Saturday, November 14, 2009

I think I have solved the mystery of global economics.

The idea that spurred this blog post is a thought-provoking article by Arundhati Roy where she argues that the Indian Government's "War on the Maoists" is actually a ploy to gain controlling interest in mining Bauxite from the hills of Orissa and Bihar threatening the ecology, the lives of natives residing there.

[Please read this article:

"The people who have taken to arms are not spending all their time watching (or performing for) TV, or reading the papers, or conducting SMS polls for the Moral Science question of the day: Is Violence Good or Bad? SMS your reply to.... They’re out there. They’re fighting. They believe they have the right to defend their homes and their land. They believe that they deserve justice."] - Thanks, Jeetu.

Now, I am not saying that's the whole truth but I won't be surprised if it's a substantial motive. It really did get me wondering if all wars and all human misery is a result of some sort of "good economics". Exploitation is good money, folks.

Human society seldom conjured businesses that generate wealth without endangering some form of life or ecosystem. The lands gifted with natural resources are always torn with strife and homicide. After all, that’s the stuff we get free from nature and yet those lands suffered the most anguish. Oil politics is one of the main reasons for the state of affairs in the Middle East. Not only that, oil spills in the seas have affected marine life and carbonated the environment. Think about the horrifying blood diamond trade and mining trades in Africa that financed militant insurgencies and homicide. Children in these impoverished lands are forced to skip school and work in mines at great hazard to their health. Farmers are being forced to grow narcotics in Afghanistan to fund Jihad wars and they don't take anything home. The blood hounds of greed have wounded these lands and profited from ensuring eternal conflict.

Also, ponder on how the rich countries became the 'rich' countries. It's not entirely by their hard work and innovation. The French and the British set up colonies all across the world and basically looted the countries. America profited immensely from the world wars by selling weaponry that took millions of lives. Not only that, time and again rich countries have not questioned military dictatorships throughout Africa marked by genocide and today in the Af-Pak as long as war is good business. China manages to manufacture anything from matchsticks to missiles at dirt cheap prices by flouting uncountable human rights. Business Process Outsourcing is no magic either. Not only Indians do high-quality technical jobs for lowly salaries but it ended up causing a disequilibrium, a weakening of other sectors in the Indian economy too. It's not surprising that politics in the developing countries are run to ensure that poor remains poor. Given the head start as a rich country with an eloquent framework of international laws with seemingly good intentions, it just turns out that maintaining the riches and calling shots is a piece of C-A-K-E.

In short, there was a lot of plundering and raping on this planet in the story of rags to riches. The pattern is simple, elegant and utterly repeatable as manifested latest in the global financial meltdown and is as follows:

  1. Find a loop hole in the form of a law / community / country.
  2. Milk that cash cow before there are voices against it. Meanwhile, ensure that the media is making enough confusing noises.
  3. The law will be passed against the practice soon after a backlash. Well, what do we care. We are rich already. See you around.
Look at Africa. It's a beautiful continent endowed with rich wildlife and some of the most valuable natural resources. Don't tell me that the problem there is lack of education or hot climate or too many people. Just visualize Africa if they had gotten the fair prices for all the natural resources ever mined there. They would probably be the world leader in some things today. It didn't happen. There are no fair games - just too hard to play! Is just it not easier to play and pile up a huge score before the opponents realize the rules of this game? It's just good economic sense. That’s where we are. Most games are zero-sum. I think the term "win-win" in the business jargon has the least utility to profanity ratio.

Here is one thought that sends a chill down my nervous spine: For every object we use, someone paid dearly with their life for it. Lastly, Do I have a solution to all this? No. Obviously not. I am not here to offer solutions. Not yet. I am not even questioning the existing practices (Please refer to my earlier blog post where I argued long ago that life makes sense only if there is a conflict). I am merely making observations, taking notes at the moment and I just smelt the blood on our hands.

Doesn't life feed on life?


Anonymous said...

At the core of this "War on Maoists" is the concept of economic equality. I believe this is a grass roots movement and Indian Government can't win this war as long as they don't have the best interests of local communities in mind. At the same time I am opposed to communist ideology where we have to sacrifice liberty and other basic human rights to achieve their promised economic equality.

I agree with your examples here that there is lot of injustice in this world (Wasn't it the case throughout human history?). I guess we have to find some middle ground and adjust to this reality.

g2 said...

Same is the case for Mumbai when one of the politicians quoted, "If you get rid of the slums in Mumbai, who will clean our streets and pick up the trash?"

SASH said...

@anonymous: I am not taking the side of Maoists. Their lives will always be entertaining - They have guns! Moreover, communism is a dead idea long ago. I am just worried about the local people not getting a bite of the cake for their habitat being destroyed.

@g2 : oh yeah ... that's a huge topic in itself ... about how politicians never do anything vital (like education etc.) but basically offer the poor free food, power, housing and make them non-enterprising and lazy enough never to get out of their rut.

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