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On the Difference in Outcomes for China and India in Post-1945 Era: 2

January 30, 2019 5 comments

In the previous part of this series, I wrote that India and China started from about the same level, and with a host of systemic problems, as nascent modern nation states in 1947 and 1949. While India might have initially seemed to be the more successful of the two, China slowly but surely outpaced it in almost every aspect from about the mid-1960s. The gap has now grown to such levels that the real difference between these two equipopulous Asian nations now appears unbridgeable. In the previous part, I also said that majority of difference in outcome between the two can be attributed to difference in quality of leadership and administration between them. For starters- Indian leaders, while superficially more erudite than their Chinese counterparts, came from families who had previously gotten rich by collaborating with British colonizers.

The majority of those who came to power in India had also never been tested under real life-and-death situations. In addition to displaying uncritical belief in whatever any white person wearing a suit told them, they had no real interest in improving the condition of their fellow country men and women. Indeed, most of them did not see themselves as part of India.. well at least not ‘that other’ India. They saw themselves as darker white sahibs carrying the “white mans burden” and ruling over a hopeless bunch of subhumans. Some of you might wonder as to how I reached this rather dim view about that allegedly “great” generation of leaders which India had in aftermath of gaining independence in 1947, from the now defunct British empire. Easy.. look at their behavior and actions, rather than their words- because the later is cheap unlike the former two.

1] Both India and China started life as modern nation states with very high levels (over 80-85%) of illiteracy. So how did Indian leaders go about trying to fix this problem? How about.. by doing almost nothing. That is right! While Chinese leaders put a lot of effort and force into projects such as simplifying the Chinese script, ordering translations of everything they could find into Chinese, improving primary school attendance and childhood literacy among its population by any means (including force)- their Indian counterparts gave speeches and raised slogans about removing illiteracy. While it is true that Indian leaders did fund a few elite universities and educational institutions (IITs, IIMs etc) earlier than China, they largely ignored the primary and secondary educational sector. But why? Well.. think about which educational institutions their progeny, and those of their flunkies, would attend. It is that easy.

So why didn’t the Chinese leadership behave in such an utterly selfish manner? The answer is.. because they were pragmatic. While creating elite educational institutions for your own children sounds like a good idea, doing so without creating an equally extensive non-elite educational system would almost certainly lead to them remaining a poor country. Chinese leaders were always interested in true global power and prestige. It is not possible to be powerful and feared (or respected) on the international level if your country is an un-industrialized and materially poor country full of illiterate people. Indian leaders, on the other hand, were incapable of visualizing themselves as anything other than second-rate ‘whites’ in charge of a country predestined to be poor because some white guy in an expensive suit told them so.

2] It is no secret that the administrative system and bureaucracy in India, along with its laws and regulations, had been designed to exploit and abuse Indians for the benefit of the now extinct British empire. Any person with half-a-brain who was genuinely interested in improving conditions in India after independence would have liquidated everyone in the administrative system, except its junior-most employees, and built a new one- if necessary by copying from countries where things worked. That is, however, not the path taken by Indians leaders after ‘independence’. Instead they retained almost every single part of the incredibly abusive and dysfunctional system including its pathetic white-worshiping personnel. And this is how India ended up with a shitty and incompetent bureaucracy which benefits nobody other than its employees.

Their Chinese counterparts, on the other hand, went on quite the cleaning spree after 1949. They started by getting rid of bureaucrats who were, should we say, not sympathetic to the new order or problematic collaborators to previous regimes. They reformed laws, rules and regulations to make them more useful and internally self-consistent. Moreover, they were willing to reform their system as the situation changed- for example after 1971 and 1979. Some people say that it was helpful that China has a long history of competent bureaucracy, unlike India. However, after the ‘century of humiliation’ they had to start from scratch to build a modern secular bureaucracy and so their history is not especially relevant to what happened after 1949. Let me reiterate that the Chinese leadership did not educate their people and build a good bureaucracy because they were altruistic. They did so because they wanted to be leaders of a powerful and respected nation.

In the next part of this series, I will write about how the lack of imagination and ability displayed by Indian leadership over every single decade since ‘independence’ contrasts with the willingness of their Chinese counterparts to take calculated risks, persevere along initially suboptimal routes, keep thinking big and have a viable plan (or two) to get there.

What do you think? Comments?

NSFW Links: Jan 29, 2019

January 29, 2019 Leave a comment

These links are NSFW. Will post something more intellectual tomorrow.

Cuties Wearing Only Necklaces: Jan 14, 2019 – Cuties wearing only necklaces.

Bottomless Belfies: Jan 16, 2019 – Amateurs taking selfies of their behinds.

Colored Sketches of Spanked Cuties: Jan 20, 2019 – What it says..

Side Selfies: Jan 24, 2019 – Amateur cuties taking side selfies.

Enjoy! Comments?

Categories: Uncategorized

Understanding the Real History Behind ‘Wolfenstein’ Video Game Series

January 28, 2019 5 comments

Almost anybody who has played video games, with some regularity, over the past two decades has gone through at least one release in the long-running ‘Wolfenstein‘ game series. My personal favorites in that series are Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein: The New Order. Perhaps some of you might be aware that the overall plot and environment of most games in that series is based in a somewhat fanciful extrapolation of reality. While nobody is claiming that reanimated mummies, the raised undead or fire zombies are real, a lot of what is found in the most popular releases of that series (specifically Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein: The New Order and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus) are based in real events, facts, persons and possibilities.

For example, one of the central elements of ‘Return to Castle Wolfenstein’ involves the player trying to stop attempts by Nazis (especially Heinrich Himmler) from resurrecting ‘Heinrich the Fowler‘- who also happens to be final boss of that game. It just so happens that Himmler was deeply into a lot of mystical BS and had a peculiar obsession with that particular Saxon king from 10th century AD. Similarly one of the mini-bosses in that game, Marianna Blavatsky, is a sendup of Helena Blavatsky– a real life “psychic” medium from late 19th century whose teachings had a major (if unintentional) influence of development of the belief system behind certain parts of Nazi ideology. In fact, here is a post which talks about some of this from 2006.

Himmler, when he was not planning mass murder, was into a lot of mystical stuff. For example, he was a big supporter of pre-ww2 expeditions into Tibet and other “archaeological” projects to establish the veracity of his beliefs. He was also a big supporter of what is now called ‘Nazi archaeology‘. It is also true that many senior scientists and engineers in that regime found Himmler’s forays into mysticism amusing, to put if mildly, but never confronted him publicly because of his position. Did I mention that Castle Wolfenstein is based on Castle Wewelsburg, though its location is influenced by that of Kehlsteinhaus. Furthermore, many of the advanced weapon systems depicted in the 2001 game are based in reality.

Similarly, later releases of that game such as ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ (2014) are based on pretty decent extrapolations of what might have happened if funny-mustache guy and his flunkies had been more competent. While we are unlikely to have seen giant robots driven by brains or super laser guns- the game does a pretty good job of capturing the type of society and world which would have resulted from Nazi Germany wining WW2 or achieving a stalemate that was equivalent to victory. In that respect they do a much better job at writing believable alternate history than ‘The Man in the High Castle‘ series by Amazon.

Now let me ask you a question.. Have you ever wondered about the convergence of personalities, zeitgeist and events which ultimately led to the Nazi Ideology? As it turns out the answer is not straightforward and it all starts about 50 years before they came to power. To make a very long story short, the original impetus for popularity of mystical beliefs which would one day become Nazism started out as a reaction to socio-economic displacement caused by Industrial revolution in Germany. The initial popularizers of those ideas, such as the Helena Blavatsky, were probably into it to become famous and make a few bucks. In fact, this moment should be seen as German equivalent of the spiritualism craze that swept Britain between the 1870s-1930s.

Racism and belief in Eugenics were also not unique to Germany, during that era. Some of you might know that Nazi Germany got a lot of its ideas about Race and Eugenics from USA. Social Darwinism, too, had its roots in Britain and USA. Which brings us to the next question- Why did Nazism develop in 1920-145 era Germany and not.. say.. in USA or Britain? The answer to that question requires us to understand something important and relevant, even today.The precursor to Nazi regime, aka the Wiemar republic, was fine with then contemporary levels of racism, anti-semitism, eugenics etc. But they slowly lost, over a period of over ten years, all of their credibility with most people in that country. Also the rich in Germany preferred fascists over socialists.

And that is how funny-mustache guy and his flunkies got in power. It certainly helped that were able to combine all those new-ish currents of belief and ideology into a somewhat coherent ideology. While a lot of videos on YT suffer from YouTube face, overenthusiastic presenters and poorly researched bits by idiots with a British accent, some are better. So here are two long clips (unfortunately containing poor quality footage) which do a very good and objective job of explaining how various streams of Nazi ideology combined into their final form. They are a bit on the longish side, but totally worth the time.

Clip 1 (about 51 minutes long)

Clip 2 (about 54 minutes long)

What do you think? Comments?

Large Corporations and Governments are the Real Clients for 23andMe

January 26, 2019 24 comments

Over the past 3-4 years, many of you must have seen tons of advertisements (both in traditional and new media) for DNA testing services such as 23andMe, ancestry.com and many others who offer seemingly reasonably priced DNA testing services to help you find your “real heritage” and other liberal-idiot friendly bullshit. These ads usually contain some actor, often of mixed-ancestry, touting how he or she was able to find his or her “real roots” by taking a “simple DNA test” to the accompaniment of new-agey music and other bullshit advertising tropes. So.. what is going on? Why are these sociopathic entities (corporations which offer DNA testing services) interested in helping you “find your real ancestral roots” at apparently reasonable prices.

Think about it, a bit. What is in it for them? Also, how can so many business which offer the same or very similar services able to afford their extensive advertising campaigns and offer relatively inexpensive tests- and all of this while ostensibly operating under operating principle of making ever-increasing profit. Doesn’t smell right, does it? Now ask yourself, which other corporations have a similar business model. Let us start by talking about other corporations which offer “free” services to their average user such as Google, FakeBook, Twitter etc. How do they make their profits. Well.. by collecting and selling data about their users to corporations who want to extract more money from them via advertising or otherwise scamming them or those who want to surveil them for purpose of abuse and discrimination- in other words, various governmental agencies.

And this brings us the next logical question- what exactly has the so-called “genomic revolution” of past 20 odd years achieved? What I am about to tell you is not going to please idiots who believe in the fairly tale of technological progress. Long story short, the “genomic revolution” of past two decades has been a costly and hilarious failure- as far as delivery of original promises is concerned. See.. I am old enough to remember what was being promised in very-late 1990s, when I was in my early 20s. At the time, human (and other organism) genome sequencing was touted as to the magic key which would help us identify genes for common diseases, protein targets for new drugs, targeted cancer therapy, develop super crops and all sorts of other futuristic nonsense- not unlike what you hear for “artificial intelligence” today.

Things did not turn out that way.. to put it mildly. After a few years in early-2000s, it became painfully obvious that finding genes for common diseases such as various types of Heart Disease, Diabetes, Alzheimers etc was a fool’s errand. Even worse, the results cast doubt on what many so-called “experts” claimed to know about those diseases. At best, genomics helped us better understand and sub-classify rare single-gene diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis etc. Even the area in which genomics is most often touted to have “improved” disease management, namely anti-cancer therapy, has not seen worthwhile improvement in outcome for majority of patients. And oh.. vast majority of drug targets identified by genomics have proven to be totally worthless.

The point I am trying to make is that entire fields such as genomics, bioinformatics etc have not delivered even a small fraction of what was confidently promised in 1999. And ya.. I think we are going to see something similar happen to current DNA-editing technologies such as CRISPR and other hyped scam such as Gene Drive etc. Turns out that getting something to work properly and reproducibly in non-model systems outside the laboratory is a real bitch. Here is another insight.. technologies that were not hyped during their initial and often rocky development such as the modern computers and the internet, monoclonal antibody drugs, better use of existing drugs etc usually have a much larger impact than those hawked as (next) ticket to riches and utopia.

So why would large corporations and governmental agencies be interested in genomic data? Isn’t it almost completely useless? They can’t be that stupid.. right? Well.. let us start with the “are they that stupid” part. The answer to that question, sadly, is a resounding YES. The leaders and underlings of large corporations, you see, have to pretend that they are doing something useful while robbing those corporations. The simplest way to give the appearance of real work and making important decisions involves them promoting any shiny scam which is currently making rounds of the corporate circuit. This is why for example, corporate executives are always touting the newest management techniques, employing consultants, promoting mindfulness, talking about corporate responsibility, “making the world a better place” and all that BS.

Also, the vast majority of people who end up in the leadership of, or other high positions, in large institutions are very likely to be bad at anything other than lying, kissing ass, backstabbing and self-promotion. Look at how easily a CONartist such as Elizabeth Holmes was able to extract money, validation and support out of allegedly experienced and seasoned top ex-bureaucrats and CEOs. It never ceases to amuse me when I hear libertarian idiots (usually white guys who also believe in other scams such as “IQ”) try to explain their hilariously reverential mental image of corporations and other supposedly “meritocratic” institutions. The situation inside large institutions (private and public) has far more in common with the movie ‘Office Space‘ than the toilet-paper dispenser known as ‘Atlas Shrugged’.

But what does this have to do with not using DNA testing services to find your “real roots” . Well.. think of these services as corporate- and government- funded fronts for collecting your genomic metadata. But what harm could come from providing DNA samples, especially since genomics has turned out be a very expensive damp squib. As it turns out- a lot! The pretense of knowledge has, historically, caused much more problems than real insight into problems. In case of genomic metadata, this would translate into denial of “healthcare” insurance coverage in the third-world country of USA. Then there is the certainty of discrimination when applying for jobs, getting loans and many other interactions with corporations. Remember that their decisions and “algorithms” don’t have to be based in reality as long as they have more lawyers and money than you.

The abuse of genomic metadata by Governments will take a different direction. Don’t be surprised if the DNA of non-violent “troublemakers” starts to appear at the site of various unrelated violent crimes. Or government bureaucrats come up with some cockamamie scheme of classifying people based on bullshit data analysis performed by using “deep learning” techniques. In case you are wondering, police in USA still regularly plant fake evidence to imprison and convict black men and governments in the past have based large-scale policies (eugenics, the final solution, residential redlining and most rule/ laws passed in USA before 1965) on bullshit beliefs such as “inherent” superiority of some racial groups over others. In summary, there is no upside to getting your DNA tested to find you “real roots” or “true ancestry”. There are however many downsides to letting corporations and governments collect your genomic metadata.

What do you think? Comments?

Quick Thoughts on the Continued Imbecility of Covington HS Students

January 24, 2019 18 comments

As anybody who does not live under a rock must have heard by now, a bunch of imbeciles from Covington HS (somewhere in Kentucky) got thrust into the media spotlight for a series of video clips which went viral on social media platforms. The first, and most widely circulated clip, shows what appears to be MAGA hat wearing idiot confronting an old native american man. And yes.. there is a very good reason I am using words such as imbeciles and idiots to describe members of the student body from that Catholic HS who participated in an anti-choice march in Washington DC. As you will see later in this post, their actions at the event, and since, are almost textbook examples of what a person with more than half a brain should not do in 2019.

So let us get back to the interaction which started this chain of events. But before we go there, think about the real reason that clip went viral in the first place. Here is a hint.. it has almost nothing to do with the other party in that interaction being an old native american guy. Indeed, the video clip would have gone viral even if the other party was a black man, black woman, asian guy, asian woman, white woman.. anybody other than a white man. The real reason that clip went viral, and will haunt the lives of the white boys in it for many years, comes down to their choice of headgear. To put it succinctly, the MAGA hat is now seen by a majority as the modern version of a KKK hood. Yes.. that is how a majority of people saw it.

I am sure that there are many who will vehemently claim otherwise or say something about their ‘freedom of speech’ etc. But let us get real.. those who have made up their mind about the MAGA hat being a modern-day hate symbol simply do not care and happen to be more numerous than those who believe otherwise. And there is historical precedent for such a change in association. For example, Italian Fascists of early 1920s wore black shirts and specific gear because it was associated with the Arditi crack troops of WW1. Similarly, the ‘brown shirts’ of the proto-Nazi movement in 1920-era Germany wore that uniform because somebody found a big consignment of unused discount brown denim shirts and other gear meant for German soldiers in Africa when that organisation started looking around for official uniforms in 1924.

You are welcome to put on the full uniform of Italian Fascists and German proto-Nazis and walk around in those countries, but don’t start complaining if the locals give you strange looks or call the cops on you. This is especially true in Germany.. and while wearing a brown denim shirt alone won’t raise any eyebrows, wearing one tailored in that style and with accompanying insignia will very likely result in being questioned by the local police. I would also strongly recommend against wearing an armband emblazoned with a certain symbol in contemporary Germany or pretty much anywhere in Western Europe. The takeaway message from this part is that symbol association change and evolve over time, and it is a good idea to acknowledge this fact.

So how did the MAGA hat become so toxic a symbol in 2019? Well.. it was a problematic symbol right from the start in 2015- but at that time, it was not as despised. The thing is.. between late-2015 and early-2019, a lot of things happened. While the really problematic events occurred mainly after January 21, 2017- that hat has now come to be associated with, and symbolize, everything negative and despicable about Trump. Let me put it this way.. wearing that hat is the equivalent of going around wearing a T-shirt saying that you are an incompetent racist asshole who enjoys putting non-white children in cages, while sexually assaulting women and being a huge public embarrassment. I am not trying to claim that previous presidents were good or even competent- but ya, Trump has generated more public hate than any president in living memory.

Regardless of what you think or want to believe, walking around wearing that hat in a non-rural part of USA is going to get you negative attention. You have to be cognitively challenged to think otherwise, and yet most boys in that group were wearing MAGA hats. And it gets worse.. they were doing so as students of an all male and almost-completely white catholic high school from the south while attending an anti-choice march in Washington DC. Did I mention that some of these geniuses were shouting “It’s not rape if you enjoy it” in public, even though they were being filmed. They might as well have large signs labelled “future Brett Kavanaugh” or “frat boy rapist” handing from their necks. But their cluelessness and stupidity go much further.

See.. these idiots are young enough to have grown up in the era of smartphones, ubiquitous internet access and social media. They cannot claim ignorance about the effects of everybody having a decent camera in their smartphones. In other words, they should have known that their behavior while wearing MAGA hats and participating in a public march would be filmed to be later scrutinized. Which brings us their next stupid act- reacting to other idiots. Tell me something.. regardless of how ‘alpha’ you imagine yourselves to be- would you react (or even acknowledge the existence) of otherwise harmless hecklers? My point is that it is perfectly justifiable to react with force to anybody who poses an imminent physical threat, but it hard to justify escalating a confrontation with loud idiots who are otherwise harmless.

And it gets even worse.. if that is possible. As many of you known by now, a whole bunch of alt-right CONartists.. I mean.. “celebrities” such as Mike Cernovich, Cassandra Fairbanks etc and black performance artists such as CJ Pearson got in on this story and were busy putting forth an alternative version of events. But why is that a bad thing? Well.. for the same reason that having neo-Nazis support you in a case where you are accused of racial discrimination does not help your public credibility. Such support, if anything, makes it far harder to put forth an acceptable and reasonable defense. Which brings us their next fuckup.. hiring a PR firm and dressing like a 13-year old to go on TV with a sympathetic white newscritter.

The thing is.. over past 2-3 decades, most people have heard so much PR agency bullshit that they have now come to associate their time-worn tactics with confession of guilt. Of course, the clueless kinda-rich parents of these idiots in Kentucky probably did not realize it. In any case, hiring a PR agency and then putting their failson on TV dressed as a 13-year old boy (in spite of most people having previously seen normal photos of him) was a really bad idea- because it provided another opportunity to reignite public outrage against him and that group. What made it even worse was how that stupid white newscritter treated him with kid gloves- a very sharp and obvious contrast how these same losers treat non-white adolescents. Maybe, they did not get the memo that it 2019, not 1999. And then that idiot fucked up even more..

Instead of framing that interaction as a misunderstanding or crankiness due to being tired and hungry, that dumbfuck said “I had every right to stand there”. While I am no PR professional, verbalizing your right to stand your ground against an old non-white man (with your friends around you) while wearing a MAGA hat was a really dumb idea. See.. the last thing you want to do when accused of being a racist prick is to sound like a whiter version of George Zimmerman. He could have just skirted that question or said something to the effect of being in an unfamiliar situation. That way, he would be seen as an immature idiot rather than an entitled white racist.

In conclusion, the Covington HS idiots do not seem to realize that they have figuratively painted a big target on their foreheads- for many year to come. Overtly racist behavior by whites, you see, is no longer cool like it was even a decade ago. While they could get into places like Bob Jones University after graduating high school, you can be assured that every one of them (save the richest) will have problems getting into anything approaching a decent university- especially one on, or near, the coasts. Furthermore, they can expect very high levels of future public scrutiny of their behavior and actions- even if they remain in Kentucky. And that you see, is going to be far worse than it sounds. Imagine some girl accusing one of those guys of sexual assault a couple of years from now. And all of this could have been avoided if they had not worn that stupid hat.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Quick Thoughts on the Mainstream Media Coverage of Venezuela

January 22, 2019 12 comments

One of the most popular talking points spouted by CONservative losers in response to any talk about implementing more socialistic policies in USA goes something like this.. “but, but look at Venezuela”. Of course, the majority of idiots.. older white people.. still appear to blindly accept this bullshit in spite of the fact that most countries in western and eastern Europe have continued to successfully implement pretty socialistic policies since end of WW2. But this post is not about the ability of older idiots, and those living in flyover states, to delude themselves. Poking fun at the behavior of brain-damaged people does get repetitive after some time. Instead, I am going to focus on the narrative of ‘western’ mainstream media about situation in Venezuela.

Just so that you know, I am going to skip a whole lot of relevant history about why things went the way they have in that country. And yes.. it all starts with commercial oil exploration almost a century ago and how the revenues from that sector enriched the small white elite and american oil corporations at the expense of everybody else. There is also a history of extensive american meddling in the politics of that country. I could go on.. but my point is that there are many good reasons why people like Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro came to lead that country after many decades of very high income inequality with distinct racial overtones. Now let us get back to the main topic of this post- which concerns how western mainstream media portrays that country.

You might have noticed a slew of sensational “news” stories, which seem to appear every week over past five years, which seem to promise their gullible readers of some development in that country, which in the near future, will inevitable cause its “socialist” government to collapse. They have been telling their readers and viewers that almost everyone in that country is starving, most medicines are in short supply, millions are fleeing that country etc for the past few years and yet the government in that country continues to exist and a decent majority keep voting them back into power. So what is going on? Some of you might say that this is because the government in question enforces its diktat by extreme force. Oddly enough, most “opposition” leaders in that country are still alive and continue to protest on behalf of interests of american corporations.

What makes all of this so peculiar is that the western MSM have been writing the same “news” stories of great hardship, popular uprisings and inevitable collapse for about five years now.. and nothing has changed. So what is going on? Well.. I am old enough to remember seeing this sort of thing in the past. Some of you might remember how the same western mainstream media outlets were publishing tons of articles about Cuba was going to inevitably collapse in the 1990s. Do you emember how the North Koreans were going to rise up against their government in the 1990s? Or what about all those articles from last five years about how all senior officials under Kim Jong-un were going to overthrow him? And how DPRK could not make H-bombs and ICBMs.

Or what about all those photoshoots of abandoned town and factories in Russia from late 1990s and early 2000s which used to accompany articles predicting the imminent fragmentation and demise of that country? Who can forget all those articles in serious MSM outlets which have been predicting the collapse of Chinese economy since 1992 (earliest I remember) or how the The Communist Party of China was going to fall apart. And what about all those “serious journalists” who told their gullible readers that Iraq had WMDs and how “we” would win that war or the other one in Afghanistan. How have all these predictions by “experienced”, “credentialed” and “superior western presstitutes.. I mean journalists from “free” countries.. worked out?

Not well at all. In fact, during the period when the western MSM was doing all this “reporting” and making those predictions- things have been going from bad to worse in their own countries. It is USA, not Russia, that is now filled with abandoned factories and stranded ex-industrial towns. China, far from imploding, has become the largest economy (in real terms) and manufacturing superpower of the world. The Communist Party of China is still in firm control of that country and its economy. Cuba and DPRK are still around and the later has developed H-Bombs and ICBMs. Kim Jong-un is now seen as a tough, intelligent and competent leader. Iraq did not have WMDs and USA was unsuccessful in occupying Iraq and Afghanistan- though they had to spend a few trillion dollars to learn that lesson. And oh.. Trump was elected in the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile people in USA increasingly depend on cyber-begging platforms such as GoFundMe and its clones to pay their medical bills and even afford certain medical procedures. Most are poorly paid or have insecure jobs and live paycheck to paycheck, being unable to spend a few hundred dollars without going into debt. Monopolies, Oligopolies, Private Equity and other “legal” entities of late capitalism are busy destroying whatever is left of their livelihoods and financial security . And yet.. the public discourse centers around such important topics such as whether men who identify as woman are really women, whether losers who wear that wretched red cap are really racist and whether that orange-haired buffoon colluded with “Russia” and “Putin”.

What do you think? Comments?

On the Difference in Outcomes for China and India in Post-1945 Era: 1

January 20, 2019 13 comments

Approximately three months ago, I wrote about my plans for a couple of series on topics which I had either not tackled or done in a less-than-through manner. In case you are wondering, one series would focus on the reasons why China became the world’s largest economy (in real terms) almost a decade ago while India is.. well.. stumbling around in that general direction. While most of the blame for dismal post-1947 performance of India can still be assigned to the first-, second- and third- order effects of the ‘jati’ system, there are clearly other factors at work- some of which are ‘intersectional’ to the continued existence of that wretched system. Let us start this series by examining them- starting with a comparison leadership cadre of both countries.

But before we go there, let me reiterate a few relevant points and spend the next 3-4 paragraphs giving you some background on the topic. As I wrote in a previous post, the majority of informed outsiders looking at the situation in both countries in 1950 would have put their money on India ending up as the more prosperous of two in 50-70 years. Yet in 2019, the Indian economy is still only 1/4th or 1/5th of its Chinese counterpart in real terms, despite containing an almost identical number of people. Did I mention that they started out at almost the same level in 1950. Let us also be clear that things had not gone well for over a century in either country at that time. In the case of India, it was a heavily exploited colony of now defunct British empire.

In the case of China, it was well.. a whole host of other problems. We can start with the various large and highly damaging rebellions towards the end of the Qing dynasty. One of these, known as the Taiping Rebellion, resulted in about 20-30 million deaths over a period of 14 years. Then there was the problem of western countries such as UK and USA pushing Opium in China which resulted in probably 20-40% of the population becoming dependent on that drug. There is some irony about tens of thousands of mostly white people dying from synthetic opioid overdoses, each year, in contemporary USA- given the major source of that drug. Add into that the humiliation caused by numerous military setbacks against 19th century European colonial powers culminating in the Boxer rebellion. And it got even worse in the early 20th century.

It started with the formal collapse of the Qing dynasty and lead to the Warlord Era– which was much worse than it sounds. And then there was that other unpleasant period due to the partial colonization by Imperial Japan, which culminated in events such as the Nanjing Massacre in addition to many millions more deaths due to that invasion, including many thousands due to activities of Unit 731. And we are not even getting into all the problems caused by on-again off-again alliance between various factions of the nationalists and communists in pre-1950 China. There is a very good reason that the Chinese see the hundred odd years between 1839-1949 as the Century of Humiliation. Long story short, China started from scratch after WW2. And we have not even talked about the Great Famine of 1959-1961 and the Cultural Revolution.

My point is that the modern nation states of India and China started at almost the same time (1947, 1949) and from about the same relative situation. Both had low literacy rates (12-15 % and 15-20 %), not much of an industrial base, very few universities and technical schools etc. Both experienced chaotic conditions during and shortly after their formation (India-Pakistan Partition, final stage of civil war on mainland China). Neither country had experienced unitary self-governance for over a hundred years. Most of the lay people in both countries still believed in tons of superstitions and bullshit. Long story short, both nation states started under equally dismal conditions. And yet in 2019, the economy and global stature of India is a fraction of China.

So let us now start talking about the types of people who ended up in leadership positions in both countries, starting with those involved in their respective independence movements.

The Indian “independence” movement, at least its modern form, can trace its origins to the establishment of the Indian National Congress in 1885. Ironically, it was established by a retired British civil service officer- Allan Octavian Hume. Think about it for a moment, the organisation which came to lead the Indian “independence” movement was not started by an Indian. But it gets better, or worse. Here is something many of you might know about many of the subsequent important leaders of the Indian “independence” movement.. most were the sons of people who had grown rich and powerful from enthusiastic collaboration with the British colonizers of India. Ya.. all those “great” leaders of the Indian “independence” moment were almost exclusively the sons of greedy and treacherous collaborators.

And most did not demand total independence until the early 1940s.. just varying degrees of autonomy from the now defunct British empire. And now you know why I decided to use quotation marks for independence. Sad.. isn’t it? And it gets worse.. if that is even possible. Unlike their Chinese counterparts, most leaders of the Indian “independence” movement were oxbridge educated lawyers with close to zero ability or experience to do anything beyond giving stirring speeches and writing elaborate letters in protest. They had a serious inferiority complex vis-à-vis white people in general and the British in particular. But most importantly, they simply wanted to rule instead of the British and had no real desire to improve the condition of most people in the country, and just wanted to be seen as equal to British on an individual level.

Now let us compare this sorry bunch to their equivalents in the Chinese national movement of early 20th century. Note that I am not implying that their Chinese equivalents were any less power-hungry, double-dealing, generally corrupt and sometimes thoughtless. But there are some very important and relevant differences between the two groups. For starters, most of their leadership did not arise from a group of traitors who collaborated with colonizers. Neither were most of their leaders born in very prosperous families. Sun Yat-sen, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek came from somewhat comfortable but not unusually rich or politically connected families. Even the second and third order leadership of the national movement was largely derived from people born into poor, middling to somewhat prosperous bourgeois families.

Furthermore, they all agreed that expulsion of foreign colonizers, restoration of unitary authority and building a new secular technological society was not negotiable. Compare this to their Indian counterparts who were fine with continuing caste divisions, widespread poverty, little to no economic development, low literacy, semi-independence etc as long as they were in power. Leaders of the Indian “independence” movement.. you see.. just wanted an equal seat at the table of their British masters so they could regale them with tales with how stupid and poor all those “other” Indian were and have a laugh about it. While it sounds harsh, this is how things went after 1947. The leadership of the Chinese national movement, on the other hand, understood that only leaders of powerful and prosperous nations wield true power.

This is why, for example, the government of post-1949 China put so much effort into improving literacy levels, setting up universities, funding research institutes, building their own weapon systems, investing in infrastructure projects etc- even when they technically did not have the “money” to do so. In contrast, multiple generations of Indian leaders used the excuse of “no money” to either not do those things or do them in an anemic and half-hearted manner. That is also why India retained the shitty colonial system of laws and administration which was designed to exploit and abuse Indians rather than build a new one to benefit them. The darkly comic part of all this is that most of them lack the ability to understand their own pathetic behavior.

Will write more about this issue in the next part of series.

What do you think? Comments?