My first post on this topic, being a compilation of evidence accumulated over well over a year, was prompted by the following Twitter conversation:
@surajitdasgupta He is a total leftist/socialist. In a big way! In his ignorance he doesn't know the name of his cage, perhaps.
— Sanjeev Sabhlok (@sabhlok) January 31, 2013
It is clear that Surajit Dasgupta, who has some broad sense of economics, is badly deluded about Arvind's worldview, which is PURELY leftist. Everyone has a view, and it is impossible to be into politics without a view about the relationship between citizens and the state. That view, in the case of Arvind, is socialist.
Let's review what Surajit has written in defence of Arvind's ideology:
The thousands of largely urbane youth that poured into the streets following the call by Anna in April and August 2011 are not interested in regressive socialism of Indira Gandhi’s vintage. Further, if after raising a hue and cry over government’s corruption all powers are returned to that very government, it would be a betrayal of people’s trust. So the youth like me came in to make the movement stay on course.
And we found to our sheer joy that the alternative system being proposed by the members of the National Executive of the AAP was indeed not hackneyed. It’s unfair to look at them as socialists (in the sense that this term typically conveys, notwithstanding the fact that all political parties registered with the Election Commission of India have to pledge on paper that they would be socialist).The whole AAP team now — with social justice champion Yogendra Yadav and free market advocates like Mayank Gandhi, Prithvi Reddy, me and many of the thinking minds that attend the party’s policy meetings alike — is pushing for a new era where civic amenities would be managed by gram sabhas (in villages) and mohalla sabhas (in cities); thrust would be on conservation of nature; natural resources would need community clearances to be exploited; health and education would be state priorities; competition would be allowed wherever competition is possible; secularism would be observed in the strictest sense, moving away from turn-by-turn communalism practised by the Congress/SP and the BJP; foreign policy will be determined by reciprocity, etc.
I hope this is the course the Gandhian Kejriwal stays. And for information of all and sundry, once and for all, Gandhism is not (Indian) socialism. [Sanjeev: I trust you are aware that Gandhi was in many ways a classical liberal, even anarcho liberal. He totally opposed socialism.]. It’s a distinct school of thought. Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia et al and their followers thought otherwise because they were suffering from a hangover of Marxism which they grew up on during their formative years. The model I have just explained finds no place in Das Kapital. If the AAP assumes power and then imposes on the country a Pranab Mukherjee-style economic thought, massive disappointment and desertions will follow. As an insider, I’ll try not to let that happen.
I'll use this information, plus information I've already discussed in the past, to bring together a CONCLUSIVE proof of Arvind being socialist. After this post, let no one ever come to me saying that Arvind is not socialist, or that he is somehow intellectually "asexual" – neither this nor that. Somewhere in between. EVERYONE in the world is either socialist (collectivist) or capitalist (focused on the individual). No one is dead in the centre [totally "neutral"].
GLOSSING OVER THE FUNDAMENTAL CAUSE OF INDIA'S CORRUPTION
Socialism is the underlying cause of India's misgovernance, but neither Kejriwal nor AAP oppose government control over our life. It is imagined in their model that simply by having more local power things will become miraculously better. There is no mention of defence of our liberty as the ONLY reason for the existence of government. It is often, under AK's model, possible for liberty to be crushed just because a local collectivist body ("gram sabha is not LESS of a state than a "big" government) decides to do so. AK's model is not CONSTITUTIONALLY CONSCRIBED. It is based on TOTAL faith in the collective, and total disregard for the individual and his/her liberty.
JANLOKPAL, YET ANOTHER GOVERNMENT BODY, IS BASED ON SOCIALIST ASSUMPTIONS
A small Jan Lokpal may be relevant at a certain stage in India's development, but by missing the CAUSE of corruption – socialism and the discretion embedded within government – Arvind merely wants YET ANOTHER large government entity.
It is not by stopping the 100s of unnecessary things India's governments do, but by creating yet another – almost extra-constitutional MEGA-body with thousands of bureaucrats – that Arvind wants to solve India's problems. That is a purely socialist approach.
Had there been a TINY Janlokpal along with fundamental electoral reforms/ compensation reforms (including contractual appointments of senior officials and scrapping the colonial IAS, etc.), I could have accepted it, but it is not a minimalist approach. It is a MAXIMALIST approach that will do NOTHING to reduce corruption.
GLOSSING OVER YOGENDRA YADAV'S MASSIVE OBSESSION WITH COMMUNISM (TOTAL ECONOMIC EQUALITY)
The presence of mega socialist Yogendra Yadav is being brushed under the carpet. He is being portrayed as an innocuous "social justice champion". And what does this "champion" (such a positive word!) want? ECONOMIC EQUALITY.
Economic equality, not equal opportunity.
That is pure Das Kapital. That also gives away the underlying theory of AAP.
Earlier, I had vigorously opposed this idea of economic equality that is embedded in the DNA of AAP, thus:
Why stay in a country that doesn't value you? – in a country where you are expected to be an "economic equal" of those without talent or capacity for hard work?
Why stay in a country that INSULTS your talent and hard work?
I am NO ONE'S EQUAL. I am unique.
So are you. So is everyone. (By the way.) [Source]
The next thing Yogendra says is: "the party does not believe that in critical areas like health and education – the state should withdraw its support at all."
From the previous conversation of Yogendra, it is clear he wants PUBLIC SECTOR services in these areas. So the government will run schools and hospitals in Arvind's world. That's pretty much what happens now in socialist India, and has happened for 65 years. It is a total recipe for disaster – regardless of teacher appointments by the "community". Instead, we need a system to deliver equal opportunity. We should get the government out of RUNNING any of these institutions but ensure that the poorest are able to access high quality education.
GLOSSING OVER PRASHANT BHUSHAN'S PASSION ABOUT NATIONALISATION
Over the past few months, evidence about the hardcore socialist ideas of AAP has been emerging from various key members of Arvind's team. Prashant Bhushan is perhaps the most critical member of AK's team. And this is what he had to say:
- their political party would adopt a “socialist-type” [Sanjeev: a polite and misleading word. There is nothing like "socialist-type". It is SOCIALIST. PERIOD.] economic policy, but would not be totally against private sector participation. [I.e. it would be MOSTLY against private sector "participation". Note this paternalistic word: these Gods, these Government Ministers called Prashant Bhushan would very "kindly" "let" ordinary citizens "participate" in India's economic life. Not that it is our BIRTHRIGHT to engage in any occupation or trade of our choice and the government as SERVANT must not even dream of dictating to the master: instead the Master, the Government, comprising AAP's Ministers, will "kindly" condescend to let us, the citizens of "FREE" India, "participate" in our own country!!!]
- their party wanted to give priority to the public sector [Sanjeev: Surajit - are you able to read this? Can you distinguish this from what Nehru or Indira Gandhi stood for?], but would not be averse to private sector participation in certain areas in which there would be competition
- Airports and power would be nationalised [So "smart" IAS officers would run the airports???? Is running airports a core function of governments? A government can't provide justice and security but wants to run airports!!]
- people in villages got all facilities and that they did not migrate to urban areas [So here is one more form of social engineering. China did that too: it worked out ways to prevent natural urbanisation. Instead of letting people CHOOSE where they want to live and work, we'll have Mr. Smarty Pants Prashant Bhushan who will "give" - from where - his own pocket? - "ALL" facilities to everyone in India in villages. So I'm presuming there will be government managed universities in each village, planetariums, museums, etc. etc.?]
This fool Bhushan wants MORE nationalisation even as Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan, towards the end of his life, OPPOSED all nationalisation, INCLUDING OF RAILWAYS. When a government should not even own the railways, WHY should it own the airports?
Some industries, banks, life insurance have been nationalized. Railways were nationalized long ago. New large public-sector industries have been established. But all this adds up to state capitalism and inefficiency, waste and corruption. State capitalism means more power to the State, mainly the state bureaucracy [Source]
KEJRIWAL KNOWS THAT HIS TEAM IS MAINLY SOCIALIST
Do you have ideological inclinations?
Let me speak about the people in the leadership as I cannot speak for all the people who have participated. There cannot be anyone in the leadership who has a communal background. Our core team consists of 25 people and most of them are left centre. I hope that answers your question. [Sanjeev: Although this was said of Team Anna, this is as true of AAP as it was for Team Anna. Indeed, many non-socialist elements of Team Anna did NOT join AAP.]
ARVIND'S STRONG ANTI-TRADE POSITION
This is my note about his book, Swaraj: "I notice that Arvind made some very strong (and significantly ill-informed) comments re: the role of foreigners in India, in particular against trade."
ARVIND'S NON-MARKET CONTROL OF PRICES
On 26 November 2012 at his party launch, Arvind said: "If this tax is levied (from the corporations), then it will be possible to sell petrol at Rs 50 per litre and diesel at Rs 40 per litre".
Clearly when Surajit tells me that competition will be allowed where it is possible, AAP doesn't think that selling petrol is one area where competition should be allowed. The "IAS Brahmin" (like I was) is somehow best placed to fix the price. Why does India's government have to set petrol or LPG prices?
More problematically, "People will decide the price of essential commodities". Why? And how can "people" fix prices? Is it not the purpose of markets (ALL people, through their buying and selling decisions) to "fix" prices based on supply and demand? Does "people" mean the producer or consumer? If wheat is an essential commodity, then a farmer will want a HIGH price, the consumer a low price. So who will decide? And how? Is AAP "the people"?
Let me partially rephrase what I wrote some time ago
If Arvind will kindly do me the courtesy of reading BFN we can discuss further.Else – if he continues down his socialist path – I'm going oppose his attempts to destroy India's future.Sorry, I can't tolerate socialists. They are THE ENEMIES OF INDIA.I'm sworn to destroy socialism. For the HUMONGOUS DAMAGE it has done to my country.
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