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Three Nations That Tried Socialism and Rejected It

Posted by M. C. on January 19, 2021

Widely described as “the sick man of Europe” after three decades of socialism, the United Kingdom underwent an economic revolution in the 1970s and 1980s because of one remarkable person—Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

The sick man is in relapse.


Lee Edwards, Ph.D.

Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought Lee Edwards is a leading historian of American conservatism and the author or editor of 25 books.

Israel, India, and the United Kingdom all adopted socialism as an economic model following World War II.

Socialism is guilty of a fatal conceit: It believes its system can make better decisions for the people than they can for themselves.

Socialism has failed in every country in which it has been tried. Copied

Socialists are fond of saying that socialism has never failed because it has never been tried. But in truth, socialism has failed in every country in which it has been tried, from the Soviet Union beginning a century ago to three modern countries that tried but ultimately rejected socialism—Israel, India, and the United Kingdom.

While there were major political differences between the totalitarian rule of the Soviets and the democratic politics of Israel, India, and the U.K., all three of the latter countries adhered to socialist principles, nationalizing their major industries and placing economic decision-making in the hands of the government.

>>> What Americans Must Know About Socialism

The Soviet failure has been well documented by historians. In 1985, General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev took command of a bankrupt disintegrating empire. After 70 years of Marxism, Soviet farms were unable to feed the people, factories failed to meet their quotas, people lined up for blocks in Moscow and other cities to buy bread and other necessities, and a war in Afghanistan dragged on with no end in sight of the body bags of young Soviet soldiers.

The economies of the Communist nations behind the Iron Curtain were similarly enfeebled because they functioned in large measure as colonies of the Soviet Union. With no incentives to compete or modernize, the industrial sector of Eastern and Central Europe became a monument to bureaucratic inefficiency and waste, a “museum of the early industrial age.” As the New York Times pointed out at the time, Singapore, an Asian city-state of only 2 million people, exported 20 percent more machinery to the West in 1987 than all of Eastern Europe.

And yet, socialism still beguiled leading intellectuals and politicians of the West. They could not resist its siren song, of a world without strife because it was a world without private property. They were convinced that a bureaucracy could make more-informed decisions about the welfare of a people than the people themselves could. They believed, with John Maynard Keynes, that “the state is wise and the market is stupid.”

Israel, India, and the United Kingdom all adopted socialism as an economic model following World War II. The preamble to India’s constitution, for example, begins, “We, the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic . . .” The original settlers of Israel were East European Jews of the Left who sought and built a socialist society. As soon as the guns of World War II fell silent, Britain’s Labour Party nationalized every major industry and acceded to every socialist demand of the unions.

At first, socialism seemed to work in these vastly dissimilar countries. For the first two decades of its existence, Israel’s economy grew at an annual rate of more than 10 percent, leading many to term Israel an “economic miracle.” The average GDP growth rate of India from its founding in 1947 into the 1970s was 3.5 percent, placing India among the more prosperous developing nations. GDP growth in Great Britain averaged 3 percent from 1950 to 1965, along with a 40 percent rise in average real wages, enabling Britain to become one of the world’s more affluent countries.

But the government planners were unable to keep pace with increasing population and overseas competition. After decades of ever declining economic growth and ever rising unemployment, all three countries abandoned socialism and turned toward capitalism and the free market. The resulting prosperity in Israel, India, and the U.K. vindicated free-marketers who had predicted that socialism would inevitably fail to deliver the goods. As British prime minister Margaret Thatcher observed, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Israel is unique, the only nation where socialism was successful—for a while. The original settlers, according to Israeli professor Avi Kay, “sought to create an economy in which market forces were controlled for the benefit of the whole society.” Driven by a desire to leave behind their history as victims of penury and prejudice, they sought an egalitarian, labor-oriented socialist society. The initial, homogeneous population of less than 1 million drew up centralized plans to convert the desert into green pastures and build efficient state-run companies.

Most early settlers, American Enterprise Institute scholar Joseph Light pointed out, worked either on collective farms called kibbutzim or in state-guaranteed jobs. The kibbutzim were small farming communities in which people did chores in exchange for food and money to live on and pay their bills. There was no private property, people ate in common, and children under 18 lived together and not with their parents. Any money earned on the outside was given to the kibbutz.

A key player in the socialization of Israel was the Histadrut, the General Federation of Labor, subscribers to the socialist dogma that capital exploits labor and that the only way to prevent such “robbery” is to grant control of the means of production to the state. As it proceeded to unionize almost all workers, the Histadrut gained control of nearly every economic and social sector, including the kibbutzim, housing, transportation, banks, social welfare, health care, and education. The federation’s political instrument was the Labor party, which effectively ruled Israel from the founding of Israel in 1948 until 1973 and the Yom Kippur War. In the early years, few asked whether any limits should be placed on the role of government.

Israel’s economic performance seemed to confirm Keynes’s judgment. Real GDP growth from 1955 to 1975 was an astounding 12.6 percent, putting Israel among the fastest-growing economies in the world, with one of the lowest income differentials. However, this rapid growth was accompanied by rising levels of private consumption and, over time, increasing income inequality. There was an increasing demand for economic reform to free the economy from the government’s centralized decision-making. In 1961, supporters of economic liberalization formed the Liberal party—the first political movement committed to a market economy.

The Israeli “economic miracle” evaporated in 1965 when the country suffered its first major recession. Economic growth halted and unemployment rose threefold from 1965 to 1967. Before the government could attempt corrective action, the Six-Day War erupted, altering Israel’s economic and political map. Paradoxically, the war brought short-lived prosperity to Israel, owing to increased military spending and a major influx of workers from new territories. But government-led economic growth was accompanied by accelerating inflation, reaching an annual rate of 17 percent from 1971 to 1973.

For the first time, there was a public debate between supporters of free-enterprise economics and supporters of traditional socialist arrangements. Leading the way for the free market was the future Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, who urged Israeli policymakers to “set your people free” and liberalize the economy. The 1973 war and its economic impacts reinforced the feelings of many Israelis that the Labor party’s socialist model could not handle the country’s growing economic challenges. The 1977 elections resulted in the victory of the Likud party, with its staunch pro-free-market philosophy. The Likud took as one of its coalition partners the Liberal party.

Because socialism’s roots in Israel were so deep, real reform proceeded slowly. Friedman was asked to draw up a program that would move Israel from socialism toward a free-market economy. His major reforms included fewer government programs and reduced government spending; less government intervention in fiscal, trade, and labor policies; income-tax cuts; and privatization. A great debate ensued between government officials seeking reform and special interests that preferred the status quo.

Meanwhile, the government kept borrowing and spending and driving up inflation, which averaged 77 percent for 1978–79 and reached a peak of 450 percent in 1984–85. The government’s share of the economy grew to 76 percent, while fiscal deficits and national debt skyrocketed. The government printed money through loans from the Bank of Israel, which contributed to the inflation by churning out money.

Finally, in January 1983, the bubble burst, and thousands of private citizens and businesses as well as government-run enterprises faced bankruptcy. Israel was close to collapse. At this critical moment, a sympathetic U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, and his secretary of state, George Shultz, came to the rescue. They offered a grant of $1.5 billion if the Israeli government agreed to abandon its socialist rulebook and adopt some form of U.S.-style capitalism, using American-trained professionals.

The Histadrut strongly resisted, unwilling to give up their decades-old power and to concede that socialism was responsible for Israel’s economic troubles. However, the people had had enough of soaring inflation and non-existent growth and rejected the Histadrut’s policy of resistance. Still, the Israeli government hesitated, unwilling to spend political capital on economic reform. An exasperated Secretary Schulz informed Israel that if it did not begin freeing up the economy, the U.S. would freeze “all monetary transfers” to the country. The threat worked. The Israeli government officially adopted most of the free-market “recommendations.”

The impact of a basic shift in Israeli economic policy was immediate and pervasive. Within a year, inflation tumbled from 450 percent to just 20 percent, a budget deficit of 15 percent of GDP shrank to zero, the Histadrut’s economic and business empire disappeared along with its political domination, and the Israeli economy was opened to imports. Of particular importance was the Israeli high-tech revolution, which led to a 600 percent increase in investment in Israel, transforming the country into a major player in the high-tech world.

There were troubling side effects such as social gaps, poverty, and concerns about social justice, but the socialist rhetoric and ideology, according to Glenn Frankel, the Washington Post’s correspondent in Israel, “has been permanently retired.” The socialist Labor party endorsed privatization and the divestment of many publicly held companies that had become corrupted by featherbedding, rigid work rules, phony bookkeeping, favoritism, and incompetent managers.

After modest expansion in the 1990s, Israel’s economic growth topped the charts in the developing world in the 2000s, propelled by low inflation and a reduction in the size of government. Unemployment was still too high and taxes took up 40 percent of GDP, much of it caused by the need for a large military. However, political parties are agreed that there is no turning back to the economic policies of the early years—the debate is about the rate of further market reform. “The world’s most successful experiment in socialism,” Light wrote, “appears to have resolutely embraced capitalism.”

Acceptance of socialism was strong in India long before independence, spurred by widespread resentment against British colonialism and the land-owning princely class (the zamindars) and by the efforts of the Communist Party of India, established in 1921. Jawaharlal Nehru adopted socialism as the ruling ideology when he became India’s first prime minister after independence in 1947.

For nearly 30 years, the Indian government adhered to a socialist line, restricting imports, prohibiting foreign direct investment, protecting small companies from competition from large corporations, and maintaining price controls on a wide variety of industries including steel, cement, fertilizers, petroleum, and pharmaceuticals. Any producer who exceeded their licensed capacity faced possible imprisonment.

As the Indian economist Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar wrote, “India was perhaps the only country in the world where improving productivity . . . was a crime.” It was a strict application of the socialist principle that the market cannot be trusted to produce good economic or social outcomes. Economic inequality was regulated through taxes—the top personal income tax rate hit a stifling 97.75 percent.

Some 14 public banks were nationalized in 1969; six more banks were taken over by the government in 1980. Driven by the principle of “self-reliance,” almost anything that could be produced domestically could not be imported regardless of the cost. It was the “zenith” of Indian socialism, which still failed to satisfy the basic needs of an ever expanding population. In 1977–78, more than half of India was living below the poverty line.

At the same time, notes Indian-American economist Arvind Panagariya, a series of external shocks shook the country, including a war with Pakistan in 1965, which came on the heels of a war with China in 1962; another war with Pakistan in 1971; consecutive droughts in 1971–72 and 1972–73, and the oil price crisis of October 1973, which contributed to a 40 percent deterioration in India’s foreign trade.

Economic performance from 1965 to 1981 was worse than than at any other time of the post-independence period. As in Israel, economic reform became an imperative. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had pushed her policy agenda as far to the left as possible. In 1980, the Congress party won a two-thirds majority in the Parliament, and Gandhi adopted, at last, a more pragmatic, non-ideological course. But as with everything else in India, economic reform proceeded slowly.

An industrial-policy statement continued the piecemeal retreat from socialism that had begun in 1975, allowing companies to expand their capacity, encouraging investment in a wide variety of industries, and introducing private-sector participation in telecommunications. Further liberalization received a major boost under Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded his mother in 1984 following her assassination. As a result, GDP growth reached an encouraging 5.5 percent.

Economics continued to trump ideology under Rajiv Gandhi, who was free of the socialist baggage carried by an earlier generation. His successor, P. V. Narasimha Rao, put an end to licensing except in selected sectors and opened the door to much wider foreign investment. Finance minister Manmohan Singh cut the tariff rates from an astronomical 355 percent to 65 percent. According to Arvind Panagariya, “the government had introduced enough liberalizing measures to set the economy on the course to sustaining approximately 6 percent growth on a long-term basis.” In fact, India’s GDP growth reached a peak of over 9 percent in 2005–8, followed by a dip to just under 7 percent in 2017–18.

A major development of the economic reforms was the remarkable expansion of India’s middle class. The Economist estimates there are 78 million Indians in the middle-middle and upper middle-class category. By including the lower middle class, Indian economists Krishnan and Hatekar figure that India’s new middle class grew from 304.2 million in 2004–5 to an amazing 606.3 million in 2011–12, almost one-half of the entire Indian population. The daily income of the three middle classes are lower middle, $2–$4; middle middle, $4–$6; upper middle, $6–$10.

While this is extremely low by U.S. standards, a dollar goes a long way in India, where the annual per capita income is approximately $6,500. If only half of the lower middle class makes the transition to upper-class or middle income, that would mean an Indian middle class of about 350 million Indians—a mid-point between The Economist and Krishnan and Hatekar estimates. Such an enormous middle class confirms the judgment of the Heritage Foundation, in its Index of Economic Freedom, that India is developing into an “open-market economy.”

In 2017, India overtook Germany to become the fourth-largest auto market in the world, and it is expected to displace Japan in 2020. That same year, India overtook the U.S. in smartphone sales to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world. Usually described as an agricultural country, India is today 31 percent urbanized. With an annual GDP of $8.7 trillion, India ranks fifth in the world, behind the United States, China, Japan, and Great Britain. Never before in recorded history, Indian economist Gurcharan Das has noted, have so many people risen so quickly.

All this has been accomplished because the political leaders of India sought and adopted a better economic system—free enterprise—after some four decades of fitful progress and unequal prosperity under socialism.

United Kingdom
Widely described as “the sick man of Europe” after three decades of socialism, the United Kingdom underwent an economic revolution in the 1970s and 1980s because of one remarkable person—Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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Posted by M. C. on December 15, 2020

Happily I used to get a lot (for me) of views in India. Now zilch

Have I been blocked? Or is my content no longer appealing?

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Robert F Kennedy Jr. Exposes Bill Gates’ Vaccine Dictatorship Plan – cites Gates’ twisted ‘Messiah Complex’

Posted by M. C. on August 1, 2020

In 2010, Gates committed $10 billion to the WHO promising to reduce population, in part, through new vaccines. A month later Gates told a Ted Talk that new vaccines “could reduce population”. In 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a phony “tetanus” vaccine campaign.

Independent labs found the sterility formula in every vaccine tested.

After denying the charges, WHO finally admitted it had been developing the sterility vaccines for over a decade.

Similar accusations came from Tanzania, Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines.

Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. is an American environmental attorney, author, and opponent of vaccination. Kennedy is a son of Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former president John F. Kennedy. He is the president of the board of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit environmental group that he helped found in 1999.

From #RobertFKennedyJr‘s Instagram post April 9th, 2020:

#Vaccines, for #BillGates, are a strategic philanthropy that feed his many vaccine-related businesses (including #Microsoft’s ambition to control a global vac ID enterprise) and give him dictatorial control over global health policy—the spear tip of corporate neo-imperialism.

Gates’ obsession with vaccines seems fueled by a messianic conviction that he is ordained to save the world with technology and a god-like willingness to experiment with the lives of lesser humans.

REVEALED: Massachusetts Contact Tracing NGO part of Clinton Pedophile Ring in Haiti

Promising to eradicate Polio with $1.2 billion, Gates took control of India ‘s National Advisory Board (NAB) and mandated 50 polio vaccines (up from 5) to every child before age 5. Indian doctors blame the Gates campaign for a devastating vaccine-strain polio epidemic that paralyzed 496,000 children between 2000 and 2017. In 2017, the Indian Government dialed back Gates’ vaccine regimen and evicted Gates and his cronies from the NAB. Polio paralysis rates dropped precipitously. In 2017, the World Health Organization reluctantly admitted that the global polio explosion is predominantly vaccine strain, meaning it is coming from Gates’ Vaccine Program. The most frightening epidemics in Congo, the Philippines, and Afghanistan are all linked to Gates’ vaccines. By 2018, ¾ of global polio cases were from Gates’ vaccines.

In 2014, the #GatesFoundation funded tests of experimental HPV vaccines, developed by GSK and Merck, on 23,000 young girls in remote Indian provinces. Approximately 1,200 suffered severe side effects, including autoimmune and fertility disorders. Seven died. Indian government investigations charged that Gates funded researchers committed pervasive ethical violations: pressuring vulnerable village girls into the trial, bullying parents, forging consent forms, and refusing medical care to the injured girls. The case is now in the country’s Supreme Court.

In 2010, the Gates Foundation funded a trial of a GSK’s experimental malaria vaccine, killing 151 African infants and causing serious adverse effects including paralysis, seizure, and febrile convulsions to 1,048 of the 5,049 children.

During Gates 2002 MenAfriVac Campaign in Sub-Saharan Africa, Gates operatives forcibly vaccinated thousands of African children against meningitis. Between 50-500 children developed paralysis. South African newspapers complained, “We are guinea pigs for drug makers”

FLORES: Coronavirus Shutdown: The End of Globalization and Planned Obsolescence – Enter Multipolarity

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Nelson Mandela’s former Senior Economist, Professor Patrick Bond, describes Gates’ philantropic practices as “ruthless” and “immoral”.

In 2010, Gates committed $10 billion to the WHO promising to reduce population, in part, through new vaccines. A month later Gates told a Ted Talk that new vaccines “could reduce population”. In 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a phony “tetanus” vaccine campaign.

Independent labs found the sterility formula in every vaccine tested.

After denying the charges, WHO finally admitted it had been developing the sterility vaccines for over a decade.

Similar accusations came from Tanzania, Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines.

A 2017 study (Morgensen et.Al.2017) showed that WHO’s popular DTP is killing more African than the disease it pretends to prevent. Vaccinated girls suffered 10x the death rate of unvaccinated children.

Gates and the WHO refused to recall the lethal vaccine which WHO forces upon millions of African children annually.

Global public health advocates around the world accuse Gates of – hijacking WHO’s agenda away from the projects that are proven to curb infectious diseases; clean water, hygiene, nutrition and economic development.

They say he has diverted agency resources to serve his personal fetish – that good health only comes in a syringe.

In addition to using his philanthropy to control WHO, UNICEF, GAVI and PATH, Gates funds private pharmaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines, and a massive network of pharmaceutical industry front groups that broadcast deceptive propaganda, develop fraudulent studies, conduct surveillance and psychological operations against vaccine hesitancy and use Gates’ power and money to silence dissent and coerce compliance.
In this recent nonstop Pharmedia appearances, Gates appears gleeful that the Covid-19 crisis will give him the opportunity to force his third-world vaccine programs on American children.

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Is the West Repeating India’s Mistakes? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2020

This toxic effect is even more apparent in government. This “reservation” policy offers the majority of government jobs to those from the lower caste, with accelerated promotions. The lower caste people, once in power, turn their back to their communities and merely show off their influence in expectation of reverence. They have no skill to feel proud of anyway, so all they feel proud of is their position and their perceived status, which is effectively monetized through rampant corruption. This has been a significant factor in rapidly degrading Indian institutions.

All these affirmative action policies have been an unmitigated disaster for the country. They were designed by populist politicians who care not a bit for the citizens, certainly not for those in the lower caste. The caste system, and more importantly, the general tribalism of Indians is oppressive, but these simplistic, nonsensical laws have made the situation far worse.


Interview with Jayant Bhandari: Part I

Following the publication of our last conversation with Jayant Bhandari, I received a lot of interesting feedback and remarks. The common denominator of all those comments was the astonishment of many Western readers at the real conditions and dynamics on the ground in India. In fact, I was surprised myself by how little we actually know and understand about a country so vast, so populous and so potentially influential on the world’s geopolitical stage. The coverage we receive by Western media is often so superficial, ahistorical and frequently biased, that it deceives us into believing we roughly understand the politics and social problems there, when in reality we are entirely clueless. This dangerous illusion of knowledge in turn comes to shape our beliefs and opinions, leads us to false conclusions and causes us to make erroneous generalizations.

Overall, the recent tensions and the riots that started in the US and spread throughout the West, all seemed to have the notion of inequality and social injustice at their core. Groups were pitted against other groups and all kinds of deep divisions in society came to the surface. In search of a parallel in modern history, to examine and to learn from, I thought of India and its caste system. From an outsider’s perspective, it seemed to me that a lot of the same issues and problems arose there too and a lot of the same solutions were already tried, albeit in a massively larger scale. So, I decided to turn to Jayant again, to understand that system more clearly and more objectively, to see if that parallel really holds up and if so, what are the lessons that the West can learn from India’s policies and their results? Having lived and worked in both worlds, he is far better equipped than most to assess these issues and even though he has strong views that go well beyond and very often contradict mainstream narratives, his insights, based on direct, first-hand experiences, certainly challenge commonly held beliefs and can set the stage for deeper debates. After all, different perspectives, dissenting views and free dialogue are the prerequisites and the main ingredients for an enlightened civilization.

Jayant is a globetrotting institutional investment consultant, who has amassed extensive international experience in the mining and natural resource sector. Apart from his investment insights, he has published numerous interesting analyses on political, cultural and social issues, while he also runs a yearly seminar in Vancouver, “Capitalism & Morality”.

Claudio Grass (CG): India has been routinely making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Its citizens’ poor quality of life, lack of public services and infrastructure and violent incidents in the streets often feature in international media coverage, prompting many Indians to criticize what they see as unfair reporting. Do you think there really is a negative bias against the country in the West?

Jayant Bhandari (JB): In just about every human development metric, India is worse than sub-Saharan Africa. The conditions in India are a lot worse and far more backward than what you see in the media and what you imagine when you’re reading these headlines. The reports and images that reach you cannot convey the ever-present smell of human waste, the unceasing noise, the feeling of people constantly violating your space and the daily reality of dysfunction and failure at every conceivable level. For the majority of Indians, life is no better today than what it was in medieval times. Perhaps it is even worse now, with pollution, over-population, and the alien lifestyle of “modern living” added to the mix.

Corruption, tribalism, and “might-is-right” are the governing principles in society. The police, the politicians, the courts, and the criminals are all in bed together. The bureaucrat will humiliate you, extract bribes, and expect god-like reverence from you. The work ethic and lack of integrity are so bad that if you give away bribes too early, your work won’t get done. Citizens must grovel, prostrate, and bow down with folded hands. Every time I have to deal with those in the government, I use an agent to avoid the degradation that every citizen must face.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the citizens—men or women—are not innocent. While the government gets most of the blame, it is merely a symptom of the underlying cultural disease. The real problem is Indian tribal ways, superstitious, irrational and circular thinking, and the absence of moral and rational mental anchors. This is the root of all of India’s problems and why it is not and will not be a functioning civilization.

People with the slightest bit of power will exploit it and become predatory. If you need a taxi, be assured that the driver will overcharge you and exploit you to the extent he can. The more power the individual has, the worse his conduct becomes. And this is not a case of a “few bad apples”, but the reality of day to day life in India. As men and those from the higher castes tend to get all the blame, I should hastily add that women also have a solid track record as aggressors and they often commit the worst atrocities on other women, especially those from the lower castes, who routinely engage in caste-related violence.

The dystopia is far broader, deeper, more entangled, and complex than what most people can ever imagine from the outside. And I haven’t seen any positive change since the IT and the educational revolution started. If anything, the cultural situation is even worse now.

So, why do Indians see any honest reporting of the problems in the country as unfair? Well, it’s because they’re deeply tribal. Their sense of identity is hinged to your perception about their caste, religion, sect, language, or the country as a whole. Fairness, justice, and the suffering of their fellow citizens are of no interest to them. All they care about is what others, especially the outsiders, think of them. If you feel that this thinking is no different from that which exists behind honor killings, you are on track to understanding the Indian mind. And they take this mentality with them when they leave, as this defensiveness only intensifies once they have moved to the West.

CG: Very frequently, the reports in Western media identify India’s caste system as the source of all these evils. Inequality, extreme poverty and lack of opportunity is blamed on the social and economic isolation that the lower castes seem to suffer from those “higher-born”. However, there have been important changes and government interventions to this system over the last decades, so how accurate is this narrative in 2020?

JB: Whining, complaining, playing the victim card, and a grievance-based culture is the most comfortable option for those who cannot make it in life. It helps them extract unearned resources and hope for an easy life. It enables them to pass the blame onto others, so that they can enjoy some emotional comfort, believing their failures are not their own and that they could not have done well in life anyway. But this attitude also disempowers them, perpetuates their misery and eventually worsens their feeling of impotence, low self-esteem, and psychological subservience.

Of course, the media, the shallow-thinking intellectuals, journalists, and social activists play along, for siding with the weaker party is not only politically correct, but can also be quite profitable. Intellectuals, who lack a real-life experience and are ridden with envy and bile against any semblance of actual success, agitate the underclass. Nowhere in the world are the underprivileged so prone to blaming their situation on those who are successful. It is this intellectual “Middle Class” that is the prime agitator.

The caste system exists, but it is a part of a much bigger problem. Indians are tribal and are constantly positioning themselves in the pecking order. The lower you go in the food chain, the worse it becomes. The lower caste people are the worst perpetrators of the caste system.

Most media presentations of caste issues in India, especially those aimed at foreign audiences, follow a passive narrative, leaving you to assume that it must be the higher caste that is the oppressor, and thus responsible for all that is wrong in Indian society. However, this view is as ahistorical and as it is factually groundless. The statistics speak for themselves. Most caste problems arise out nothing else but a lower-caste group subjugating another lower-caste group to show who among them is higher. As for all those horrific reports you see in Western media about caste-related violence, the vast majority of these atrocities are committed strictly within the lower castes, not by the imagined “oppressor” class.

Also, you might have heard of the Hindu-fanatic Prime Minister of India. Both he and the President are from the lower caste. One would have expected this to have made a dent in the oppressor-oppressed narrative, but, of course, it didn’t and oppression has only increased under their regime.

The real reasons for the chronic backwardness of India are much more mundane and “pedestrian” and as such, they don’t really support that timeless, romantic fairytale of rich and privileged villains against poor but noble underdogs. What is really to blame is the utter lack of skills, lack of work ethic, absence of integrity and honesty in work and social relations, tribalism, belief in might-is-right, and a lack of reason and moral values. In all this, the caste system is only one of the symptoms, which, as I said, gets worse among those in the lower castes. For this reason, any caste-based solution to India’s problems is simplistic and makes the problem worse by adding fuel to the fire.

CG: The reforms and legislative measures that the state has enforced over the years in order to break down caste barriers have been quite drastic. There has been a massive effort to lift the lower castes socioeconomically, including subsidies, quotas, reserved seats in parliament and places in universities. How do you assess the results of these policies? Have they achieved their stated aims in promoting social harmony and economic prosperity for all?

JB: In a tribal society, where no one trusts anyone, social harmony will always be an illusion. Subsidies, quotas, and the like, have enabled a massive grievance-based culture to emerge in the country. You cannot make a community proud and honorable by giving them free stuff. The affirmative action policies have trapped those of the lower castes in low-level thinking: being beggars and servile, being lazy, and expecting free stuff.

I went to a catholic school in India. Until I got to university, I did not know much about the caste system. It simply never was, per se, a dominant issue in urban areas and it still isn’t. I went to one of the top engineering colleges in India. The affirmative action policy, called the “reservation system” in India, allocates a majority of seats to the lower castes. Compare the 78% entrance marks that I had to attain to be admitted with the close-to-zero scores that those who joined from the lower caste had. As can be expected, the net effect of this was to make their self-esteem worse and to render any professional relationship between us impossible.

Predictably, they kept on failing, and many of them stayed in the college for a decade or more. I personally knew of a student who had been there for thirty-five years. They had been artificially placed in a position with challenges that they were not prepared for and were not equipped to handle. In effect, they’d been set up for failure. Eventually, after being stuck for many years, unable to pass exams and finish their degrees, the administration simply did it for them. They graduated them and waived them through, in order to get them out and clear the bottleneck for the next batch to enter. The situation is the same in medical colleges, rendering those degrees basically meaningless. Knowing these practices have been going on for so long, producing dangerously unqualified professionals, what hope does a lower-caste doctor have of being trusted by a patient? How confident would you be if you had to go under the knife in a public hospital in India?

But it goes even deeper than that. Very early in my university days, I realized that if, for whatever reason, someone from a lower caste filed a police report against me, on his word alone, the laws would have required the police to arrest me without a warrant or possibility of bail. In a country where simple cases drag on for decades, I would have been barred from getting a passport or a job. Why should I take such a risk by befriending or even interacting with someone from a lower caste, when I could avoid the risk altogether by keeping my distance? So you see, the very laws that were supposed to erase caste barriers actually ensured that the distance between groups would grow wider.

This toxic effect is even more apparent in government. This “reservation” policy offers the majority of government jobs to those from the lower caste, with accelerated promotions. The lower caste people, once in power, turn their back to their communities and merely show off their influence in expectation of reverence. They have no skill to feel proud of anyway, so all they feel proud of is their position and their perceived status, which is effectively monetized through rampant corruption. This has been a significant factor in rapidly degrading Indian institutions.

All these affirmative action policies have been an unmitigated disaster for the country. They were designed by populist politicians who care not a bit for the citizens, certainly not for those in the lower caste. The caste system, and more importantly, the general tribalism of Indians is oppressive, but these simplistic, nonsensical laws have made the situation far worse.

Of course the caste system is ugly and unjust. But it is only one of many destructive forces and problems, and it is merely symptomatic of a chronic disease that runs way deeper. As for its actual role in today’s society, it is ridiculously overstated. Although it can be a hindrance, it is no longer a decisive factor, certainly not in cities. India is wretched, miserable, and backward because the society wallows in regressive thinking, of which, as I said, the caste system is only one factor.

In the upcoming second part, we explore the similarities between India’s experience with policies that promised social change and equality and the debates we’re having in the West, as well as their wider implications for the economy and for society at large.


This article has been published in the Newsroom of pro aurum, the leading precious metals company in Europe with an independent subsidiary in Switzerland.

Claudio Grass is an independent precious metals advisory based out in Switzerland.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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What’s Happening in Kashmir Looks a Lot Like Israel’s Rule Over Palestine – LobeLog

Posted by M. C. on August 17, 2019

A repeat of Versailles. This is what happens when borders are decided by the victors (ie bloodsucking politicians) in smoke filled rooms.

India and Pakistan have had nukes on the Kasmir battlefield ready to go.

When it comes to oppression India is being coached by the best.

by Abdulla Moaswes

The last few weeks have seen a sharp escalation in tensions in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the territory’s long-standing autonomy, putting it on lockdown and plunging the region into chaos.

India has ordered all tourists and religious pilgrims to evacuate the territory, while sending in tens of thousands of armed soldiers and shutting down virtually all telecommunication networks. These soldiers join an occupying force estimated to number within the hundreds of thousands in what is already considered the most militarized place on earth.

India’s oppression of Kashmiris, however, cannot be seen in a vacuum. Over the past decades, the country’s growing ties with Israel have created a situation in which the the oppression of Kashmir is linked to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

The Indian occupation of Kashmir and the establishment of Israel in 1948, which resulted in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, began only months apart from one another. In July 1949, two years after India and Pakistan declared independence from British rule, the two countries signed an agreement to establish a ceasefire line, dividing the Kashmir region between them. Indian rule in the territory has led to decades of unrest.

Although the Indian presence in Kashmir never amounted to settler colonialism like in the Palestinian case, where a large proportion of the existing population of the region was expelled and replaced by a settler population, India has maintained a heavy military presence in the area and has acted as a police state vis-à-vis Kashmiri civilians and politicians.

Kashmiri solidarity with the Palestinians can be traced as far back as the 1950s and 60s, when the Kashmir liberation movement sought to align itself with other anti-imperialist struggles abroad. It was also during this period when India first established relations with Israel. Although then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru publicly championed the Palestinian cause, he permitted the opening of an Israeli consulate in Mumbai in 1953. The consulate gathered information on India’s Evacuee Property Laws, which served as a model for Israel’s Absentee Property Law, a legal instrument that allowed the state to expropriate land belonging to Palestinian refugees.

The late stages of the Cold War saw a dramatic improvement in Indian-Israeli relations. In 1992, under the premiership of Narasimha Rao, a member of the Indian National Congress, India and Israel established normal relations, with India opening an embassy in Tel Aviv in January. Two main factors explain this development, both of which are related to the outbreak of the First Intifada against Israel’s occupation as well as armed insurrection in Kashmir against Indian rule in the late 1980s.

The first reason stems from the decline of the Soviet Union, which forced India to search for a new supplier of arms and military technology. Israel, whose flagging economy at the time necessitated entering new markets, represented an ideal partner.

The second reason is based on the convergence of the logic that Israel and India employed in suppressing popular resistance in the occupied territories and armed insurrection in Kashmir, respectively, highlighting issues of security, counterterrorism and the threat of Islamic extremism. In 1992, then Indian Defense Minister Sharad Pawar admitted to Indian-Israeli cooperation on issues of counterterrorism, including exchanging information on so-called terrorist groups, national doctrines, and operational experience – in other words, strategies, methods, and tactics of occupation and domination. This lead to a shift in India’s position on Palestine, which began mirroring Israel’s insistence that Kashmir was primarily a matter of Indian domestic concern…

As things move forward, it is increasingly clear that the colonial processes in Kashmir and Palestine will become further interdependent on one another. What Israel does in Palestine is likely to happen in Kashmir, and what India does in Kashmir is likely to happen in Palestine. In aiming to dismantle Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism, it is essential to observe its global consequences, for it is highly likely that these interdependent processes will require a multilateral confrontation.

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bionic mosquito – The Cyclone

Posted by M. C. on April 11, 2019

The English have treated India just like…they treat everyone else.

The Cyclone

Everyone in Midnapore dates the famine from the day of the cyclone, October 16, 1942.

Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India during World War II, by Madhusree Mukerjee

From the beginning of British rule until the mid-twentieth century, events transpired as one would expect regarding the colony: wealth transferred from colony to the empire; rebellions against foreign rule; suppressions against local protests; closing of the local congress.

Most important for this story: India went from being reasonably self-sufficient in food and grain to a significant exporter of these, to the benefit of other parts of the Empire. Life-expectancy was increasing in Britain while decreasing in India.

Inventory in food and grain was minimized from the beginning of the war. In the face of this, the cyclone; heavy rains and wind, strong enough to lift a man. The winds went from morning until midnight; the banks of the Rupnarayan River had burst, and the ocean swept in:

Salt water covered the entire landscape. The cyclone had destroyed virtually every tree and house on the horizon.

Huts collapsed; bodies – human and animal – floated by in the flood-waters; trees uprooted. Something between ten-thousand and thirty-thousand perished. Worst of all, the receding waters left a layer of sand that crushed the rice plants; the crop – expected to be harvested that winter – was gone. A difficulty in any circumstance; the beginning of a famine when years of forced export drained all inventory and stores.

No more cereal was going to be available for upward of a year – until the next crop could be sown in the monsoon of 1943 and harvested at the end of that December.

The government (British, of course) would not allow the release of boats for rescue; cyclone relief would be withheld until the people turned over stolen guns; private charity workers were arrested for attempting to provide aid.

By January 1943, a food crisis was raging in Bengal…

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Pakistan in the Crosshairs of New US Aggression

Posted by M. C. on March 4, 2019


With events escalating quickly in Kashmir it’s incumbent to ask the most pertinent questions in geopolitics.

Why there?

And, Why Now?

Why Kashmir?

India and Pakistan are both making serious moves to slip out from underneath the US’s external control. India has openly defied the US on buying S-400 missile defense systems, keeping up its oil trade with Iran and developing the important Iranian port at Chabahar to help complete an almost private spur of the North South Transport Corridor.

Pakistan, under new Prime Minister Imran Khan is trying to square accounts with China over its massive investment for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) known as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It has also been at the forefront of multiple rounds of talks spurred by the Russians and Iranians to forge some kind of peace in Afghanistan.

And the Trump administration cut off US aid to Pakistan for not being sufficiently helpful in the fight against terrorism. This opened up a war of words between Trump and Khan who reminded Trump that the little bit of money the US sent Pakistan nothing compared to the losses both economic and personal.

If there was ever the possibility of peace breaking out between India and Pakistan it would be in the context of stitching the two countries together through China’s regional plans as well as solving the thorny problem of continued US and NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

Anything that can be done to flare up tensions between these two adversaries then serves the US’s goals of sowing chaos and division to keep the things from progressing smoothly. Khan was elected to, in effect, drain the Pakistani Swamp. His, like Trump’s, is a tall order.

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Israel is playing a big role in India’s escalating conflict with Pakistan | The Independent

Posted by M. C. on March 2, 2019

Israel itself is trying to explain away its continued sales of tanks, weapons and boats to the Myanmar military dictatorship – while western nations impose sanctions on the government which has attempted to destroy its minority and largely Muslim Rohingya people.

Robert Fisk

When I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria. Airstrikes on a “terrorist camp” were the first words. A “command and control centre” destroyed, many “terrorists” killed. The military was retaliating for a “terrorist attack” on its troops, we were told.

An Islamist “jihadi” base had been eliminated. Then I heard the name Balakot and realised that it was neither in Gaza, nor in Syria – not even in Lebanon – but in Pakistan. Strange thing, that. How could anyone mix up Israel and India?

Well, don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defence in New Delhi, but there’s a reason why the usual cliche-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.

For months, Israel has been assiduously lining itself up alongside India’s nationalist BJP government in an unspoken – and politically dangerous – “anti-Islamist” coalition, an unofficial, unacknowledged alliance, while India itself has now become the largest weapons market for the Israeli arms trade.

Not by chance, therefore, has the Indian press just trumpeted the fact that Israeli-made Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” were used by the Indian air force in its strike against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) “terrorists” inside Pakistan.

Like many Israeli boasts of hitting similar targets, the Indian adventure into Pakistan might owe more to the imagination than military success. The “300-400 terrorists” supposedly eliminated by the Israeli-manufactured and Israeli-supplied GPS-guided bombs may turn out to be little more than rocks and trees.

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MoA – Tit-For-Tat Bombing By India And Pakistan Could Escalate Towards A Nuclear War

Posted by M. C. on February 28, 2019

We spend our time in Pakistan doing Israel and Saudi Arabia’s dirty work. Taliban has been turned from a local faction into a national power. Yet we ignore possible nuclear holocaust.

Pakistan and India have gotten to the point in the past where nuclear weapons have been brought to the battle field.

Pentagram/neocon/warparty foreign policy…or lack of.

A possible bright side is we could be selling both sides weapons.

Two nuclear powers are currently engaged in a tit for tat military exchange that could easily escalate into a nuclear war.

On February 14 a suicide car bomb hit a police convoy in Pulwama in the Indian controlled part of Kashmir. The suicide bomber was a local man. The Pakistan based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility and uploaded a video of the attacker.

General elections in India are due in May and the Hindu-fascist Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is under pressure. The incident in Kashmir led to violence of Modi followers against Kashmiri people. Pakistan denied any involvement in the incident and called for a joint investigation.

After the suicide attack Modi immediately threatened to retaliate against Pakistan. He did so yesterday. In an elaborate operation Indian fighter jets released stand-off weapons, purchased from Israel, against an alleged JeM training camp near Balakot. India made explicit that it hit a “non-military” target.

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India strikes inside Pakistan after deadly Kashmir attack

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2019

These are both nuclear powers that have in the past brought nuclear weapons onto the battlefield.

AP reporters are apparently unaware, or did not think this was important.

BALAKOT, Pakistan (AP) — A pre-dawn airstrike inside Pakistan that India said targeted a terrorist training camp and killed a “very large number” of militants ratcheted up tensions on Tuesday between the two nuclear-armed rivals at odds over the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Islamabad said there were no casualties in the strike near the town of Balakot, close to the border with Pakistan’s section of Kashmir, where residents said loud explosions woke them up, rattling their homes.

“It was the middle of the night, we were very scared,” one resident, 20-year old Mohammad Abbas to The Associated Press. “We didn’t think for a moment that it was from planes but the explosions were very powerful.”…

Kashmir is split between the two countries but claimed by each in its entirety. The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the bombing. The bomber, who made a video before the attack, was a resident of Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir.

Pakistan’s military spokesman, Maj. Gen Asif Ghafoor, said Indian planes crossed into the Muzafarabad sector of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. He said Pakistan scrambled fighters and the Indian jets “released payload in haste” near Balakot.

India’s foreign secretary, Vijay Gokhale, told reporters in New Delhi that Indian fighter jets targeted Jaish-e-Mohammad camps in a pre-emptive strike after intelligence indicated another attack was being planned.

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Are We on the Brink of World War III? — Charisma News




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