Tuesday 28 February 2023

Radhakrishnan on Kant vs. Krishna

Kant is agnostic on the question of whether we are free. He merely pointed out that though all our actions may appear determinate, still, in some transcendent sense, nothing is an action or no compulsion is.

 This is the opposite to what we currently think. Appearances are just appearances. You could pretend that they appear to contain loads and loads of paranoid information such that the whole is non-dissipative. But, why bother? All that matters is that what appears to us to be the case is a good enough appearance for us to get on with what we need to do. It might be entertaining, or useful, to change how things seem and that is certainly something we might spend money on- either beavering away in the Laboratory or getting blotto at the Student Union bar. 

I suppose one could say that there is a specific type of appearance which has 'naturality'- i.e. it is the canonical, non arbitrary, solution to the question of what 'appearance' we would all accept if we were rational enough. But this 'naturality' needn't be causally complete. Indeed, if it is, the question would arise as to why everybody doesn't receive the same 'appearance' or why everybody isn't equally 'rational'. This is like saying that a bunch of 'first order' interactions which, by Yoneda lemma, capture everything about the 'natural' appearance, can't include a 'second order' or impredicative element. There can't be 'unrestricted comprehension' here because of Russel's paradox. 

Kant's exiling 'freedom' to some unknowable 'transcendent' realm is a bit like the Brits, who founded the Indian National Congress, telling the 'natives' that they were being led to freedom, or already had leaders who were actually aiming at freedom while giving every indication of being a costly nuisance, but that Demesne or Dominion of Freedom would be entered not now, never now. At any rate, this is what Radhakrishnan might well have thought. He wrote-

Kant holds that man is both determined and free; determined, with regard to his relations as a member of the phenomenal realm, and free, with regard to his relations as a member of the noumenal realm. The same act is determined when regarded as belonging to the em- pirical series, and free when we consider it due to the underlying cause, the noumenon. Freedom, therefore, is vested in man, the noumenon; the cause is noumenal, the effect phenomenal. The empirical series of antecedents and consequents is but the phenomenon of the noumenal self.

This is the opposite of what Lord Krishna says in the Gita. Arjuna is free. He can do what he likes. It turns out that what Arjuna wants is the full blown gnosis of Theistic Devotion without change in conatus- i.e. his carrying on as before. 

What shall we say by way of a relative estimate of the two theories?

Krishna is for common sense and freedom and being happy and getting on with your life. Kant is a deeply boring German civil servant who thinks some despot might be enlightened and thus a tedious type of slavery is actually transcendental freedom. 

For Radhakrishnan, Tagore- who rejected British style Higher Education- and Gandhi- who rejected the Law Courts and Legislative Assemblies- were exercising freedom and making choices which made them happy. Both may have been somewhat silly but those who chose to follow them probably enjoyed themselves and did less harm than might otherwise have been the case.  

What have the two systems in common? To the question of determinism or freedom, both systems reply, determinism and freedom; but the similarity ends there.

Not really. The Bhagvad Gita is restricted to the agent who doesn't want to be a principal. Indeed, Arjuna's own 'nature' inclines him to adore the Lord of Yoga. Moreover, because he was a great warrior who received boons from Gods and Gandharvas, the Gita's theophany was multiply realizable for him. The Comedy here is that you get a maximally happy ending though some apparently stupid philosophy gets talked. But if you look at the 'dhvani' of the Scriptural references in what Devakiputra says, we see that this is just exceedingly good poetry, that is all.  

On ultimate analysis, we find that Kant offers us only the semblance of freedom 'and not the reality of it.

Germans truly were as stupid as shit. Kant, Hegel, Marx... there was literally nothing good or desirable that Teutonic pedants couldn't shit on.  Look at what the cunts had done to the Vedas!

It must be said that there is a redemptive pathos to Kant- who had access to a pretty decent theistic Religion but who was obliged to shit higher than his arsehole coz he was a 'beamter' Civil Service pedagogue. What I mean is, this was a man who, lacking any means to certitude, nevertheless knew he was fucked. Consider the following-

There is no freedom, but everything in the world takes place entirely according to nature

In which case, nature must be free. Otherwise everything takes place according to whoever controls nature. Anyway, what's wrong with seeing ourselves as part of nature?  

Transcendental freedom is therefore opposed to the law of causality,

in which case there can be no 'therefore' about it.  

and represents such a connection of successive states of effective causes, that no unity of experience is possible with it. It is therefore an empty fiction of the mind,

like the 'mind' 

and not to be met with in any experience.

except in experience which is itself and doesn't have to meet it or avoid it or buy it a birthday present. 

We have, therefore, nothing but nature,

as opposed to what? Fantasy?  

in which we must try to find the connection and order of cosmical events.

Nobody is forcing us to do stupid shit of this sort. Comical events may need a certain amount of stage-management. Cosmic events either don't matter to us or have a way of forcing us to acknowledge their 'connection and order' if we want to survive as a species.  

Freedom (independence) from the laws of nature is

Magic or having Supernatural powers coz you were bitten by a radioactive spider.  

no doubt a deliverance from restraint, but also from the guidance of all rules.

A German who is released from subservience to the law of gravity would float around shitting on the heads of his colleagues. Kant's categorical imperative was designed to avert this outcome.  

For we cannot say that, instead of the laws of nature, laws of freedom may enter into the causality of the course of the world,

why not? There must be 'lawless' choice-sequences or else choice sequences whose law can never be known. In any case, the number of 'independent' variables determines the 'degrees of freedom'. In that sense freedom and independence are linked in the various phenomena we observe and about which we must make decisions.  

because, if determined by laws, it would not be freedom, but nothing else but nature.

But nature can have degrees of freedom determined by the number of independent variables whose interaction describe it. 

Nature, therefore, and transcendental freedom differ from each other like legality and lawlessness.

But legality only exists if lawlessness is undesirable. In practice, Justice is a service industry and resource availability determines its demand and supply. Justiciability may wax and wane depending on whether lawless 'spontaneous orders' are desirable to those with the means- i.e. a 'Stationary Bandit'- to replace them with 'legality'.

The former, no doubt, imposes upon the understanding the difficult task of looking higher and higher for the origin of events in the series of causes,

It's God- right? What's so fucking difficult about saying that?  

because their causality is always conditioned.

Only stochastically. But we live under Knightian Uncertainty.  

In return for this, however, it promises a complete and well-ordered unity of experience;

so does stupidity. 

while, on the other side, the fiction of freedom promises, no doubt, to the enquiring mind, rest in the chain of causes, leading him up to an unconditioned causality, which begins to act by itself, but which, as it is blind itself, tears the thread of rules by which alone a complete and coherent experience is possible.”

This is like Krishna's theophany in the Gita. But threads easily mend themselves.  We have a 'peak experience'. We are exhilarated. Then we go to sleep and wake to a new day of work and habit and familiar, affectionate, relationships. What's so wrong with that? 

Radhakrishnan could have joined the Audit and Accounts Service or become an Actuary or gone to work for a Chettiar business house. Plenty of his peers were administrators or accountants of one sort or another. In any case, like Einstein and his chums, smart kids at College in India were reading Karl Pearson. Gokhale was a Professor of Math and the Servants of India were like a Jesuit order dedicated to collating useful statistics. My point is, that Radhakrishnan's reception of Kant wasn't very different from our own. Since he was concerned with both Freedom and Independence, he appreciated people as different as Tagore and Gandhi and Nehru and a host of others. But, more importantly, he appreciated himself and did well for himself while copiously shitting on Christianity. What more can we ask for from an immanent God? Or, since Gods die the lives of mortals and mortals live the deaths of gods, why not admit a transcendent incarnation must be either impassible or, in the bowels of Christ, wherever any two are gathered, God is the turd? 

Monday 27 February 2023

Why Pakistan was created.

Why was Pakistan created? 

One answer is that Muslim business magnates like Sir Abdullah Haroon and the Ispahanis wanted a separate Pakistan free of competition from non-Muslim business houses. Jinnah, who had warned that Islamic inheritance law was handicapping Muslim enterprises, was the ideal leader for such a country. 

Another answer- one that Hindus should accept- is that Congress was utterly shit. Its leader was a crackpot who believed that the country's Defense policy should be immediate surrender to any and everybody. Its economic policy should be spinning cotton by hand. Its education policy should be 'Nai Talim' which consisted of teaching kids to spin cotton. Sadly, the thread they produced was unusable. They had been taught to destroy value, not create it. 

Nehru, it is true, was not a crackpot. But he had zero organizational or administrative ability. His 'mass contact' program to reach out to Muslims had failed completely. If anything, it had worsened Shia Sunni relations in Nehru's own state. The man was a fool though, at least, not an open Hindu chauvinist. Still, he thought Stalin's horrible regime was a model worth emulating. But Stalin burned Qurans. Out of the 26,000 mosques in Central Asia he closed all but a thousand. 

Given that both the Congress of the Hindus and the Communist party of the intellectuals were equally shitty, it made sense for Muslims to go their own way in places where they were the majority. Minority Muslims, sadly, would have to rise up through hard work, piety and enterprise. 

However, the two answers given above were not the reason that Dr. S.A Latif, of Hyderabad, mentioned in his book 'The Muslim Problem in India' which suggested that Muslims were just as stupid as Hindus and this was the real problem in India. 

To add to the misfortune of Muslims, the new rulers (i.e. Congress in the Hindu majority Provinces) are really new to the difficult and delicate art of government. Never in their past history were the Hindus called upon to rule over non-Hindus such as Muslims on any large scale. In the declining days of the Mogul Empire, no doubt, a few enterprising individuals from amongst them carved out of the country a number of Hindu principalities. But then their rule in such areas was the rule of rebels enjoying no stability, and before they could build up any traditions of a just rule, they fell under the enervating influence of the British power and direction, and lost all initiative.

This cretin didn't get that he was describing the Nizam and the Nawabs of Bhopal, Rampur etc. The plain fact is that Muslim rulers never learned how to rule over anybody including their own patricidal sons. The Europeans had cohesive Royal families where the younger son supported the elder son's claim to the throne. Europeans might do ethnic cleansing or slaughter 'heretics' on an industrial scale, but they were cohesive and could, on occasion, pursue sensible policies from decade to decade and generation to generation.  

But the bulk of Hindus remained what they were for ages — a subject people.

Like the Muslims- everywhere except Turkey, which was under Ataturk at that time and hence aggressively pursuing an anti-Islamist policy. It had got rid of the Arabic script and adopted the la-deen Latin script.  

And to them is the opportunity given now to control the destinies of the great masses of this sub-continent, not less than 90 millions of whom belong to the martial races of Muslims

who were so martial that they ran the fuck away from General Dyer in the third Afghan War. 

who had ruled over them for centuries. And as has happened so often in history in such cases, the new rulers having no hereditary aptitude for governance have not been able to resist the lure of power, and have therefore developed an urge to put down their erstwhile masters and to force their own culture upon them.

Muslims never gained the knack of ruling over non-Muslims- save in stable monarchies whose Sheikhs enjoyed being very very rich.  The bigger question was whether Muslim polities could transition to civil, mercantile, societies where confessional faith was no bar to equal treatment. Sadly, in South Asia, the answer seems to be no. 

That is the impression which the Muslims in India have received on their minds from what has happened during the last two years in all those provinces which have come under the control of the Hindu majority.

No Province came under the control of the Muslim League because it was shit. 

The Muslim leader, Mr. M. A. Jinnah, than whom no greater patriot lives in the country, has tried to impress upon the leaders of the majority community, that the way they were going was not the way of unity and that it would create endless civil strife and put off indefinitely India's attainment of freedom.

Provincial autonomy had been achieved. Jinnah was not alone in holding up the creation of a Federal Government. The Princes controlled one third of India territory and were in no hurry to slit their own throats.  

But his voice has gone unheeded. He has told them that if a new constitution is to lead the people of India to freedom, that freedom should be for every cultural unit and not for the majority community only.

Which is why Kaffirs should stop being the majority if they are too inconsiderate not to simply fuck off and die already.  

But the Hindu leaders flushed with their new power are not in a mood to come to terms with him on the basis of equality.

Jinnah got less than half the Muslim seats. He wasn't equal to shit.  

Mr. Jinnah has asked for nothing but fair treatment.

It was only fair to treat him as a loser because he had lost. On the other hand, he won the 1946 election hands down. But that was because Congress had shown it was utterly crap during the war.  

His one desire is to have for the country a constitution under which no single community, Muslim or Hindu, should gain an upper hand over the other.

What he got was a country which was a shithole which Hindus would realize they had been lucky to flee.  

The high-command of the Congress, which is essentially Hindu in composition and organisation, would agree to no such proposition. It insists that the voice of the majority, of whatever sort it might be, should prevail in the administration of the country and points out in its support what happens under certain democratic constitutions, by conveniently ignoring the peculiar circumstances of India.

The peculiar circumstance of India was that the Muslims lost by bigoted intransigence everything they had gained by anti-Imperialistic patriotism.

So these people, living a most undemocratic social life, demand democratic institutions, only to exploit them for swamping the whole country with their undemocratic Hindu culture!

Pakistan never got 'democratic institutions'. The problem with 'martial races' is that they end up being ruled by their own Army. Latif, the author of the above, remained in Hyderabad. Undemocratic Hindu culture didn't slit his throat. He didn't live to see the rise of Owaisi who, to his credit, regularly tells the Pakistanis to go fuck themselves. I suppose the Pakistanis could equally well respond that it was Muslims from the wrong side of the border who turned up to fuck their country over. Still, if the Hindus hadn't fallen for the toothless charms of the maha-crackpot, perhaps there was a better way forward. 


Sunday 26 February 2023

Pranab Bardhani's moronic 'New India'.

Pranab Bardhan writing for the oxymoronic 'New Left Review' writes of some soi disant 'the 'New' India' by recycling false and foolish tropes which are almost as old as I am. 

The preamble to the Constitution of India affirms the solemn resolve of its people to found a ‘socialist, secular, democratic republic’.

Mrs/ Gandhi, suspended the Constitution and jailed her opponents. She rammed through this amendment so as to send a clear signal- India would be dynastic. Previously, Hindus wanted democracy so that different leaders from different castes and regions of India could take turns holding power. Mrs. Gandhi reverted to the Dynastic, Imperial, model where her family would remain in power in saecula saeculorum- i.e. for ever and ever.  

 Today, on the 75th anniversary of the country’s Independence, it is plainly neither socialist nor secular—nor, one could well argue, democratic.

Nonsense! Only in a democracy can a 'chai-wallah' become PM. We don't know who will replace him but can be sure it won't be his son or daughter or nephew or niece. As for 'Socialism', Hindus don't want it. India is a Hindu country. The Muslims split off and there is are secessionist movements wherever Hindus are not in the majority. Hindutva or Ram Rajya is fine. Anything foreign isn't- unless it actually makes the country richer or more secure.

Indeed, contrary to journalistic wisdom, India has never been ‘socialist’, unless one confuses the term with statism.

And confuses 'statism' with the rule, or misrule, of a corrupt, incompetent, Dynasty. Bardhan comes from a state which was ruled by Communists till about a dozen years ago. Now the Left has disappeared. Mamta rules and after her, her nephew will rule. This isn't 'statism'. It is 'thugocracy'. 

The concept of secularism is contested,

It is meaningless.  

but if we use the political theorist Rajeev Bhargava’s thoughtful interpretation of it as entailing a ‘principled distance’ between religion and the state,

then it has never obtained. Worship of a dynasty is itself a Religion- a hypocritical one. Did you know that to be a member of the Congress, you must spin and wear khaddar? The thing is a cult founded by a Mahacrackpot who anointed Nehru as Prime Minister. Congress remains the personal property of Nehru's heir by primogeniture. His other great-grandson is with the BJP- for the moment. His cousin won't let him back into Congress because he says Varun has not kept faith with the family ideology. This is hilarious because Rahul's maternal grandfather was an actual Italian Fascist who volunteered to go fight the Commies in Russia. 

then it certainly does not exist in India any more,

Because Hindus have realized that Socialism is stupid shite.  So has everybody else.

going by the practice and utterings of its current leaders.

Its previous leader wore a turban. Why? It was because he was a religious Sikh. His wife sang kirtans.  

 India’s democratic institutions have been on the decline for decades,

No democratic country is ruled by a dynasty.  

but this has accelerated so much in the last few years that Sweden’s V-Dem Institute

which does not contain a single person knowledgeable about India.  

has authoritatively described it as an electoral autocracy.

It was a dynastic autocracy. It is now a democratic country. Modi won't get re-elected in 2024 if a better candidate is offered by the opposition. But this means the cretin Rahul must exit politics.  

In a negative sense this helps to define some key aspects of the ‘new’ India.

Says a senile nutter.  

1. obstacles

Since many may find this diagnosis rather grim, let me state right away that India has unquestionably made tremendous strides since

the loosening of the grip of the dynasty- assassination tempers autocracy, right? 

Independence in income, life expectancy, literacy, transport, road networks, communications and other aspects of economic integration; there is no doubting the vibrancy of private entrepreneurship and technological advance—notably the digitalization of the national identification and payment systems—or the general social awakening and upward trends in other socio-economic indicators.

India had a better administrative and political structure and, aside from the blot of dynasticism and the Fata Morgana of Socialism, has built on those strengths. The fact is Hindus genuinely want democracy and so that is what they have got. Islam has an alternative type of leader- a 'Ghazi' or war hero who will defeat the 'Crusaders' and 'Kaffirs'. However, it must be said, there are some very successful and smart Islamic Monarchs and Emirs.  

The disappointments are mostly with regard to India’s unrealized potential, all the more striking in comparison to some other developing countries. By conventional measures, economic performance was notably buoyant in the early 2000s. Although the 2010s were largely disappointing, growth fundamentals are still potentially strong: the majority of the population is relatively young, there is a vigorous entrepreneurial spirit in all corners of the economy and there has been a remarkably fast spread of connectivity through roads, mobile phones and digital technology.

Entrepreneurial spirit is a good thing but surely the Left is against it? The other point is that a lot of the infrastructure building has been done by entrepreneurs like Adani.  

But major structural and institutional problems are blocking the full realization of these growth fundamentals. Focusing on long-term issues, rather than the immediate overwhelming problems caused by the pandemic,

which, with hindsight, we realize should have been allowed to sweep through the population till herd immunity was reached 

for example, we could single out the following.

Infrastructure. The Indian economy has suffered from a substantial infrastructural deficit—railways, roads, power, irrigation, ports, airports; now broadband connectivity, etc—for many decades.

Because the dynasty killed off the managing agency system, subordinated the indigenous industrialists to a license permit Raj, and profited from massive corruption involving f.d.i- e.g Quatrocchi taking a big cut on every new fertilizer plant. By the mid-eighties, it was a question of, as Zail Singh wryly observed, 'andar Italian, bahar battalion'. Inside the Prime Minister's residence was the Italian Quatrocchi looting India, while outside the residence was a battalion of armed guards to keep the half Italian dynasty safe. 

There have been creeping improvements but nowhere near what is needed for a sturdy growth process in the economy as a whole, and nothing compared to China’s dazzling achievements in this field.

Because India didn't shoot the 'activists' who prevented World Bank funded infrastructural Development back in the Nineties. This also meant that the initiative passed to Ambanis, Adanis etc. 

Logistics problems and creaking infrastructure keep Indian goods uncompetitive in world markets. Public budgets have long been so laden with subsidies, salaries and debt servicing

i.e. transfers which get in the way of other transfers which can buy more votes 

that relatively little is left for investment in infrastructure.

but the voter expects such infrastructure projects to be looted and thus rendered negative value adding. V.S Naipaul described this before I was born. Come to think of it, so did Kipling in 'the bridge builders'. The plain fact is that voters don't want Public Education, Health or Infrastructure because experience tells them they will be shitty White Elephants. 

Modi showed this needn't be the case. That is why he will get re-elected in 2024.  

 Most tellingly, the central government’s fiscal deficit is overwhelmingly a revenue deficit (some 70 per cent), another indicator of its shrunk capacity for public investment.

Nirmala says she will halve that in the current financial year. We are skeptical because the election cycle doesn't work that way. 

For a time, this deficiency of public funds for infrastructure was supplemented by public-private partnerships (ppps). But, as elsewhere, these were often saddled with problems of mismanagement, high debt-equity ratios, regulatory capture, opportunistic renegotiation, non-transparent regulations, corruption and cronyism, leaving a mountain of bad loans on the books of public banks, often underwritten by an unholy nexus between defaulters, bankers and politicians. Yet ppps are still very important for India’s roads and ports, and the private sector now owns almost all the country’s renewable-energy capacity and about 40 per cent of its thermal power, although the financing depends more on the banks than on the capital markets.

India's economists proved useless in fighting back against the 'activists' who, Edwin Lim of the World Bank tells us, prevented Development back in the Nineties. It was politicians- most prominently Chimanbhai Patel- who led the backlash against Medha Patkar. Still, it is only now that she can be labeled an 'urban Naxal'. Indeed, she has become radio-active. The BJP tried to smear Kejriwal by suggesting she was his CM pick for Gujarat!  

Education and vocational training. Although secondary education is a minimum qualification for many good non-farm jobs, the children from poor families overwhelmingly drop out before entering or completing secondary school, on account of economic and—particularly in the case of girls—social compulsions

Bardhan won't address the elephant in the room- viz. illiterate teachers who buy their appointments but don't turn up for work. Dr. Jack Prager pointed out that something similar happened in the Public Health system in West Bengal. Economists like Sen and Bardhan ignored him.  That is why their babbling on about 'state capacity' is wholly foolish. 

2. state capacity

All these problems—infrastructure, education, public health, environment—involve issues of government effectiveness in the delivery of public goods and services, which is very low in India.

Because the 'buddhijivis' refuse to recognize reality- viz. Public servants- Government teachers and doctors, nurses etc.- don't serve the public. They may give kickbacks so as not to show up for work. But if they do, they may be beaten or kidnapped- at least in Didi's Bengal.  

This can be analysed in terms of four inter-related kinds of state capacity—organizational, technical, financial and political.

Nonsense! It can be analyzed only as fraud and criminal behavior. Like Yogi Adityanath, you have to kill the big gangsters and bulldoze their houses. Only after that can you crack down on the truant teacher or the Doctor who doesn't show up work. Perhaps, if the Judiciary wasn't such a shit-show, such extra-constitutional measures wouldn't be needed.  

Why is it that-

'in such essential ongoing activities as the cost-effective pricing and distribution of electricity, (India's) capacity is very poor.

The answer is that if the guys at the top are corrupt then they don't have the moral authority to enforce the rules. That's why leaders like Modi and Yogi can succeed where others fail.  

This is partly because local political considerations interfere in matters like cost recovery (or under-recovery) from a large and politically sensitive customer base; here, organizational and political capacities are inter-related.

Modi was able to do a deal with farmers such that they gave up 'free' but shitty electricity supply precisely because he was neither corrupt nor the puppet of a dynasty. 

Why are Bardhan & Co so utterly shite? The answer is that they don't understand that the US is rich. India is very very poor. It isn't the case that being a 'Democracy' automatically raises your per capita Income to first World levels. Poor countries can't afford high Income elasticity services.  

The financial capacity of the Indian state is extremely weak

because India is very poor. However, low factor mobility means some rent can be extracted. But this keeps the country poor. 

and as a result—and contrary to widespread perceptions—the state itself is relatively small.

But still bigger than it should be for any good it does. 

Tax revenue as a proportion of gdp was only 17 per cent in 2019–20, which is unusually low for a democracy,

unless the country is very poor and most people are at a bare subsistence level. You can't extract blood from a stone.  

and represents a slight decline in fiscal capacity from thirty years ago.

because factor mobility has increased. You can't extract rent from that which is elastic in supply. 

 This means the state not only has a very low proportion of civil servants relative to the size of its population, but

also employs the unemployable to do useless shite. 

lacks the resources to fund many of the posts it has sanctioned. In 2014, the number of civilian employees per thousand of population in India was less than half that of the US, not to speak of Europe.

Because India is as poor as shit. The problem is that the perks of Government employment are vital to the social mobility of poor families and thus they still want quotas for useless Government jobs. This also means you have to pay pensions to people who were useless while in work and who spend all their time demanding increases in pensions after they retire. 

In the us, the proportion of the total work force in the public sector is about 7 per cent, in the uk around 18 per cent and in India barely 2 per cent.

India should never have pretended it could have the same sort of Welfare State as rich countries with highly educated and productive populations. 

India could have transferred rural girls into giant factory dormitories so as to get demographic transition and higher productivity. Bien pensant nutters like Bardhan forbade that course. They demanded crazy labor and land laws and created a huge compliance burden for the private sector. Criminals and the corrupt could ignore this creating a black economy. Now the silly man is complaining that 

One reason why the tax–gdp ratio is particularly low in India is the enormous informal sector, which employs nearly three-quarters of non-agricultural workers and is largely beyond the bounds of direct taxation.

Because it is beyond the bounds of regulations of any type.  If you treat property as a type of theft, theft becomes the title to property. 

But even in the formal sector, tax rates on long-term capital gains in individual incomes are much lower than in Brazil, China or South Africa; about 60 per cent of declared long-term capital gains are from those earning over Rs. 10 million in annual capital gains.

Because the Indian capitalist had learnt to be wary of the Stationary Bandit. They use the funds of the Nationalized Banks to expand operations in India while offshoring their own assets. There is a bubble here such that Capital Gains can always turn into Capital Losses for the Public Sector lender.  

The deductibility of investments from individual income taxes also helps the rich.

Who would otherwise show themselves to be the disabled beneficiaries of foreign trusts.  

Wealth and inheritance taxes are zero, even though there has been a sharp increase in the asset holdings of the wealthy—and in the number of dollar billionaires—in recent decades.

That bubble could easily burst. But everybody has an elder brother with a Swiss passport who is domiciled in Dubai. The family office, however, is in Singapore because who knows when the Gulf will undergo its own Arab Spring?  

The proportion of indirect taxes in total revenue has been rising steadily, with regressive social effect. The tax exemptions, concessions and unwarranted subsidies enjoyed by the better-off sections of the population come to nearly 8 per cent of gdp. As a sop to ‘middle’ classes, the income-tax exemption limit was doubled in 2019, thus shrinking India’s already small income-tax paying base. In September 2019, the Modi government drastically reduced the corporate tax rate, which at a stroke resulted in a loss of revenue amounting to nearly half the total health budget. Ultimately, the financial capacity of the state is constrained by the disproportionate political influence and lobbying power of the wealthy—which brings us to the problem of state political capacity.

This may be true of America. It isn't true of India. The State knows that it can raise taxes and get rid of  a visible billionaire class. Tax revenue will collapse while Mauritius and Dubai and Singapore profit by hosting a larger and larger proportion of the activities family offices. 

State capacity in political terms entails the ability to resist pressure from interest groups

like farmers? That doesn't exist in India. But anybody can go after Adanis or Ambanis. They will simply restructure their operations or expand in other markets.  

and to maintain a credible commitment to long-term goals. India’s long-standing inability to reduce its massive subsidies for fertilizer

coz of the farmers 

or energy,

farmers and those with illegal connections to the grid 

not to speak of zero tax on the largest agricultural income-earners,

everybody is a farmer- Rahul Gandhi was described as one such when he first entered politics. Amitabh Bacchan was another hayseed.  

is a clear sign of weak political capacity in face of the vested interests of rich farmers

who are still as poor as shit compared to the average American farmer 

and fertilizer companies. (There is evidence that in Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest regional state, transmission losses in electricity from public utilities—mainly through theft—rise sharply before state assembly elections

Because in a poor country, those poor enough to steal electricity are the majority of voters 

. Similarly, the inability to raise taxes on capital or wealth shows weak political capacity vis-à-vis the rich.

No. You could raise taxes on the rich but revenue would collapse as would electricity generation etc. Indian Socialism meant providing the capital for Adanis to become billionaires.  

The official class itself, including top politicians and bureaucrats, forms another vested-interest group.

They are nepotistic and dynastic. Will Bardhan berate Mamta who is grooming her nephew? Nope. The guy doesn't want to have his head kicked in the next time he visits Kolkata. 

Bardhan is old enough to remember many refugee relatives sheltering with his family. He doesn't seem to understand why those Hindus had had to flee East Bengal. The answer is that the Brits had unilaterally devolved power to the Provinces in 1937. There was no Federal center to counterbalance this because the Muslim League refused to play ball. Thus, Delhi could not prevent the Muslim League government in Calcutta doing first famine and then ethnic cleansing. That is why India had to have a highly unitary Constitution. Hindus had to stick together or else succumb once again to Muslim salami tactics. Communists, too, needed to be beaten or killed. 

Bardhan takes a different view-

There were two conflicting considerations in the minds of the framers of the Constitution.

There was only one. India needed a strong center so as to fight Muslims in Kashmir and Hyderabad and anywhere else they might cause problems. All the benefits previously gained by Muslims were to be annulled. India would protect cows and promote Hindi in Devanagari script. Urdu speaking Muslims were persecuted by the Custodian of Evacuee property when they weren't simply massacred or packed into trains to Pakistan.  

One was that a large part of India’s society and economy was rural, diverse and informal,

which suited the Congress machine. This was the terrain in which it had risen and thrived.  

and so devolution of power was the obvious democratic way to go,

This stupid cretin doesn't get that devolution had occurred under the 1935 Act to Direct ruled areas. Princely States had always been autonomous. The Constitution was about reversing this as much as possible. 

It was obvious that feudalism, not democracy, would prevail unless there was massive centralization.  

matching the desired autonomy of—and information available to—the local people in this vast country.

Sheer nonsense! Hindus ended up working for a uniform Civil Code for themselves. In practice, local customs were respected in the short run but the Hindu community as a whole was heading in the same direction. 

At the same time, the framers were worried about the stark inequalities and injustices in local communities, where the oppressed might need central intervention and authority to get relief and redress. Above all, the immediate context of Partition and its attendant violence made the framers wary of centrifugal forces and divisive or fissiparous tendencies.

Muslims and Commies but not Communist Muslims who are always hilarious.

So they tried to strengthen the central government’s power over the regional states to a degree that is highly unusual for federated countries.

India is very big. There is no country like it.  

In India, the Centre has the power to take over regional-state governments on a temporary basis, to redefine and reformulate the states themselves, to establish ‘concurrent’ jurisdictions with them and to wield far-reaching ‘residual’ and emergency powers.

Because, unlike the US, India does not have 'dual sovereignty'. The Union Government can do what it likes. But the same was true for Pakistan or Burma or Sri Lanka. Thus India was exactly similar to every country in the region.  

Bardhan admits that Modi has pushed through a new Labor code. The problem is that Indian Labor is going to continue to be Indian- i.e averse to laboring. 

the Modi government is in effect pushing the economy toward more distrust, labour unrest and stagnation in labour productivity. This is already apparent in some of the violent factory incidents that have attracted international attention, such as when workers ransacked Wistron’s iPhone assembly plant near Bangalore. The factory employed about 2,000 permanent workers and 7,000 ‘contract workers’, without any job security or benefits, with no labour union. The workers’ grievances included non-payment or delayed payment of wages,

delayed for 4 days 

an extension of the workday to 12 hours with little notice or consultation and inadequate safety provisions for women workers on the night shift. The company, a Taiwanese assembler for Apple Corporation, has admitted its faults;

No it hasn't.  

but this kind of backlash against unfair work conditions and arbitrary labour laws should not be unexpected.

A software glitch delays payment by 4 days and so the workers run riot breaking and stealing everything in sight. The Taiwanese company is now selling out to the Tatas. But this is a narrow profit margin business. Anyway, companies should relocate from relatively high wage Karnataka. Perhaps Yogi's UP will attract manufacturing jobs of this type. 

Similarly, there has been substantial dilution, if not outright gutting, of workplace-safety regulations, and many attribute the recent rise in industrial accidents in India to this wanton deregulation.

Workers who run amok beating supervisors and setting fire to everything don't cause accidents. On the contrary, arson promotes work-place safety- right? 

Companies and governments of this ilk do not realize that negotiating and co-managing job stability, welfare and training programmes with workers may be good for long-run productivity and profits.

Or it may not be worth the bother. Outsource the thing. Sooner or later you will get contractors who inspire terror in the workers. The problem here is that such contractors may prefer to take over the State. Why be a slave-driver when you can be Emperor? Equally, why be a Spartacus when you can pretend to be on the side of the slaves till you quietly establish your own dynastic rule?

Bardhan was born when the Windsor dynasty was paramount in India. Then he came under the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Assassination did temper this type of autocracy but it was only when Rahul proved gun-shy and refused to step up to the plate that the BJP became the de facto National party. 

What does this cretin have to say about political legitimacy in the land of his birth? Let us see- 

political legitimation of the system

Although India’s capitalist development has been lopsided,

because the Brits, in Bengal, weren't keen on encouraging competition and, later on, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty cut off the balls of the Capitalists who had previously financed the freedom struggle lest they fund politicians who were genuinely interested in freeing India. 


and dynastic 

and deeply unequal,

Rahul is deeply unequal to cousin Varun. The Dynasty has embraced primogeniture as firmly as the Windsors.  

the government

which was a Dynasty 

presiding over it has not suffered from any lack of electoral or popular legitimacy, judging by its election victories and the popularity of its supreme leader.

The only reason Modi is PM is because Rahul has worked hard to make his party unelectable. The poor chap doesn't want to get shot or blown up. Say what you like about Italians, they have always understood that discretion is the better part of valor.  

Continuous cheer-leading and open sycophancy by large sections of business

was the order of the day under the Dynasty. The CBI had to pretend that the moon-calf, Rahul, was a great Management Guru- like Dr. Porter of the Monitor Group for which Rahul 'worked'. This was around the time when the Monitor Group went bust.  

and the media have created an atmosphere of triumphal acclaim, which in turn affects public perception and demoralizes the opposition.

This was the India or 'Indira is India' which Bardhan fled.  

The leader’s oratorical skills,

or, in the case of Indira and Sanjay and Sonia and Rahul, were non-existent. Rajiv however could read out, in Roman script, decent enough speeches.  

the massive cadre-based electoral machinery of the

Congress or the Commies or the various Caste based Socialist parties not to mention the 

rss/bjp, the clever crafting of alliances with different castes and sub-castes in particular areas,

Indira perfected the votebank formula. Then she tried to divide Sikhs on Caste lines and got killed. Karma is a bitch.  

access to disproportionately large corporate donations for election funds

under Indira, you could end up in jail on a terrorism charge if you funded the wrong party 

and, relatedly, a brazenly biased media,

Indira controlled the air-waves. 

as well as the disorganized nature of the opposition,

like in West Bengal- right? 

have all helped in the electoral legitimation process.

Mamta's goons beat the fuck out of everybody who doubts her legitimacy.  

But it is important to note that two further factors have worked in favour of the bjp.

It is less corrupt and nepotistic and casteist than its rivals- save in Kerala, TN etc.  

First, the Modi government has introduced some new welfare schemes for the poor—of which the Ujjawala scheme for distributing cooking-gas cylinders and the Swachh Bharat toilet-building programme have had the greatest resonance—as well as continuing the most popular schemes of Manmohan Singh’s 2004–14 Congress-led governments for food distribution, rural employment and affordable housing (albeit with a substantial change in approach, from the earlier emphasis on citizens’ rights to their now being the Prime Minister’s ‘gifts’).

Citizens' rights are meaningless if remedies are not incentive compatible. A leader who gets re-elected may want to keep giving the same gifts.  

The idea of a financial gift is enhanced by the direct transfer technology by which a cash amount is directly deposited into the bank account of the beneficiary. Some of the new schemes have not been very successful—for example, many poor households cannot afford the gas cylinders, once the initial financial support runs out, and for various reasons many do not use the new toilets—yet for electoral legitimacy what is important is that the bjp is in full control of the branding and the effusive narrative about the massively successful programmes, with Modi claiming full credit.

Which gives him an incentive to keep doing this type of 'last mile delivery'. Economists welcome this because voters who get stuff in return for their votes begin to vote in a more judicious fashion ignoring 'affiliative' factors like caste and religion.  

Even when a particular programme does not quite deliver, the trick is to use a megaphone to talk about cases where it has worked, and to keep the public distracted by the announcement and hype of yet another spectacular roll-out.

Why oh why won't politicians simply say 'I am shit. I've fucked you guys over. Please don't vote for me.'? The answer is that politicians don't say they are useless turds for the same reason that economics professors don't confess to being stupid and mischievous.  

In some cases, the full blare of the narrative has been more important than the programme itself. A recent parliamentary committee, headed by a ruling-party mp, revealed that in the first three years of the gender-equity programme, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, some 80 per cent of the budget had been spent on publicity alone.

Because it is a publicity program seeking to persuade parents to protect and educate daughters. Bardhan, no doubt, thinks the Government should confiscate girl babies from Indian parents and then educate them in concentration camps.  

There is now also the widely publicized promise to supply electricity and piped drinking water to each household, which is paying political dividends long before any real progress has been made in implementation.

Bardhan gets very angry when he orders a Pizza and he is told that he can expect to get the Pizza within thirty minutes. Since no real progress has been made in preparing the Pizza, let alone dispatching it, what he should have been told was 'Fuck off! We have no Pizza for you here. Even if we start making such a Pizza that will happen in the future. Currently you are shit out of luck.' 

Indeed, Bardhan would only be happy if the Pizza he wants is delivered to him without his having had to order it. Also, someone else should pay for it. 

The poor care for such welfare schemes, and the stories of them reaching other people, if not yet themselves, indicate how much the leader cares for common people.

Hungry folks care about Pizza delivery. They become happy when they hear that other people are getting Pizzas within thirty minutes or less of ordering it. This shows the Pizza company cares deeply about common people.  

They are certainly not too bothered about the government cozying up to crony oligarchs.

Voters know that oligarchs cozy up to anybody in power- not the other way round.  

Meanwhile the Modi government’s centralization of welfare schemes and use of direct-transfer technology to deposit benefits in citizens’ bank accounts have successfully weakened the traditional intermediation by local caste leaders in the welfare-delivery process.

Even Mamta has disintermediated her goons from this. Their insistence on raping beneficiaries and retaining half of the money was proving a vote loser.  

One interesting side effect of these centralized welfare schemes, bypassing the state governments and giving all credit to the Prime Minister, has also been to undermine or weaken state-level welfarist chief ministers—including those belonging to the bjp.

Mamta can't be undermined because her thugs will beat anyone who does. There are plenty of other Welfarist CMs some of whom actually do improve Welfare- e.g. Naveen Patnaik. But he has no problem with the BJP.  

Secondly, when the ruling party cannot control the narrative about things that voters care about, like jobs—where its performance has been dismal—or food and fuel prices, then its non-economic narrative kicks in, amplified by WhatsApp, Facebook, political theatre and religious spectacle.

So, is the BJP is like other political parties in India and elsewhere. How deeply shocking! 

Here the potent blend of nationalism and religion has been a powerful antidote to bad news on the economic front.

Indian nationalism is Hindu nationalism. Non-Hindus tend to be separatists unless they can see that that would be catastrophic.  

‘You see, under our supreme leader,

who actually leads- unlike Rahul 

we finally have a chance to be a super-power,

Bardhan thinks Indians should want to be a shitty power and take it up the ass from Pakistan- if not Bangladesh.  

strong economically—

i.e. not having the IMF put a gun to your head. This has nothing to do with the Stock Exchange because except for Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra, share ownership is low.  

don’t you see how the stock market has been booming and how many billion-dollar ‘unicorn’ start-ups are waiting for ipos—

Nehruvian India learnt to its cost that if you suppress defense spending to two percent then you get sodomized by the Chinese and have to raise it to six percent.  

and militarily: don’t you see how valiantly our great helmsman is steering our ship in these treacherous waters, full of neighbouring enemy countries, Muslim terrorists, infiltrators and internal fifth columnists?

If Bardhan loves Muslim terrorists so much, why didn't he protest against Bush and Obama's war on terror? He lives in America, not India.  

And yet how pious the leader is, busy rebuilding the great Ram temple,

Which is what Hindus want. This is because the worship Lord Ram. Bardhan may not do so but he lives in Berkeley.  

reviving India’s ancient Hindu glory!’

As opposed to taking it up the ass from every and any invader.  

Nevertheless it is not clear how long such forms of legitimation can last.

Yes it is. Hindu Nationalism will legitimate political power in India so long as Hindus are the overwhelming majority. Those who don't like it can leave though, to be frank, lots of those who like it leave to make more money elsewhere or, at the very least, to be ruled by nice White Christians- or, if that is not possible, at least an Old Etonian Hindu.  

Ultimately the odds are against drastic homogenization, or the cramming of the manifold diversities of Hindu society into the Procrustean bed of an invented, artificial, poisonous, religious nationalism.

The nationalist movement in Bengal was almost entirely Hindu and only stopped being wholly religious after the Bolshevik revolution. But Communism is dead in Bengal. There is Didi and her thugs on the one hand and the BJP on the other with the Muslims (who are now thirty percent of the population) increasingly forming their own parties.  

Historically, Hinduism has never been an organized or standardized religion

Yes it has. Brahminical Hinduism was organized, standardized, and supported by Indic Kings and Emperors. Catholicism and the National Churches that were its successors did have a centralized hierarchy but that was the exception, not the rule, and arose out of the political failure of the 'King of the Romans' to reduplicate the role of the Caesars.  

and in a country of extreme linguistic, cultural and other diversities,

where everybody ends up eating spicy curry of one sort of the other and Brahmins are ubiquitous.  

as well as powerful centrifugal forces that are bound to resist the ongoing assault on federalism, the project of ‘Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan’

doesn't exist. Amit Shah is making it easier for Karnataka to replace English with Kannada and Haryana to replace English with Hindi and so on. That is popular. Indians reject the term 'Hindustan' because it sounds like Pakistan. They don't mind the Sanskrit 'sthan' as in 'Rajasthan' but the name they have settler for is 'Bharat' and 'Bharatiya' not 'Hindustan' and 'Hindustani'.  

and suppression of the civil rights and dignity of the world’s largest minority population (nearly 200 million Muslims, among other non-Hindus) is unlikely to be viable over a long period,

suppressing Hindus worked well for Pakistan and Bangladesh. Bardhan had plenty of refugee relatives. West Bengal might not be able to resist demographic replacement- indeed, it may do better economically under Sheikh Hasina- but other parts of Hindu India have a very different tradition. Muslims were a cowed minority and will remain so in most parts of the country. Sad, but inevitable. Minorities simply don't do well in South Asia- unless they concentrate on getting rich. But in that case, their share of the population plummets. Look at the Parsis.  

without giving up all semblance of democracy.

If the same dynasty controls the Central Government for eighty percent of the time, then no semblance of democracy exists. 

Besides, the social divisiveness that the ruling party is bringing about is likely to undermine the institutional basis of mutual trust and normative coordination

which is what exists amongst India's mercantile castes who have no problem with Modi because, in many cases, they literally speak the same language. 

that capitalism ultimately depends upon. Nigeria and Ethiopia, two of the largest countries in Africa, provide stark examples of how

Muslims don't play nice with Kaffirs 

distrust and disharmony generated by extreme social fragmentation can make it difficult for either capitalism or democracy to thrive.

The Brits shouldn't have soldered the Muslim North to the Christian South.  

(Already some, including business magnates there,

virtue signaling billionaires one of whom is the father in law of the new British PM 

have warned that the poisonous political divisions that the ruling party is promoting for electoral purposes in Karnataka have started affecting the thriving business atmosphere there.)

The Popular Front should be allowed to force Muslim girls to wear full hijab even within the classroom of a Girl's Junior College! The reason France has such a shitty business atmosphere is because wormen can't wear hijab- right? 

A national-security alarm gave the bjp a major victory in the 2019 elections,

because the moon-calf Rahul was the alternative 

even in the face of decelerating economic growth and declining job prospects for the youth.

RaGa is no longer young. His job prospects have certainly declined. 

But ‘crying wolf’ may not work every time.

Cunts like Bardhan have been crying 'Nazi wolf' at Modi for 22 years. They have accused him of being pro-Hindu- which is why Hindus vote for him.  

The ruling party has won some important regional elections, but has also been convincingly defeated in others, mainly in the south and the east of the country.

In a Democracy, the better party wins. Look at Himachal.  

Farmers won a significant victory when Modi was forced to withdraw his arbitrarily formulated Farm Laws.

A Pyrrhic victory. Still, fucking over the environment is what Greta Thurnberg wants- right? 

In future, civil-disobedience movements and regional resistance against poorly deliberated laws that seem to violate the spirit, if not always the letter, of the Constitution—and more generally violate the spirit of democratic culture and the principle of federalism that survive at ground level in many places—are likely to grow and may provide considerable opposition, although their effect on electoral outcomes may not be immediate.

It was Kejriwal who benefited from the farm protests. Few saw that coming. 

There is no 'principle of Federalism'. It is simply a fact that you can't impose a law if enough people run riot. Mrs. Thatcher had to call off the poll tax and resign. Modi can call things off without resigning.  

Digital technology which allows

this nutter to spread his lies 

authoritarian governments to spread misinformation and snoop more easily, also enables people to unite and organize resistance.

to good governance- sure. The problem is that nobody will be left to resist Mafia Lords. 

That way, going back to the Preamble of the Constitution,

as amended by Indira 

India may not be socialist or secular soon,

she wanted India to be dynastic. Rahul is still Congress's PM candiddate. 

but a complete obliteration of its already highly flawed democracy is somewhat less likely,

It isn't possible. Modi fought Indira's Emergency. He prevailed. The Dynasty is dying nasty. 

as the country lurches on past its 75th anniversary, into the future.

The country isn't lurching. This old fool is.  

Saturday 25 February 2023

Iyer's 'Report on Experience'.

Gashed by the knapped flint of- that barren bint- the Erotic's but Kairotic quips
To stint the bitter wine of the brittle line of Thy Saqi's thin, red, lips
No Word is- save it cushions kisses
Hearts beat by what Time's arrow misses.

Stiglitz IS the road to Fascism

In a democracy, a charismatic politician who makes wonderful speeches can come to power. This has frequently happened in the history of the United States. Reagan, Clinton and Obama were very persuasive because their arguments were ad captum vulgi- adapted to and appealed to ordinary people. Their enemies considered them to be demagogues in that what they said had no foundation in rational analysis. It represented wishful, if not bigoted, thinking.

On the other hand, a politician who is a poor communicator may be able to get rid of constitutional checks and balances and rule in a dictatorial manner. A General may seize power and establish a Fascist dictatorship without showing any demagogic trait. An anti-Fascist leader may be a demagogue swaying vast crowds or, indeed, the entire population through 'fireside chats' on the Radio. 

Project Syndicate has made a habit of promoting stupid academics like Jason Stanley who consider Fascism to be the inevitable consequence of voters not rejecting anybody they don't approve of. Recently, Stiglitz has jumped on this bandwagon. 

The Road to Fascism

As if the economic fallout from COVID-19 and Russia's war on Ukraine wasn't difficult enough, one also must worry that the response by policymakers will make a bad situation even worse.

One must also worry that senile and stupid academics will make even shittier policy proposals or start babbling about Fascism or Nazism or the Spanish Inquisition in a manner more rabid than ever. 

Growing hardship is all but assured in 2023, and it will provide even more fertile ground for dangerous demagogues.

Hardship does not provide fertile ground for shit. Was FDR a demagogue? Perhaps. But what about Stanley Baldwin in the UK? How about Daladier? 

Mussolini came to power before the Great Depression. In his case, there was a Communist threat. Salazar came to power before the Depression. In his case, the Liberals had failed to provide a stable administration. Hitler only came to power because Ludendorff was too crazy and Hindenberg too old to push through the Army's maximal program though, no doubt, Germany waited till Weimar 'extend and pretend' ran out of road. 

Plenty of countries have experienced great hardship and responded by becoming more democratic and pursuing economic reform more ruthlessly. Look at Estonia or Latvia. Ukraine may be said to have moved in a demagogic direction. But we can't call it Fascist. 

NEW YORK – Economics has been called the dismal science,

Nobel Prize winning economists should be called demented dolts 

and 2023 will vindicate that moniker. We are at the mercy of two cataclysms that are simply beyond our control. The first is the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to threaten us with new, more deadly, contagious, or vaccine-resistant variants.

Ignore it. Let it thin out the herd till immunity is achieved. 

The pandemic has been managed especially poorly by China, owing mainly to its failure to inoculate its citizens with more effective (Western-made) mRNA vaccines.

This is irrelevant. Let the thing sweep through the population. There will be negligible demographic impact and dependency ratios will improve

The second cataclysm is Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

Ukraine has turned the corner. Russia's 'energy weapon' has failed. There is no reason there should be any big economic effect for other countries. Biden has always been hawkish on this issue but Biden isn't a dictator. Congress could force him to disengage.  

The conflict shows no end in sight, and could escalate or produce even greater spillover effects.

This is purely a matter of choice for far away countries.  

Either way, more disturbances to energy and food prices are all but assured.

Unless America decides to back China's plan. Alternatively, Biden could fight Putin with the last drop of Ukrainian blood.  

And, as if these problems weren’t vexing enough, there is ample reason to worry that the response from policymakers will make a bad situation worse.

Policymakers created the bad situation. COVID should have been let rip and Ukraine should have been ignored.  

Most importantly, the US Federal Reserve may raise interest rates too far and too fast.

Or they may not. But this has always been true.  

Today’s inflation is largely driven by supply shortages,

because prices fall if there is over-supply.  

some of which are already in the process of being resolved. Raising interest rates therefore might be counterproductive.

In which case, they can be lowered again. This really is no big deal.  

It will not produce more food, oil, or gas, but it will make it more difficult to mobilize investments that would help alleviate the supply shortages.

Unless that type of investment is given a tax break. What's so fucking difficult about that?  

Monetary tightening also could lead to a global slowdown.

So what? The Globe speeds up and slows down all the time. Why is this nutter babbling about Fascism? The answer is that Stiglitz's stock in trade is to scream and shit himself every time fiscal or monetary policy tightens coz Hitler is bound to come to power- right? Next stop- Auschwitz for everybody! 

In fact, that outcome is highly anticipated, and some commentators, having convinced themselves that combating inflation requires economic pain,

as opposed to the Government just mailing everybody a check for a million dollars every month 

have been effectively cheering on the recession. The quicker and deeper, the better, they argue. They seem not to have considered that the cure may be worse than the disease.

Because Hitler and his Nazi hordes will rise from the dead. Also, the Spanish Inquisition will start burning heretics all over the place. 

The global tremors from the Fed’s tightening could already be felt heading into winter.

Did this cause Biden to grow a Hitler 'tache? Yes. He launched a night of the long knives. The American army has now sworn a personal oath of obedience to him.  

The United States is engaged in a twenty-first-century beggar-thy-neighbor policy.

But China is increasingly in the driver's seat.  

While a stronger dollar tempers inflation in the US, it does so by weakening other currencies and increasing inflation elsewhere

Which is why other countries need to decouple from American financial markets. Globalization can't be led by a senile Uncle Sam.  

. To mitigate these foreign-exchange effects, even countries with weak economies are being forced to raise interest rates, which is weakening their economies further.

Weakness weakens. That is Stiglitz's big discovery.  

Higher interest rates, depreciated currencies, and a global slowdown have already pushed dozens of countries to the edge of default.

At which edge they have already been and will be again.  

Higher interest rates and energy prices will also push many firms toward bankruptcy, too.

Also people will DIE. Why has the Government not banned Death?  

There have already been some dramatic examples of this, as with the now-nationalized German utility Uniper.

Which has led to Germans putting on brown shirts and invading Poland- right? 

And even if companies don’t seek bankruptcy protection, both firms and households will feel the stress of tighter financial and credit conditions. Not surprisingly, 14 years of ultra-low interest rates have left many countries, firms, and households overindebted.

Weimar Germany was in debt. Then Hitler came to power. OMG! This proves that everybody with a Student Loan is gonna turn into a Nazi! 

The past year’s massive changes in interest rates and exchange rates imply multiple hidden risks –

like putting Truss & Kwarteng in Number 10 and 11 respectively 

as demonstrated by the near-collapse of British pension funds in late September

because Truss & Kwarteng were as stupid as shit 

and early October. Mismatches of maturities and exchange rates are a hallmark of

emerging economies not 

under-regulated economies,

The fact is, if the regulator is as stupid as fuck- or the regulator is overriden by a stupid as fuck Chancellor, you will get big mismatches and volatility will go through the roof

and they have become even more prevalent with the growth of non-transparent derivatives

Everything should be regulated- OTC or Cash settled derivatives as well as moustaches. Otherwise they could turn into Hitler taches and then Spanish Inquisition will start burning heretics- right? 

These economic travails will, of course, fall hardest on the most vulnerable countries, providing even more fertile ground for populist demagogues to sow the seeds of resentment and discontent.

Stiglitz sided with Syriza- populist demagogues who stoked up 'resentment and discontent' in Greece. Where are they now? The plain fact is demagoguery can't magically turn into Fascism. It can, however, get the order of the boot at the ballot box.  

There was a global sigh of relief when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

a demagogue jailed for corruption- which is what enabled Bolsonaro to win.

defeated Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election. But let us not forget that Bolsonaro got almost 50% of the votes and still controls Brazil’s Congress.

So, Brazil is like Biden's America. This proves both countries will soon turn Fascist- right? 

Across every dimension, including the economy, the greatest threat to well-being today is political.

And the greatest threat to the political the economic or military. And the greatest threat to the economic or military is the danger that people will quit work and run away. 

Over half the world’s population lives under authoritarian regime

As has always been the case.  

Even in the US, one of the two major parties has become a personality cult that increasingly rejects democracy and continues to lie about the outcome of the 2020 election. Its modus operandi is to attack the press, science, and institutions of higher learning, while pumping as much mis- and disinformation into the culture as it can.

Trump is a better Stiglitz than Stiglitz. Sad.  

The aim, apparently, is to roll back much of the progress of the past 250 years.

In which case we don't have to worry about Fascist Brown Shirts because we will be too busy coping with King George's Redcoats. 

Gone is the optimism that prevailed at the end of the Cold War, when Francis Fukuyama could herald “the end of history,” by which he meant the disappearance of any serious challenger to the liberal-democratic model.

Back then, peeps thought Stiglitz was the shit. But, by the beginning of this Century, the man was known to be shit. 

To be sure, there is still a positive agenda that could forestall a descent into atavism and despair.

That agenda involves ignoring shitheads who write for Project Syndicate. 

But in many countries, political polarization and gridlock have pushed such an agenda out of reach.

There is genuine preference diversity behind such polarization. Some people want to own guns. Others would feel safer if nobody got to own guns.  

With better-functioning political systems, we could have moved much faster to increase production and supply, mitigating the inflationary pressures our economies now confront.

No. People have to work harder to increase supply. A better functioning political system has no magical effect on the incentive matrix. Indeed, a better functioning democratic political system could reduce aggregate supply something fierce. Why keep up with the Joneses if the Joneses can be persuaded to chill? 

After a half-century of telling farmers not to produce as much as they could, both Europe and the US could have told them to produce more.

This won't last. Stiglitz gets that- right? 

The US could have provided childcare – so that more women could enter the labor force, alleviating the alleged labor shortages – and Europe could have moved more quickly to reform its energy markets and prevent a spike in electricity prices.

Also the US could have adopted assless chaps as its national costume while Europe could have moved more quickly to sucking cock at truck stops.  

Countries around the world could have levied windfall-profit taxes

and pissed that revenue against the wall 

in ways that might actually have encouraged investment

in shitty green energy projects which never come on line- right? 

and tempered prices,

till the country went off a fiscal cliff. 

using the proceeds to protect the vulnerable

in which case everybody would decide to be 'vulnerable'- especially billionaires. 

and to make public investments in economic resilience.

coz 'public investments' aren't made by stupid politicians- right? 

As an international community, we could have adopted the COVID-19 intellectual-property waiver, thereby reducing the magnitude of vaccine apartheid and the resentment that it fuels, as well as mitigating the risk of dangerous new mutations.

Why not just ban R&D of every sort? 

All told, an optimist would say that our glass is about one-eighth full.

No. An optimist would say Project Syndicate is shit through and through.  

A select few countries have made some progress on this agenda, and for that we should be grateful. But almost 80 years after Friedrich von Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom, we are still living with the legacy of the extremist policies that he and Milton Friedman pushed into the mainstream.

Hayek and Friedman had no power. Like Stiglitz, they were mere academics. Voters didn't want to finance stupid Left-Liberal politicians. They prevailed in richer countries while poorer countries had to do market-based reform when they could no longer beg or borrow to finance their dual deficits.  

Those ideas have put us on a truly dangerous course: the road to a twenty-first-century version of fascism.

No. Stiglitz idea was that Suharto should have been given more and more money to keep his Fascist style dictatorship. Fortunately, Stiglitz was overruled and the IMF's tough love put Indonesia on the path to reform, democracy, and prosperity.

Fascism and Communism and other totalitarian systems incarnate Stiglitz's fundamental misology which holds that virtue signaling politicians make better decisions than free markets which coordinate the self-interested actions of producers and consumers. 

Consider the following report on what Stiglitz was getting up to just 15 years ago-

Caracas, October 11, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Nobel Prize winning economist and former vice-president of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, praised Venezuela's economic growth and "positive policies in health and education" during a visit to Caracas on Wednesday.

This cunt was a cheerleader for Chavez. How much more Fascist can you get? 

"Venezuela's economic growth has been very impressive in the last few years," Stiglitz said during his speech at a forum on Strategies for Emerging Markets sponsored by the Bank of Venezuela.
Venezuela, the fourth largest exporter of crude oil to the United States, has experienced the highest economic growth rate in Latin America in recent years, with fifteen successive quarters of expansion and looks set to close the year with 8-9% growth. Despite the high rate of growth, high public spending and increased consumer demand have contributed to inflationary pressures, pushing inflation up to 15.3%, also the highest in Latin America. However, Stiglitz, who won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2001, argued that relatively high inflation isn't necessarily harmful to the economy.

Venezuelans should be grateful for the gift of hyperinflation.  

He added that while Venezuela's economic growth has largely been driven by high oil prices, unlike other oil producing countries, Venezuela has taken advantage of the boom in world oil prices to implement policies that benefit its citizens and promote economic development.

We should use windfall taxes to 'promote economic development' Chavez-style- right? 

"Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to have had success in bringing health and education to the people in the poor neighborhoods of Caracas, to those who previously saw few benefits of the countries oil wealth," he said.

Those people have run away. 

In his latest book "Making Globalization Work," Stiglitz argues that left governments such as in Venezuela, "have frequently been castigated and called ‘populist' because they promote the distribution of benefits of education and health to the poor."

Chavez was a populist demagogue. Stiglitz thought the sun shone out of his arse. This is the cunt Project Syndicate promotes so as to call Hayek and Friedman 'extremist'. 

Trump did not really endanger American democracy. Chavez and Maduro destroyed it completely. Stiglitz was on the wrong side on this.  

"It is not only important to have sustainable growth," Stiglitz continued during his speech, "but to ensure the best distribution of economic growth, for the benefit of all citizens."

Stiglitz is saying Fascism is better than Freedom. 

Although Stiglitz praised Venezuela's "positive policies" in areas of health and education and policies to promote economic diversification, he assured that Venezuela still faces the challenge of overcoming structural problems associated with an economy overwhelmingly geared towards oil production.

which needed to maintain that infrastructure and retain the professionals running it. Otherwise there would be no money for welfare schemes. 

In terms of economic development Stiglitz argued it was not good for the Central Bank to have "excessive" autonomy.

The fucker hates Freedom of any sort.  

Chavez's proposed constitutional reforms, if approved in December, will remove the autonomy of the country's Central Bank.

Guess what happened next.  

However, Stiglitz claimed, developing nations must strike a balance between public and private control of the market.
"The key to success is to find the correct equilibrium between the private sector and the government, which is different for each nation," he said.

That equilibrium must be more in the direction of the private sector if a maniac is running the public sector.  

Stiglitz also welcomed Venezuela's initiative to create the Bank of the South; due to be founded in Caracas on November 3, saying it would benefit the countries of South America and boost development.

Governments pledged money to the Bank but it got nothing and thus has never existed save on paper.  

"One of the advantages of having a Bank of the South is that it would reflect the perspectives of those in the South," said Stiglitz,

Clearly, that 'perspective' didn't involve actually putting any money into it.  

whereas, he argued, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund often impose conditions that "hinder the development effectiveness

of fraud and wholesale looting of national treasuries by a kleptocracy.  

Stiglitz also criticized the "Washington Consensus" of implementing neo-liberal policies in Latin America, in particular the US free trade agreements with Colombia and other countries, saying they failed to bring benefits to the peoples of those countries.

Yet, Venezuelans would have to flee to 'neo-liberal' countries so as to work and feed themselves.  

The Washington Consensus "is undermining the Andean cooperation,

which was based on fraud or fantasy 

and it is part of the American strategy of divide and conquer, a strategy trying to get as much of the benefits for American companies," and little for developing countries, he said.

This is the paranoid message of every Fascist Messiah. 

Stiglitz also met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Miraflores, where they exchanged points of view on the global economic situation, economic indicators and the behavior of world markets.

Chavez taught Stiglitz some basic economics. He was very grateful. Did he express his gratitude by giving Chavez a rim-job? I assume so. Nothing less would do. 

Friday 24 February 2023

Alterman's anti-Israel mishegoss

The Boston Review asserts that Eric Alterman's 'We are not One'- which purports to be a historyy of 'America's fight over Israel'- 

teases out four important consequences of American Jews centering the Israeli state in Jewish identity.

This is foolish. Israel is founded on Jewish identity and has said so very clearly to every country and every community. American Jews like Indian Hindus and Arab Muslims understand this. There are no consequences to 'centering the Israeli state in Nigerian identity' because Israel simply isn't Nigerian. Those who get involved in any such 'centering' are laughed at. They give up any such stupidity or else must remain content to keep their crazy or ignorant thoughts to themselves.  

Though he generalizes about millions of people in doing so, he does identify important trends: first, Israel-centered Judaism has contributed to unconditional U.S. government support for Israeli governments,

Fuck off! There has never been any such 'unconditional support'. Eisenhower made Israel give up its gains in the 1957 War. France- initially because of Algeria- was Israel's partner till '67. They also cooperated in the nuclear field so as to get their own  force de frappe deterrent. 

After a Palestinian killed Bobby Kennedy and, a little later, the PLO killed the US Ambassador to Sudan, America , quite naturally, strengthened ties with Israel because....urm....how should I put this politely?... A-rabs be kray kray. 

1967 did, it is true, lay to rest the older Anti-Semitic trope of the brainy Jew who is shit at fighting. It may also have reinforced Evangelical notions regarding the eschatological need for some Jews to remain in the Holy Land to fulfil the prophesy encoded in the Book of Revelations. Still, the fact remains, that support for Israel grew because Israel was becoming increasingly viable. Reaganite tough love in the Eighties got it to shake off Socialism and to become a burgeoning Knowledge Economy with the Army serving as a tech incubator. That's why Saudi and the Gulf have embraced it and turned their backs on the Palestinians who can't even export much terror any more.  

regardless of their policies and conduct toward Palestinians.

Nobody gives a fuck about towel heads. True, after 9/11, there was money on the table to kill random Muslims but not Palestinians per se. Apparently some of them dudes be Christian- like Edward Said. Anyway they were all useless whatever their religion. It warmed the cockles of the heart to think of them pinning their hopes on the BDS movement. But FDI into Israel and academic and other cooperation rose exponentially while some nutters on campuses were shouting themselves hoarse about Netanyahu. Black Lives do matter- a bit- but lies about Palestine don't matter at all.  

Second, reactions to Israel have served to set the battle lines in important parts of the Jewish organizational world in the United States.

No. Competition between and within American Jewish organizations has to feature Israel in a very prominent way because Israel is a Jewish state- the only one in the world. Similarly, Indian organizations in the US are concerned with Indian politics as are Pakistani organizations with Pakistani politics and so on.  

Third, embracing Israel and its increasingly illiberal and repressive identity has meant neglecting Judaism’s strong social justice tradition.

No. Embracing one particular political party or leader in Israel and gassing on about how all the other political parties are shitty means neglecting Judaism's strong tradition of saying sarky things about the Rabbi's wife or swapping recipes for latkes. 

A social justice tradition is neglected if it isn't causing social justice to improve. Talking about it may itself be a form of neglect, if all there is is talk.

Lastly, centering Israel may have failed to give younger Jews a strong sense of Jewish identity

this is even more the case with young Nigerians.  

or, more bluntly, a reason to remain committed to identifying as Jewish.

or identifying as young or as 'binary' or as a human being rather than a son of the doomed Planet Krypton. 

In reaction to Israel’s illiberal policies,

as opposed to America's genocidal, post 9/11 policies, which have killed 1.3 million Muslims and have uprooted tens of millions more 

younger American Jews are becoming alienated from Judaism.

The good news, for Zionism, is that rejection of Israel's liberal policies causes some young American Jews to become ultra-orthodox and encourages them to become 'settlers' in the West Bank. They hope to become a majority and to ban homosexuality. I'm not kidding. Ovrit Strook, currently a Minister, has said Doctors should be allowed to refuse to treat Gay patients for religious reasons! It must be admitted that ladies like Strook are more reassuring to Israel's neighbors who, like the Israelis, have turned their back on Socialism and Feminist Stridency. 

The book examines how the American Jewish community might have evolved differently if they had not centered Israel in American Jewish identity.

Which would only have been possible if either there had been no pogroms or else the Arabs had been cohesive and kicked military ass 


is a religion. Like other religions is purports to care about the poor and the environment and so forth.  

has a strong social justice tradition, invoking mandates such as tikkun olam (repairing the world) and gemilut chasidim (acts of loving kindness) to focus on domestic ills that plague U.S. society.

Sadly, poverty is created by very poor people having kids who are bound to be poor. Crime and addiction and horrible attitudes and patterns of behavior too can have a hereditary component. Religions try to improve things by getting people who live lawless lives to convert. Judaism is handicapped in that regard in a multi-racial territory with pre-existing ethnicities.  

Though smaller groups do that, such as Bend the Arc, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, and Never Again Action, the Jewish organizational mainstream has a different priority. For example, Alterman notes that in 2022 the Jewish Federations of North America’s Public Priorities statement changed from supporting “gun control, voting rights, and LGBTQ protections” to championing “Jewish communal security and support for Israel.” The focus on Israel has sucked up resources too: Birthright trips to Israel have received hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, while educational and communal approaches associated with tikkun olam “have gone begging in recent decades.”

This is perfectly understandable. Mainstream organizations double down on 'last mile delivery' of stuff which people actually want. Repairing the Cosmos involves pissing money against a wall.  

The author of this piece, a Professor of useless shite, does not seem to be aware that America lost the War on Terror and that China is now offering to broker a peace between Israel and Hamas.

One important question Netanyahu isn’t properly considering is whether the growth of American Jewish disaffection with Israel will undermine the strong U.S.-Israeli military and diplomatic alliance.

The decline in American strength will undermine it. That's why Israel is broadening its support base in the region. They are crowing about an Indian billionaire- who has been attacked by Soros- having taken over the development of a military port. The message is clear. Israel, as a knowledge economy, can partner with other countries so as to grow richer and more secure.  

The Israeli right doesn’t think so, although Washington could pressure Israel to end the occupation and its suppression of the Palestinian right to self-determination.

No. Washington has lost that ability. There is no point giving money to BDS type shitheads. Their shrillness and stupidity is wholly counter-productive. Soros promoted the son of an Indian anti-Semite. That was not just a waste of money. It was a gift to Modi and Netanyahu.

If the United States denied Israel access to advanced weaponry,

Israel would steal that tech and manufacture the thing more cheaply.  

refused to veto United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions condemning Israeli abuses and violations of international law,

then Russia or China or France will step in.  

and limited Israeli businesses access to the U.S. economy, Israel would be in a more tenuous position.

No. It would ally with the emerging Eurasian power-block.  

Today many American Jews, more distant not only from the Holocaust but also from the 1967 War, recognize Israel’s decades-long swing to the right

Fuck off! The plain fact is that Israeli Socialism was shitty. The economy was totally unviable. That's why its neighbors feared it. Begin's making peace with Sadat allowed Reaganite tough love to push Israel onto a more market oriented trajectory. This has culminated in Gulf Emirates building synagogues and rolling out the red-carpet for Israeli entrepreneurs.  

and the ties between Israel’s right and anti-democratic forces

i.e. the Republicans 

in the United States. They cannot square a reactionary, hypernationalist occupier with their progressive values.

Very true. They are handing back their real estate to the First Nations and returning to shtetls in Poland or Ukraine or Lithuania.  

As a result, they will either seek a different core to their Jewish identity

like Seth Rogen in 'An American Pickle'- right? 

or none at all. To the extent that popular support for Israel matters to U.S. foreign policy, a popular turn against Israel spearheaded by the next generation of American Jews could fundamentally change the United States’ relationship with the country.

As could the replacement of the US Constitution by Sharia Law. 

What is certain is that Left Liberal Jewish American Professors of shite subjects are living in a fantasy land. They have lost all political relevance. Soros & Co may give them money but they will just piss it away in a manner which benefits Donald Trump. 

Enough with the mischegoss already!