Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Is extreme anarchism Kejriwal’s political strategy????

Kejriwal (the Joker in the political pack, henceforth abbreviated just to Joker) has accused the UPA and NDA of crony capitalism. The allegation is that both governments favored RIL, India’s largest private sector company by revenues and market capitalization. Really Mr. Joker? Of course, its impossible to ask you for evidence…..what you have provided is old hash – but your line of argument and the emerging strategy of your emerging political party appears to be getting clearer. Its called Extreme anarchism. In some ways, this is even more left of ultra socialism and is akin to what Maoists seek.

Wikipedia describes Anarchism as “a political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, or harmful, or, alternatively, as opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of human relations. Proponents of anarchism, known as "anarchists," advocate stateless societies based on non-hierarchical voluntary associations.” In the past, when Joker ranted against the Congress, it looked like he was targeting a particular party. These attacks were based on certain specific issues. The focal point of the attacks was corruption and the guiding force behind the movement was the enactment of the Lokpal Act. Then Joker started attacking the main opposition party, the BJP, and a certain hint of anarchism was in the air. Joker and his earlier mentor – Anna – pompously made statements that the “people were above the politicians” and “politicians were the servants of the people” – all undeniable ideologies of a democracy but which had become somewhat discarded since independence. Both Anna and Joker talked about “direct democracy” in which people voted directly on issues; wanting to make the country run on referendums. Such “participative decision making” ideas are typical characteristics of anarchism.

So the Left parties and Mamata Banerjee (and the new socialist BJP) all have a different type of challenger now. Hitherto, it appeared that Joker’s party was going to sit squat in the middle of this grouping and take over the ultra-socialist position. It appeared that Joker wanted to set up a socialist government. But now it appears that Joker’s goal is something very different. Its to move towards a stateless entity. A country which has no formal government. A country which is run on principles of “anarcho syndicalism” (which believes in revolutionary industrial unionism as an appropriate vehicle for subjugated classes to regain control over the course of their destiny), “participatory economics” (an economic system using participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and allocation of resources), “collective anarchism” (abolition of both state and private ownership of the means of production. It envisions the means of production being owned collectively and controlled by the producers themselves) and “anarchist communism” (abolition of state/capitalism/private property in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and a  horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers’ councils). All these definitions have been taken from Wikipedia. Clearly, anarchism sits to the left of the Left. The ultra left…..

If Sitaram Yechury feels that any tax rationalization undertaken by a Government amounts to a “gift to the private sector” – and believes that India’s fiscal deficit of R 5.2 lac crores has arisen because of such tax concessions totaling Rs 5.3 lac crores apparently – then he is completely anachronistic with today’s economic ideology. Today, the world at large has moved towards encouraging private capital. But at least Yechury believes in a democratic set-up. He believes that the state shouldn’t have passed on the tax concessions, and should have kept those revenues with itself. Joker on the other hand appears to believe that the Government itself shouldn’t exist. What should run the country is a mofussil gathering of like minded activists who turn to the small bunch of supporters crowding around Jantar Mantar or in front of TV cameras for their views and opinions. A kind of “brotherhood” like the political party now ruling Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood). The only credo of Joker’s brotherhood is “anti-state” and “anti-capitalism” and “joint ownership” of everything including resources and decision making. Such mindless crap is tolerated in today’s India – and is evidence of our “freedom of speech”. But it is such mindless crap that has the potential to take India back by a century.

Coming specifically to the charges of RIL, it’s a lot of baloney. The first thing that Joker has to remember is that players like RIL are welcomed all around the world. Governments give them red carpet treatment, change their laws, and schmooze with them – all so that they invest in their country rather than in some other one. For Joker of course, any such political thinking is anathema. He would be happier if RIL and Ambani took their fortunes and went elsewhere. He would then sit content amongst his gathering of economic illiterates, wringing his hands in joy, believing the country has been saved from crony capitalism. But Joker would soon be crucified by these same followers, for as the RIL’s (and scores others, like Rahul Bajaj has already said) leave the country and go, so will the jobs they create. Today’s business icon in India is Narendra Modi – a man who has great pride in granting government owned land at free or concessional terms to the Tatas and the Suzukis. I guess for Joker, Modi is anathema too. But Joker cannot understand that that’s the kind of economic model this country needs at this time. Not the 17th century dogma called anarchism he propogates.

In a world in which the private entrepreneur is welcomed, the approach to governance changes. Governments make their demands of entrepreneurs. They demand job creation. They demand higher investments. They demand commitment to the government’s social programs. In short, they demand rapid growth. They don’t make policies that kill entrepreneurs. A Government that negotiates with big corporates is considered efficient; one that shuns them is a liability. This is the point that Joker simply cannot understand. Well to be fair, if Sitaram Yechury can’t, how can Joker???

The real truth is that the political model of Kejriwal is becoming clear. It’s a political structure called anarchy. In his ideal world, there is no government, no private sector. There is common ownership of all resources; common decision making. Such utopia hasn’t been found yet. But then for Kejriwal, selling such a pipe dream is the only chance he has of making a mark. It’s a dangerous political option and one that must be killed urgently….


  1. Welcome! Money Payment in Parliament is not Anarchism, Getting vote for Liquor is not anarchism, Coalgate is Not anarchism, CWG is not anarchism, 2G is Not Anarchism, Adarsh is not Anarchism, What Khurshid, Gadkari has done is not anarchism. But you find anarchism in a man who talk against all these. Wow definately he may have political motive, but doesnt he doing good by revealing the kind of loot happening?.

    I dont know how can somebody ignore all that is infront of eye and write about a consiparcy theory. Other then when somebody himself is beneficiary. Just one thing, I was told when was kid, when u sell urself u get lakhs, when u sell ur family u get crore and when u sell Nation u get arab(billion). Just categorize urself but do consider the cost plzzzz.

  2. As always, pithy and on point Prashant. Love reading your stuff.