Aficionados of capitalism should know…

Posted on April 29, 2010

Abhirup Bhunia:

Policies and opinions have of late skewed against socialism and the internet, the cesspool of liberal, opinionated statements and occasional slang directed at socialism and its advocates, has received and published several odious comments against the practice of socialism in post independent India. Some say they (followers of socialism) were fools, some allege they were blind, others say they were so much so that the word ‘socialist’ was inscribed in the constitution making India’s doom imminent, yet others say it was only in 1991 that India opened its eyes, and some contend that capitalism should have been the way forward since 1950’s. Not to mention those loathsome terms used to describe the executors of socialism.

Had India been a hardcore capitalist nation (India is at the moment a budding capitalist), it would not have been credited to have handled the economic crisis better than most of the nations. In India, banks are still the ambit of the state. Only the intermittent private bank on the side of the road which had played into the hands of foreign markets was the one which was ensnared in the horrible economic crisis. Hence it is the socialist leaning, at the end of the day, which came good for India. The government managed bank was the savior — just the manner in which the well engineered buildings survive an earthquake even as the externally beautified, apparently suave skyscrapers is decimated as the earth shakes. It is only then that it is revealed the building was internally weedy.

Capitalism is a economic system in which means of capital or wealth are owned by one single person, a number of them, or an organization, ultimately meaning private owned enterprise. Free of any state intervention, this form of economic structure has spoken for itself as to how nefarious it can be. Norman Thomas had once said, “The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day, America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” Alan Greenspan, an advocate of free markets and privatization had admitted a mistake in the free market economic models in the backdrop of the recent economic crisis.

In India, laymen who balk at socialism and the high priests of capitalist regimens should firstly know what the latter is as against the former. If they know, they should also be knowing that Gross Domestic Product has no bearing whatsoever with the Human Development Index of a nation state. This mention because most of who reject socialism is on the count that the latter has utterly failed in tackling poverty and the ensuing miseries. Almost as a corollary, people seem to be convinced capitalism could have done that convincingly! In a poor nation like India what has ailed is not the pursuit of socialist theories, but the rampant corruption. And the latter is irrespective of communism or capitalism or PPP or any other form of economy whatsoever.

Today, Lalit Modi and the web of dirty monetary truths have been unearthed, frowning many if not all. But all this is under the garb of capitalism. There would not have been any private property without capitalism; therefore celebrants of the latter will only mean they aren’t willing to accept the smoke that comes with the fire, if they sulk at the IPL-gate. Knowing the difference between the latter and crony-capitalism is needed so is the need to comprehend the distinction between industrialization and capitalism. “It is remarkable that the debate on finance in India has not lurched in the direction of triumphalism about the public sector model of finance and the need to ensure its permanence,” commented a views paper with a leaning towards socialism in the milieu of India’s economic upsurge, at a time when it was the recipient of international acclaim. While nationalization is too good to be applicable in the real world, India needs a state capitalist regimen combined with a few brains of business that amounts to PPP. After all, “No company fails in communist China, because they’re all partly owned by the government,” as Jim Bunning puts in.

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