Showing posts from March, 2017

Reading India through 'Dictator's handbook'

What's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship? The book says, not much. India, agrees. Current political dispensation especially agrees vigorously. " Soma " of hindutva and past glory + divided impoverished amnesiac masses + legitimised attack on individual rights + tremendous wealth shared among few = brave new world of oligarchical India. Essentially, democracies/ dictatorships etc., are simply variants of the same power dynamic between the ruler, essentials, influentials and inter-changeables .   Interchangeables are the nominal selectorate - the individual voters who have nominal (or cosmetic) power to choose leader - most of us. Influentials  are the real selectorate - the guys who really choose the leader. In US recently, the electoral college famously went against the popular vote and elected a clown as their president instead. In India, theoretically, the system is a bit better in terms of a wider base of influentials - it could be rel

Reading China through "Dictator's handbook"

Ai Weiwei doing what needs doing, even if it is futile Can China exist as a democracy? Is it even possible? If it can't sustain as a democracy, what makes the single party factory-of-the-world system so special to ensure evolution rather than revolutions? Perhaps the ' dictator's handbook' can answer that question better. Today I was listening to the podcast "Intelligence squared", as I do with every evening walk from my office to home. The motion was that democracy perhaps is not suited for China. I thought that debate is preposterous - say that to an Uighur peasant or a miner dying of lung cancer or an indentured labourer at any of the big electronic companies. He/she will tell you the answer. What I was most interested by was the recurring rhetoric about the economic miracle of China, that this kind of economic growth is unprecedented. That it single-handedly brought 70% of world's out-of-poverty transformations. So on the one hand of the deba

Love/ trust OR power

In any relationship, there are only every two possible operating conditions - Trust/ Love Or Power. You need to have either of these two things in a relationship for your own good. If you have neither, its best to walk away if you can. If not, the second best thing is to gather strength to fight for respect.   Ophelia: "incapable of her own distress" Any relationship is either based on trust based cooperation or competition for power. If you are lucky, your life will get entangled with a person who respects you and has your best interest in mind. The second possibility is that the  relationships turn into a game of power - where there are daily skirmishes to gain a leverage between the parties. But both these types of relationships have some sort of balance between the partners. The first is where the presence of love/ trust creates a nurturing atmosphere for both the parties. The second is where there might not be love, but at least there is give and take - some sor