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Rage, Anxiety In The West: BRICS Must Be Doing Something Right

April 2, 2013 2 comments

If corruption is all about cornering wealth, power and resources, look at concentration of power.

Is the West assuming leadership of the global financial system, so that they can pervert the system like this?  |  Tom Toles, in washingtonpost.com on 18 Mar 2010

Is the West assuming leadership of the global financial system, so that they can pervert the system like this? | Tom Toles, in washingtonpost.com on 18 Mar 2010

The day-after BRICS announced their plan to start a BRICS Development Bank in New Delhi last year, reactions in Western media barely concealed anger at the BRICS proposal.

Sample this.

Outside endemic corruption, uncertain or wholly absent rule of law, and relatively low per capita income and life expectancy, there wouldn’t appear to be much that unites this disparate collection of nations. But there are at least two things that do – high growth and trade.

via Why a Brics-built bank to rival the IMF is doomed to fail – Telegraph.

See this statement in wider context.

Rule of Law

On the rule of law, I would agree.The is West is truly the land of law.

Between the US and EU, on a population base of little over 80 crores, the West has about 27 lakh (2.7 million) prisoners – EU (total pop. 50 cr.; prison pop. – 6.07 lakh) and the USA (total pop. 31 cr.; prison pop. 21 lakh). With 27 lakh prisoners, the West is a world leader in imprisonment. Coincidentally, the West labels itself as the Free World.

Graphic source and courtesy – economist.com.

Graphic source and courtesy – economist.com.

Exclude children, the old and women from the population ‘eligible’ for imprisonment, we are left with around 27 crore adult males. This would mean that one out of every hundred Western males is in prison.

Comparably, in India, with an overall population of 120 crores, the numbers in prison is around 3 lakhs. Of the nearly 30 crore males, India has just 3 lakhs in prison. Just one in thousand, adult Indian male is in prison.

To enforce the rule of law, the West has also become a Prisoner Planet. Is that what is missing in BRICS? Brazil and Russia have lower imprisonment rates, compared to the US – but it is still high compared to India.

No, thanks!

Corruption … or Collusion

On the matter of corruption, again he is  right.

After the rule of law, with strict rules about libel and slander, corruption cannot see the light of day. But if corruption is all about cornering wealth, power and resources, look at the

The West-dominated global financial system has pioneered a system that depends on mass-employment, low-entrepreneurial activity, excess production coupled with excess pollution and waste.  |  2003 Cartoon by David Baldinger

The West-dominated global financial system has pioneered a system that depends on mass-employment, low-entrepreneurial activity, excess production coupled with excess pollution and waste. | 2003 Cartoon by David Baldinger

Concentration Of Power

How does one measure concentration of power.

Today the most popular method is the Fortune /Forbes /Businessweek /FT 500 listing of Top corporates.

These listings demonstrate that half the world’s economic output is controlled by about 5000 companies run by about 25,000 individuals. Add another 25,000 politicians and bureaucrats. We have about 50,000 people controlling the lives of 800 billion people of the West – and influencing the lives of non-Western societies.

Between the mega-corporations and State, 60%-75% of the work force is employed or paid for being unemployed.

In some of the inefficient states like India, mega-corporations and the State employ less than 3 crore people – which is less than 5% of the Indian labour force.

Forget Western correspondents, there are quite a few NRI chelas for such Western journalists. Like Hong-Kong based, Venky ‘Chumboo’ Vembu. (Don’t know what Chumboo is? Never mind, Vembu knows what chumboo is).

To get an unprovoked reaction of rage and anger, BRICS must be doing something right.

More power to BRICS.


India & Bangladesh – A Worried West

May 27, 2012 1 comment

Even as it keeps West at a distance, Bangladesh has got the West worried.

Cartoon by Muhammad Zahoor (Peshawar, Pakistan); 2008 via Cartoon Competition Winners Announced!

Muhammad Zahoor (Peshawar, Pakistan)
via Cartoon Competition Winners Announced!.

the squabbling has turned into a crisis (see article) which threatens to make life still worse for the 170m poor Muslims who suffer under one of the world’s worst governments. Since Bangladesh’s political leaders show no interest in their fate, outsiders need to do so.

The outside world is trying to do its bit. The World Bank has scrapped a deal to pay for a big bridge because of its suspicions of corruption. EU ambassadors have denounced the treatment of Mr Yunus and the harassment of activists. Hillary Clinton flew to Dhaka this month to stand by Mr Yunus.

But the government seems unmoved. In a snub to Mrs Clinton, it announced a review into ownership of Grameen, a move to take over (and probably destroy) the bank. The only country to have much influence in Dhaka is India. Until recently the regional superpower tolerated Sheikh Hasina’s excesses, in part because Bangladesh has cracked down on Islamists. India now seems to be hedging its bets between the two parties. But if it still wants to have a functioning democracy next door, it needs to speak out far louder in favour of it. (via Bangladesh’s toxic politics: Hello, Delhi | The Economist).

First …

The Economist is wrong on one count – to start with.

Bangladesh is not exactly the hottest or happening economy in the world – or even the region.

Never was. Can’t get worse for Bangladesh.

In the past, Bangladesh’s political leadership has not displayed the calibre to win anything – except opprobrium. So, the new direction chosen by Bangladeshi leaders can only take Bangladesh up. Is there is a downside.

Talking about ‘political leaders (who) show no interest in their fate, outsiders need to do so’. In a certain part of the world, people have been complaining loudly.

Visibly.

Two …

Across Europe, riots, protests, elections, have only shown that the people of Europe have shown trust or confidence on their leadership.

Looking at Europe’s decline in the last 50 years or even the last 100 years, the lack of trust and confidence is logical. Across the pond, in USA, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) will soon see its first anniversary on September 11, 2012.

Now compare European leadership with India and China. From historic lows, 100 years ago, even 50 years ago, China and India have assumed positions of significant importance in the world. Going by performance between Western leadership, Indian and Chinese leadership wins hands down.

Time for outsiders from China and India to ‘ensure’ that Europe gets its’ act together.

Three …

That brings us to the third point. Why is The Economist so worried about India having a voice in Bangladesh?

Maybe Bangladesh leadership is more intelligent than Western leadership. Maybe Bangladesh has learned lessons from Pakistan! We have seen how Pakistan has descended into incendiary situation on a permanent basis. Bombs, explosions, guns, assassinations, civil war – all the benefits of Western attention.

Still blame Bangladesh for not wanting the Pakistan Experience?


Brown Man’s Burden

April 5, 2012 1 comment

On what basis is a Brown Man’s burden being imposed on India?

The West has stopped killing in the name of Christ - and now kills for progress, democracy, freedom. Islam kills in the name of Islam and Allah. Little difference. |  Cartoonist Andy Davey; source & courtesy -  thesun.co.uk  |  Click for image.

The West has stopped killing in the name of Christ - and now kills for progress, democracy, freedom. Islam kills in the name of Islam and Allah. Little difference. | Cartoonist Andy Davey; source & courtesy - thesun.co.uk | Click for image.

Indian burden …?

Irfan Ahmad, an Indian-Bihari, earlier at JNU, now with an Australian University, has now come out with a new version of White Man’s Burden.

Specially for India. Call it The Brown Man’s Burden.

Promoting the cause and interests of the Islāmic ‘world’, Irfan Ahmad writes how

West’s claim of spreading democracy in the Middle East is bogus. Against the West’s claims, it continually de-democratised one country after another. Like India, the world’s largest democracy which is largely disinterested in – and indirectly hostile to – democratic movements in Bhutan and Burma, the West has been largely hostile to genuine democracy in the Middle East so as to nurture its interests – geopolitical and strategic – by keeping the Mubaraks and the Shahs “stable”. (via How the West de-democratised the Middle East – Opinion – Al Jazeera English).

While Najib Mubarki works on inducing White Man’s Burden (and guilt), Irfan Ahmed has taken on himself to impose a Brown Man’s Burden.

For instance, Irfan Ahmad pushes the idea that it is Indian ‘Hindu’ responsibility to protect Lebanese Muslims from racist attacks in Christian Australia.

Big Brother know best

Surprising, that Irfan Ahmad cannot see that the problems of West Asia are a direct result of West’s assumption of White Man’s Burden in West Asia – as the ‘keeper’, saviour, benevolent authority.

Irfan Ahmad is wrong when he promotes the idea of India’s ‘responsibilities.’

Since when has it become India’s responsibility to be interested in or nurture democracy anywhere, as Irfan Ahmad tries to impute. India’s avowed and stated foreign policy goal has been non-interference.

Why assume that India Government knows best about what is good for Bhutan or Myanmar? There are some in India that believe that the Indian Government does know what is good for India itself! So, why impose, influence, direct, promote agenda in other countries.

To equate India with the West, on a campaign to keep West Asia unstable for the last 100 years, is at best, laughable.

Irfan’s two legs

The other leg of Irfan Ahmad’s thesis is the idea of ‘Hindu’ Burden as Keeper of Muslims in India.

Explaining reasons for radical Islam, Irfan Ahmad argues that ‘when secular democracy is responsive to the traditions and aspirations of its Muslim citizens, Muslims in turn embrace pluralism and democracy. But when democracy becomes majoritarian Muslims turn radical.’

In effect, Irfan Ahmad claims that it is Indian ‘Hindu’ responsibility to provide ‘democracy responsive to the traditions and aspirations’ of Indian Muslims.

Otherwise …

I thought that the Partition of India made it clear that Indians Muslims will be their own keeper. So, where is the question of providing ‘democracy is responsive to the traditions and aspirations of its Muslim citizens’.

Or of ‘Hindu’ majoritarianism that Irfan Ahmad talks of?

‘Hindu’ Keepers

Even though there are ongoing attempts to make the India State interfere in religious matters, as a country India is not a theological State. Hence there cannot be a role of the Indian State to care for Muslims, ‘Hindus’, etc.

India will take care of all Indians – and any criticism of India to take care of Indians is welcome. But Irfan Ahmad’s attempts to ‘impose’ a burden of Muslims on the Indian State are neither logical or acceptable.

Those who define that burden, can carry it.


Who will guard the guards?

November 18, 2011 2 comments

India must work on more freedom, less governance model of polity – unlike Desert Bloc systems that need more laws, more powers that limit freedom.

Anna Hazare has an empty agenda. Zero ideology. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; source and courtesy - timescontent.com). Click for source image.

Anna Hazare has an empty agenda. Zero ideology. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; source and courtesy - timescontent.com). Click for source image.

Santosh Hegde ran protection money cartel as Karnataka Lokayukta, claims IPS officer

A senior police officer who was part of the Karnataka Lokayukta during Justice N. Santosh Hegde’s tenure has alleged that the watchdog was steeped in corruption.

In an interview to a Kannada daily, IPS officer Madhukar Shetty said: “The officers have formed a cartel to extract protection money from a particular department in return for a free run.” Shetty, who was the SP in the Lokayukta’s police wing during Hegde’s tenure, is now in the US on study leave for two years. (via http://indiatoday.intoday.in | Santosh Hegde ran protection money cartel as Karnataka Lokayukta, claims IPS officer).

Seduced by the glamour of 'progress', media attention, moral 'superiority', the anti-corruption crusade is an empty jihad. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; Posted On Friday, April 29, 2011; source and courtesy - mumbaimirror.com). Click for source image.

Seduced by the glamour of 'progress', media attention, moral 'superiority', the anti-corruption crusade is an empty jihad. (Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; Posted On Friday, April 29, 2011; source and courtesy - mumbaimirror.com). Click for source image.

Even if this is untrue

Even if these accusations are not true, this brings an important question to fore: Is more governance an answer to a corrupt system?  So you put a Lokayukta on top of all the politicians – how do you ensure that he/she is not corrupt? In fact – as the IPS officer alleges, the Lokayutka was running his own “protection money racket.”

Pay me or else I will report you!

What India needs

Both Anuraag’s model of भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra or the Indic Triad of Freedom, presented in Operation Red Lotus, view Indic polity that makes freedom not governance as the basis for a political system.  The question of who will guard the guards was answered by devolution of power, not concentration of power.

As long as India continues to embrace Desert Bloc models of top-down hierarchical systems of polity, questions such as “who will guard the guards” remain relevant.

Empty ideas

The proposed लोकपाल or a national Ombudsman will aggregate this power even further!

Will Anna Hazare look within India for answers or continue to be seduced by western models with Indian names?

Will Anna Hazare listen?


What do good Christians do? War, Kill, Death, Bomb, Fire

November 15, 2011 2 comments

Who is a good Christian? Ann Coulter thinks it is someone who can bomb, kill, deal in death and destruction, wage war – and be cool about it.

It was no different. Genocide, slavery, colonialism, WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, Iraq War. 9/11 was an excuse for another round of blood letting.(Cartoon by By Kirk Walters, in Toledo Blade on 9/9/2011 12:00:00 AM; Image source and courtesy -  caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

It was no different. Genocide, slavery, colonialism, WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, Iraq War. 9/11 was an excuse for another round of blood letting.(Cartoon by By Kirk Walters, in Toledo Blade on 9/9/2011 12:00:00 AM; Image source and courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

That evening, CNN reported that bombs were dropping in Afghanistan — and then updated the report to say they weren’t our bombs.

They should have been ours. I want them to be ours.

This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack. Those responsible include anyone anywhere in the world who smiled in response to the annihilation of patriots like Barbara Olson.

We don’t need long investigations of the forensic evidence to determine with scientific accuracy the person or persons who ordered this specific attack. We don’t need an “international coalition.” We don’t need a study on “terrorism.” We certainly didn’t need a congressional resolution condemning the attack this week.

The nation has been invaded by a fanatical, murderous cult. And we welcome them. We are so good and so pure we would never engage in discriminatory racial or “religious” profiling.

People who want our country destroyed live here, work for our airlines, and are submitted to the exact same airport shakedown as a lumberman from Idaho. This would be like having the Wehrmacht immigrate to America and work for our airlines during World War II. Except the Wehrmacht was not so bloodthirsty.

“All of our lives” don’t need to change, as they keep prattling on TV. Every single time there is a terrorist attack — or a plane crashes because of pilot error — Americans allow their rights to be contracted for no purpose whatsoever.

(Did those fabulous security procedures stop a single hijacker anyplace in America that day?)

Airports scrupulously apply the same laughably ineffective airport harassment to Suzy Chapstick as to Muslim hijackers. It is preposterous to assume every passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war. (via Ann Coulter on Barbara Olson on National Review Online).

Don’t worry … be happy

Ann Coulter is suggesting that USA must deal out War, Kill, Death, Bomb, Fire, Destruction to Muslim countries – without worrying who is getting killed.

Finally that is what happened.

‘Bad’ Muslims to ‘Good’ Christians

She is also suggesting that Muslims must be made into ‘good’ Christians – like she is. And then ‘bad’ Muslims like ‘good’ Christians will also indulge in War, Kill, Death, Bomb, Fire.

Since I am from a backward country, maybe I cannot see the ‘difference between ‘bad’ Muslims like Taimur Lenq, Mahmud Ghazni, Mohammed Ghori, Nadir Shah et al – and ‘good’ Christians like Churchill, Hitler, the Abbot of Citeaux, etc.

From the loony bin?

Ann Coulter is not a fringe writer – or non-representative. This post exposes the moral and ethical emptiness of the West.

This is such a delicious piece of low-writing. Full of venom, hate, anger, malice – and zero reason, logic. In fact, Ann Coulter does not have two thought to rub together.

Even if her life depended on it.


The Public Story We Don’t Know About Secret Police That Controls Us

November 1, 2011 4 comments

Public information about secret police buried so deep under so much paper that any simple search reveal no data at all.

The real numbers behind the fog and smokescreen  |  Cartoon by :Lisa Benson; Date: 2011-03-17; Source and courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com  |  Click for larger image.

The real numbers behind the fog and smokescreen | Cartoon by :Lisa Benson; Date: 2011-03-17; Source and courtesy – cartoonistgroup.com | Click for larger image.

Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. They scour the books of 98 percent of American companies with revenue over $1 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. On the Department of Justice’s preferred gauge of competitiveness, the Hirschman-Herfindahl Index, the industry qualifies as super consolidated.

If auditors aren’t raising rates in line with more laborious fact checking, that raises the question of whether corporate accounts are getting the full treatment they deserve. (via Enron’s worst legacy: auditors too big to fail | Features | Breakingviews).

National disaster

Super concentration of power. That is what this means.

With one law-breaker or law enforcer, for every 17 adult males, the US is a world leader. For the 70 million American males in the 18-60 years of age who are the predominant target; there are 17 apex American secret service agencies that track these 70 million people. The biggest secret service in the world, the largest prisoner population, in addition to one of the the largest police forces in the world, make US clearly a leader of the ‘Free’ World.

Graphic source and courtesy - economist.com.

Graphic source and courtesy – economist.com.

With scattered data, protected by legal secret classifications, figures are hard to come by. After two years of work, a recent report describes the US intelligence network that is

so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist. Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. Every day across the United States, 854,000 civil servants, military personnel and private contractors with top-secret security clearances are scanned into offices protected by electromagnetic locks, retinal cameras and fortified walls that eavesdropping equipment cannot penetrate.

The U.S. intelligence budget is vast, publicly announced last year as $75 billion, 21/2 times the size it was on Sept. 10, 2001. But the figure doesn’t include many military activities or domestic counterterrorism programs. With the quick infusion of money, military and intelligence agencies multiplied. Twenty-four organizations were created by the end of 2001, including the Office of Homeland Security and the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Task Force. In 2002, 37 more were created to track weapons of mass destruction, collect threat tips and coordinate the new focus on counterterrorism. That was followed the next year by 36 new organizations; and 26 after that; and 31 more; and 32 more; and 20 or more each in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

At the recommendation of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission, the George W. Bush administration and Congress decided to create an agency in 2004 with overarching responsibilities called the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to bring the colossal effort under control. 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks. Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year.

Only a handful of senior officials – called Super Users – have the ability to even know about all the department’s activities. But as two of the Super Users indicated in interviews, there is simply no way they can keep up with the nation’s most sensitive work.

International Threat

The US Government carries out more assassinations, covert operations, killings and bombings than by any other regime, military, terrorist  – or even a criminal group.

In more than 50 countries in any month – actually, a figure of 120 countries is being waved around.

Never in Soviet history were there more than 4 secret service agencies in the USSR. Today the US has 17 agencies form what the US calls Intelligence Community. A large rainbow of agencies – CIA FBI, NSA, DEA, DOE, Bureau of ATF, DIA, NRO, NIMA, CTC. NPC. INR. DOE Intel., Army Intelligence et al litter the global scene. Some US Govt. cables, from Wikileaks, quoted US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates on Russia as an “oligarchy run by the security services”.

Going by above data, it would be easier, to describe the USA, using those words.

So much power – in so few hands

2 million people in US prisons. Human beings. All of them. US has more human beings than animals in captivity. More than in any dictatorship. More surveillance cameras and telephone tapping in the US, Britain and Europe than in any dictatorship in the world.

Over the last 25 years, Governments have spent huge amounts of money to intrude and monitor its population. Millions of CCTV cameras monitor people all over the world. Facial recognition software can ‘see-through’ modifications like spectacles, beards, wigs, changes in hairstyle, etc.

In Britain alone, as per count of  few years ago, 60 million subjects are tracked by 1.5 million closed-circuit television cameras. In the USA, there are an estimated 30,000 people, who are listening to phone conversations.

Control Over Media

Global media is dominated by a few news agencies like Reuters, Bloomberg, API, and AFP. These agencies in turn are fed by various think tanks and research 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. Organizations like Google monitor every click on your computer– which is available to any determined bureaucrat. If not easily, with some difficulty.In today’s age, censorship is usually not the answer. More noise is equally effective.

View from Germany

The German magazine, Der Spiegel, in a recent posts analyzed the US situation.

Nearly two-thirds of net private assets are concentrated in the hands of 5 percent of Americans. In comparison, the upper 5 percent of Germany hold less than half of net assets. In 2009 alone, at the same time as the US was being convulsed by mass layoffs, the number of millionaires in the country skyrocketed.

Indeed, if you look at the reports it compiles on every country in the world, even the CIA has concluded that wealth disparity is greater in the US than in Tunisia or Egypt.

A New ‘Gilded Age’

In a book published in 2010, American political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson discuss how this “hyperconcentration of economic gains at the top” also existed in the United States in the early 20th century, when industrial magnates — such as John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J. P. Morgan — dominated the upper stratum of society and held the country firmly in their grip for years.

Writer Mark Twain coined the phrase “the Gilded Age” to describe that period of rapid growth, a time when the dazzling exterior of American life actually concealed mass unemployment, poverty and a society ripped in two.

Economists and political scientists believe the US has entered a new Gilded Age, a period of systematic inequality dominated by a new class of super-rich. (via The Second Gilded Age: Has America Become an Oligarchy? – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International).

If the difference in US and German terminology is standardized, Germany is no better than USA.

Now

Combine this power with the less than 5,000 politicians who control the Government; the 50,000 businessmen who control the 2500 biggest corporations, the 25,000 academics who control national thought streams – and then the enormity of the model becomes numbing.

And the Maya माया of it all takes over.

Ghor mayaघोर माया.


 

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