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Posts Tagged ‘Third World’

Debt Crisis in The Third World

October 16, 2011 4 comments

The West is nearly US$100 trillion in debt and 14% of global population. Emerging Markets and Third World has 80% of global population and gets less than US$10 trillion of funding.

Cartoon by Bendib. Click for larger image.

Cartoon by Bendib. Click for larger image.

The Debt Crisis: An Overview

Modern day international usury is, of course, much more complex than the more primitive relation we have just presented. Total Third World debt amounts to USD2 trillion; annual payments is about USD 200million. The system of debts has evolved into a key aspect of the capitalist economy; a weapon for consolidating the domination of the people’s of the Third World. In many ways, the debt today is a weapon more potent than others devised by colonialism and neo-colonialism.

It is institutionalized to a very high degree, is regulated by a massive bureaucracy of the multilateral finance institutions; and backed up by the military might of the mightiest nations on earth. Worse the burden of paying debts is passed on to society in general as a routinary process. (via South South Summit 1999 Document: The Development and Historical Context of the Debt Crisis).

Pareto’s Economics

The previous post examined the debt situation of the West.

Since the global financial system is a Western captive, humungous debts are arranged, serviced, cancelled, written-off, repaid – without significant discomfort. Gross debt of the West is US$ 100 trillion (State; Corporate and Household); while the States of West are debtor to the extent of US$ 30 trillion; which is nearly 40% of global GDP.

Finally, the debt problem will be managed. Many ways to skin a cat.

But …

US$2 trillion debt that is owed by the developing world will be used to extract maximum benefit – at lowest prices. Raw materials will be bought at below-low prices. Imports will be priced at exorbitantly.

The answer is …

Two-fold. At an individual level, invest and stay invested in gold. At a national level, the developing world must create a multilateral framework for a third currency.


Does India ignore Sikhs?

June 17, 2011 3 comments
Births and deaths in Mumbai city (Graphic courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for a larger copy.

Births and deaths in Mumbai city (Graphic courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for a larger copy.

Bending backwards

Christian community in the city recorded negative population growth as against Hindus and Muslims who are growing at a faster rate, birth and death figures from the civic health department showed.

Last year, 3,763 infants were born to Christians while 3,887 members of the community died, indicating a fall in growth rate. (via Mumbai’s Christian population falls – The Times of India).

Tales from the table

Now the same study also showed that in absolute numbers, Sikh births had reduced from 315 to 298. Whereas Christian births had increased by a nominal number – from 3749 to 3763. All other communities showed increase in absolute number of births – except Sikhs and (Others).

If Delhi has too many Sikhs, Mumbai needs some Sikhs. Their can-do attitude, their jugaad, is something that seems to be bubbling forever. Every city in the world needs some Sikhs.

But this report does not mention the decline in Sikh births at all. Not once. In fact the word Sikh does not appear even once in the post. When it comes to Sikhs, whether it is the 1984 riots or attacks on Sikhs in USA, we all seem to be keeping quiet.

What’s with us?

Democracy – How Think tanks shape policy making

June 15, 2011 3 comments
Finally, less than 100,000 people have the power to shape the world in a manner they deem fit. Concentration of power. (Cartoon BY - ANDY SINGER, Courtesy - POLITICALCARTOONS.COM  -  2/4/2010 12:00:00 AM). Click for larger image.

Finally, less than 100,000 people have the power to shape the world in a manner they deem fit. Concentration of power. (Cartoon BY - ANDY SINGER, Courtesy - POLITICALCARTOONS.COM - 2/4/2010 12:00:00 AM). Click for larger image.

Old boys club

Council on Foreign Relations sounds like a pretty harmless group, which has a few academics that potter around – and release an occasional irrelevant paper.

Not quite. If not harmful, they are atleast pretty powerful.

In 1952, Eisenhower and Richard Nixon became the first CFR members to be elected President and Vice President of the USA.

Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic candidate beaten by Eisenhower and Nixon, was also a CFR member.

‘The Council was starting to dominate American politics at the highest levels,’ write Burnett and Games.

‘The pattern would be repeated four years later, with Stevenson again losing out to Eisenhower and Nixon.

‘Although Nixon was to narrowly lose the next election in 1960 against John F Kennedy, the charismatic Bostonian was another member of the CFR.

‘Nixon would return in 1968 to defeat fellow CFR member Hubert Humphrey, and win again in 1972 against George McGovern.

‘Although not a CFR member in 1972, McGovern saw the light and joined afterwards.’ (via Southern Times – Why Africa needs secret societies).

Red herrings – the challenge ahead

English language media at least, is dominated by a few news agencies like Reuters, Bloomberg, API, and AFP. These agencies in turn are fed by various think tanks and reserch organizations, which then dominate global debate.  In the last few years, top 10 websites control 75% of the web traffic. Hollywood dominates the big screen.

For instance the highly flawed model of Transparency International promotes a narrative of corrupt Africa and Asia. To dominate the debate, censorship is not the only solution. It is not even a preferred solution.

More noise is equally effective. 

Finally a few media conglomerates drive the global mindset. Usually censorship is not needed. More noise is equally effective. (Cartoonist - Ares, Courtesy - Cagle Cartoons, www.caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Finally a few media conglomerates drive the global mindset. Usually censorship is not needed. More noise is equally effective. (Cartoonist - Ares, Courtesy - Cagle Cartoons, http://www.caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Capture and exploit

After this kind of media capture, the West drives the narrative. And exploits this narrative. To get over the ‘problem’ of economic stagnation, the West has created artificial ‘crisis’ situations.

These are major diplomatic offensives using media, academia, events and situations, to

  • Maintain superior negotiating positions
  • Define the agenda – which usually means non-substantive issues.

But for an India to match the trade and tariff barriers, propaganda and diplomatic offensives, calls for more resources.

The image of corrupt politician, Congressman, has become easy to promote, driven by Transparency International's flawed data. The role of these Think Tanks gets concealed. (Cartoon - BY PAT BAGLEY, Published by SALT LAKE TRIBUNE  -  1/27/2010 12:00:00 AM; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

The image of corrupt politician, Congressman, has become easy to promote, driven by Transparency International's flawed data. The role of these Think Tanks gets concealed. (Cartoon - BY PAT BAGLEY, Published by SALT LAKE TRIBUNE - 1/27/2010 12:00:00 AM; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Benign designs?

The manner of funding Indian NGOs by external sources, especially the West, is not benign anymore. More than 33 lakh NGOs operate in India, with foreign funding that is estimated at US$4 billion. This figure is double the official Government figure that is based on declared receipts, which reports say, are under-declared.

In times to come

Is the West aiming to capture these Indian ‘think-tanks’? The promotion of Western Climate Change agenda by Amartya Sen, under the auspices of the Aspen Institute India is indication of times to come.

Mechanics of माया maya?

The Maya of Pandemics

June 2, 2011 4 comments

Diseases that affect West the most, always seem to originate outside the West?

The pattern. Blame Africa, Asia for such unprovable theories. Announce aid programme. Continue intervention, meddling, and neo-colonial hold over power. (Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson; Courtesy cartoonistgroup.com). Click for larger image.

The pattern. Blame Africa, Asia for such unprovable theories. Announce aid programme. Continue intervention, meddling, and neo-colonial hold over power. (Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson; Courtesy cartoonistgroup.com). Click for larger image.

Excuse to meddle

NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1) superbug story is too much like ‘AIDS-started-in-Africa’ kind of hoax.

While Hong-Kong and China were being targeted for swine-flu, the real story lay, South of USA, in a US-owned slaughter house.

An 86-year-old Ontario man was found to be carrying bacteria resistant to most antibiotics because of NDM-1, or New Delhi metallo-1, an enzyme that alters the DNA of various types of bacteria. NDM-1 is endemic in India and Pakistan and has spread worldwide due to global travel.

But the patient, who was admitted to hospital and then a rehabilitation centre after suffering a stroke last October, had not travelled outside southwestern Ontario for the last decade. None of the man’s family members or other close contacts were carrying the superbug, nor had any been to parts of the world where NDM-1 is widespread.

“So it’s really unfortunately a mystery in terms of his source, and it certainly suggests that he acquired it here in the southwestern Ontario region,” said Dr. Susan Poutanen, an infectious disease physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

“So whether it was in Toronto, whether it was outside of Toronto, whether it was in hospital or whether it was in the community, at this point we really can’t say,” added Poutanen, principal investigator of a study describing the case. (via Case of NDM-1 superbug appears to be first acquired within Canada: researchers  |  05/30/2011  | Sheryl Ubelacker, Health Reporter  |  The Canadian Press).

With a large commercial sex worker population in EU and USA, a flourishing pornographic industry, significant drug usage, the West is the ideal candidate for origin of AIDS. (Cartoonist - Signe Wilkinson; courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com). Click for larger image.

With a large commercial sex worker population in EU and USA, a flourishing pornographic industry, significant drug usage, the West is the ideal candidate for origin of AIDS. (Cartoonist - Signe Wilkinson; courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com). Click for larger image.

Another hot-air balloon

For the last two years, India was held responsible for this ‘creation’. First detected and peddled by British ‘scientists’, this super-bug ‘discovery’ is hogging media attention.

Western medical science trying to show certainty and assurance, where none can be possible (currently), uses these tools for propaganda purposes. Truth maybe real victim of methodology.

Maya it is.


How governments drive tobacco trade

Tobacco – a colonial addiction

Six companies and sundry State monopolies drive global cigarette consumption. These six companies derive more than US$100 billion dollars in revenues, globally. For many years they were advertising industries largest customers.These six companies are headquartered at former European imperial powers (UK, France, Spain), USA and Japan.

Four tobacco companies and State monopolies control global tobacco trade. (Image source - http://www.tobaccoatlas.org). Click for interactive source map.

Four tobacco companies and State monopolies control global tobacco trade. (Image source - http://www.tobaccoatlas.org). Click for interactive source map.

In recent years, dozens of cigarette manufacturing companies have consolidated under four major private corporations: Altria/Philip Morris, British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, and Imperial Tobacco. State monopolies are also major cigarette manufacturers. The largest state monopoly is China National Tobacco Corporation, with a global cigarette market share that exceeds that of any private company. Because the European Union intends to restrict further mergers and acquisitions that increase a tobacco company’s market-share dominance, industry consolidation trends may have peaked.

The tobacco industry includes some of the most powerful transnational corporate entities in the world. Tobacco conglomerates have diversified into many other industries, such as financial services, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, real estate, hotels, restaurants, communications, and apparel, among others. The tobacco industry is expected to continue increasing in size and power.

The global tobacco market, valued at $378 billion, grew by 4.6 percent in 2007. By the year 2012, the value of the global tobacco market is projected to increase another 23 percent, reaching $464.4 billion. If Big Tobacco were a country, it would have the 23rd-largest gross domestic product in the world, surpassing the GDP of countries like Norway and Saudi Arabia. (via Tobacco Atlas Online – Tobacco Companies.).

India’s small production base is a combination of two aspects. Indian social inertia against addictive substances and the Government on the other. Indian cigarette business, small as it is, was put in Indian hands during Indira Gandhi’s socialist days. BAT lost control of ITC, which was placed in the hands of professional Indian managers.

Cigarette production in major markets (Graphics by timesofindia.com.). Click for larger image.

Cigarette production in major markets (Graphics by timesofindia.com.). Click for larger image.

Chinese State Tobacco monopoly

The complicity of governments is very similar to the modern expansion in prostitution – especially in the West.

Or Western powers pushing opium in China in the nineteenth century. After the opium experience of the Chinese, when Western trading houses, under State protection, using the garb of ‘free trade’, made China into the largest consumer of opium.

The Chinese Govt. has replaced opium with tobacco.

The second secret of the tobacco business is to be dominant in purchasing and cornering tobacco stock. For cornering tobacco stocks, Big Tobacco depends on Central Banks’ support – aka State support. For instance, ITC (and other major global tobacco purchasers) in India has a major presence in Guntur, where Indian tobacco trade is headquartered.

ITC’s over-sized chequebook buys it market dominance.

The Indian tobacco profile

India is the third largest producer of tobacco – after China and USA. India ranks 6th as a tobacco exporting nation, as most of tobacco in India is consumed by domestic consumers. Tobacco consumption in India follows traditional patterns, as a non-industrial product – spanning chewing tobacco, bidis (tobacco rolled in leaves), hookah, clay pipes and snuff. Indian traditional tobacco usage consumes between 75%-85% of total tobacco cultivation.

Indian tobacco consumption and control follows consumption patterns of psychotropic drugs. All the major drugs in the world came of India – opium is afeem, khuskhus पोस्त; cannabis is charas, ganja, marijuana, hashish. Heroin is a derivative of opium. Even, as Indians are significant (legal) producers, they are not high on consumption lists.

However, drugs never became a big problem in India. Unlike in China, or in Medieval Middle East (when drug crazed criminals called hashishis became assassins). All these drugs were introduced to the world by India – with records going back to 1000 BC. Similarly family and peer pressure plays an important role in controlling the less dangerous form of traditional tobacco usage in India. In modern times, Indian gold smuggling was funded by carriage and export of drugs.

Cigarette production consumes less than one-fourth of India’s tobacco production.

Until two years ago, non-filter cigarettes comprised 30% of the total cigarette consumption. But with an increase in excise duty on non-filter cigarettes from Rs 168 to Rs 819 per thousand from March 1, 2008, the demand for low-priced filter cigarettes has risen At present, the excise duty on a pack of 10 filter cigarettes is Rs 8.19, and VAT Rs 1.05. Thus, taxes total Rs 10 per pack. Illicit cigarettes are sold for less than this amount, leading the government to believe that either registered cigarette units are evading duty or foreign-made cigarettes are flooding the market from Myanmar and the UK The business of low-cost cigarettes is big in the country, especially in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. (via Article Window).

The expansion of manufacturing in cigarettes globally (see chart) is much like the housing scam in US and Europe. Banks made huge advances, created a bubble, and are now busy foreclosing these loans. The modern myth of Republic Democracy at work.

How maya works in real life.

Africa – A Problem of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’

December 9, 2010 1 comment
The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

The world has not been able to shake off the spell of Western 'maya'!

EU trade policy has long been hijacked by European business, which wants raw materials at cheap prices. EU priorities are a mirror image of positions adopted by corporate lobby groups. The commission frankly states: “We will rely on EU business to provide much of the information on the barriers which affect their trade or investment with third countries.”

There is a serious risk that Europe’s budget and unemployment crisis will put policymakers even more in hock to the demands of big business.

Opposition from Africa

It is hardly surprising that European policy faces mounting opposition from most African countries, which have long opposed signing investment agreements with the EU. The Raw Materials Initiative should be opposed by Europe’s citizens, too, because it distracts from the need to reduce their own consumption. Europeans already consume four times as much as the average African. (read more via The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : The European Union’s ugly resource grab).

Idea of ‘exploiting’ resources on the cheap

To take away rights from people ‘who do not know the value’ of such resources (Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, Africans) and transfer property rights to the ‘discoverer’ of these resources is an old idea which strangely finds legitimacy, even after 400 years of bad experience. Ranging from Spain to Belgium, with the Dutch and the English, all joined in this ‘resource’ grab. And this saga continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

The 'resource grab' and the campaign to keep Africa poor continues.

Bankruptcy of ideology – ism, cracy and archy

In some case, modern nation-States based on various ‘isms’ (Capitalism, Communism, Socialism) combine with various ‘archy’ (monarchy, oligarchy) and ‘cracy’ (democracy, plutocracy, bureaucracy) continue to ensure that power and wealth remains in the hands of very few. The Rest of Us have to be happy with illusion of being equal, of having power over leaders, etc. And no.

This power does NOT flow from the barrel of the gun – but from limiting access to ज़र, zar (gold), जन jan (people) and ज़मीन jameen (land). Instead of various ‘isms’, ‘archies’ and ‘cracies’, what the world needs is a system that will guarantee the four essential freedoms – काम kaam (desire, including sexual) अर्थ arth (wealth), मोक्ष moksh (liberty) and धर्मं dharma (justice)

भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra.

Indian Muslims – The Changing Debate?

December 4, 2010 2 comments
Most Indian Muslims can see that religious freedom in India exceeds that of even Muslim countries. (Cartoon courtesy-www.koothanallurmuslims.com). Click for larger image.

Most Indian Muslims can see that religious freedom in India exceeds that of even Muslim countries. The idea of world Islamic identity is mix of paranoia and mythology. (Cartoon courtesy-www.koothanallurmuslims.com). Click for larger image.

There is no other country in the world with such breathtaking plurality at the highest level of leadership.

Consider Britain: only Protestant (not Catholic) Christians can be monarch. The law of blasphemy protects only Christian citizens in the United Kingdom. In Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, minorities (including, in Pakistan, even Muslim Ahmadis) have restricted rights. Unlike burqa-banning western democracies such as France and Belgium, Indian secularism does not separate church and state. It allows them to swim together in a common if sometimes chaotic pool.

Fundamentalists dislike the concept of liberal Islam flourishing in the syncretic soil of India. Indian Muslims, however, remain rooted in a Vedic civilisational ethic that has celebrated our religious plurality for over 3,000 years. Despite al-Qaida’s and the ISI’s concerted recruitment efforts, Indian Muslims except renegades from the Students Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahideen have consistently spurned the call to jihad.

India’s innate respect for all religions, which does great credit to its silent Hindu majority, has historically made the country the refuge-of-last-resort for all faiths: Jews, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists. (read more via Educate, Don’t Appease – The Times of India).

Indian Muslim

Caught between liberal-progressive-apologist Hindus, opportunistic politicians, Indian Muslims, are less understood and poorly served by their own leadership. Quite a few things that 2ndlook has said about Indian Muslims are reflected in this article linked and extracted above. Importantly, it is is written by a Muslim.

Missteps

There are a few missteps that the author makes. For one, the Uniform Civil Code. भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra, the Indic political system, does not approve of a Uniform Civil Code. In fact, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantrahas no State-mandated laws on marriage and sex. That is a matter for communities to decide for themselves.

Good to see the changing debate.

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