One-stop shop for the total transformation of India

Category: Philosophy

To the foolish anarcho-capitalists, I cite this as PROOF that man is a nationalistic animal. BORDERS ARE REAL.

There are a number of anarcho-capitalists who argue for open borders.

I have argued against them on numerous occasions.

In this case all I’m going to do is to cite 19:40 to 20:25 of the following video:

I rest my case.

Humans fundamentally oppose interactions with other “nationalities”. That’s in our genetic makeup.

Of course, the anarcho-capitalists have nothing to do their own animal biology and purport to live in an ivory tower.

But the stark reality is that we are ANIMALS. Period.

And animals HAVE borders.

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Marx, Gandhi and David Friedman are the same in one thing: all have failed to provide a transition path to freedom

Our fundamental equality arises from being animals of the same species. And yet some of us govern others. These are the Mafia with the capital M. The Government.

How did they get this role and power? We the Hobbesians have it to them.

To fight the Mafia has been the dream of Marx, Gandhi and David Friedman. They all had/have one goal – to make the state wither away, so humans can achieve the intrinsic equality that nature has given all of us.

But they have all failed, and failed miserably in getting rid of the Mafia.

Why is that so?

Because there is really no method consistent with human history other than using the government itself as a pathway towards a government-free society.

We need a transition path, which takes us incrementally to the stage where we can hand everything back to the markets, to ourselves.

What that essentially means is designing markets and institutions to allow people to manage their own affairs without recourse to the government.

This is a non-trivial task. We know that it was the advent of big government (kings, emperors) that incrementally led to modern civilisation. So government has played a key role in human advancement, even as governments have been the most vicious oppressors of the people.

There is an underlying “value” that government provides. We need to be able to solve the game theoretic problem that will allow us to achieve the same (or more) value through markets.

The fact that markets have solved such problems on their own is a positive sign (e.g. Hernando De Soto (ref. The Mystery of Capital); and James Tooley (The Beautiful Tree). But there is insufficient understanding of the detailed mechanisms by which markets can be enabled to solve such problems.

The task of philosophers and economists is therefore a detailed and technical one: how to design institutions to make government redundant. That can’t be done through exhortations but through hard intellectual work.

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My 1993 draft article: WHY DO I WRITE? WHY DOES ANYONE WRITE?

Here’s some more musings from that 1992-93 period. The computer date shows this was written on 23 April 1993.


      The act of writing is an important question. Why does a person write?

*     When I was young, the Illustrated Weekly of India used to publish poems by small children. Somehow I felt that I must see my name too on the page. And so I wrote my first poem at the age of 9 (I do not think it was published, however).

*     When I became slightly older, I read poems of love. Poets of reknown became important to me. I too wanted to become a well-known poet. So I wrote a lot of poems. Some good, some bad. Some got published here and there. I was happy.

*     When I went into government service, I was not allowed to write because of the rules. I had to seek permission, etc., all the time, and so on. Or so I thought. So I wrote for my own satisfaction – initially on paper, and later on in the computer.

I hoped to publish all this one day.

*     In fact when I was 25 it was my major ambition to publish a book. This I did (some form of book) when I wrote DAISY, a technical book on rural development using computers. I was quite proud of having written this book for some time.

*     But that was not good enough.

*     Then in August or so, 1992, I wrote a scathing article for the Sentinel on the problems, as I saw it, with Assam government and its mismanagement in general. I was genuinely unhappy and frustrated with the Indian system, and knew that no matter how many years I stayed in the government system, no one would hear me there. And things would go from bad to worse, while my frustrations and feelings piled up inside me. This was perhaps the first article which served the real purpose of self-expression in me. It was not at all for the fame, and least of all for the money. And in fact there was no money in it for me – or hardly any. I had earned much more in my free-lance stint as a journalist before joining the service than I earned from this article.

But never mind.

*     What I want to find out is what makes a person write?

I think the following things are possibly important:

–     self-expression, or the desire TO TELL. The fact is that we often discuss many profound matters over the occasional social meeting, that even if some of it became a part of common knowledge, it would help change the society. For example, we discuss India’s corruption and associated problems but we hardly write about these. The result is that those who are indulging in corruption are not exposed, as they should be.

–     possible renown. But this is a thing I found difficult to sustain. People know of you more if you are rich, or even if you are a politician, than if you are a writer. Even the best writers are known far less than the medium ranking politician. For example, how many names of Jnanpith award winners does an average person know? Not more than three to four. There have been ….! And even Nobel prize winners? Not many, I am sure. And what about the classical philosophers, and others? Very few indeed. Yet we all know who was Akbar the Great – a politician. Writing is not the best route to fame, I find.

–     Money. Emphatically not. Whereas you have the phenomenon in the US of some best-selling writers becoming rich, it is at best the writers of pulp fiction who become that rich. And they are clearly not indulging in writing as such. They are merely pursuing a profession to earn money from the desire in us of gossip and knowing about murder and treachery. Writing, as I see it is about something intimate to all of us: something about our own soul. It is not mere telling fictitious tales of crime, sex and money without any further meaning. Such writers are pulp writers, not writers. A writer has to be a thinker too. Well, at least that is what I think.

I find therefore that good writing has only one motive – self-expression.

But the question is what does a person want to express? And does everyone have something to express?

Well, not everyone has something to express at all the time. In particular, when one is peacefully enjoying a drink on the beach, there is nothing to express, only to experience. But maybe I am mistaken. There may be something to express if a person is poetically inclined, even in such a situation.

The first thing about a writer therefore has to be a desire to express something about almost everything. He has to have an opinion. And we expect some kind of consistency too. Emerson did say that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. But how will it seem if  writer (even Emerson for that matter) today writes a pulp fiction novel, tomorrow writes a scholarly discourse about the existence of God, and the day-after-tomorrow denies it. I mean, we have to have a theme in our lives, which will weave all our expressions around itself.

Further, the writer has to have a disturbance. A fully placid person may have nothing to express beyond the banality of existence. Hence one has to be ever so slightly skewed from the normal disposition. In fact, in my case too, I find that I write chiefly when there is some force compelling me to do so. I do not write when I am completely at ease. The force could be positive or negative: I may be excessively happy or excessively sad. Of course this does not mean that the disturbance has to be large. Ever so slight  a disturbance will do, too, such as not getting sleep, and pouring out one’s thoughts into writing, rather than brooding in the bed. Writing does relax a person.

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The two points I’m making – the summary of EVERYTHING I stand for – please try to pay attention


Poverty is the natural state of man. Liberty is essential to create innovation and wealth.

–India is poor because its people’s freedoms have been crushed for thousands of years


People are not born corrupt. It is the incentives of the system they find themselves in that makes them corrupt.

–Indians are corrupt because their governance system forces them to be corrupt.


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Mises against anarcho-capitalism

For my record, that Mises was vigorously against Rothbardian anarchism.

  • “A government abdicates if it tolerates any non-governmental agency’s use of violence. If the government forsakes its monopoly of coercion and compulsion, anarchic conditions result.”
    -Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos
  • “Liberalism is not anarchism, nor has it anything whatsoever to do with anarchism. The liberal understands quite clearly that without resort to compulsion, the existence of society would be endangered and that behind the rules of conduct whose observance is necessary to assure peaceful human cooperation must stand the threat of force if the whole edifice of society is not to be continually at the mercy of any one of its members. One must be in a position to compel the person who will not respect the lives, health, personal freedom, or private property of others to acquiesce in the rules of life in society. This is the function that the liberal doctrine assigns to the state: the protection of property, liberty, and peace.”
    -Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism)

I’m informed that “Mises wrote against anarchy throughout his life. He thought Rothbard was wrong.”

Just a reminder of two of my notes on this subject:

Rothbard’s foundational error about classical liberalism and his mistaken belief in anarchy

The absurd dreams of libertarian anarchists


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