If you want to be loved and admired by the people, do good to others. Unfortunately that only works sometimes. But if you wish do well for yourself, even if it means that it causes harm to others, make the people believe that what you are doing is for the good of others. That’s always guaranteed to work. It has worked like a charm in the past, works now, and will work in the future. Public perception trumps reality. Billions spent on false advertising attest to the fact that it works.
The past masters in this game of duping the public into believing blatant falsehoods are governments of all stripes, be they communists, socialists, fascists — and especially democracies.
One of the more important lessons to be learned from the British Colonial regime is the absolute necessity for governments to hoodwink the public. The British rulers cloaked their imperial drive with the noble enterprise of helping the natives as part of the “White man’s burden” to better the “half-devil and half-child” (phrases that the bigoted racist Rudyard Kipling so memorably penned in 1899.) Continue reading →
As a matter of principle, I don’t vote. Why not? Because it is taken as signalling endorsement of democracy and by extension, an endorsement of government as it exists. I believe that governments should be abolished. They are the primary agents of war. As long as governments exist, humanity cannot know peace. Continue reading →
Getting around in most Indian cities is no cake walk given the awful traffic. What makes the experience worse is that quite frequently addresses are hard to locate. I was in Delhi recently and was trying to locate L-1/18 in Hauz Khas Enclave. It is never easy. I’ve been there about half a dozen times, and each time it involved a good deal of driving around because the numbering is random and unpredictable.
Why Indians have not figured out the simple street numbering system used in much of the world is a mystery to me. Another mystery is the naming of streets. Street names manifest what I call a “personality cult disorder” or PCD.
I like to quote Ludwig von Mises to my socialist friends (who also do double-duty as the enemies of humanity in keeping with their ideology). Mises wrote, “A man who chooses between drinking a glass of milk and a glass of a solution of potassium cyanide does not choose between two beverages; he chooses between life and death. A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.”
Socialism Equals Misery
That it’s not mere exaggeration and hyperbole is clear from the fate of socialist economies, both contemporary and of the past. Socialism impoverishes nations. But why? Because socialism does not use markets to conduct economic activities. Instead of voluntary exchange in free markets, socialism uses force and coercion, command and control. That leads invariably to the disintegration of society.
Visiting India for even a short while reminds me of a favorite quote from Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784). In his 1775 work Taxation No Tyranny he pointed out the terrible hypocrisy of the American leaders who were fighting for their freedom from the British. Johnson asked, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”
I ask, how is it that we hear the loudest yelps of concern for the poor from those who engineer the very poverty that the poor endlessly suffer?
I was recently asked my opinion on Islamic banking. I know next to nothing about that. I am told that it is against Islamic principles to charge interest on loans. As a liberal, I take the position that people ought to be free to do whatever they want with their property. They should be free to lend their money at whatever interest they want (including zero interest or a million percent interest.) The only condition is that there must be no coercion involved.
Therefore, anyone who is handing out interest free loans out of their own wealth will find a willing borrower in me. Although it is obvious that giving out interest-free loans is an idiotic thing to do, I don’t believe it is anyone’s business to force people to avoid folly.
Some time ago I published the draft of a “Constitution for a Free India” (click to read, right-click to download pdf) which I propose should replace the current Indian constitution. In the preamble of the draft, it says —
“… The people of India as the principals agree unanimously through this constitution to empower as their agents governments at the national and state levels which shall carry out the legitimate wishes of the people as expressed by their political choices in elections. … “
What does “agree unanimously” mean and imply? When you agree to something, you give your consent, assent. Agreeing implies coming to a common understanding or arrangement. Continue reading →
I haven’t read these books that Amazon recommended to me via email today. But I hope that within the pages of these books the authors somewhere explain the economics of textbook publishing and why these books on the principles of economics cost an arm and a leg.
Thankfully in modern times, the principles of economics is accessible to many who can’t afford those prices. It’s all there on the web. Continue reading →