The pretensions to knowledge and objectivity that leave me appalled every single day are the editorials, whether in the business dailies or the rest.
Today, these are all talking about something completely fictional in socialist-democratic India called an "opposition." The fact that the "Laloo Yadav of West Bengal" - a former Rail Mantri whose party still runs this "second largest employer in the world" - has quit the ruling coalition does not signify any "opposition on political principles," nor is it democratic in the precise "parliamentary" sense.
All these long years, the decision to disallow foreigners from investing in supermarkets was never "debated" within the House of Horrors.
And the sudden decision to allow them has been purely "administrative," bypassing the same House.
Now, all these "political parties devoid of ideology" who are only "loyal to leaders" are "going to the people" - which means taking to the streets, not that there are too many streets to take, anyway.
I also read a peculiar stand taken by one of the younger Thackerays - that he wants foreign supermarkets to open in Mumbai, but "outsiders" will not be allowed to work for them. In which case, costs of labour will rise - and Marathi consumers will suffer. PRINCIPLES!
Let me repeat why this form of INTERVENTIONISM will also not work for the "greater common good," as with all the rest:
1. The poorest are not the small shopkeepers; rather, they are those who work for these shopkeepers, their EMPLOYEES. With big supermarkets coming in, these very same people will find employment opportunities in which huge amounts of foreign capital will be employed alongside their labour, thereby raising their wages. "Labour, Love Thy Capital," as I once wrote.
2. The "distributional chain" from factory to shop, which performs the function of "breaking down bulk," is much longer in poor countries, where people buy in very small quantities. For example, cigarettes are sold loose, in ones and twos, throughout India. Thus, small shopkeepers will happily survive even with these supermarkets coming in - and you have only to visit London to know this to be a fact, for almost every single "corner shop" here has been cornered by an Indian or a Pakistani, and there is even a very popular Asian band there called Cornershop.
3. The fundamental PRINCIPLE we need to resolve as a people is whether we want to be SOVEREIGN AS BUYERS AND SELLERS - or whether, in this most vital area, we need "political representation."
Which brings me to the "pretension of representation" - and start with prime minister Manmohan Singh, there for a decade without ever winning a popular election.Who does HE "represent"?
Let's proceed further, looking at a host of other such pretensions of representation:
Exhibit A: An excellent statistical survey of many "VIP constituencies" published in Mint that shows quite clearly that all of these, without exception, are in far worse condition than Sub-Saharan Africa. They are even far below the All-India average.
Exhibit B: The very old "Representation of Scheduled Castes and Tribes" - beginning with Jagjivan Ram, proceeding to his daughter, a former "diplomat" now Speaker of the House, Meira Kumar, and now Mayawati.
These have all pretended to represent the "lower castes" - and I am very proud of the fact that my very old column "Caste in the Market Economy" is right up there on Ambedkar.org.
As far as the "tribes" are concerned, those of the North-East are all "rockers" - particularly in Shillong, and I do believe PA Sangma's claim to be a "leader of tribals" does not do justice to his own people. Rather, it demeans them.
Anyway, as far as tribal folk in the jungles of Central India are concerned - the rockers of Shillong and the English-speaking North-East show them the way forward. All the great "nations" of Western Europe started off as tribes: Angles, Saxons, Franks, Norsemen, et. al.
Exhibit C: The most vicious pretension of them all - the "representation of workers." It has begin with the unjust use of force, and multiplied the same. The poorest workers have been hurt - those out of the trade union "combination." Workers have suffered hugely as consumers, of course. And since all this interventionism has only served to increase unemployment, because it lowers the demand for workers, welfare doles with "funny money" have been required, which are nothing but "cheating the workers" as SAVERS.
Even worse, instead of "equality," what has actually resulted is UNIVERSAL SUBORDINATION - "hierarchies" in the party, in bureaucracy, and in unions as well. This includes their "student unions."
Exhibit D: Representation of shareholders. Corporatism in the present central banking scenario, where all these "corporate honchos" keep on demanding "cheap credit" has made them all prefer debt to equity, and these honchos are more beholden to the BANKSTERS than to any shareholder. The mutual fund industry is in trouble these days, for this very reason.
Exhibit E: Representation of SAVERS - by the Reserve Bank of India and all the State-owned banks. The Consumer Price Index today reports inflation to be above 10 per cent on average, but if you look at the details, many of the commodities included therein are facing price increases of higher than 20 per cent. Incidentally, I found that the very socialist capital-consuming "capital gains tax" is applicable to physical gold held privately!
Exhibit F: State-run Pension Funds and Life Insurance under such inflationary conditions - and "insurance regulation."
Exhibit G: Representation of Religion - and the BJP's very Gandhian slogan of "Ram Rajya" while the tallest statue opposite the ghats at Haridwar are of the Lord Shiva. I have never seen any "Ram Temple" anywhere in India, actually. In both Haridwar and Rishikesh, sadhus have complained to me about how they are unable to find the Holy Herb so beloved to their Lord Shiva. Meanwhile, Atal Behari Vajpayee lives in splendid retirement in MANALI - eating applles, I presume, which is why prefer to I call myself a RASTAFARIAN.
Exhibit H: The cops, the armed forces - and what true "collective security" is all about. We are actually DYING ON THE UNSAFE STREETS - in droves.
Exhibit I: DIPLOMATS - theirs and ours, at the WTO, the UN, and in India and Pakistan, all "permanent bureaucracies" enagaged in "political diplomacy" that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the "trade diplomacy" of old, and which is the ROOT CAUSE of NATIONAL SOCIALISM WORLDWIDE.
Exhibit J: What about being represented by socialist lawyers before socialist judges in their monopolistic courts system? Do read "An Illiterate Bar" and also "A 'Patriotic' Supreme Court."
So, does ANYONE want to be "represented" anymore?
As I explained the other day, instead of constitutionalism, we need to think of LIBERTIES - to defend ourselves and what is our own, to homestead properties, and proceed from there to a "private law society" based on Property, Contracts, and Torts. JUSTICE!
Savings are all "private capital accumulation" then, hence PRIVATE PROPERTY, to be either invested in speculative ventures or saved in free, competing private banks under the very same private laws of Property and Contract.
Note: All such actions are "speculative" in nature, the future being uncertain. For example: some may prefer to park their savings in antiques, or art, or land - instead of banks.
This is a world of FREE INDIVIDUALISM.
Where each is the Architect of his Own Fortune.
Where each is responsible for his own HEALTH as well - for which purpose, I strongly feel, urban cleanliness is what is required. Not "environmental standards" for automobiles. Nor any "National Healthcare Plan." Personal health is a personal responsibility and choice - and not an "entitlement" from others who are both healthy as well as productive, via the State and its TAX COLLECTORS (and debt monetisers).
A world of PRIVATE ECONOMIES.
So, who do these HYPOCRITES actually "represent"?
In one word: TYRANNY.
In one more: UNLAW.
The really UGLY VOTE MOTIVE.
Deliberate gross errors in Theory as well as History.
So, I remain extremely proud for having opposed their "compulsory education" so long ago. ALONE!
So, let us not think in terms as outlandish as "the world's largest democracy" or the "world's longest constitution" and all that. Who does Manmohan "represent" anyway? Look at Exhibit A above as well.
Let us, instead, think "small is beautiful" in politics - in "body politic" terms, to be more precise - like the "One Square Mile of Liberty" that is the Olde City of London.
History is all about REPUBLICANISM. From ancient Greece to modern Geneva. This is precisely where the USSA went wrong - as Mount Rushmore proclaims ever so loudly.
Yes, it must be a world without politicians, without bureaucrats, without taxes, without wars - a NATURAL ORDER.
The opening essay in Frederic Bastiat's Economic Harmonies is titled "Natural Order versus Artificial Order."
I disagree with the second part of this title - for what is actually visible is the HIGHEST DEGREE OF DISORDER.
So, here is MY VERSION of the opening lines of Walt Whitman's great book of verse: