Om Puri died some days back. To remember him, IndiaTV was replaying his appearance on the Rajat Sharma show AAP KI ADALAT. There the actor did what we all do every fucking day of our lives—abused the politicians. He basically called them the lying little degenerates that they usually are. All good. The people were very happy to hear it of course. Laughter and clapping broke out in my living room as well. I think in that gap of 2-5mins it was reinforced for the millons watching that clip on TV that indian politicians are scumbags who can never ever be trusted. All well and good. ..
Now comes the but, the big BUT. How is it that most Indians who so well understand the politicians are scumbags who cannot be trusted are so in favor of having the govt on their backs all day? All you got to do is bring up the topic of the govt’s monopoly in the railways, the govt ownership of MTNL and BSNL, the fact that you need to take govt’s permission to sell alcohol in a restaurant or drive a public transport vehicle, the govt control on primary and higher education which has simply destroyed our education system and by extension the nation.
You bring this point up and the initial response you get is a weird pause. Then some hesitation sort of reaction and in the end the rationalization—”it probably must be something”. The fallback to the line of thinking that “if they’re doing it, it must be something” is the curse to our indian society. It is a refusal to think and an acceptance of authority just because of the fact that IT IS THE AUTHORITY.
This is an attempt to convince my fellow indians that the SINGLE BIGGEST IMPEDIMENT to human progress anywhere in the world is the institution of GOVERNMENT. The institution of government is “a necessary evil” personified. In fact I simply cannot think of any other entitiy or object for which the phrase fits better. Right now I can almost hear the years of leftist programming shouting inside of you, here’s the antidote to kill that cancer once and for all. Well it might not kill it just now, but sure help you fight it.
The Nature of Man
Man cannot live alone. Go through your day and count how many times did you deal with a fellow man using money for exchange of his time and effort. Even better think of all those times you were desperate to buy something, maybe a bottle of water, willing to sell your fucking soul for it and found there’s no one around selling one.
That’s the simple natue of man, we contribute to society and create value in whatever form we can and get paid for it. A simple value exchange between two parties coming to an agreement out of their own volition and no force whatsoever.
This system is mostly perfect for the most part.
The simplicity of the system is what baffles most people and grips them with fear, “how could something so big and complex be so simple?” is what people keep wondering but give up midway after asking the question and never really try enough to find an answer.
The part where the system fails is when one or more actors in the system decide to “pull a fast one on joey”. This can be some unemployed kid snatching your purse after dark in the street or someone sliting your throat for your watch or a million dollar multination refusing a replacement for your under warranty malfunctioned gadget. Some of these are the criminals who want to take what you have by force and others those who went back on their mutually agreed contract with you.
As much as we enjoyed the Taken movies, in which the man personally sets out for revenge we simply cannot organize society like that.
Nature of Govt
If men were angels, no government would be necessary.
— James Madison.
Government is a monopoly on the use of physical force. Govt is the only institution in human societies which has the right to make someone comply with it at gunpoint, given to it by the people it governs.
But that doesn’t mean the govt can do so directly on its own. An objective metric has to be worked out. This objective metric is put in place by a system of checks and balances and division of duties.
The government maintains the police system to maintain law and order, the justice system in the form of courts to objectivly pass verdict and punishments and the legislature to create laws, rules and regulations aimed at bettering the society and preserve individual freedoms.
These are the internal functions of the govt within the society it governs, there is one major external function the govt must undertake and do so in the best possible manner — military. The govt must maintain a world class military to defend the country from external enemies.
We can some more things for the govt to do, such as building infrastructure, creating a social minimum so that no citizen is afflicted with abject poverty to the point of starving, having a response team like the fire fighters, ambulances for emergencies etc. The debate on these minute policy decisions can continue.
All that given, the ideal core functions of a govt end here.
The reality is different.
Govts all over the world have taken upon themselves much more additional duties. This was never required, but they did so for political reasons which has only suited the politicians very well and no one else.
These duties range from running postal services in the US to running car manufacturer companies like hindustan motors in India while allowing no competitors within the country or from the outside of it. The former probably messed up passing around some letters and cost the american public $10billion while the latter built a third class copy of the Morris Oxford and called it the Ambassador. All this while touting about people being in the waiting line to get their Ambassadors, never mentioning that it was only so because it was the only car available in India at the time.
One might think the Indian govt might learn some lesson from that failure. That hardly seems the case though.
Today the govt still has its fingers dipped in tens of businesses, and the outcomes have been simply devastating for the economy and the society. Take for eg the Air India run by the govt of India since the 70s. From 2005 to 2016 its accumulated a loss of close to $10Billion and that’s just a round figure, the actual loss is definitely more than that. That is a 60,000 crore loss in rupee terms. Others in the same boat are govt run firms like MTNL, BSNL the BEST electricity and bus transport company in mumbai. And the biggest monster of it all The Indian Railways.
The BIGGEST scams are underway in open daylight and cost the indian society billions of dollars which could have been spent in infrastructure building, police and court modernization and the indian army. What’s more is the indian railway now runs regular death trains with a record number of train crashes every year causing 100s of deaths. All this while evident that the pvt industry has done a better job of providing all these services at the best prices.
Indians still seem to be confused though. The hindu culture of automatically respecting any authority without questioning as never given a deep thought to these economic, political philosophy and principles.
Nature of the Market
The market isn’t real.
It’s a system, or a illusion or whatever created by MAN. Created to fascilitate exchange of value for value.
No one of us can live alone, not for long anyway. To not only survive but to grow, enjoy and truly live a life takes a lot of things to be in order. That includes simple things like food, clothing, water, a house, education and complex things like medicinal research, surgery, automobile manufacture, communication technology like the internet and then there’s the fun stuff, the movies, music, books.
All this must be provided by someone for someone else. Al this must be maintained and worked upon to improve and reach it’s full potential. And that needs financing, expertise and most importantly time.
The market achieves all of this spectacularly well, it brings different people from various ethnic, religious, nationalities together together in a system to exchange whatever value they can provide and take whatever value they need—till they pay for it. Till the seller agrees to the exchange, you have a deal.
It is this magnificent system created by man that allows someone doing as rudimentary a job of cleaning and sweeping to fly in a commercial airliner like a boeing 747 or an airbus a380. The sweeper can exchange the value of his work and live through diseases like the malaria or jaundice or get access to a life saving surgery after an deadly accident.
The market brings all the skills, talents and visoins together in an exchange system which benefits all the voluntary participants. There is no force of any kind.
The most amazing accomplishment of the market is that it buys you time—time to live. Think about having to grow all the food you’d ever need by yourself. Or building a car, or even repairing one. Think of building a smartphone or the internet. In an market you don’t have to. You simply contribute in anyway you can in your own abilities and talents and you can expect an equivalent reward.
Since cybsecurity skill sets can’t really be measured and exchanged with pharmaceuticals which again has the same problem, the market uses a means of exchange—money.
To be continued..