Monday, May 29, 2006

To understand socialism, visit India

Apparently the plan is for the family to make our regular visit to India during July next year. The last time I visited India was for two months between December 2003 and January 2004. First hand experience with socialism is sobering, and made me appreciate Australia even more once I got back.

Like most socialist countries, in India it's who you know, not what you know. I don't think any Indian government has been able to provide a decent road. Nor has any Indian government been able to provide security for its citizens. You can probably commit murder in India and get away with it for the right price. In these conditions it's not surprising that Indians are more successful abroad than they are in India.

In Australia despite our high living standards, there are people pushing for further reform. And these people are willing to get politically organised. As far as I know however, in India there is no liberal party. The political apathy is immense. Probably because politics is such a grimy business, decent people are not willing to get involved. If you weren't corrupt before you ran for parliament in India, you surely will be by the time you're elected. So it's understandable that there is reluctance.

But as Edmund Burke said, 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' Sometimes, getting involved in politics is the noblest thing you can do, regardless of what the cynics may think.


At May 29, 2006 10:49 pm, Anonymous michael said...

For an apathetic populace with no organise liberal parties (not saying your analysis is wrong) they sure ended up with an interesting prime minister!

Also, its amazing how flexible that Burke quote is.

At May 30, 2006 11:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a liberal party in the sense of a secular (the BJP loves playing the religion card), pro-capitalist, pro-freedom political organisation. I suppose it's too broad brush to paint everyone as apathethic. The poorest in India aren't apathetic. It's the middle-class elites.

For the poor, voting is the only sure way of exercising power in a kleptocracy. Too bad they get the same sort of politician regardless of who they vote for. Once one MP has had his fill of exercising power for personal gain, they roll over and make room for another to have their share.

It's unforunate Manmohan Singh is constrained by the major party players in Congress. But have a look at the caste politics that goes on to this day, under his watch.


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