economy

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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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

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-the-idea-of-modi-in-power-fills-us-with-dread-9273298.html

“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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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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Is it time for the West to plan for dissolving Pakistan?

Posted on March 12, 2010. Filed under: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Communist, economy, India, Iran, Islam, Muslims, Pakistan, Russia, Taleban, terrorism, USA |

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 working towards global dominance. Both 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”. In fact, legal and state coercive machinery can be used to guarantee protection of any proselytizer – even someone swearing by texts that recommend putting the unrepentant unbeliever to the sword.

Where Pakistan differs is not in its protection of organizations claiming the right to practice “Dawa” or spreading of the Islamist beliefs – 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 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.

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!

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Change of regime in the USA : strategic implication for the Indian subcontinent

Posted on January 21, 2009. Filed under: Afghanistan, China, economy, India, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, Taleban, terrorism, USA | Tags: |

Obama’s takeover could actually be a dampener for all those hoping to see more positive action in favour of India. His primary concern will be restoration of the US economy. US strategic interests in Asia will therefore be intimately tied in with strategies for growth of the US economy. In spite of rhetoric, economic calculations will impose restrictions on where and how far Obama will go. It seems most unlikely that Obama will increase overseas military commitments and war or surgical strikes against Iran is most unlikely unless Iran deliberates provokes US into a position where it will be embarrassed internationally if it does not retaliate. Obama will try to hold the “line” rather than expand or contract. His main tactic will be to retain the bluster to outshine Bush in foreign affairs but basically do nothing. He will try to achieve more with bluffs and diplomatic pressure and nerve wars rather than do anything that escalates military commitments. He will be under pressure to be seen not to retreat compared to Bush’s legacy, which will be a dampener for those within and outside US who hope that Obama will reverse many of the aggressive Bush moves.

For the subcontinent, Obama’s main strategic steps will be to reassure and to a certain extent increase cooperation with India mainly in the economic arena. Obama will also see to it that Indian regimes are not penalized at the elections by not taking aggressive retaliatory measures against Pakistan. Obama’s tactic will be to increase public visibility of military collaboration with India, and a declared programme of strengthening defence capabilities of India, and maybe even some kind of enhanced NATO type guarantee of alliance/protection in case of third party aggression. Similarly Obama will see to it that any Pakistani regime is not penalized by the people, by holding off India from POK. If India can bargain here properly, it can wrangle out an agreement to station troops on the eastern border of Afghanistan as part of a strategy of anti-terror and disruption of Taleban supply lines to the POK.

The key here again will be to stabilize rather than expand. This is here where Obama and US policy will begin to unravel. The situation in the Afghan+Pakistan front needs expansion and dynamic rather than stabilization. Stabilization of control would mean the beginning of loss of initiative on NATO part and the turning point of the campaign. The reason static war would be disastrous for the US, is because of the peculiar ground situation. So far the anti-US forces have been fighting Chinese Red army style mobile warfare. Such war style can only be matched by continuous positional movement and encirclement of mobile warriors. As soon as this movement is lost, the mobile warriors gain advantage. For now, in an unfamiliar and unaccustomed territory, positional static NATO can be picked off at ease by its opponents.

Obama’s concentration on economic affairs out of necessity, is likely to lead to less stress on foreign affairs that are seen to be expensive and without direct long term benefits. This in turn is likely to lead to less clarity on strategic military objectives, and a corresponding confusion in the military command over operations. It will not be as if Obama himself will be directly responsible, but his preoccupation with internal affairs and priority to world economic manipulation will lead to a neglect of military expansion and therefore adoption of stop-gap stabilization tactics. Obama will try to get India onboard for the US economic recovery programme, and formulate joint policies to counter China. Strategically, this can benefit the entire Indian subcontinent, especially those economies in a position technologically and educationally to benefit from such US-India relationship – especially India, Bangladesh and SriLanka. But this will also be a great opportunity for India to push through in strategic initiatives of its own about the central Asian republics. India can shrewdly play around to force US acceptance of Indian military presence, if India offers to provide substantial military and economic help directly to the Afghan government. Most diplomatic pressures are only effective when the other party realizes that the pressurizing party will go ahead and do something anyway – and that it is better to join in before it is too late to appear to be a reliable “friend”.

US current needs coincides with India’s on the economic front, primarily against Chinese capture of world markets, and I think there will be no problems in the evolution of collaboration here. But overall this economic movement will subtly and in a very complex way, leave its mark on the military/political strategic scenario, whereby the US and the NATO will ultimately retreat from the Afghan front. This is both a danger as well as an opportunity for India, if it has the correct leadership.

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Obama or McCain – to be or not to be that is the question

Posted on November 2, 2008. Filed under: economy, financial crisis, Islamic propaganda, microcredit, Muslims, Politics, US Presidential elections, USA |

Americans are going to vote for one or the other of the two contenders for the President’s chair at the White House, but who is going to be chosen by the United States? And how much is that choice going to be influenced by the desires and tantrums of the “significant others” in the international frienemy partnerships of the US?

As in any formal democracy, apparently or officially it is the common voter who chooses the winner in the US elections, although there are perhaps much simpler electoral mechanisms available as alternatives. But how are the choices of voters in their turn “chosen”? The common voter is always working under imperfect and incomplete and sometimes deliberately misleading information. The common voter is also guided by his or her personal history and learned responses to situations or decision problems. It can be shown through a simple game theoretic model, that in a two-party situation, both party’s positions or policies tend to converge to the average or median voters preferences’. In a broad sense this has been happening to the Obama-McCain campaigns too  – they have little difference in their vagueness and the few points of clarity in claimed future economic policy – supposed to be a crucial factor in the current elections.

It is surprising that there is little speculation about the international perspectives and significance of the timeline of the so-called “financial crisis” in the US. Crucially the “crisis” began to accelerate in the very election year, when there is a perception in many international quarters that an actual change of party in power could have significant political ramifications for US foreign policy and and its effects on international alliances both in competition and partnerships with the US. As many in the banking and financial industries have tried to point out and not without some justification that the crisis was more a crisis of confidence than a real one. Although I disagreed with this view from the economic viewpoint in my previous posts, as I have tried to point out repeatedly that there was a trade in “fictitious commodities” not backed up by real production, and the only thing that kept it going was the expectation of the general inbuilt trend of the world economy to grow over time, and current “fictitious trade” being balanced against future production. Such a scenario will always be vulnerable to manipulation of “confidence”.

The US and UK led western coalition’s heavy dependence on middle-eastern oil profit investment back into their economies is a fundamental vulnerability of not only their economies but also their political systems. China is sympathetic to the Islamic cause, which it sees as a tool that can be effectively used to prevent western dominance of Asia, and which it then hopes to lap up for itself in the future when it increases its economic and military power sufficiently. China has already begun tasting the fruits of its own Islamic and ethnic separatist medicine it applied with glee on the Indian subcontinent, in its own backward of the Muslim tribal belts in North Western China. But the severe ideological blindness which the remnants of “Sinified” Marxism still imposes on the Party-state structure will continue to propel  its leadership towards an imperialist program covered under either genuine self-delusion or deliberate propaganda that it is after all the propagation of a “better philosophy of living”. In this sense China is falling into the same delusional trap that the pre-WWII imperialist Japan fell into – declaring that in conquering and administering Asia it was liberating it from “pernicious” Gai-Jins. China’s trade gap with the US has continued soaring in its favour, and a huge part of this trade gap is reinvested into the US financial markets. The combined effect of Middle eastern oil capital and Chinese trade surplus capital is at most studied in its economic context only, if at all recgonized. But what is being crucially left out is the political consequence of capital from these two sources.

Having faced the Bush administration’s eight years of onslaught on the middle east, and its utilization of the fanaticism of an increasingly Jihadist Islam to re-penetrate into the Islamic world after the devastating bunglings in the 50’s to the 70’s (the paranoid obsession to eliminate “communism” leading to supporting and establishing fundamentalist Islamic regimes as an antidote, in Iraq, and Iran, with complete misunderstanding of the core tenets of Islam and seduced by the deceptive propaganda of these forces as to the real objectives of Islam), the Islamic world now dominated by two main state establishments of the Saudis and Iran, are likely to do everything to see to it that Bush policies are reversed. To a certain extent Bush’s agressive intervention against Islamic forces who ultimately draw their inspriration from the orthodoxy of Sunni Wahabi Arabian Islam, is actually damaging for the Saudi royal establishment which patronizes at least officially by “default” but actually by various indirect state sponshorships the Wahabi Islamic propaganda aimed at eradicating non-Muslim cultures. This fear would be sympathetically echoed by China, and the two could actually coordinate to ensure that Bush’s policies are discontinued. In political terms this could translate into a destabilization of the vulnerable economic infrastructure of the USA.

Sections of the American middle class can hope to have reversal of government policy in favour of job generation if Obama comes to power. Given the basic capitalist strutcure, even Obama will have little power to redsitribute capital among the middle class. There are two ways forward – one is to go back to the 1933 FDR policy of Keynesian public spending to generate jobs from infrastructure development. But we have to remember that at the time of FDR, there was still a lot of “infrastructure” to be developed in the USA, and to a certain extent similar public spending on building or other development has relatively less significant scope. The other way forward is going to the microcredit route, and giving access to capital specifically to those people who would be considered too risky by standard or classical banking model. Such a way forward will be severely opposed by big business, and we have to remember that big business is represented equally in the leadership of both sides. There is also the crucial question of consistent neglect of devloping the capabilities of the American population in terms of increasing competitiveness, with an alarming rate of declining educational achievement compared to levels and skills in the growing or emerging economies. Without such capability development, and given the lack of small-scale industrial or agrarian opportunities in the US system, even microcredit will have a difficult time launching.

The democrats in general represent popular dreams and hopes but as with leftist tendencies anywhere, ultimately become more authoritarian, and conservative that the “Right”. Eric Hoffer, the Californian longshoreman,  once  observed along the lines that it is “best” and the “worst” of any society that really takes it forward. The weak knee of democracy is the bane of mediocrity, which makes it more stable, but also wary of individual ability, and historically a societal transition almost always takes place under authoritarian leadership – the so-called Gramscian dictatorship that is sufficiently detached from partisan affiliations to impose drastic beneficial changes.

To a great extent the success of the US system was its copying and modernization of the concept of the Roman dictator (not emperor or the Imperator – a title typically won out of voluntary adulation by soldiers on the field, and other similar practises – like corona graminae), and to a great extent the troubles of the US echo uncannily the problems of the Roman Republic. The significant frienemies of the USA want a change, but will such a change be beneficial to the USA in the long run? The Roman mob, maintained by grain imported from African and Egyptian colonies and distributed freely by the Roman elite, ensured that the populist Caesarian cause  prevailed. The Roman elite in its bid to monopolize newly captured land and slave labour, had kept the Plebeians from having access to “productive capital” of the time (the dynamic used by Caesar’s uncle Marius to recruit soldiers and settle them in conquered lands) and made them dependent on largesse.  But this Caesarian cause ultimately gave the Julian dynasty which with the exception of its practical founder Octavian, foisted on Rome and its empire the horrors of Caligula or Nero, and started the long ultimate process of decline. Spectacular populist dictators were almost always bad for the health of the Roman republic.

So the question, a populist dictator of the Caesarian type or a more stable, less flamboyant and duller dictator with lesser capacity to do damage – which one is going to be chosen by the United States and not necessarily by American voters? To be or not to be….that is the question!

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Finance looks grim – but capital is there, growth can be, only foresight and will is not there

Posted on October 25, 2008. Filed under: economy, financial crisis, microcredit, Politics |

Who is hit the worst in a liquidity crisis? Not those who never had really any access to capital – the vast majority in any system who are deemed to be too “risky” by the dispensers of capital, the banks and the financial institutions. Not the big corporates, who hold sufficient capital stock or have sufficient power over policy-makers to “bail” them out with more “funds” filched from the public through the compulsory extraction process of taxation. It is the small producer, manufacturer, and the employees of such small production processes, who suffer the most, together with those employees at the bottom income segment of larger concerns who have little or no negotiating powers with their “fett Katz” bosses.

If it is the Government which needs to use public money, then where should this money go? This money should go the people who never really had access to capital. This should go to the small manufacturers and producers, either to established businesses or to promote new entrepreneurs. This money should go to form new community development and self-sufficient urbanization programs with built in agrarian, small-scale industries, and power generation components.

We can use this great opportunity to build a new way of living. At the moment we live in a world of super specialization, not only in industrial production or professions, but also in our lifestyles. Conditions of business, commerce and economic production processes ensure that professions define completely and entirely what the lifestyle, source of income, and culture of a person or his/her immediate network would be. Contrary to popular academic sociological representations of a “networked” society, all our societies, are deeply divided – with closed “networks”, giving rise to class and deeply resented social fractures. Such closing off of “subnetworks” also means inefficiency in terms of the economy and productive forces or development, since opportunities and stimulating exposures to alternatives are not available to increasingly large portions of the society, and the society overall loses out on “brains” and “innovations”.

On the other hand, socio-economic groups can monopolize items or entities of broad demand in the society. Thus in many economies, agrarian producers are completely “disjoint” from industrial producers, and financial services are disjoint from both, all these interact only through the “market” or pure process of exchange, and each can try to exploit the others. This is a different kind of “monopoly” – a social kind, where these self-closed networks ensure that the corresponding economic basis of their negotiating power remains within the network, and that “outsiders” do not have access to it. This means “departure” from “free market” conditions in the social situation, and is bound to be “inefficient” in the social sense.

What I visualize may appear to be a fantasy for many, but it is possible to go along this way. I visualize a world where human settlements are both agrarian and industrial with living conditions driven by “urban” concepts – the agrarian-industrial city.  Each such settlement recycles its waste, produces most if not all of its energy, contains the entire spectrum of habitats from managed forests, water bodies, farms and industries. Crucially the residences should never be far from farms, as well as industries, and that both “farmers” and “industrial workers” share the same living locations. This increases energy efficiency, by cutting down on transport and storage requirements, and increases financial efficiency as system loss due to the intermediaries who live off on the pure process of circulation or movement of commodities. There are obvious health benefits too. Ideally, people from both sectors should have some direct participation in the other sector, for example it would be crucial for industrial workers to have access to farming jobs on a part time basis, or small plots of land on their own to cultivate. Similarly “farmers” should have access to small scale industrial jobs, or access to trade-sheds to carry out small-scale industrial or processing works. Hands on experience on economic processes of vital importance but not of personal specialization, provides two important buffers – (1) increased negotiating power with these “other” sectors in the larger economy (2) a fall back option to produce the bare essentials if the larger economy fails to provide it.

All these can be done within well-experimented frameworks of small-credit, or “micro-credit”, and cooperatives. Financially it makes sense, as the capital is spread around in “many baskets” rather than one small “basket” which has shown time and again to lead us into “crises” like the present one. Especially in conditions when huge capital accumulation has taken place, and therefore comes under the effects of the “law of diminishing returns”, spreading this capital around in micro-credit raises the overall capital appreciation rate (rates in micro-credit are astronomically higher than in conventional “lend only to those who already have” practises of banks).  This will also produce a much broader base for economic growth and distribution of “prosperity”.

I am limited here in how far of “academic exposition” of my vision in economic terms I can give. Formal models will involve meso-economic processes, and interactions both at the macro as well as the micro.  However, the broad sense of what I am implying and its consequences can be worked out by readers on their own, based on their own personal understandings and experiences, without going through mathematical models. Political will to carry out and implement such a program is lacking, as even in “full fledged democracies”, the political “power” elite form semi-closed “subnetworks”, from which the general electorate are forced to choose what appear to them to be the best instantaneous “choice”. These subnetworks of necessity develop economic “contacts” and mutually enforceable ties with the corporate world – sometimes out of the sheer necessity of dealing with the corporates as the dominant force of the national economy. The corporate sector will desperately and ruthlessly try to hog the share of public funds, and it is the task of the “electorate” to see to it that they do not get it without at least some compromise to allow a portion to be released into programs of the sort I have described above. In the end even the corporates will benefit from the overall deepening and broadening of the “market” arising out of such redistribution of capital.

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