Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Roadblocks on borders make the world poorer

Because of Comparative Advantage - the Law of Human Association, which is the First Law of Sociology - free international trade and migration will lead to the betterment of the least skilled and the least talented, as well as the poorest nations of the world - and the better-off nations will gain as well. Foreign technology imports benefit Indians - for this reason. And those skilled foreigners who export these to us - they gain as well. Then, the resulting “international division of labour” will ensure global prosperity, what Adam Smith called “universal opulence.” Global demand for everything will rise - benefiting all.  
Protectionism makes the whole world poorer. As do immigration controls. Capital controls are even worse. A borderless world means peace, prosperity, and civilization. They all go together, after all. Roadblocks on borders make the whole world poorer - and this should be "intuitive." This requires peace, which is civilisation. Wars as well as tyranny – these are certainly not what civilization is admired for. […]
The Free Society works – because each Individual acts “sensibly” within it, using all his mental categories, and each does his utmost to keep his own boat afloat – so when most individuals succeed at this, the whole of society progresses as well. When most individuals succeed – society succeeds. When the One Big Power fails – everyone fails. 

Immigration from Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux
I regard the issue – freedom of movement and association – to be fundamental and vitally important. 

V.P. Singh formed government after 1989 elections and implemented mandal commission recommendations on backward caste reservations. His motivation was to create his own pan-indian political constituency. Though V.P. Singh implemented mandal with malicious intent, intellectuals like Girilal jain in his magnum opus “Hindu phenomenon” supported the move on the ground that it has potential to bring back hindu society to its proper health. Many current backward castes excluding few feudal ones were skilled artisans who plunged into extreme poverty on account of deindustrialization of Indian economy by British. Reservations for these sections would give them level playing field vis-a-vis other sections of society. Huge demonstrations, self-immolations and strikes by students in protest of mandal recommendations occurred for months. To counter V.P. Singh’s political move and to maintain hindu solidarity on Ram-Janmabhoomi advani launched his rath-yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya on 25th September 1990 . By this time televised episodes of Ramayana and mahabharatha in doordarsham further enhanced the hindus interest in their civilizational continuity and antiquity. It was a season of Ram-shila pujas, Ramayana serial and Ram rathyatra. Advani’s Rath yatra evoked huge response and curiosity across india. He was arrested in Bihar before reaching proposed karaseva on October 25th 1991 in Ayodhya. [...] 
The failure of hindu nationalists is at two levels 1) ideology 2) Politics. Despite their silent hard work for decades hindu nationalists were not fundamentally clear about their ideology. They have a goal to achieve glory for Bharatmata on the basis of Sanatana dharma, but they never thought seriously about the means or mechanisms required to achieve the goal,  even if some at the top echelons within Sangh parivar know how to achieve the objectives, they never thought it important to  educate the cadre on specifics. So, cadre had full faith in their leadership, but Hindu nationalist leadership didn’t know how to get things done from so called hindu sympathetic leaders in power. So, though members of their own parivar were in power, hindu nationalist leadership had no detailed blueprint on how to use power to achieve their objectives. State power plays an important role to expand and implement ideas at the level of larger society, and capturing state power has been defining moment for any ideological movement, but hindu nationalism was clueless in the corridors of power. 

Truth and fraternity? from The Immanent Frame by Uday Singh Mehta
Akeel Bilgrami’s essay is important and ambitious. Its importance lies in part in making clear what secularism is and should be— This question relates to the issue of the significance of the neutrality of the state and to why Bilgrami thinks the impasse of relativism does not follow from his view of secularism and why it does not disable it—both issues on which he disagrees with Charles Taylor
I think humanism and fraternity require something beyond a conviction in one’s own truth, though I admit such a conviction adds something profound, and perhaps even essential, to both ideas… After all, dogmatism and narcissism are both characterized by self-serving forms of forgetting that allow one to overlook the fact that one’s views have in fact changed…
The point I am making can be illustrated by way of considering Mahatma Gandhi’s attitude towards truth and fraternity. Gandhi insisted on the truth—his truth. This was the singular yardstick by which his actions and those whom he led were to be governed and judged… He yoked the two ideas by giving something of himself, which was not simply an extension of his firmness regarding his view of the truth. Gandhi’s response to deep differences went well beyond the avowal of epistemic and moral certainty…
In brief, he vouched for his truth in a way that gave a thicker content to the idea of fraternity, which therefore went beyond just vouching for his truth and the inclusiveness that resulted from that alone. It was such acts that allowed him to think that public concerns could still be navigated though a familial ideal such as fraternity. And similarly it was such forms of behavior—some of which were self-referential, such as fasting, others in which he threw in his lot with his opponents, and yet others where he stood his ground and accepted the consequences—that made Gandhi’s humanism genuinely inclusive and more plausibly caring and fraternal. He made himself, as Bilgrami has compellingly argued in another essay, exemplary and through that generated a convivial, one might say fraternal, radiance, which often moved his opponents.

Funnily however some of our modern historians of Indian antiquity seem to have placed more faith in a fictional romance written by Thomas Moore called Lalla Rookh. This fictional poem, it seems has become the basis for Indian historians to hail the reign of Jahangir as exemplary. While the truth was somewhat embarrassing. [...]
This is the real condition during the Islamic occupation of India as exposed by someone who had no hidden agenda to sugar coat the facts. Where are the public works and utilities, roads and highways, canals and markets places, running water, drainage and well laid out towns. In hindsight old parts of our cities are a testimony to the above, narrow dingy lanes, open sewers, random construction with no planning or public utilities whatsoever. We will be hard pressed to find a public park or a public water fountain for the thirsty traveler.
India was looted for personal gain and self aggrandizement of the Muslim kings and emperors. What we have are tombs, mausoleums, well laid out private gardens and frivolous fountains, while the common man was left to fend for himself. India was raped and trod under the shoes of barbaric invaders who are now extolled by our secular historians by the likes of Irfan Habib, Romila Thappar, Satish Chandra, Abraham Eraly and their gang of naysayers who write our school books and sundry other essays on the golden era of Muslim occupation. Its about time we change the narrative and retire these old apologist school of historians.

The reason for mentioning Ibn Batuta’s account at some length is to provide a sample of the mayhem the episodic Madurai Sultanate wrought upon large parts of the Pandya country—Dhamagani was by no means the last but was certainly the cruellest of them all. He wasn’t an overtly ambitious conqueror but he ceaselessly indulged in petty warfare by provoking the frontiers of his neighbouring Hindu kings.

Matrimandir - Newsletter June 2012 The summer months at Matrimandir, and in Auroville as a whole, are months when things quieten down a bit. The cooler months of December to February are ...

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