Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Asia Liberty Forum 2015: My Experiences

I am just returning from Kathmandu, Nepal after attending the Asia Liberty Forum 2015 which was jointly organized by the Asia Center for Enterprise, New Delhi, the Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. This forum brought together some 250 people from 37 or so different countries around the world. A list of these countries include, India, UK, USA, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kirghiz Republic, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Morocco, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Guatemala, Palestine, Singapore etc., etc. It was a big event where this Freedom loving people got together to discuss the ideas of Liberty. In the following short discourse I share my experiences of this forum.

The Bright Side
Firstly, I was very happy to meet many people from Asia, especially young students, who are interested in the ideas of Liberty. They are not only interested but ready to do all the hard work that is necessary to learn these ideas and implement them in their lives to fight the intellectual battle of Liberty against the evil of the State. Meeting such people certainly lifts your spirit. Amidst this forum one thing was crystal clear to me, that no matter how hard governments around the world are going to try to take away Liberty of people via their oppressive political power, they will never be able to shackle people in chains for very long. The fire of Liberty will always burn in every human heart and people will, in the end, break free of their shackles. No matter how hard the politicians and other state officials will try, they will never be able to stop people from living their lives.

As I said, the exciting moments of happiness in this forum were when I met young students. I met a student from Hong Kong who was one of the participants in the recent Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. He was out in the streets protesting against the government's oppressive policies. The most heartening thing to know was that he saw through the leftist demands of many protestors in this democracy movement. He was ready to question the whole system of democracy. He was ready to learn the true ideas of Liberty and for that he has already started a local study group. From the stage, during his closing toast, he asked the veterans of this field to help him in his this learning process.

I also met a young Palestinian girl who was fighting a battle against the terrorist Israeli government. There were flaws in her approach of trade boycotts, but she was determined to fight against the injustices of the Israeli government. I am sure she was also ready to correct her tactical flaws and move her intellectual battle in the right direction of true Liberty.

Most importantly for me in this present hostile environment in India, I also met people from Pakistan who were fighting the battle of Liberty in Pakistan. Imagine that! The Indian mainstream media and politicians always portray Pakistanis as if they are our arch enemies. A quick meeting with these Pakistani delegate will break this myth of people. It will make one thing crystal clear, that Pakistanis are just as humans as all Indians are. They want to live peacefully, just like us, if their government allows them to do so. The way we are fighting the battle of Liberty against our government in India, they were fighting the same battle of Liberty against their government in Pakistan. The hatred that Modi and his BJP government is spreading to divide and rule us will be totally exposed if Indians also participated in this forum and met these people from Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka etc., countries. The narrow mindedness of many Indians is truly deplorable. They haven't seen the world and so they are sucked in the hostile Nationalist propaganda of Modi and his BJP government.

The common denominator amongst people from 37 different countries in this forum was that we all are fighting the intellectual battle of Liberty against our own respective governments. As the great Austrian scholars have shown time and again, the real class war in our societies is between the government (and its official tax consuming class) and the people (which is the productive tax paying class). There is no war between Hindus and Muslims or Indians and Pakistanis or Chinese. The battle is between the State and its People. Our governments try to divide us on the basis of false ideas of Nationalism so that they can rule over us. I will advise people to go visit different countries and see with their own eyes the eternal truth that fundamentally we all are humans.     

A Critical View
Notwithstanding all the good things that I experienced in this forum, there were also few things that bothered me a lot. And these few things are actually fundamental to the success of the whole Liberty movement because they are related with right ideas for achieving true Liberty.

One thing that was clearly noticeable, especially to a radical Anarcho-Capitalist person like me, in this Forum was the almost total neglect of the true champions of the Liberty movement in our life time i.e., two geniuses Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. It is a sad fact that when someone is celebrating Liberty on such a grand scale, they forget to mention Mr. Libertarian Murray Rothbard who single handedly revived Libertarianism from its death throws in the twentieth century. It was rather frustrating to hear Hayek being frequently mentioned and revered but Hayek's mentor Ludwig von Mises totally ignored in the forum. Ludwig von Mises, as his fantastic biography by Jörg Guido Hülsmann says, was The Last Knight of Liberalism in the twentieth century. When it was dangerous to believe in Liberty, he kept the flame of Liberty burning through his laborious volumes of scholarly work - the list is too long with 25 highly important books and hundreds of scholarly articles and speeches - even after death threats. It was he who appointed Hayek as a director of the Institute of Business Cycle Research which he founded in Vienna, Austria. Later on Hayek went on to win the Nobel prize for his work on Business Cycles, and this work was just an extension of the already elaborate and pioneering work of Mises on the same subject (see his Theory of Money and Credit and The Causes of the Economic Cycles). He never compromised with his Liberty ideals like Hayek. A genius like Mises was never given a paid professorship by any academic university around the world because of his uncompromising radical ideas, which is a shame for the economic profession and the academia. Mr. Libertarian Murray Rothbard had to face the similar fate in his life time. But even after these ill treatments, these two true champions of Liberty never complained about it, and kept on fighting against the evil of the State. Now that the Libertarian movement is surging in America, thanks to Dr. Ron Paul who was also not mentioned in this forum, and elsewhere, Mises and Rothbard are getting their due attention. Young people all around the world are reading their works and seeing through the lies of the State. Hayek no doubt was great, especially young radical Hayek when he was working in LSE critiquing Lord Keynes, but he is certainly not more important than Mises and Rothbard when it comes to the Liberty movement. Hayek's "Constitution of Liberty" is actually a disastrous book for any Liberty lover.

I also felt a kind of feeling of dislike in the forum against any kind of radical Libertarian ideas i.e., Anarcho-Capitalism. People kept on praising and advertising the ideas of "Classical Liberalism" without mentioning its myriad of logical flaws. Now, there is nothing wrong in being a classical liberal (a much better position than being an outright statist), but one must also know that that idea has not worked historically in keeping the government smaller, which is its chief goal; one must learn, know and discuss its theoretical logical inconsistencies and historical failures also. In forum, I saw few people even praising government's intervention in the economy e.g., the Modi government's stupid policies in India!!! One session, in fact, was chaired by a local politician! It is strange to see a state official - the state, an institution which is the biggest enemy of Liberty - chairing a session in Liberty forum. It is ironic to love Liberty on one side and also believe that somehow one can use the system of government to achieve Liberty. Anyone who loves Liberty should have nothing to do with politicians and any other such state officials. The state is the biggest enemy of human Liberty and should be opposed lock, stock and barrel because of that very reason. If one place where radical ideas are needed more than anywhere else then that place is the Liberty movement. Without radicalism, Liberty movement won't go anywhere or worst, it will fail. 

Back to the Bright Side
Keeping aside these very serious methodological and tactical problems, I also met individuals who truly understood what Liberty is and so hated the state. These people were uncompromising in their approach towards the goal of achieving a Free Society. More importantly, as I said above, I met with young students who were very passionate about the ideas of Liberty. Many of them were already actively participating in this movement and ready to invest their time and energy to learn the true radical ideas of Libertarianism and Austrian Economics. These young people are the future of the Liberty movement. I wish they also become uncompromising in their approach because only that will help this movement achieve its goal. I wish with Hayek they also learn the ideas of true champions of Liberty like Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Hans Hermann Hoppe, Walter Block, Lew Rockwell, Thomas Woods etc. I wish they daily read Mises Institute (www.mises.org) and Lew Rockwell's (www.lewrockwell.com) websites. As Mr. Libertarian Murray Rothbard said Hating the state is the litmus test of being a true Libertarian, and I wish these young kids pass this test with the highest marks.

Overall, I enjoyed this forum a lot. In my 36 years of life, this is only the second best event where I enjoyed so much with like minded people in a stimulating intellectual environment. The BEST moments will always remain the time that I spent in the summer of 2008 at the Mises University, Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn. I wish many such events take place in future where we all Liberty lovers can get together and learn the ideas of fighting the evil of the state. Despite our inner difference we can get together against the Statist world and wage our intellectual battle. 

In the end I thank the organizers CCS, New Delhi, Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for nominating my name for this forum and giving me the opportunity to spend four wonderful days amongst Liberty lovers in this part of the world. I am fully energized with hope for Liberty in our future. I will continue to fight the intellectual battle against the evil of the state as long as Liberty is not being won finally.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Why the Prices of Petrol and Diesel are NOT Falling Much?

The international prices of Crude Oil are falling fast since last few months in the international market as can be seen in the below graph.

Despite this big drop in the international prices, there is no drastic cut in the prices of Petrol and Diesel in India. Why is this? What is the cause of this price drop in the international market? In my latest economic report I answer these questions.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Narendra Modi's Flip-Flops have begun ...

In this continually updating article I am going to keep track of the flip-flops of Narendra Modi's election and other promises. He and his BJP party has already began the flip-flop journey.

1. Black money: Before and during election Modi promised to bring black money back to India - some saying within 100 days (Baba Ramdev here claiming it, and Modi was in full support of Ramdev during elections) - of its government's formation (see here, here (I must say the speech of Modi in this video is the worst form of lies, socialism and propaganda of using peoples' "envy" to come to power!, and here).

And now after 6 months in power when he failed to do anything substantive about black money, his party FM is denying any such promises. They are now flip-flopping over this issue. Here's what Venkaiah Naidu recently said in parliament: "Listing out the measures taken by the BJP government to deal with the black money menace, Naidu said whenever 100 days is said, it means "action will be initiated within 100 days". The linguistic juggling of taking out different meaning has already began to fool the public once more.

2. Price inflation: Modi and his BJP party promised to control price inflation when came to power. First of all, a promise to control inflation is like a promise to rob/loot people, especially poor, of this country in a controlled manner every year i.e., instead of looting 10% of annual income they will only loot 6%!!! Anyone with a basic knowledge of economics knows that inflation is a hidden tax and taxation is nothing but a nice name of robbery (see this, and this) So, like any other government, Modi and his government will rob and pillage us daily.

Now, after spending almost 200 days in office, is Modi or his government serious about bringing down the prices? The recent episode of rapidly declining prices of crude oil (see figure 1 below) in the international market tells us that instead of reducing the prices of petrol, diesel, which are essential energy consumption components of any household, and other crude oil related items, Modi and his government is busy filling their own coffers by imposing higher excise and other duties (i.e., taxes) on oil companies! Here is the news story:
Taking advantage of the resulting fall in pump prices, his government has raised factory gate duties on petrol and diesel twice in the last month. That means state coffers, and not drivers, will benefit to the tune of $1.6 billion this fiscal year and nearly $5 billion next year.
Figure 1: International Crude Oil Prices

 So, the major benefit of this falling crude oil prices is going to Modi and his government, and not to people whom Modi promised during and after election of low prices of everything. Remember, he himself has done nothing in India to reduce prices. And when he is getting some help from the intentional markets of fulfilling his promise of reducing prices of petrol, diesel, gas etc., substantially, Modi, in fact, is busy robbing us of our purchasing power. No politician have ever fulfilled or can fulfill the promises he made to people because those promises are empty rhetoric to fool the public. Their actions will always be contrary to what they are saying.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Narendra Modi: The War Monger

Since coming to power six months ago, the new prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, is mostly busy developing a new war machinery in India. Modi calls himself a "Hindu nationalist" and like a true nationalist he is busy consolidating power by whipping the public frenzy for war. Remember what the great American journalist Randolph Bourne said about war: the war is the health of the state. The state was born out of conquest and war, and it is only via war that it strengthens its powers. Modi knows this and he is using the war propaganda - actually one of the reasons why people voted him to power is because he has an image of a "strong man" - to consolidate and increase his powers.

Here is a list of measures which Modi took after coming to power to increase the war machinery production in India:

UPDATE 1: And today the new defense minister Manohar Parrikar also announced a deal of 15,750 crore rupees for buying 'artillery guns' (see here). Some excerpts:
In a fresh bid to break the Bofors jinx, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today cleared proposal to acquire 814 artillery guns for Rs 15,750 crore while deferring decision on joint bid by Tata Sons and Airbus to replace IAF's Avro transport fleet and also procurement of 106 Swiss Pilatus basic trainer aircraft.
UPDATE 2 (2nd December, 2014): Today war monger Narendra Modi's government again announced a deal of 1500 crore rupees to buy French fighter jets (see here). Some excerpt:
The French and Indian defence ministers agreed on Monday to overcome any differences and finalise the sale of 126 fighter jets to India in a deal worth an estimated $15 billion, the Indian defence ministry said.
UPDATE 3 (3rd December, 2014): Now the Modi government is going to rebuild its fleet of Navy submarines! They have joined the 'arms race'. Here is the news:
India is speeding up a navy modernisation programme and leaning on its neighbours to curb Chinese submarine activity in the Indian Ocean, as nations in the region become increasingly jittery over Beijing's growing undersea prowess.
UPDATE 4 (6th December, 2014): They are now purchasing Sikorsky helicopters in 6,000 crore rupees (see here).

UPDATE 5 (10th December, 2014): Now Indian government is ready to export its first weapons of mass destruction war product of a warship to Mauritius (see here). The sinister "military industrial complex" is now widening. Pretty soon it will become so big that Indian government will wage wars just to sustain it for its own sake. Totally disgusting. War, war, and more war related machines. No bread and butter.
UPDATE 6 (11th December, 2014): And now Modi told the visiting Russian president Vladimir Putin, that Russia will remain India's top DEFENSE partner (see here). That means, more wars. Russia will remain a top defense (i.e., war) partner, but not a top FREE TRADE partner, which is a peaceful alternative of bloody state wars. Modi war monger is surely taking India on a path of some kind of war in future.  

1. Modi and his government is doing increasing war business with the rogue state of Israel (see here, here). Some excerpts from the news reports:
Since Modi came to power in May, ties between Israel and India have been in overdrive, with the two signing a series of defence and technology deals that have underscored their burgeoning commercial and political relationship.
The same month as the UN meeting, Modi's cabinet cleared a long-delayed purchase of Israeli missiles for its navy. In October, India closed a $520 million deal to buy Israeli anti-tank missiles. And last week, a jointly developed aerial defence system passed a major trial, which India called a "milestone".
2. On his recent visit to Australia again Modi signed deals related to war machinery (see here). Some excerpts:
Sources told The Hindu that the two sides will announce an “action plan” for cooperation in defence and other areas.

This will include exercises between armies, navies and air forces, as well as counter-terrorism, maritime security, non-proliferation and cyber security. The joint maritime exercises will be kicked off in early 2015. In other exercises, an Australian Coast Guard ship is expected in Indian waters next month, said sources.

In a first, India and Australia will also set up a mechanism to discuss “synergies in integrating defence system”, including research and development cooperation on integrating defence equipment that both countries currently purchase, for example, U.S’s C-17 Globemaster III, according to officials.
3. Russia is coming to India mainly to manufacture war machines like military helicopters etc. (see here).
One proposal that will be studied by interest in India is to set up a joint USD 3 billion dollar fund to promote joint start-up companies in the nanotechnology field with applications from defence to aerospace and manufacturing.
4. Many Indian companies like Godrej, Mahindra & Mahindra are now increasing their investment in manufacturing war machinery like guns, bullets, bombs, missiles etc., rather than bread and butter for the common men (see here, and here). Some excerpts:
Some of India's biggest companies are pouring billions of dollars into manufacturing guns, ships and tanks for the country's military, buoyed by the new government's commitment to upgrade its armed forces using domestic factories.
This is a beginning of the dreaded "military industrial complex" in India. The ties between the corporate world and the state is very dangerous. Once in place firmly, this complex will be hard to dismantle in future. As many jobs will be involved in this "military industrial complex", in future the Indian government will have to continue waging wars or whip the frenzy for wars to continue production in these war factories. This has happened in America (US president Dwight Eisenhower warned of this complex in his departing speech many years ago; his prophesies turned out to be correct), and very likely will happen in India.

5. Modi's government is also going to help Vietnam modernize its military forces (see here). By doing this, Modi is only angering the mighty military of China. There is no point provoking your neighbors like this.

6. In Modi's Gujarat the BJP government is gearing up to recruit more Gujarati people in the Indian military forces as the local Gujarati newspaper articles show below. They are also planning police training for college and school students.

 7. In past six months only Modi and his government has cleared military spending bills of lakhs of crores of rupees without letting anyone know about it e.g., this 80,000 crore project, and this 21,000 crore project. 

8. Modi is also buying more guns, bullets and missiles from the USA (see this). Some excerpts from the news report:
In a boost to U.S. weapons makers looking for ways to offset lower domestic military spending, India is expected to choose Sikorsky Aircraft's S-70B Sea Hawk helicopters at a 16-aircraft tender worth over $1 billion.

The decision could come during a high-profile visit to the United States by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that starts on Friday.
9.  Modi government immediately after coming to power increased its so-called "defense budget" (see here).

10. Modi also said this: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India must build up its military might to the point that no other country ‘dare cast an evil eye’ on the South Asian nation.

What is the meaning of all these war preparations and propaganda? Remember one thing, these guns and bullets can only be used in war. They have no other alternative use. There is a huge opportunity cost involved in this wastage of tax payers money in the production of war machinery. Every bullet that the Modi government is going to produce will be at the cost of not producing one bread or roti! Common man is not going to benefit at all from these war preparations. And if someone is saying that such war preparation is necessary for "national defense" then they are sucked in by the myth of national defense. Remember, in wars only war-profiteers like the politicians, bankers and crony corporatist industrialists will win with the undertaker. Wars will kill innocent civilians mostly. There is a big danger that Modi's war rhetoric might start some war with the neighboring countries, and that war will be a big disaster for India and everyone else. War is a big horror (see these ghastly images of war in Iraq), and we must stop Modi and his government from wasting our tax rupees in preparing and making wars.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Make India Clean?

On 2nd October - the birthday of Gandhiji - newly sworn in prime minister of India Narendra Modi launched his ambitious "Clean India Mission". This scheme is likely to cost whopping rupees 62,000 crore! In my latest economic report I analyze this scheme. Is Modi's "Clean India Mission" going to clean anything except the pockets of poor hapless tax payers? More importantly, what other alternatives are available to make India clean other than using the government apparatus?