financial crisis

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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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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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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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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