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FTI is a journey of intellectual leadership, not just political representation

One other  reasons why FTI is not meant for everyone is that FTI is a philosophy-based organisation. It is founded on the principle of classical liberalism, and not, say, on the idea of communism or socialism. That means a lot. It means a fundamentally different way of looking at the world.

The idea of freedom underpins the Freedom Team. That is crucial point. The word "freedom" is not used in an idle sense. It is used in the sense that is underpinned by centuries of discovery and conceptual evolution.

It is crucial that all FTI members (and potential FTI members) fully understand the foundational principles of classical liberalism.

They must actively seek to read and understand the work of the thinkers of liberty – thinkers such as Locke, Adam Smith and Hayek. Not actively reading up these thinkers would amount to being a communist who refuses to read Marx or refer to Marx. Not having a very sound understanding of the foundational ideas will ultimately lead to severe policy disagreements, and diminish the potential of FTI. By all means customise and tailor these fundamental ideas to India's needs, but without a rigorous understanding of the meaning of freedom, we will lurch across self-contradictory policy positions. We will then be asked to take resort to our "gut feelings" and that will lead us to 1500 different world-views on every topic under the 

I've written BFN to elaborate the policy impacts of this ideas. I'm now writing an entire book, DOF, to explain this idea. If I had ever thought that "everything goes" and that my intuitive thought is enough for India then I would not have bothered to do a PhD and thereafter read up hundreds of books and articles to understand the functioning of the world at a level of detail needed to offer a well-considered opinion.

Learning is a lifelong process, and we should not offer India half-baked ideas. Being masters of the philosophy of freedom is our first obligation. We must build on what has been achieved. Surely we have value to add, but we can't be presumptuous enough to claim that we know intuitively whatever there is to be known on this topic.

FTI is above all an intellectual movement for freedom.

It is not a reckless unthinking effort to impose our "views" of the world on others – or even to adjust our views to the demands of the people of India.

We are here as friends, philosophers and guides to India, not merely persons wanting to be its political representatives. A true leader guides the entire nation. We are not aiming to be mere representatives. We offer India a totally new vision for its future: and that can't be articulated by repeating what the people say. We have to raise their vision about India as well.

There is a huge risk that without obtaining personal clarity on fundamentals, many FTI members will leave after years of working on FTI – when they find that classical liberalism is not what they thought it is. For instance, those who want to impose their religious views on others, should not join FTI in the first place. FTI is not for them.

FTI members must use a trained and tutored mind, not an intuitive mind, to drive policy.

We should each be reading at least 20 books on freedom and related topics each year. Without that we'll face the problem that Swatantra Party soon faced: that except for a couple of people, no one knew what it stood for. When Rajaji died the effort collapsed, since he had not built strong theoretical foundations among his party members.

I've provided a starting point for the resources on freedom through a link at the top of this page. Please explore these initial resources, and then go well beyond them. Good libraries are our dearest friend.

Let us FULLY UNDERSTAND the concept of freedom. We owe it to ourselves and to India to offer it the best ideas.

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14 thoughts on “FTI is a journey of intellectual leadership, not just political representation
  1. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    I fail to understand,
    Re: “FTI members must use a trained and tutored mind, not an intuitive mind, to drive policy.”
    Without an intuitive mind, can one ever become trained and tutored one in the right direction?
    Without an intuitive mind is one supposed to simply copy the rest (freedom and classical liberalism) blindly?
    Is alone training and tutoring without intuitive mind sufficient to understand and grasp the intention and limitation of particular policy?
    Of course very few are endowed with intuitive mind, the thing is entirely different.
    Here note: Trained and tutored mind without intuitive mind (which failed to understand the intention with its limitations of the Hindu philosophy over a period of time of centuries) ruined the India from its glory to its present status.
    The scope of this comment is limited to the extent to which your article is supposed to be. It is not Hindu philosophy.

     
  2. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    I fail to understand,
    Re: “FTI members must use a trained and tutored mind, not an intuitive mind, to drive policy.”
    Without an intuitive mind, can one ever become trained and tutored one in the right direction?
    Without an intuitive mind is one supposed to simply copy the rest (freedom and classical liberalism) blindly?
    Is alone training and tutoring without intuitive mind sufficient to understand and grasp the intention and limitation of particular policy?
    Of course very few are endowed with intuitive mind, the thing is entirely different.
    Here note: Trained and tutored mind without intuitive mind (which failed to understand the intention with its limitations of the Hindu philosophy over a period of time of centuries) ruined the India from its glory to its present status.
    The scope of this comment is limited to the extent to which your article is supposed to be. It is not Hindu philosophy.

     
  3. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    1.     Democracy is driven by the people who are many in number and who are all free and independent. Everybody may be well qualified in terms of good education but not necessarily about the culture. Everybody may well be intelligent but not necessarily wise. For want of single truth, belief, convention etc (about anything say of the ultimate truth, of life, of universe, of society etc) everybody thinks his own way. But all these people are bound together by the morality common to all human beings. However this common morality is not continuous but discrete in nature which in turn breaks the fellow human beings into groups. E.g. different religions, different ideologies, socialism, communalism, classical liberalism and so on. This conflict will ever remain there as long as these groups of human beings are free and independent by virtue of the very nature of human beings.
     
    2.     Do you think these groups as such should sustain ever as a result of liberty and freedom who are responsible only to the extent to which their independent philosophy of life permits them?
     
    3.     Let us see the reality in India and world in general. A large number of people are unqualified (by way of illiteracy, poor culture, declining morality etc) but who wield the power at the same time to the change the government. Then among those literate people are like you, me and others who hardly agree on any issue with overwhelming majority. If you find the result of Indian elections a party is elected to the government by seats which is negligible compared to the figure of 530. (This is my general impression, go not on accurate figures). In essence the government so elected is representative of the people who don’t have the basic information about the politics, of governance etc not to talk of those highly educated one who differ so much on any specific policies on which ironically computer can give accurate results if it is fed appropriately.
    e.g. Now the common unqualified voters in India derive their power to vote from the liberty and freedom of democracy. And now it is again the voice of liberty and freedom (FTI) which is struggling hard to persuade these voters to vote for the same without any chances in near future!!!!
    4.     Are not you doing the exact thing? A child in 1st standard will not understand the lessons of MA but it is the child who is going to grant the degree of MA. Here child is Indian voter by virtue of his ‘Patrata’ (so is everybody in world) and MA is the government at helm. Will this ever work? Democracies all over the world are working however not because of its goodness but because there is no better alternative to them at present.  My comments are aimed to provide that alternative since the beginning. That alternative is on the lines of modern science where hardly there is any difference between the theories and principles of physical sciences across the boundaries of nations because of uniformity of conventions, definitions and their practical applications.
     
    5.     Instead, this uncontained freedom and liberty will deepen the already feeble morality by the unqualified element of human beings from which the majority suffer (illiteracy, poverty, lack of wisdom, immediate selfish aims, uncontrolled senses, poor and vitiated culture etc) including the highly literate ones. But the same freedom and liberty in the hands of those who understand this situation will surely find the way out.
     
    6.     Let you understand that in democracy the liberty and freedom are unqualified by way of universal franchise. Voting power based on the wisdom and not necessarily educational qualification will only do the justice to freedom and liberty. How this is to be done will be shown automatically once this theory is understood. 
     
    7.     If liberty and freedom has its inherent power it will do wonders since Indian voters already have it by virtue of universal franchise, and if this doesn’t happen the same freedom and liberty will do the worst things beyond imagination (like present situation) and I hope people like you won’t be responsible for the same!! Don’t say then people will be responsible for it. Instead their freedom and liberty will be responsible for it.
     
    8.      In the past almost three times this point was put before you in different forms. But because of your pre-conceived ideas you are yet to become receptive to them!! Note that this comment is over and above the accountability and responsibility element associated with liberty and freedom.
     
    9.     May I get clarification on this liberty and freedom which is qualified here? Will not we push ahead this liberty and freedom in true sense? You may cite your paras if already clarified to the point either BFN, DOF etc.

     
  4. ramesh

    Dear Sabhlok,
    1.     Democracy is driven by the people who are many in number and who are all free and independent. Everybody may be well qualified in terms of good education but not necessarily about the culture. Everybody may well be intelligent but not necessarily wise. For want of single truth, belief, convention etc (about anything say of the ultimate truth, of life, of universe, of society etc) everybody thinks his own way. But all these people are bound together by the morality common to all human beings. However this common morality is not continuous but discrete in nature which in turn breaks the fellow human beings into groups. E.g. different religions, different ideologies, socialism, communalism, classical liberalism and so on. This conflict will ever remain there as long as these groups of human beings are free and independent by virtue of the very nature of human beings.
     
    2.     Do you think these groups as such should sustain ever as a result of liberty and freedom who are responsible only to the extent to which their independent philosophy of life permits them?
     
    3.     Let us see the reality in India and world in general. A large number of people are unqualified (by way of illiteracy, poor culture, declining morality etc) but who wield the power at the same time to the change the government. Then among those literate people are like you, me and others who hardly agree on any issue with overwhelming majority. If you find the result of Indian elections a party is elected to the government by seats which is negligible compared to the figure of 530. (This is my general impression, go not on accurate figures). In essence the government so elected is representative of the people who don’t have the basic information about the politics, of governance etc not to talk of those highly educated one who differ so much on any specific policies on which ironically computer can give accurate results if it is fed appropriately.
    e.g. Now the common unqualified voters in India derive their power to vote from the liberty and freedom of democracy. And now it is again the voice of liberty and freedom (FTI) which is struggling hard to persuade these voters to vote for the same without any chances in near future!!!!
    4.     Are not you doing the exact thing? A child in 1st standard will not understand the lessons of MA but it is the child who is going to grant the degree of MA. Here child is Indian voter by virtue of his ‘Patrata’ (so is everybody in world) and MA is the government at helm. Will this ever work? Democracies all over the world are working however not because of its goodness but because there is no better alternative to them at present.  My comments are aimed to provide that alternative since the beginning. That alternative is on the lines of modern science where hardly there is any difference between the theories and principles of physical sciences across the boundaries of nations because of uniformity of conventions, definitions and their practical applications.
     
    5.     Instead, this uncontained freedom and liberty will deepen the already feeble morality by the unqualified element of human beings from which the majority suffer (illiteracy, poverty, lack of wisdom, immediate selfish aims, uncontrolled senses, poor and vitiated culture etc) including the highly literate ones. But the same freedom and liberty in the hands of those who understand this situation will surely find the way out.
     
    6.     Let you understand that in democracy the liberty and freedom are unqualified by way of universal franchise. Voting power based on the wisdom and not necessarily educational qualification will only do the justice to freedom and liberty. How this is to be done will be shown automatically once this theory is understood. 
     
    7.     If liberty and freedom has its inherent power it will do wonders since Indian voters already have it by virtue of universal franchise, and if this doesn’t happen the same freedom and liberty will do the worst things beyond imagination (like present situation) and I hope people like you won’t be responsible for the same!! Don’t say then people will be responsible for it. Instead their freedom and liberty will be responsible for it.
     
    8.      In the past almost three times this point was put before you in different forms. But because of your pre-conceived ideas you are yet to become receptive to them!! Note that this comment is over and above the accountability and responsibility element associated with liberty and freedom.
     
    9.     May I get clarification on this liberty and freedom which is qualified here? Will not we push ahead this liberty and freedom in true sense? You may cite your paras if already clarified to the point either BFN, DOF etc.

     
  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    1) Your argument that freedom = democracy is wrong. Freedom means much, much more.

    2) The idea that there is ANY system better than democracy is wrong. There is a huge literature out there but at the least I’d cite this blog post of mine (pl. read the section on democracy) and Prof. Rommell’s work at http://rudyrummel.blogspot.com/ and http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/.

    There is NO possibility of distinguishing between wise and not wise people. Do not look down upon uneducated people in India. They might have voted for socialists. But they also booted out Indira Gandhi and they do choose wisely AMONG THE CHOICES ON OFFER.

    When FTI has not even made an offer, you cannot make comments about FTI’s inability to secure votes.

    The problem is a SEVERE shortage of good leaders, not a shortage of good voters.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Ramesh

    1) Your argument that freedom = democracy is wrong. Freedom means much, much more.

    2) The idea that there is ANY system better than democracy is wrong. There is a huge literature out there but at the least I’d cite this blog post of mine (pl. read the section on democracy) and Prof. Rommell’s work at http://rudyrummel.blogspot.com/ and http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/.

    There is NO possibility of distinguishing between wise and not wise people. Do not look down upon uneducated people in India. They might have voted for socialists. But they also booted out Indira Gandhi and they do choose wisely AMONG THE CHOICES ON OFFER.

    When FTI has not even made an offer, you cannot make comments about FTI’s inability to secure votes.

    The problem is a SEVERE shortage of good leaders, not a shortage of good voters.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  7. ramesh

    Dear Sbhlok,
    Re: The problem is a SEVERE shortage of good leaders, not a shortage of good voters.
     
    It is implicit in the above statement that leader is quite different from the ordinary voter in terms of his understanding of the principles, of human characteristics, in terms of his qualifications and in all other respects. That is why he is eligible to draw higher remuneration and better sharing of the wealth according to his eligibility. This is all in accordance with the principles of freedom and liberty.
     
    Then why is this unequal sharing of greatest wealth of ‘Voting Power’ between this leader and the ordinary voter? Why the Vote of leader doesn’t carry the more weight than the vote of the ordinary voter? Are they equal? If yes why not they share wealth and remuneration equally as well?
     
    In capitalism sharing of wealth is according to one’s eligibility for the same. Making ‘voting power’ exception here makes a mockery of the capitalism and hence the freedom and liberty. If wealth cannot be shared equally why the greatest wealth ‘voting power’ is shared equally? What logic makes the ‘voting power’ an exception one?what basis?
     
    Once this discrepancy is removed there is every likelihood of good leaders coming up in good numbers.
     
    Equal sharing of voting power is a child of Socialism where equal sharing of wealth is also encouraged.
     
    Are you staunch socialist?
     
    You always failed to understand the debate point. Now may I hope for satisfactory answer?

     
  8. ramesh

    Dear Sbhlok,
    Re: The problem is a SEVERE shortage of good leaders, not a shortage of good voters.
     
    It is implicit in the above statement that leader is quite different from the ordinary voter in terms of his understanding of the principles, of human characteristics, in terms of his qualifications and in all other respects. That is why he is eligible to draw higher remuneration and better sharing of the wealth according to his eligibility. This is all in accordance with the principles of freedom and liberty.
     
    Then why is this unequal sharing of greatest wealth of ‘Voting Power’ between this leader and the ordinary voter? Why the Vote of leader doesn’t carry the more weight than the vote of the ordinary voter? Are they equal? If yes why not they share wealth and remuneration equally as well?
     
    In capitalism sharing of wealth is according to one’s eligibility for the same. Making ‘voting power’ exception here makes a mockery of the capitalism and hence the freedom and liberty. If wealth cannot be shared equally why the greatest wealth ‘voting power’ is shared equally? What logic makes the ‘voting power’ an exception one?what basis?
     
    Once this discrepancy is removed there is every likelihood of good leaders coming up in good numbers.
     
    Equal sharing of voting power is a child of Socialism where equal sharing of wealth is also encouraged.
     
    Are you staunch socialist?
     
    You always failed to understand the debate point. Now may I hope for satisfactory answer?

     
  9. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ramesh, Have you read von Mises? Please critique his points on this. Also Rummel’s. The idea of equal freedom is crucial. No one in any free society can have more political rights or powers than any other.

     
  10. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Ramesh, Have you read von Mises? Please critique his points on this. Also Rummel’s. The idea of equal freedom is crucial. No one in any free society can have more political rights or powers than any other.

     

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