Wednesday, February 29, 2012

People Who Live to Intimidate

Looking at India from the outside you appreciate the venality and the brutality of politics.

There's the Indian Railways that seems to rate an editorial in the newspaper every couple of days about its failure to improve safety, its failure to invest, its failure to turn a profit. Committee after committee reports and nothing is done. I wonder why the railways only seem to carry passengers. Perhaps the railway bureaucrats aren't interested in freight.

As we drive into the big cities, there seem to be endless important buildings announcing themselves as the Institute for Agricultural Basket Weaving, or some such, and you wonder: can India really afford to be flushing money down the toilet on useless bureaucracy just like in the US? The trouble is that developing countries seem to think that they have to mirror the west to count as serious nations.

Just how serious can serious be? There are wind farms in every state we have visited. I'm sure they are just as useless as the wind farms in the US. But I am sure that their crony wind-farm capitalists have benefited many an Indian politician.

Today, February 28, is a one-day general strike by Indian unions protesting rising prices and violations of the labor laws.

Yesterday there was a piece in the paper about Prime Minister Singh accusing anti-nuclear protesters in Tamil Nadu of getting support from foreign NGOs in the US and Sweden. The protest leaders react with outrage. Oh come on, fellahs. If you don't take money and advice from the anti-nuclear chaps in the west you would be fools. Meanwhile Tamil Nadu has daily electrical blackouts while two newly-constructed nuclear units sit idle. The protest leaders say they are determined to fight for the grievances of the fisher folk near the nuclear plant.

I'm trying to think about what these radical suits want. Right now in the US they are "auctioning" off the house of Wells Fargo Bank CEO. And Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is on the TV every day whacking evil Republicans. Meanwhile the left is protesting "workfare" in the UK as "slavery" and intimidating the corporations that signed up to hire welfare recipients into quitting the program.

What is it about these people? I suppose it's all about the intimidation. If they can intimidate someone, they will. Muslims excluded, of course, because Muslims don't believe in letting western radical suits, or anyone else, into intimidating them.

Intimidation. Government is force, and politics is the threat of force. So anyone in politics is someone that likes to intimidate.

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