Globalisation Versus Tribal Nationalism.


According to WHO, globalisation can be defined as “the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples and countries. It is generally understood to include two inter-related elements: the opening of international borders to increasingly fast flows of goods, services, finance, people and ideas; and the changes in institutions and policies at national and international levels that facilitate or promote such flows.”

I am all for this provided, the spirit of the policy is implemented without any reservation but, in practise, that has not been the case as the next choice comes into play.


“Tribal nationalism more popularly called right-wing populism is a response to worries about immigration and national identity, coupled with genuine social injustices including economic hardship and unemployment.”

I live in India.  We have gone through a partition of the country that divided us into two and now that has become three with some elements of the division still troubling us.  Unlike the post world war II Europe, where full exchange of ethnic minorities took place, we did not due to what is now felt as stupidity of the then leadership of the country and we have an effective fifth column operating here.  We have a major problem of illegal migrants from our neighbouring countries encouraged by this fifth column and  some of our short term oriented politicians for vote bank politics.  There is also a sixth column which is the leftist  elite leftover from our experiments with socialism which, while on the retreat is also causing much damage to our youth.

Our Tribal Nationalism therefore is very appealing to people who are proud of our heritage and history who are unashamedly Indian and who are the cause for the despair of the English Speaking Left Intellectual Mafia as they are now called.  I have no hesitation whatsoever to confirm that I am a Tribal Nationalist who is willing to accept Globalisation which will treat us exactly as it would like us to treat it.  With respect.

I would therefore have preferred to call the title with an “And” instead of the “Versus” suggested by Shackman.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 6 On 1 blog post topic. The other five bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Healthcare – A Right Or A Privilege?

This Friday’s 2 on 1 blog post’s topic has been chosen by Shackman. I am sure that the recent spurt of anti Obama Care developments in the USA must have weighed heavily on his mind when he chose the topic. Being an Indian, I am concerned with what happens in India where we have a long way to go to extend full health care benefits and I use every platform to propagate my views which are not original but, practical any way.

Regular readers of my blog posts know that one of the credos by which I communicate is “Why reinvent the wheel?” My politics and economics is conditioned by A F Hayek. I would simply quote him from two sources to buttress my view that Health Care Is A Right that should be given to every human being.

“All modern governments have made provision for the indigent, unfortunate, and disabled and have concerned themselves with questions of health and the dissemination of knowledge. … There are common needs that can be satisfied only by collective action and which can be thus provided for without restricting individual liberty. It can hardly be denied that, as we grow richer, that minimum of sustenance which the community has always provided for those not able to look after themselves, and which can be provided outside the market, will gradually rise, or that government may, usefully and without doing any harm, assist or even lead in such endeavours. There is little reason why the government should not also play some role, or even take the initiative, in such areas as social insurance and education, or temporarily subsidise certain experimental developments.”
(The Constitution of Liberty of 1960 Pages 257 and 258.)

“There is no reason why in a society which has reached the general level of wealth which ours has attained [NW note: Hayek was writing not in prosperous post-war America, but in war-torn, austerity-ridden Britain in 1943] the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom. …. [T]here can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody. … Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individual in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision.
“Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. There are many points of detail where those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to super-cede it by something different will disagree on the details of such schemes; and it is possible under the name of social insurance to introduce measures which tend to make competition more or less ineffective. But there is no incompatability in principle between the state’s providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom.
“To the same category belongs also the increase of security through the state’s rendering assistance to the victims of such ‘acts of God’ as earthquakes and floods. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.
“There is, finally, the supremely important problem of combating general fluctuations of economic activity and the recurrent waves of large-scale unemployment which accompany them. This is, of course, one of the gravest and most pressing problems of our time. But, though its solution will require much planning in the good sense, it does not — or at least need not — require that special kind of planning which according to its advocates is to replace the market.

“Many economists hope, indeed, that the ultimate remedy may be found in the field of monetary policy, which would involve nothing incompatible even with nineteenth-century liberalism. Others, it is true, believe that real success can be expected only from the skillful timing of public works undertaken on a very large scale. This might lead to much more serious restrictions of the competitive sphere, and, in experimenting in this direction, we shall have to carefully watch our step if we are to avoid making all economic activity progressively more dependent on the direction and volume of government expenditure. But this is neither the only nor, in my opinion, the most promising way of meeting the gravest threat to economic security.

“In any case, the very necessary effort to secure protection against these fluctuations do not lead to the kind of planning which constitutes such a threat to our freedom.”
(The Road to Serfdom, Pages 148-149)

Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the subject. Thank you.

Doom And Gloom.

My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has suggested that we revisit this topic after a little over six years! It was nice going back to see the original post that I had written just as it was to read Shackman’s. We had taken completely different approaches to the topic then but, this time around, I suspect that we would be writing about our respective current political scenarios.

My take is very simple. “The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be held in 7 phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May 2019 and on the same day the results will be declared. Wikipedia”

This time around, the battle lines are not yet clearly drawn but, indications are that there will most likely be three cornered fights in most states between the current coalition party in power, the Indian National Congress which has recently showed success in three state elections and local configurations of Regional Parties.

The common factor in all the three contenders’s manifesto is the doom and gloom that they forecast if the other contenders come to power. The ruling dispensation however has shown a more positive approach by highlighting their achievements and plans for the future in a slightly more positive note.

I am personally rooting for the current dispensation and am reasonably sure that it will form the next government again. As many of my friends suggest, when discussing politics, I have skin in the game as I have bet that my forecast comes true with some of my pension money! I am likely to bet some more closer to the elections when the odds improve or deteriorate as the case may be.  I am also prepared to lose some friends of a different ideology but, am sure to gain a new acceptable government.

Another area where both Shackman and I are likely to converge when writing about the topic is to bring music in to the post and my choice is an old favourite by The Rolling Stones. Just look at the band and you can guess my age too!

And before you turn on the music, please do remember to visit Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.  Thank you.

Doom and Gloom
The Rolling Stones

I had a dream last night
That I was piloting a plane
And all the passengers were drunk and insane
I crash landed in a Louisiana swamp
Shot up a horde of zombies
But I come out on top
What’s it all about?
Guess it just reflects my mood
Sitting in the dirt
Feeling kind of hurt
When all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the light your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Lost all that treasure in an overseas war
It just goes to show you, don’t get what you paid for
Battle to the rich and you worry about the poor
Put my feet up on the couch
And lock all the doors
Hear a funky noise
That’s the tightening of the screws
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Sitting in the dirt
All I hear is doom and gloom
But when those drums go boom boom boom
And through the night your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Baby won’t you dance with me
Ah yeah
Fracking deep for oil
But there’s nothing in the sump
There’s kids all picking
Ar the garbage dumb
I’m running out of water
So I better prime the pump
I’m trying to stay sober
But I end up drunk
We’ll be eating dirt
Living on the side of the road
There’s some food for thought
Kinda makes your head explode
Feeling kind of hurt
Yeah
But all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the night your face I see
Baby come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Yeah
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Baby won’t you dance with me
Yeah
Come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m sitting in the dirt
Baby won’t you dance with me!

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Doom and Gloom lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Who Or What Is The “Big Bad” In The Current World Order??

This is a googly or, if you are an American, a curve ball of a topic suggested by Shackman for this week’s 2 on 1 Blog Post.

I am not Buffy and do not have big bads in my life except for those that I keep reading about in our news papers or WhatsApp messages. I had to think hard and long to come up with an answer and after that too, I am not fully satisfied that it is the correct answer to this question.

I would choose Vladimir Putin for two reasons. You can read all about the first reason here and the second, here.

I have given enough reading material in the two links to support my conclusion and I have nothing more to add.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the question that he has raised. I will be very surprised if he and I agree on the answer.

Is Liberalism Dead?

Let me straight away confess that this topic for today’s 2 on 1 Friday posts by Shackman and me has been inspired by a remarkable book by Rudrangshu Mukherjee, “Twilight Falls On Liberalism”. It is a concise book which one can easily finish reading in one sitting if one is not distracted by domestic chores etc. In fact, as one starts reading it, one wishes that there will be no distractions.

RM looks at the issue of liberalism from the point of view of a historian and despite being in opposite ideological camps, I found his writing interesting though I don’t agree to some of the conclusions that he comes to about India. His choice of a message on the cover of the book – “Bigotry nurtured by a political ideology has made people, as it always does, blind and intolerant” clearly places him on the Liberal side! And, by inference, since I point that out, me, on the illiberal side.

The word “Liberal” means different things to different people but, in India is used mostly by people who have studied in the English Medium stream, still heavily under what we call Macaulayism. This self called elite, derisively called the Elite Liberal Intellectual Mafia (ELIMs) by lesser mortals, live mostly in cities and have no clue about the culture and value system of the vast majority of Indians who live in semi urban and rural areas of India. These vast majority march to completely different drum beats and the so called Liberals here do not understand that rhythm or value system. They exchange their views in the English media and condemn the populace who elects others perceived to be illiberals by their standards. So, if you were to read Indian newspapers in English, you will find words like majoritarianism, nationalism, patriotism, communalism, bigotry etc which mean different things to the English speaking minuscule minority and different and positive emotions for the vast majority of Indians.

John Stuart Mill put it well: “It is hardly possible to overrate the value … of placing human beings in contact with persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been, and is peculiarly in the present age, one of the primary sources of progress.” The problem with the Liberals of today is that they think that all the others who do not think like themselves are illiberal and are not worth the bother.  The others on the other hand, are not even aware of the existence of the so called liberal thought and how it tries to become the deep state.

It is this dichotomy that Rudrangshu Mukherjee has sensed and used to juxtapose to a global trend and comes to the conclusion that Liberalism is in its twilight days. I agree entirely with him on his conclusion but, am disappointed that he has not suggested a liberal solution to what he considers to be the problem.  I wish that I  could but, accept that I cannot and just be happy that I understand why Liberalism is in its twilight years and leave it at that.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same subject. I am willing to bet that he will be, for one of those rare occasions, on a very different wave length than mine.

NOTA.

It is the silly season in India. A crucial election is to take place in the next three days and there has been hectic canvassing, forecasting, hoping and what not besides the usual exchange of ideas between persons either of the same persuasion or from opposite camps.

One of my friends of the same ideology,  and I were discussing the probabilities when he came up with a great insight. He said that some people will vote for NOTA and this would enable some candidates to win as these votes would swing against their candidates as they would not have got them anyway. NOTA stands for None Of The Above.  This is an option that our ballot papers have to express our disgust with the candidates!

While explaining he mentioned some names of our mutual friends who are not for the main contestant but who are not for the opposition either. In other words they are simply against everything! Totally negative about everything!  They are not FOR anything.  They don’t have solutions for the problems that they keep highlighting.

On reflection I found great insight in this statement and assessment from my friend and I set about listing all the names that I could think of who are like that. I was surprised that there were so many among my friends who are like that.

My relationships with them have been cordial but I wonder if I should continue being friends with them! What do you think?