2ndlook

Country Model Of The West

Posted in Current Affairs, European History, Feminist Issues, Gold Reserves, History, Media, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on February 7, 2008

Chinese R & D SpendsThe Myth Of Western Technology

In the last 50 years, after WW2, the rise of Japan, Korea and China in manufacturing and technology and the Indian software success, have taken away the sheen from the myth of Western technological prowess. Post colonial revisions in history are eroding the euro-centric version of biased history.

Failed Westernisations

For some time, the easy way out seemed to be ‘copycat’ westernisation. One of the first ‘copycat’ states was China. China, led by Sun Yat Sen, (original name Sun Wen and started calling himself Yat-sen; Chinese call him Sun Zhongshan), was the first major power which tried going down the western path. The Japanese invasion of Manchuria sounded the death knell of the Chinese Republic and Monarchy.

China – Mao & Sun

Sun Yat Sen decided to westernise and make China into a Republican democracy. Chinese were made to cut their queue – pleated hair braids. This diktat was enforced in 20 days time. Sun Yatsen and later Mao Ze Dong made the Chinese change their dress styles too. The effect of this westernisation – an enduring sense of being followers. The Chinese add a western name to their Chinese one – Michael Tang, Bruce Lee, Jerry Yang, Tommy Tang, Tommy Chi.

In Hong Kong and Macao, white tourists are royalty. Chinese companies routinely parade White, Western investors – and the Chinese investors follow. Western marriage ceremony, Chinese couples think, is very romantic. The Christian Church wedding is common in China.

Not that Indians are too far behind – consider Steve Sanghi, Paul Parmar, or the best of them all, Bobby Jindal.

Mustafa Kemal AtaturkAtaturk’s Turkey

Turkey – led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the next ‘copycat’ attempt at westernisation. After WW1, the victorious allied powers dismantled the Ottoman Empire. Turkey was reduced to a rump state.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was ‘installed’ by Western powers. Thereafter, Turkey has lurched from crisis to another. Post WW2, it has mostly been ruled by military dictatorships. From an arbiter in Europe, it has become a supplicant, begging for entry into EU. Instead of the queue in China – it was beards in Turkey. Atatürk enforced a new dress code on the hapless Turks – and the traditional fez was banned. Stop wearing the fez or else …

Russia – Westernising Since Peter The Great

Peter the Great, (of the Naryshkin family) co-ruler of Russia, (along with Ivan of the Miloslavsky family) ruled from 1682-1725. For more than 40 years, his agenda was to create Russia in the Western mould. His travels to Germany, Britain, Sweden (before becoming a Tsar) shaped this agenda.

One of the first things he did after becoming a Tsar was to ask his boyars (Russian nobility) to shave their beards! Catherine The Great continued this during her reign from 1762-1796. For the next 125 years, Russia vacillated between a medieval country and modern western country.

Now, the imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky takes pains to show how Russia is a western nation and should be democracy. Khodorkovsky, who at one time nursed political ambition, says, “…I’m convinced that Russia is a European country, it’s a country with democratic traditions …”

How Every US Dollar Is SpentThe Anglo-Saxon Country Business Model

These Turkish and Chinese failures down the western garden path is to mistake the trees for the forest. There are five major features of the Anglo-Saxon country model which these countries did not copy. Not that I am recommending that they be copied.

The Use Of Corporations

The use of the British East India Company was an eye opener for the rest of the West. After Vasco da Gama’s discovery of trade route to India (for Europeans) round Africa, the British were the first of the block – with the English East India Company formed in the 1600.

The Dutch started soon after with the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Co.) in 1602. The Danish Opperhoved initially started in 1616 and was reborn in 1732, as Asiatisk Kompagni. The Portuguese organised themselves as chartered company in 1628. The French came with the French East India Co. in 1664. The Swedes joined the rat race in 1731 with Svenska Ostindiska Companiet. The Italians came in as the Genoa East India companies. The Hanseatic League had its own operations.

In North America, the Hudson Bay Company (Compagnie de la Baie d’Hudson in French) was given a Royal Charter in 1670 by Charles II. It practically owned Canada when the Dominion of Canada was formed – and is the oldest surviving company in North America. It monopoly ended only in 1870 – a few years after the Indian Independence War of 1857.

Anglo-American Oil Company (subsidiary of Standard Oil) of Iran plotted the the assassination of Iran’s Prime Minister Haj Ali Razmara and the overthrow of the Mohammed Mossadegh regime. Thereafter, it was the puppet regime of Shah Of Iran which terrorised Iran for 30 years that paved the way for return of Ayatollah Khomeini – and Iran’s regression to medieval times. And who was leading this campaign – Kermit Roosevelt (Teddy Roosevelt’s grandson).New Clues to JFK’s Murder?

In South America

In 1997, the CIA de-classified papers which admitted it planned and executed the coup in Guatemala – something that was known all along. This was done to protect the interests of the United Fruit Company – which owned large tracts of agricultural land in South America, used South American labour and shipped out fruit to America. Guatemalan farmers were run out of the market.

When Guatemala proposed land reforms so that Guatemalans could prosper in Guatemala, the Government of Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown. By the way, the term Banana republics came into being from the frequent intervention of the US into South American countries – and then ridiculing these countries for instability. To obtain US Governmental intervention, the United Fruit Company engaged services of Edward Louis Bernays (Sigmund Freud’s nephew) as PR front man.

Good ole DaysThe last 100 years saw the use of these companies as a means to economic dominance. ITT was used in South America for installing and removing dictators

… ITT papers published by Jack Anderson in March 1972, and in the hearings on these papers conducted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a year later. This material establishes that offers of financial aid aimed at stopping Allende were made by ITT president Harold S. Geneen to the CIA in July 1970 and to Henry Kissinger’s office in September” (Foreign Affairs; January 1974).

Had Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger not responded to International Telephone & Telegraph and Pepsi-Cola by overthrowing Salvador Allende, Chile “would have found a less violent, more constitutional way out of its conundrum.” writes Stephen Kinzer in his book Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change From Hawaii to Iraq.

To gain control of the Panama Canal Company, the operator of the Panama Canal, US engineered the secession of Panama from Colombia. With a puppet Government in place, The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty allowed the U.S. to build the Panama Canal. Subsequent interventions to advance Western oil interests in Colombia and the Canal interests in Panama have reduced Governmental authority in these countries. Drug cartels, kidnapping and ransom now control the economy of these countries.

Nearer home, of course, the next ruler of Pakistan (military or otherwise) is decided by US – at least for now.

First Gold Discovery In AustraliaThe Cornering Of Gold Supplies

For the last 150 years, the ABC countries (America, Australia, Britain, Canada) comprising the Anglo-Saxon bloc (countries, colonies and companies) have controlled 90% of the world’s gold production. Till (a large part of) India was a British Colony, they also controlled more than 50% of the above-the-ground gold reserves. This gave them absolute liberty to print depreciating currency and flood the world pieces of paper(called dollars and pounds), manipulate the world financial system and keep other populations poor and backward.

Enslavement & Annihilation Of The Natives

They could capture gold supplies by the annihilation of native populations in America and Canada (‘Red Indians’ are tourist attractions now), killed the aborigines in Australia (and apologise now).

Till the middle of 19th century, raw slavery continued. By mid 19th century new forms of slavery was introduced – indentured labour, share cropping, etc. They re-invented slavery (in the 20th century again) and renamed it as apartheid which made native populations into slaves. They could, of course, truthfully claim that great Anglo-Saxon frontiersmen discovered gold and settled empty continents – in ‘hostile conditions’.

http://img219.imageshack.us/img219/2897/koreausaflagmashupob5.gifThe Creation Of Client Sates

Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, most of South America – have been reduced to the situation of client states. The basic position is Uncle Sam knows best – or else! These states have become production centres for the USA, cheap labour will be given an ‘opportunity’ to serve the ‘master’ states.

All these states also have significant military presence of the Anglo-Saxon Bloc which is a matter of concern for India.

Elephants in the room

Western models, which have evolved through the prism of slavery, colonialism, genocide, concentration of power are an end-of-life model. To use end-of-life products may seem like a low cost solution in the short run. The bigger issue in most cases is the  lock-in effect that these legacy systems impose on the ‘buyers’ – e.g. Singapore.

The western model of (natural and people) exploitation has runs its course – for instance, in India even salt was made into a high-tax commodity. It is a dead-end model. Parts of this model, have been used successfully by other countries – Japan with its keiretsus and Koreans with their chaebol. But obviously, this is a model that the West is an expert in – and what others copy, the West has finished with. Copycat models allow the west to predict the next steps easily and taken competitive actions with certainty. The answer for others is to create another country model. The only country which has tried this is India.

The Alternate Model

Bharat-tantra, the Indic political system that depends on local justice, low-policing, non-state free-coinage /gold-as-currency, absence of religion, property rights for all, low-tax systems, free-labour (as opposed to slave labour), enterprise instead of employment, wealth-and-property distribution instead of concentration, is the model that has a future – and a record of past success.

India, where non-State reform has played a very major role in crime, policing (JP’s dacoit reform), land reform (Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan movement), political change (JP’s Sampoorna Kranti movement). After the economic buffer from Bombay High oil discovery in 1974, the Indian State has certainly, steadily shed various aspects of its colonial legacy. More importantly, India did not go through the slavery-colonialism-capitalism route at all.

It has instead inching towards a republican, (largely) market-driven, democratic, declining role of State, multi-ethnic-religion-linguistic political model which is unique in modern history. What India needs to do is to one decrease the colonial inheritances further. Deliberate amnesia by historians, has obscured Bharat-tantra. India is today slotted as a socialist country – where as it has been reducing the features of a socialist State.

The underestimated and undermined political leadership in India, has worked at renewing  the Indian model – which is non-exploitative, stable and can bring equity and growth. It is this model that before others, India (and Indians) should believe in – and beat a modern path for the world to follow.

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18 Responses

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  1. Parag Tope said, on February 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Alas – a truly excellent diagnosis…
    …but a naive and misguided remedy… IMO

  2. Anuraag Sanghi said, on February 8, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Hi Parag – What would you propose?

  3. Parag Tope said, on February 8, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    The broad answer is in many of your own posts elsewhere. Perhaps you haven’t seen them in the context of this particular blog. As you point out elsewhere, clues to our economic past are embedded in Indic thought. My issue is with you extending that argument incorrectly.

    >>Gandhiji, Nehru, Narasimha Rao have renewed the Indian model – which is non-exploitative, stable and can bring equity and growth. It is this model that before others, India (and Indians) should believe in – and beat a modern path for the world to follow.

    Considering the economic situation in 1991, Narasimha Rao did what he could. The economic “reforms” that took place however, were less about reducing the size of the Government and encouraging free markets, but more about giving access to Indian markets and enlarging yet restricting capital flow. While there is nothing wrong with giving access to Indian markets, it cannot be done while keeping domestic entrepreneurs shackled. While competition and free markets were at core of the Indian economy in its heydays, the reforms of 1991 encouraged crony capitalism. The growth in IT during this period was despite the Government, not because of it. The Government was not quick enough to put obstacles in the path of growth. The rest of the economy remained dominated by public sector industries and the cozy relationship between “private” and “public” domains. The overall tax burden remained high and in fact new taxes were added.

    To be fair, Rao was working with his hands tied behind his back. Subsequent Governments also had difficulties in getting rid of entrenched public sector industries. The uproar in the parliament during the divestments initiated by Shourie’s Department of Divestment, revealed the extent of the problem. Did Rao have the potential to create an alternate model? Perhaps – but that would be speculation. Was Rao’s weakness his Finance Minister? Perhaps, since Manmohan Singh as a prime minister has been a complete disaster. The size of the government is enlarged, and taxes continue to stifle the economy. The illusory 9% growth that you see in the last 3-4 years is simply proportional to the dollars that Bernanke is printing without releasing any M3 numbers. Get ready for a *massive* hit on the economy when the bubble pops.

    Nehru??? Socialism in every form is alien to Indic thought. To even consider Nehru’s five year centralized plans and the absolute entrenchment of a handful of families to dominate nearly 50% of the GDP as any form of a respectable model is reprehensible IMO. That India carried on is certainly no credit to the oppressive model of governance that was imposed on India.

    Gandhi’s death made him irrelevant post-independence. If he had been alive, would he have allowed the wholesale protection of Indian Industrialists from any form of competition? I don’t know enough to speculate – what do you think?

  4. Anuraag Sanghi said, on February 9, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Hi Parag – My revert on your comments. Your statements are in italics and my reply is in normal font.

    The broad answer is in many of your own posts elsewhere … you point out elsewhere, clues to our economic past are embedded in Indic thought ….

    Thanks for this

    Considering the economic situation in 1991, Narasimha Rao did what he could. The economic “reforms” that took place however, were less about reducing the size of the Government and encouraging free markets

    Not entirely true. The size of the Government has reduced in terms of number of people. What has bloated is the fertiliser subsidy, various unemployment benefit schemes where there are high administrative costs and also some leakages. Wholesale downsizing would have been traumatic and India(ns) was not prepared for that.

    Abrupt change would have also broken the ‘social contract’ that the Government has built up over the decades. There cannot be a change in the terms of contract before re-negotiation of this social contract. After all we are the ones who created the value of the spoken word – ‘raghu kul reet sada chali ayee, pran jaye par vachan na jaye’

    But more about giving access to Indian markets and enlarging yet restricting capital flow. While there is nothing wrong with giving access to Indian markets, it cannot be done while keeping domestic entrepreneurs shackled.

    I agree, 100% here. You have touched a sore point here. This is a major issue. Yes, we are going down the external liberlisation first, without making the job of Indian entrepreneurs easier. I checked the other day. The cost of compliance for my business is 50% of my profits.

    While competition and free markets were at core of the Indian economy in its heydays, the reforms of 1991 encouraged crony capitalism. The growth in IT during this period was despite the Government, not because of it. The Government was not quick enough to put obstacles in the path of growth. The rest of the economy remained dominated by public sector industries and the cozy relationship between “private” and “public” domains. The overall tax burden remained high and in fact new taxes were added.

    True.

    To be fair, Rao was working with his hands tied behind his back. Subsequent Governments also had difficulties in getting rid of entrenched public sector industries. The uproar in the parliament during the divestments initiated by Shourie’s Department of Divestment, revealed the extent of the problem. Did Rao have the potential to create an alternate model? Perhaps – but that would be speculation. Was Rao’s weakness his Finance Minister? Perhaps, since Manmohan Singh as a prime minister has been a complete disaster.

    MJ Akbar, has something interesting to say about Manmohan Singh. MJ Akbar is also the guy who set a record as ex-editor, of The Telegraph, Kolkatta by taking leadership position (in 6 years I think.) –

    Dr Mitra has a startling revelation about the surprise appointment of Dr Manmohan Singh as P.V. Narasimha Rao’s finance minister in 1991. This is his narrative: Foreign exchange reserves had shrunk to a point where they could cover only a fortnight’s imports. India was “fast approaching bankruptcy”. The US administration, in coordination with the IMF and World Bank, sent a “categorical message” to Delhi through “secret talks” that began as soon as the Lok Sabha results were known: obey and save yourselves, or object and go hang. Delhi agreed to obey. But wary of similar assurances that had been belied in Latin america, Washington sought an implicit guarantee. It was decided that “the IMF and the World Bank would nominate the finance minister of the country after consultations with the US authorities”. It is an astonishing assertion: in the words of the author, “the prerogative of naming the new finance minister was also transferred to Washington“. This is followed by a second bombshell.

    “The first person whose name was proposed by Washington DC, thought things over and declined the invitation to be the finance minister.” Who was this person? We are not told. This is a serious gap in information, because the credibility of such a damaging revelation dwells at least partly on the name of this first offer-and-decline. We all know who the second choice was; today he is Prime Minister of India. Dr Mitra describes this as an “ignominious surrender” and asserts the “high noon of that state of affairs continues”.

    The size of the government is enlarged, and taxes continue to stifle the economy. The illusory 9% growth that you see in the last 3-4 years is simply proportional to the dollars that Bernanke is printing without releasing any M3 numbers. Get ready for a *massive* hit on the economy when the bubble pops.

    Nehru??? Socialism in every form is alien to Indic thought. To even consider Nehru’s five year centralized plans and the absolute entrenchment of a handful of families to dominate nearly 50% of the GDP as any form of a respectable model is reprehensible IMO. That India carried on is certainly no credit to the oppressive model of governance that was imposed on India.

    The answer to this is in 3 events – which has not been pointed out – or if known, never understood. In 1954, Eisenhower laid out his infamous ‘domino theory’. Nehru regarded Eisenhower highly. It was during Ike’s his presidency that both America and India were on the same side regarding the Anglo-French-Israeli Suez invasion and the Hungarian crackdown by the Soviets. Eisenhower’s Domino story seemed to resonate in Nehru’s mind after the 1956 election. What shocked and stampeded Nehru was 19.33% of the combined vote won by Leftist parties (CPI and the Praja Socialist Party – a party formed in 1952, whose founder members were Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, JB Kripalani) – versus Nehru’s Congress which got 47.78% of popular vote. This challenge to Nehru within 10 years of Independence from a non-Congress platform made these socialist leaders legends in their own lifetime. The Communists went ahead and formed the world’s first elected Communist government (the State Government in Kerala). Suddenly, communism looked a lot closer.

    These 2 events and the pre- Independence Lees-Mody pact made Nehru into a Socialist. Possibly, India with its grinding poverty of the 1950-70 would not have accepted enrichment by a few – however fair or reasonable it may have been.

    Gandhi’s death made him irrelevant post-independence. If he had been alive, would he have allowed the wholesale protection of Indian Industrialists from any form of competition? I don’t know enough to speculate – what do you think?

    Gandhiji’s economics is an unknown element – but he had a fair idea of equity and fairness. But Gandhiji’s irrelevance is overstated and overestimated. The commercial success of Lage Raho Munnabhai series points to Gandhiji’s relevance. And I think his relevance will only grow.

  5. Parag said, on February 9, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    After Manmohan’s Oxford speech in July 2005, I had decided to jokingly call him Viceroy Singh. But looks like this is no joking matter. Even the events of 1991, I was aware of some “meddling” but did not realize the extent of the influence. (http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/nic/0046/pmspeech.htm)

    Your analysis of the symptoms about Nehru is accurate, however, I think it plays into a larger dynamics of the events of the 1940s and earlier. Gandhi falls into that dynamics as well – and you are right – his role was pivotal in many ways – but not necessarily the way you and others understand.

    One of these days, I will have to cut through that thick fog of misinformation to understand the complex events that took place in the 1940s. For the book on Tatya Tope, there was one particular day of the 1940s that was very relevant. A day that that changed India’s future but is torn out from the annals of history.

    One of these days…

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  9. c said, on November 30, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    The flag is upside down.
    The red side, reflecting the sun, is supposed to be on TOP.
    The blue part, representing water, is supposed to be on the BOTTOM.
    Sun and water.

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  18. admin said, on July 28, 2012 at 9:05 am


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