Independence Certainly but Not Freedom

Keep the same thing going

It is an evident and obvious fact that India has failed to prosper. The cause of that failure is also obvious: the poor quality of its political and bureaucratic overlords. I use the word overlord advisedly because politicians and bureaucrats are not agents of the people — as they should be in a properly constructed government of a free people — but rather are rulers who position themselves above the people as commanders and dictators.

It is also easy to explain why the government is the overlord rather than the servant of the people. The reason is historical. The form, function, structure, objectives and power of the government were determined by the British during their colonial rule of India, starting in the mid-19th century. When it was no longer profitable for the British to continue to hold India as its colony, they transferred control of the British-created government to its favored minions, namely, Gandhi and his protégé Nehru. It is absolutely imperative to recognize that this transfer of power from the British to the Indians was a deliberate and voluntary act on both sides of the bargain.
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Democracy and the Economics of Politics

Lord Acton“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men . . .”

The truth of Lord Acton’s observation gets confirmed with sickening regularity. Here I explore that point in the context of democracy. Why do democracies, particularly those with powerful governments, tend to elect bad people? What’s the analytical relationship between power, politics, money and corruption? Continue reading

Which Countries Win the International Mathematical Olympiads

IMOI was asked on twitter how students of Indian origin do in the maths equivalent of the US spelling bee contests. (I had written a blog post on how students of Indian origin appear to have cornered the market on US spelling bee contests.)

I guess they do well in math too. I did a bit of searching on the web and here’s what I found.  Continue reading

Kemal Ataturk’s Turkey is Cooked

mkataturk Now that the Islamization of Turkey is rapidly advancing under the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there’s much grief, pain and suffering in store for that country. That’s what Islam does.

One man had tried to steer Turkey away from that fate: and had indeed succeeded to some extent. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881 – 1938), a Turkish army officer and revolutionist statesman who was the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. He wanted Turkey to be a secular state, and naturally so since he was irreligious. But now Turkey is regressing into an Islamic state and will probably become a failed state in the decades ahead. That’s a real pity.

Here are a couple of quotes attributed to Kemal Ataturk. Source: Wikiquotes.

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Wikileaks is upsetting the whole (rotten) apple cart has set a cat among the pigeons. Or you may say it has upset the (rotten) apple cart with what it calls its “Hillary Leaks Series.” Follow the @wikileaks twitter account to get interesting bits. However if you are a real political junkie, you can search through the entire collection of “19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee.”
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The Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew

LKYMr Lee Kuan Yew was a sage. Politicians are generally vile, myopic, self-serving, stupid, vacuous windbags. That Singapore had a Confucian sage for its first prime minister is amazing. Too bad Singapore is a small country. Imagine if LKY had been the first prime minister of India. India’s economy today would probably have been about 10 times that of China, instead of being 1/5th that it is today. Continue reading

What is Success?

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

The good life has to be a happy life. I am much in favor of Bertrand Russell’s view on the good life: “The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy – I mean that if you are happy you will be good.” The good life also has to be the successful life. But what is a successful life? The definition must vary from person to person. I like the simplicity of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s operational definition:  Continue reading