November 19, 2012
Swaraj is rooted in the collectivist General Will of Rousseau, not natural rights of John Locke
This is my third comment on Arvind Kejriwal's Swaraj, based on thoughts sparked by reviewing Prakash's comment, below.
As a person who is in favour of markets, I believe that the next step really has to be political markets. We need a hayekian discovery of the law structure that is most appropriate for India.
I have not read the swaraj proposal, but I am extrapolating this from Shailesh’s comment.
I agree with the decentralized law proposal as long as a right to exit is guaranteed to all citizens who are not criminals in the commonly agreed criminal law of the union.
As long as a right to exit is guaranteed to every citizen, for a person seeking to drink alcohol, it is relatively easy to go to the next jurisdiction that allows the same. And if the frequent movement is an issue, one can permanently move to other jurisdictions.
Obviously this will imply things like hanging for marrying within gotra cannot be decided by gram sabhas. There will have to be a common criminal code. There might also need to be goods movement laws that are relatively more central. For eg. if cows for slaughter have to move from one muslim dominated district (where slaughter is legal) to another, via a hindu dominated district where it is illegal, there may need to be passing provisions in the central law. Similar such laws may be needed for alcohol and such similar issues.
I can easily envisage an India where a thousand independent district jurisdictions eagerly publish the benefits of living in their district to every person who passes out from 12th standard. rich jurisidictions can proclaim their cosmopolitan self and high standard of life. Poor jurisidictions can promise a much higher rate of growth for investments. Dharmic jurisidictions can proclaim their adherence to their codes of life, while liberal jurisdictions can promise the ability to drink, snort, inject, smoke, gamble and fornicate.
We are all not the same and there is no reason that there has to be one law ruling all. Where the liberal policy structure does come in is in providing the agreement framework within these many possibilities.
Prakash you are offering a very severe mis-reading of Hayek.
Hayek was a NATURAL RIGHTS advocate. He wanted firmly bounded constitutions at all levels of government. He would never tolerate, even in any "market" based political model, ANY diminution of liberty for the sake of some experiments on people.
What you are saying is that it is quite OK for me to be driven OUT of my place of birth because someone imposes their ideas on me and I refuse to accept them. So you are committing two major fallacies:
a) You are accepting the reduction of my liberties. But I live not to be governed by others. I live to be free. I deny anyone ANY right to impose their will on me.
b) You are advocating Rousseau's collectivist idea of "general will" by which a particular village can have the right to form a "general" collectivist view about what can or cannot be done in that village.
Both are based on the same foundational flaw – that a MAJORITY has a right to encroach on ANYONE'S liberty.
Majorities DO NOT HAVE RIGHTS. We humans have individual natural rights.
All of us have the right to life and liberty.
So, as you can clearly see, Shailesh, you and Arvind come from the same COLLECTIVIST mould of Rousseau. You are willing to tolerate the destruction of liberty by majorities.
That, by the way, was the reason why Socrates OPPOSED democracy, for he knew that there are some who elevate democracy ("general will") to a status greater than the individual.
I deny ALL such rubbish. I refute ANY attempt or any possibility that a village assembly can have ANY right to limit ANYONE'S liberties.
That is, by the way, exactly what Hayek would say, but in far more suave and sophisticated language.