Friday, November 4, 2016

Country can sleep because Indian soldiers are awake?

Indian nation state's prime minister Narendra Modi, while celebrating Diwali with soldiers at the North-Eastern front, said that, “Because you guard our borders, people sleep at night. If you were not on the borders, people couldn’t have slept.”

The war hysteria is at its peak in India after the so-called "surgical strikes" by the Modi government along the LoC. Mainstream news media and the ruling government BJP's ministers are constantly beating the drums of war to secure votes at the home front in coming crucial state elections in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. A kind of mini war has already started between the Indian and Pakistani nation state armed forces on the borders of Jammy & Kashmir. Everyday soldiers of these nation states are dying on both sides of the border. Anytime this war can spread in the rest of the regions and the whole country. The above statement of PM Modi came in the wake of this background conditions. When the war drums are beating it is natural that the ruling government will try to glorify soldiers who are fighting this war for them. Army worshiping is reaching its heights in India today. Politicians like Modi are telling everyone that if soldiers are not manning our borders, we will not be able to sleep at all in night! It is only because soldiers are protecting borders that Indians can live peacefully! So how much truth is there in these claims of PM Modi and all his supporters? Let's see.

First thing we have to understand here, without getting emotional, is that why there is a war between the Indian and Pakistani nation state to begin with? This is important because if there is no war between these two nation states then there is no need for their respective armies. And if there is no need for their armies then there is no need to worship that institution too, which means that the sleep and security of Indians and Pakistanis don't depend on soldiers. Now the answer of the question that why the Indian and Pakistani nation states are fighting? To understand the causes of this war one must understand the true nature of the institution of the State itself. The state is a territorial monopolist who has the monopoly over the use of violence against everyone else. As important scholars like Franz Oppenheimer, Albert J. Nock, Murray Rothbard, Hans Hermann Hoppe etc., have discussed the state is an institution which uses 'political means' for its survival i.e., its steals and robs the produce of the productive people for survival. That means violence is the very raison d'tre of the existence of the state and its officials. The state historically came into existence via the use of violence (i.e., by killing then subduing and robbing productive people) and it always thrives via the use of violence. The biggest example of the use of violence is nothing else but Wars! As the twentieth century brilliant American journalist Randolph Bourne said, the war is the health of the state. Through wars the state and its officials like Narendra Modi or Nawaz Shariff or Barack Obama or Rahul Gandhi or Arvind Kejriwal etc., all politicians, bureaucrats, diplomats etc., survives and thrives. And that is the reason why they will always look for reasons to start a war, and once they find that reason they will never do anything to remove that cause of wars and conflicts so as to stop those wars and conflicts. That reason for war and conflict between the Indian and Pakistani nation states is the Kashmir conflict. It is this single reason which politicians have never really tried to solve because it provides them their "bread and butter". Politicians from both India and Pakistan are using this conflict for their survival. If there is no Kashmir conflict then most state officials on both sides of the borders will become unemployed. The very reason for their survival will be gone. If Kashmir become an independent country then there is no reason for any war. Peace will prevail and during peace there is no need for any army or soldiers.

So as we have seen above, the first reason why the soldiers are required on the borders is because the Indian and Pakistani nation state officials are using the Kashmir issue to wage wars for their survival. The reason for the existence of these soldiers is also the same Kashmir, and other such state generated, conflict. Without this and other such nation state generated conflicts there will be no wars and people will sleep quietly without the need of any standing army soldiers.

I know even in the absence of these state generated conflicts other conflicts like theft, robbery, murder etc. will be there. But these conflicts will be between individuals and not some mythical nation states. Such conflicts can be solved by using any market based private alternative like private defense and judiciary services. We don't need a standing army of the state to solve such issues. The standing army of the state is required because of the false notion of national defense. But national defense is a myth.

Secondly, as the American sociologist William Graham Sumner reminded, we should never forget the contribution of the forgotten man i.e., the tax payer in the security of the nation and its citizens. It is this forgotten man tax payer who pays for the salaries of the government policemen, court lawyers and judges as well as army soldiers. It is this tax payer who quietly goes on doing hard work producing the surplus which the state forcefully takes from him to give it as salaries to above mentioned people. Without the tax payers there won't be any salaries for the soldiers, policemen and lawyers/judges. I wonder how many soldiers will fight the wars on the borders for the security and peace of Indians if they are not getting their salaries?! Will soldiers volunteer to put their lives in danger for the sound sleep of other Indians? How many soldiers will volunteer to remain awake for the sound sleep of their fellow countryman? The present protest by the army veterans for their pensions (OROP issue) in a way gives answers of those questions.

So we must thank the tax payers of India who are working like donkeys to produce the surplus which government distributes in the form of salaries to soldiers, policemen, lawyers/judges etc., public employees. It is because the tax paying productive class of the Indian society that the Indian army gets to have all the resources to fight those wasteful wars of the politicians. The contribution of the tax payers in the security and peace of this country is of fundamental nature. Without the productive tax payer, people of this country, including soldiers, policemen, lawyers/judges and all other public officials, will not be able to sleep at all!

But above all, and most importantly, there will not be any wars if politicians are not allowed to create and wage wars for their own benefits to begin with. And if there will not be any nation state wars then there is no need for the youngsters of this country to lose their precious lives in those wars. Remember all these soldiers who are fighting and dying in these wars are someone's sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. When they die fighting these useless wars their families and loved and dear ones suffer immensely. Politicians don't lose anything because none of their family members are in the armies fighting these wars! In the absence of wars all these young kids can live much more rewarding lives with their families doing some productive work. In the absence of these wars not only ordinary Indians will be able to have a sound sleep, but these young soldiers and their families too! The only losers will be politicians like Narendra Modi and that is the reason why they will never want these wars to end. They will continue to sacrifice youngsters of this country for their political power as long as people of this country don't wake-up and stop them.     

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