Socialism more dangerous than Covid-19; it is killing Indians in thousands
Socialism is evil not just because it impedes wealth creation and perpetuates poverty; it also creates and supports an ecosystem that suppresses creativity and promotes mediocrity
Ravi Shanker Kapoor | April 19, 2021 7:28 pm
A Mughal painting depicting the killing of evil King Kansa by Lord Krishna. But who will end the evil of socialism? (Picture courtesy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/)
Men matter little, women matter little, ideas matter a great deal. And ideas have consequences; bad ideas certainly have. Catastrophic consequences. India is just experiencing them: the murderous ideology of socialism is killing thousands of Indians, and nobody knows when this mayhem will stop, when the second corona wave will subside.
There is a couplet from a ghazal by Hafeez Hoshiarpuri, beautifully sung by Mehdi Hasan: Agar tū ittifāqan mil bhī jaa.e/Tirī furqat ke sadme kam na hoñge (Even if perchance my love is returned/The trauma of separation from you will be permanent). The traumas of socialism are similar: the country abandoned it as the mainframe of economic policy, but it continues to seduce politicians and contaminate political economy. Its baneful effect on the economy, indeed the country, seems to be permanent… sadme kam na hoñge.
At the heart of the current problem is the belief that government, and only government, knows what’s right at any point of time, during normalcy as well as during an emergency. The natural corollary is: market, dominated by profit-seeking, blood-sucking capitalists, ought to be tightly regulated, lest these fiends fatten on a calamity.
Now, you need to be a moron or a Leftist intellectual to accept the belief and the corollary as true. The people who run government are primarily politicians and bureaucrats—certainly not the best specimens of humankind. Similarly, while businesspersons want to earn money, it is factually wrong to say that all of them do that or want to do that by indulging in sharp practice. By the way, some doctors, lawyers, and other professionals also earn a lot of money, but they are not maligned for being rich. Only businesspersons can be filthy rich.
Some of the anti-business attitude is because of the Brahminical contempt for wealth creators in general. The attitude blended perfectly with socialism, which is inherently against business.
Since socialism still sways the thinking of those who matter, its doctrines continue to plague economic policy; a most important one is ‘profiteering.’ Merriam-Webster describes the term as “the act or activity of making an unreasonable profit on the sale of essential goods especially during times of emergency.”
But what on earth is “unreasonable profit”? The truth is that any kind of profit making, or even loss-making, can be criminalized and condemned. If a businessman sells his goods or services at a price higher than what his competitors, he will be accused of ‘fleecing the customer.’ If he sells them at par, he will be charged with ‘cartelization.’ If he sells them below the market price, he will be blamed for an attempt to kill competition and emerge as a monopolist.
There is no such thing as unreasonable profit, just as there is no such thing as reasonable profit. Serum Institute of India chief executive Adar Poonawalla took a huge risk on Covidshield. Had the coronavirus petered out a few months ago, he would have been staring at a loss running into hundreds of crores.
Would government have helped him in that eventuality? Had it done so, it would have been accused of cronyism. Should government have helped him? Again this would raise a question: what about help to innumerable sick enterprises?
Every business decision involves risk. Indeed almost every great feat—in business, science, art, literature, music, cinema—in the history of mankind involves some element of risk. Galileo risked his life and liberty; Pt Ravi Shankar gave up a life of luxury and glamour to carve out a niche for himself. And men and women take risk because they hope for huge rewards.
Socialism is evil not just because it impedes wealth creation and perpetuates poverty; it does much worse than that: it creates and supports an ecosystem that suppresses creativity and promotes mediocrity. Whatever term we may use to humor ourselves—developing nation, emerging economy—we are a poor country with per capita income about $2,100. And whatever great claims of soft power we may make, after Independence no Indian citizen has won a Nobel Prize in a field in which requires cerebral acumen.
Socialism is evil because the way it traumatizes and debilitates nations and societies permanently—to the point of atrophy.