Globalization and the Retrun To Serfdom
India and the Globalization of Servitude
Carving Up The India Cash Cow
Index For This Category
Index For This Category
India and the Globalization of Servitude
by Ian R Thorpe
An abandoned village in India - social cleansing is part of globalization.
Before the seventeenth century India was the richest country in and the largest trading empire in the world and controlled a third of global wealth. Central to India's economic strength was the village community. India's rural economy that was an economic powerhouse based on supply and demand economics with anyone able to spot a gap in the market able to succeed.
By the nineteenth century The British Raj had almost dismantled this system however by introducing mono crop activities and mill made products, and post independent India is till struggling to repair the rural economic fabric, hindered by constant interfetence from western monopolists, academics who are 'experts' in agriculture despite never having produced a crop from the soil in their lives, and do - gooders always anxious to interfere on behalf of people who have not sought help.
"But isn't India, a BRICS nation and one of the world's great emerging economies, an economic success story," you might well ask. And if so why does India’s social and economic fabric need restoring. The findings of the 2014 global MultidimensionalPoverty Index suggest the success is not all it appoears to be. Out of its 1.2 billion-plus population, India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan.
Forty per cent of the world’s poor, 640 million poor people, live in India. And the gap between the bottom fifty per cent and the top half is getting wider rapidly. And yet 20 years ago, India had the second-best social indicators among South Asian countries. Now it has the second worst position, ahead only of Pakistan. Bangladesh has less than half of India’s per-capita GDP but has infant and child mortality rates (an important measure) lower than that of India.
What is going wrong?
Former Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram put the problem down to his government’s neoliberal economic policies, the government were pro-growth and pro equity he said, but it was envisaged that 85% of India’s population would eventually live in well-planned cities. That would mean at least 600 million moving to cities which in turn would mean rebuilding most of India's cities and building many new ones. But national communities evolve in ways very similar to the evolution of the many colonies of body cells with their highly specialised functions that together make up the body corporate of a higher mammal. Village communities are a much simpler life form and thus are able to adapt and evolve more quickly.
The drive towards neo-liberalism and urbanisation in India has been underpinned by unconstitutional land takeovers, trade deals and the trampling of democratic rights. The socio-economic effects of cronyism, cartels and the manipulation of markets, the basis of ‘neo-liberalism’ globally over the last two decades (see this, this and this), has in a huge and chaotic natiomn like India provided numerous opportunities for well-connected individuals to make not wholly ethical fast bucks from various infrastructure projects, development contracts and privatisation sell offs: assets such as airports, ports and other infrastructure built up with public money or toil have ended up in private hands without any open bidding exrcise or public flotation.
The neoliberal model of development has seen social mobility in India stagnate and the poverty alleviation rate remain around the same as it was back in 1991 or even in pre-independence India (0.8 percent), while the ratio between the top and bottom ten percent of the population has doubled during this period (see this and this). According to the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development, this doubling of income inequality has made India one of the worst performers for poverty alleviation among the emerging economies.
Unsurprisingly, ane even less surprisingly, unreported by western mainstream media, violent and non-violent civil unrest is now taking place in India. The naxalites and Maoists are referred to by the dominant class as left wing extremists who are exploiting the situation of the poor. But it is easy to dismiss the problem as being caused by extremists and ignore the true nature of the poor’s exploitation. Lump all protesters together and create an ‘enemy within’, throw a few ring leaders in jail and ignore the state-corporate extremism around the world that results in democratic governments abdicating their responsibilities by submitting to the tenets of the Wall Street-backed ‘structural adjustment’ pro-privatisation policies, free capital flows and unaccountable cartels.
And there you have a blueprint for the subjugation of India by a handful of global corporations which care nothing for the 640 million poor people and even less for India's village communities.
Powerful corporations are shaping the ‘development’ agenda in India, secretive trade deals and contracts have been made between governments and corporate interests. The military might of the state is available to forcibly evict peoples from their land so profit hungry corporations can impose a wholly unsustainable model of development. Around the world, the oil-dependent, urban-centric, high energy, high consumption model is stripping the environment bare and negatively impacting the climate and ecology. And village communities everywhere are dying, and with them our humanity is dying.
What can we do? people ask. First we can cut down our consumption. I'm not saying to back to living in mud huts, but if we all cut back just a little it will start to make a big differenve. Buy fresh food and cook at home, you'd be gobsmacked at how much energy we waste on packaging. Make your things last longer, we live in a throwaway society but will you really lose significant amounts of 'kool' if you misss a generation of smart phone. And so on ... Without an ever growing global economy, the corporate cartels have no incentive to build new mega cities in India or elsewhere around the world.
(More to come on this topic)
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Carving Up The India Cash Cow
by Arthur FoxakeIt has long been common knowledge that the US government has been pushing for global economic hedgemony since the end of the cold war, and this has led to increasing oushbacks from nations such as Brazil, India, Pakistan and Nigeria that are resentful of the way the USA uses bullying tactics to advance the interests of a few corporate cartels that collaborate closely with Washington. The links between the Monsanto/Syngenta/Walmart-backed Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture and the US backing for the opening up of India’s nuclear sector to foreign interests have already shown what the models of ‘development’ being pushed onto third world nations really entails, in terms of the powerful corporate interests that gain from globalization and the ordinary people who lose out (see this and this) by being forced to subsidise unprofitable activities while corporate profits are maximised. Nowhere is this more blatantly apparent than in India where it is estimated almost 300,000 farmers have taken their lives since 1997 and many more are experiencing economic distress or have left farming as a result of a policy which forced on small, independent farmers, a shift to using Genetically Modified (GM) seed for cash crops. The promised benefits of GM (the magic biotech produce that will feed the world) has failed to materialize and the corporate-controlled type of agriculture imposed on India's peasant farmers has, according to numerous studies, only led to bad food, bad soil, bad or no water, bad health, poor or falling yields and an impending agrarian crisis (see this, this, this and this). This form of agriculture has meant the US and the UK are now facing similar crises (see this and this). It’s a global crisis. In addition to displacing people to facilitate the needs of resource extraction industries as mentioned in Section 1 of this document, unconstitutional land grabs for Special Economic Zones, nuclear plants and other projects have additionally forced many others from the land. Moreover, it has been a case of massive tax breaks for industry and corporations and underinvestment in rural infrastructure and farming. It’s not difficult to see that the priorities of policy makers’ in Delhi lie alongside the geopolitical interests of the globalists in the US Government and the monopoly men of the corporate cartels. With GDP growth struggling and automation replacing human labour the world over in order to decrease labour costs and boost profit, it is difficult to see where the jobs will be created to provide employment for hundreds of millions redundant former agricultural workers or those whose livelihoods will be destroyed as corporations move in and seek to capitalise and mechanise industries that currently employ tens if not hundreds of millions of low skilled workers? GDP is a faulty measure of economic health, it only measures the abount of money churning around the economy and not genuine growth of economic activity, even so after two decades of governments creating an illusion of GDP growth by relaxing credit controls and encouraging personal debt many people in the big, consumer economies feel maxed out and have cit back on spending. Thus we see GDP stagnating in the areas that have traditionally produced growth. Farmers (and others) represent a ‘problem’: a problem while on the land and a problem to be somehow dealt with once displaced. But food producers, the genuine wealth producers of a nation, only became a problem when Western agribusiness was given the green light to take power away from farmers and uproot traditional agriculture in third world nations and remake food production, traditionally the labour intensive backbone of societies, in its own corporate-controlled image. Corporate interests then, rather than academics are really setting the ‘development’ agenda, the academics areonly there to lend a veneer of impartial respectability. India is caving in to foreign corporations. Take a look at the free trade agreements (TTIP, TPP, ) being hammered out behind closed doors between the EU and India. It all adds up to the US government giving an enormours helping hand to powerful trans-national corporations as they position themselves to circumvent national legislation that was implemented to safeguard the public’s rights. We could see the governments being sued by multinational companies for billions of dollars in private arbitration panels outside of the courts if national laws, policies, court decisions or other actions are perceived to interfere with their investments. These agreement could see rural society in the world's poorest nations being restructured and devastated in favour of Western corporate interests. This will lead to national cultures and traditional ways of living being crushed under the profit hungry corporate juggernaut. Agrigulture is the foundation of any society. Without food there can be no life. Without food security, there can be no genuine independence. Without independence there can be no democracy. Nowhere is this the case than in India where 64% of the population derives its sustenance from the agricultural sector. To control Indian agriculture is to exert control over the country. One needs to control only seeds, agro-chemicals and resultant debt and infrastructure loans. The World Bank, the IMF and the US State Department are well aware of this fact. Indeed, US foreign policy has almost always rested on the control of the agriculture of poorer countries.
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Index For This Category
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