The only 'requisite' is Liberty!

'They are now paying for having built such an unrepresentative upper-crust leadership, deluded perhaps by the belief that this battle was theirs to win on Twitter, Facebook and television channels where their interlocutors were trumpeters or fellow travellers. They forgot that the battle for power and ideas is fought in a democracy’s parliament and within its institutions. They started to believe their own mythology of being apolitical. They did not realise that politics, in a democracy as diverse as ours, needs two essential pre-requisites: ideology and inclusiveness. Abhorrence of corruption is a universal virtue but not an ideology.'

Now that's the problem with a being a journalist in India (in this particular case it is Shekhar Gupta), more so if you belong to the gaggle of yesteryear journos who've been raised on what was socialist staple then, that government will engineer equitable prosperity. Tell you what, nothing of that sort happened for the last sixty years, and I bet it won't for the next sixty too, if we listen to the likes of Shekhar.

The 'battle for power and ideas' can't, and mustn't come out of political theatres. If they do, it means the ingenuity of private citizens has been consigned to dustbins. Plus, the ideas that do come out of political gatherings can't and won't benefit private tax paying citizens. It will only ensure the lot of the political class and bureaucracy is bettered. Worse, it will ensure the strangulation of 'private' ingenuity!

Note what Milton Friedman stated, 'The fundamental principal of the free society is voluntary cooperation. The economic market, buying and selling, is one example. But it's only one example. Voluntary cooperation is far broader than that. To take an example that at first sight seems about as far away as you can get, the language we speak; the words we use; the complex structure of our grammar; no government bureau designed that. It arose out of the voluntary interactions of people seeking to communicate with one another. Or consider some of the great scientific achievements of our time, the discoveries of an Einstein or Newton, the inventions of Thomas Alva Edison or an Alexander Graham Bell or even consider the great charitable activities of a Florence Nightingale or an Andrew Carnegie. These weren't done under orders from a government office. They were done by individuals deeply interested in what they were doing, pursing their own interests, and cooperating with one another.'

Based on the principles of free markets, looking after one's own interest is in fact most welcome. After all, the pursuit of self interest is what benefits society. It is self interest that turns the private citizen into a producer, or a participator in the business of production, so he can profit or earn wages. Again its self interest that makes consumers out of private citizens, so they can enjoy the fruits of their 'labour'. The two acts of production and consumption are the most legitimate acts that any society must foster and protect! For they are the only acts that matter!

Now when it comes to government and its regulatory diktats, self interest stands on shaky foundations, for such self interest plays out on taxpayer money. How moral or fair is that? In contrast, if private citizens were to use their money to pursue their own self-interest, who can fault that?

I hope and pray in the coming year, India riding on the wave Anna has started, realises liberty and its guarantee by government is the sole key to our betterment. I hope and pray we as nation understand the battle for power and ideas must play out in the market place sans regulation, among private citizens.

'Ideology' be damned, its done us no good, and won't! 'Inclusiveness' on its part is a mirage, played out the political class as a 'promise' that won't be fulfilled (at least not by them) for a zillion years to come!

Here's wishing us a better year ahead. Here's wishing we embrace liberty!


Unknown said…
Sir,where do you see liberty as a cause in anna's movement?
Unknown said…
you are talking about liberty of filing case against corrupt minister's?

Happy new year sir , i wish you achieve new milestones in 2012, which you truly deserve

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