Sunday, August 29, 2010

Road to True Capitalism - ii

The Indian government probably doesn't have clear idea on how to set the tribals in the path of welfarism. I'm not sure what other reasons could be given for the rejection of a mining project in regions belonging to the tribals. This point I'm making in the background of recent government decision to give 23% in the mining profits to the local tribals.

It should be noted here that I'm totally in dark how the government would identity the number of tribal families that would get the share. Also, what would be the minimum amount. I believe the minimum amount is paramount in any of these. I have already argued how a limited land distribution even in regions with enough water resources has not helped the farmers. The limited land would keep them in the static financial status for generations as even though it can satisfy their needs but cannot guarantee disposable income for their social mobility. The government exercise in this regard looks as if passing the guilt feeling to people.

This would be the case with the tribals too. Even though giving some share in the profit may look a lot civilized than giving complete monopoly to mining companies or allowing the tribals to worship their hill gods, it may not necessarily bring them out of their tribal economy to capitalist economy.


Maju said...

You have made up that idea of "true capitalism", not to mention "welfarism".

Do you live in cheap but nice public housing? What kind of unemployment payment do you get if you lose your job? And if you can't find a job year after year? Is education free for all up from kindergarten to doctorate? Single mothers are supported by the state?

Probably not. There is no welfare in India. In fact there's no welfare anywhere except a handful of small states who that way have avoided the housing bubble, if nothing else. In Switzerland you are born with the right to a nuclear refuge, go figure!

Are national parks protected by the state from the mining industry? Are polluters forced to pay? The environment is a key part of any welfare state "a la Swedish"? That is also part of the "welfare state".

If there's no welfare in India (afaik, people can easily die in the streets and nobody would care except maybe private charities and cleaning services), how do you expect the Indian government to attract anyone, much less proud and egalitarian tribals to "welfarism"?

You have to realize that if capitalist has a happy face (I'm not talking of Ronald McDonald's dumb smile but of real stuff) is only as far as it has betrayed itself and gone socialist. And it has done that, sometimes at some places, because of two reasons:

1. Class war, including the Cold War. With a US-style system Europeans would probably have jumped the Berlin wall in the other direction, eventually with all their countries.

2. (Neo-)Colonial exploitation of distant impoverished (but rich) lands, allowing for some extra surplus that the oligarchy could share with its closest lackeys, including whole but small countries like Switzerland in some cases. This dynamic cannot be extended ever to large populations, certainly not to the whole planet - not under Capitalism.

You have idolized some vanishing social-democrat ad-hoc version of Capitalism, markedly leaning to Socialism, as "true capitalism" and "welfarism". But you are very wrong about the true nature of Capitalism, because the greedy monster only wants to exploit and make profit. Only through class struggle can it be forced, maybe, to make concessions, which are by definition not "true capitalism" (or can eventually be destroyed as well, in due time).

manju said...

I agree with everything you said. That's why I'm proposing the "True Capitalism". We don't have additional resources to exploit and probably we no longer have enough resources to exploit and to distribute the wealth to our population. I said we need to have a capitalism sans inheritance thus exploited resources could be re-distributed.

Madhav said...

Your ideal capitalism is worth fighting for, but cannot come into existence in India till imperialism and neo-colonialism are ended. Contrary to what you say, capitalism sustains feudalism. Whenever oppressed people have tried to overthrow their oppressors, western neo-colonialists have propped up feudal elements to defend the 'old order'. There are countless examples of this. For one, see Afghanistan where the US funded the Mujahideen to defeat the progressive forces in that country.

manju said...

My true capitalism doesn't have any idea about distribution of wealth by exploiting resources. It's somewhat clear about re-distribution of wealth by outlawing inheritance. Therefore as I see its enemies are not imperialism or neo-colonialism as you point out but its own ambiguity.

But your arguments show how western capitalists propped up feudalism in other regions (and not in their own backyard). As I see it we need to discuss too many variables in this case and not the single reason (capitalism sustains feudalism) that you have given.

The obvious reason that I can think of is 'progressive forces' didn't have money power to match capitalists. And also, progressive forces didn't have clear idea about tackling religious identities. I believe progressive forces in Afghanistan were supported by some of the warlords. Somehow, idealism and pragmatism of progressive forces clashed with pure idealism of Mujahideens and pure pragmatism of western capitalists. Ambiguity was part of progressive forces' thiking but not that of their enemies.