments of ideological hegemony of modern states – like the media, academics of “humanities”. The faction of US mafia that realizes the supreme importance of China as a threat to their interests (by disrupting the mafia’s finger in the global – “outside of territory” economic exploitation) was the force that allowed someone like Donal Trump to come through. Looking from this perspective, it becomes clear why he had to be “promoted” – they needed an “outsider” or “outcast” or deemed “dilettante” political actor, therefore less likely to have been compromised by the existing pro-Sunni-Saudi pro-China cliques.

That the majority of US state institutions are waging a virtual but desperate war to remove “Trump” from power is simply a manifestation of the failure of the “cold-war” legacy portion of the administration and ideological establishment to grasp the drive and perhaps even realpolitik “sense/pragmatism” of the anti-China “patriotic mafia” as the need of the hour for “US” interests just as overthrow of USSR was in then US interests.

So Trump is being driven to make superficial “compromises” while he is trying to protect the underlying agenda of cutting China down to size. However the pro-Sunni-Saudi US mafia does not want China to be cut down to size as both the Saudis and the Chinese favour each other as hedges for their respective geostrategic ambitions. Saudis do not really want Pakistan to be cut down to size as Pakistan is most helpful in delegating tasks of wahabization and radicalization that serves Saudi geo-strategic ambitions while China does not want Pakistan to be harmed as Pakistan provides a corridor to Indian ocean as well as a useful jihadi counter-balance to India whose territory and population the Chinese see as an obstacle to their own imperial ambitions.

So even if Trump announces a troop increase in Afghanistan, the reality of the situation will simply help Saudi strategy for the zone. The Sunni jihadi assets were first tested on Syria – seen as a rival Shiite state, and on Iraq – but it quickly spiraled out of control revealing the extent of jihadism that Saudis have unleashed which even they can no longer fully control. Russian backing stalled overthrow of the Syrian regime, so that means the “western/European” and Saudi-Sunni jihadi assets need to be “saved” and protected by the pro-Saudi-mafia/European elite from total destruction so they can be unleashed against the real intended targets – Iran and Russia. This means there will be an attempt to carve out a “sovereign” protectorate style enclave for those dubbed “free Syrian army” on the eastern parts of Syria, thereby giving them breathing space and regrouping recouping as well as a Sunni buffer which in turn faces a Kurdi enclave on the east – thereby balancing each other and buffering each other. However the jihadis will be most effective in the greater anonymity of northern Afghanistan and even frontiers of Pakistan to be effective against Iran and Russia. Hence the bulk of the ISIS jihadis will be “helped” by “west” and Saudi-Sunni lobby to “escape” to northern Afghanistan.

US boots on the ground , in the hands of local networks of politics remaining from British imperial days – will effectively be a force that facilitates – willingly or unwillingly – the fall of the “north” to jihadis, while a “progressive” regime will gradually shrink to the south and east of the country around the big cities in the south even while under US “protection”.

The Saudi-Sunni penetration of the US state implies that Trumps “threat” to Pakistan will in effect have little impact. The Sunni-Saudi lobby has slightly different geo-political ambitions compared to what even the pro-Saudi lobby thinks it has. The Sunnis want a repeat of their seventh century jihadi performance – they want one sweep of continuous jihadi territory from Arabia through India into Indonesia in the east, and all the way to Gibraltar in North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

For myself, I see benefit in the expansion of Sunni jihad across Afghanistan and Pakistan and towards India. Jihad destroys pre-existing nationalisms – even the artificial and opportunistically foisted ones like that of Pakistan. It will also weaken the part of the modern Indian state that is ideologically and for other reasons, similar to the pro-Saudi lobby within US “mafia” and which can use state coercive resources to protect the Islamist interests against the non-Muslim majority of the country.  Any genuine resistance to jihad can only come from the vast non-Muslim populations of India but only when their state power actively is no longer able to protect the Islamic infrastructure and allows new state forces to come up that can resist and roll back jihadis back to where it started – in the deserts of Saudis. Jihadis expanding in north Pakistan and Afghanistan will also finally roll-back Chinese presence and effectiveness in this zone.

So the future is bleak and bright.




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CounterThoughts-3: A Call for Counter-Jihad

Posted on August 30, 2014. Filed under: Christians, Communist, economics, Hindu, India, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Left, Marxism, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, rape, religion, Saudi, slavery, Sunni, Syria, Taleban, terrorism, UK, USA, Wahabi |

The discourse on ISIS, the iconic Islamic jihadist movement that illustrates all aspects of the core of Islam as a social and state meme – has been mired with the strange but expected confusions of  non-Islamic civilizations which try to model and understand the “other” on their own world-views and expectations of what it means to be human.

The stories of ISIS activities that make it to the media, are there for everyone to see and draw their own conclusions from. Problem is that we are either never told, or we don’t manage to realize ourselves, that what we make of a described event, is coloured and shaped by our pre-existing views on related and not so related elements. For a liberal, non-Muslim, “modernized”, educated mind, the very ideas of torture, sadism, rape, sex-slavery, is so far removed from daily contemplation – that the response is either a denial or disbelief that such a thing could really have taken place.

But the situation here is more complicated by possibly two factors in why we fail to grapple with the reality of Islam.

The west has difficulty in going after deconstructing Islam as it clearly recognizes that undermining the basics of Islam would need undermining the Judaic roots of Abrahamic religions and that undermines Christianity too. So it consistently tries to represent the challenge from Islam as a merely real-politik one, as conflicts between this or that factions over power, politics, and economic factors. So the real problems posed by Islam, its core of genocidic, civilization-erasing and often sadistically brutalizing corrupting memes are ignored, bypassed, whitewashed or even denied and constructed as temporary political/social conflicts that have no long-term relation to Islam as an idea. Thus Islamic jihad is always misrepresented as being driven by contests that have nothing to do with Islam per se.

There is also the post-Christian but still “Christian” west’s fears and loathing of what it deems “pagan” and “non-Abrahamic” which it fears will gain from a retreat of Islam as in places like India, where Hindus had proven a repository of civilizational memes too complex and resourceful to submit to colonial attempts at replacement.

The second and deeper problem with the non-Muslim failure to understand and deal with Jihad comes from the very fact of its liberal, and non-closed or non-exclusive world-view. The built in components of exploratory, doubtful, non-stationary in most modernized non-Muslim civilizational frameworks makes them necessarily accepting of diversity and dissent, which in turn make it impossible to reject exclusive claims.

The diversified interests of modern non-Muslim societies, problematizing as “narrow” and “primitive” and therefore denigrated, the obsessive, biologically focused memes of Islam that revolves round the capture, possession and control of natural resources, agriculture, irrigated land, women. Trying to make sense of the horrors of these fundamental drives in Islam, the non-Muslim mindset tries to hang on to modern Islamic society’s use of products of western consumer products (including cultural ones)  as signs of “normality” and eventual hoped for convergence with their own non-islamic ones. In the process they fail to realize that the primary attraction and interest within islamic societies remain the time-tested method of ordering societies on biological relationships, “natural orderings” of power and force and physical domination, coercion – that between men and women, between the military and the civilian, between the theologian and the politician. Whatever is absorbed from the non-Muslim is filtered through the lens of utility and non-challenging of the fundamental drives of Islam : gaining military technologies, and pure consumption that doesn’t upset Islam’s core power relations. Thus better guns and ammunition or nuclear bombs, missiles, are welcome as are women’s lingerie and cosmetic products or porn which are welcome if it enhances the male pleasure in the privacy of homes or brothels or harems of sex-slavery. Ideas that clash with such core obsessions of Islam, as sex-slavery – are not absorbed even in contact or immersion within non-Muslim societies, as shown by European participants of jihad in Iraq.

Once the confusion is cleared, the next step is an uncompromising exposure and deconstruction of Islamic attempts at camouflaging or whitewashing and misrepresenting both the term “Jihad” as well as its usage, not only now but also in history. Plenty of works now accumulated over the overwhelmingly and consistently violent interpretations of “jihad” and not the “personal-internal-peaceful” struggle that it is often whitewashed as when exposed in non-Muslim societies. When the Muslim knows there is not going to be annihilating retaliation, he/she will justify the violence, genocide, rape, massacre, slavery as being solidly supported by precedence and cryptic injunctions of the founder of their religion. When the Muslim is yet to gain numerical or military strength to carry his/her agenda out without facing negative consequences, he/she will cry about how jihad means peaceful-personal “struggle” and only turns “defensive” when “attacked”: not clarifying that this attack could be and has been taken merely even as non-Muslim existence in the neighbourhood, or non-Muslims practising their own culture.

The second step and need for the hour is a clear, unemotional recognition of this confusion over Islam and Jihad and declare a counter-jihad. There are two basic components to counter-Jihad: ideological and politico-military.

In ideology, ruthlessly challenge and call out the intellectual fraud often perpetrated by Islamists, their spokespersons or whitewashers – both Muslim as well as non-muslim, in defending, misrepresenting, or confusing their audiences over the term “jihad” and its usage.

In politico-military, attack every assertion of Islamist symbols, terms, politics wherever they try to make inroads. Militarily destroy their supporting geographical bases, political entities which seek their recognition and protection as respectable and equivalent to non-muslim entities.

In the military side, recognize that jihad is based on a shrewd psychological understanding of sadistic terror and sexuality. Jihad uses terror and sex to psychologically weaken and destroy its target populations, before any actual large-scale retaliation can take place. They count on non-Muslim liberal hesitation to strike back with forms of counter terror that matches the Islamic. What to learn from the Islamic is the clever use of deniability and “plausible deniability” to extract psychological and political  advantages by both practicing terror and denying practicing it. Islamics represent any concession from non-Muslim side as weakness of the non-Muslims and as proof of strength of their god and their theology.

Islamists crucially think that non-Muslim reluctance to use the sadism that muslims use on non-Muslims – is a sign of Muslim strength and non-Muslim weakness, and the weakness of the non-Muslim god/gods. Only when the Islamic will face terror of  higher sadism than his own, will he finally acknowledge defeat, as he will see his “god” weak and unable to protect him.

Islamics use provocation to invite retaliation which they can then pretend to be defending while actually having prepared for aggression before. They also don’t take chances after conquest by executing those who already have or are liable to resist. Provoking Islamists to take up arms makes them combatants and no-longer civilians. If anonymous groups and militants carry out counter-terror as the west allegedly arranged for to deal with leftist insurgency, then there is plausible deniability. There are many methods which have already been tried out both by the “west” and the “Islamics”.

Let the “struggle” begin.

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On academics and their open letters : neo-imperialism from afar

Posted on April 22, 2014. Filed under: Bangladesh, China, Christians, Communist, diaspora, economics, economy, Egypt, financial crisis, Gaza, Hindu, Historians with political agenda, History, India, Indian National Congress, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Israel, Jew, Jihad, Kashmiri Pundit, Left, Maoism, Marxism, Muslims, neoimperialism, Pakistan, Palestine, Politics, rape, religion, Salafi, Saudi, Shia, slavery, Sunni, Syria, Taleban, terrorism, Turkey, UK, USA, Wahabi |


A group of sixty odd academics in various UK institutions have decided to join the Indian electoral fray by posting an open letter to the “left” leaning Independent under the headline:

Letters: The idea of Modi in power fills us with dread

“As the people of India vote to elect their next government, we are deeply concerned at the implications of a Narendra Modi-led BJP government for democracy, pluralism and human rights in India.”

Concern is always nice. Concern about democracy, pluralism, and human rights are particularly nice to hear about. But when these concerns are raised by voice which are only selectively concerned, that troubles us. These academics are not concerned about continued Saudi rule and its impact on the middle East’s prospects for democracy, pluralism and human rights. They are completely silent about Palestinian ruling junta (that is what it is – because each one of them come solidly from military outfits, and once-dubbed-terrorist groups), or for China, or for Pakistan, or Afghanistan. But more of this at the end.

“Narendra Modi is embedded in the Hindu Nationalist movement, namely the RSS and other Sangh Parivar groups, with their history of inciting violence against minorities. Some of these groups stand accused in recent terrorist attacks against civilians.”

The slyness of academic evasiveness starts to reveal itself now. It is the same method by which so-called professional historians create new impressions of truth by weaving propositions into a narrative and creating a new narrative where propositions become blended into certainties. Note the smooth blending of “some” “stand accused”. At one smooth stroke, these academics of high integrity have made an “accusation” appear as “convicted”, and “some” is used to taint the “whole”.

By their logic, the Congress parivar (family) is embedded in a politics which has had very dubious roles, and sometimes outright bias in defacto protecting Muslim violence from Nehru’s time at power during the Partition, with selective targeting of alleged Hindu violence. Usually the Congress hides behind the legalistic excuse – again first used by Nehru to allow the Islamic violence in Noakhali, Bengal to continue while he personally and immediately intervened in Bihar where Muslims were at the receiving end – that when the Congress sees the victims as non-Muslim, non-Christians, it mumbles about law and order being a state prerogative. Whereas, when Muslims appear to be the target, Congress sees it as a union/federal/central issue. This was the cover under which Congress did not intervene in the genocide of Hindus of Jammu and Kashmir in the late 80’s because in this case it was the Muslims who were the perpetrators. The helplessness of the Hindu surviving refugees, was perhaps the root cause of the revival of the Hindutva” movement these academics so lambast – because many Hindus in the wider arena of India began to realize the selective bias of the Indian state under the Nehrus and the Congress in favour of whitewashing and allowing Islamist violence to thrive, especially if such violence was directed against Hindus.

The Congress is therefore imbedded in a movement, that has always protected Islamism and Islamist pretensions, and have at various times carried elements in its governments who are connected to or stand accused of rioting and communal hatred which amount to acts of terrorism.

“We recall the extreme violence by the Hindu Right in Gujarat in 2002 which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. This violence occurred under Modi’s rule, and senior government and police officials have provided testimony of his alleged role in encouraging or permitting it to occur.”

Recalling is a good thing, but if what happened before under a regime historically is proof of repeating the same then the Congress should be even more in the dock – for the Partition riots happened under the government of Jawaharlal Nehru, and ant-Sikh pogroms happened under Rajiv-Gandhi/Congress, and all the riots that happened before the BJP came first to power, with such spectacular ones as in Bhagalpur, were also under various Congress governments.

The academics think that by adding the word “extreme” to “violence” they can make a special case against Modi -as they perhaps feel, and rightly so, that “violence” has been the norm for anti-Hindu attacks by Islamists or Christianists too. Maybe for them those “other” violence are genuine expressions of grievances,

“Some of his close aides have been convicted for their involvement, and legal proceedings are ongoing in the Gujarat High Court which may result in Modi being indicted for his role. He has never apologised for hate speech or contemptuous comments about various groups – including Muslims, Christians, women and Dalits. His closest aide has been censured recently by India’s Election Commission for hate speech used in this election campaign.

“There is widespread agreement about the authoritarian nature of Modi’s rule in Gujarat, further evidenced by the recent sidelining of other senior figures within the BJP. This style of governance can only weaken Indian democracy. “

Different groups of people agree among themselves about different things. Concepts like “authoritarian” are so abstract, and inconcretizable, that tons of academic papers have tried to make academic careers out of hair-splitting over the very definition of “authoritarian”. Many communists are still dewy eyed over Stalin or Mao, and have “widespread agreement” among themselves over their most fortunate appearance on earth. Same goes for Hitler. Jews have “widespread agreement” in spite of a portion of Jewish origin academics hosted by various UK universities to the contrary – that existence of Israel is perfectly justified even at the cost of Palestinians. There is widespread agreement among large swathes of Muslims about the necessity and justifiability of historical violent genocidic jihad, and significant groups have “widespread agreement” among themselves about the benevolence of sex-slavery of the non-Muslim as part of jihad.

Typically when groups do not want to spell out the membership of the group, or are unsure about their numerical strength in proportion to the wider population – they turn to vagueness, or unpinnable conjectures -so that they can never be called out for lying or pretending, and claiming “widespread agreement” is one way of doing that.

The “widespread agreement” is among this tiny coterie of Indian origin academics – probably groomed and selected in the early days of their studenthood and careers by previous generations and peer groups of British interest serving academics, like the Marxist academics who desperately denied any role of triangular Atlantic slave trade in the kickstart of the British industrial revolution.

The curious bit is about somehow Modi being guilty of sidelining “senior” party members as proof of exceptional authoritarianism. All the Nehru-family members have sidelined senior party members to come to power. Does it not make them even more authoritarian already?

“Additionally, the Modi-BJP model of economic growth involves close linking of government with big business, generous transfer of public resources to the wealthy and powerful, and measures harmful to the poor.”

This is actually hilarious. For this is what actually has been happening since Margaret Thatcher in Britain, happened too even under Tony Blair, and has accelerated under Cameron. Do they want to say that all that has led UK down the drain? Or do they have not the courage to spell out those pearls of wisdom to the masters of their souls? It happens at even grander scale in China, where party-apparatchiks and their minions or progeny ruling over millions in their regional satrapys hog investments from a financial sector which is still centrally and nationally owned as well as managed. No, these academic’s can only open their mouth against the “Hindu” India, and the BJP and Narendra Modi. They have not open lettered even on the very entertaining case of Ukraine, where “right wing nationalists” have been on the rampage with alleged support of big biz and oligarchs who grew into tycoons with diversion of state investments. Naturally – since doing so is not in the current interests of the British ruling interests.

“A Modi victory would likely mean greater moral policing, especially of women, increased censorship and vigilantism, and more tensions with India’s neighbours.”

These academics never protested Muslim censorship, moral policing of women, vigilanteism in Indian Kerala, or Uttar Pradesh, or Bihar, or West Bengal, or Assam, or Christians doing exactly the same in Nagaland and Mizoram, and attempting to do the same in Manipur. They cannot mention anything about those other communities or religions or states, because they cannot afford to show these other ones in the same or worse light than the “Hindus” – then they lose the affection of the system.

Overall, then what does it show about such concerted concerns from such groups?

Let us go back to the very beginning again of their open letter. They are claiming that democracy, pluralism, human rights in a one specific distant nation, is going to be trumped if one man and his party or political alliance gets elected in a plural democracy which as yet respects human rights. One can see why they have been allowed to succeed as academics, because they can pretend an intellect which can be used to legitimize the complete lack of any logical capacity on issues that are of interest to a post-imperialist neo-imperialist state.

The west-European political dogma of the political class has now run into a fatal dilemma. They either have to accept that democracy and pluralism can be used, to subvert, overturn, or cover anti-democracy and non-pluralism – which makes themselves open to analysis as tow whether they had been doing and continue to do so themselves.

Or they have to find escape clauses that can be used selectively to target nations and regimes that they see as obstacles in the way of their agenda of global domination, within their dogma that still allows some mantle of legitimacy for their own systems.

The method being tried out in general for a couple of decades, is trying to enforce a so-called consensus or “widespread agreement”, on very vague and often duplicitous or contradictory criteria to judge if the “consensus” value system is being subverted or not. The west-European dogma thinks it has found an escape clause that can cover their selective neo-imperialist agenda – claim that a certain vague outline of democracy, pluralism and human rights exists – whose identification and verification lies solely in their own hands, which then justifies imperialist intervention in other nations, to overturn regimes, assassinate significant individuals, or economically and militarily destroy the fundamentals of that nation.

In order to find out in whose interests any self-proclaimed group of experts, academics, humanitarians, activists actually are acting for – we just need to check out what they remain silent on in contrast to what they choose to pick on. These open-letter academics do not criticize Hamas or Palestinian authority parts for their Jew-cleansing hate campaigns, torture, rape, murder, or that by the so-called freedom-fighters in Syria, or those in Kosovo and Croatia against Serbs in the 90’s, or the Bahraini state, or the Saudis, or Pakistan, or China, or western Ukraine, or Turkey, or Egypt, or even in their own backyard where the state ruthlessly cracks down with full state violence on peaceful protesters against economic destruction of the commoner.

Just compare their stances on these “other” stuff – and you can identify whom they work for, in whose interests.


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Counter Thoughts -2: Pakistan should be dissolved as a nation and absorbed into India.

Posted on February 24, 2014. Filed under: Afghanistan, Antisemitism, Arab, Army, China, Christians, Communist, economics, financial crisis, Hindu, History, India, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Jihad, Kashmir, Muslims, neoimperialism, Pakistan, Politics, religion, slavery, Taleban, terrorism, UK, USA, Wahabi |

[First written almost 4 years ago: updated!]

How many nations of our times are based purely on a religion and recognized by other nations as independent nations? Only two – the Vatican City and Pakistan. Ironically they share in common some traits. Both have helped in the unravelling of the USSR but not of Communism – for it still survives behind the People’s Republic of China and is still working towards global dominance. In spite of the UK and West’s blatant support for Pakistani sadism on both Afghans and Indians, for its supposed role in overthrow of USSR – Pakistan is desperately grabbing the Chinese communist hands in gratitude for having benefited from Chinese nuclear proliferation. Pakistan showed that gratitude by dealing in stolen or robbed property – so typical of Islamism, by gifting China territory Pakistan received from its British facilitated deceptive raid mounted on Indian territories in 1948.

Both the Vatican and Pakistan have been courted by the USA in its Cold War struggles. Neither has disappointed. Both exert influence on the global politics disproportionate to their actual size, economy, military capabilities, and the capacity to contribute in any meaningful way towards a modern, knowledge based, technological and information society. Both manage to do so by manipulating their historical images as projections into the future.

But there the similarities end. The Vatican’s leadership has made amends to its historical victims, and has shown its flexibility and readiness to change with the times. It has steadfastly refused to underwrite radicalism of the theological variety [the severe castigation of the Liberation Theology for example].  This may change in the future. But the leadership of the Vatican have proved themselves consummate statesmen in the concessions and compromises that they have made while never abandoning the fundamental objective of total global ideological domination. This is an objective that would have been a crime if not from the “one and only true message”, for any other “religion” in the times when the Church ruled supreme. But now in the days of “total religious tolerance”, there is nothing wrong in having a declared agenda of “harvesting all souls” and poaching on the following of looked-down-upon religious cultures. In fact, legal and state coercive machinery in liberal states can be used to guarantee protection of any proselytizer – even someone swearing by texts that recommend putting the unrepentant unbeliever to the sword, while raising no questions as to the right of the followers of those very same religions – where they are a majority – to deny exactly those very same rights to non-co-religionsists. How tolerant Christianity can be with regards to cohabiting with Islamists, and vice versa – especially where Christians have sufficient numerical strength – was and is being shown in Sudan. But no great talk is being thrown about in the liberal western media about what is going on in Sudan and why.

Where Pakistan differs is not in its protection of organizations claiming the right to practice “Dawa” or spreading of the Islamist beliefs -in parallel to Christianist demands for the right to badmouth non-Christian religions and beliefs and “spread the light” – by any and all means possible, and where even “charity” as concrete monetary benefits is kosher in a process of buying religious allegiance that in the corporate world would be condemned as criminal bribing –  but in its total lack of statesmanship. Unlike the Vatican, the Pakistani leadership never apologizes to the victims of its Islamists, never acknowledges that it has nurtured Jihadis in its madrassahs, never concedes to modernization in education and social practices, never really allows any land reforms or dismantling of feudal exploitation in its backyard.

Pakistan is basically an anachronism, a nation whose only foundational claim for identity is a religion – in a historical period where the world is leaving behind, exclusive and historical claim based religions. Moreover, that religion is not even unique to the country – it is shared by a host of other nations, some of whom have louder and more well established claims of being the centre for that religion. So Pakistan is based on a type of ideology increasingly irrelevant globally as national foundation, and moreover on an ideology based identity shared with other “nations” – and therefore has no real claims of distinction from other nations. It cannot look at history and culture, for in spite of the best sadistic efforts of generations of  “mullahs” – elements of pre-Islamic cultures lie firmly interwoven in the national fabric, and those elements are shared by its imagined nemesis – India. In fact the pre-Islamic cultural element proved so strong that a part of it broke away in reaction in 1971 as Bangladesh.

So now Pakistan finds itself in a terrible dilemma. To strengthen and give uniqueness to its national foundation, it has to become more Islamic than “others”. Becoming more Islamic means more and more unquestioning obedience to a strict and literal interpretation of the core texts. That in turns means more Jihad with violent means which accelerates the competition between the ruling feudal elite, the army, the mullahs, the commons, the militants – to become “purer” than the others. That means an almost perpetual state of national Jihad. Purer Islam can only be maintained by preventing modernization – in education, productivity, technology and above all the questing mindset. Which means Pakistan will become more and more dependent on largesse from interested external sources and be a drain on the global economy as the sources would spread the cost around.

So the West and the global community should perhaps start thinking of dissolving the entity called Pakistan. Here are the brief reasons :

(1) Dissolving Pakistan saves the West (and therefore the world economy )a huge amount of money and resources needed to keep the state afloat, and a total drain, because none of that capital goes into productive capacities.

(2) Even though the Chinese are now playing second fiddle to the West, it is uncannily similar to the Ribbentrop-Molotov handshake where both sides appear to be buying time. Eventually, Russia and China could come together with Iran (or whatever is left of it even if a so-called revolutionary liberalization and democratization takes place there under non-theologians) to which the CAR will lean. As long as Pakistan remains an independent entity, it can play the prostitute and threaten to kiss the higher bidder or the one more willing to pay.  That is both a security risk and a potential disaster, if everything given to Pakistan lands up in Russian, Iranian or Chinese hands and the West’s presence is virtually terminated in the Afghan-Pakistan frontier. Dissolving Pakistan takes away this worry.

(3)  Dissolving Pakistan and putting up new independent states in its place actually creates new multiple centres where Jihad can be protected and nurtured. One Pakistan becomes many and the western problem multiplies. One of the best bets is to allow India to absorb the populations and the territories.   India is a growing economy which can absorb the costs. It has the capability and the will to manage multicultural groups and religious animosities. Culturally Indians of the western part of the country will be closer to the Pakistanis across the border [Punjab for example shares the language across the border in spite of the state sponsorship of Urdu] compared to any other external ethnicity or country. Moreover the costs of developing infrastructure and the economy or carrying out necessary social reforms will be borne on Indian shoulders and not on the west.

(4) As the price for non-intervention in the absorption, the West could extract concessions from India that it will have assured access and facilities to reach the CAR through channels and routes maintained and developed through Pakistani territories connecting the Karakorum Highway and other CAR approach routes.

(5) The Taliban lose their foster home, and are buffered off from the crucial supply routes of Karakorums and the Arabian Sea. The so-called Kashmir problem vanishes as the Pakistani military and ISI mechanism to foment terrorists inside India vanishes.  So one of the greatest excuses for maintaining Jihad from the Pakistani side, vanishes. With dissolution of Pakistan, one of the persistent Pakistani revivalist jihad trends that periodically and insistently reappears in Bangladesh, gets cut from its roots – leaving only Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states and elements from Malaysia as remnant patrons.

(6) India can and should promise land reforms, and redistribution of concentrated big-landholding from Pakistan’s obnoxious feudal lords and the military upper echelons who are either created landlords as rewards or come from the feudal network itself – to landless and marginal farmers of Pakistan. These are the same people who are exploited ruthlessly, often sexually and through slavery, by the Pakistani elite in an obvious extension of the worst aspects of casteism, but on which no Christian or western liberal intelligentsia will comment upon as it shows Islam in a bad-light compared to eminently much more bashable “Hindu”.

If it is any consolation, MacArthur broke the Japanese feudal class’s back to an extent through land-reforms, in post war Japan. Moreover all the off-shore money laundering units that UK maintains for complete deniability from its colonial days can still harness and will definitely attract Pakistani Islamist and feudal military elite’s looted capital for parking on the prospect of imminent fall before Indian troops, and to play with for financial speculative profits and bonuses by the “city” bosses. That in itself should convince the UK and its ally across the pond, to allow the “fall” to happen.

India, because of linguistic and unique cultural history, will remain firmly in western and specifically the Anglo-Saxon or Atlanticist orbit for generations to come. There are sufficient fissures in the Indian ruling class for the west to exploit and protect western interests.

It is worth a try – at least the largest source for generating terror of the Jihadi and allied kind (through international crime and other non-religious or ethnic militancy) will be effectively liquidated. At one stroke West no longer has to face Islamist terror, pay for upkeep of Jihad, and instead can profit from a growing economy which bears all the costs, together with an alternate route to get closer to tantalizing natural resources to be looted in Central Asia and keep a nervous eye to the age-old threat – Russia! After all, the greatest threats come from those shared common ideological roots, and who are well-versed as brothers from the same family school in the tactics of robber imperialism that originated in “greater” Europe!

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -14 : removal of capital from the Indian economy under Islam

Posted on March 2, 2013. Filed under: Afghanistan, Arab, Army, economics, economy, Hindu, Historians with political agenda, History, India, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Jihad, Kashmir, Left, Muslims, neoimperialism, Ottoman, Politics, rape, religion, Roman, Russia, Salafi, Saudi, Sunni, Taleban |

[authors note :  posting on the theme that started the blog, after a long time. This item in the original series was drafted a couple of years go. But I realized that this portion may take up several blog-size posts, rather than one. Workload is heavy so – this sequence might come hence irregularly, but I am serious about taking up laying out the economic consequence of Islamic dominance on India. So please be patient.]

Removal of capital from the Indian economy by Muslims took place directly under three major forms (1) repeated invasions amounting or not amounting to permanent acquisition of territory with specific removal of capital in kind in the form of looted bullion and other valuables, as well as removal of human capital in the form of skilled and unskilled labour, and the basic reproductive unit for human labour, women, all as enslaved and exported commodity out of India, (2) extraction of capital by settled Muslim elite from the Indian economy for hoarding, and funding luxuries originating outside of India meant for pure consumption with no reinvestment or economic input into the local market (3) subsidizing religious activities primarily benefiting foreign Muslim countries and economies (4) Islam’s essential economic understanding amounting to only the desert-economy of Arabia and a complete failure to understand more sophisticated economies as reflected in the Muslim’s disastrous state interventions in the Indian market – also removed capital by impeding creation of value and growth and ultimately consumption and destroying already accumulated capital.

The indirect removal of capital was mainly under five forms (1) ruining and utterly destituting the basic producers of the economy, and extracting almost all surplus for personal consumption thereby preventing reinvestment and ultimately reducing total capital (2) continued and vastly increasing expenditure on military hardware and “software” such as horses imported from outside of India (3) destroying the non-Muslim intellectual classes and pre-Islamic centres of education that had promoted a wide variety of research into science and technology   and substituting this by theological seminaries run by fundamentalist Muslim clergy usually imported from Islamic heartland in the middle east and whose qualifications usually did not rise beyond a strict Wahabi or Salafi interpretation of the Islamic religious texts learned by rote (4) institutionalization of endemic corruption and system losses that increased the cost of capital, and thereby its ultimate devaluation (5) Sadistic and violent Islamic military religious policy aimed at subjugation of the non-Muslim populations ultimately forcing productive social units off the land and the economy into forests or rugged badlands from where they either carried out military struggles [raising the cost of administration and expending capital on maintaining ever-increasing armed forces on the part of the Islamic administration] or engage in low-surplus marginal productions and economies.

removal of material capital through repeated invasions

Accurate estimates of capital removed by Islamic invaders are very difficult to arrive at, mainly because of lack “undisputed records” of “looting” and amounts. Most surviving records of looting and shipping of loot back to the respective power centres of the raiding armies, are naturally, from side of the raiding armies  themselves or from subsequent chroniclers who draw upon or claim to draw upon earlier, relevant, and contemporary Islamic sources. As in the case all over the world, although historians try to shout a lot about absence of records of “trauma” on the part of the victims, who are not necessarily known to be illiterate, there is a persistent pattern of lack of such records, and we consistently find such records only from the “winners”. Logically thinking, such a situation is most natural to expect – a “traumatized” society is most unlikely to find time and resources to devote to keeping records “reliable” enough for modern professional historians with their highly selective and opportunistic use of logic in favour of hidden or sometimes not so hidden political agenda or political/academic patronage from interested regimes. Such a society is more likely to be obsessed about survival.

If we use modern, more closely observed from various sources, “history” of invasions by hostile regimes into an area, especially invasions that are also associated strongly with a particular hegemonistic ideology – we see certain persistent patterns – (1) specifically targeting the intellectuals [and try and eliminate them physically altogether] of the invaded society (2) destroy or suppress circulation of records, books, and other archival material of the invaded society (3) disrupt communication by actively discouraging native languages and imposing the languages preferred by the invaders (4) removal of capital resources from the invaded society (5) almost always a systematic programme of ethnic cleansing through genocide, a state sponsored regime of rape or enforced prostitution of the women of the invaded society – [which for very obvious physical reasons, targets more the women of the elite of the invaded society, and a section more likely to be a second line of repository of cultural heritage, or knowledge] thereby achieving two invader objectives in one stroke – removal of reproductive resources from the invaded society and increasing reproductive resources of the invader.  This is what happened under the Nazis, and under units of the Red Army as retribution for the activities of the Nazis when they overran Germany in the final phases of WWII, under the Imperial Japanese army in South East Asia, Korea and China [there are indications that Bose’s INA had come to an agreement with the Japanese Army command that such activities will not be carried out in their joint march towards the Indian border, and a recent interview on the Delhi based news channel NDTV reported eye-witness accounts from a Naga dignitary of the period – that in spite of what the British administration had tried to say, the Japanese occupation forces never “used” Naga women the way the British officers were habitually prone to do], and then by US army units stationed in Japan after the capitulation of the latter, with similar patterns repeated in the wars between the African nations and regional-ethnic conflicts, in the persistent accusations [disputed hotly by historians] of such practices by the Pakistani army in its various operations in the subcontinent, [the British army’s record in India during the Raj appear to be increasingly coming under the cloud in this regard].

If we extend the modern experience to the “historical” period, we can see, that it is consistent with records of the Roman empire, or the Persian, Parthian, Egyptian, Chinese, empires. Historians appear to have no problems in accepting the claims of the Spanish or the Portuguese about the Latin Americas, even though hardly anything survives that can hold up to historian’s claimed level of reliability from the side of the “victims”. Similarly, hardly anything survives of records of trauma of the  various Italian groups subjugated by the Romans, not all of whom were illiterates (e.g. Etruscans),  or of the various Germanic and Celtic tribes of Europe, but historians appear to have no problems with the Roman records of claims of ethnic cleansing, torture, destruction, looting or organized rape and enslavement. There are hardly any historian voices trying to say that the records of repression on the Jews as claimed in Roman texts by Roman authors were propaganda, since nothing much exists from contemporary Jewish sources [ the most famous one, that by Josephus, can also become suspect as he was being patronized by the Romans at the time of his wrtings – and he is not very sympathetic to the Jewish cause either]. Historians even quote figures of dead, slaughtered, raped, straight from the Roman texts.

The only exception in this general pattern of historians’ acceptance of records of repression by an invading regime is that applied to Islamic armies into the Indian subcontinent, where all their records of repression are demanded to be treated as false and propaganda for glorification.

We will start with trying to get an idea of the amounts involved in the loot by the Islamic armies removed from India.

Muhammad bin Qasim [C.E 711-713 – the first Islamic record of a relatively successful invasion] Besides the treasure collected from the various forts of the Sindhi King, worship rights of Hindus were allowed only in exchange of pilgrim tax, jiziyah and other similar cesses. The campaign expenses came to 60 thousand silver dirhams and Hajjaj paid to the Caliph 120 thousand dirhams. In Muhammad bin Qasim’s administration of the conquered territories the principal sources of revenue were the jiziyah and the land-tax. The Chachnama speaks of other taxes levied upon the cultivators such as the baj and ushari. The collection of jiziyah was considered a political as well as a religious duty, and was always exacted “with vigour and punctuality, and frequently with insult”. The native population had to feed every Muslim traveller for three days and nights and had to submit to many other humiliations which are mentioned by Muslim historians.

Multan (Punjab) “…He then crossed the Biyas, and went towards Multan… Muhammad destroyed the water-course; upon which the inhabitants, oppressed with thirst, surrendered at discretion. He massacred the men capable of bearing arms, but the children were taken captive, as well as the ministers of the temple, to the number of six thousand. The Muslamans found there much gold in a chamber ten cubits long by eight broad, and there was an aperture above, through which the gold was poured into the chamber…” (Futuhul-Buldan  of Ahmad bin Yahya bin Jabir,  aka  al-Biladuri).
Multan (Punjab) “Then all the great and principal inhabitants of the city assembled together, and silver to the weight of sixty thousand dirams was distributed and every horseman got a share of four hundred dirams weight. After this, Muhammad Qasim said that some plan should be devised for realizing the money to be sent to the Khalifa. He was pondering over this, when suddenly a Brahman came and said, ‘Heathenism is now at an end, the temples are thrown down, the world has received the light of Islam, and mosques are built instead of idol temples. I have heard from the elders of Multan that in ancient times there was a chief in this city whose name was Jibawin, and who was a descendant of the Rai of Kashmir. He was a Brahman and a monk, he strictly followed his religion, and always occupied his time in worshipping idols. When his treasures exceeded all limits and computation, he made a reservoir on the eastern side of Multan, which was hundred yards square. In the middle of it he built a temple fifty yards square, and he made a chamber in which he concealed forty copper jars each of which was filled with African gold dust. A treasure of three hundred and thirty mans of gold was buried there. Over it there is an idol made of red gold, and trees are planted round the reservoir.’ It is related by historians, on the authority of ‘Ali bin Muhammad who had heard it from Abu Muhammad Hindui that Muhammad Qasim arose and with his counsellors, guards and attendants, went to the temple. He saw there an idol made of gold, and its two eye were bright red rubies……Muhammad Qasim ordered the idol to be taken up. Two hundred and thirty mans of gold were obtained, and forty jars filled with gold dust… This gold and the image were brought to treasury together with the gems and pearls and treasures which were obtained from the plunder of Multan.” (Chachnama)

Yaqub bin Laith (CE 870-871) was a highway robber who succeeded in seizing Khurasan from the Tahirid governors of the Abbasid Caliphate and founded the short-lived Saffarid dynasty.
Balkh and Kabul (Afghanistan) “He first took Bamian, which he probably reached by way of Herat, and then marched on Balkh where he ruined (the temple) Naushad. On his way back from Balkh he attacked Kabul…
“Starting from Panjhir, the place he is known to have visited, he must have passed through the capital city of the Hindu Sahis to rob the sacred temple – the reputed place of coronation of the Sahi rulers-of its sculptural wealth…The exact details of the spoil collected from the Kabul valley are lacking. The Tarikh -i-Sistan records 50 idols of gold and silver and Masudi mentions elephants. The wonder excited in Baghdad by elephants and pagan idols forwarded to the Caliph by Yaqub also speaks for their high value. The best of our authorities put the date of this event in 257 (870-71). Tabari is more precise and says that the idols sent by Ya’qûb reached Baghdad in Rabi al-Akhar, 257 (Feb.-March, 871). Thus the date of the actual invasion may be placed at the end of CE 870.” (Tarikh-i-Tabari)

Mahmud of Ghazni [first quarter of C.E. 1000] Mahmud extracted 2,50,000 dinars as ransom from Jayapal (1001-02 C.E.). Jayapal’s necklace worth 2,00,000 gold dinars was appropriated by Mahmud, and twice that value extracted from the necklaces of his imprisoned or executed relatives. All the wealth of Bhera which was “as wealthy as imagination can conceive”, was captured in (1004-05 C.E.). In 1005-06 the people of Multan were forced to pay an indemnity of the value of 20,000,000 silver dirhams. When Nawasa Shah, who had reconverted to Hinduism, was deposed (1007-08), the Sultan confiscated his wealth amounting to 400,000 dirhams. Mahmud seized coins of the value of 70,000,000 Hindu Shahiya dirhams, from the fort of Bhimnagar in Kangra, and gold and silver ingots weighing some hundred maunds, jewellery and precious stones. There was also a collapsible house of silver, thirty yards in length and fifteen yards in breadth, and a canopy (mandapika) supported by two golden and two silver poles. This vast treasure could not be shifted immediately, and Mahmud left two of his “most confidential” chamberlains, Altuntash and Asightin, to arrange for its gradual removal to Ghazni. In subsequent expeditions (1015-20) Punjab and the adjoining areas were sucked dry. Over and above the looting by Mahmud, there was additional looting by his soldiers. From Baran Mahmud obtained, 1,000,000 dirhams, from Mahaban a large booty, from Mathura five idols which when melted [Should we apply the Thaparite algorithm of dividing by 10 or 100?] alone yielded 98,300 misqals (about 390 kg) of gold, and two hundred silver idols. Kanauj, Munj, Asni, Sharva and some other places yielded another 3,000,000 dirhams. Somnath yielded 20,000,000 dinars. [Utbi, the Secretary to Sultan Mahmud, reports this and if he exaggerated then as this was a contemporary record, the Caliphate would come to know of this and would be able to calculate that Mahmud had not sent full share of the Caliph. This is a part usually not much mentioned by the Thaparite School and generically dismissed as part of boasting].

Archaeologically there is a significant absence of Indian coins or artefacts made of precious metal from this entire period in the Punjab and Sind area. [The Thaparite school of Indian history typically remains silent on this or jokes that this could be a possible pointer that the stories of these Hindu kingdoms with fabulous riches are simply stories and fantasies and they probably never existed. In this sense nothing contemporary specifically archaeologically associated with the early founders of Islam including its Prophet has been found in Arabia. [Sunni Wahabis dispute the authenticity of the Ottoman collections in this regard]. However the Thaparite school will never dare raise a similar joke in the Arabian context. This also helps the Thaparite school in trying to prove that “Hinduism” did not exist in general before the pre-Islamic period. However it is a general principle of the Thaparite School to accept archaeology only if it supports the Schools hypotheses and it very angrily reacts and disparages archaeology if it dares to differ from its diktats] The flow of bullion outside India stabilized Ghaznavid currency and debased the Indian. The gold content of millenial north Indian coins reduced from 120 to 60 grams with a similar reduction in the weight and content of the silver coin. This in turn reduced credit of Indian merchants in the international market.

India had always been an exporter against bullion and had accumulated bullion from domestic sources as well mines of Tibet and Central Asia. Mahmud collected in loot and tribute valuable articles of trade like indigo, fine muslins, embroidered silk, and cotton stuffs, and items and raw ingots of famous Indian steel, lavishly praised by Utbi, Hasan Nizami, Alberuni and others. [this is the source of the famous Damascus steel coveted by both by Europe and the Muslim world.  One valuable commodity taken from India was indigo. From Baihaqi, who writes the correct Indian word “nil” for the dye, it appears that 20,000 mans (about 500 maunds) of indigo was taken to Ghazna every year. According to Baihaqi, Sultan Masud once sent 25,000 mans (about 600 maunds) of indigo to the Caliph at Baghdad, for “the Sultans often reserved part of this (valuable commodity) for their own usage, and often sent it as part of presents for the Caliph or for other rulers”.

Mahmud also started the later consistent Islamic traditions of looting wealth and women whenever the Islamic heartlands of middle East or central Asia became “impoverished” as a result of intensive and destructive Islamic looting. Utbi writes “It happened, that 20,000 men from Mawaraun nahr and its neighbourhood, who were with the Sultan (Mahmud), were anxious to be employed on some holy expedition in which they might obtain martyrdom. The Sultan determined to march with them to Kanauj”. This is the tradition of Ghazis, (the Arabic root means one who has gone for a Ghazwa, literally a tribal raid typically mentioned in the context of looting wealth, animals, and women) as imposed on India. Even after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Muhammad Ghori declared jihad in “Hind” (1205 C.E.- 13 years after the second battle of Tarain, decisively destroying his strongest Hindu opponent Prithviraj), “in order to repair the fortunes of his servants and armies; for within the last few years, Khurasan, on account of the disasters it had sustained, yielded neither men nor money. When he arrived in Hind, God gave him such a victory that his treasures were replenished, and his armies renewed”.

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) “…He now attacked the fort of Bhim, where was a temple of the Hindus. He was victorious, and obtained much wealth, including about a hundred idols of gold and silver. One of the golden images, which weighed a million mishkals, the Sultan appropriated to the decoration of the Mosque of Ghazni, so that the ornaments of the doors were of gold instead of iron.” (Tarikh-i-Guzida :  of Hamdullah bin Abu Bakr bin Hamd bin Nasr Mustaufi of Kazwin)

[to be continued]

Link to previous post in sequence how-islam-came-to-india-and-why-now-it-needs-to-go-from-india-13-economic-decline-under-islam-fate-of-producers

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If Obama wins Islamic regimes have every reason to celebrate

Posted on November 4, 2008. Filed under: China, Communist, economics, financial crisis, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Muslims, Politics, terrorism, US Presidential elections, USA |

Obama’s rather rash remark about Pakistan should not be held against him by the Islamic Jihadist world. Democrats usually make such statements on the heat of the moment, but they have almost always turned out to be the greatest patrons and protectors of Islamic fundamentalism, alongside Republican manipulations in favour of strategic utilization of Islamic Jihad to settle international and domestic political scores – like that by Reagan in the case of Iran. In fact some of the greatest friends of Islamic Jihadi progress have come from the most vociferous of their “expected” ideological enemies – like Kissinger of Jewish origin, the friend of Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, and one who claims to have even “opposed” his own administration over its support to Israel in the Yom Kippur war. Similarly the communist Soviet Union, or the socialists and leftists of various shades where Islam is non-dominant, in spite of posturing about themselves being the only legitimate “progressives” of the world, (except in the Islam dominated countries like that of the middle-East, in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, or Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh where the leftists were dealt with in true Islamic style – Sadistic enjoyment of physical torture and liquidation of ideological opponents) turn out to be staunchest of friends and protectors of Islamic Jihad until they are themselves wiped clean off by Islam.

If he wins, he will scale down US military involvement against Islamic Jihad to a certain extent, although the traditional military-industrial-business complex’s interests will oppose this scaling down if it threatens their existence.  Also I have a feeling that the financial situation will suddenly “ease up” if Obama wins, and a short term miraculous return of “confidence” will take place, with loosening up of apparent financial flows. The restriction of financial flows coincided with a timeline that is intimately connected with the US presidential elections, and without going into a lot of technical discussion about international capital flows from “hot sources” like the oil-profit flush mainly Islamic countries or trade-surplus flush China, we can apply a very old principle in crime detection – who benefits from the “crime”, in this case who benefits from the “financial crisis”? The immediate tying up of the “crisis” with “Bush” and the “Republicans”  is perhaps an important pointer. This will become more obvious, if “confidence” and financial flows “return” on the election of Obama. In that case this “high” will continue for some time, probably for the next financial year, and then the western economy will be in for another shock. The reason for this short term recovery and subsequent further damage and financial mayhem, is the essentially political motivation behind capital that is generated and controlled under state regimes with strong ideological leanings and commitments. Capital from such regimes will be used for political purposes, and it is in both the oil-rich OPEC and China’s interests that the financial system of the West is weakened sufficiently for their initial targets of removing western penetration into Asia.  For these forces, a short term revival of the financial situation will be conducive to ensuring that the west turns its attention inwards and relieves the military pressure on Islamic Jihad. The rolling back of US pressure on the middle east will give time to the Jihadis to recuperate and recapture “lost” ground both in a military and ideological sense – a situation similar to the one following the withdrawal of US helpers of Mujahideen after withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan – paving the way clear for PakistanI and Saudi Jihadi takeover of the region.

In the long run however, it is not in the interests of Islam and China to continue to allow the west to flourish “financially” as strengthening of the economy of the west will in its turn revive Western interests in blocking Jihadi takeover of Asia. So eventually the financial crisis will return to the west.

What are the ways out?

(1) The west has to make its single societal obsession to be self-sufficiency in energy, and food.

(2) Be “patriotic” in spending – buy “local” and produce, produce, produce – all the basic necessities of life, food, clothing, shelter. Stop buying products sourced from Islamic countries or China – this will at least partly address the huge trade gap problem. Rather cooperate and take community initiatives to “produce” locally and develop local economies and markets, and not depend on international trade and exports for prosperity.

(3) Address problems of racial, ethnic and other forms of discrimination within western societies that provide opportunities for propaganda and misrepresentation of ulterior motives and agenda of aggressive and retrogressive ideologies like Islam.

(4) force governments to make “capitalism” social – bring the real “free market” conditions of Hayek by preventing concentration of capital in the hands of the few, and instead of socialist largesse or benefit, provide access and capability to use capital to the “lowest of the low” and encourage individual initiative.

(5) Reject and boycott politicians or political forces that compromise with or protect Islamic or Chinese propaganda and interests out of greed for profit from otherwise non-productive huge accumulated capital of the small elite groups that support such political entities, or out of greed of capital from middle eastern oil profits.

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Global financial meltdown or golden opportunity for a healthier future?

Posted on October 10, 2008. Filed under: economics, microcredit, Politics, USA |

The influential central banks of influential national economies of the world have cut down interest rates. President George Bush has struggled but succeeded to get a moth-eaten financial bail-out package approved. The British have gone one step further, taking a page out of their historical experiments with “socialism of the right-wing kind” and started processes for nationalizations. But the apparent “confidence” of “investors” appear to slide. I have already talked in these pages about why and how, the national governments of the so-called “super economies” cannot shake off their responsibilities about allowing this to build up.

The financial smoothies can blabber about smugly in technicalities on the media – about a “system collapse”, and how “surprisingly” and “otherwise sound” financial system seems to “puzzlingly work no more” – and that the “governments” must do something “drastic” and “do more”. It sounds like a wayward teenager’s pout, that she has crashed her mom’s convertible, and dad should do “something” to clear this “puzzling accident”.

The main problem has been building up for a long long time, explicitly in the manipulation of the world market to ensure fat profits for the controllers of these markets. The process had started before the second world war, and after the war simply consolidated as the Euro-American control over the world markets adpated itself to the more efficient extraction of profits through transnationals compared to the less efficient and politically increasingly costly or risky direct colonial form of extraction of capital and profits for the benefit of the Euro-American home nations. Without going into jargon and technicalities, the original source of this departure from free market conditions can be understood in very simple terms.

Suppose two countries A and B are engaged in international trade. A is capital rich, held in currency reserves in a dominant currency [a currency against which the currency of country B is pegged, or fixed, so that changes in the face-value of this dominant currency immediately forces corresponding changes in the currency of B]. For example, the south east Asian currencies involved in the 90’s crash were all typically pegged or fixed as a predetermined weighted combination of Euro-American currencies, and the effect of the transition of the Euro zone in triggering the south-east Asian currency crisis is still being debated. Country B on the other hand was an ex-colony, and therefore had been sucked dry of all capital, or capital producing economic elements, and is trapped in  a low-surplus production process.   Further  as part of the transition from colony to ex-colony let us suppose that country B has inherited elements of dependent capitalist production and market systems, which are dominated by the capital and market control mechanisms of the ex-colonizer which is either A or a third country having mutually interdependent and mutually profitable capital and financial exchanges with A.

By the market and hence the indirect political control required to maintain such market control, country A can extract surplus from country B by marking up prices of commodities on which the economy of B depends – as B’s colonial inherited production systems had been deliberately kept dependent on primarily “high-value” capital goods produced in country A or its allied colonizer economy. This sort of profiteering is a kind of “investment”. In financial terms there is no problem with this as long as the rate of such profit is not very “large”.

But it all gets out of hand, if the profit rate exceeds a certain critical value determined by the conditions of the economy of country A. Beyond a certain value, any excess profit cannot be balanced against commodities produced by country B and of value to the consumers of A, and will then have to be balanced against the purely financial commodity aspect of “money” – that is against the currency of A. This can mean either printing of money which will not immediately appear as “inflation” as accounts are being balanced formally against external trade. However, over time this excess profit translates into a fictitious commodity, that of pure currency reserve, which cannot be balanced at fixed and adjusted prices against the real commodity production of country A. This means either prices of commodities in A have to be marked up or there is excess monetary capital that cannot be balanced against the surplus production of the economy of A  at constant prices.

To a significant extent, the current crisis was ultimately triggered formally through the collapse of the housing finance sector in the USA. There will of course of be thousands of papers published in the finance journals over the coming months justifying extension of tenures – but with little real insight or corrective prescriptions. The fact is that the excess accumulated capital under the control of the US economy, as well as excess capital flowing in from growing economies like China or the demand-fuelled monetary super-profits of the oil-rich Gulf countries, have been super-inflated due to conversion of capital as balanced against real commodities in demand into fictitious purely numerical monetary commodities.  The financial wizadry of the type of Wall-street flyers, have simply devised more and more elaborate forms of “exotic” fictitious commodities in the form of options to absorb this excess currency in circulation or held in the accounts books of the investor chains. As the profitability of the capital rich economies decline internally, there has been a systematic  tendency towards preying on the essential commodities within their domestic economies – commodities like housing, or health care, or insurance which are also typically lucrative because of government legislations that make them compulsory and therefore convert the domestic populations into captive markets. This makes it obvious, that surplus monetary capital would prey on the most vulnerable consumer in order to extract higher profit rates using the weaker negotiating power of the consumer. This being risky, government legislations that require compulsory protection of such “risks” which provide opportunities to other financial service providers to put their teeth into the fat profits being made by marking up their own prices as coverage of risks, and this then gets spread around by the financial wizards through their exotic fictitious commodities.

There will now be a huge hue and cry to nationalize, conversion of deflated assets into public liabilities, and maintain minimal profits or high levels of conspicuous consumption by the controllers of the financial systems. But this will simply restore the power of the controllers of the financial system and will retain the highly manipulated market system under heavy control by the few.  For a truly free market, all economic agents have to be empowered. This means that the small consumer too has to have greater power in the markets. Instead of concentrating capital in the hands of a few managers who have shown how “unfree” the “free” market can be made to be, the task of the hour is to give access to capital to those who have least access to it. Basic housing, education  and healthcare are important components of empowerment  in addition to access to capital and means of production.

It will be crucial to develop local markets, and for communities to try and be self-sufficient in the basic commodities. As far as possible, communities should not only stress on pure urbanization but also try and develop the agrarian and small-scale industrial potential of lands and facilities surrounding them. Production, production and more production of the basic necessities through a process in which everyone in the community or the local system participate. Production and consumption on site is more efficient in energy usage and infrastructure, and over specialization should be discouraged. There should be government policy and legislation now that requires urbanization to be also concurrently agriculturally productive, and such urban-agrarian land usage to provide sustainable energy and housing generation – such as managed forests within the defined urban area that provide renewable fuel, power and building material.

This does not mean that international commerce or trade and capital formation or exchange has to be abandoned. But what it means is to reproduce national economies in ever smaller scales within larger and overlapping economic systems, so that all financial “eggs” are not put in one “investment” basket. This will provide a basic safety net within the “free market” system so that people have their fundamental requirements for sustenance satisfied, and risks entailed by investments of large capitals cannot then affect or damage lives to the extent they can do now. The multifarious sectors and aspects of these local economies can provide sufficient diversifications to cushion communities from large scale financial blows. This will also mean much more efficient and clean resource usage, and less dependence on distant economies mediated by those who concentrate capital in their own hands through the pure process of  managing exchange and capital circulation. In its turn this will lead to capital formation that cannot leave real production processes and commodities far behind in “value”. Strong local economies will also serve to increase the number of “free” economic agents and factors in national as well as global markets, leading to the results expected of efficient market clearance, and sustainable growth equilibriums.

Try to grow something in your back garden, in empty and unused patches of land, in a corner of your window in an urban high-rise, get together with your community to start a small farm with the help of local administration, form small cooperatives or companies to produce items needed in the community, absorb and use as many of the population in these production processes, teach yourself about economics and the financial system, try to organize a basic local healthcare system, invest in a child or teenager to become a doctor with clear legal commitments to practise at reasonable compensation for a period of time as part of the healthcare system, try to ensure education so that generations of producers can keep abreast of technological change.

At the global level, the tendency will be towards global financial system consolidation and homogenization, with greater regulation at the international level. However, political expediencies and persistent racial, religious, and xenophobic fractures will desperately fight against this consolidation, as just like within national economies these fractures are crucial in extracting profits from the pure circulation of capital for those entities and transnationals who own large amounts of capital.

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Bailing out the free market – but was it really free to start with?

Posted on October 1, 2008. Filed under: economics, USA |

President George Bush refuses to be beaten. He will push for his bailout plan for the financial industry of the USA, and in an era of increasingly networked international finance, therefore for the financial industry of the whole world. 700 billion dollars of money is a lot of money. Why has the bailout amount to be this large? The answer is simple, this is the amount which simply did not exist in real economic terms – this was the monetary difference between reality and speculation – 700 billion dollars did not represent any real commodity, but a tentative value put on expectations of people. When there are no checks and balances on expectations, assessment of expectation in monetary terms can be quite tricky, and mostly imaginary.

The simplest check on such speculative assessment of expectations is supply of money to fuel such speculations. In the US economy for example, if the total money supply remained constant in real terms, or increases in money supply were proportionate to increases in commodity production at constant prices, any diversion of monetary funds into the housing market would have to have been balanced against lowering of prices of commodities or products not involved directly with housing. Since this did not happen, it meant that there was sufficient money to play around with over and above that could be balanced against the products of the US economy.  This could happen in only one of two ways.

The first possibility is an accumulation of unbalanced surplus money from within the US national economy in dollars, which would therefore implicate the US treasury and the government. The second possibility is that of an accumulation of surplus money provided to balance demand for dollar in the international economy, to either pay for speculations in globally “essential” commodities like oil, or to balance profits from pure speculation undertaken by managers of US capital in the global financial market.

This accumulation of unbalanced surplus money from within the US national economy is an important departure from “free-market” conditions, as in ideal free market conditions, even the supply of money would have been balanced by the net national or international income in real terms. At some stage US capital has indulged in speculative profiteering, either within its own national borders or internationally in exchanges with other national economies. Such exchanges can no longer be formally traced as mostly such exchanges would have been taking place through transnational entities, and there are few existing controls over the functioning of transnationals comparable to those that exist within national boundaries.

If US capital could make speculative profits not balanced against real production in the international markets, then it means that “free market” conditions were not existing in the international markets. This was to be expected because much of the post WWII world economy was under the shadow of the Bretton Woods regime, with the US dollar imposed as the monetary pivot. Many currencies in Asia or the Latin Americas, were pegged with the dollar or closely related and financially tied currencies in Europe, until the last decade of the 20th century long after the Bretton Woods regime was weakened and supplanted by monetary regimes aimed at facilitating transnationals.

If US capital could make speculative profits within its own national borders in “peculiar” commodities like land and housing, this also means that “free market” conditions did not exist within the US domestic economy. Essential commodities like housing maintain sustained demand in any economy, given non-decreasing populations, and can usually be balanced by provision of sufficient economic capabilities on the populations. The US has pretty strong anti-trust and pro-competition laws, but the scale and reach of these laws are not sufficient to cover the entire economy at all levels and at all scales. An excessive concentration of capital in the hands of the few implies indirectly manipulation of and departures from “free market” conditions even in the domestic economy. Such excessive concentration of capital would behave as excessive accumulation of a “commodity” in the hands of a few, raising speculative profits even on capital as a commodity.

Like many other countries, the US has to bring back competition and free market conditions even within its own boundaries, by raising the economic capabilities of all its people. This economic empowerment of its citizens entail wide ranging reforms in development, starting from education and healthcare to access to capital and rights to land or shelter – as only economic agents with sufficient power and resources to influence economic outcome can ensure the vitality and “free”dom of the market.

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The US bailout – was Hayek and Friedman wrong afterall?

Posted on September 26, 2008. Filed under: China, Communist, economics, USA |

A frustrated and dejected Hayek had once returned to his home country of Austria, leaving the Chicago school of economics alone to fight for the acceptance of their theory of the superiority of “free market forces” over that of centralized or planned/controlled economies which were constantly being intervened in or needed intervention by the Government or financial regulatory authorities. Hayek’s eventual rehabilitation started with the fascination that the Iron Lady had for his interpretations, and of course the Iron Lady’s success [perhaps with a heavy dose of Lady Luck smiling through the success in the Falklands war – or was it not so much an “accidental” war after all?] in deregulating most of the UK’s economic sectors. Friedman was the face of “free market” in the USA, the focus of intense vilification as the “devil’s advocate” who thought nothing of the heavy human cost of “reforms”, and the man who visibly flinched at the abuse hurled at him from the galleries while even receiving the Nobel Prize.

The association of the Latin American dictatorships with these reforms were not a help to the Hayekists. The Chilean example would be a permanent blot on the Hayekists, because of the fascist methods of torture and liquidation of political opposition, especially those who could be  represented by the authorities as “leftist”. European countries who recently appear to pander to “leftist” demands to “equate anti-Islam” with “fascism”, never uttered a single word of censure against the Chilean regime in defense of the Chilean “Left” then.  This was consistent with their behaviour when similar barbarities were being carried out on “Leftists” in the middle-Eastern Islamic countries. The only European country to have opened its mouth on humanitarian concerns about the atrocities in Latin America, appears to be the post-post-Franco Spain, still too deeply agonized and guilt-ridden over its spectacular achievements on the human-rights front under Franco. However, utilization of or experiments with spontaneous market forces to revive stagnating economies had started not only in the USA under Reagan following Thatcher, but unknown and unpublicized in the western media, had been going on in the “Communist” world surreptitiously. Communist China had never really fully given up on markets, with records showing existence and encouragement of local markets from the beginning of Communist power. With the admirable strategic and tactical flexibility shown by the Chinese communists as always,  the CCP showed its grasp of economics quite early – when it used a combination of markets and hedging against real commodities to slash down on inflation. Subsequently it retreated quickly as and when necessary from disastrous experiments with centralization, and did not believe in continuing on an error because of pride or ideological commitment.

In contrast to Keynesian theory, which at least gave a crucial importance to the role of the Government spending in jump-starting a stagnant or crisis ridden economy, and was taken up with enthusiasm by FDR leading definitely to the recovery from the Great Depression of the 30’s in the USA, a simplistic reading of Hayek indeed gives the impression that Government intervention only leads to further chaos.  There are two important objections to this simplistic reading of Hayek.  When Hayek is talking of leaving markets forces to adjust themselves, he is talking of small departures from equilibrium – this is the reason, where there had already been cumulative large departures from equilibrium, the adjustments were extremely costly in human terms. The US case is the case of a large departure. But then inevitably the question arises as to how large is “large”?  And this is where the second objection comes in.  Hayek was essentially formulating his theory in the framework of national economies, and to a certain extent we still cannot completely come out of the implicit conditions in Hayek’s theory. The fundamental problem is because our mechanisms of financial and economic accountability is still tied primarily with the political boundaries and institutions of the nation state, whereas financial capital is no longer national.  Global capital now flies where it senses profit, with very little of the actual market forces being integrated between the source and sink of this capital.

Taking the very simple example of the US mortgage crisis, which probably resulted at least partly from the ruthless exploitation of endemic vulnerability of non-dominant racial and ethnic and social groups in having access to resources, to pump up prices and profit rates. This not only creates a fictitious commodity in economic terms, [a value which cannot be supported in reality by a real commodity of utility – especially peculiar commodities like land or buildings which do not generate new buildings or lands on their own, unlike other material input into industrial processes] but also definitely needs increased money supply. Now in the older framework of national economies, this increased money supply and therefore inflationary pressures could have been controlled by tightening the national money supply itself. However in the strange modern world economy, money supply itself cannot be controlled within the national economy itself, as finance capital flows constantly in and out  of the national economy. The nations have no real control over the global money supply, and the crucial equilibrium factors of a tight money supply, free movement of labour and other factors of production [as would have more or less naturally been obtained for a “free market” system within a single “national economy”] are practically absent in the international economic exchanges between national economies.

Exceptionally high prices for basic housing could only be sustained if there was unusually large financial capital on the money supply side not really balanced against the productive capacity of the national economy and  development of monopolies and cartels in the housing provider market also with the help of excessive accumulation of finance capital in the hands of a few – both conditions not conducive to a Hayekian “free market” self correcting mechanisms.

There are two components to solving this problem over the long run – (1) go for a solid, international fully integrated monetary regime not constrained by national boundaries, but subject to overall control of money supply, backed up by a freeing of the crucial market forces of free movement of labour and technology (2) include a basic social security net that still is consistent with encouragement of performance and the role of incentives. Even in the USA, the land of “opportunities”, the ideas of “microcredit” or “community land trusts” should not be “untouchable”!

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Urbanization, Industrialization Versus Farmers in India: an unnecessary battle

Posted on August 14, 2008. Filed under: economics, India, Politics |

Noida farmers are up in arms against developers and apparent breach of promises of  “fair” market price for their land. This is part of a general conflict in the whole of India characterized by increasingly militant resistance against government take-over of land for urbanization or industrialization as well as private or corporate purchase of land.

The history of land grabbing by the government of India for “developmental purposes” are well recorded in the annals of the  British Raj.  I have known people who remembered stories from their ancestors about how families in their neighbourhood had lost almost everything when the first rail lines began to be laid  by the British  empire in India. I have searched for and seen documents that tend to show that although on the whole the British government of India paid very nearly the prevailing market rate for acquisition of land, this money actually found its way into the pockets of the various “new zemindars” (new landlords – replacements of the old landed gentry by the British from among the financier trader class who eagerly collaborated with the British in the overthrow of the local aristocracy) and “Mutsuddis” or “banyans” (agents or the favourite term of the Marxists – compradors) and not to the real tillers and agrarian labourers who were the real producers from whom the remaining economic parasites of “Zemindars” and “banyas” siphoned off their wealth in the pure process of circulation and “middle-man”-ship.

The recent events show that not much has changed in India from the time of the Raj. This is also expected as the social classes and elites who came to power as a result of Independence were simply the new face of the older Indian elite, with age-old class and network interests – and they were not against the British  system as perfected in India but simply wanted to take it over for their own interests (I have this uncanny feeling that had the British been able to overcome their Achilles heel – racism, and incorporate Indian elite at the highest echelons of power, they might never have had to go).

In UK, acquisition of land for industrialization and “development” was accompanied with large scale disruption of the agrarian poor’s life. Wholesale eviction of tenant farmers took place, who swelled the ranks of the urban poor and provided the early cheap labour that utilized the capital extracted from the colonies and the slave trade to jump-start the British industrial revolution. The child labour or bonded labour so much talked about now in the context of India was quite the order of the great British capitalist revolution now almost completely suppressed and vehemently denied by modern British historians while at the same time blaming India for a similar “crime”.  Such labour also came from these displaced farmer families, whose women are known to have been forced to “work the streets” of London and the major industrial towns – (Jack the Ripper had his fun on such women in the East End purgatory of London – then the festering hole of such displaced farmer turned proletariat).

Our industrialists have a peculiar problem. Modern industries are capital intensive and labour substitutive. This implies that new industries set up on lands acquired from farmers  have little chance of  absorbing  them as  workers in the  industries being set up.  Our  sequence of visionary  governments’  (from right after Independence) have succeeded  in  managing to let each social class or profession continue through the generations without imposing upon them the importance and necessity of modernizing through a continuous upgrading and ever-widening net of scientific education or technical skills in keeping with technological progress. Which means in most cases the younger generation in any given farming community is most likely to be geared towards being a farmer only without technological or other relevant education that can allow them to diversify into new and upcoming technology. So the only way to do anything is to compensate financially a farmer for land.  Typically since land is an element of juicy speculation for the financiers of India, land prices would rise at fantastic rates as soon as financiers smell the prospect of development either because of proximity of industrialization or otherwise. Thus land prices could change rapidly within a very short space of time.

There are at least two ways out of this impasse :

(1) a financial market based solution to this problem is possible

(2) build up agro-industrial townships within an integrated self-sustaining community setup where the farmers and their lands are incorporated as an integral part

But both need vision and political will, a rare commodity among our visionary political elite. Their extraordinary genius is all spent on ensuring their electoral success based on exponentially increasing and actively promoted fracture of Indian society

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The never ending saga of Nandigram : communist chickens coming home to roost

Posted on August 7, 2008. Filed under: Bengal, Communist, economics, India, Politics |

The communist program of an agrarian revolution both in economic as well as political sense, started after the apparent success of Mao and Chu Teh’s peasant army in China. In contrast to the Bolshevik revolution which was almost entirely launched and brought to completion by non-communist Cronstadt sailors and army units won over by Bolshevik agitators, with help from armed workers in the key cities of Petrograd and Moscow, the Chinese revolution was a long drawn process. Starting with the then classic communist model of “proletariat” led revolutions, the pragmatists of the nascent Chinese communist movement soon realized, that the numbers needed to capture power could only come from the underclass of China – the peasants. The changeover in policy took decades, with the Comintern under Stalin creating considerable damages in its ideological diktats from afar. Only after the Shanghai massacre, and unsuccessful “city uprisings”, did Mao and Chu Teh defied “party line” and retreated to the central highlands. There they regrouped, rethought strategy, and created the concept of “fluid base areas” and “fluid warfare”. However this policy ultimately faced its greatest difficulty in the encirclement campaigns of Chiang Kai Shek, and is a critical point in understanding dealing with “Naxal” violence in India. To avoid complete annihilation, the 8th Route Army of CCP broke out of this encirclement and declared to go to the north to fight “invading Japanese” – the romantic and arduous Long March. It was a brilliant strategic move to use the remoteness of western China from penetration of Kuo Min Tang forces, rally nationalist sentiments while preserving the core of Red Army strength, and most importantly recruit the peasantry and agricultural labourers into the communist cause by carrying out land reforms.

In south Asia, and especially in India, this programme of land reforms with land redistribution in favour of the landless, became an attractive strategy for the Communist parties, and a strong component of their official polemical battles were aligned along the degree and nature of this “land reforms”. The CPI(M)’s strongest support base after its electoral success (which probably started as a city based electoral revolution with the powerful influential sections of Indian society’s opinion mobilizers deciding to switchover from the Congress which had helped decimate this class’s younger next generation in the “Naxal” annihilation campaigns) was from the grateful rural poor benefiting from the CPI(M) led Left Front’s land reforms and local self government (Panchayat) activation strategies.

This overwhelming reliance on agrarian reforms in the short while ushered in economic growth. But the long term fallouts of their policies, as usual, were not thought out by the communists (probably also inevitable, with the annihilation or export of a generation of brains in the Naxal movement, and as discussed before in this blog, the peculiar organization structure of the Communist parties itself a gradual “thinner” of vision and intellect). Burdened, just like the Old Labour in UK, with an intransigent and semi-independent militant labour union movement which behaved as if it operated already in an imagined dictatorship of the proletariat (in reality all known successful Communist dictatorships ruthlessly liquidated all rebellious labour movements) and therefore need not understand anything about capitalist economics, the CPI(M) long neglected industrialization. The Centre at Delhi carried out its old policy of extracting maximum capital transfer from Bengal to benefit its own upper Indian support base (nothing new, it had been going on from Delhi Sultanate times and quite well recorded in Mughal times), as well as penalizing the Bengalis for supporting a “Communist” regime. To the Communists the “Tatas and Birlas” were replacements of the old devils in religions, since their adherence to prescribed theories from their European, Russian and Chinese “Gurus” had to be forced on to Indian reality. So no private capital, no state capital, no foreign direct investment which meant “licking Imperialist boots”.

Sooner or later, this would have inevitably alienated the urban populations, as unemployment would grow. Many of them had some supplementary income from lands held in the countryside, but now even these had been taken over by the “party” in the localities. [ During a visit to observe the “agrarian reforms process” this author had seen how a Local Committee secretary had absorbed 18 bighas of land to create a private orchard, and established an “unprotected” stone chipping machine which sent stone dust all over adjoining paddy fields and gradually destroyed them for agriculture. The lands were then “bought” by the Secretary at a pittance. Similar acquisitions of property were quite common in many areas this author visited. Many of these Communist leaders were second or third generations of erstwhile “class enemies” and many of the genuine Communist cadre had been gradually eased out of the Party hierarchy].

Now as land and economics gets concentrated again in the hands of a dominant rural elite using and being supported by the party, increasing population pressure [West Bengal has a miraculous population growth rate compared to the rest of the country, which cannot be analyzed as it may anger Muslims and especially Bangladeshi Muslims], means increasing migration to the cities and towns in search of livelihood. This huge unemployed urban poor or marginal populations can swing the votes against CPI(M) just as it did in Congress times against the Congress. This finally forced the state party to wake up and try a volte-face – pretend to “industrialize”.

Reality implies collaborating with the hated enemies – the private capital from “big bourgeoisie”, the state capital from an alliance with the Congress at the Centre, and FDI from “capitalist imperialists”. But here it comes into conflict with the rural economy it has created and its abominably short sighted experiments with education and higher education which did not promote or encourage excellence, originality, awareness of technology driven modern industrialization and the economy. Whoever in the rural economy has survived on a share of the land redistribution, would now hold on to it for dear life. Combining this with a very likely inherently arrogant and dictatorial as well as ruthless “local party hierarchy”, things can very easily reach boiling point. This is what has happened in Nandigram. All forces opposed to the CPI(M) have now concentrated their efforts into this “bridgehead”, and it will be nearly impossible for the CPI(M) to turn this around – the people involved have tasted “blood” in the recent local government elections by winning against the “party”.

Mamata Bannerjee and her friends are probably trying to send a message to the TATAs, that the latter should negotiate directly with them. It is doubtful that the TATAs will listen – even with a small loss, it will be better for them in the long run to move their facilities elsewhere in more “reliable” areas, such as in Uttarakhand. On the other hand simple economic short term calculation may make them appear to give in a bit to Mamata Bannerjee. Some of the CPI(M) leaders have asked the unemployed youth of Bengal to think about what action they need to take about those who are opposing industrialization. But these unemployed youth have no clear direct manifestation before them as to how exactly they will benefit in terms of employment from these few capital intensive modern industries employing few and the skilled. Moreover, there will be the nagging suspicion that only “catches” and references from influential “Party” leadership can see them through to actual employment in the few positions available. There will not be much direct and obvious “mass action” against the opposition at Nandigram.

It is the credibility of the Party as a whole which is at stake. It is hard to see what the Party can do in the short term to really reinvent itself as trustworthy by the urban majority and sections of rural middle. The Left may not immediately lose majority in the Assembly but its lead can get substantially diminished. And over the nexet decade, it may lose its grip .

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Rahul Gandhi to “learn” microcredit from Bangladesh : start building the “future leader” image

Posted on August 3, 2008. Filed under: economics, India, microcredit, Politics, Rahul Gandhi |

Rahul Gandhi has found out from his two day tour, that on an average, the levels of rural poverty in Bangladesh is much lower than in India. He has tasted tea from a roadside tea-stall giving his “Z” security minders the slip. These are two significant observations that indicate what this visit was all about.

From a realistic viewpoint, it is impossible to get an idea of how microcredit runs in Bangladesh, in two days, talking through interpreters without knowing the local dialect and almost nothing of the local culture, surrounded by conscpicuous heavy security, and guided by officials of the organization that leads the program, and a very small sample size of cases.

Rahul Gandhi could have learnt more from experiments going on in his own backyard in India, and would have gained more socially relevant experience – as there are specific social conditions that substantially differ between Bangladesh and India. The only excuse that perhaps Rahul can give is that he will try to apply his “learning” to “uplifting” the state of Muslim women in UP.

But what were the real reasons behind this visit. This is an indication that the Congress old-guard has started the long drawn process of building up the image of Rahul as the future “benevolent despot” from the Nehru dynasty. The visit portrays Rahul as a sympathetic towards Muslims, towards a “small neighbour”, towards the “rural poor” (who dominate the Indian Ocean rim), and a “gracious big brother” who can manage to give the right amount of diplomatic flattery. Rahul’s spontaneity towards tea, showcased by the media, gives the proper “human/one of us” touch. I have to give it to the Congress bosses – it was a well managed show! We can hope to see more of Rahul in such visits, whose frequency will gradually increase.

It would be good to see him break out of his North Indian shell, learn a few of the Indian languages other than Hindi (which he doesn’t speak like a native speaker – amazing, given the degree of  chauvinism shown by some native Hindi-speakers to all other Indian languages as well as anyone who does not speak Hindi “properly”), show depth and understanding of Indian history and culture like his great grandparent (but not share the latter’s penchant for spontaneous blunders such as the unilateral declaration of accepting a referendum for Kashmir in 1948 – what about referendums for other disputed territories like Balochistan, Sind or regions ceded in the east to Pakistan- which then had substantial populations reluctant to join Pakistan but subsequently ethnically cleansed by the “peaceful towards non-Muslims” Islamic elite of Pakistan?) – and hopefully restrict his spontaneity to tea only.

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Rahul Gandhi to “learn” microcredit from Bangladesh under heavy security and in a few days

Posted on August 1, 2008. Filed under: economics, India, microcredit |

Rahul Gandhi, a possible future Congress PM candidate, has landed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, purportedly to “learn” micro-credit. He has been, and will presumably be provided with heavy security cover, and we hope he will learn it within the few days he can spare at maximum given the current political climate in India.
It is interesting to observe, that in India the first well known experiments in micro-credit were carried out by Rabindranath Tagore in then undivided Bengal of British India, and quite seriously followed up in early twentieth century under his initiative at Sriniketan (also the site of a whole range of initiatives of rural development and building sustainable communities) – the twin hamlet of Shantiniketan.
Perhaps in keeping with that tradition, the Chennai based Centre for Micro Finance reported that the micro-credit sector is growing at the rate of 82% in Eastern India, this being the fastest rate in India. There is significant disparity in the penetration of micro-credit within the region, (high levels in Orissa and West Bengal versus low in Assam, Bihar and and Jharkhand). The Indian parliament was very busy debating the N-Deal so it could not sit down and debate the proposed Micro Finance Bill 2007 and it is yet to be passed (controversy on issues including limiting the interest rate charged by the micro-credit institutions is probably even worse and much more serious than the N-deal and hence needs years of Parliamentary sessions).
In Rahul Gandhi’s electorally significant state of Uttar Pradesh, The Pragati Gramodyog Sansthan (PGS)—the Progressive Institute for Village Enterprises has helped hundreds of Kol families of under contractual, debt bondage tyranny of the quarry contractors. With PGS’s help, the Kol formed microcredit unions and could manage to obtain leases to quarries themselves. Additional assets such as a cow or a goat helped augment incomes. PGS has developed primary schools and dug wells.

In Rahul Gandhi’s own city of residence, the self help group “ASHA Community Health and Development Society”, an NGO working in health and development of slum dwellers of Ekta Vihar in Delhi has managed to procure Nationalized Banks support to provide loans at reasonable rates of interest to the slum dwellers.

Could Rahul-ji have thought about mixing pleasure with business in shuttling perhaps between organizing the rural Cricket competition and “learning” from the Kols in his own backyard?
For those interested in an excellent blog on the Indian micro-credit (one of my more “positive passions” – for those who might be depressed by my rants on the “negatives” of Islam and terror) scene look at Badri’s Microcredit blog.
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