Economics seems to have moved away from People and towards Capital. The owners of Capital seem to have shifted away from investing in production, exchange and consumption of goods and services to f…
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read an interesting blog yesterday, titled “Why does India Tend to Collapse So Often?”. The link is given:-
The blog makes a fine analysis of the Indian cricket team’s tendency to collapse in difficult situations. Cricket is then used as an metaphor to analyse our history and expose the reasons why our great nation descended, starting about the time of Mahmud Ghazni about 1000 AD, from its position as the greatest in the world to servitude under the foreign invaders till seventy years back. The writer correctly identifies the decline in the Indian spirit that happened during the centuries of subjugation. He says the subjugation caused the decline.
IMHO the subjugation was the result of an earlier decline in the Indian spirit that happened between the time of Emperor Harsha and Mahmud Ghazni. It is also my humble opinion that the decline was caused by wrong interpretation or wrong understanding of the Gita and the Vedas.
My detailed response posted to that blog site is reproduced below with some slight modifications:-
“Dear fellow Indians,
We have poor self-esteem. We are ready to accept failure and subjugation as our moral due. And, with the attitude of hyenas rather than lions, we expect to extract spoils out of our shame.
FACE THE TRUTH:
Raiders from north-west are not to be blamed for defeating us, plundering us, subjugating and ruling over us. We ourselves are to be blamed for losing. After all, we were fighting on our own soil and the invading armies were invariably smaller than our own, as the blog itself says. If India loses to Brazil in a soccer match, it is foolish to accuse Brazil of cruelty or criminality. It is necessary to look at and into ourselves to identify our weaknesses, understand their reasons and strive to get over them. This has to be done honestly and truthfully. We should have the courage to face ourselves.
BREAKDOWN OF LEADERSHIP:
Indians are brave. Indians soldiers have fought remarkably well under British officers…..and after Independence, under the discipline and training inherited from the British. So the question rises: is India suffering because of craven leadership? The attitude of the kings and chieftains during the time of Akbar and the British say YES. Our elite lack that quality which inspires subordinates, lack the skill to organize and manage: in short, our leadership has been deficient in what are known as ‘leadership qualities’. Our leaders had sold us in exchange for privileges. As the blog rightly points out, the cravenness continues today. The trader who does business with a white European or American is respected more than a trader who does even more business with an African or a Chinese. A businessman with “foreign connections” has a higher place among the elite than a businessman whose clients are totally within India. A mediocre professor in a western university is regarded as a veritable fountain of wisdom while a brilliant and more accomplished Indian professor will be relegated to the lower tier, his academic stature tied to how much he quotes of the white man’s pronouncements.
These “Qusilings”, medieval and modern, are celebrated. But the hardy, proud, patriotic fighters who delivered their lives for their dignity, freedom and motherland are consigned to the dustbins of history. We all are being told repeatedly, year after year, about passages and episodes from the “white-collar” “independence struggle” that is supposed to have won India its freedom from British rule. How many of us know about the “Santhal rebellion” where they fought till the last man died, an old man with no weapon other than a bow and a single arrow left? Even as he was shot to death, he shot the last arrow and killed the English soldier who had shot him. How many of us know about Pazhassi Raja and his valiant band of tribals who fought to death? There are many such tales of bravery, such proud passages, that hardly anyone cares about.
A SPOTTY INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE:
Certainly this is not to disparage the great sacrifices and leadership of the great freedom fighters: but IMHO the great “Indian Independence Struggle” would not have happened if the Indian elite were admitted into the British clubs. They would have been happy, and would have happily lorded it over their fellowmen, telling themselves in vainglorious pride, “I and gora saheb….we rule over all these stupid natives”. And that attitude persists in the blood of the Indian elite to this day.
The blog says “…you understand why Indians prefer to surrender than to fight and why they simply give up when the going gets tough. It has been bred into them for the past 1,000 years.
This posture, imbibed over centuries of foreign subjugation,…”…
I beg to differ. This attitude has been bred into us not because of foreign subjugation. On the other hand, we suffered foreign subjugation because of this attitude developed within us somewhere between the time of Emperor Harsha and Mahamed Ghazni. So much so that we are always trying to please the foreigner, we constantly crave to be in his good books, we are ready to compromise our national interests and sell our fellows down the river if it fetches us some vacuous honour from foreign ‘masters’, yet even now.
The blog mentions the decline that happened between Harsha and Ghazni. “Between 700-900 CE, India became softer and turned its focus inward. The thirst of conquest metamorphosed into the thirst for eternal salvation of the soul. The glory of renunciation became the preferred trait. Invasions and conquests were considered passe and immoral. India slowly turned into a soft, nonbelligerent, rich society that was ripe for plucking. And by 1000 CE, the raids began.”
Right. But does anybody know why? I can say, the shortest explanation will be “because of our misunderstanding, or misinterpretation, of the Gita and the Vedas.” I will leave it there and see what you all have to say.
HINDUISM THE IDEOLOGY, INDIA THE LEADER, OF THE FUTURE:
The solution lies in this direction. I have exactly identified it through about five decades of active association – directly and indirectly – with the Hindu faith, deriving from a five hundred year-old heritage of association with a prominent Hindu temple in Kerala. That is a unique blessing I have had the great good luck to enjoy, and I believe Hinduism is the ideology for the peaceful and prosperous future of the world.
If we realize and accept the true message of the great books, India will rise once again to its rightful power and glory, and to its rightful place in the forefront of nations. We can, if we will. The only pre-requisite is that we should be ready to face the truth honestly, and be ready to act on our own volition without having to secure the approval of “foreign experts and advisors”. Though it is always likely to be a bitter rival, China’s pride should be a pointer to us.
But I say we have to go forward to our roots, not go back to them as the blog suggests.
Jai Hind! indeed.
it is a clear morning here in Cochin, India, with the chirping of birds audible even after 8 am. The traffic noise has not picked up enough to drown their notes. A sunny and optimistic day. But reality strikes in the face through newspaper reports about shootings in Copenhagen. Shades of the awful carnage a short while back in Paris.
Charlie Hebdo had a subscriber base of only about 60,000 if the newspaper reports were right. The post-shooting issue sold more than a million copies….possibly more as a collector’s item than because the buyers shared the views of the publication. Not having seen a copy before or after the shooting, I am wondering why it was not all that popular earlier: were they simply too offensive to good taste?
When the Pope, Queen Elizabeth and President Putin of Russia expressed their condolences and support for the magazine, its staff cartoonist ‘Willem’ is reported to have rejected them saying “we vomit on” them.
Reminded me a passage from one of P. G. Wodehouses exceedingly funny golf stories. In it an eccentric Russian novelist, asked about other Russian novelists, says that he is the only good Russian novelist, and that he despises all the others. “I spit me of Nastikoff” and the others, he says. It was hilarious, like most of Wodehouse’s output. Neither the character nor the author came across as repugnant. But when Willem of Charlie Hebdo says he vomits on the supporters he does not like, an unacceptably odious picture comes to mind. It may have been the post-shooting shock that caused him to say it, but the words and the attitude show a sick mind. (I admit my definition of “sick” may be different from yours, but my test is to ask of anything “does it better the human condition, does it further the cause of civilization?”. If it does not, wilfully, then that wilfullness is a sickness, I submit, that might occur even to the best of persons sometimes. )
But I suspect it was not the shock. I am inclined to think that they were all “sick”. Broken homes? Traumatic childhoods? World War II and its atermath? I do not know, I am just speculating, pardon me if I am wronging anybody. My proposition is that sick minds produced sick humour with which they had their revenge upon the world. With the number of persons with similiar backgrounds being large and increasing, ‘modern civilization’ has had to accept such deviant behaviour as allowable. Otherwise it would be a violation of the right to freedom of expression. But such people are still on the margins, really. The French public as a whole did not find Charlie Hebdo palatable, that is why it had rather poor circulation numbers before the shooting, it will soon subside from the one million for the post-shooting issue to somewhere slightly above the earlier numbers soon. Seemingly, that is where it belongs, that is where he French public has put it…..so runs my impressions of the sad episode.
If you sport a moustache the shape of it which I do not like, and if I am your friend, you may allow me to express my opinion to you privately. In fact you may welcome it, but rarely from someone whom you are not well acquainted with. For a stranger – even a friend, for that matter – to make public criticism and mockery would be to invite trouble. I can discuss with you about the merits and demerits of moustaches, but if I tell the public that you look ugly, then I am inviting a punch on my nose. That is what happened at Charlie Hebdo.
If I say something, it should be for the good of the hearers. Freedom of expression in a decent society allows discussions and debates, even arguments, when they are conducted with mutual respect. We see many such arguments around us every day – on politics, gender, religion, on marriage, sex, and sports. It is present in the bus, in the media, at the club….everywhere. It is a necessary part of life. But when I say something not for the good of anyone but out of a malignant disrespect for the ordinary decencies of life – as hinted at by Willem’s comment – then it is a totally different proposition. A magazine article discussing Islam and its theology would be well received. But when a magazine says “I don’t care what your theology is and I don’t want to understand it, but I am going to poke fun at it even though it may be so dear to you”……?! In context, let me inform you that I am a practicing Catholic Indian, born and living in multi-religious India.
The terrorists who committed the crime are very wrong. Equally wrong is the insidious drift into anarchy in expression that passes by in the name of freedom. The way this anarchy is being foisted upon the world is certainly a sign of decadence. It is a sign of a malaise that affects the binds of civilization and threatens to unravel it. The consequence could be a descent from progressive human society into a crowd of wanton automatons, albeit possibly materially better off. This is one side of the coin of decline. Violent religious extremism is only another side of this multi-sided coin.
We can make the world a better place. All we need to do is to apply the basics of civilization, the most important one of which is to give respect and take respect. Charlie Hebdo should be an object lesson.
The songbird is still at its job. The sun is shining. If we will, it will be a great day to all of us – in spite of occasional clouds. Wish you one.
Jacob J. Mappilacherry
Pope Francis rightly said that it is right to spank children if it is necessary to discipline. His rider was that it should be done without hurting their dignity. I have my bit to add here:-
It should be administered with love,
It should be for the child’s benefit,
It should not be as an outburst of a parent’s anger or frustration,
It should be to make the child remember a necessary lesson,
The child should be made aware of all these,
And it should be followed by a hug or similiar expressions of love so that no scar will be left in the child’s heart. A carrot should always follow the stick.
SIGN OF LOVE
As a child I had been spanked, had my ears tweaked and pulled, had been severely pinched, had even been caned. All the children who grew up those days fifty or more years back had this benefit. With the inevitable patch-up that followed, with the sweets and an occasional kiss – from parents who rarely relaxed their austere demeanour – that sealed the patch-up, it was a solemn expression of affection and parental responsibility. Generally it was a sign of caring. And the children, though they did not reveal it, actually felt respected and cherished.
The Pope, as expected, had many critics. Corporal punishment is bad, they say. To a certain extent, ie: in details, they have a point. But they are wrong in the principle. If I may put it bluntly, these critics are persons who, most probably, have not had the good fortune to grow up in families which had two decent, reasonable, caring and loving heterosexual parents who had the right ideas about disciplining children. I will be happy to be wrong.
CORRECTION, NOT TORTURE
Some of the critics used the word ‘hit’. It is not about hitting children or bashing them or lashing them with belts or canes or slapping them rudely on their faces, in anger more often than not: it is not that kind of physical torture that I am justifying. I am sure the Pope meant the same. We are talking of instructive correction, not brutalization. Usually it takes the form of a robust spanking on the butt or a slap on the upper forearms. Sensible Indian parents rely on tweaking or pinching the earlobe more than anything else. It is believed that this stimulates the brain and helps the child understand and remember better. Pinching the forearms is more painful and less hurtful to body and mind than spanking the bottom.
STATE HAS NO RIGHT
Methinks the right to discipline a child by spanking is an inalienable right of a parent. It is also a parent’s duty. So is it a child’s right to receive good instruction reinforced by physical chastisement if and when necessary. Many is a grown-up delinquent or failure in life whom I have heard complaining that his father was too lenient or did not care.
Does the State really have the moral right to intervene, to intrude into the august offices of a parent’s love, and take away this right and responsibility from a father or a mother? Certainly not. Fifty years ago there was much propaganda in the Western media about how the Russian State had cruelly usurped the powers of parents and turned children against them. Later on the supposedly progressive western nations have come to follow the same mean path, backed by psychology theories of questionable value. The irony is that this is generally regarded as progress. The result is that many children who were reared under this supposedly enlightened regime have grown up into mis-formed adults and poor parents. The instinct of these parents, if and when they wanted to administer correction, would be to commit assault and battery, if at all they cared enough and considered it their duty to bring up children of good character. Fortunate if there would be no shooting. I exaggerate here, but you have got the point, right? In such a situation the curtailment, even the removal of, parental rights in these floundering families has become a social need, especially since the parent in charge may very well be the child’s mother’s second husband’s third wife or someone like that, not the true father or mother.
TIME FOR CHANGE
It is time for responsible persons to have a rethink about much of what passed off for progress during the last fifty years. The Pope is one of the most eminently right persons to do this, and he sure has a point.
May His Holiness’s words start off a train of introspection and debate to put right the wrongs of the past. It will make the world a better place.
J. J. Mappilacherry
For more than an year I have been engaged in drafting a book which may end up, after all, in private circulation only. To me, writing is only a hobby. Being a full-time businessman, I could not spare further time, hence no blogs.
Hope to resume soon. Methinks we can create a practicable prescription, in financial and Economic terms, to make the world a better place. More on that later.
Have a great week.
KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOOR:
Just like the pearly gates of heaven where St. Peter stands to admit new arrivals, there is another one where an angel interviews those who go out to be born on earth. Each little soul has to fill in a form with the following questions:-
Which country do you want to be born in?
Theist, Atheist, Agnostic or Indifferent?
If theist, any religion preferred?
Sex: F or M?
If Normal orientation not desired, then the required Sexual Orientation: Homo, B or T?
The soul is born on earth according to whatever answers it gives the Angel.
You know this is only a silly little story I made up just now. But whether such a choice is made or not, the person being born on earth has no memory of any such decision he made at any time about his sexual orientation. He just knows what he likes and tries to be happy. To him, what he is is not what he has chosen; it is but only a given. A person born as an L, G, B or T would live happily as such; had he been born as Normal, he would have lived happily as Normal.
NORMAL IS the NORM:
As a 60-year old family man, I have to observe this much:- if one applies the test of extremes and asks “what will happen if all human beings become homosexuals?”, the answer points out that homosexuality is basically untenable. Mind you, I am not saying it is a crime. I have not thought of the legal or moral aspects. I am just commenting on the biologic. The biology is that female and male interact and bring forth progeny. And the progeny, in their turn, repeat it. Thus we have come so far from the first organism that reproduced ‘sexually’. Of course homosexuality has existed in history, perhaps it exists in other species too as some people claim. But IMO the recent apparent increase in homosexuality is attributable to the breakdown of the family, therefore the disruption of the formation of the progeny into progenitors as nature needs. Hypothetically speaking, chances are that a homosexual would have been as pleased with his life had he been sent out by the Creator with the normal orientation. He/she would never know differently!
It can be hoped that the extreme condition will not come to pass, that this state of aberration will soon be corrected. But it is doubtful. There are two reasons why I doubt.
One is that there seems to be a drive to push the world into the same-sex orientation, ie: for the not-normal to become the norm. By who? We don’t know now, we might know some day. For what? Possibly to convert the entire world into worker drones who only exist for food and fun…”panem et cirences” as the ancient Roman patricians thought would be enough to keep the plebeians in line and in permanent subjugation. Food and Circus was ancient Roman. Modern world has so much more at its disposal. But with longer and ‘more fun’ life, mankind will have been taken a step down into less meaningful and fulfilling lives that nobody would be wiser about. Horrible, is it not?
What about replenishment of stock? The people behind this push may be thinking that enough workers can be ‘manufactured’ in hospitals. In all probability they will be LGBTs, something like the human version of the broiler chicken that do not reproduce naturally.
My second reason is that as broken families increase, the number of those with sexual deviations is also likely to keep on increasing. The only corrective force is the ‘family’. But as the medicine itself becomes corrupted, the sickness will prevail.
LGBTs in ‘NORMAL FAMILIES’?
One argument counter to mine is that LGBTs are produced even in normal families. Most often what the objector means by ‘normal family’ will be merely that there will be two parents, a man and a woman, who are not divorced ever. But that does not mean that the parenting will be right or normal. A harsh father, an unloving mother, loving parents but innocently exposing their children to not-normal environmental influences – certainly these are conditions which can prevail even in supposedly normal families. Parenting is the key. What is a ‘normal family’? The definition should include ‘the ability to raise normal children who will grow up equipped to set up normal families and have their own normal children.” Wrong social conditions produce wrong parenting. That in turn produces children who may be normal in sexual orientation but may not be ‘normal’ in the ability to bring up ‘normal’ children.
As some of you may have noticed, there is a campaign going on to undermine the family. Some say a conspiracy. Some say it is a natural evolution. IMO it is high time that the LGBTs realize that they are actually being victimized, in a deeper sense, through the support that they are given. Just like a man born with a speech defect or a lame leg, what LGBTs need to be given is respect and affection, and treatment to restore their condition to the normative.
These days every newspaper carries some article pushing LGBT rights. It is amazing. Speaking from India, it seems that a poor person belonging to a backward and marginalized community will be better off becoming L, G, B or T at his speediest – he will soon have all sorts of supporters and privileges. We are following the global trend. There seems to be something or someone sitting somewhere turning a steering wheel.
Reason tells me that those who promote LGBT interests for temporary gains are hurting themselves, the LGBTs, and humankind itself, in the long run. Whatever it is, unless the LGBTs themselves sit up, take notice and act, the number of LGBT souls knocking on Heaven’s ‘OUT’ door is likely to increase.
Be prepared for future schlok! Better, act to Make the World A Better Place.
This is the view of an informed outsider. Academicians might find much to balk at, but I feel the view of the man in the street needs to be respected more. I am writing from India because the actions of the US have global impact.
The USA’s land area is about three times that of India. Its population is about one fourth. The average US citizen owns twelve times as much air, earth and water as the average Indian. Naturally the per-capita GDP of an American must be twelve times that of an Indian. On Purchasing Power Parity basis, the per-capita GDP of an Indian is around $ 4000/, that of an American is approximately $ 51,000/. There, you have it. Twelve times 4000. is 48,000/. Off the mark by just 3000. (Frankly, I have not tested if this will hold water for other countries. So I am not proposing this as a general theory. Let professional economists see if they can make something of this)
On the other hand, what are the actual GDPs in monetary terms? Of the US it is $ 52000/, of India it is $ 1500/. The US’s is higher than the ’12 times’ ‘norm’ by $ 34,000/. There is an explanation for this.
THE THREE AMERICAN DRIVERS:
The difference represents the greater amount of will that an American exerts on global affairs than does the average Indian. Not the ‘Red’ Indian but the ‘brown’ one from India. Historically that assertion has manifested itself in three ways:-
One is the aspiration to a greater being: bigger, healthier, wealthier and longer-living. The American man had a greater engagement with and enjoyment of the material world. The natural resources at his disposal were exploited more than by the Indian; and he innovated and invented to enhance his engagement – in both production and consumption.
The second is a superior work ethic which translated into higher productivity. His innovations and inventions increased his productivity further through the tools – like the tractor, the telephone, the computer – that multiplied the capacity of man much more than what the Indian had.
The third is the projection of power. The American parlayed what he had into a globally present cultural influence that has largely determined the way the whole world lives now; and also translated that wealth and influence into political and military clout which in turn reinforces the cultural influence. The influence, in its turn, added premiums to the prices the US could charge for its goods and services. The Indian’s performance in this respect has been poor.
A NEW NEW DEAL:
What the US needs to do now is to start a new New Deal to strengthen the three forces.
As a first step, enable the average American to regain the ability to dream the American dream of working hard and making good. It seems ‘working hard’ has been replaced by ‘pulling strings’ and ‘getting drafted into the right circles’ more. Otherwise all the hard work a man undertakes still leaves him in debt with a barely satisfactory life on hands. He will be forever in debt for his education, his car, his home.
As a second step, shift economic weightage a bit, away from leisure & entertainment and into better education, retraining and motivation of the workforce. (Well, I do not mean the normal channels of leisure and entertainment). A disciplined and skilled workforce will enhance productivity and competitiveness. Jobs in manufacturing will rise. Job drain will decrease. To support this increase in available labor in the nascent stage, create jobs through higher government spending to support infrastructure projects that improve agricultural productivity, improve transportation efficiency (achieving lower unit costs without reducing quality) and improve availability of cleaner Energy (achieving lower unit costs and higher share in total production). This will lead to more jobs, GDP growth, and higher revenues.
The result of the above two reforms will be the increase of global influence for the US. A new positive cycle of the three forces will be established. If accompanied by wiser international engagement, this positive cycle can benefit the whole world. The US will be able to import more from other countries, and correspondingly export more of what it is good at.
Everybody will be happy. Wall Street gets more investment opportunities. People get more jobs and higher spending power. Government gets more revenue and balances the budget. The brighter ones get to live the American dream. The rest of the world gets more business. It is win-win for all. Peace and prosperity indeed!
So YOU S. of A., it is possible for you to make the world a better place. It is time to act.Think of these before tapering and QE.
Jacob J. Mappilacherry