Monday, May 15, 2017

Deadly Military Industrial Complex Rising in India

Since the Narendra Modi’s BJP government came to power in 2014 the dreaded military industrial complex is taking its firm roots in India e.g., recently the present defense minister of India Mr. Arun Jatiley held consultations with representatives of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CII) on the proposed Strategic Partnership (SP) model meant to promote the private sector in defense manufacturing. Not only this, already many Indian private companies are diverting their manufacturing businesses from consumer goods to war machines e.g., Tata Advanced Systems won a contract of surface surveillance radar project for Navy from the Ministry of Defense; Reliance defense also bagged a contract of 916 crore from the defense ministry; Mahindra group also signed a deal with Airbus to manufacture parts of its Panther helicopters in India. 

These are all the worrying signs of the dangerous military industrial complex taking its deep root in the Indian economy and society. Already the Indian nation state is no. 1 in terms of foreign arms imports in the world, and now within its boundaries too the government is pushing for more resource allocation towards manufacturing of arms and ammunition. This military industrial complex is dangerous because once it gets firmly rooted in an economy it will have to be kept going at any cost because the whole economy will start to depend on it heavily for jobs and growth! The American nation state is the prime example in the world today of the dangerous effects of this military industrial complex. The then retiring US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell speech, warned against this rising military complex in America (see the video below):

No one listened to him and now the US Empire goes on waging one war after another all over the globe just to sell the arms and ammunition being produced by this complex. There are so many vested interest involved in this complex in America right now that simply shutting it down is no longer an option. It will collapse only after it collapses the whole American economy and society. The same will happen in India in future. Just to keep the entrenched military industrial complex going the Indian nation state officials will also go on looking and waging wars everywhere. 

Economic science tells us that any economy, at any time, has scarcity of resources to fulfill goals of its inhabitants. This scarcity means people, in reality the so-called public representative policy makers like the politicians or bureaucrats, will have to choose their ways of using these scarce resources very carefully otherwise there will be a huge wastage of resources, which no country can afford. In a country like India where still around 30% of its people are living below the poverty line such extravagance expenditure by the government – in the fiscal year 2017-18 government budget allocated 3,59,854 crore rupees to the Ministry of Defense – on manufacturing war weapons is absurd and antithetical to its goal of progress. 

I know many will say that India is surrounded by enemies like the Pakistani and the Chinese nation states so it must keep a big military force for the purpose of national defense, but there is little evidence in theory and history in believing that the Indian nation state will be attacked and taken over by either the Pakistani or Chinese nation states in present or in foreseeable future. In fact, if we look at the recent history, then it is the Indian nation state who engineered the disintegration of the Pakistani nation state into modern day Pakistan and Bangladesh! Historically speaking India has been the country with imperialistic dynasties like the Mauryas and the Cholas! The Indian nation state is the reason of worry for most of its smaller neighboring nation states like Nepal or Sri Lanka. And besides that, the whole idea of national defense itself is flawed. There are much better alternative ways of protecting the Indian populace other than state’s standing military forces. 

All in all, the people of India will have to decide, in the end, whether they want their government to use resources in the making of ‘bullets, guns and bombs’ or ‘daal and roti’! If they choose the former, they will starve to death. If they choose the latter, they will survive and thrive.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Venezuela again proves that Socialism Kills

The latest victim of Socialism is Venezuela. Following are some headlines of past few months concerning that country:
  1. Venezuela Is Starving Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls
  2. Venezuela death toll rises as unrest enters fourth week 
  3. Death toll jumps to 20 in Venezuela protests 
  4. GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized 
  5. Maduro orders Venezuela army into streets 
  6. Clashes in Venezuela as Maduro starts constitutional rewrite
  7. Ranks of Political Prisoners Grow as Democracy Ebbs in Venezuela 
  8. Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem 
  9. Emaciated Venezuelan elephant becomes latest symbol of food crisis   
  10. Venezuela's epileptic patients struggle with seizures amid drug shortage 
  11. Venezuela is down to its last $10 billion 
  12. Venezuela Follows India’s Example and Voids Half of Its Cash
  13. Heartbreaking image of newborn babies being kept in cardboard boxes in Venezuela due to 'hospital crisis' 
  14. Venezuela: Over 15% of People Eat Garbage to Survive
  15. Venezuela's "Death Spiral" - A Dozen Eggs Cost $150 As Hyperinflation Horrors Hit Socialist Utopia
  16. Hungry gang butchers thorough bred horse after breaking into zoo in search of food 'due to economic crisis'

I can go on and on like this for a little while, but this, I think, is enough to prove the fact of the futility of Socialism. Venezuela is flirting with Socialism since long , and its ugly head came to fore under the charismatic leader Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro. Under them Venezuela tried socialism and failed spectacularly, as expected. Venezuela once was an oil rich country which in the 1950s had a fourth highest GDP ranking in the world, but now it is dirt poor. 

This result was well expected because theory and history both show the impossibility of socialism. The great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises proved long ago that under a socialist economy, in the absence of the price system, economic calculation of how to efficiently allocate society’s scarce resource is impossible. And this impossibility means wastage of resources on a gigantic scale ultimately resulting into huge chaos as Venezuela’s case proves once again.  

The choice against any country then is between Capitalism (in its pure form) on one side and Socialism on other. The so-called "middle of the road" policy of interventionism will always lead to full Socialism in the end as exhibited by Venezuela. If a country chooses Capitalism then it survives and thrives, but if it chooses Socialism then it kills itself and die as Venezuela shows.