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Category: Politics

There is absolutely no scope for prior consent in a liberal political party

In 1998 I started a draft article, called “From Economics to Action“. I never got to review/ finalise this article due to many reasons. But the key question remains: how does one get from the theory of liberty (economics) to actual liberty. This is something for which there is no manual, no guide, not even preliminary thoughts on how it can or should be done.

Over the past 18+ years I have done many things and learnt a few things in this direction. One day I may finally finish that article.

But this one can say: it is no trivial task to bring liberty to any country. The task of bringing liberty to the a country like India involves – at a minimum – the following skills:

  • high level of knowledge of the principles and policies of liberty, and of liberal governance. This basically means having an open mind to innovations from across the world; it means having a research bent of mind. The liberal has an mind that is constantly open to new learnings. Most “liberals” do not understand the basics of governance; they have an extremely shallow level of knowledge and do not pay attention to detailed incentives of the democratic/ bureaucratic system. Their policies amount to hand waving, and are essentially worthless for ensuring real change.
  • high level of communication skills. This involves the ability to write/ speak and otherwise explain ideas to the general public, including to the experts. The range of messaging is quite vast and diverse; but there needs to be high level of proficiency in these skills, if an liberal political movement is to take root.
  • high level of management skill and attention to detail. This is a key requirement which involves the ability to creating various organisations and ensuring they are compliant with relevant laws. It involves attention to the detail of how funds are managed, audits/ tax compliance, etc., and how website/ social media is managed, etc.
  • high level of respect for others. This involves complete trust in others unless they prove to be untrustworthy. This also involves the commitment to building democratic processes and institutions, but being careful not to disable individual enterprise in this process.
  • working towards a long term goal – of building the kind of DNA that will grow the organism (e.g. a liberal party) into a viable outfit for the future. This involves building systems that will foster innovation and initiative at all levels, even as everyone is held to account for their actions. It involves finding and building leaders.

The package of skills needed to start and run a political liberal movement does not exist in any single individual. So the key skill involved is the capacity to find and bring together people with the relevant skills, so the organisation, as a whole, has the relevant skill set and capability.


In this post I will raise a few points regarding building the DNA of a sustainable liberal political party.

A  party usually will have a representative body at the top, a National Executive (NE). The role of the NE is to oversight the development and growth of the party. Its job is to ensure that overall systems are in place.

It, however, has no business in the day-to-day affairs and actions of the party or its members. It is like the Board of Directors of a company, that meets periodically to agree to the broad principles, but after that the company acts. It doesn’t revert to the Board for advice. There is no micro-management by the Board. There can be no micro-management by an NE.

For instance, the NE must retain total control over the party’s ideology and manifesto. It must set systems in place for the selection/ election of office bearers. It must have a system to investigate disciplinary matters where any member acts in violation of the ideology and manifesto.

But it can have no role in prior approval of political actions taken by any individual member.

In any event, we are talking about a party of liberty, not a “high command” where everything is micro-managed.

The way of liberty is to fully empower all members to act. Members should not be held back with a leash, even on a matter that potentially violates the party’s manifesto. NE members can raise any concerns or provide advice, but they cannot pre-approve (“licence”) any action. They have no preventative role, only a punitive role should an action violate the party’s constitution or manifesto.

The NE are not puppet masters, and individual members are not puppets. They are free citizens who must be free at all times to act according to their best understanding of a particular situation.

Liberty involves experiments. It involves taking risks. No one knows what will happen when someone takes an action. Even the best laid plans of people can be laid waste; and totally unexpected success can be achieved from unplanned and random action. This is the nature of the world. We can never know in advance about the results from any action.

NE members cannot be a control freak who want zero risk. They cannot start imagining consequences and risks and block action. They are not Gods. They do not know the future.

The liberal party’s constitution must allow total freedom of voting to its parliamentary members except on a few critical bills.

This freedom must seep into every part of the party’s operational DNA. No one is required to seek any prior “approval” to act. By all means people should feel free to discuss their idea and seek improvements/ inputs. But EVERY individual member must be respected and treated like an adult.

Each action is an experiment. Let there be an infinity of experiments – each of these consistent with the party’s ideology and manifesto. Let there be freedom in the party that claims to bring freedom to the people.

Freedom also implies accountability. Therefore, every member should be accountable for his/her actions. But there is absolutely no scope in a free society for PRIOR CONSENT from any “wise” people.

Only through internal freedom can members of a liberal political party understand freedom and bring freedom to the people. If they become control freaks then the party will never grow.

Growth is ALWAYS related to the level of liberty.

Of course, if any FINANCIAL implication arises, there is a need for prior consent. But for saying something or doing something that doesn’t involve taking money from the party’s kitty, there is absolutely no need for prior consent.

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Rapidly diminishing credibility of Modi and BJP – extract from a comment that I’ve received

Here’s an extract from a comment sent to me, that I thought I’d share with everyone:


With every passing day, the chance of getting a job for the average individual is becoming harder and harder, forget about startups and generating jobs for now, which will get scuttled with crippling taxes by Jaitley and Modi!

BJP’s online troll army is out fanning the flames almost everywhere… all in the name of nationalism:


Startup India is an epic failure:

As if UPA’s/Congress’ sabotage of India wasn’t enough, it’s like as if India jumped from the frying pan straight into a conflagration (not any small fire here!) in 2014. Like an aircraft entering a stall after the nose goes too high up at a very low speed/altitude, India is now falling rapidly and collapsing.

Urjit Patel will takeover as the RBI Governor from tomorrow. Who is Urjit Patel?


He has worked with both Reliance Industries and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC). What is GSPC known for? The INR 200 billion (20,000 crores) KG Scam!


What’s the conclusion upon piecing together the quilt? India’s heading for a nepotist dictatorship from where it might never recover!

No difference between the Congress nor BJP. They all facilitate the trio of the political class, the crony corporate class and the poor class (whom are used to do their dirty deeds) in looting the middle class clean out of their pockets. But looking at the present, I temporarily felt (and sometimes feel) Congress was much better.

To make matters worse… PM Modi is now trying to divert from his failed governance by pointing fingers at Pakistan.


How that’s going to help us in the long run is unknown, but for all I know, Pakistan has the support of China and the 57-member OIC (Organization for Islamic Cooperation). Iran, traditionally friendly to India, will also be forced to switch sides due to their own problems with a part of Baluchistan within their recognized territory. Why “nationalist” BJP wants to turn more than half the world against India flies over my head.
Thank You.
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The myth that Gurgaon is a “private city”

Someone shared with me the following article: Lessons from Gurgaon, India’s
private city by Shruti Rajagopalan and Alexander Tabarrok.

I was seriously disappointed with the article.

I’m used to Alex Taborrok’s promotion of corruption and crony capitalism (e.g. see my post here), but this article promotes both corruption/crony capitalism AND coercive acquisition of land for private purposes (i.e. acquisition of property at gun point).

The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 allows the federal and state governments to acquire land through the power of eminent domain for ‘any public purpose or for a company’ under Section 4(1). Similar provisions exist in the recently introduced Land Acquisition Act of 2013. Likewise, a private company is exempt from the restrictions of the Land Acquisition Act and permitted to acquire land if licensed by the state government. In Haryana, the legislature passed several laws to enable large-scale land acquisition for private firms to develop townships.

It is surprising that the coercive and crony capitalist nature of the land acquisition process has been glossed over in this article. The SUPER-CORRUPT Haryana Urban Development Authority is praised for its “single window clearance”.

Land acquisition for PRIVATE use is theft of property from one citizen for the private benefit of another. It is the complete opposite of voluntarism and markets, of private enterprise, of Coasean bargains.

And in this nightmare of MEGA-corruption and theft of public property, there is some “development” in Gurgaon.

So now it is called a “private city!”

What a complete distortion of the meaning of the term.

I will, separately, put out some findings/ thoughts in relation to private cities, but for now I want to make clear that Gurgaon IS NOT A PRIVATE CITY. Gurgaon is the outcome of an extremely coercive socialist and crony captalist state. A state that fails to perform fundamental functions including the defence of property rights.

I have a long and very old relationship with Gurgaon, having first visited it in the 1960s when I was a child and the place was little more than a village. I spent some time in Gurgaon in the early 1980s when I was Assistant Commissioner in Haryana, visiting various parts of the district. My father owns a small property in Gurgaon since the early 1990s and I have visited it on innumerable occasions.

I know precisely how Gurgaon works.

And it is NOT a private city in any sense of the word. Let’s be very clear about that.

Jamshedpur, however, started out as a genuine private city.

But a real private city would be something on the lines being attempted in Honduras by Michael Strong. It would have a set of complete and functional institutions that work.


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