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I have nothing but love in my heart :) - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

I have nothing but love in my heart :) [Jan. 19th, 2006|12:01 pm]
Arvind Narayanan
Something I said about hating socialists appears to have been misinterpreted. I must clarify!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-01-19 10:15 am (UTC)
I live in a socialist state, and I can't say I hate it.
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2006-01-19 10:23 am (UTC)
Well, good for you.
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[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-01-19 10:28 am (UTC)
Did you ever try it?
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2006-01-19 10:36 am (UTC)
I lived in India all my life until last year.
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[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-01-19 10:46 am (UTC)
So how do you know how you'd feel in a socialist state?
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2006-01-19 10:58 am (UTC)
OK I don't know why you want to pretend that India is not socialist, and I don't feel the need to prove statements like fire is hot or India is socialist, and besides I'm not in the mood for an infinitely deep thread.
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[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-01-19 11:06 am (UTC)
Seems we have quite different definitions of socialist, but that's to be expected. While India certainly has some socialist traits (but then, so does the US), it hardly qualifies as a majorly socialist state - although it most certainly did right after its independence.
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2006-01-19 11:27 am (UTC)
I see. I thought you were just being deliberately argumentative. Well yeah, my definition of socialism definitely includes India. I should also point out that India calls itself socialist - the word is plastered all over the constitution.

At one point the government took over all the banks. It owns most of the heavy industry and manufacturing industries. There are two states that regularly have Marxist parties in power. Until the 1990s we had what was called the "license permit raj" - if you owned a business you had to get the government's permission to take a leak. People over 40 have horror stories of how they had to wait for months to get a permit to ... wait for it ... purchase a refrigerator for their home. Laborers' unions had great power. There's been a lot of change in the last decade but the country is still fundamentally socialist. Cabs ("autos") have their fare controlled by the government. (At least that's what the government tries to do; the reality is a huge mess.) Free enterprise is stymied at every turn.

I consider America to have some socialist traits too (I am against social security) but that is nothing, nothing compared to India.
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[User Picture]From: theswede
2006-01-19 11:45 am (UTC)
I'd argue those are totalitarian traits, or possibly classical political communism. I'm aware India's constitution says "socialist" but that appears to be quite a misnomer. Heavy bureaucracy is not a necessary trait for a socialist state (although it does appear rather common), and the immense level of bureaucracy you mention here strikes me as communistic (in the practical political sense, not ideologically).

In sum, I would argue the traits you are listing appear to me communistic, not socialistic. And I admit that living in a communist state holds very little appeal to me. But, the basics of a proper socialist state; an unemployment safety net, good education to all citizens, ubiqutous healthcare and best of all - no poverty, are things I find it hard to live without.

Of course, "proper" in this case includes "sufficiently industrialized", which is strictly unrelated to socialism per se, although I hold it as an inevitable result of socialist - as opposed to communist - policy.
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[User Picture]From: kadambarid
2006-01-19 09:02 pm (UTC)
There are two states that regularly have Marxist parties in power.

Three- if you include Tripura ( if you consider it a state, that is!)- jus' for the info!
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From: nearfar
2006-01-19 10:49 pm (UTC)
I hate only the people in power, because they force their views on me.

Well, if what you have in your heart is love, you wouldn't even hate those people in power. :-)
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[User Picture]From: kadambarid
2006-01-20 12:03 am (UTC)
love?

The most hilarious I've heard this year!
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From: nearfar
2006-01-20 12:28 am (UTC)

huh?

Probably you're hearing this word for the fifth time?
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[User Picture]From: vinodv
2006-01-22 08:04 pm (UTC)
I have spent most of my time in Kerala, a place with an unreasonably strong communist bias. Just to give an example, it is close to impossible to move thing Foo from place Bar1 to Bar2 without filling the wallets of the local commie "coolie-gang". I am _forced to_ call a coolie when i buy a tv, a fridge. Hell, to think that all this terrorism is state-sponsored.

Come to Kerala, invest your money, start an industry and try to keep it running for a year. You will know. The commie bastards will chase you out, of course after stripping you of your dignity and your last pair of underwear.

Communism as an ideal may be reasonable, but in practice, it mostly sucks.

My $.02.

PS: Arvind, Good to see you@LJ.
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