Thoughts on economics and liberty

I OPPOSE Aam Aadmi Party so long as it doesn’t abjure socialism

Let it be known that even there is the SLIGHTEST whiff of socialism in AAP, I'll oppose it tooth and nail.

Extract from an email I sent to my father today.


Dear Daddy

Thanks for this. I'm writing to clarify.

I was most keen for Arvind Kejriwal to join politics (and FTI) so I met him in February 2012 and advised him to do so. He was able to spare only 20 minutes of his time and promised to read my book and get back to me.

But he did not do so. After many months and repeated emails on many topics (including reminders to read the book), he did finally respond to one email (based on my comment about his economics illiteracy published by Business Standard) but he had completely forgotten our meeting in February nor read anything, nor asked any questions. My response to his email was also not responded.

In that way, it will be incorrect to state that "understand my son Sanjeev Sabhlok Ex I.A.S  is very much in touch with I.A.C (India Against Corruption)". I may have tried to be in touch with Arvind but he never bothered to discuss.

Mr. Asthana knows my views for a very long time. His ideas are very similar to mine so I don't know what he is doing with the socialist AAP. As far as I'm concerned, I do not associate with any socialists. And Mr Prashant Bhushan is pure red. He wants to nationalise (and bring about the same commanding heights that Nehru wanted?). And Arvind wants to fix prices (he can outsmart the laws of demand and supply).

In my views such socialist ideas are the root cause of India's problems and for me to associate with Arvind at this stage is simply not feasible.

On the other hand, he is a good man and all people on his group are good people, so I'm willing to discuss with them and offer to show them what will work and what won't. But there is simply no desire in Arvind's group to discuss. They say they are for "Aam Aadmi" but scrupulously avoid any discussion or debate, that's been my experience. I'm told that's exactly what they do to others don't hold their socialist beliefs.

My last personal email conversation with Mr. Asthana went nowhere. I asked Mr Asthana a few questions and he simply said I should ask Arvind. But how can I ask Arvind when he doesn't want to discuss?

I have offered to talk to Arvind on the phone and discuss, but that's not happening.

I will keep trying (e.g. through this email). I treat such emails as an attempt to reach out to him and any other good people in India.

At this stage I am NOT associated with AAP.

I am, however, happy to work with IAC (Anna's and Kiran Bedi's group) and with Baba Ramdev to the extent I can, and with anyone else interested in working for genuine reforms in India.

I do not recommend that anyone join AAP, which is a socialist party and will destroy India even further.  I am disappointed that Mr. Asthana – with his great knowledge and wisdom, has chosen to support socialists. I hope he will take the message  of liberty to Arvind and Mr. Bhushan. If anyone in AAP knows what I stand for, that is Mr. Asthana. He must not let this group impose its ideas on India. He must guide them to ensure greater liberty for all.

I'm most pleased to continue to engage with AAP. (I will, however, oppose AAP publicly and in all forums if I find even the SLIGHTEST whiff of socialism in their ideas).

I'm happy to be back full time in India (with appropriate arrangements) once a combined front can be formed to defeat socialism and introduce standard world-best policies of liberty.

In sum, please do not join or support AAP, currently a 100 per cent socialist group.

I hope that India will one day realise that good people with bad ideas do FAR MORE HARM than bad people with good ideas. The ideal, of course is good people with good ideas.

Hitler was not corrupt. He was also very religious. But we know what happens with collectivist (socialist) ideas he promoted. Let the government be a nightwatchman and umpire. No more.


Evidence that IAC (AAP now) is socialist

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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19 thoughts on “I OPPOSE Aam Aadmi Party so long as it doesn’t abjure socialism
  1. Taran Besov

    What is so wrong about an Aam Aadmi Party saying things that aam aadmi wants to hear? Aam aadmi doesn’t really care about the rules of markets and economics governing prices. They want to hear that everyday commodities like petroleum and LPG will become affordable. Maybe AAP are planning to eat the cost at the expense of other governemt provided facilities. everyone in India thinks that the government controls oil prices.
    Oil prices will never go down in the near future if allowed to ride freely. What should Aam Aadmi do for their daily needs? Burn logwood? Or ride bicycles? Because clearly electric cars and solar energy are not immediately feasible alternatives. So what should they do? What is your plan?

  2. Taran Besov

    BFN is your book I presume?
    How long will your plan take to materialize? Will it happen overnight or will it take a few years? So let’s say it takes a few years (because I cannot imagine how any plan will increase incomes of people by 100 times overnight), what should aam aadmi do till then to relieve the burden of ever increasing prices of essential commodities?
    Please understand, I am not trying to criticize you or your plan. Just trying to figure out how free markets will make things affordable for the common man, and how long will it take before we can stop worrying about the ever-increasing prices.
    Maybe you can give an elevator pitch here. Why should I vote for you? Please don’t say that I should read a book to figure that out. I don’t have the time to read a book on a serious and dry topic like history or governance or political philosophy. As a voter with limited interest in arcane topics and limited time to spend on reading, what is it that you will tell me to sway my vote. In common-sense terms please. Because that is really what the average, literate and educated aam aadmi wants to know, for we are so occupied with surviving that even if we want, we cannot delve in reading books to appreciate what you offer.

  3. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    You don’t have three hours in your life to read a book. I don’t have two minutes for an elevator pitch.

    Fine. Let India suffer.

    I really don’t care for an India where reading a book is a massive mental and time challenge.

  4. 19 year old registered applicant

    dear sanjeev ji and Taran ji,
    i have heavy commitments (exam tomorrow!) , being the reason i am anonymous for now, and had decided not to comment. but now i have been totally tempted to comment, thanks to sanjeev ji’s this response!


    first i respond to tarun ji.
    you want to know
    “Why should I vote for you?”
    “As a voter with limited interest in arcane topics…..what is it that you will tell me to sway my vote. ”

    and you are insistent on listening in
    “In common-sense terms please.”
    the proposal.

    so here it is for you.

    scroll down to topic “Political positioning” and most material that topic onwards will satisfy your curiosity.

    go through these blog post, it will definitely satisfy your superficial curiosity.
    if you have slight doubts we can talk.

    but for realizing the in depth details of how will the proposal be materialized, we will have to
    “read a book on a serious and dry topic like history or governance or political philosophy.”

    there is no short cut to detailed analysis. hence we can either wait for the leaders to assemble and present the techniques they will devise and innovate to get their message across the

    “average, literate and educated aam aadm…..”

    or we can try and understand and debate the details, if we are those who can afford the luxury of taught,and belong to that part of society which is only segment which can
    “”read a book to figure that out.””.

    hopefully i was clear enough in what i was saying that this message itself did not became a

    on our scarcest resource-time.

    dear sanjeev ji-
    your response above would have been adequate if what Taran ji was saying was from his PERSONAL perspective.

    but what he was actually trying to communicate was NOT his personal views, commitments and severe limitations, but he was pointing to those of the huge target “mass” we have to draw votes from.

    so analogically, doest the “”average, literate and educated aam aadmi”” in USA and Australia decide whom to vote after reading books(written by different leader-authors)?
    does this picture of imagination corresponds to reality ?

    if YES, then i deeply apologize for i am hell ignorant about how “masses” spend their personal time in developed parts of globe.(never stepped out of india nor met any citizen of world 1.5–(remember our target world 2.0 :-) so hopefully you will excuse me for my ignorance).

    but if the answer to above question is NO, then what Taran ji is saying makes sense, especially from perspective of our domestic “target audience”;the perspective from which taran ji is presenting.
    even if(and presuming that) our target masses dont have the necessary luxury of time, it is a good enough challenge to persuade someone (of the broad say 60% of our message leaving rest 40% to be conveyed in detailed discussions) in a very short time, and we should device a strategy for “persuasion in short time” as it would be useful in long term.

    hopefully what i have tried to say in short conveyed what i had in mind.

    otherwise, always happy to be criticized and corrected!

    19 year old registered applicant

  5. Taran Besov

    Unless your book is a Harry Potter, nobody can read it in 3 hours. Maybe some can “read” it in 3 hours, but comprehending and remembering it all in 3 hours is something that only someone with great intellectual prowess can manage.
    Your statement above raises some interesting points that I want you to consider –
    1 – You need to step down from your elitist tower. Let us consider how many people in India are literate? How many can read English? How many are literate to the extent that they will read books in English? And finally how many will read and understand a mentally challenging non-fiction book like yours? I don’t have the stats, but my guesstimate to the number of people who would have or will read your book in future will be less than 1%.
    2 – if your book is really great (and reading a few pages I think it is quite good), then how come it hasn’t become a bestseller till now? It certainly seems like more people should read your book, but somehow it hasn’t caught on.
    3 – let’s say the AAP folks do accept your offer to get in a debate with them on national television, are you going to tell them “read my book, read my book” or are you actually going to have a concrete debate?
    4 – in a free country, are you going to mandate that every individual read books or read your book like its a mandatory syllabus textbook? I am a great piano lover and my current field of research is on the use of piano in contemporary rock music. I feel that every Indian should have appreciation for some form of music, especially classical music. But I am not going to dis anyone who doesn’t because people have different strengths and interests. Imposing your interests on others is just being tyrannical and dictatorial.
    5 – You may be a great, learned elite economist, but where is your mass appeal? With that attitude of dismissing anyone who doesn’t have the time or mental capability to read a book, how can you connect with the general populace of voters? Like it or not, that is how democracy works. It us the rule of fools as some say. You have to be able to appeal to the masses! I am not saying you should swindle them or make false promises, but insulting someone by saying things like “Fine. Let India suffer.I really don’t care for an India where reading a book is a massive mental and time challenge” (when I willingly proclaim to be not smart enough to read your book) is only going to hurt you. If you dismiss and don;t care for that India, well that India won’t care for you either! They would rather go for AAP which they can connect with.

  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Thanks for helping out.

    Indeed the right packaging of the message will definitely occur at the right time. This is the stage to get some SERIOUS thinkers and students of public policy on board on FTI. Too many “parties” are formed of mentally ill-equipped people who then go on to cause more harm than good.

    As a general rule, I challenge anyone who is being lazy. Hopefully they will wake up and spend three hour of their time on something I’ve spent 2 years (the book).



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